Wednesday, 18 April 2018

March Purchases

March was mainly about online shopping rather than visiting the charity shops.  I was on what I like to call a 'PhD retreat' whilst my husband was away in America for a couple of weeks.  This involved sitting at my laptop in the kitchen, typing furiously for most of the day.  I was allowed breaks for food, walks, and household chores.  But no shopping breaks.  It did curb the shopping considerably, but not completely.

First up, a Laura Ashley archive dress.  This dress was brought out in 2011.  I know, because I blogged about it at the time.  It was £125, which I couldn't afford.  Years of stalking it on Ebay, and I eventually found one for the right price (£20).  I bought the blue colourway, they also did a pink one, and a lime green.  It's shorter than I would like (isn't every dress?!) but I could see myself wearing it on holiday.
Laura Ashley Archive Bluebell @porcelinasworld

Sunday, 15 April 2018

At The Coaching Inn

Over Easter, I had a whole week off work and the PhD.  I didn't want to be near a computer, and threw myself into a big Spring Clean instead, as well as catching up with some friends and family.  As part of my break, I had a few days away with an old university friend.  We stayed in a hotel near Newbury in England, and wanted it to be a restorative time for both of us, as we've both had a few stressors to contend with in the last year.  This meant we spent our time on long country walks, swimming in the hotel pool, and eating lovely meals.

On the Saturday, Linda and I had spent a good few hours on a walk, starting in a nature reserve and taking us along a canal, through woods, over a common (that was a former military base) and back again.  It was supposed to be a 6.5 mile walk but we had another mile or two to and from the start/finish and our hotel, so my legs were certainly feeling it by the end!  We decided to freshen up before heading out for a well-deserved pub lunch at The Swan Inn.  This beautiful pub is a former coaching inn from the 16th century.  It was idyllic.  Our table overlooked a pretty little stream running through the gardens, and we sipped G&Ts while we watched two boys leaping over it to see if they'd fall in (they didn't).  The food was excellent, prices were reasonable and the staff were lovely.  I highly recommend it if you're in the Newbury area (perhaps visiting Highclere Castle, of Downton Abbey fame).

I hadn't packed a 16th century costume to go with the surroundings, so I made do with matching the black and white exterior in this Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress.  It was based on a vintage original in her personal collection, and I think the details are just lovely, and stretch far above the cheap and cheerful Peacocks price range.  I bought mine off Ebay, as it had sold out when it was released some years ago.  These dresses do pop up every now and again, so do keep an eye out if you fancy one.

The Coaching Inn

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Pontypridd Museum

Sometimes it's good to be a tourist in your home area.  Despite being regular visitors to Pontypridd, neither my husband nor I had been to Pontypridd Museum.  On noticing an advert mentioning their suffragette exhibition we decided to put that right.

The museum is in a former chapel, and the original organ presides over the building with its impressive and ornate wooden dais.  Despite the grey stone exterior of the chapel, inside it's fairly light, with beautiful stained glass windows and a fabulous ceiling.  Like many chapels of its type, there is a galleried landing running around the outside of the main room.  Hung from this are many union banners reflecting past workers' strikes from mining and the railways.

pontypridd museum @porcelinasworld

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