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July Scavenger Hunt

Friday, 29 July 2011

It's the end of July already, argh! Well you know what that means: time for the scavenger hunt round up. For new followers, this is something run by Kathy at Postcards from the P.P and just involves getting out there with your camera and taking lots of pictures. I must admit that I wasn't entirely full of inspiration for this month's list. As always it was good fun to do but there was a distinctly beachy/holiday theme going on and seeing as I have basically been working all month, holidays seem very far away.

Here's what I came up with:


A little Friday night treat


Hmm, technically it's a wildflower meadow. It counts though, right? I haven't been to proper countryside this month so it's this or nothing. If I was a "proper" fashion blogger I'd don something ethereal and waft around in it having my photo taken . Truth is, that would be lethal. It's massively rutted under all those flowers and I nearly broke my neck venturing into it when wearing very sensible shoes.

A flag:

Swedish and Norwegian flags flying outside the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool.

Something that makes you happy (not a person or an animal!):
(10 cool points to anyone who recognises the book)
Words. For me, some of those rare moments of true and utter happiness are to be experienced when reading something wonderful. There are few things better than that feeling when you finish a book and just sit there with a big smile on your face because you enjoyed it so much.

A kite:

Damn you iphone camera, why are you so rubbish? I thought I was going to have to doodle a kite for this one but then I drove past Otterspool Prom and saw actual people with an actual kite! A doodle might have been better though - the kite hasn't exactly come out very clearly in this one.


Opening a shiny golden envelope to see these two golden tickets was a genuinely exciting moment for me this month. It's as close as I'm ever going to get to a real life Charlie & the Chocolate Factory moment. The museum is amazing - I had such a good time there.

Flip flops:

I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for flipflops. There are so many more interesting things you can put on your feet. This is a closeup of the one pair I own. Fascinating huh?


Detail of a building just next to London Bridge

Red, white and blue:



At the Shell Grotto in Margate

Ice cream:

It's a dairy free house! This is my alternative and bloody good it is too.


Tis my beloved Oscar Cat and his deliciously stripy fod.

A New Pretty Frock

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I've been slightly out of love with Dorothy Perkins recently. It was always my go-to shop in the fat days because of the range of sizes they did but it seems that my losing weight and getting stingier with my cash coincided with them hiking prices up and skimping a bit on the quality of their clothes. And let's face it, I am definitely turning into a grumpy old woman who tuts loudly over price labels and thin material.

I'm sure I'll fall properly back in love with it when I have more disposable cash but in the meantime I'll restrict myself to sale shopping because that never fails to turn up winners. I head to the jewellery and accessories first, have a quick look at the shoes and then rummage through the concession rails. On Monday I scored two gorgeous clutches which are going to be Christmas presents for people - Twitter opinion seemed split as to whether I was being organised or mental with this. (Didn't dare admit I'd started buying Christmas presents in the January sales...) I also bagged myself a nice new ring and an addition to my pretty frock collection.

Good old Uttam London. I liked this dress when it was £32 but I'm just not paying that much for dresses anymore. However, when it's reduced to 7 English pounds then you just know I'm going to snap it up. Pretty, summery and it has pockets. Love it. If you like it as much as I do then give me a shout - they had 3 or 4 Large ones left in store and I'm happy to go and look.

I know I've chopped the top of my head off in this pic but my hair is looking nice...

Frock - Uttam London @ Dorothy Perkins sale
Shoes - Primark
Rings - Dorothy Perkins sale (white) & Next sale (orange)
Cardi - Tesco sale
Bow - silk scarf from 69a in Liverpool. I'm going back for more, it was only £1.20!

Mellow Yellow

Monday, 25 July 2011

Oh I was having woes trying to work out an outfit last night. Does anyone else find it hard to get dressed sometimes? I wonder if I'm thinking about it too much or if my clothing choice really is that limited. I tried on about 60% of my wardrobe and nothing looked right, so I went to bed in a huff and chucked this on this morning instead. It was discarded last night due to the shirt being far too long and looking weird but it turns out all I needed to do was knot it up a bit.

Ponytail attempts to take over my face...

Shorts - H&M (less glamorous version of my red pair)
Shirt - Matalan, courtesy of a giftcard won on Jen's blog
Shoes - Next (glad I used a voucher on them as the exact same shoes are now in Primark for about 1/3 of the price!)
Ring - New Look
Necklace - H&M, present from Char

It might have been hastily chucked together but it's nice and summery and, I think, a good alternative to floaty frocks in the sunny but slightly windy weather we're enjoying at the moment. I braved the breeze to have a blissful half hour tea break outside today. Book, homemade apple flapjack and sunshine - a little slice of morning perfection.

