Monday, 17 August 2015

Tyne and Tide

At the weekend, I headed off to the north east to visit my sister Sabena and her partner Gary. We were trying to work out the last time I was there on my own, it must have been before I had kids.
I love Newcastle, but I love these two even more!
As with so many cities which have a rich industrial heritage, there is impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture aplenty.
 Grey Street runs down to the Quayside in an elegant Georgian curve...

while the Central Arcade is an extravagently-tiled Edwardian hymn of praise to shopping.
A leisurely stroll by the Tyne in the sunshine was glorious.

We crossed the Millenium Bridge...
into Gateshead, to visit The Baltic art gallery.

The viewing platform offers fantastic views of the river and city...

as well as the kittiwakes which huddle along the side of the building.

Smiles all round!

Then on to have a nosey in the Sage, a live music venue on the Gateshead side of the Tyne.

On Sunday, we walked from Tynemouth to North Shields along the Tyne estuary.

The view behind us showed the Collingwood Monument and the two piers, marking the point where the estuary opens into the sea.

We saw a couple of people harvesting cockles on the mud flats.

Breakfast at Irvin's was delicious.

  We strolled back into Tynemouth through the newly-renovated Northumberland Park...

(yes, the greens really were that vibrant in the sun!)
before a browse around the market held at Tynemouth Metro station every weekend.
The Victorian ironwork and glass roof made it feel as though the market was taking place in a greenhouse, but it was good to see so many people enjoying the event, and the sun.

Tynemouth Longsands...

just beautiful.

And then it was time to go home.

I came back with a few finds from the market;
1970s Jean Allen shirtwaister dress
1970s floaty maxi
1960s handmade jacket
Two 1960-70s cotton day dresses
and also this 1960s dress. At a quid each, how could I leave them behind?

And the pendant is another 1960-70s stainless steel Lord Python piece, made in Sheffield by David Scott Walker. What were the chances of finding that in Tynemouth?

Or a swan brooch with the head of a diplodocus?

I'll be catching up with you soon, I promise.


Monday, 10 August 2015


You know I love a floral print.

And purple, I love purple too.

Told you.

I found this little purple jacket on a £1 sale rail in a charity shop, and very useful it is too as an alternative to my denim jacket. 

Everything charity shopped, apart from Charlie - he was a freebie.

Jacket, top, vintage Austrian crystal necklace and bangles - charity shopped
1970s Debroyal maxi skirt - vintage fair
Sandals - retail (sale)

While I was visiting Patsy the other weekend, we visited Helmsley, a pretty North Yorkshire market town.

The imposing ruins of Helmsley castle.

 The walled gardens were a real treat.

Beautiful borders...

and fabulous blooms.

So much vibrant colour, I loved it.

And the best garden seat ever.

I could have stayed all afternoon.

You'll have to excuse me, I haven't got much to say at the moment. I think working all through the summer holidays is leaving my brain slightly doughy and my energy levels depleted.

 So I'll let this little Russian-made sweetheart wave goodbye for me! She's grateful because I rescued her from the charity shop bin.

I'll come and visit you all soon, I promise.


Monday, 3 August 2015

Style is Eternal

I travelled up to Barnard Castle this weekend to see the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Bowes Museum, a (deferred) birthday treat arranged by my good friend Patsy.

Et voila! 

A French chateau in the middle of County Durham may be a little incongruous, but it is a magnificent building. 

Interestingly, it was always intended to be a museum, built by John and Josephine Bowes to house their collection of European decorative arts; the museum first opened to the public in 1892.  

We took full advantage of the excellent backdrop, of course...

and were very excited about seeing the exhibition.


Fashionable eyebrows were raised when the Bowes Museum was chosen as the venue for this YSL retrospective, the first ever shown in Britain. It is certainly a huge coup for Joanna Hashagen, the museum's fashion curator. But why not? London gets most of the interesting exhibitions, so it makes a refreshing change for the provinces, especially the North, to get a look in. 

The clothes are spectacular.

I wasn't sure if photography was allowed (it usually isn't) but I surreptitiously snapped a few of the exhibits.

The bright pink Zepherine dress (far right) is from 1958, when Saint Laurent was designing at Dior; it featured in a fashion show attended by Princess Margaret at Blenheim Palace in that year, and has only recently been rediscovered.
The famous Mondrian dress, 1965; the influence of art is evident in many of the designs. 
I love the exuberance of this 1960s magazine spread.  

Chic tuxedo, 1966.
Le Smoking.

Sheer brilliance. 


Matisse dress, 1980.

There are so many iconic designs in the exhibition, it was a real pleasure to see them up close and beautiful. 
 Barnard Castle is a pretty market town, and Patsy and I had lunch and checked out the charity shops. Of course.

And I found my own little bit of 1960s glamour...

a Hong Kong-made silk and sequin top and skirt set.

The top fits, but the skirt is tiny. The pieces were hung separately in the shop, priced at £4.99 each, and although I have no idea what I will do with the skirt, it seemed wrong to leave it behind. 
(If you have a miniscule waist and hips, and don't mind paying high postage costs - it's very heavy - email me and I'll send you the skirt; it deserves a good home.)
 Silk palazzo pants - flea market
 Sandals, bangles and 1970s magnifying glass pendant - charity shopped 
I'm hoping a soupcon of YSL magic has rubbed off on me!