July for me is always a great month as its my birthday month! This month started off with a fabulous vintage event, Leicester carnival which was held at the Racecourse. I was lucky enough to attend with my wonderful friend Dawn, and it was also Theodore ‘s first proper outing. To say he was a Huge success is an understatement. He loved meeting new people as much as they did him. I was also lucky enough to spend time with a group of lovely friends including Andy and Annette, Mick, Nicki and Emily.
The husband had been given a zookeeper for the day experience at Chessington. This basically involved looking after all the big cats including tigers, lions, Servals, Binturongs and many more. He spent the day In his element, whilst I practiced with the new camera and got a lot of fantastic shots. It was great day and we met up with other family members and Twiglet got to go hand feed a giraffe. More wonderful memories made!
Although I had several articles published over the year in the amazing Vintage Life Magazine, I was really honoured to be given the cover feature on their 80th issue. This was all about a fantastic renovated Cinema; The Stockport Plaza, which had been turned into a bingo hall in the 1980’s but was now back to it’s original beautiful style. I really enjoyed researching the Cinema and hope that I can actually go and visit it during this year!
The amazing Pin Up Picnic took place again and was the perfect opportunity to meet up with all the wonderful Vintage ladies (and the odd gentleman) that I had been fortunate to meet over the past few years. As the weather wasn’t looking too promising, we all met up in a bar that had the required things we needed; space for our big dresses, cocktails and cute kitschy decor. Sadly the British weather didn’t play ball and a trip to Camden in the afternoon was rainlogged. Still, it was great to see all my vintage friends
My husbands cousin was getting married in September and we all travelled to London to have an afternoon in the Ice Bar before hitting local pubs for more cocktails. We finished it all off with a trip into Chinatown where we stuffed ourselves silly with amazing Oriental food at the New World.
This Pornstar Martini came with its own full bottle of Prosecco! What more could you ask for?
I eventually returned back to the Tattoo Parlour (Mad Tatters) to get my second wrist cuff tattooed. As my right wrist has a peacock feather, vintage perfume bottle and flowers around it, I decided to get a complimentary one on my left wrist. This was a large gold hand mirror with red roses, a lipstick and vintage powder puff and I absolutely love it.
For my birthday, my family treated me to a special kind of afternoon tea. This was held at the Sanderson Hotel and was Alice in Wonderland Based. All of the food was wonderland based, including pocket watch macarons, chocolate caterpillars and poison bottle of jelly and custard. It really was a great day out, and having the whole family there made it really special.
Twinwood was one of the highlights of my year, and I am embarrassed to say that I never got round to blogging about it. This was simply due to time getting away from me, and by the time I got around to editing over a thousand photographs, it was October and I didn’t think it was relevant any more. I may well do a Turn Back Time to Twinwood post in the next couple of months, in order to get people excited about this years festival.
I love this photo of my favourite act, Champagne Charlie and the Bubbly Boys. They put on such a good show and I sincerely hope he is there again in 2018.
Little Chick had treated her Dad and I to tickets to Harry Potter Studios as Christmas presents and we eventually went In August. To say it was amazing is an understatement. We loved every single thing about it and could literally have spent a fortune on all the merchandise and photographs. I took several hundred photographs again, and loved seeing all the props and features from the films. Simply brilliant!
I was so honoured to be invited to the VIP Voodoo Vixen Autumn/Winter launch party which was held at one of my favourite places in London, Fontaines. Burlesque, Cocktails, Champagne, Music and new clothes really hit all the spots and the evening was a great success. I loved watching (and singing along) to Elle and the Pocket Belles. It was a pretty late night, but so worth it as not only did all that happen, but I got to socialise with all my favourite vintage ladies including Boo Brown, Chereeka Miriam, Miss Victory Violet and Haili-Leanne Hughes!
The beginning of September was the wedding of the Michelle and Paul. It was so lovely to have all the family together and much merriment (and a lot of alcohol) was consumed. Michelle looked radiantly beautiful and the sun shone all day for them. It is not very often we get a group photo of nearly all the Brannan ladies, so this picture is really special to me.
Every 6 months there is a fantastic trade show called Londonedge and I have already mentioned them in the first part of my review. September saw the new event and we duly got ourselves on trains to London and hit the stands. It was a roaring success and I met so many new amazing people. The after party was fabulous with Burlesque, sword-swallowing and comedy. I love going to Londonedge as you get to see all the new lines that are being released and lust over them!
The amazing artist, Woody Ellen was at Londonedge again this September and we had a little group photograph as she remembered us from the previous year. After the edge, she emailed me asking for some simple information. I gave her what she needed and she kindly sent me a little gift in the post.
Little? It was a handbag, silk scarf and vanity mirror. I was totally blow away by her kindness!
The amazing Nikki at Voodoo Vixen was kind enough to send me the dress of my dreams for me to review. I genuinely never thought that this dress would fit me, and once it did…. All my dreams came true.. I absolutely love everything about this outfit and plan to get a red one next, I think it will look great with my new black hair!
The brilliant Boo Brown invited me to Disneyland Paris for Halloween. I had never been to their Halloween events but had heard so much about it, that I knew I needed to go. Halloween night is the only time that adults can dress as Disney characters, so we both dressed up. I went as Merida from Brave and Boo as Elsa from Frozen.
