Saturday, 13 April 2019

Blossoms and blooms

Who was it again that said April is the cruellest month?  Ah yes, it's the opening line of  T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Published in 1922, it is a landmark of twentieth century poetry.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

And although volumes have been written by fellow poets and critics alike on Eliot's modernist masterpiece, the fact remains that, indeed, April can be quite cruel. After the long Winter months, April contains the promise of Spring which, more often than not, it is unable to deliver on. It keeps teasing us with a handful of mild and sunny days, only for it to become cold and wet again, as if to spite us.

This year, we have been counting our blessings as some of April's true Spring days coincided with the weekend. Take last weekend, for instance, when, miracle of miracles, it turned out to be fine on both Saturday and Sunday.

As Sunday was already spoken for, we meant to take it easy on Saturday, but just lazing around wasn't quite what I had in mind. In fact, my original plan was to crack on with my bi-annual wardrobe change-over. The lure of being out and about was too strong, though, so I left the Winter clothes I'd taken off their hangers, ready to be put away in favour of a glut of Summer frocks, piled up on a bedroom chair. There will be rainy days to get on with this task soon enough!

The short, brown and cream checked swing coat I was wearing was charity shopped in February last year. Although it does look deceptively like a vintage 1950s one, it is modern, from Spanish brand Sfera.

It has got a little half belt quite high up in the back, which in the photo below makes me look like the hunchback of Notre Dame. I was, in case you are wondering, getting a pesky stone out of my shoe.

The shoes, or rather boots, in question were a serendipitous charity shop find back in December, found just after I'd given up on my search for boots in this exact shade of green and succumbed to a pair from a regular shop. But not to worry, as I've been wearing both pairs!

The daisies are back! Oh, how I love daisies in a lawn! They remind me of Summer holidays spent in my childhood garden, camping out in my Dad's scruffy old tent pitched up on the lawn.

Note my lime green opaques and my tapestry handbag in hues of chocolate and caramel.

The coat's generous collar called for a larger brooch, so I opted for this one, with its oval orange and green mottled stone.

The park is almost literally being transformed before our very eyes. Plants which have lain dormant during the Winter months are one by one receiving their wake-up calls. 

Look at that forward little tulip showing off the latest fashion in mellow coral. She and I were wearing similar colours, did you notice?

I last wore this crepey blouse, a bargain from Think Twice, on a mild Autumn day, but surely its colour suits every season.

I combined it with the bright floral skirt I picked up at the Retrodag back in March and added a sage green woven belt, a string of jade green beads I bought from H&M eons ago and a gold tone ring with a green stone. 

My green squirrel brooch insisted on coming along in the hope of catching sight of its red cousins living it up in the park.

Quick, let's snap the new Hosta shoots before they are being devoured and decimated by the resident population of slugs and snails!

Beneath the frothy white blossoms, several nesting boxes were waiting for lodgers to come and raise their families.

We stood and watched the antics of a clutch of fluffy ducklings out exploring with their Mum. There were a total of five, including a wayward one which Mum had a hard time keeping in check, and which consequently isn't in the picture.

Spring flowers are scattered like gemstones in the park's hidden corners, spikes of grape hyacinths with their tiny blue bell-shaped flowers and a single delicate dog's tooth violet.

I could sit here for hours, watching the flowers grow.

Instead, we sauntered to the charity shop which is a 5-minute walk from the park.

Not expecting to find much, I halfheartedly scanned the rails of tired looking fast fashion cast-offs, when suddenly ... Well, what can I say? How amazing is this vintage maxi? How fabulous is that print? And those sleeves! They make those on last week's Diolen dress pale into insignificance!

The label says Modelly, which I couldn't find anything about.

I had to put it on for a photo session when we got home. Here I was just about to demonstrate the ginormity of the sleeves, when I suddenly noticed our neighbour was up on the roof.

I'm sure they all think that we are a bit weird but frankly speaking, I don't give a damn!

Linking my new frock to Nancy's Fancy Friday.


  1. Oh those ducklings! I always get so emotional when I see all those young animals. I worry then if they will survive and all. I love the squirrel brooche so lovely. Enjoy your Sunday!

  2. What a fab maxi dress - you know I'm a big fan of everything maxi! :) I don't really do the wardrobe change over. I have a box of scarves and winter knits but it isn't a very big changeover when the colder weather arrives as it doesn't take up a lot of space, haha! I tend to keep my summer stuff out year-round!

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend! I had brunch with some other local style Instagrammers yesterday and it was so fun :)

    Away From The Blue

  3. if a dress ever was called a psychodelic one - than this example has earned it for real! WOW! one goes on a trip just by looking at this fabric.....but the best: you look a stunner in it!
    i too could sit and watch the flowers grow - but at the moment its much to cold and wet for such....used the weather to buy some very needed stuff (seeds/hardware/undies) retail - and found a sweet summer bag at C&A...... pssst!
    big hugsies! xxxxxx

  4. You look stunning in this maxi dress! I love this sleeves. I mean neighbours of bloggers think always we are weird :)
    Thank you for this trip and the little ducks. At the moment it' s so cold, grey and wet :(
    Have a nice sunday, a huge hug Tina

  5. Love your bright brooch and those little ducklings are just so cute!

  6. Nature was trying to match your outfit with that coral flower! The flowers are trying to burst open here too, and I have spied the hosta shoots coming up - but it's a battle against the cold. I expect you'll be getting the icy blast this week as well. I am a sucker for big sleeves - that maxi is fabulous! xx

  7. That maxi dress is all kinds of wonderful and I'm drooling over your tapestry bag, too!
    The Spring flowers are a joy!
    You've very sensible to leave your winter clothes at hand, as the other Brits have commented, it's absolutely freezing here, cold air from Scandinavia, ground frosts and icy temperatures. I'm wearing more clothes than i was in December! xxx

  8. My neighbour's small children are terrified of me-must think I am terribly strange.

    Beautiful spring flowers and outfits. Love your green squirrel!

  9. That reminds me. Slug pellets on the shopping list! My Hostas are just starting to pop up. I will share a picture if they don't get eaten. It is so lovely watching everything come back for a yearly visit and I love a bit of gardening xx

  10. That maxi dress looks fantastic on you, Ann! What a fabulous find! I love your floral outfit as well and your styling is spot on (as always!) ;) I love that tapestry bag and your squirrel brooch. So lovely to see pics of the lovely flowers in bloom and the recently born fauna too! ;) Hope you have a wonderful week, Ann! XXX

  11. April IS a cruel month! That promise of spring feels like it's been yanked out from under us, with chilly weather and rain. I looked at our weekly forecast and it's (weirdly) 11 degrees every day, right up till this weekend.

    I do hold out hope, though - there are those lovely flowers starting to push through. Warm weather will come!

    That Modelly dress is amazing! What a print! I found a couple of Modelly dresses online (put the brand in "" quote marks, plus fashion or vintage, and try that). Looks like a European brand from the late 80s/early 90s?

    Lol, you've been spotted by your neighbours, and I've had my neighbours barge into my stair pictures! Plus, we have another apartment building across from where I do my stair pics, and I used to get catcalled by the people who used to live in one of the units.

    Have a great week, Ann!

  12. It's a catching line by TS Eliot, I think he was reversing the famous Shakespeare's sonnet which praises spring. April has been a bit cruel to me last weekend, the weather wasn't what I hoped for, it was colder than I expected but I suppose that will make me appreciate the sunny days more. I'm sure we'll have lovely weather and sunny days before long.

    I really like your outfits. The first one with the floral skirt, a red top and green tights is so beautiful. I really like the combination of colours. The second one with the maxi dress is lovely as well. Very pretty outfits.

  13. April can be cruel actually, and the poem is really moving in many ways. I think that April is pretty deceptive, full of promises and finally dissapointing!.
    Anyway, whatever the weather, it's joyful looking at all those beautiful flowers and your delightfully floral ensemble!. I love all those orange and limegreen shades and matchy accessories (the booties, the tapestry bag!) and obviously love that your cardi and tights match!
    I totally agree that this vintage maxi is fabulous!, the colors, the shape and sleeves are magnificent. And your last photo looks like an expressionist picture! ;DD

  14. Hello,

    Oh, lovely !


  15. I love that skirt, you've dressed it up perfectly too!
    Your spring photos are beautiful, the blossom looks lovely. Spring isn't my favourite season, not sure why but March and April just don't suit me! xxx