I couldn't wait to wear the vintage velvet skirt I'd bought at a local charity shop the day before.
It was when we were on our way to the till that Jos suddenly noticed the skirt had a Think Twice label still attached, showing its original price of € 12.
If you are wondering why someone buys a vintage skirt, and then gives it to charity with the label still attached, as a regular Think Twice shopper I think I know the answer.
My guess is that it was bought at the tail end of one of their sales, when everything goes for € 1 or € 2. Whoever bought it probably took a chance and bought it without trying it on as there would have been the usual long queue at the changing rooms.
Anyway, it fits me like a glove and I only paid € 4. So thank you, whoever you are!
I combined the skirt with a blouse from ... yes, you guessed right ... featuring ginger tabby cats, a charity shopped belt and ditto beads and a brooch found at a flea market in November.
Both the jacket and the boots have already featured on this blog a couple of times before, as they are firm favourites.
As for our charity shopping trip: it wasn't much of a success.
Apart from the St. Rita plaster bust I showed you in my previous post, I only found a fake fur jacket for € 8 and a scarf for € 1.
We were going to stop in at another shop on our way back but changed our minds as the weather was far too gorgeous to be spent inside.
So, in remembrance of my dad, we stopped by at the place where we said goodbye to him, one of the playing grounds of his childhood.
Between 1859 and 1864, a chain of eight fortresses was constructed around the city of Antwerp, seven of which are still in existence today.
One of them, sadly, had to make way for a busy road and a shopping centre ...
As you can see, I already donned my new coat and scarf for the occasion, although it wasn't nearly cold enough to be wearing a fake fur coat.
You can walk all around the fortress's moat, which is teeming with wildlife. Apart from the ubiquitous ducks, geese and moorhens, several fish-diving cormorants can be spotted.
In the late December sun, the red brick walls of the buildings, with their many decorative details, were positively glowing.
The peeling and cracked paintwork, pockmarked sandstone details, and rampant ivy, moss and lichen only add to the buildings' evocative charm.
Any glass has long ago disappeared from this room's windows, and its exposure to the elements has allowed the woodwork to rot and a carpet of leaves to settle on the cobbled floor.
Eventually, we returned to the water's edge for the final stretch of our walk before heading back to our car.
A last photo opportunity before calling it a day: these ducks were particularly obliging, posing on a waterlogged branch, accompanied by their topsy-turvy reflections in the moat's gently rippling water.