My Vintage Weekend

Lat Saturday I went on a mini-break with my parents – and by that I mean we literally traveled to the city nearest us – a place so close we call it “town” – and stayed for the night. We did make a good night of it though, like a snapshot of a longer holiday since we haven’t been able to get away abroad this year.

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

Mum and I

Mum and I

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

 

Mum and I

Mum and I

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

Me: salmon vintage style dress/black lace detail: Miss Selfridge. denim shirt: Primark. shoes: Dorothy Perkins

 

So to Glasgow!!

Anyway we visited a fantastic Vintage and Handcrafts Market, called the “Little Birds Market”.

The sun shone on the alley it was cuddled into. Held in Sloans bar on Buchanan Street, this monthly event gives creative type awesome people a chance to display their wears. It is a sugary sweet combo of stalls of hand crafted jewelry, cushions ( we found some adorable owl ones), and sweets, time warped in with stalls for beautiful vintage items.

Little Birds Market

Little Birds Market

There was a very traditional set-up outside the bar of  barber striped coverings for stalls selling mainly smaller items, such as hand made candles, jewelry, scarves and the like. One very delicious smelling stall displaying the most mouth watering display of home-made fudge, boasting enticing titles like “mocha cappuccino“, “mint and strawberry“, “banana, chocolate and vanilla“, and may more, whose names I honestly cannot remember… But basically, think of a combo that shouldn’t work but in an ideal world would be glorious, then imagine it working… Your reached utopia yet? 😉

Moving further in, the actual bar is adapted from an old ballroom, the bar occupying the lower floor only. The upper two floors were something almost other-worldly compared to the “old man pub” on the lower level.

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As soon as we stepped onto the curving staircase, with it’s worn carpet and polished wood banister, stained glass arch windows and dust motes floating in what pale light could filter through the slightly grimey window, we were transported. The musty smell made us imagine laced corsets, peticoats, sweeping trains and afternoon tea. We should be sporting powdered wigs and delicate white lace gloves, not t-shirts and jeans. It was a place from another time.

When we reached the first floor and saw that they were in fact serving afternoon tea, my hear soared. The vaulted ceilings and flaking forest green paint lent themselves to the entirely Vintage aura of the place.

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A thriving upper 2 floors were decked out with a myriad of items which had been both salvaged and hand-made, ranging from clothing to accessories, wall hangings and home wear.

I myself made a couple of little purchases from “You’re So Cool

Scarf and Lotus bracelet

Scarf and Lotus bracelet

A gorgeous chemise purple scarf of unknown origin and a 1930s Buddhist Lotus bracelet.

I particularly love the bracelet. Bought from a stall selling only genuine vintage items, I found this little charmer. The meaning is something special to me. When is saw it laying there, glittering on a lace covering, I was sold. Or rather, two minutes later, it was sold to me.

The Buddhist Lotus symbolises growth and enlightenment.

The roots of a lotus are in the mud. The stem grows up through the water, with the heavily scented flower laying pristinely above, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul. We all begin in the primeval mud of materialism, traverse through the turbulent waters of experience, and slowly expand into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.

It’s true what they say about the sun making everything better. And here, the peace and light is the reward for having survived the currents of our personal ponds. Every droplet is a moment in time, an experience gained. The large, elegant flower is proof that we might come to fruition from such difficulty more beautiful and majestic that we began.

Buddhist Lotus

Buddhist Lotus

I love it! 🙂

Glasgow is an ever-diverse, ever-up-cycling place with a rich architectural and fashionistic background. We’re a quirky bunch but we value tradition and like the simple things. Such as, scones and fresh jam and cream, with an optional pint if Tennants, homemade fudge following a juicy steak and ale pie and little blasts from your disco past.

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So if you’re in to mood for a perfect combination of old school classic, new school nerd and simple old mans pub comfort, head to the Little Birds Market on:

August 11th

September 8th

October 13th

November 10th

December 8th

Here are links to the stalls I collected cards from as well as some personal recommendations.

