About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

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« Let the sun shine | Main | I have art history in my soul »

Silents at the seaside

Greetings from the U.K.!

After a hectic few days of giving my apartment a good scrubbing in preparation for the house-sitter and trying on all of my clothes in order to figure out what to pack, I flew to London.

My luggage containing all the clothes I’ll need for the changeable weather of the U.K. and enough accessories to keep me from getting bored for two months.

The day after I arrived and before I really knew where I was, my boyfriend A. whisked me off to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast for a silent film festival. As I’ve reported in previous posts, A. is quite a silent film buff and I’m learning to be one too.

The cinema there was built in 1919, screening many a silent film in its first decade.

We saw quintessentially English, sea-side themed films based on the early 20th-century stories by W.W. Jacobs. Of course, they were accompanied by live music.

© 1928 Collection George Eastman House The highlight of the weekend was a screening of the American film, Beggars of Life (1928), “a rollicking saga of hobos on the lam” starring the captivating Louise Brooks. In keeping with the era and location, the music was provided by silent film accompanist par excellence Neil Brand and the U.K. skiffle band, The Dodge Brothers (which includes Mark Kermode, a film critic and TV presenter). I had doubts about Americana music played by a group of Brits (although one member is an American now living in the U.K.), but their performance was amazing and their music ranged from soulful to exciting (to accompany the chase and train crash scenes). If you haven’t seen silent films -- the musicians pretty much make up the score as they watch the film. So Brandt’s piano playing set the tone and The Dodge Brothers had to follow along.

After the screening A. and I -- being the only attendees who had specially come to Aldeburgh for the festival -- were invited to a small after-party for the band and festival organizers.

Graves of Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears. Aldeburgh is best known as the home of the composer Benjamin Britten and it hosts numerous music festivals, including one founded by Britten himself. Other than the festival, it didn't seem like there’s a lot going on there, which it turns out is its appeal for those with holiday homes. It’s also incredibly expensive and does not have a train station, which helps keep the riff-raff out. On Sundays and bank holidays, we found out that there isn’t even bus service in or out of the town, so we ended up having to take a taxi to the nearest train station, then changing three times to get back to London.

Shingle beach, self-catering cottages, 16th Moot Hall, ’Snooks,’ a memorial to a veterinarian couple. Me in my element at a car boot sale, our B & B, a wicker fence lining the footpath, my boot finds.We did enjoy the picturesque views and the laid-back atmosphere. Our B & B was on the top floor of a 19th c. former convent. We took a walk along a footpath that led us through a churchyard and cemetery. Other than the films and the after party, a high point was getting to a car boot sale on Sunday morning (the charity shops in town were crazy-expensive), where I scored 1965 and 1969 issues of Queen magazine.

1940s frock coat, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge, and painted by me. Hat, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge, embellished by me. 1960s sunglasses, purchased at Dollar-A-Pound, Cambridge 20+ years ago. 1930s Bakelite brooch I’ve had for decades. 1960s scarf, purchased at Mr. Bird Vintage Fair, Birmingham. Bangles purchased in India.  I spent the weekend looking out-of-place amidst all the tourists in their t-shirts, shorts and sandals. Yeah, it was sunny but there was a nippy breeze. My boyfriend commented that I looked like I had an aversion to the sun. My one concession to summer was the straw hat and sunglasses. It’s not like I was following the tradition of older women wearing street clothes at the seaside, I just feel cold more than others. And we spent four or more hours each day inside a dark theater and not romping on the beach.

1970s does 1940s dress, purchased at Spitalfields Market, London. Tights, retail. Clogs, thrifted and painted by me. 1940s necklace I’ve owned for decades.As above with thrifted straw hat with new ribbon and made-by-me fabric flower. I also made a red herringbone hatband that I wore the previous day. You can watch The Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand do a sound check for Beggars of Life.

After the film, The Dodge Brothers played this song, "No. 9." Here they perform it at The Royal Albert Hall.

Do go see Beggars of Life if the opportunity arises.

Reader Comments (8)

You look fabulous in that dress. I hate packing for a break in the UK, you need more changes of clothes than a month in India. I bet you've some gorgeous stuff in those bags!
Aldeburgh looks fab, very quaint and gentile. I bet you turned a few heads. xxx

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVix

I didn't know Aldeburgh had a silent film festival. I love silent films with live music - we saw Laurel & Hardy in Amsterdam & it was fantastic. I would definitely go again if the opportunity came up.
Your '70s does '40s dress is very pretty.
DId you manage to get on a Green Shoes course this time?

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

What a great 70s dress, Jo! And welcome back to the UK! Vix is right, packing for a trip in this country is always tricky; you need to consider every possible eventuality, the weather could do anything!
I have never been to Aldeburgh, it looks very pretty. I love the houses painted different colours, and it's always nice to be by the sea. Doubtless you were feeling the sea breeze, hence your layers - Brits strip off at the merest hint of sun, since we are never sure when we might see it again! xxxx

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

You didn't waste any time jumping into having fun, did you?! Thanks for the tour of Aldeburgh. Lovely little place.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

Sounds like you are having a blast.
Adjusting to different climate takes some time, tell your friend that. People at the seaside are adjusted, having lived through the winter and experiencing warmer weather, whereas for you, I am guessing you are coming from warmer weather into the breezy coolness of the British sea side.
Enjoy your stay!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjuli

This town looks so cute and pretty! Love your black dress and the necklace.
It is same when I go to Belarus for holidays, you never know what to expect from the weather there: it can be hot or it can be cold and so I have to take both summer dresses and woolen jumpers.
Olga www.local-moda.blogspot.com

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlga

What a great newsy post. You look fabulous in your outfit - I love the coat especially (and one of your velvet bags in the luggage shot did not go unnoticed - so lovely). Looks like you're already having some fun adventures in the UK - hope there are many more and that you share them with us! Now the big dilemma with all that luggage is, how will you get all the car boot sale, charity shop and vintage sale goodies you buy home? :) :)

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

Thanks for visiting! The youtube link you gave did not work, even when I omitted the dot in the word. Is there another link? (I am not on Facebook)

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjuli

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