Pickering War Weekend 2016

Dear Readers,

This Blogtober malarkey is proving to be more difficult than I had thought even though I wrote a list! One of the problems is that Pickering War Weekend is always right in the middle of the month and as one of the biggest 40's weekends near by we always attend. This means a long weekend away busy sightseeing, shopping, walking, eating, and general frivolity gets in the way a bit of blogging.

This year, like last year, we camped in our parent's caravan although last year we stayed at the Showground. Since there wasn't as much going on at the Showground this year due to improvements to the sight, also lack of proper camping facilities, we decided to stay at a campsite just outside of Pickering. We travelled down on the Friday and after a number of mishaps, including forgetting all my clothes and a flat tyre on the caravan, we finally made it to Pickering early evening. Our friends Mike and Rachael were also in their caravan next door to us which made it really fun despite the general sogginess.

Due to the amount of travel and packing / unpacking we really only had Saturday and Sunday for larks and japes. On Saturday we spent the day in Pickering getting up early to hit all the best shopping opportunities. The train station carpark and the memorial hall had some great vendors and I happily picked up a grey American 1940's suit straight away. Then Indi and I hit the charity shops in Pickering as they save up suitable stock to sell during the weekend and I nabbed myself a 1940's faux fur coat which I have already got some good use out of. I wore a recently acquired suit from Ohh Laa Laa vintage swap and sell and felt the bees knees in it though it's a tad tight on the old hips.

We then spent the rest of the day wandering around Pickering, enjoying a drink or two in the Black Swan, and a bit of jazz in The Sidings. In the evening Indi and I headed to Whitby for dinner while Mike and Rach went to a dance. We had dinner at the Duke of York pub and ended up going on a ghost walk which started at the whale bone arch and lasted for about an hour and a bit. Since I was wearing heels my dogs were barking by the end of it but I really enjoyed the whole thing and the big, fat, nearly full moon added a great deal of atmosphere. The guide had a great sense of humour and £5 for an hours entertainment felt like a good bargain.

On Sunday we all decided to spend the day in Whitby since it's a while since Mike and Rach last visited the place. On the way we decided to stop off at Goathland to see what was happening there but the weather was very soggy and we spent the majority of the time taking cover in a tea room. I wore the jacket from my new suit which went well with my grey tweed trousers and I also wore my new faux fur coat over the top to keep me nice and cosy.

We parked on the West Cliff in Whitby and then headed straight to the East Cliff to climb the steps to Whitby Abbey. I love this place and have done ever since I was a child and mum told me about Dracula. We had great holidays there when I was little so it's a bit of a spiritual home for me. We had some good larks and japes up there and enjoyed the view but we were a little eager to go down again, out of the wind, and into the Duke of York for a drink.

We then had a little pub crawl heading from the Duke of York to the Black Horse and then on to the White Horse and Griffin. I particularly enjoyed it in the Black Horse chatting with the friendly regulars, enjoying a nice IPA, and it was so old fashioned inside I just loved it. Don't tell Indi though as his favourite is still the Duke of York and I have the suspicion it always will be!

After partaking in a little ale we became in need of some food and we had already agreed that we wanted to go to the Magpie Cafe. Indi and I go to the Magpie every time we are in Whitby and really enjoy their fresh seafood and friendly staff. Indi, Rach, and I all went for the Seafood Pot but had the starter size with some chips on the side. We were glad we did as the portions are so big we were all fit to burst by the end of the meal. We headed back to the caravans after this but Mike and Rach went on to another dance from there. I on the other hand had indulged a little too much and went off to bed with a pack of double action gaviscon - oh the glamour!

Finally Monday morning rolled around and the sun shone at last though we were packing up to go home. Since the weather was nice and I was reluctant for the weekend to be over I did want to go back into Pickering again but I knew we had to get the caravan back home in good time. We packed up and then headed to a nearby farm shop and cafe for breakfast before we headed our separate ways. While in there the heavens opened and it poured it down so in the end I was pretty glad we weren't in the middle of Pickering or we would have got mighty damp. We ran to the trucks, said quick goodbyes, and then set off for home. I was really sad that it was over for another year but it was one of the best Pickerings ever and I can't wait for next time.


