On Sunday, Aidan persuaded me to go and see the Olympic torch relay travelling through our nearest local town of Ashton. Despite the start time of 10.06 for the beginning of the Ashton leg, I happen to go out with the most organised man in Britain, so at 8.55 precisely, we set off on the five mile journey…
A quick wander around the farmer’s market that was on in the centre, and after purchasing some vegetarian Caribbean pasties, we settled in a spot at the side of the Penny Meadow road to await the torch.
The council was giving out free flags:
I liked the procession in Ashton. It wasn’t all fancy, overblown and trumpeted up by the media at all, but what it did have was local people, a fantastic atmosphere and a bit of character. Yes, the town is a bit dingy in places, but the spirit and excitement was second to none. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, waving their flags and cheering on the creepy people on stilts…
I hadn’t really considered until I saw it that it was the first, and probably the last, time I’d ever see the Olympic flame. A very funny feeling, indeed. A few minutes later, we were whizzing our way back to Glossop to continue with the DIY and driving lessons that a Sunday brings.
Each year we have a (fairly) strict timetable of who, where and when to visit over the Christmas period. We go to my parents the weekend before Christmas, spend the day itself in Glossop by ourselves, some friends come over on Boxing Day; after that, it’s a slow, day-to-day movement over to Barnsley then up north to Sedgfield. Although it can be fairly tiring, it does mean that Christmas feels like it’s stretched out.
This year, I had to go to my parents on my own, as Aidan was in Australia with work. I would call him a lucky so-and-so but not after seeing the state he’s been in since he got back! Anyway, this meant that I couldn’t physically carry all of my presents from my parents back home. So I brought just one:
Not only is this the cutest piece of owl paraphenalia that I’ve seen in a long time, it has another feature that just adds to the kitschy cuteness:
It’s a detachable, pottery, baby owl! So, not only is this a decorative item but, if you are that kind of person, you can take out the tiny baby owl and hold it for a bit. Or hide it in unexpected places. Not that I would do any of those things of course…
Our house is fairly Christmassed up this year. We do have a stack of stuff that we roll out each year. My mum has been watching Kirsty’s Homemade Britain and made us one of these to add to the decorations:
My picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it does look lovely hanging in the window. Aidan has also made us a wreath for the door, I’ve made a strange Christmas tree shape from a magazine like this, and I’ve half made some bird baubles like this. However, I’ve forgotten to take pictures of those. I do have a picture of the tree though:
We did our usual trick of getting it cheap from the German market in Manchester and just hoping for the best. Last year, we had a double-trunker (or a Siamese Tree); this year it’s just a very, very odd, tall, sparse, thick-then-thin shape. We’ve still bunged on all of the baubles though. Hang on, when I say we, what I actually mean is Aidan. I was out on work Christmas do. Less said the better…
We’ve also put the West German pottery to good use:
The stars came from a window display when I worked at Monsoon in Manchester (boo, hiss!); they were being thrown away so I ‘rescued’ them. You can see a few of our cards here too. We’ve had so many this year! Mainly because I now have a Year Seven form so received lots of misspelled cards from them. The best one was from a little lad who had stuck one of his old primary school photos on the inside of it (“I had to cut D— and L—- out so it would fit just me!”).
Last but definitely not least on the handmade front… Aidan made me an advent calendar for the second year running. Once again it featured one of the fantastic Christmas images from the Galaxy magazines:
Today, I’ve got plans to: wrap Aidan’s presents, make his card, plan the veggie Christmas dinner, make a friendship bracelet as a present for someone, go to the gym, meet one friend for coffee, meet another for a hot toddy, meet Aidan for a pint once he’s finished work… It’s not all going to happen is it?
Amazingly, the Vintage Village at Stockport had completely skipped my notice (I know… how??), until Lisa had blogged about her family’s visit to one of their Sunday markets here. How, how had this passed me by until now? Well, now I know about it, I’m going to be making a beeline for it!
And what better an introduction than for it to be in… hold on, not Stockport? That other famous ‘Manchester’ place: Salford. This has caused Aidan no end of confusion with his one-up-one-down-confusion-with-numbers-and-place-names-thing. So. We are going to SALFORD on SUNDAY, not Stockport on Saturday…
We see this fair as contributing towards efforts to regenerate the beautifully restored and redeveloped Market Hall and Market Place into the thriving trade hub it had been for centuries past.
Its on its way already, with a bustling market on regular trading days, but on Sundays it lay quiet and unused.
