Sunday, 15 June 2014

50 or so

Oh the British summer...

So fickle and unpredictable. Woe betide any foolish organiser who blithely assumes that a mid-June event will be bathed in sunshine and warmth.

Over the years, our school summer fair has had more than its share of wet weather, so the organising committee have learnt the hard way that it is worth hiring sturdy gazebos for cover.

This was the view just before the gates opened for business yesterday;

distinctly grey and wet.

But as Vix always says, if we Brits let a bit of rain put us off, we'd never do anything, so we cracked on with a smile and a shrug of our collective shoulders.

My lovely assistant Claudia helped Gemma and I on the tombola.

And the weather did perk up later.

 I dressed as though it was summer anyway; this new-to-me M&S maxi dress was charity shopped.
Of course.

See? Smiles all round. Mind you, this was after it was all over for another year.

The Dream Team!
Me, Juliet, Alison, Joanne, Karen and Trace.

Saturday was very busy; summer fair, cava back at Karen's to toast a successful event, despite the weather, then round to my old friend Sally's to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Sal and I have been friends for 32 years. She, Claire and I shared a house together in 1988-9. 

On the left, that's me and Sal at her wedding in 1994; I was her Best Woman, and my speech made her cry. In a good way.

Bottom right must be around 1992-3, I was Sally's lodger for a while.

And above right is Claire and I sporting matching big hair and huge smiles at a party in 1988.

Sal insisted I took her birthday balloons home with me, since my 50th is coming up in 10 days' time.

I think they look like the word SO.
Which is rather how I feel about being 50.


And if you have any saggy balloon jokes, I suggest you keep them to yourselves.

Today has been quiet, as befits the day after a night before which involved an excess of cava, gin, and beer.

1970s cotton maxi dress - community fair (£3)
Sandals and bangles - charity shopped

 Walking back from the customary Sunday swimming lessons/coffee shop trip, I saw this sign in a local cafe.

Count me in, I meet both criteria.  

I'll be joining the lovely ladies over at Patti's Visible Monday as usual. 

And if you are wondering about the appearance of Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes was on his album So.

Don't you love it when a post comes together?




Vix said...

happy Birthday to Sal! Loving those photos of you through the years, I'd love to have heard your Best woman speech.
Well done on getting the school fete sorted. What miserable weather after such a lovely week - we didn't get rain till late, just endless grey. The girls look a fabulously colourful bunch and your M&S maxi just dazzles.
Considering last night's booze you loom bloody gorgeous in your £3 frock.
Do the balloons mean it's birthday celebrations all week long?
Love you! xxxxxxxxx

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Yes, I declare it to be your birthday week, saggy balloons and all. Happy to hear the weather wasn't completely soggy. We have the same expectations in Vancouver. In fact, this weekend is distinctly damp and grey.

I love the group photo of the Dream Team! You all look fabulous!

Mother of Reinvention said...

It might have been grey but it looked like a lot of fun. You all are exuding summer sparkles. Love your maxi, the colours are great on you. I hope that your friend had a great 50th. You all look radiant and lovely. 50 is the new 30! xxxx

Fiona said...

Don't worry we hadn't forgotten your 50th was approaching and hope you have something suitably celebratory lined up. Btw if your balloons go saggy you just blast them with a hairdryer and they go all perky again. I'm sure the school fair was a success despite the grim weather in the capable hands of the dream team. Lovely to see your snaps. I have no doubt that your speech was pretty damn special, you are so eloquent and have that ability of knowing just the right thing to say. Love both the frocks especially the £3 bargain.xxxx

beate grigutsch said...

glorious m&s maxi! love the colors!
great wedding suits and hats on you and your friend - when i read your writing here i can imagine how lovely your speech was!
that soft hued dress fits perfectly in a quiet rainy day - thank you for peter g.!

Laurie Duncan said...

So you'll be joining the 50 club soon! Welcome aboard, it's fun here! :)

Sue said...

I like the you will be turning 'SO' soon, its no big deal, I have been doing 'SO' for a couple of years now and its pretty easy. How I remember school committee days with galas and other fund raising events. I was with a fine bunch of mothers and we raised loads of money and mayhem! You have a very lovely smile Curtise, hope you continue to smile in ten days as you will have plenty my darling woman to smile about it!!!

Winter Moon said...

You've had a wonderful few days I see. I do feel happier when the sun's shining, but I think we're so used to the unexpected rain, we just don't notice it so much any more. Unless it's been bucketing down non stop for weeks that is.

You look lovely and I adore all your photographs xx

Kezzie said...

SO you're 50 years young then! Wow, Happy birthday for then!!! What a lovely sight you must have been on the tombola. I LOVE tombolas- they are my favourite stalls!!! How pretty this second maxi is too. It must be so exciting to all celebrate your birthdays so close together!x

Northern mum down South said...

