Thursday, 31 May 2018

Pain Stops Play - The Festival That Never Was

Acoustic Festival, 2017

You're probably thinking, Shouldn't they be away trading at a festival? and you'd be right, we should. Normally on the last Thursday of May, just like the past four years, we'd have been at the Acoustic Festival of Britain in Uttoxeter, our pitch would be up and we'd probably be on our second can, I'd be hanging the stock on the rails and Jon would be up a ladder sorting out the lighting but on Saturday, while I was ironing my way through a mountain of summer stock, Jon came crawling into the house, his back had given way and he couldn't walk. While he does suffer with back problems this was the worst we'd seen.

Acoustic Festival pitch, 2016

Hopeful that Jon's back would right itself in a couple of days, I got the stock sorted, priced and ready for sale. I did a dummy set-up in the garden, packed everything up and even found the time to make some crazy festival jewellery, too. Yesterday, when we realised Jon wasn't getting any better I got in touch with the festival organisers to cancel and made an appointment with the osteopath around the corner. We've lost our pitch fee but even with the kind offer of help from friends and fellow traders, getting there, setting up and working three 12 hour shifts would have been impossible.Yes, the freedom self-employment gives you is brilliant but it's not so great when you're ill and there's no sick pay. Oh well, onwards and upwards!


Aside to playing nurse I've been reduced to making my own entertainment. Here's Liv and Rasmus having a domestic over the amount of vintage dolls' house stuff she bought at the car boot sale for £1 last Thursday (no Bank Holiday car boot sales for us).


With my official blog photographer off his feet I've had to resort to taking selfies.
Bank Holiday Monday, after Walsall's horrific storm that tragically claimed a man's life on Sunday evening (HERE), it was warm enough for me to wear this gingham and daisy print maxi Curtise gave me a couple of years ago. Oops, that mirror really is scratched to buggery! 


As always, when I feel like life is spiraling out of control I take comfort in making stuff. I've turned every scrap of wool I could lay my hands on into massive granny squares. Tuesday was all about crochet, sunshine and a free roaming tortoise. 


As I haven't been out, getting dressed to go anywhere is quite an occasion. This was my outfit for walking Jon round to the osteopathy clinic on Wednesday. The dress is a vintage beach dress (no fastenings, quick drying fabric, reinforced bust) and the jacket something I pimped up myself with some panels I made in a batik making workshop.


Earlier today I walked into town to fetch supplies. I wore this Alfredo Bouret for Mexicana midi dress and some Lotta of Stockholm clogs. In addition to the essentials (pain killers, jelly sweets* and the Lonely Planet guide to The Greek Islands) I popped into the chazzas and scored a pair of 1960s French-made sunglasses, three '70s dagger collar blouses and a vintage cowboy shirt...as you do!

*Not for me, I hasten to add, I'm a sweet-shunning vegetarian!


For the first time in months the mending pile is no more so I've been messing around with my fabric stash. Using a pair of 1960s Scandinavian curtains I made a new plastic bag dispenser for our trade tent and invented this hang-up organiser to keep our toiletries and essentials handy in the van. I'd show you the jewellery I've made but I've learnt from bitter experience not to share pictures of stuff I've made to sell as it gets copied by other traders and it's hard enough to earn a living without my ideas being plagiarised. My fab regulars at next month's Cornbury Festival will be the first to see my crazy creations!


Did I mention how much I like the people I've sold The Cottage to? When they were insulating the loft they found some of dolls that Dad must have stashed away after I left home in 1986. The ash blonde fashion doll with the off-the-shoulder pink dress and lace-up wedges was by Mary Quant. The standard sized version is pretty common but this larger sized one, Daisy Long Legs, was quite a rarity and the only one I found on eBay recently sold for £88 which could go some way in helping recoup our losses from the weekend!


H & D also found a sack containing every greeting card my family ever received during the 1960s. There's Mum's 21st birthday cards from 1963, cards from 1966 marking my parents' engagement, their wedding and my subsequent birth and my brother Marcus's birth in 1968. There were hundreds but I only kept the grooviest. It was a poignant few hours sorting through all this lot - only Marcus and me are still alive.