So we’ve been lucky enough to have been given the chance to use the Market Hall on the second Sunday of every month for our fair.
Its an amazing venue in a prime central location, with all the character and charm and heritage – and impeccably modern facilities – that you could hope for.
The fact that Stockport Market celebrated its 750th anniversary in 2010 only adds to the appropriately historic flavour of a vintage market, although we can’t guarantee that you will find medieval artefacts at this fair!
We want to encourage the establishment of a lively vintage event in the heart of Stockport, to help new and developing small businesses locally and regionally, and to contribute to re-establishing Stockport Market Hall and Market Place as an essential port of call in Greater Manchester for seeking out quality goods and unique items.” (From the Vintage Village Website with their kind permission).
You need to visit their site to see why I can’t wait to visit! Everything – and I do mean everything – I like is there for sale from an amazing array of sellers. West German Pottery, retro glass, mid century items, vintage clothing… I’m mentally salivating as I type!
Why is it in Salford this week? Well, usually they’re in the Market Hall in Stockport, but it appears that Salford Museum and Art Gallery have invited them to have a pop up stall at the Museum, filling the galleries with fabulous and fantastic vintage and retro wares. It is purely for vintage this time, although usually it does have some crafts there.
That photo gets me especially excited. That’s just a snapshot yet there’s already at least three things I would buy from this stall! I’ve also had a look at the websites of All Mod Cons and RetroCedric and they look to have exactly the kind of amazing, well-designed retro items I’m after. I don’t know if those particular sellers will be there on Sunday, but if that’s the calibre of items on offer then it should be amazing.
This is an adults’ ice-cream van! It’s like somebody has designed this event especially for me.
If you’re also interested in amazing retro and vintage stuff, love unusual ice-cream and would like to experience it all within the grand setting of an Art Gallery then get yourself to the pop up Vintage Village at Salford Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday 25th February. It’s open 10.30am until 4pm. All of the details can be found on the Vintage Village website.
If you see a ginger woman juggling a camera in one hand, money in the other and a dripping ice-cream between her teeth while she frantically tries to wrestle a piece of retro pottery into her bag… do come and say hello!
Massive thanks to Vintage Village for allowing me to use their photos and text – do make sure you take the time to visit their site, and the fair!
Today I’m off to run the Manchester 10k and Aidan is running the Eyam Half Marathon – marketed as the hilliest half marathon in the country! So, what better preparation than to go and see a band last night?
One of our favourite bands is 65daysofstatic:
I first got into them a couple of years ago after finding them on some random musicsharing website that I can’t remember the name of for the life of me! It’ll come back to me at some point. We then went to the Hop Farm Festival with a couple of free tickets and saw them play there, just before British Sea Power and Fight Like Apes.
Yesterday, they were playing as part of the Sensoria film and music festival at the Royal Northern College of Music on Oxford Road, Manchester. However, instead of playing their usual set they were doing a live rescore of the film ‘Silent Running.’
It was just phenomenal. Apart from the fact that everyone there was a little bit ‘too cool for school’; it was magnificent. The sound was fantastic – apart from a minor hiccup half way through where it went out of sync with the film – their reimagining was beautifully in-keeping with the original film. I actually preferred their music to the original for the majority of the film.
I was also quite glad that they didn’t try to replicate Joan Baez… I’m sure true fans will hate me for it, but I’m not a massive fan of her warbling on the original soundtrack.
Love the music, not so keen on her voice.
Amazing evening and I can only hope that they now release their version of the soundtrack onto CD.
Well, I’d better go and get ready for the 10k as I’m leaving in approximately twenty minutes. Good luck to everyone else who’s running it today!
- SILENT RUNNING Director Douglas Trumbull to Helm New 3D, High Frame Rate Feature (collider.com)
- Silent Running (simontrail.wordpress.com)
This time it appears to be me that inspired a dress from Woman’s Own:
This is a picture from last year when my school won a big party from Vodafone. It wasn’t actually at Granada Studios, it was at some boutique hotel (the name of which escapes me now) in Manchester. Fabulous night and I was very pleased with the vintage 80s-does-50s dress that I managed to find for £12.00
Imagine my delight when, on flicking through my Woman’s Own magazines, I found this:
It’s not exactly the same, but there are enough similarities to make me happy. I just need a pink headband and rosey bag. I could also do with being able to fit back into this dress for a wedding in a couple of weeks’ time. Unfortunately, having eaten my own body weight in chocolate tonight, I’m not sure that is going to happen. I’ve done so much running in the last week, but all it’s done is made me hungry, hungry, hungry!
