Thursday, 27 October 2011

The 1900 house

One thing you have to know about me. I’m a closet historian. Secret geek.

I love to learn anything about the past – whether that be Tudor, Victorian or Edwardian, I try my best to soak up every fact and quote of the times. Guess I just find it fascinating what life was really like for our parents and grandparents growing up, and further back still. My Auntie is convinced we have traced our family tree back so far we have royal blood flowing through our veins! Good to know…

To satisfy my history craving at the moment though I’ve been watching ‘The 1900 House’ on 4od. It was actually shown on Channel 4 over 10 years ago, but as a child I used to love it. So it was time for me to re-live it all again but actually understand more what was going on. Well I was 9 with the first broadcast, as so was one of the family members who moved in, Joe.

Things that stood out for me that was synonymous with the era of the time was the ‘cut throat razor’, ‘the range’ and the family struggling to get running hot water. Some of the many arduous tasks typical Victorian families had to suffer with.

The Bowler family that took part made it so fun to watch, probably because they felt familiar and reminded me of the last time I watched it. They were in the renovated, gas lamped, dark Victorian terraced home for three months, which is all captured in a 10 part episode, big brother style.

Probably the funniest part of the whole thing was watching them ‘get back to modern life’ with their cd players, chunky windows computers and landline phones. Just going back 10 years is enough difference, let alone 100.

Apparently the family now are living in New Zealand for a bit. Already tried finding them on Facebook.

Mind you, here’s a great little spoof on the whole project here, The 1980’s House with the Fat Boy Slim family…


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Ghosts and disappearing lipsticks

What a weird few days we've been having. The first few nights at Sophie with the bumps and noises in the night have turned into frights we are convinced is a ghost. Little did we know that things we're about to get scarier. Worst time possible as everyone gets excited for Halloween, we battle the scary season already in the house.

Firstly though, which probably isn't as mysterious as my other stories is that literally every one of my lipsticks disappear. Well, only the expensive ones, so to follow tradition, the beautiful MAC lipstick above decided to jump out of my bag at the Rihanna concert - not impressed.

How do I begin to tell you that Sophie is haunted? Well, a few sleepless nights ago, I kept hearing knocks in the bathroom, so I convinced myself that the window was open. So I made my way there to close it to find it is already closed. Hmm. The knocks continue until Vicky and Sarah burst into my room at 3 in the morning to tell me they've heard a chair being dragged outside Sarah's window. Spooky enough...

Vicky's beau is also convinced at becoming face to face with a woman in her bedroom. He passed it off as coats to help Vicky sleep, but admitted the truth in the morning. Eek!

To add to it though, Sarah's iPhone has an app that records her sleeptalking, she always listens to them in the morning, except this time it has recorded was seems a conversation with someone in the room. It can be clearly heard of Sarah talking about meeting at a place, then a voice interrupts her saying 'oh absolutely', then you can hear Sarah saying 'yes yes'. I beg you to try and listen to it and make sense of it, because we definitely can't.

Also, this advert for Paranormal Activity 3 (see it here) whereby the little girls play 'Bloody Mary' is giving me the jeepers. I can just imagine us laughing about 'Sophia the friendly ghost' whilst she's probably sitting in the corner.

I will leave you with these thoughts for now...


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Judy's affordable vintage fair

Sunday brought around an exciting trip out for me and Sarah. Admittedly she had to force me out of bed to go there in my hungover state, which I then came to realise was actually a horrible cold. But once I was there I was so glad I came.

Just a large hall in Southampton University was dedicated to the many stalls and tables of small businesses and collectors giving you a glimpse of the past. From Levi jeans, Christian Dior tights and satin gloves, to American motel keys, vinyl records and 50s teacups, it was a feast for any vintage enthusiast.

Whilst the music of the 50's played (click here to get in the spirit), we made our way to the jewellery section, whereby Polly Pocket necklaces, pendants and chunky rings distracted us from the sheer size of the event. First thing I decided I must have in my life is an issue of Votre Mode from 5th January 1950. Not for its valuability but because I was drawn to the delicate illustration on the cover that will make for a picture to either be hung on the wall or re-used for another project. I suppose if I actually learnt some French I could read the issue as well, too bad I learned German for five years instead…

I then discovered my second purchase, which is the most beautiful vanity case from Pixie of the 1960s for only £18. The lady that was selling it gave me a great story on how her Auntie Betty is slowly ‘loosing it’ at 80 years old, so they are gently removing items from her house to sell on! Luckily for me, I became the proud owner of it. True to its vintage roots, it stinks of must, but after some gentle care it should become more socially friendly. Although its going to be used a memory case, for well… memories, but I’m so tempted to use it to store my lady things for the many weekends away I get whisked away on... er hem.

