Is it Spring yet?
With yet another month or so to wait for Spring to officially arrive, Winter finally decided to regale us with a cold snap. Or at least, what passes for a cold snap in Belgium, where snowstorms are often imaginary and people start stockpiling essentials at the mere mention of the word snow.
Nevertheless, if by cold snap subzero temperatures but crisp sunny days are meant, then I'm game. Now where do I sign up?
I'm casting my mind back to two weekends ago, when Saturday turned out to be bright and sunny.
I wasn't feeling too bright myself, and not really in the mood for our usual charity shopping trip, but when one of us suggested a walk in the park, we quickly grabbed our coats and went off.
This dress is a firm favourite which surprisingly hasn't featured here yet. The sky blue fabric with its tiny white dots and sprinkling of white flowers, was the perfect antidote to the cold I was about to develop. Who needs medicine when there are frocks like this one?
It's got a pleated skirt which is perfect for twirling. Well, that's what you do when you're wearing pleats, isn't that right, Natalia?
The dress also has a tie, which I knotted and secured with one of my larger brooches, featuring an orange stone swirled with green.
There were belt loops but no belt, so I added an ochre yellow vinyl one, as well as tights in the same colour.
On top went a brown cardie trimmed in ochre yellow, to which I pinned a posy of mother-of-pearl flowers.
And look: I'm wearing the blue boots, which I'm happy to say cleaned up rather well.
The park was wearing my colours too, the partially frozen pond a deep blue, with the reed beds bordering it a pale yellow in contrast.
Here's my brown fur-collared jacket again, with the blue beret and crushed velvet yellow scarf continuing the colour theme. I'd forgotten my gloves and my fingers were turning blue by the time we got back to our car!
Lots of birds, in gaggles or twosomes, as well as the odd solitary one, were gathered here for a bit of ice-skating.
A trio of geese was practicing a choreography routine, while a duck was doing the duck-step on the brittle ice.
There were clumps of snowdrops and some plants were daringly displaying fresh green shoots.
A white goose was on a wild goose chase after an ice-skating moorhen. Alas, the thin layer of ice wasn't strong enough for her, leaving her in a precarious position in a gap in the ice.
I wonder, does she realize it's her reflection she sees?
The tall grasses bordering the stream in the water garden made a perfect hiding place. But the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and blew my cover. Oh well, I'd better come out then!
The next day, Sunday, I was feeling a whole lot better. It's as if my cold had decided to give up and go in search of a more willing victim.
That was fine by me, as we had another flea market to go to. Our favourite one, in Mechelen.
My next post will reveal what I was wearing, but here is what we found.
There were handbags galore. The top one is a large and rather heavy carpet bag. It's so big that I was able to put the handbag I was carrying inside, with space to spare. It was € 5 and so was the tan bag on the bottom left, which both came from the same stall.
The gorgeous tapestry bag with the roses was bought for € 10 from another stall.
No gluttony of brooches this time. In fact, I only bought two: a delicately painted portrait of a lady on a pale blue background, and another Scottie! Both came from the same stall, owned by a very nice French-speaking lady. She's selling the most fabulous brooches and although she isn't exactly cheap, as I'm a regular, she's always willing to give me a discount.
On the right is a small pillbox, its lid inlaid with micromosaic, which I found towards the end of the market. To my surprise, the seller was only asking € 3 for it.
This box of flower shaped soaps transported me back to my childhood, when the Avon lady came calling at our house. I'm sure my Mum must have bought these soaps at some point, as they look so utterly familiar.
Our last purchase was this vintage wall mounted newspaper and letter rack.
We have a few of these dotted around the house and they are perfect for keeping paper clutter at bay.
Racks like these are quite easy to find here, usually in dark wood, with embossed brass holders, or decorated with brass or carved wood shapes. Dogs seem to be a recurring favourite.
This one is rather unusual, with its painted wood base and metal holders with naive children's illustrations, somewhat reminiscent of Mabel Lucie Attwell.
The seller confirmed what we already suspected: it's 1930s. It has already found its rightful place at Dove Cottage which, after all, is basically a 1930s two-up two-down.