Wednesday, 5 February 2014

bikes, tweed, wine and... tiny ducks

vintage-country-bike d I have been meaning to do this post for ages, and at last I am happy to be able to say here it is. One of the reasons it took me so long was the simple fact it was already waiting a long time, so another day would go by and I'd think that tomorrow would be the day to deal with it. It's completely ridiculou, of course, a stupid vicious circle and especially silly when it is about something so nice. And it is, it was, really, really nice. There is another, more tangible reason, too, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Back in late November – ok, see what I mean about time passing? – I was invited by Ried (bike people) and Fowler's Wine (obvious what they do, really, but it might help to know that they make the wine with the 1930's style lady on the label who shoots her lunch, and John and I are fans) to an awesome-sounding event in Melbourne's sprawling gardens off St Kilda Road. Although that is the end of Spring for us, here, we had been having some pretty chilly weather and that was most welcome, for a change, as there was a dress code for this event: vintage/country/tweed – you know the sort of thing. Only good for cooler weather. I was doubly excited about going as I had missed Melbourne's Tweed Ride a few weeks before, and am always happy to get dressed up and go for a bike ride. And a bike ride with wine drinking is always welcome too.

vintage-country-bike e John and I had planned to ride down together, but we ran out of time and so a drive it was. I sometimes get asked if I ever wear pants and the answer is yes – although not as much as I used to. But this was one such occasion where I did. I had the perfect outfit already at home for the dress ups: a pair of just-below-the-knee, almost plus-four style shorts by Scanlan and Theodore that I've had for years, a cream vintage blouse, a second hand woolly and stripy vest, and a vintage wool jacket I bought from Bess Georgette when Trish and I ran the Truly Vintage market last May.

vintage-country-bike a The vest had some baby blue in it, and I wanted to add a few feminine details, so on went a baby blue and white polka dot scarf in a bow around the collar, and a pair of perfectly matching – by some miracle of luck – baby blue vintage gloves. On the feet went those knee length boots I posted about at the end of last year, that I've had for more years than this blog and are incredibly comfortable, albeit just about impossible to remove. Finally, I'd found a long-forgotten vintage brooch I'd had for many years, and popped her on, too.

vintage-country-bike b Speaking of matching, my beige and gold glitter nails were not planned, but I don't deny being a little bit pleased with how well the beige matched the main colour of my vest. Small things, small things.

vintage-country-bike f It was very windy (as ever; I think I should just start mentioning those rare days in Melbourne when the winds are under 25km/hr) on the drive down, and, with the windows open, my hair was not left looking its best. It was, however, doing quite a good unicorn impression.

