I haven't gone mad in a shoe shop, nor have the sales started early. There wasn't even a charity shop or flea market involved in this major shoe haul!
No, these five pairs of new-to-me shoes were a gift from a friend, who was doing a cull and was getting rid of those shoes she was no longer able to wear.
Lucky for me, we have the same size (4, or 37 here in Belgium).
I particularly love the sandals and the sling backs (which, would you believe it, were my friend's wedding shoes!), and I finally own a pair of gold shoes now!
In order to fit them all in, I cleared some space by getting rid of a bag full of boring shoes I'm never wearing.
Meanwhile, summer arrived with a bang, as we were having a mini heatwave last weekend. It was an extended weekend for most here in Belgium, as schools were closed on Friday after Thursday's public holiday, and lots of people had the day off as well.
As is tradition on days like these, the roads to the coast were chock a block with traffic (the papers said that over 500.000 flocked to Belgium's 67 km of coastline), but the nearest we went to the seaside is this 1950s souvenir from Knokke, Belgium's poshest seaside resort, found at a charity shop.
On Saturday, we started the day with breakfast at our little garden table, enjoying the quiet and relative coolness of the morning.
I wasn't wearing polyester for once, but rather 100% cotton!
This vintage handmade dress screams 1970s, with its cheerful flower print in red, yellow, orange, olive green and white on the darkest of brown backgrounds.
The dress was picked up at Think Twice, and the moment I laid eyes on it, I was willing it to fit, as I was head over heels in love. But in spite of its small waist, closing with a side zipper, it's got a wide skirt that effortlessly skims over my hips.
Its pale yellow rick-rack, which can be seen peeping out from the square neckline and which has been sewn about 15 centimeters above the hem, has a mind of its own, and no amount of ironing gets it to lay flat. As if it isn't bad enough that the dress itself has to be ironed. Oh, the things one does for love!
I'd piled on the accessories, and was wearing yellow beads, with a cluster of beads at the bottom (vintage shop), an orange plastic ring and yellow, green and red bangles (charity shops and flea markets). The leather look green flower corsage was a retail purchase in last year's sales.
Oh, and I wore my new-to-me gold shoes, a comfortable pair of ballerinas.
The high temperatures, which do not really agree with either of us, forced us to take things at an even more leisurely pace.
While it was still relatively cool, I walked into town to pick up some essentials, returning via our village's weekly market where I was tempted by a pot of marguerites.
Then we just sat and enjoyed the garden ...
... and its wildlife.
A splash of orange is provided by the intricately shaped Nasturtium flowers and the first of the delicate, papery thin Welsh poppies (Meconopsis cambrica), who seem to be chosing a different place to settle every year.
The ground covering Geranium, with its host of pink flowers, has decided to keep the gooseberries company, while they slowly ripen to a ruby red.
In the afternoon, we paid a brief visit to our local charity shop.
We were overjoyed that it had air conditioning, so while Jos was having a free cup of coffee, I had a look around, and bought this red polka dotted white dress.
In fact, I already saw this dress a couple of weeks ago and while it was a perfect fit, I noticed a stain, which I wasn't sure I'd be able to remove.
As luck would have it, I'd forgotten my packet of make-up remover tissues I usually carry for the purpose, so I made sure I had them with me this time. I was able to fade the stain a little, so I took a chance, thinking that I could always hide the stain with a brooch or flower corsage. And the best thing is that it was now half price, as they were having a sale!
I guess good things come to those who wait ...
I'm happy to say that after washing the dress, the stain has disappeared completely!
Other recent charity shopping finds, which I haven't yet been showing you, include two blue scarves, a long-sleeved shirt and a lightweight cotton blouse sprinkled with flowers.
There were some books too:
The book on Art Nouveau and Jugendstil, a heavy 425 page coffee table tome, is well worth the € 8,50 we paid for it.
The delightful book on the right promises a guided tour of ten of literature's most famous houses. There's Dorian Gray's house, for instance, but also the House of the Seven Gables and Baskerville Hall.
Oh, and Manderley ...
"We turned the last corner, and so came to Manderley. Yes, there it was, the Manderley I had expected, the Manderley of my picture post-card long ago. A thing of grace and beauty, exquisite and faultless, lovelier even than I had ever dreamed, built in its hollow of smooth grassland and mossy lawns, the terraces sloping to the gardens, and the gardens to the sea."
~ Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
... which puts me in mind of our first holiday together in 1995, when we spent a sun drenched week or so in Cornwall.
Such wonderful memories!