Blimey, we’re halfway through my A-Z of being a vintage girl in a modern world. How did that happen? It feels like I only started it 5 minutes ago.
And I’d like to commemorate the fact we’re halfway through with a very special blog post, talking about Most Marvellous Meet Ups. Regular readers will remember me talking about this group a few times in the past (such as my trip to The Classic Car Boot Sale and Cahoots), but it’s such a big part of my life that I wanted to dedicate a whole post to it.
While I am very lucky to have friends that I’ve known for a long time, who embrace me and all my weirdness, before I joined the group, I thought I was destined to be the ‘quirky’ one, who dresses a bit strangely and likes old stuff.
And I am. But now I know that there are ruddy loads of us, all around the world.
At Twinwood Festival last year, I was posting photos to Facebook (as you do), and a group popped up in my ‘suggested for you’ tab. It looked interesting, so I joined it. I saw a few ladies had posted photos of themselves at the Festival, so thought I’d do the same.
Me at the Vintage Life stand at Twinwood Festival 2015
A couple of hours later, I’d had some really nice comments, and said to The Boy, ‘The people on this group are lovely!’.
A few weeks later, during the Bedford Film Festival, the lovely Sarah at Sarah’s Doo Wop Dos arranged for a showing of ‘A Matter of Life and Death’. I ummed and ahhed about getting a ticket, as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on my own. Then, the night before the event, when I was pretty sure I’d missed out, I was browsing Facebook (while a bit tipsy from after-work drinks) and saw a few people on the group discussing it. In my slightly-more-confident-than-usual state, I asked if there were any tickets left, and the lovely founder of the group (and all round bundle of awesomeness) told me that someone had dropped out, so I might be able to grab theirs if I was quick.
I was quick, and did indeed manage to grab it. And, despite being pretty nervous as I walked through the door, Sarah gave me a big grin, and pointed me in the direction of Emma and Nadine, the two girls from the group who’d come along.
I had such an lovely time (and the film was rather good too). I discovered Emma and Nadine are Doctor Who fans too, and decided then and there to do my very best to make them my friends. I think it’s worked.
When I first joined the group, it was relatively new. In the 10 months since, it’s established itself as a growing community of 1940s and 1950s loving ladies and gents, where mean, judgemental or bitchy comments aren’t tolerated.
It’s my lovely, safe little corner of the internet (where I have retreated a lot over the past few days), and The Boy was absolutely right when he said, ‘Ah, you’ve found your people’.
We’re a supportive, inclusive bunch, and I’ve made some fantastic friends for life. I am so proud to be a part of something so wonderful. It doesn’t matter if you’ve adopted a full-vintage lifestyle for years, are just starting out, or have barely dipped your toe in the pool of wondrousness that is vintage (and, of course, repro) – you’re met with a warm welcome.
But of course, as the name suggests, it’s not all about over-the-interweb gossip and support, we actually meet up in real life too!
Since my first meet, I’ve been to a few. The Classic Car Boot Sale and Cahoots was my first big meet, and I had an absolute blast. I met five of the people I’d been chatting to for six months, who are hands down, some of the most gorgeous, kind and generally lovely ladies I’ve ever met.
Then in May, I headed off to the Hot Rods event at AJ’s Diner, Wellingborough (it’s on every month, and I had a great time), where I met up with some of my favourites, and some more ladies (and one gentleman) that I’d spoken to online, but hadn’t met in real life. We chatted, watched people dance (with some of us joining in – I wasn’t quite brave enough), and generally had a whale of a time.
The lovely Tickety Boo Photography was there too, and kindly took some photos of us with the cars. I love them a lot (the cars and the photos).
It was here that the lovely, lovely admin team asked me if I would like to be the MMM rep for Cambridgeshire. Not since The Boy proposed have I said yes to something so quickly.
So, yesterday, I planned my very first meet. Four beautiful ladies from the group came to St.Neots to meet me and three of my very excited chums for afternoon tea and a trawl of the charity shops. We had a whale of a time, drinking cocktails, eating giant scones, and causing minor pile ups on the high street (I didn’t see, but apparently a very apologetic man tripped over a lady walking in front of him because he was ‘looking at the ladies in the nice dresses’).
I’m already looking forward to the next one.
And then, of course, there are the meets that aren’t organised, but happen when you bump into each other. The ladies I met at Collectif’s 100 Dresses event in November. The wonderful lady who works at the Roman Baths in Bath, and invited The Boy and me down to say hello during our mini-moon. The lady who owns Elegant Era in Harrogate, who I ended up talking to for a good half hour while browsing her shop of beautiful things (post coming soon). And, of course, bumping into the lovely Holly (and Sarah) at last week’s Shuttleworth 1940s weekend. Despite speaking to Holly a few days before, we had no idea we were both going to the same event, so it was a lovely surprise.
Situations like this make me understand why someone once asked me if we’re the vintage equivalent of the freemasons, with secret hand signals and the like. Which made me laugh a lot, but I’d like to refute that, for a few different reasons:
- We don’t meet in secret – the more, the merrier!
- We’re also pretty open about what we do in our meetings. Read: have a heck of a lot of fun.
- Most importantly, there’s absolutely no need for a secret handshake or symbol. You just need to look for the giant hair flower.
So, if you’re a member of the group reading this, please know that I love and appreciate you – thank you for helping me embrace me. If you’re not a member of the group, but think it sounds like a pretty special place to be, why not come and say hi?