Saturday, 28 December 2019

So That Was Xmas...



Despite an eight hour session in 'Spoons the previous day I was up and on the Wii Fit before 7am the following morning. After fruit & yogurt for breakfast my brother popped round with our Xmas present and stayed for a cup of tea. The rest of Xmas Eve was mostly spent cleaning the almost-finished bathroom, keeping out of Jon's way while he wrapped my presents and delivering the last of the cards to the neighbours. Amid much excitement I took delivery of my Vintage Pony Awards which are now taking pride of place on the mantelpiece in the middle room.

WEARING: 1970s Tori Richard psych maxi (swapped with a fellow trader), Vintage blue velvet marabou trimmed opera coat (£20, vintage shop in Birmingham city centre, 2013), orange fedora (retail buy)

I cooked a cauliflower cheese with roasted carrots and parsnips for tea and we watched Defiance on the i-Player, the final episode of A Christmas Carol and Martin's Close, a brilliant half-an-hour ghostly courtroom drama on BBC4 set in the 17th Century. As is usual on Xmas Eve we abstained from the booze so we'd enjoy it all the more with our curry the next day.


On Christmas Day Jon got up and made tea and we opened each other's presents in bed. We had our usual fresh fruit and yogurt breakfast, opened the rest of our Xmas presents and then showered and got dressed. I wore a 1970s gold lame Victor Costa Romantica dress ex-blogger Joyatri gave me when we first met back in 2012 along with my Egyptian Revival necklace and bracelet.


Jon whizzed off to pick up a Dead Relatives Society member and after exchanging presents we grabbed some booze and walked down to the curry house where we met up with the usual suspects, pulled crackers, groaned at the dreadful Xmas soundtrack and tucked into our Indian feast.


After poppadums, me (the sole vegetarian) tucked into vegetable pakoras and a stuffed Romano pepper while the carnivores ate chicken tikka, sheikh and shami kebab. For my main course I had stuffed aubergine with tikka Quorn pieces and the others ate slow roasted spiced lamb shank. The fragrant turmeric & coriander potatoes were to die for. There was gulab jamum with vanilla ice cream (Jon ate mine) and a choice of coffee or chai but I'd put my camera away by then. 

We said our goodbyes to the staff and the rest of the crew and spent the evening watching three Luca Zingaretti (Italian actor of Montalbano fame) films accompanied by rum & cola (Jon) and rhubarb & ginger gin with Indian tonic (me). We didn't eat again.

WEARING: 1960s nylon maxi dress (£5, charity shop, October 2019), Vintage enameled Moroccan pendant (Stockport Vintage Village, 2014)

On Boxing Day, after cheese on toast for breakfast (how very decadent!) we spent a lazy morning reading. At midday we walked into town having lunch and a couple of beers in 'Spoons (Mediterranean vegetable lasagne and salad for me, fish and chips for Jon). A large proportion of the clientele seemed to consist of couples carrying huge Primark bags intent on arguing with each other. Xmas, the season of goodwill to all men, my arse. 


After a wonderful few hours spent making rough plans for our forthcoming Indian adventure and reminiscing about previous trips, we walked back and spent the evening watching the entire BBC political drama series from the Nineties, House of Cards. Still stuffed from our lunchtime treat we just had a slice of Stollen for our tea.


WEARING: Early 70s Dollyrockers maxi (£5, charity shop, 2018), vintage 1950s Tyrolean souvenir belt (gift from Helga, 2011)


Yesterday morning, after a two day break, I was back on the Wii Fit and discovered I'd lost weight since Tuesday. I never overeat at Xmas. After breakfast (fruit & yogurt) we moved the pictures around in the bathroom to accommodate a new print and a handmade plant hanger that we'd been given for Xmas. Jon wanted to replace the bathroom door but the replacement (another Edwardian four panel skip find) was slightly too big and his ancient saw wasn't up to the job so he suggested we pop into town to get a new bit of kit. Utter madness! The main car park was full with a queue stretching halfway down the road and hoards of crazed looking people, laden down with shopping bags and rolls of Xmas wrapping paper, thronging the streets. 


