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Archive for September 2011

Birmingham Vintage Festival

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Last Saturday I took a day out to go visit the BirminghamVintage Festival, which was taking place at the Jewelery Quarter in Birmingham.

Rickie Josen, whom I have mentioned before,  is an organizer of many events in the city, including the Birmingham Writers Club and Jelly, an entrepreneur’s networking morning.

She had gathered together, in one urban space, clothes designers, artists, photographers, baristas and bakers alike.

By the time I got there I was starving so my first call was Chitty’s Cupcake company’s stall.  Rebecca Chitty has been supplying cakes to Birmingham’s hungry residents for quite some time now and her cake decorating classes have been a huge success.  For more details, check out her website.

While I was still licking the icing off my fingers I browsed through the art stall.  Art Angel sells framed sketches of the 1940-1960 period.  Marie Nemeth, originally from Rochdale, has a BA in fine art and made her name with small, simple sketches of film stars and celebrities of yesteryear.

Nearby Keith Bloomfield was snapping away with the biggest camera I have ever seen.  However, he said it only came out on special occasions.  His preferred camera of choice these days was his iphone!  Quite remarkable how mobile technology has become the choice of everybody these days.  To see more of his video art check out his website here.

Further back Bianca Rosa had a stall full of curiosities, jewels and gloves of all kinds.  They also do parties at Asha’s restaurant.

Last on my list were the lovely ladies of Dress Your Soul.  These fashionistas had stalls and rails full of dresses, furs, coats, hats and cushions.  All in ornate and pristine condition.  They liked to pick their items to sell by hand.  Also they had a good eye for future fashions and their astute eye for next season’s ‘must have’ item has served them well.

For the kids there was also face painting, courtesy of Midlands Face Painting.

Finally I caught up with Rickie Josen herself for a coffee and a chat about how it all came about.

I wanted something to happen in the Jewellery Quarter – on my doorstep, that highlighted the creativity and talent we have here. I’m aware of some ever increasing great Vintage events in the city but a lot of traders come from out of town. I want something that is predominantly West Midlands based, an event that promotes local traders and helps them succeed.

With BVF, my hope is that small businesses excel with repeat business and to this end I urge them to have their name displayed, have flyers and cards and generally let people know they have a lot to offer.

In addition to creating revenues for our local fledgling businesses, I want every man, woman and child to have a wonderful afternoon that takes them to a bygone era and the music theme plays a big part in this.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

September 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Shopping

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The Girlfriend Experience

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Rebecca Dakin is a relationship coach with experience like no other.  As an escort with nearly  a decade’s experience she knows men better than most, and what makes us tick.  She also knows better than most where we go right, and often, so terribly wrong.

Her tell-all autobiography is now available by clicking here.  I had a read of two of her sample chapters.  The first described a typical work-date.  I found the account to be both articulate and honest.  The second chapter accounted for some of the reasons why certain men go to prostitutes.  The motives are many and highly varied.  Bad husbands are always derided but a fact often overlooked is that there are a lot of bad, cold or uncaring wives too.

Some of the stories of clients and their sheer cheek made me laugh on several occasions.  Also it seems those in the sex-trade are often underestimated intellectually, and indeed morally.

So she finally decided to put her knowledge to good use and re-launch herself as a relationship coach.  Her new book ‘Why Husbands Stray’ seeks to dispel some of the myths around infidelity,  it’s causes and repercussions.

After she had some attention from the mainstream media things began to gather speed for Rebecca.

So I contacted this stunning lady  for a quick chat:

How did you get into this line of work?

I used to buy FHM and Loaded and in the back there was an advert looking for escorts.  I signed up, and off I went.

Do you worry that your story may encourage more impressionable ladies into a highly risky occupation?

Belle de Jour TV series is completely glamourising the industry, and that is where the risk and concern is.  If you read the whole of my book it is very balanced in my opinion.  I have talked about the negative side of escorting, and the dangers.  I made a point of saying that I consider myself very lucky, and that anyone entering into the profession should do so with a lot of thought and care.  I say in my book that the minimum age should be at least 25 and not 18.  Girls will chose escorting anyway.  Reading my book teaches them to do it with care, and highlights the dangers and that can only be a good thing.

What is the most romantic thing a guy has done for you?

The most romantic thing a guy has done for me, when I was about 20, my boyfriend at that time wrote songs and poetry for me.

When did you feel it was time to move on to other challenges?

I starting thinking about finishing escorting when I was 32 I think.  I was conscious that there was no age limit, I have friends doing it in their fifties.  I want to settle down and have a family, and be successful in another business.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

One of my most embarrassing moments was when I had to make a point of telling someone that they have poor hygiene for not brushing their teeth, when in fact they didn’t have any!

You can keep up with Rebecca via her website or on Twitter

Written by Nick Gilmartin

September 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm