Sunday, 12 June 2011

Route Canal



Did you know that here in the Black Country we've got more miles of canal than Venice?


Back in the days of the Industrial Revolution roads were so poor that a network of waterways developed to serve the local steel, coal, lime and glass industries. In more recent times, following the demise of the West Midland's manufacturing industry the canals became abandoned, heavily polluted and a dumping ground for shopping trolleys and scabby mattresses. Following a clean-up initiative between volunteer groups and British Waterways the last few years have seen them restored to their former glory and the canals have now become a big part of our local leisure and tourism industry.



This weekend our town hosted a canal boat festival and being that it was free, offered a fine array of local real ales and was being held in our mates' back garden we just had to pop along.

We may wear vintage but old-fashioned we ain't. We always take it in turns with the boys to go up the bar and get a round in.

Liz, Liz and I sample some local ales.



The white building is Liz and Al's converted toll-keeper's cottage. 



Neither Jon....





 or Adrian....



.. can resist the lure of a hot pork bap.



 Can you believe the cheek of our new mayor, trying to sneak into a blog photo?




Jon, Adrian and Liz in front of The Cheese Boat. That's right, a converted narrow boat offering free cheese tasting, how fabulous!



There were a few bric-a-brac stalls and I snaffled these retro Clairol rollers for £1, hence the reason for the big green bag (from the lovely Rachel's blog giveaway) that Jon's carrying.


Liz bought these gorgeous lead horses.


 Adrian, Al and Jon enjoying Entire Ale. Strangely the real ale tent ran out of beer shortly after I took this picture so we headed to an Indian restaurant via the off-licence for supplies.




My Mushroom Ceylon (with chopped red chillies and grated coconut) was so fiery it brought tears to my eyes.


Paisley mini dress (courtesy of the divine Desiree), 1960s pendant (the gorgeous Ivy Black), suede jerkin (£1, car boot sale), vintage leather boots (£3.95, PDSA), 1950s rose print bag (20p, car boot sale)

The sun was shining but it was so cold that I had to bring my tights out of hibernation.

It's awful here today, it hasn't stopped raining since first thing thing this morning which has put paid to any gardening we had planned. Looks like a day of sewing and mending is on the cards once I've caught up with my favourite blogs.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


73 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures of you all - in the last photo you look about 25! I love canal boats and would happily live in one if it weren't for the midges. Oh, and the fact that you have to be uber-minimal with your possessions!

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  2. That looks wonderful! I have always wanted to go on a canal boat.

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  3. looks ike a fab day out: roll on summer

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  4. I used to go to sea cadets ( not cool i know, lol) and we used to go on narrow boat holidays. I used to love it. `never understood why England doesn't make more of its canal network.

    Looking stunning as usual my lovely xxx

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  5. Oh Im so jealous, it looks lovely, wish I was there too.I love narrowboats, you looked lovely too btw,glad you all had such a wondeful day

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  6. It looks like you all had a really fabulous day out! It is great that Britain is finally beginning to realise the potential of its' canals and make use of them :)

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  7. Looks like a lovely day out! You were lucky with the weather, it's been so nice for so long I'm a bit shocked by the chill and the rain!!

    Same here, raining since first thing AND chilly brrrrrr

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  8. You're wearing a mini. Hurrah! Now that's the kind of 60s and 70s I DO like.

    Don't think my daughter went. Shame coz I swear that white building is the pub not far from my daughter's house. I'd have liked to have gone that.

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  9. Wet weather gets od fast doesnt it?I dealt with 4 kids on my own all day yesterday inside and freezing argghhhh!!
    Anyway you look wonderful as usual and what fun you all had how lovley.
    Years ago I had a salon called The Rambling Rose and I had a client who was originally from the UK and they went over for a visit and saw a canal boat called the same name as my salon and snapped a pic of it.Most like I still have it somewhere.Hope today is a nicer day for you xxx

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  10. Weeeee you're wearing the dress - I've got goosebumps - you look so happy and beautiful:))). No I did not know that about the Black Country. Yet another reason to visit the UK - it looks so charming and unspoiled. You and G look like you're having a ball despite the cold weather. Oooh and that fab new suede jerkin looks amazing - god that pendant is gorgeous. Hope you enjoy a lovely cozy Sunday:)) xo

