Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Cornbury Festival, 2017 - The Fabulous Finale



Once upon a time a festival lovin', vintage wearing couple saw a colourful stall at Glastonbury and decided that one day they too would sell their retro clothing at a music festival. 


Fast forward a few years and Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique is a regular fixture on the Great British festival circuit with a loyal following of vintage clothing fanatics who say that buying from us is as much part of their festival experience as cider with breakfast and dancing barefoot in the rain.


Last weekend we headed off to the beautiful Cotswolds, the location for the last ever (sob!) Cornbury Festival. As with most festivals the workers have to get there a few days before the fun loving public, so we left home on Wednesday and spent the day setting up so that our Thursday could be lazy, sitting in the sun with our festival trading family, some of whom we only see once or twice a year. 




All I can say is thank goodness we had a chance to catch up with our mates beforehand because once the festival gates were thrown open at 9am on Friday it was pretty much full on for the entire weekend. I don't think we managed more than a Good Morning! between us and and our trading neighbours until sunset. 


Despite the blistering heat we did a roaring trade in Harris Tweed jackets. We don't just stock our stall with festival friendly clothes, vintage aficionados are always on the look out for cool things to add to their wardrobes regardless of whether they're seasonably appropriate. Whilst some customers will try on a dress or a loud silk shirt, buy it and leave wearing it (that's why we wash everything, it's ready to wear), others will purchase a wool suit for a wedding, a swimsuit for a holiday or gloves for a themed event.


Traditionally a quiet day for trade, by mid-afternoon on Friday we'd already taken more than the entire weekend at last month's Acoustic Festival. Selling a 1970s belted tweed jacket and a couple of vintage silk cravats to some cool looking blokes Jon asked if he knew them as they looked familiar. They replied, We're the Kaiser Chiefs, mate. I'm not sure if the jacket was worn on stage for their headline slot, by that point we were too knackered to contemplate walking three minutes round the corner to the main stage to have a look.


If we thought Friday was busy then it was nothing compared to Saturday. Not only was the weekend a sell out but all 15,000 day tickets had also been sold and by lunchtime we were starting to think that every single one of those fifteen thousand people had visited our pitch. Our neighbour Mandy was wearing one of those gadgets that measure your steps and, like us, hadn't been further than the portaloos since 9am. When she checked her measurement at 3pm she'd clocked 5 miles. I'm pretty sure we did about the same as I've managed to lose 4 lbs in weight since I left the house on Wednesday morning.


It was so crazy that it was gone 2pm by the time I'd cracked open my first can and man, Morrison's gin & slimline tonic never tasted so good! Forget the meals we'd planned to cook over the weekend, we existed on olives, cheese, cherry tomatoes and falafel - anything we could chew quickly between customers.


At 10pm we called it a day, rolled down the shop front and caught the second half of Bryan Adams' set. Summer of '69 was my sixth form anthem when we were taking our A Levels back in 1984 but barring Everything I Do, which I hate with a passion, I'd forgotten just how many decent hits he'd had. Bryan didn't look half bad either. What made the evening even more magical was that it was so warm I was out in my sequined bustier and bare feet with no need for a coat. It was like being back in Corfu.


Directly opposite our pitch was The Disco Shed and after the main stage closed it continued banging out some proper hardcore early 1990s house and shoe-gazing Madchester classics accompanied by dry ice and trippy projected images until midnight. Although we were tempted to hang out and dance we needed to be open by 9am the next day so off to bed we went. We slept like babies despite a full-on rave going off inches away from the van.


Sunday was no less quiet and within a couple of minutes of opening we'd already made two sales. The shop was starting to look seriously bare in places so we had a bit of a switch round to make the rails a little more enticing. Between customers we started scribbling a to-do list in readiness for our next festival which included things to hunt down in charity shops this week, sewing another three dozen wired headbands and knocking up 15 or so cropped gypsy tops as we'd sold out of all of them (big love to Jayne for sending me another box of fabulous vintage fabric which should keep me going.)


I took advantage of the traditional Sunday afternoon lull to have a wander round the festival site. It was the first chance I'd had to see it properly set up as it was still being built on Thursday morning when we'd last roamed away from our stall.


The workshop taught kids how to transform previous years' festival flags into raggedy bunting.