john-coat John had recently found a cool old wool coat and it was just right for the occasion, too. Warm! reid-fowlers b We parked nearby and walked through the linked parks to where we were meant to meet everyone. It was a spectacular golden evening, and I was extra glad I went, as it reminded me of how good Melbourne can be, and how beautiful it sometimes is. As an often homesick expat, this is really important. I spent a lot of time last year thinking about whether I was living in the right country. I'm still not 100% sure of that to be honest, but I am enjoying it here a lot of the time. reid-fowlers ai The parks are actually quite amazing. I used to work across the road from them and had forgotten just how good they were. reid-fowlers w reid-fowlers n reid-fowlers j reid-fowlers c reid-fowlers r It was nice seeing people arrive. How amazing do the two above look? Love their outfits! reid-fowlers a We were treated to really nice canapes (always want to say ca-napes, like grapes, but then worry it sounds genuine) that were a cut above, and of course generous pours of vino. reid-fowlers aa They'd set up picnic rugs for us so we wouldn't get wet bums. This is Sarah W and Sarah K, with whom John and I teamed up. That's not rubbish on the grass, by the way, it's leaves. reid-fowlers d reid-fowlers e reid-fowlers m reid-fowlers z reid-fowlers ad For once I really enjoyed eating outside sitting on the floor. Wearing pants was SO GOOD it needs capitals; I could sit cross legged and never fear I was flashing. I could also balance my salmon on my bare knee. reid-fowlers ac Or, I could on the one that wasn't muddy. Pants and excitement had me kneeling on the ground and generally getting very comfortable with my revived tomboy status. reid-fowlers o reid-fowlers q reid-fowlers p There was singing, which was particularly nice. reid-fowlers l A rainbow of bikes.reid-fowlers k And everything felt especially beautiful. reid-fowlers i The setting sun definitely added to things! reid-fowlers ae As did a friendly crowd. reid-fowlers f I'd rescued this little chap from underneath a croquet hoop, and it turned out he'd been there for a reason... reid-fowlers ab There was a game of find the yellow duck. This is where team work came in. We all pooled our found duckies as the prize was a case of wine. We were really hoping we'd win. reid-fowlers ag reid-fowlers h And we counted them up and compared totals... reid-fowlers ah ... but the beautiful pair from earlier pipped us at the post. Was chuffed to see them win though! reid-fowlers g reid-fowlers t reid-fowlers x reid-fowlers u John and I snuck away for a bit to the local lake, which was looking absolutely magical at this point. Cue comedy posing, very much tongue in cheek. vintage-country-bike g reid-fowlers y Then we rejoined the group for some croquet (not taken at all seriously, which is, in my opinion, THE best way to play any of these kinds of sports) and to ride some of the bikes up and down the paths in the dusk. And then came the most surprising thing: they were running a competition for the best dressed, and... I won! The prize was a brand new bike. Very chuffed! And, this is why this post has taken me so long... I still, STILL haven't gone to pick up my beautiful (I chose a baby blue one, which seemed quite appropriate) bike. I have reasons. Good reasons. Apart from having to put it in the car (which I know from experience is a huge pain, and might damage the bike – I broke a bike once doing that) I literally don't know where to keep it. I want to keep it inside but there's no room, and outside isn't much better – and in the Australian summer it will literally bake. So I have been waiting patiently for the right time to bring my blue bebe home. So, so looking forward to finally doing it! I promise I'll post a picture when I do – that way, I'm accountable for actually doing it!

And.. that was our beautiful, bike-y and tweed-y spring time evening in Melbourne. One of the very best for a long, long time. I look forward to more! reid-fowlers s

22 comments:

Fräulein K. said...

wonderful photos from the event
xo Fräulein K.

Jessica Cangiano said...

Every last element here seems like it's chocked full of good, old-fashioned fun of the best kind.

I adore your outfit - the layers, the accessories, those fab brown pants - it all works together in seamlessly stylish harmony.

♥ Jessica

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Ahhh...that looked and sounded like a wonderful time. Love the last pictures with the sunlight dimmer, so pretty. Your outfit was super cute, I used to have a pair of trousers like that, I loved wearing them. People ask me as well if I ever wear trousers, I do, but it is rare. But, once I have them on, I return to my tomboy ways :) Am pleased you enjoyed yourself xx

Ellie said...

Oh this post has everything good. Tweed and bikes and wine and golden hour and the best park in Melbs? Congratulations on winning, too -- though I can't say I'm surprised!

Natasha said...

That looks like an amazing day. Sometimes pants are just necessary.

Vickie said...

looks like an awesome event, congrats on the win :)

& that last photo is magic

Miss Emmi said...

love the trousers, they fit the branding of that wine perfectly! Very 'about to go shoot some pheasants on the grounds'

Jennifer Rainey said...

Beautiful photos, and what an awesome outfit! I love it how intellectual it looks.

Cheers,
Jenny

let us wanderlust said...

This setting looks positively magical! The parks are such a beautiful part of Melbourne, even more so in that late afternoon sun. You look so beautiful too Marianne. The outfit is wonderful and so deserving of best dressed and that new baby blue bike. Storage always is a bit of a problem, isn't it? Do you still have your old bike as well? Loved reading this post!
Xx Carly

Mrs. Yeater said...

Fantastic trousers. I love Tweed Rides, and your photos are lovely. Looking forward to our ride in my area in a few months.

Amber Jade said...

What a gorgeous event! I love the photos you post, they always look wonderful.
Congratulations on winning best dressed! I think everyone here knows you have that one in the bag everytime ;)

Valerie Brown said...

It looks like you all had so much fun! This post (combined with the snowstorm that is happening as I type) has made me want to move to Melbourne and buy a vintage style bike to ride around on!

Whitney said...

Beautiful photography, as always.

Teresa said...

This post has me dreaming of cooler weather and being able to layer! Love your outfit and the jacket! YAY! It looks perfect on you. xo

Fowles Wine said...

Lovely feature ;-) We're delighted you were inspired by our couture of choice - tweed - and wines. Hopefully catch up with you again soon...
Ladies who Shoot their Lunch x

Fowles Wine said...

Lovely feature. We're delighted you were inspired by our couture of choice - tweed - and our fine wines.
Hopefully catch up again soon...
Ladies who Shoot their Lunch x

Rochelle New said...

I adore your outfit here! Breeches and boots and Fair Isle and blazers... all my favorite things!

Hermania said...

Looks awesome, and you're all very well dressed!

Elke said...

you looked great! and wow, you won a bike :-) and your photo's are alwqys so good! love the lighting, colour, framing,...

Miss Meadows said...

Those little ducks made me remember a New Years Eve party I went to a few years ago. It was at a friends apartment, and all by a sudden these little, soft, blue elephants started appearing. As the hours passed, we more and more appeared EVERYWHERE, and no one saw who, or when, another one was placed among us! Haha! Can't remember how many we found in the end. But who put them out still remains a mystery... :) xox

IrishRedRose said...

Love the outfit! and the bike! It's always so much fun to bring out one's tomboy side...am currently in corduroys because it's genuinely cold today (even for Northern CA) and I like the tweedy/English/country type aspect of cords a lot. Re: bike room, I have a friend with a small apt. who simply hung her bike from the ceiling. Come to think of it, I've known several people who did it. Big red hook, hang by the tire I think. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LLiJF50Zfk

esme and the laneway said...

Jessica Cangiano : thanks! It was the funnest I'd found dressing for the longest, the LONGEST time. Gosh I have been a bit sick of my outfits, haha!

The Dainty Dolls House : thanks :) I wonder if this could lead us to wearing trousers more often... it's fun!

Anonymous Ellie : thanks – I was! x

Natasha : so, so true – and enjoyable!

Miss Emmi : yes they felt so appropriate, and I love that style! Hmm, should bust it out a bit more...

Jennifer Rainey : haha yes!

let us wanderlust : thanks Carly :) I do still have my old bike, and we keep them outside now (we need to get a shed for protection from the elements) so that helps with space a lot. I can lend one of my bikes to girlfriends who don't have one for bike rides now, which will be fun – riding with John is fun but he is so much faster and fitter it must be dull for him and it's exhausting for me ! :D

Mrs. Yeater : oh yays, riding on these things with a group of other people feels amazing :)

Amber Jade : haha hell no, but thank you :)

Valerie Brown : :D it is fun when the weather plays nice :) Hope your snowstorm wasn't too bad, and that things even out x

Teresa : yes, same, cooler weather! Layers! Life back! Yes! ;D

Fowles Wine : my pleasure, it really was a special event, and a cut above... thank YOU!

Anonymous Rochelle New : aren't they good! Oh if I lived in another country I'd be doing them a lot more. Then again, we have cold winter, I have no rely excuse... this winter they might get more of an airing!

Hermania : there were so many knock out outfits, people went to town and it was great to see! :D

Anonymous Elke : thanks so much – the lighting and setup made taking photos easy! Loved it.

Miss Meadows : haha that's so cute! Love those little details, don't they make everything so much more magical! x

IrishRedRose : oh the corduroy sounds so good and cosy. We thought about ceiling hooks but we don't have a spot with enough clearance to make it viable – plus getting weight bearing hooks etc into a plaster board ceiling would be a massive job. John's bike can hang from things but it's harder for stepthroughs, too. Hopefully we'll have a shed sorted soon which will make all the difference! :D

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