Friday, 6 May 2011

The Patient Man



Hopefully I won't end up like poor old Ollie, nor be visited by the likes of catastrophic Stan, but such are the vagaries of life that I will be in my own variation of "County Hospital" from tomorrow for a week or so.

Thusly this wire service will fall quiet for a time, but I look forward to catching up with all the lovely vintage blogs once I'm home and recuperating.  I haven't forgotten any of my infrequent themed posts either - Film Friday, Forties Fashion, Tit-bits and more will all return, I promise you.  Not to mention the 100 followers give-away!  Plenty to look forward too!  I shall see you all anon...

"He's out of bed and looking for a computer again, doctor".

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Leamington Spa railway's 1930s waiting rooms restored

The newly reconstructed Leamington Spa railway station, 1938.  Image courtesy of WarwickshireRailways.com
Leamington Spa railway's 1930s waiting rooms restored

Travelling through Leamington Spa by rail has just got a whole lot more enjoyable if this item of news is anything to go by.  Most modern railway stations (that's railway station, not train station - one of my pedantic pet hates!) are never the most salubrious places to wait around in, it's sad to say, so anything that brings a bit of Thirties glamour to the proceedings is all right in my book!

A pat on the back for Chiltern Railways for recognising the historical importance and existing potential of the original Great Western Railway décor instead of going for a soulless plastic and polymer refit.  Once again a group of dedicated individuals, the Friends of Leamington Station, have also given their time, skills and money to this worthy enterprise and I'll bet they're even more happy than I am to see the rooms back to their former glory.
The booking office.  They should bring that back too!  Image courtesy of WarwickshireRailways.com

This is further proof that the styles and designs of the Art Deco era are still valued by others and have their place even today, hopefully to brighten the journey of Warwickshire's commuters.  In fact the station manager, at the end of this press release, says it all - "The waiting rooms are bright, clean and have an airy feel. Staff will take pride in it and it shows we care."  Quite right!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Popular with the ladies...

There are good reasons why Girl Shy is one of my favourite films. 
For example I can empathise with the lead character... ;-)

This blogging malarkey, I mean!

This may well turn out to be what I believe in modern parlance is termed a "random" post, but let's see how it goes.

Over the last 4-day weekend here in Britain, which I hope everyone enjoyed, it came to my attention - between all the revelries and enjoyment of the Spring weather - that my unassuming little blog passed the 100 followers mark.  I promised that when this milestone was reached I would have a give-away and so I shall.  I am, after all, a man of my word.  Unfortunately it will have to wait a little while though for, as ever, life has intervened and I shall be away from the blogosphere for a time from this coming weekend.  When I return, though, the give-away will happen!

"I'm afraid it's a serious case of blogitis!"

Now, when thinking about all my splendid followers and what to give away, I began to think about an interesting [vintage] blogging anomaly.  Others have noticed it too, namely Andrea of The Deco Devotee, and I shall be interested to read her take on it in due course.  It is the dearth of male vintage bloggers.  A quick glance at the 90-odd vintage blogs on my blogroll reveals that almost 90% of them are written by women.  Of my 103 followers, roughly 75% are female.  Where are the chaps?!

Donning my scholarly hat for a moment my own theory, for what it's worth (based solely on a 10-year-old A-level English Language qualification) is this:  blogging shares a lot in common with gossiping.  At the risk of alienating the majority of my audience(!) - women like to gossip.  Men, less so.  ;-)  Perhaps it would be more fair to say that women enjoy sharing experiences, are generally more conversational than men, and that quite naturally extends to the vintage world as well.  To continue the academic point, another comparison can be drawn between blogging and the use of questions.  Men, ever the pragmatists, use questions to elicit information, answers.  Women can use questions as conversation starters/extenders.  So it is with blogging in a way, I think.  If I look at the few blogs, vintage or otherwise, which are written by men then by and large they are simply imparting information and advice.  My own blog is a case in point - I am basically saying "look what has happened here", albeit with a vintage bent.  A lot of the feminine blogs, I venture to say, are talking about new discoveries, handy hints and day-to-day personal incidents (but then, is that not what blogs are meant for?) - "look at what I found/did, isn't it lovely?" - again in this particular case with a vintage angle.  Looked at a certain way, the [vintage] blogosphere is a microcosm of the two gender groups (my goodness, that sounds awfully serious and didactic, doesn't it?  Does it even make sense?).

"Did you see the Royal Wedding on Friday?" 
"Yes."
"Did you see the Royal Wedding on Friday?" 
"Oooh, wasn't it lovely?" 
"Yes, didn't Kate look beautiful?" 
"Oh, her dress was simply darling, don't you think?" 
"And Prince Harry - swoon!"  Etc., etc., ad infinitum. :-P

Quickly, because I can tell you're drifting off (I don't blame you, either!), to focus on the vintage aspect I think it is easier for women to find and to post about vintage or vintage-inspired fashion than it is for men (and again, fashion tends to be a more feminine interest) but beyond that I can't imagine why there aren't more vintage fellows blogging about their experiences and activities - I'm sure it would make for interesting reading!

So this brings me back to the give-away and something that a certain female family member (who shall remain nameless because she doesn't like the Internet ;-P ) said about it that has given me pause for thought.  Without trying to give too much away as to the prizes, it has been suggested that none of them are overly "feminine" and that if a lady were to win - as seems statistically more likely - I ought to include something flowery, pretty or pink (or all the above!).  All the prizes are, of course, of a vintage-themed nature and aren't, I would say, particularly "masculine" or "feminine".  In fact, the thought never occurred to me  and to be honest I still think it is rather redundant.  Still, I'll never hear the end of it if I don't check, so should I include a particular gender-defining prize dependent upon the winner, or are you fine ladies and gentlemen more than happy to receive fairly unisex items?  Let me know!

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