Friday, 4 February 2011

Peter Pan, Pirates and “Reel” Treasure!

Today I am at home, resting and nursing a rather pesky cold, which sprang up overnight – I don’t want it to become a chest infection!

But yesterday (when I still felt fine!), I had a lovely day out.   My niece, Keri-Anne was able to get tickets for us to see Peter Pan on Ice at the theatre in Northampton:
Some highlights from You Tube of the show we saw.
The whole stage had been turned into a temporary ice rink. And it wasn’t that plastic stuff they use for kiddy ice-rinks in the local shopping centre, but real, proper, very cold ICE! 

We were able to go backstage after the performance (Keri-Anne’s husband works in the theatre – yippee!) and saw the huge ice-covered, glycol-filled pipes connected to the cooling equipment.  Apparently someone has to be on duty all night, to keep the ice cold and make sure it doesn’t melt (which means that theatre staff have to be there all night also, to support/supervise the touring company’s staff while they are in the building).

Anyway, we had a fantastic time. It was a really wonderful, professional and beautifully presented show.  The ice-dancers were athletic and skillful – they were obviously so well rehearsed, not a hitch, nor a slip-up all through the gruelling 1 3/4 hour show.  The costumes were so well designed and made – they looked flimsy and light, but could stand up to the punishment they would take from all that leaping, spinning, skating around, being lifted in the air etc. 

The show was like an ice ballet – no speaking or singing – but there were a few sections of pre-recorded narration, which were played to fill you in on what was going to happen in the next scene etc.
It really was a fabulous show and the whole Company – and support staff at the Theatre – should be congratulated.  It was worthy of big London theatres, not just provincial large-town theatres like Northampton. 

I am so glad I was able to go – thank you Gilles for organising it for us!

* * *

I went over to Northampton early yesterday; my friend gave me some lovely curtains for Keri-Anne, that her own daughter had grown out of (having reached the grand age of 10, she doesn’t want pink with flowers and fairies any more – she has exchanged these for hot pink and orange curtains, with little Japanese ladies on them). 

Elle has inherited these beautiful curtains for her bedroom:
However they are about 20” / 50 cm too short, as their house is Victorian, with tall windows.  As they are made in a layered design, with the strips of floral and dark pink gingham at the bottom, we thought it would be very simple to lengthen them by adding a 50cm strip of pink gingham, from her previous bedroom curtains.

So, I went over to help Keri-Anne, as she has never made or altered curtains before.   Problem – when they got the bag out of storage, the curtains were damaged and had to be thrown away.  We went to the Market, looking for suitable curtain fabric, but sadly there was only one fabric stall yesterday, with a very limited selection.  No other places in Northampton sell fabrics – imagine!  I have promised to go into Bedford next week and find something suitable.

Meanwhile, we went for a little wander, to find a wonderful shop that Keri-Anne had discovered.  It’s called “A Most Marvellous Place to Shop”;

And it really is marvellous! They have a huge space, which is split into little nooks and crannies, which are let as small units to individual sellers. However, the shop has a general theme of Vintage items – which range from C19th right through to 1960’s –1980’s stuff. 

We found lovely things, that we would like to buy – but price and/or size were a problem. Some items were a bit over-priced to be honest, but much of it was good quality stuff, in excellent condition and at realistic prices. 

This is the Treasure that I bought:
040211_Real_Treasure_Buttons  040211_Real_Treasure_Reels
A large pack of genuinely Vintage buttons (rather than the copies you can buy just now); five huge reels of sewing threads – which I think are cotton - with a “satin finish”, which I think must mean they are mercerised, as they certainly are shiny;
040211_Real_Treasure_Needles  040211_Real_Treasure_Needles_2
Seven little packets of needles – a good variety of types. There are Sharps, Betweens and Crewel sewing needles, then a packet of repair needles for silk stockings (that certainly dates them!) and two packs of “Egg Eyed Sharps”, which I think are just a brand gimmick, since they look much the same as any other type of Sharps to me!  

They are beautifully packaged, in paper wrappings, with a black, protective coating inside.
040211_Real_Treasure_Needles_3  040211_Real_Treasure_Needles_4
There is a layer of waxed brown paper, then the needles are pushed into a piece of soft fabric;

All of them are still as shiny and sharp as the day they left their factory – which must be a good 50-60 years ago!

Wonderful Treasure indeed!

So, you can guess where I may be wasting more hours in the future… good thing it is a 20 mile drive away, or I might be there far more often than is good for me (or the bank balance!).

I did have a lovely day – thanks to Keri-Anne and her lovely husband.  Thanks very much, you too! X


  1. i remember my mum having reels of thread and needles just like that. we used to go to the ice shows every year in brighton and had a wonderful time. hope ur cold is better, i have still got no voice, hee hee
    Jo xxxx

  2. it's so sad that there are so few fabric shops now - I used to lvoe browsing in them and now they are all in out of the way warehouses.

    seeing a show on ice is on my 'things to experience' list - it sounds such fun

  3. i had the lovelist day too. please come back soon so we can spend more hours in that shop :) x

  4. Those spoools are awesome! Peter Pan was the first movie which my son really fell in love with, and so it has a special place in my heart.
    Thanks for bringing back that memory.

  5. Take care of yourself, Lizzie! I'm glad you were able to have such a fun time before the pesky cold set in - I'm drooling over your fabby purchases! - and I hope the worst of it passes quickly xx

  6. What wonderful treasure! Are you going to dare to use a needle or two? Or be like me and just keep them for looking at!

  7. Oh! I am LOVING those fabulous vintage finds you have there, Lizzie. LOVE LOVE LOVE the buttons and spools of thread. Lucky you...and I hope you are feeling much better by the time you read this. xo

  8. I went to college in Northampton Lizzie, don't recall there being such fabby shops there then. Having said that, as a college student, i was probably only interested in the pubs and cheap clothes shops! Love all your finds, and glad you enjoyed the ice show. Have a great weekend and hope you feel better soon! x


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