Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun

Last week we popped across to Gunby Hall, our most local National Trust property. Despite living so close to it for well over a decade, I'd never been and we'd been planning to all summer. As I'm due to go back to uni soon, we decided we'd better go sharpish and thankfully the weather was on our side.



Gunby Hall was built in 1700 and has a beautiful 8 acre Victorian walled garden. The estate used to cover 1500 acres and reached the coast now known as Skegness (which is a 20 minute drive away to give you some scale) but much of this land was sold to the Earl of Scarbrough during the 1800s to build the now famous seaside town.

Gunby Hall itself is an impressive 5 storey house with a total of 42 rooms, and was owned by the Massingberd family from 1700 to 1967. As well as being an impressive country house, it's filled to the brim with the Massingberd's belongings, including large collections of art, furniture, military history, and so many other things including original pieces by William Morris, Lord Tennyson, Edward Lear, Samuel Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and many others. It gives an amazing insight into how the Massingberd's lived their lives.


The library was my favourite room, how I'd love to have such a cosy little space to sit and read some day! It's considered one of the best examples of a squire’s library to survive, most of the book collection dates between 1690 and 1730.


I love the painting of Margaret Lushington, wife of Stephen Langton Massingberd, in the corner. It's from 1906 and was painted in the grounds of the house, you can see it in better detail here. There were many paintings of various members of the family throughout the house, but I was really taken with this one, it's so different from the usual portrait (like the one above the fireplace)


The servants quarters is always my favourite section of any house tour. The above kitchen could be straight out of Downton Abbey.



One of the first freezers!


The butler's own personal room.


Next we wandered into the gardens, which were expansive and just so beautiful. It's difficult to even capture how beautiful they were through my camera, it does them no justice. It was separated into several sections; there's the walled Victorian garden which has over 50 types of roses, the orchard which has over 50 types of apple tree and 30 types of pear, a kitchen garden which still grows a huge selection of fruits and vegetables (I took a sneaky raspberry, it was delicious!), a dovecote, a croquet pitch, lawns, and a carp pond which is older than the house itself (and according to rumors, haunted by the ghost of a servant murdered by Sir William Massingberd to prevent him from eloping with his daughter. His body was disposed of in the pond!)





This was the lawn at the front of the house. I had to laugh at those trees, they look like it's windy out but they're just growing sideways.


It's difficult to capture how huge this tree was, I honestly think it's the biggest tree I've ever seen in my life. And I regularly stomp about woods and forests so I'm well used to big trees!








In the grounds there's also a gallery selling original works by local artists. I fell in love with this watercolour painting and just had to have it, it gives me such a warm feeling of nostalgia. Not that I've ever lived on a farm, but I can dream! I just love foggy winter mornings, and it just feels like everything nice about the English countryside captured in one image.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Summer's Almost Gone




I took these photos a couple of weeks ago and suddenly felt I should better post them before summers well and truly over! I do find it a bit odd that suddenly everyone's decided that September 1st is officially autumn - it isn't. It's September 22nd, when it's the equinox. Not that I'm really complaining as autumn has always been my favourite season. I love seeing the nights draw in, nature turning into fiery shades of orange and reds, and everything becoming cosy. It's the one time of year I can even tolerate the rain. Saying that though, I'm also careful not to wish time away and enjoy these last few days of late summer. I love late summer, everything feels renewed.

I got this dress back in July. It's an eBay find, sometimes I like to type something vague like "60s mod" or "psychedelic" into the search bar, click the vintage category and set my price range to something ridiculously low. A lot of the time it's just tat that comes up, but every so often you find a gem like this dress. I was a little worried it might be snug, but it fits me absolutely perfect and I love it's cheerful colours. I love it with my trusty old Orla Kiely x Clarks shoes, and these earrings which I made myself based on a popular '60s style






I've found some lovely old things things recently. I've been looking for a vintage sewing box for years, but I wanted something that didn't necessarily look like a sewing box. Being a dress maker, knitter and crocheter you can imagine the amount of supplies I have, but most sewing storage is either hideously utilitarian looking, or twee. I turned to vintage as I wanted a sewing box that could be disguised as a stool or table and was a proper piece of furniture, and finally I found exactly that! And it was only £10 which I think is an absolute bargain.




I also found this indoor plant stand. I'd been looking at one similar in another antiques shop for a couple of years, sighing at it's ridiculous £45 price tag. It had finally sold on my last visit and I was a bit sad, until I went to the junk shop across the road and found this one for £5. It doesn't have a pot, but I'm hoping that won't be too difficult to find as it's a regular shape. Or I might not even use it for plants, setting it next to the sewing box gave me the idea it might look nice with balls of colourful wool inside it.

