Sunday, 21 July 2019

The Fervors of July

This year is really hurtling along for me.  In the past three weeks I've been to Devon on a hen weekend, to London on a work trip - oh, and I graduated from my PhD!

The trip to Devon was fun.  I'd never been on a full 'hen weekend' before and was slightly nervous about whether I would survive the pace of activity and also survive being with nine other people for an entire weekend.  We stayed at Berridon Farm, in two of their cabins.  It is in a beautiful countryside spot, with five cabins in total spaced out in a large field.  The first evening we made use of the farm's outside pizza oven, which was fun.  We were lucky to have dry and warm weather, though in the evenings the temperature plummeted pretty quickly so my vintage dresses were swapped for thermals, jumpers and as many blankets as I could find.  As it's a working farm, the field has pens of animals at the far side.  We had fresh eggs for our breakfast the next morning, a real treat. 

 The hen, Marie, is the one in the striped blanket.

On the Saturday we took a minibus to the seaside town of Bude, where some of our party had a surfing session booked.  Another group set up on the beach (it was a scorcher of a day) but being a bit beach-phobic I headed into the town instead.  I had a browse in the local shops and charity shops, but was sad to see that a good vintage shop I'd visited on my last trip to Bude must have closed down.  We headed back to the farm, and to a Mexican themed Fiesta for our second and final night.  After a full English breakfast the next morning (provided by the farm, in the 'party barn'), we said our goodbyes and headed home.  I was utterly exhausted by the time I got home!

My next trip away was to London for work.  I hardly ever travel for work, so this year has been unusual as this is the third time I've done so.  The purpose of the trip was an early morning breakfast meeting, so I had to travel down the day before.  This fortunately gave me time to fit in some tourism - I headed to the V&A and the Mary Quant exhibition.  I highly recommend it.  I was familiar with Quant's popular '60s designs, such as the rain macs and mini dresses, but I was surprised at just how much I liked some of the designs I was less familiar with.  I particularly liked the menswear inspired range.  I won't share many photos as I don't want to spoil the exhibition for those of you that might visit.

 I would wear this outfit in a heartbeat!  I'm wondering if my sewing skills would stretch to a recreation.

My Mum said she used to have some Quant items, including the tights.  I will have to see if she has any photos, as the items themselves are long gone.  I was staying near St Paul's Cathedral, which I'd never seen before, and it was an impressive sight in the evening light.

Last but by no means least, I had the graduation ceremony for my PhD last week.  Held in St David's Hall in Cardiff, there was a lot of clapping and hand-shaking.  I felt quite distinguished walking around in my scarlet robes and velvet Tudor bonnet!  My parents had come to Cardiff for the ceremony, and along with my husband we went for a meal afterwards.  It was the most perfect summer's day, though it did mean that the robes were a bit hot.

After all of that excitement, Chris and I went to West Wales for a few days for some peace and quiet in the forest.  But that's another blog post for another time.

"The linden, in the fervors of July,
Hums with a louder concert. When the wind
Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
Of gladness and of thanks."
-  William Cullen Bryant, Among the Trees 


  1. I'm hearing you about the year hurtling along as it has been the same for me. Can't believe we're already more than halfway. That hen weekend sounds rather nice, although I well believe you were exhausted. I'd love to go and see the Mary Quant exhibition. Please do share photos if you do find any of your Mum wearing Mary Quant! And finally, but certainly not least: many congratulations on your graduation. Don't you look distinguished in your graduation finery! xxx

  2. Congratulations! What a achievement!
    I now will look for that Mary Quant exhibition to see if it is also in the Netherlands. Can't stand it too see it on blogs! I want to see it for real! And touch it.....

  3. Congrats once again my dear PhD :)
    How amazing that you got to see an exhibit from Mary Quant and yes please look for your mom's pictures.

  4. Congratuatlions!

    And oh my god, that Mary Quant exhibit is amazing!!!


  5. Congratulations! You, Chris and your parents all looked fabulous on your big day.
    Your weekend with the girls sounded like fun - I think I'd have joined you in skipping the beach to go shopping. I remember Bude being really windy when I went as a child - it's a lovely place, though.
    I hope I get to see the Mary Quant exhibition before it closes. I've owned and sold quite a few iconic pieces over the years including two pairs of the daisy heeled wellies. Still got my Daisy and Havoc dolls. xxx

  6. Congratulations!

    You certainly are squeezing lots of living into this summer.

    I'd love to see your Mom's photos.


  7. You have been so busy! It's good that you've had decent weather for so much of the time, especially for things like your graduation and the hen weekend.

    I don't know if I'll make it to the Quant exhibition - perhaps I should just book a ticket and go by myself one day.

  8. Congratulations on the Phd! I thought of your other half when I was in Stow last week,a charity shop there had some fabulous vintage men's hats that were right up his street.
    I felt the same about the Quant exhibition, I was surprised at the variety of designs and how many I would have worn myself.


Comments from readers make my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...