Friday, 28 February 2014

I've been a miner for a heart of gold


Yellow.
 
Love it or hate it? More than any other colour (except maybe pink or beige), it elicits strong responses, and there are plenty of women who are adamant that they can't wear it.

I'm not sure about that can't
 
I can't play the oboe, or do a back flip, or speak Mandarin.
I can wear yellow, and so can anyone.
(Preference is a different issue altogether.)




I am in the love it camp, as you can see. 
 


Skirt - made by me from 1960s fabric bought at a vintage fair
1960s gold lurex top - gift from Sarah
Cardigan, 1960s chiffon scarf, bangles and fishnets - charity shopped
Belt - retail
Boots - Ebay 
 

Although I didn't wear this on my day out with Joanne and the kids to the National Coal Mining Museum at Wakefield, perhaps I should have done; the proverbial canary in a coal mine...
 
The museum is great, and we took the tour down the 140m-deep pit.



 The kids enjoyed checking out the pit ponies and liberally rubbing coal dust on their faces. 
 
They were also intrigued by the tales of children working long shifts underground, until a law was passed in 1842 which prohibited women and boys under 10 working in the pits. We tried to imagine doing such hard work in difficult and dangerous conditions; we came to the conclusion we are total wusses who wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes.



 
Seldom Seen reckons he has coal mining in his blood; his great-grandfather on his dad's side was a miner in the Rhondda Valley.




We explored the pit head baths.
 




Laking is a Yorkshire dialect word for playing or skiving off. 
Dave obviously had a bit of a reputation.
(Funnily enough, I used to work with a chap called Dave who had the nickname Sick note, for similar reasons...) 
 




The girls didn't think much of being expected to help with the washing...




The Trade Union movement was pretty much broken by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, as was the mining industry. 
 




The miners at this particular pit, Caphouse Colliery, clocked off for the final time in 1986.
 






And just when you thought you'd seen enough yellow, guess what arrived in the post?




The Travelling Yellow Skirt has finally made it to the UK, and will make her British debut in my next post.
 
 
 

Out for tea (what common folk like us call dinner!) this evening. Hmm, curry or Chinese? 
Either will do me!

Have a great weekend!

xxx

47 comments:

Winter Moon said...

Oh wow! Loving the fishnets and boots - very sexy :)

You look great in yellow and I can't wait to see your travelling skirt post.

I remember visiting 'The Big Pit' on a school trip once, it was quite fascinating to learn about our mining history.

Have a wonderful weekend xx

Asparagus Pea said...

Yes - Big Pit in Blaenavon is one of our sister museums. i always take visitors there as it's such a unique experience. i'm intrigued by the travelling yellow skirt x

Vix said...

Loving the yellow skirt (that's the one you made, but I'm sure the other one will look tremendous once you're in it!) You look so good in yellow ..and pink, red, blue, green...
What an interesting day out. I love the kids getting into the spirit and rubbing their faces in coal dust. My Dad was from a long line of Staffordshire miners, it didn't go down well at all when he chose to go to university and join the RAF.
I'd rather like that internal cleanliness sign in our house and I love those green tiles, too.
I was doing my A levels during the Miners Strike, several of our teachers got in terrible trouble for laking off and joining the picket line.
Curry!!
Love you! xxxxx

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Poor little kids mining-- thank goodness for modern labor laws and unions. The yellow skirt!!!!!! So exciting! I like yellow, but I look better in bright or pale, mustard yellow doesn't do me any favors :)

Connie said...

I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line....it's a Curtise day again and I'll be humming Heart of Gold all the live long day! What a terrific day out. And a self made skirt! Yippee! I'm just mad about saffron!!

rosyragpatch said...

Love your yellow skirt & I'm looking forward to seeing you doing the travelling skirt proud.
Looks like a fun day out for the kids despite the washing. I've got lead & coal miners in my family's but I'm glad I don't have to do it. xxx

Allison said...

lady those boots are killer! x

Sandra said...

Yellow is an awesome colour and looks gorgeous on you! you have the travelling yellow skirt, I can't wait to see what you do, it's so exciting!
The Mining Museum is so cool, my Uncle's were miners and my Dad was a docker (random!! haha!). I think the day out is great, I don't think I would coped well working in their either, I imagine lake-a-lot would apply to me too - enjoy your tea and have a great weekend!x x x

Natalia Lialina said...

