Friday, 29 June 2012

Suburban style

Hello! Happy Friday! Here is an outfit post brought to you by my garden and its delightful environs.

Top: River Island
Jeans: c/o Vivien of Holloway
(sorry I'm doing so much c/o stuff... I'm just always excited to wear it!)
Belt: Mum's from the 80s
Shoes: Liberty x Nikes

Delightful, slightly broken fence
Mysteriously dry/dead grass despite all the rain
Lovely lush plants, thanks to all the rain

Pocket/bum/my lovely new grey nailvarnish

Tired face/earrings bought from Bow & Crossbones
Hair left au naturel as it's not enjoying the constant straightening...

Still loving the era clash of 1987 Nike design and 1940s Liberty fabric <3

Quite impressed with the lined-up-ness of the stripes on the chest pocket...
high street stuff ain't always shoddy! 

That's all folks... more soon! Have great weekends.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Monday, 25 June 2012

Best things

On Friday, I got to watch my best friend of fourteen years get married to her soulmate.


It was the smallest, most fuss-free and intimate wedding I've ever attended, with only a handful of guests drawn from family and closest friends, a simple dress bought off-the-peg from a high street shop, two flower girls for bridesmaids and a sit down meal in an amazing restaurant. But it was perfect, and wonderful.


We started off in a small registry office, where the bride and groom were married without fanfare, with just myself and the groom's nephew as witnesses, and his parents. But we then headed back to the in-laws' house in the rural countryside to get ready for the main event: a blessing in a beautiful little church (which doesn't have a wedding license, hence the slightly unusual proceedings). I did my darling Gemma's hair for her, in a simple, messily pincurled updo. And of course I had to have a pose by the wedding car, in my amazing Trashy Diva dress from Miss Bamboo. Having well got over my fear of showing my knees, I'm embracing shorter styles with aplomb now, as you can see!


 If anyone wants to hire me to look smug next to your vintage car, get in touch!


 The ceremony was heart-burstingly lovely, though the weather was shocking; and the bride's father, who is being cared for due to his Alzheimer's nearly didn't make it due to his carer getting the dates wrong... but make it he did, and he was on top form. I gave a reading, shed a tear, you know, the usual.

Bit of a Trashy Diva extravaganza with me in my Lucy Dots!
Flower girls could be THE most adorable ever.

I did take lots of pictures of the AMAZING food we ate at the restaurant, but I've posted a lot of those on the blog lately. What I will regale you with is the glorious wedding cake that Gemma made HERSELF. The chef at the restaurant came out from the kitchen to ask who'd made it as it was the best fruit cake he'd tasted, probably ever. So, if anyone needs a wedding cake made in Surrey, then let me know and I'll put you in touch ;)




Despite the heavens having opened and staying open all afternoon (it absolutely, completely poured), the sun did break through just as we were leaving to head home as the newly-weds headed off for a weekend away...


Perfect.

Hope you're all feeling full of joy and optimism this Monday... I know I am (for now!).

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Valley of Dorks

Last week, Bethan and I did something completely free and amazingly fun. We went to a film screening, followed by museum private view, all part of the Grant Museum of Zoology's Silly Season. We had a hard time believing such a thing could be free as we found it SO awesome! But then, we are massive dorks.

The evening kicked off with a screening of Valley of Gwangi, a 1969 film replete with special effects so terrible & dated that it passed well into the realms of 'so bad it's good' territory. The cheesy story-line and stop-motion animation were absolutely brilliant. But what made it was the hilarious professor chap doing the introduction. I'm sure you had to be there, but truly, it was superb.

We then headed round the corner for what was by far the best bit: a free glass of wine and after-hours private view of the Grant Museum itself, and all its weird and wonderful specimens, pickled things and bones. This post is extremely picture-heavy and MOST CERTAINLY NOT for the faint of heart or squeamish. Not apologising to vegetarians though, as Bethan's been one since she was 3, and she loved as much as me.

 Picked sea creatures...

Anaconda skeleton...

OWLS

 Big cats

More marine things

BRAAAAIIINNNSSSS

Damien Hurst x Bambi :(

Feline boney

Ancestors!

I did have some stand-out favourites, though. They were the family of humanoids in the upstairs 'library', with the monkey hanging from the pillar...

Daredevil dead monkey!

The *cough* penis bones ;) and...


...the Jar of Moles (which is so famous it has its own Twitter)

Here we are, looking like the massive, excited dorks that we fully admit to being... complete with windblown fringe that I was enjoying myself too much to realise and brush!  Coordinating outfits and matching shoes unintentional, but great minds eh?

Me: vintage skirt, high street cardi & top, Bow & Crossbones necklace, Rocket Originals shoes
(side note: just went on Bow & Crossbones to check the link & they have some amazing new stuff!
Apples! Strawberries! Olives! And loads of repro thermoset. Love.)
Bethan: vintage dress, mum-knit cardi, Rocket Originals shoes

The museum does free film screenings once a season, so we're already eagerly waiting for the autumn one. Seriously fun evening out and completely bonkers that it was free! Now we wonder what other fab things can be done gratis in this horribly expensive city!

Bye for now...

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Friday, 22 June 2012

Feast of Fun

Last night, I ate a lot of unbelievable food. I went along to the Forgotten Feast, a collaboration between Foodcycle and eco-chef Tom Hunt aimed at raising awareness of the excessive amount of food wasting that goes on in this country, and to raise money for the former, so they can carry on cooking nutritious meals for those most in need. I was there under the guise of work, but because I'd like even more people to go along and feast on the deliciousness I experienced, I thought I'd write about it too. So here it is.

Everything you see here is either donated surplus food, foraged wild food, or strange and unpopular cuts of meat that are usually discarded. They are being put to very good use! 


We began with beetroot houmous and 'misfit' crudités - made from the funny shaped and knobbly veggies we're not usually allowed to see; and prosecco with strawberry purée, plus an inspiring intro from Foodcycle founder Kelvin (left) and Tom (right). A pair of people with more passion for food and for helping others, you're not likely to find. Then downstairs for more nibbles - fresh salsa and flat bread. I ate too much.


The starter was mackerel escabeche and pickled carrots on a bed of foraged, wild, sea vegetables and wild garlic flowers. I died and went to heaven! Then the veg started coming out - fresh tomatoes with pesto and basic, roasted carrots...


Salted pollock with wild samphire, courgettes with crispy garlic, sesame seeds, and greek yoghurt... roasted peppers with capers, mushrooms with croutons and Tom's piece-de-resistance, rolled pig’s head porchetta, which took me right back to my Tuscany trip. I ate too much, again.


I sat with some awesome strangers at the communal table, Cecilia, Eliza, Lily and Kirsty - from Italy, Brighton, London and Australia (hi guys, if you're reading this!). They made it even more of a pleasure. Not that even they could match the awesomeness of the chocolate torte with poached fruit and whipped ricotta. I ate too much and I nearly popped.

The Forgotten Feast is on today (Friday), Saturday and Sunday lunch. Please go if you love food and want to feel altruistic about doing something good for charity - it's worth absolutely every penny. And, if you heard Tom talking about staying up all night tweaking the temperature controls on the rolled pork head, you'd have to go try it too! Both the Feast and Foodcycle itself are real labours of love - for food and for helping people in need.

Tickets (and full menu, though it varies slightly every night due to what they've been given) are on Eventbrite now. Go go go (and wear something stretchy at the waist)!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Week-ling

Hello!

If you read my blog a week or so back, you'll know that after I decided I wanted to do a bit more good stuff for other people, I've been interning on A Good Week ... which is in fact this very week! Our launch event was yesterday, and it's marked the culmination of the last month and a bit of work. I am super proud and excited to be a part of it, and as such am going to plug a few choice things that are happening, in case any of you dear readers want to get involved with any of it.

Firstly, tomorrow night, there's a free yoga session in Willesdon Green, North London. You know how I love my yoga, in fact, I attribute the core work and breathing exercises to the upkeep of my small (in proportion to the rest of me) waist! If you want to go along, then you can register for free at Eventbrite - it's being held at a pretty fab place called The Library Lab, where any company-starved freelancers can go and work for free... definitely check it out!

