Sunday 30 March 2008

Stepping Back in Time

This is Woody messing about trying to take my picture while I was trying to put on proper red lipstick - I've never worn it before!
It's not very often is it that just about everything comes together, at just the right time and you really do have the time of your life. Last night Woody and I went to the much anticipated 1940s Spring Dance and I spent much of the afternoon in complete turmoil.
One minute I was wondering if the evening would be any good, the next I was struggling with my rollers, then worrying about looking ridiculous and fretting that Woody was really only coming along to be nice and wasn't looking forward to it all.

As we left home a gale was blowing and we had to dash from the car park across to the Guildhall (when we'd eventually found it!) in the pouring rain. I was really beginning to feel that things weren't boding well. What an earth had I roped us into? Getting dressed up and pretending to do something from very dark-days past when we could easily be at home, tucking into a nice treat and cosying up by the fire!

But then, somebody flicked the switch and into the time-machine we went. The low building with the deep-red, wooden doors beckoned and we followed a gent in a very smart suit inside, through a red velvet curtain and all of a sudden - stepped into 1941.

My flash is hopeless, the photos just don't do justice to the colour and liveliness of it all.
Two beautiful young ladies, with perfectly curled hair and diamante earrings, took our tickets with red smiles and laughing eyes. The room, (a bit like a big village hall, but with a stage draped in velvet, a raised platform to the side and a balcony) was already very busy.
During the war regular dances were held at the Guildhall and it still has the fantastic original sprung floor and last night the walls and ceiling were decked with Allied flags, propaganda posters and plenty of union jack bunting. We grabbed a drink from the bar and found a corner seat, next to the stage, with a fabulous view of the dance floor and settled in for the best evening's entertainment I think I've ever had.

There were so many people there, all ages and from all walks of life. Lots of American airmen, several Land Girls, a sparkling US Navy man and a couple of rather dashing RAF officers. Woody was rather wowed by the wife of a German SS officer, (a wonderful dancer in a brilliant scarlet trouser suit) but I warned him about fraternising with the enemy! We met some lovely people, it was such a fun and friendly atmosphere and we felt really right at home.
Brilliant lindy-hoppers, jivers and waltzers filled the bouncing floor all night, sometimes dancing to the gramophone hits I adore, others to the amazing vocals of the wonderfully glamorous Miss Lola L'Amour.

I must admit that despite the Guinness, Woody didn't fancy taking to the floor himself but he enjoyed the night so much I am chuffed to bits, I can't explain how much. My lovely bloke is a man who isn't exactly overflowing with expressions of delight and believe me, impressing a cynical journalist is not an easy thing. Last night though Woody couldn't stop saying how much he was enjoying himself, what a great atmosphere there was and wasn't it lovely for us to be doing something together.
Not the original dress I bought. I saw this new, Laura Ashley number for £4 on Ebay and it just looked the part. I couldn't resist.
What's so wonderful is that after eight years together we've suddenly discovered a shared passion, a new interest for dancing and music that neither of us really knew the other had.
So dancing lessons together beckon (Woody's idea - there's been a miracle!), a visit to a hotel in the city-centre where a big band practice with Lola L'Amour and a trip to another dance in Cheshire next month.A little dream of mine has come true and has turned into something even better. Off to scan EBay now for a frock for next time!


Anonymous said...

Well you look beautiful and what a night. How fantastic that your husband is talking dance lessons, now that's got to be the perfect husband, and he's handsome to boot!

Thanks for sharing the photos of the night, the hall looks smashing and I can almost here Lola singing "there'll be blue birds over..."

jessica daisy said...

You and woody look lovely steph, and it looks like you had a fantastic time!
So glad you've found a new interest that you can share, and how nice that woody wants to start dancing lessons!

Unknown said...

You both look marvellous, and am so glad you had a fantastic time.
Can't wait to hear about the next dance..


alice c said...

Hello Mr and Mrs Fabulous!
I feel as though I have been jitterbuging with you. Thank you!

tess said...

you look fantastic, and it sounds like you had a really lovely time!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing the pictures, looks like you had a good time, and you looked lovely.

Miss sew n sew said...

Hi Steph
thanks for visiting my blog wow u look great! Nice for you both to do something special together like that - I live on the outskirts of Derby have been to Ashbourne lots but never Leek it looks good shall have to explore love the peaks can often find us their on the wkend!

mollycupcakes said...

I'm so glad you both had a wonderful time. You looked great and just the part.
I loved the bunting hanging everywhere.
Good luck with the next lot of dancing lessions.
I'm so happy for you both.
Have a good week.
Catherine x

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Steph, it looks like just a fantastic night for everyone there, I'd love to go to something like that, though I'm not much of a dancer, but just to soak up the atmosphere would be enough for me. You looked just the part in your pretty dress and red lipstick, worth the effort in the end then!
Lucy x

Ragged Roses said...

Sounds lke you had a great night Steph. And you look soooo pretty! The dress looks perfect on you, love the stockings! There'll be no stopping you now!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph, I'm so glad you enjoyed the dance, you looked really great,that pretty dress is so lovely too..I'm dead jealous, I resemble Fatima Whitbread in a skirt or dress so never wear them... but love them :0(
When theres a real mixture of people you fit in easier as everyones there to have a good time..why is always the way if you're wary of going somewhere new and having second thoughts you can guarantee you have just the best time! Have fun at the next outing..can't wait to see the pics!

Sairer x

Anonymous said...

You look so pretty and Woody very dashing. Glad you enjoyed yourselves and spent time together. It's hard with having the nippers isn't it? Good luck with the lessons
Lisa x

dragonfly said...

What a lovely post! I could almost imagine your eyes twinkling and smiling while you wrote it!
Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, too.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Steph, you look lovely with your red lippy. So glamourous! Glad you both enjoyed the night, I would LOVE to go to a dance like that, not sure I could resist all those uniforms though! ;)
Carol x

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Hi Steph
Gosh you really looked the part and brought the whole atmosphere of the dance to your post. I once went to one of these 40's dances and loved every minute of it despite the fact I can't dance!
The dressing up combined with the music made it such fun..and I can see that you and Woody had a wonderful time..

P.s I have that same dress in red but alas it is too small for me now..

No one is you ...& that's your power said...

Hi Steph,
You look lovely and just the part too. I enjoyed reading about your wonderfull time and it looks like you had a fab time too.
x Dominique

Summer by the sea said...

The dance sounded great - they should do more things like that! - Your dress looks great (and what a bargain) although I was thinking 'I'm sure thats not the dress she was planning to wear!'
Glad you and Woody had such a good evening - natalie x

gayle said...

Aw, that is fantastic. You looked wonderful, and I dig the tights/stockings! Just had a muddy thought that perhaps that is what made Woody agree to more of the evenings...sorry!

Deb said...

What a fantastic night Steph! Love all the photos - and your outfit is smashing.

Carol said...

You look great Steph. Both of you do.
What a great evening. I wish I could have come too...
You must put some music on to go with the next post on your Dance.
C x

Just Original said...

You lucky girl! I would love go to one! You might inspire me as I have found one at a local stately home.

Claire said...

Oh what a fab nostalgic night you had! You and Woody looked gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing a fun night with us all, can't wait to hear about your dancing lessons....Claire x

Ragged Roses said...

Hello Steph
Sorry to contact you here, I've misplaced your email address. I would love to make you a blue corsage, thanks so much for asking, that's lovely. I'll make one and list it in my Etsy and let you know. If you like it then that's fine and if you don't that's fine too! No obligation! Hope you've got some sunshine there today before the return of winter at the weekend

saraeden said...

Oh wow you look great and the dance looked such fun !!
Im so glad you had a good time !!

Sara x

Emma Herian said...

What a fantastic evening, you looked really lovely and so glad you both enjoyed it! Look forward to seein the next bunch of dance photos!

Garden Girl said...

What a brilliant night! So good that you have found a shared passion too, (lucky girl, I would never be able to get Rob to do that!) You both look great, I love the stockings!x

Alchamillamolly said...

Oh my goodness - I was so worried that the night wouln't be what yo expected - and now so glad it was better than you hoped. You look gorgeous!! Love the seams.........We would quite like to go the WW2 events dressed in clothes but need to pluck up courage

Twiggy said...

You both really look the part, your dress is lovely. I'm so glad you had fun, it looks amazing. I love it when you take a chance and try something new and have a magical time. It's brilliant that you're going to start dancing lessons too, good for you :)

Vintage to Victorian said...

Just catching up Steph. You looked fantastic and the whole evening was obviously perfect for you both. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your dancing lessons!!

Sue x

julia said...

You look amazing, glad you had such a lovely evening.
Julia x

Anonymous said...

what FUN! love your dress and stockings =) debbie

Tine said...

ces bas coutures sont absolument charmants et je m'y connais, je suis fan de swing aussi :
be-bop, jazz-roots et un peu de lindy
moi aussi, je suis nostalgique
à bientôt
Tine, de Paris c'est moi aussi