Good to see the Towersey Festival being promoted, we're trading there for the first time in August.


With an on-site Waitrose, VIP areas, a G&T bar and silver service fine dining, Cornbury ain't called Poshstock for nothing. When a rather well spoken gent gave us his credit card as surety when he took a jacket away to show his wife, the name on the card revealed that he was a peer of the realm. But there's loads of lovely, down-to-earth, normal people too and it's an absolute joy meeting up with them every year. (Hello, girls! Have a great time in Crete.)



Even her Maj popped in. Don't you love the loo roll hanging off her court shoe?


Isn't it always the way? No sooner had I left for my 20 minute walkabout Jon had a another rush of customers and also managed to apprehend two teenage shoplifters trying to make off with one of our 1970s Harrington jackets.


I hadn't seen Heidi (Shilpa Silver) since we stalked met Devendra Banhart at End Of The Road (here) last year. Hopefully we'll be neighbours again this year so should have more time to chat, catch a few acts and hang around the signing tent again.




At 7.30 pm Mandy came rushing into the shop to tell me that she'd just heard the opening lines to Don't Get Me Wrong so, leaving Jon and her husband Orr to hold the fort ran off and caught 15 minutes of The Pretenders' set. 


What can I say? Chrissie Hynde is an absolute babe. Her voice was utter perfection and if I look half as good as she does at 65 I'd be deliriously happy. 


Being trading neighbours means robbing promoting one another's stock - Mandy's wearing one of my wired headbands and I'm in her metallic cat's ears (originally intended for the kids but you're never too old to be a cat).


Previously we've been able to get right to the front of the stage and dance in the mosh pit. This year was insanely busy and we couldn't get close. Looking over the vast crowds dancing with their hands in the air was more reminiscent of Glasto than Cornbury.


After three songs we dashed back to our stalls and let the menfolk have a chance to catch some of the action. I had to get a photo of Dylan, daughter of mates Simon & Donna of Homegrown, she's the coolest teenager I know. She bought the denim flares from us at the End of the Road a couple of years ago and the Bronson of California 1970s safari jacket was this year's Kinky Melon purchase, she found the parrot sunnies at Glastonbury. Isn't she stunning? 


At 9.30 pm we closed up, grabbed a drink and sprawled on a blanket in front of the main stage listening to the Cornbury's final ever act, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, not really our thing but fitting for a grand finale and the fireworks after the show were pretty amazing.


Jon went to sleep sitting up.....its a hard life!


And that was Cornbury. Sun drenched, tropically hot and fabulous, amazing company, ace customers and, best of all, trade-wise, it was a record breaker. We sold over half our stock, improved our tans and worked our arses off. We've got 8 days to unpack, recover, shop, sew then repack and start all over again at Truck.


Cheers, Cornbury! We're gonna miss you.

See you soon!

Linking to Patti & The Gang for Visible Monday.

90 comments:

  1. What a fabulous time you had at the last one and a great trading time , I love bryan Adams and the chiefs luck you xxxx

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    1. You can hardly call it work, can you?! xxx

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  2. So glad you had a great trading weekend - you so deserve it! It looks like you had a fabulous time. Loving the cats ears - even on Jon lol. xx

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    1. Thank you! I'm keeping my eye on those ears or Jon will be wearing them to Wetherspoons. xxx

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  3. such a fabulous event, glad that you could enjoy all the sun and the fun!! and also glad that it was a record breaker!
    the people look really amazing (except those shoplifters!) and you look gorgeous!
    besos

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    1. Thank you! It was fantastic. xxx

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  4. good grief that sounds fantastically successfully exhausting! Thanks for taking us along for the ride :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the trip! x

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  5. I have finally caught up on your posts and OMG you have been busy. I have thoroughly enjoyed being whisked away on another oversea adventure with you and Jon, gorgeous photos of gorgeous places and sights, so thank you. Then we head off to another festival, I love your life, long may it continue as I am enjoying tagging along!!!

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    1. Never a dull moment here! xxx

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  6. Oooo! What a fab festival!
    & The Pretenders too!
    Zowie! xox
    (I have nooo idea whom the Kaiser Chiefs are either)

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    1. We know who the Kaiser Chiefs are, we've even been to see them a few times! I blame the sunshine! xxx

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  7. Goodness Vix, what a time you had! I am exhausted just reading it. Wonderful photos and great story. Thanks for sharing all this. Yahoo to Bryan Adams, fellow Canadian!

