Archive | August, 2016

War On The Line

26 Aug

I’m well overdue a big catch up, with all my unwritten blog posts! I’ve been to quite a few fabulous vintage events this year and still haven’t got round to blogging about them. With Twinwood only a few hours away and lots of other exciting events on the vintage calendar, I thought I’d get to work writing about some of the fun things I’ve been up to.

I’ve always wanted to go to one of the many 1940s days that happen at Britain’s many heritage railway lines. My dad is a big steam train enthusiast and we’ve always enjoyed visiting railways together. Mixing my love of history and vintage with his love of trains seemed like the perfect day out for both of us. We decided to visit War On The Line, a WW2 themed event on the Mid Hants Railway also known as the Watercress Line.

The event had a bit of everything from re-enactors, to vintage clothing stalls, live music and of course the trains themselves. There was also plenty of interesting demonstrations, which gave a fascinating insight into the war.

I decided to not bring my big camera with me, as its sometimes nice to just enjoy a day out without trying to get perfect blog photos. So I just took a few on my phone this time.

War on The Line Classic CarsThere were plenty of gorgeous classic cars on display, I especially loved the fire engine.

War on the Line Vintage ClothesI couldn’t resist a good look through all the fantastic vintage clothing stalls, there were so many gorgeous 40s and 50s dresses.

War on the line Steam TrainsOf course there were wonderful steam trains running all day. It was really fun riding between the stations and sitting in different carriages. It was great having my dad with me to tell me all about the trains.

War on the line Harry Potter BridgeThere was even a bridge, that had appears in two of my favourite films The Thirty Nine Steps and Harry Potter!

War on the Line ViewAnd the views were beautiful! The Mid Hants Railway, sits in beautiful countryside and it was lovely to get away from London for the day and enjoy the fresh air.

War on the line Winston ChurchillI loved all the vintage details on the stations, it was like stepping back in time. I even got a brief sighting of Winston Churchill himself!

War on the Line Mid Hants Railway-2There were loads of fantastic reenactors  at the event and it was really interesting chatting to them, they all knew so much about the war and their passion for the past was incredible.

War on the line carsIt was an absolutely brilliant day out and I will definitely be going again next year. I’d also like to check out more railway events in the future. The atmosphere was fantastic and even learnt a bit of history while I was there.

Find out about future events on The Watercress Line website.

Book Review – Sleeping Beauty A Mid Century Fairytale

20 Aug

One of my favourite times of day, would have to be story time with Lila before bed. So I’m always on the lookout for new children’s books to read with her. I was really excited to see that Pavillion books have  published a series of classic fairy tales re-told and illustrated in different vintage eras.

Sleeping Beauty - A Mid Century Fairytale ReviewThere are currently 3 books in the series written by Lynn Roberts-Malony and illustrated by David Roberts. The previous books a 1920s themed Cinderella and a retro 1970s Repunzel have just been joined by a wonderful 1950s version of Sleeping Beauty.

1950s Sleeping Beauty BookThe illustrations in the book are absolutely beautiful. I love the stylish mid-century theme of the book and the little details in all the pictures are perfect. The book is definitely design led, and this gives it just as much appeal to adults as to children.

Mid Century Sleeping BeautyIn the story baby Annabel is cursed by a jealous witch at a party, she will be pricked by a needle before her 16th birthday and die. Her aunt, a good witch changed the spell, so that she will sleep for 1000 years instead. If she is not woken at midnight after 1000 years she will die.

Sleeping Beauty A Mid Century Fairy Tale Evil QueenAnnabel grows up with her aunts, she loves science fiction and spends her time reading space books and watching films about Robots. Her aunts remove all the needles from the house. All seems well until a mysterious record player appears on the doorstep right before her 16th birthday.

1950s Sleeping Beauty Record PlayerI won’t give away the rest of the re-telling, but it is fantastic and would definitely appeal to modern children. I like the female based plot, there is not a handsome prince in sight which I prefer to tradition fairy tales.

Sleeping Beauty A Mid Century Fairy tale Rose BushThe book itself is nice and big, so you get to enjoy the beautiful pictures in all their glory. It’s not too long either so it’s perfect for a bedtime story. I like that it is grown up enough for both girls to enjoy, both Lila who is 5 and Jessica who is ten both really enjoyed reading it with me.

Mid Century Sleeping Beauty BedroomEven if you don’t have children, this would appeal to anyone who like the 1950s and would look lovely on a coffee table to dip into and enjoy the illustrations.

Sleeping Beauty A Mid century Fairy Tale Book ReviewI’m really hoping that more of these books will be out soon, I would love to see all the decades of the 20th century recreated in fairy tale from.

Sleeping Beauty LilaSleeping Beauty: A Mid Century Fairy Tale is Published by Pavillion, written by Lynn Roberts Maloney and Illustrated by David Roberts. You can buy a copy on Amazon.

*Thank you to Pavillion Books for sending me the book to review. All opinions are my own.

Win Two Tickets to The Vintage Carnival

18 Aug

This September The Vintage Carnival will be returning to Nottingham Racecourse. This fabulous one day event, is a celebration of all things vintage. It’s the perfect opportunity to put on all your vintage finery and enjoy a mixture of shopping and entertainment.

4629200195_761x1204The line-up for the weekend includes vintage shopping, classic cars, live music, street food, carnival rides, quirky bars, hair and beauty, workshops, photo booths and much more.

vc4There will be a best dressed competition, a great excuse to dress-up and feel glamorous. And if you need a little pampering, why not visit the onsite beauty lounge for a fabulous vintage hairstyle.

