Monday, 2 August 2021

Paint It Black

After the washout that was Friday, the painter & decorators had been in touch to say that they'd be starting on the upstairs exterior window frames on Saturday morning. Jon was up first making tea, seeing to the lads and getting breakfast ready whilst I stripped and changed the bed, loaded the washing machine & pegged the laundry out on the line. We'd just eaten our sausage sandwiches when they turned up and started work.

Monty had reminded us to cut our sweet peas on Gardeners' World so I dashed down the garden with my scissors. It's the first time we've grown any - we usually make do with the naturalised wood peas - and although they smell lovely I'm somewhat underwhelmed, I think we sowed them in too shady a spot. They do look good in the vintage Swedish Art Glass bud vase we found on our travels on Thursday.

I had a rummage through the Kinky Shed and discovered a sack of summer stock I'd packed away two years ago and forgotten. I spent the day ironing, measuring, photographing and uploading everything to eBay and trying my damndest not to slip anything in my wardrobe - 1970s chambray midi skirt, I'm looking at you! Jon mopped the kitchen floor, dashed down the garden to rescue the washing from one of several sharp showers and kept the workers in tea.

 We didn't have a video player when I lived at home so watching a film at friends' houses who were lucky enough to own such luxuries was a real treat as a teenager.  A mate's parents owned a video shop (Metro Video, opposite the Royal Hotel, to any Walsall folk reading this) and I loved helping him out. We used to watch The Warriors on repeat, an American Sci-Fi thriller from 1979 based on the 1965 novel of the same name. A fellow teenage misfit, Jon also loved it and was excited to find this vintage vest on Thursday. He can't get it over his shoulders so again, I'm breaking the fashion police rules and wearing something I remember the first time round.


Tea was a vegeburger with salad accompanied by a bottle of San Miguel. 

Later we drank rum and watched Bettany Hughes's latest travelogue. 

The painters (Stuart & Ben) were due at 9am on Sunday morning although it was so miserable and damp when I got up I thought work might be rained off for the day. I made tea, brought it back to bed and read until just gone 8am. Once we were up I painted my nails in Barry M's Sour Candy.


By the time we'd eaten our toast, the rain had stopped and work had already started. We left Stuart & Ben to it and drove down to the charity shop. We'd had a rummage around and filled a donation bag with a couple of bolster covers, a paperback, a teeshirt and a keyring.



After last week's meagre pickings (two teeshirts and a solitary paperback), we were very happy with the morning's finds. The five Hugo Boss cotton, merino wool and virgin wool jumpers along with the Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger cotton shirts are all current stock and bought new would have cost almost £1000! Several don't look like they've ever been worn, they're immaculate. 


Jon couldn't resist these brand new The Big Lebowski socks. Like most charity shops, the stock is mostly of the cheap & nasty high street synthetic variety and the good quality pieces stand out a mile. When I spot a bit of decent fabric I can't help myself. The leather Gharani Strok grab bag, the brand new Earth Origins recycled slippers (RRP £48) and the crisp cotton mix blouse with fancy sleeves from Los Angeles label, Shelli Segal, all came back with us.


There were so many good books we had to reign ourselves in - everything from historical crime to Inspector Montalbano and even a Le Carre we've not read!


Goodness knows how many times this 1960s Dollyrockers gauzy cotton maxi has featured on the blog, I bought it in 2009 and still love it to bits. 'Scuse the fluffy hair, it was still damp when I went to bed.


After popping to Wilkos for mailing bags, Waterstones for a birthday present and swinging by Liz & Al's for coffee, cake, an inspection of the garden and to meet Thunder, the chinchilla they're babysitting, it was lunchtime when we got back. The chaps were cracking on at a fine old pace. After a damp start the afternoon had turned out rather lovely so I pottered around the garden and then plonked myself on the bench and read my book. By 5pm the work was complete and we were thrilled (nice work, SB Decorating Services). This was how Stonecroft looked last week (with white window frames upstairs)...


And this is it now.....




 
This photo was taken in 1952 shortly after my grandparents moved here...


And this is how it looked in 1980. I loved the shutters but by the time we bought Stonecroft they were too far gone to restore. Jon and I were giggling at the planting, it looks like something from a council-maintained flower bed and he should know, he worked for Walsall Parks Department until pop stardom lured him away.


