But I’m getting there slowly. Thank you, and I mean this so much, for your wonderful support after my last post. It has, beyond my own expectations, made everything so much easier to have shared my dad’s story a little and to have had such kind words and thoughts from everyone. I think my dad would have been both incredibly embarrassed and also secretly very, very happy and moved to read them all.
I’m planning to start blogging again soon when I’m back in the studio, and of course to start back on Vintage-a-Peel with avengeance. I have already posted one item which was in the pipeline before everything happened, and there will be more to follow soon – albeit erratically I imagine. Please do join the facebook group (or follow me on twitter) to ensure that you are kept up-to-date with new listings as and when they do appear.
While I’m here: if you are not aware of the changes afoot over at Google Reader (i.e it will be no more as of July – what idiocy!), then please remember to find a suitable new feed reader so you don’t miss anything with this blog or, in fact, any other fantastic ones to which I link. I am available for following over on Bloglovin’, and I’ve noticed a fair few people have already done this so THANK YOU to you lovely people. You can also follow me directly on wordpress if you have an account, or as an email subscription I believe. Otherwise, you can just bookmark me in your browser or keep up-to-date via facebook and twitter.
Thank you for all your support and wonderfully kind words since my last post. Unfortunately my dad died on Friday at the age of 65.
He was James, though everyone knew him as Jim. But he was my daddy.
I’m not sure how one even begins to tell people how they feel about a parent, so complex is the relationship, so this post is more of a train-of-thought than anything really coherent or resembling an obituary.
The older I became, the more I realised just how much I had inherited and learned from him. Although I look like my mum, I think I eventually had more of his laid-back temperament. And a great tendency to procrastination. (We don’t call it laziness…).
A much more practical person than I could ever hope to be though; he would smile wryly at my silliness, and was quietly supportive of my more ‘bohemian’ career choice. Although I’m certain he’d have been happier if I’d had a ‘proper’ job, for my own sake, I wouldn’t have been able to do everything I’ve done without his help.
He had a wide repertoire of anecdotes, and it was a family joke that they always took forever to recount. He liked long pauses, big build-ups… He was a quiet man, so you knew it was something important or interesting when he started to talk to you. I wish I had written these things down; I feel so sad that, with him, his anecdotes have gone. Like the time he saw The Yardbirds in some tiny pub in Tolworth, and his friend who had been with Jimi Hendrix the night before he died…
He knew the answer to anything, or so it seemed, and never tired of being asked: “What’s that over there?”, “what does that do?”, “how does that work?”, and you knew he loved being able to tell you. He was one of the early breed of computer programmers and talked of mysterious times when a computer room really was just one computer, and feeding punch cards into machines to do relatively simple tasks. He was forever mending things I’d broken, without complaint. Forever giving lifts here and there. I’ll miss our little chats in the car. I keep thinking I need to ask him about something, and then I remember I can’t.
My parents had known each other for 50 years, been together for 48, married for almost 42. If that’s not amazing and inspirational, I don’t know what is.
It was a privilege to be able to say goodbye, and I must thank the anonymous woman who gave him CPR and allowed us a few precious moments of smiles, nods and kisses during the period he was in hospital. Although it was a distressing period, he left us knowing how loved and special he is. We made damn sure of that.
I also, along with my big brothers, inherited his deep love for the music of Paul Simon. Those songs are so ingrained in my psyche from long car journeys; dating from my birth right up until a month or so ago when we all travelled to see his beloved granddaughter and new grandson (who also shared his birthday). I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to hear those songs without crying now. But they serve as a perfect memorial to his life: subtle, quiet and with a great sense of humour…
Rest in peace Pa, I will miss you always xxxx
James (Jim) Eggleston (1947-2013)
If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You can’t remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star
I believe a light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I can’t guarantee
There’s nothing scary hiding under your bed
I’m gonna stand guard like a postcard
Of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your bed
I’m gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you’ll always know
As long as one and one is two wooo
There could never be a father who loved
His daughter more than I love you
Trust your intuition
It’s just like goin fishin’
You cast your line and hope you get a bite
You don’t need to waste your time
Worryin’ about the market place
Trying to help the human race
Strugglin to survive it’s harshest hour
Father and Daughter by Paul Simon
You may or may not have noticed my absence from blogging since Monday. Well, on Monday my father was taken very seriously ill. I generally don’t make this blog terribly personal, but I also didn’t feel like leaving it hanging with no explanation.
Perhaps I will write about it more when things are less raw, but for the moment I won’t go into any details. He is still in hospital, very seriously ill, and we have no idea what the next few days will hold, let alone the long term future.
Obviously work is taking a backseat to being with my family, and frankly I cannot concentrate on anything much at the moment. But I am still reliant on Vintage-a-Peel for my income and so I must carry on as much as possible.
I am mainly staying in London but I will be able to get back to the studio in Hove every so often (especially if some posting needs to be done) so please just email me if you want to make a purchase and would like to check when I will be able to post it out.
I know that you don’t know my father personally, but he needs all the prayers, love and healing thoughts he can get, so please keep us in your thoughts if you can.
Thank you so much.
Making a lady play strip poker in a halter neck dress is poor sportsmanship on the part of Monsieur Sleazy here…
Thank you all so much for the support while I change the blog over to WordPress. It means a lot to me! All the posts are now imported (as far as I know) and now it’s just a question of wading through nearly 800 posts and tweaking them for the new format. It will be a slow process, so please bear with me! I have also had to manually transfer my links, so if I’m missing anyone – please do let me know!
Since blogger have charmingly decided to lose my blog today, and prevent me from accessing my dashboard, perhaps it’s time to think about emigrating to WordPress?
I think I will run a few test posts and see how it goes. Even if blogger have lost my blog for good (and I will cry, profusely…), I have at least all of this year’s blogs stored and saved up. If they find it again, maybe I will just import the whole damn thing.
|Fabric is ‘Cunard’ by Liberty. Dress by Susan Small, £38|
|All clothes by Just Men|
|His and hers both by Deborah and Clare|
Goodness me. A week has flown by with no blog posts and I barely even noticed. I’m still awaiting my new computer (finally ordered though, hurrah) and decided to luxuriate in the long weekend we’ve just had, courtesy of Mr Duke and Mrs Duchess, down in Brighton. I’ve even started swimming! Wonders will never cease…
I was trying to not care about the nuptials, and all the hoo-ha surrounding them, but I’m afraid I was sucked in for the ceremony. My excuse is that it was because a very lovely and ridiculously talented friend of mine had been working on The Dress for the Royal School of Needlework and her excitement was infectious. It’s always nice to have the inside scoop on such a thing as well, and I’m so immensely proud of her!
On a mini-jaunt to Cambridgeshire, I found the most divine thing for myself in an Ely charity shop.
Your eyes are not deceiving you! It is a suitcase, and it is covered in striped chenille. Made by renowned luggagiers (yes, I made that up…) ‘Antler’, it’s so perfectly Seventies and so perfectly ‘me’. A snip at £5, and seemingly never used, I was unable to resist. Even if it never actually goes on any trips, due to lack of wheels and innate heaviness, it will still perform the function of storage with the added benefit of aesthetic appeal.
On Sunday we jaunted to Standen House, which is a simply perfect Arts and Crafts house near East Grinstead (see top photo). It was almost surreal, seeing those oft-reproduced William Morris textiles in an authentic setting. It has managed to retain the warm atmosphere of a family house and, although we chose tea and cake over walking around the grounds (limited time and a descending chill in the air), I think the surrounding land would be well worth a visit alone if you’re ever in the area.
Anyway, after a lovely lunch with the gorgeous Laurakitty yesterday and sushi with another dear friend in the evening, I find it’s now Thursday and I’ve been completely lazy for a whole week. Whoops! Back to work and back to blogging.
So sorry for not having been around to comment on your blogs, I will do my best to make amends!
This might have to be a ramble, of sorts, around my constantly swirling brain on the subject of blogging and my own identity within the blogging ‘world’. Inevitably, because of mutual interests in the vintage arena and just a general love of clothes, I end up following modern-weighted fashion blogs and vice versa. There are still some very interesting vintage blogs on the go, but more and more I’m noticing them moving into talking about ‘fashion’ rather than their vintage origins.
Sometimes I feel like something of a throwback, or that I might be stuck in a blogging rut because
a) I don’t post pictures of myself in all my gear. Mainly because I hate photos of myself, but also because it’s a degree of intimacy with the unknown readers I’m not quite sure I’m comfortable with yet (especially given that this can crossover into one’s personal life, and makes it easy to stalk someone). It also assumes that anyone is interested in what I’m wearing. I’m very interested in seeing what certain other bloggers wear, but can’t understand any reciprocation.
b) I don’t seem to look at (let alone, shop at) net-a-porter….or any of those types of sites. I’m still determinedly buying vintage and, if I can’t find it vintage, I refuse to pay designer prices for things. Perhaps this might make me ‘inspirational’, except I can’t get over my fear of a) and post photos of myself in my ensembles so no one knows what the hell I’m wearing from day to day.
c) Part of my motivation is still to promote my vintage clothes. And to be geeky about vintage designers and style icons.
Watching The September Issue the other day, I was captivated by Grace Coddington. But then, who wasn’t? I noted with pleasure that she never seemed to use the words ‘trend’ or ‘season’, at least not in relation to her own work. She was just about the creative vision for her editorials and inspired by locations, photographs and beautiful clothes, regardless of who made them. I realised it was important to never lose that aspect of my own personality, although I am no Grace Coddington clearly, despite the lure of ‘fitting in’ by styling my blog in a more bloggy kind of way.
I suppose it’s more of a daily inspiration notepad, than me trying to make any huge statement about fashion or the world. The less I think about fashion, trends, seasons….the more inspired and prolific I am. It’s been a very tough few months for me, personally and professionally. Both knocking into the other and making each side worse. I should be grateful that I have managed to relaunch the site, with instant great response, and that I manage to update my blog almost daily. Even if it is just a picture of some gorgeous lady in a gorgeous dress, from forty-odd years ago.
It comes back to teenage years, I guess. I never fitted in then, I don’t know why sometimes I feel like I ought to be part of the mainstream now. I also find it peculiar how ‘independent’ blogging has become as mainstream as a weekly column in Grazia or wherever. The recent fuss about advertising on blogs, accepting freebies or sponsorship, has been interesting for me. How else are you going to make money by writing, uncommissioned, for yourself? But it also removes the ‘independent’ tag, in one swift movement.
I recently signed up to Project Wonderful, and added an Amazon associates box. I thought long and hard about even signing up for these, because I worried how I would be judged. I suppose I needn’t have worried about any of it, because I don’t think my daily hit rate really warrants either box. Ultimately, my income comes from my vintage site, my dressing work and the occasional illustration commission. A few pence here and there, via advertising, isn’t going to change my life. I don’t know how other people do it. I’m fascinated in an envious and nosy kind of way, and it’s one of those great unmentionables.
I almost wish I could look at other blogs without the inevitable trap of comparison. Just enjoy them for what they are. Perhaps I might have done, once upon a time when I was doing work experience on New Woman magazine and aspiring to be very ‘now’ rather than very ‘forty years ago’. But even that was mainly because I was more ambitious in that direction, and had momentarily lost the plot post-graduation. The pull of independence, pig-headed independence you might say, was always too strong.
Maybe I’ll start experimenting with different blogging styles. Maybe I’ll start posting pictures of myself in some weird attempt to access that exhibitionist part of my psyche, because it must be there somewhere. But ultimately, I don’t think I can change who I am. I am a vintage geek, not a fashion icon. I dress nicely, I think I choose interesting clothes, but that’s just innate. I’m doing it for myself, not for my readers. I love interacting with my readers, and I would be nothing without them, but ultimately my mantra will have to continue to be that I’m doing this blog for myself. If someone else ‘gets it’ and enjoys it, then that’s just perfection.