You’re So Cool Vintage – love this place!! The girl who owns it is very Dianna Vicars, boho chic and absolutely lovely

Strawberry Lush Vintage

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Jodie Pope Jewellery Design

Lazylinepainterbelle  makes her own logo in nail art – so so so cool!!

Maze of Lace – Unique handcrafted jewelry by Evi. Everything is crocheted and absolutely beautiful

Circa 72 Jewellery – by Kary Purvis

Whimsical Heart uses salvaged, ancient dictionaries and prints their own designs over the top – so creative, so unique, never seen this before. Can be purchased framed or single sheet.

Complex Omlette – patisserie genius. Macaroons in every pastel shade, tarts and scones in designs to make your mouth water. I recommend the custard one. See for yourself…

"Complex Omlette" Patisserie

“Complex Omlette” Patisserie

Maze of Lace - Master of crochet... everything!!

Maze of Lace – Master of crochet… everything!!

"You're So Cool Vintage"

“You’re So Cool Vintage”

Circa 72

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Circa 72 Jewellery

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SSDD

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We Can’t Handle the Truth?

So, people can’t handle the truth? Really? Let’s investigate that, shall we??

Wise words, my good man, wise indeed...

Wise words, my good man, wise indeed…

People can handle the truth. People are designed to be able to handle anything life cares to throw at them. The question is, are they ready at the time to handle what’s being thrown at them.

There comes trying times in everyone’s lives and it is how we deal with challenges that form, not only our futures, but how we see ourselves as competent individuals, and how others judge us according to their own standards. Fair? Probably not, but that’s the way it is. People judge themselves more harshly than anyone else ever could. We are all our own harshest critic.

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And who’s to say that just feeling good about your decisions is enough to convince the world? The world doesn’t know your motivation. Doing something you deem admirable might make you feel good, but can you be assured that Joe Bloggs passing by will know the strength it took to achieve a thing they might see as trivial? That’s the hidden challenge of the equation – you are not only faced with your own moral dilemma, you are faced with having to accept the assessment of others, regarding how you handled it. And resist the urge to wrap you hands around their throats if they disagree with you.

Yet, the biggest struggle can be when your head is so full of other stuff that you cannot see that all important truth. It is now that someone else must be employed to help you see what your occluded mind won’t let you.

you have the truth in the palm of your hand, the question is, can you find it??

you have the truth in the palm of your hand, the question is, can you find it??

We’ve all had the feeling; that almost deja vu like sense that something is missing, something is just not right. That feeling stops us seeing what’s really there. Hallucination is maybe too strong a term, but certainly, there is a cloud there. A veil, preventing the truth from being revealed to our desperately seeking minds eye. Does that mean we’re not “ready” to understand? Not necessarily. And that should be the decision of the individual. It shouldn’t be left to another to decide whether gently patronised is a better temperament than fully informed. Perhaps that individual who cannot see is not looking for pity, or sympathy, or compliments, or naive reassurance. Perhaps they are asking, pleading for help. Wanting another to act as their eyes in a time when sight evades them.

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Key to finding that all important truth in our lives is simple. To get into our own heads, we must first get out of them.

“…a simple trip to the beach can be all it takes to clear out heads and open out hearts, and write a new ending to an old story…”

We first have to want to get help.

“…there are those who got burned by the heat. they just want to forget and start over… while there are others who want this moment to last forever…”

But in the end, isn’t fact, better than fiction? No matter how bad life gets, it is never the best option to live in a fantasy, especially not one of ones own creation. As comfortable as you dream world may be, as easy and safe as you self-imposed bubble may appear, remember; your head knows all the pitfalls. There is no hiding in a land born solely from our imagination. Sure, it may seem to be a haven bathed in golden light and peace and only simple, easy explanations for everything, but – if the sun can shine in such a place, then that sun can cast shadows. And, given enough time, they will find you.