I also came away with the two vintage Tupperwares for £3, and a little brass candle holder. I remember my mum having Tupperware like this when I was little, before it was gradually replaced by the bland transparent stuff that's around nowadays (that gets stained and gross looking in no time at all!). These are the perfect size to fit a pasta salad lunch in or similar, and I love the sunshiney colours.




I've also found an abundance of patterns! The above are what I found at the vintage shop, below are what I picked up over Bank Holiday at a car boot sale. All were a grand total of £2! I have a massive basket of crimplene that I haven't been inspired to turn into anything, so I'll certainly be kept busy over the upcoming long winter nights! I'm most excited to make that Butterick 5827 in the below photo, I have a belt and purple boots that will look just perfect with it.



Also, if you're interested in my non-vintage goings on, I've set up another blog for it. It's something I flip back and forth over a lot in my mind, on the one hand I want to blog about more of my interests and journal my every day goings on, but on the other I really like the mostly vintage vibes of this blog and don't like messing that up so a second blog was the obvious answer. I'm not leaving this one at all so no worries on that front, but if you want to see more personal content head over to www.lonelymoonchild.co.uk.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sunny day while away the afternoon




I don't think I've yet shown this dress on here, even though I've had it for a while and it's one of my favourites. I got it when I went to Brighton and stumbled across Waiste Vintage's pop up shop. I've bought from them online in the past and always loved absolutely everything, and I'd totally forgotten they had a physical store until I saw it when wandering about. I loved this dress as soon as I set eyes on it, it's an old St Michael dress so the quality is fab.

This was what I wore when I went to my local antiques centre. It's an absolutely massive place, there's about 8 or so different stores all next to each other and it takes an entire day just to look at everything. It's expensive so I literally tend to look instead of buy, but I just love all of the oddities on display. I always think it's worth visiting these types of places for inspo more than anything. I've often seen things I've liked that I might not have otherwise considered, and then looked them up on eBay after I've gotten home.




I love looking at vintage badges. I bought the 'I Like Ringo' one and the Queen one.


I love the pattern on that tin but it was about a tenner and there's no way. I have the matching coffee percolator to that Wedgewood Russell Hobbs milk warmer, but as I don't have milk in my coffee I couldn't see any point in buying it.


They have a great selection of records. There aren't too many record shops around these parts and they tend to be quite basic when they do exist. It's a very general selection here and you probably won't find anything rare, but it's very wide variety and great for filling in the gaps of a collection. I didn't get anything this time, but it's the first time I've left empty handed.




Any here's what I did get! My nan used to have one of these Pyrex mixers, it has a little whisk and sieve on the bottom and is just a great all-rounder item to have in the kitchen. I saw an expensive one downstairs, then went upstairs and saw it for £5 in the same store. It came with it's original box, which I have mixed feelings about. As it's survived so long and I have a hoarders mindset I feel duty bound to keep it, but it's also completely unnecessary. I also got this cute little watering can for my indoor plants.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

I've got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains

When I popped down to London for my birthday I couldn't resist making the most of it by revisiting the Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A (you can read about my first visit here). It was a fairly last minute decision as I'd only decided the week before and bought a ticket as soon as the idea entered my head. I was primarily going to London to see The Killers at Hyde Park, but as that wasn't until the evening and I wasn't eager to get to the venue too early it felt an obvious choice, especially as I was really hoping to go back and see the exhibition again anyway.

pink floyd their mortal remains syd barrett piper at the gates of dawn

I can't really explain the feeling this exhibition gives me other than sheer euphoria; to be so completely immersed in a band that means so much to me. I love the headphone aspect as it makes the experience so completely immersive and so personal, you almost forget everyone else is even there. I really feel like that's part of the magic of the exhibition; that everyone is wandering around in their own little Pink Floyd filled world.

As I entered and saw the giant replica Bedford van I did suddenly feel slightly worried that it wouldn't be as good as last time as I'd already seen everything and they'd be no surprises. But I actually enjoyed the experience more this second time around which I didn't think was possible as I loved it so much already!

When I booked my ticket they were nearly all sold out, and being a Saturday I expected it to be packed. Whilst it was definitely busy, it was much less busy than before when I attended a few days after opening. I didn't feel like I was playing sardines at any point, and it was much easier to frame my photographs without getting any of the other visitors in shot. Because I'd already seen everything and knew what was there I was able to actually focus on the items and areas that interested me instead of trying to take absolutely everything in at once like last time. Because of this, I came away really feeling like I'd learnt little tidbits I'd picked up instead of just having it all wash over me.

