Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Let's Take A Walk...

I confess I stole this post (gasp!) from the lovely chap over at Eclectic Ephemera, but as a Southamptonian and a complete history freak I couldn't resist sharing this with my readers:

Let's take a seven minute tour through pre-Blitz'd Southampton...

I would have loved to have seen a pre-1940s Southampton town! I do love Southampton (most of the time...) but isn't the old town much more beautiful? I did hear once that the city's High Street is actually a pre-fab one built after the war as a temporary measure. Well, sixty years later it's still there! Time for a revamp I think!

In the video I spotted a complete Holy Rood church, a Bargate that was still attached to the High Street, the old floating bridge, and even the end of my dad's old road in Bitterne Park! What did you lads and lasses spot?

Monday, 30 January 2012

'Our Grandad'

Some of you may know that on 16th January 2012 my very dear Grandad Mick passed away. This was a shock to all of us, and it is only now that I can bring myself, still with a lump in my throat, to really take in that he's gone. I've never met a man so full of life and adventure; he constantly travelled the globe with my grandma and the Royal Navy, but was always, some how, at home too. Grandad was famous in our family for his garden, often escaping to the potting shed at the top of his garden, and so this poem, read at his funeral from all his grandchildren, seems so appropriate.

Our Grandad

Our Grandad kept a garden. A garden of the heart.
He planted all the good things that gave our lives their start
He turned us to the sunshine and encouraged us to dream:
Fostering and nuturing the seeds of self-esteem.
And when the winds and rain came he protected us enough;
But not to much because he knew we would stand up strong and tough.
His contant good example, he always taught us right from wrong:
markers for our pathway that will last a lifetime long
We are our Grandad's garden, we are his legacy.
Thank you Grandad. We love you.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Student Suppers: Spicy Tomato & Bean Soup

For anyone that reads my ramblings regularly you’ll know that I am a student. It is a well known fact that students are generally poor, but I want to bust the myth that we just live on beans on toast and bowls of cereal so we can spend on money on beer and vodka (or rum, in my case). So, I’ve decided to run this series called ‘Student Suppers’: they are recipes that I’ve found, come up with or tweaked that are cheap, tasty and fulfilling (hopefully healthy too, but I can’t promise anything!).
This soup is ridiculously cheap and very delicious. I brought all the ingredients for £1.50, and it should make around four to five bowls of soup – depending on how big you like your portions!
Add another can of beans instead of the stock and a bit more chilli for a yummy vegetarian chilli.

400g of chopped tomatoes

400g of kidney beans in chilli sauce - or just plain tomato sauce if you can’t handle the heat ;)
400g of Borlotti beans (drained)
1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 pint of vegetable stock

1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
(If you can handle the heat add a dash of Tabasco sauce, fresh chilli, or 1 tsp chilli powder too)

·         Heat the oil in a large saucepan, fry off the garlic and paprika (and fresh chilli/chilli powder if that’s how you roll) before adding the onion to soften.
·         Add the chopped tomatoes and all the sauce in the can too, along with the tomato puree. Leave this to simmer with the lid of the saucepan for fifteen minutes; this will reduce the tomatoes down, making them sweeter and taking the acidic taste out.
·         Pour in the kidney beans and their spicy sauce and leave to simmer for another five minutes. Then add the drained Borlotti beans.
·         Finally add the pint of stock to the soup, place the lid on the saucepan to stop reducing the liquid, and simmer for a further ten minutes.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Going Dutch in Debenhams

Finally I got myself down to town today after my Archaeology of Ancient Greece exam. There was nothing very exciting to report from the regular highstreet haunts but then I thought to myself "Hmm...I wonder  if Henry Holland's got anything new in?". I have loved this man's "H!" for Debenhams collections for a good few years now; he has a real vintage kick in his clothes (especially for those who love the late 50s and 60s stuff) and they are pretty reasonably priced too - I would say cheaper than Topshop and New Look even, especially with the aid of Debenham's notorious Blue Cross Sales!

Here is just a small selection of the Henry Holland collection. As you may notice there is a servere lack of 'bottoms' in this collection; this is usually the case with H! which is mostly a dress based range. Some of it is in the sale so it won't be available for long, but the rest is from his new Spring/Summer range so it should bring some sunshine to your January day!


Dark Red Long Sleeved Minidress with High Collar - £40 £20 (Only size 8 available online)

Blue Heart Print Minidress - £38 (This is my favourite!)


Blue Striped Top - £16 (Bit of a bargain in my opinion!)

Blue Top with Peter Pan Collar - £35 (More of a spring jumper than a top, and the Peter Pan collar is still bang on trend and gives it that vintage twist) - Also available in red.

Light Pink Blouse - £25 (Quite expensive for what it is but a great summer staple for the wardrobe)


Pink Crochet Short Sleeved Jumper - £36 (Perfect for vintage ladies from 1940s right through to the early 1960s)


Red Check Coat - £60 £30 (Love this coat)

(All photography credits to Debenhams and Henry Holland)

Monday, 16 January 2012

I'm Back In Liverpool...

...And everything seems the same.

Okay, I couldn't resist doing at least one blog with that title given the city I spend over half the year in.

