Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Lovely Ride...

Well, this weekend has certainly been a busy one, and this weeks' theme is... well, lovely rides.  Following very close on the heels of the Haworth 1940's event comes the East Lancashire Railway 1940's event, so another reason to dress up (like I need one!) in my best.  Thankfully, unlike the Saturday at Haworth, this weekend saw the sun arrive in Lancashire, so there was a perfect reason to don my lovely sheer vintage dress that I bought at the Chester Vintage Fair.  Deciding that some discretion was required, I decorously pulled on a vintage slip to hide my exciting bits and hopefully stop any elderly gentlemen having heart attacks!

Dexi - East Lancs Railway 1940's Weekend 2013
 Nevertheless, I still got plenty of stares and photos taken walking down the main street and around the railway station at Ramsbottom, which is the main focal point of the event at the little Lancashire town.  Despite the number of times I've been to this event, this was actually the first that I decided to take the lovely steam train down to Bury, where more events were happening.  The 15-minute journey was a pleasure, passing some surprisingly pretty countryside en-route.  The old-style railway carriages were beautiful, too, and brought to my somewhat rude imagination lots of scenarios involving gorgeously attired and sexy strangers on trains, sat close together in the little private seating areas.  Mmmmm....  The shaded glimpse of eye contact from beneath the brim of his dark fedora, the fluttering eyelashes over the top of the newspaper, the 'accidental' touching when sexily crossing legs to expose just a bit more thigh and stocking top, the anticipation of that long, very, very dark tunnel just ahead were propriety can be forgotten, and in the comforting darkness the first touch of a strong hand on a stocking-clad leg, lips meeting for a stolen kiss and thighs parting...  Oooh, sorry, where was I..?  Oh , yes... on the way to Bury.

Dexi - East Lancs Railway 1940's Weekend 2013
 There were more vintage stalls at the Bury railway station, as well entertainment from Paul and Natasha Harper, but I didn't stay too long as I wanted to get back to Ramsbottom for the battle re-enactment that was taking place on the railway station in the early afternoon.  Overall, a great event, if not as busy as Haworth with it's coach-loads of visitors.  But maybe that's a good thing!

Dexi - East Lancs Railway 1940's Weekend 2013
Sunday saw a rather different vintage experience... I visited one of my gentleman friends, who, a couple of weeks ago, took me to Oulton Park to watch some fabulous classic car racing.  This time, however, I was invited for a drive out in his lovely 1960's Alfa Romeo Spider, and, as the sun was shining, this was, as they say in the Godfather, "an offer I couldn't refuse" (as the car is Italian, of course!).  No sooner had we arrived back at his house than his gorgeous wife decided that she wanted to, er, take me for a ride, too.  So off we went again.  I thoroughly loved the experience, and hopefully it will be one to repeat!

Dexi - and a gorgeous Alfa Romeo Spider
Speaking of cars, I do hope you enjoy this week's Picture Of The Week, taken at the recent Haworth 1940's event, and as always available on the Gallery page of my website.  Somewhat larger (and newer) than the Alfa, but it still works (hopefully) for the picture!

Back to the present, however, and it's business as usual... so if you fancy a glamorous and lovely ride, then come for a visit to Altrincham!


Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Gift From The (Rock) Gods

A quick blog post today as a catch-up and also a very big 'Thank you'!  A couple of weeks ago I was very nicely invited to Oulton Park to watch some classic car racing by a lovely long-time friend.  This week I had a call from a long-time 'client' (for want of a better term!) with an invite to something very different.  "Are you free on Thursday night?" asked P.  It transpired that a friend had let him down and he had a spare ticket for a rock concert at the MEN Arena.  "Absolutely!" I replied, knowing already that Thunder, Whitesnake and Journey were sharing the bill that night.  But that left a problem.  The doors opened at 5.30pm, around which time I'm still in Altrincham, of course.  Luckily, I was already wearing my leather-look leggings, high-heeled ankle boots and tight (and tiny) t-shirt top, so at least I was appropriately dressed!  So, my date for the evening collected me from 'work', and fighting through the heavy traffic, we arrived at the venue in good time to see Thunder take the stage.

Now, I'm not really a fan of big events like these, as venues like the the MEN Arena always seems to struggle to get a great atmosphere.  However, I have to say that Thunder were fantastic, rolling back the years to play a brilliant and tight set of their rock/blues catalogue, and the arena erupted with one of the biggest cheers of the night when the opening chords of 'Low Life In High Places' sounded.  Superb.  Whitesnake strolled on mid way through the evening to a massive cheer.  David Coverdale, bless him, seems to have been treading the boards since Noah built the ark, but still put in a great performance, though I was concerned that he was losing his voice towards the end.  Whitesnake, celebrating their 35th anniversary, played many of their hits from yesteryear, including a pounding and driving 'Fool For Your Loving', which saw original member Bernie Marsden rejoin the group onstage for the first time since he left some years ago.  Tremendous, and my favourite act of the night.  Not to mention one of the guitarists was bloody lovely, and is more than welcome to strum a few melodies on me whenever he wants!

Lastly, Journey took to the stage.  I don't know many of their songs, unfortunately (apart from the 'hits' - but they do sing one of my favourite songs 'Don't Stop Believin' ') but they really struggled with their sound.  The singer had a great voice but was completely muffled by an appalling sound-system that merged drums, bass, guitar and keyboards into a muddy mess.  With this handicap, they struggled to get the crowd moving and entertained as both Thunder and Whitesnake managed.

Nevertheless, it was a great night, so a big 'THANK YOU' to P for a brilliant evening, even if we didn't manage to agree on the way home which was the better band of the night (It was Whitesnake, P, hahaha!)

Dexi - Thunder, Whitesnake and Journey at the MEN Arena
I'm heading out now for another long weekend - there will be another update next week, I'm sure.  Have a great Bank Holiday!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Wuthering Heights at Haworth

It's May, and that means that the Haworth 1940's event has arrived again.  Readers of the blog will remember my post from last year, and the picture posted of me walking up the deserted Main Street.  This year's starting photo is definitely a different image...

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
Yes, sadly along with Haworth's vintage event arriving, so did the rain - not that it's particularly been away yet this year.  It was certainly busier than usual at this time of the day, though, and the marked difference shows when comparing the two pictures.  I still made it to Cobbles And Clay for some breakfast before braving the light rain for a first wander around the shops and stalls.  By mid-morning, though, the light rain, as predicted on the weather forecasts, had turned heavy, and the coachloads of tourists found any haven they could to shelter from the downpour - mainly, it appeared, under the roof of the Church Hall where the vintage stalls were.  The crowds, pushed and jammed together, were strangely reminiscent of those photos of The Blitz during the World War Two, which would have been a great photograph if only this bunch had been better dressed.  I won't go back down that route of discussion, however, as I think I've said something similar before.

By lunchtime, thankfully, the heavy rain had eased off somewhat, and allowed the tourists and re-enactors to go about their usual business - the re-enactors (I'll call us/them that for want of a better phrase) enjoying the camaraderie, mutual appreciation of other's uniforms and outfits, and the tourists pointing and taking pictures.

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
To try and avoid the crowds jammed onto the cobbled Main Street, a feature of these events for last few years, there was also a collection of stalls and entertainment down in the main park, in the hope of enticing people away from the busy street area.  It would have worked better if only the ground hadn't got so waterlogged from the rain - high heels and rain-soaked mud don't mix very well, as I found out whilst having a Macallan whiskey in the beer tent that was set up in the park.  I also managed to join a friend for a few drinks in The Golden Fleece on the Main Street, where we both decided that one of the GI's was very definitely worth closer, er, 'inspection'.  He was slightly overawed and left a little defenceless by our strong flanking attack, but clearly decided retreat was the better part of valour.  GI and Tonic, indeed.  He did give me his number, though - but I have to report there has been no American penetration into the decisive area just yet.

This year there was also a replica Spitfire (the real one appeared on the Sunday for a brief fly-past), and of course the parade down Main Street.  The parade has been a regular occurrence of the event, but this year's was a little shorter than usual - I think some were still hiding from the weather!

Another thing that doesn't change however, is the opportunity of a gratuitous stocking photo - just for you, of course...

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
Saturday evening saw me heading over to Keighly to my hotel in order to change outfit.  This year I had decided to attend one of the village's dances - and I had a lovely evening at the Haworth Community Centre listening to the big-band sounds of Glenn Miller, etc.  Haworth by night, even on the busy 1940's weekend, is a very different affair, and very, very lovely in it's tranquil Main Street.

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
Sunday morning saw me back at Cobbles And Clay for breakfast, and ready to do it all again - the only difference being that Sunday at least promised better weather.  And so it was - the sun even coming out by early afternoon and warming the town very nicely.  Even the morning felt more mild - I left my thick wool suit in my (vintage) case and donned my vintage light-weight blue summer suit instead.  Also out early were the photographers, and even trying to get to Cobbles And Clay for breakfast was an obstacle course where I was asked to pose alongside houses and cars whilst they snapped away.

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
I usually don't mind posing for pictures (hey, steady on at the back - I'm not talking about those kind of pictures!), but later on when sat trying to have a cup of tea later on I was faced with camera lenses stuck in my face which was not only rather disconcerting but also downright rude. 

The better weather also brought out more entertainment for the masses - Paul Harper and colleagues keeping the troops happy in the Park, and other singers dotted around the town providing more music for the crowds.

Dexi - Haworth 1940's weekend 2013
As mentioned earlier, there was a Spitfire flypast around midday.  I didn't quite get to see it as I was drinking wine at the time, and my rather squiffy photo didn't quite come out as planned - I think I was concentrating on not spilling the wine instead.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll see it again at the Goodwood Revival!  There was also another parade on the Sunday, and guess what - yes, in the lovely sunshine, the parade was back to it's full strength. 

By 5.00pm it was time to head back home, tired, a little footsore, a bit less money in the purse but more great memories.  Oh, and I even got a lovely picture which will be next week's Picture Of The Week.  Speaking of which, this week's is a rather odd affair.  A friend (she shall remain nameless!) bought me a can of the featured 'energy drink', as she knows I like the taste of, well, you'll have to have a look at Gallery Page on my website to find out.  I have to confess, though, having tasted the drink, I much prefer the 'natural' version!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Vintage Time!

Despite the British weather doing it's best to ruin Spring already, I've had a lovely, and rather vintage, weekend.

Firstly, Saturday saw the usual heavy rain across Manchester city centre.  It looked like it was going to be a quiet day, as I had nothing planned after a busy week.  However, at 11.00am I had a telephone call from a lovely gentleman friend who knows I like the old classic car or two.  "Do you fancy joining me for an afternoon at Oulton Park to watch some classic car racing?"  Well, a girl like me finds it hard to turn down an invite like that, so, with my trusty high-heeled wellies on and warm dress wrapping my body, I was collected in a deliciously noisy Land Rover Defender and just after lunch we arrived at the Cheshire race circuit.

The rain didn't let up at Oulton Park, either - at times throwing down hailstones, but very conveniently parked up in the high 4x4 we could watch the action from the warmth of the Land Rover when the weather got too much.  The slippery track did make for some interesting racing though.

It was a brilliant afternoon, with some fantastically close racing - I was amazed at how the little Austin A35s and A40s (yes, this is a girl who knows some of the old cars!) did against the big Jaguars in the saloon racing - indeed, there is something rather bizarre in the sight of the dinky little Austins and Fiat 500s whipping past the old Jags on the corners and the straights.

There was some lovely sports car racing too - and I've decided that the red MGA coupĂ© that was entered in the penultimate race is one of the prettiest cars I've ever seen.  Lovely.

Best-sounding car of the afternoon?  A draw between the V8 growls of a Ford Mustang and Aston Martin Vantage.  Awesome.  And the sensory pleasures didn't end there - my gallant beau even bought me chips and hot chocolate at the circuit - I'm a girl easily pleased!

Dexi - Aston Martin Race Day at Oulton Park 2013
 Sunday was a rather more sedate kind of vintage event - this time a trip over the Pennines to Halifax, where the Cedar Court Hotel was having a vintage fair.  Feeling a little more glamorous, I donned my lovely polka-dot dress from Harrogate, pretty high heels and stockings (of course).  "Another Vintage Fair?" I hear you ask.  Yes, there are always some things a lady like me desires!

Dexi - The Cedar Court Hotel's Vintage Fair
 This time, however, I only came away with a couple of things - a lovely red dress with a gorgeous slit up one side - just the right length up the thigh to show some sexy stocking tops, and a thick faux-fur stole for those outdoors 1940's events when it is a little chilly.  Speaking of which, Haworth's tremendous 1940's event is on next week, and the weather forecast at the moment doesn't look good.  What a good job I bought that PVC mac.  The mackintosh, in all it's lovely translucence, is back on my website this week as Picture Of The Week again.  However, I think I may be wearing it with a few more clothes underneath it next week...