Wednesday 18 September 2019

The days grow short when you reach September

Although I still have two more episodes of my travelogue up my sleeve, I thought I'd squeeze in a little catch-up of what has been going on and, more importantly, what I have been wearing, since we came back from our short holiday.

As my blog is more or less my online diary, it just wouldn't do to publish a post highlighting the outfits I was wearing in the second week of September only several weeks later. Besides, chances are that in spite of extensive photographic evidence, it will have all but disappeared into the fog my menopausal brain often seems to be wading through.

So, let's make a start and journey back to just under a week ago. On Thursday, I got this glorious, pink-hued bouquet of flowers delivered to the office. It was a birthday present from my lovely bosses, who'd ordered it all the way from Miami.

Taking them home on the tram during rush hour, while simultaneously carrying my handbag and a wicker basket, was quite an undertaking, and it was nothing short of a miracle that they made it home without any casualties. 

That's me wedging them between my knees and the back of the seat in front of me on the top left, where you can catch a brief glimpse of the blowsy floral pattern on the skirt I was wearing.

As you can see, Phoebe was a big fan of them as well! I had a bit of a hard time keeping her away from them.

And here's what I was wearing on my birthday. The circle skirt with its abundance of flowers was a sales bargain from last Summer, but everything else I'm wearing is second hand. The vintage peplum top with its attached belt has already made several appearances on the blog and I'm sure my denim jacket does not need any introduction either.

The raspberry suede shoes were a charity shop find, as was the delightful squirrel brooch, which I picked up in Poperinge's small charity shop on the last day of our holiday.

A quick round-up of what else I've been wearing that week. 

From left to right: plums, pears and hydrangeas are part of the print on this lovely vintage dress I wore on Monday, while Tuesday's going-back-to-work outfit consisted of a vintage Lee Cooper denim skirt (a gift from my friend Ingrid) and a charity shopped short-sleeved King Louie jumper. 

Wednesday was brightened by this fiery orange and caramel, dagger collared vintage dress, topped by an abstract print blue cardigan, which was a charity shop find from earlier this year.

In spite of this being a short working week, the weekend couldn't arrive fast enough.

The week had been a mixture of sunny and dull days, and Friday firmly belonged in the latter category, with the gloom only lifting slightly by the end of the day.

This vintage dress, which skillfully combines several shades of green and blue, is another one which has made it to the blog more than once. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that it's one of my favourites! I added a white vinyl belt to define my waist and chose a turquoise beaded necklace, but opted for a totally different colour for my brooch, a lovely orchid in a delicious caramel shade, which can also be worn as a pendant.

I went for a quick rummage in one of the Think Twice shops during my lunch break and pounced upon this navy shirt which has the cutest of prints. 

Their sales had started that day and everything was 30% off. Prices will keep going down until at the end of two weeks all that is left is going for € 1 a piece. I'm pretty sure this gorgeous shirt wouldn't have lasted until then!

We'd been promised a weekend of Indian Summer weather and for once they got it right as this is exactly what we got. Hurray!

Too good to be wasted indoors, we combined our usual Saturday charity shopping trip with a walk in the park.

There are several decades between the 1970s vintage skirt I'm wearing and the top, which was a sales bargain a couple of years back, but I think their combined naive flower prints are a match made in heaven. 

I found the skirt, which looked to be in unworn condition, in the charity shop in our village last Spring. In fact, I had to undress one of the shop's dummies for it, leaving the poor thing indecently exposed.

My outfit was accessorized with a red belt and necklace, while the gorgeous weather was asking for another outing for my Clarks slingbacks charity shopped in Bridgnorth when meeting up with Vix back in June. They might very well be my most worn shoes this Summer.

Oh, how I love this time of year! I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who prefer Summer, but I am definitely an Autumn girl!

And although this year's greenery has long lost its freshness by now, I love the mellow sunlight which has replaced the harsh glare of Mid-Summer.

The other thing I love about Indian Summer is that the heat of the days is book-ended by cool mornings and nights, making them all that more enjoyable.

From the park, we walked to the charity shop down the road, which is spread out over three floors.

We usually only have a cursory glance at the ground floor, which mainly has furniture, but I'm always having a browse at the jewellery display near the tills. Then it's off to the first floor, which has everything from household goods and decoration to books and records.

Our final stop is the basement which is completely dedicated to clothing and textiles.

Apart from one or two things you'll get to see later, this is what I found. It's been quite a while since I had such a great haul!

There was a short-sleeved top by Belgian label Lucy Has A Secret, as well as two long-sleeved shirts, which purely by coincidence are all in a similar colour range.

In stark contrast are the neon shades of the green printed cardigan and the massive dayglo pink chain which, after a minor intervention by Jos, I will be using as a belt.

Two necklaces and two bangles (one of them in painted wood) were my other jewellery finds.

