Deck Chair

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As the Summer swelter continues, up goes an impassioned plea “Lead me to my deck chair!!”.

The humble deck chair ….Perhaps? Or the well travelled ship’s “deck chair” – if this linen and teak could talk imagine the gossip it holds – from a Golden Era of luxury transatlantic ocean liner travel. Or the End of The Pier, seagull serenaded, fish and chips frying, spearmint rock munching of Brighton, Cromer or Southend – the World’s longest.

Called a Lawn Chair in the US, the Deck Chair has an illustrious history. It was the victim of some on board snobbery. Around the turn of the 20th century, first class passengers would typically enjoy the padded loveliness of a “Steamer” deck chair -Port Out Starboard Home – their legs raised and clad in a woolen rug, invariably sipping broth, if the climate demanded, whilst more lowly passengers would enjoy their trip on a slung hammock canvas and teak deck chair that could be positioned to follow the sun around the deck and be folded for easy stowage.

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The origins of the folding chair has its history in Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. More recently, patents were obtained in the 1880’s in the US and UK for the classic steamer chair. R Holman & Co of Boston (Mass) were the manufactures of the Steamer Deck Chairs that graced the deck of the SS Titanic. Of the 600 supplied only six survived – below is a shot of one.

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There is some debate as to the precise origins of the more rudimentary wooden framed version. Primarily it comprises two rectangualar wooden frames, hinged, with an adjustable back piece and a single length of canvas forming the seat and backrest. Some sources  attribute it to a British inventor, Atkins, in the late 19th Century whereas others credit its design to being similar to “The Yankee Hammock Chair” as advertised in 1882.  The name “Brighton Beach Chair” also seems to predate our currently understood use of “Deck Chair”.

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In my Grandmother’s house in Hertfordshire – I think it was 1976 – she had a row of Edwardian faded green canvas chairs which not only had arms and a footrest but also a large sun canopy that flapped in whatever pathetic excuse for a breeze we had that summer. I recall that the covers perished quite frequently and the local nurseryman supplied rolls of 18” wide canvass to restring your chair. The look was completed by a white parasol, two Lloyd Loom chairs – see our previous post here – Lloyd Loom Chairs – and a bentwood table covered in a circular linen tablecloth with a jug of iced lemonade and tall glasses covered in weighted net – to avoid the flies.

Similar products are still made today by people such as Southsea Deckchairs Southsea Deckchairs

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Images used with grateful thanks – Southsea Dechairs and The V&A Museum

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Iconic Surf Brands

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I love surf/hippie/beach culture. Whilst it may be a complete mare to get to in July and August the realm of Tarifa, on Spain’s Costa de la Luz, is a Mecca for those who get their kicks on a kite, surf, SUP or boogie board – see our previous post here on Morey Boogie Boards – Morey Boogie boards.

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This is a lifestyle, available to all adherents. Whether you are a weekend hippie with a real job in corporate finance, benefit from a distant relative having invented some practical gizmo that makes life easier even today, a vacationing student or a “Crusty”, who sees the conventional pressures to earn a living, have a mortgage or to otherwise conform to some dated middle class ideal of the perfect life, as pointless, then there’s a welcome for you on the beach.

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For core participants of this tribe, whose transient existence may be complemented, if they have the funds, see previous references to those in the City and/or being a Trustafarian – by a VW bus – see our previous post here – Volkswagen Kombi – as the perfect transport for your kites and boards, their careful devotion to their appearance on an off the sand is crucial. Indeed being able to take the beach with them as they return to their other life is made possible by several wonderful and iconic surf brands who shroud the faithful when the smell of the salt air is a fading memory.

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Founded in Tarifa in the 1990’s by designer Andoni Galdeano and entrepreneur Herbert Newman, the El Niño brand of surfwear is defined by a passion for the perfect wave and embraces much of what our tribe of surf worshippers love. It’s colourful, expressive and almost all pieces bare the distinctive El Niño logo that my family has always called “the Angry Sperm” – the little discontented drip. In fact the name comes from the “levante” wind of the same name that blows from the East  over Tarifa.

