Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Down In The Bus Station On Monday - A Blogger Day Out


Yesterday Jon and I made the two hour journey to Chester to get together with long-time friends, Lynn and Philip and to meet Ann and her husband, Jos, currently holidaying in the UK from their native Belgium. Our Sat Nav packed up just before we reached our designated meeting point but, just as we we pulled into a lay-by to get the map out, Lynn and Philip appeared behind us so we formed a convoy to the park and ride where Ann and Jos were already waiting. After much squealing, hugging and exchanging of gifts we hopped on the bus and headed to the city centre.


Although Chester was home to my maternal Grandma and the many generations before her, other than a sixth form trip with my Classical Studies group and trading at a couple of vintage fairs, I'd never been. The bits we saw were gorgeous, ancient black and white timbered buildings, elegant covered shopping arcades and cobbled streets where Roman legionnaires once marched to war.


We took a few photos but chatting and exploring Chester's many charity shops took up most of our time.


I was excited to discover that Ann and I were the same height. With the exception of Tania and Krista, every blogger I've met has towered over me (even with my high heels and big hair!)



Other than taking photos and occasionally featuring on our blogs, the menfolk don't tend to participate in meet-ups. Like us girls, these three also got on like a house on fire.


We could have done with one of those Union Jack brollies - it's hard work keeping the six of us together in an orderly fashion.



 This street entertainer was belting out George Michael covers. Lynn and Philip had a bit of a dance when Careless Whisper started up.


Although the charity shops were plentiful, vintage was thin on the ground and the bits we found were either tatty, overpriced or of the Princess Di 1980s variety which, as I'm sure you can probably tell, ain't our bag!


Lucky Ann with her dainty size 37 feet snagged these super cute Italian made jellies in her favourite colour. Lynn and I with our less than dainty hooves were green with envy!


How much! Muttered Jon under his breath. We're not used to city prices.


We had a giggle imaging Lynn buying this settee and driving back to Lancashire with it and Philip strapped to the roof of her lime green Beetle, Frida.


We gave our Belgian guests a taste of traditional British life - a slap up lunch in Wetherspoons. There are two branches of 'Spoons in Chester, we visited The Bull & Stirrup Hotel, a four storey red brick Victorian building on the banks of the River Dee.


What are the chances? The portrait opposite our seats was of a Belgian nobleman. There were also pictures of local lad, Daniel Craig and the brilliant Ricky Tomlinson who, after attending a trade union meeting here in the early 1970s, ended up being imprisoned.


 After a long lunch we headed off in search of Chester's vintage shops, getting hopelessly lost along the way. I'd share a photo I took of the gang trying to figure out Ann's street map but Lynn says she'll kill me if I do. The first shop was of the 1990s/refashioned variety and apart from a couple of pleasant enough 1970s blouses wasn't our thing. At first glance the second shop didn't look much better - racks and racks of repro 1950s dresses & brand new Emo tee shirts but we saw a sign for "handpicked vintage" pointing upstairs and found a rail of proper vintage midi dresses all priced at a very reasonable £9.99 (much cheaper than the bland high street frocks in most of the city centre chazzas). Ann found a groovy 1970s polyester number which suited her to a tee.


With the clock creeping towards half past four we took the bus back to the car park and said our goodbyes (but not for long - Ann & Jos are staying in Shropshire, the neighbouring county to us, so plans have been made for next week). What a fab day, good weather, beautiful surroundings and brilliant company.


This is what I wore - the 1970s satin duster coat I bought last week, an antique Gujarati necklace, a psychedelic bag from Stockport's Vintage Village and a 1960s silk chiffon dress by Jean Allen (also from Stockport).


Gifts galore! Belgian Trappist beer & posh Kontichs Kontje chocolates (which I've had to confiscate from Jon as he'll demolish the lot in one sitting) and a groovy maxi from Ann & Jos and from Lynn & Philip some 1960s style books, a patchwork bag and a handmade Bits & Bobs jar and slow stitched doily (made by Lynn).


Photos nicked from Lynn - ta, love!


We made it home at 6.59 pm - a minute before kick off! After such a fantastic day out and the trauma of last night's match, the pair of us feel absolutely ruined today!

See you soon.


