Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 and Beyond

So how was your Christmas?   Ours was quieter than last year but very enjoyable. We spent Christmas day with our two grandsons and Terry’s parents. We laughed a lot, played games, ate too much and had a great time.

The following photos are a little blurry, which might be a good thing considering we are all wearing silly hats!

Terry with his mum and dad

Me with our grandsons Tris (on the left as you look at the photo) and Kip 

Tris (left) Kip (right)

During the rest of the holidays we walked, read and caught up on films missed earlier in the year. The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin was the perfect holiday read. Wouldn’t you work in a bookshop in Paris if you had the chance? I certainly would. Days spent surrounded by books while snow falls on the Champs-Élysées – what’s not to like?  

A little more serious reading is in order for the New Year starting with two books received as gifts this Christmas. East West Street weaves together historical, legal and familial narratives to reveal the origins of international law, beginning and ending with the last day of the Nuremberg trial. I’m excited to read this recent winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. I think I’m in for a treat.  

I’m also excited to read the complete edition of the Wipers Times, the famed trench newspaper of the First World War. It contains a unique record of life on the wartime frontline, together with an extraordinary mix of black humour, fake entertainment programmes and pastiche articles.

My favourite film of the year, watched just a few days before Christmas is:  Sully. 
On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. 

Before saying goodbye to 2016, I thought it would be fun to look back at the most popular posts on my blog last year. I also want to take a moment to thank you.  It is your visits, comments and shares that keep this blog alive. I am so very grateful to you all. Thank you!  

Now for the top five: 

Coming in at Number One is the wonderful Finnigan The Circus Cat: A Guest Post by Mary T. Wagner.

Mary shared her post with us in August and in October Finnigan was awarded a first-place finish at the Royal Palm Literary Awards in Florida. Congratulations Mary I can’t think of a more worthy winner.

Mary T Wagner at the Royal Palm Literary Awards

In Second Place is a book which occupies a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. When found it was in a very dilapidated state but an excellent book restorer sprinkled a little magic book dust, and saved it from the clutches of the evil book pulping machine! This is just one of the beautiful images from Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales - see others here

In Third Place is our visit to the Titanic Museum in Belfast. The museum kindly shared the post on their social media streams, which certainly increased the number of visitors to my blog. 

In Fourth Place: British Eccentricity on Show at: The Chelsea Flower Show.

Diarmuid Gavin creator of the above flower show garden has indicated he will be taking a break from Chelsea in 2017.  Such a shame as I really love his designs as do a lot of people. 

In July, we visited Krakow and Auschwitz, and that post comes fifth and last on the list.  

It’s almost time to wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope 2017 brings you all your heart desires. 

I'm putting a post together about my favourite blogs from around the web and will share it with you soon. In the meantime, I would love to hear about the ones you enjoy so thinking caps on please.  

Saturday, 17 December 2016

More Vintage Christmas Greetings Sent With Love

With Christmas just around the corner I thought I would share a few more vintage Christmas cards with you. I have a particular liking for anything by Rene Cloke (left) or brightly-coloured examples like those that follow.

 Most of the cards I buy cost less than a pound (USD 1.25), but if you want to splash out you should look for hand-painted ones by famous artists, such as Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane.  

This hearty greeting comes to wish you everything that's good, and though I cannot shake your hand today, yet may we meet in kindest thought and wishes for each other. 

A Merry Christmas may you see both joy and fortune call,
a Happy Year, and may it be the happiest one of all.

I send my love and wish that you a jolly time may see,
with girls and boys and games and toys and all in harmony.

I hope these toys will bring you pleasure in many a different way,
and be a glad beginning to a Happy Christmas Day.

Wishing you a bright and cherry Christmas!

'Tis Christmas once again, and greetings I am sending,
May you and yours this Christmastide, a joyous time be spending.

It's Christmas! I'm so excited - and to send you a card I'm delighted, so I'll put on my coat and I'll put on my hat, and I'll run to the pillar box jolly and fat, and post the card, which tells you true what a Happy Christmas I'm wishing for you. 

I will be taking a short break now, but I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to visit and comment on my blog. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. 

Christmas wishes and love from Barbara, Terry and all the family xxx 

* Previous vintage Christmas card posts here, here, here, here and here.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A Not to Be Missed Guest Post by the One & Only Willie Wine

Happy Christmas!

Firstly l have to say Thankyou..Grazie..Tack..Gracias..Obrigado..Merci..Danke..To Barbara, for asking me to do a guest post on her lovely Blog!  When Barbara asked me a while ago, l thought ‘goodness’.I've done one other, three years ago in fact!  l’m very much a verbal person, not a writing one, nor a reading one, problem is patience...or lack of it! :(. So, l tend to write as l speak! My grammar's none to good either...! Still...we'll see how l get on!  I'm unable to sit down with a 'good' book! Unless! It's got loads of  pictures..! And, very little writing! :). Like the Ladybird books or the Mr Men books...! :).  Time upon a once.....