The thing I am probably most excited about checking out is the Forgotten Feasts pop-up restaurant, which opens on Thursday and runs until Sunday. It's been put together by a charity called Foodcycle, who work to try and offset the vast amount of food that's wasted in this country (400,000 tonnes) by serving it to a fraction of the 4 million people suffering in food poverty, and an eco-chef called Tom Hunt; and it's an amazing-looking 10-course meal made from surplus, weird-looking and unloved food, old-fashioned cuts of meat and things that have been foraged from the wild. I will be taking lots of photos of the food and posting it all to make you jealous. If you can't come, that is - do feel free to join me - tickets are available here!

There's so much more going on, if you peruse the A Good Week site - from talks to sewing workshops to online competitions. Do have a look.

In other, less altruistic but no less exciting (for me) news, I've got so many fun things coming up in the next week! On Friday, my best friend of well over a decade is getting married and I am welling up just thinking of it. Then, next Saturday, I'm going to another food-stravaganza - this time it's a day-time Speakeasy 'supper club' with a WWI theme (food from every country that participated in WWI, specifically), which sounds amazing! I'm free on that day because, due to a mix-up on dates, I'm going to the Hackney Weekender on Sunday, ALMOST on my own as all my friends are going on the Saturday! Luckily some running friends will be there... I can't wait to see, well... everyone on the Radio 1 Xtra stage. Anyone else going Sunday?

Next Monday I've been invited to a Babicka vodka launch night with a 'dark fairytale' theme. It's in one of my favourite London cocktail bars, The Nightjar, so I'm looking forward to sharing pictures with you (but have no idea what to wear).

Last but not least, in my social diary for the discerning do-gooder/vintage person, my friends Harry and Grace of the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall are putting on a new swing night on Saturday 23rd - Fat Harry's Midsummer Swing. It's such an awesome venue and run by sterling folks. I may well see you there.

So this post isn't entirely words, here are some photos of what I am wearing today, in my new guise as office gal extraordinaire!


This is an example of how being shot from above makes you look short! My colleague Charlene is very petite, so she stood on a chair and conversely made me look little! I quite like it! As you can see, we were hard at work blowing bubbles in the office this afternoon!

Outfit details:
Spotty t-shirt - H&M
40s repro trousers - Heyday
Boat shoes - Chatham Marine


Ruby Woo lips
Barry M nails in a ruby red and turquoise accent aaaand...
...Vintage clip on plastic hoop earrings!

So tell me what makes a Good week for you? It can be anything from personal to professional. I'm just being nosy really, so humour me ;)

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Birthday Nuit

Sooo... following swiftly on from my last post about my birthday suit, which was in fact my outfit during the first, and indeed more sedate part of my birthday; I'm going to post a couple of pictures from the rather different second part(y). The PARTY!


...unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying myself to actually take any interesting photos. Sorry everyone! I did have the presence of mind to hand my camera to someone just after taking this photo, to capture the blowing out of the candle moment...


The three birthday people, Bethan, Torquil and I, blew out the 'Happy' candles, though we also had 'Birthday' of course. Thanks to the beautiful and lovely Gemma for the cake action. Then I realised I wanted to record my outfit...

So here's what I wore!

Miss L Fire wedges
Yet another Primark peasant top, in mustard yellow
Vintage bangles in reds and yellows
The sign of the Horns!

And here is me, looking the most attractive I have ever looked, with my piece of cake (and more than a few gins inside me).


After the pub closed, I met up with a friend and went to a warehouse in an industrial estate in remotest east London, which was full of people in onesies and kigus dancing to hiphop and we had more drinks, and I can't even remember getting home, except that when I did it was at 6.30am. Sunday wasn't pretty.

Thanks for watchin'! I'll be back again soon.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Birthday Suit (again)

So Saturday was my birthday! I am now *cough*mutter*unintelligible* years old! Imagine that! I'm sure I don't look a day over 21. Whereas I do, in fact, look 10 years over 21.

