The weekend before last was a quiet one for a change.
Temperatures had suddenly skydived from a mild 10 degrees Celsius on Friday to around freezing point on Saturday, accompanied by a bitterly cold, eye-stinging and bone-chilling wind.
It had snowed during the night. It didn't stick and it was gone within the day, but for a couple of hours on Saturday the bare remains of our jungle garden were sugar coated.
Rather optimistically, I'd put away my fake fur coat, thinking I wouldn't need it anymore after the cold snap of a couple of weeks ago. So, out it came again. I wore it with a bright green scarf and a pink Kangol beret with a pom pom.
I briefly braved the cold for these outfit photos, which were taken by Jos from the kitchen window.
We were off to a charity shop we hadn't visited on Retro Day and couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the amount of leftover stuff.
All became clear when we saw the exorbitant prices! Not only that, there were many fakes, too. New tins disguising as vintage ones, for instance, and priced at a crazy € 10.
While Jos was browsing the tables laden with orange, green and brown stuff, I made my way to the rail of clothing on the opposite side. Passing a rack of handbags, I almost pounced on a black tapestry handbag, when my eyes clocked the price. It was € 16! Which was just as well because, you know, handbag ban!
Many modern retro pieces among the clothes as well. But then there was this vintage dress suit and it was love at first sight! Well worth the € 16 asking price in my opinion.
The groovy red and blue print of the dress somewhat belies its classic silhouette, with its box pleated skirt and cute little bow tie, while the starkness of the solid blue jacket is lifted by its funky buttons and the edging of its collar and pocket tabs in the fabric of the dress.
I am a sucker for a dress or skirt suit and always find them hard to resist.
Here's another one, which I found at different charity shop just weeks before Retro Day.
Again, its main colour is blue, but this time the dress's skirt is made from the same fabric, while its bodice is in a contrasting fabric with the most fabulous print featuring blues, browns and yellow.
There's a generous bow tie as well, which can be draped over the jacket's collar.
The bodice's fabric re-appears in the rather fancy pocket square peeking out from the V in one of the breast pockets. The squarish buttons are blue plastic framed in white metal.
Now, tell me, which one is your favourite?
Although I can't put my finger on the reason for my love of these suits, I can remember the very first one I owned. I was 11 going on twelve and about to take Confirmation.
My paternal grandmother made me a little suit in sugar pink, and I remember the exasperation of both my Mum and grandmother when I insisted upon the skirt being made very short.
The photograph was taken before entering the church, and I am standing in front of my Dad's blue Citroën Ami 8.
Last year, while I was sifting through the contents of my Mum's sewing box, I came across the buttons to this dress - spares, I presume, although I wonder why there are so many - together with a reel of pink sewing thread.
Back to the future. Or better, the past, as these photos were all taken last week!
Here's what I was wearing beneath the fake fur. The light wasn't very flattering upstairs in our spare room, but there was no way I was going to strip to my dress and cardie outside!
I switched my boots to my vintage fur-edged slippers, which were keeping my feet warm and toasty.
The dress is one of my warmest too, made from a polyester/wool blend. Its groovy and colourful print means it can be combined with almost any colour under the sun.
I couldn't decide, so I wore mustard opaques, a green belt and lilac beads. The belt was on its last legs, with the upper layer peeling away, so this was actually its very last wear.
Phoebe is watching procedures from her perch on my laptop. She's the real princess here, you know!
Sunday brought a marginal improvement in the weather, but there was still enough wind to ruffle our resident robin's feathers.
Before leaving for a family commitment in the afternoon, I had to show you what I was wearing.
This pink long-sleeved dress with its round colour and row of purely decorative buttons down the front (thankfully, it closes with a back zipper!) doesn't get nearly enough wear. I always think the colour is too pale on me, especially in Winter, but combining it with purple and orange, which both feature in the print, seems to do the trick.
I opted for purple opaques and burgundy booties.
A long necklace made of multi coloured beads and a white plastic flower brooch were added for good measure.
Meanwhile, Dove Cottage's garden is waiting for Spring. Nothing much is happening yet.
A stone dove sits patiently among the first leaves of the ground covering geranium. The bird bath's water has frozen, trapping some of the rampant ivy, which seems to find its way through ancient stone, wrapping its tendrils around rusty metal. You've got to admire its tenacity!
Here's to hoping we have finally waved goodbye to Winter!
Linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style as usual. Do go and check out the other visible girls!