You look so beautiful!! The cardi, the scarf, the skirt which you made yourself (great job!). And you have such a tiny waist - ah! :) All these colors are great on you. I loved your boots too - super cool!

I adore museums (I'm contemplating a museum post myself), and yours was a very interesting trip. I volunteered at school, and we were talking about future jobs once - one boy actually dreamt of becoming a miner! I was so surprised! They were just 8-9 years old then. I guess it seems romantic to some boys!

Lucy Nation said...

Yes you certainly can wear yellow, you look fab! Love the skirt - talented you. I do love me some ochre and and lemon shades Doesn't always go with my red hair but I don't care. The mining museum looks fun. I love it when you can get the kids interested in history. I'm currently trying to engage Miss 6 in her history home reading books xx

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

In our gardening days (now over)we used to advise about using yellow. Without a doubt it is the most arresting colour in the plant world and attracts and demands attention. So, in placing yellow plants, one should bear this in mind.

And so your yellow outfit, glowing from the pages of your blog,shining out into the Blogosphere, lighting up all our lives.....well, you do it so well. Look at me it says and absolutely why not. You have everything needed to carry it off and with style. The gold top is fabulous. Perfect for stunning everyone in sight in Sainsburys.

And, what a great idea to take the children to the mining museum. These days museum really are so much more fun and educational without being boring. They must have loved it all. How well we remember the miners' strike, the blackouts and Thatcher the Milk Snatcher. Oh dear, they were certainly not the Golden Years.

Fiona said...

The National Coal Mining Museum looks like a fabulous and very educational place to explore. You are such a progressive and cool mum taking the kiddo's out to such places and they look like they enjoyed it too. Those showers look just like the ones we had at school.
Now, yellow...not a colour I wear but that's not to say I wouldn't. Neon yellow is out tho' it would have to be a flattering custard powder shade. You look great in the various shades tho and I'm dying to see how you customise the TYS. Was it dhal or dim sum ? xxx

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Ha! Can't wait to see the TYS in the epic event that you'll put together! Something to look forward to!
You look fabulous in your shades of yellow. Very spring-ready, and ready to spring. Accessible. I admit to liking the more golden shades more than the acidic shades. I just don't see yellow much ... hard to dislike a color.
However, when I was a little younger than your youngest, my tailor grandmother made me the most marvelous lemon chiffon, satin and lace Easter dress, with a full skirt, chiffon bodice to the high neck with exactly matching lace trim. Chiffon bell sleeves, covered buttons, very Victorian.
I tried it on and was greeted by dead silence by my mother and grandmother. I looked in the mirror, and my blonde hair looked green and my skin looked gray. It was put in the closet and I was never able to wear it. Gave it to a little brunette neighbor girl and she looked like the first daffodil of spring. So it goes for some of us. But it was a seriously brilliant dress on her!

Diane said...

To my great shame, even though my dad (and all his family) was a Miner, and I know a few chaps who work at Caphouse, I've never been!!! I must rectify that this year. You look FAB in yellow - I hope you enjoyed your tea (or "snap" as the Miners would have said) xxxx PS - I sent you a PM to facebook xxx

Gracey the Giant said...

I agree with you that a LOT of women swear they can't wear yellow and seem to really hate it. I think it just depends on the shade of yellow a person wears. I think I'm okay in most yellows, but I prefer a strong, deep mustard yellow to a pastel yellow.

I love how you mixed gold with your yellows; that makes me very happy.

Ariane Lasalle said...

Hi Curtise

Tks for the tour of the coal mines, something we will not see around here!
I love everything about your outfit, the orange scarf,the skirt, the cardi and yes you can wear yellow with perfection - I just noticed your eyes were green? must the all those wonderful colors you are wearing they make your green eyes stand out-

We are going out too for supper, common folks around here say supper, for dinner or tea -

Have a great weekend

Arianexo

Goody said...

I'm going to focus on your wonderfully trippy outfit because just reading mention of the mining strike is enough to turn my stomach, thirty years after the fact (and then I'd have to think about what Reagan was doing to the unions over here).

