Friday, 1 September 2017

.. - - -... .- -.-.-.- ... or... I'm BACK!

Hello - I'm from the past!! Or is it the future? Whatever I feel like I have just emerged from a time capsule as I rediscovered this blog from Ye Olde Days of 2011.

Here is a quick update:

I'd like to claim that I alone made dachshunds fashionable again (see my post on Retro Pets 20/03/2011) or maybe it was always going to happen.
...and I have to confess that budgies are THE WORST PET EVER. I can't and won't go into details.
However I have since discovered the BEST PET EVER and will post about that in the next few days/weeks... decades.

In the intervening 6 years I became a triathlete, then stopped being a triathlete because it was stupid, discovered the beauty of the Italian steel bike and fell in love... with open water swimming.

I also single-handedly discovered instagram - you can find me @katherineanteney

But I read through my blog posts and, maybe it's the narcissistic age we live in, quite enjoyed them. So I thought I'd give it another go.

I have literally stood up and found the first interesting thing (almost) in arms reach: My grandfather's 1937 HMSO B.R232 Signal Card.

I'm not sure what a signal card is for. But they obviously churned a lot of them out in 1937 because all the second hand ones for sale are from that year. I think its so new naval recruits to learn all their flags and ... well... signals. My Grampa has annotated it with little asterisks and random letters, I assume as an aide memoire. Under one he has written 'Whaler's Recall" which just sounds terribly romantic, doesn't it?

The nicest thing is it isn't really a book because it's printed on cardboard pages. Like a baby book for really really nerdy toddlers with easy access to flags.

It was printed by HMSO, does that still exist? And it cost 9d. You can buy your own on Abe Books for £6.

Friday, 29 April 2011


I'm uploading this from the Abbey of course.

I got here extra early to get a good seat next to my old pal Liz. We go way back: Norwich Airport circa 1979 and Lisbon 1984 ish. We've hobnobbed many times.
Anyway here at Ephemera Towers we like a good royal artifact and so did the rest of the family. So for you delectation today we present:

First up is the oldest souvenir of the lot. A Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee mug from 1897. There she is looking like a right old grump as usual on this not-so-jolly and frankly quite austere black and white mug. I haven't a clue where this came from but it might have been my Gt grandmothers as she was born in 1889.I like the cherubs on this one - you just don't get enough cherubs these days circling royalty like they used to.

Onward we go to the dark days of 1936 when an American lady with a wasp waist put the kibosh on us having a King Edward VIII. Sadly - or perhaps happily - as he bailed at the last minute the wedding tat manufacturers had already churned out a load of plates, cups, novelty condoms etc
(OK not condoms) and we have a rather nice little item here. I've looked for other Edward VIII stuff on eBay but haven't found one the same as this yet. Maybe it's worth something...maybe not. I think by the 30s there was so much royal related nonesense being churned out it's all worth thruppence.
And onwards to a coronation that wouldn't have happened if the previous plate had served its purpose... if you get my drift. My mum reckons this is hers as my Auntie has got hers. Well Ma I'm afraid it's been left in my house and therefore it is now mine to have and to hold and to blog about. The absolute best thing is it is still in it's box which seems to have been decorated with patriotic lino cuts. LOVE IT!but my mum does still have her coronation spoon tightly in her clutches.And finally this brings us sadly on to shameless pilfering on my Father's part. He was in the police in the early 70s and as such was posted as a plain clothes officer in Westminster Abbey for Princess Anne's wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973. I'm not sure the exact chain of events but suffice to say we are the proud owners of the order of service. Terrible bad form and will probably result in the whole family being sent to the tower forthwith.
Right-0 must dash - Prince Phillip needs to be taken to the loo before the bride gets here.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Feeling extra Hornsea


A Muramic wall plaque dating to 1971-2 designed by John Clappison, who pioneered screenprinting onto ceramics, and considered by Colin Rawson the director of Hornsea Pottery to be aesthetically and technically one of the best pieces ever made by Hornsea Pottery.