“…tans fade, highlights go dark and we all get sick of sand in our shoes… so we find ourselves looking to the future…”

It takes bravery to admit any truth. Let’s not forget that.

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SSDD

Murray Mania: Enthusing a Nation

Those of you who follow TENNIS or are just captivated by the quintessential optimistic Englishness of strawberry’s and cream in the constant face of a potential storm, will know that Andy Murray is kind of a big deal.

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He’s THE NEW WIMBLEDON CHAMPION!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

GO ANDY!! :D

GO ANDY!! 😀

Andy’s perseverance to become so has inspired a nation for the years he’s fought to win on Centre Court.

He beat off Novak Djokovic in 3 straight sets, in blood boiling heat of almost 50 degrees, in a battle that will surely have it’s heart racing final game replayed on the golden reel of tennis forevermore.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray broke a 77 year dry spell of Male British Winners of Wimbledon, the last British Male to win being Fred Perry in 1936. As the commentator said as the players walked onto the court, if he were to win (which he did) he would be the first player to do so in shorts – gentlemen played in long trousers back then!

There are so many reasons to be proud of Andy. For one thing, he’s been playing in Wimbledon for several years and done well, meaning that for the few weeks of summer left after the tournament ends, about 90% of British children and 20% of their over-involved parents *, become healthy, enthusiastic health freaks, and join a Tennis Club. A membership that gets shoved to the back of a drawer as soon as the Autumn winds appear. Around August. So he’s inspiring a healthier nation, if only for the short weeks of summer.

*(these statistics are totally made-up, btw)

But more than that, he does what few things can; he brings together a quartered nation under the shared support of one man.

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man or boy?? …

Great Britain, in spite of its’ name, is not a particularly “cuddly” places, regarding it’s relationship with its members. The ancient rivalry between Scotland and England has often served as a divide, much in the same way the USA views Canada. But for that fortnight in July, when the spell of Wimbledon sweeps over this island, we are united. Sure, we indulge in petty quibbles about “when he’s winning he’s BRITISH but when he’s losing, oooh, then he’s SCOTTISH!”, but that’s all part of the fun. Those little jibes that let us keep our national identities while still reveling in the shared bolstering of a 26 year old already held as a sporting treasure.

Until yesterday we had become accustomed to that perpetual let down come the semi finals. But all that has changed.

Yesterday, both my dad and I cried tears of pride in a man who has literally trained his entire life and who has now achieved his dream. To watch someone’s dream come true on live television, along with 17.5 MILLION other people was really quite a special experience and not something I’m ever likely to forget. That shared elation may only have been a tiny piece of the overwhelming ecstasy Andy Murray was feeling, but to be a rock in the waves of the young athlete’s joy was enough to give me a head rush – imagine the effect it had on his 6ft 3″ of tennis-star muscle!

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Another, lesser reason I am personally proud of him is the fact that he’s Scottish. As a Scot myself, whenever “we” win at something, it’s always a cause for national celebration. And, while I’m not exactly a patriot, I do feel a sense of pride when someone from up North beats someone, anyone, really. (… but yes, when we beat England…)

Prime Minister David Cameron went on record today as saying that he “can’t think of anyone more deserving of a Knighthood” in the New Years honours list for 2014.

the face of a new Knight of the Realm?? :D

the face of a new Knight of the Realm?? 😀

So, next Wimbledon, with our Pimm’s, ice and mint, strawberry’s and cream, white flannel shorts and button down polo shirts, we could be bounding onto center court in unified support of SIR ANDY MURRAY! Roll on the New Year and we’ll find out…

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Now, where’s my tennis racket???… I feel the need to thwack furry yellow balls…

LINK TO ALL THINGS BRITISH AND TENNIS!!

 

SSDD

Daily Prompts: From the Gut: Belly-Laughing with a Boy

Daily Prompts: From the Gut: Belly-Laughing with a Boy

The last time I belly laughed was today. And it was about fear. In a way.

gem and keef

The time before that was… so long ago I can’t actually remember when it was.