For Adults and Children – add an El Niño shirt to your summer collection by clicking the Amazon link after the image

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El Niño The Child 11102 T-Shirt, Men, Men, 11102, Grey (Stone Grey), Medium

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El Niño The Child 0128013101 T-Shirt, Children, 13101, Orange (Fiesta), 12

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Quiksilver was founded in Torquay (Australia) in 1969 by Alan Green and John Law. It is now a multi-million dollar business, one of the largest manufacturers of surf and related sports goods, operating many stores worldwide. The company developed the successful young woman’s wear brand “Roxy” – who’s logo is a duplicate of the Quiksilver wave doubled to form a heart – it also owns the DC brand of skate shoes.

After a difficult period of trading in 2016 and restructuring the majority shareholder is now Oaktree Capital Management. In 2017 the company’s name was changed to “Boardriders” and is now based in Huntington Beach, California.

Quiksilver, along with Rip Curl – also founded in 1969 in Torquay (Australia) and still owned by co-founders Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer – and Billabong – founded on Australia’s Gold Coast (Queensland) by Gordon and Rena Merchant in 1973 and now co-owned by Oaktree Capital – are regarded as the “Big Three” Surfwear companies.

Add a pair of Quiksilver nubuck flip-flops to your beach collection by clicking the Amazon link below the image

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Quiksilver Men’s Molokai Nubuck Flip Flops, Multicolour (Brown CTK0), 42 42 EU

Or a pair of cool DC low top shoes….

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DC Shoes Trase TX, Men’s Low-Top, Blue (Navy/Camel Nc2), 8 UK (42 EU)

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Orange County on California’s Pacific Coast is the home Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach each with their own distinctive surf communities. In the 1984 Shawn Stussy – a young surfboard manufacturer – who signed his boards with his distinctive signature – founded his eponymous surfwear brand with Frank Sinatra Jnr (unrelated to the singer) in Laguna Beach.

Stussy surfwear became a favourite of the hip-hop scene of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. The brand is now a favourite of Drake and A$AP Rocky.

In 1996 Stussy left the brand selling his holding to Sinatra’s family who still own it.

A piece by Stussy is a must ….how about this signature cap? Click the Amazon link below the image

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Stussy Stock SP18 Snapback Hat Teal

Images with grateful thanks – El Niño Tarifa, Quiksilver/Boardriders, DC Shoes and Stussy.

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Aestheticons’ Men’s Guide To Perfect Gifts for Ladies

Xmas ladies

Guys, it’s that time of year when we know you may struggle to make the right gift choices for your ladies. At AEstheticons, we’ve done most of the hard work for you. Our recent affiliation with AMAZON allows us to offer you a carefully selected range of gifts – as you’d expect they are all beautiful, iconic and design classics.

We believe your choices will be a perfect way to show your ladies just how thoughtful and full of the holiday spirit you are……I acknowledge receiving some help from Mrs W – but then again she has such good taste! Please enjoy!

PS. You’ll need to do the wrapping!

Oh….and there’s nothing stopping Ladies buying for themselves or other Ladies!

After each image of the product is an Aestheticons post – if there is one – followed by the AMAZON link for ease of purchase. 

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Chanel – the Home of the Little Black Dress – founded in 1909 by Pierre Wertheimer and Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, also known as “Coco Chanel”. Their fragrances include the fabulous:

Chanel-Allure

Chanel AllureSo that’s what “Allure” means Chanel Allure Eau de Parfum – 50 ml

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Chanel No 5 – the iconic perfumeChanel No. 5 FOR WOMEN by Chanel – 50 ml EDP Spray

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Clarins tinted moisturizer – six colours to chose from depending on complexion. Mrs W is blond so No 4 (Blond) is her selection.

Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, 50 ml – 04 Blond

carmex

Carmex: Taste those lips – Carmex Lip Balm

Carmex Original Tube & Pot duo pack

Tiger Balm 1

Tiger Balm: Go on just relax Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm Red, 3 pack

Clothes

CK ladies

Calvin Klein Underwear: Chic comfort

Calvin Klein Bustier. 3 Pack Womens Cotton Bralette (Black / Grey / White, S)
Calvin Klein Women’s Underwear Cotton Thong, Grey (Grey Heather 020), 8 (Manufacturer Size: S)
Calvin Klein .. Women’s Cotton Bralette and Thong Underwear Set (Black, M)

FOTL Grey T

Fruit of the Loom T Shirts: Simple and beautiful Fruit of the Loom – T shirts

Fruit of the Loom Lady-Fit Valueweight V-Neck T-Shirt SS047 (S, Heather Grey)

Wolford

Wolford tights: Sheer elegance

Wolford Hosiery Opaque 70 Matt Tights Small Black

Levi 711

Levi Jeans 711 – for size selection check her wardrobe for similar fitting trousers!

Jeans Levis 711 City Blues 2932 Blue

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Burberry Coat: Stylish, iconic and elegant  Burberry Trench Coat

BURBERRY Women’s Wkensington Long Coat, Beige (Honey 70500), Medium

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Gloverall duffle: Traditional warm  Duffle Coat – by Gloverall

Gloverall Women’s Mid Duffle Coat, Grey (Silver), 14

Rab parka

Rab Parka: The best down by far… Rab Down Jackets

Rab Women’s Microlight Parka – Indigo, 16

Boots and Shoes

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Hunter’s Wellington: They don’t need to be Green! Hunter Green Wellington Boots

Hunter Original Tall, Women’s Wellington Boots, Red (Military Red), 6 UK (39 EU)

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Ugg Boots: Warm feet…warm heart

Ugg Australia Classic Short II, Women’s Boots, Light Brown, 5.5 UK (38 EU)

Ugg Slip

Ugg Slippers: So that’s Winter sorted!

Ugg Australia Dakota, Women’s Casual, Chestnut, 6.5 UK (39 EU)

Bass Weje Lady

Bass Weejuns: Very stylish – Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers

Womens G.H Bass Weejuns Esther Kiltie Slip On Smart Work Loafers Shoes – Black – 6

DM for Lady

Dr Martens: Yes, these look great on ladies too – Dr. Martens

Dr. Marten’s Original 1460 Patent, Women’s Boots, Black, 6 UK(39 EU)

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Converse: Cool with jeans –  Converse – Chuck Taylor All Stars

Converse Allstar All Star Core Ox Canvas Navy M9697 5 UK

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Birkenstocks  – Heading for the beach? Birkenstocks

Birkenstock Gizeh, Womens-Adults’ Sandals, Blue, EU 37

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Skechers – she will love you for this, I challenge you to find a more comfortable shoe 

Skechers Women’s Go Walk 4-Pursuit Trainers, Black (Black), 7 UK 40 EU

Jewellery

Cartier tank

Cartier Women’s Tank Francais Stainless Steel – Because she really is worth it!

Cartier Women’s W51008Q3 Tank Francaise Stainless Steel Watch 

Swatch Rab

Swatch – an everyday watch to face most things! – Swatch

Swatch Women’s Watch YLS453

Sabo 1

Thomas Sabo Bracelet: A bracelet for memories

Thomas Sabo Women-Charm Bracelet Charm Club 925 Sterling Silver Length 17 cm X0031-001-12-M

Sabo 2

Thomas Sabo Charms: A snowflake for Christmas

Thomas Sabo Women-Charm Pendant Snowflake Charm Club 925 Sterling Silver 0281-001-12

Desk

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Cross Sterling Silver pen: For fine writing  – Cross Classic Century – Sterling Silver ballpen

Cross Century Classic Hallmark Silver Ball Point Pen

Smythsons Notebook

Smythsons Notebook: Poems and Prose

Live Love Laugh Panama Wallet Note Book Smythson red red One Size

Moleskine 18 red

Molskine Diary: Keep a track on your appointments

2018 Moleskine Scarlet Red Large Weekly Notebook Diary 12 Months Soft

Accessories

Dents gloves
Suede glove by Dents

Dents Ladies Short Classic Plain Soft Suede Gloves (Black, Medium)

Longchamp

Longchamp Le Pliage Bag

Longchamp Women’s Le Pliage Large Tote Bag bag

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Longchamp Le Pliage Rucksack

Longchamp Women’s Le Pliage Backpack Backpack

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Rayban Wayfarers: Always and icon  Rayban Wayfarers

Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Sunglasses 52mm, Black (901)

Graham Cash socks

Pure cashmere socks: Not just bed socks!

