Friday, 25 May 2012

Off to a Fashion Show with a Difference

I toddled off to a fashion show the other night, but one with a big difference.  It was a fashion show put on by the charity Scope, which helps people with cerebral palsy.  It is one of the 18 (yes, 18!!) charity shops in town.  The clothes were all from the shop, and the prices were suitably easy on the purse.  It was fabulous to see such great outfits put together from "charity shop clothes".  All the models looked great, (a good age range) and everyone was having a fabulous time.

Here I am, about to set off for the show
Everything is from a charity shop somewhere, including all the bangles. 

I had expected it to be like a regular fashion show, you know... come in, get a drink, sit down, watch the show, mingle, go home.  But, the girls from Scope had cleverly brought rails and rails and rails of clothes (they'd been stashing them for just this event) and tables and tables of jewellery and shoes.  ALL FOR SALE.  Well, be still my beating heart!  There were mobs of women, all milling aorund and snapping up goodies.  I think some of them had no idea that there were so many nice things at such great prices in charity shops.  (I suspected a few charity shop virgins!) 

Luckily, I didn't waste my money on a drink, but got straight to the shopping.  When I was done, there was no money left for a drink.  (I can do that at home!)

This is the lovely bag I snaffled, and the great beaded bracelet, which looks African.  There is a necklace that matches the bracelet, which I will show in another post.  The bag was £4.95, and I loved the orange trim and tweedy-looking raffia.  It looked like a "holiday" bag.   And then I bought a silly amount of jewellery, which ate up the last of my cash.

We were also asked to bring donations, and there was a massive pile of bags with donated goods.  In all, Scope raised nearly £1500 on the night, and goodness knows how much more when they sort out the goodies in the bags.   I think we all came away winners!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Getting Ready for the Queen's Jubilee

Well, it's all go here in England for the Queen Diamond Jubilee.  Or, at least it is if you look around at the amount of merchandise on sale that is plastered with the Union Jack.  I don't what it is about the flag, but it seems to make almost any piece of tat look good.  Or I think so, anyway.

Here are some utterly ridiculous sunglasses with louvered slats to protect your eyes.  I think I look like an alien wearing them!  They were only £1, but even at that price, I couldn't be seen in them.

Other "exciting" merchandise, also in Primark:

And, how this for modelling?  Who is his agent??

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Other Anniversary

On one of my recent posts, I talked about our wedding anniversary, and how Gorgeous Husband and I met.  But we actually have 2 anniversaries: 2 weddings!  The first anniversary, the legal one, happened in Vancouver in the MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory.  It was a totally beautiful, tasteful affair with 5 guests, and a Spanish guitairst playing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring". by Bache.  We were married amongst the palm trees and lush greenery and parrots flying about freely.  It was a small affair, but lovely with just a few friends, and we had a celebratory meal in the conservatory at the English Bay Tea House.  It was delightful and totally what we planned, although what I REALLY wanted was to get married in England with his parents and family around.

We couldn't do that because I was divorced, and at that time, the Church of England would not marry us.  They would, however, give us a blessing once we were already married.  So, we travelled to Liverpool in May, and had a lovely second wedding (I had another wedding gown, this one more suited to a church ceremony.)

In terms of seating in the church, there were 22 on the groom's side, and 0 on the bride's.  (My parents have been dead for many years.)  So, in order that it shouldn't look so lopsided, and also to show support and solidarity, most of his relatives sat on the bride's side of the church.  In fact, so many sat on the bride's side, his mother had to stand up and say, "some of you have to come back over here!"

We had the full wedding ceremony over again, with the same music, although unfortunately the organist couldn't play it and it sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard.  It was still a lovely day anyway.

This is a very blurry photo, as it is a photo of one from the wedding album, (pre-digital days) but I like the way the wind has caught my dress, as we stand in the gothic arch doorway.

So, this year, Gorgeous Husband surprised on the "other anniversary" by bringing home a bouquet of 40 roses.  (He did get them on a two for one deal, but what does that matter?!)

I thought they were lovely, and it brought back memories of what a lovely wedding we had.  (Both of them.)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I Won An Award! (Yes, me!)

What a fabulous surprise awaited me this morning in my email inbox.  Mel, of Bag and a Beret has awarded me a fabuluous Blogger Appreciation Award.  She is so delightful, with her ingenius outfits and laugh-out-loud writing style, that I felt truly honoured.  Hugs and kisses, ya'all (as my Texan  friend Gail would say.)

I'm sorry, I just can't figure out how to do links to other blogs, so to make things accessible to readers, may I just say, go to and follow Judith's list of "Blogs we love".  You will find Bag and a Beret there, as well as other fabulous bloggers. I go there every day, just to see what my cyber-friends are up to.  I feel like it's a virtual hug every day! 

I am supposed to answer 4 questions, so here we go:

1. How long have you been blogging?  (I had to look this up.  I couldn't remember. The first post is July 20, 2011, a photo of Gorgeous Husband and I in our Regency costumes.  He is a costumed tour guide and takes visitors around a stately home, and tells them the story of the bankruptcy of the family who owned it.  I don't know any of the history, so I just fluff my fan at the appropriate times, and say things like, "Oooh, shocking!"  or my other line, "The scoundrel!"

2.  Why did I start blogging?  I suppose I started as a way to show off my dressing up costumes with a wider audience.  I wanted to share our adventures in re-enacting Tudor times, the Regency period (1811-1820) and the 40s and World War 2. 

3.What type of blogs do I follow?  I look at Judith's blog list in and see who is there.  Then I sometimes follow people that those people follow.  Bit like unravelling a bit of knitting.

4. What is the one thing that I would like to improve on in my blog?  Gosh, there's lots.  For the longest time I was only able to post one photo.  Couldn't seem to figure out how to progress from that.  I would love to have those neat photos down the side of the post.  It would be nice to be able to post links.  And I would definately join Patti's Visible Monday if I could get that link to work.  I like to click on the images on Visible Monday and see if it is someone I am unfamilar with.  I really could use some techno-help (preferrably at my elbow when I need it!)

I would like to nominate for a fabulous Blogger Apprecation Award the follow bloggers:

  • Idiocyncratic Fashionistas  (I so envy the fun they have and their fabulous outfits)
  • www.   Judith Boyd's wonderful blog.  She writes so beautifully, and dresses so distinctively and with such flair.  And to wear a hat every day, you've got to have the courage to follow your own style!
  •   Ari Seth Cohen's landmark blog about it's possible to be beautiful and have fun when you are no longer young.  He made it possible for so many women "of a certain age" to feel empowered.
  • That's a Pretty Hat, Kathleen's lovely blog (also about hat wearing) and how to be "lady-like".  Her mother's day entry was a real tear-jerker.

This is my bouquet of roses for winning the award.  OK, it isn't really, but ... hey, it's nice to imagine I'm on the red carpet, taking a bow...These roses will feature in the next blog post, to be called "The Other Annivesary"... which is a continuation of the Wedding Anniversary story.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hello, USA

After the last post, Judith Boyd (the Style Crone herself) congratulated me for my blog being mentioned on the AARP blog.  Well, as you can imagine, I was thrilled.  Not that I knew what the AAR was!  It turns out it is the American Association of Retired People.  So, it was a real honour to be there, and in the company of such fabulous bloggers as Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, 40 Plus Style, That's Not My Age, and of course, the main story, which was about Judith's blog: Style Crone.

I'm not very good at providing links (I hit the buttons, but it doesn't actually seem to "link" anything, which is kinda the point of the whole thing!)  Anyway, if you would like to google it, the post is on AARP blog, May 2, and the main feature is "Older Women Promote Aging Stylishly."  I am almost at the end (7th paragraph).

So, in celebration of being mentioned, and also because I met with my friend Joan today, I thought I would post a photo of us and tell "our" story.

Joan and I have a coffee which turned into two and a lot of laughs.

Joan is 82 now, and hasn't been in the best health this past year or so, but ever since I have known her (since 1996) she has been endlessly cheerful and "twinkly".  Her gusto for life is inspirational, uplifting, and she generates positivity, despite the fact that now she has to get around with what she calls her "gallant steed".  That's her walker. She had a kind and cheery word for the waitress, a little wave to people she knows, and a mega-watt smile.  "Everyone is so kind!" she enthused.  "That's one of the benefits of getting old.  Everyone is so kind and helpful and patient."  I suggested that perhaps they couldn't help but be, and they were just reflecting back her positive outlook to her.  She was too modest for that, but she's a dear, if ever there was one.

We met at a writing class, and she is still writing, keenly engaged in the mental stimulation of researching a book she is writing about her years of living in China.  She is using books, the internet and her own journals of her experiences to write about the Chinese culture, history, crafts and, for want of a better word, their mind-set. 

Some of my friends who also know her, call her the Poster Girl for Age UK.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Creamy is dreamy

How I love the colour cream.  Even the sound of the name sounds, well... yummy.  It really seems to suit my skin and it always looks expensive and classy (in my mind, at any rate.)  I wish I could figure out how to dye white things that have seen better days cream coloured.  I've never seen that as a dye colour.  Has anyone?

Tamera Beardsley had a post on her blog called "white and beige" and it was SO gorgeous.  I'm sorry, I'm not much good at providing links, so you'll have to google her.  If I saw those images in a magazine, I'd rip them out and have them in my sketchbook/scrapbook. 