I also noticed a few little changes had been made which definitely helped the exhibition flow more smoothly. Just little things, like the Syd Barrett display at the beginning had been rejigged so it no longer blocked the entrance, and the headphone sets connected much more seamlessly without having to stand in a specific spot to hear.

pink floyd their mortal remains syd barrett piper at the gates of dawn
Replicas of Syd Barrett's guitars (unfortunately no one knows what happened to his actual ones which is so sad, musical history has been lost there) and a 1960s zippo lighter like he used to play his guitar.

"One has to recognise that Syd, apart from looking good and playing guitar and so on, wrote songs and that was the unique and very special thing" - Nick Mason

pink floyd their mortal remains
A street map of Cambridge with historical Pink Floyd related locations pin pointed. I found this really interesting as it puts their early life into perspective as I'm not familiar with Cambridge. I left this photo in it's original size if you'd like to click through and read it.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick Mason's shirts and hat, sadly the only clothing on display which is a shame as they wore some really fab stuff throughout the years! I noticed almost all of Nick's things were credited to his first wife Lindy.

pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick's drumsticks engraved with his name, and one of David Gilmour's guitars and several of his pedals. All from 1969-1970.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Part of a string of coins made by Nick used to create the intro to Money on Dark Side of the Moon.

pink floyd their mortal remains
David's actual black strat with a film of him discussing it in the background, and one of Nick's drum kits.

"A lot of experimentation that was going on musically ... could have, if they weren't careful, moved Pink Floyd away from rock altogether ... One of the reasons it never does that is because there's a kind of steel in there at all times. What roots Pink Floyd in rock music is Nick Mason's drumming. However complex the ideas, he gives these often superb repeated loop grooves which really make it feel like it's a rock exploration ... it's the rhythm that does that." - Howard Goodall, musicologist and composer

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger Waters' handwritten lyrics to Have a Cigar, and a polaroid photo taken by Nick of Syd Barrett's surprise visit to the studio when they were recording Wish You Were Here; "David asked me if I knew who he was...even then I couldn't place him, and had to be told. It was Syd."

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger Waters' hand written lyrics and sketches for The Wall

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Rick Wright with his 'surrogate' for The Wall stage show, with the mask of his face the surrogate wore.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
One of the sheep parachutes used for their Animals/In The Flesh tour. Fireworks would be shot into the air, and these paper sheep with weighted feet would float down into the audience.

pink floyd their mortal remains
Nick would often write gig notes on his drum heads and use gaffer tape to dampen the sound. This is one of his snare drum heads which was broken by Nick at the at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1977. The writing is mostly the location codes that had been previously agreed by the band to call out during the show so illegal bootlegs could be traced.

Also David's guitar, Electric Mistress pedal and Big Muff pedal, and one of Rick's keyboards.

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
Roger's outfit he wore on stage during his solo tour of The Wall from 2010 - 2013.

"When I was working with Syd, Nick, Rick and David I'd been very lucky. It was a great platform. The name of that band is sort of irrelevant. It's being there and having the opportunity to do the work that's priceless." - Roger Waters

pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains
pink floyd their mortal remains

I sat in the end cinema room showing the Live 8/Arnold Layne/High Hopes videos for far too long just enjoying the atmosphere (as let's face it, it's the closest experience I'll ever get to seeing Pink Floyd live!). I was in the exhibition for 2 and a half hours, which I felt was pretty good considering it took over 4 last time!

I still don't feel done with this exhibition. I wish I still lived in London as traveling is my biggest prohibiter, but as it is I'm hoping to get down there at the end of September to see it one last time before it closes.

pink floyd their mortal remains

I hadn't planned to spend much in the gift shop, telling myself I only wanted the Saucerful of Secrets tshirt and a few duplicates of the pins I bought last time. But I'm weak, and as it was my birthday it was far too easy to justify! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the duplicate pin I wanted of Algie, but I got plenty more to make up for it. I couldn't resist buying the Record Store Day release of Interstellar Overdrive as I don't like RSD nor the jacked up prices on eBay. I also got an Animals top which I picked out on a whim yet have already won plenty, a few postcards, an Algie keyring, and a David Bowie tote from their small display from the Bowie exhibition a few years ago as I really wanted a tote and wasn't feeling the Pink Floyd designs.
© Dolly Rocker. Design by FCD.