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  8. la grande finale!!
    totally perfect! it sounds like a dream of a festival. love that cat ears - so fun - and stylish! (earnest!) be sure to have a rest until the next.....
    much love! xxxxxx

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    1. It was fab and the weather made it perfect! I've already packed my cat's ears, ready for the next festival! xxx

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  9. That sounds like a perfect realization of your vision. When people truly appreciate the huge effort you've put into bringing the masses quality wears by buying you nearly iut, it had to feel great. My girls would go to town at your stall-their petite with a love for vintage.

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    1. I heard a girl of around 17 telling her friend that she'd got to have a look at Kinky melon's stall, sell proper vintage stuff not that 90s tat the other ones have! xxx

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  10. What an uplifting, happy post. I feel like I have a smile on my face after reading it.
    The thought of rushing off to hear the Pretenders gave me shivers down my spine, I'd have loved that.
    Of course it goes without saying that you both look utterly cool in every photo, I love the clothes as ever.
    Good luck with finding lots of new stock for the next one! xxx

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    1. The Pretenders really were wonderful, I feel quite guilty, I was always Team Blondie as a kid! xxx

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  11. Didn't you do well!! Looks amazing, despite the exhaustion - must be satisfying to see so much stock go off to a new home (how cheeky about those would-be-thieves though, that's just incredibly rude and disrespectful!).
    Have a nice rest now until the next one xx

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    1. It was a lovely festival, such a shame it's the last one although Jools Holland did hint at a comeback in a couple of years....we live in hope! xxx

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  12. Hello Vix!!! I too am worn out after reading this!! What an awesome festival for you both. xoxox

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    1. Carol! Lovely to hear from you! xxx

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  13. Wow, what a fantastic weekend you've had. Looks like tremendous fun. You look amazing as always and I'm jealous of you seeing Chrissie too. Xx

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    1. Thanks, Louise! Try and catch The pretenders if you get the chance, they were amazing. xxx

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  14. Major score of a festival! I adore Chrissie Hynde and she does look like a million bucks. As do you and Jon. thanks for linking up, xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. It was! Chrissie is an absolute inspiration. Proper rock'n'roll! xxx

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  15. This sounds like an ACE festival! Wow! It's times like that which keep you motivated when other shows can turn out to be dead.

    I'm so delighted it was such a winner.

    Your stamina always impresses me. You both looked fabulous.

    Kudos to Jon for catching the shoplifters!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. It's been such a good festival for us, a lot of the punters really get us. As you know, bright maxis can be a hard sell, not at Cornbury! xxx

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  16. Such a shame it's the last one - I always enjoy your festival adventures, and as it's so good for trading it must be a great one for you.

    Is shoplifting common, or was that a rare occasion? I hope the teenagers were suitably chastened.

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    1. We've been lucky so far and never had anything nicked. Those girls had done the rounds and a fair few traders had stuff pinched, we were lucky that Jon noticed that they only brought one thing out of the changing room when they'd taken a handful of things in. xxx

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  17. What a shame it's the last one! but more importantly - the Kaiser Chiefs are wearing your stuff! That's really cool. I'm of to check out Towersey Festival website. I'm only going to Latitude as a day visitor this year, I wish I'd booked for the whole weekend but it's really bad timing!

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    1. I know! We still get a real kick from selling to the performers especially when they leave wearing the gear they bought!
      Hope Latitude was fun and dry! xxx

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  18. I know the closest I'll ever get to a festival is through your posts, so thanks for posting about them. That's great that the last festival went well. Why wouldn't people buy tweed in summer-it could be cold enough for it next week the way things go.

    Shame on those teens-they probably had more money than you do.

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    1. That's what we said, The Cotswolds is ridiculously affluent, David & Victoria Beckham have just bought a house there! xxx

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  19. U know I luv the cat ears!!!!!!!!! Badass!!!!!!

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  20. It was lovely to see you and Jon again this weekend. I am loving my new vintage clothing, especially the Jerry Hall floppy hat and the patchwork skirt - it is truly fabulous!

