Saturday, 31 August 2013

London - Shopping activities

Well, well, well.
I might want to explain what took me so long...

After my London trip, the fun wasn't over yet. In fact, it had just started!
With my church's youth group, I went on a so-called working vacation to Romania.
Unforgettable, in a good way.
We stayed at a castle (not Bran Castle which inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, though that is in Romania too) close to a rehabilitation clinic.
The castle nowadays is being used for children's camps, and that's why we decided to build a playground!
Because a castle is all cool, but around it was nothing to play on/with, only dry grass.
Now there is a colourful place with swings, a seesaw and more.

We met amazing people and had a great time with our own group as well.
I really feel blessed to have experienced this and actually (ok now comes the vintage part)
I want to go back!
Or at least leave behind this materialistic society. We did have wifi around the castle, but no-one actually used his/her phone a lot. It was so peaceful! Obviously, I didn't bring my vintage style clothes with me.
Don't want any paint stains on 'em!
Now, back in this rich country, I am expected to be all vintage and addicted to my phone again, and spending money on stupid antique things.
Please no!

Sooo, these were my confessions of today.
I don't feel like vintage. Wow.
And blogging doesn't really tempt me either!
Anyway, here I am.

And I am going to bother you with the most materialistic post ever...

my London shopping haul!

Don't be afraid, I didn't do too much shopping.
I hear you wondering, 'Wut, why?! Isn't London the utter shopping city, especially for vintage lovers..?!'
It definitely is. But the thing for me is, it was sooo much. So much vintage, antique, retro, hipster, cool... too overwhelming.
Do keep in mind that in the area where I live the only ''vintage'' shopping oppurtunities are thrift shops and maybe some market here and there.
But that's okay, I can cope with it and I kind of made a hobby out of it; finding the perfect repro item for less than €10.
Aaand then I went to London. On our first day, I had already seen so much cute shops... too much.
I am kind of a thoughtful purchaser (even in London, hehe) so I only bought a fraction of the s**tload of things I'd thought I'd buy.

Here we go!
It is not in chronological order.

Cute (fake..) wartime booklets bought in Museum shops. 
I would bake or cook something from the last book but first I'd have to find out how much grams 3 ozs. are. xD

I used to make fun of my Mum and her weird habit to buy postcards EVERYWHERE she sets foot...
Now look at me...
All fake antique (for I bought them all in museum shops) but still love 'em.
Plus, I can actually send these to people, while I wouldn't have the heart to do that with my genuine antique cards. 

The first clothing item.
Tailored midi skirt, green (not gray!) with sort of flower thingy details. 
-I know realise there is no British Pound key on my MacBook laptop... 
Ok there probably is a shortcut but don't feel like it. 
Anyway it was 5 pounds - everything was 5 pounds or 50% percent off or something, well you get my point, great sales! 
Vintage Basement

Okay the Vintage Basement fun doesn't stop here, in fact these shoes were bought there too!
Know that 'True Love' song by Pink?
This pair of shoes... that song...
So perfect...
Around 8 pounds.
They need cleaning up, yes I'm aware of that.
But aren't they prettyyy?

Finally the lighting and weather was ok for taking photos, but now the colour looks totally different from what it really is! 
It really isn't pink, but whine red - bordeaux. 
A true Christmas dress! 
Sooo pretty. 
You will get to see it fully once - just not yet.
25 pounds - Rokit

So uh..
I might want to dedicate a full blogpost to this.
It obviously is a 2013 book, but contains great life hacks and beauty tips from the '30s by the look of it!
Bought at some stationer, around 6 pounds.

These were all my London purchases!
Not so much, eh?

With school starting Tuesday, my rhythm will be normal again, and so will my blogging.
I expect.

Bye bye!
x Jessica

Thursday, 15 August 2013

London - the aftermath

Ok that wasn't a great title but I wanted something original.
Anyway I'm back home!
(Actually since Tuesday evening but I had some struggles with uploading pictures, thanks again for that Blogger.)