Ah well, will just have to buy another dress instead…
- Mad Men Inspiration from Woman’s Own (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Rosey Romance (chiqueandtreats.wordpress.com)
- A Vintage Story (danihanrahan.wordpress.com)
In exactly thirty five minutes, we will be setting off on our fourth trip to Germany in the last seven months. We’re hoping to return as laden down as always. As a nice little ‘fare thee well’, I thought I’d share this picture:
We used to live in a tiny flat in Levenshulme when we first moved to Manchester in 2005. This was the little display area we had for our (then) very meagre collection of pottery and other retro bits and bobs. You can see the start of my Westclox collection – now boxed away in the loft; Aidan’s Kelloggs bowl which he used to love; a Denby ‘Arabesque’ coffee pot which I bought for a pound from a jumble sale and sold for £12 on Ebay; the coffee table we bought for a few pounds from a Levenshulme charity shop (Aidan spent hours sanding and polishing it!); finally, our first ever West German pot on the bottom right hand corner.
Oh, how times have changed.
Wish us luck for this trip! See you soon!
It’s been a lovely Christmas – and it’s still not really over for us. The weekend before Christmas, we had the early one with my family. Then we’ve spent Christmas Day in Glossop, had friends over on Boxing Day. This week, we’ll be seeing Aidan’s family as well; all before we have to start thinking about going back to work… Ah well, we knew it couldn’t last.
Anyway, how else to celebrate a wonderful Christmas than by sharing pictures of the retro and vintage goodies we gave and received?
To kick things off:
I absolutely love this. Another present from Aidan, and it’s probably one of my favourites. If you’ve not visited the site already, it’s worth another trip to the Tretchikoff website to have a look at all of his prints.
Luckily for me, I got lots and lots of presents! A green Casio watch, a Spirograph, a Tamagotchi… yes, I am a grown woman, if you can believe it?! I also received three new Scheurich 414 pots, but unfortunately the pictures have come out quite blurry. I’ll take some more another day; maybe even attempt to take some vaguely stylish ones… you know how that normally goes.
Here are two things I got Aidan:
A book all about retro and vintage prints by Tretchikoff, J.H. Lynch, Shabner, Maio and those 70s big-eyed children pictures. It’s fantastic, even if I do say so myself. Aidan seems to quite like it too. I bought his copy from Ebay (and America, no less) but you seem to be able to buy it on Amazon here. Review of the book as well. Even if you’re not a fan of these types of prints, it’s still a gorgeous book to look through.
I also got him one of these:
The teatowel, not the pots! It’s pretty good. I’m not sure if we’ll ever actually use it though; it’s a bit too swanky for wiping pots and pans. The seller, skinnylaminx, is on her holidays at the moment. When she returns you should definitely have a look at her shop on Etsy.
So, what’s the best retro or vintage thing you got this Christmas??
- Scheurich 414: Updating a Look (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
At some point this weekend, we’re going to decide which of the mammoth haul of pots we’re going to keep. This is going to be difficult: we like different ones and there are just so many to choose from; you can always see something of merit in each pot. We’re both decided on keeping these two though:
‘Otto Keramik’ was founded by Otto Gerhauz in 1964. Previously, he had been the arts director at Ruscha, but as a slight obsessive about glazes; he left to set up a workshop at his house to research glazes. Until 1996, all of the glazes produced with by Otto. He teamed up with Kurt Tschörner (who designed the famous ’313′ at Ruscha), who produced the shapes at Otto until 1987.
Compared to Scheurich and Bay, Otto Keramik was a very small company; employing a maximum of twenty employees. Because of this items were not mass produced. This could be why their pots are quite desirable – they really are unique. In 1994, Otto’s son – called Otto – took over the company. When Ruscha closed in 1996. The company took over some of their old designs.
One of the most obvious ways to identify an Otto piece is to look at the base: all of the bases of items were covered in felt. Beneath this, the clay is white, flat and sans numbers. Some of the more modern items that are still in production today have numbers on the base and are not always covered in felt.
More information and pictures of pottery, as always, can be found at the Pottery and Glass Forum.
- Otto Keramik.de - current website for company
- Kurt Tschörner shapes at Ginsforodditiques
- Search for Otto Keramik on Ebay
- Few Otto bits and bobs at Ginsfor again