This is my "triple dose" of cream: cream teeshirt, cream sweater (jumper, if you're English), a cream brooch of jumping fish, and a cream coat. 

I especially loved the fish brooch, which I got at a boot sale (yard sale, if you're North American).  It would have been lovely for it to have a great story behind it ("it was stolen from the Empress, and smuggled in a tea chest...." but all the vendor said was, "That'll be a £1".  This was a fabulous stall at the boot sale, as I got a wonderful carpet bag type handbag there (£1), shoes, (£1) earrings (£1) and some other things.  It seemed everything from a 5 piece set of luggage to a pair of stud earrings was £1.  I just kept handing over pounds as I kept finding more and more things I liked.  It was like a slot machine, except it kept paying out!

                                       Coat: Bonmarche  (now out of business)
                                Rest: charity shops, boot sales and the like  (no smuggling stories, unfortunately)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

It's May, or that's what the calendar says

I wore this outfit the other day, and felt OK in it, til I stopped in one of my favourite shops and my friend Kerry said, "You're wearing that??  It's May!!"  But then she had to admit, it was freezing out, so perhaps not such a dumb idea to wrap up.

I quite like the tiered khaki skirt teamed with the short tweed jacket.  You might notice the photo is not of me in said outfit (my hair needs to be mowed) so thought I would post it on its own.  I do like the short tan booties, but once the heels go, they will go to the Great Boot Heaven, as they are completely utterly worn out.  I tell you, you'd think when you pay £2 for a pair of boots they would last more than 10 years, wouldn't you?

This is a close up of the brooch on the blazer.  I hope you can make it out that it is a stag's head with a turquoise stone above it.  It makes me feel quite Scottish, quite trundling-through-the-heather type of gal.  Imagination is a good thing!  It came to live with me after an expedition of what I call "foraging in the forest".  I know it didn't come from a charity shop, but it did come at a give-away price from somewhere else, although I can't remember where.  I think I got it in a box of stuff.

Many, many thanks to all who are commenting on my blog.  You have no idea how much it cheers me to think of people looking at my outfits and reading my words.  Blogging rocks!!  So if you are reading but haven't commented yet, please do.  It'll make my day!

All items in outfit: charity shops or the equalivent
except for belt which was New Look (about 4 years ago)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Me and denim (seldom do we meet!)

I'm not really sure what I have against denim, other than everyone seems to wear it, and it just isn't glamorous to my way of thinking (no matter how much you pay for it, or whose label is stitched on it!)

So, here I am in my one denim jacket, which I like because it is ridiculously short, and was "thrifted".  The stray threads seem to have a sort of green tinge to them, which made me think it might have been dyed at one time, but the rest of it seems to be the normal colour.  So it's a bit of mystery as well.  There's a bonus!

Just about to tuck into something gorgeous at this funky coffee house near home, which has been started up by some enterprising young people.  Who says the young don't have ambition and "get up and go"!

Whole outfit, head to toe: charity shops
(Sorry image is a bit blurry. I look younger that way!)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Anniversary

Our anniversary has just passed, and I think people are surprised that for a couple as old as us, we have only been married 17 years.  What can I say, it took Fate and Cupid a while to get us together!

This is the bouquet of tulips Gorgeous Husband got me for our big day.  He has a thing for skeletons (one of his little quirks) and the handmade card says "Dead Romantic,"which I thought was rather cute.

This anniversary has inspired me to tell you all about our romantic meeting.  When I lived in Vancouver, in Canada, I had a male friend and we were both looking for someone to be our love interest.  We decided to go to a dance held by the Inside Edge club, which was a club for people who ski.  Seeing as neither of us could ski, it might have ended up with us meeting totally unsuitable mates.

As soon as we got in the door, we split up so that no one would mistake us for a couple.  I went to stand against the far wall, where I had a good view across the dance floor of who was arriving.  Then I spotted HIM, and thought, "I like the look of him!"  He was wearing a tan leather jacket and had a dark brown reddish beard.  In fact, he looked enough like the actor Al Pacino to be mistaken for him. 

But, back to the story.  I spotted him, then lost sight of him.  It was a crowded event, lots of people coming and going.  There was a break in the music, and all of a sudden, there he was--- standing right in front of me, saying, "well, I guess you're stuck with me."  (In a Liverpool accent.) 

He had been walking along with two of his friends, who stopped to talk to some girls who were standing next to me.  He thought I was with these girls, but no one had introduced us.  Actually, I was standing there on my own!  I had lost sight of him, and then boom! there he was.  The rest, as they say, is history.

He didn't know it at the time, but he came into my life at a time when I was pretty low, and his complete acceptance of me was very restorative and healing.  So one of my pet names for him is Angel. 

I remember one time calling him Angel while we were visiting his parents.  His mother said, rather indigently, "He's no angel!"  To which I said, "Well, he is to me!"