Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Chandette

After we went to the Hunterian Museum last Saturday we popped for a quick pint at The Chandos in St Martins Lane. 
It is a Samuel Smith Brewery owned establishment that only stock Samuel Smith products.
Back in 1998 Mark and I spent seven months working there as a live-in bar couple, it was my first ever job in London and I have some fond memories of that time.
When we worked there you could get a pint for less than £2 but our round on Saturday (two pints) came to £8.50, how times change.
I wonder if the wages have followed suit?
These pics where snapped outside the pub. 
I remember getting black fingers from shining that bloody brass behind me every morning.
The pub is slap bang in the middle of the West End near Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.
It's a real shame that the beer prices have shot through the roof cause it's a fab place for a lengthy drinking session.
Vintage 70s floral print maxi dress, 90s teddy faux-fur jacket, repro Victorian lace-up boots, mohair hat, gloves & Frocktasia earrings.
Here we have 'The Chandos' class of '98 having a wee swalley on a Saturday night which incidentally was  both pay & beer line cleaning day, loads of free booze, happy days ;)
I'm the one draped on the sofa (no surprise there) & the dude sitting next to me is Matt, who is my brother-in -law.
Other news...
The lovely Sacramento bought a vintage shirt from me the other week and here she is ROCKING IT in one of her fab outfits :)
 Raven haired sauce goddess Sarah put her photoshoppin' skills to good use last Friday and grafted the heads of some of my favourite bloggers onto the glowing orange, trashy clad bodies of retro catalogue models. 
At long last my dreams of walking in the footsteps of Samantha Fox have been realized, thank you Sarah ;)
My fellow models are Tamera, Helga & Vix.
The original catalogue scans are from an awesome blog called Retrospace
If you haven't heard of it, I can highly recommend adding it to your fave blogs, it's one of my daily doses of unadulterated vintage & retro fun and inspiration.
Today's tune is 'The Model' by Kraftwerk, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Just call me Kelly Kildare

In honour of Saint Patrick's Day I decided to squeeze in to my Irish dancing frock and pretend that my name is Kelly Kildare. 
There's just enough room in this dress for my lungs to keep functioning properly so they'll be no binging on colcannon & Guinness, as for dancing and listening to fabulous folk music...bring it on!
I'd been on the hunt for a traditional Irish dancing dress for ages but on eBay they were always either too small or too expensive.
I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled upon this beauty at a car boot sale a few years ago.
It was more than affordable, the chap selling it said that he was happy to let it go cheap if he knew it was going to a loving home.
I love the fabulously bright cherry red colour.
It came complete with cape sash and crochet collar, I simply couldn't have asked for more!
Sure it's not in mint condition, it's got a few nibbles and marks here and there but it is worth every single penny that I paid for it!
Just look at the Celtic knot applique & embroidery...stunning!
It's been very dreich outside today and the drizzle has been pretty much constant.
We'd run out of bird seed, so we popped to poundland to get a few more bags.
On the way back we stopped off to feed Lilo and friends. 
They weren't that interested  today cause I think they'd already had their fill.
Sometimes we don't bother going up on a Saturday or Sunday cause there are so many other people feeding the birds over the weekend but I do like to pop up if it's a particularly cold or damp day, just in case.
It's been rather windy lately & my flimsy fine hair is being swept in all directions making me feel like The Baldy Man :)
I don't use hairspray so I guess I'll just have to live with it...
Today's Ensemble:
Traditional Irish dancing dress, vintage 50s velvet jacket, Victorian style lace-up boots,  Celtic  folk art inspired earrings, patterned tights, gloves & Frocktasia black rose headdress.
Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend...
 Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig!
Today's tune is by one of my all time favourite Irish singer songwriters Luka Bloom, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

I don't want to grow up

In the late 70s I used to watch an animated program on Swedish telly called 'Fabrorn som inte vill va stor' which translates to 'The man who doesn't want to be a grown up'. 
The story is about a 32 year old man who works in an office but spends most his days escaping into dreams about being a kid again.
Here's the opening score...
The idea of never wanting to "grow up" is one that has been quite prevalent in my own life.
It's not that I'm immature or shy away from responsibility but I've just never been able to buy into the whole "You're an adult now, stop doing fun things" malarkey.
If it makes you happy surely you should continue doing it regardless of what age you happen to be?!
The way I see it climbing a tree, having a go on the swings or playing dress up shouldn't have a "best do before date", that's just bullshit!
When I was working at a nursery school in 2003 the other ladies would roll their eyes as I ran around with the kids playing. 
They'd just stand there like playground police, intermittently shouting orders at the kids whilst regurgitating all the crap they'd watched on the telly the previous night.
I'm not one for just standing around and I will find work for myself, if other people struggle to.
Getting involved in the games that the kids were playing made the eight hour working day go a whole lot quicker than if I had just sat on my ass, chin-wagging about absolute nonsense.
I still love swinging around lampposts and walking on walls & balancing on bollards.
Do I ever fear the disapproval or ridicule of others?
Over the years I've become rather indifferent to what other people think cause in the grand scheme of things they don't really matter.
What matters is that I am happy in my own 'big kid' skin.
Thankfully Mark is very similar to me so I don't have to be a completely lone "loon" skipping down the street vaulting over obstacles and swinging off railings.
Vintage jacket, 60s pleated mini dress, tulle skirt, 90s floral lace leotard, 90s scrunch textured leggings, boucle baker boy cap, DM boots  & Frocktasia Earrings and necklace.
 A close-up of my 'Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two' necklace...
I'm dreadfully behind on my blog reading this week but I'm hoping to grab a few hours later to catch up on what you gorgeous peeps have been up to :)

