Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Modern Life is Rubbish

After the copycat seller debacle, we decided to focus on our forthcoming mini break dossing at our friends’ house in Cornwall.  As ever, fate had other ideas and on the eve of our travel plans, Storm Brian hit the west coast and so we delayed our trip by 24 hours.  This provided our Mk 4 Golf with a window of opportunity to die a natural death.  The rattly noise we noticed a year ago and periodically checked with our mechanic, evolved into a more serious don’t-get-in-that-car-it’s-a-death-trap kind of noise.  So, Gaz pulled the plug on it and our search for a new daily drive has now begun in earnest.

Never was the phrase “it doesn’t owe us any money” more apt than in reference to our vdub.  It’s done miles equivalent to driving to the moon and is only our third daily drive as a couple (and we’ve been together for ages).  

But in recent years, it’s passenger window has stopped working, the handle on the interior driver’s door is no more and the bonnet’s developed a not-so-cool patina.  Oh and not forgetting last year, a builder’s van - fully loaded with overhanging pipes - reversed into the passenger’s door and kindly buggered off without so much as a kiss goodbye, although it did leave a wonderful array of cannon ball size dents in the door frame.  In short, we started to feel like Uncle Buck whenever we had to drop Cal off anywhere.

I could happily live in this Cornish property, but I don't think Dawn French would be very happy.

So, storm heading out to sea and transport sorted (we took the van) we had a brief, but fun Cornish interlude but still weren’t quite ready to get back to normality.  

Deciding that Blur were right and modern life is rubbish (unless the Wifi’s working), this week, we have flirted outrageously with the past.

We took a tour of the local junk/retro stores(depending which side of the fence you are on), notably, Grandad’s Attic.  Ten minutes’ drive from our house, Grandad’s Attic is located next to the Bonded Warehouse, a restored listed building on the Stourbridge Canal.

This is a taster of the delights contained within.  Folks scared of, or still scarred by the 70s – other eras are catered for.  We left empty handed this time, in view of a self-imposed one in/one out policy…

….although we have found space on our shelf for these collectible VW books Gaz spotted in a charity shop.

I should also mention this 1925 light roadster bicyle he purchased.  The frame number shows it as pre-1925, so not really sure what's going on here...

...but, perhaps we need help after all.

Saturday night marked the grand finale – a celebration of All Hallows' Eve at the Black Country Living Museum.

Gaz dressed for the occasion in Victorian garb.  I was a strange fusion of steampunk, tribal, voodoo priestess and Blake's 7 in tribal make-up.  I was wearing no less than 2 dresses and Gaz has always said that my green Zara dress looks like something out of the 80s hit TV show Blake's 7.

The site that greeted us made me instantly forget my irritation at having forgotten my shrunken head accessory.

We walked in Thomas Shelby’s footprints by gas light (in case you didn't know, they film Peaky Blinders at the museum).

Crow Bride with Bottle & Glass Inn in the background

There were weird and wonderful characters on every corner, from the exasperated professor and his student to the tragic crow bride looking for her groom.
"These are the sort of windows faces look in at."  Withnail

We sampled chips cooked in beef dripping, candy floss and some disgusting pork scratchings in toffee apple sauce (thanks Gaz).  Unfortunately, we only managed a glimpse inside the back room of the local boozer, the Bottle and Glass Inn.  We didn’t imbibe any alcohol, but the atmosphere was heady.  

The Bottle & Glass Inn (not in its heyday).

It took on more resonance for me, given that my Grandad used to drink in this particular pub in its original location (Brierley Hill), before it was dismantled, brick by brick, and rebuilt as a museum set piece.

Returning home, we lit the pumpkins, turned on the heating, poured a glass of wine and discussed prizes for our Instagram comp (see, another image stuck in the past).  You can read the winning entry below.  There are times when I detest social media, but given the interaction and genuine belly laughs this competition provided, perhaps modern life isn't all so bad.  

"Voodoo you think you are, leaning on my plane?  Out of the way Fokker!"

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