It's been a busy weekend. Today we've been doing things around the house - including a few mini projects which I'll let you in on later this week.
Yesterday we went to Accrington, home of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (I read it as a student - it was one of the set texts for my English degree). Jeanette Winterson is one of my National Treasures. I love hearing her on the radio and I love her writing.
Anyway, I used to frequent Accrington first as a child on shopping trips with my mum or grandma, then later as a schoolgirl with my friends. We'd go on the bus and wander around the shops or go to the cinema (now redeveloped as so many of the old Odeons have been).
Like many towns, it's seen better days. Lots of empty shopfronts. Lots. There's something sad about seeing a place like that when you remember it as it once was - thriving, with long-established shops: Wardleworths (books, art supplies, stationery), Abode (cookware, art, pottery, cafe), Pets and Ponies (speaks for itself) all long gone.
Still, the indoor market has had a facelift and retains its Victorian splendour. The arcade houses mostly empty units but the architectural details are still there. And Warner Street is still full of little independents.
Revival is a treasure trove of vintage clothes and accessories. I used to visit as a student and bought jackets, jumpers and jewellery.
We called in yesterday and caught up with the lovely man who runs it. He was only too happy for us to rummage through the displays.
I bought a couple of scarves and could have spent ages in there.
Of course, 'vintage' doesn't necessarily mean 'tasteful'.
Some things were definitely more covetable than others.
It just goes to show: even those places most in need of a revival have some hidden gems. You just need to look for them. And they often come in the form of small, independent shops.