We went to the awesome Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons near Holborn today.
Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos or film but you can check out some of the rather ghoulish exhibits here.
Hope you are all having a fabulous & funderful weekend.
Today's tune is by The Ramones, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Choose Life

"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future...
Like Renton I choose something else too but thankfully it wasn't heroine.
I choose to chase my dreams :)
Life is sweet when you don't have to jostle for space on the tube at seven in the morning to get to work & then spend your day in a drab-ass uniform, working for a complete bunch of wankfists.
Grateful? You bet!

Sometimes I do have to bite the bullet though, when the bills are dropping through the letterbox like evil cluster bombs...usually at this time of year...stinging water rates & another years worth of painful council tax.
When it comes to working for the man I've always had a guerrilla approach, in and out as quick as you like.
It probably has a lot to do with the sort of soul destroying jobs that litter my past.
The longest I've ever lasted in one place was four and a half years at 'The Lamb & Flag' in Covent Garden. The job itself was as brain-numbing as they come but the people were awesome and the owners relished individuals. You could be yourself and dress the way you liked. 
Unfortunately the pub was sold to a big faceless brewery and that's when I jumped ship. 
The mere thought of working for a big company and having to wear a uniform gives me daymares.
I still know a few publicans in the West End so I may be able to get a wee part-time gig in a pub, as long as it doesn't interfere with my Frocktasia marketeering ;)

Today's ensemble was inspired by licorice allsorts...
Vintage 60s bubblegum pink skirt suit, 70s dagger collar shirt, 80s silk tie, J & M pin-badges, layered tights (sheer black & green nets), 80s boots, 50s crochet beret, gloves & Frocktasia earrings.

I'm currently re-reading Trainspotting in Swedish and I'm finding the translation rather hilarious for want of a better word, talk about lost in translation.
Have an awesome Friday folks, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Plant loving crackpot

If I were able to have a whole house full of rescue dogs, cats, birds and miscellaneous wildlife I totally would but as things are that is sadly not possible.
There is one thing that we can and do rescue and give a new home to and that is abandoned houseplants.
Mark found this yucca plant in a terrible state a while back. 
The previous owner had kept it in a very small terracotta pot and the plant was completely rootbound inside of it. 
You can see how one of the plant trunks is completely warped & that was wrapped onto the rim of the wee pot.
Instead of repotting the plant they had just put it out with the rubbish as it was dying.
As soon as Mark brought him home, I took a hammer to the pot, liberated Mr. Yucca and re-potted him into a big poundland planter and he has thrived with us ever since.
In fact he has been growing so well that the other day I had to venture up to the nature trail in search of a "crutch" for him.
The warped trunk looked as if it was straining under the weight of his marvelous crown, so I found a perfect stick to support it.
We love our houseplants and like Prince Charles we do talk to them.
 Call me a crackpot if you like but my plants make me very happy and I do like to tell them that :)
Once it gets a bit warmer outside, I shall bring them all out on the balcony to repot them into some fresh soil and bigger pots if needed... 
I call this Yucca plant Odie cause when Mark brought him home he reminded me of the dog from Garfield, all long-necked and lanky. The big pic is Odie today and the one to the right is when he first moved in with us ;)
Question time...
Do you keep houseplants or are you lucky enough to have a garden where you grow things?

Today we had rain & sunshine in the morning, snow & strong winds in the afternoon and to finish off, our little corner of London was treated to a lovely pink sunset.

Today's ensemble:
Vintage 50s jacket, 60s psychedelic floral print mini dress, crushed velvet booties, layered tights (plain red and acid orange fishnets), bangles galore & Frocktasia earrings & horse-brass necklace.
I curled my hair this morning but it started snowing & blowing a gale when we were feeding the birds, so by the time these photos were taken you could hardly tell, och!
It was great reading your comments about 'Lucky Dipping' and eBay purchases. 
I know I'm a nosy parker but I just love reading your wee stories, so thank you for taking the time.

