Yes, it was that time of the year again! Last Saturday it was "retrodag" (no points for guessing that it means "retro day"), which takes place at charity shops all over Belgium every March.
Although my sentiments about this event are ambivalent, as they're keeping all the nice things behind for it, and up their prices on the day itself, it is still worth going. If you don't mind the crowds, that is. It seems that all of a sudden everybody wants to be (and buy) "retro"!
We usually make a day of it, doing the rounds of several shops and taking a picnic.
Our first port of call was quite a disappointment. Instead of the huge selection of vintage china, which usually yields a couple of missing pieces, they now had a large selection of vintage comics.
After a quick browse in the textile department, finding two dresses I'll be showing you later, we stopped off at the nearby park for a stroll. It was such a balmy Spring day that it would have been a shame to let it go to waste.
We were headed towards the bridge crossing the pond for some outfit photos, when we came across this little seat carved out of a tree trunk, which of course I had to try out.
It was so mild that I could comfortably pose in just my dress. Bliss!
I'd bought the dress I'm wearing at Think Twice the other week, so this was its first wear.
The dress is in lightweight Trevira polyester and fully lined, and the rows of trailing flowers are interrupted by a wide horizontal band of ferny flower baskets near the hem.
Even Mr. S. willingly posed for some photographs. I guess he secretly wanted to show off the beard he is growing. I keep telling him he looks like one of the "bearded ones" or Emperors' Heads, which grace the railings of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford!
Slowly, a hint of green is appearing all over the park, and Spring flowers are emerging everywhere.
I loved the patches of daffodils carpeting the park's mulchy floor, their cheerful yellow trumpets heralding the magic of Spring.
In fact, I was wearing some daffs as well! The flower brooch, sadly missing part of its stalk, came from the Brooch Lady, while I bought the cute little Welsh landscape brooch, complete with fluffy clouds, daffodils and tiny sheep, at Cardigan Castle's gift shop.
We then returned to our car and continued to our next port of call. This particular shop always has a nice selection of vintage clothing. Dresses were € 6 each, which wasn't bad at all, so I tried on an armful and bought three dresses and a skirt. I even had to undress one of the dummies to get my hands on one of the dresses ...
Here's a little taster of what I found, including the two dresses from shop no. 1.
Jos did not come home empty handed either!
At shop no. 2, he found a Bakelite Philips radio, dating from the second half of the 1950s. It is not in working order, but it'll be a great little project for him and a friend to tinker with.
Childhood nostalgia prompted him to buy this picture album based on De Witte, a classic Flemish novel published in 1920. The album itself dates from the late 1940s and was issued by chocolate manufacturer Meurisse, prompting children to save the pictures which came with every bar of chocolate. Someone back then must have eaten a lot of chocolate, as the album is complete with all its pictures!
At the final shop, the one in our hometown, I came across these Sylvac sad dog salt and pepper shakers. An unusual find as I don't think they were ever sold in Belgium.
For some reason, the beastly things were quite hard to photograph!
On our way to the till, we passed a box full of cheap modern plastic jewellery. My beady eyes were immediately drawn to the odd one out, an ivory coloured carved Bakelite bangle. It wasn't priced, but the shop attendant asked me if € 0,25 was alright.
Even if compared with last year's haul, this year's pickings were rather meagre, we still had a fun day browsing through what was on offer.
All that's left for me to do now is making some space in my wardrobe ...