Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Towersey 2018 - The Second Coming

 Here we go again....

We've popped back home for a few hours to see the cats, restock the van, wash our clothes (and ourselves) before we head off down to deepest Dorset tomorrow.

So here's what we've been up to over the last six days.

On Wednesday morning we returned to Towersey Festival in Oxfordshire and what a difference a year made. Last year saw a glorious week of wall to wall sunshine after the utter washout that was the rest of August 2017 whilst this time it started off moderately warm and steadily went downhill from there.

Here we are all set up and ready to trade on Thursday afternoon. Trade was - as it was last year - painfully slow but no matter, we shut up shop early and caught up with our trader mates including Mandy of Chameleon, Georgie from Save the Pixies , textile artist, Juliette, and her family from Pivnita Bunicii.

 Friday's weather was the festival trader's ultimate nightmare - gale force winds. All day we battled with clothes flying off the racks, torn tarpaulins and rails collapsing. They say there's no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing and they were right - my bag of sleeveless maxis, backless jumpsuits and off-the-shoulder tops couldn't have been less appropriate. By mid-afternoon I was wearing most of my wardrobe, although a poncho kindly donated by Mandy and restorative nip or two of Jim from next-door's Transylvanian plum brandy helped.

At 8pm we closed up and made our way to the shelter of Mandy's heated caravan for Prosecco spiked with Pivnita Bunicii's Romanian raspberry cordial and a party pack of sweet potato crisps.

We were massively relieved to awaken on Saturday morning and discover that the wind had dropped and that the stall had survived the night.

Towersey's layout had changed. Last year we'd faced the bar and had a steady stream of customers wandering in, fascinated by what Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique was all about. Brass bands, Morris Dancers and ukulele bands set up outside the stall and we were kept entertained all day long. This year we faced the back of one of the indoor stages - which had to be accessed via the campsite. The wind direction meant we barely heard any of the acts and, unlike last year, we felt somewhat detached from the festival.

We were delighted to see a few returning customers, like this lovely actress, who also provides the entertainment at some of the Pop Up Vintage fairs we do in London. This 1980s-does-the-1950s Laura Ashley dress was her purchase this time.

When you trade outdoors you become mildly obsessed with the weather and we were prepared for the horrors Sunday was expected to bring. As I made my way to the portaloos at 7.30am I was uplifted by the sight of this hot air balloon ascending the Cotswold Hills.

On Saturday we were thrilled to sell an amazing 1960s Grecian style white maxi dress to Esther, who planned to wear it as her wedding dress next year. When we told Sally, our neighbour, she went home and brought hers, purchased from Pronuptia in 1974 which we promptly displayed on our mannequin.

 Lacking a dress with sleeves I borrowed one off the rails.

Just as the BBC had forecast the rain started at 9am and got worse and worse.

Some of our trader neighbours didn't bother opening at all. We gave it three hours but with barely a soul around we closed up and spent the afternoon in Mandy's caravan along with her friend Mary - an amazing mosaic artist, find her HERE - who we'd met at Cornbury four years ago. A bottle of port, some Transylvanian relishes and chutneys and our body weight in cheese later, the rain finally stopped and we returned for an evening's trading - which turned out not to be too bad at all. 

Monday was dry but bastard freezing, hard to believe that only a few days ago I'd been in a strappy dress and sandals.

Trade was slow first thing so I cracked on with crocheting my ever-increasing rainbow blanket. I must say it's a brilliant hobby, not only does it keep me occupied but it keeps my legs warm, too!

Yet again I'd failed to pack anything remotely warm so I nicked this '70s maxi skirt and Empire-made beaded top from the Kinky rails. Lurex and sequins are surprisingly warm. It had been a week since I'd last washed my hair and the gale force winds and torrential rail had taken their toll - in the absence of a hat, a topknot was the only answer.

This lady was celebrating a big birthday next weekend by throwing a vintage festival themed party. Her husband and best mates absolutely loved what we'd picked out for her from the rails - some proper American cowboy boots and a dress I'd made from a vintage tablecloth. We managed to kit out the rest of the party, too.

Janice was our trading neighbour last year - it was great to see her and husband Ben again. We share a love for dressing up - if you hadn't noticed.

We'd planned to pack up at 6pm but due to an influx of customers didn't manage to close until much later. We packed up and had a party in our empty shop with Mandy and Mary both of whom were rocking the hell out of their Kinky Melon buys - Mandy in a 1970s denim jacket (which was mine but didn't get worn enough) and Mary in a 1960s white satin go-go dress.

And that was Towersey. We battled wind, rain and plummeting temperatures and failed to see a single band all weekend. I'll try to do better at End of the Road (I've packed thermals, gloves, a sheepskin hat and legwarmers, we'll probably have a bloody heatwave now).

Have a great week - I'll see you on the other side!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.


