05 October 2013

Should I Stay or Should I go to Ripper St -- London Adventures

Hiya! I should have written this ages ago, but after returning from London, I got blasted with one thing after the other... You can also read about the fantastic international blogger meet ups over at Vintage Vixen, Vintage Passiones Like Mine, Faith Hope and Charity Shopping, and Hello the Mushroom (all much quicker at getting posts up than me -- then again, I sort of don't want it to end & by writing this post I feel like its officially over, boo! The links will take you to their accounts of our adventures.)

First of all, without my amazing friend, this trip wouldn't have been possible. She had a professional conference to attend and asked me to do all the arrangements, taking me along as her personal assistant (yes I'm multi-talented haha!) We stayed in the beautiful Bloomsbury area of London, its so easy to get around from there, plus I guess my literary leanings get the best of me -- I wander around knowing I'm walking the same steps as the famous literary figures who lived there did in the past. An added extra for me is that I always see ghosts! (Okay so I see ghosts everywhere, but there is a little special as is New Orleans.)
One of the views from our hotel room. That building is the British Museum. I loved looking out at those palm trees with the flowers below every morning while having my tea.

The day we arrived it was bloody awful, cold & rainy, exacerbated by the fact that we were run down by the long flight & time difference. We only got hit bad one more day, then for the most part as long as I remembered, my weather witching worked a treat!

On to the fun parts...

I had an evening catching up with London friends Catherine & Caroline (of course I forgot pics -- whenever we get together its a gabfest & we sort of pick up where we left off last, that's just what old friends do!) Friends for over 30 years hard to say goodbye when we used to see each other daily. Catherine & I actually lived in the same house (along with three other people) when I lived in London so I really did see her everyday & I miss them now!

My friend & I went to Brighton for the day as I had found a super cheap £10 each return. So we were able to hook up with my friends Barbara & Lyn, and wander Brighton for the day. It was so nice to see them both & we had fun hitting the shops, having afternoon tea in a quaint little spot, then walking along the seaside to the pier (where suddenly I got frozen!) I'm terrible about taking pics, I usually get too caught up in the moment to have the presence of mind to stop & take a shot, but here are a few Barbara thought to take -- thanks Barbie! Sadly we didn't get a shot with the gorgeous Lyn who had to rush off to pick up her equally gorgeous young daughter, or Barbara's gorgeous daughter. What sucks is that again, these are friends I've had for about 30 years and at points got to see nearly daily, so yeah I miss them already.

My friend & I on the pier in Brighton, look you can see the Brighton Eye behind us! Photo by Barbara Taylor

Barbara and I on the pier. Photo by my dear friend & travel buddy!
My friend, me, & Barbara in Brighton warming up after being at the pier. Photo by Barbara Taylor

Then of course was the first blogger meet up with Vix, Lakota, Dorada. The second meet up was with Sara who had to work & couldn't make the first. Both filled with happy times I won't soon forget!

The 20 Sept was the magic day, with all of us meeting at Euston station, me blazing in talking shit (what can I say, I'm a New Yorker, its what we do, then quickly forget!) with big hugs and kisses (some bum grabbing was involved of course!) all around. Lakota took charge and had us head to Brick Lane for the vintage shops. My how things have changed since I was there last! Walking in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper wasn't new to me, but how things have changed so was. Its become hipster central (actually doesn't surprise me), which is good & bad. The bad is of course the stupid hipster crap, the good is that its now filed with funky shops & eateries so tons to do. Without Lakota, I would have been consulting the A to Z every 5 minutes! Plus in the past I wasn't there in the company of such fabulousness, getting papped at every moment! It took little while to have the shock wear off, I couldn't believe I was sitting with the people I've grown to love so via their blogs over the years. But it all felt so natural & I can attest to the fact that these are amazing women in every way (like I didn't know?) even more so in "real" life!

All of us getting papped on the street!

Honestly what are the chances of roaming the streets of the East End & coming across a poster of a Mexican wrestler? I think it was some mojo at work just for Dorada!

I had to get a bum shot in!

Lunch at a creperie, getting papped again. Hey who wouldn't want a photo of such fabulousness? (Okay probably not the drunks or crackheads making fun of us, but they don't count, so poo on them!) I think I snagged this one off someones blog, claim it if its yours, I'm brain dead!

Vix and her amazing find, a velvet maxi skirt! Def reminds me of Pucci! Oh yeah this was in a shop once the site of a Victorian public loo! Guys, I do expect to see graffiti about me next time! Hey there was graffiti about me in the loo at CB's for years, so I want some Victorian loo graffiti action ladies!

 Some random street art, wish the octopus below the stork showed up it was quite lovely.
Gee who did Lakota got the chichi grabbing idea from? The dress looked amazing but she couldn't breathe! Although Lakota did snag this fab denim waistcoat.

