Sunday, 23 September 2018

The burrs and the bees

I've been making the most of the last of the Summer days by wearing some of the things which were still rattling around unworn in my wardrobe.

With the Summer we've been having, my beloved polyester dresses must have thought their days were numbered, the heatwave dictating that I wore most of my cotton frocks, which in Summers past hardly left the suitcase they are stored in.

If I'd heeded the advice of those who are supposedly in the know, to let go of anything that hasn't been worn for over a year, these would have been ditched long ago.

Instead, any unworn Diolen, Trevira et al. dresses, apart from one or two which will be culled at my next wardrobe changeover, will live to shine another day.

I was quite surprised I hadn't even worn this red dress once,  with its cheerful print of green dots and white flowers, as it usually makes at least one Summer appearance (see here and here).

So, on Friday before last, I wore it to work, with a white belt for contrast. I pinned a big, white-rimmed plastic brooch to the green cardigan I'd added, while further accessories were a string of green beads and a yellow and pink swirled plastic ring.

As it has been getting quite chilly in the mornings, I also wore a jacket on top . This vintage black and white hounds-tooth jacket, with its shiny black buttons rimmed with gold, is a firm favourite. It's got belt loops but was lacking a belt when it first became mine, which was soon remedied by adding a slim shiny black belt with a gold buckle I already owned.

My dark red chiffon scarf added another pop of colour.

I'd taken the afternoon off and after Jos met me from the tram, we made a detour to the nearest charity shop before heading home.

I can never resist a wicker sewing basket! This one hadn't even made it to the shelves yet: I found it lurking beneath a large serving dish at the bottom of a crate of items ready to be shelved. Priced at € 1, it was obvious it had to be mine!

The jewellery display didn't disappoint either, with a necklace of rose pearls and translucent plastic beads, a bracelet and two bangles, and a delightful apple pendant.

Two new-to-me retro-print blouses also came home with me and while they are waiting their turn to be worn by me, Angelica was more than happy to model them for you!

The sun was shining on Saturday morning, but by the time we made it to the park clouds had gathered once again. We ate the sandwiches we'd brought for our picnic while sat on a bench, trying to avoid the omnipresent wasps which were intent on sharing our lunch.

The brightly coloured plaid print dress I was wearing is well travelled. It came with us to Wales last year and I'd packed it again for our week away earlier this month, although it didn't leave my suitcase on both occasions. 

Time to give it an outing before being packed away for Winter.  Besides, I thought its autumnal hues were perfect for this time of year!

My vintage jacket, made from cobalt blue crepe, was a lucky find in a charity shop in Newcastle Emlyn, Wales, a couple of years ago. 

The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I was wearing the bracelet and one of the bangles I found on Friday. The blue bangle and blue and white necklace were charity shopped as well, as was the handbag, but I can't remember where the brooch, a tiny plastic hat decorated with flowers, came from.

The half-elasticated belt was bought retail many years ago. I have it in orange as well.

And look, the dress has got pockets!

You can see a close-up of the brooch I'd pinned to its lapel, which I found at a flea market in Carmarthen, Wales, back in 2015, in one of the collages below.

The sun kept playing hide and seek while we went for a short stroll around the park.

I don't know what it is about September, and why it makes me feel quite so wistful. Might it be  because it's the month that I was born in, and when I first drew breath, I breathed in the bittersweet scent of September?

There is a hint of earthiness in the air, a heady mixture of delight and melancholy that I wish that I could bottle.

"The breezes taste
of apple peel.
The air is full
of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
burning brush,
new books, erasers,
chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
well-honeyed hum,
and Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
with suds, the days
are polished with
a morning haze."
~John Updike, September

Summer foliage has had its time and is fading to hues of a mouldy, greyish brown, while solitary bees were feasting on the last of the late Summer flowers basking in the mellow sunlight.

One cannot deny that there is a subtle change in the light in these days which have Autumn breathing down their necks. The sun, when she graces us with her presence, is veiled by an almost imperceptible haze.

I was being attacked by burrs, so it was time to leave and cross the street to the charity shop which is almost opposite the park.