If you had asked me before today I would say I belly laughed with my friends, several  times, all recently, all with genuine gusto and enthusiasm. But.

This was a different kind of laugh. There is laughing, elation, embarrassed and nervous laughter. Then gut-grinding, ab-aching, cramp your tummy til you can’t breath and you feel like your head is no longer attached to your body it’s been so long since you breathed, but that’s ok because everything is hilarious – that kind of laughing. That’s what I had today.

It’s rare you find someone who can do that to you; make you laugh so hard your forgot you could, or ever did. The best part was, it was over something SO ironic it made me laugh even harder just thinking about how ironic it is! 6 months ago the topic at hand would have made me cry or scream or rage like cat in a corner, probably, but this time, I was causing so much noise in the tiny cafe that I was getting disturbed looks from… well the only other couple in the cafe, but still!

Keef and I

Keef and I

Then again, the topic we were laughing about might have seemed funny as hell to us, but to them… well, I’m surprised the Wacky Wagon wasn’t rolling out as we asked for the cheque.

Laughing, they say, is the best medicine, but I’m calling shennanigans on that one. I think laughing at something you once couldn’t is more therapeutic.

I don’t want to say exactly what it was we were mocking; that part is a little too RATED R for polite blogging; but put it this way – parts of the convo involved explicitly large German sausages, Scottish competitors for said sausages, and drunken visits equipped with chocolate sauce and… miniature rolling pins 😉 oh yeah, and Christmas. Dirty stuff 😛

What has this to do with fear, you ask? Well, if you could see inside my head…

We all need to laugh at something, for the sake of your  sanity you’ve got to. And apparently the moment for me to heal a bit, is over some dirty jokes, a dose of sarcastic irony and a diet Irn-Bru. 🙂

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(For those you you who don’t know about Irn-Bru, it’s a Scottish thing, Google it – the National non-alcoholic beverage, actually.)

SSDD

Shutter Island

Soapbox Press

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I was recently featured again on the cracking blog Soapbox Press, run by some very talented, very passionate writers, with whom I have had the pleasure of writing for before.

Please, check it out, check out the rest of their stuff and support these madly creative individuals who like to spend their time promoting art and literature.

What better way to spend your life!? 😀

Cheers guys!

Shutter Island.

Movie Poster

Movie Poster

SSDD

via Shutter Island.

Casual Sexism Has Comebacks

Casual sexism is making comebacks, not just coming back.

So you want to send the women to the kitchen, do you?

So you want to send the women to the kitchen, do you?

Women are w whole lot wittier and less subduable than we were. That antiquated 60s resignment of  kitsch to the kitchen is so abhorred now that FEMINISM is a whole being on its own, not just a whispered idea at a womans’ only book club or afternoon tea ceremony.

Feminism is something that’s not so much grown legs as grown the ability to breathe fire and propel rockets out its ass! We aren’t afraid to tell a man to get the fuck up off his lazy ass and get himself whatever he is asking for, if it’s derogatory. Coz, you know, if you’re in the kitchen already and he’s just asking for a coffee, to say no would be, you, know… kinda bitchy.

Females in general are the “fairer sex” but that doesn’t mean we are the “softer” sex. We have strength and ability, ambition and creativity – but that’s old news. No one wants to hear that about women. Where’s the new angle? Honestly, even the wordFEMINISM” to me is a little discriminative – we’re already a separate gender, do we really need another label to be further distance from the so-called dominant males?

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Honestly, there shouldn’t have to be one, yet it’s an ever-evolving subject. These cute ideas of what women should be, like being in the kitchen and making sandwiches all hours of the day and night are changing too (by the way, the amount of sandwich jokes I hear in a week would suggest that every woman on earth should be feeding about 2000 people a day; I would like to be shown one person with that many male mouths to feed or even one person capable of munching that many sandwiches – men who request these, prove to me you can eat the number of sandwiches you request and them consider me impressed).

