Monday, 26 January 2015

Vintage market looking for traders

Re-enactors at last year's event
The Wiltshire Armed Forces and Veterans' Celebrations in Trowbridge is a massive event and growing each year. As well as displays from the armed forces of the present day, there are masses of historic vehicles to be seen, including flypasts by classic aeroplanes, and a good number of re-enactment displays. (Last year's First World War trench, lines with photos of young men from the town who'd served, letters home and diary entries and, in many cases obituaries in the local paper, genuinely had me in tears.) This year's event has an RAF-led focus, so I'll have to go along, if only to get lots of photos for Papa Robot who was in the Air Force in the 1970s and 1980s.

This year the town is hosting a small vintage market as part of the event. The full event takes place on the 27th and 28th of June, though the market is on the 28th only. With pitches costing just £25 each, it looks like a great opportunity for small local businesses who don't have masses of spare cash for overheads, and I know from past experience that the town gets a LOT of visitors over that weekend. If you know anyone in the area who fancies selling vintage at an event, please pass on the details.

(There's also a Medieval Market as part of the town's Magna Carta celebrations on the 24th-26th of July. Looks like Trow is Fun City this summer!)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The knitwear of Foyle's War

The final series of Foyle's War has been and gone - if you can call three episodes a series. I very much enjoyed it but it really was far too short, and I can't help feeling it was a wasted opportunity. People seem to enjoy seeing my knitwear write-ups, so I thought I'd take a look at all three episodes from series nine. (ITV calls it nine, some other sites such as IMDB call it eight.)
I like the fact costumes are repeated in different episodes; people didn't have masses of clothes
in the 1940s. Also, this vaguely military grey is appropriate for the era.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

This was going to be a post about my lovely new vintage dress, which is a black-and-white 1950s cotton shirt dress from CalendarGirlVintage on Etsy. I heartily recommend her for service and speed, as well as quality of goods. However, my selfie skills (meagre as they were) appear to have evaporated, and every photo I took was under-exposed, over-exposed, all boobs, all belly, had scarlet legs (I balanced my camera on the snake's tank, which has a red heat lamp) or were blurry. BAH. So until I can persuade Mr Robot to take photos for me, you'll have to make do with this photo Jen (CDV's owner) took. Obviously it's rather wider on me than the dummy, but I think it looks great.

As for my aim to increase the amount of vintage and repro that I wear: I'm actually succeeding there. Okay, so some days it does boil down to plopping on a brooch as well as carrying my usual 1960s handbag, but even one extra accessory is an increase, and it's making me find fun ways to mix my vintage with my non-vintage. The bow blouse I got in the Heyday sale is a real winner. I'm getting loads of wear out of it and will definitely be ordering more in other colours, possibly with a view to snipping off the bow and adding a few embellishments of my own to vary the look a little. Heyday may not be the cheapest repro brand, but you can't fault the quality. I've also been eyeing up some Vivien of Holloway blouses for later in the year, though a lot of their prints are simply too exuberant for me.

I've really been enjoying reading In Retrospect, a vintage lifestyle magazine. My overall new year's resolution was 'Make things better', and that includes continuing to put money into worthwhile crowdsourced projects. In Retrospect was a digital magazine, and when they wanted to do a print version they had a kickstarter which I chipped into. You can read the online articles, buy print copies and subscribe via In Retrospect's website. It's a nice complement to other vintage mags on the market as they're more fashion-and-fun, easy to dip into if you're just getting into vintage, and this is a thoughtful publication, one that will appeal to the long-termer who wants something more in-depth, less 'vintage-trendy'. There's definitely room for both types of publication!

And my little brother gave me a belated Christmas gift and it is ACE. A collection of Busby Berkley musicals on DVD. Oh yes! It includes Gold Diggers of 1933, which I absolutely adore. Now I just have to persuade Mr Robot to take regular afternoon naps at weekends so I can watch them, because he loathes musicals.

How's your week going?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Game of Battleships / End of Empires, Toby Frost [books]

The first of the two Space Captain Smith books I got for Christmas, A Game of Battleships sees the mayhem-prone crew of the John Pym taking on the combined forces of the Ghasts, Edenites and Yull in space. The fanatically religious Edenites have got hold of a Dodgson drive, and are using it to make their spaceship appear and disappear, Cheshire-Cat-like, making sneak attacks on the British Space Empire all too possible. The Empire, meanwhile, is holding a treaty conference, seeking to ally with the small, pink, hooting Khlangari. (Fans of bygone British kids' telly may well laugh at that, and at the pink-striped 'Baghparsian feline' that appears). The usual mashup of references to British pop culture and SF icons is present, with everything from Dune to Elite to Iain Banks' Culture novels to the Flying Spaghetti Monster touched on.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

New Agatha Christie 'Partners in Crime' programme

I completely missed the start of the second season of Musketeers (though this season has no Peter Capaldi, which decreases the crumpet content somewhat), but can tell you the BBC has made a new version of Agatha Christie's 'Partners in Crime' stories about Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. I always enjoyed those stories, and wondered why more hadn't been done with them. The early 80s versions with Francesca Annis and James Warwick have dated really badly, it has to be said. David Walliams and Jessica Raine are the leads this time round.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

State of the Vintage Wardrobe

Trying to put a bit of glam into camping...
It's time for my annual appraisal of a year's purchases and style. I like doing this, because I've done it every year since getting more into vintage fashion, and it's nice to see where my style journey has taken me. I think when I've made mistakes in the past, aside from the obvious ones of buying the wrong size, they've been because I've bought something that would suit someone else who I've seen looking lovely online. I prefer things that are simple, streamlined and practical, and need to stick with that. My beloved spreadsheet, which I blogged about last September, has been a massive help. Nothing else has ever brought home to me quite so clearly what I actually wear – as opposed to the style I would like to have – and what I need to be buying. As a result I made far fewer poor purchases than in recent years, managing to buy things that were both my size and style.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 has started well for you. (The photo is of my outfit for last night; I'm back in full slob gear today.)

Lots of my favourite bloggers have already done their new year posts, and it's been great looking at their plans for 2015, and their highlights from 2014. Bits of 2014 were pretty hard. There was a lot of upheaval at work and for a while I wasn't 100 per cent certain I'd be keeping my job, though when I thought about it I realised there were other things I could do and it wasn't completely bleak. Many of my friends have had far, far worse times in 2014, and on reflection I reckon for me the positives outweighed the negatives.