Trying on the stock - back in the days when Jon could stand up straight

The patient is still in a terrible way although the osteopath (who, by weird coincidence is also a regular at the Moseley Vintage Fair) says there's no serious damage and with plenty of rest, pain killers and gentle stretching exercises he should be back on his feet in a couple of weeks.

Wish us luck!

Linking to Judith, the Style Crone and her Hat Attack link up.

85 comments:

  1. so sorry about Jon and the bad back, Love seeing Liv and Rasmus toilet training their baby and love your Osteopath appointment outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Best wishes to Jon. Hope he’s back on his feet soon! Unfortunately we’re not going to make Cornbury this year....hoping to come along to the Classic Car Boot Sale in August instead!...I need my regular Kinky Melon fix!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, Cornbury won't be the same without you! I hope you get to the Classic Car Boot, Judy's aren't doing their fair in Bath until they can find an alternative venue. xxx

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear about jon , Its a nightmare having back trouble , I love that blue daisy dress , I can't believe people copy what you make to sell why dont people have some imagination of their own , Hope jon recovers quickly xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Copying is rife especially when you make stuff. It's so disappointing. xxx

      Delete
  4. Really sorry to hear about Jon's distress. Sure hope the doc is right and you're soon able to be back by on the trail!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ouch! Back pain can be quite debilitating. Sending healing vibes Jon's way, but I know he's in good hands with nurse Vix and his osteopath. What a bore you had to miss the festival, though! I can see Liv & Rasmus have gone a bit wild at the car boot. They even bought a demented looking baby! I love Curtise's gingham and daisy print maxi, which looks the epitome of Summer! How sweet of The Cottage's new owners to bring you those dolls and cards. I too brought a bag of cards home from my Dad's house but just kept the grooviest. I wanted to keep them all but Dove Cottage is bursting at the seams. The Mary Quant doll is fab! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ann!
      How demented is that baby? It's massive compared to Liv and Rasmus. I'll have to show you Havoc, she was the coolest of Mary Quant's dolls and the only one from my childhood that i didn't sell! xxx

      Delete
  6. Really hope Jon's feeling better soon, back pain can be killer! I love that gingham and daisy dress, and you look stunning in the blue midi dress, I just love how you've accessorized it. The storage things you've made of the curtains look fab!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Poor Jon, I feel for him. How lovely that the new homeowners are so friendly. It’ll b lovely to see what they do with your parents house. You’re wearing some fantastic outfits recently. That doesn’t sound right because you always look fabulous. What I mean is the styles are different and gorgeous xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, you know all about poorly backs, don't you? Aren't they miserable? xxx

      Delete
  8. Ow, poor Jon! Sending good vibes and warm waves of healing to his back. Bummer about your show, but it happens. I love your fun outfits, but that turquoise dress really knocks my socks off. How amazing that you got all those dolls and cards back from the new cottage owners! All those cards! I've tried to keep the most special cards from the last 20-30 years...you never know when that card will be the last one from a special friend or family member...

    Wishing you a good week and a less stormy/tumultuous weekend ahead, Vix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sheila! It was lovely to see my Grandparents' and parents' writing again! xxx

      Delete
  9. At least no permanent damage - hopefully he gets sorted quickly and is back on his feet. Wow, great stash of finds from your old family home. Those cards are great, love the cat one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Sadly I don't think it's going to be quick - I'm still in limbo wondering if this weekend is going ahead. God, getting older can be such a pain! xxx

      Delete
  10. Hope Johh's back heals quickly...definitely a no show with all that going on. The finds in the attic must have brought a little bit of light relief. It's funny how people react to stress...I stop making completely so I'm the complete opposite to you!
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Aril! It was a lovely thing for the new owners to do - I'm sure most people would have binned everything.
      I'm in making overdrive - I keep running out of stuff and having to dash to the shops for more! xxx

