Monday, 25 November 2013

Uniforms I Have Known

I recently asked Curtise about her new job, whether she would have to wear a uniform etc. and this got me thinking about all the uniforms I have worn over the past ...ahem, thirty years.  Regular readers may know that I've worked at Gatwick Airport doing one thing or another, nearly all of my working life...would you like to see what I was wearing?
 If so, please sit back,relax and enjoy the picture heavy ride.

My first uniform was Air Europe's where I worked as a 'Cabin Attendant'. Here I am as green as they come in 1984, aged 21.

This was a high quality uniform - Aquascutum no less! And after take-off we wore a grey pinny to ensure it stayed clean... disposing of sick bags was a regular chore.

Make up regs were very strict - foundation, blusher and toning lipstick were the order of the day.  At Air Europe all cabin crew were made to retire at the ripe old age of 36 as they were considered too long in the tooth to continue! WTF?   

A year later I found myself working for a smaller airline - British Island Airways and compared to Air Europe their uniform felt very drab indeed.

Hostie or Private Eye ?

  Brown shoes were virtually impossible to find in the 80's (apart from Van Dal!) and almost always I had to buy a different colour and dye them.

After a couple of years we got a new uniform which was very of it's day. In summer, a shirtwaister dress with shoulder pads and detachable neck bow and in winter a skirt and boxy jacket.I was glad to see the back of that Stetson when a new style hat was issued too.

"...your lifejacket is equipped with a light and a whistle"

I had a lot of fun at BIA where I learnt to schmooze with the Flight Deck crew....

and post flight, drink copious amounts of alcohol whilst counting the bar takings.....hic.

By 1989 things were looking dodgy at BIA so I jumped ship to Caledonian Airways.

Here I am (front row) after receiving my 'wings'

The tartan uniform was very recognizable after a certain TV advert and was made by Kinloch Anderson; kiltmakers to Her Maj and the royal family. Being 100% wool it wasn't half sweaty arriving in Barbados!

'Cally' was a much larger airline and for the first time I was flying on wide-bodied aircraft to long haul destinations.  Uniform regs were exceedingly stringent. 
 'Short hair must not touch the collar, ponytails must be no longer than 10" and tied back with a black velvet ribbon 1" wide.  Earrings must be gold or pearl studs only'

At our initial interview we were weighed and once 'on the line',  monitored.  Anyone seen to have put on weight was called into the office, put on the 'fat list', grounded and instructed to diet....  it seems utterly unbelievable nowadays.  The largest sized uniform was a 16, I wore a size 10 but was still told by the old bat who ran uniform stores " you can't afford to put any weight on those thighs" 

After a long haul flight we let off steam at room parties in the crew hotel and many a drunken shenanigan took place.

I could tell you lots of stories about what happened to rude passengers....but I don't want to put you off your tea!

Over the years I worked my way up through the ranks from 
No.2 (not the most pleasant job title) responsible for the on-board bars...

to Cabin Service Co-ordinator, leading a crew of eleven on an aircraft configured to seat 393 passengers.  After promotion to the most senior rank I had the dubious honour of wearing a plain navy jacket and my jabot was now edged with lace!

The millenium was a milestone in more ways than one, it marked the end of my flying career. In Sept 1999 I was informed that my rank was being discontinued and that I could continue with the company as a Purser or take voluntary redundancy, I chose the latter.
Fast forward 14 years and in that time I have held positions as a check-in agent,

 Flight Despatcher - the most unglamorous uniform of all
(hi viz, ear defenders and hobnail boots!) 

 and .  Here's my latest uniform,

Have you worn a uniform?   Would you like to wear a uniform to be rid of those "what shall I wear" hassles or do you hate to be indistinguishable from the rest?

See you soon.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Man Comes On And Tells Me How White My Shirts Can Be

What a stroke of luck!  This week's Less Is More challenge is Christmas Card- Use a Bird....and what have I been making for the past two days ?  I see Margaret had the same idea...great minds and all that.

Due to postage costs this year's cards are one layer!  I've used a branch from the Cardio Oriental Blossom set to make a twiggy wreath and the owl is by Inkadinkado.  I added 'berries' with red memento ink and the end of a paintbrush, gem stone eyes and glittered some of the branches.  Finally I added a string to hang the wreath and a festive bow.  Not sure which colour way I prefer, how about you ?  Linking also to Make It Monday.

I've had the last week off work and have been busy doing some long overdue jobs around the house.  Recently I found a TV unit in a charity shop for the bargain price of twenty five quid,  I've been looking for one of these for years...no really.  My parents donated this as a temporary measure when I moved here, 

seven years later.....and it's still here, looking like something from student accommodation and not what I want at all.  I've been hoping I'd stumble across the perfect unit but alas it was not to be, instead I found this and thought it 'would do'.