And..In growing up, my Father used to say to me.."Trouble with you boy've never grown up". I used to get upset in hearing this,but as l grew older, l took it more as  complement...

So! What to write about...I have a trilogy in my life....’Love Food, Love Cats, Love Pink’. And of course ‘MY’ music....Goes with out saying. Two my music, my emotions! Back in the 60's when everyone was going 'silly' over the Beatles,l took to Motown...And, never looked back!  Soul Music is my Bible! So l was gonna begin by telling you how l started out in life, l was  found, in a box, left on a doorstep...But, as the door opened 'outwards'... l was actually found....'In the road'.....!!! :). HeHe! No! No! But in the end...I thought l might just ramble on about Christmas.....After all, it started way back in October. And, will soon be upon us......

”Silent Night..Holy Night....All is calm..all is bright”.

“No! Not now Willie.....Later”...!!! :).

My memory takes me back to the age of five...We lived in a two  up, two down house..with an outside toilet..HeHe! And yes, it was at the bottom of the garden! God! All that 'news paper' work! :). And at that time there were quite a few Italians living here, in our town, and, we were friends with one Italian family in particular.  In fact, the lady/Mum of that family is still with us today, aged 98, and, l still pop round to see her and have coffee. Lovely lady! All we seem to talk about is The Mafia...... Italian politics.... and all the same thing really!  Capiche!!! :).   

So, then it was traditional that we all went to midnight Mass, on Christmas Eve, as good Catholics. Then after Mass we would go home, and Dad would dress up as Father Christmas, and, give out the prezzies....I used to think back then, how silly Father Christmas was..With ALL the windows and doors...Why does he come down the chimney??? I used to get a Christmas stocking to...Every year...Colouring book,a toy, and an orange! As l got older, l used to think, ‘when am l gonna get a stocking, with a leg in it’. :). But, that’s another story! :). 

So, then l moved on, school..(hated it)..then sixteen l stepped  into the BIG wide world....for the next 10 yrs l was in the entertainment business so Christmas was then spent somewhere on stage...’Do’in ma thang’....'Gett'in on down'  So, the festive season, was quite lengthy.  I worked for the Americans back then, and they sure knew how to party! And pay well...Oh! Yes! :). 

"The road to success is always under construction". 

In 1973...I got married...Pause! Paws! Pause! HeHe!  =(^..^)=  "And, the lord said unto Moses...Come Forth, Come Forth...and he came  Fifth, and lost his beer money". :0).  And! Even back then, at school, we had Sex Education...Oh! Yes! Well! When l say Sex Education...We were just told to remember two things....."Some do..some don't" and "Hello Sailor"....???   

In 1976 my daughter was born...Christmas was great. I just went back to my childhood, and, played with her presents. Well! All except the dolls!  “Com’on Willie..You never stopped playing with Girls World”. “Well, just that one then”. :).  And, just like any family, it’s great watching kids grow up, and enjoying themselves, especially at Christmas.  Our home was always full of kids..l love kids..l used to be one! :).  From 1980, it was just the two of us, we spent Christmas with various families and friends, and, of course new year! Especially New Years Eve...ALL that fancy dress, we used to do very well in prizes...Me! dressed as a fairy...Wings and a Wand and all...I was the bestest fairy...EVER! :).  HeHe! I love dressing up...They can't touch you for it...!!!  

"Every street's a catwalk"...

" you remember when those bikers chased you across the Market Place..when you were dressed as a fairy". "Yes! Yes! Let's forget about that".  But those New Years, used to come and go..very quickly!  Eat! Drink! And be Mary..!!!

Family was and is very important....Though, l do remember an argument about my English Grandma...half the family wanted her buried, and half the family wanted her cremated...Goodness! In the end.....We let her live!  She was a 'BIG' crossword when she did die, we buried her... 6 Down, 2 Across...!!! HeHe! Bless!  So, remember....Always go to other peoples funerals..otherwise, they won't go to yours...!!! :0).  

So my daughter is settled now, no children, but they have two Staffy's, and two cats. I really look forward to going up there, to the Midlands..! l go on the coach...Wells Fargo...! New places to pose in, and new people to be rude to! Great Fun! :). Love my visits to Cheshire Oaks, and Ikea in Nottingham, l really look forward to....I~LOVE~TO~SHOP. And, the only person l enjoy shopping with is my daughter!  (If she can keep up).....Otherwise, l always shop alone! Strange! How shops 'always' remember me on my second visit!  Oh! and, l get to sleep with Zeeva...She is lovely...In the wee hours  of the morn’in I usually wake up and there she is under the duvet, licking my ankles...(no sense of direction)...! :).  Oh! Sorry! Forgot to say...Zeeva is one of my daughters Staffy’s. Did'nt want you to think l was some 'silly' Sicilian...! :). And, pussy~cat Az...Loves to settle on my chest, inches from my face...And dribble! HeHe!   I~Love~Pussy~Cats!   =(^..^)=

"Dogs have owners..Cats have staff". 

