Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Outfit post: 1920s beach pyjamas for loafing

 Some people do really well at casual looks, but they're my big failure. I think the problem is that I go too casual: for work I have two main looks: tartan or tweed skirt with blouse and/or woolly jumper; and fitted, block-coloured dress with midcentury accessories. I take pride in my workwear, and like to look nice. (It may not be fashionable, and very few other people I encounter would want my clothes, but no-one ever denies that they're fairly smart, especially in an environment with no actual dress code.) At weekends, though, it all falls apart, when I generally find myself slobbing around in one of the pairs of polyester trousers I bought for my trip to Burma in 2013 and a T-shirt. Lightweight and drip-dry is all very well when you're living out of a backpack for a fortnight, but it's a bit tatty. And while it's good to kick back and dress like you don't care every once in a while, I find if I do it too often, I end up not caring for real. And I'm getting too old and heavy to pull off bag-lady chic, I just look like the genuine article.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Goodwill to all humans!

I hope you had a splendid Christmas, full of love and warmth. In the run up to Christmas, I just couldn't bear the news some days, it was an endless list of ways people were horrible to other people. It was nice to spend time with loved ones and realise that actually, most people are fundamentally kind and decent, it's just the awful ones who get all the attention. I look at my tree, which is covered with baubles, and remember where they were bought or who gave them to me. Each year we get one or two more; this retro robot is one of a box of three that my husband got me this year, from Paperchase. I'd really wanted them (robots are ace!) but had been really busy at work and hadn't made it that far into town. I even had to go into work on the Saturday before Christmas and was late meeting my husband afterwards, and so he'd gone and got me my robots! He is lovely. And every year I shall unpack my baubles and get a little robotty reminder of how lovely he is.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Old Square Eyes' festive telly and radio picks

With so many channels on telly and radio nowadays, it can be hard to sift out the highlights. However, there's not an immense amount of vintagey stuff on over the holidays this year. Here is my pick of the
offerings over Christmas, and most of it is on the radio.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

What I'm not knitting

Bradford-on-Avon: cute!

Gemma did a great post on Retro Chick last week on the Five Guilts of Christmas. I don't think I'm likely to provoke many feelings of guilt in others, apart from on the food front. I don't do it to be virtuous, however, I do just like cooking and eating, and I enjoy sharing it. I certainly don't expect you to do it! Every year we get together with some friends and have a real feast (Blorpfest), so if you want to see what we've been making, keep an eye on Greedybots. We've got something very special planned for 2014...

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Vintage crime for Christmas

Short of a stocking filler? Here's something I think any fan of crime novels will enjoy: The Santa Klaus Murder, by Mavis Doriel Hay. The Melbury family have all gathered together for Christmas, when the elderly head of the household is murdered. But who did it? Could it be the youngest daughter, who is forbidden to get married and leave home, or her fiance? Could it be the unhappily-married daughter, her shell-shocked husband or the man she wanted to marry all those years ago? How about the secretary? There are plenty of people who could have killed the victim – he wasn't a pleasant chap. In fact, this story is definitely a 'whodunnit'. You'll probably guess a good deal of how the crime was carried out very early on, but working out which person actually did the deed is much trickier, making this a very enjoyable read.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Crinoline Robot's unfestive week

I'm an up-and-down person and of late I've been very much UP, which means bagloads of energy and enthusiasm for everything. Frankly, in December I need it. Last week I was very grateful for it as I'd got loads of stuff done and then got ill – I suspect norovirus. Oddly, I didn't feel that bad in myself – aside from the horrible stomach problems, it wasn't as physically sapping as a cold – but there was no way I was venturing outside the house. (Last Thursday night I spent some time lying on the bathroom floor as I figured it wasn't worth leaving the room to go back to bed!) Anyway, the fact that I was ahead of myself on the shopping-and-organising front meant being confined to home wasn't such a problem, and I was able to fire up the laptop and work from home a bit too, so I wasn't letting my team down.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Looking back at Christmas

December. It's like a whole month of Mondays. To work round the schedules of people at various factories, all sorts of things get rescheduled and I usually have two print deadlines in December. At least this year neither of them clash with the work party. However, one of them is usually pretty short, and that means late nights, which is not what you want when you're trying to organise presents and food and housework too.

Go, go, gadget organisational skills...

I now have a monster to-do list covering everything from individuals to post cards to and items to shop for (Bath Christmas Market is is full swing, which means hordes of tourists, which means I try to get into town early and do my shopping bit-by-bit before starting work at 9:30 to avoid the crush). It's doable. It is doable.

Anyway, because I have lots to do and time is precious, I thought I'd waste some of it taking a look at what some of my older books and magazines suggest, giving, doing and making for Christmas.