I had a GREAT time.
Fabulous. Splendid.
We (my Mum and I) slept as little as possible,
my feet are dead and I think I lost a few kilos since we walked sooo much.
No, this wasn't a relax vacation, and that is exactly the way we wanted it.
The weather was great!
Quite warm and it was only raining once, which is very acceptable for London.
We visited a museum every day, (except for the day we arrived which is forgivable I think), so that equals 7 museums.
Might as well write 'em down here..!

London Transport Museum
Churchill War Rooms
George Frederic Handel House
British Museum
Florence Nightingale Museum
Tower of London
Museum for Advertising, Packaging and Brands

My favourite of all these was by far the Winston Churchill War Rooms!
That is sort of a huge basement where his Cabinet was seated during WWII, everything happened there basically. Including plans being made on winning the war.
Amazing! I am actually looking forward to visiting it again.

The London Transport Museum was pretty cool as well, I took so many photos, you can see a selection further in this post. There was also a really nice exhibition with transport advertising art!

I'm a huge fan of Handel's but this House was a bit disappointing... the museum wasn't very structured and I'd seen it all in no time.

The British Museum! Why hasn't anyone told me the admission was free?!
That's amazing. I especially liked the Enlightenment rooms and the ancient Assyrian war art.

Florence Nightingale Museum was small and/thus very cute! Very interesting, nice setting..
Definitely worth a visit. (oh in case her name doesn't ring a bell, she had kind of revolutionized modern European health care. Great woman.)

The Tower of London (not to be confused with the Tower Bridge) was nice, but soo crowded.
Didn't get to see the Crown Jewels for instance, or the Torture Tower. Meh.

Our last museum was also a very cute one!
Advertising, packaging and brands from the Victorian era to present - amazing vintage ads all the way!
Hooray! It is a small museum hidden in an eenie meenie courtyard (if that's the word? A sort of square with merely houses and no cars allowed.)
Close to Portobello Road. Do visit it!
I wasn't allowed to make photos, but here's their website:
The admission is very reasonable, too.

Next to those museums, we had some other cultural or 'cultural' things on our programme as well:
We went to a Handel + Mozart concert in St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, which was amazing.
Also we did stuff the English do:
We had an afternoon tea, fish and chips, pie in a pub, and English breakfast.
And it was all yummy, of course.
BUT! Above all...

My mum took me to...
The Mousetrap!
It is the world's longest running play, and it's by Agatha Christie herself, so what more could a human being want. It was brilliant and so was the cute little theatre.
We had absolutely the best places although I think there was a woman who brought her puppy, we heard weird barking/coughing sounds all the time!

Now I am going to break loose with my photos.
This was my attempt to get a multicultural photo!
An Egyptian sphinx and a double decker bus, if you look closely.

Sewing machine heaven! This wasn't even everything. All Saints clothing shop at Portobello Road

Hmm, not entirely straight I see now. Anyway cool ceiling at the British Museum.

Draw me like one of your French girls, hehe xD

Nursing adverts at the Florence Museum

These photos only represent a small part of the afternoon tea...

Beautiful Serpentine river at Hyde Park... wish we had discovered this part of the park earlier and could've  enjoyed it more. :|

Shot from the Bloody Tower 
So I didn't get to see the Crown Jewels (something I don't regret terribly much) but I did spot this art in a tunnel on our way to the Tower! 

Elizabeth I

Henry VIII

Kind of liked this one! Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, Victoria from the back. Plus dark skies. 

At our last evening we had a super yum Moroccan dinner just a few metres from our hotel!
This was our dessert, Moroccan tea + sweets  = the best <3
Sorry for the very random photos. Shame on me. 

We went by train, and after this I don't understand why so many Dutch, French and Belgian people wouldn't even think of that!
It's way faster than an aeroplane (not the actual journey but checking in and handing in your luggage always takes so long on airports), and cheaper too. 
Please consider travelling by train!  
It's great. 

