Too good to be wasted inside, the continuing Indian Summer days lured us outside two weekends ago, although any plans for longer walks were scuppered by the fact that my knee decided to play spoilsport.
It is by Quimo, a Danish women's knitwear brand founded in 1937, and I accessorized it with a plastic twin flower brooch and an olive beaded necklace. The ring was found at our favourite flea market a couple of weeks ago.
Casting around for somewhere new to walk, which wouldn't be too far and certainly not too strenuous, we decided to check out a park on the outskirts of the nearby town of Mechelen.
We have often passed Tivoli Park while on our way to the flea market venue, noticing its main entrance through an ornamental, stone pillared gate next to a gaily blue and white shuttered and gabled gatehouse.
It is a typical 19th Century domain surrounding a castle which looks out over a lake and an English style landscape garden.
There's a moat running around the domain, but the chronic lack of rain is apparent, notably where it is crossed by a quaint little bridge, where it was completely dry, leaving only a trickle of carelessly littered empty cans and wrappers.
The existence of a children's play area did put us off a bit, especially when on a day like this, parents and their boisterous children seemed to have flocked here, making the most of what could possibly be the last of the gorgeous late Summer days.
There's a folly in the shape of a little temple, which closer inspection reveals to be in an advanced state of disrepair, its fate undoubtedly sealed by its rotten timbers.
It's the castle itself which plays a starring role here, turned into a venue for business conferences, and with a restaurant in the orangery at the back.
With an orchard, picking garden, petting farm and nature trail mainly aimed at children, there is something for everybody, although we do like it a little bit quieter.
There's a small café next to the play area as well, but seeing how busy it was we gave it a wide birth and, with my knee hurting even when walking on level ground, we decided to call it a day.
By Sunday, my back had joined my knee in behaving badly, but I still refused to be defeated.
I dressed in a Summer frock that had escaped the changeover by hiding at the bottom of a pile, its white and navy vertical stripes joined by navy, pink, red and green flowers tumbling down towards the hem. A bright pink belt, green beaded necklace and red raffia envelope bag were my main accessories.
We drove down to one of Antwerp's loveliest parks, Den Brandt, where you've joined me quite a few times before (here and here, for instance), entering via the walled garden at the left of the park, which is guarded over by a little Buddha, a present from the Ambassador of Nepal in 2004
Leaving the walled garden via a set of steps and then proceeding slightly uphill through an avenue of majestic trees, I was glad I'd brought my walking stick for support. This usually stays at home for a simple walk in the park, only coming out when climbing or rough terrain is involved. Yes, I know you are laughing, Beate!
We foraged for sweet chestnuts and beech nuts, which were found in abundance among the thick carpet of leaves.
At the edge of the park is a series of bunkers, which were built by the Germans in 1943 as headquarters for the Atlantikwall in Belgium.
These, or rather the fascinating museum which is housed in the largest bunker, can be visited the first weekend of every month.
Emerging from the path which runs next to the row of bunkers, the park's romantic castle, which was bathing in the hazy Autumn sunlight, could be glimpsed between the trees.
On the grassy field at the back of the castle, people sat and watched the world go by under a pale blue sky dotted with cotton wool clouds.
We watched it all from a well placed bench, our hearts brimful of Sunday afternoon melancholy.
Linking my forgotten Summer frock to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style!