zondag 19 februari 2017

It might as well be spring

In spite of February being the shortest month of the year, it often feels like it's the longest, especially when the weather's been misbehaving and refuses to let go of its winter cloak.

Traditionally, the month of February should already bring some spring like days. After all, Imbolc, also known as the Feast of Brigid, celebrates the arrival of longer days and the early signs of spring on the First of February.







In the past week, the weather gods finally gave in to our cravings and treated us to a couple of days of sunshine and milder temperatures.

Saturday was such a day, and what a relief it was to be able to pose for outfit photos in our favourite spot without the risk of catching pneumonia.











I chose a short purple dress with a lilac flower pattern, a dropped collar and three self-fabric buttons at the yoke. It was one of my very first vintage dresses.


I accessorized the dress with a little mustard cardigan with purple trim and buttons, mustard opaques, a string of black and white beads, an elephant brooch and a ring with a purple centre stone in a circle of little pearls.


I bought the roomy brown tapestry handbag at Think Twice last month.



The weather was far too good for indoor activities, so we took a picnic to our favourite park, which is conveniently close to a large charity shop, in case said weather gods would suddenly change their fickle minds!

In the end, I'm glad to report that they didn't and that we were able to have our first outdoor picnic of the year! Yay!


It was a picnic with a view too. I know, you've seen this stony water feature before (here, for instance) but it's a view we never get tired of, looking different every time we visit.



The park itself has also featured here many times before. It really is our go-to place if we want to soak up some sunshine at short notice. We also often use it for picnics while on charity shopping trips, usually starting at the shop which is only a five minute walk away.


Nature left us in no doubt that Spring is on its way. Clumps of gently nodding snowdrops were everywhere, there was the odd pink-blossomed shrub and the first of the daffodils were coming into bud.



We walked along the River Nete, which is bordering the park, towards the town of Duffel, and across the bridge to the river's other side, where the towpath runs between the river and a water reservoir.

Recrossing the bridge, we descended into the park again, where a baby stone circle seemed to be growing ...


After practising our silly poses, we continued along the river, until we came to the path leading down to the adjacent Ter Elst park and its evocative moated ruin.


The first sight of the castle, framed by the ancient trees, made my heart sing, the  quality of light making the red brick glow and stand out against the deep blue of the sky.


White gulls, which had drifted up from the river, were circling the castle and vying for a place at the top of the tower, which met its drunken reflection in the rippling water of the moat.


On our way back, we passed a tree which called out for some posing. Split and hollow, it is nevertheless still going strong.

I was reminded of a photo taken of a much younger me, taken in a different park in 1968.


I've always been fascinated by trees, especially of the old and gnarled variety and I can't help wondering about the things they must have witnessed in their lifetimes. Oh, the stories they could tell if they could speak. Unlocking their secrets must be equal to stepping inside a time machine.


Nearby, there was tree with a little hollow of its own, into which a couple of blue tits were moving when we passed. Nesting already, as one of them arrived carrying a beakful of moss.

But be careful, little birds, as it isn't Spring just yet, and Winter might still have a couple of nasty surprises in store ...

"Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that
Winter's woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air."
-  William Morris, The Earthly Paradise: A Poem, 1870


24 opmerkingen:

  1. Lovely dress and cardigan combination, the colours are lovely together.

    And oooooh, a ruin! How lovely! But the wee little poppets building their nest, they are just beyond precious ❤ we have some that sit in the hydrangea shrub outside our bedroom window, peeping to each other xxx

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    1. Those birds obviously didn't want to live in one of the many nest boxes dotted around the park, preferring a more rustic kind of home ... They staked their claim, alright xxx

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  2. awww! snowdrops, tits, daffodils and a pittoresk ruin!! all in glorious sunshine!
    the purple dress is chic and i love your all your accessories especially!
    here the snow is melting and the creeks are running wild. but spring will need another month to come to us for sure. better not craving - it leads to disappointment ;-)
    xxxxx

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    1. Oh, I know it does Beate, but still ... Anyway, disappointment all around here as we're back to rain and storm now ... xxx

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  3. Loving the then and now photos of you in the tree!
    That dress is lovely and isn't it wonderful to catch a glimpse of Spring so early? How fab that you got to go on a picnic in February. xxx

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    1. I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to post that "then" photo of me in the tree ;-) Oh, and we have our picnic hamper at the ready all year round. xxx

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  4. I'd never have thought of pairing purple and mustard, but you're making it work brilliantly.

    February is such a bore. My birthday is at the end of the month, and I consider it a reward for getting through the rest of it! Cold, dark, wet... Rubbish month.

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    1. The cardigan, which is mustard with purple trim, put me on the right track here, and indeed it works very well. Wishing you a happy birthday already, Mim, and here's to hoping the weather is fine for you! xxx

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  5. Spring is coming!! I love the purple and mustard. It's like crocuses! I am not packing the big coats away just yet mind, who knows what season it will be next week?! X

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    1. Oh, I won't put away my winter coats for a long time yet. Belgium isn't really much better than Wales, weather wise ... xxx

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  6. This is a great walk! So picturesque and I love a stone circle! You look beautifully full of the joys of Spring in your pretty dress!!x

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    1. Thank you Kezzie. Although we've often walked there, it's the first time we saw the stone circle. Obviously, it is a modern one ... xxx

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  7. Your first vintage dress is gorgeous and you have accessorised so well, mustard does go very well with purples! The ruin is breathtaking, and almost mythical, what a wonderful place xxx

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    1. Thank you Claire. I've lost count of the photos I've taken of that ruin over the years ... xxx

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  8. You've beaten me to the first picnic of the year! I love having them, although sometimes the rain has driven us back into the car!

    Purple and mustard are such a great colour combo and I love that tapestry bag too xx

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    1. I'm sure it won't be long now until your first proper outdoor picnic. Oh, the times we were driven back into our car by the rain! xxx

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  9. Can you put the whole outfit including the bag on my pile of stuff please. I'll let you keep the coat as I have lots of my own. haha
    Thanks for the trip out, even if it was a virtual one.
    Lynn xxx

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    1. You're welcome, Lynn. I wonder when you will be picking up your pile of stuff, though, it's getting huge! xxx

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  10. your floral vintage dress is a beauty, and I love how you styled it with mustard!, such a matchy cute cardigan, with a purple trim and purple buttons!. Also love your accessories: lovely brooch and ring!
    And I'm glad you enjoyed your first picnic!, with all those beautiful landscapes and spring-like atmosphere!. Lovely poem too. William Morris, such a fabulous artista!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica, that cardigan was a € 3 charity shop find. I just love going on picnics. Oh, and I totally agree on William Morris. I went to visit his house in Oxfordshire a couple of years ago. xxx

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  11. Ah Spring is so close, I can't wait. Your walk looks amazing.

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  12. Every time I see the title to this post I start singing Hailey Tuck's version of It Might As Well Be Spring. I may have to start listening to her stuff again.
    Loved that you'e teamed mustard and purple together. I'm in the process of making a purple skirt and have had in mind wearing it with my new mustard jumper. Great minds think alike! xx

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    1. I must admit I hadn't heard of Hailey Tuck. Will check her out. I often listen to 1940s music, and I have a version of the song, dating from 1945, by American singer and actor Dick Haymes, who was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. I'm looking forward to seeing you in your purple/mustard combo! xxx

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