The little minx was right, of course. The day looked set to be a glorious one, the sky too blue and the sun too bright to be wasted catching up on sleep. Besides, we were off to a brocante fair, set at Castle de Renesse, in the Campine area in the north-eastern part of the province of Antwerp.
Oh, you know, we have been there before (see here and here). The setting is delightful and if the weather's fine like it was on Saturday, we can combine the outing with a stroll through the castle's extensive grounds.
In the castle's courtyard, an Easter display containing eggs, chicks and bunnies hidden among colourful pansies, was still going strong.
There's the last of the daffodils, its frilled golden trumpet bowed in modesty and the first of the bluebells, which will soon turn into carpets of gently nodding blue bonnets.
The castle's shabby opulence is the perfect backdrop for a myriad of stalls, which are just a little cut above the rest. No cheap 'n cheerful flea market stuff to be found here!
You almost expect prices to reflect their surroundings but, while admittedly some of the wares on offer are overpriced and well beyond our budget, there's a surprising amount of affordable stuff as well.
The Brooch Lady was there with her folders of brooches. No longer trading at the flea market in Antwerp, she only does a few selected fairs, and this is one of them. As faithful clients, she'd even called us a couple of days in advance to tell us she'd be there.
You can just about make her out next to me, using a pair of scissors to release the brooches I'd selected from her folders. They are pinned to a piece of carton, which is then stapled inside a plastic sleeve. This is how she preserved her collection and as most of the brooches have been in there for years, removal isn't always easy.
Apart from several brooches and a hat, we took another object home with us. It's in one of the collages, but can you guess what it is?
All will be revealed in my next post!
By now, it was well past noon, so Jos went back to our car to get our picnic basket, while I plonked myself down at the one and only picnic table with a view of the lake and the castle.
As usual, we had the place to ourselves, so here was the perfect opportunity to show you what I was wearing.
I was a tiny bit overdressed, as I was wearing a cardigan as well as a jacket over my short-sleeved frock, which I accessorized with a yellow belt (not visible here) and green beaded necklace.
On my arm, a small green handbag which is surprisingly roomy. I pinned my green swallows-in-flight brooch to my cardigan and another brooch, a gold tone leaf bearing sugar-coated berries, to my jacket.
The jacket has been in my wardrobe for years. It was bought in the sales at a local boutique and although I love its mossy green colour shod through with brown, purple and orange, as well as its shape, I have to admit I haven't been wearing it all that much. Still, I'm not prepared to let it go.
After storing away our picnic basket in the boot of our car, we set off for a walk around the domain.
First stop was a gazebo we remembered from last year, when we climbed to the top of the knoll it was built on and down again via some steps. It was only later, while I was researching my post, that I discovered it was built on top of an ice house.
This time we made sure to walk around the knoll to the ice house's entrance. This is now a bat sanctuary and cannot be visited.
Continuing our walk, we passed this red and white shuttered gingerbread cottage, which is part of the domain. This used to be the bailiff's cottage, and I think it is rather sweet. I'd happily settle for it if my search for a castle proves to be fruitless!
It's days like these which make me yearn for magic powers to make time stand still, however briefly, in order to savour those moments just that little bit longer.
Here's a close-up of my frock, which is Diolen and has a richly hued floral print on a deep mauve background. I chose moss green opaques to go with it and I was wearing my burgundy booties.
No Spring pastels to be seen here, except for my pale green hat!
Even after the harshest and longest of Winters, Spring performs her magic, erasing its memory.
Like Sleeping Beauty, nature is awakening from hibernation, kissed by the first warm rays of the sun.
Lush new growth and buds about to turn into fresh green leaves or delicate blossoms: all that new-born verdancy releasing an almost forgotten fragrance carried by a gentle breeze.
I wonder what happened to the statues which must once have graced the many empty plinths, the stone weathered and coated in mosses and lichen.
Our circuit of the castle grounds finished, we made our way back to the courtyard, where we enjoyed a scrumptious piece of cake and a cup of coffee sitting at a little table outside.
A perfect ending to a perfect day!
Linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style!