I had a big ol' party in the evening, for which I was too busy enjoying myself to take many photos (though I did get one of the outfit), but instead here is what I wore to have lunch with my lovely mum and dad. My birthday suit!


My birthday suit is so called because it is a playsuit, and because I wore it on my birthday LAST year. A traditional Fleurday outfit (as of now). But I haven't actually posted me in it since last year, so why not! Paired with some Converse - the low-profiley ones, rather than the regular ones (technical terms).


It has a nice wishbone print, a lovely lime belt, some pockets, and the shadow of my mum's head taking the picture.


I wore it with my MOST FAVOURITE NEW THING(S) EVER, my new earrings. They are by GoGo Philip, and were a proper mission to find! I set my heart on some (after seeing them on a friend, I am ever the copier), and having not found any in Topshop where she got them, or online, I wrote plaintively to the PR company... who located some in Italy and was going to send me them direct, but they somehow all ended up on ASOS. Well I couldn't not buy them with my pretend Paypal money for £8, so I did... Expect to see me wearing them every day forever more.


Here's my latest trendy nail varnish job...


And here I am looking slightly smug under a tree!

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my birthday suit outfit - back soon with evening attire!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Good Work

I've been freelance for almost three years now. If you've ever browsed my Hire Me tab above, you'll have seen the sorts of things I do to make my money, from writing work, to event design and management to occasional modelling. Mostly I enjoy it, sometimes, such as when I haven't got any outstanding invoices and money is slowly trickling away; it can be stressful.  Such was the case a couple of weeks ago, when I was starting to feel like I wasn't making enough of myself, or helping enough people. You know. Standard 30 year old, third-of-life crisis. Anyway, as if by magic, a tweet came along, advertising an internship at A Very Good Company. Sounds Good, I thought, har de har!

The internship was for the run-up to and duration of A Good Week, a national and international celebration of Good in all its forms, from charity work and volunteering, to saying 'hello' to a stranger or thanking your friends for being so fabulous. It's much broader than that, of course, but if you have a poke around on the website, should you be interested, you'll find out more.

Anyway, it's only been a short time, but the social aspect of being in an office, interacting with people (instead of dragging my carcass into the living room and speaking only to cats for day on end), has been wonderful! I'm in the heart of the East End, right by Brick Lane, it's challenging work but fun, and I think it might be the start of a bigger change in my life - or rather making a difference in other people's... however small.

Plus my co-workers let me do silly things like this...


And I enjoy being silly because I am a massive...


;)

I'll be posting bits and bobs about my work at A Good Week, depending on whether I think you'll be interested (or I'm wearing a good outfit, you know, often one and the same in my life!), but I am really enjoying myself. 

Which is quite Good really! 

Some quick and dirty outfit details...

 Bernie Dexter Capris - bought new ones as my first pair were just too small
(or I put weight on, rather)
Super old H&M vest with horses on
Super old vintage inspired H&M cardigan
Some jazzy scarf I got free at the Company Blog Awards! 
Plus my Liberty x Nike AM1s which you can hardly see.

Hope you're all having a good week yourselves!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Tuscan Adventure: Part Three

At last, I hear you cry! The final part of my Tuscan food, wine and vintage car adventure is here. Just going back through these photos has made me pine for the three days of glorious eating, drinking, driving and delight. The third and final day of mine and Naomi's trip was over far too soon, but, thanks to our amazing hosts, was jam-packed with fun.

On this last day, we were guests of the third arm to the 500 Touring Club's trio of sister sites, Caper & Co. We were to be whisked out into the scenic countryside of Tuscany, to take a slightly modified tour: firstly of a vineyard, and then to a world-famous restaurant run by the 'Rock Star Butcher'...

First stop was the Villa Carfaggio in the rolling hills, with vines stretching out at all angles.

Today's outfits come from Puttin' On The Ritz (me) and The Past (Naomi)

We were given a private tour of the whole facility, marvelling at the 1960s barrels and signage, and having every aspect of the fascinating process pointed out to us...