    Mary and I will definitely have a wonderful time in Crete. Really looking forward to sun, sea, greek salad and maybe a few beers along the way!:)

    Looking forward to seeing you in Bath in October for some more vintage delights! Take care. Andrea x

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    1. Fabulous to see you and Mary again, Andrea and thrilled that you loved what you bought! So jealous of your trip to Greece, any room for a little 'un in your case?
      See you in Bath! xx

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  21. What a shame it's the last one, especially as it was so busy. I always enjoy reading about your festival adventures, it sounds absolutely knackering but also awesome fun!

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    1. Definitely no laddish behaviour at Cornbury! I don't know what we're going to do next year! xxx

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  22. I love the songs 'Don't Get Me Wrong' and 'Back On The Chain Gang' by The Pretenders - what a treat having them perform at the festival. It's very sad that it's the last one, but it certainly went out on a high note. Quite the experience! The collection of colourful frocks you and Jon had for sale at the Kinky Melon Retro Boutique stall at the festival looked fabulous.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello, PB! Lovely to hear from you!xxx

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  23. Glad you had so much business this weekend! Bryan Adams was born in BC - when I went to highschool he regularly played very small bars/towns like ours to get his career off and running. Unfortunately I was too young to attend those(you have to be 19 to go to the bar in BC) and never ended up getting to one of his concerts but he was always a favorite. I think he lives on your side of the pond now with his family. I would have enjoyed the Pretenders as well.

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    1. Damn! that was a shame you never caught him at one of those intimate gigs. One of our customers told me that she'd seen him at a small, private gig last year and he was incredible, really funny. xxx

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  24. Sounds like Cornbury bowed out in spectacular style with a great line-up, wonderful weather and superb sales. The Pretenders are fab, would've loved to have seen them, I think I wore out their LP's when I was a teenager.
    Sounds like you need a few early nights before the next festival! xx

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    1. I was a Blondie fan but after seeing both live I have to say that The Pretenders sound loads better! xxx

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  25. What a great way to sign out of Cornbury, it couldn't have been better and you will remember that fest for a long time to come I'm sure.
    I loved your right up last year and wish now that we had made the effort to go this time.
    Loved that lady with the bike. Isnt she special xxx

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    1. I wish we'd have done our homework, turns out we could have got you both in for the day for free! Boo!
      I thought you'd love that lady, he coat was covered in embroidered old maps. xxx

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  26. Sounds amazing. I much prefer meeting the customers face to face so you can build up a rapport even if being on your feet with the early starts and late finishes are a bit of a killer. Online sales have their place too I know, but I just like getting out there! Excellent that your takings were good too! Arilx

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    1. Me, too! I love seeing people coming out of the changing room giddy with excitement! xxx

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  27. What a fabulous festival, but how sad that it's the last one. Glad to see the weather behaved for you and that trading was great, although this means you will probably be super busy in the run up to the next one! Chrissie is indeed looking fab at 65. I'd no idea she was 65, but then again I was still picturing her how she looked in her Brass in Pocket years ... Like Lynn, I was quite taken by the lady with the bike! xxx

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    1. Jon thought she was "about 52" until I reminded him that he's 51 next month and the pretenders formed in 1978! xxx

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  28. So glad you did so well. It was a joy of colour and fun and WARMTH while we are experiencing a Polar Blast and are freezing to death. You are jumping from sun to sun.How lucky you are. I adored the dress you wore early in the blog,all flowers of stunning blues, reds, pinks. How is the house painting going? Xxx

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    1. Gah! I'm not envying you that weather, Sally! We're basking in glorious warmth and sunshine today , long may it last!
      The painting is done, hooray! xxx

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  29. Looks like such great weather for you. I adore your carpet.
    Those cat ears look lit from within.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Thank you!! They're Moroccan rugs, perfect for outdoor living. Hopefully they make our pitch feel a bit posher than just grass flooring. xxx

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  30. The Pretenders and Bryan Adams at the same festival?!? That's pretty awesome! I was a fan of Bryan Adams earlier music (Run to You and a couple of others), but wasn't crazy about Everything I Do (it was played so much here in the States that it became annoying). Glad you both had fun despite the two teens trying to shoplift.

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    1. I'm not surprised to organiser is taking a break, can you imagine how much it must cost to have bands like that perform?! xxx

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  31. End of an era, it's so sad. Nephew Number One's band was meant to be playing at Truck, not sure if they still are though....... I hope the weather holds!

