The problem is, where do I start? I want to wear it all. Opening my wardrobe doors, there are all these dresses calling, wear me, wear me! I wish they'd shut up and leave me to decide in peace.
Now, let met think: shall I wear pink? Purple? Green maybe? Or blue, perhaps? I'm a fickle minded girl, you know! Well, why not wear a dress that combines them all?
Short sleeved, the fabric not too flimsy (it isn't summer just yet!), elegant but comfortable, slightly quirky with its riotous print, round neckline and pointy collar: it was ticking all the right boxes for Saturday!
So far, so good: I'm dressed. That didn't take too long, did it?
|Clockwise from top left: Argenteuil, Bernadette, Paradiso and Rambouillet|
Breakfast offers yet more choices. And I'm not talking about the food, which on Saturday morning is a given, as Jos is doing a Belgian version of a "full English".
No, I'm talking about cups and plates here. We have several sets of Boch china (Boch is a Belgian pottery whose vintage stuff is very collectible) dating from the late 1960s. None of them are complete, but breakfast plates and cups we have a-plenty.
We started out collecting their Rambouillet pattern, but picked up pieces of Argenteuil, Bernadette and Paradiso along the way.
Our cupboards are full of vintage china.
Our first vintage set was this classic flower printed one. We bought a box consisting of four full place settings, including two serving dishes, for € 5 at a flea market about 15 years ago, and added several more pieces, all bought from charity shops and flea markets.
They date from around 1963, and they could be bought by saving up tokens which came with a washing powder called Tide. The ad came from the July 1963 edition of a magazine.
After breakfast, I donned a sturdy denim apron and a pair of gardening gloves bought from a cheap high street shop last week (to allow for my fickleness, I bought them in two colourways).
The narrow paved area next to our kitchen was in a right state, but I had plans!
The little table has seen better days, the top having lost one of its slats, and it was partly hidden by a thick layer of overhanging ivy.
Last year, Jos had been given a vintage wash set, complete with bowl and jug, as well as covered soap and comb dishes, by one of his village lady fans. The set had been languishing in our garage ever since, as we do not really have the space to display it properly inside Dove Cottage.
A couple of weeks ago, I hit upon the idea of creating a little outdoor room.
After I'd given the ivy a good prune (and found a white stone cat and a decaying bird house underneath), I covered the table with an old vinyl tablecloth, put a redundant bathroom mirror against the wall, and decorated it with the wash set .
Doesn't it look fab, with the potted plant on a rickety old garden chair next to it? The pot already contained a Hosta, but the fern - they self seed like mad in our garden - decided to keep it company.
Total spend: nothing! But the cheerful sight which is greeting us now when we look out of our kitchen window is priceless!
In spite of the imminent wilderness, the garden is looking its exuberant best this time of year.
Phoebe loves exploring all its nooks and crannies.
And look, one or two ancient Alliums have opened their purple bee-magnet globes, and there are some Lilies of the Valley - inherited with the garden - too!
Oh, and this is our giant white currant bush (left), planted the first summer after we moved into Dove Cottage 18 years ago. It's higher than our shed! I wanted to show it to Sally, whose white currant bush is having its first crop of currants this year.
The gooseberries are coming along fine as well, and one by one, the numerous pink flowers of our ground covering Geranium are showing their little faces to the world.
Task done, it was time for a light lunch, after which we decided to hit some charity shops.
I added a green new wool jacket (part of a suit bought at a vintage market last year), to which I pinned a brooch which somewhat echoes the colours of the dress. The brooch came from a local flea market. The blue, pink and white scarf was probably charity shopped.
Yes, I was wearing tights! My bare legs really are in no fit state to be shown to the outside world yet, and will require a few more coats of self tan before I feel confident enough to go tightless.
The shoes, comfortable Clarks, came from a flea market held in our very own street, and cost € 7.
In spite of the quiet times at the charity shops, we ended up with eight scarves (€ 0,25 a piece), a brooch (€ 0,50), and a hat (€ 1,-) for Jos, who admits he's gone a bit hat mad!
Total spend, a whopping € 3,50.
Jos's hat, which you can see him wearing, seated at our outdoor dressing table, is vintage, made in Italy for a local hat shop which has long ago closed its doors, and is exquisitely lined.
These suitcases are new acquisitions too. They'd been hiding in my parents' attic and will be put to good use after getting rid of the slightly musty smell inside.
That was it for Saturday, which ended with our outdoor bathroom being rained upon.
Sunday was a fun day too, visiting our last indoor flea market of the year.
But that, my dears, will be for another time ...