We picked up the replacement saw and decided to pop into the charity clearance shop to deposit the two books I'd read over the last week. The chazza is next to a huge sportswear emporium and we were amazed to see hundreds of people rifling through what looked like endless rails of identical greige synthetics like their lives depended on it. As we entered the charity shop a gang of men clad head-to-toe in sportswear stood at the store threshold yelling, "Wanna look in there?" "You can f*ck off" and laughed hysterically before heading back into the safety of the sports shop.


Their loss! While they tussled with the masses over dodgy sports attire I scored a Miu Miu mohair and wool Italian-made tank top from their hugely successful 2003 collaboration with the legendary French cartoonist, Raymond Peynet (1908 - 1999) for £2. It would originally have retailed for around £700. Who needs sales when there's charity shopping?


 One of my Xmas presents from Jon was this beautiful fair trade Frida Kahlo Day of The Dead crewel work cushion cover which was handmade in India. As it's an odd size, he was planning to track down a cushion pad after the seasonal retail madness had died down, but I saved him the trouble by spotting the perfect sized cushion displayed on a settee in the furniture department. I removed the pad from the cover, handed my £1 and the cushion cover back to the lady on the till and left delighted.


After a lunchtime bowl of vegetable chilli noodles, I spent the remainder of the day taking up the hem of my Pakistani block printed kaftan and replacing the handle on one of our jute shopping bags whilst Jon acquainted himself with his new gadget. Jon made roasted vegetables with haloumi for tea and we started watching a subtitled Dutch crime series called Blood Pact accompanied by rum and gin.

WEARING: Vintage wool housecoat, Antique Moroccan Hand of Hamsa beaded necklace (£1, car boot sale, 2013. 

Today, like most Saturdays, started with a vegetarian sausage sandwich. Jon successfully cut the replacement door to size and rehung it. I've done three loads of washing, trimmed my hair and was contemplating starting my India packing but I've just taken delivery of a parcel that's come all the way from Lahore and might just have to do some house-y style stuff instead. Plans for tonight include a pizza, a little more rum and watching the new Norwegian thriller, Wisting.

Hope you've spent the last few days doing exactly what you wanted to - we did.

See you soon!

54 comments:

  1. Wow - that Miu Miu top is amazing! Sounds like you had the perfect Christmas.

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    1. Isn't it fab? Love Peynet's artwork! xxx

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  2. Never mind sugar plums, that Dead Relatives Society's curry feast is the stuff of dreams! Here in the American Midwest, the equivalent Christmas Day dinner out is a Chinese buffet. (Wearing the "Christmas Story" pink bunny suit or a valuable prize lampshade is optional.)

    Agreed: Maxi dresses are a beautiful, practical solution to the challenge of being warm and well-dressed in real winter weather. That vintage wool housecoat is more suited as outerwear than most of the "leggins" and gauzy "flannel PJs" one sees in the shops.

    Did I miss the acquisition story behind the cupboard with the linenfold doors? Is this one of Jon's recycle-the-bits-into-something-useful projects? Very handsome!

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    1. Oh goodness me, I don't like all you can eat buffets or Chinese food at all! I can just imagine the holiday outfits at those establishments, all elasticated waists and oversized jumpers to accommodate the food consumed - I've paid for it, I'm gonna eat it! xxx

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    2. Ooops! Forgot to reply to your question about the wardrobe. Here's the relevant blog post: https://vintagevixon.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-lion-and-bitch-of-wardrobe.html

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  3. We stuck wih tradition, but next year I'm determined to have my way with lasagne for Christmas dinner. X

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    1. Make it your New Year's Resolution, Jules! Happy New Year!

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  4. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas to me and the food looks amazing.
    I am so over ruddy turkey now :(
    Hugs-x-

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  5. Sounds like you two had the perfect holidays. Ours was quiet with a little tv watching, naps and a drive in the country in the afternoon. A perfect day for us. My husband roasted a chicken on our Traeger grill and I made a lemon meringue pie as part of our Christmas dinner. I love following your adventures and your vintage life style.