67 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Such colorful outfits and amazing architecture.And the guys look so dapper! What a fun outing.

    Theresa

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  3. What a lovely day out. I've not been to Chester for years. Maybe it's time I visited again.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. You should, Chester's lovely! xxx

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  4. Hi Vix,
    With such lovely pictures and flowing words you carried us from afar Kutch right onto the Rows in Chester. Lovely. Thank you.

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    1. Hi K! Lovely to hear from you, so glad you enjoyed the blog post! xxxx

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  5. What a fabulous looking group!

    I'm dying over that maxi dress Ann brought you. Cannot wait to see you wearing it.

    Looks like a brilliant day and wonderful that the men were able to attend too. Such a rarity.

    Suzanne

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    1. Isn't that dress fab? I'm almost disappointed that it's too hot to wear it at the moment! xxx

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  6. Didn’t we have a luverrrly day and it was so nice to meet up with Ann and Jos at last. It all went by far to quickly. Thanks for writing such a nice reminder of our day and for our gorgeous presents. Xxx

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    1. We did, it was fab and we loved all our pressies, too!
      I had to blog about our day out immediately so I could relive it! xxx

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  7. What a fun trip!
    Everyone looks so snazzy & dapper!
    xox

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  8. The first thing I noticed about the first photo was how stylish you all looked, including the men.
    It sounds like a fabulous day, I don't think I've ever been the Chester, but it looks stunning.
    How lovely you get to met up with Ann and Jos again. Say 'hello' from me!
    xx

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    1. Thanks, Hazel - it was a lovely day. I'm seeing them again later, I'll pass on your regards! xxx

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  9. Oh how fun! I'm sure you were the best dressed crowd in town.

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    1. I think we made quite an impact on the tourists! xxx

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  10. Ugh! Wish I was there...colorful clothing, Vix, Ann, Daniel Craig...what more could you ask for???

    happy thrifting ;)

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  11. You are a fabulously dressed bunch. The vintage shops must have been ogling your outfits with envy. Chester looks really quaint and a day shopping followed by 'Spoons sounds fantastic. I love your maxi dress present and Belgian chocolate is the absolute best. Sounds like a perfect day out. Glad to see Jon up and about and hope that his back is doing okay. Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Jon was very naughty - those Belgian chocolates didn't last long with him about! xxx

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  12. What a fun day out, and what can be better than Bloggers meeting up. Shame the shops didn't have a bit more to offer but it looks like you all had a great time.

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    1. It was a lovely day! We didn't go for the shopping but, of course, it would have been nice to find a souvenir. xxx

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  13. Holy moly that silk chiffon dress and duster. You also so dang incredible---so fun

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    1. Thanks, Becky. I had put that dress in the shop a while ago - but I claimed it back. Sometimes I do wonder about my sanity!!! xxx

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  14. WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE!!!
    Three wonderfully and uniquely stylish couples - where else you can see if not on a blogger meet-up? Two of my most favorite bloggers!!! I'm so happy that you've met IRL! I want to be there too!

    I am not surprised that you and your guys got like a house on fire - you have so much in common and so much to share! But, like you, I am very surprised to discover that Ann is petite!! What a shock! I am practically knocked-down! I pictured her a tall lady, honestly - she looks tall on her blog! Ha, Ann, you fooled us!

    Lovely day, what a joy!
    Great to see Jon healthy!
    <3 <3 <3

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    1. Ann had mentioned being a fellow shortie before but I didn't believe it until I saw her in the flesh!! xxx

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    2. PS Thank you, Natalia! It is a huge relief that Jon's back on his feet! xxx

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  15. Oh, I'm so envious - that looks like so much fun! I adore Ann, so how cool that you got to meet her and Jos! I always assume all bloggers are the same height at me, lol. How tall are you? I'm 5'4".

