Thursday, 25 February 2016

Travels in India, 2016 - Back To Black (And White!)

The BBC warned us that we'd need big coats and sunglasses yesterday and they were right, glorious sunshine and icy cold temperatures were the order of the day, so out came the 1950s fake fur and massive 1970s specs for our weekly chazzing trip.

1950s fake fur (from my friends Lynn & Phil, it used to belong to Phil's mum - see HERE), 1970s lace dress (my friend Nikki), 1980s suede boots, floppy felt hat, 1970s sunglasses (Car boot sale), tribal jewellery (India)

Did you think I'd exhausted the India photos? Be warned, they ain't over yet!

After our adventures in Mumbai we flew back to Dabolim, returning via tuk tuk to Palmira's guest house in Benaulim, where we'd stayed during the first few days of our trip. Ten days of sunshine and the legendary Goan sossegada (the Portuguese word for free and easy living) lay ahead.

The great thing about Benaulim is its close proximity to Margao, Goa's atmospheric second city packed with crumbling Portuguese-era buildings and dusty side streets. The bus from Benaulim to Margao takes 20 minutes and costs 10p so we'd often spend a couple of hours here in the morning, exploring the streets, wandering around the covered market, drinking lime sodas in colonial-style cafes and haggling for bargains.

Although street life in India is usually a riot of colour, I thought I'd capture Margao in black and white, how it would have looked in the pre-1960s tourist photos, back in the days of Portuguese rule.

This sexy beast of a car was imported from California by the young man who owned it. There's a growing passion for vintage cars amongst Goa's young and hip.

Jon was excited to spot these two beauties as he's owned both Moggies (Morris Minors) and VW Beetles in the past.

We spent hours in the legendary Golden Heart (and bought some interesting things). Some of the books were so dusty they must have been there since it opened in the 1940s.

An elderly man ran this fascinating market stall, packed to the ceiling with rubbish he'd rescued and recycled into useful household objects. I bought a couple of things from him but our India purchases are going to have to have a post of their own.

Goan sausages are a sight to behold. Festooning the market stalls like endless strings of giant-sized red beads. Uncooked they smell wonderful but Jon reckons that in reality they taste like damp dishcloths. He once ordered some in a beach shack and was so repulsed by the flavour that he offered them to a pack of starving stray dogs, who also refused to eat them.

As a child I vividly remember these beautiful 1960s plaster mannequins in Walsall's sari emporiums now long gone and replaced by bland Western-looking dummies. Good to see them still in use in Margao.

Mr MK Loteker, the advocate with an office at the top of the building, had a prime viewing spot of Margao's market. He seemed to spend most of his time sipping chai from his balcony and waving at us.

No trip to Margao is complete without the obligatory snack stop. Jon's having puri bhaji (spicy veggie stew with hollow pastry discs) with masala chai at Hotel Prasad, a friendly local canteen opposite the market temple. I don't think they had many foreign visitors as the waiters all came out to watch us eat,  anxiously giving us a hesitant thumbs up at every mouthful. 

A coconut fenni seller. Not a drink we're particularly fond of but its marginally better than the oily cashew fenni, which is like drinking paraffin.

Ambassadors are still the taxis of choice, they look fantastic but, for long journeys, the suspension is hell on your back.

In the UK these 1950s bone shakers would have been chucked in the skip and replaced with mountain bikes years ago. In India there's entire streets of mechanics who lovingly repair them and make them roadworthy again.

Sadly the printing press has long gone. Where does one get one's mortuary cards printed nowadays?

Ghaat was released in 2012 (but the poster was still up) and was filmed entirely on location in Goa. Apparently the director's wife pawned her gold to make his dream of making a film a reality.

Hope you enjoyed your trip. There's more to follow. More Margao pictures HERE.

We'll be trading with the wonderful Judy's in Liverpool (see HERE) on Saturday and back on home ground with our marvelous mates in Moseley (see HERE) on Sunday. We've got some amazing newly found vintage stock, all freshly laundered and waiting to be ironed, which I'd better go and get on with.

See you soon!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday and Judith for March's Hat Attack.


  1. wonderful post again Vix I loved viewing it in black and white to made it more of a visual feast to me. Have a great trading weekend, dee xx

  2. Indeed, with all these photos in black and white I feel as if I've had a trip to the past. Interesting photo-story! India is always magnificent whether in colour or in black and white!