I have tied my hands by my sides to stop me bidding on this

Cash Strapped Fridays - Feelin' Hornsea?

I've just been outbid on ebay in the last five seconds on a little Hornsea Jug and Pot. I feel sorry for the other bidder really as he or she was sitting comfortably with 15 minutes to go with a bid of £2 and I pushed them up to £10.50. Actually I'm quite glad I didn't win for two reasons. 1. because the last thing our house needs is another jug (more on my fine jugs coming soon!) and 2. I really don't need to spend a tenner on yet another item that will need dusting.I don't know much about Hornsea Pottery (I thought the village was in Kent but it turns out to be North of Hull!) although a quick search reveals a museum.Looking through the patterns the one that sticks out for me is Heirloom Brown... surely everyone's granny had some of this in their cupboard. The brown and orange design is just iconic. Even nicer is Bronte - which was the pattern on the little jug I didn't get.

More alarming is the Hornsea Fauna Range... super cute rabbits and fawns perched on log shaped vases - I ask you what is NOT to love about these??
There seems to be loads of Hornsea about but also lots of avid Hornsea collectors and I know that Jess over at Minimal is Boring loves it too so I don't think I want to set up in competition with her... she's probably plays dirty on ebay!

ps the happy end of this tale is that while I was writing this post I was bidding on a little Hornsea spice Jar and won! tells me this pattern is Beaded Kitchenware. Love it!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Early Plastic, Pilfering and an electrician with no taste

A potentially terrible thing occurred yesterday - actually when i think about what could have happened I get a slight nauseous feeling and feel faint.

Several years ago I had a friend who worked in a campus of the University that had offices located in some Georgian houses in town. These houses hadn't been touched for years and when they were being done up in a re-sprucing she turned up at my house with a bag and said 'I saw this and thought of you'. Inside was this gorgeous lampshade - made of some sort of plastic that seemed to be woven in some way - or made from strands. I have seen them since in tall wooden floorlights that sell for a bomb in natty retro stores. This one is just a shade for a ceiling light.
It really is the most beautiful thing - being sort of translucent - probably a prerequisite for lampshades - the light glows through it giving everything an orange tinge and I ask you...when is that not a good thing?
We are getting the house rewired at the moment and when I got home yesterday I noticed that the porch light was brighter than normal but couldn't really place why - I'd be useless on crimewatch. You can only imagine my horror when I went outside again and realised my precious lampshade was in the SKIP! I guess the electrician thought "well this is orange and plastic and obviously horrible so we'll chuck that one out and do them a favour - they can get a nice new one at B&Q."
Luckily although it's very thin and crackable, it suffered no damage and also luckily no local retro lampshade freak was passing. It has been washed lovingly and re-instated in its rightful place. And, as befitting, blogged about.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Abram Games

I went to a great talk last night giving by Naomi Games about her father, the graphic designer, Abram Games. Before going I wasn't really familar with the name and felt really out of place with the Pallant House crowd of terribly posh ladies most of whom either knew Games personally or had worked at various well-known graphic agencies in the 50s and 60s. But when the slideshow started I realised I knew most of the posters - all iconic wartime, London Transport, and public information posters. All beautifully executed with airbrush. And even now all screamingly modern. In fact Naomi Games has offered some of the organisations the chance to use the posters again and a lot of them have said they are still too modern for them!
My favourite was London Zoo poster - apparently the most popular and successful London Transport poster ever.
If you get chance go to Pallant House to see the Festival of Britain exhibition and also buy the book - A Symbol for the Festival.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Classic textiles

I'm currently drooling over the textiles on this site. Lucienne Day is big news at the moment with a new exhibition of her work at Pallant House, Chichester. I didn't know the other designers on Classic Textiles but I love Robert Stewart's work. And it all fits in really beautifully with the 60th anniversary of The Festival of Britain - which will also be the subject of an exhibition at Pallant House. Yippeee!!