Graham Cashmere – Womens Cashmere Rib Socks – Made in Scotland – Gift Boxed – Mirage Blue

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Pure Cashmere Tartan Blankets: wrap up! 

Pure Cashmere Tartan Blanket, Royal Stewart

Sweet tooth

Bendicks
Bendicks bittermint: a mint hamper 

Bendicks Standard Hamper

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Charbonnel and Walker sea salt caramel truffles

Charbonnel et Walker Double Layer Sea Salt Milk Caramel Truffles 245 g

Stuff

Fit bit 2

Fitbit Alta HR Fitness – Pulse racing? 

Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Wristband – Fuchsia, Small (5.5-6.7 in)

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Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – More Advanced Technology From Dyson

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – Fuchsia

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Amazon Kindle Fire: A quite read Amazon Kindle Fire

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1” 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black – with Special Offers

Ipod
Apple iPod Touch – load a playlist featuring some of her favourites. 

Apple 32 GB iPod Touch – Blue

Bose 35 c

BOSE Bose QuiteComfort 35

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones – Black

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Roberts Radio Roberts Radio

Roberts Revival iStream2 DAB/DAB+/FM Internet Radio – Duck Egg

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Vogue UK Kindle Edition Vogue UK – Sorry UK Only!

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Images courtesy of the Manufacturers

Aestheticons’ Lady’s Guide To Perfect Gifts for Men

Xmas Men

Ladies, OK, I admit it – we men are not easy to buy for. So Aestheticons has done some of the leg work for you. Our recent affiliation with AMAZON allows us to offer you a carefully selected range of gifts for Men – as you’d expect from us they are all great looking, iconic and design classics. We can assure you that they will be perfect to show the men in your life just how well you know them and their impeccable tastes…….Please enjoy! PS. You’ll need to do the wrapping!

Oh….and there’s nothing stopping Men buying for themselves or other Men!

After each image there’s a link to the Aestheticons post – if one already exists – which is then followed by the AMAZON link for ease of purchase.

Clothes

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Levis 501Levi 501’s

Levi’s 501 Original Fit Men’s Jeans, Blue (Stonewash), 34W x 32L

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RM Williams boots – RM Williams “Craftsman Boot”

R.M. Williams Craftsman chocolate/suede, Größen:45

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Woolrich Shirt –Woolrich shirt –

Woolrich Men’s Sportsman Chamois Long Button Down Shirt, Dark Navy Heather, XXXL

bass-loafers

Bass weejuns – Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers

Bass Larson Mens Leather Loafers Wine – 9 UK

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Dr Martens – Dr. Martens

Dr. Marten’s 1460 Original, Men’s Boots, Aztec, 10 UK

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Vilebrequin shorts Vilebrequin swim shorts

Vilebrequin Danse du Feu Swim shorts – Men – turmeric – XL

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Lacoste Pique Lacoste Shirt

Lacoste Men’s L1212 Original Polo Shirt, Blanc (Blanc), Medium

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Ralph Polo – Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt

Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt Men’s Classic Fit Solid Mesh (M, Bright Yellow)

Car T shirts 

Porsche T sh

Porsche 911 Targa Porsche 911 Targa Evolution of Man to Porche 911 T shirt

Mens Evolution of Man to PORSCHE 911 TURBO T-Shirt S – 5XL (Large, Black)

Alfa T shirt

Alfa Romeo Spider T shirt Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

Men’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider T-Shirt Indigo Blue, Large

VW KG

Karmann Ghia VW T Shirts  Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

VOLKSWAGEN KARMANN GHIA 1970 STENCIL MENS T SHIRT CLASSIC CAR (LARGE(42-44), CHARCOAL)

Dino T shirt

Ferrari Dino – Ferrari Dino T shirt

Ferrari Dino Classic T-shirt L

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Classic & Sports Car Magazine Subscription – Sunbeam Alpine – Bond’s first car

Classic & Sports Car

hunters-boots

Hunter Wellingtons Hunter Green Wellington Boots

Hunter Men’s Original Tall Wellington Boots

Le Chameau

Le Chameau Boots The Country Is Calling – Be Prepared!

