Thursday, 22 August 2013


Things move, things change. Landmarks are knocked down and rebuilt. People move from one shade of being to another, subtly altering as time is measured out in weeks and months.
The building in the background of a few of these photos is no longer standing. It’s been demolished. Without realizing, we caught it on the cusp of its demise. It needed updating; in time something newer and more functional will stand in its place. Interesting how I have only just realized in the process of writing this what a constant sight it’s been over the years. I used to climb the imposing evergreen tree next to it (before all the lower branches were cut off to deter us) and run around the adjacent car park – which was nearly always empty. I did some of the ‘rite of passage’ childhood things you’re meant to remember, like learning to ride a bike. I tried and failed to roller skate; grazed my knees on tarmac; had better luck whizzing around on a scooter.
As the local village hall, it hosted everything from playgroups to film nights. I joined the disco-dancing club aged seven and wore some hideously spangled synthetic fibres (while making up routines to even more hideous music). I’ve watched others perform on the very basic, rather scuffed little stage, and hidden behind the red velvet curtains myself.
All gone now. To say it with that kind of finality though is to attach sentiment I don’t mean or feel. It was a great place that provided a warm share of memories. But it wasn’t particularly special. I’m sure its replacement will serve the community better.
It’s easy when describing a bulldozed building to add in extra layers of symbolic value. Maybe that’s because demolition is a good metaphor. We see the solid destroyed. Walls buckle, roofs collapse, the skeletal structures beneath are revealed. There’s a drama in that rising dust. Following this is metamorphosis, with new scaffolding rising from the flat ground. The jigsaw is pulled apart and replaced with a new picture.
I’m not being pulled apart, but things are certainly changing. In a month and a half I get to exchange hills for spires. I’ll be leaving home to begin my degree at Oxford. I got my A-Level results at the end of last week, and my place was confirmed. Now that I’ve navigated the whirl of paperwork, I have packing, reading and essay writing to do. The ventures ahead are both thrilling and daunting. It’s a big transition, so naturally there is some trepidation. I’m going to be packing up (a fraction of) my clothes and moving into unknown territory. Looks like pretty fantastic unknown territory to explore though.

The dress I’m wearing evokes (to me) the best of Kate Bush. I love a voluminous sleeve and a skirt fit for swishing. My mum, who is something of a silent blog reader (particularly enjoying the +40 set including Bella, Mel and Desiree), bought this seventies beauty for my birthday from Vix of Vintage Vixen – a veritable Queen of retro and second hand. When Vix isn’t dancing all night at festivals or nabbing Ossie Clark maxi-dresses from her local charity shop, she runs the Kinky Melon boutique. If you don’t already know them, I urge you to check out both her blog and online boutique. All other accessories are vintage, mostly family inherited, and the shoes are second hand. 


Rosaspina Vintage said...

You look ever so beautiful, Rosalind. Good luck with your new adventure in Oxford!

Thrifted Shift said...

The second photo is especially beautiful to me. What a wonderful and exciting time for you- congratulations on securing your place at Oxford!

Anonymous said...

A very beautiful dress. The building reminds me of a little lodge my grandfather built for himself. Congratulations on the new adventure, and thank you for years of well-written, thoughtful & elegant posts - I hope there'll be many more.

Sophia said...

I've read your blog for a while now, but I don't think I've ever commented - but I think your writing is fantastic and I wish you the best of luck at Oxford. Can't believe it'll be me going off to university in two years!

Caitlin Rose said...

Congratulations Rosalind!

Going to oxford, that's an amazing adventure! But yes, it will be full of change! I think change is always good, but definitely hard!

This outfit is perfect on you!

Lydia said...

So excited for the next chapter of you life--this is such a major one, and what I'm sure will be an amazing one. Also this skirt is perfection.


The dress is perfect, the colouring and patterns suits you well. A wonderful mum you have ... you look beautiful!A huge congratulations to you, Oxford shall be very lucky to have you! xx/Madison

Acorns from Elms said...

I just stumbled onto your blog for the first time & am so in love! This wonderfully written post couldn't have come at a better time. Good luck with your new and exciting life change!

Mary Jones said...

The skirt of that dress is beautiful! Congratulations on Oxford too xx

Hannah said...

Roz, can I just say how much I admire you? You're so incredibly beautiful and intelligent, and you've accomplished so much, so quickly. You're doing great things.

Willow said...

That's a spectacular dress, very well chosen by your mum and styled brilliantly by you. I love the photos as well, particularly the first and third. The colours and mood of the first shot are superb with the combination of the stunning sky and the long gold grass. Also the way the light hits your face.
Congratulations on your place being secured at Oxford, am sure your time there will be incredible. xx

Milex said...

pretty amazing

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Roz! That's wonderful news and I've no doubt you'll thrive at university. I left uni five years ago - just typing that is bizarre - and if I could give you one piece of advice it's to embrace every opportunity that comes your way and try you're hand that everything that takes your fancy. University is a very special time and some days I wish I could relive it again. x

Emalina said...

Massive congratulations on getting in to Oxford, which college? Your adventure is about to commence, how exciting! It will be wonderful.
I know what you mean about the true Kate Bush-ness of this beautiful dress (well done Vix and your Mum), the hand gestures make it even more so. Very Wuthering Heights and oh so gorgeous!
p.s. thanks for your comment about me looking like a teenager, it made my day, especially as I'm pushing 40!

Izzy DM said...

I loved the wistfulness of this piece, or was the wistfulness in the pictures, because I feel as if you eschewed wistfulness in the imagery of your prose. Multi-layered and precise thinking as always. I love your work.

Good luck! I'm sure you're about to have the time of your life, and I'm excited to keep reading about your adventures.


Sofie Marie said...

Thanks for taking the time to say hello on my blog. I wish you all the very best at Oxford, and feel somehow a sense of shared experience with me also being at the age of 18 and embarking on a changed environment, even though were just 2 amongst the thousands in the same situation. Will love to hear more about your time studying, I hope to start an English lit degree in 2014!
ps I love the long cuffs on your blouse

Vix said...

I'm thrilled to see you wearing that dress, it looks even more gorgeous than I hoped. Your lovely Mum's got impeccable taste.
Well done on getting your university place, I'm very proud of you! xxx

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Truly so excited for you and your new life at Oxford. I can't even imagine how walking through those hallowed halls must feel like.

I've just had nieces dropped off at Ivy League colleges in the east, my brother and sister in-law wistful and teary-eyed. And I look back at how my parents must have felt saying good-bye at the airport gates when my sister and I were off to university in England. I was too excited to consider how my mother was putting on her bravest smile, so eager was I to jump into the airplane.

Best of luck and thrilling adventures for you (and your parents) ahead! -- J xx

Melanie said...

(I can't believe I'm this far behind on commenting!)First off, demolition. New structures accommodate. Even young people can be less set in their ways. Just don't try and bulldoze me. Stalwart. But bending like a willow I hope I am. But I do get sad to see the old always replaced structurally. Here they bulldoze an old building and just keep the facade - this is considered preservation of a sort.
As for your school adventures, my goodness, this is too exciting!! I shall live vicariously through you.
Also, thank you for the mention. I am thrilled that your mum reads my blog - she is uber-cool and has the World's Best Hair.

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