Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Looking forward in time to going back...

Are you looking forward to going Further Back In Time?
Oooh, what a feast of televisual treats we have to look forward to later this year.

If, like me, you enjoy retro-reality shows, you'll be pleased to note that it looks like the Back In Time programmes are going to continue; production company Wall To Wall is advertising for 'a fun, food-loving family to go further back in time', 'good young cooks' who are willing to 'experience working life for young women in the 20th century before the conveniences of modern technology' and a Caribbean family who 'will be given the chance to explore Black British History'. So I'm guessing that'll be at least three separate series, all of which sound exciting. The first sounds as before, but earlier, which hopefully will include the Jazz Age, but the other two could be even better, showing the working lives of young women and the everyday lives of black Britons. The latter is a subject that doesn't get nearly enough coverage, I feel, especially as light entertainment, and when black British domestic history does make it to the small screen it's all too often as an add-on to mainstream white British history.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Charity shop haul

 My local charity shops had been delivering slim pickings before I went away, and I'd started to think that they simply weren't going to have anything decent any more, but this week I felt the real urge to have a good trawl round them and it paid off.

Friday, 17 June 2016

A past that never was

A cup of tea with a Tunnocks caramel wafer
Let's all have a nice cuppa and be civilised
Warning: politics ahead!

Even if you're outside the UK, I think the murder of one of our politicians yesterday might have made the news where you are. The killing of Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament, has been reported internationally. These are politically turbulent times in the UK; in a few days we'll be voted whether to stay in the EU or leave, and it's led to a lot of nastiness. The campaigning should be about the EU, pure and simple, but what it's done is uncover a nasty vein of racism and fear of others in our society. I suppose you have to expose a festering sore in order to cut it out, but I wish that sore hadn't been exposed in such a horrifying way. I wish we hadn't needed a decent woman to be shot and stabbed in order for people to sit back and say, "Hang on, we've got a problem as a nation."

AA Gill - a journalist I frequently find annoying, I must say - wrote an excellent piece in The Times about nostalgia, "that most pernicious and debilitating Little English drug", and how it's affecting people's politics, about how they're longing for a Britain that never actually existed. I guess anyone who loves vintage likes to bathe in a little nostalgia every now and then. But it's impossible to engage with things from the past for a long time without encountering reminders that it wasn't that brilliant, actually. War. Poverty. Racism. Sexism. They had all those things then too, but plenty of them just weren't talked about, and a lot of it we prefer not to recall too often.

The past is a great teacher, if you're willing to learn from it.  As much as I love the fashions, films and homewares of the 1930s, I really don't like seeing its violent, divisive politics returning. If we're going to get all nostalgic about the past, let's do it by emulating the good stuff, the rejection of fascism, the acceptance into this country of child refugees (how can we be proud of having helped so many in the Kindertransports of the 1930s and refuse to give the same help today?), and a bit of common bloody decency.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Outfit post: summer tones for a sunny evening

Look, I have feet in one of my outfit post photos! Mr Robot made sure to fit them in as I'd gone to all the effort of painting my toenails blue so they'd go with the dress and contrast with the coral peeptoe shoes.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Two of my favourite places in Seville

Mr Robot and I spent our honeymoon in Seville back in 2001, and it's somewhere we've returned to every few years. It's changed a bit in that time, but not in a bad way. When more flights started coming to the city, we'd feared the city would become more touristy, and while some areas have, on the whole Seville has retained its personality.

One of my favourite places, and one which has benefited from tourism, is the Plaza de Espana in the Parque Maria Luisa. Built as the Spanish pavilion for the 1929 Spanish/American expo (dreadful timing for a trade-promoting exercise!) the tiles and ceramic bridges were in sore need of repair by 2001, but since then it's been beautifully restored. It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Fleeting glimpses of Toledo

We leave Toledo today, and I am knackered. Travelling with teenagers is exhausting fun - especially when they discover tapas. (Proper tapas, where you each get a free tiny snack with every drink, not the stupid sort they do in Britain with sharing plates.