Thursday, 29 September 2011

Birthday Weekend - Part Three....

In which we visit Bridport Vintage Market....

The hotel we stayed in was a little bit of a disappointment if we're honest. In the back of the old house in the pics I showed you there is a refurbished "lodge" - refurbished in such a manner that all character was gone and the decor was in the style of a 1990's Travelodge.

Our room was up in the eaves and huge but had a tiny window and although very clean was just lacking any special touches that could have redeemed it despite the decor - for example there were no glasses just disposable plastic cups, not even a folder describing the hotels services, no room service despite it having been listed on LateRooms (we do like our breakfast in our room when we are away so you can still have a lie in!!) and no folded point on the toilet roll ;0)

However, breakfast was yummy and after we had loaded ourselves up with a full English we set off for Bridport which is approx 1hr from Swanage. 

On the way it started to rain but luckily it kindly stopped as we got out of the car.

The vintage market is set in a small industrial type estate and there are several permanent shops selling all kinds of lovely things as well as lots of stalls selling everything from vintage fabric, furniture and homewares to vintage Louis Vuitton handbags:

With my birthday money I bought a lovely little ceramic pin brooch with real wool felt:

It looks perfect on my bedside lamp:

I also got some beautifully embroidered tray cloths & a pair of pillowcases (the two with the same design) in the softest cotton:

The tray cloths cost between £1.00-£2.00 and the pillowcases were just £8 for the pair

We then came across a stall selling lovely vintage fabric which I couldn't resist:

Not only did this lady have some lovely fabric but she also showed me how to make my own bias binding - I saw she had some for sale and I commented how I couldn't get my head round how to make it despite looking at tutorials and she took the time to demonstrate a really easy way - she even scribbled me a diagram.

Oooh, I nearly forgot to show you this lovely glass jelly mould I got in a Swanage charity shop for £1.50:

Whilst we were wandering round all the sellers (there were a lot) I asked Mr G if he was OK (I was aware that the vintage market was more my thing you see) and he sighed and said "I'm fine. You've only gone and got me INTO all THIS!!" - mwaaaahahaha it's like a cult, we will assimilate you!!

After enjoying home baked cakes and organic lemonade we made our way back to Swanage for our customary (when away WC - Without Children) afternoon nap and then in the evening we ventured over the ferry to Poole Quay for Thai food - I had been fancying it for a while as we don't have a good Thai near us and wanted to try Pad Thai:

In the chicken is green curry - yum....

On Monday, after another yummy full English it was time to head home, via Wareham for a little mooch and we were greeted at home by William who had made me this:


So there we have it, my wonderful birthday weekend which we thoroughly enjoyed. Although I have been feeling a bit flat since getting back as it was so magical and then of course it's back to the grindstone....

I did miss the boys though and it's nice to be in your own bed!!

S x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Birthday Weekend - Part Two....

So, on Saturday afternoon, after our mooch around Swanage we had an indulgent afternoon nap before we started to get ready to go out. I had just got out of the bath when Mr G gave me the tickets for my surprise:

Dinner on a steam train!! I was so delighted!! And pleased Mr G told me before I was ready to go out as this called for little black dress and posh chignon!!

Now I apologise for the quality of the following pics, our camera is rubbish at the best of times and by the time we arrived at the station (which was a short walk from the hotel) it was starting to get dark:

Isn't it fab? Note the vintage suitcases on the trolley....

We were all welcomed and invited aboard for a drink whilst we awaited the arrival of the engine:

There was even a red carpet....

Inside the bar car, it even smelt vintage (in a good way!!):

Soon it was announced that the Wessex Belle had arrived:

Filling her up with water....

I am unashamed to confess that I cried!! I was so overcome with emotion at the sight of this magnificent engine and at the fact that my wonderful husband, whom I *utterly* adore had arranged such a special surprise and one that was just so *me*.

Ugh, bingo wings....

My lovely Mr G holding my wrap and my drink!!

It was then time to board the train and go to our table. The dining car was just how you would imagine it with tables for four on the left and tables for two on the right, plush blue velvet "wing back" chairs, soft lighting and linen tablecloths:

I meant to take pictures of the food but I forgot!! I had minestrone soup; chicken fricassee with roast potatoes and veggies; lemon cheesecake (one of the best I've had in a while); cheese and biscuits and coffee and mints. Mr G had ham terrine; lamb shank with blackberry sauce; tiramisu cake plus the cheese and coffee.

We went along the track at quite a leisurely pace and if you peered hard enough through the window you could just see the ruins of Corfe Castle silhouetted against the night sky. Although it would have been nice for it to have been lighter so we could have seen the view, the darkness coupled with the chuff chuffing of the engine, the steam floating in through the open window and the soft lights made it very romantic.

The pic on the tickets....

The only comical part of the evening was when I had to swap places with Mr G as the train went up and down the line twice and I can't travel backwards - this amused our waiter (who looked exactly like Sir Ian McKellan!!) no end!!

We finally arrived back at Swanage full, happy and loved up and strolled back to the hotel. Mr G commented that he hoped he had earned lots of Brownie points and I replied that he had, but a few had been deducted for saying he hoped he had!!