Dorada the chichi grabbing protagonist.

While passing by a lovely bakery I had to take a shot of these meringues, I should have put my hand by one to show the size, they were as big as my huge man-hand sized hand! (yea weird, tiny with huge hands, well long fingers that make my hand bigger than a lot of men.) Actually I was drooling over everything while peering in the window, drat we forgot to go back!

Me with "Olivine Baker", there were a few other Olive Oyl drawings, each a different character. Hey I just noticed the little NY thingie on the bottom, it says I ___ kitty NY. Can anyone make out that word? Cute kitty!

The bargain of the day. The chenogsam I found in a £1 bin at Absolute Vintage! (Interestingly Sara & I ran across another shop in the West End the next day.) I saw the fabric & thought if anything it would make nice cushions, once I yanked it out & saw the shape I knew it was so tiny it would actually fit my tiny waist & had ample room for my chichi's! 

See, even over jeans & a tee, its a perfect fit! (Boo, the chopsticks in my hair don't show!)
Goodies! I kept thinking something was missing... yep, the "wicked witch" tights from Vix, sorry they're in the wash, wore them already! Hey Vix, the paper you wrapped in (and I ripped through, had to tape it back together!) was from Nov 1929, 30 years to the month before I was born -- love the 20s graphics! Dorada, no idea what happened to the pretty spotted gift bag, but I did save the tag with your sweet message (and yep got the eyeshadow all fixed so pretty!)
So many more fab pics & memories of the day as told by each of us so please do make sure to visit everyone's blog. Everyone looked so fab in their glad rags & there was me in my everyday look, though I did wear my original CBGB tee & a vintage scarf by artist Michael Roman (he used to paint me as a kitty cat, this is one of my "portraits" I believe, usually he painted me as a cat in lingerie in heat... ah love the creative mind!)  Many thanks to Vix for traveling all the way down, as well as Lakota & Dorada for coming in for the day! I love all you guys & was miserable the second I had to leave. I do think we'll all see each other again one day!

The next magic day was the very next day when I got to meet up with the lovely Sara. We skype every so often (as I do with some of the others), but its different when you meet up in person. Due to exhaustion poor Sara had to schlepp over to my hotel & deal with me getting sleepy at every stop (I was fine as long as I was up & walking it was sitting that would do me in, ugh!) Our destination: the Clash exhibit on Berwick St of course! I had passed by a few nights previous with my London friends & they were just closing, but we were told various members kept popping in to DJ etc, so I bet that was a treat for those there on that particular day. After that first peek, I had an idea of what was in store, but was still in awe...
Dinosaur in a window in the West End? Of course!
"Lost in the Supermarket" Apparently Mick Jones put together this exhibition.
YAY! The Ramones! A part of the exhibit showing their influences.

I nearly died when I saw this, first of all that it had been saved & secondly for its iconic status. If you don't know what this is from, go back to rock school little grasshopper!
Pretty sure this was the pizza place next to a club we used to go to. The club is still there, having gone through several incarnations, but I think the pizza joint is gone.
Okay took this one mainly for my husband who was stationed there while in the army, but did find it interesting that they saved all this American memorabilia.
The tee Sara got. I almost did, then fell for...

this one, obviously pic taken after just wearing it! Another iconic record cover. Ms Gwensday Addams was so pissed I didn't get her a tee, so I suspect this will get "borrowed" at some point. I believe both tees were special editions made just for the pop up exhibit.

Me, then the lovely Sara outside the exhibit. Look at her bag! Shoot thought I got an outfit post, the vintage dress was so cute!
Amazing pastry Sara found on the way to my hotel. Apparently just like the Portuguese ones she says they have there. It was so good, I gobbled it up! Flaky, but crunchy pastry filled with a type of custard. Then I recalled it reminded me of an Italian pastry (of course the name slips my mind now!) except I think that one is wrapped up in the same pastry & has a cheese filling.
The "Hello the Mushroom" tote bag the lovely Sara gifted both Gwensday & I, along with...

This great mug! Thanks Sara, its my new fav mug & as you can see the tote is getting used quite often! In the pic I'm also wearing the eye shadow Vix got me & one of the lipsticks from Dorada (actually I think I used one of the palette colours as a base Dorada). Goodies rule!

While at the Clash exhibit I had a memory spark, which I won't repeat here, I wrote it in the comments section of Sara's blog, so you'll have to go there to read it (trust me, its a fun tidbit from my crazy past!) She also took loads more photos and does a much better job of explaining the exhibit so you'll have to go there to see more & read about our day! Sara is yet another amazing woman & even prettier in person (actually everyone was!) Thank you as well for traveling into London to visit me, sorry you had such a grueling journey home! (No fair, after such a lovely day!)