I love the street of sturdy, colourful gazebos. Looks like you've had a lovely few days with more celebrations to come. Looking good dear Curtise xx

Lucy Nation said...

I think its great that you have had the same friends for so many years and I always love to see your old pics. I alos think it's great that you get on so well with the other parents. There are about 2 other mums who I regularly say hello to at my daughter's school. The rest of them seem like they're on another planet to me. Mind you, I've never been a very good socialiser. Yes it is fab when a post comes together at the end like that. The synchronicity gives such a sense of satisfaction :) xxx

Veshoevius said...

Wow you're turning 50! I hope you have a big celebration planned. You look wonderful in that yellow and pink maxi - quite the colour combination to chase the clouds away.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

So much fun in this post! You look so good in long dresses...thanks for sharing the event...and happy 50!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Happy Birthday to your pal. I love your posts they remind me of how wonderful life is. X

Asparagus Pea said...

I'm riight behind you sweetie - I'll see you on the other side (mid October) xxx

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Your posts always come together darlin'. I love reading about what you've been up to. Sometimes I just sneak in and sneak out because I need your posts to give me a quick morale boost. You'll never really know how much your blog means to me. Before I start bawling, how wonderful it is to see you with the gorgeous bevy of fair-maidens all looking so colourful on such a squally day. I'll bet you've inspired many you come in contact with to dress to please themselves and play with colour more. Fifty schmifty!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox

Patti said...

I adore that Peter Gabriel song, and now it's in my head for the evening. I had to smile at the "SO" balloons, too, b/c that is the the best attitude (and how I'd like to be 50 again!). Love those maxi dresses and all the big smiles. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox.

Lindigo said...

Happy Birthday to another June baby. May your next decade be the best yet. Not "so - so" but fabulouso!

Love the long dress look on you -- you really rock it.

And although I don't live in England, I know exactly what you mean about the weather. I'm in Portland (Oregon) and we must have twinned weather with the UK. Last week gorgeous, today cloudy, stormy, sunny. All within an hour.

Angels have Red Hair said...

Well the summer fair still looks charming ... even if not quite summery.
Happy birthday to your friend and you too SO very soon.

Fran said...

Some great photos of you here. You have a lovely smile.

Val S said...

You're so lucky to have so many old friends that you still see. I don't see mine often enough - and they're in driving distance, so maybe now that I'm not working I can make the effort.

Looks like the fair, the post, and everything came together perfectly! And another Gemini blogger - just proves how energetic you all are.

Goody said...

Is there anything that a string of cheerful bunting can't instantly improve? The world doesn't need love-it needs better bunting.

Ah, the milestone Birthdays. "So" seems as good a response as any, particularly from someone who is comfortable with herself, and has better things to worry about. I wonder how many people would be so insecure about age were it not for the constant message that it is something to be struggled against? Hell yes, fifty. And many, many happy returns.

señora Allnut said...

you look fabulous under any possible weather, dear lady, particularly when wearing your floral maxi dresses!!, and your colorful stalls and pretty decorations can cheer up any wet day!
And congrats for your friend!!, you've got pretty smiles and great attitude, and so funny old pics (matching big hair, oh yes, I remember it well!!)
I think we're going to rock any decade!! yeah!
(Also love that framboises and daisies print on your dress!, cute!)

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

Well, we do admire your spirit! This was how Britain created an Empire, once upon a time!

And, how could anyone fail to have their spirits lifted when seeing you in your technicolour clothes? The sun would have been forced to shine. It is so good that you were prepared to give your time to raising funds. So many institutions cannot exist without help from volunteers or fund raising activities and all in such a good cause.

A happy birthday to your friend and how generous of her to have leant the balloons. But, oh dear, now you have several days of if you did not know!

Wishing you a sunny week. Nit and natter sounds intriguing!

Sacramento Amate said...

The problem with having good weather is that we never do very much else. It is amazing howbrits get on with bad weather and are so creative.
I always adore your dresses.

Kylie said...

When it comes around, you will definitely, absolutely, be an extremely lovely, wonderful, gorgeous, clever, funny, and very nice, NIFTY FIFTY Curtise! xxx

Miss Magpie said...

You're never 50? I LOVE the huge 80's hair by the way and the fete looks fab, did you nab any plants?

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

The big five oh? I'd never believe it if you didn't say so, and show off your photos from the 1980's ; )

So many bloggers have their birthdays in June. Early Happy Birthday!

Tell me if you really do pass through the rabbit hole at 50. I'll be there in a short 2 years time and would like to know if it all goes south from that time forward.


Krista Gassib said...

What a happy post Curtise, why look everyone is grinning ear to ear! The pictures of you and Sal now and back in the day are delightful. Your hair is big as it should be! Happy 50 or so Sal, with a circle of friends like this who needs anything else.

You are rocking two beautiful maxi's despite the chance of lord knows what coming out of the sky. The market looks like it went on without a hitch too, yah!

