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Showing posts from November, 2018

Minimalist Advent Style. . .

My take on an Advent wreath this year sans the violet or purple candle for the fourth Sunday.  Sadly, I could not find one that is unscented, so white it is.  Of course, the red berries are fake (I know, I know), but they provide a bit more visual interest than simply four white candles sitting there at the center of the table.

The Advent period is almost upon us, so I took a couple of hours today to hang some honest-to-goodness evergreen wreathes on either side of the front door outside, set up the Young Master's Advent house, and put up some white icicle lights along the eaves at the front of the house.  

We don't go crazy with Christmas decorations here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold, and we get a few weeks closer to Christmas before putting up and decorating a couple of trees, but it's nice to have a few seasonal items around the interior of the first floor to help brighten the dark mornings and evenings between now and the first few days of January when we put everything away …

Advanced Edge and Heel Care. . .

Winter Sports 1935 Style. . .

An interesting vintage winter sports poster from the mid-1930s.  Can you tell where my thoughts are this morning?

Well, we've had four or maybe five inches of crunchy snow on the ground since Monday here in Mid-Michigan.  Not quite enough for cross-country (Nordic) skiing, but we are certainly thinking in the direction.  The Young Master is due to receive some new skis, boots, and poles from ol' Saint Nick this Christmas since he has outgrown his inaugural pair from Christmas 2014, which he has used the last four winters (he's actually a pretty good skier at this point).  Time for some longer waxless Fischer skis with normal step-in NNN bindings.

I too have a pair by Fischer that are really fast, but my go-to skis are a pair by Madshus that I purchased in Norway many years ago when I learned how to schuss-schuss-schuss through the snowy forests outside of Trondheim.  These got a bit slow last winter, so I've just ordered some Swix base cleaner to remove almost 20 years …

Snowy Tuesday Tweed Suit Style. . .

Above, featuring a vintage wool challis necktie hand blocked in England.  I found this several years back for a couple of dollars in one of my three old thrift/charity haunts in Central Illinois before we decamped for Michigan in June 2015.  The shirt is a Land's End Original Oxford, purchased way back in 2003 or '04 when the company still sold mostly 'must iron' shirts.  The pocket square is a silk number from Put This On and features flowers in mid- and light blue that look more like snowflakes to me, so it seemed fun to add it to the pocket of today's suit before I ventured out the door and into the cold early this morning.


And the bottom half, featuring red SWIMS overshoes atop the usual Allen Edmonds long-wing brogues.  Not visible are the gray Fair Isle socks from Dapper Classics and the braces I wore with today's suit in lieu of a belt.

Quite cold with about 5 inches of crunchy snow underfoot here in Mid-Michigan, which made it an ideal day to trot out thi…

Holiday Dinner Style. . .

The Young Master, already a bit silly and eager to sit down to the Thanksgiving table here.


The Young Master and yours truly, the old so and so.


The Young Master and his mother, the bright lights of my life.  He has, for better or worse, inherited his father's sense of humor and class clown approach to the rest of the world.  As my wife observed last night at dinner, living with both of us is like living with a combination of Peter Sellars, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Martin Short, and Jerry Lewis.  Good.  We'd be big in France.

Three photographs taken a few minutes before Thanksgiving Dinner was served last Thursday evening here at  Totleigh-in-the-Wold.  The Young Master, as always, was the star of the show, but ol' Mom and Dad look pretty good too.  Accumulating snow today (Monday morning), and school has already decided to close due to the weather, so the long Thanksgiving weekend will last a day longer than expected.  Not a bad thing at all.

-- Heinz-Ulrich



A Late Birthday Gift. . .

A wrist-selfie featuring my new Bulova wristwatch, which arrived the day before Thanksgiving.