Tea was an old camping favourite stand-by, spicy couscous with halloumi, peppers and fresh basil. Later we watched the final episode of Bettany Hughes exploring the Nile.


Monday got off to a bright & sunny start. I harvested a fistful of strawberries and hung the washing I'd chucked in the machine before bed on the line before doing my Wii Fit workout and wrapping the eBay sales. After breakfast, Jon left to do the post office run, supermarket shop and for his weekly coffee round at Tony's leaving me harvesting nasturtium seeds for what will be our third jar of Poor Man's Capers.


I haven't worn this early '70s Anokhi skirt since our trip to Crete last September.


Yellow seems like the perfect choice to wear with it, in Greece I wore a cami from the clearance charity shop and in Walsall, it's the turn of a crochet bralet bought from the roadside in Goa back in 2016.


I looked out some stock from the Kinky Shed, ironed and measured it but my photography plans were thwarted by a torrential downpour which had me dashing down the garden to rescue the washing. After lunch, the rain had stopped and I was able to photograph and upload everything to eBay while Jon cracked on with the end of year accounts.


It's my brother's birthday today. He'd kill me if I share a recent photo on my blog so here's one of us from 1969. How cool's my paisley dress? Happy Birthday, little bro! 


I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with Blogland and touching up my roots, meeting Jon in the kitchen at 5pm for beer and pizza. 


I'm off to find something interesting to watch. See you soon!

38 comments:

  1. House looks great. My house is 100 years old, wish I could find a photo from back then. It's fuuny how easy it it to spot the nice quality stuff at the thrift store. Me walked down the aisle of sweaters: crap, crap, awe, cashmere

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We've got older photos somewhere - along with the deeds from 1750! Jon's put them "somewhere safe!"
      You can shop secondhand blindfold, can't you? Quality stands out a mile! xxx

      Delete
  2. The kinky shed seems to be like the Tardis? there's always something new to be found :) It must be fun discovering forgotten goodies. I think your windows look beautiful, black looks smart. Happy birthday to your brother :) Those Hugo Boss finds are incredible - I worked at the Duty Free shop Gatwick for a while part time and often got seconded to the Hugo Boss shop to cover staff absence - Hugo Boss are ridiculously expensive but fabulous, luxurious quality - so Jon has some superb classics there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I much prefer the black frames upstairs, it looks so much better now.
      The shed's absolutely rammed! I can't believe I'd lost that bag of summer clothes, it was like going charity shopping for free!
      Hugo Boss stuff is fabulous quality, the merino wool and virgin wool jumpers feel gorgeous and washed really well. Such a shame they're all 3XL but I'm sure they'll find a new home via eBay! xxx

      Delete
  3. I would not call The Warriors a sci-fi movie! I loved that movie when I was a teenager and my boyfriend had the soundtrack on vinyl (I still own it on CD). James Remar (Axel) is still one of my favourite "who's that guy?" actors. I would wear that tank, so you have my full approval, Vix! I'm also still giggling at the Lebowski socks (another one of my favourite movies! I have "The Dude Abides" tee).

    Wow, your new windows look awesome. I loved seeing the house through the ages.

    I know, the good stuff really stands out from all garbage in the stores, doesn't it? It's even easier to find it amongst the dross.

    Have an awesome week, Vix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't have called it sci-fi either but every website I consulted did so I started to doubt my memories! Either way it was such a great film and so unlike anything I'd ever seen on the BBC. I love a film soundtrack, I might have to hunt that one down!
      Who'd have thought there was so much Big Lebowski merch out there?!
      It is really easy to find quality amongst the dross in charity shops, I often tell novices to run their hand along the rail and feel rather than look at labels. xxx

      Delete
  4. I love nothing better than browsing old photos. Wouldn’t your grandparents be amazed at your garden now and so thrilled you are up keeping the woodwork. Black looks so great. I can see some wild flowers in your front grass. How different it is. You food photos made my mouth water but my cook has just come in with dinner. 😋

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sally. People owho knew my grandparents often stop and say how much they'd have loved what we've done to the house and garden. It makes me very happy!
      Enjoy your dinner! xxx

