Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I took my vintage bike to Edinburgh but hadn't bargained for the hills and cobbles - it wasn't long before I decided feet were safer (if slower) than wheels.

Obviously I couldn't go without my car boot fix and was amazed at the subterranean car boot held four floors below ground level in a car park. It was quite surreal - very dark, very hot, very busy and quite weird. But I did manage to find a few bits and pieces particularly liking the little Susie Cooper plate on the right and the unsorted box of buttons. I paid more for these than I normally would but as I said - it was dark but I thought I could see some Art Deco ones - I wasn't disappointed!

I love looking at independent shops in other cities and wasn't disappointed although there weren't as many as I would have liked. I liked this plate found in one such store along with other similar ones. It can only be used for display as the image is merely decoupaged on but I can think of plates and images I could combine for my wall...Might have a go!

I discovered that there was an Anthropologie store too so had to take some pics - I do love their display ideas

What do you think to the jelly mould chandelier - fun - yes. Price over £900. So you probably won't be buying one. Still - great idea for the holiday weekend - empty the kitchen cupboards and see what you can do with a few bits of wire and some redundant stuff! Plus bling...Images to be posted on Monday please!

Love the display round the mirror ...

and I'd been wondering what to do with my stash of chair legs and other assorted bits of furniture...

and why didn't I think of adding odd spoons to piles of old books?

But it wasn't all vintage. Edinburgh was a real assault on the senses. It really is a cultural bubble with lots and lots to see and do. I didn't know the work of David Mach but the exhibition poster drew me in with its collaged image

followed by this amazing tryptych of larger than lif sized crucifixions in the window of the gallery made of...

coat hangers. Lots and lots of them - I had to take a closer shot to share with you. Quite amazing. As were the collages. This is a huge exhibiton over several floors with over 40 large scale collages based on the anniversary of the King James VI bible. One floor has been taken over as the artist's studio and you can watch him and his team working from lots of boxes of itemised images to make these works.

Next time I'll choose a different week when they also have the book festival...and certainly won't bother taking a selection of high heels!

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Thank you for all your messages - Niobe has done brilliantly exceeding the high entry requirement and getting the place she so wanted at Exeter Uni to read Philosophy and Political Economy. I'm thrilled and very proud.

The picture is another Edinburgh shot where she has just floored the old man to the right of the picture. Her arm is raised in victory. I thought it was appropriate!

For everyone awaiting results...

Tense times table

Once tense is tense
Twice tense is too tense
Three tense is quite stressed
Four tense is fraught
Five tense is frightening
Six tense is tightening
Seven tense is distressed
Eight tense is taut
Nine tense is intense
Ten tense is uptight
Eleven tense - keep your distance
Twelve tense just might...
Thirteen tense - RIGHT! THAT'S IT!
I've had it up to here with your tense times
table, it's not a proper poem it's not a proper
times table and that's the last time you make
me make a fool of myself in public...
(continue ranting indefinitely, then
fade and look sheepish)

Matt Harvey

Sunday, 14 August 2011

No violence, no looting

What a week! Left Nottingham last Saturday to go to Edinburgh to take in the Fringe Festival where Niobe has been performing. I was horrified through Facebook to hear of what was unfurling in Nottingham and elsewhere) as it happened. Fortunately the problems didn't go north of the border so I was able to make the most of it. But it rained and rained. And rained. Big fat rain that wet you through, rose up trouser legs and plastered hair to face. Lovely.

The opportunities for photos were limited but I tried! I managed to pull in several shows and the beauty of this festival is that many of the shows are free. Just 3 famous names - Hardeep Singh Kohli, Simon Callow and Dave Gorman and the others were just pot luck depending on whose flyer was the most persuasive! Niobe and crew put on great performances and are still up there - their last performance was last night but they have a few days free before returning on Wednesday night to pick up their A level results on Thursday. (So nice that their minds are being taken off all that tension.)

She'll kill me for including this very unflattering photo of her as an old woman whose just handbagged the guy on the floor but it was the best one I could get. And guess whose wardrobe she got the clothes from! (NOT the shoes!)It's not easy when you're asked "Have you got any clothes for an old lady in the WI in the eighties Mum?" - And that was the best I could come up with. Plus added rain hat!

More of her group flyering...