Autumn Gratitude

Dear Readers,

It's such a beautiful day out there this morning with the sun shining brightly so I hope you are all having a lovely day. I love autumn and spring because there's so much change and transition taking place which I always find really exciting. Something I like to do as a part of my practice as a vintage witch is express gratitude though this has fallen by the wayside lately I thought the best thing to do would be to jump in and share with you the things I love about autumn. For me it's more than just enjoying a pumpkin spiced everything, it's about acknowledging and being grateful for all the things this season brings.

The colours - burnt oranges, red leaves, and chestnut conkers; colour is abundant during this time of year with a riot of different shades everywhere you look. I also love wearing these colours this time of year and I describe this look as if I were a red squirrel who had been turned into a human but still wanted to feel squirrely.

The weather - now I know most people hate it when it gets colder as it signals the approach of the long, dark winter but I just love the weather this time of year. I love the sunny days which are bright and clear but quite cool as though you can feel the sun has moved just out of reach so it's light no longer holds the summer heat. I have always thought the light at this time of year had a certain beautiful glow to it as well and I like it when you get a surprisingly warm day which everyone seems to be really happy about. If you have a warm day in the summer people say things like "it's about time" or "that's it, summer's over" when that day is gone. But when there's a surprisingly warm day in the autumn people really enjoy it because they weren't expecting it. I also like the grey, damp days too as it gives you a license to stay in, get cosy, and read or watch films.

The anticipation - as soon as it cools down a bit and people start lighting their fires a special autumn smell fills the air and suddenly I'm really excited for what's to come. While a lot of people don't look forward to the winter, and I can understand why, I just get so excited about the events which are on the horizon. Hallowe'en / Samhain, bonfire night, Yule and Christmas; Indi and I celebrate all of these occasions with great gusto! The minute I get the slightest whiff of autumn I'm getting on pinterest and planning our themes, decorations, gifts and parties. I just love it!

What are your favourite things about this time of year?


5 Things Vintage Means to Me - Individuality

Dear Readers,

How are we on this lovely day? I'm continuing on with Blogtober and the second part of my 5 part series focusing on what vintage means to me; individuality. Now this is something I have touched on in the past when I wrote about my thoughts on reproduction vintage. I feel the pro's and con's to wearing reproduction vintage is pretty evenly weighted for me so to read more about my thoughts on that then pop over here to read my original post. Just to warn you there are a number of embarrassing, pre-vintage pictures of me coming up, that's how much I love you.

One of the main reasons I got into vintage in the first place was out of a desire to express my individuality. I was very emo when I was in my teens but as I got to my early twenties, while I still liked alternative style, I felt like it made me appear younger than I was. So I went high street for a period of time in the attempt to be "grown up" but this didn't work out for me either. I just couldn't stand blending in. I've always been outgoing in many ways; I'm a gregarious person who will befriend you purely based on mutual hair appreciation and I love to make people laugh. So when I blended in with everyone else on the high street I felt like I was pretending to be another person.

After a little bit of searching I finally came upon vintage and I knew I wanted to look like that. It was bold and different while still feeling adult and mature. Red lips and perfectly coiffured hair gave me the striking look I was wanting because I'm basically the polar opposite of a chameleon; physically incapable of blending in with my surroundings.

One of the side effects of looking different means that you naturally draw the attention of other people which can at times be positive and sometimes negative. Overall I have to say though that I have had a very positive response from other people to my look. It's actually a real conversation starter and people will randomly come over and speak to me about it. Sometimes it's little compliments which I absolutely love and other times it's actually blossomed into amazing friendships which I never would have made otherwise.

On the flip side one of the negative things I have experienced is that occasionally a lot of people stare at you. I have had people actually adjust their chairs in restaurants so they can get a better neb and children crane their necks out of windows to stare. Not often but every now and again someone will take a sneaky photo on their phone which does rile me a little because they don't ask and I have very little control over my face so 95% of the time it's very unflattering. I don't purposefully wear these clothes to attract attention; I do it to be an individual but I understand that being different will make you stand out.

