Monday, 27 August 2012

Slipper, (car) boot, hat and kettle - no, it's not Monopoly!

Only about half as big as this today, the Nevendon boot sale
(since when did boot sales have their own website?!)
First of all apologies for a week of radio silence, but some times these dry news spells come along and as much as I would like you to think I was gadding about during my "birthday week" I actually wasn't up to much of interest - I really am rather a boring fellow most of the time!  Although I did go to my first car boot sale for years today, a length of time made all the more shameful by the fact that it takes place just a mile down the road.  Two (or three if there's a bank holiday) times a week.  Today I resolved to check it out though and I must admit I've rediscovered the car boot bug.  I didn't end up buying anything but among the piles of charity shop rejects and dubious electrical appliances there were a few interesting items and I shall certainly be returning there in short order.

However, I did promise to show you my birthday presents when they arrived.  Well... most of them still haven't!  This is what comes of liking things that are not readily available in your high street shops, which these days usually results in money changing hands with the instruction to "buy something you like, you know where to get these things".  Not that I am for one second ungrateful for this, not a bit of it, but it of course adds to the equation time spent ordering gifts and waiting for them to be delivered.  A wait compounded by the presence of a bank holiday in the week following my birthday.  What this means is that of the objects I am about to show you, only one is currently in my possession - the others are still en route.

Churchill Grecian Slipper in brown (also available in black)
£17.50 (from £60) plus £5.75 p+p from Samuel Windsor

The item that has already reached me, that I have on my feet (big clue!) even as I type (not with my feet, you understand) is a new pair of... slippers!  I've never been one for just taking my shoes off indoors so the only gentlemanly answer is a pair of comfortable slippers.  Every other year or so I buy a new pair when the old ones wear out but this year I thought I'd try something a little different.  Whereas since time immemorial I've had standard cloth, rubber-soled jobs from Clarks et al., for some while I'd had my eyes of a pair of allegedly "handmade" full leather slippers from Samuel Windsor.  The splendid-sounding (and -looking) Churchill Grecian Slipper "comes from the Edwardian gentlemen's era" (so that had my attention immediately) and is supposedly handmade from the "finest" leather - upper and sole - and wool (for the lining).  The price - £17.50 (plus £5.75 p+p), still no more than I would have paid for a normal pair, from a RRP of £60 - ensured that my attention did not wander and the promise of "hardwearing properties" sealed the deal.  I've heard mixed reviews of Samuel Windsor and its wares in the past but I honestly can't envisage these being any worse than your bog standard house shoe, so I'm looking forward to these moccasins lasting longer than a couple of years.

When they first arrived they were a little tight despite being the size 10 I usually take, but a helpful note included in the box suggested that if this were the case I should remove the wool-lined innersoles and wear the slippers for about a week to allow them to "give" a little for "a perfect fit".  This was the one surprise for me; being used to a cloth slipper that would give and feel completely comfortable almost instantly these initially felt more like proper shoes, which being all-leather should not have come as a total surprise.  I'm happy to say that they are becoming more comfortable by the day (they arrived on Saturday) and I have high hopes that within a fortnight they should indeed be a perfect fit.

Staying with the sartorial theme my favourite online hatters (who I will continually recommend to anyone who will listen) came up trumps again with a sunhat that I hope will get some use before what passed for summer this year comes to an end.  Some of you may recall the grey fedora I purchased from Village Hats back in '09 (actually just before I started this blog, but I have mentioned it since).  Now along with the still-available (albeit now slightly more expensive) felt version a new straw one seems to have appeared as well!  I'd been after a new Panama-style hat for some time; the one I currently have, a Debenhams purchase from some years ago, while perfectly serviceable always had too high a crown I felt.  Attempting to counteract this by pushing the hat down low would only leave me with a noticeable dent in my hair(!).  This new hat, being a C-crown, shouldn't cause me to suffer from the same problem.  Plus at only £16.96 how could I resist?  (Admittedly this was with a 15% off code and free shipping - but I really do suggest signing up to Village Hats' newsletter which frequently contains such discounts on top of their already quite reasonable prices).

Jaxon Hats Summer C-Crown Fedora in Ivory (also available in Natural)
£19.95 (plus £1.50 p+p) from Village Hats

My final item is a mixture of style and necessity.  I believe it was Jeremy Clarkson who once said that you know you're grown up when you start buying useful things you actually need, but I still see no reason not to inject a bit of vintage charm into the proceedings.

Having gone through three electric kettles in a little over one year I have decided to turn my back on this new-fangled electricity (that's a lie, really, as I'll still be using an electric oven) and invest in a good old-fashioned hob-top whistling kettle.  No more burnt out elements and dangerously leaky spouts - just a plain old kettle with a whistle.  Hardly plain, though; this is what I'm getting:

Kitchen Craft Le'Xpress Coloured Whistling Kettle in Chilli Red
(also available in Midnight Black and Seashell Cream) from Amazon, price varies

Well that's it, that's all for now (although there will undoubtedly be other sundry purchases that I may show later, especially if and when I go back to the car boot sale) and it's enough, I reckon!  Another birth day, week and month is nearly over and done with; soon it will be time to look forward to the big 3-0 next year.  In the meantime I hope to resume normal service very shortly and see what new fun and frolics are occurring in the vintage blogosphere.



  1. I love the slippers and the simply must show a picture (or two or three) of you in that hat when it arrives! As for the tea kettle, we have gone manual on most everything (except of course the electric appliances that have come with the apartment such as the stove and refridgerator) and we too use a genuine tea kettle. What wonderful gifts, I am so happy for you! :)

  2. What an excellent kettle!

    I bought a hat for Mr Robot from Village Hats after you recommended them, and he's very keen to buy more hats from them, so thank you very much for the recommendation. I'm sure your new titfer will look splendid!


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