That skirt is fantastic, and it does work with fishnets (I wouldn't have thought of it). I like how you incorporated so many different colours into the overall outfit. I can't do pastel yellow, but give me a mustard hue, and I'm happy.

señora Allnut said...

such an amazing visit to the Museum, children look really interested, and this is Great!
And you look fabulous wearing yellow, love your skirt, love the fabric and love your fishnets and boots!, And I agree with you about all those 'I can't'. There are really few colors I refuse to wear, but beige still remains as one of them (and I thought it would last forever this way, but I'm not that sure nowadays!)
besos

Liz said...

Sounds like a really interesting place to visit. Love the outfit.
Liz

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

What an interesting place to visit. Kids really learn so much more when exposed through interactive museums like that.

You've done a great job of combining so many different shades of yellow here. Mustard & gold with the burnt rust in the scarf. I'm glad you have a close-up of the belt. I never would have noticed the splendid peacock otherwise. You would have fit right in at the 1950's dance I went to last weekend. Shame you are so far away.

I'm excited to see you in the travelling skirt!

Have a great weekend.

bisous
Suzanne

Miss Magpie said...

You look fabulous in yellow, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the skirt.

I was at school in Yorkshire during the strikes. Quite a lot of the policemen were put up in the airman's quarters in the R.A.F camp we lived on at the time. I remember having to be escorted onto the school bus by riot police and pitched battles raged around us as we went to and fro!

Kezzie said...

I like the way you come full circle in your posts.vtgis outfit is so so fun anr fab against your hair! I used to think yellow didn't suit me until I found a vintage mustard blouse and now I quite like it! X

mondoagogo said...

Yellow doesn't suit me near my face (makes me too sallow), so I avoided it for years but worked out I can still rock it below the waist!

I remember going with my mum once to the strikes down in Wales, to give hot food to the strikers (her friends ran a catering van that they used to take to demos and festivals)

Rather than doing the washing, Eldest could could learn to play the washboard and join a folk band :)!

Vicky Hayes said...

Blimey, they did go in for a lot of rules and regulations didn't they?! Love you in yellow and that skirt looks fab! Vicky x

thorne garnet said...

funny thing, I come from a coal mining family, too. My parents are both from Pennsylvania coal country, one of my Grandfather's was a coal miner. Mom moved to California to be with her sister and Dad joined the Air Force. They met, married and stay in California.

As for yellow, if I want to look jaundice, I wear it

Patti said...

oh boy, the Traveling Skirt! I cannot wait to see how you interpret the icon. You look smashing in yellow, and love the boots too. My new favorite phrase is officially "lake a lot". I've learned so much from you. xox

Val S said...

You look good in yellow! So I'm really looking forward to seeing you in the TYS.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Funny that we're both thinking about yellow this week. Yellow certainly suits you. Wonderful pics of the mine too. Xx

Shawna McComber said...

But have you been through the desert on a horse with no name?

You look lovely in yellow and I like how you are fully embracing it. Yellow is a colour that does me no favours so I tend not to wear it but I do like it. I love the ochre type yellows best and I have a scarf in that colour and I say damn the colour experts I'm going to wear this anyway.

Very exciting about the travelling yellow skirt. I cant' wait to see what you do with it!

Great photos of the mining exhibit. I love the wee ones with coal dust on their faces.

Have a weekend as lovely as you are!

Caroline said...

The only yellow that doesn't suit people is jaundice. No love pattern on the skirt.

I eat tea at home by if I go out I call it dinner. Not sure why I do that.

The only things I know about mining are canaries and Scargill. Looks like the children enjoyed themselves, any excuse to get dirty.

Caroline
xxx

Brooke F said...

Like so many colours, I never thought I could wear yellow, but stuff it, I really love the happiness and sunshiny feelings the colour provokes. I am a big fan of all your yellow, and can't wait to see the travelling yellow skirt in action. Coal mining looks like a dirty hard job, but the museum looks like a fun and interesting day out. XXX

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

I absolutely love your "fifty shades of yellow".

Angels have Red Hair said...

Oh no … I've got that song stuck in my head now.
I love yellow too … maybe redheads can get away with it more than others … but then I quite like pink … and dare I say it beige too.
Can't wait to see the new skirt.
xx

Ivy Black said...

Earworm of the day!!

Love a bit of yellow, me. Is there anything cheerier than a splash of it I ask myself? I adore that skirt, it's gorgeous.
My family is more steel than coal, but it was never far from us when I was growing up, especially during the strikes.
Hurrah for the Travelling Skirt reaching Blighty. Can't wait to see how you rock it.
Yup, I know a Sicknote or two....say no more!

