Digging in the vaults

Our battered 1990s chipboard bookcase made way for a lovely solid wood one today. (Finally, room for ALL the cookbooks.) I'm so happy that Mr Robot and I are rediscovering our love for our little home; we neglected it a bit of a few years, but I'm starting to feel proud of it again. The dining room looks lovely now, and I'm hoping to find the time and energy this weekend to make a proper retro meal from the cookbook my friend Naomi sent me. Cate blogged about the Shepton Mallet Flea Market yesterday, and I'm wondering if that will be the place to find the leather wing chair Mr Robot wants for the living room...

Of course, unlike that tatty bookcase plenty of old stuff is worth keeping, old blog posts included. I linked to an old one on perfume from Facebook this week, and it occurred to me that some of my older posts that people might like have got lost in about five years of content, so I thought I'd give you links to a few of them in case you missed them...

(From 1940s Good Housekeeping magazine)
What colours go with brown?
What colours go with navy?
What colours go with black?

A brief guide to vintage perfumes: up to 1940
A brief guide to vintage perfumes: 1940-1959
A brief guide to vintage perfumes: 1960-1989
Five fabulous flapper fragrances

How to repair torn armpits in a vintage dress

You might find some of those interesting – I liked them enough to post them in the first place. Sometimes I think of going back and deleting older, more personal and less 'useful' posts as they seem to date faster, but you never know what might be seen as interesting or useful in the future, do you? Little snippets of information that wouldn't be found anywhere else could be contained in those ramblings. Liz Tregenza recently posted about finding useful information on the letters page of a vintage magazine, after all.

What other vintage stuff have I been up to? Not much! I've cast on It Cannot Fail To Please, and that's about it. It's not that I've been doing masses of anything else; outside work time is short.

Back In Time For The Weekend
I have been enjoying Back In Time For The Weekend on telly. Like last year's Back In Time For Dinner it shows a family, this time the Ashby-Hawkins, going back to 1950 and then advancing one year each day, only this time the focus is on what people did in their leisure time rather than what they ate. With the 1990s this week the family have finally ended their time travels. (There's a 'future' episode next week, but all the historical bits are concluded.) One thing I really liked was that the family put all their old tech in their shed as it was replaced with something newer, so as the 90s moved on and they were putting things like computers in the shed more frequently, you really got an idea of how tech evolved much faster as the years went on. It was also interesting seeing the kids get to grips with things like dial telephones and Atari consoles, and how the whole family felt they'd spent more time together 'in the past'. The daughter, in particular, had some thoughtful reflections on how being a teenager changed over the decades.

In Back In Time For Dinner there was a sense that things have genuinely improved over the decades, as a wider range of produce has become available and things like fridges and freezers are now commonplace, but Back In Time For The Weekend made me think harder about leisure time and family time nowadays and whether things haven't actually got worse in recent years. The family certainly seemed happiest in the 1970s. And I've resolved to put my phone away more! Have you been watching that show at all? You can still catch it on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK.

At the end of the programme this week they had an appeal for people wanting to go Back In Time, though I'm not sure what avenues are left to explore. Work? In-depth fashion and music? At any rate, you can apply via production company Wall To Wall's website. Filming is this summer.


  1. Ooo, I just checked out some of those old posts and what fantastic titbits. Thanks for sharing! There was one bit that made me giggle about the Vivienne Westwood Boudoir perfume being another ladybits-redolent scent. I have that perfume and love it! Haha!!

    Loved Back In Time For The Weekend and the 70s one made me incredibly nostalgic. Having grown up in the 70s and 80s it brought back a lot of strong emotions and I was so pleased that I got to be a child during those decades. I remember spending hell of a lot of time with my family, just like they did, and I feel sorry for kids growing up these days permanently stuck to their variety of screens. x

    1. Oh, there's nothing wrong with a bit of skank in perfume - all the best ones are a bit grubby!

      I always find the 90s episodes of shows like that really weird as they start bringing out stuff I've owned from new.

  2. Oh that's great being able to read your old perfume posts-I'm looking forward to sitting down and having a nice read.

    I spent loads of time with my family in the 60's and 70's-I'm not sure I'm better for it, but they tended to be a bit on the overbearing side. A little "alone" time with even a book would have been welcome. But no, we all piled in the car to drive somewhere scenic for a picnic that we'd end up eating in the car because it was raining.

    I hope Mr. Robot gets his chair-a chair you love is important as you get older.

    1. He has one chair already, but he'd rather have the sofa so I end up in it. I want the sofa too! So perhaps if he gets the chair I can have some sofa time.

  3. We had phases like that, taking the house for granted and then finding something and moving things around to fit it in and appreciating Stonecroft all over again.
    Hope Mr R finds his dream chair tomorrow!
    We only saw the 1980s episode and it didn't resonate with either of us, we didn't watch the Royal Wedding, never ate a takeaway pizza till the 1990s and only the privileged few had video recorders so we'd all pile round to their places to watch Alien and The Warriors after the pub. xxx

    1. I can remember mum hiring a video recorder. And trips to the video rental shop. That was AMAZING. All those strange films to browse through...

  4. Dear Mim,
    Happy Saturday!
    Having a house is having an ongoing, never-ending place of improvement, repairs, decoration... you can take a break from it (some say: neglect) and you can then turn into manically re-arranging everything (come spring, this is most often) :)
    Your old posts are a great reminder of the progress you as a blogger and this place had. Surely, you know this blog has GROWN a lot over time?! Well, it has.. and I'm great to, some extent, be the "part"of your journey.
    Now - I've seen "Back in time for dinner", so I'll be on a lookout for the new installment.


    1. Yes, the housework never ends. (Wah!) It is looking so much nicer now, though, which is making me put more effort in. I just hope the cats don't try scratching the new bookcase.

  5. The luxury of wood in the most used room! All our good furniture is away from the bunnies!

    I liked the Back In Time programmes, but the smashing of the piano appalled me :(


    1. Yes, I was aghast at that. They could have given it to a school or organisation that couldn't afford one, it was a wicked waste.

  6. Yes, I've really enjoyed the Back in Time series so far. Very interesting to see how our lives have changed, and because of the way they break things down, why. Some of the clothes and interior detailing were great to see. It's nice to get interested in your home again, You'll have to show us what it's looking like? I still have a tiny bit left in the bottle of Joy (Jean Patou) I was given for my 21st. Can't bear to use it all up. Xxx

  7. Mim

    I'm looking forward to reading your perfume posts and learn something about perfume. At the moment perfume is a bit like art with me, I know what I like and what I don't, not why!

    I did enjoy the series you discuss in your post and I used to think the 70s fashion were not all that, having worn them, but I've changed my mind..

    Have a great week


  8. Three cheers for new bookshelves! I wish we had room in our wee abode for more (our existing ones are holding up fairly well for the most part), but realistically we don't, so I have to periodically cull through the collection to make room for new editions. In my dream house, I'd have a large library lined with old school dark wooden shelves that reaches to the ceiling and one of those cool ladders on rails to reach any title I wanted. :)

    Have a fantastic week, dear Mim!
    ♥ Jessica


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