      Delete
  11. oh no! poor jon! i wish you both that he will get well soon! such a bummer.
    good that you can distract yourself with make & do - what will you doing with that giant granny squares??
    the toiletry bag for the van is something to copy for ours.....
    how cool are the new owners of the cottage - they could easily kept the dolls and sell them and dumped the cards. but no - they came to you!
    much love! xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beate! It couldn't have happened at a worse time. xxx

      Delete
  12. Oh poor Jon I do hope he's feeling better soon. Been there done that so he has my full sympathy. How lovely to get some more momentos from your parents house. Snoopy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gisela. It's horrible, isn't it? I knew you'd like Snoopy, he needs a good scrub! xxx

      Delete
  13. Hope Jon feels better soon. You look great in the gingham.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Poor Jon. Back pain is nothing to take lightly. I hope he's better soon.
    I would have been an emotional mess at seeing those cards. What lovely people you sold the cottage to for sending them to you. The dolls on the other hand...the creepy one with the crackled skull is going to murder someone! Get it out of your house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they were a bit worried about how I'd feel about those cards - it was rather sad reading the messages and seeing that familiar handwriting, I can tell you.
      Turns out that scary doll is extremely sought - she needs to go on eBay before she comes alive and does something evil. xxx

      Delete
  15. Those cards look very familiar - I too was born in 1966 and some of them brought back memories from the depths of my mind. Get well soon to Jon x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Daffy! As a 1966 baby no wonder those cards were familiar - they seem so much cooler than the cards you can buy now. xxx

      Delete
  16. So sorry to hear of your problems.
    Your making seems through the roof!
    I love the plastic bag dispenser and toiletries holder. Such a great use for an old curtain.
    Your spot in the sun with your turtle looks amazing.
    Hugs! xo Jazzy Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jack! The trouble with our garden is the amount of shade the trees generate, I'm forever on the move trying to find a sunny spot! xxx

      Delete
  17. So sorry Jon is poorly, hope he is on the mend soon!
    Looks like you've been busy creating (my fave thing to do also).
    The big babydoll in the pink dress next to the ash blonde looks like my beloved 70's "Baby Tender Love" by Mattel.
    xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bibi! Creating really does help, doesn't it?
      I'll have to Google "Baby Tender Love", mine was called "Tiny Tears", the version I had was a "tender soft" edition, her plastic feels like real skin! xxx

      Delete
  18. So sorry about Jon.
    Where did you learn about retro items.
    Stopping here is such a history lesson, even if I recall items you post about. I'm aging my self.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dora!
      Both my Grandma and Mum were avid shoppers so as a child I was dragged around clothes shops - I think I know every brand of clothing available in the UK throughout the 1970s! xxx

      Delete
  19. bummer about missing the festival. I can imagine that your tent is well frequented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! Hopefully we'll be back on the festival circuit next month. Keep everything crossed. xxx

      Delete
  20. ouch, poor Jon, so sorry about him!, and glad there's not serious damage! (good news, at least!). And also glad that you've been making stuff, I think it's my kind of therapy when things go wrong (and when they're ok too!).
    You look gorgeous in your turquoise dress with fabulous sleeves (wowww, turquoise and frilly sleeves are doubled fabulousness!!). Also lovely gingham dress and beach dress!, and so fantastic photo of you crocheting!, mwhaha, love it!
    wish Jon get well soon!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Making stuff really is the best therapy - and it's a lot healthier than drinking! xxxx

      Delete
  21. I hope Jon makes a speedy recovery, there's nothing worse than being out of action.
    I think Rasmus needs to chill out, look at all the cool stuff Liv found!
    Gingham and daisies - does it get much better than that?
    I love the Alfredo Bouret dress, you look stunning.
    How lovely of your neighbours to bring over the dolls and cards, that's really kind. Although, the naked doll does look a little sinister!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The naked doll scared the life out of the new people - they said has the look of a serial killer. A kind blog reader messaged me to tell me the name of her maker and ones in good condition sell for over £1000!!! Another one for eBAy! xxx

      Delete
    2. Wow! that's a lot for a scary doll, I'd happily sell
      xx

      Delete
  22. My sympathies to you both. I hope Jon is on the mend as soon as possible.

