Friday, 16 June 2017


I will listen from music from the time I'm up, non stop until Andy's home, as he gets bored of my never-ending pre 1962 tunes! Oddly, most of the time, when he walks back through the front door, Ricky Nelson is playing, which leads him to tease me about playing nothing but Ricky. Even if he isn't playing, he jokes that I saw him coming and changed it from Ricky to someone else!

Within my preferred time, I listen to a wide array of music: rock and roll, proper R&B, doo wop, rockabilly, country, blues, though not too bluesy as I need a hefty dollop of rhythm with my blues to make it palatable, crooners, 50's and early 60's pop.

People usually have pre-conceived notions about me from the way I dress and they usually assume I like Elvis Presley, hence this post!

Singers from reading my blog you may have guessed I like. And indeed I do:

Buddy Holly

I like odd affectations in voices. In fact, this can make me turn on a sixpence and label something my favourite song of the moment! I like voices which break a little on a particular word, an odd way of pronouncing something, hoarseness, you get the picture. So, Buddy Holly's distinctive voice, is just my cup of tea.

The Everly Brothers

So dreamy. Nothing more needs to be said.

Singers from reading my blog you may have assumed I like. And I don't, not really:

Elvis Presley

It isn't that I don't like him, it's that I don't choose to listen to him and there are only
certain songs I like and they are very few in number.
There are others I would choose to listen to over him. 

Roy Orbison

Yes, he can sing, I openly acknowledge that, but I just don't like his voice, except on slower tracks and consequently, only really like In Dreams and Crying.
I hate, hate, hate Pretty Woman.  

Little Richard

Don't know what it is, I simply have no desire to own anything by him.
I like The Girl Can't Help It but that's it really. 

Bill Haley

I don't like his voice, simple as that.
I do like The Comets though, they are an incredible band!

Chuck Berry

I admit, he was a talented musician, but after a while, it all starts sounding really samey. 
There are records he did which I like, but I don't tend to listen to him by choice.

Cliff Richard
Just no.
In fact, I'd go as far as to say NO!
Actually, NEVER!

Singers from reading my blog now, that even I would never have guessed I would ever like:

Hank Williams

I never, ever liked country singers and still don't like modern country and by that, note that I think anything past 1962 is modern. It's one of my endearing quirks ;)
Listening to a steady stream of rock and roll, got me on to rockabilly, then listen to enough of that and you start to hear the country influence and after listening to Warren Smith, a lot, I then heard on a film soundtrack, something by Hank Williams and was suddenly open to hearing more and now I absolutely love him.

Jerry Lee Lewis

One of my favourites, who I would never have guessed I would like, because as a child, he scared me! I was trying to think how I would have been exposed to him. It was the actual sight of Jerry Lee that scared me, and am guessing, as my nan wasn't music minded and my granddad was all about Jim Reeves, my mum wasn't so much about music, but my step dad was, and to my knowledge, he isn't a fan of The Killer, that I must have seen him on some Alan Freed music vehicle as when I was wee, Alan Freed fascinated me. An early memory is of me being alone and him being on the telly and me sitting right up close, about a foot away from the telly, gazing at him in wonder. I was an odd child! 

Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps

Andy likes Gene Vincent, but even after trying to brainwash myself by playing him over and over in the car, I just couldn't get along with his music. Then I heard him speak and he was so softly spoken, that I immediately came round as I am all about voices *cough*shallow*cough*
Mind you, one of his band really unsettles me (the one on the right, clapping), in the same way Jerry Lee did. Must be the wild musician thing!

Johnny Burnette

I'm not talking the You're Sixteen Johnny, I'm talking rockabilly Johnny. I got Andy a CD once and hated it on first listen. Then as my ears became acclimatised to such things, I found him easier and easier to listen to. Now I label one of his songs one of my all time favourites.

Other Music Type Things I Just Adore:

Trad Jazz

I love it. But unless it's got a mad clarinet backed up with a just as mad trombone, I'm lukewarm and oh so very not interested.

Teen Romance Tunes

I can't help it and I offer no apologies! 
I like the innocence of these songs.
There's one song I love which opens with the line "Here she comes, the prettiest girl in town ..."
They just don't write them like that anymore, and that makes me sad.

Conversation Songs

One of my favourite conversation songs, for want of a better description, is Say Man by Bo Diddley and his right hand maraca man, Jerome Green. 
Have a listen.

Music Type Things I Really Don't Like:

Novelty Songs

I just cannot tolerate novelty songs. First listen I am fine, second, I start to get irritated.
The early sixties seems to be rife with such things. I really do not like things like Beatnik Fly by Johnny and the Hurricanes and Rockin' Goose.

I don't mind Link Ray's Rumble, Santo & Johnny's Sleepwalk and I ADORE Dick Dale's Miserlou, but I am very lyrically led, so records without lyrics don't do it for me. I think though, I would go as far as to say that Miserlou is my all time favourite record without lyrics. The mariachi section makes me beyond happy!

I am also not partial to things like Tequila which are largely instrumental but feature just one phrase.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Good Night Mary Ellen!

It's another outfit post, another dress and another Lindy Bop dress at that!

I also have 'small hair' as it's just been washed.
The wonders of naturally curly hair # 2637: my curls need wetting daily (not washing, that is a once weekly job otherwise it's permanently flyaway and frizzy and as curly hair is naturally dry, frequent washing isn't recommended, as it needs the natural oils which washing strips away).
I have to 'wet it' daily as I get awful bedhead and the hair pixies run rampant through my hair every night, arranging it into ridiculous styles and sometimes when they are extra naughty, they put it into knots.
A daily 'wet' with the added application of some sort of product, means by day three after washing, it's gained volume and is looking fabulous again.

