Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...

1. This scarf - picked up in a charity shop for next to nothing.
Bird themed scarf
2. This coat (£9 from Primark) - it has ducks! All over it! Perfect for Glastonbury Festival later this summer!
Duck parka
Please, please, please excuse my cheesy grin - I don't do scheduled smiles very well!
3. The Pirate Flyer - On the last evening of our holiday me and Andrew hopped on the 'Pirate Flyer' inside Coral Island Amusements at Blackpool. A pirate themed monorail aimed at younsters, it was only £1 so we climbed on for a bit of fun. Turned out to be loads of fun! Your ship sails high above the penny arcade machines and one armed bandits passed other pirate boats and shipwrecks all the while trying to shoot sparkly laser discs hung from the ceiling.
We left the ride giggling like little children!

4. Finally finding something for Andrew's birthday in a couple of weeks - he'll have to wait next year for it but it's good!
More info to follow (I would reveal more but he actually reads this blog!)

5. At the end of our holiday, a text message from my lovely friend M saying "we missed you at work!"
What little things have made you happy this month?

Monday, 29 April 2013

Holiday Thrifting

Between Anglesey, Dublin, Llandudno, Bangor, Preston, Blackpool and Cleveleys I managed to drag Andrew round all manner of weird and wonderful charity shops - here's some of the dazzling treasures we found...

Red shoes
Red shoes by Via Buia via charity shop
I'm a sucker for a pair of red shoes - all because of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name and the magical 1948 Powell and Pressburger film featuring Moira Shearer as the doomed ballerina. The red shoe fetish snowballed further after seeing the cornish theatre company, Kneehigh's mesmerizing production of the classic tale back in 2001. I think I ended up seeing the show about 6, maybe 7 times?
These shoes remind me of the same red shoes little girls used to wear to school.
Vintage looking tupperware
Unbranded storage box set via charity shop.
This set of retro-looking storage tubs were in a charity shop in Holyhead, Anglesey - reduced to £1.25
Vintage home management book
Vintage home management book
The Dairy Book of Home Management printed by the Milk Marketing Board in 1980 via charity shop
Andrew found this home management book for only £1 in Preston charity shop - not sure what he was trying to tell me?
1940's style tea dress
1940's-style green tea dress with pink/red flowers from Ethel Austin via charity shop
This pretty tea dress was in a charity shop in Bangor, North Wales. I think it should be teamed with cups of tea in vintage crockery and little lemon drizzle cakes.
Vintage red polka dor dress
Unbranded red polka dot sundress via charity shop
Found this 1970's sundress in a charity shop in Preston on their vintage rail. It's missing a belt and has one small hole but that's nothing that can't be fixed. It also has the magic words on the label - 'Made in England'
Clements Ribeiro jacket

Clements Ribeiro jacket
Green beaded kaftan-style top by Clements Ribeiro via charity shop
This top was in a huge charity shop in Cleveleys, just north of Blackpool - the sort where the clothes aren't sorted by size or by colour and you have to rummage for ages to find anything. But hidden away on a rail for only £1.99 was this beautiful Clements Ribeiro beaded top!
Bird themed scarf
Unbranded purple soft wool bird scarf via charity shop
I think this, by far was my favourite charity shop find of the holiday. It was on a rail of scarves in a Llandudno charity shop. It has birds all over it! That, mainly, was why I had to have it and I promptly wore it the rest of our day at the seaside.
Have you found anything interesting at the charity shops recently?

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...
Sorting - out the mess that has (rather embarrassingly) become our spare room.

Mess in the spare room
Spot the sewing machine...

In our defence, there is method to the madness. Like some sort of bad movie plot, our boiler and heating system decided to pop it's clogs over the Christmas holiday - on Christmas Day morning no less.
Luckily, we know a chappie who does boilers and he agreed that if Andrew did all the pipework and plumbing in the house, he'd come along and fit the new boiler and make sure everything was safe and sound.
So everything in our house was moved around to make way for new copper pipes, fittings, fixtures and other complicated sounding objects. Hence the tip of a room.
But - lo and behold (well, fingers crossed) by next weekend we should have heating again in our house!
Which should be just in time for some lovely sunny weather...

Experimenting - with my new camera - a fabulous Panasonic Lumix GF5

Pictures taken with Panasonic Lumix GF5
Playing with the camera settings with some flowers and an unexpected hailstorm.

For our wedding anniversary last week, my parents very kindly gifted us some money and I decided to treat myself to something I've been thinking about getting for a while. After doing a bit of research on the internet - well, actually, a lot...and it involved spreadsheets {hangs head in embarassment} - we chose the Panasonic Lumix GF5 and so far we're both very impressed!

Rebuilding - an engine from a Scammell Lorry

Scammell lorry engine being rebuilt
The very complicated-looking inside of a Gardner 6LW 1952 engine.

Not me, but Andrew spent the weekend covered in muck and oil working on the engine he took apart last year. Hopefully it (and the rest of the lorry) should be fully working in time for the first steam rally at the end of May over in Selwood near Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Involving - myself in the lovely rosalilium's "blog every day in May challenge".
Bit a a challenge for a newbie blogger but hey ho, there's nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end!
Also signing up for the heart-warming #post circle run by the wonderful Miss Beatrix.
Very much looking forward to creating and sending off my first #post circle package!

