Monday, 5 September 2011

Beautiful Music

Our beloved Bridport was certainly putting on a show last weekend. It turned out it was "International Band Weekend" and South Street was partly closed off to allow about five or six bands to march through the streets whilst trumpeting out some rather splendid tunes.

Quite how they manage to parade through the streets and play at the same time is rather a special talent, I think. The West Country folks turned out in force, all ages from the very young to the rather elderly. So nice to see traditions like this still drawing the crowds. I really don't know why but brass bands always make me feel a bit teary eyed.

Talking of music, the boys found something on the street market which piqued their interest.

We have been humming and hahhing over these gramophones for some time. As people pretty much into the vintage lifestyle, it was difficult not to be seduced by them, playing out their Forties tunes as we wandered along the market. Beat that for atmosphere!

Oh no! Yet more records for DJ HenHouse, this time 78s, of course, none of your LPs or singles with a gramophone.

Sadly, the Munchkin started to feel a little under the weather, (I think it was the shock to the system of going back to school last week after eight very lazy weeks at home,) but he found comfort with my charity shop-bought bear. Well, I couldn't just leave him there, could I, all sad eyes and growly tummy (that's the Bear, not the Munchkin)?

Me? Well I was more than happy with my W.I. market flowers, there I was in the queue at 8.50am, because that's when you have to be there if you want to get the cut flowers when they open the gate at 9am. And by the time we repaired back to the cottage mid-afternoon, the sun had come out to play.

I separated the flowers out, in truth the Sedum and September didn't overly thrill me, but oh! the pyrethrum! At least that's what I think they are, featured briefly on my beloved Carlton Ware china back in the '30s. It never ceases to amaze me, the colours that nature produces. A last burst of late Summer colour before we give way to all that orangey-brown stuff I've got to love to learn again (sigh).

And did my eagle eyed readers a spot anything over my arm whilst I paused there to pose with my flowers? Do you remember a while back when I started this little project? Well, that special patchwork has transformed into a handy shopping bag. It's been on a few trips; the Festival of Quilts, Bridport street market, of course and joyously, receives kind and glowing compliments on its way. (Please excuse that it's looking a bit of a funny shape as its stuffed with all my morning's thrifty goodies!)

The sun was being very naughty with my lazy photographic session but you can see I think, that I treated myself to using all my favourite vintage prints for this bag, along with some very pretty bits of vintage embroidery.

I lined the bag with a sturdy barkcloth-esque vintage rosebud stripe I'd been hoarding far too long.

The handles I had bought a while back from a quilting shop (Creative Quilting) and been saving for this bag making session. I'm really rather loving them, shame they are so pricey. Good for a special bag but I'd struggle to be able to make bags with them to sell as it would be hard to justify the cost of the raw materials, let alone my time. I'm finding that a problem more and more these days. Inflation, eh?

And the gramophone? Well, we rather fell for a stunning HMV number, made between 1941-'46 which is of course, our favourite historical period. It's in smashing condition and sounded the best of the lot, the cream of the crop, apparently. Let's hope we'll find a last sunny day to take her along on a picnic (for that's what these portable gramophones were intended), but we couldn't wait to crank out a little tune in the cottage garden in the late afternoon Saturday sunshine.

So while Mr HenHouse DJ-ed, vintage style, I was content to sit on the old railway bench with my afternoon tea and cake and peruse my new (old) books, also found in Bridport. I've been after these for a while, with their stunning cover illustrations by Brian Cook.

Ah, that's the life. Just how weekends should be...


  1. I just adore your site.....what a lovely family you are..I have saved the wonderful picture of your darling boy on the train for his birthday...I have shown it to so many is such a wonderful picture....the bear.....oh he would have come right home with me..glad to know he has a wonderful home..enjoy that wonderful gramophone.....I have quite a few great old lp's myself...38's and 78's....and a stack of 45's...happy day to you all!!

  2. Hi Hen! Sounds like a delightful weekend! How wonderful to own a gramophone! I can just picture a picnic on a beautiful day listening to the music of the fabulous 40's! Your flowers are lovely and the colors so spring like! Wishing you a happy week. :-)

  3. We were in Bridport on Saturday enjoying the last few days of our holidays and also came across the brass bands. I agree, they were fabulous. I'm thinking they should go on Britain's Got Talent next year. Brass bands bring a tear to everyone's eyes - including mine! x

  4. I assume the books are Batsford? We have quite a collection of them, though it always seems a shame to hide such glorious covers! Lovely weekend you had, hope the munchkin is feeling better now?

  5. I fell that way about brass bands too, and silver. I like the hats worn by the members of the silver band, reminiscent of the old style police helmets.

    I like the picture of MrHH smiling at the record player, bless him. I hope the Munchkin isn't under the weather for too long.

