Last Friday it was mine and my dad’s birthday, missing out on sharing the happy day with Queen Elizabeth herself. The weekend before, my family came to visit to celebrate. I’m sure I’ve mentioned last year about me and dad sharing our birthday – we no longer share a cake, but it is lovely to ring each other up and do a mutual ‘Happy Birthday’. Although he did point out this year that despite me being able to drink legally for ten years now, we’ve never actually been out for a birthday drink on the day itself…
We had a great day out at the Stockport Museum of Hatting. Providing a fantastic (and huge) landmark in Stockport courtesy of its giant red brick tower, the museum is well worth a visit. As long as you can find it. Even with a sat nav and that tower, my dad still struggled! He’s not known for his navigational skills.
I received a vintage hair styling kit amongst other things from my sister and a Benefit voucher from my parents, which is currently burning a hole in my Important Box. Definitely needs spending soon! I attempted to use the styling kit on Friday. It wasn’t successful for a first go… I’ll try it again when I have more time and patience!
My nan brought over some old Ladybird books she’d salvaged from the local primary school:
Aidan got me some lovely things, as always. The vintage and retro picks of the lot were:
The black and white West German pot on the right is in the Ankara glaze by Carstens. I love it! I collect this glaze; mostly the collection is built up from the more common blue and black style. This means I now have one red and black, and one white and black. The glaze on this is constructed slightly differently: it has the black underneath the other colour, rather than on top of it like the blue and black version.
I also got this:
This weekend has been quite busy. We went out for a meal on Friday night (actual birthday night) with a few of our friends, to my favourite restaurant TNQ, which if you’ve never been to, I can’t recommend highly enough. Saturday equalled D.I.Y. Enough said. On Sunday, some of our regular, and favourite, pottery (potty?) people, Steve and Lesley, came round to pick up some Ebay purchases and grab a few more pieces. They never leave empty handed! And it’s always nice to know the pottery is going to a new, loving home. Steve brought me these fantastic magazines:
We spent a while on Sunday flicking through these, and I cannot wait to get to grips with them properly. Expect lots of pictures of a D.I.Y. nature to accompany our own renovations. These magazines form the ‘bonanza’ part of my blog post today – and quite rightly so.
Have you had some kind of bonanza this week? If so, ‘scuse my nosiness, but what was it? I’ll probably bore you to tears with mine before long!
Famous Celebrity Birthday Sharers for April 20th:
Adolf Hitler (oh dear)
George Takei (yes!)
Early yesterday morning, we arrived back from our latest German adventure with Tina (the KA) full to the brim. Another fantastic trip and yet more fantastic, retro goodies.
We left on Friday evening, driving down to Dover to get the 2am ferry to Dunkirk. Aidan always does the driving (as I can’t) so we have to carefully time everything to allow him an hour’s sleep before we get onto the ferry, as well as two more hours during the crossing. Almost a perfect outward trip this time and before we knew it, we were in Deutschland and filling up tiny Tina:
A big part of the German road tripping is ‘The Repack’. This is necessary at least once a day to ensure that all space in the Ford KA has been used to its maximum. Entailing pots being carefully newspaper-wrapped and then placed inside other pots, ‘The Repack’ is usually done in freezing temperatures and causes fingers and other extremities to become purple and inky.
Another essential part of the German roadtripping is the soundtrack. As we are using a thirteen year old Ford KA, we don’t have the luxury of a CD player. Instead we are limited to cassette tapes and the radio. Our band of choice this time were: Fleetwood Mac (as always), Talking Heads, Brakes, Haven, The Supernaturals and – bought from a German flea market – EMF. Fantastich.
We were struck this time by how amazing much of the architecture is in Germany. Many of the buildings look incredibly brutalist; others more 1950s. One of my favourite features is the fashion for putting murals on the ends of buildings:
Now, I’m not suggesting anything here about Germans (and there’s undoubtedly something lost in translation), but lets have a closer look at that sign:
Cakes and crack? Surely not? Actually, in the Midlands, your ‘keks’ are your trousers. So perhaps it’s actually ‘trousers and crack’? That makes much more sense…
Well, they weren’t really upside down trains. They dangled from the tracks at the top! Again, I can’t remember for the life of me which town/city we were in. The whole rollercoaster-like-contraption twisted and wound through the centre of the city like a dragon’s spine; we spent a good hour chasing charity shops and kauf-houses around, seemingly following the twists and turns of this beast. It was staggeringly impressive.
My hastily shot pictures through the windscreen don’t do it justice.
**Update!** Have since discovered that it is the Wuppertal Schwebebahn. It appears that it’s quite well known…
Aidan spotted this mosaic on the side of a building. He’d run off to find a toilet, leaving me to guard Tina. We then did a driveby of this wall – is that the strangest sentence ever written?
“What did you do on your holiday in Germany?”
“Oh, we did a driveby of a wall!”
Well, for WGP pottery fans, there is a good reason for it:
So, yes, we are mad. But there was a good reason for it.
We saw this in an antiques shop and could not decide whether to get it or not. It was only thirty Euros, but it was very heavy. We just couldn’t make our minds up whether it was possibly Fifties – therefore cool – or Eighties… then not so cool. After umming and aahing over it for a while, we decided to leave it. Not to worry: I bought a 1950s umbrella for a Euro from the same place and an amazing wall plaque… more about those another post!
This is just a quick (I say quick, it’s taken me nearly an hour!) taster of the German trip. I know what you’re all here for really… but you’ll just have to wait until later for pictures of the finds.
I’ll leave you with this. It’s a picture of Aidan’s face* when he realised that we’d been driving on not much more than fumes on the way back to Dunkirk.
*Note: this was staged afterwards once he’d calmed down a bit.
Well, later on I’ll start the mammoth (but fun) task of photographing and blogging about the finds. For now, I’ll leave you with a sneak preview: