Friday, 31 October 2014

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

Martian cake coloured orange with green tentacles
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said...
I've really been enjoying getting ready for Halloween this week. Last year I got back from Burma a couple of days before Halloween, but was so ill with viruses that I simply couldn't do anything for it. Let's face it, the workmates probably wouldn't have welcomed a lurgy cake. This year, it's been super just to put my terracotta pumpkin lantern in the fireplace, switch on my LED ornaments and listen to some cheesy seasonal tunes. And, of course, plan The Cake. I try to make one each year. This year I took my inspiration from 50s B-movies and made a Martian cake. I'm not great at decorating, so I went for a very easy red earth look, plus some marzipan tentacles and a fondant walker. Underneath all that orange-flavoured icing is a tasty chocolate and orange marble cake filled with chocolate fudge icing.

Monday, 27 October 2014

These Ghoulish Things: Horror Hits for Halloween

I know from my Twitter and blog feeds that I'm not alone in my love of Hallowe'en as well as vintage. This CD, which I bought from the CD stall at this year's Vintage Nostalgia show, has been on constant play on my iPod since this weekend, and if you're looking for something to play at a Halloween party I definitely recommend it.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The look of Crimes of Passion, episodes 5 and 6

Yes, you read that correctly. In Episode 5, 'Dangerous Dreams', Puck goes to work as secretary for a Nobel-prize-winning author, and presumably has to adhere to conventional standards for professional ladies' clothes, because she wears skirts. They do suit her very well. She retains plenty of her practicality, however: when the family she is staying with are all dressed up for dinner, Puck is in a plain white shirt and beige pencil skirt. When everyone's sitting down at the table, this brings her visually in line with the men at the table, rather than the women. For episode 6, 'Tragedy in a Country Churchyard', she is free of the constraints of her job and returns to trousers, though they are looser than her lightweight, summery cropped ones from earlier episodes.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London

Image (c) Kasia Wozniak, used with permission of
the Museum of London. Please don't pin/reuse!
Sherlock Holmes is having a bit of a cultural moment, so it's fitting that the Museum of London should have an exhibition on celebrating one of the English capital's best-known fictional inhabitants. It's running from the 17th October 2014 to 12th April 2015, and will explore real Victorian London as well as the world of the fictional detective and his transition from print to stage and film. Entry prices are £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £9.50 each for 'flexible family' tickets.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The BBC's Gothic season

 In my review of the British Library's Gothic Imagination exhibition, I said I'd let you know when the corresponding Gothic programmes started on the BBC. Well, they've clearly put sod-all effort into forward publicity, because it starts tonight! (Seriously, why do they plan such good programmes and then not let people know the broadcast dates more than a week in advance?!)

So, while they might be a bit awful at putting out the schedules, here is one I've put together, for your delectation. Please note that not all schedules are complete yet, so I will update the list as more information becomes available.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The 39 Steps, John Buchan

I have a shocking admission to make: despite my love of vintage spy stories, I've never seen more than clips of the film versions of The 39 Steps, the novel that's often said to mark the start of the spy novel genre. My holiday gave me the perfect excuse to read it.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Outfit post: Sightseeing style

I'm not a great wearer of vintage on holiday. For one thing, I travel very light. I managed a fortnight in Burma last year with three pairs of trousers, two T-shirts and a couple of blouses. (I did use the hotel laundry. I travel light, not stinky!)

This year we're in Spain. If you've never been to inland Spain, know this: the Spanish dress well. And they are masters of co-ordination. The first time I went to Seville I was astonished by the accessory shops. The number of them, and the dizzying array of colours and prints... Here in Caceres it's quite rainy and all the ladies carry beautiful, high-quality umbrellas. I suspect they all own a selection to go with different coats! Spain is accessory heaven. Also, if you like marcasite jewellery, there's loads on sale in Spain, so you can get a 1940s look without a vintage price tag.

Here are two outfits from this week.