VC1If you’re a keen dancer there will be a jive competition and if like me you need a little help with your dancing, there will also be a dance lesson session in the afternoon. Here’s a full line up of the musical entertainment. A list of other workshops can be found on the Vintage Carnival website.

14040154_485409581669864_7242095315992655853_nThe event is taking place on September 3rd and I have two tickets to give away to one of my readers. All you need to do to enter is do one or all of the options on the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close on Friday 26th August. I will contact you to let you know if you have won and you will be added to the guest list for the event.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tickets will be available on the door or you can book them online here.

Book Review – Love Notes For Freddie by Eva Rice

15 Aug

Love Notes for Freddie is the third book by Eva Rice that I’ve read. I have previously really enjoyed The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets and The Misinterpratation of Tara Jupp, so I was really excited to give her latest novel a read. Love Notes to Freddie is set at the end of the 1960s, and tells the story of Marnie a school girl and her teacher Miss Crewe. When Marnie is expelled from her private boarding school, the events that follow are completely unexpected and have a huge impact on everyone around her.

Love Notes For Freddie by Eva Rice ReviewThe book is beautifully written and this follows the same coming of age theme as Rice’s other novels. The main character Marnie is really easy to like. She is a model student, who makes one mistake that sends her life in a completely unexpected direction. I really enjoyed the subtle changes in her behaviour as the book went on. Her feelings are written realistically and she is one of my favourite heroines from a book in a long time.

Review Love Notes for FreddieThe characters are deeply complex and the way their personalities are explored throughout the book is stunning. The relationships within the book are all unpredictable and very engaging. The development of Marnie’s feelings towards Freddie, a boy she meets early in the book are one of my favourite parts of the book. The ongoing battles between love and friendship really do come out in each and every character.

Love Notes for Freddie by Eva RiceMiss Crewe has a really interesting past, which comes out more as the book progresses. She is a brilliant guide for the other characters and her back story is definitely one of my favourite things from the book. I would love to read a book just about her.

Freddie starts the book as a simple character, with a normal everyday job. Further into the book he starts to embrace his talent and we find out more about his home life. He is the perfect love interest for Marnie’s character and in true Eva Rice style their relationship is neither obvious or predicable which I love.

Love Notes For Freddie by Eva Rice Review

The book is about overcoming tragedy and the way people cope with life shattering circumstances. This is explored through each character in different ways. As the book progresses you see younger characters begin to grow up and move on with their lives, often in unexpected ways. I loved how each of them found strength in each other to get past hurdles and develop as people. In the end you really see that good things can come from the worst situations. This isn’t just shown through the main characters but also in the relationships between Marnie’s family and through her friend Rachel.

Love Notes For Freddie Review

Another strong theme in the book is fascination with another person, be it Marnie’s obsession with Freddie or Miss Crewes life long love for Joe, a mysterious man from her past. The book is full of unexpected plot twists, with flash backs to events of the past. Everything comes together at the end to give us a full picture of each of the characters lives and it makes for a very satisfying conclusion.

Being set in 1969, the book is full of cultural and musical references and pays perfect homage to a bygone era. I love the stark contrasts between Marnie’s upper class background and Freddie’s humble working class background. These differences seem all the more profound at first, but slowly they blend together and it works very well.

Love Notes For Freddie Book Review

The book has plenty of depth and is imaginative and engaging. As with her other books the plot is complex and moving. It is intelligent and thoughtful and I came away from it completely connected with the story and the characters. If you’re looking for a really good quality novel to read, then I would definitely recommend this one.

Buy a copy of Love Notes for Freddie on Amazon.

Finding The Perfect Skirt With Octer

11 Aug

For someone who has a lot of clothes, I actually find shopping quite tedious. Especially when I’m looking for something specific. There’s nothing worse than having to trawl through lots of different websites trying to find that perfect item of clothing. I was recently introduced to a site called Octer, which aims to make the experience a little easier. Octer is a shopping site which includes items from hundreds of different online and high street retailers. It’s a great tool if you want to search lots of different shops for one item.

Octer Cath Kidston Skirt Enid Collins Bag and Miss L Fire ShoesAs someone who doesn’t shop on the high street that often, I have very specific tastes, so it was a really quick way to find something that would work with the rest of my wardrobe. I’m a bit obsessed with skirts at the moment, so that was the first thing I looked for on the Octer site. I was able to specify my price range and them browsed through until I spotted something I loved. It wasn’t long before I spotted this gorgeous pencil print skirt from Cath Kidston and I knew it was the one.

Octer ReviewI really enjoyed being able to look through so many different options and I discovered a few brands that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought to look at. The site is so easy to use and once you’ve found the item you want, it takes you through to the retailers website so you can purchase the item. I’m going to a ball later in the year and I need a dress to wear and I’ve already used Octer to scout out a few options.

Octer OOTDThe site doesn’t just cover women’s clothing it also has mens and children’s wear as well as beauty products, technology and interior items listed, so it’s a great one stop shop for everything you need. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to an online department store. I’d really recommend giving it a go, if like me you want to save time on shopping. Find out more on the Octer website.

I wore my new skirt with a top from Collectif, a vintage Enid Collins bag and Miss L Fire shoes.

*Thank you to Octor for paying for my skirt, all opinions as always are my own. 

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