Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Location, location nostalgia

Nostalgia is a bit like buses, you don't have one moment for ages then three come along at once!
Over the British bank holiday weekend, The MDS's decamped to Bristol and Bath to visit respective parents. Mine are moving from Bristol to near London on the Bucks side. While most would look for country living the elder MDS's are seeking the bright lights of down town.

I found myself wandering around Clifton village mainly in need of a cup of good coffee due to a slight hangover from dining at the restored Clifton Lido the night before. Even the meal at the old lido was a trip down memory lane. The old outdoor swimming pool has been shut for probably 15 years and a dedicated group of people have fought off development and worked tirelessly to preserve an outdoor oasis in a built up city area. It is now a beautiful swimming pool once again with a spa and restaurant along side. It says a lot about the 21st century and the fashion for preserving the old with a modern update.

I've spared you the school gates pic but couldn't resist a couple of shoots of my old dance school. Once run by Mrs Redgrave with an iron will, I think her daughter Felicity is in charge now. Countless girls and boys have had their backs straightened and legs turned to perfect their ballet pose. Mrs Redgrave was the debate of much speculation. Was she really a Mrs and was she really a Redgrave? Then there was Felicity and her gypsy like life to us young girls with her dance troupe travels across Europe and her swathe East European man friend! How we used to giggle - out of earshot.

Focus on the Past is a testament to survival and longevity through countless fashion trends and changes. Probably it is the only shop to have remained on Waterloo Road for decades and apart from a new lick of paint it is the same old shop front, same font, colour and name. Nothing about it has changed including the wares on the pavement. We used to find bizarre old clothes in there and great handbags and my favourite indulgence old champagne glasses which sadly I've broken over the years.

A much newer shop on the street is Skye a great card and art shop. I bought a fabulous Warhol print from this shop which I still have today
This has to be my favourite flower shop, Lisa Elliott Flowers. It started as half a shop and mostly due to her hard work and vision she's created a beautiful and expanded flower shop.

About Face is a handy shop for presents and all manner of things for the home.
Le petit garcon hangs about waiting for money to buy cakes with.
Give me cake!
This is what he spied in the Mall Deli and he got his blue cake which he then forgot to eat!
I did browse in the new clothing retail offerings in the Village, many boutiques have come and gone over the years and Maze plus 18 are the two most commercially successful. I did find some lovely Angel Jackson bags although my browse was spoilt by the pointless interjection of one of the shop assistants commenting on how lovely they were and how useful! Useful because they had a strap inside the clutch. I'm afraid I went for option B (Option A is a faux smile with bored looked and silence) and retorted with 'Useful! I'm afraid I'm with Carine Roitfeld, fashion is about being fabulous not useful and comfortable.' I rarely opt for option B i.e. a retort to whatever has been said; its usually a silent thought in my head with my face displaying option A to the world but on my old territory I had all the petulance of youth.

Every Autumn with out fail this family come from France to sell onions and garlic on the streets of Clifton Village. His grandfather is the first one I remember. I'm sure this scene for many years made me more of a Francophone than French fashion and wine.

We used to have these hanging in our kitchen and they really do last for the winter months.

I'm not sure if I'll ever do this again, as I'll have no need to visit which is why I took photos on my blackberry and fashioned a trail of nostalgia. It is funny but streets are like clothes, you have the new, the trends and a few old staples and friends.


  1. I feel regret that I've gone through life without every having a " East European man friend."

  2. Those cupcakes look delicious; I envy le petit garcon his blue yummy treat!

  3. That village looks gorgeous, trips of nostalgia are good for the soul and I think they help you focus on the future too.

    PS. I thought of you at the cinema on Sunday evening - Tarrantino's Inglorious Basterds has a classic red dress moment!

  4. Hi there-what a lovely post, I would love a rummage in the 'Focus on the Past' shop!!

  5. Wow - I love these photos, particularly the flower shop. And aren't you lucky to get to go to Bristol and Bath. What great cities. I want to live in Bath!

  6. WendyB has stolen the words from my mouth!!!! Lovely post.

  7. Very lovely post!! Now I have a little bit of nostalgia of Bristol, too!! I wish I live there one day! ;)

  8. Hey Make Do Style!

    I live in Bristol - its a great place isn't it!! I'd love to get in touch with you to have a chat about something blog related.

    Could you please email me on jo@handbagsfromheaven.co.uk???

    Thanks from Southville!


  9. What a wonderful shopping district. Although I spent a summer in Bristol, I can't say I ever explored Clifton. I realise now I missed out!!


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