Agony Aunt 1947 style

 You're looking at a magazine from  November 1947 called 'Home Notes'. Amazing to think this is almost 64 years old! It's going to be fabulous to read through, I was going to try and be really disciplined and save reading it until I went to a fabulous tea room we have in Norwich called Biddy's. I think sipping tea whilst being surrounded by beautiful china with old music playing will be simply divine and most fitting, it will be like stepping back in time. I also have some love letters from the 1950's I've been saving for this occasion too..........

I bought these on Ebay, seems a shame they are not in a box of treasures with the writers relatives but c'est la vie I suppose. I haven't even peeped at them yet, so let's hope the seller was honest in the description! When I find out I will let you know.......

So I've flicked through the magazine, it's in amazing condition for it's age and I must confess I got quite excited at finding a problem page! The page is actually called 'Sarah Hope's help page'  The picture of Sarah (actually she looks quite formal...) so the picture of Mrs Hope is very matronly, and quite frankly somewhat scary. There's no further details about her so let's see what issues are bothering the ladies of 1947 and take a look at what Mrs Hope's advice is..........................

Not the best picture but do you see what I mean?

Is it wrong?

I have been going around with a boy for some time, and just lately we have started making love in a very passionate way. I mentioned this to  a friend of mine and she was very shocked. I cannot truthfully say I am ashamed of my behavior, but I must admit that, occasionally I fee guilty. Is love making of this sort wrong, and if so what shall I do? Incidentally I am only 17, but have always mixed with a crowd considerably older than myself. From Bunny.

Mrs Hope replies

Don't you think that you ave answered your question yourself by admitting that, sometimes you feel guilty? Why should you, if you were perfectly happy about your behavior? I only wish that you had let me have your name and address so I could have written to you privately,and explained to you, as I cannot do here, just why it is not only foolish but dangerous. I think you should tell you boyfriend that you realise how rash you are being, and let him see that you mean it when you say you are not going in for any more of this lovemaking. You'll see if he's worth anything at all by the way that he takes your decision. 

''When we are married''

My boy and I have known each other for four years, and I've always been very friendly with his sister and his family. We see each other 3 times a weekend he's always talking of ''when we are married'' but he never says anything about being engaged to him. Last week his mother asked him if he was going to a certain dance, and he said : '' No, I am saving my money, as one day I shall have a wife to keep.'' But I cannot understand why he hasn't really made up his mind. I love him very much and would hate to give him up. What shall I do? From Poppy

Mrs Hope replies

I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. It seems to me that your boy takes it so for granted that you're going to marry each other that it has never occurred to him to mention a formal engagement. The fact that he talks about  ''when we are married'' and what he said to his mother , proves this. Also as he is keen to save money so that you can get married, he may feel it wiser to cut out the expense of an engagement ring. It's a big item, these are hard times you know.

He's so jealous

I am going to a party, and my husband has asked me not to wear anything that looks well on me. He says I have to keep my beauty for him alone and he hates to have his men friends admire me.  I love my husband but I like to be admired by others as well, and I know I am considered pretty.  How can I stop him from being so jealous? From Green Eyes

Mrs Hope replies

You can't stop your husband being jealous, it is a powerful and violent emotion and only those who suffer from it know how painful it can be. Perhaps you aren't always as careful as you might be to avoid giving your husband cause for jealousy. I rather think that this must be the explanation for his strange request that you should not wear ''anything that looks well'' at this party. I shouldn't take it too seriously, wear a pretty frock and take pain to look  as nice as nice as you can, but don't over do the make up or go out of your way to attract attention from other men. I think you'll find that your husband won't mind how nice  you look if you  make it clear that he's the one, and the only one, you're aiming to please.

Hmmmmm so what do I think? .............. Well I think Bunny not including her address was a lucky escape! I think Mrs Hope would have written a letter, but it would have been addressed to Bunny's parents!! The poor girl might have ended up getting the beating of her life or sent to a home for wayward girls (maybe both!) I do wonder what happened with Bunny and the boy though..........

As for Poppy, well as Beyonce. Seriously though, one of my early posts was about expensive rings not being the main thing about being in love, however it would have been nice if he had actually popped the question, at least asked her and not assumed! You can find that early post by clicking here

As for Green Eyes,  well, where to start? What conflicting advice. You're husband is in the right but wear what you like within reason. Hmm, I really don't think there was much clear or helpful guidance there at all. I wonder if Mrs Hope got a splinter as she appeared to find a fence to sit on half way through that response!

What do you think?
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Operation Lipstick : Do you dare to wear?


