27 June 2011

The Muddy Petticoat Shop

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The hidden secret of the Piddle Valley. Well, not for much longer as this place is worth a shout out.

The Old Chapel Stores

I discovered The Muddy Petticoat Shop at the beginning of the year after admiring a friends sassy leopard print clutch bag which she’d picked up in Muddy P’s.

So what is Muddy P’s? It's a shop selling new and nearly new clothes - mainly womens and kids on the first floor of The Old Chapel Stores in Buckland Newton – which in itself is a quaint country bumpkin village shop packed full of local produce and labels. Fashion labels on sale range from high street including: Top Shop, Next, Warehouse, Monsoon, Joules, Boden, Coast, Karen Millen, Hobbs to designer.   

The product is neatly merchandised on rails in an easy to browse way – which is unusual for these types of shops, not mentioning any names of other wannabe nearly new clothes stores in Dorset. There’s even a plush chaise lounge for friends to chill out on while you try on your new treasures.

Muddy P's - check out the print on that chaise lounge!

If you’re interested in selling your clothes check out Muddy P’s Ts and Cs at the bottom of this page and let Nicola Richardson’s shop take out the pain of selling your clothes.

The Muddy Petticoat Shop
Buckland Newton, Dorset DT2 7DA
01300 345336 / office@oldchapelstores.co.uk

19 June 2011

Monto Water Rats

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Wednesday was a case of right time, right place for once and meant I could catch my favourite Dorchester band of the moment The Indices showcasing their new EP In the Clutches of Minds in London.

The venue was the Monto Water Rats in Kings Cross which on first appearances reminded me of the Vic in Eastenders, but this wasn’t the East End... there was no buxom barmaids or bar brawls to be seen! The Indices played on stage in the small back room, making it an intimate affair – which must have been pretty amazing if you were lucky enough to have seen Bob Dylan, The Pogues, Oasis’s first London debut or The Courteeners to name a few play back in the day.

The Indices were first up on stage and put in a foot perfect performance in front of the uber cool London crowd – Only for the Weekends is still my favourite number. I was pleased a few of my friends got to watch the local band I rave about, and likened them to The Strokes and White Stripes – not a bad reference lads?

The Indices

So if you haven't checked The Indices out yet you can listen to their EP on Sound Cloud or download it on iTunes and to keep up with the latest news follow them on Twitter (@The_Indices) or on Facebook.

Previous Indices blog posts:

Easy Peasey Fruit Cake

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For this Father's Day I made my Dad his favourite Fruit Cake, as well as getting him the latest boogie woogie man Ben Waters CD.  It's such a yummy cake, it would be rude not to share the recipe with you.

  • 110 grams stork butter
  • 2 cups of sultanas (remove the stalks)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Teaspoon of spice
  • Cherries
  1. In a sauce pan add: 110 grams of stork, 2 cups of sultanas - remove any stalks and 1 cup of boiling water.
  2. Put onto a medium heat and melt.
  3. Stand and cool.
  4. Mark out a circle of grease proof paper, cut out and butter. Butter the inside of a cake tin and add the grease proof paper.
  5. In a mixing bowl add:
    • Crack 2 eggs
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 2 cups of flour
    • A pinch of salt
    • Teaspoon of spice
    • Cut cherries into quarters, add to mix and stir.
  6. Pour mix into cake tin.
  7. Heat in oven at 165 gas mark for 1 hour.
  8. At 55 minutes put knife in middle - if clean the cake is done!
  9. Take cake tin out and stand to cool for 30 minutes.
  10. Turn out and enjoy a slice of cake with a cup of tea!
Fruit Cake - yum!

12 June 2011

Rain drops keep falling on my head...

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Well technically that's not quite right... as its midday and I still haven't ventured out of the house. But who can blame me when its tipping it down outside.  I definitely made the right choice at 7am this morning to abandon a morning of BSJA at Dorset Showground trying out new bits with Barley Boy aka Red Sky Diamond for a morning of tea, toast, Edith Bowman and some much needed craftiness.

Rain, rain go away...
So, here are my latest shopper bags....

Twit Twoo shopper - print fabric from Fabric Rehab.
Meadow Shopper - Clarke & Clarke fabric.
Flora Lunch Bag - Clarke & Clarke fabric

10 June 2011

You never forget the first time!

Festivals of course, what else would I be talking about?! As I sat on the train bound for London on Thursday whilst lots of eager post A-level teens boarded the train to Southampton for the IOW festival I reminisced on my first festival experience...V-Festival, Stafford 2005.