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    1. If only you could have popped over! I'm 5 foot three and a bit (That bit makes all the difference when you're a short arse!) xxx

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  16. How exciting for you all to meet up with Ann & Mr S. I hope they are getting some decent weather in Shropshire? Brilliant, that the blokes had lots to chat about too. Sounds like the vintage prices in Chester are similar to those down south. Of course you lunched at 'Spoons.... where else?! Xxx

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    1. It was a lovely day out - they're only up the road from us and we've shared the most fabulous weather this last week. We thought it was only right to introduce Jos & Ann to 'Spoons - a traditional slice of British life! xxx

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  17. That looks like a very fun day out! Always nice to explore new areas

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    1. It is fun being a tourist in your own country! xxx

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  18. what a pretty town. The black and white building are fab

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    1. Lovely, aren't they? My Grandma always missed it. x

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  19. How nice to catch up and include the men too! You're a colouful lot, just what I love! Xxxx

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  20. You met Ann and Jos! How fab is that? I have started following Lynn too. It looks like you all had a fun time, and Chester looks gorgeous.

    Funny how some cities have better chazzas than others - Bath is rubbish, which always surprises me. Such a shame Chester's weren't up to much.

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    1. It had been in the planning for so long - I'm still in shock that it all came together!
      Chester is gorgeous - no wonder we do well when we sell at vintage fairs there, there's no real competition from the chazzas or the vintage shops. x

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  21. What a treat you gave us. Gorgeous photos of the timbered houses and sharing all your fun.
    Life here is sooo different that just seeing the inside of the bus and what you eat for lunch is every bit interesting.
    Your colourful outfit was beautiful Viv and it’s good to see that Jon’s back must be nearly better. Such a handsome couple you make. It was obvious in all the pics you had a fun, fun day.

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    1. So glad you liked the post, Sally! xxx

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  22. It's the best kind of ruination. Looks like a fantastic day out. Your group must have turned quite a few heads!

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    1. Can't beat a blog meet-up, can you? xxx

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  23. Oh Vix, nice to see Ann on your blog ; Thank you for many pictures about this amazing blogger meet up..

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    1. My pleasure, Tina! Thanks for reading! xxx

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  24. What a wonderfully colourful group you are! I wish more men would put as much thought into their outfits as your trio. Blogger meetups are such fun, especially when it happens in a place you've never visited before.

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    1. I think the men were more nervous than we were - they loved being included! x

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  25. the best dressed bunch of chester and the lands around!!
    and i´m neon green with envy - how much would i have loved to meet you and ann in one date!! (and the BW the stylish gentlemen!)
    sounds & looks like a marvelous day!!!
    xxxxx

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    1. One day I hope we get to meet, I really do! xxx

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  26. woaaaaauuuu!!! what a fabulous post! I'm happy to see you rocking together and having fun and thrifting!, but also green with envy!! would love to join the gang, even adding a little bit of a contrast, as I'm a 5ft 7in (fat and loud) lady!
    Blogger meetings are such a fabulous thing!
    besos

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    1. Loud is always good! I'd love to meet you even if you did make me look really short standing next to you! xxx

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  27. What a charming and colourful group you all are! How exciting to meet Ann and Jos and how lovely they got to meet Lynn and Phillip, too.

    Fabulous presents all round; I loved your maxi dress from Ann.

    I've only had one Blogger meet up but they are such fun.

    Have a lovely weekend
    xxx

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    1. Ann & I both mentioned how we'd love to meet you. x

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  28. Seems like you all had a great time! Why you do all look super stylish. When it comes to outfits I tend to notice ladies first, but this time I simply loved what the men were wearing as well.

    Blogger meet ups are always fun. I think I only met two bloggers in person so far, one from Croatia and one blogger from Germany but I hope to meet more blogger friends in the future.

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    1. Yes, the men looked fab, didn't they? A great advert for wearing vintage! x

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  29. How great that the fellas went along too, and how dapper they look! I love those green jellies and a lime green Beetle - be still my beating heart. xx

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    1. I know - those lime green jellies were ace - curses to my big feet! x

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  30. Chester so near yet so far lol , I have never been either but I want too

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    1. You should - it's fab (and the Park & Ride is so cheap and easy!) x

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  31. We go to the Bull and Stirrup for breakfast every time we pick our son up from uni! Our next visit will be at the end of the month.
    Arilx

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  32. How fab, I've been following Ann's pictures on Facebook with envy.

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    1. Our neighbouring county is gorgeous!

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  33. I just loved reading this again and looking at all the photographs. Can't believe it'll be two weeks ago tomorrow! What a fantastic day! xxx

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    1. hasn't time flown? I think you need three weeks next year! xxx

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