Monday, 11 February 2013

Der dritte Liebster!

I must start by apologising for there being a whole week between posts but the truth is I've still been enjoying a restful period following my recent hospitalisation (all's quite well, I'm just taking my time [read: being lazy!] in getting back into the swing of things).   Now though I've taken a moment to think about doing another blog post and, although I've still got a couple of drafts that I'm looking forward to finishing, I received a pleasant surprise this weekend in the form of another Liebster Blog Award so I thought I'd take the opportunity to use that as the basis for a new post - and here it is!

It is Roxie from The Ramblings of Roxie Roulette who I must thank for this particular Liebster and I urge you to check out her excellent vintage/rockabilly blog if you haven't already done so.

Most of you will know by now the rules that come with this award but for those of you who have come in late, briefly - I must thank the blogger who passed it on, answer 11 questions put to me by them, provide eleven random facts about yours truly and then give the award on to 11 of my favourite blogs with another eleven questions of my own.  Without wasting any more time, then, here we go:

11 Questions from Roxie

What is your favourite piece of clothing that you have ever owned?
I've mentioned before the pair of navy cords that are so comfortable I've almost worn them out and my 1940s Kuppenheimer overcoat, which must both vie for the top spot, but there is a special place in my heart for a jumper I had for a few years in my early teens.  To call it "novelty" would be to do it a disservice - it was better than that.  I bought it from a lovely little wool mill during a walking holiday in Yorkshire.  It was made from the softest, warmest pure wool and had as a pattern a beautiful local scene not unlike the one shown in the above picture - although mine featured a windmill, cows and corn sheaves in a field.  I wore it throughout the trip and frequently when I got home - until my stepdad stuck it in the wash and shrunk it so that it would only have fitted a small 4-year old(!).  Despite his claims that "it will stretch out again" it never did.  I've long since forgiven him, of course, although I often tease him about it still - and he has promised over the years to buy me a replacement but no-one's been able to remember the name of the place where we got it nor been back to that part of Yorkshire since, so a new one remains tantalisingly out of reach.

If you could be a fly on the wall for any event in history, what would that be?
This question was tougher than I thought it would be!  "Fly on the wall" indicates to me something that occurred inside a building or other enclosed space, so I would say - in the New York Stock Exchange on the 29th October 1929; in other words "Black Tuesday", the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Guilty pleasure, food wise?
I've said it before and will say it again - strawberry cheesecake.  I could easily eat a whole one at one sitting!

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
The simplest and most obvious answer would be my parents, or perhaps my grandmother, all of whom of course played no small part in raising me into the man I am today.  Outside of family I would have to pick... James C. Bigglesworth - better known as "Biggles", the [fictional, children's] pilot adventurer.  I read my first Biggles book when I was about 11 - an impressionable age I'm sure you'll agree - and to this day I thank heaven that I did, for I can think of few better role models for a young boy even today.  His attitude, actions and principles have inspired me, thrilled me and helped shape my own behaviour far more than any other character in popular culture.  

"while men are decent to me I try to be decent to them, 
regardless of race, colour, politics, creed or anything else"

Why did you start your blog?
I originally started this blog, as I wrote in my very first post back in November 2009 (seems like half a lifetime ago now!), to post stories that were funny, light-hearted and linked to my wider interests as an antidote to all the doom and gloom that seemed (and still seems) to pervade the media (whoever said "bad news sells" was right, sadly!).  Over time I must have begun to realise that I was perhaps casting my net a little too wide so I started to focus just on the purely vintage-related news.  I'm glad that I did too, otherwise I may never have come to know all the lovely people in the vintage blogosphere!

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would that be?
I'd been holding off posting my number one "Desert Island Disc" for some time (no real reason) but now that the question has been fairly asked I can think of no better time to reveal it.  Oddly enough it isn't even "vintage" - unless you count the 1980s as such; which, having been born and grown up in that decade I don't!  I've mentioned this chap once or twice before as my favourite "current" artist but I wouldn't be surprised if you'd never heard of him for he has been criminally under-appreciated for almost his entire 30-year career, despite him winning many Grammy Awards.  His name is Bruce Hornsby and it is this song, his 1986 debut recorded with his then-band The Range (he still tours and records with his latest group, the Noisemakers), which ironically became his biggest hit (reaching No. 1 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands and number 15 in the U.K.).  Even if you've never heard of him or the song title chances are you've heard it in one form or another as credits on daytime TV, bad muzak (is there any other sort?) or maybe even on rare occasions on the radio in its pure, beautiful form.  I could (and often do) happily sit and listen to this song on repeat - if need be for the rest of my life. 

What was your favourite television show as a child?
It would have to be a toss-up between Inspector Gadget or The Transformers.  Or possibly, ahem, Wacaday.

I say red, you say...?
Traffic light.

Recommend me a blog to follow.
Gosh, there are so many (just see how long my blogroll is on the right)!  One I think Roxie in particular might really like (although I'd recommend it to anyone) is Veronica Vintage.

