Sunday, 30 December 2018

Turn Off, Tune In, Drop Out - My Internet Free Week



How time flies! After publishing my last blog post on 23rd December I switched off my PC and it stayed off until last night when I needed to amend a booking for our forthcoming trip. I achieved so much in those seven internet-free days! While Jon painted the bedroom and built a new shower cubicle, I re-potted all our houseplants, made lemon verbena bath bombs, cleaned my jewellery, tackled the mending pile, restrung a couple of beaded necklaces, painted a fireplace, sorted out the kitchen cupboards, the freezer & our bookshelves and cracked on with my travel packing. We even came up with an itinerary for our first couple of weeks in India (virtually unheard of!) With the exception of Xmas Day, I was up and exercising by 7am, there's nothing like having an imminent date with a bikini to keep you on the straight and narrow over the festive season.


Phew...it still fits!


I even found the time to read three books. All three are worth a read but, as an espionage novel obsessive, my favourite was Charles Cumming's Trinity Six, a gripping thriller about a hard-up academic stumbling upon the Cold War's most closely guarded secret, the undiscovered sixth member of the infamous Cambridge Spy ring. I was especially excited to read a description of one of the women central to the plot as having long black hair, blue eyes, a silver ring on each finger and being a wearer of vintage dresses and platform shoes. Hmmm, have I ever met Charles Cumming?


I'm a Xmas jumper, glitter & sequin free zone! I wore a vintage Indian silk maxi dress I bought from eBay in October on Xmas Day.


We spent a wonderful few hours in Nessa's, our local Indian restaurant. I feasted on baby aubergine stuffed with a julienne of spiced vegetables and a duo of Romano peppers stuffed with masala cauliflower, the boys had a mixed meat platter starter and curried lamb shank, accompanied by steamed basmati rice and Bombay potatoes.

The food was so delicious and plentiful that neither of us ate another morsel until Boxing Day!



I'd lost my sewing mojo of late but, with no internet to distract me, I cranked up the sewing machine and got stuck in. When I originally made the bedroom curtains I'd lined them with fabric salvaged from another pair of curtains but over the years it had perished and the windows looked terrible when viewed from the outside so I took the curtains down & unpicked the lining. I love how the light shines through them now, they remind me of stained glass windows.


I made myself a new shopping bag from a 1970s curtain Jon had found in a charity shop a fortnight ago. And no, you don't need to tell me that your nan used to have those curtains, I've heard it a million times before....


I knocked up this off-the-shoulder top from a vintage cotton sari we'd found in a charity shop back in the summer. I made a couple of these tops a few years ago from a tutorial I'd found online but, in my desire to prove that I could live without the internet, relied on my memory and it didn't let me down. Both the top and my skirt will be travelling with me next week.


I made another bag using more of the sari - this will double up as both my hold luggage and a beach bag. I've cut the reminder of the fabric into squares for future patchwork projects.


We had to take a trip to B&Q (an out-of-town DIY superstore) on Friday as Jon had run out of paint and made a quick diversion into the charity shops on the way, after all, it had been over a week since we'd last set foot in one. Finds included a fantastic 1970s bubblegum pink belted wool coat, a gents' fake fur trimmed 1960s car coat, two 1970s ladies' velvet blazers and a boxy 1980s Indonesian batik jacket (all sadly too big). I did keep this crushed velvet scarf with a marabou feather trim as it matched the knitted dress I was wearing perfectly!


I'll be unplugging again shortly as we're off to a Desi pub for a curry and a few drinks with friends this afternoon. 

 Cheers!


Jon's wearing his Xmas Levi's. He hasn't owned any new jeans for over a decade but we were both impressed when we researched their ethical policy  and decided they were worth the investment (although I did find a 50% discount code before I ordered them, making the purchase a little less painful!) Jon's also wearing a 1960s American prison jacket, one of a dozen bought from Wayne Hemingway at August's Classic Car Boot Sale, which we dyed, changed the buttons and pimped up with vintage patches. They proved so popular that he had to grab one before they all went. The Doc Martens were from a charity shop (£3!) and the block printed scarf was bought direct from the factory in Gujarat last January.



Talking of the Classic Car Boot Sale, look who's advertising the next one in April (details HERE)...little old me!!


Today I'm wearing my Shubette of London mythical beast print maxi (bought from another trader at Walthamstow's Pop-Up Vintage Fair in October), a 1960s gilt chain belt from a jumble sale and my 1970s purple suede platforms from a charity shop.