      Delete
  5. Stonecroft looks like it’s smiling now with its new paintwork. How it must be enjoying all the love and attention it’s received over the past 18 months and what a blessing it’s been for you both to keep you occupied.
    Aren’t the colours in the Anoki skirt gorgeous. So uplifting.
    Need to get a skip on now before the electric man arrives to fit a replacement meter. Have a lovely day you two xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynn! Next is the replacement front door - we're edging closer to the top of the list but there's a hold-up with getting stock from Europe...gah! xxx

      Delete
  6. Your summer stock is amazing. How cool is that white swimsuit? I imagine it's difficult resisting temptation to borrow from your vintage stock. I haven't seen the Warriors. It sounds like a film I would enjoy. How fabulous is that maxi purple dress btw! The sleeves are so lovely.

    Happy birthday to your brother. The throwback photo with you in that parsley dress is adorable. My brother also celebrated his birthday recently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ivana! Summer clothes are so much more photogenic than winter ones! That white swimsuit is incredible, like something Ursula Andress would have worn in Dr No! It looks great on but I'm more of a bikini girl!
      Hapy Birthday to your brother! xxx

      Delete
  7. i have wandered back to the charity shops but pickings are dire and have doubled in price , i do think that Lincoln is just a problem child, small town full of tourists and a huge university population so everything in the town centre is a total waste of time and picked clean , their are a lot of retro shops as well.the small towns surrounding are a tad better ,that and the charity shops near the big air bases if you like camo ....lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No tourists here but a huge university campus and the clearance chazza is directly opposite the college. If we go in the week it's packed with students but they put out over 1000 items a day and we do well on a Sunday morning.
      I know the owner of a vintage shop in Lincoln but it's mostly Eatern European second hand bought by the kilo from wholesalers and repro - she says thats all the students want. xxx

      Delete
  8. I definitely don't have your touch - all I seem to find in charity shops that are of any interest are odd, often cracked bits of Woolies B&W tableware from the 50s among a sea of twee ornaments, 1980s chintz and exhausted-looking modern t-shirts. I grew up in the rag trade, I should be able to spot good fabric from a mile off but amazing finds like yours seem to elude me. Maybe I just need to visit more shops more often. I look at the stuff you're putting up for sale and am astounded that it's still out there in circulation.

    Your Warriors singlet has given me a good idea for my husband's birthday present. We both love the film and in his youth he bore a passing resemblance to Michael Beck, hair and all, which our friends ribbed him about, so a vintage shirt would be a lovely gift. I'm never going to find one in a charity shop but I imagine there are sites for such things.

    The shutters did add a certain continental something to your house, but I think I prefer the purity of the Georgian lines and the black and white paintwork you have now. You get a medal for finding painters, at the moment there seems to be a chronic shortage of trades of all kinds.

    I've added that John Le Carre to my reading 'watch list' along with Alan Warner, which whom I am not familiar. The only thing I luck out on in chazzas is books, but that's probably because I've been looking for those for about 40 years and like you with clothes I know how and where to search.

    Enjoy your fabulous garden and what sunny weather you can squeeze from August; I will be indoors with my big stack of unread books, probably re-watching The Warriors now you've reminded me of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Fifitr!
      I do think the more often you go hunting the better it gets although there are certain shops where decent finds are really rare. I often think it's more to do with the staff than the donations and if they don't like it themn it doesn't go out.
      There's quite a few The Warriors tee shirts out there so I'm sure you'll find him one. Silly me, it's Jon's birthday tomorrow and I should have looked earlier and found one to fit him!
      Alan Warner is an interesting read, very trippy. Morvern Callar is still on the iplayer, if you haven't seen it. Samantha Morton is superb. xxx

      Delete
  9. The house looks fabulous! I have The Warriors on DVD and it often gets and airing LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I need to rewatch The Warriors although it's a bit scary in case neither of us enjoy it as much as we used to! xxx

      Delete
  10. The house looks fabulous with the black windows. Very striking. The flowers at the side of the house. Have grown so much. Very beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh wow! Have just discovered your blog and fallen in love with your style 😍 totally inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Katrina! I'm following your blog now! x