Le Chameau Chasseur Heritage Kevlar Mens Wellington Boots Green – 42 EU

barbour-jacket

Barbour Waxed Jacket Barbour Jacket

BARBOUR CPS0819 MWX Jacket Men XL

converse

Converse High Tops Converse – Chuck Taylor All Star

Converse Unisex-Adult Chuck Taylor All Star Hi-Top Trainers, Black- 8 UK

rab-jacket

Rab Jacket Rab Down Jackets

Men’s Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

guernesey-jumpers

Guernsey Jumper – Guernsey sweater

Traditional and Genuine Guernsey Jumper – Navy (46)

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Gloverall duffle coat Duffle Coat – by Gloverall

Gloverall Men’s Classic Duffle Coat, Grey (Grey),44 UK (54 EU )

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Hackett’s Moleskin Trousers – Hackett’s moleskin trousers

Hackett Men’s Slim Fit Moleskin Chinos 36 Regular Navy

CK Briefs

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Men’s Basics Button Front Boxer Briefs, Black, Medium

PS Socks

Paul Smith Socks

PAUL SMITH Mens Cotton Socks Maroon Red Pink Polka Dots One Size

FOTL T Shirt

Fruit of the Loom T Shirts – Fruit of the Loom – T shirts

Fruit of the Loom Men’s Heavy T-Shirt Pack of 5, Heather Grey, X-Large

Tools

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Opinel Knives – Opinel Knives

Opinel Trekking Knife No.8 with Leather Thong

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Swiss Army Knives Victorinox SwissChamp

Victorinox Swiss Champ Pocket Knife – Red, Medium

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Leatherman Wave Leatherman “Wave”

Leatherman Wave LT650 Pocket Tool

maglite

Maglite – Maglite D3 cell torch

Maglite ST3D016 3D Cell LED Torch – Black

wahl-clippers

Wahl clippers – Wahl Clippers

Wahl Super Taper Hair Clipper

Stuff

chanel-egoiste

Chanel Egoiste – Chanel Egoiste

Chanel Egoiste Eau de Toilette – 100 ml

gopro

Go Pro Camera – Go Pro Hero 4 camera

GoPro HERO5 Session Camera – Black

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Zippo Lighter – Zippo lighter

Zippo Armor Lighter – Brushed Brass

Oculus 1

Oculus Rift – Oculus Rift – a future classic?

Oculus Rift + Oculus Touch Controller

Casio Calc 2

Casio MS-8 Calculator – Casio MS-8 calculator

Casio MS-80VERII 8 Digit Currency Desk Calculator

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Eastpack backpack – Eastpak backpack

Eastpak Padded Pak’R Backpack – 24 L, Traditional Navy

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Rayban’s Wayfarers Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Ray-Ban 2132 New Wayfarer

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Apple 9.7 inch IPAD New 9.7″ iPad

Apple iPad Pro 9.7″ 128GB Wi-Fi – Space Grey

weber

Weber Grill – Weber Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue 57 cm Black

B&W Zepplin 1

B&W Zeppelin – Bowers & Wilkins – Zeppelin

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker – Black

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Roberts Radio – Roberts Radio

Roberts Revival iStream2 DAB/DAB+/FM Internet Radio – Duck Egg

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Anglepoise lamp – Anglepoise Lamp

Anglepoise Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp – Deep Slate

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Brooks Saddle – Brooks bicycle saddles

B17 STANDARD HONEY

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Artemide Tizio lamp – Artemide – Tizio lamp

Tizio 50 Desk Light Black

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Mont Blanc Rollerball – Mont Blanc Rollerball pen

MontBlanc Meisterstuck Platinum Line Ballpoint Pen – Black

amazon-5th

Amazon Kindle Fire – Amazon Kindle Fire

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8″ HD Display, 16 GB, Black — with Special Offers

moleskine-2

Moleskine Diary – Moleskine Notebook

2018 Moleskine Large Weekly Notebook Diary 18 Months Hard

Billingham 2

Billingham 225 Camera Bag – Billingham 225 Camera Bag

Billingham 225 Canvas Camera Bag With Tan Leather Trim – Khaki

Le Creu 5

Le Creuset Casserole – Le Creuset – Flame Kitchenwear

Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Oval Casserole, 29 cm – Satin Black

