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Saturday 21 August 2010

3 day hair in the wilderness

As regular readers will know, I spend a fair bit of my summer camping at vintage events, often in extreme conditions.  By extreme I mean camping in places that people don't normally camp in, such as cow paddocks and car parks.  The word "facilities" in this case refers to a portaloo, not showers, and it is a treat if you get running water let alone a sink! Hair dos involving electrical devices are out as is... well...washing. eck.

So last weekend at Crich I did a 3 day hair photo journal to show you how I cope.  I don't really think of myself as a hair and make up tutoring kind of a girl, not being exceedingly hair clever like Fleur de Guerre or Lisa Freemont Street. Most of what I know came from these girls. Camping in the circumstances that I need to cope in are a little extreme so I just hope I have some tips that might come in useful.  I AM lucky in that I have LOTS of thick hair so not washing it for 3 days just does not show.  I hope that even finer haired people will benefit from some of the cover-up ideas and tricks I know.

First off, the afternoon before I hit the road, I wash my hair so that it is completely bone dry for the next day.  That morning I set it in hot rollers, remembering to part it nicely because I will keep the part in place for the whole weekend.  I am usually in a hurry to leave London before the traffic builds - so I drive off with my hair still in rollers, the car packed to the hilt and a trailer with the marquee in it - it must be quite a sight!
Somewhere along the way (before I am needing a pee) I park up and take the rollers out, and replace them with bobby pins, so that the curl is kept in place, and mist it with hairspray.
You can see that this could pass as a 30s hair do as it is (if done a bit tidier perhaps!).
Alas, I am heading to put up a marquee, in the mud, and wind, and with puddles and rocks...you get the picture... so I cover the whole lot in a scarf tied 40s style.  I left a cute curl poking out just for fun.
Fine hair tip: some ladies I know use a hair piece under their scarf to make a fringe or side sweep. You would never know because you can't see their real hair to compare it to.

The next day I took the side pin curls out - and this is what I got! Fluffy red madness which alarms even me.

But after some gentle brushing and styling it is not bad for a full 24 hours after setting them
Because I have a (new to me) 30s sun hat I leave the back in pin curls and let the sides down somewhat.  I still hitch them up to make my long hair look like a 30s bob.
The hat and the hitching protect the curls a bit longer. I was too cold to take the cardigan off so I was an odd match of sun hat and woolie!
Later in the day I let the whole lot down for our evening sing-a-long with Lola Lamour at the pub. The curls have lasted well and just need a little further de-fluffing and shaping with curl cream. I deliberately didn't do real victory rolls as the only way I can manage them is the opposite way (rolling up) that they are curled (rolling under), and I would have ended up with a spiky mess for the next day. Instead I have just taken each side, twisted it once and pinned it, pushing it slightly forward.

When it is time to burrow into my sleeping bag I pull out a hair net to stop me mussing up the curls any further. I never thought I would be posting a photo of me like this on the net! (I can hear my brother laughing.) Because we have no hot water facilities I rely on very un-vintage cleansing wipes, these Loreal ones being the least upsetting to my skin. I could do a boil up with the camp kettle, but this is way easier for a tired girl in torch light.
In fact you can get wipes for everything (and I mean EVERYTHING girls, check out the feminine hygiene section). The anti-bacterial ones save on dish washing and I hear baby wipes are good for cleaning hats.
While we are side stepping, here are some other wilderness tips:

survival tip # 2 - things that hang
survival tip #3 army cot beds - really comfy! and #4: plastic crates (ikea). They keep your stuff dry and are stackable when they have their lids on. Note: that is not pretty patterned carpet, it is the shape of the ROCKS that we are camped on top of!

And now, back to the hair...
I start out Sunday letting the curls down again, tiding up with some curl cream and more hair spray.  Dry hair shampoo can come in really handy by now too.
Again, I didn't do any victory rolls as fortunately the sun is predicted and I have another hat!
You can see the curls are dropping now (sorry the sun was in my eyes)
As Sunday comes to a close of business and we start packing down, I tuck the whole lot under a snood and finish it off with another scarf. There is no time for me to do more, as Mr Wolf is ripping down the tent that I am in! The style is saved because the parting is still in place and that cute tight curl that I deliberately did not brush too much has formed a nice wave.

I didn't realise that it is a bit wonky, you can tell I was in a rush!
Fine hair tip: Snoods look good when they look full, so either pin some of the snood up, making it smaller or add a hair piece! Under the snood it is hardly noticeable and it can even be under your own hair as it is just a filler in this case, I have seen it done really well.

So that's how I cope with 3 days and no showers. With showers would be about the same as I would rather keep the curl than wash it.  When I am camping longer, say, at the War and Peace show (with showers) then after 3 or so days I would wash it, set it in pin curls and start the whole process over again. I leave the pin curls in for a whole day and night to let them dry.