Here I found another stack of bangles as well as two vintage summer frocks, which will be put away for next year, by which time they'll be a surprise as I'll probably have forgotten all about them.

Then we had to dash home as we were going out that night, to the theatre, no less.

We were off to see a musical in which Jos's multi-talented 18 going on 19 year old granddaughter was performing, as she does each September. This year it was Grease! We admit not really being fans of the genre, but obviously we gladly make an exception for her. 

In my book, theatre-going equals dressing up, and I chose a long-sleeved ankle-length dress with an eye-catching blowsy flower print, which I'd bought at the tail end of the C&A sales earlier this year. 

In the end, I decided not to wear the shawl, crocheted for my birthday by my friend Ingrid two years ago, as it was quite a balmy night.

We made outfit photos before we went out, but as the colours were slightly drained by the evening sunlight, we re-did it on Sunday morning to offer you a better view of the details.

Look at how different the light is, changing the colours significantly!

My necklace, brooch and ring echo the colours of the dress's print, while the pink floral jacket, a present from Vix, provided contrast to the predominant dark tones of the dress.

This is the outfit I'll be linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

It's almost unimaginable that I was posing in our sunlit garden only a week ago, as it's been raining heavily while I'm typing these words, and the temperature has dropped considerably.

I'll be continuing my travelogue in my next post. Hope you will join me again on my travels?


  1. Your choice of poem is perfect for your photos and my melancholy feeling of Autumn's approach.

    I have a love/hate relationship with this time of the year. If only we could hold onto fall and its fading golden hues, celebrate a week of winter and then move quickly back into the brightness and hope of spring.

    That last dress is GORGEOUS. The print on it...{sigh}.

    I agree that everything is better with pockets.


    1. Thank you Suzanne, and I agree with you on the love/hate relationship with Autumn. It's such a bittersweet time of year, isn't it? xxx

  2. This time of year in North America is difficult knowing the ferocious winter is waiting to pounce. The corn and soybeans are just starting to be harvested and everything can look so glowing and beautiful...but we know those long awful months are ahead. Sometimes having great clothes to wear is the only thing getting me out of bed.

    I'd definitely get up out of bed to wear the fab outfits here! The pink and blue combination is perfection.

    1. I'm much the same, Goody! From now until March at least, I'm having to get up while it's still dark outside, and the only thing that gets me out of bed is thinking of what I'm going to wear! xxx

  3. the pale blue summer frock - gorgeous!!
    but all your other finds are pretty too!
    love your theater look - in my book too theater is for dressing up. it would´t feel special to go in my work clothes.
    you´r right - the light has changed. mellow yellow in every picture. since 3 days we have "winterbefehl", wearing wool again. and last night it was storm & torrential rain - the first autumn storm......
    big warm hugs! xxxxx

    1. Thank you Beate! So far, I'm holding off on the wool, but I don't think it will be long now ... xxx

  4. So many things to love in this post, Ann! I love the first red dress with the white flowers. The brooch you wore with it is gorgeous too. Your jewellery haul is fantastic too! I love each piece! Your new retro print blouse is so cool! I love it with the green skirt. My fave outfit is your fabulous plaid dress! You look amazing in that dress, Ann! Love the jacket and shoes and the jewellery too. Perfect! That last dress is gorgeous too. Hope you had a great weekend. XXX

    1. Thank you Sasha! I'm glad the plaid dress finally got an outing! xxx

  5. A lovely autumnal post! I love your September photos and poem. Lovely dresses too! I love the plaid dress, especially the big collar! Love the theatre outfit too. X

  6. Yay! That crazy jacket looks absolutely brilliant on you, i knew you'd do it justice.
    Wonderful words. Not a fan of Autumn at all, I hate coming downstairs at this time of year and worrying about finding bastard massive spiders in the sink.
    Love the tartan dress and glad you gave that lovely red one an outing. The red apple pendant makes my heart race, it's a beauty! xxx

    1. I love that crazy jacket! Oh, and we've got Phoebe to deal with any spiders. What about Stephen and Frank? xxx

  7. Hun, your stylings are so extremly beautiful and unique.
    I love this eyecatchy and colorful combination. The jacket looks brilliant on your.