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Is THIS the perfect woman to you?? Really??

Now, the idea of the perfect woman has changed. It involves big boobs, make-up and a dependence on the man to save you from the bother of responsibility. You need to look only at most action movies to see this. Exceptions to the rule are slowly on the increase, thought they’ve been around for years. Unfortunately, most of them could be found only in literature. And not the sort that guys were likely to pick up. One of my favourite female writer, Laurie Penny, recently wrote an excellent post for the New Statesman about this. Link HERE. Also, she starts some really interesting convos on Twitter.

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My favourite book for example, is The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman. For those of you (crazies) who haven’t read it (why the hell not, it’s awesome!?) may need some educating. Aside from it being the awe-inspiring concluding part in one of the greatest, most life changing trilogies ever penned, film watchers might be aware of the (extremely poorly made) film adaptation of the first book, Northern Lights, aka. The Golden Compass.

Dakota Blue Richards as the heroine of my childhood, Lyra Silvertongue

Dakota Blue Richards as the heroine of my childhood, Lyra Silvertongue

The protagonist, Lyra, formed my idea of what a proper children’s book heroine should be. She was (is, is, Lyra will never die in the Neverland of my most intense childhood memories) what I considered to be the perfect character for the books that would pretty much influence and help form my opinion on everything from religion to relationships to the evolution of people as people. What makes you take certain actions? How can an opinion change so drastically with the passage of time? How can the dreamland of a childhood playpen, safety net, the enclosed treasure chest of home, suddenly stop being so, and transform into an extension of a world of suspicion and fear, full of people who seek to exploit and who do not have you best interests at heart?

Lyra in sleuth mode

Lyra in sleuth mode

The answer was simple: because we grow up.

Dakota now... a young adult herself, growing up as her character did.

Dakota now… a young adult herself, growing up as her character did.

In my head, at the time, there was no question as to whether it was her gender that instilled her with such strength and resilience. These were attributes and by-products of her other, sexless qualities; fair-play, a non-judgmental, trusting view of the world through the child-like innocence of rose-tinted specs and the lack of knowledge of the gender divide. Her best friend was a boy. She abhorred “dressing up”. Was a tom boy of a most determined level. She personified a certain androgyny that made her so attractive to read about. I was frustrated at the lack of interest in reading from my male classmates, pawning the practice off as “nerdy” (at the time a less than fashionable label to be assigned).

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As time passed Lyra grew to become a young woman, as she experienced more of life and formed herself as a person rather than a child, yet lost none of the qualities that made her so enticing a character to begin with. Her increasing femininity added to the robustness of her persona and added flesh to the embodiment she gave to the representations Phillip Pullman was trying to convey – about the importance of youth, and the equal importance of losing it. She was a hero despite gender, fighting alongside grown men and being accompanied by a boy her own age. She was not only equal, she was respected. Her individual merits and unique talents were valued. A boy might admire the way she shunned her feminine ways. A girl might admire how she wore them while giving as good as she got.

It is characters like this which are becoming more common in literature and film. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games being the big one recently. She, to me, is like an older version of Lyra. A fighter, a motivator, an action taker in the face of danger who can still rock a skirt should it take her fancy. But most of all,  a protector and freedom fighter.

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The stunning Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

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JL flippin’ the finger like a boss XD

Proving women can be Robin Hood

Proving women can be Robin Hood

...And also pull of an LRD like a pro. Weep boys, for she is far too good for you

…And also pull of an LRD like a pro. Weep boys, for she is far too good for you

So as far as feminism goes, this is what I want to see more of. Not so much androgyny as equality. For women to be looked upon by everyone as whatever they want to be seen as, rather than just pretty little objects. If they exude strength, then treat them with respect. If they want to be nerdy, take an interest rather than scorn them.

We women have minds and we enjoy using them. Men should take note and deal.

SSDD