Sunday, 29 January 2012

Car Boot Corner

The winter sun didn't bother making an appearance today but thankfully, dozens of booters did as another year of retro-treasure hunting begins! The first car boot of the year and it was cold but as always, fruitful!

With two pairs of socks on each, we headed off to one of our favourite stomping grounds, Canford Park Car Boot and there was some speedy purchases made from the first three stalls we visited! Tam picked up Jo Verso's Cross-Stich for Children which has yet more beautiful, inventive and colourful designs from the popular craft author - bargain at £1. Next, Abbo got his 'buy of the day' after spotting a Dog's Playing Pool rug bundled up at the end of the stall. A perfect accompaniment to the 'Dogs Playing Poker' print we have in the kitchen, the bold colours and flying cigar butts will be brightening up our hallway.

Half an hour later and whilst purchasing a couple of 1980s kids LP's featuring the cast from Rainbow and the green bird with aviophobia Orville, we bumped into our friend Jamie from Fish4Junk. With clients all over the world including NYC, Tokyo and of course Bournemouth, F4J are the experts in tracking down delicious, 100% retro and vintage goodies - their fine selection of plastic 70s kitchenalia always sings to our orange and cyan hearts. Out hunting for goodies, Jamie proudly announced that F4J are now also part of the Dorset Curiosity Centre which sounds like a great excuse for us to already start planning our next day out! After comparing swag bags, we said goodbyes as Abbo had spotted some Bullseye poly metronic hard flights on a nearby stall!

As the cold seeped in, we managed to grab a telephone and address book and of course more lovely postcards. Sadly the bread and cake man wasn't there this week so no treats but a promising start nonetheless to the car booting year!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Short History of Gingerbread

What a strange and delicious thing.

Inspired by an afternoon of creating ninja ballet dancing and zombie rabbit eating gingerbread, I thought that this delightful substance needed further exploration and a higher profile by demonstrating its versatility and tasty prowess.

As an eating experience it has it's origins in the grand old time of Mesopotamia where it was believed to having healing properties. Following this, twas brought to Europe in the 10th Century by an Armenian Monk, Gregory of Nicopolis.

He taught its secrets to French priests and Christians and the medicinal myth was perpetuated as it was introduced to Sweden by German immigrants in the 14th Century and some Swedish nuns used it to ease indigestion.

The first imported gingerbread man was credited to our great HRH Queen Elizabeth I, who bestowed important guests with charming G-Bread likenesses of themselves.

However, the first record and honour of G-Bread being made in the UK is held by...Market Drayton where it was made in 1793 (by Roland Lateward). I love the fact that it proudly displays its heritage on its welcome sign.

It's even been referenced by ole Billy Shakes, so if it's good enough for him, then it's good enough for me. From Love’s Labours Lost:
"And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread."

After the Grimm Brothers' tale of Hansel and Gretel described a house "made of bread," with a roof of cake and windows of barley, German bakeries began offering elaborate gingerbread houses with icing snow on the roofs.

It is from this moment on that not only the edibility of this wonderful creation opened up, but the fact that you could make, decorate and embellish this wonderful substance into things like this video game inspired ginger bread biscuits.

I think a trip to Market Drayton could well be on the cards.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Postcards I Love You

For me they're a hallowed sliver of card which capture an experience and a moment in time that you want to share with someone else. They hint at a story and they hint at multiple stories through their combination of words, images and stamps and they create this link between two people and places and provides an indicator of what people find significant.

They are a personal treat and an investment of time. The hunt for the postcard to match the receiver is part of the fun. It matters not if it's a day trip to Bognor Regis or a fortnight in Tasmania; the quest, the ritual of finding what bounty the place has to offer is brimmed with happiness and then trying to find a stamp, engaging with locals and shopkeepers to try and determine the optimum value to ensure the speediest flight back home.

Postcards effortlessly convey distance and are a useful delayer of gratification. You can be mischievous and tell some outrageous lies on the back "killed a moose whilst getting married to Darlene last night, boy can she Howl!"

This is sure to get the postman gossiping with your next door neighbour or you can just give a salute and provide some banal information like "the weather is here, wish you were lovely". The restriction of that A6 canvas is hugely satisfying because you can never convey all that you wish to express, but you have to come to understanding that this space is all you're even going to have.

This is an invitation. An invitation to everybody, no matter where or who you are. If you feel like you don't have enough postcards in your life, send me one with your address to my address and let's strike up a postal relationship.

The postcard - how I love the postcard.