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and see you in 2019 when - hopefully- I'll have finished my India packing and we might even have the bedroom completed.

60 comments:

  1. I have those curtains (the ones you've made a bag from!) and if I ever find my sewing mojo I'm going to sew them both together to make a huge curtain for the front door!
    I love your mythical beast dress, it's fabulous!

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    1. You can't beat a door curtain - when your mojo returns you'll be glad you made one!
      Happy New Year, Susie. xxx

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  2. That Shubette maxi is divine!
    Love the ensemble you made out of the sari too!
    Aren't you just all sorts of productive!
    xox

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    1. Thanks, Bibi! I loved that sari, I was going to use it as a throw but it seemed a shame not to adorn my body with it! xxx

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  3. What a productive week.
    Although I am back from whatever ailed me I am being decidedly unproductive as with two people on holiday from work and daft old dog under me feet I can't move to do much.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Enjoy some rest and recuperation, Sheila, you deserve it! xxx

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  4. I need new shopping bags. As I don't sew well, I'll check thrift stores, but I have envy!

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    1. Shopping bags are so easy to make - honest! xxx

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  5. You are a machine! The Energizer Bunny in vintage maxis and platform boots.

    It's amazing how much time this damn internet/phone thing takes up. I've been pulling way back too but feel I should also go cold turkey for a week. I might like it so much though that I won't come back.

    Keep on keeping on being fabulous and all the very best to you and Jon in the New Year.

    BTW...if you want to know another company that is taking climate change and sustainability seriously check out Ikea. All of their changes and environmental initiatives are impressive to say the least.

    https://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/this-is-ikea/people-and-planet/energy-and-resources/#waste/?icid=ilp|ca|brand|201809051628138229_9


    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It killed me to switch the PC back on! It's been great to catch up with the blogs I read but Instagram and Facebook just leave me cold - one's overwhelming and the other is full of negativity. I'll be glad to switch off next week and not look at the internet until February! xxx

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    2. PS Great info regarding Ikea - thank you! x

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  6. All that in a week! As a big whoosh goes on by. Everything looks grand and colorful to be sure. Your renewed stained glass window treatment, refashioned sari top with matching bag, Jon's out of prison pimped up jacket, and on and on. Cheers to you both!

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    1. Happy New Year, Pao! I know, the internet seems to have sucked out any creativity of late - I'm determined to step away more often in 2019. xxx

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  7. We should all take a leaf out of your book and unplug for a week. You’ve accomplished so much. Isn’t this what we all did before mobile devices, it seems hard to think there was a time before them.
    I bought myself a beautiful book for Christmas called The Mending Space by Krista Barmer, she merges textiles with poetry and I’ve found myself absorbed in her style of stitching. No need for an end result, it’s the process and the stillness that matter.
    Happy new year to you both when it comes xxx

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    1. Honestly that week did me the power of good! I loved coming across new words in books and looking them up in a dictionary and researching travel destinations in maps and guidebooks as opposed to Googling them.
      That book of yours looks absolutely lovely! xxx

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  8. Wow, that top and bag made from that vintage sari are beautiful! I am a sucker for crushed velvet, just love it. Planning your holiday - I love it! I am such a planner but for our Mexico trip in 2.5 weeks (is it really that soon - yay!) I've only planned hotels, nothing else. Time for some R&R. Your Indian meal for Christmas looks amazing. Happy New Years to you and your family (furry and shelled)

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    1. Thanks, CC! I'd been dithering over cutting up that sari for months, I'm really happy with the top especially!
      We've got 3 nights accommodation booked so far, one train journey and a rough list of places we want to see. I don't want to be too rigid, travel's all about the experience rather than ticking stuff off, isn't it? xxx

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  9. I'm exhausted just reading what you've achieved this week, Vix. It puts my lazy week to shame, I'm afraid. I did some pottering, went for a couple of walks, and we hung up some curtains, and that's it. And I can't even blame this on social media ... Love the shopping bag made from a 1970s curtain and even though my Nan didn't have one of those, I do have a shopping bag in a very similar fabric. Love the sari fabric bag too and of course that Shubette maxi is simply divine! Wishing you and Jon a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fabulous 2019, starting, of course, with your India holiday! xxx

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    1. With a full-time job you totally deserve a lazy week! Pottering, walking and hanging curtains are all good.
      Our NYE was totally lazy, we watched Straight Outta Compton, a documentary about Bros and were in bed by 10.30! Rock and roll we're not! xxx

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  10. What a busy time you've had but oh so productive as well. Don't you just love that feelong of things accomplished? Your Christmas dinner sounded delicious.

