Friday, 28 October 2016

The Living Museum - Part 2

Our afternoon was spent in the town which is set in about 1910. There are a series of shops which you can go into and in many cases buy items over the counter from shop assistants in period costume.

This wonderful old open top bus was running a shuttle service to other parts of the museum, free of charge, with the trams.
This was inside the chemist shop - many strange remedies that I wouldn't like prescribed for me!
You could actually buy bread and cakes in the bakery - and watch the baker preparing them and baking them in a coal fired oven in the shop. Here a local girl is buying her lunch!
The policeman on duty outside the pub. Further along was a sweet shop where you could buy loose sweets in pounds and ounces from large jars and in the bank you could sign your name for the bank clerk using an old fashioned pen where you dipped the nib into an ink pot. Hannah and Henry loved it - plus the sweets!
The menfolk loved exploring the garage and especially this steam engine.
Henry loved this First World War gun in the town's park.
and finally, we ended our day with a trip on a steam train!
You may be asking, what did I wear - the answer is this blue dress. It was so mild, we could leave our coats in the car. I am sure we shall get some cold weather soon but in the meantime I am making the most of it.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Living Museum - Part 1

As promised I am posting some pictures taken during our mini-break to Durham to visit the living museum. It was a wonderful place and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely and learnt a lot. We were met at the entrance by this vintage tram which we could ride on for free and it dropped you off at the various attractions.
We first visited the mining community and were actually taken down a coal mine for a demonstration.
It was really cramped and wet down the mine and the miners worked in some terrible conditions.
The car was from the 1940s but the miners' cottages all had coal fires giving that smell of smoke that you used to get in towns and each cottage was set in the early 1900s with the occupants giving demonstrations of crafts such as embroidery.
Near the mine was the village school. Here are the children waiting to go in. Henry and Hannah saw the classrooms set in about 1900 with the wooden desks, ink wells, blackboard and chalk and even a cane! Numerical times tables were around the wall - not a computer in sight - I think they preferred their modern classroom.
After the mining community we went to the farm - set in 1940 with land girls helping the farmer.
The farmer's wife was in the kitchen cooking an actual stew - there was a wonderful smell of leeks. Sadly the photo is not very good due to problems with the light but you can see everything had to be done by hand - there were modern electrical devices to assist her.

Henry and Hannah loved seeing the privy or earth closet. They were not so amused at being told how it had to be cleaned out regularly by hand and the contents spread on the vegetable garden. Thank goodness for modern flush toilets!
There were a lot of old items of farm machinery in the barns.
...and a large (fairly) friendly pig!

We then caught a tram to the town - our experiences will be in part 2.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Casual Trousers

I have been wearing skirts and dresses almost full time during the last 5 months or so while the weather has been warm and it still is very mild for late October here in the UK. I am sure it will get colder soon and my trousers will come out of the closet.

It is the school half term holiday this week and we are planning a short break to Durham to see a living museum set in the early 1900s. We all love museums and Hannah is doing a project on this period at school so it will be really useful for her to see the displays. I will do a post on our experiences when we return.

I have been looking out for some more casual trousers for some time. The majority of my trousers are formal and black - for wearing to the office during the winter. I don't like the image of denim jeans, especially distressed ones, so I was pleased when I came across these trousers in royal blue, a week or so ago, in a charity shop. The material is a thick polyester/wool mix and they have wide straight legs and a generous cut. They cost £4.00.  I don't normally publish pictures of my rear, without a tunic or long top, but will on this occasion as I think these trousers give quite a modest appearance and I feel quite comfortable with them. I am sure a few skirts only ladies won't agree with me though!

They are really warm and comfortable and wonderful to relax in. I plan to wear them during our mini break next week.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


This dress was on a bargain rail in a charity shop for £1.00. I think the shop was having a final clearance of summer stock. However it was in my size and I was looking for a dress to wear to a presentation evening which I have to attend with my husband in a few weeks.

I don't have many polkadot dresses so this black/white dress is a little different for me. I am not sure if it looks a little large but the belt, which is more of a decorative feature, helps to give it a little shape. I shall wear a cardigan with it to the event as bare arms would not be wise at this time of the year, even in a no doubt well heated hall, and a cardigan would increase the modesty of the overall look of the outfit. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Autumn is Starting to Appear

Apologies for a lack of a post last week. My husband's cousin and his wife were visiting the UK from the USA for the first time in over 10 years so we entertained them when they visited the west country last weekend and showed them around some places of interest in Bristol, Bath and Wells.

Hannah and Henry had never met them before and they were very intrigued at the slight difference in language they used - candy for sweets, cookies for biscuits, fall for autumn etc.

We are lucky in this part of the country to have so many beautiful and historic places within a short driving distance of each other - they loved seeing the really old buildings such as the cathedrals, abbey and Roman Baths - they don't have anything like that over there.

I think we are now moving into autumn at last. The early mornings are now getting slightly chilly and it is now dark by 7.00 p.m. The leaves on the trees are showing signs of turning golden brown and dropping off (some good compost to be made for the garden!)

I am still wearing dresses and skirts virtually full time and the photo shows my latest charity shop buy. I thought the colour was appropriate for the autumn in the shop but when I saw it in natural light it is more of a maroon shade than brown. It is a thicker material than most of my summer dresses with a wool mix so ideal for the cooler temperatures. I would have preferred it to be slightly longer but at £3.00 I just had to buy it,

What do you think?