  3. You look fabulous in that outfit, Vix!
    Thanks for the B&W travelogue - love it! (Those mannequins are super cool)

  4. Still not tired of your trip photos. They are so fascinating! And you look chic as always. :)

  5. Its lovely to see Mum's coat again, it made me sigh and smile all at the same time. I'll be showing Philip when he gets home later.
    I'm also sighing and smiling at the memories you've brought back of the time we spent in Margao, who knows we may have even been in the same tearoom. The market was awesome, I remember all the stalls virtually being on top of one another and it being buzzing and noisy. Philip got some sandals. Im going to have a scout through his shoes after and see if he still has them.
    I'm with you on the Ambassadors giving you a bad back, what a nightmare, but what fun and cheap.
    Thanks for trip down memory lane. Im looking forward to seeing your purchases next.
    Lots of love Lynn xxxx

  6. Black and white photos are so emotional - they really take us back in time. And yours are fabulous as always. Those old cars, and the miles of sausages! You look brilliant in your fur coat, and I hope you found lots of treasures today, xox


  7. I know what you mean fur coats and sunglasses are very apt , I dont get fed up at all with the india pictures , I like to see them xxx

  8. I hope Ghaat was a success after that, and that the director's wife got her gold back.

    Such a shame about the sausages - I was imagining a combination of Indian spices and Portuguese meat products resulting in a chorizo sort of affair. I'd probably try some anyway.

    All your photos have looked lovely, but these have really made me want to go there. I can almost hear and smell the place...

  9. I've always loved that coat on you. Loved the pictures in B&W. Street shots are always interesting.

  10. You have made me glad I don't like sausages! Fabulous pictures as ever. x

  11. of course I enjoyed the pictures. And love your coat!

  12. You had me with those cars - especially the Beetle and Morris xxx

  13. Fabulous pictures in black and white, can't wait to see your post on shopping! The snacks you at in Margoa looked delicious. I love Morris Minors, great to see they are still valued and driven with pride. Betty

  14. You are such a glamour puss, the colour of that frock is divine and showcases the bastard massive jewellery beautifully. I've been to Margao and loved it, we took an Ambassador taxi for tuppence ha'penny to the market and I'll never forget the railway station as long as I was insane. I hope I get back there some day. Will look forward to seeing your Indian shopping. xxxx

  15. I think the black and white photos were a brilliant idea - I really felt as if I was back in the 1960s. Some fascinating photographs and I really, really, liked the mannequins.

    As for your outfit you look like the 70s reborn! Fabulous coat, beautiful dress, boots, hat and jewellery - you look lovely.

    Hope you had a good trawl....

    Have a fab weekend


  16. Your BW pix are evocative of the old B mysteries set in exotic locations. A pity you don't wear those 40s film noir fashions, Vix, especially since I fancy Jon would look good in a trench coat and fedora, and so attired you could both easily drop into Charlie Chan in Panama. No, let's envision you in a sleek 30s satin gown and Jon in a tux in Mysterious Mr. Moto! Armloads of diamond bangles!

  17. I did enjoy these photos. And I like the black and white. It makes it seem like a dream. Which is such a contrast to the real thing which we know is alive with color and dust and sound and smells. And then there you are back home in living color!

  18. The photos in black and white did make it seem as though we'd stepped right back in time.

    I laughed when the waiters came out to see you eat.

    How I adore that coat!

    Hope you sell loads on the weekend!


  19. My first thought was, "What nice beaded curtains" when I saw your photo of the sausages.

    I'm always happy to see old bikes on the road. There's a group of young people where I am that do community bike repair teaching kids how to fix and upgrade them. We see some pretty ancient models rolling down the streets.

    The coat is beautiful, but together with the dress and hat-mind blowingly incredible.

  20. Doing a two-in-one comment here because I can't NOT comment on the bastard massive amazing sleeves below, especially as it's an obsession I share.
    The black and white photos are incredibly atmospheric and your journeyings continue to feed the soul of this onlooker.