Some people have said to me that they admire my confidence to wear what I do. At the time I was really bemused by this because to me it's a no brainer - of course I'm going to wear the clothes I like! But on reflection it does take confidence to stand out; though to me the ability to outwardly reflect my inner self is far more important than the negative reactions I may receive from a small handful of folk.

What do you think folks? Have you had any reactions to your style? How do you express your individuality?


Things I Have Learnt About Myself Via The Medium of Wedding Planning

Dear Readers,

I don't know if I have mentioned to you but two years ago after a wonderful weekend at Pickering War Weekend Indi, my wonderful time travelling companion, proposed to me. It was a beautifully romantic setting, I was looking radiant in my pyjamas and make up which I was smudging around with a face wipe, and we had just finished watching Doctor Who when he whipped his ring out. Since then the wedding has been and gone and I feel I've learnt a few things about myself, or at the very least it has highlighted things I already knew about my character, which I thought I might share with you.

1. I don't like being rushed. We had thought we would be engaged for a little while before wedding planning would commence but everyone's first question to us was immediately "when is the date?". We both found this a little annoying because we really wanted to just enjoy the engagement part where as everyone else seemed to want to rush on to the end point. In the end every time we told someone we would also follow it up with "but no, we don't know when the date will be".

2. I'm disorganised. Well actually I feel I am very organised but to the untrained eye it looks like mess. I kind of know what I'm doing and I had a folder which I stuffed all bits of paper in and only looked at once a month. But if anyone wants to come sort through that folder for me though I will not kick you out.

3. I hate "official" stuff. This includes making phone calls, writing letters, attending appointments, receiving paperwork, and anything to do with financial transactions. It makes me nervous because seriously I was only 13 years old yesterday and now some bank has given me a credit card, people expect me to make decisions, and there can be repercussions. It's crazy and weird; I'm not happy about it.

4. I am future focused. I really don't understand the "wedding industry" and in fact it actually kind of annoyed me. I don't know why pinterest tells me that the most important thing to plan is my make up routine or why tiny bits of nothing which people throw away anyway are so needed to make our big day perfect. The amount of money it all costs my blows my mind anyway so I would rather save that money and put it towards our home together because spending my life with Indi is what I am most excited about.

5. I am pragmatic. One of the first things we did was look at our guest list which my kindhearted other half found a very difficult task as he seemed to want to share the day with absolutely everyone. I'm still to discover who Claire and Malcolm are but Indi was very certain he should like to have them at the wedding. I'm an Aquarius and if you set much stock in that kind of thing then you may know that Aquarians can be detached to the point of hardheartedness. When I went through my guest list I had a rule I followed to help me determine whether to invite someone or not. I would ask myself this question "would I walk up to this person in the street and give them £50?". After that we completely ignored our guest list anyway and just picked the cheapest option so the question I had then was "who are my most favourite 15 people?".

6. I am in love. Throughout all of the stress of organising the wedding at no point did I ever think to myself it was not worth it because being with him for the rest of my life was truly worth all of it. We both wanted the same things and had the same thoughts about the wedding that there were no "discussions". We both feel that the day was utterly perfect in every way we wanted and we have had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed the whole thing. We have a whole life together ahead of us and that is what we want to be special more than anything else.


Preparing for Pickering

Dear Readers,

Sorry for a little break in posting the past couple of days but I am starting to realise why this is called a challenge; because it's not easy! If you have one or two days where you are not on the ball before you know it you can be really behind and rushing to play catch up.

Right now I am making plans for next weekend because it's Pickering War Weekend. I am really excited for Pickering as it is one of the largest vintage events we attend in the year and it is also one of the first major events Indi and I did together so it is a bit special for us. Plus we like to make a weekend of it and have a long weekend away.
At my first ever Pickering back in 2011
Last year to save money we went in my parent's caravan and stayed at the showground rather than staying in a B&B at Whitby. While Indi likes being in Whitby and out of the fray I did enjoy being so close. After the success of camping last year we have decided to do it again though this time we are staying at a proper campsite with full amenities. We are also carvanning with two of our favourite people Mike and Rachael! We have asked for pitches next door to each other and if I'm totally honest I think this is what is exciting me most about the weekend.
In Whitby last year
Having had some big expenses lately, like a wedding to pay for, I haven't been able to buy anything new to wear for Pickering this year. This means I will be going through my wardrobe this week and checking what still fits and is clean. Important mending will have to be done also so that I look smart. It's really difficult being next to Rachael sometimes because she has the most amazing vintage wardrobe I have ever seen!