Shona x

The info bit:
Dungarees: Freddies of Pinewood
Brown dress, floral dress and yellow blouse: Heyday Vintage Style
Green Cardy: Swans Textiles, handknitted by Sharon

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Crich Tramway museum this weekend

Hey all

We are at the time of year when myself and Heyday are simply jumping from one event to another. There is more than one massive event every weekend in summer, if not 2 or 3. I come home, wash, wash again (often I camp without any facilities) wash everything else, go grocery shopping, re-load the car and off I go again.  They are all so fabulous that I am not sure I could bear to miss any of these events. I am really sorry if you are living elsewhere than in the UK and are not able to come and join us, and here I am rabbiting on about them.

This weekend we are off to the Crich Tramway 1940s weekend (and yes, vintage holiday makers, that means we can't be at Vintage at Goodwood...so many events, so little time). This event is slightly understated, in that it is relaxed and chilled and not crowded, and it is the most delightful day out. And because it is so lovely I thought I might let more of you know about it and show you our pics from when we visited last year.
The little village of Crich has been preserved, as it might have looked when it was steeped in the golden olden days, along with 60 or 70 beautiful trams, most of which are still working and now service the little route that leads up to an old mine. You can ride the trams all day by handing over the old penny they give you when you arrive.
(all of these pics are shamelessly nicked from the website, see more here)
There is a full museum, complete with wonderful stories of how the trams came to be here, and where they had been before.  Some spent time as make-shift homes or storage units before coming back to life at Crich.

The Pub itself was transported, literally brick by brick by a keen architect who could not see it fall into ruin where it first stood.  He moved a piece of it every day, in the back of his car, and stored all the bits for years until a suitable venue was found.  Can you imagine the jig-saw puzzle that must have been?

In the late afternoon everyone heads to the pub to meet old friends and make some new ones. As the light fades, the blackout curtains go up and the tram moves eeriely along the street. A sober moment, amougst much revelry as we laugh and sing with Lola Lamour leading the way.

But my lovely readers, that is not all.  There are many surprises along the woodland walk and around every corner...
camping luxury, complete with old newspaper, and a make do and mend style camp stove
Scattered in the hills are re-enactors displaying a 40s outdoors lifestyle, and a new way to use an old rocket shell!
A grocery truck. The blackboard states "No purchase without coupons (unless you are a pretty girl)"

People really go all out on the displays, and exquisite cars are there to drool over look at from a respectable distance.
A vintage beauty gets a tough inspection from Mr Wolf
Possibly Dr Who's car!
Heyday is there this year with our wares, as are a mix of other stallholders that we love to meet up with (lets face it, we practically spend the summer with these folks!).

Last year we came just to look around, and loved it so much we stayed really late and were forced to find a room for the night and then come back on the Sunday.
another cheesy pic!
If you can come, even for the day, I recommend it, and leave time to stay on at the pub for the sing-a-long, and do stop by and say hi to us.

Shona x

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines - War and Peace show part two

Well, technically we are talking about the flying machines (including birds) that can't fly that we encountered at the War and Peace show.
First up: Mr Wolf treated himself to a seat in a spitfire plane after speaking of nothing else for two days. It doesn't fly, being a replica, but he could sit in it and fiddle with all the buttons and even start the engine. That seemed good enough for him and probably for most lads, and has inspired much envy among his work colleagues.

He was instructed about all the gauges, buttons and levers and sat in the heat, in his wool uniform, until he was kicked out by the next punter coming along. A very hot and happy lad! The funds raised by the owner must barely cover his costs, as this guzzler chews through gas (it is only run for a couple of minutes for each person), and needs transportation where ever it goes. You can read more about the ambitious project of Graham, the owner, here.  He travels around, educating people and presenting his replica spitfire, and hiring it out.  It even appears in the movie Pearl Harbour, where Ben Affleck sat in the same very seat that Mr Wolf then sat in. *Swoon*

Next up were some fluffier grounded flying beings, the birds and owls of Many Hoots Owl rescue.  I have known the founder, "Tiny" for a few years now and this year we took opportunity to hold a couple of his rescued birds. I chose to hold this lovely male because of his huge eyes and fabulous eyebrows that extend to his ears. (I am trying to replicate the look with my own eyebrows, but he is not amused)

Mr Wolf (here in normal work clothes as he had just arrived) was re-assured by Tiny that he should hold the Eagle. He was slighty disturbed you see, since we had just witnessed the Eagle ripping into the last of his dinner and Mr Wolf could see his own ear going the same way.  Needless to say every time the Eagle looked at him it did look like he was getting sized up for dessert.

Tiny of course is a great hulk of a man, as you can see here. He travels with his family of birds that have been injured or badly treated and are in some way disabled now. Together they educate the public about these amazing creatures. The stories of the survivors are very sad, from neglect to abuse, indeed none of it is nice. Some birds that Tiny rescues become healthy enough to live in the wild again, but others, like these here, are no longer capable of surviving, either because of a physical disability, or because they do not know how. The happy ending it to say that these lucky ones are as devoted to Tiny and his helpers as they are to them. They are clearly adored.
Here's my lovely fellow doing the behind the back looking thing, which is quite eerie!
During the day Tiny plays music to the birds to help keep them comfortable and help drown out unfamiliar sounds. Ralph Harris doesn't go down well, but "Lady in red" does!