    How kind of your neighbours to bring your Daisy doll home. I hope she fetches a decent amount! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emma Kate! I must put her on eBay, she's on the to-do pile at the minute. xxx

      Delete
  23. Sorry to hear Jon is still out of action Vix.
    Curtise's gingham dress is absolutely gorgeous and fits you like a glove. You are SO tiny. How lovely of your neighbours to pass on the cards (I've a feeling I'm going to find a stash like that one day) and the doll collection. The one with the bouffant hair reminds me of Hambel, the Play School doll, which apparently the presenters used to kick around the studio...no wonder she always had a grubby face! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Fiona! Discovering that stash was a bittersweet experience but I'm amazed at the artwork on a lot of those cards - a few of those prints have been adorning my walls for years, obviously I was subliminally influenced by birthday cards I received as a toddler! xxx

      Delete
  24. ooo, there's nothing so bad as back pain, poor Jon. I suspect you all could use some rest every now and then. Glad to hear it's not anything more serious. And of course, you're still dressing to the nines. No mending pile! Good gracious, that must mean doll house playing. Can't wait to see more, although, the domestic was a pretty good teaser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pao! Doll playing has been a godsend this week. In the chaos of what life is throwing at me I can retreat to my orderly little world! xxx

      Delete
  25. Sorry to hear about Jon!!! Hope he is feeling well soon!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sending love and warmest wishes to you and Jon - time to rest and nurture, and all will be well!
    I can only imagine to go through all these family memories, must be quite a time travel, all the feelings and memories it brings... My brother, Andrei, is also a 1968 baby, like Marcus!
    You look beautiful in your outfits, my favorite being that Mexicana dress with gorgeous sleeves, such beautiful color and jewelry you've picked! Curtis picked the perfect fitting dress for your beautiful figure!
    I am curious to see what you'll make with all those granny squares some day - that will be quite an adventure!

    Lots of love, dear Vix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrei and Marcus are 50 this year, then!
      I do love the sleeves on that Mexicana dress, they're so extravagant - you can understand why those dresses were so expensive back in the day. xxx

      Delete
  27. I loved this post sooo much. I'm sorry Jon's not feeling great and I hope he's better soon.
    I love every outfit you've worn for your photos, they're all fab. I love the scandi fabric remakes.
    Your new neighbours sound nice, your crochet's great, sitting with a tortoise (love 'em) in the sun and some crochet, sounds perfect.
    I hope you gave a good weekend, despite missing the festival. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sally! Blogging's a lovely way of reminding myself that there's more to my present life than running errands and administering tablets! I'm not keen on the selfies but with the photographer out of action at least my technique is improving! xxx

      Delete
  28. Oh no I hope Jon is feeling better soon, glad its not to serious. I find creatie stuff really helps too when things are getting me down. I really enjoy baking cakes. The ruffle sleeve dress is fabulous and I love the pimped jacket. Feeling inspired to try and make one myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ceri! I always remember Jackie magazine's advice when brokenhearted girls would write into their problem page "Take up a hobby" - having lots of interests to throw yourself into really does help with your mental health. xxxx

      Delete
  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take this with a grain of salt. I think it sounds like an ad.

      Delete
    2. You're right - what nonsense. I've deleted it! xxx

      Delete
  30. Much sympathy to John from a fellow back sufferer. I have taken up Pilates to try and strengthen my back and it is taught by my osteopath. Sorry you lost a weekend’s trading but what a lovely lot of finds from the loft. Catriona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Catriona.
      Our council used to offer free pilates classes in an attempt to make the people of Walsall more healthy - they were brilliant after I had my hip replacement. xxx

      Delete
  31. Poor Jon - I do hope he is starting to feel better. My daughter and her boyfriend have recently attended a chiropractor (recommended by my daughter's work colleague)and they have both reported feeling so much better after a session with him. Daughter has been back for another one and her problem shoulder has gone!

    I love all your outfits; the gingham daisy dress is so lovely. And the Alfredo Bouret one - those sleeves! I do love your green clogs.