  1. A year ago, it has flown that time since we met you and Jon - that was the highlight of 2017 for me.

  2. I miss your posts while you are gone, but love reading what you've been up to once you are home!


  3. You haven't had much luck with the weather lately but you still manage to look like you have a brilliant time.

    Hopefully the next show will be better.


  4. Sounds a little bit like a few days from hell except with some good trading friends and liquor (thankfully for both I am sure). I really hope your next few days are much better!

  5. The caravan was where it was at!!!! And the Kinky Melon dress up party!! Sometimes the weather is just too rude.

  6. I was thinking of you today as we had an unexpected cold snap when I was out of town and had to scramble to find a cardigan to keep me from freezing to death-unfortunately there wasn't a Kinky Melon selling fab clothes at the fair. I could have purchased a fleece but...that wasn't happening!
    Hope End of the Road gives you better weather and that you get to see some acts.

  7. Oh, that dratted weather! So sorry to see it put a damper on the sales, but not on your spirits - hurray for spirits, and spirited good times with pals! Good luck at the next one, Vix!

  8. shame to the weather gods! tz!
    but you are rocking it!! loooove the pic of you and janice - pure art!! and all of you on the shop floor is sweet and cool too :-D
    btw. - from where do you get that outdoor carpets??
    wish you glorious weather! xxxxx

  9. despite weather conditions, your stall looks more and more appealing and your impromptu outfits are fabulous! Sorry that you get all that rain and wind but you also get all those nice fellow traders around you and some cool customers too!. Love to see people wearing your vintage!
    Lovely post indeed!

  10. How disappointing it must be after all your hard work, shopping, washing, mending, packing for the weather to be shite. Sounds like you had some cool company and warming beverages though.
    Love the pom-pom earrings and hooray for crochet blankets, I've always got one on the go, great for cross-channel ferries too...bloody draughty vessels! Xxx

  11. What a wild weekend! Crotcheting is great, isn't it! Xxx

  12. Great party pictures, even if the weather was atrocious. You guys can make anything into an adventure that looks glorious - especial Kinky Melon. Here's to the best at the End of the Road!

  13. Sorry the weather was bad for you. We got a bit wet in York too.
    You do have some amazing stock on your stall.

  14. Boooo ! to all the rotten weather but hurrah to you still making the best of the event. My favourite pic is the one with you and Janice, she looks a riot of colour and a riot to be with. Hope this weekend weather is better, at least you can strip off your thermals if it gets to hot.
    Love to you both f on us two xxx

  15. Oh no, not again! You've certainly had bad luck with the weather this season. We were in fact thinking of you on what they called "soggy Sunday" on the Beeb! But hurray for friends to spend time with when the going gets tough! I'm glad it didn't spoil the fun. Love the green floral maxi you grabbed from the Kinky rails. Love the way you're displaying the jewellery pinned to the playing cards, and I spotted a pair of green jellies, very similar to mine! xxx

  16. Hiya- looks like you still had a fun time despite the weather. Great to be able to catch up with friends.
    We're off to Festival No 6 next weekend and I'm packing for every weather eventuality. It's hard as it's still glorious here in the Languedoc!
    Have fun at End of the Road xx

  17. I love the way you always make the best of things and look on the bright side, it's so uplifting. You made a soggy, cold festival look fun and inviting.
    Kinky Melon just keeps looking better, and I loved your after party! xxx

  18. Oh dear - a heatwave *is* predicted! But we're supposed to be getting a little rain here in the West Country, and people can always buy their warm things from you in anticipation of the autumn ahead.

  19. What weather but it didn’t stop you from having fun. Is there anything you can’t do? I’ve alaways sewed and knitted ... but chrochet ? Over the years many have tried and all have failed to teach me. And it looks fun too !

  20. My son Luke saw you this weekend at the End of the Road Festival - he was very excited to have spotted you, he still wears the lovely coat he bought from you a few years back! xxx

  21. What a shame the weather, and the position of your pitch failed to live up to the memory of last year. Still, it looks like you had fun none-the-less.
    I love the brooches displayed on play cards, that looks really effective.
    I've knitted toys in the same wool you're using for your blanket. I have to say it looks great (from what I can see).
    And I can't leave without saying how fabulous your sequin jacket looks!

  22. Oh what a shame about the weather! However, you look marvellous in all your outfits and there are some beautiful clothes displayed in this post. I am loving the look of your crochet blanket and yes they're great for keeping your legs warm as you crochet along. I love the sound of plum brandy; I brought home one of my cousins home brewed apricot brandy. Last year I sampled his raisin brandy and that was delicious!

    Fingers crossed for good weather for the next festival...

  23. Glad to see that you made a few sales and spend some quality time with other vendors despite the horrible weather. You really do "go with the flow".


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Lots of love, Vix