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    1. Hello Claudia! Your holiday sounds lovely and relaxing! happy New Year to you! xxx

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  6. That curry feast sounds amazing, did it taste as good as it looks? I scored a lovely black wool coat on Ebay yesterday. I won't need another coat for years now. I am usually a sucker for jackets but coats have caught my eye just recently

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    1. It was even better than it looks! I was born in the wrong country, I loathe bland English food! xxx

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  7. Your romantica maxi dress is to die for. It seems you had a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. I also really like the psychedelic maxi dress (the first one). I just love how the neon colours poo out that print and the blue coat you paired it with is very pretty. The green printed maxi dress is gorgeous too as is the similar (to my eye) 1960ties dark blue maxi dress with huge floral print.
      I haven't gained any weight either. I typically don't overeat on Christmas but I allow myself some sweets. I have a sweet tooth and it's hard to resist those home made ones.
      You got some lovely presents! That fair trade Frida Kahlo inspired cushion is amazing. I love the Day of The Dead art on it. Mexican artist celebrated and referenced in India where this was made. Isn't that nice? I've adored Frida and felt close to her for a long time. I think it was because I also have scoliosis so I related to her. It is lovely to see this cushion that celebrates both her and Mexican culture.

      Your reading and watching activities sound fun. I heard about some of those shows, but haven't seen them. I need to catch up on reading. These last few days I've working on new posts, I forgot to read.

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    2. Thanks, Ivana! We never had sweet things as children so I didn't "learn" to like sugary stuff, I can manage a small taste and then have to pass it on to Jon! xxx

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  8. I've got 'Martin's Close' recorded ready to watch and am looking forward to 'Wisting' this evening...

    Your Christmas sounds very pleasant and very civilised; the food looked delicious. Loved all your outfits - oh that Opera coat! I wonder if it's called that because it was worn to the Opera? Fab necklaces, too.

    Loved Jon's present to you and how wonderful you spotted the right sized cushion in the chazza! I bought and left behind a pair of earrings in a charity shop today; and when I went back to retrieve them, as I walked away from the shop I heard a woman say to her partner 'there's no way I'd go in a charity shop'. I nearly said 'your loss,love' but refrained. I found a ball of wool in a chazza today to match one I'm getting low on; and as it was a deep mustard colour I'm chuffed that it is such a good match!

    You must be so excited about your India trip; hope you have a fabulous, fabulous time.
    xxxx

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    1. Loved Wisting, did you? I should really have waited until I was back from India to start watching it though as I'm going to have to abandon watching it halfway through, I just hope that it's still on the i player when we get back, we don't have a recording device! xxx

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  9. Seeing your psychedelic maxi worn with that magnificent blue opera code and orange fedora more than brightened up this rather dull day. Other favourites are your 1970s gold lamé dress worn with that utterly stunning jewellery, and the vintage wool housecoat. Your Christmas sounds perfect to me. I'm loving your Frida Kahlo cushion cover, and well done on finding the perfect cushion padding. As for the Miu Miu top: isn't that what makes charity shopping so much fun! I can't for the life of me understand the attraction of any sort of sports attire, especially when it's not used for sports at all, which is mostly the case. Ooh, packing for India! How exciting! xxx

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    1. Both the opera coat and my turquoise leather have featured on my blog so much over the last ten years I tend not to bother wearing them for photos even though they're go-to pieces! xxx

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  10. I enjoyed reading about your Christmas. This year I decided that I was going to opt out all of the usual Christmas hype and we made time for friends and family and just played it all low key. We purposely avoided all the post Christmas sales which also made a huge difference to our stress levels.
    Have a fabulous holiday in India. I look forward to reading all about it.