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  11. Cracking set of pins Vix! You look gorgeous as usual!
    I love local things like this, looks like it was great fun!
    Sophie
    x

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  12. wow, really lovely pictures, the canals are beautiful and definitely worth a visit. must do a canal tour when I'm in England again. Your outfit is just divine! love the colours of your dress, the vest matches perrfectly with it! and the necklace you wear is so beautiful, would die for buying one like this, too :)

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  13. Beer and canals, sounds marvellous. I grew up near the London end of the Grand Union. Used to be wasteland but now done up and used as a cycle route, but fishermen and the odd festival. Super.

    Love your outfit as ever. Cheeky mayor, photobombing in the back there.

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  14. I love canals. You know they used to say that you could get everything you wanted made in Birmingham/Black Country/ West Mids, and it was shaipped across the world by the canal to the River Severn then to the sea.

    I love your vintage gear. I finally got round to doing a mini vintage post. Not quite on your scale, but I love a bargain if i have time (and the right eye for it!)

    Now seeking out Canal festivals! xx

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  15. Hi my dear-has not stopped raining here today either, but have had a fabulous birthday and what a day you all had yesterday, the festival sounded really great and an Indian in the evening, a perfect ending!! Love your dress and the suede jerkin really makes your whole outfit! xxxx

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  16. Ohhhh it's yucky and dreary here too Vix :( ... and freezing! Spent the day in front of the fire watching 'Midsomer Murders' (as you know) and drooling over John Nettles!! My husband on one side, John on the other... oh. yeah. I was feeling hot... ;)

    Anyway... no I did not know that about the Black Canal... I was in stitches over the 'route canal'... I cannot resist a good pun!

    Liz, Liz and Vix are super ladies and hell yeah to equal bar bills! You all look fabulous, you look super fabulous in Desirees dress and maybe the new mayor heard that a celebrity was in his midst?

    You and John lead a lovely life and lovely people love you.

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  17. What a fab day! I'd love to go on one of those canal holidays but i'd probably wreck the boat hehe

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  18. Looks fantastic - one of my friends likes to holiday on canal boats but I'm a bit scared of the locks myself. I prefer a canalside walk. Me & Mr TNMA took a trip along the Regent's Canal yesterday. Splendid.

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  19. Its nuts, this is the latest in the year I've ever worn tights! Thats global warming for you... The boats are so pretty and festive, what a fun day! :)

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  20. Canal boats always remind me of Rosie and Jim which I used to watch after school when I was a wee child.

    It is surprising how gorgeous some canal boats actually are inside!

    It looked like a fab day!

    If I was there I would have joined Jon and Adrian with one of those pork baps! Yummy!

    Ooo I foresee lots of beautiful curls being made with those bargain of the century hair rollers!

    You look gorgeously 70's in your canal day attire. xxx

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  21. The weather is bloody atrocious here. We just about avoided getting drenched in Manchester yesterday but it has raining non-stop since about 7.30am today :( I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't have loads of washing that needs to dry and can't go in the tumbledryer. I've spent the day in the kitchen instead, baking stuff for the wake tomorrow. Takes my mind off things.

    The canal festival sounds ace. I watched a random programme on BBC2 the other day about canal walks round Birmingham and Worcestershire - it was dead interesting. I'd love a canal boat holiday.

    ps - you are a gem! I'm v. excited for the posty to arrive tomorrow now.

    xxx

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  22. Looks like a brilliant day - and night! Raining here too - so dreary. Went out for a Persian meal last night, which was fab. xx

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  23. It has been horrible here as well, though I quite like a rainy day now and again. It has been lovely to sit inside with the rain beating against the windows drinking tea and watching old movies. I would love to go on a canal boat holiday sometime, even better if it was a cheese boat! We are treating ourselves to curry tonight, can't wait for my bhindi bhaji xx

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  24. Fantastic pictures of you all. It looks like you had loads of fun. I could do some serious damage to that pork bap! Em x

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  25. It's only just stopped raining here! The canal festival looks great - I've always fancied a holiday on one. Apparently my parents did a few canal holidays before I came along.
    Great mini!