Bose 35 c

BOSE QuietComfort 35 – BOSE – Future Design Classics

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones – Black

Soundlink-Revolve

BOSE Soundlink Revolve – BOSE – Future Design Classics

Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker – Triple Black

Duralex Provo 1

Duralex Provence and Picardie Glasses – Duralex Provence  and Duralex Glass – Picardie

Duralex Super Strong Provence Tumblers Tumbler Glasses 8.8oz / 250ml (Box of 6) – Height 98mm

Duralex Picardie water glass 360ml, without filling mark, 6 Glasses

imperia

IMPERIA Pasta Maker – Imperia pasta machine

Imperia Italian Pasta Gift Set

Dualit Combi 3

A Dualit Toaster and a hamper of great holiday treats….. Holiday Breakfast

Dualit Combi 2+2 Toaster 42174 – Polished

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Images all courtesy of manufacturers

VéloSolex moped

Solex 2

Increasingly dependent on getting from A to B as quickly as possible I have noticed a rise in commuters using electrically operated bicycles and small motorized scooters. They seem to offer limited comfort and even less protection for the rider who, for an inexplicable reason, think they have the power of a large Harley, BMW or Honda at their fingertips and get themselves into precarious positions on the road causing much frustration to others.

In a far gentler era the predecessor of these street demons was VéloSoleX or more frequently referred to as a Solex which was moped – or motorised bicycle – originally produced by Solex who were based in Paris (France) and founded by engineering friends, Maurice Goudard and Marcel Mennesson.

Designed by Mennesson during World War II, the Solex was produced between 1946 and 1988 in a variety of versions largely utilising the same technology of a motor with roller resting on and driving the front wheel of the bicycle.

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Being very competitively priced and hugely economical to run, the Soles was a massive success. In total it sold in excess of 7m units. In 1947 even BP created “Solexine”, a pre-mixed  oil and petrol mix for the Solex’s two stroke engine and sold in a 2L can. By the late 1940’s Solex was selling 100 units a day rising to 1500 a day by the mid-1960’s – when it was blessed with a new maximum – though limited – speed of 30 km.

The company now makes a range of electrically powered bicycles. An early version, designed by Pininfarina, was launched in 2005 as the E-Solex.

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By 2014 the Solexity Infinity was launched, again from the pen of Pininfarina – with capacity to travel up to 80 km on one charge – at the costs of around €2,000 – keeping the brand alive!

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As French as the Beret, Brie and Baguette, the Solex, a classic French icon of the mid-20th century, has a very special place in my psyche as I explored the opportunity in the 1980’s of importing them into the UK. It was perhaps my first brush with the ever increasing dominance of the words “Health & Safety” in our national idiom.

I was required to deliver details to the Ministry of Transport who after some consideration and lots of teeth sucking, decided that the fuel tank, which was then made of a reasonable durable plastic was too feeble to withstand any front-end impact and the risks of fire were too great.

Solex also commissioned various evocative advertising posters, which in their own right are increasingly collectable.

Solex Poster a

For our French speaking friend’s – we know who you are – the equivalent of a an Owner’s Manual for a Vélosolex is a must – Le Guide du Vélosolex click the Amazon link below the image to get yours!

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Le guide du Vélosolex

Why not pick up a classic French VeloSolex enamel sign that will look at home in your Gite in La Gironde, on the wall of your Flat in Fulham or your Man-cave in Manchester! Click the AMAZON link below the image

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FRENCH VINTAGE METAL SIGN 40x30cm RETRO AD VELOSOLEX LE VRAI BICYCLESD2C56E9B-03F2-4C9E-AF3A-13C55668EEA2

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FRENCH VINTAGE METAL SIGN 40x30cm RETRO AD VELOSOLEX REFERENDUM 2

I love VeloSolex – and all this little motor cycle represents – you can too with this iconic T Shirt! Please click the Amazon link below the image 