That night I got to have one last visit with Catherine, then I knew holiday time was over. ): 
The next day we were leaving, so it was a frantic rush to pick up what last minute things we could then off to the Heathrow Express to be whisked to the airport, then home. I got back to the city early enough to catch an express train home, dear hubby had left my car at the station so I loaded it up & was safely home, albeit late & probably a mistake as I was so exhausted; but it felt nice when everyone woke to give me hugs & kisses & welcome me home! Damn that jet lag hit bad this time! I blame one thing after the other happening when I got back. I guess the universe doesn't want mum to go off & have some fun of her own, boo! Yep that's my story & I'm sticking to it! 

I miss London & everyone so much, I did as soon as I knew it was goodbye. But I have faith I will see all again! Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful time & especially to my dear friend for making it possible! Seriously I'm so blessed with amazing friends!

* Updated to add: DUH I knew there were more goodies, these were all in my reading pile, not until I picked one up to read did it come to me that I forgot to add a pic!
Does everyone know me or what? Thanks guys reading all already!


  1. Yay! That was like reliving that wonderful day all over again. Didn't we have fun? Papped at every opportunity, getting confused by streets, distracted by shop windows and vintage markets. I loved it and meeting you, Dora and Lakota was the icing on the cake. Don't leave it too long till you come back! Love ya! xxxx

    1. Hi Vix! Yep it was like living it all over again for me too, but a little bittersweet as I'm not there to do it again! It was a fantastic day, so much fun & filled with surprises at every turn. I'll treasure it forever & try not to make it too long before we return! XXX

  2. Yay! Loved your post and meeting you in person! Hopefully we'll be able to meet again, in NY, who knows?
    Lots of love from me xx

    1. Oo I would love it if you came to NY! Pretty please? (Just wait for nicer weather, our winters are very extreme.) XXX

  3. It all looks so fun--jealous. I like the shot of you in the graffiti door. You mentioned the old CBGB bathroom--ugh. I would seriously rather pee by a tree than ever use it lolzzzzz

    1. It *was* fun & I'll treasure it along with my fondest memories forever! Haha! At least at CB's the toilets flushed unlike many other clubs at the time! XXX

  4. Will never forget this day amor! So glad you had a great time in London. See when we can get your nalgas grabbed again.


    1. Me either! Thanks sweets, I do hope to come over again soon for more nalgas grabbing along with lots more hugs & kisses! XXX

  5. What a gorgeous gaggle of ladies! I wish I was there with you all. You look like you had a great time, and I love that last pic of you.

    1. Aw thanks Bella on behalf of everyone! I wish you could have been there too would've added one more beauty! XXX

  6. Oh man, what an amazing couple of days!!! I'm so crazy envious that you got to meet these beautiful women (come to Helgastock2014 in April!!!) and have such fab adventures. The Clash exhibit looks frickin awesome and holy arsebiscuit, you are so rockstar perfect, I just love every single pic and story.

    Sarah xxx

    1. It really was amazing meeting everyone! Oh how I wish I could come to Helgastock2014! (I was just saying I wish we could move to either the UK or AU yesterday!) The Clash exhibit was pretty amazing, a little overwhelming with bittersweet memories at times. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, I had fun writing it but didn't want it to end! XXX

  7. OMG, it's all just TOO FABULARSE and almost too much to take in!!!
    Of course, I am mega jealous of your meetups, and of you being in London again-it's been 21 years since I was last there!!!
    Indeed, it would be marvellarse if you could make Helgastock 2014, or maybe we'll all just have to come to New York one day! XXX

    1. Exactly how I felt! Woman you need to get your arse to London... better yet as you said EVERYONE come to NY -- imagine the fantastical mayhem we can create taking over "my" magickal city!! I have a big house & yard we can stuff everyone in! (One of our mantras at the original Manic Panic shop was "we'll *make* it fit!" and I live a little too much like that!) When I used to work the nightclub circuit I used to have a tip jar that said "Send me to London Fund" that actually made people tip better (they probably wanted to get rid of me!) maybe I should put a donation button up "Send me to Helgastock 2014 Fund" so I can come? XXX

  8. oooh i already saw it on vix and doradas blog that you had a blast in london!!! meeting all the most fabulous bloggers, one day i want to join such a meet!! you look absolutely gorgeous in your hot asian dress, wooow !!!! and i also would have loved to see the clash exhibit!

    1. Hi Beauty! It was more than words can express! I wish you were there... maybe NY? We can wreak havoc! The Clash exhibit was fab, do look at Sara's post to see better pics & my fun recollection! XXX


Don't be shy, talk to me! Speak your mind and make a difference. I love finding new blogs to follow, and I can't visit unless you comment.
*Please note: comments are moderated, and anonymous commenting is allowed. I will NOT publish rude comments made anonymously, if you have something rude to say then grow a pair and sign in, then I'll post your comment.I also don't publish comments with imbedded links to spam sites, so stop wasting your time -- you know who you are!