Anyway ... the outfit.

I would have worn a green scarf twisted in with the black rather than pink, but alas, my only green scarf is much darker and lighter would have been better. So, I went with pink.

I also would have worn my pink petticoat, but the dress is so floaty and the pink petticoat quite spiky for want of a better word and would have caught the lightweight fabric. So, I wore white and after typing that, realised you can't even see it, so that was a pointless explanation, wasn't it!

This dress is so wonderfully floaty and I adore the colour. 

These photos involved much bolting back inside, as our neighbour was in and out like a jack in the box. Inconsiderate I call it.

Pink and black chiffon hair scarves - Vintage, gifts from Vix and Curtise
Jewellery - me made, Accessorize and gift from Andy
Dress - Lindy Bop 'Mary Ellen'
Petticoat - eBay
Shoes - Charity shop

I made the necklace and the earrings I was initially wearing, years ago now, when I first started making jewellery. The necklace is made of clear quartz, rose quartz carved beads and the earrings rose quartz and I think, obsidian.

Andy was sorting out the bookcase yesterday and unearthed box upon box of my semi precious beads. So many! I really want to start making jewellery again, but have no findings and can't afford sterling silver, so I may possibly downgrade to silver plate.

I then remembered that I had these earrings, so swapped over, as I far prefer studs.

And then the clasp fell off the necklace, reminding me why I hadn't worn it in an age, I needed to reattach it. I used a silly little jump ring which wasn't strong enough for the job and it gave out under the weight of the beads.
So I changed to this, a birthday gift from Andy one year.

In other news ...
We watched Legend on Sunday night, the most recent film about The Kray Brothers. I had heard it was good, but I was surprised to find I really did genuinely enjoy it. Tom Hardy was excellent in the roles of both Ronnie and Reggie and there was a hefty dollop of humour throughout, needed I suppose, to counteract the reality of what the brothers were like. I particularly enjoyed Ronnie, he made me laugh throughout.

Also, lovely cars, lovely clothes, and wonderful interior design throughout.

Yes, it was long and I have a notoriously short attention span, but I sat through the whole thing ... in one go! Go me! It wasn't one of those instalment films I end up creating!

Monday, 12 June 2017

I Vote For Longer Dresses

Voting day here in the south of England dawned dreary, overcast and rainy and it certainly looked chilly outside.
Our landlord put a smart boiler in a couple or three years ago. This means that the heating only comes on if the temperature dips below a certain point and once it's reached the ideal temperature, it cuts out again. It's saved us oodles on bills I must say. Anyway, I had forgotten to turn the boiler to summer mode, and the heating popped itself on early on Thursday morning which took me by surprise. It just confirmed my thoughts that this is turning into a very odd June. Andy remarked that it's almost like our unusually dry April and our chilly and rainy June swapped places.

Consequently, I didn't want to wear a sleeveless dress out, so had a dig through my wardrobe, pulling out this dress, as I did so, realising that I hadn't yet worn it.

Why? When I have had it since early last year?
Length and weird bodice length, that's why.
I kept hold of it as it was so pretty and I intended adding skirt length with some pretty trim.

However, there are only two shops in town that sell haberdashery bits and bobs. One is a curtain and upholstery shop and to give you an idea of their prices, the last time I went in there, their Velcro was sold male and female strips separately (almost £2 a yard ... metre, sorry, I default to imperial, always do, it drives Andy nuts).
Their pricing makes the often overpriced for haberdashery HobbyCraft (compared to Fabric Land that is) cheap as chips. And who buys male and female Velcro separately anyway?
The other shop is somewhat out of my price range too, with many fabrics starting at £15 per metre (not yard *cough*) but my, they are sooooo, pretty.
I tried eBay, who had coloured broderie anglais trim, but I would rather not gamble
with colours 'as seen' on screen.

But still, the length wasn't to be an issue, as I was going to employ the red petticoat trick again.

Overall, I love this dress, but could do without the belt cutting me across my ribs ...

I could also do without having such grainy photographs, but that's why you get for not putting the flash on!

Our neighbour remarked how bright I was on such a dreary day (what better way to brighten up a trip to the polling station, in an almost luminous red petticoat!) and a lady in town told me I looked fantastic. Andy also accused me of 'making a show' with my flamingo umbrella, stating that I didn't really need to use it, it was all for effect. Twasn't for show, it was raining

Outfit Details:
Pink chiffon hair scarf - vintage, gift from Curtise
Dress - 'Courtney' Lindy Bop
Petticoat x 2 - eBay
Shoes - charity shop

* * *

Imperial or Metric?
Ever felt the need to buy a strip of female Velcro?

Saturday, 10 June 2017

National Treasures: Hinton Ampner Pt III

I'm back with more Hinton Ampner goodness, this time, the gardens!

Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LA

Part One can be found here, from when we first went in January, with a little of the gardens and entrance hall, with a potted history of the place.
Part two can be found here, focusing on the interior.

It seems bizarre that the first time we went, we missed all of this!

I don't know if these two were always there, or were 1930's additions.

 Lovely views down from the veranda.


I equally love rambling cottage style gardens, to formal ones.
I long to run up and down avenues of topiary, in Georgian dresses, being chased
by a man in uniform.
*plots to get Andy in a Georgian Naval uniform*

I love this statue.

And I love a bit of wisteria too.


You can sit here and look back at the house and lily pond.

 Tulips were everywhere. So pretty.

It's that statue again ...

Hello Mr Pheasant, how are you?

Our picnic spot.