Monday, 5 March 2018

Dear diary

Way before I started blogging, which feels like eons ago, but is actually only 2 years to the day, I was already in the habit of taking my camera everywhere. I just love taking photographs as a scrapbook of my life, so it was only natural that at some point I would virtually take up pen and paper and start adding words.

That day of reckoning was 5th March 2016, which means that I'm celebrating my second blogiversary today!

The days that I kept an actual diary - a couple of innocent looking exercise books to deter my Mum's curiosity - were short-lived. It was between the ages of 15 and 17 that I meticulously filled their pages with my girly handwriting with its unnecessary curves and curlicues.
When I left home to start a life of my own, I got rid of my diaries, thinking them childish and forgettable. Oh, how I mourn that decision! But for one look into the soul of my late 1970s self.


But I digress, even if only just a little.

Blogging has, in all honesty, changed my life. Ever since I typed those very first words and hesitantly pushed publish for the very first time, not only have I finally taken up a diary again - and a well-documented one at  that - I have met many kindred spirits to share it with.

Yes, I mean you, my dears!

So, as a way of celebration, I am looking back over my second year of blogging, dipping into my posts and photographs, and selecting some highlights. Which wasn't easy, believe me, so that this post is rather picture heavy.

The first photo transports me right back to the very first Springlike day last March when, strolling through our favourite local park, it was mild enough to pose in my folksy dress.



One month later, on a fine April's day, we visited an antiques market at a castle and afterwards walked through the castle grounds. I was wearing a hat I'd just scored and, sitting down on that weathered log, I felt totally at peace with the world.



In May, I posted about my maternal grandmother, Bertha, and tried to emulate her marvellous style. I was wearing a pair of my Mum's glasses, and a hat I'd recently found at a flea market. 



A particularly hot day in June and the perfect opportunity to wear this 1970s cotton sundress trimmed with rickrack. 


Our holiday in Wales was one of two halves, with a difference of about 20 degrees Celsius between them. These photos were taken on our first day, with the whole two weeks still in front of us.



But the weather changed after less than a week and by the end of our holiday the only thing left to do was shopping. We visited all the charity shops and antique centres in the area, one of them yielding a Pirate's bounty (I'm quoting Beate here) of brooches. 


July brought a couple of outdoor flea markets, and we even participated in one, right outside our front door (above), where my stock of vintage clothes sold like hot cakes.

One week later we found treasure at another flea market (below) where my maxi skirt was duly admired.


Rain was very much on the agenda in August, prompting me to do a raincoat post, and engage in some cosplay, emulating 'Allo 'Allo's Michelle Dubois! 


The weather gods were a little bit more lenient on our week's holiday in Belgium's west country in September.


Look, even had lunch outside one day! 


On another day, we nipped over the border to France and had coffee in a café where time seemed to have stood still. Well, it certainly did for those flies!



Back at home, we were treated to some glorious late Summer days.



At the end of September, we celebrated Jos's milestone birthday with a day out in Antwerp, visiting the MAS museum in the old port area.


Indian Summer continued in October and my colourful frocks had a hard time competing with the brilliant Autumn leaves.



Here comes the rain again! In November, I reminisced about the 1980s, wearing a bat wing dress gifted by the lovely Gisela!  Photos were taken on a rare sunny break between showers.



Later that month, you were given a glimpse into my vintage Barbie doll collection, with a promise of more to follow.

December was dismal and dark, with lots of rain, as well as a tiny bit of snow.

A rainy sunday took us to the wonderful Expo 58 shop, where we were welcomed with a delicious cup of hot chocolate.



Then the Christmas break was upon us. On Boxing Day we walked in Middelheim sculpture park, crossing Ai Weiwei's Bridge Without a Name.



Another year, another bridge! January continued to be gloomy but we grabbed every minute of sunshine to go for a walk, like we did that Sunday at the blue bridges.




Then, February arrived with lots of sunshine, but with a sting in its tail courtesy of the Beast from the East.

About half way through the month, I had the honour of doing twin posts with the fabulous Beate, one of the absolute highlights of my blogging year!


And so, a new year of blogging begins, the diary's empty pages waiting to be filled with new adventures, great and small.

A big thank you to all my readers and followers, you're what's making it all worthwhile!

Now, without further ado, I'm linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


39 comments:

  1. congratulations****champagne****firecrackers*****confetti****
    ....and a cake! ;-D
    thank you for sharing your diary with us - and thank you for letting me be a part of it <3 <3 <3
    i enjoyed this trip around last years adventures and the photos sum up your fabulous style perfectly.
    here is for much more years of colorful, vintage style blogging!!!
    hugest hugses! xxxxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate! I'm thanking my lucky stars for giving me the final push to start blogging, so that I was able to virtually meet you! <3<3<3

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  2. Two years, congratulations! I somehow felt you'd been blogging for much longer. I look forward to your posts, always such interesting adventures to read about. Here's to many more! xx

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you've been enjoying my posts. And you were my first follower from Wales ;-) xxx

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  3. Congratulations! It's been such a pleasure to meet you through your blog. Many happy years to come, I hope, xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  4. Congrats, Ann! Happy Blogiversary! I absolutely love your style, writing and photography and always look forward to your posts. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog, Ann, and to have made a new friend. I'm looking forward to many more years of your blog and friendship! XXX

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    1. Thank you Sasha, and I'm very happy too that we've discovered each other's blogs! xxx

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  5. Happy Blogiversary! I am so very glad you decided to push the publish button. Here's to many more years!