It does seem very much the same as when I left in December. The work load is very much the same and the people haven't changed a bit (which is good!). I've just sat my first exam of my first semester of second year; it was Ancient Warfare, if anyone was wondering. I think it went as well as it good have, and I got in some so called 'funky facts' in there to wow the lecturers, such as the commission for the Riace Warriors as a commemoration for the dead Athenians who gave their lives at the Battle of Marathon. Boom! This blog is truly educational!

So, I haven't even stepped anywhere near town since I've been back (except from my friend Jhodi's 21st birthday trip out on Friday, but that doesn't count!) so I haven't been able to scout out any vintage/repro bargains, see if there are any events on, or anything more interesting that giving you readers odd facts about archaeology. For this I must apologise.

One last thing before I close this brief post: I was warned by my housemate that my beloved house plant Barry the Basil had died. Try as I might with water, sunshire (pah, like we've had much of that recently!) and love Barry was truly gone. Barry II will replace him as soon as I remember to pick one up in Aldi.

RIP Barry

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Perfect Pin Up Hair Brought To You By Bettina May

I have been slightly aware that this tutorial exists but for some reason it had been pushed to the back of my mind. Surfing through the realms of Youtube the other night I came across Bettina May and Go-Go Amy's Pin Up hair tutorial and it all came back to me! I've watched the make up version before and searched for the hair tutorial but my quest was always unsuccessful - until now!

Bettina May is the perfect teacher for beginners as the 45 minute tutorial goes through step by step to create several vintage pin up looks. She shows you how to set the rollers, how to brush them out, and how to style them all with a lovely smile. This is definitely worth a watch if you're a beginner in vintage hair styling, or just want to perfect your skills.

Monday, 2 January 2012

It Was A Very Good Year...

And for once, it really was! Usually I absolutely despise new years because I remember everything that went wrong, everything I didn't do, everyone that hurt me in some way. But 2011 was different, completely different. I didn't do a Christmas recap and this won't be a New Years Eve one either (I don't have a camera anymore and the photos that were taken are a little too incriminating for the public eye I think) so instead I will take a leaf out of Missy Vintage's book and do a picture recap of the entire year. Hold onto your hats...

So I started the year with brown hair...yeah...really not me is it? Too natural! This was our first night out after our first semester exams which was a massive relief! I quite like my outfit, but that skirt is so short! It definitely requires tights!

February saw me back in lectures and the start of several more nights out. The photo above is a Barbie & Action Man night out. I might not look that Barbie'd up but for me, I really am. Hair is straightened, I'm wearing fake tan (uuuurgh) and just generally girly.

Look who it is! Let me introduce you to Yinka, my oldest friend whom I've known since we were tiny (well she was tiny, I was never tiny). She came up to Liverpool for our friend Victoria's birthday and hopefully she'll be up again soon! Notice the brown hair is still there...shudder.

Phew! That's more like it! The blonde was back in April thanks to a bottle of bleach - my hair is now well and truly frazzled! This is me and Kat, my best friend who moved to Plymouth later in the year which saddened me greatly. I think I remember this night as the night I got ready in twenty minutes hence the lack of styling and complex make up.

Meanwhile back in Liverpool we had a couple of weeks before the exams began and then finally the exodus of Lady Mountford C Block. It was a stressful month in terms of work but my exams were over in the first week so I had a nice 10 days of to do absolute nothing. Cue hours wasted on Sims, Youtube and walks to Tesco and back.

And here it is, the penultimate night as a Fresher, and it was a very interesting night indeed! The actual last night was a foam party and thus really not glamourous at all. I really like this outfit, especially in summer months, even though it's not vintage or rockabilly one bit. 

July was a glorious month with the Hotrod Hayride and the adoption of my lovely Agatha! It truly is the highlight of my year and I can't wait for this year's! Needless to say I adore this outfit :)

There it is again, that photo! I said it would crop up again! August saw me embarking on my first proper archaeological dig at Eddisbury Hillfort. Marvellous times all round me thinks!

Pink! The hair is pink! I had a major hair colour chnge in September and took the plunge and went pink. I have only just got the colour out and there is still a mild tinge of pink lingering. I loved the colour and I plan on going many other colours but for now I'll stick to pearl white.

October and my twentieth birthday! Scary times! I really liked my outfit this year, and I think my hair and make up made the look complete - even if it did take me a full hour to brush out the back combing the next day!

Another little hair change in November when I had Bettie Bangs cut back in and a splash of more pink. November was a quiet month really as the work really began to mount up. In the six weeks I had left of the semester I had 11,000 words to write and countless books to read. Partying and socialising outside of the library took the back seat, although Heather and I had some raves with our Tesco meal deals and peach water of an eve...not.

So here we are at the end of the year. December was very busy for work with a deadline a week for essays and when the last one came (a very long report on the Eddisbury project) I could have kissed the ladies on the front desk when they took it off my hands! Homeward bound there was Christmas, meeting friends and family again and finally new years eve! I wore a Topshop dress that I got in the sale a couple of years ago for £20. I rarely wear this dress but I think it needs to come out the wardrobe a lot more!

And that's it! Here's to 2012 and I hope y'all have a good'un!