Today's song is by Crowded House, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Lucky Dipping

I haven't bought anything on eBay since before Christmas and to be honest I hardly even look anymore. 
On a rare occasion I'll do a bit of window shopping, bang a few of my favourite search words in to see what they conjure up but the last thing I bought was another dirndl dress for my collection (I haven't actually shown it to you yet).
Back in the eBay 'glory days' I got to know my postman rather well cause frocks would arrive almost on a daily basis.
Postage prices were much lower then and you could get really brilliant vintage garments for a song.
That was before hobby sellers realized the importance of listing items properly & with a half decent picture.
I would indulge in 'Lucky Dipping' i.e. bidding on stuff with really dodgy pictures, you never quite knew what you'd receive; would it be a vintage gem or rags for the revamp box?!
However most of the time, I was very happy with my purchase and the lucky dip had paid off.
Nowadays most people are wise to the ways of eBay selling, I guess they spend a little more time on doing research and better grasp the concept of good presentation equals more profit.
So the really dodgy photos, where you can't even make out if it's a scrunched up dog blanket or a frock you are looking at, seem to be all but gone.
The last garment that I lucky dipped was the dress that I am wearing today...
the auction photo was so dark that you couldn't even make out the print but I went for it anyway and boy am I glad I did :) 
Vintage floral print maxi dress, faux-fur jacket, vintage hat, vintage faux-fur trim booties, gloves, Ankh necklace & handmade Kenyan earrings...two pairs of tights to stave off the chills.
I was more than chuffed to bits when I pulled this beauty out of the package I can tell you and I reckon that properly presented it would have fetched far more than the 99p that I paid for it.
Look at that awesome print :)
There were no bearded film dudes interrupting our pic taking today.
In fact we almost had the park all to ourselves :)
It wasn't quite as icy cold today but it's still a bit too chilly for bare arms. 
This frock got to travel with me to Egypt last year and was featured in one of our early morning desert photo sessions...
It such a comfy dress with a very forgiving cut which was great for my post all inclusive buffet belly... 
so much delicious food, so little time, so much unbridled gluttony ;) 
I bought the dress in 2011 and it quickly became a favourite, here I am wearing it on NYE 2011 just before heading off to BrewDog in Camden...
Now I would like to know...
Do you indulge in 'Lucky Dipping' & if so what was your best score?
Are you still buying heaps on eBay or have the ever rising postage prices put you off?
What was your latest eBay buy?
You don't have to answer if you don't want to, you are quite welcome to leave a comment  anyway.
Just because I love you here's the Brand New Heavies, enjoy :)
...and another one cause they are so awesome...
 Loads of love,

Monday, 11 March 2013

Titsicles, winter's back!

What an absolutely freezacious Monday it had been!
Some time ago we set up a bird feeding station on the balcony and earlier today our little feathered friends were sent tumbling when caught by strong and icy cold gusts of wind.
I chopped up a suet & seed ball and stuck in a bowl on the floor, in an attempt to make it slightly easier for them but then it started snowing, och!
I'm chuffed to bits with the amount and variety of birds that are regular visitors now...
blackbird, chaffinch, robin, sparrow, starling, wood pigeon, blue tit and this morning we were even visited by a very inquisitive magpie.
It's lovely to just sit with my cup of coffee, watching the birds pick away at the seed balls outside.
 Yes peeps, it's official, I am a birdwatcher.
We're going through bags of seed every week so it's just as well that you can pick them up from the pound shop. 
I do want to try and make my own seed balls though and I've found a good tutorial on a blog called Dry Seasonings, so I'll give that a bash at the weekend.
Lilo and friends also get their daily visit without fail. 
On a day like today one could be tempted to give the pond a miss but I don't want my angel-winged pretty going hungry especially when it's as Baltic as it has been today.
They were filming something in the park, there were loads of lorries and one of those double decker catering buses parked on the basketball courts. 
I didn't spot anyone famous but I may have done?
 Especially if the celebrity looks like a hairy gaffer, cause there were a fair few of them about.
We were interrupted three times by crew peeps as we were trying to snap the outfit pics. 
I was standing there thinking...
"Excuse me, can you hold on three bleedin' seconds please, I'm getting titsicles standing here!".
'Titsicles' is pretty self explanatory I guess but just in case you are perplexed, it is the word my husband chooses to use for a pair of extremely cold boobies :)
Vintage 60s psychedelic print dress, 90s faux-fur jacket, 80s boots, tights, mohair hat, gloves & Frocktasia earrings & horse brass necklace.
In the pictures above you can see me clocking bearded men just about to walk right in front of the camera... you would have thought being in 'The Biz' they would know bleedin' better but I guess not.
Today's tune is by lovely Leslie's very talented son Erik, enjoy :)
Erik will be playing a six song gig at The Old Queen's Head on Sunday the 24th of March.
Mark and I will be going :)
Loads of love,