One of the few acceptable pieces of visible jewelry that a man can get away with, besides a wedding band, or perhaps a signet ring, is a nice, understated wristwatch.  Now, some guys with big wrist bones and muscular forearms might be able to pull off a sports watch, a Rolex, or one of the many Rolex wannabes out there.  I have always felt, though, that this type of watch -- unless you actually happen to be an oceanographer, a fighter pilot, or an astronaut -- is on the ostentatious side and even veers wildly into needlessly garish territory depending on the model of watch and how prominently it is on display for the world to see.  Thank you, Mr. Agnelli.  

And an Apple Watch is just so. . .  I don't know.  Intentionally obsolescent after about a year?  They don't exactly scream classically stylish either.  More like Dick Tracy meets The Jetsons.

No.  Far better to err on the side of so…

Happy Thanksgiving 2018!

A vintage Thanksgiving greeting from many years gone by that seems appropriate on at least a couple of levels for today.

Gentlemen, start your engines!  The 2018 holiday season has begun in earnest.  To any U.S. visitors dropping by Classic Style today, Happy Thanksgiving!  

Please remember, gentlemen, to dress nicely for dinner, place your napkin in your lap, chew with your mouths closed, don't talk with your mouths full, ask for things to be passed to you (no boarding house reach), and keep your elbows off the table during the meal.  Now, pass that pumpkin pie and coffee!  

As for me, I'm off to make the green jello salad.  I know, I know.  But it's actually pretty good.  Happy Thanksgiving!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Say "No!" to Another Holiday Season Fraught with Stress. . .

Not overtly seasonal, true, but this vintage dinner party illustration helps set the right tone for the last seven weeks or so of 2018.  Can you believe it?

Although it is just November 21st, and Thanksgiving Day is not until tomorrow here in The United States, the annual holiday season, as it is called here, is upon us.  It will last, in some instances, until after January 1st.  So, you might be excused for feeling exhausted by the prospect of almost two months filled with all of the preparation, travel, and planned festivities either real, or imagined.  

I suggest, in my usual contrarian way, that we strive for a more relaxed and understated holiday period than has become the accepted norm for many people between the end of October and the beginning of January each year.  Here is a short list of ways we might achieve that aim:


1) Don't leave things until the last minute.  
Enough said really.  You can fill the blanks here, but taking care of things ahead of time is its own reward, a…

The Annual Classic Style Plea for the Routine Practice of Pleasant Table Manners. . .

A reasonably formal table setting for the coming Thanksgiving holiday in two days' time here in the United States.

As the Old Meatloaf Song Put It. . .

No, not a new suit, but new buttons!
As the old song by Meatloaf went, two out of three ain't bad on this Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States.  First, the two. . .

I picked up the above suit from my tailor's on the way home from campus this morning, where he had sewn on new buttons to replace to the original, truly awful solid tan buttons that came on the suit when I purchased it some years ago.  It looks like a different item!  I've always liked enjoyed the suit, but the better buttons take things to a whole new level.
Next, I dropped by the bank to deposit an actual check (remember those?).  Not one, but two of the 20-something male tellers, one who was the greeter, and another who actually helped me from behind the counter, had on full suits with neckties and leather dress shoes!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I can't recall the last time I observed male bank employees, who were not the branch manager, in actual suits.  T…

Golden Earring - Radar Love (Long Version)

Mid-Michigan Style for Mid-November. . .

"The Young Master warning ol' Dad before the school bus arrived, "No skiing, tobogganing, or other fun in the snow ever!"

The Young Master, who is in the 3rd Grade and turned nine three weeks ago, has discovered that he can make people laugh.  A lot.  

A great reader, and highly talented with pencils, paper, and paints, he has created a series of book covers and story text since the early summer, which is divided into chapters, all about the misadventures of one put upon small boy who is made to do a million and one household chores by his mean father (actually just one task a day Monday through Friday plus feed the fish and cats daily) in the name of helping around the house and learning responsibility.  The mean father in these highly detailed illustrations, naturally, looks like yours truly.  Imagine that.

The various related narratives committed to paper always seems to be about arduous things like bath times, homework, feeding the fish and cats, swiffering the kit…