Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A trip to York, and Vivienne Westwood shoes!

Once Aerospace Boyfriend had gotten over the shock of being thirty, we decided to go on a date to York, a wonderful city full of history and shopping opportunities!

Last time we went, we did the historical stuff - walking the Roman city walls, a tour of the Medieval Minster, viewing the wonky Tudor buildings of The Shambles, and discovering the Viking history of the city, so this time was all about the shopping and food!

Here is the Minster, well, the tiny bit of it that I could fit into the frame of the camera!

We arrived at lunchtime and headed straight for El Piano, a fantastic Spanish/South American vegan cafe where everything is so tasty! I had spicy kofta with turmeric coconut sauce and lentil and rice tabuleh, he had Mushroom and Basil salad with rice and chutney. It took me ages to decide what to have, everything looked so good and I'm not used to being able to eat more than one thing on a menu! Next time, I may pick up a copy of their cookbook from their little shop.

Following a recent eBay fiasco where some shoes I bought were listed as the wrong size and I ended up having to sell them on rather than return them to the unhelpful seller, I was promised a trip to Vivienne Westwood to 'try on' the Lady Dragon shoes to see what size I needed, the plan being to then buy some cheap-ish-ly on eBay. Well, Aerospace Boyfriend decided that he would buy me some there and then, and that instead of a previous season's style, they would be the amazing brand new ones with the cherries on the toe instead of hearts! Squeeeeeee!

Here they are! Available online here!

I also got this cute cowboys and wagons print handkerchief with a polka dot border from the Cath Kidston shop. I wore it today as a headscarf.

We had ice creams on the lawn outside the Minster, mine was vegan chocolate, then we went on a romantic boat trip along the river Ouse. This is a view from the boat, of the York Guildhall and one of the four bridges in the city centre.

Finally, we went for dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant where we sat outside. I had a tomato garlic bread and some spaghetti with grilled vegetables, then we walked back to the car along the riverbank, and got there just as it started pouring with rain!

Unfortunately we then got stuck in a traffic jam for three hours on the way home, but it was still a lovely day.

Here we are enjoying some incredibly sour lemonade:

And me with a big door knocker outside one of the city's famous 'haunted houses'.

My new baby Neice, Vivien of Holloway and a Scary Birthday!

On July 11th, my sister Ginny gave birth to baby Elanor Paige, my first neice. Here she is! I am bemused by babies, as you can see.

July 11th was also the day Areospace Boyfriend turned 30! We spent the day together on our own, I got him lots of presents including DVDs and Star Wars collectibles, and made him a lovely three-course meal and birthday cupcakes to celebrate and allow him to hide from the rest of the world (he is not taking it well).

Here are the birthday cocktails I made!

Mmm, garish!


The umbrellas had absorbed quite a bit of flavour.

Our friend Ciana's birthday also fell during the same week, so we arranged a joint birthday party at The Hellfire Club, Manchester. The restaurant is horror-themed and we got the place to ourselves, as there were over twenty in our party. The food was lovely and the atmosphere was great, they also made me my own special vegan menu which consisted of some gorgeous spicy roasted peppers, a tasty mushroom and rosemary risotto, and an enormous exotic fruit salad.

Here is the birthday boy tucking into his prawn cocktail starter, stuffed into a huge pineapple! He then proceeded to eat a steak which was bigger than his face, and a sticky toffee pudding.

Here is Ciana looking lovely, and eight months pregnant, not that you can tell! (hat made by me, available here!)

We stayed there drinking for about five hours, as you can tell.

Our tables stretching off into the distance:

In the last picture you can see my lovely new dress, which was bought for me from Vivien of Holloway. My friend Kathy also has these in stock at Rockers England.

(Picture copyright Vivien of Holloway/Jazz Hans Photography/Anna Fur Laxis)

Shack Shakin' in the Rain!

Last Monday, Some friends and I travelled to a remote pub on Saddleworth Moor to see Th'Legendary Shack Shakers play. They were great! On the way there, there were thunderstorms and downpours, and this is the flash flood we drove through on the way. Despite there only having been five minutes of rain, it covered the wheels of the car!

Here are the band in action. The gig was upstairs at The Royal George, a family restaurant/pub and was organised by the Saddleworth Blues Club. It was rather strange; one side of the room was populated with damp psychobillies who had all crammed into a few cars to drive over from the city, the other side consisted of the ageing gents of the Blues Club, sat around tables like they were at a wedding, but still obviously enjoying it.


Col. JD Wilkes on harmonica

The 'shithouse bass'!

I Bought one of their records which I didn't have yet, Swampblood, a shirt, and I took a poster off the wall and had JD sign it. The Colonel is also a talented artist, you can see some of his comics and quirky, grotesque sideshow banner paintings at his site, along with his writing and film projects.

If you haven't heard the Shack Shakers, I insist you do so immediately! Their unique Southern Gothic sound draws together elements of blues, punk, polka, hillbilly and horror and encompasses a raw, unpretentious, almost psychotic fervour for traditional American culture and music. A review of the gig will be featured in the next issue of TNS Records Fanzine, out next month (ish!)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Summer Dress - Complete!

I haven't blogged in a few weeks because I have been busy with work and some other bits, but I did get a chance to finish my dress! I wore it to the burlesque here in Manchester last month. Here it is! I'm fairly happy with it; it's not perfect but it looks OK.

I also got a haircut, finally. Here it is upon coming back from the hairdresser, where I got a cut and set under the hood dryer for £20! There was an old lady in there having the exact same thing done.

Here it is the next day. The set is less structured than I usually have it when I do it myself.

Here is little Scamp dog interrupting my sewing with his favourite trick. He loves to sit on his bottom like a meerkat, strange dog.

Aerospace boyfriend also bought me an aquarium. It now has a little group of tropical inhabitants, including three albino corys, a lovely betta (siamese fighting fish), and two African dwarf frogs! There were also some baby swordtails which had bred in my boyfriend's tank, but these unfortunately became dinner for the betta :(

Here is Sir, my male betta.

Some other bits of news to come in the next few days, but really I have been doing nothing but work! I can't wait to be able to have a break.