Friday, 6 July 2018

Teignmouth Revisited

Yesterday my hubby took me back to Teignmouth, this time for a shopping trip. It was a bit frustrating on Tuesday, having to rush around because of the car, and I’d seen several shops I was keen to visit.

I rarely get the opportunity to go shopping, and I always really enjoy it when I get the chance! It was time my clothes budget got an airing because it’s a while since I had anything new, and I’ve had to get rid of quite a bit of stuff because since losing weight, it no longer fits me.

We had a lovely day out, in beautiful hot sunny weather, and I spotted quite a few shops and little nooks and crannies in the town that had escaped my notice a couple of days previously.

A shop full of vintage sewing machines.

A wonderfully ornate old machine, and just look at that glorious case…

A miniature iron, in what looks like its original box.

A couple of tiny miniature sewing machines, both by Singer.

The shopping streets are narrow and picturesque.

The shop fronts are very pretty, and it’s interesting looking up above to see the architecture of the buildings.

Gorgeous hand-made leather shoes. Very much my style, but too pricey for my budget.

We came across a busker playing gorgeous American Blues music on a variety of instruments – a guitar, a 3-string cigar box guitar and a 3-string biscuit tin guitar! He played pick and slide style. We had a very interesting conversation with him, and I saw him again later on, on his way home. (Left-handed guitarist like Paul McCartney.)

His cigar-box guitar. I love the fact that the volume control knobs are made of bottle tops!!

He was very happy for me to video him.

He explained that much of this music originated from the slave and ex-slave communities and being very poor, they had to make their musical instruments from whatever they had handy. I love this mentality which shows great inventiveness, and which today has ben developed into the recycling and upcycling culture we are all familiar with. (Think of my hubby’s excellent pedestal for our new sundial! We’d never have ended up with this unique pedestal if we’d had the money to go and buy a proper one.) There’s so much satisfaction in making something useful and/or beautiful from what most people would consider rubbish, which driven by need, produces something often unique and quite unexpected.  It means so much more. I loved the vintage look of the cigar box and biscuit tin guitars, with the scuffs and dents, and the general patina of age. Paul said that these all added to the tone of the instrument. I am reminded of the itinerant Klezmer musicians of the old Ashkenazi Jewish world, travelling from village to village and playing for weddings etc., carrying their instruments on their backs and living as best they could.

Now for my purchases. We went back to the jewellery shop – I was keen to revisit Teignmouth this week, because their sale was due to end at the end of this week. I bought two more of the gorgeous necklaces and also a very pretty ring. You wouldn’t believe how cheap everything was – they weren’t over-priced to start with, but at half marked price, you couldn’t go wrong.

Here are the two I bought on Tuesday, for comparison.

I bought a few items in the Pound Shop, mostly stuff to use in the studio.

I visited a shop which sold some lovely unusual ethnic style clothes, scarves, gifts etc. and bought a skirt and almost matching scarf in there.

We also found the ethnic shop I found it so hard to tear myself away from the other day! Their stuff was also incredibly cheap – ethnic and boho-style clothes usually are, and they are generally quite unusual and you don’t see hordes of other people wearing exactly the same stuff. I really stocked up in there.

When we got home we were both pretty hot and tired, so I made us a nice cold drink – lemonade with basil, a recipe I found quickly online, made from fresh lemons mashed up with basil leaves – gorgeous flavour and so refreshing on a hot day!

I then had fun trying it all on and mixing and matching the items with each other and with stuff I already had. Here’s a mini-fashion show starring Shoshi complete with mirror and phone!! (I wasn’t sure how else to take the photos.)

Here’s the skirt and scarf I bought in the first shop, teamed with my navy embroidered waistcoat and red t-shirt to complement the red border around the hem.

Now the stuff from the ethnic shop.

A fun pair of patchwork dungarees. Dungarees always make me look fat but somehow I couldn’t resist this pair!

(Sorry about the bad quality – the sun was streaming in through the window and it was hard to get the photos right.)

I thought the dungarees looked more flattering with one of the scarves I bought at the same time.

I bought a pair of patchwork trousers which are made of heavy-ish cotton. They are much too long so will have to be taken up.

They had a rack of fabulous silk dresses and skirts with elasticated tops and uneven hems with points, which could be worn in a variety of ways. I bought one of the dresses and a skirt. This is the purple dress. It has ties to make shoulder straps but you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

You can wear it as a skirt.

Without the straps, and pulled down a bit to make a low waisted dress.

The skirt is greenish-blue.

I thought I could have some fun with this and wear it in all sorts of different ways! Here it is as a head scarf. I hope the length of it down the back doesn’t look too nun-ish! It reminded me somewhat of the Vermeer picture, “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

As a poncho. I like the way the elasticated waist becomes cowl-like.

The other scarf I bought in that shop. I love big square scarves because they are lovely for tying your hair up in.

After taking these photos, I realised that in most of them I’ve got a really grim expression! I was concentrating on getting the best view possible with the phone camera, and also I was feeling pretty tired after our busy day shopping, and finding it a bit uncomfortable, all the standing to do the photos.

Finally, a pair of green suede sandals with ankle ties.

Recently I had to throw away two fabulous pairs of sandals that had long been favourites – absolutely nothing wrong with the tops, but the soles, made of synthetic rubber of some kind, had completely deteriorated and were crumbling away, and there was no way they could be repaired. This sort of thing makes me sick. I really liked those shoes but they were clearly not made to last. I expect my favourite shoes to last for many years, and at least to be repairable if they wear out!

Anyway, I think you’ll agree I had quite a spree! These clothes may not be to everyone’s taste but I’ve always loved the alternative look and tended to make my own fashion – part of my creative spirit, I suppose!


  1. Oh Shoshi you have really taken me back with this blog post, Teignmouth was where I would spend my Summer Holidays as a Child it was like a second home to me, staying in a little B&B called Red Sands during Carnival time. I would walk those streets safely on my own admiring all those unique little shops. The Leather shop if it is still the same one I would watch them making those shoes and also purses.
    Amazing Jewellery and so many places to see people selling their Art and hand made wares. There was always a trinket or two to be found especially in the Antique House.
    Life always seemed so much more relaxed and I often wonder whether it was those influences that gave me that creative energy and feel for the Boho way of life..?
    Your Jewellery & clothing purchases are a wonderful combination, love those dungarees. Thank you for this uplifting post and bring back those happy memories, it's been 21 years since I was last there.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Creative Wishes Tracey xx

  2. Oh WOW, what fabulous clothing, and your jewellery is do DIE for. Love the look, and you wear it well. Wish I would have been shopping with you. What fun you must have had in all the neat shops. Thanks for the photos and sharing, I sure enjoyed this post..

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. Glad you enjoyed it. It would have been fun having you along on the shopping trip!

  3. I love your blue skirt with the blue trim, right up my street too. You certainly had a shopping spree with all the other bits too. It loos like Teignmouth is on the list of places I need to visit next time I'm staying with my dad near Exmouth. I love the little shops you can find down back streets which aren't high street chains where there's no individuality to them.


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