We were lucky enough to see all the birds put to bed in their cages for the night.  Some were raised together, so call out to each other until they can cuddle up. They all know their own cage and once they are all in, Tiny and his helpers will talk to them to settle them down for the night. The owls naturally stay up later than the others, with the exception of Taz: a wee blind, elderly, barn owl that was dozing off in the late sunshine and was put to bed as the evening started to cool.

I encourage you if you ever see Tiny with his birds, or Graham with his spitfire, to drop by and say hello.  Both are spending a lot of time, love and energy to preserve these magnificent (non) flying machines and educate our future generations.  Well done Chaps!

Shona x

Sunday 1 August 2010

War and Peace show 2010 part 1

We are still de-dusting, but this years War and Peace show fun-factor beat all others for us, hence I better do two posts about it, else this one will be a drag.  I must apologise that this might be info heavy with contacts. Please refer to the very bottom for more info where I have marked a * – if you are interested...On with the show...

Setting up the marquee stall takes 2 days – Mr Wolf and I go early to put the structure up, then I do another days set up before the event officially opens on the Wednesday.  It is a long event, running for 5 days, so once you add in the set up days, I am pretty much camping for a week. It might sound fun, and it is. It is also hard going and by the end of it I could sleep for a month, every nail is broken, everything I eat tastes of tank dust and I am fed up of green (my favourite colour)!

Once all the hard work is done we met lots of lovely people.  Retrochick came and tracked me down and we had a wee chat – sorry we didn’t have longer lovely! I hope we meet again soon. And the gorgeous Natasha and Jay stopped by for some scarf shopping, and a couple of safety pins!
It was the Fleur dresses first outing and it was loved by all that saw it.  My good friend Jenny who helps on the stall wore hers for 3 days (with washes in between of course) and with her demonstration (“look, pockets!”) curvy and petite girls alike were thrilled to see such a pretty number to purchase. One such customer is this happy gal pictured here with our Jenny on the right. Two blonde bombshells together – WOW!
Here is Jenny and I lined up with Doll-face who stood in for Fleur! (Fleur is about the same height, but much cleverer). We didn’t mind wearing the same dress, as we had a number of handsome men in uniform stop by for a photo with us – heh heh.. – send me the pics boys!

The ravishing Kitten von Mew came by and oozed her sleek self into one of my Mary dresses. (These are old stock BTW, so have not been living on the website). She wore it to dance in and stunned some of the military men (well, everything else was khaki, coated in a sheen of dust, so did she had an extra advantage, being A: clean and B: in red, not to mention the fact that she is sunny and gorgeous too)

Kitten's work this weekend was extra special as it is the first where she has sung live.  Her bird in a cage number is really wonderful. Such props! Such attention to detail! While lurking out backstage (see below) I took a snap of kittens outfit, it looks like she just melted into the box. Check out those shoes! (I did say to her... “excuse me Miss, I think you stepped on a chicken” heh heh.)

Mr Wolf was asked to be an extra lead in a performance to help out our friends Paul and Natasha*.  Twan was delighted and, though he only had a few practises (and none with the girl he was to lead) the performance went really well.  They performed on the Sat night dance (hence me lurking back stage. I didn’t try your shoes on Kitten, but there might be some drool marks..)  and also at the USO dance* earlier the same night. Well done all of you – it was fantastic.  The theme was red white and blue and I got to join in for the freestyle finale.

our dusty red shoes* after performing. 
The outfits around the event are pretty cool – there are various military uniforms, in British, American and German mostly.  I would love to get myself a New Zealand military number, and Twan could have something Dutch. We do fly the NZ flag, which is helpful for finding our way back to the tent in the mass of stalls that are there. Twan wears his Royal Artillery Major's uniform for at least one day (it is a bit hot, so I am amazed at how many re-enactors do it for the whole week.)
Some people reading this might think it strange that there are people dressing in German military outfits in England, but this is common on the re-enacting front. They perform, in that they re-create, a battle, so for that you do need both sides. Just like Cowboys and Indians, it really is no fun if there is only one team. I also understand that re-enactors might also play different nationalities on different days.  (If there are re-enactors reading this that can add information please do). 

Jenny found Mr Wolf a vintage pair of pink pyjamas (for which we sang a modified song, HE’LL be wearing pink pyjamas...rather loudly... to him) He will model them for you later this year. Jenny and I did a serious amount of vintage shopping, mostly at Dress Circle and at Vintage and Revival (no website for either sorry). I have some make do and mend to do on mine before they are shown off.

I will leave you now with a selection of Civilian outfits we saw there. The green floral number with the bicycle is one of my Mary dresses, the rest are all vintage. 


Shona x

The info bit:
The overalls I am wearing for setting up are from Freddies of Pinewood
*Paul and Natasha run the Quick Quick Club and they teach Balboa (our favourite dance) on a Wednesday night.
* the red shoes pic: most are Remix vintage shoes with the exception of one pair of Aris Allens (I think)


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