Scouse Style

Friday, 22 July 2011

You've only got to look at some of the horrendous articles that come out around Grand National time to see what the general media take on scouse style is. I get quite cross on this point so I won't labour it too much but basically: yes, some girls get it wrong. Lots of them get it beautifully right, but that doesn't allow journalists to snark as much so obviously it doesn't get as much press coverage. I get even more cross on the subject of London-based media prejudice towards the North and Liverpool in particular. We're still bashing away against the tired stereotypes - strangely enough, not everyone here is a curly-permed work-shy criminal who is obsessed with the Beatles and football. (We do say "calm down" though.) I may be slightly biased but it's an amazing city; vibrant, fun, friendly and somewhere I'm very proud to call home. Come and visit for the weekend: I will buy you a drink.

So, scouse style. It's hard to sum up succinctly but perhaps it's best described as more is more, unless it comes to fabric, when less is often more. Fashion here is bold and quite trend-led and people invest a lot of time, effort and money in it. Dressing down doesn't really happen. The standard outfit for nights out seems to be a pricey looking skimpy dress, skyscraper heels, big hair and lots of makeup. Everything is cranked up a notch and the effort people put in to look their best is incredible.

This line, taken from a video at the new Museum of Liverpool, sums it up hilariously.

Go shopping on a Friday or Saturday and this is what you'll see:

Picture from this article on the Liverpool Echo website

No shame in it - rollers are practically a status symbol now. They're marking quite clearly that they're going on a big night out. A big night demands big hair and you can't get the right effect if you start it at 5pm, can you? I'm quite fond of the sight now but I still can't get my head round that other great Liverpool trend of going out in your pj's.

You've probably already noticed this if you've read the blog before but none of what I've been talking about is exactly my sort of style. My basic problem is that I can't be bothered. I don't even brush my hair before going to work most of the time and I prefer the pale and interesting look to lashings of fake tan and makeup. Plus I would always rather have the extra hour in bed than spend an hour getting ready in the mornings. Luckily I don't look like too much of a tramp without makeup.

As for clothes, I just don't have the body or inclination to buy and wear the mini bodycon dresses or extremes of fashion that are in vogue. So you might not find me identifying with girls who dress like that but I can certainly admire them for it. Slouchy jumpers and flats might be far more me but I still class myself as a Liver Bird at heart. It's a melting pot of a city after all. I don't mock the roller girls for spending £200 on a dress for one night out and they don't mock me for wearing bizarrely patterned vintage ensembles. Anything goes.

Erk I look uncomfortable here. Mum was playing photographer and doing the usual "Look at the camera Alex. Stop staring at the floor Alex. Smile!" thing.

Jumper - Be Beau @ Matalan
Shorts & brogues - River Island sale
Necklace - H&M
Badge - courtesy of the museum, obv.

Step Back In Time pt 2

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I'm so pleased you enjoyed the last post. Want more photos? Of course you do.

This is the Hardmans' House, number 59 Rodney Street. For those of you that don't know Liverpool, Rodney Street is sometimes called the Harley Street of the North (lots of doctors, dentists etc). It was even the birthplace of a Prime Minister as William Gladstone entered into the world at no. 62. Building work began on the street in 1783 so, as you may expect, the house and the basic interior are very classically Georgian. The living areas don't quite fit that style though.

The kitchen clearly doesn't belong to either a tidy person or a cook. Or even a person that throws things away. Those cabinets are full of unopened wartime rations. When they came to pack everything up in the early 2000s so that building work could be carried out prior to reopening the house, an ancient tin of treacle exploded over a member of staff. Let that be a warning to you - 60 years is too long to keep tins!

I'm sure I've seen a blogger with a copy of the New Zealand Lamb book...

I believe I mentioned clutter in the last post? There is So. Much. Stuff. It's everywhere. All fascinating though.

The business areas of the house are where the most time was spent and so they are equally chockablock with stuff, but in far more organised fashion.

Now that everyone has a camera it doesn't seem like such a big thing to have your photograph taken but professional photography was a good, solid business, especially during the war years. Official portraits would be taken to mark christenings, weddings, 21st birthdays and as mementos for loved ones.

Waiting Room

The studio looks quite basic for somewhere where so many beautiful portraits were taken. I suppose all you need is a backdrop, some cameras and lighting equipment though and it's definitely got those.

Can you believe they used to make babies pose on this? Terrifying!

I'm far from being an expert on old photographic techniques but I can definitely say that it was a lengthy process. The Hardmans employed a team of staff to work on mixing chemicals, developing negatives, touching up photos, tinting in the colours and mounting and framing the finished portraits.

Storing darkroom chemicals in old cider bottles, whatever next.

I showed some of Margaret's work in the last post and here is some of Edward's. He worked professionally on portraits, including publicity photos for stars appearing at Liverpool Playhouse, but his passion was landscapes. His work includes lots of amazing period photographs of Liverpool and Chester and some stunning shots of Scotland, France, Switzerland etc.

Ivor Novello, on display in the Exhibition Room at the house. Beautiful, beautiful man. Apologies for the blurriness - very hard to take non-flash photos in that room.

Property Merger
Margot Fonteyn
Searchlight on Anglican Cathedral
A Memory of Avignon
Museum Steps

If you want to see more of Edward's photographs then have a look at the Mersey Gateway site or the official NT prints site. He has the most amazing body of work.