Lesley Extance said...

Wonderful dresses Curtise, such a shame when the weather doesn't play fair especially when there is a school fete involved, have a good week ,

Beth Waltz said...

Your keen artist's eye is revealed in both your pix and your dress, Curtise: those pops of cerise pink against the grays work like coffee on a cold morning!

Felicitations on the celebration of your first half-century, with hearty good wishes for the second!

Jessica Jannenga said...

Happy 50th! My 46th is coming up, and I told my hubby no tombstones or overthe hill banners in the front yard. Love the first dress, pretty print with the pink and the yellow cardigan. I also love the second carefree dress, you wear it quite well!
From the link up, jess
Please stop by

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think someone tinkered with your birth certificate, young lady. You, 50, never!! Those old photos are just fabulous, and so are your friends. The fayre looked like a blast and what a team! Lovely outfits as usual, and great to see your garden is in full bloom too!

Ivy Black said...

Right...if this friggin' comment does stay or I get ejected to do a survey I'm gonna scream. Lovely post petal...I do love a school summer fair. 'tis where I get all my plants and old LP's. I've trudged around many a rain soaked fair in my time and it's true, if the rain stopped play in Blighty we'd never, well, play. Love the orange and yellow gazebos against the drizzle.
Love both frocks too, you do rock a maxi.
Nifty Fifty baby. We'll have to have a get together to celebrate over the summer.
Loves ya bits.

Connie said...

You're going to be fifty?? Oh my! How did that happen? I just know that you will Rock this next Decade just as you are rocking those maxis. Oh school fairs. I spent an enormous amount of my 50's working school fairs. Such fun memories. And by the way, I didn't get a chance to mention how much I also loved your flares on your last post. Your style. Dammit Girl. Fabulous!!!!!

Shawna McComber said...

Happy Birthday to your friend Sal! I always enjoy your photos so much, with all the events and people and images you tie together. I love your maxi from the carnival day and will be popping round to borrow it.

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Hello, Beauty! I have never in my life talked so much or heard so much about the weather. I've always yearned for wherever I'm living to be more UK-esk, or Continental, but I didn't have the weather in mind.
The festivals in our little village park are often rained out ... "carry on and put up a tarp" is the order of the day for us to.
And what you wore was just right ... something that makes you look beautiful and cheerful and in the spirit of the season (if not the reality.) Gorgeous colors and patterns, as always. I've tried on similar prints (I was hankering after a maxi and to be able to wear it like you do.) I wasn't cool enough to wear them, but I'll figure something out!
Happy belated birthday to Sal from a total stranger in the X-colonies. Y'all were/are adorbs.

Liz said...

Love those flares!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Vintage Bird Girl said...

What a big year this'll be 50 & I'll be 40. You will be rocking 50 like no ones business! I love that last maxi dress. SO pretty! Xx

Anonymous said...

Brrr, it looks cold out there in the first photos. I've sat way too many fairs in the cold and rain.
You're looking even more lovely than the weeping fuchsia flower, which reminds me of your labia bells. No saggy balloon jokes here!

Carina Rosenholm said...

Lovely times... beatiful dresses and cava .

freckleface said...

That would make a great motto - dress like it's summer anyway. That dress is dazzling like your smile. Love those bright colours and your dream team. You certainly do work hard for that school. I bet your speech as Best Woman was excellent. You have some fantastic photos from the 90s. Looks like you had some great times and you certainly had the best hair! Nifty Fifty indeed. Got any plans? Xxxxxx

Forest City Fashionista said...

Whenever I hear "In Your Eyes" I picture John Cusack holding the ghetto blaster in "Say Anything" and it makes me cry.

What a bevy of beautiful smiles after the School Fair - hope everyone got to have a drink afterwards. I bet you had the best dress; I adore the pink and green maxi!

You, Sal and Claire have the most lovely skin (must be the British weather). Please welcome Sal to the SO club for me, as I will be doing for you very soon. It's not so bad really, although I found myself having to pay attention to body parts that I had never thought about much before that (feet, hip, etc.) Oh, and then there's the Colonoscopy (just had mine today, thank you) :)
But really, you will be part of a fucking fabulous bunch of 50+ feisty bitches, with awesome outfits.

peaches mcginty said...

What a fancy and wonderful school fete! you did good! weather, schmeather, that's why we have tea and cake! Happy Birthday to Sally and your birthday soon too (I think mine is 2 days before you!!)you are just looking fabulous, your maxi's are gorgeous btw and I love the nit and natter sign x x x

The Style Crone said...

You are lovely in your cotton maxi and in your photos from the past. You and Sal had spectacular face framing hats in 1994!

I remember 50 like it was yesterday. Time goes by with lightening speed. It was a very good decade, and wishing the same for you. I have no doubt that your celebration will be festive!