 Recently I had a few days away, I was walking through the streets of that there London, wearing the red lipstick I reviewed in my previous post 'Rockingly good lipstick' and it really struck me that I couldn't recall seeing any other lipstick wearers, despite the street being full of women of all generations, from all kinds of back grounds. Sure that I must be mistaken, I ramped my people watching skills up to maximum and carried on walking and observing.

There were numerous nudes/light pink glosses which I wear too sometimes, but apart from me I saw only a handful of other ladies in a good old fashioned red lipstick. I wonder why this is? Is it more popular to wear it in the evenings maybe? What can we do to bring it back? What stops gals from lipsticking up? I wonder if it's that myth that maybe red lipstick doesn't suit everyone? What do we think of that? I'm not a make up artist but I'm sure that there is a red for everyone. There has to be. For me lipstick perks everything up. Whatever I'm wearing. Day or evening.

Me with my various shades of red over the last few months

My first memory of 'grown up' lipstick is my nan dabbing her orange lipstick onto my lips. This memory only came back to me recently when I wore my Rockalily lipstick the second time. There was something about the fragrance that gave me a flashback to my 6/7 year old self. I've been pondering her technique of 'dabbing' colour on, and wondered at first if she did this so the colour wouldn't be too strong, but it's since occurred to me that it was probably also dabbed on as a way to be economical and make it last. The mindset of the make do and mend generation. Look after what you have and make things last.

So If you don't wear red lipstick maybe you could give it a try?  You might find that you really rather like it!  You can red my review about my current favorite lipstick which is the shade Rocket Red by Rockalily by clicking here

Fellow blogger Retro Chick has under taken some  research on several brands and has put together a quick reference table scoring things like colour, staying power and application which is worth a peep at, you can find that here

And if this still isn't enough to encourage you dare to wear, then let's see what the stars of the past and present have to say.......

"My arrival in school, with painted lips and darkened brows, started everybody buzzing. Why I was a siren, I hadn't the faintest idea. I didn't want to be kissed, and I didn't dream of being seduced by a duke or a movie star. The truth was that with all my lipstick and mascara and precocious curves, I was as unresponsive as a fossil. But I seemed to affect people quite otherwise.'' Marylin Monroe

 "So I end up using about ten tubes of lipstick a day. I've even had to buy a darker kind than I prefer to wear in order to make a better print.'' Cleo Moore

  "I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and... I believe in miracles.'' Audrey Hepburn

 "I only have to do three things to look halfway decent, curl my eyelashes, fill in my eyebrows, and put some lipstick on'' Courtney Cox

 And last but not least......

 ''Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.'' Gwyneth Paltrow
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Rockingly good lipstick

This isn't going to turn into a make up review blog, I'm happy to leave that to the experts (I'm also not very good at pulling serious/pouty faces so you will have to cope with my usual cheesy grins) however a good red lipstick isn't easy to find despite the hundreds out there on the shelves, but I think I've found a good one, so I thought I would share it with you.

Now I'm not really what I would consider a ''high maintenance'' kind of girl. I'm not one of these women that likes/wants to check their refection in the mirror every 30 minutes (If this is you then fine, maybe I'm just too lazy to be high maintenance...) but often when I wear red lipstick this is *exactly* what I find myself doing, I will check myself out in anything that has a reflective surface, a mirror, shop window, calculators and even my reflection in peoples spectacles!......... I just want something to look nice and with make up this means that I want it to have some staying power.

Red lipstick can be a high maintenance colour indeed and I'm sure most of us lipstick wearers have had that 'omg' moment when you have been happily chatting to someone only to then look in the mirror afterwards and see that your lips are no longer luscious red but patchy or worse just an outline! Vexing! Now I know there maybe more pressing matters going on in the universe, but getting the little things right, like a good lippie, can at least have an impact on how you feel about facing this big bad world.

Let's face it, buying new make-up is.....well it's nice isn't it? I love trying new products. Having seen some good reviews about a a range of lipsticks by Rockalily.com I was tempted to try one myself. Now buying a new lipstick online can be a bit of a step into the unknown, but the website details each colour, and at the moment the range consists of just four colours, so you're not left feeling overwhelmed by choice. Over on the Rockalily facebook page  you can also see a gallery of lovely ladies wearing their lipsticks with pride. Who better to model the colours, than the people who bought it?

 I chose the shade Rockette Red, the lipsticks cost £14 + £2.50 p&p, delivery was super fast. I had this through the letter box within 2 days. This is the most I've spent on a lipstick, but so far it's been worth every penny. I still believe you don't need to spend lot's of money on expensive brands, but to get a lipstick that lasts and you can wear with confidence? This lipstick is proof that it's worth paying a bit extra if you can.