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  26. Hi I found your blog over a week ago and have fell head over heels in LOVE with it all. Love your style LOVE your buys and love the styling on your pics too. How much LOVE is there...oh my!

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  27. Vix, You look gorgeous in that frock. It looks like a great day out, I love canal boats, me and Mac often say we'd like to live on one.

    Have a good week.

    Xx

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  28. I love the look of those boats, they are lovely!
    That dress is so so sexy, and it fits you like a dream. I adore the colors of it also!

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  29. Meant to say I love Liz's horses as well x

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  30. Those canal boats are the cutest, now I want to live in one, you know I would of stayed all day on the cheese boat maybe they should have a cake boat.you ladies look all so pretty and leggy Mamas. that dress looks fabuloso amor.
    that cheecky major was everywhere. :)
    its wet here too lost out on a boot sale cause of the rain ,but you know how much I adorar the rain.

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  31. Looks like a very relaxing afternoon.
    What more does one need than the company of friends, beer and a man to carry your bag? Lovely outfit the colours seem to suit the occasion.

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  32. Fabulous day out. I was in Wales, the homeland and loving being there!
    xx

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  33. What a great post, you and the two Liz's look gorgeous! It's been pouring down all weekend here too, but the forecast is for 22 degrees tomorrow!

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  34. There you go looking like a supermodel again! Yum..cheese tasting. :) What a great post...I loved seeing the pic's of the canals. Hearts, Janna Lynn

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  35. Local things like this are always loads of fun and it would be great if we had more of them here in Milton Keynes. I love what you're wearing and these photos remind me of lovely Summer days, and hopefully the weather will realise it's June soon and perk up! And I know the feeling, I have to resist Lush too. xxx

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  36. Your narration was so entertaining!!! Had no clue about it.

    And goes without saying how HOT your were looking in that short number! :)

    P.S. Did the blog get a make over? :)

    ♥ from © tanvii.com

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  37. Look like a fabulous time for you!! Lovely post! :D

    xx

    www.sickbytrend.com

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  38. Vix, you look lovely as always, and yet more smiles - great to see!
    You and your mates look as though you had a good time despite being cold - funny how beer and good company, and the promise of a curry, can keep your spirits up!

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  39. Fantastic pictures, you look amazing as usual :0)

    The canal boats bring back fond memories of a crazy school trip I had in the 80s ! I think most of the teachers ended up in the pub every night, must be something about canal boats and beer, not to be sniffed at I'm sure !

    Always looking forward to your blog posts Vix, you're one very inspiring lady ! x

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  40. You look Lovely! That dress is HOT! Looks like you had a Fabulous weekend!

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  41. Looks like very good fun! Saw some prog the other week about restoring the canals in the 60s. Though I like watching people and the boats etc the stillness of the water creeps me out - i can't stand being on it!

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  42. I have been away for the weekend and have missed this. I saw it advertised at the shops so I will look out for it next summer. It is only down the road from me as well. Never mind, yes our mayor loves his photo being taken !! Your friends are so jammy living there, how cool is that, I will have to look out for you when we go for a canal walk. Cheerio.

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  43. I've been on a few canal holidays when I was younger, and I loved doing the locks, although I think probably mowadays you don't have to turn the handles by hand.
    I didn't know that about Birmingham either.

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  44. Un bonito lugar, gracias por compartir,
    te dejo mis saludos,
    y que tengas una feliz semana.
    un abrazo.

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  45. That mini is soooo sexy,and I just about cry with envy everytime i see that pendant!
    Love this post,love the pix-canal life seems so remote to us,we have nothing like it! I'd love to spend time trawling them on a lovely old barge! Liz' toll keepers cottage is dreamy! And as for the cheese boat!!! O,how I love cheese! I really like an English cheese called Cheshire ( I think) that I had when I was last there.We get a version here,but it is no where near the like,really.
    Despite the cold,looks like a lovely day with lovely peeps!@
    LOVE YOU!!!
    xxxXXXxxx Helga!