    How lovely that more stuff of yours and your family was unearthed from the loft. What a wonderful collection of cards to treasure.

    Hope this weekend is a better one for both of you.
    xxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chiropractors are great - mine was the person who discovered I needed a hip replacement after 28 years of being fobbed off by my GP! xxx

      Delete
  32. Ouch ! Poor Jon. I wish him all the best. He must be feeling so helpless and bored right now.
    Make the most of the time and catch up on a pile of good books and lots of dvds. When you are back up and running again. TAKE IT SLOW AND EASY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sally! I'm quite relieved that he's starting to feel bored now - it shows he must be on the mend. xxx

      Delete
  33. Sending healing thoughts for Jon.
    Bad backs suck big time so I hope he heals soon.
    What fabulous finds in the attic.
    Hugs-x-

    ReplyDelete
  34. My back went out last week and it's been horrible, so I can commiserate with the horrible pain. It was very wise to cancel your weekend. It would have probably made things so much worse. I hope he heals well and doesn't try to rush his recuperation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you start feeling pain free soon, Alex. xxx

      Delete
  35. Hi Vix,
    I'm glad that Jon will be better in a few weeks. Good thing he has a fab nurse in you. Your blue midi is amazing with the green clogs. I'm loving clogs at the moment and I'm even wearing a closed pair in winter, here in Australia. Take care Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jess! With a wooden sole clogs help retain the heat, they're perfect for winter. xxx

      Delete
  36. Greetings to Jacob Hermann the tortoise!
    Sending healing thoughts to Jon, along with a memo that large bags of frozen peas wrapped in a towel serve well as back-sized ice packs. Don't rush the recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth! The pea thing is one of the tips I used to suggest to patients when I managed a chiropractic clinic a few years ago. It really helps. xxx

      Delete
  37. Wishing Jon a speedy recovery! It sounds like he is in caring hands...both yours and the osteopath's.

    It sounds as though the package from the cottage arrived at a perfect time...I know you aren't infirm, but I imagine you are spending more time at home with Jon right now.

    Take good care, you two!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hope Jon is on the mend, bad backs are awful. How lovely to have all those memories. I have 3 big photograph albums, which my mum gave me when she remarried - I love looking at them x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emmannie! I bet those photo albums are very precious. xxx

      Delete
  39. Oh my goodness, poor Jon!!! Back pain and issues are the absolute worst!
    How nice your new neighbours are!!! I hope the doll sells well! I'm so glad you are ok in Walsall- I heard about that man on the radio!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back pain is the pits!
      I know, our neighbours are just lovely. Anyone else would probably have chucked everything in the bin. It just confirms that they were the best people to buy the house.xx

      Delete
  40. It's good to know Jon is on the mend. My gym has recommended an osteopath - I did something odd to my shoulders in January and haven't had full mobility in my left arm since - but I haven't got round to going yet.

    It sounds like the Cottage is in safe and lovely hands. How nice of them to give you all the stuff they found.

    And how awful of other traders to copy your ideas after sharing them online! Why can't people come up with their own ideas? surely it's better for everyone to be unique...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember you saying you were having mobility problems. While Jon still isn't 100% the osteopath has definitely helped and his GP reckons it was the best thing he should have done.
      It's so annoying to see stuff I've made and our stall set up being replicated - it happens to a lot of us. xxx

      Delete
  41. Back pain is the pits. I love your plastic bag dispenser and hanging organiser. How lovely of the new owners to bring the dolls and cards to you, over the years I have kept some cards, eg from my 18th, 21st, a few from my Nans and Aunt who are no longer with us and it is poignant to look at their handwriting occasionally. I'm a sentimental fool. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the hand writing that gets you, isn't it? xxx

      Delete
  42. I'm glad that by this point Jon's back is much better and you are back in selling game again. My mother has saved all the cards that I sent her over the years and lately has taken to recycling them by stroking out "Mom" and replacing it with my name, and then sending them back to me. She's always been very good about saving money!

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx