Finding Dreamland

Stepping off the train into the Margate sunshine, I could see the skeletal bends of a ferris wheel amidst the skyline, its colourful carts like dangly limbs, waving in the distance.

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It took us an hour and 40 minutes to get here from London Victoria. Here being: Dreamland.

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The park had only been open for two weekends at the time so I was anticipating queues, but surprisingly, it was quite quiet. The longest queue was for the Dodgems (solo riders – what ya gonna do?) and after a quick glance, you could easily steal a siesta on the huge, pastel stripy deck chair in the entrance.

Dreamland first became Dreamland in 1920, when its scenic railway opened (which also just so happens to be the oldest roller coaster in the UK). The walk towards the entrance is decorated with walls lined in old black and white photos, taken throughout the park’s history. It’s easy to romanticise a place when you can picture men and women catching the train from London to spend a night at the ballroom, meeting lovers and then letting their cares drift away in the blinkering bulbs and stir of the sea air, mid-spin on The Twister.

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In the early 2000’s Dreamland began to decline in popularity, and by 2005 was handed over to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company. Luckily, residents weren’t going to give up on such a special attraction that easily, and so petitioned to have it brought back to its former glory. And it worked, re-opening in June.

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The care and thought that has gone into this project is truly amazing. Every little detail of the park is magical, from the vintage arcade machines and low-lit roller disco, to the live band playing retro jams in the food court and doughnut cushion prizes (which I am still sore about not winning).

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While the exterior may seem pastel perfect, what I really loved about Dreamland was how the history of it has been kept alive. Many of the rides, if not all of them are originals to the park or date back to previous eras, having been restored to fulfil their destinies once again.

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You can read about the origins of each ride while waiting, which got me thinking about how truly amazing theme park rides are. Not only is the engineering just incredible, but also the designs. Whether the crazed charisma of an enlarged caterpillar coaster face, or the classic glittering gold of a carousel horse’s handle, it all goes towards creating this fantasy world, where for a few minutes you can just focus on the breeze against your cheeks and butterflies in your stomach.

Yet as you step outside onto the Margate promenade, you realise what a strange little place Dreamland is. This obnoxiously colourful paradise of fun and ice cream and nostalgia, sat awkwardly amidst the broken skyline of Margate.

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Dreamland has so wonderfully captured the atmosphere of escape, where you can disappear for a while into fun, into love, and into the past. Though the sky is the one reminder that nostalgia is just a feeling, and we’ll never quite capture the way Dreamland was before, and that’s ok. That was their Dreamland, this is ours.

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Keen For Greens

Green is my favourite colour. In particular, mint green and duck egg green (and any green tone with a sort of bluey-ness to it). I’ve always gravitated towards the aesthetic of things coloured in these sorts of tones, possibly because there’s a real vintage vibe to them. They’re gentle and dreamier, somehow.

It’s for this reason that a lot of my favourite home wares are in these colours, so I thought it would be fun to do a blog post to share the greeny coloured love! The following items are a few favourites that I’ve either already bought or really want to buy (and when you really want to buy stuff but can’t, making a blog post about them is the next best thing!)

Links to where you can buy these products from are included, and also take note of the great variety of names for each shade of green.

1. Granny Green Baby Lapin Lamp

378467_2121395208351_1649964275_1612091_759947843_n1I am obsessed with novelty shaped lamps. In fact, just lighting in general. I love the ambience different light can give rooms, and the way light can enhance and animate certain shapes. There’s just something more fun about things that glow!

This baby lamp would fit so perfectly into any kind of vintage setting, or just give a little character to more modern decor. It’s cheeky and cute, and comes in different colours too. I picked the amazingly named ‘granny green’ colour to share in this blog post, of course. You can buy these lamps from a variety of suppliers, though I took this image from the wonderful Retro Kids shop.

2. The RÅSKOG Kitchen Trolley

raskog-kitchen-trolley__0144044_PE304208_S4This trolley kind of inspired this post. I happened to see a picture of it this morning and fell in love. It’s by Ikea and apparently, great for storing everything from herbs and plants to beauty products, shoes, books, and as it’s intended for, kitchen utensils. (I would probably use it for cute blankets and old toys). 

3. Wild & Wold 746 1960’s Phone in Swedish Green 232466308

I’m not sure why, but I really, really needed a retro phone in my life. Even though, yes, if I were honest with myself I haven’t used our landline phone in years and anyone that wants to contact me usually does so through the internet or my mobile, yet it still felt like a very necessary purchase.

As the fortunes would have it, I recently won some John Lewis vouchers and to my delight, spotted that this baby was available on their site. Could I have bought something more practical? Eh, probably. But a landline phone sounds practical, at least. Besides, it looks so wonderful in a room, regardless of how often it’s being used.

4. Roberts Revival Radio in Leaf

230907486Ok, another one from John Lewis. I have lusted after this beautious leaf green radio for a long, long time, but just have no room for it at the moment (and am still very much in love with my peacock patterned DAB I got for Christmas when I was 14.) Once I move out and have more rooms to spread all my stuff to I have a plan that this will go in the kitchen for cooking/dancing sessions and coffee/LBC mornings.

5. Duck Egg Alarm Clock

125747546_1If like me, you’re in need of setting about ten alarms every morning to get yourself out of bed, this little alarm clock from Sainsburys is ideal. Not only does it have a rather lovely, vintage-esque look about it, it also has a mighty alarm voice on it!

6. 1970s Norsu Elephant Moneybox

shop3885700_pictures_myshop-large-OMM-norsu-elephant-mint-Always end lists on something extra cute, and this retro moneybox is so cute it could be crowned the cutest of cutesville. I mean, it’s a chubby lil’ mint green elephant! It’s also available from Retro Kids.

What are your favourite colours? Do you buy certain things that you’d never normally buy, just because they’re in your favourite colour? (I definitely do!)

Over and out for now,

Amber

 

Charity Shop Spree 30.10.2013

Since coming home from university over a year ago, I’ve been gradually working my way through clearing out all the things I’ve accumulated over the years (which is ALOT). I used to get really sentimental about chucking things away, even when they were something I hadn’t used in years and year and years. Now I tend to sell thing on Ebay or take them to the charity shop and feel this sense of relief having done so. It’s quite therapeutic somehow.

The only problem with the charity shop is that I end up dropping things off and then coming out with more! Today is a good example of this. I didn’t get as much as I have done on some trips, but what I did get, if i’m honest, I probably didn’t really need. Still, when you’re buying from charity shops it’s always a bargain and a good deed. So I’m not going to feel too guilty!

Here are my goodies of the day.

20131030-183718.jpgI thought I’d start with the weirdest. I think this is a salt shaker. I’m probably going to use it as decoration for now. It’s freaky and weird and that’s what I love about it. If my friend that I went shopping with didn’t think I was odd before, she certainly does now.

20131030-183733.jpgI’m such a sucker for candles and candle holders. There were two of these for 50p and the orangey tint to them looks lovely when lit up, as it reflects the petals of the flower shape onto the table surface in an amber hue.

20131030-183749.jpgThis pattern is from a blouse that I got. It was in the vintage section of one of my favourite local charity shops, and only cost £3! Great compared to the prices of actual vintage shops. The label said that it was an extra large, but I decided to try it on anyway because the pattern is awesome and I prefer a slouchy fit to tops. Luckily it worked, and is really airy and comfortable.

That’s all! I hope you’re all enjoying this Halloween week, or ‘Halloweek’, and watching lots of scary movies, eating pumpkin soup and listening to Monster Mash.