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  6. Happy blogiversary Ann. I am glad I found your wonderful diary and I love every post. I am looking farward to many wonderful years with you. ❤️
    huuuuuge hug Tina

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    1. Thank you, Tina. I'm glad I found you too! xxx

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
    I am sooo happy that you decided to blog! Oh Ann, I am your twin from another part of the world - in more ways than I knew. I write my whole life, and like you, when I was very young, I destroyed all my diaries - thinking that I am beginning a new life. What a mistake. There is never a "new life" - it all is connected, it's all us, no matter how silly we think we were! Imagine how silly "current us" will seem to ourselves when we are 99! :)

    I remember many of these wonderful posts and your amazing outfits. I think the one I missed was when you were selling some stuff from your collection - I didn't know that, good for you! And this new outfit at the opening of your post is very similar to what I wore to theater just yesterday (dark feminine retro dress with red accessories, and identical red beads - I will show it some time soon).

    Lots of love! How lucky we all are that you are blogging!!!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Natalia, and for all the lovely comments you have been leaving. I truly value them all. Much love from your twin in Belgium! xxx

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  8. Congratulations on your 2 year blogging anniversary. I love reading your posts, may there be many more of them.
    It was nice to re visit some of your photos, it's funny how you feel you get to know someone. Often I sit with a cup of tea to read posts by my favourite bloggers, so I'm raising my cup to you, cheers! xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally. Long may you sit and read my posts with a cup of tea! Haven't you got a blogoversary coming up too? xxx

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  9. My message posted itself twice after telling me it failed! Oh well twice the good wishes :-) xxx

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  10. CONGRATULATIONS!! happy blogoversary, dear friend!!
    Such a lovely recap, it has been so nice to have a look back!, I'm glad that you started blogging!
    The old diaries that I wrote when a teenager were destroyed when a leak in the roof wetted my old room at my parent's. Oddly, I've never missed them!
    But I understand you pretty well!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica! I never thought I would miss my teenage diaries until a couple of years ago ... xxx

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  11. Happy Blogoversary Ann and may you have many more.
    I love your brilliant, eloquent writing style...a talent I sadly don't possess! It's been lovely to look back at your year...cor, your alfresco lunches look absolutely delicious! xx

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    1. Thank you Fiona! You've really made me blush now ... Can't wait for the weather to be warm enough for alfresco lunches! xxx

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  12. Happy Blogiversary and isn't blogging wonderful? It is one of the best kept secrets.
    Your loveliness shines right through and I always enjoy your posts.

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  13. Happy Blogoversary, Ann! Discovering your blog has been one of the highlights of my year! I'm so excited to watch you roll out your spring/summer outfits now. I'm coming up on my 10th (YES) anniversary of blogging - and I so agree, it has completely changed my life. What a brilliant gift we've given ourselves, to connect with all these like-minded people across the world!

    I kept a diary from when I was 12 until I was around 28, and I still have all of them!

    All the very best to you (and Jos!), my dear.

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    1. That's such a sweet comment, Sheila! Wow, 10 years, that's fantastic. I'm such a rookie compared to you. And you are so lucky to still have those diaries! xxx

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  14. Happy blogiversary, congratulations on two years! It's weird, I thought you'd been doing it a lot longer than that. Blogging changes your life in ways you never expected, doesn't it? I'm so pleased I started, although I am struggling to post at the moment due to other commitments xx

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    1. Thank you Cate! I've been reading your blog from before I started blogging ... xxx

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  15. Ann,

    I had no idea you have only been blogging for two years! Congratulations! I thought you had been blogging for much longer than that. I think of my blog as a form of a diary as well and the bonus is you can illustrate your diary with photos!

    I really enjoyed your year in review. Long may you continue to blog.
    xxxxx

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    1. Thank you Vronni! I know, it feels like forever. Blogging is so much better than a diary, but I still wish I had kept mine. xxx

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  16. Happy two year anniversary! I can't believe it's been that long - I loved you from the start!
    What a cracking two years it's been, here's to many, many more! xxx

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    1. Thank you Vix. I'll never forget you were my first follower! xxx

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  17. Happy Anniversary! Our blogs can be great records of our personal lives. I didn't intend for mine to be one but it serves that purpose and I value the function highly now. It's funny how distorted our perceptions of time and event can be. Reading my old posts helps correct that.

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    1. Thank you Ally! I know what you mean, I even have this after only two years! xxx

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  18. Here's to many more years! I can't wait to see all the bags and brooches!!

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    1. Thank you Gisela. Trying to cut down on the handbags (I said "trying") but I've just bought some more brooches today! xxx

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  19. Happy blogoversary! You're one of my top blogs to read - there are some I will skip if I don't have much time, but yours is always a must-read.

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    1. What a lovely comment, Mim. Thank you! Long may youu keep enjoying my posts! xxx

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  20. Happy blogiversary! I remember so many of these posts. I love seeing your charity shop finds, and your colourful outfits, and reading about your travels near and far.
    I wish you'd kept those early diaries, perhaps you would've shared some excerpts? How fun it would be to glimpse into the life of teenage Ann. Teenage diaries are often very sweet and hilarious in equal measure.
    Heres to many more years of blogging!
    Xx

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    1. Thank you, Hazel! I'll forever regret getting rid of those diaries. I'd love a little glimpse myself. Sweet and hilarious would about sum it up, I guess! xxx

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