My London purchases will be the main subject of my next blogpost - but don't be afraid, I didn't buy an awful lot in this excellent shopping city.

Thanks for reading!
x Jessica

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Joy of Parenting pt. 5

Here I am again!

With part 5 already from the Joy of Parenting series.

Aw ^_^
The Saturday Evening Post
July 30, 1955
15 cents

Hmm. I'm pretty sure that in the 1950s children still got spanked, and in the 2010's as well,  but ok.
The Saturday Evening Post, May 3, 1952 - 15 cents

Personally I like the paper that's already on the walls better, but hey, who am I?
The Saturday Evening Post
November 22, 1958 - 15 cents

Hehe x)
Week ending January 10 1959
John Bull illustrated
Every Wednesday 4,5d

It looks like he is heating the baby's milk bottle?
The Saturday Evening Post
August 28, 1954 - 15 cents
Musical: The Star the Fans don't know by Bob Broeg
The Strange Case of the most-wanted robber since Dillinger

If interested:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Until next time, 
x Jessica

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Big Smoke - books!

So, I might or might not be in London at this very moment...
Will you ever know? ;)

Anyway over the past few months, I have collected some antique books about my favourite city, but I never got to show you them. 
Why not now?

Definitely the oldest oldie in my London collection! 
Haven't really found time to read it (yet) but owning it has already been great. 

(the book is red like you can see here^, not pink like ^^)

A very pretty one, this Ward Lock & Co guide!

Bacon! <3
A (not so) up-to-date atlas&guide.

This isn't really a London guide, but an English guide for travelers.
There are so many words in that Dutch section above^ that we don't use anymore!
Oh I love linguistics.
Anyway it's really a useful guide.

This might be the start of a London guide collection!

Hope you liked it.

xx Jessica

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Anne Frank

A couple of weeks ago I had two of my cousins over, Lois of 9 and Lucas of 6.
Lois and I got to speak about Anne Frank, and suddenly I remembered that when I was (a little younger than) her age, I was gifted a beautiful book about this young girl (not her diary itself).

To be honest I hadn't read/looked at the book for years, so now I viewed it with different eyes so to speak.

And I wanted to share some fragments with you!
It's in Dutch of course, but I found the pictures so beautiful and striking that every non-Dutchie will understand what they try to tell as well.

For your information:
I have the weird habit to tilt my (iPhone) camera while taking photos, especially books, so you might have some neck pain if you watched all photos thoroughly.

LOTS of photos...

I have exactly the same kind of coat...

Older sister Margot has a baby sister!


Moving from Germany to Amsterdam

Anne's Dad's office - and the annex where the family would hide

Bye bye kitty...

Moving in

Anne did keep her Hollywood movie star photos while in hiding

There was one little light in her horrible life: Peter

This is not really my favourite picture in the book. She must've looked WAY more frightened, I mean, they were traced!

The famous diary pages were all over the floor but -luckily for us- saved

And handed to the only survivor of the Frank family: Otto
So, what'cha think?
It's a kid's book, so maybe there isn't too much of symbolisation as you would expect in such a book, but I think the pictures beautifully show how Anne was just a girl, just like us, just with friends and just having crushes.

At the second photo, I mentioned that I have the same winter coat as Anne's.
Of course I realise that a subject like Anne Frank is way too serious to get to talk about her clothes, but girls and women like her are sort of the reason of this whole 'vintage thing' for me.
They symbolise a horrible era that brought out the worst, but also the best in people. Think of 'our boys' and people in the resistance and people that hid, for example, jews in their own houses.
That takes in immense amount of courage that in time of peace, not much people would have.

When I wear 1940's clothing, I obviously don't support anything of the Nazi regime, as some morons tend to think. No, I wear it out of respect for the women of that time, who were talented in picking outfits both stylish and practical, and then got on with their lives.