It's a lovely bright shade of show stopping red and goes on really smoothly. I had no bleeding the first few times I used it, but I have to say there have been a few occasions recently when I've noticed it has bled a wee bit, BUT these were on warm days so that could have been me melting it a little! It wasn't really noticeable to anyone but me and with a quick touch up was well.

I personally prefer to wear lip liner when I wear lipstick as I like to have a clean outline, this will help any lipstick bleed. It lasted really very well indeed. Several hours and several cups of tea and it was still going strong. When it did start to wear off, it did so very evenly and I was left with a pale red pout, not a horrid patchy one. I also liked the simple packaging and the lid doesn't just slide on, it twists and locks which gives peace of mind to someone like me like me who has a very disorganised handbag! I know I can throw it in without fear that the lid will come off and the nightmare scenario of fluffy or broken lipstick is a concern of the past.

I'm loving this shade of red, it's one that I'm happy to wear in the daytime through to the evening. Would you also like to know something else that's really nice about this brand? There's a real person behind it, not some anonymous big brand with a board of suits, but a woman (ReeRee Rockett) who writes a very very readable blog not just about lipstick but about style and life too and you can read about ReeRee Rockett's world by clicking here
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The Vintage Fair

 I was quite excited about attending this fair having never been to it before. It was held in St. Andrews Hall which is an impressive venue even without a hall full of vintage loveliness. Admission was £2 and as soon as I walked in I was greeted with a selection stalls offering not just clothes (although there were rails and rails and rails) but also jewellery, teacups with candles, picnic sets, luggage etc.

There was music playing, classics like 'Rain drops keep falling on my head' , highly appropriate for the weather today, thank goodness for my brolly, it's one of those clear plastic dome ones, I can't recommend this style enough, not only do they save your hair, they save your eyeliner! Another song that stood out was 'The candy man can' not sure if that's what it's called but it was in the Gene Wilder version of Charlie and the chocolate factory which is one of my fave films *ever*. Anyway I digress (as usual)....................

There was a good range of era's, mainly from 50's through to 80's. Prices were better than I was expecting to be honest, I saw dresses from £7 and upwards with the average dress price being between £15 -25. There were more expensive dresses but for a 50's original you'd expect to pay that bit more. So I think it's fair to say there was something for all budgets.

There was also a very good selection of  menswear too which was good as you boys can often get neglected. When it comes to vintage , it's often a woman's world. Despite there being lots on offer, not much was really catching my heart but I did get this 1950's cruet set (I'm guessing as they are plastic they would have come from a picnic set) and a jade green dress really caught my eye - but sadly it had been reworked and rather than the hemline skimming the middle of my calf (tea dress style) it was above my knee - and I'm short so on average height girl this would be bum skimming!

Each to their own but if you make that kind of dress so short you make it look more indie than vintage (although in hindsight with tights on, it might have been just about okay in the winter with boots) The whole of this rail had been reworked which is a lot of dress chopping. I was a bit vexed at the sight of it if I'm honest and actually texted fellow Norwich blogger Retro Chick just to have a rant! I was also dissapointed to see what looked like an old battered vintage evening bag was actually from Boot's No.7 range, not sure that belongs nestled amongst a basket of vintage bags... but maybe I'm being picky.  Fortunately Biddy's tea room were in attendance to supply me with a nice pot of tea and a scone. (Hurrah!) Which was every bit as gorgeous as it looks and I would say a total bargain at £3.95.

This dress needs to be pictured properly and added to Project 365, it's a lovely 70's does 50's number

I decided to have one last circuit around the stalls,and as it was getting close to closing time, a seller had very kindly reduced a rail of clothes to a fiver a piece...excellent news. So I grabbed two 1970's dresses, one a sage green day dress and one a lovely deep blue evening dress, I haven't had a chance to get a picture with them on yet, so these aren't the best pictures to show them off, but the blue one will be lovely for going out to dinner. Fab for £5.

Excuse the terrible for sale on Ebay style pictures!

Would I go again? Yes I would, even if you don't find anything you fancy buying, it's a lovely venue to go and treat yourself to afternoon tea. So when the next one hits town I will be adding it to my diary.
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Tea, cake and charity

If you are truly most peculiar and need an excuse to drink tea and eat cake then good news, I do indeed have the perfect excuse for you. If like me you need absolutely no excuse to indulge in a cuppa then I have good news for you too....isn't this sounding like a win win situation?..............

