For the purpose of this post, I'm taking you back to the third week of September when, even if we were well and truly on the slippery slope to Autumn, the weather was still going up and down like a yo-yo, with warm Summer weather one day and stormy Autumn weather the next.
That week, we were unexpectedly treated to a brief period of Indian Summer weather. Obviously, we would have loved it if this had coincided with a weekend, but alas, it was from Monday to Thursday that temperatures temporarily soared to a balmy 25°C and more.
At least it gave me the opportunity to wear some more of my as yet unworn Summer frocks. Take this delightful red and white bamboo print dress, for instance. It was one of the vintage dresses I picked up at the charity shops' Retro Day back in March. It's a very simple short-sleeved shift dress, with a tie collar, and it is clearly handmade. I thought it benefited from the addition of a red belt and further accessorized it with a gold tone butterfly brooch with red and turquoise plastic pearls. There are shimmering gold tones in my plastic ring as well.
Intrigued by my necklace, which I admit is quite sedate for me? All will be revealed at the end of this post. But please do not scroll down yet ;-)
This vintage frock, with its profusion of flowers in a multitude of colours, has been living in my wardrobe for many years. This too was a charity shop find and I love its 1940s vibe, although its Diolen label firmly dates it three decades later.
I usually wear this with green accessories, but this time I thought I'd break the habit and chose blue for my belt, beaded necklace and ring.
After playing around with a couple of brooches, I finally settled for this tortoise shell bird.
By Friday, Summer was over. Quite literally, as it was the 21st of September!
If it was raining lightly when I left home, the rain had become torrential with strong gusts of wind by the time I got off the bus in Antwerp. Waiting for the tram to take me to the city centre, I wedged myself into the inadequately cramped bus shelter.
I have a choice of two trams but as there was no sign of the fastest and most comfortable of the two, and I was running late, I made do with the first one to arrive, the infamous tram number 7. The majority of the trams on this line are old and do not have nearly enough space for its number of passengers, so that they are usually already packed to the rafters by the time they get to my stop. I managed to get on, feeling much like the proverbial sardine, when just before the next stop the driver announced that she couldn't continue as there was a branch hanging from the overhead tramlines.
So, there was nothing for it but to get off and trudge back the way we'd come through the relentless rain, my umbrella bent wildly out of shape by the wind. In the end, I gave up and, with some difficulty closed the damn thing and continued without it.
Needless to say I was soaking wet by the time I got to work.
It's a good thing I was wearing my orange leather jacket and burgundy flat heeled booties!
The dress I was wearing is new-to-me. It's from Mexx and I paid € 4 for it in a charity shop after falling in love with its fabulous black and red chevron print.
The atrocious weather during my commute made me thank my lucky stars I'd added a cardigan. I picked this mustard one from my collection and pinned a red 80s style brooch to it.
In order to break up the expanse of chevrons in this midi length dress, I accented my waist with a purple woven belt and wore a long beaded necklace, which I knotted.
Once again, I'd taken the afternoon off, and we went for a browse at the charity shop in our village before heading home.
I found another King Louie top. It's short-sleeved so has been put away for next year. And just before calling it a day I happened upon this hardly worn pair of cobalt blue Miz Mooz slingbacks. I couldn't believe that not only were they my size, the asking price was a mere € 4. Yes, I know, that's crazy, isn't it?
Back at home, a package was waiting, which came all the way from Omaha, Nebraska. I'd won Goody's draw, and I'm now the proud owner of last year's Nebraska State Fair cookbook featuring all of Danny's prizewinning recipes. There was also a fridge magnet, which has joined our collection, and a pair of crazy novelty socks for Jos. Last but not least, Goody had kindly added two gorgeous cat brooches!
The stormy weather had subsided by Saturday, but conditions were still far too inclement for Summer frocks.
In honour of the new season, I was wearing autumnal shades, with yellows, oranges and browns in a starring role.
I don't recall the reason this ochre corduroy jacket was banished to the depths of my wardrobe. Perhaps I got tired of it? In fact, I was surprised, and pleasantly so, that I'd had to presence of mind to keep it instead of re-donate it.
Obviously, it was very crumpled when I pulled it out, but just a couple of spritzes with my new best friend, a crease remover spray called Ta Da!, did the trick without the need of getting out the iron and ironing board.
Look, I'm wearing one of Goody's cat brooches pinned to its collar.
Orange is the first colour that hits you when seeing this bright floral skirt, but the addition of the sky blue flowers and their smaller, dark green counterparts, makes its print even more gorgeous.
Orange was also the first colour to come to mind when picking out accessories, and I didn't resist it by choosing an orange belt and beaded necklace, as well as a brooch featuring a translucent orange heart in a swirly gold nest.
My ring was a nod to the blue flowers in the print.
But I didn't mention my blouse yet! Yes, it is brown, but I'm sure that is the last thing you notice about it. Look at that fabulous print! No wonder it shouted at me from among a rack of more timid blouses at Think Twice!
We went charity shopping again on Saturday, but pickings were very meagre.
While browsing the rather splendid book collection in the smallest of the shops, I came across a whole batch of 1930s novels. With space in our bookshelves at a premium, I limited myself to four, for which I paid the princely sum of € 1, as they were only € 0,25 each!
The other, bigger, shop we visited was a huge disappointment. We noticed it had been going downhill but what to think of half empty shelves and the clothing rails still full of Summer remnants. Even the books seemed to have given up and were reclining on the shelves in quite a higgledy-piggledy fashion.
Only these rather unusual clip-on earrings came home with me.
Finally, allow me to introduce you to some family heirlooms which recently came home to Dove Cottage.
The chair on the right is part of my parents' first set of kitchen chairs, dating from the late 1950s. There were only ever two and, even they were replaced in the end, I remember them throughout my childhood. Although a bit worse for wear (the other one's seat is much more damaged), they have started a second life in Dove Cottage's kitchen.
The two ceramic dwarfs (the only survivors of the seven) used to be living on a shelf in my paternal grandparent's lean-to veranda. I don't remember if Snow White was there as well ...
And now I've come to the mystery of the necklace I was wearing at the start of this post. The pendant is actually a tiny gold ring engraved with my name, which was mine as a young child. I'd forgotten all about it but my sister found it among her daughter's things when clearing up at home. Too small for even my pinkie now, I thought I'd give it a second life as well, by wearing it as a pendant.
Isn't it sweet?