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Velosolex Moped T-Shirt. Gents Ladies Kids Sizes. Bike Cycling France Motorcycle:X Large – 48″

If you liked this post please “Like” and share it with your friends. We’d really like to hear your experiences of the subject(s) featured in this post. Please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks

Photo Credits – with grateful thanks – Solex SA

Airstream trailers

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Ok – hands up – I don’t like caravans. They tend to be ugly and baulk the free flow of traffic. If you could chose to have an away day at the seaside regardless of the weather why would you chose to stay in a fibre-glass shed with limited ventilation and the ever present aroma of damp and the chemical toilet?

On the other hand, with a face clad in a pair of classic Ray-bans – please see our previous post here – Ray-Ban Wayfarers you’d be more than happy to freeze at a windy beach, shrink your intimate regions to the size of raisins to catch some great waves, if you knew at the end of the day your temporary home was a warm aluminium-shelled beach cabin with every mod-con! Enjoy our earlier outdoor posts of other American branded icons here Morey Boogie boards and Frisbee

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Yes, the Airstream trailer – American for “caravan” – is less a motorway frustrator and more a cigar tube with benefits! These wonderful portable homes ooze charm and scream American icon.

Company founder, Wally Byam, in Los Angeles in the late 1920’s, started to build and market trailers. Airstream’s distinctive shape, with its curved, riveted and polished aluminium body, has its roots in aircraft building and the 1930’s designs of Hawley Bowlus, the engineer responsible for Lindburgh’s “Spirit of St. Louis”. Bowlus designed a trailer that Byam marketed and in 1936 he acquired the Bowlus company which included the trailer re-launched by Byam as the “Airstream Clipper”. It had a sleeping capacity for four, its own water supply and electric lights and cost $1200.

Closed during the war years due to the scarcity of raw materials, by 1948 Byam’s was back in business opening a new factory in Jackson Center, Ohio in 1952, where today the company, now a part of Thor Industries Inc. employs more than 475 people and manufactures more than 2000 trailers per year.

Interestingly, Airstream make European models that are slightly smaller in dimensions than their US versions as European roads tend to be narrower and the SUV vehicles used to tow their trailers tend to be less powerful.

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In many ways Airstream is one of those companies whose reach is beyond their brand and a stimulus to development of a sub-culture. The Wally Byam Caravan Club International – which he founded and led – helped to stretch the horizons of its members by seeking out parts of new and fascinating locations.

In many trailer park locations, the Airstream has provided families with a static camping option with jacuzzi’s and outdoor cooking – see our previous post here – Weber Grill

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Perhaps the iconic status of the Airstream can be best summed up in the words of Geoff Wardle, Chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, who is quoted a having said, “The Airstream is a pure object, which is why it has lasted.”

Given its iconic status companies that already have a very defined aesthetic, like Bentley – for their 4×4 Bentayga – and Tesla,  have used images of their vehicles pulling Airstreams to make a connection with, particularly an American audience.

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To support Tesla’s launch of its SUV crosser Model X in 2016 it launched a series of Airstream trailers which travelled the US as portable “design studios” to demonstrate the car’s towing ability.

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Wanna know some more? There’s an excellent publication by Patrick R. Foster that documents the first 80 years of the Airstream – click the link below the image to pick up a copy

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Airstream: 80 Years of America’s World Traveler

For those who already love Airstream’s trailers – why not show the world? Get this Airstream image long sleeved T shirt – click on the link below the image

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CafePress – Airstream Trailer – Unisex Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt

I particularly like the vibe of this natural canvas bag – click on the link below the image to get one 

See also our earlier posts on the Peace Symbol here – Peace Sign and The Summer of Love and The Peace Sign

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CafePress – Peace, Love And Vintage Trailers – Natural Canvas Tote Bag, Cloth Shopping Bag

Interest to be part of the Community why not connect to Airstream’s own online newsletter – “The Rivet” – click here to sign up –  The Rivet

Image Credits courtesy of Airstream, Bentley and Tesla with grateful thanks

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Dr. Martens

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They may have been around since Noah herded his flock into the Arc and they may have been the only item to appear on Miley Cyrus’ body in the clip for her track “Wrecking Ball” but Doc Martens have a curious place in the history of iconic objects. I think they may be a bit like sex as each new generation seems to discover them.