    take a look at my BLOG and my INSTAGRAM

  8. So cute theese bangles! I love your cobalt blue jacket. It's so bright and make you shine!
    A very huge hug Tina

    1. Thank you Tina! I love that jacket, it's one of my best finds ever! xxx

  9. Yes, we will! :)

    I adore Autumn! I can eat it with a really big spoon every single day! I am so happy that in our climate here, Autumn slowly becomes Spring (my other favorite), with only a tiny glimpse of (relatively warm) Winter and a (relatively short and not exhaustingly hot) nice Summer. Is it the ideal climate for me? You bet it is! :) And your post is so full of Autumnal beauty in words, pictures, and outfits, as always!

    I love all your ensembles. Your theater dress is wonderful, such a beautiful color! I wore a floral maxi to a theater just last Saturday. :) I share your approach to wardrobe. When I had a small wardrobe (meaning, just a few pieces), I wore it out to bits, and then gradually replaced with new pieces. I think my wardrobe these days will hardly ever need any replacements, only if I dramatically change my size of course. Some clothes have to wait a year or two, so what? I will still wear them because I still love them.

    I love the pearl necklace, such a pretty color! And the apple pendant is so cool! Lots of love!

    1. Thank you Natalia, and I am so glad you're a fellow Autumn lover. I love the idea of eating it with a really big spoon! xxx

  10. I'm feeling very wistful and nostalgic right now there is really something about Autumn for making you reflective I think. I love your plaid dress, just perfect for this time of year.

    1. Isn't it strange that there's no other season but Autumn which makes us feel quite like that? xxx

  11. Happy Birthday, hope it was a good one.
    I love all the red you're wearing. It's the perfect accompaniment for September (along g with orange).
    I love all the harvest nature photos, a perfect celebration of Autumn. xxx

    1. Thank you Sally! I'm at that stage when I'm not celebrating birthdays very much, especially as I usually have to work! xxx

  12. Don't you just love that feeling when you are unpacking winter/summer clothes and find things you've forgotten about?

    What lovely outfits, Ann. I loved your theatre outfit and the blue and orange outfit was gorgeous. The first dress was lovely; I, too, have been trying to get wear out of some summer things before they get packed away.

    Your finds were brilliant!

    Hope your week is going well.

    1. Thank you Veronica! I admit I'm looking forward to unpacking my Winter stuff next weekend. I'm sure that there will be many things I've forgotten about! xxx

  13. I just love your posts, they are such a fun mix of outfits, flowers and purchases. :) Perfect, in my book.

    Love the vintage top with the bird-ish print! That really rings my bell. I also adore that pink jacket - you were a Pink Lady! I bet you had comments on that!

    I know what you mean about unworn dresses. We had so few days that were really HOT this summer, compared to last year, that I find myself thinking I should weed out the unworn or seldom worn, but then I remember that I'll want those cotton and maxi dresses next year! Although I'm pretty strict with myself in ridding my closet of unloved/less-loved pieces, there is absolutely no reason to toss things you love just because you didn't wear them in a single season. There are only so many opportunities to wear some of these!

    Wishing you a grand week ahead, Ann!

    1. Aw, that's so sweet, Sheila! That bird print top was my favourite find. I'm trying to be more strict, but if I get rid of things, I usually put away to sell at the flea market. And it's very tempting to take things back out! xxx

  14. I love that you gave your summer cotton dresses a last chance to go out, as they're so beautiful. Love the flowers&dots and also the plaid dress and all the fabulous beads and brooches. You rock your accessories!
    And the floral dress is a beauty! You're gorgeous and (once more) beautifully accessorized!
    Autumn is my favourite season, the golden light, the chilly mornings, the reddish wineyards, the colours of the trees!. I know that our Autumn is really warm and 'summery' so it's easy to love it!

    1. Thank you so much, Monica, and I'm glad you're a lover of Autumn too! xxx

  15. That blue jacket tartan dress combo is an absolute delight. And the final dress print makes me think 'psychedelic Morris'.

    All that 'throw it out if you haven't worn it in a year' advice is nonsense. 'Keep it till it stops making you happy' is much better.

    1. Thank you, Mim! I quite like the sound of "psychedelic Morris" :-) xxx