Thursday 29 December 2011

It Happened One (Christmas) Night

Well, during the day actually, but how else was I going to fit one of my Christmas presents into the title?!

So that's it for another year and I hope you all had a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas.  Ate, drank and made merry, I trust?

'Twas a quiet little Christmas for me this year; if truth be told I didn't really get into a fully festive mood - maybe it was the unseasonably mild weather.  Being stuck in a hospital bed for 4 months rather threw the year out of kilter a bit too.

Still, I enjoyed the day itself.  I suppose you want to see some of the [vintage] things I got?  Well, I shan't disappoint you!

I've already given away one of the presents in the title of this post (not to mention the picture!) - yes, it's one of my favourite films, It Happened One Night with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, now mine on DVD!

Next up it's books, books and yet more books!  I try (but usually fail) to operate a "one in, one out" policy with my books to keep my bookshelf manageable - it'd have to be a "half-a-dozen in, half-a-dozen out" this time if I'm to find space for all these new tomes!

Courtesy of my sister comes a set of three books featuring some fantastic images from the Hulton Getty Picture Collection, in this case from my favourite decades, the 1920s, '30s and '40s.  Pictures contained therein may well make an appearance on this blog in the future.  Thanks Sis!

The next two books weren't exactly presents per se, but were seen in a well-known discount bookshop by yours truly earlier in the month and simply couldn't be passed up at the price!

John Betjeman is the archetypal English poet and this collection of his writings, entitled Tennis Whites and Teacakes, should provide a splendid view of England as seen by Betjeman between 1927 and 1979.  I look forward to reading this one.

 This 850-page volume, The Thirties: An Intimate History by Juliet Gardiner (who you will have seen as a talking head on any recent documentary involving early 20th Century culture) should keep me very busy for the next year or so as well.  It promises to be, as the titles suggests, a detailed examination of 1930s society and events and I can't wait to see what gems of information and experiences to do with one of my favourite decades reside within this book.
Image courtesy of Hansen's Clothing
Finally my American aunt with the vintage eBay store sent me another delightful gift from across the water.  A pair of black leather gloves to help keep my hands warm when (or if) the temperatures start to drop.  A product of Hansen's Clothing, an Iowa-based menswear store of over a century's trading, they are almost certainly vintage (despite being as-new, complete with packaging, still threaded together and as stiff as the day they were bought - which I'm working off) if only for the fact that the modern equivalents are cashmere-lined whereas these are, for better or for worse, fur-lined.  Don't ask me what fur, though.  I won't get too much into the somewhat contentious discussion about fur clothing, suffice to say that I am in agreement with those who feel that vintage fur is vintage and is long past being affected by any meaningful action so might as well be worn and made the best of.  Personally I will be interested to see how these gloves perform compared to my usual wool-lined ones.

So there we have it, again.  I should have enough reading material to last me until this time in 2012, a pair of gloves to keep my mitts warm when Jack Frost comes calling and as I can never tire of It Happened One Night several hours of fun escapism whenever I feel like it.


  1. Quite a nice haul! I found your blog through the Vintage Chaps group on the Vintage Network and it is really nice to see a man weigh in on all of this. Stop by when you have a chance. Happy New Year!

    -Desiree at Pop-o-matic Deluxe!

  2. The Long Weekend by Robert Graves is a very good resume of the thirties by someone who lived through them.

  3. OOh, It Happened One Night is such a wonderful movie. I am drooling over your books. Please do share some of the images now and again! Happy holidays!

  4. Merry Christmas, Bruce! I have the 20s and 30s volumes of the Hulton-Getty books and they're excellent.

  5. Just found your blog - and loving it! Great presents, nothing beats a good book haul.


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