  6. Oh a gramophone!!!!!........Perfect! Scratchy music, over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, in the sunshine........foot a tappin.......what could be better!
    Nattie x

  7. I love the books, I love your bag and I LOVE English events like this......wonderful!

  8. Now you will have to come to our house - we have 78's lots of them...........We once held a 78's party in our younger days only playing 78's music! Did you know there is a 1922 version of Singing in the Rain, thirty years before Gene Kelly!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  9. Oh I meant to say love the bags and bear - what his name........?
    Julie xxxxxx

  10. What a lovely weekend. Tell Munchkin I love the bear!

  11. Lovely post! Such a sweet bear, and even sweeter Munchkin... and your patchwork bag is beautiful. Loving your blog so much!

  12. Did you see the Dutch (I think) mounted band at the Edindurgh Tattoo? They were playing musical instruments whilst riding bicycles - hilarious!

  13. What a lovely warm post. Fantastic gramaphone! M x

  14. I saw those lovely HMV gramophones at the Vintage event on the south bank, they're just superb aren't they?

  15. Thank you for sharing your lovely trip with us. I hope the Munchkin is feeling much better. And what a super picture of Mr HH rubbing his hands with glee!


  16. Apparently one of my Bridport Great Nephews was less than impressed with the bag pipers- "home,car,now" said the two year old, imperiously.
    Hope Munchkin is back on top form again.

  17. Glad you had a nice time, and glad to be of service in elucidating the peg mystery!

    Pomona x

  18. Those flowers and that bag look gorgeous :o)

    I do hope Munchkin is feeling better now, bless him.
    Have a great week Hen.

    Kindest regards,

  19. Hen, I do hope that the irrepressible Munchkin is now back up to full strength, whether or not school is calling his name.

    When and if I do eventually get back to the UK, Bridport is definitely on my list of places to see. You make it irrisistable.

    That record player is from the era in which I was born. As I have a birthday coming up this month, it's grand to see my era being celebrated by folks who appreciate that "age."

    Your flowery patchwork tote is a beauty, and I definitely know what you mean about inflation intercepting our natural directed creative urges.

    Thanks for your visit. I've now got my new little Japanese sewing machine and am embracing almost forgotten sewing fun.

    Best wishes.

  20. What a gorgeous post! I must say the picture of the Munchkin and Mr Bear almost brought tears to my eyes. Mr Bear is just the right size for hugging. I hope the Munchkin is feeling brighter. You do have the most interesting weekends. I love your bag! I agree about the orange and brown. We are just into Spring here and I'm so thrilled with the colours. I hope you get out for some lovely picnics with music while the weather is still agreeable. XXX

  21. What a lovely post! We too are gramophone fans as we have Husband's grandfather's one and his 78s - very much treasured. Its brilliant to use it down in the garden on a sunny day and I keep meaning to take it on a picnic with us, but perhaps next year now as it looks like autumn has arrived. :-(

    You had a very lucky buy there with those books and their dustjackets, I believe they're quite sought after now. By the way, I think the illustration on the top dustjacket looks very much like Cirencester marketplace.

  22. The gramophone and records are so pleasing to the eye aren't they? I expect you'll have lots of happy hours spent reading your new old books and listening to the original songs! I like your shopping bag you've made. It's been on my mind for ages to make one myself and I'm sure I will one day, when I've finished these cushion covers that is!xx

  23. Wonderful weekend indeed and what a great post, thank you Hen.
    I did spot your bag and thought "ooh, that looks lovely". Love the mix of old embroidery in the patchwork. The handles are perfect, a little bit of expense is permissible for a special personal project.
    Brass bands really do your heart good, I would have enjoyed it too.
    The portable record player will be a wonderful addition to your family picnics. I have quite a large pile of old 78s which rarely get played.
    Love Carol xx

  24. Hi ,your patchwork bag is gorgeous, all your homemakes are ,your patchwork cushions are so pretty i love anything patchwork, its my first love, love your blog too

  25. oh my goodness those flowers. Totally worth getting there early for!! Looks like a fab weekend!

  26. Brass bands have the same affect on me too (as do hymns).

    I love your patchwork bag, such gorgeous colours.

  27. Hen, your bag is exquisite. Just happy and flowery.

  28. I wondered how you got those splendid handles, now I know! I do like the pink paws on that bear. I suppose it must be possible to find needles for the record player, will keep a beady eye open now I've got a few 78's. Then need a record player. Oh well, next project! Cheers

  29. How smart do those bands look?? Sounds like you had a lovely weekend and I love the old gramaphones, they are so beautiful. Nice bag and flowers too.

    DAwn x

  30. Looks like a good day was had by all!. My hubs would be drooling over the old gramaphone/records as well!

  31. You have summed up the perfect weekend in the English Countryside. Love your bag and agree with you regarding prices! By the time you have bought everything for a project it is impossible to make a profit. Have a nice weekend.

  32. Great flowers, great finds, great weather... what could be more perfect?

  33. I can't think of a more perfect day. Looks like you're catching that lovely end of summer weather which makes you feel so good. A good feeling post Hen, I really enjoyed reading, although for some reason for months I can't see and enjoy half of your photos (which I know will be something to do with my settings, but it's beyond me what).


  34. You do tend to have the most amazing weekends. :) The bear is adorable and even more so held by the munchkin. You look so beautiful with your flowers and bag. I wish I could hear the music too. :)


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