Sunday, 21 November 2010


Green. The spring leaf green of childhood. The deep green of being an adult. Being 'green'. Living green. Recently I have found myself being pulled towards all things green, and a friend of mine said while patting my new green, fluffy woollen blanket that green is the color of the heart chakra. Well now, I don't know about chakras, but green somehow just feels right to me now.  As for living green, I could certainly do more. Who couldn't. I could buy organic. Recycle more. Not love driving my car as much as I do. Ok, that last one would be a pretty tough deal, but recycling, yeah, that I could do.

And what indeed is vintage but recycling. Yesterday I went to the Vintage Fair, and was hugely disappointed as far as the wares go. Or maybe I've just been abroad too much, but come on now! Overpriced, bad quality, very little variety. And yeah, ok so maybe I'm being a snob again but Vienna Naschmarkt, anyone? Any little weekend morning street market in any southern European country?? Les Puces in Paris??? I admit. I've been spoiled. But what was bugging me the most is that almost none of the stuff on offer was anything but your basic stuff from any little town flea-market, only priced about thrice the amount. Bahhumbug. I found exactly one dress I might have considered had it been priced reasonably, a 1940's dress along these lines...

But not only was it not priced correctly, 
it was also of very bad quality 
...heeohoy, I'll make one myself!

And that in mind I went scouring the aisles again looking for vintage patterns. Nothing! Shame! By now decidedly disappointed I started to go through the accessories. Bags. Now. I have more than enough vintage evening purses to last a lifetime, most of which I've had for years and will only add another one if I find something truly spectacular. Not going to happen here. Jewellery. Well, costume jewelery I can not wear, unless I wish to bloat to twice my size with rather fetching red rashes. Belts, no luck. Gloves, dismal. Hats, even worse. Hatpins, I found exactly three, all of them of very, very boring !!! By now you surely get the picture...

This, however, is 
like my trusted stand-by
evening bag bought
a decade ago, born 
half a century ago
and still having life in it for another.

If, however, the wares on offer were nothing to write home about, at least I spent some lovely time just people watching. Seemed to me that the 1950's are the decade here. Saw some really lovely ladies, especially one woman quite possibly in her fifties wearing a lovely secretarey pencil skirt with a fantastic 50's bad gal angora sweater, ankle boots and all. And the best thing about her was the way she was carrying herself, as if she was wearing what she wears every single day anyway. You see, that I think is the problem with full-on vintage dressing, the wearer disappears behind the clothes. The clothes start wearing you. And then everyone just gets uncomfortable.


Later on, in the bus to the centre I came across these two young people. I am saying young people as in maybe ten, fifteen years younger than me. A girl and a boy, I would say, though obviously they were young adults, but there was something very 'girl and a boy' about them. The girl was very pretty in a young, fresh-faced kind of way. Reddish brown short curls peeking from underneath a hand knitted deep green beret. Glasses, cutest dimples and an unlined,  pale skin. The boy was not from around here, which was obvious not only by his looks but by their use of english. American, he was, I realised before tuning out of their conversation as it became far too personal for my ears. Seeing them I could not help since they were sitting right there opposite me, but the least I could do was to try and give them an illusion of privacy by looking out of the window since I instantly recognised what was going on. They had spent the night, the weekend, the week, who knows, together, and now the boy was leaving. They were obviously in love and also obviously terrified. 

He kept taking her hand and kissing it. She kept leaning her head on his shoulder. Soon they were whispering. And I felt my heart go out for them. Who knows, maybe they will live happily ever after. A house, a car and two point five children... Or not. But even if they will not live together ever after, they will live. Very few people actually die from a broken heart. This I would like to tell them. Be brave. Live so you don't have to be sorry for the things you didn't do. But of course I don't, I just keep staring out of the window pretending I'm not even there. Then, an old woman gets on the bus, sits next to me, right in front of the boy. I see her lips purse into a tight line. See the disapproving way she keeps glancing at them. And I remember thinking to myself that I hope never in this life to become that, bitter. Life might not have shown me or show me now the peachiest of sides but why should I grudge other people their happiness? Especially since I know that there are very few of us who can walk through this life without getting punched a little here and a little more there. Ending up more on the bruised, autumn shade of green. So all the best for you two, lovebirds. May life be kind to you.

I didn't use to be like this, all well-wishing-dotty-cookie. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still no Buddha. I scream, I shout. When I get tired and upset I can be terribly mean to the people I love. Sometimes I rave against the 'injustice of it all'. And what what life has also made me is even less tolerant than before of ignorant, intentiously rude and mean people. And of bullshit, if you will pardon my french here. Life is too short. To be bitter or to listen to bullshit. Period.

Now, you better listen, kids,
no bullshit, you hear me?

I'm on my way home now. Sitting glamorously in an airport lobby with a glass of bubbly in my hand... Did you actually buy that for a second there? No? Thought so. But I am actually on my way home now, though instead of flying I'm taking an eleven hour trip by train, and instead of being glamorously dressed up in wiggly skirts and pin-up heels, I'm wearing a grey knitted woollen dress with an enormously long stripy woollen scarf around my neck. Come on, it's cold with a capital C out there. And heels? Yeah, sure, if you like to imagine my comfortable boots with  woolly knitted legwarmers as something they most certainly are not.  And my hair is in plaids. Glamorous, my middle name....But I am wearing the stiletto lipstick, does that count?

Winter fashion circa 1952
Not quite me...

That's more like it.
Though I'm not entirely sure
what that slightly creepy
poodle is doing there...

And love these hats.
Can see myself wearing one
pulled down over my ears.
Not the yellow one though, the 
resemblance to the Big Bird might
be a tad too close for comfort.

But honestly, as I was walking to the railway station, I saw this really fashionable young woman walking on the other side of the street. She was wearing a short, swingy camel coat in a sort of 1960's  style and a pair of rather swanky high heel ankle booties. Her hair was loooong and dark and glossy. And she looked like she was cold as hell. We're talking below zero here. With a wind freezing enough to make your nose shrivel and fall off. And she was wearing no pants, no skirt or dress that I could discern though there might have been a minuscule one hiding there under the coat. All you could see were miles of skin and bones leg clad in a thin veil of pantyhose. That poor girl did not even had enough padding under her own skin to keep her warm! And no hat! No gloves! Just a teeny tiny handbag. So I ask you, comfort or glamour? Freezing your ass off or looking like Puffa the Quilted Penguin? Well, me, I go for the penguin look, only add some stripy mittens and a fluffy grandma knitted hat as well. But each to their own. Certainly this young lady was looking very nice in her own way, but I wouldn't exactly call it sensible. But then again, I'm quite sure sensible was not the effect she was going for anyway...

That there is a genuine 1960's
swing coat, and I get it, 
it's supposed to be worn like this,
with bare or practically bare 
legs but honey, in that case
you're living in the wrong country.

And this dreadfully fashionable young lady would probably also never end up in the kind of stylistic ditch I've been the past couple of days. A word to the wise, do not color your hair using supermarket hair coloring especially if your hair is of a lighter than light shade of pale blond. You will end up with a weird color. If you're lucky you will end up with a nice shade of kitty pee. If not, a mop of green with some strategic bluish grey stripes shall be yours. I was not lucky. It's been a long, long time since I've tried to change my haircolor, and will not be doing it again any time soon. Thanks to some hair saving moves I am now pretty much back to my original blond color, but lovely as green is, both as a color and as a metaphor, flattering as a hair color it is not.

So, keep green, dears, only keep it out of  your hair. 

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