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  46. I loved these photos and your commentary! - the canals here are something special and unique and I'm glad that there has been an effort made to conserve them and the boat house culture. And as usual you are looking fab!

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  47. LOVE that yellow dress. Completely adore it. Great photos!

    strawberry freckleface

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  48. What a fun peep into your fab weekend! Flashbacks of getting scalp burns from those old style curlers, though.

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  49. Gorgeous outfit, what a novel day out-we have nothing like it here, noo canals, obviously!

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  50. How GORGEOUS - everything! Your outfit, your gorgeous Lizes, the canal and boats! You are SPECTACULAR in that fab mini amor!

    Oh - and route canal? HA!

    Love, Sarah xxx

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  51. These are such beautiful photos! What beautiful scenery, too. I always think of Venice when I think of canals - now I will remember this lovely place, too!

    -j
    sorelle in style

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  52. Boo on rain, yay on canals. I'd love to ride in one of those boats and eat a bap wid youse!

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  53. Hi Vix, you are always well turned out no matter what you are up to! I always enjoy photos of people and places so thanks so much for sharing. Oh, I used to have a set of Clairol hot rollers that I loved even though I always burned my fingertips!

    xo, Bonnie

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  54. I had not known about these canals and what an interesting idea for a "festival." Does anyone ever LIVE on a boat like these?

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  55. The boys look very handsome and happy with their burgers and beers and you lovelies looks great and quite colorful in your dresses and skirts. Love all the canal photos and the blog's new look. I like the large photos and the white background.
    Have a fantastic week,

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  56. I so love your pictures that tell a story! Love your dress & jewels!

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  57. Great photos and your outfit looks fab as usual xx

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  58. You should have asked the major to lead you his chains for you photo ;-)

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  59. Aw these pics done my little heart good! I've always always wanted to barge my way around the canals. I probably have a more pims quaffing romantic view of it than the actual reality.
    You look fantastic as usual
    xx
    ps. you have actual sun?? i'm so envious

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  60. Looks a fabulous day! Don't Manchester and Birmingham have more miles of canal than Venice too? Methinks Venice has built its reputation on not a lot!!

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  61. PS - that pun in your title is inspired!! :)

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  62. Sounds a gorgeous day, apart from the crappy weather. Honestly how can they even mention drought after this weekend?
    Love the waistcoat and the necklace is gorgeous.
    Very jealous of the pork baps. :)

    xxx

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  63. What a great day out.I love tghe boats.I agree with dora A nice cake boat would have held me captive all day.lol.Love those rollers.Your outfit is adorable.love those boots.

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  64. I love your dress, the pattern is fantastic !
    http://selenite.weebly.com

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  65. Again, you look absolutely wonderful, Vix!
    & it looks as if you've had a great weekend xo

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  66. Looks like a great day. I'm well used to the cold too! Being up in Scotland, I'm well used to the cold. I don't like it much but I'm used to it. I see the mayor snuck into a second picture too - mischief!

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  67. Ohh hello little Swedish bag :)

    I love narrow boats, I'd love to live on a houseboat if the Aussie wasn't so freakishly tall. Maybe me and the cats can have one and he can live in a shed or something. The Major sneaking in makes me laugh - my best friend got a little drunk at a council do once and went up to the local mayor and asked him who he thought he was wearing all that bling

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  68. The canals seem so fun, and inviting. I would love a little boat ride on them. I love the dress on you, and I hope it warms up there soon!

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  69. I love that dress, it's very fabulous!

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  70. Dearest Vix, I never knew that! I love canal boats.

    It looks like a brilliant day. You look gorgeous. I love the picture of the mayor muscling in.

    The hot pork bap made me laugh.

    Liz's lead horses are beautiful and the rollers are steal. I wouldn't be without mine, my hair would be a disaster.

    Love you xx

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  71. And the award for Best Blog Title of the Week goes to...

    And I'm sorry, but "hot pork bap" sounds x-rated to me. xx

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  72. Hi, I have just stumbled across your blog, and its amazing! Loving the clothes, what bargains! You wear them well, making them look worth a fortune ! Fab!!!

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Love from Vix
xxx