What did you get up to at the weekend?


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Midweek Hop

Welcome to a new weekly feature, painstakingly researched by my better half.
The Midweek Hop!
'Ami E 120' 1953 Jukebox
'Ami E 120' 1953 Jukebox
With a nod towards one of our favourite shows on BBC Radio 2, 'The Music Goes Round' with Desmond Carrington (Friday nights at 7pm); each Wednesday will feature three hits from the silver age of jukeboxes.
This week's theme is...Letters and Paper
Inspired by National Stationery Week (22-28th April)
1. The Letter by The Box Tops
It may be just a piece of paper, but a letter can convey many messages.
 'The Letter' entered the chart on 13th Sept 1967 reaching Number 5.
2. Pretty Paper by Roy Orbison
 With lyrics such as pretty paper, pretty ribbons and pretty pencils, this Roy Orbison hit perfectly evokes the spirit of National Stationery Week.
'Pretty Paper' entered the chart on 19th Nov 1964 reaching Number 6.
3. Love Letters by Ketty Lester
 Surely every girl dreams of receiving a beautifully written love letter from their sweetheart?
'Love Letters' entered the chart on 19th Apr 1962 reaching Number 4.
Happy listening!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

What Duck Wore...at Frome Vintage Bazaar

So...ahem...the first (awkward) outfit post...
I'm not convinced I'm that photogenic; I was more often than not the one behind the camera as a child and not necessarily in front of it.
But I think Andrew definately enjoyed going all David Bailey on me...and who am I to stop him if he wants to nuture his photographic tendencies?

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress
You'll have to excuse the forest floor in our back garden, the wet weather recently has put paid to any ideas about cutting the grass!

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress

Duck wearing a 1940's style tea dress

Fabulously swishy navy polka dot dress - Dorothy Perkins via charity shop
Grey cardigan - M & S Per Una via charity shop
Cross body flowery handbag - Sainsburys TU via charity shop
Navy wedge shoes - Matalan (from their recent £5 sale - thank you to Victoria's Vintage for the recommendation)
Necklace - Avon (old)

Thrills and Spills at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

During our week in Blackpool, naturally we had a day out at the Pleasure Beach where we smugly handed over our Tesco Rewards Vouchers in exchange for two all-day ride wristbands.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Both me and Andrew love funfairs, especially vintage ones so the first ride we hopped onto was the original Sir Hiram Maxim's Captive Flying Machines built in 1904 by the same inventor who created the portable, automatic machine gun. It's amazing the ride is still in operation today and still enjoyed by thousands every year. Top tip, when you leave the ride and end up in the gift shop below, look to your right and you'll see the original mechanism running the machine - if you hang around 5 minutes til the ride starts up again, you'll see it in operation.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
We managed to get a preview ride on the new Wallace and Gromit Thrill-o-Matic. It's a family ride filled with scenes from all the stories dating back to 1989 (have Wallace and Gromit really been around that long!?). It was great fun to ride and there's a lot of detail in each scene depicted.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Wallace and Gromit were outside supposedly promoting it - this seemed to entail Gromit posing with lots of small people and Wallace alternating between dancing with teenagers and courting bemused grandmothers!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The entrance to the River Caves - opened in 1905 and the second oldest ride at the Pleasure Beach.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The Laughing Man is incredibly hard to photograph, no matter what angle you try, there's always reflections in the way.  Apparently chuckling away since 1935, the urban legend is if the Laughing Man ever stops giggling, then the Pleasure Beach will close - let's hope he never does...
Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Monday, 22 April 2013

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...
Enjoying - the first summer salad and the first BBQ of the year, in a warm conservatory no less!
Chorizo and green bean salad
Chorizo and Green Bean Salad (recipe from Tesco Magazine) - similar recipe here on BBC Good Food

My 30th birthday present from last December - a chimenea!

Thrifting - at the fabulous Frome Vintage Bazaar, in the town's charity shops and at an impromptu Ladies Circle jumble sale in The Crown Hotel.
Frome Vintage Bazaar
Frome Vintage Bazaar in the Cheese and Grain (apologies for the bad picture!)
Books from Frome Vintage Bazaar
Red Guide from the Vintage Bazzar - Dressmaking book from the jumble sale

Vintage Naughty Princess Book
Found in a charity shop - and coincidentially printed back in 1946 just a mile up the road from where we live. The inscription reads "To such a one, from Tony June 9th 1947"
Vintage looking duvet and pillowcase
Pillowcase from the jumble sale - king size duvet from a charity shop (again, apologies for the bad picture)

1980's blouse and petticoat
Eastex 1980's mint green blouse from the jumble sale - Dusty pink St Michel slip from a charity shop
Necklaces from the jumble sale
Planting - Heuchera, Cowslips, Devon Pinks, Lavender, Rosemary and Chives. Also weeding, lots of!
Flowers in flowerbed
The flower border at the front of our house - grape hyacinths, daffodils, heuchera, cowslips, primroses and several other flowers I can't remember the name of...
Celebrating - our 6th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is...yum, yum...sugar!
The gorgeous bouquet Andrew bought me - one lucky duck!
An sugary sweet anniversary present from my parents
What did you get up to at the weekend?

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