    Loving all the outfits especially the real silk Indian maxi and the mythical beast one. The off the shoulder top is fabulous and both the bags are so cute. You are very resourceful and nothing seems to go to waste which is brilliant. I think had very similar curtains in my kitchen in the 1970s never mind 'your Nan's curtains'!

    Jon's prison jacket is so cool.

    I'm missing my phone and internet access via it hardly at all!

    Have a fabulous New Year!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! Productivity is good for the soul, the wardrobe and the house! Its slowed down a lot since I turned the PC back on but I've managed to read another two books, reupholster an ottoman, rejig my packing, take three bags of stuff to the charity shop and order a couple of pairs of reading glasses so not all bad! xxx

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  11. Love the unpicked curtains---you look gorgeous in everything. Jon's Levi's look fantastic!

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  12. You look amazing in everything, I especially love that Shubette of London outfit.
    You've had such a productive week! It puts my own utterly to shame. I really need to switch off for a week at some point, I've been telling myself to for ages as it's such a time eater. I've been pulling back over the months, but a full unplug is definitely in order.

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    1. Thank you so much! The print, colour and style of that Shubette maxi make me very happy indeed.
      Disconnecting is wonderful, The only frustrating thing was seeing an actor in a film, knowing they were familiar and not being able to check them out on IMDB! xxx

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  13. One of my goals or 2019 resolution was under social media. Less facebook, for month of January no facebook on Thursday and Friday.
    Mending wow that term isn't used much these days.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Happy New Year, Dora! That's a really good resolution - Facebook is a huge time waster and is often no good at all for the blood pressure. xxx

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  14. Have a happy new year! An internet detox is good for the soul. I've stopped bringing the computer/phone upstairs at night and reading before bed. It hasn't been life changing, but hopefully long term it will be for the better.

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    1. Same to you, dear Goody!
      That's definitely a good start. We've never had tech in the bedroom, not even a tv. I love snuggling in bed with a book even if I fall asleep after a couple of pages! xxx

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  15. happy new year to you and jon!!
    love the x-mas silk dress and must check levi´s for the BW - he is very in need for new trouser/jeans.
    not unplugged here - but sewing some stuff and going for hikes happened over the last week....
    xxxx

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    1. Happy New Year!
      Jon's very happy with his Levi's - I think his are the 511 slim cut. A lot sharper than the old 501s we lived in back in the 80s!
      You're always productive! xxx

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  16. snot lurgy has prevented any creative activity this xmas , but my daughter just announced . Dont you have an awful lot of Skye Batik stashed away ? Fancy making me a quilt for next xmas ...ffs she wants hand stitched cathedral window , i would be doing that till my death bed

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    1. Happy New Year, Kate! Sorry you've been ill. She doesn't ask for much, does she? Ha! xxx

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  17. Love the sari top and bag - and the scarf. Happy New Year gorgeous!! xx

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  18. You've inspired many of us to unplug, with all the creative work, and good food, and new decor you've enjoyed! The curtains look marvelous, and you in your black crocket bikini - just wow. Happiest new year to you and Jon, xox.

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    1. Happy New Year to you and Sandy, too!
      I felt so free without the internet - an hour back on it and I could already feel my stress levels rise with all the whingeing and drama on Facebook! xxx

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  19. You look superb in your Shubette dress.
    What a week you've had, you've got so much done. I've used it to take lots of long walks in the country, very restorative!
    Wishing you and Jon a happy and fab 2019 and hope you gave a fun night tonight xxx

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    1. Happy New Year, Sally!
      Long walks in the countryside, how lovely. You've certainly had the right weather for it unlike today, it's positively Baltic! xxx

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  20. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    I've been on vacation to California for the past 2 weeks and only used the internet to send a couple of meet up messages to friends (as in: when are we meeting up?)


    Let's hope 2019 is stellar!

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    1. Happy New Year to you!! Hope you've had an absolutely brilliant break. Here's to a fab 2019! xxx

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  21. Happy New Year to you! I have thought about unblogging for a while, even though I recently revamped mine. Time is the big issue. It's nice to see all that you accomplished during your break. And methinks you should be the central figure in some sort of espionage caper.