We haven't been to as many events this year because of the wedding so I am really looking forward to Pickering and having a long weekend away.

The Vintage Witch

Dear Readers,

How are we all doing on this lovely day and Blogtober the forth? I wanted to write a bit about something quite personal and I really hope I do it justice. It's taking me quite a lot of courage to discuss this subject because it is something I have tried to keep private for so long but recently I have started to delve more into it and as it's becoming a bigger part of my life it is permeating everything I do. You may have guessed it from the title of this post but here goes, out of the broom closet I fly!

I am a pagan.

Phew! I said it. I am not entirely sure why I feel embarrassed talking about my beliefs or why I have kept it secret for so long. Over a year ago I began to post more about it on my facebook so my close friends must be aware but then every time someone would send me a friend request from outside of that close circle, work for example, I would hesitate to accept because I didn't want them to find out about my beliefs.
In the pagan community we refer to being open about our beliefs as coming out of the broom closet and I can understand why. For a long time my belief system has been ridiculed and even illegal which, although we live in a much more open minded world, you still hesitate to be fully open with those around you for fear of a negative reaction. I really wanted to share this with you, my readers, and the wider world because I feel like the only way to break the negative stereotypes about my belief system is to pipe up and to show to people that we are not all Satan worshippers who dance around sky clad, etc. Pagans are regular folk too you know!
I have been pagan for about 14 years now I guess; though during my late teens and early twenties things fell by the way side a little bit. Having said that I never lost that deep down feeling and in perhaps that last 18 months I have been reconnecting to those thoughts and feelings and attempting to find my own path. I would say at the moment the terms eclectic pagan or maybe green witch apply to me best though maybe my greenness is due to being so new to all of this! However, maybe vintage witch suits me best since the thing which started me down rediscovering this path is an interest in old folk traditions. I'm still reading, learning, and discovering so who knows, maybe this will change and sometimes I wonder to myself why bother trying to find a name for it. What's in a name so long as I know what I feel and believe? But a name holds a lot; it gives meaning, identity, and can help you to further understand or connect with others.
I may write about this again in the future since it is becoming a bigger part of my life so don't be surprised if things get a little wyrd around here (haha, a little pagan pun for you there, I crack myself up sometimes!). I would truly love to hear your thoughts on this; hopefully positive ones as this is my corner of the internet and I try to keep things splendid around here. Are you pagan and if so what path do you follow?


Memory Walk - Clumber Park

Evening folks!

I have been for a long soak in the tub and coated myself in numerous Lush products to unwind after a busy Monday. This weekend we got up to a fair bit and the weather has turned really autumnal which we are really enjoying. Autumn is potentially my favourite season so I might just have to write about that at some point.

On Saturday we were out enjoying a beautiful and bright autumn morning since we went on a Memory Walk in Clumber Park. It really was very picturesque and I'm quite surprised that we have never been over there since it is not far from Lincoln. I loved the misty morning with bright shards of light cutting through the oak woods. We agreed that we really must take part in this time of the morning more often since getting up that early on a Saturday was quite a novelty for us!

The Memory Walk was for the Alzheimer's Society and we really enjoyed taking part. It was very well organised and I would definitely take part in one again. There was a short 3km walk and a long 9km one so you could chose which to do depending on how far you are able to walk. Lots of people also brought their dogs so we spent the whole time cooing over gorgeous pups!

What did you get up to this weekend? Have you ever done a Memory Walk?

5 Things Vintage Means to Me - Events

Hi there folks!

How are we all doing? I've been thinking about doing a little series of posts for a while about what vintage means to me so I'm very excited to get started on this subject. Vintage isn't just about clothes to me because there are so many other things which I have found go hand in hand with this amazing scene and I thought I would start it off with the events.

Very early on when I started getting into vintage I began to go to events and when I look back I kind of feel that it goes hand in hand. I remember the first time Indi and I went to some events and we just thought everything was amazing. Having been to quite a few I feel like we now know what events work best for us but we still love going to them and try to attend as many as we possibly can during the year.