What is your favourite scent in the whole entire world?
I appreciate how Roxie's kept the questions fairly unisex until now, but I'm afraid my answer for this is going to be rather blokey.  It's high octane petrol.  (N.B. I'm not suggesting girls need to rush out to their nearest petrol station and fill their perfume jars with Super Unleaded - for one thing the really powerful stuff burns like hell, in every sense! - but as I don't really know the names or smells of any ladies' perfumes, nor have much of a nose for flowers, high octane fuel really is my favourite scent in the whole entire world).

Would you rather have lollipops for fingers, or bread sticks for arms?
Lollipops for fingers, definitely.

11 Random Facts

This being at least the third set of facts, the bottom of the barrel may be scraped(!)

I have a real problem with flash photography (one of the reasons there are few pictures of me on this blog, although I am getting better and have found a spot where I can turn the flash off and then use a bit of computer trickery to give photos enough light).  This all stems from when I was diagnosed, at about 10 years old, with a mild form of epilepsy known as "Petit Mal" (now more commonly referred to as Child Absence Epilepsy).  Fortunately it is a type that the child usually outgrows - sometimes with the aid of medication - as it was in my case.  But obviously for a time flashing lights were a great risk and I developed an aversion to them which still hasn't completely left me.  As a result more often than not any photos of me taken with a flash often end up showing me with my eyes shut (many a school class photo was ruined thanks to me!).

My favourite colour is yellow, because it's so bright and happy.  My favourite/lucky number, happily considering this particular award, is the number 11!


The country I'd most like to visit is Canada.  I went there for a day back in 1997 during a road trip to Niagara Falls but being partial to cold climates and beautiful scenery I would love to go back there and do the place justice, perhaps on a transcontinental rail journey or such.

During a visit to the Laurel & Hardy Museum in Ulverston, Cumbria (Stan Laurel's birthplace) many years ago I so hit it off with the curator that I was accorded the rare privilege of being allowed to actually wear one of Stan's bowler hats that he wore in their films.

I'm short-sighted and have been since I was about 12.  One day I'd like to get some proper vintage (or vintage-style) frames; I recently took advantage of optician Roope Vintage's Frame Style Guide to get an idea of what might suit me and I rather like the look of their suggestion - what do you think?


I used to go in for fossil collecting when I was younger and still have my collection of rocks and fossils, some shop-bought and some picked up during holidays to the Jurassic Coast around Lyme Regis and Charmouth.

The first album I ever bought was in 1993 and it was an 11-track CD of dance club remixes of the Laurel & Hardy theme tune, The Dance of The Cuckoos!  Oh the shame (I've still got it too)!

I once found a 1967 half crown, which now graces my coin collection, in the pocket of a pair of costume trousers I was wearing during a performance of HMS Pinafore.

My favourite sports are cricket and snooker (also to play) plus motor racing (non-participant!).  My least favourites are rugby [shudder] and football.

In yet another visit to my personal library a further valued book in my collection is a 1930s copy of Everybody's Pocket Companion, a little reference book of facts and figures given to me by my late grandfather.

I once saw, a few years ago, what could only be described as UFOs.  I don't think they were extra-terrestrial in origin but to this day I couldn't tell you what they were (and I like to think I know a fair bit about aviation); my best theory is some sort of high-altitude military test.  I have always believed in life on other planets but remain ambivalent about the possibility of aliens visiting this planet.

Now to the eleven questions I have to set - which I'll be honest I'm useless at so I've again cribbed a good few from previous award-winners, although I managed to think of one or two of my own too:

Why did you start blogging?
Is your family understanding about your love of vintage and your desire to blog about it?
What country would you most like to visit?
When did you discover vintage?
What's your favourite vintage shop?
Is there a lot of vintage in the city where you live?
Did you discover new hobbies or interests after you discovered vintage?
What famous person from the past or present do you think you look like?
Who is your favourite author?
When you sit down to compose a blog post do you plan/think ahead or just write off the cuff?
If you could be a fly on the wall for any event in history, what would that be?

Then finally to the eleven bloggers to whom I gladly pass on this Liebster Blog Award.  I know these things aren't everyone's cup of tea so you are of course under no obligation to accept, answer any questions or tell us anything about you if you'd rather not!

Lovebirds Vintage
Victory Rolls and Roses
like johnny and june
Betty Bow
Sailing over a Cardboard Sea
The Forties Floozy
Veronica Vintage
Demi Lauren
Cheeky vintage chick
Vintage Lovin' Gal
Vintage Vapours

My thanks to Roxie for passing this award on to me; it's always reassuring to know this little blog is still so appreciated.  I hope you've enjoyed reading this near essay-length post (sorry about that!) and checking out the worthy blogs mentioned above.  I hope to be back later in the week with more classic Eclectic Ephemera fare; until then - pip-pip!


  1. Amazing answers! I too love the smell of high octane fuel, am short sighted and used to collect fossils (I think it sparked my interest in archaeology). And thank you for the recommendation!

  2. Glad you're feeling well. If you'd still had the shrunken garment you could have got someone to turn it into a felted cushion cover, you'd still have the picture that way! Happened to me too in my teens when my mother accidentally shrank one of mine. Fortunately I didn't care much about it.

  3. I do so love these kinds of posts! Fascinating answers! Plus - with you passing it on, I have 11 new blogs to check out!

  4. Thank for awarding me this! I will definitely be doing my post on this very soon! :) x


Don't just sit there, type something! I enjoy reading all comments.


Popular Posts