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    1. The weather's been, gone and is back again today! Finger's crossed it's like this for the weekend. xxx

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  32. Beautiful pictures that have got me all excited. We're seeing UB40 and Fine Young Cannibals this weekend and then off to Chagstock next week with a great big gang parked around my camper van. Must remember my glad rags! xx

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    1. Roland Gift! I loved him back in the day. Have a fantastic time gigging and festivalling and yes, take lots of glad rags and glam! Its the law. xxx

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  33. I am exhausted just reading about it! I admire your stamina.

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    1. It hardly feels like work! xxx

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  34. Looks like you had SO much fun. How idyllic- selling vintage and being at a music festival. Rest up, looking forward to reading about your next festival. Xxx

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    1. It's a dream come true, it really is! xxx

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  35. Bryan Adams! The Pretenders! Gosh I'm jealous!! Teenage shoplifters aside, sounds like you two had a fabulous time! Pity it's the last festival.

    Hope you sell loads at Truck!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Thank you! We're already packed for Truck, that's how excited we are! We don't go until wednesday! xxx

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  36. Sounds utterly exhausting but fabulous! So pleased that you had brilliant sales and a wonderful time, but sad that it's the final Cornbury. You and Baker look like you made the most of it though - looking gorgeous, darlings!
    Love you! xxx

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    1. Hello, darling!! I know, fancy stopping the bloody thing. What are we going to do next year? Love you! xxx

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  37. Glad to hear you did so well! :)

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  38. Vix, my dear, You and Jon are honest, down-home classic and Oh So Very Fabulous!

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    1. Reva! So good to see you back! xxx

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  39. Oh I really enjoyed reading this and I was so gleeful when I heard what a roaring trade you did!
    By the way, I am looking for a men's paisley scarf alla Sylvester McCoy in Doctor Who or a red one alla Osgood! Do you happen to have any for sale at all!?x

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! Email me some photos, I'm not sure what they wore! xxx

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  40. Those photos of Jon asleep sitting up, and your and your friend wearing the headgear, will be placed in my personal album of "Good Times: Summer 2017". And alongside them will be the wonderful view of the Steampunkette Cyclist being photobombed by the hefty gent wearing orange shorts -- and sandals.

    Congratulations, you hardworking seamstress, on selling out the gypsy crop-tops! Please let me nag/urge you again to add your very own Kinky Melon label. Imagine vintage lovers decades hence bragging: "And this is my KM crop-top, handmade by Vix herself!"

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    1. I didn't even notice the barely dressed man until I posted that photo. I was tempted to crop him out but loved the contrast between the nicely dresses lady and the half naked man, it's like being in Corfu all over again! xxx

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  41. So glad you had brilliant sales and a fab time too. What a shame it was the last one.

    Loved your maxi dresses.

    Hope you manage to restock in time for the next one.
    Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Veronica! ope you're having a fabulous time in Ireland!
      I seem to be finding more stuff for me than stuff to sell in the chazzas this week! xxx

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  42. What a shame that it was the last one. It looked really good, if a bit posh. A G & T bar will never, ever compare to Glastonbury's Scrumpy bus. You both really work so hard, it sounded exhausting but a whole lot of fun. Your maxi dresses are stunning and the yellow safari jacket and flares combo on your friend is utterly brilliant. Xx

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    1. Nothing beats that cider bus!! £6.50 for a G&T, too!
      Can you believe Dylan is 15? I wasn't that cool when I was her age. xxx

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  43. Oh that's a shame that it's no more, it looks fun. I'm not one for festivals, but I think this would have been okay, it's like someone took the town I live in and festivalised it, hehe! Scanning through that list of bands and artists playing, I have absolutely no idea who most of them are, but I did recognise Ward Thomas, I believe they come from here, right in this very town. Not at all keen on their music though xxx

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    1. I think you'd have enjoyed Cornbury, it was more like a garden party than a rowdy festival. The organiser did a brilliant job with getting artists who appeal to all ages. I hadn't heard of Ward Thomas. xxx

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  44. Sounds like you had a fabulous (if exhausting) time! Dylan looks so cool, I just love her outfit! x

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  45. Vix, my dear, You and Jon are honest, down-home classic and Oh So Very Fabulous!
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