Come back tomorrow for part three when we go to Bridport Vintage Market and I show you the purchases made there from....


S x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My Birthday - Part One....

Hello my lovelies!! It feels like I have been away from Blogland for ages!!

I return with tales of my birthday weekend - it was my birthday on Saturday, I was 39 (eeek). I was awakened by the boys bringing in presents, they had bought me a lovely Cath Kidston shopping bag:

It's velvet and perfect for winter

Now, I had had asked Mr G for a super bargainous tan leather handbag I had found at House of Fraser reduced from £199 to £64 and indeed, he got it for me but upon opening it I didn't like it *blush* - fortunately it was my own fault so I had no worry about upsetting Mr G by telling him.

I have been using CK bags (made by either Cath or me!!) for ages and thought a grown up leather bag would be nice for winter and it was a lovely bag but it was just not *me*.  
So, that one has been returned and I have ordered the British Birds frame bag from Cath Kidston  instead. 

My Mum got me some sheepskin boots, very Pocahontas with pompoms and everything, I shall wear them with pigtails; a Victorian style nightie (my favourite sort) and a lovely duvet set in pure white cotton with pink rosebuds (the same set that Evie, my 5yr old niece has so that says a lot about me!!)

My sister got me a white rabbit night-light that she had got off my Pinterest "wishlist" (which Evie wanted to keep)  and the big CK carrier bag was a red herring as she had actually got me Cath K vouchers!! MIL & FIL and my Auntie gave me money.

So, I did very well!!

We were booked to stay in Swanage at The Purbeck House Hotel so after Grandma and Granddad arrived to look after the boys and animals we left.

We stopped at my Stepmum's (still can't get used to not saying "my Dad's") on the way for a cuppa as she and my little brother live in Dorset. They got me some lovely things:

The fabric is vintage and I plan to use it for making hand-sewn hexagons which will then cover my French style bedroom chair....

We then head off for the Sandbanks ferry over to Swanage:

Sandbanks, apparently one of the most expensive (house price-wise) areas in the country

Taken from the ferry - Studland Beach

Once we got to Swanage we parked at the hotel which was perfectly located at the top of the High Street:

The front

The back

We then had a bit of a mooch around Swanage and found a fantastic shop:

Full of gorgeous French goodies and beautiful painted furniture - I bought an enamel soap dish

We walked down to the seafront and had some lunch:


We then repaired back to the hotel for a siesta before Mr G revealed the Big Surprise - come back tomorrow and I'll tell you all about it....


S x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tea, Anyone?

Today I finished refurbishing another tea trolley:

This time it's a wooden one and I like it better than my folding metal tea trolley but it's a bit big for the spot mine lives so it's for sale - incidentally, my tea trolley is still where I put it (under the window in the lounge)  even though Mr G complained that "It's NOT staying there" - you see, resistance is futile!!

You can see more pics of it over at Fugly-To-Fabulous and I'll be listing it on eBay a bit later....

Edited to add: link to eBay listing


S x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Thank you. And old, old, photos....

Thanks so much for all your kind words of support and encouragement following my self-pitying post yesterday, I can't tell you how much it meant and how it was just what I needed.

I wonder how much of myself to reveal in this blog, when I started out I wanted it to be a record of *me*, something my boys could read in the future and get the complete picture. But it has evolved into something a little different and so a post like the one yesterday jars so much with the usual content. I expect I have scared some followers off!!

I feel better from the queasy point of view which has helped me feel better overall, and I will try and keep all your comments in mind whenever panic grips me.

Anyway, moving on - a few weeks ago while sorting out the garage we found a huge bag of slides from the 1970's. We also found the projector but it being something of a dinosaur (and without a plug - do you remember when things came without plugs? Seems mad!!) we had to think of something else.

So a slide scanner was purchased from eBay - they range from about £30 upwards, we just went for the cheaper one - you attach it to your PC with a USB cable and slide the slides through it scanning as you go. You can also scan your negatives too although I haven't tried that yet.

There were some FAB pics of parents when they lived in Africa (1970-1972). 

I *love* this one:

This one was taken the day they got to Zambia - Mum says she thought something was going to jump out of the flowers at her!!:

Some very glamorous ones of Mum:

She and Dad worked in a casino so she got to wear v. posh frocks

Look at those fabulous legs!! I love the dresses in these two pics, I'd wear them now with leggings!!

Dad with Victoria Falls in the background:

Back in England Dad had a lifelong love of fishing:

Mum loves his hair in this pic!!!! Apparently, she wouldn't let him cut it!!:

And then I came along:

I so enjoyed rediscovering these photos, I remember seeing them on the big old projector as a child but it is even nicer to see them now and on modern technology - at the same time they make me feel sad - sad that Mum and Dad split up when I was 15 and even sadder that Dad is no longer here, I would have loved to have sat with him and heard the stories like I did when Mum, my Sis and I looked at them a couple of weeks ago.

You'll notice Dad had a cigarette in almost every picture and it was them that were his downfall - he died of lung cancer in 2009 :0(

Still, I am so pleased to have these pics of him as a strong, handsome chap - I urge anyone who has a stash of old slides to buy a scanner and rediscover your old memories!!


S x