Peaky Blinders and some bimbling around

I’ve been going through one of those phases with no big things on, so I’ve just been ticking away like a clock, going through my regular routine.

The Shelby clan
As far as viewing goes, I can’t be bothered with Downton Abbey - it moves through the years so quickly. Does no-one notice that the inhabitants of the Abbey have barely aged in about 15 years? That annoys me so much I can’t even be bothered with the plot. I have, on the other hand, been enjoying Peaky Blinders. If you’re not in the UK or have missed it, it’s set in the 1920s, and the Peaky Blinders is a criminal gang, centred on a working-class family, who organise gambling and other crimes.

Peaky Blinders uses modern music (as part of the soundtrack, it’s not part of the characters’ world), but I like it. It probably helps that it’s the sort of thing I’d like even if it weren’t on the programme, always did like a bit of Nick Cave... I might have been irritated by the music if other aspects had been weaker, but it’s mostly nicely done. Many characters are still feeling the effects of the First World War: gangleader Thomas Shelby still has nightmares about the war, and treats the men he served alongside with rather more kindness than most other people. He’s even more tolerant of Communist rabble-rouser Freddie than he would be of most people – more tolerant than even his family expect him to be.

Aunt Polly - note the shirt and tie, she's a little dated
The interiors and clothes reflect that fact that most people didn’t move over to all-deco, all the time, with gin and motorcars, is great. Aunt Polly, in fact, the Shelby matriarch, has something of a careworn Gibson Girl look, still in the clothes of an earlier era. The only person who’s really embraced the Jazz Age is Ada, Thomas's sister, and while her drop-waisted dresses and Louis-heeled shoes are clearly more frivolous than the clothes worn by other characters, there’s still a seediness to them.

Ada Shelby, in her fab 20s clothes
I’ve only taken a dislike to one character, and that’s Grace, mainly because she’s written to be practically perfect. She’s blonde and pretty with a beguiling Irish accent, and why, if you don’t like her she will sing at you with her gorgeous voice and then you will love her. Barf. Compared to the other characters, she comes across as alarmingly lacking in depth. I don't know why that is, as she has a clear backstory, and far more to do than characters like Ada, yet of all of them, she's the one that doesn't fit into the story properly. Possibly it's because of all of them, she feels the least realistic, the most like a concession to 21st century thinking. Anyway, she's not enough to spoil the story, annoying as she is.

EDIT: Like Peaky Blinders? I've also written about Peaky Blinders series 2

This Tuesday I finally handed my friend Sarah the 1950s cardigan I’ve been knitting for her to wear to her wedding. As part of the process I had to do a couple of adjustments such as lengthening the sleeves, and I was terrified that it wouldn’t fit. However, it fitted perfectly once she had it on, and should show off the nipped-in waist of her dress to perfection. She even loved the sparkly clear buttons I chose.

Finally, I managed to get a few more of the old, green, Penguin crime novels in Oxfam. These things have been like hen’s teeth lately, I hope no idiot is doing horrible things to them in the name of ‘upcycling’. (Why I hate upcycling.) Anyway, there was a couple by Dickson Carr in the quartet, which makes me very happy as they are hard to come by and I enjoy them.

Have you been watching or reading anything that’s both vintage and fun of late?


  1. I DO notice the Downton Abbey age thing. But, not as much as I notice the annoying accent of Corah. EUGH. BUT. I still watch - because - well - what if I miss something that actually might be good? That said, I do listen more than watch because i am always crocheting when it's on.

    But. Peaky Blinders. Now. That is a show and HALF. I am gripped from start to finish. A brilliant show showing the BBC at it's bestest.

  2. I have to say, we gave up on it, just didn't grab us at all. I know what you mean about Downton, it makes me suck me teeth in disapproval most of the time. But I love the costumes so much!
    Oh, the book 'art' thing, I feel your pain, I really do, it makes me turn into a raging psycho beast from Hell when I see that stuff. Making use of something very damaged that still has good parts, all for that, I got four lovely cushions from a tablecloth that had a mangled edging and a stained and ripped middle, but not the good stuff, please! Certainly not collectable antique copies, do what you like to the trash celebrity biographies etc but leave the good stuff ALONE! That includes the vintage/antique magazines, people collect these for God's sake, me included. Sorry, a very ranty issue for me!


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