  21. Cold weather with sunny skies is my favourite! You look great in those oversized sunnies, makes me wish I could wear contacts again. Those photos are beautiful and the snack Jon is eating looks delicious. I love all the old cars and the fact that people still use and repair bicycles from the 50s. Always love seeing travel photos. Hope your market goes well xo

  22. Those India photos are amazing. When I see Morris Minors, I rememeber my Mum's one- she had a pale blue one. I spent much of my toddler years at Morris Minor rallys with her- one of my few toddler memories revolves around needing the toilet at a rally and going into a church hall up some stairs and into the pink loos!!x

  23. i never get tired of your holiday photos. i will prob never make it to india so i can live right through you! x

  24. gorgeous idea to show your india pics in black&white! very timeless look.
    as is your chic outfit! xxxx

  25. I am not sure what I like best, you in Purple, black and white or India in Black and White, so it's a tie!! The rest of the world could learn an awful lot from India's recycling of mostly our waste. Those old bikes were amazing, we had them at our beach house when I was a teenager, our mode of transport, and I still prefer the no gears to the skinny tyre multi geared ones of today. I will never get enough of your India photos Vix!!

  26. I am not brave enougn to visit Indai having heard terrible tales of kidnapping etc (Keith Mangan.... husband of a girl I used to know).... I will just enjoy your photo's and use my imagination.

    1. Goa is not Kashmir.......

  27. Fantastic your clothing, I love this dress and the coat is so precious! And thanks to these photographs in black and white, are fragments of India really fascinating and evocative .. Beautiful those old cars!

  28. Lovely photos, you always see photos of India in colour as its such a colourful country, but these black and white photos are really pretty. Loving them

  29. I'm so glad the adventure's not over yet! Lovely photos of Margao. I'm rather astonished that so many of your readers have also been. I'm always fascinated and speechless with admiration at the recycling skills in India. Puts us to shame, doesn't it. Looking forward to seeing what you bought from that rather fantastical shop. Lime sodas in colonial looking cafes sounds a nice way to spend a few hours. Of course snacks are obligatory. Mr M K Loteker sounds perfect. That reminds me of Africa and also the books about the Numer One Ladies Detective Agency. I remember that beautiful coat from when you first got it, lovely. You look dazzling longside all these black and white photos. Freezing here today xxxxx

  30. Your outfit is one of my faves EVER!!! I'm a huge fan of black and white with brights. Add in all your magnificent accessories (the jewelry!!!!) and you've got me hyperventilating.

    Your pictures and commentary are in a class by themselves. So wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to share them.

    Stay warm, and happy selling!! Love you.

  31. You look like an interesting woman of mystery who is about to step into the black and white photos to experience an adventure.
    Oh right, you did and you are! :-D
    xo Jazzy Jack

  32. Thank you Vix. I will never tire of your vacation pictures; I greedily hope for more. Beautiful photos in black and white. I had to tell myself these were modern day. :-*

  33. Love the black and white photos! This place looks just right for hanging out and exploring. So many interesting sights. The old cars are neat. We saw a similar thing in Havana, Cuba.

    You look lovely in your purple and big coat and glasses!

  34. Love the black and white photos Vix, I will never tire of your India posts! You look great in that outfit too x

  35. Lovely to see that fabulous coat from Lynne and Phil again - who says keeping warm can't be stylish?
    Your black and white photos are stunning - you might think that withdrawing the colour from that most colourful of countries would be a mistake, as though we were missing something, but in fact it somehow focuses my eye on the detail and adds a certain style.
    Can't wait to see what you bought from the recycling man. It's a good thing you pointed out that the strings of "beads" are actually sausages, I'd never have guessed! And those mannequins are gorgeous, wish I had them in my shop...
    Glad you had a productive weekend - have you caught up on The Voice?
    Love ya! xxxx

  36. Those photos in B&W look like they could be from any age, they seem so classic India. Thanks for showing them. Luv that B&W faux fur too.

  37. I loved the way you made this trip both a journey in geography and journey in time. Brilliant! When you say things like you don't consider yourself a writer, I feel like I have to encourage you. Forgive me if what I say strikes you the wrong way. I never ever want to be pushy or insensitive or plain annoying. Perhaps I better need to spend more time on my own writing and stop encouraging others to become writers. :) But I will tell you once again. You ARE a writer. You have the talent. You have everything you need to write a book. I can say the same things about Curtise, by the way.

    You look fantastic as always! Such a vision. I'd drop if I saw you walking on the streets. :)

  38. You look marvelous, Vix. Your gifted coat is perfection with your lace dress, and of course, your floppy hat is an outstanding topper to your outfit. Thank you so much for sharing with Hat Attack.

    Love the black and white photos of India. I never tire of your amazing adventures!


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Lots of love, Vix