It started with a Jewellery/hat sale where my very old school friend Polly Whately was selling her beautiful hats. She is very creative and just manages to fuse a very classic style with a large dose of quirky and fun.
Then it was on to see her mother Belinda Belville's dresses in the Balldresses exhibition at the V&A, as well as the fashion collection which I loved. The permanent fashion collection also provided inspiration for me.
This was a fabulous lead up to the Vintage Sunday fair in Bath's Royal Crescent on 24th June where the fabulous fashion shows put on by Vintage to Vogue of Bath were incredibly exciting together with 1920s music coming from Nick "Wind up Merchant's" vintage pram as he wandered inside and outside the marquee!
This was my space from which I could watch the entertainments going on including the fabulous dancing, beautiful and the unusual vintage clothes being bought from Claire Nolan opposite me (I am thrilled with my Frank Usher dress and can't wait to wear it this weekend!)
This lady's dress and whole attire attracted my eye and very kindly let me photograph her. She and her friend I saw enjoying a cup of tea in a stunning powder blue herald triumph before coming in to have their hair styled by Pop up Parlour.
There was dancing from Hoppin Mad, delicious tea and cakes from Mrs Stokes and so much entertainment. Everyone seemed to be happy to join in, from Claire's 3 year old daughter dancing on the stage to all those "game on" people who joined in the dance classes.
Loved seeing Ruth from Delectable Collectables and others I've met doing fairs. Well done, Imran, John and Polly, think you did a great job and created a wonderful day. If only we'd had croquet on the lawn later.
The other completely extraordinarily inspirational evening was the week before when I heard the British Paraorchestra performing at Bloomsbury Church. This group of disabled musicians brought together by British conductor Charles Hazlewood are incredibly talented and those who are physically unable to hold instruments are able to communicate their music by the use of technological equipment. As well as the incredible quality, diversity and different musical influences during the evening, there was definitely a feeling of something extra being experienced beyond the music. Chatting to Tim Jones, who sang devotional Indian songs with a blind guitarist Adrian Lee, afterwards, we agreed that had there been more time it would have been interesting to involve the audience in some kind of vocal improvising. The evening was a fundraising event to raise the money to provide Charlotte White, a 23 year old girl who suffered a head injury wich caused her to lose all movement in her body, to be able to use music technology to provide an outlet where she can be creative and regain control of her life. Having been a music therapist for a time in my life, I can truly say that music can absolutely give people such opportunities. See Charlotte's blog www.societydisablesus.blogspot.com for more information and I would urge anyone to donate to this hugely worthwhile cause. For details of Paraorchestra's gigs see http://paraorchestra.com
Finally and really importantly the final Brocante of 2012 is approaching, and rather aptly on Bastille Day, 14th JULY, so come along and browse the exciting selection of antiques/vintage clothes and gardenalia. Relax and sample the delights of the Alice Park Cafe too. I tried to get Chris Garratt to bring his Petanque players to provide more of a French feel, as well as the Biddestone boules players. Alas it seems that they are in demand elsewhere, but next year hope they will be a fixture.
Beccy Shelton-Agar will be joining us for this Brocante with her fabulously quirky textiles, clothes and Brocante finds. As will be 'Pleasant Pastimes' and 'Just Seven Hats' with their quality vintage clothing and accessories. 'Magpie' will for the first time be joining us with their vintage clothing, jewellery and accessories. Together with regulars selling decorative and antique furniture, retro collectables and gardenalia there should be something for everyone!