Sunday, 24 June 2007

This is why I like vintage...

While I love living in the 21st century - where would I be without the world wide web or Blogger?! - there is something more fulfilling about handwriting letters rather than banging out an email or scrawling in a journal which will serve as a treasure to reminisce over in years to come, rather than rambling through a keyboard (like me now) for example. The same with the convenience of digital photography, it's fantastic for sure, but I miss getting films developed and the suspense of wondering what a picture that you've spent ages deliberating over how best to take it will look.

The same goes for the Internet... I've been cut off for what seems like an enternity, meaning now blogger, not emails and what seems like no life. While there have been perks - I'm glad to be back in the virtual world. So expect many, many more posts from me to make up for lost time.

Friday, 25 May 2007

CSC shop of the week - The Red Telephone Box

While I am on the subject of telephones, the ultimate in retro chic must be the iconic British red telephone box.

While you rarely see them in public nowadays, the old boxes are being snapped up by interior designers and creative individuals as quirky additions to homes and gardens.

You can pick up professionally restored and fully operational boxes for around £1,000 online, as well as unrestored ones for a few hundred pounds cheaper - a great DIY project if there ever was one.

Imagination is the only limit to their uses if you have the space - with some owners converting their boxes into tiny bars, mini-greenhouses and even shower cubicles. Quite the talking point, I think you'll agree.

The Red Telephone Box stock a range of telephone boxes in various states of restoration.

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CSC pick of the week - 1963 green telephone

Imagine answering your calls on this terrific emerald green two-tone telephone.

Every single phone conversation - even with wrong numbers and telemarketers - would be a nostalgic trip to the 60s, sans the acid. I love, love, love it and as the specialist shop have more than one, I thought I would share the wealth, so you can all fight over the few that are left - including pillar box red alternatives and pricer bakelite ones from the 1940s.

Retro telephones are far nicer additions to the home or office than the dull grey run-of-the-mill pieces of kit with flashing neon displays you get nowadays. Not only are they stylish pieces of design history, but they are also items that don't just look pretty and gather dust - instead the telephones arrive at your door in full working order for a fairly small price.

Item: 1963 green telephone
Price: £65 + £8 postage and packaging
Shop: Abdy Antiques


Wednesday, 23 May 2007

People watching and window shopping

London was as hedonistic as ever and it was a purely indulgent joy to spend the weekend sipping coffees in the sunshine during the day and slurping far too many cocktails in the bars at night.

London is so lovely on the cusp of summer, whether you're lazing around with a picnic in the park or wearing out the pavements walking for miles and miles. But there really is no better pastime than people watching with a crisp glass of wine in your hand. Like all vibrant cities, I really appreciate how people are free to assert their indviduality - with everything from art school hippy chic, affluent sloane style and experimental emo expressed side-by-side in all its glory.

With so much time spent enjoying myself and catching up with friends, there wasn't that much left to spend shopping before I found myself back on the train with blistered feet and a tired out credit card.

Hanging around Notting Hill Gate and Portobello Market provided some window shopping delights on the Sunday afternoon however. But the exorbitant price tags swinging from the minimalist racks and rails of the vintage boutiques (on items I've seen myself for less than a tenth of the price in 'provincial' charity shops) meant that I came home empty-handed save for some light reading for the journey to take my mind off my hangover. Portobello was awash with funky stalls set-up by young designers and the choice of vintage fashion was spoiling, but once again I just could not bring myself to pay for things I knew were so grossly marked-up.

The shock horror at the hike in prices once clothes have been hung in upmarket boutiques did, however, make me want to go out and find more affordable bargains - which I's say is a good use of a weekend.

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