This is one of the best parts of the time in Edinburgh when the performers vie for your presence at their shows by enticing you with bits of their performances out on the streets. I was very pleased to find, as I supped a coffee on the Royal Mile that "Out of the Blue," an a capella group, (whom some of you may have seen on Britains got Talent earlier this year)were performing on the street stage right in front of me. A great group of Oxford students causing riots of laughter and applause!

On the way home I stopped at Eyemouth on the Scottish coast for a look at the sea and a bite to eat. I found a small town united in trying to trace a young man who had gone missing last Saturday night. Police divers had been in the harbour and there were posters everywhere. The shopkeepers had pulled together offering food and drinks to searchers, the hardware store providing torches and batteries and the local printer donating the posters. The locals had set up a base in the seamen's mission from where the searches are being coordinated. Despite it being very sad, it was heartwarming that this community was pulling together to support the family of this young man in a week of so many horrors south of the border. What a contrast - just warmth, sympathy, giving, sharing and hope. Inspiring.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

This post may save you money!!

I have just received the following e-mail purportedly from Paypal. Although I have copied it the colours and logos haven't shown up on this post but the e-mail looked very similar to the sort you would normally receive from Paypal. Something about it troubled me so I googled "Coolil and Paypal" and it seems it is a scam. I don't normally pass messages received about this sort of thing but as this one is pretty convincing I thought it worth flagging up. I have no idea what happens if you do what it suggests! I have deleted it! Hope you haven't been caught out...

Hello Member,
You sent a payment of 100 EUR To eBay

This charge will appear on your credit card statement as payment to PAYPAL *eBay

Receipt No: 7854-6541-4574-3254
Please keep this receipt number for future reference. You'll need it if you contact customer service at coolil, Inc. or PayPal.

Description Unit price Qty Amount
Road Mice Ford Mustang Car Mouse 100.00 EUR 1 100.00 EUR
Shipping and handling 10.00 EUR
Insurance - optional 0.00 EUR
Tax 0.00 EUR
Total 90.00 EUR
Total ILS 100.00 EUR
Payment sent to


Do you confirm this payment?

If this payment was not made by you please immediately take the following steps:

* Login to your account by clicking on the link below :
* Provide requested information to ensure you are the owner of the account
* Find this transaction in HISTORY and click 'Cancel Transaction'


Monday, 1 August 2011

Vintage at the Southbank

Last week I was excited as a small child waiting for Vintage at the Southbank. I had no intention of paying £60 to enter the Southbank Centre holding, what would no doubt have been, a great party with all the dressed up visitors and great music but I decided that I couldn't miss the FREE bits!

This is hardly the approach you would expect but London has brought the seaside to the city

with a row of brightly coloured beach huts with inspired interiors and other seaside effects placed along the riverside.

Each was designed by an artist

this one being inspired by a Lucienne Day design.

I had particularly wanted to visit the Vintage Village so for all you vintage lovers I'll share one or two of my favourite bits starting with the Horrckses tent...

Horrockses linens, famous from yesteryear used the occasion to launch their bedding range based on the old designs.

They also had displays of their old dress designs loaned by a collector.

The linens are going to be available through large department stores - House of Frazer etc. I can see these selling well!

Cath Kidston used the event to launch their autumn range. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of her new designs but do like to see the vintage items that have been sourced.

The peg bags and shoppers looked great hung up together

There were lots of great stalls with fabulous items but it wouldn't have been easy for the stallholders. They had had to pay hundreds of pounds for their stands so needed to sell a lot of stock to break even. I suspect that some will have struggled...

Crown paints launched their new range of colours -vintage of course! I couldn't find a paint chart but will be making enquiries. (What did we do before "Vintage" preceding any word suggested the item was more special than its non vintage counterpart?) That reminds me - I think I have some vintage items in my fridge - other than the cheese in which it's a good thing!

There were lots of other things to do with food from around the world, a roof top garden on top of the Southbank building,

the Peter Blake bus

and table tennis like you've never seen it before...

using a leather covered table with a "net" of old furniture books

and get this - a table covered with ping pong balls. This lady clearly has on her passport the occupation of ping pong ball gluer.

And I didn't have a clue how to play on this table

but this young lady was having fun!

Oh and the clothes, the hair dos (I so have to master the victory roll hair do), the miles of bunting. the dancing in the street , and the pure and simple fun that people were having were wonderful to behold. It was great and probably very shallow of me) to forget everything else going on in the world and just enjoy being part of something happy!

I should add I'm having a lot of problems posting comments - according to the system I'm not recognised! I am still checking out your posts and hoping that Blogger will sort itself out soon.