Lifestyle

Vintage Afternoon Tea  

 

 

Read about my vintage afteroon tea time, that I enjoy with different kinds of yummy snacks. Including the recipe for cinnamon, apple, curd rolls!



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Monday, July 10, 2017

A nostalgic Sunday

… visiting places of my childhood.

 



I remember when my best friend Sabrina and I played our favorite game of all: Being our movie heroes while climbing up trees, exploring abandoned houses and sometimes carrying away bruises and scratches from being a little too enthusiastic.
As a child, the world not only looks different from a younger perspective, but we can see things that make it more colorful, magic and vivid. A ruin turns into an exiting castle. A lake into the ocean. And above all, it is for free. None of the games we loved the most, were bought or asked for. We turned our little world into our own playground and ignored the outside, dull grown-up cosmos.
Living with a feeling of nostalgia doesn’t mean to me, that the past in history is what I romantically hold on to. Next to the styles of certain eras, it means much more my very own past. The days I spent wandering, creating my memories that I cherish to this day.
No matter how a childhood is experienced, many of us know the feeling of freedom when the outside world was about to be conquered by ourselves. No one told us which street to take or grass to lay in.
Sometimes I wonder how different these years would have been, if cellphones and internet had been already part of a kids’ life. I would have likely spent a lot more time in a room, letting gadgets direct my thoughts and actions.
When a rainstorm made it impossible for me to go outside, I here and there wished to have my own TV, which too wasn’t all too usual back then.
I even begged my parents to make my life less of a boring existence on those days, by allowing me one. But unfortunately my tears weren’t as effective as I hoped and my mother shockingly suggested that I read book.
Back outside the exploring was about to start as soon as my friends and I spotted another wood or field to play in. One afternoon, I trudged through a cornfield, playing hide and seek with a school mate, when I heard an odd sound in front of me. Being unable to see anything through the maize, I parted the plants with both arms an stared right at the face of a deer. The animal turned away from me so fast, that I wasn’t even able to blink, and I don’t think that my state of shock would have allowed me to do so.
I can proudly say, that I did not wet my pants, but no one knows what another 2 seconds of this encounter would have lead to.
This story was my Indiana Jones-moment in school and at least for this summer, I felt a bit more grown up having faced fear so closely. In retrospect, it was likely the deer who was even more afraid of this pale small creature.
Other times, the parks and lovely green fields were the places of our exiting adventures far from school.
This Sunday, I revisited some of the places of my childhood, in the town of Malente, Northern Germany. Also called Bad (spa) Malente, which means that it is a health spa and aside from that, was a fabulous playground for us children.
It sure sounds lame when one simply quotes the endless memes flooding the internet with sentences like “I am glad that I did this when growing up, and not this”, comparing generations. But frankly, I too am one of the people who honestly embraces the thought of having had a childhood before smartphones. Today’s kids may have other advantages they will be happy one day to call part of their past. But as romantic and glorified some of my memories may sound, the strong I want to hold on to them. Since these recollections are treasures, hidden in the back of our mind, calming us or making us smile when the fog of reality might become too intense at times.
The feelings of freedom; that there is so much ahead of one. Laughter, tears and bruises. I carry these memories in my heart, keeping them for a rainy day so they‘ll make me smile.

An old mill I used to pretend to be an enchanted castle of a sad princess. (I was the princess)



  Summer outfit with vintage cotton skirt, ballerinas, cardigan and a sun hat.


Locks for the loving

Lake view



 


June 28, 2017

The obscure charm of flea markets



A shopping bag ruggedly pushes me aside, while I’m trying hard to focus on the table in front of me, looking for treasures to be taken to a new home. Voices next to me rise in volume, as the haggling goes on, ending either with a sunny goodbye, or a snidely wave of the hand.
Every time I decide to get out of bed painfully early on a weekend (as if that alone isn’t terrifying enough) and go to a flea market, the situation is clear: I will not make it through this organized turmoil without raising my eyebrows, or even using the F- word once. Silently. Of course.
Then again, I could say the same thing about going to a grocery store on a Saturday morning.
In the thick of the fry, a flea market visit can become a little overwhelming. At least when the weather is nice, the amount of people itself can lead to one or two stressing conditions. There is an invisible course I seem to run down while scanning the booths with one, and possible obstacles with the other eye. Someone’s burning cigarette too close to my dress, a buggy, or stepping on a small child‘s foot, could rapidly lead to unpleasant discussions. So can a pile-up at a stand that promises polished, fancy goods.
I’ve heard of people claiming, that a visit to the flea market is a fun and nostalgic experience. My theory on that is, that it’s either an urban myth; or those sales are in Brooklyn New York, Paris, or Copenhagen. Stylish people selling cool stuff while drinking lattes and debating the retro-chic.
A beautiful vision.