We had the most amazing time and it was surreal walking around the Disney Park at midnight, with zombies, Disney characters and vampires. Simply brilliant.
Whilst in France I took the opportunity to face one of my fears (and tick another item off my 50 before 50 list) by going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was petrified to start, but by the time I got up there I was loving it. We were really lucky that the day was bright and sunny and there was very little wind. The views were amazing and again my camera was working overtime.
I was very fortunate to be asked to model for a local business “Bohemian Finds” in a catwalk show that was raising funds for a local charity. I got to wear three beautiful dresses and some lingerie, whilst prancing about on a catwalk. What fun we had and it was all for a great cause. This black dress was my favourite outfit of the night and I felt like a princess in it.
My brilliant friend Jane had taken up Millinery whilst suffering from an illness and had been so prolific in her designing and making, that her spare room was full of hats, fascinators and corsages. We decided to hold an Ebay auction to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Appeal, and after Ebay charges, she had raised over £200. Such a great charity and also lovely to see people wearing her creations too!
I was fortunate to be asked to go to London for Vintage Life Magazine to interview a wonderful gentleman, Axel Jansson who is a vintage watch collector (and rock musician). He was fascinating to talk to and so very knowledgeable. I loved chatting to him and I am so excited to see how the article comes out in print in the next couple of months.
Although I have no accompanying photographs, I applied for a new position within my organisation and was over the moon to get an offer of promotion. Whilst I would say I was lucky enough to be offered the job, Luck had nothing to do with it as it was a hard application (a 2000 word essay on why I was suitable for the role) and an even harder interview, but I worked my socks off and was the successful applicant. I can’t wait for the role to properly start in the next couple of months.
We took a five day trip to Centreparcs to celebrate Little Chick and my Mum In Law’s birthday. We have been visiting the Nottingham site for many years, firstly when the children were toddlers. This time we didn’t have much planned apart from a relaxing break with a few activities thrown into it. The weird thing was this time Baby Bear wouldn’t be with us as she was going on her own holiday abroad. We came second in the quiz night, I had a nasty accident and hurt my leg but all in all it was a fantastic break away.
We decided to go along to the Country Club at Centreparcs to celebrate Mum being 75 and Little Chick being 21. Whilst we had a lovely break and it was good to have a rest, sadly the meal at the Country Club was very disappointing, and it wasn’t the best birthday meal we have ever had there. It was also a little “tainted” that Baby Bear wasn’t there too.
I was lucky enough to get to review two new pairs of spectacles from Retropeepers, one in green and one in red glitter which I have become obsessed with. Also whilst on a vintage shop hunt, I saw these original glasses with their case and glasses cleaner and I couldn’t resist. They were a perfect fit and I just loved them. I have now gone from never wearing glasses (only contact lenses) to wearing them every day and not using contacts at all. My eyes are really thanking me!
I was asked to look at writing an article on The Mitford Sisters for Vintage Life Magazine. Little did I know that I would become so obsessed with learning about them that I ended up writing a huge article about them. When I told my editor, Haili-Leanne she said “not a problem, we will serialise it” and so I ended up with an article covering two issues of the magazine. A total achievement for me!
The beginning of December saw Boo and I on a four day trip to Slovening, staying in the Capital Ljubljana. It is a stunning Country and one of my favourites that we have visited together. The people were amazingly friendly and so very helpful. The food (especially the cake) was superb and we even had snow which literally made the whole trip a festive fairytale. I highly recommend a visit there as you won’t be disappointed.
It was the middle of the month that my Brother In Law, Paul came over from his home in America for a week. He is the Army there and so we don’t get to see him too often, and as it was so close to Christmas we had to have a Dinner and a Party. This picture shows my Mum in Law with her three children and was one of over 200 photographs that we took that weekend. Sadly the trip ended all too soon, and Paul returned home. It was such a joy to spend time with him though and we all hope that it won’t be as long next time.
Another task from Vintage Life Magazine was to pop to London for another Interview, this time with the marvellous Roberto Surace who is a West End Theatre costume and set designer. He was fascinating and I have been lucky enough to meet up with him since the interview. The article will be coming out in the next few months and I can’t wait to describe our meeting and his theatre performances too.
Whilst at Pin Up Picnic several of the ladies were wearing long vintage style raincoats that showed off their amazing outfits, whilst keeping them dry from the rainy july day. We had chatted about it and they told me it was from Elements Rainwear and I vowed to check them out further.
Imagine my surprise when they had a stand at Septembers Londonedge and after chatting we arranged a visit to their factory which amazingly was local to me! It was really fascinating to see how the processes worked, on machines that were older than me. I was also very fortunate to be gifted a rainmac at the end of the tour. I genuinely was amazed and can’t wait to wear it out.
One of the final adventures that I had in December was a repeat visit to Harry Potter Studios, however this time it was for the winter event, Hogwarts in the Snow. Boo and I went for the evening and spent four hours wandering around looking at absolutely everything we could. It is a very special place and it was even more awesome covered in snow. It certainly got me in the festive spirit, especially as after the tour I went and got Little Chick from University as she was coming home for Christmas.
So there you go… the highlights of my year, of which there have been many. I have already got a few things pencilled in for 2018 and I hope to add even more as the months go on.
All I can say is watch this space to see just what this fat forty-something fun loving filly gets up to next!!