Monday, 28 July 2014

Get On That Groovy Train - Indietracks 2014


Another weekend, another road trip.

This time we were at IndieTracks, a festival combining jingly jangly indiepop with vintage steam strains.

Set at the open air Midland Railway Museum in Derbyshire, this is the very pretty Swanwick Junction on the old Midland Line, a working station since 1870.

But forget the marvels of the Great British railway system, getting this lot in Gilbert is a feat of engineering in itself.

We arrived at 10am and by 2pm were set up, basking in the sunshine with made-at-home cheese sandwiches and chilled India Pale Ale waiting for the festival to kick off.

Wearing: Vintage St Michael shirt, 1960s Festival canvas pumps & Gabicci tailored shorts (all charity shopped) 

Wearing: 1970s Sea Star beach dress (Kitty's Vintage Kitsch)

Vintage clobber galore along with some funky interior touches, a regular home away from home.

Time for a quick snap of the site before the gates opened.

Here they come, Indie kids ready for a weekend of fun, frolics, live music, late night discos, pop quizzes,


Train spotting...

Amazing food (there were other places but Jon and I have been obsessed with Gopal's South Indian food for years)

and crafting classes...

Mine's the one with the helter-skelter! 

Just like last year the weather was gorgeous.

Wearing: Vintage 1970s leisure shirt and used-to-be red skinnies from a charity shop chopped into shorts

No shoes required (except when we needed to cross the tracks to get to the portaloos).

The site is kept immaculate by the army of railway enthusiast volunteers. Train spotters rock!

Wearing: Me-made maxi skirt (using a 20p 1960s Terence Conran curtain from a jumble sale), fringed leather crop top (Helga the great), Indian gypsy pendant (Edie Pop) 

Day two and selling like a storm.

A handful of customers who insisted on wearing their Kinky buys straight away...
Lots of the festival goers stay in hotels and get the train back in every day so they're a well-groomed lot. Unlike us. Three days of camping beside a working steam engine means my feet are the colour of a Victorian street urchin.

Not only interesting thing to look at but great company, too.

Lovely to see some of our friends there. There's Kiki (in the fab green mini, one half of Kiki & Honey's vintage fairs) and Kitty showing off their art, the very dapper Baron (author of the The Hearing Aid blog) and wife, Jo and Jon (lender of our Glasto tent), Erica and the gang.

Wearing: 1970s Berketex cotton maxi & vintage tooled leather belt (Kinky Melon)

Day three and I'm wearing the merchandise,

We're still waving manically at every passing train.

 Jon explores the West Shed Experience 

 And we're entertained by The Thyme Machine. The leopard-clad lead singer showered the crowd with Tunnocks Tea Cakes and sung about a day out in the Lake District with a zombie, his favourite jumper and Carlisle Football Club.

All in all a fabulous fun-packed weekend and not a bit like work (omitting setting the alarm each morning, erecting and taking down a bastard massive structure and half a day spent unpacking the meagre remains of our stock and hosing down the black grime from Gilbert and the Gala tent).

 The good news? Only three days and we get to do it all over again at Brookestock.
Festival season? We effin' love it! 

Off to shower for the first time since Friday, a scary prospect, no wonder steam trains were phased out, I've never been so dirty. As they say on the railways, normal service will be resumed shortly.....

Linking to Patti and the Gang for Visible Monday.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Just An Ordinary Day

I got a sweet email from Anthony this weekend, a Brit living in China. He follows my blog for a regular fix of British life and says that its giving his boyfriend a good insight into what to expect when they visit later this year.

With them in mind I thought I'd take my camera along when I popped to the market to capture a few shots of day-to-day life.

Isn't it funny how even the most ordinary of places become interesting once they're captured in a photograph?

 Walsall market has existed since 1219. Up to 15 years ago it was a huge, bustling event, legendary throughout the Black Country with regular coach trips bringing in shoppers from around the UK. Sadly, unable to compete with the vast 24 hour supermarkets that dominate both ends of the high street, it has become a shadow of its former self. Walsall's fighting back though, with a bustling once-weekly flea market and a host of specialist fabric stalls every Monday.

Sari lengths, vibrant fabric, ready made clothing, even Indian fast food.

As I've always lived here its easy to forget how wonderfully multi-cultural our town is.

You won't catch me bleating on about being given the side eye, the local ladies love wearing colour, I'm just one of the crowd.

How gorgeous are these salwar kameez? A bargain at £10.

Waiting for their wives.

Fabric from 50p a metre.

Here's my favourite place - the trimmings stall. Its where I get my pom-poms!

A girl could go mad here and my visiting blogging mates frequently do! 

I'm off for another typically British slice of life later - a trip to the pub. Its been ages!

Wearing: 1960s silk culotte suit (the divine Desiree), Vintage St Michael Shopping bag (Miss Simmonds Says Clare), Suedette platforms (£5, local retail), Huge pink sunnies (99p, Banardos)
Right, better get back in that garden and work on the tan.

See you soon!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Nice Work If You Can Get It!

At the risk of sounding like a snug old cow I really do have one of the best jobs in the world.

Wearing: Vintage 1970s tee (vintage stall @ Glasto 2014), skinny jeans (charity shop), camo Birkenstocks (eBay, 2001)

The endless pile of washing, mending & ironing, the hours spent travelling up and down the motorway, lugging huge bags of clothes around and the almost constant pitching & dismantling of tents. Having to smile and nod at people taking advantage of having a captive audience by telling you that they used to have one of those, proceeding to reel off every item they once owned and sent to the charity shop.

Its a small price to pay when you get to spend the weekend working in places like this, the magnificent Tudor mansion that is Speke Hall.

 No wonder Alex loves her job, too. She works there.

Not only did we have to pleasure of camping in the grounds all weekend, 

and having the entire estate almost to ourselves,

but we only had one day of rain (which wasn't too heavy and had all but gone by 3pm).

  We got to spend time with our mates Steve, Lyndsey and Dexter from Boomerang Retro,

ate al fresco,

& went on long evening walks through the grounds and along the banks of the River Mersey,

...and got to tour Speke Hall.

Did I mention the classic car display?

Where's Kinky's pitch? Only the bastard massive one!

Inside there's a vintage rug, a me-made patchwork lampshade & yards of bunting, some strategically arranged mirrors, 1970s throws adorning the changing room walls along with a vast array of stock. No wonder poor Gilbert was groaning by the time we reached Liverpool on Friday afternoon! 

Wearing: Vintage 1970s maxi (eBay, 2004)
A weekend spent in fabulous surroundings with great company & plenty of sunshine and the icing on the cake? We sold loads! The friendly folk of Liverpool really do love their vintage.

Wearing: Car-booted Janis Joplin tee shirt I remade into a boob tube (tutorial HERE) , vintage 70s floral maxi skirt (jumble sale) and a ton of silver jewellery

Which means that after popping into town to bank the takings it was straight back to washing, mending and ironing our vintage stock in readiness for trading at IndieTracks this coming weekend.

See you soon!