Flea market find: Leather magazine rack

MY realty though, has been often much darker and primitive.
Like cavemen, some people would argue about items as if an alien invasion was just around the corner. And only a cracked vase could ensure one‘s survival. Several booths appeared as if the regular shop was simply placed outdoors instead of selling at it’s usual address. (When the tags are all on the blouses, they likely don’t sell grandma’s wardrobe) And at a low point, I even bought a shockingly hideous sweater from a tough dealer, because I was simply too afraid to say no!
The school girl had intense eyes, you know.
When my car started smelling on the way home, I quickly realized that the shirt would end up in the trash can.  I wonder if her mom knows that the girl is a pothead.
On a different occasion, I bought a pair of leather shoes that were likely designed by a feet-hating shoe maker. I wore them one time for one whole hour. And a framed drawing of fruit has never found it’s way onto a wall in my home. The dealer was so kind and sweet that I must have overlooked the disturbing compilation of muddy colors. My guess is, that this picture will move around with us for years, like a bad penny, buried in attics and basements.
Please don’t get me wrong. It is not my intention, to scare anyone off from exploring the world of treasure hunting. In fact, I love it! I just need to remind myself of that once in a while. Just recently, I made some wonderful experiences, including human friendliness and truly nice bargains. All I’m saying is: Anything can happen when fashion, Tiffany lamps and low prices are involved.
I’ve seen things happening from either side of the booth. One summer, I would sell some of my stuff with the brightest smile. Although it wasn’t enthusiasm that made me grin, but the sheer fact that the summer morning felt like early winter as the temperatures refused to climb. Sometimes I went a little nervous, when a prospective customer wanted to ‘go show the ring to his girlfriend’, who was nowhere near. Or a lady with interest in a dress thought it was a great idea to try it on- Over her coat of course.
The experience was not bad though. And I felt that folks actually liked buying my things, pleased that I made fair offers. I was proud of myself and this win-win situation, and it could have been perfect. If only I had been just as successful as a buyer.

 
Sometimes, I come across some nice vinyl-treasures

Once I was just settling on a way too high price for a pair of earrings that I could not resist, when the lady behind the booth suddenly frowned as she watched my face lighting up in happiness. She said that she might have gone too low and reluctantly took the money. A few weeks later, one of the earrings fell apart. This is very important: Don’t get too overexcited over the treasure you’ve just found! It could cost you more money. On the other hand, I also thought to have learned my lesson, when I once bought a beautiful pearl necklace from an elderly lady. As I paid for it, I still didn’t move a muscle in my face. Keeping it straight. Like a pro. The lady then said with watery eyes, that it was a heirloom, smiling gently. My poker face melted like a Popsicle in Arizona.

I felt so bad that I babbled something about cherishing and honoring it, like a rather unstable person, jumping from unfeelingness to exuberance. I even thought about giving her some extra money, but I just bought another item; not bothering to negotiate.
At the end of the day, it’s an adventure, every time you enter the games. And it can be fun to spend the afternoon looking around, watching the colorful swarming. Then relish the moment of triumph when a beautiful item changes owners. Just like they've traded for centuries.
A sale in New York City may be cool, but the small town’s flea markets on our continents are not less interesting. Most of the time. Many of my favorite vintage bargains crossed my way on a sunny Sunday afternoon, when I wandered through the small pedestrian areas in little villages. Thinking: “I’m just going to take a look around. No pressure. No smelly shirts.”



June 22, 2017

A vintage coffee time







What is the first thing that comes into your mind, when you spot a vintage coffee- or tea set somewhere? One of these squiggly, elegant ones that seem to be condemned to live a dusty life in a display cabinet, being only revitalized at grandma’s birthdays. It might be exactly that: We think of a special occasion, or a long gone time when folks enjoyed a hot drink in a picturesque scenery. Our modern day coffee break though, is often as idyllic as drinking champagne while waiting at a bus station.
Time is so limited, that having coffee in a bulky mug, while fumbling with the smartphone, not aware of the actual process of swallowing, has become the norm. And if we’re honest, it also seems like a lot of work to arrange a lavish table setting in the morning while a giant ticking clock is hovering over our heads. Making sure, we are managing to look presentable and greeting the day in time. As for a sip in the afternoon, there seems to be something odd in fishing out all the required pieces of china, for just a quick boost of energy in form of a simple coffee. Some may also add that it’s way cooler, to hold a cup of latte, during a shopping trip in the city, than balancing the fragile chinaware at a table. Yet, this is exactly what I have learned to enjoy frequently. The atmosphere of a peaceful moment, away from the hustle and bustle. Only concentrating on one, maybe two things at a time. In fact, looking at a well-set table comforts me, knowing, that my world seems in order as the scent of fresh brewed coffee reaches my nose.
Aside from the classic cucumber sandwiches or scones, one might as well enjoy anything that reaches from pastries to other delicacies one usually would enjoy with a cup of java.
Sure, it would look a little disturbing to co-workers, if there was a scene of someone packing out their china, placing it gently at the desk, next to the computer.
And how would the head of department be surprised, if he found the nurses sipping coffee like in a Jane Austin adaption in a hospital staff room! Yes, there is a time and place for everything. And there is free time, there are weekends, there are reasons to do something simply different than usual, no matter how old fashioned it might appear. 
Celebrating tea time with friends is- compared to our coffee-  expected to be held with a little sense of sophistication. So why shouldn’t we enjoy a little refinement in the pleasure of drinking the brotherly liquid. So we can dive into a small world of order and deceleration for a few minutes, before facing the modern life and it’s “I’M HOT’, or ‘NICE BUTT‘- mugs and smartphones again.
Here are a few ideas for a quick and fun coffee table setting. The readers who rather enjoy a cup of tea, may feel just as inspired.
Candles are part of every table setting I ever create. Just one can already- literally- lighten up the dullest place.

When you don’t use cloth napkins, no problem. Fold a paper napkin over a knife and push the material.

Coffee set, that can as well be used as a tea set: Vintage

Sandwiches with homemade spelt bread & strawberry jam. 



3 comments:

  1. For me, it is a way of life... being self-employed might help, as I get to enjoy my home and my special moments. These are not a luxury. I find them invigorating. They are indeed a necessity. We need beauty in our lives.

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  2. So well said. I couldn't agree more. ♥

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  3. Oh, I am so glad to find you have started blogging! <3

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