As you can tell, it’s ALL rather nice really, with cats and dogs, all over the bed....and a pussy on yer chest....!!!   Rather like the old days!  “Willie”....."Sorry". :0). 

Finally.......Did l hear someone say..’Thank God for that’.... I hope you ALL have a great time this Christmas with family and friends... And, enjoy the high~lite of Christmas...The Christmas Cracker Jokes...You know the ones....

“Who hides in a bakery at Christmas”?
“A mince spy”.

"What is Santa’s favourite Pizza”?
“Deep~pan crisp and even”.

“What do Elves learn at school”?
“The Elf~abet”.

"What's the most popular Christmas wine"?
"I don't like Brussels sprouts".

"What do vampires sing on New Years Eve"?
"Auld Fang Syne". 

(To think l used to get paid for writing such rubbish).  :). 

So...Finally....And, as l'm very much a 'sayings' person....
"May you all have love to share...wealth to spare...and, friends that care".

“It’s nice to be important...But it’s important to be nice”.
"Add  life to your days, not days to your life".         

Did you know....
"It takes 43 muscles to frown...and only 17 to smile". So don't just sit  there......SMILE! :).                     
"We don't stop laughing because we grow old....We grow old because we stop laughing". 

Tanti Cari e affettuosi di Buon Natale,

e Felice Ann Nuovo.......

Willie...x    =(^..^)=

Oh!  There is 'one' book I've read this year....three times in fact....
Not to be missed! Loved it! :). 

(Give it a Google).  =(^..^)=

Pee~Po Christmas.....!  :). 

Many of you ‘know’ Willie from the comments he leaves on this and many other blogs.  If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him or would like to know more, please click here 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Ladies Journal and Portfolio of Fashions December 1931

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this with you.  I love old magazines, but this one is extra special because it still contains the free gifts, as mentioned on the front cover, which is quite remarkable when you realise how old it is. My real reason for buying it was the Weldon’s Portfolio of Fashions (one of the free gifts) but there is much else to enjoy including a serial entitled Cat’s paw and an article about spending Christmas with the then King and Queen.

This from the Weldon's Portfolio of Fashion:  Paris Calling:  The world over, financial and economical questions are difficult to solve and that makes life hard for everybody, but in such trying times it is the duty of the women to provide the pleasant note which gives relaxation to minds and hearts.  

Having mentioned times being rather hard it goes on to describe the fashions that every self-respecting woman simply must have.

In case you can't read the descriptions they are (left to right). The interesting points of this fondant green (a shame the images are in black and white!) satin dress are, epaulette sleeves, crossover bodice and moulded-to-the figure effect.    Have black or raisin brown for this lovely frock of faille, with a low v-shaped neck, and pointed hip yoke.    Frills contribute largely to the chic of this white Japshan silk frock. Note how they catch up the bodice, which has a crossover line and is draped at the waist.     Printed taffeta or Grand Prix Ninon are good materials for interpreting the charming new lines of this frock with a low decolletage, flounces and bustle effect.  

The party season calls for - pretty frocks and fancy dress. 

The pictures are in colour this time, but the descriptions are no less flowery.  The upward lift of the flared frills to the bow at the back shows how charming the bustle can be.  Satin in the soft yellow tone of old ivory is suggested for this gown with new, softly draped bodice and moulded hips. Gay enough for any festive occasion is a frock like this. Make in chiffon or Georgette.   

It's not all party frocks - here are four smart outfits for the younger married woman, combining youthfulness with sophisticated chic. 

Here an introduction to the newest in jumpers ... following the vogue for all things that give a trim military silhouette ... and the latest frocks for wearing till the evening. 

I feel sure my mother would have read magazines like this. This is a photograph of her in the garden of her family home in 1933. She was a stylish young woman, but as she got older, she adopted darker colours and sensible shoes.  I’m glad my memories go back a long way (to the 1950s), or I might never have known about her love of fashion. 

If you are still wondering about the second free gift, this is how it is described in the magazine: Economy or no economy - one thing is certain - every smart woman must have a woolly pochette this winter. With the free pattern, you can make the flat little pochette with its trimly professional air for almost next to nothing. 

Or, by sending to our Service Department, you can secure a lovely mount and chain in oxidized gilt, which we are offering to our readers at the bargain price of 2s, post free, and with it make a very attractive handbag.  

A few more pages from the Portfolio of Fashions; 

If you are interested in vintage magazines you might enjoy these previous posts;  The Best of British Homemaking 1966 and Lilliput Magazines

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