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    1. Thanks so much, WobbyBobbins. Too many of us spend Xmas in the traditional way as it's expected of us. Once we decide to take ownership of our lives and do exactly what WE want to life becomes a lot easier! xxx

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  11. and wasn't Scrooge brilliant, a totally different take which we really enjoyed. I made a lentil dahl and bombay potato on Boxing day and made extra to take to work the next day. Your gin sounds delicious, I love rhubarb. You can't beat spoons for a comfy chair and an affordable drink or two, ours needs a refurb though as the seats are disgustingly worn/dirty. I am interested to see the bathroom redo and the resized door. I just love the blue fluffy marabou trimmed opera coat. Hope India plans are going smoothly. Betty x

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    1. I loved it? I never thought I'd be rooting for Scrooge!
      It's the Edinburgh Gin - another present from Jon. Highly recommended.
      Our Spoons is quite clean and posh - the beer is 5p a pint more than the Yates' over the road so it keeps the riff-raff out! Have you tried their pizzas yet? They're the best! xxx

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  12. Thanks so much for the insight into your time. I love and miss reading blogs which chronicle someone else's life, especially when it's as rich, interesting and relatable as yours.

    I'd really like to get back to blogging myself and you and your community are my inspiration right now.

    (Recommendations of similar blogs so gratefully received!)

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    1. Thank you so much! You should start blogging again, there's not as many of us as there used to be - most seem to have defected to the ease of IG, sadly! xxx

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  13. Congratulations on the awards.
    Funnily enough I spent a relaxing afternoon in a bookshop yesterday reading about Frida Kahlo and felt quite inspired, I love your cushion, it looks fab on that gorgeous chair.
    Your food sounds so like mine that if I was in your house eating blindfold, I'd think I was at home!
    Your local charity shops are a pot of treasure, fancy finding that miu miu top.
    Your opera coat has wow factor, love it.
    I'm glad you had a happy relaxing time xxx

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    1. I like the sound of your relaxing afternoon in the bookshop! Have you seen the Frida film with Selma Hayek? It's a thing of beauty! xxx

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  14. one needs sunglasses for looking at that first outfit - WOW!
    and i´m green with envy for the gold printed dress and that miu miu top - especially as i never would fit into one or the other.....
    anyway.
    of cause we did want we wanted!!! and we had fun and lots of "gemütlichkeit".
    xxxxx

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    1. Sometimes one needs to dazzle!
      I always feel fantastic in that gold dress. Shame the Mium Miu is too big for me but I'm sure I'll find a new owner for it eventually, the cats are eyeing it up with envy! xxx

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  15. I really enjoyed the Dutch crime drama Blood Pact. I've totally got in to 'Walter Presents' on Channel 4 lately (also loved Hotel Beau Sejour - what a wonderful theme tune) after discovering that I could series link all episodes on my Tivo box (no All 4 with Virgin!!) Wisting looks to be very promising, too. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas and sending you and Jon every good wish for 2020.

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    1. Happy New Year, Elizabeth!
      Isn't Walter wonderful? We've watched almost everything on there - loved Hotel Beau Sejour and can highly recommend Tabula Rasa if you haven't see it yet! xxx

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  16. Sounds like a great way to spend the holiday. Actually, we did many of the same things. The holiday and following days signal a shopping frenzy for many, but we spent time at home watching movies. I did make one great thrift store run, but other than that, see no reason to get sucked into the retail frenzy that follows Christmas.

    That pillow cover is fantastic!!!

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    1. It's ridiculous, isn't it? As if people don't spend enough on presents and food before Xmas without going mad the day afterwards! xxx

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  17. It sounds wonderful - love the Frida Kahlo pillow as well. Odd that it was made in India versus Mexico but it is beautiful. Your meals look fabulous.