Purely because I took £40 with me to grab some bargains I decided it would be a great idea to purchase some scarves. I managed to find two very soft and light silk scarves to bring some colour to my usual outfits of black. I’ve been looking for a while between finding some in a charity shop or blowing out the budget on a McQueen special. Glad I chose these two beauties though.
On the final sweep around the stalls I glanced upon the jewellery hanging from the shelves and thought this necklace pendant would be a fabulous addition to my pathetic collection. I’m not quite the jewellery collector; I wear two rings, which belonged to my Grandma, and a gold necklace with a teddy bear pendant from my christening when I was about 18 months. So this is a lovely piece that reminds me of either a Nurse’s clock or something out of Alice in Wonderland. Either or is a good image.

This fair travels about quite a lot, you must find out when it will be seeing you soon here:


Friday, 7 October 2011

Trend prediction S/S 12

What’s going to be the big trend of S/S 12 I hear you ask! Well the answers are there, they are either predominately loud or quiet and sly. I thought I would share my view of what I believe is going to the trends to start investing in for next summer.

Of course when everyone thinks of next summer, the Olympics come into the forefront of everyones minds. But there is a reason for this, as most fashions reflect the environment it is surrounded in, so this fantastic athletic event is of course going to impact the trends of next year and even now.

Think structure, athletic references and materials, graphic prints and twists of antiquity…

Unique S/S 12

This elaborate creation reflects the sharp cuts and dramatic lines similar to that of Olympic stadium and body armour of the Egyptian antiquity, all wrapped up into a swimwear style ensemble that mirrors the dress of swimming athletes. Not to mention the sun visor cap.

David Koma S/S 12

This collection is divided as an ‘ode to modern tribalism’. I believe that the graphic prints seen, reflect the shattered glass font of the Olympic logo, along with the structured edges of the archietecture that is surrounded the whole event.

Amanda Wakeley S/S 12

Dramatic with a heavy offence of an athletic feel. Serious black ‘racer’ vests dominates the collection that challenges the balance between modern sportswear materials that allow movement even though the whole creation appears restrictive.

Jasper Conran S/S 12

This beautiful flowing dress with a block colour of orange to me conjours up images of traditional Grecian dress, which is of course the birthplace of the Olympics. Expect a lot of lengths and high empire lines that will reflect this. The dress is also accompanied by a statement side spilt and opposing headband creates a cheeky nod to the sporting event.

Antionio Berardi S/S 12

This ‘Romance infused’ collection includes a high empire line which again reflects that of the Grecian dress. Of course this is a repeated style of a few seasons back that is interesting to note.

Rachel Marie J 22 year old photographer and model.

The focus on the trend prediction here is on the dress that is worn by Rachel Marie J from It’s a manipulative graphic play on the British flag which is continuing from the Royal Wedding that will now stretch towards the patriotic British Olympics.

Rejecting the recent invasion of womanly curves and 50’s pin ups for the floral summer, the body shape that will dominate next summer has been suggested by comments in the forum.

‘The narrow hips of the athlete; the strong hamstrings of the gymnast/dancer; the powerful shoulders of the swimmer; the toughness of the boxer; the lean worked abs of all of them. Neither laziness nor bloatedness - lean, fit, muscular and ready for action.’

Of course these depictions are subject to alter, and be disrupted by micro trends, but the biggest sporting event to happen to Britain next year is bound to affect the colours, materials and trends in our spring/summer dress.


Images courtesy of

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tanning in October?

Who would of thought that getting a summer tan in October was possible? Here I am admiring my tan lines from a few days lazing in the summer garden at Sophies. We finally managed to get the lawnmower to function, so the grass is a perfect level for the blankets to be laid out whilst we enjoy some ice lollies.

(Who is Sophie?)

I quickly produced some the other day with apple and cherry squash with Haribo. Refreshing, although the frozen Haribo is quite questionable...

Also be given my timetable for this term, seems it's getting more generous as time goes by. Monday and Friday off - whilst only a few lectures in between on the other days. Think I'm going to have to motivate myself that some of these days are going to have to be spent in the library.

Going back to the weird Indian summer we've had this week got my and my housemates thinking - isn't it about time they shifted the months according to the changing seasons? I'm almost positive that every April brings an influx of great sunshine, as does September. I always have memories sitting in school sweltering underneath the blazer in the new classes. Would this actually work though? Or would the cheeky British weather trick us all again with our change?

Time for more ponderous thought in the garden, next to the indescribable fermenting apple tree...