      Delete
  12. Ah, Dollyrockers. That dress is perfection. Love the skirt and bralet too.
    I'm guessing you're enjoying the nasturtium capers. I made them with wild garlic buds last year but was a bit underwhelmed, so I didn't bother this Spring. I have loads of nasturtiums so I'll give these a go. Do you have a recipe please? Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Annie!
      Try this recipe: https://botanicalfolk.co.uk/botanical-notes/nourish-poor-mans-capers

      Delete
  13. Also meant to say how lovely the new windows look xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, we're really pleased with them! xxx

      Delete
  14. The windows look fabulous, I love the black and white classic style. I'm loving the photos of the house back in the past, really amazing!. And so lucky to find people to paint your windows, here it's impossible to find any decorator, builder or painter (they're busy until next decade).
    Always lovely to have a look at Kinky Shed's neverending source of fabulousness!. Same for your lucky finds, lots of quality stuff. Totally agree that good pieces sparkle in the middle of usual cheap polyester. I've not been lucky last weeks, but still trying it.
    So funny to remember The Warriors, and absolutely fabulous to see you wearing the vest. I'd comment on fashion police rules, but prefer to keep on my good vibes ;DD

    Loving your Dollyrockers maxi, a favourite colour and fabulous sleeves!, You Rock It!. Also loving to see you in your Anokhi skirt and yellow top, so fabulous combo, and so fabulous photos of your Crete holidays, totally put a smile on my face, it's like a summer breeze.

    besos


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Monica! We had to wait months before the painters and decorators could fit us in, everyone seems to be doing work on their houses after having so long at home with nothing more to do than look and them and notice what needs doing!
      I'm a bit scared to watch The Warriors again in case we don't like it now we're grown-ups. xxx

      Delete
  15. Seeing the varioys stagesof Stonecroft are quite interesting. The black windows make th ehosue stand out and people take notice-good thing you have a lush garden and fence to keep them out if not invited. I'm happy you have your trips out and about and get to see your friends. It seem slike a nice way to spend the weekend-busy, and socialble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam! The house is side-on to the road and the gates are always open. People often stop and take photos, we once had a visit from an elderly brother and sister who were born here in the 1920s! xxx

      Delete
  16. Evening Vix, wow that purple on you fab! The house looks great I love the black frames. You are really giving the house and garden a lot of love and when you start festivals again you will have a great place to come home to! well Vix I know I don't like moaners and at the risk of getting a telling off (ha ha) my mojo is missing for a bit missing my family like crazy but I am sure things will brighten soon. I have spent most of the day browsing ebay but hey ho don't often have a day like this so will not be hard on myself. Tomorrow is another day. I love the idea of the nasturtiams on the arch, this weeks nail colour., your sweetpeas and of course so glad you had success at the chazzas. Will be back in Shaz mode next time. Shazxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shaz and thank you very much. I'm so sorry you're having a down day, give in to it, treat yourself to something lovely and, as you so rightly say, tomorrow is another day. I've heard a rumour that we might be having a mini heatwave in a week or so's time. Here's hoping! Sending you loads of love and happiness. xxx

      Delete
  17. Love the new refreshing of your Lovely Old Home, the Black on the Window Panes looks better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your newly painted windows look fantastic, Stuart and Ben did a great job! I was quite underwhelmed with my Sweet Peas too, and cut them back a couple of days before we left on our little break. Imagine my surprise when they seem to blooming with renewed vigour!
    Finding a bag of forgotten stuff sounds like something which could happen to me :-)
    You look stunning in both your Dollyrockers maxi and Anokhi skirt with yellow crochet bralet, which to be honest is a word I'm having some difficulty with :-)
    Loving that cheeky photo of you and your brother! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're so much better black, I keep going outside and looking at the house to admire them!
      I'm hoping the cutting back of my sweet peas might liven them up but so far, nothing! Oh well, a sunnier spot next year, I think.
      I'm determined to wear all my summer clothes before the year's out although I'm wrapped in a cardi right now! xxx

      Delete
  19. I'm SWOONING over the Summer stock! HELLO, turquoise dress and patchwork skirt!
    I love seeing old photos of houses! The windows look fab.
    Your Anokhi skirt looks so gorgeous with YELLOW!
    You did well in the charity shop with those jumpers!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Stonecroft looks great with the fresh window paint. The purple maxi is so pretty - I can't believe you've had it in your wardrobe for 12 years and it still looks perfect on you. The Warriors tank is an excellent score.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix