Sun, Glorious Sun!

What a fantastic weekend weather wise it was!
The sun was shining and the wind was warm and gentle, I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!
While my mum’s place, Nagano, was still firmly stuck in the snow & chill (in Nobeyama, they recorded below -20 ℃!), my neighbours were strutting around with vests & shorts. Can this be really right? I was glad that it was no longer grey and damp but also apprehensive about this unpredictable climate…

A morning stroll with Mr.B on Saturday.
He wouldn’t have needed a jumper then…

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Our fry-up at the Shepherdess the Caf.
I sat with my back towards the sun and felt my nape singed slightly…

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Then came Sunday, I met up with Letizia at Embankment and visited South Bank together…

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Well, we were one of those who were not good at taking selfies. The sun was in our faces and we were taking this image almost blind. Plus, it was my bad hair day so a beanie was the must. Well, enough excuses said.

The Thames was teeming with ships laden with tourists…

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The sight was so enticing and tempting as such, we momentarily contemplated if we should hop on one of those river-buses and travel to the Hampton Court or Greenwich.

A leisurely walk along South Bank.
The tide was low then and some people were venturing down to the river bed and exploring through whatever the Thames decided to leave on its shore…

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This guy was busking with his amplifier by his side. The amp was rather hazardously close to the water and made me wonder what would happen if he were zapped…

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Any table in the sun was hard to come by on the day like this and we queued nearly an hour to get ours. However, the sun went behind the high-rise building nearby as soon as we were seated. C’est la vie, huh?
Nevertheless, we shared a delicious bottle of rose and I enjoyed a plate of Linguine ai frutti di mare…

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Is this the arrival of the spring? Highly unlikely. But the day like last weekend reminded us what we should look forward to. And we could hardly wait for the real blooming spring!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

The Classic Car Boot Sale @ South Bank

There is a moment in life when one makes a decision in a flash and later gets rewarded for boldness.
And one such split-second moment did arrive upon me yesterday. As a matter of routine in any idle weekend morning, I was scrolling through my reading list in WordPress and came across an entry by one of my favourite UK bloggers.

The blog, MasonBentleyStyle, is the one I follow ardently because of her impeccably chic yet refreshingly eclectic pair of eyes which extracts loveliness from the vast global fashion terrain. Every entry is laced with her magical elixir which reignites a passion in any fashion cynic’s heart. I read her posts like a driver following road signs on country lanes with a full of expectation, looking for a charming scenery at the next bend.
When I read the latest post in which she mentioned about the Classic Car Boot Sale at South Bank and her intention of visiting the event, I naturally left a comment thanking for offering me a great suggestion for the weekend. Then, Madam Bentley not only replied but also invited me to join her there! OMG, is this really happening?! While my head was still blank with a flash-bulb white hue, my fingers were typing “Yes!” After returning my reply, a mishmash of excitement and apprehension dawned on me. Am I going to see Madam Bentley in the flesh? What happens if she doesn’t like me?! It was like getting ready for a first date. I was very, very nervous.

The car boot sale was held at Southbank Centre car park, therefore, I alighted the tube at Waterloo. As I got nearer to the venue, telltale signs of the event started to emerge.

It began with a vintage car with a “For Sale” sign…

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Then, a couple in Teddy Boy style…

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The queue to the car boot sale was long and slow-moving. However, a fleet of gleaming vintage cars from various eras helped to relieve the boredom.

Must be from WWII?

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Eventually, I caught sight of the entrance. Yippee!

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I was a bit awestruck with the size of the crowd already milling around the venue.
Could I rendezvous with Madam Bentley without too much trouble? I wondered…

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Now then, from where should I start?
Then I remembered Hubbie’s mantra, “Never go shopping with empty stomach”. Oh yeah, I forgot my breakfast, didn’t I? I headed to the area with food stalls.

With a piece of raspberry & cream sponge and a cup of tea, I settled down nicely and savoured my late breakfast…

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Next to my table, a cool looking couple was enjoying their snack…

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And how about this sweet camper van cafe?

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If this was not the epitome of loveliness, what else could it be…

Amongst the sea of ever increasing vintage enthusiasts, Madam Bentley and I managed to locate each other eventually…

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There she was, Madam Bentley with a warm welcoming smile, wearing a red vintage swing jacket with a large gold brooch on its lapel. Her long pins were clad in a pair of blue flare jeans. I was still nervous as hell but her friendly and caring demeanour put me at ease straight away and we started to look around the market together.

We encountered a vintage petrol pump…

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Hubbie might object, but I would love one in my studio.

Then, a VW camper van with a full of signs…

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Heaps of model cars…

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Porcelain dogs…

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A bowl full of charms (?) by well-known American confectionary manufacturer…

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This stall caught my eye because of its winning happy vibes…

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Don’t you agree that their vibrant colours and patterns instantly energises anyone who happens to behold the sight?

And how about this super cute rain coat?

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A magic mac to turn any child’s rainy day to a perfect pit-a-pat in the puddle occasion. I didn’t have a mac myself but had such magic willies once to make up my rainy days to school.

The atmosphere in general was merry and light-hearted.
The sellers were friendly and their advice was just and informative…

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Madam Bentley tried on the hat in the picture and she looked great in it.

Being a classic car boot sale, the venue was dotted with gorgeous classic cars in mint condition…

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Look at their lustful gaze.
Even though I was not into cars at all, I could see irresistible charm of vintage cars…

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Their sensuous curves, solid parts free from plastic and carbon composite, mahogany steering wheels, front grills shine like mirror, etc. The embodiment of glamour and luxury.

How about these adorable one-seater? I couldn’t believe that we once had something as delightful as them on the road. They just look very hands-on, don’t they?

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I was certain that those guys,who were circling around the cars and clicking away with their cameras or phones, must have been secretly wishing if they could drive away in them right then.

Another thing Madam Bentley and I were hugely entertained at the event was by those people who made an effort to dress the part.

Two gentlemen, discussing a state of vintage fashion in the modern Britain?

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A Mod rider with his super shiny Vespa…

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Feisty roller girls, distributing flyers and enjoying a girly chit chat…

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An “out-of-period drama” lookin’ couple enjoying a picnic in very civilised manner…

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Damn, I should have worn my top hat and tail coat! At least, I could pretend to be Fred Astaire (minus tap-dancing) and join their tea.

In the middle of the venue, there was an area dedicated to “up-cycling”.
Artists and designers in this section were exhibiting their labours of love which were derived from the remnants of bygone time.
One artist’s work, Ameria Parker: London’s History Recycled, was especially original. She creates jewellery and fashion accessories with spent clay pipe fragments which she salvages from the River Thames. And some fragments could be as old as the 16th Century!

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Her jewellery resembled native American Indian craft. However, every piece of her work was genuinely related to someone who lived through Tudor, Elizabethan or Jacobean time…

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How do you feel about wearing the real piece of history around your neck or wrist?

Around 4pm, we decided to leave the car boot sale for tea & cake in somewhere quieter.
We walked over Hungerford Bridge towards Embankment…

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A view from the bridge towards the Palace of Westminster…

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We wholeheartedly agreed how much we cherished the view.

Then, tea & cake at the Corinthia. A world apart from the hustle & bustle of South Bank…

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I apologise for not having any photo of our late afternoon treat to show. We were too busy with chatting and munching on our cakes!

I was really glad to meet Madam Bentley and would love to nurture our friendship.
Kate, thank you very much for inviting me out. See you again soon. X

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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