The condition was fair enough although the orange pine was not to my taste, so a little makeover was in order. (I think I may have bigged this up somewhat in my last post, please don't be disappointed.)

 My first idea was to bleach the top and paint the rest but after experimenting with this idea for a while, it was hastily abandoned. Unlike Emma Kate, I don't have the patience of a saint and wanted to finish the project this side of Christmas.
I decided to keep the orange interior as painting inside would be a bit of a bastard I feared and I wasn't confident I'd get a professional finish. I quite like the contrast...what do you think?  Wires now concealed and all my crap stored in the drawer. The shelving unit has now been pressed into service in my craft room, which has never before seen such organisation.  
Belatedly linking to Magpie Monday and Op Shop Show-Off.

It's a busy weekend for me, there are more xmas cards to be made, I'm out tonight for a meal with friends and Dad's coming for a roast dinner tomorrow.  What are you up to ?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Canterbury Tales

I've been down in Kent this week where I visited Canterbury with my aunt who's also been known to frequent a charity shop once or twice.  The plan of action was to look at the sights... (this city is steeped in history) and then hit the chazza's.

The Butter Market

This courtyard directly opposite the entrance to the Cathedral has served as a focal point for the town for 800 years.

The Cathedral entrance

There has been a place of worship on this site for 1400 years. During the Civil War of the 1640s, the Cathedral suffered damage at the hands of the Puritans; much of the medieval stained glass was smashed and horses were stabled in the nave. During WWII the cathedral escaped any serious damage thanks to brave fire watchers who dealt with the incendiary bombs dropped by the enemy.  


 We didn't go in the Cathedral as we have visited before and after wandering leisurely through the town found a lovely Lithuanian cafe for a spot of lunch.  We were shown to an upstairs table where we could people-watch to our hearts content and were entertained by the staff in the restaurant opposite - seconds earlier the bloke on the right had been canoodling with a female kitchen hand!

In the 17th century the Huguenots introduced silk weaving into the town and their houses on the River Stour are a much photographed attraction.

I wonder if 'Chas' Dickens.... a Kentish man, penned any of his famous works here?

Once the light started to go we needed no encouragement to head for the chazza's.
Being an affluent Cathedral city I expected to find some posh schmutter and I wasn't disappointed.  I spied labels by D&G, Aquascutum, Windsmoor and Jaeger to name but a few and I managed to bag myself a Hobbs cardi.

Although wool, it's gossamer fine so this will be stored away until next summer.  I also found a cheap xmas cake tin (50p) and a Glenn Miller CD. 

Now back home I'm working on my latest upcycle, showing here soon. Don't miss it!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Scavenger Hunt October

I'm fashionably late for my October entries due entirely to the scarcity of weathercocks hereabouts.
Hmmm, can't say I was keen on that subject Susie but wasn't going to be beaten.  Here we go then.


Yes it's obvious but suspected everyone would be doing pumpkins this month.


Two windows found at the same Saxon church as the weathercock





Bin men were five days late after the storm that never was...


The Quad 'Copter in action

Home made

Black & White

a seaside cottage

 Coffee time


My cousin Zoe on her hen night


Had to scour the local area for weathercocks, I found this at the fourth church.
Serious cropping was required!

 Fridge Magnet

From Dad's recent travels

Get yourself over to Made With Love for the November list and to see other October snaps.

Tomorrow at work, I will be learning to drive a huge tractor and snow plough, now that really will be worth a picture...wish me luck.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Fittie on the Train

I'm back with a card for this week's Less Is More challenge which is Thank You - One Layer

Also linking to:
Simon Says -Keep It Clean and Simple
Just Add Ink - Masking

I used Leafy background stamp (can't remember whose but probably Hero Arts)  DI -Old Paper,  Memento ink Pistachio and white EP.  Sentiment by Stampin Up.

I need to get a wriggle on and make some more xmas cards, I don't know why but I just don't get the same enjoyment or satisfaction making them.  Maybe because there are so many to produce it feels like a chore.  One year I sent shop bought cards as I'd just moved house and my craft stash was still packed in boxes....I got complaints!   Oh well I suppose it's nice to be appreciated.

Yesterday I went to see Philomena in Brighton with my friend Debbie.  Before the screening we had a wander around the eclectic North Laine area where we saw this amazing graffiti. 

Quite what the connection is between James Brown...

....and gun-toting Smurfs, I fail to see.

Maybe there is none ?  We did discuss how we thought the artists were inspired, illegal substancess came up once or twice.  After all how many iconic artist(e)s produced some of their best work after expanding their consciousness? 

I just love North Laine, there is such a buzzy vibe. I would have loved to stay longer in order to get some candid shots, but know what a huge drag it is for others, having to stop every ten seconds for yet another bloody photo. 

Awaiting me tonight is a monumental pile of ironing and Strictly.
Rock and roll!
What's awaiting you ?