Marie Curie Cancer Care is inviting us to put the kettle on, dust off our teapots, dig out the china tea cups (if you need quantity over style it's okay to use a mug!) and hold a Blooming Great Tea Party. The 'official' tea party season is between June 12th and July 12th (June 1st to 30th for Northern Ireland readers) However that rule book can get dusty on the shelf as far as I'm concerned, so I'm announcing it's tea party season......... when ever we like! I'm in London next week, I'll have a word with the queen, it's fine, she will understand - the worst that can happen to me for taking such an anarchist approach to breaking the tea party rules is a spell in the tower, which let's face it will save me the entrance fee and get me into the non touristy bits ...(*every cloud/silver lining*)

Marie Curie Cancer Care was established in 1948 (this is the same year as our national health service, we might knock the NHS but seriously, can you imagine life without it?) The charity provides free nursing to cancer patients and their carers. A very sobering fact on the Marie Curie website is a reference to  research that shows  65% of people with terminal cancer would actually choose to have their final days at home, in reality only 25% are able to fulfill this wish. I'm not sure if I know of anyone hasn't been effected by cancer in one way or another, everyone seems to know someone who's had the 'big C'. Such a sad fact.

So whilst drinking tea and eating finger sandwiches won't cure it over night, do know what? it just might help, as the charity funds scientists so they can carry on the research. So what better reason to get together with friends and family? Get in the kitchen and do some baking, get the bambino's involved. If baking isn't your thing or you just don't have time? CHEAT! I'm sure even Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith have been a mistress of Mr.Kipling at some point! Of course I'm not condoning fibs....... but organising your recycling is important........... so you could very swiftly pop the box in the bin?.........or if you are a terrible fibber like me then I find a wink and a grin will get you out of most situations...........

The charity's team have pretty much though of everything you might need, click here and you will be able to download things like bunting, posters and even a tea party quiz. If you don't think you can manage a tea party, then take your cakes and flask for a picnic in the park, have a cake/tea trolley at work, or you could pop onto the website and make a donation? If you are inspired to volunteer or try a different challenge to raise money and awareness then you will find lots of information to help you on the website. I know this has been a link heavy post, but it's a good cause and I would like to round up with a link that will take you over to the people who help deliver the care to the patients and families and two more that will help you keep up to date with Marie Curie events and news. So if you would like to meet the nurses who make a difference please click here.

The wonders of social media means that you can also follow the charity on Facebook and if you are a little tweeter you can follow on twitter too. Just click on the coloured links and you will be transported to those sites. The wonders of technology! It's like magic! But then I am the girl who stands at the fax machine at work exclaiming ''wow it's all so clever!' every time I use it. Yes a fax machine, people still use those! So click away and I hope you feel inspired to know more about the charity, the people who help and the people it benefits.

(*special thanks to Laura at Marie Curie Cancer Care who's emails inspired this post*)
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Buy buy baby.......

My recent treasure hunts for ''stuff'' have been pretty good lately. I've managed to bag some super little buys, the outings are always fun and feel like an adventure. Trips to the local charity shops, boot fairs and flea markets is always a step into the unknown. You never leave the house knowing what you will come home with, and you often will find something you never really knew you needed......

Like this 1950's hand mirror. It's absolutely adorable and the back is embroided lace. Now I had no idea I *needed* one of these. It was only £3 and I bought it because I thought it would look pretty on my much loved dressing table that I told you about in my previous post called 'jaw dropping drawers'. It's turned out to be something I use almost every single day to put my make up on in the mornings. Which is lovely because you can see from the handle being slightly worn that it's probably been a practical accessory all it's life.

Another super £5 buy is my late 50's early 60's  side/coffee table. *Wolf whistle* at those atomic legs. I love this so much and it's used every single day. If I ever see another one of these I will snap it up. The living room is naturally falling into a 50's theme, which is fab, I'm hoping to find a drop leaf 50's formica table, that's well and truly on the wish list. I've ordered the wallpaper today which was very exciting. Not for the faint hearted........

Just on one wall, a whole room may be too much?!

 At a carboot sale I was given  (yes given!) this gorgeous 60's lamp, complete with original salmon pink lampshade! I was a really warm but quite windy Sunday and I picked up the lamp to look closer at it's atomic style base, the lady said to me that they were fed up of it blowing over and that she had just told her friend the next person who seems to like it could have it for nothing! How fabulous for me?! She'd had this lamp it's whole life and it still has the original wiring - which I need to check out but I like it whether it works or not, I'm thrilled with it.

 I bought these rather fab framed cigarette cards. Very glam I think. I haven't quite worked out where to hang them yet so they are propped next to the lamp until I decide. I've also managed to scoop some lovely vintage suitcases which make excellent storage on top of wardrobes and under beds. More pictures to follow but for now here's my lovely sky blue antler over night /vanity case.

It's currently storing my rollers but will make an excellent over night bag, its quite roomy. I got a really really good buy with this as this was £4.99! I've got a few days in London coming up, I wonder just how much I can pack in it?! Enough for a few nights I wonder?................
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