Since Lincolnshire has such as rich history of RAF bases we have a fair few 1940's events happening locally to us. Since we do civilian clothing we tend to enjoy the home front type events particularly those that take place in towns or villages. We love the feeling when the community gets involved and all the decorations are out. I also like them because pavements are easier to walk on in heels than grass!

Events are great places to meet people, check out other people's vintage style, and do a spot of shopping. I really feel that attending events has helped us not only get more into vintage but it also holds our enjoyment for the scene. It's just grown and grown for us and I'm so happy we got into it.

So, how do we find out about all of these events? Well at the beginning of the year when I get my new diary I like to trawl through the internet and find all of the dates for the rest of the year; though I will go back through periodically and update this. I go through websites like Friends of the Forties and Rod's 1940's calendar to find out what is going on throughout the year.

Facebook is also really helpful and I'm a member on a few pages which also lets you know what's going on. If you find that there are no or few events near you then facebook is really helpful for connecting with other fabulous vintage folks. I'm a member of Ohh Laa Laa Vintage Swap and Sell on facebook and with friends we have arranged meets with other OLL members in the area and created our own mini event. Another page on facebook great for meeting with other vintage folks is 1940's/1950's Most Marvellous Meet Ups. You can either connect online or arrange your own meet up; just be careful who you befriend as Indi will attest to in the picture below!

Have you been to any events? What are your favourite events to go to? Let me know!


Post Wedding Relief and Exciting Plans For Blogtober

Ahoy hoy folks!

Well we did it. Indi and I are now married and I can tell you the sense of relief is amazing. It was quite a stressful journey as I already am a highly strung person anyway and then I also had to organise a whole flipping wedding. We're out the other side though and we are already starting to look towards the next big grown up thing on the horizon, house buying. We have a plan for our savings and since we were very frugal with the wedding coming in at about £5000 for the whole thing we're not too badly in debt so can get pretty much straight on with the task of saving. We made a budget and have set out how much spending money we each have a week so I'm going to have to get creative with mine since I still want to have lovely new outfits to wear. I think mine will be mainly clothing rations and the sewing machine is going to be cracked out to help me through it.

One of the frustrating things I found about wedding planning, and about myself as well, is that if I wasn't doing something for the wedding then I felt guilty so a lot of the things I enjoy fell by the wayside. But I also struggled to feel motivated to do things for the wedding, because when faced with a large and stressful task which feels insurmountable to me I tend to shut down, so nothing really got done. The blog now needs some serious tending and since I don't have as much spending money as I previously did I'm hoping that I will fill my time with more frugal activities and blogging, which is free for me, is one of those on the list.

So I thought to myself what can I do to come back to my blog with a bit of a big bang? I want a bit of a fanfare and to provide lots of interesting content for people. I got my thinking cap on and realised that Blogtober is coming up! Blogtober, for those who have not heard of it, is a challenge where you attempt to write a blog post for every day in the month of October. This is a pretty hefty challenge considering I think blogging once a week is strenuous!

I have wanted to do Blogtober for the past couple of years but always seemed to remember it too late in the day to really be able to give it my all. One of the other things which really put me off was content; being able to provide that much content which was relevant and interesting seemed like a pretty big call especially for me as I don't want to fall into the trap of content for contents sake (and I don't ever have that many ideas for blog posts anyway haha!).

I didn't want this to just be yet another big bag o stress balls in my life because having just got over the wedding I really want to relax and take it easy for a while. I have given myself plenty of time to plan for this Blogtober in the hopes that being prepared will make it more manageable. I have planned out a large amount of posts but have left some flexibility in there to be able to react to things which are happening at the time. I feel like I have some interesting pieces in there including a 5 part series which I am really excited about and also some more generally chatty pieces about myself and the things I love. Shockingly it's not all about vintage but I wanted to show all aspects of myself and not just the preened vintage side. For a while now I have been wanting to make my blog into more of a record of happy things rather than rigidly being about vintage so I'm hoping the content I have planned for Blogtober will help to deliver this.

Let me know your thoughts on Blogtober! Are you planning to do Blogtober yourself or do you have any suggestions for me of posts you would like to see?