Have a lovely weekend.
xxxxxxxx

Olga Rani said...

Until recently I had not a single yellow thing in my wardrobe. Don't know why. Then I saw a yellow dress and decided to try it on. And I liked how it looked on me! It is so sunny and merry colour. And it makes one look just like that - sunny and merry. And that is how you look in this bright pretty outfit.

Krista Gassib said...

I think yellow is the best color to wear when doing such a cheery filled post! I have to say best picture ever of Seldom Seen and the story of his connection to the coal miners, look at his face! All your kids look so joyful, it makes me wish I was there for a day of learning and laughing. You are a cool Mom Curtise.

You can totally wear yellow:). The gold top and fishnets with those boots add some sexy, that's right I said it, sizzle in the sunshine! How cool that you will be wearing and sharing the traveling skirt., can't wait to see your look. That skirt is well traveled, just think what stories it'd tell if it could talk!
Loveyayellowlady!
Xxxxxxxxx

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

You're looking good in yellow. Very springy.
I don't think I'd have the guts to go down a mine shaft but it looks like a fascinating day out.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. xxxx

freckleface said...

I'm a fan of yellow and a big fan of you in it. It's a colour of hope and sunshine and spring. You wear it so well!
You sure do get out and about to interesting places. What a great hands-on way for the kids to learn about our mining heritage. Ooh a travelling skirt, how wonderful. I wonder what unique touch you will add to it. I often think on a friday night, wonder where Curtise will go to dinner tonight, go on spill the beans. We had pizza and wine, very good friday night fAre! Xxxxxx

Lesley Extance said...

I LOVE LOVE the yellow on you , the outfit looks great !, looks like you had a great trip, with best wishes and have a great weekend xxx

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Yippee! The skirt has arrived! I'm so looking forward to your story Curtise. I know it will be fun! And, cousin to cousin...cover up the footprint somehow, please!

Yellow! I think it's a little less forgiving when it comes to the shade, but find your yellow, and you are golden!!! Yuk, yuk!

And speaking of golden, you look lovely in your yellow today. A nice bit of sunshine!

Thanks for the mine tour. It's very sad how things transpired back in the Thatcher days. I don't know a lot about it, but when I saw Billy Elliott, the live theater production, they had quite a bit of information in the lobby...enough that I read about it in deeper context after returning home. Sigh.

Forest City Fashionista said...

It's all about the shade of yellow, and the cardi with the golden hue looks great with your auburn hair. I used to be able to wear a nice mustard colour but not with my current hair colour(s).

The Mine tour looks quite interesting. Your son reminds me of the Roddy McDowell character in "How Green Was My Valley", which is one of my favourite films. The scenes of the mine collapse is so affecting - I can't imagine having my husband and children working underground day after day with the threat of that forever looming.

Sheila said...

Oh, I am all about yellow, heck yes! It looks amazing on you - we redheads look ravishing in most yellows, in my opinion.

So excited to see you have the Yellow Skirt! Can't wait to see how you style it.

Trees said...

You ROCK yellow! Plus Hello? You made that skirt yourself? Hell yeah! Get your sew on girl! I have zero yellow in my wardrobe, I don't feel like I DISLIKE so much as I don't gravitate towards it? Same with orange. I do have some yellow gingham in my fabric stash, maybe I should make something with it. You know, one thing I love about your blog is that you tell us all about your adventures with the kids/friends. That coal mining museum looks fantastic! I would love to visit and rub some coal on my face. Also I can't wait to see you rock the yellow traveling skirt:D

Sue said...

You so can do yellow!! Looking good and your skirt is yummo. I would love the old time clock from the mines, gorgeous thing. And big woohoo to getting the traveling skirt, I am on the list for that baby!!! Cannot wait to see what you do with it.

madformod said...

I love yellow and you can wear definitely yellow !!!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

So much history that I don't know!! Thank you for a brief lesson!!

I've been eyeing all shades of yellow in the thrift store recently, inexplicably drawn to it. I refused, thinking it would be downright deadly on me although I could see it working wonderfully on so many others. I MIGHT have to rethink it after seeing what wonderful combinations you've put together here.

Hope you enjoyed your dinner. :-)

Melanie said...

I don't have anything yellow but for hair scarves and intend to remedy this as soon as I am able. You look wonderful in yellow.
The museum looks really interesting.