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    1. If it was only blogging it would be okay, wouldn't it? There's not as many people posting as there used to be meaning it's fairly easy to catch up after a few days away. Instagram on the other hand is ridiculous, there's not a hope in hell of keeping up to date, some people I follow seem to post things hourly! xxx

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  22. Wishing you, Vix and Jon, and all the Vixen followers a very Happy New Year! May we all achieve what you have accomplished this week: Do those tasks that need to be done, when they should be done! (I'm finishing up a week of leave and took elebenty bags to the charity shoppe!.)

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    1. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year, dear Beth! Thanks for your always thoughtful comments and support.
      Isn't it satisfying to do things straightaway? No procrastinating or putting things off. I feel like a proper grown-up!
      Well done on the charity shop donating. I took three bags today and, for once in my life, didn't buy anything while I was there! xxx

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  23. You weren't kidding, you really did a ton of work! I love the bags you made from curtains and sari. You look fabulous in every outfit, you always wear maxi dresses so well....but that off shoulder top and maxi skirt combo really stole my heart.

    enjoy your India trip. Happy 2019!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I got real pleasure in getting even the most mundane tasks done and really enjoyed taking my time over my sewing rather than rushing through it like I usually do! xxx

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    2. That reminds me- I need to buy a sewing machine. I completed a sewing course and I found sewing really calming sometimes. When one takes one time with it, sewing can be very relaxing.

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  24. Happy New Year to you too! What a productive week you've had. I feel quite ashamed of my own slovenliness.

    Have a fab time in India.

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    1. Back at you!!
      You work so hard, a week of laziness is totally justified. Counting the days now - and I still haven't finished packing. This year's trip is proving to be a real challenge clothes-wise, two seasons in one trip! xxx

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  25. I am mightily impressed by what you achieved in a week! I had a list of things I wanted to do while I was off work, and sadly, very few got done. I haven't been on my computer except to do a blog post (thanks for your comment), but Instagram on my phone has eaten up a lot of time. I did read two books and watched a few movies, but your list of completed tasks makes me feel like a sloth.

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    1. Happy New Year, Shelley and Sylvester!
      I love your blog post about your trip to the exhibition. I haven't a hope in hell of catching up with IG and feel really bad about it - I've been known to get up even earlier than usual just to catch up and it's just got to stop! xxx

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  26. Wow you did have a productive week. I never seem to find time for sewing these days but did read a book over Christmas. As always, loving your outfits, I am definitely not a fan of Christmas jumpers either. Interested to hear about the ethical credentials of Levis, I will have to check them out. Happy New Year, enjoy your trip to India!

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    1. Happy New Year, Ceri! Levis featured on the Stacy Dooley documentary. We were very impressed with both their representative and their ethics plus a quality pair of jeans last for decades - I used to wear the 1950s ones back in the 1980s! xxx

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  27. I've been mostly internet-free for my holidays as well - it's so liberating, isn't it? My productivity has been limited to shopping and reading! Happy New Year to you and Jon and your furry fam, Vix! It has been a pleasure "discovering" you this year!

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    1. It certainly is - time just whizzes past when you start reading blog posts and forums. It's scary. Definitely taking more time away from the PC in 2019.
      I've loved getting to know you in 2018! xxx

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  28. Happy New Year to you and Jon , know it will be a good one for you. Isn't it amazing what can be achieved without the distractions of the internet. the velvet and maribou scarf is rather lovely . Looking so good in your Shubette maxi , hope you enjoyed your Desi pub.xx

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    1. Thanks, Jill! We did enjoy our Desi pub, I could say no more curries until India but we had one last night, too! xxx

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  29. Mmm, curry on Christmas day sounds good! I think I must be secretly some sort of Asian because I honestly prefer Asian food to English!
    Well done on being so productive. Ah but I had been too. Alas not! I love your curtain bag. A friend of mine made me a lovely bag out of a pair of 70's orange nylon, thick curtains and I love it!
    Well done on the curtain restoration! I do love your curtains! x

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  30. I do like your non traditional Christmas. I think sometimes we do things a certain way because that's how it's always been done, but I do crave a change once in a while.
    You've been so productive, I often lose hours to the internet, I sometimes get so annoyed with myself for not keeping track of the time I spend (she says whilst on the internet!).
    Hope you get the bedroom finished, mine is still not quite back to normal.
    Happy New Year to you both, hope 2019 is a great year.
    xx

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