Their most recent store in London’s Covent Garden bears testamony to their enduring appeal. It is stuffed wall to wall with English and Euro Students, visitors from the Far East and new hippys all trying on the classic pairs but also the current seasons  crop – reimagined icons – of “designer” versions. What they will be assured of is that they will wearing a practical day to day and somewhat timeless, icon.

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Whilst I have enduring affection for Dr Martens, I have, in fact, only ever had one pair. They were a simple black low classic shoe design that lasted me years and were amazingly comfortable. They were a present from the company (R. Griggs Company Ltd the owner of the “Dr Martens” name) following their opening in the early 1990’s of their then flagship store in Covent Garden – next to St Paul’s Church – that I had helped them with image rights clearances. The same store is now occupied by the Oakley.

There are several distinctive elements to a pair of Dr. Martens, in addition to the yellow sole stitching, including a primary asset, enjoyed by the wearer, the air-cushioned “AirWair” soles.

Perhaps ironically given the status his boots and shoes have achieved in being seen as as an iconic British made product, Dr Klaus Märtens – the eponymous Dr Martens –  was a doctor in the German army in the Second World War.

In 1945, following sustaining an ankle injury Dr Martens found the regular army boots too uncomfortable and so designed various improvements including the addition of softer leather and an air-cushioned sole. He incorporated his designs into a version of his famous shoes post war. In 1947, together with an old college friend, Dr. Herbert Funck, the pair set up business in Germany to manufacture the shoes – finding initial successful market with a middle-aged female market! With an increase in sales and the establishment of a factory in Munich in 1952 the pair looked for export markets.

In 1959, UK footwear manufacturer, R. Griggs Group Ltd., licensed production rights, made slight variations including the yellow sole stitching and trademarked the name “AirWair”. On 1st April 1960 Griggs launch the first Dr. Martens boots to be made in the United Kingdom, known by the style number “1460” and produced at their factory in Wollaston, (Northants UK) Initial success came from supplying postal workers and the police forces.

This was the iconic 1460 boot – now an essential piece of classic English wardrobe.

I really like the 1460 Crazy Horse in brown – check out the following AMAZON link

Dr. Martens Unisex Original 1460 Aztec 11822200 5 UK Regular or black

Dr Martens 1460, William Blake 8-Eye, Unisex Leather Lace Up Boots, Black, 8 UK (42 EU)

We’ll all be familiar with the affection held for “DMs” amongst various music based sub-cultures including Mods, Skinheads, Punks and latterly in the mid-1990’s, Grunge. However, as with all such youth trend linked products, fortunes varied. Turnover for the group in 1999 was $412m falling to $127m in 2006. Narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in 2003, the company ceased UK production and moved all production to The Far East. However, in 2004, a moment of inspiration struck and Dr. Martens started manufacturing a “Vintage” range based on original production specifications in small numbers from the Wollaston factory.

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Dr. Martens Original Adult’s Vintage 1460 Black 12308001 5 Uk Regular

Worldwide sales revived and the Company was hailed for its turnaround achievement. In October 2013, R Griggs Group Ltd, was acquired by Permira, a private equity group, for £300m a deal that included all rights to the Dr Martens brand. Griggs continues to be based at Wollaston (Northamptonshire, UK).

A statistic worth noting is that over 100 million pairs of Dr. Martens shoes were sold between 1960 to 2010!

Well that’s done it I am getting a new pair – join me by clicking the following Amazon link – I think these Dr Marten Adrian Tassel’s are not only great looking shoes they carry aloft the fine tradition of Dr Martens.

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Dr. Martens Unisex Adults’ Adrian Slip-on Loafer, Red, Burgundy, 9 UK

If you liked this post please “Like” and share it with your friends. We’d really like to hear your experiences of the subject(s) featured in this post. Please share them below in the “Leave a Reply” section. Thanks

Image credits with grateful thanks R Griggs Group Limited – Dr Martens