West Enders Update

Dear Friends and Followers,

The West Enders have been very quiet since June, and for this I apologise. I have had an endless series of challenges due to my illness and the various drugs I take – immunosuppressants, anticonvulsants, and many more. My illness, chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a form of pulmonary fibrosis, continues to progress and I realise that I cannot continue to post the West Enders in quite the same way. I no longer have enough energy to put up and take down sets and backgrounds, so I have been working on creating some permanent spaces in which the story can take place. This is an ongoing process. I also decided to downgrade my collection and am giving my granddaughter several boxes of dolls, clothes, furniture and accessories to sell on eBay. Of course, getting rid of dolls doesn’t seem to stop me from buying more! So when the West Enders return, I will post a new page of characters to help you see who is new and who remains. In the meantime, I thought I would update you on some of the West Enders’ activities.

And yes, there will be a final episode to Season Five in which we will find out the fate of Bigly! (Knock on wood – never tempt fate!)

First of all, today is Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, Samhain, one of the turning points of the year in the Celtic calendar. So how did the West Enders celebrate?

Many familiar characters went out to the annual Halloween Party. Here are Lara and Lottie:

Here are Midge and Rachel – yes, Rachel, who used to be a baby! I have decided to “grow” some of the babies up.

Other children who have “grown up” are Emma’s daughters Lola (now on the right) and Vivianne (now on the left). But in the following image, we can see the former Kalani Holmes is now almost an adult.

Claire and Honey haven’t changed.

There’s a new Dr Bonnie Panenka:

Esmée is going to experience some traumatic changes but for now, she seems happy enough.

A new “teen Ruruko” has joined the West Enders.

Celebrating Día de los Muertos, Frida Dahlo and her nephew join Sindy Petersen.

I’ve been working on new permanent spaces, and Frida will soon have a new dedicated space for her restaurant. In the meantime, Tommy and Salynda have welcomed Salynda’s sister Lucy to their home.

I also created a student common room for the Bernstein College of Music and Art. (That’s a student lounge in American English.)

Some of the students have been checking out the new Italian restaurant.

As you may have noticed, collecting OOAK dolls is one of my passions and I have added some really lovely dolls to the West Enders. First up is the new version of Georgiana Daley, a OOAK from ImDolls on Etsy.

She’s already met another of the new dolls, although he’s not OOAK. I think they make a cute couple, but I’m not sure it’s going to last. He’s called Raheem Rashford, after two of our popular England footballers (soccer players to Americans).

Next is this gorgeous rerooted OOAK Wonder Woman from OneSixthShop on Etsy, now known as Carrie Danes because she reminds me of Claire Danes’ character in “Homeland.”

Blessing Olatunji has a new look, from soniavivajapan on Etsy:

These two young ladies, a new version of Marguerite Charpentier and a new character, Millie Brewer, are from Amelieshappyplace on Etsy.

Another newcomer is this BMR1959 repaint from UzhikiSisters on Etsy.

The doll artist whose work I have collected most is Constantinos Kalaitzis, creator of TheFoxyDolls on Etsy. I had to add this rerooted Barbie Extra doll to my collection:

I also fell in love with this repainted Extra doll from DaydreamArtDolls on Etsy. She’s so cute! Who could resist? Here she is redressed.

I do like the Extra fashions; I bought one of the dolls just for her outfit (she was on sale because her box was damaged). I think her outfit looks fabulous on my OOAK doll from SalemCityDolls on Etsy:

Another new passion of mine is Mizi dolls. I now have four of them, three of them purchased very recently. Here is the stunning Les Mille et une Nuits Mizi doll:

Here she is in “street clothes” with her gorgeous sister from the 2021 Convention collection:

Another fun convention doll, “Spice Girl” Lily, who I have renamed Lela Majak:

There’s more to come – slowly, I realise, but please don’t give up on the West Enders yet! My final photo is the new doll to represent Celeste Santos – so gorgeous in this outfit from elenpriv on Etsy!

The West Enders Sneak Preview: A new pizzeria opens in the village

I haven’t posted any episodes recently but I have been working behind the scenes to create new dioramas for the village, make final decisions on the characters, and try to make my doll room a bit more user friendly. Many of you probably aren’t aware that I have a rare lung disease called chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is progressive and incurable. I use oxygen when I’m up and active and over the last year, it’s become clear that putting up and taking down dioramas is just too much for me so I’ve been trying to create some permanent fixtures for the West Enders and plan future stories around them. Next month I hope to post a wrap up of events after the arrest of Bigly. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of one of the new permanent fixtures, a pizzeria, opened by Lexi Lombardi!

As you can see, some of the secondary school students have gathered to celebrate Ginny’s birthday with her. Teddy has quit his job at the café and is the new cook/chef at the pizzeria. Trichelle is working as a waitress. There are a few more things coming to add some finishing touches, but I’m pleased with the result so far. Next up, a grocery store!

Interlude: A West Enders End of Year Update

The West Enders haven’t had an episode in a while, but I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the next one on 20 January – the fate of Bigly! I know many of you will be interested to know what happens to him once the man on whom he is based has left office. So hang in there – I know you’ll enjoy it! I’ve also been working on a character page and that will be posted on 20 January as well. Some characters have left, others have arrived, so hopefully that will keep you straight on who’s who. For now, I’d like to introduce a few of them.

First of all, there’s my mini-me, created by Bee Hale of Bee Real Dolls, who you can find on Facebook and Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BeeRealDolls.

Next, we have three of the new collector Sindy dolls. Because West End Village is located in England, I was thrilled to be able to add these quintessentially British fashion dolls to the cast. They have been having fun trying on clothes since they arrived and have redressed for the cold weather. They can be found at https://sindycollectorsclub.co.uk.

As you can see, West End Village has had a white Christmas. Having grown up in Israel, snow is a special treat for Noa. She’s all bundled up and ready to go in her warm clothes from LexDesignsByDoyle on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LexDesignsByDoyle

Let’s catch up with the Panenkas. Over Christmas, two new cousins arrived, Penny’s sisters Candi and Carli. They chat by the fire.

Bonnie and Ivana enjoy a cuppa with scones, clotted cream, and jam.

Steffi and Claire have taken the little ones outside.

Hang in there fans! The West Enders will return soon with plenty of drama. In the meantime, rejoice at the end of 2020 and be hopeful for a better world in 2021. That’s what Gudrun is doing.

Almost all of the clothes worn by the Panenkas and Gudrun are also from Etsy, so if you would like more information about any of them, please let me know in the comments. To be honest, I’ve had some of them for so long, I can’t always remember from which shop I bought them.