Thursday, 16 November 2017

Wheels of Time

It’s been a funny old couple of weeks.  Still without a car and plagued by a bout of insomnia, we have had an intense and sometimes stressful time (for reasons which I won’t bore you with here), in some shape or form rooted in the past.  For starters, not having been behind the wheel of a car since the Golf gave out, I have reluctantly had to get used to temporarily being ferried around by others (I’m too scared to drive Reaper, our van, other than on remote open roads) - something I’ve not experienced since 1990!

We have been up against it with our regular Hayburner advert deadline, having put all of our eggs in one basket by asking our first and only customer from Israel if he would be so kind as to send us some sunset photos of his beautiful 1967 Karmann Ghia, featuring his order of Voodoo Street stickers.  Naturally, Murphy’s Law intervened and his first order went astray.  A second parcel was dispatched and we spoke very nicely to Vic at Hayburner, who granted us an extra couple of days to pull it together.  

My dream car

In the nick of time, Shmuel’s photos appeared in our inbox.  

They are pretty stunning, wouldn’t you agree?  

Surf Permit Stickers available at

Voodoo Street Logo Script Sticker visible on the rear window
Our latest ad, featuring a dreamy image from this shoot, will appear in the next issue of Hayburner magazine, out in December.

On Wednesday evening, Gaz attended the local hotrod meet, having produced some promotional stickers for the group, which included language that would make your granny’s hair curl.  Unless you are driving a 1950s souped up car, you are relegated to the far end of the car park.  Gaz is just about tolerated in our 70s V8 Rover (he still has to park at the back), due to his interest in these hybrid beasts and enthusiasm for a great engine sound.  Unfortunately, despite an amazing turnout of retro vehicles, in freezing temperatures, this was the only image he managed to capture before the camera battery gave out.  

As part of our preparations for Chepstow, Gaz has been cleaning up the 1920s roadster bicycle, which he’s hoping to use as a promotional prop.  

He’s so in love with this bike, he’s started campaigning for it to be wall mounted inside.  I’m not wholly convinced, particularly as I’m now starting to think it’s haunted.  

With little room left in the workshop, Gaz is currently bringing it into the kitchen whenever it rains.  On each occasion, we’ve independently experienced unexplained knocking on the patio doors.  On one occasion, the fuse box tripped out, plunging us into darkness.


Meanwhile, I’ve been educating myself on producing and sending blanket newsletters (something we have long promised to our subscribers), re-thinking our clothing packaging, photographing and updating stock on our website (Blackberry hoodies are now available to buy online so lovers of all things purple, check out our new stock)...

….and working on promotion with the help of some natty editing tools and filters.  Warning:  We may go all psychedelic on yo' asses in the coming weeks.  Our mystery boxes are available now.  More details online if you're interested.  I'm not going to do a Christmas plug in a November blog.  I love Christmas but unless I stuff my ears with cotton wool and put on a blindfold during TV ad breaks, by mid December, I'm already over it.  The only Christmas song I could happily listen to at any time of year is "Fairytale of New York".

Our clothing may be new, but our influences are pretty retro.  My style is also pretty eclectic.  There are days – many days - when I would love to float around in a Kate Bush dress or Woodstock era hippy garb and other days when my style icon is Annie Hall.  

Then there are days like today, when I fully appreciate a more masculine look – a great pair of skinny jeans, teamed with an old Voodoo Street baseball tee and this 70s jacket I spotted in a charity shop for £6.00.  (Please ignore the sleep-deprived bags under my eyes!) 

Last week, we went back to school.  We accepted a request to attend a Q&A session on T-shirt design for a group of DT students tasked with designing a T-shirt inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution.  

Armed with some clothing and sticker samples, we rocked up.  As we waited for lunch to end, the teacher, Miss Mason warned us: “They will probably come in and stare at you.”  She wasn’t wrong!  We had prepared answers to a range of questions covering everything from market research to the nitty gritty of the design process, but had omitted to prepare any kind of presentation, so my stomach did a little lurch when the teacher simply introduced us and then threw us to wolves/handed us over to the class. 
 I was always very shy at school and any kind of presentation would fill me with fear and unshakeable self-consciousness.  So with a niggling insomnia-induced headache and 45 pairs of eyes scrutinising our every move, we launched into an impromptu potted history of Voodoo Street, somehow without stumbling over our words or interrupting each other.  After passing round some samples, we took questions (and there were many), before leaving a bunch of free stickers for the kids.  

The great thing about kids is that the feedback is instantaneous.  We had a round of applause, a couple of high fives on the way out and some lovely follow-up messages from the teaching staff.  Why on earth I spent my 80s school days worrying so much about standing up in front of my peers is beyond me.  Well, they do say youth is wasted on the young!

Sticking with the 80s, in our downtime, we’ve also started watching the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which is set in the decade of my childhood.  We're a bit late to the party, but loved the shades of Goonies/Stephen Spielberg evident in the first episode and I’m desperate for an opportunity to binge watch this before being exposed to the inevitable spoilers.  I’m hoping the rest of the series lives up to the first episode. 

We’re also limping through Blade Runner.  I’m embarrassed to say that this film has lain on our shelf for years and I don’t ever recall watching it.  I think I’m put off somewhat by the fact that I have the director’s cut, which removes the uplifting ending.  

Caleb's keen to see it before he catches the sequel, but for numerous reasons, we’ve only had short windows of opportunity to watch…and now I’ve got all sorts of TV vying for my attention; Peaky Blinders, The Apprentice, Detectorists to name a few.  

There’s also a Netflix series covering the relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford starting in December.  We’re suddenly spoilt for choice.  Way better than all those “going-on-a-journey”, “this-is-the-best-thing-that’s-ever-happened-to-me”, formulaic, pantomime reality TV shows.  Not so great for curing insomnia.

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