Loved these old vats and the huge barrels with the green glass gadgets on top - beautiful as well as functional!


The vineyard is organic, and produces a range of wines as well as the most delicious olive oil.. all of which we then got to try in a few different incarnations.


From a traditional glass of wine to sample and sip (none of that slurping and spitting out malarky, we definitely imbibed it all!), to the most sensational wine jelly to try with wedges of parmesan cheese... and to finish we had the above chocolates. They might look like ordinary confections, but the squares were made with olive oil from the vineyard and tasted indescribably delicious; and the tube shaped ones were filled with wine! It sounds very strange, but it was very nice indeed - and eating them was an exercise in caution - you have to tip it up and nibble the end or risk a chocolatey wine explosion. I can't explain the taste of these either, but I think everyone should try such a strange concoction at least once (or twice or more... sadly we only had one each!). The Villa's wines themselves were of course wonderful - my favourite was the Chianti Classico Riserva from 2007, though the Cabernet Sauvignon Cortaccio was a close second. Cabernet Sauvignon has only been widely made in Tuscany for twenty years, fact fans, and only as a result of the hugely restrictive rules around Chianti wine-making. I am a fan of each... an equal opportunities wine guzzler, if you like.


One more photo opportunity later, and we headed off for lunch. This was quite possibly the highlight of the trip (the actual Fiat 500 driving experience aside), both because of the food and the characters at the restaurant! But first, a little bit of scene-setting.


Dario Cecchini is, as mentioned earlier, known as the Rock Star Butcher. He's mates with Jamie Oliver and other such celeb chefs, and is flown round the world to talk meat at conferences and events everywhere. He also runs his own butcher's shop, Antica Macelleria Cecchini, in the small village of Panzano. Outside there's a tongue-in-cheek memorial plaque, commemorating the 'death' of the traditional Florentine steak - the extremely rare slab of meat that I sampled on our first night - which was threatened with extinction during the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001. Luckily, it didn't die, and is still going strong!

Inside the shop, there's a spread of food - herb-infused lardo (basically just fat), spread on bread and olive oil, as well as Dario himself manhandling a giant rack of ribs. But we were ushered into the back, where a concealed button opened a secret door... tiled wall sliding back to reveal a hidden staircase which we climbed to the Restaurant. Excited was not the word!


There are lots of trendy London restaurants using very similar graphics to the above, but somehow they felt much more authentic here! We began with pinzimonio (raw garden vegetables) dipped into extra virgin olive oil and Cecchini’s Profumo de Chianti (sea salt with bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary), a massively unusual taste but one that Naomi and I enjoyed (being fans of weird and extreme flavours)! But we then followed with ALL the meats - a marinated pork, a delicious meatloaf and, the big one, a platter of Sushi del Chianti, basically beef tartare with a generous splash of Tuscan olive oil, sea salt, and lemon. It. Was. Amazing. I can't even recommend it enough.

But we weren't the only ones filled with admiration, because one of the chefs fell for us as well!


He hardly spoke any English, but enjoyed kissing our hands, then, not satisfied with one photograph, he returned with these hilarious goggles! Apparently they use them when barbequing, but I think he could have a new career as a steampunk model any time. We didn't actually realise what face he was pulling at the time of this photograph, or we might have been LOLing a bit harder... as we did afterwards. Brilliant.

After that incredible feast, we wended our way back to the Villa Le Piazzole, via a traditional Tuscan leather makers (which was a bit expensive for me but an awesome place to visit), before having a final relax and heading home later that evening.

The whole trip was like a wonderful dream, and the memories will stay with me forever - the generosity of Andrea and Beppe from the 500 Touring Club (and the cuteness of baby Nina), the fantastic Villa and the amazing tours around Florence and Chianti... every moment was a winner.


Thank you a million once again A & B & adorable N, we'll be back at some point soon, I just know it!

And readers, I hope that if you haven't already, you'll check out my photos and witterings about Day One and Day Two ... excitingly enough, you'll hopefully be able to read a summary as an article in a rather large publication as well... fingers crossed on that, but no more details until I know them!

Anyway, until next time, ciao!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

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