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    1. It was! The cushion cover is from an amazing company that support and sell artisan-made stuff from India. I wonder if there's similar company selling Mexican goodies? x

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  18. Happy New Year to you both when it rolls around. Have you seen the American 'House of Cards' with Kevin Spacy? It's very good as long as he's in it but the new series without him doesn't hold up. I watched 'Wisting' too but find it unbelievable that writers' perpetual subject is the kidnapping of young girls and having them meet a worse-than-awful end. Quite disturbing subject matter. You might like the Barbara Kingsolver book called 'The Lacuna'. It features Frida and Diego. I love your cushion. xx

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    1. I wondered if Kevin Spacey's House of Cards was based on the BBC one. We haven't got Netflix so haven't seen it - maybe it'll come to Freeview eventually!
      I shall make a note of that book and keep my eyes peeled in the chazzas! x

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  19. woww, it really sounds like a delightful christmas time, watching some quality tv series and having usual Christmas curry with friends (which is a great idea!).
    I love particularly your pic showing your Pony Awards, the colors of your coat and dress are so stunning! (love blue velvet!). And your gold lame dress with those Egyptian Revival jewelry looks so utterly fabulous!!. Also love your floral maxi and Dollyrockers green one, and the amazing wool housecoat (so fab colors!). And it makes me feel joyful that I have a similar block printed kaftan, thanks for inspiring me to wear it once more! ;DD
    Totally in love with your new cushion and happy to read a lot of recommendations of tv series!
    We have had both my parents and Mr.A's parents at home for Christmas, so everybody has overeaten (even if we try to keep it simple and healthy).
    Best wishes for the new year!
    besos
    besos

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    1. Thanks so much, Monica! It's been so grey here over the last week so so, colour (and great TV) has kept me sane! xxx

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  20. It sounds like you had a positively lovely Christmas - I would have loved to have joined you for your Indian feast. The Miu Miu vest is an awesome score - I love the cartoon print! I haven't gone into any stores over the past week except to get food. There's nothing I need that much to make me go out amongst the sale-crazed masses.

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    1. I'd have loved you to join us for the Indian feast, too! x

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  21. Your Christmas sounds perfect . I know what you mean about the Boxing Day shopping - why do people feel the need to buy things they don't need just because it is on sale. I loved your Miu Miu vest , you always find treasures. The cushion cover is wonderful, so beautifully done.
    Wishing you and Jon a happy and healthy 2020. xxx

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    1. For all people bang on about Xmas being for families they seem desperate to escape after 24 hours with them and buy stuff just for the sake of it. Weirdos! x

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  22. I love all your holiday outfits, and am in admiration for your recusing of yourselves from the holiday insanity. Wow, on that Miu Miu!! What a score.

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    1. I know - how on earth does Miu Miu end up in Walsall! Shame it's three sizes too big! x

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  23. That sounds like a fab time! We too did exactly what we wanted, though that did involve a fair amount of over-eating...

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    1. It was - I'm glad things are back to normal now though. I've missed having Bargain Hunt on in the background at dinnertime! x

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  24. I think cauliflower cheese with roasted carrots and parsnips for tea sounds delightful, and as we're going to try and eat more vegetarian meals this year, this is definitely going to be on the menu.
    I love the sound of your non traditional Christmas, I'd love to do less traditional stuff but Andy and his family are stuck in a tradition rut that will be impossible to move them from, but I do what I can ;)
    Love your Frieda cushion cover.
    xx

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    1. It's one of our favourite non-spicy things to eat. Having been a vegetarian since the 1960s I'm beyond excited at how more and more people are introducing more meat-free meals to their diet. The Vegetarian Society have some fab recipes on their website if you're after inspiration! xxx

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  25. I can just imagine you squealing over the Pony Awards!!! How exciting.

    Your Indian Christmas meals sounds delicious, as do all the meals you’ve mentioned.

    You lost weight at Christmas time – you must be the only one! (hehe) X

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    1. I do love my Indian food, I'm so looking forward to eating nothing but spicy stuff for a whole month! xxx

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  26. Sounds ideal!!! I seemed to have lost 1/2 a stone over the Christmas period. It doesn't surprise me though as I seem to get out of the habit of eating meals other than those main ones and I don't really do the festive desserts at all. Also, I had (I presume that's what it was) terrible constipation or trapped wind on Christmas day so I only ate the main meal.
    Indian lunch- yum!!!

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    1. Xmas food doesn't interest me at all. The last time I ate a (vegetarian) mince pie was Xmas 2009! xxx

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Lots of love, Vix