Finally, it was time for our first outdoor flea market of the year, which, as you can well imagine, we had very much been looking forward to.
Enjoyable as they can be, however, events as these, of course, depend heavily upon the weather.
Having the choice of going either on Saturday or on Sunday, we opted for Saturday, which turned out to be very fortunate, as the contrast between the two days couldn't have been greater.
It was still a bit chilly when we set off, so I abandoned my idea of wearing the summery dress I first had in mind, and which I'd hung out all ready to go. Oh, well, it's too early for poppies anyway, isn't it?
Instead, I wore a midi skirt in a textured polyester, turquoise with touches of red, green,white and black, and combined it with a long-sleeved fitted black blouse printed with summer flowers.
I bought the blouse back in December, and it has featured here before. This time, I wore it over the skirt and added a turquoise belt, echoing the turquoise of the skirt.
At first, I wore a little cardigan on top, but that was soon discarded. Instead, I wore the orange leather jacket I recently bought.
We parked our car just under a kilometer from the flea market's entrance, as parking can be a bit of a problem, but we had the sun, which had come out in the meantime, accompanying us on our walk up.
Our first buy was at the very first stall we came across: a seat pad in yellow, green and orange, with pompoms! I am using it on my "office chair" and here I am sat on it while writing this post, although Phoebe already has her eye on it too ...
Turning the corner into the next aisle, we were met by the sight of a stall which was right up our street! I was just starting to browse a box full of vintage buttons when I clocked I'd met the owners, Ilona and Wannes, before. They are regulars at the indoor flea markets we go to in the winter months.
Apart from some buttons, we bought a gorgeous round royal blue tin decorated with orange flowers, as well as a small tin which used to contain photographic developer. It's from local company Gevaert, where both my grandfathers used to work, and it will be an interesting little addition to our vintage camera collection.
The old motto of starting as you mean to go on was clearly lost on me, as these were the only photos I took of the flea market itself.
I do not often buy clothes at flea markets but I couldn't leave behind a vintage emerald green quilted dressing gown and a hand made green blouse featuring ....yes, you've guessed it: flowers. The contrasting orange flowers on a dark green background made it stand out on the rail of otherwise run of the mill clothing. The fabric is a Diolen polyester and the bright green buttons are cleverly hiding press studs underneath.
I struck gold again a couple of aisles further on, where I found this skirt in a favourite combination of navy and green on white. The skirt is in waffle pique fabric and has slanting patch pockets, finished with a blue button. It isn't vintage but from Belgian retro label Wow to Go. Its retail price would have been around € 70 but I paid only € 3. Bargain!
Yet again, it's a flowery print, albeit a naive one.
I must admit that I am quite often drawn to flowery fabrics, in particular of a bold 1960s/1970s variety.
I have fond memories of a flower printed dress I had when I was in fourth grade, which was handmade by my paternal grandmother.
This is the only photo I could find of me wearing it, sat on a white horse for a school photograph, aged 10.
Funnily enough, I had to wait more than twenty years for the prince to come along too!
A quick glance at the contents of my wardrobe and linen chest is rewarded with all kinds of flowery fabrics vying for attention:
I can't help but feeling cheerful wearing a colourful flower print and I dream sweet dreams when sleeping under a flower printed sheet (top left and bottom right)
But let's go back to that flea market, where we were about to have a picnic in the shade of a tree.
It felt great being out and about in the sunshine after the dismally cold weather we've been having of late. Hello, weather gods, it is MAY for goodness' sake.
The second half of the market wasn't nearly so exciting, but I still ended up finding a couple more things, like this chocolate brown 1950s handbag ...
I wasn't going to buy any more brown, black or navy handbags, but hey: some rules are meant to be broken, surely?
... and some little bits and pieces: Lucite brooch, pearly earrings (to be worn for my next Bertha impersonation), ring and vintage necklace, pictured here together with the buttons I'd found before.
Before walking back to our car, we picked up a rhubarb plant we've bought at a plant stall. We always had rhubarb growing in our garden, but we lost it last year, and hadn't got around to replacing it yet.
Back at home, I sat and pottered a bit in the garden, taking photographs of various blooms. I was thrilled to find that one of the Aquilegias which had self-seeded turns out to be a deep purple double flowered one (bottom right).
We finished our pottering by refilling our miniature pond, which only had a bit of mud left at the bottom, with fresh water.
One of Dove Cottage's secrets is the old-fashioned hand pump which is living in our bathroom, giving us a ready supply of fresh water, free of charge, from a water well. It is actually taking up too much space in our already cramped little bathroom, but surely it would be madness to get rid of it?
We've never had the water tested to find out if it's fit for consumption, but we use it to water the garden and keep the "pondette" topped up.
The pumped up, ice cold water is a welcome treat for hot and weary feet in summer too.
Ah, summer: will it ever come?