I was very fortunate to be heading to V with work to manage a 'Fashion Funfair' and even more fortunate a) not to have to do any work and b) stayed over in Malmaison - as you do. So, with a clear schedule for Saturday and Sunday it left me to do what I do best and enjoy the music.

Saturday - highlights were seeing Scissor Sisters and nearly losing a work friend who reappeared a worried hour later (for us not her!) with some new eye-candy - well her type, not mine. Scissor Sisters were on a real high with their self titled debut album and lived up to my expectations with a high octane, eccentric performance. I can still hear the lyrics of 'Laura' playing clearly now.

Sunday - after an amazing night’s sleep, hot shower and proper full English breakie at Malmaison we were ready to hit day 2.. It wasn't until after my work colleagues left at 3pm that the fun times started to kick in and the more well known acts came on stage.

Thankfully my bessie mate was there with her boyf travelling home that night, meaning getting to work on Monday was do-able, however, that was the last thing on my mind!

Magic Numbers – played some fun loving beardie folksie tunes, perfect warm up for probably one of my favourite live bands and the pinnacle moment where nothing else in the world mattered apart from that moment in time - The Kaiser Chiefs!

It's hard to explain the emotion unless you've been to a festival, but there is nothing that can quite beat that feeling: live music, the ground vibrating from live music and thousands of people bouncing, the sun shining, happy, slightly dirty but merry people who all become your new best friends for a few hours- well you are pretty much standing on one another, cider in hand and a mesmerising lead singer conducting the crowd. Again Kaiser Chiefs were basking in the glory of their new album Employment where all the songs were a festival anthem. 'I Predict a Riot' literally did cause one, with a circle of lads play fighting in a ring - crazy, and slightly scary as a festival virgin. Oh and another first experience coming into contact with an airborne warm pint of liquid - I'll let you work that one out!

The rest of the festi went by in a blur - Bacardi mojito’s, Streets front man Mike Skinner getting the crowd to wave their trainers in the air, Liam Gallagher pouting and stomping around on stage, playing the Beatles ‘I am the Walrus’ as their last song, leaving Weston Park with lots of twinkly fairy lights lighting up the sky, waiting for the RAC to jump start the car, snoozing under the duvet on my friends back seat, and 2 hours sleep before work!

Clockwise left to right: 1) Me & my bessie Rach on left; 2) Trainer wave to the Streets; 3) I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs; 4) The one and only Liam Gallagher
 So many weird and wonderful memories from my first festival experience. Every festival I've attended or worked is unique in its own right, but you certainly never forget the first time. So, what was yours?

03 June 2011

The Indices – In the Clutches of Minds EP Review

In 2008, Dorchester band The Indices formed and began their journey to deliver a melting pot of musicality to the venues around Dorchester. Fast forward a few years and the four piece indie band have brought out their first EP ‘In the Clutches of Minds’ and are preparing for their EP launch at Water Rats in London on 15 June.

In the Clutches of Minds opening track ‘Spite You’ sets up the mood for the rest of the EP with snarling bass lines and a sound reminiscent of late 90s indie groups with a hint of Placebo lead singer Brian Molko style vocals.

‘Only at the Weekends’ is the gem of the EP you can’t help but want to shake your tail feather, not in a Scouting for Girls toe tapping way, but in a Jet too cool for school nodding way. The track has a mysterious dark side, asking you to question who that friend is. Girlfriend, mate down the pub or something darker to help escape the mundane 9-5.

‘Mystery Love’ changes the tempo of the EP with lyrics showing more emotion  with a slightly haunting melancholy vibe. At 6 minutes long it could seem self indulgent with all four members showcasing their musical talents but for the audience ‘it’s easy on the eye and easy on the mind’.

‘Sing her to Sleep’ has a youthful exuberance skipping along with real zeal from start to finish, a sharp comparison to the angst ridden lyrics which belies the track.

In the Clutches of Minds is so much better than alright: it’s more than a little bit brilliant.

Available to download now from iTunes or listen to on Sound Cloud and Spotify

Find out more about The Indices: join their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @the_indices.

Forthcoming gigs:

Saturday 4th June – The Borough Arms aka Goldies, Dorchester

Wednesday 15th June – The Water Rats, London

Read The Indices interview with brothers Martin and Charles Carter here - http://bit.ly/eaTZ6i