A colourful vintage C&A dress was a surprise find, as vintage dresses are few and far between at the charity shops outside of their retro events. Its label was pristine and its polyester fabric still a bit stiff, as if it came straight from the C&A rails, so I don't think it was ever worn.

Then there was some interesting reading matter for Jos (and me as well, of course).

Last but not least, I happened upon this tiny Italian souvenir doll, still in her original box. I picked it up, remarking to Jos that it had probably been an unwanted present, when the illustrations on the box made me realize that this was proper vintage. 

It was obvious that the doll had never been out of the box and, as she is kept hostage by the elastic holding her in place, which has solidified and has permanently attached itself to the box’s back, she probably never will. For € 0,50, however, she has now found her forever home at Dove Cottage.

So, that was it for now. I'll be regaling you again with my travel adventures in my next post. 

Hope you'll join me again then.

Linking last Saturday's outfit to Nancy's Fancy Friday.


  1. That bouquet you got from your bosses is so pretty! I love the rose tones and those flowers look so delicate. So great you managed to keep it safe during commuting, I imagine that it was a challenge. I also love the outfit you wore. The combination of a green polka dot blouse and a red floral dress is very playful and chic.

    The navy shirt you picked up is fabulous. I love its vibrant print. I also like the vintage skirt that you took off a shop doll last spring. Such a pretty piece. I like the outfit you wore it with just as much. The combination of naive flower prints is simply divine and the red sandals are the perfect finishing touch. That green and blue dress is a dream. I can see why this dress is one of your favourites. I always loved the combination of green and blue. The vintage doll you picked up is very pretty too. Jos looks very stylish in this pattern shirt and blazer too. How cool he turned a chain into a belt.

    I'm a big fan of Indian summer. Summer to Autumn transition is such a sweet time.

    1. Thank you Ivana! I was really touched to get that bouquet from my bosses. I think that my previous boss didn't even know when my birthday was ;-) xxx

  2. Where to start? How about HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!? Wishing you all the best for the year ahead, Ann!

    Other favourite things in this lovely post:
    - Your birthday bouquet and Phoebe getting into it (Vizzini does this too - I keep my flowers at work as he tries to eat them).
    - gorgeous skirt with the purple chrysanthemums!
    - the pretty blues and greens of that dress, and that wonderfully-printed navy blue shirt (I LOVE that shirt).
    - the flower-print top really sings to me - it reminds me a bit of Marimekko - and those shiny red slingbacks.
    - the big pink chain is my favourite thing in your haul, but you always have such a good eye!

    Love all the nature shots too! It looks absolutely lovely! I hope your warm days hold a little while longer - autumn is my favourite time of year too.

    1. Thank you Sheila! I'd have kept the flowers at the office too, only it was Thursday already and I didn't want to leave them over the weekend! Anyway, the novelty soon wore off for Phoebe :-) xxx

  3. What a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and happy belated birthday!

    I loved all your outfits and the lovely accessories you match so beautifully to them. What a great haul you got; I am in love with the neon green patterned cardigan.

    I agree with you about autumn; I love Spring but I think Autumn just about pips it; for the reason you so eloquently describe.

    Hope you're having a great week.

    1. Thank you Veronica! I've still got to war the neon green cardigan, but I think I have the perfect outfit in mind! xxx

  4. Happy Birthday Ann. What a wonderful present, I love flowers. Difficult to carry home in the tram, but you found a good way :)
    I love all your colourful styles an you found so many amazing new old things.
    Good this little italian doll found her home in Doves Cottage. Outside her Box?
    A very huge hug Tina

    1. Thank you Tina! The doll's still in her box, as she's practically glued to it, but at least I've removed the lid! xxx

  5. Happy birthday Ann!
    I love all you blue/green outfits.
    The photos of the park are just beautiful. I do enjoy a walk through a park whenever I get the chance. X

  6. What a beautiful bouquet. I hope you had a very happy birthday.
    I think I've changed from a summer girl to an autumn one, when I was younger I loved summer but I prefer autumn now, for all the reasons you mention!
    I really love your Saturday outfit, you look great in it, the patterns are wonderfully vibrant. xxx

    1. Thank you Sally! I've always loved this time of year, possibly because it's when I was born ... xxx

  7. a belated happy birthday to you, my dear!! <3
    the bouquet is gorgeous.
    love to see the round-up of the clothes you wore lately - such pretty dresses and combinations.... the haul is fab - esp. the green printet cardi and the pink chain :-D

  8. Happy birthday, lovely!

    I do love the prints on garments you find. The navy shirt and your floral top are both excellent.

  9. Happy Birthday, Ann! How nice of your bosses to give you flowers!

    I'm with you in your love of autumn for all the reasons you mentioned. It has been beautiful here in Seattle in just that comforting way and I'm glad to see you're experiencing similar beauty.

    You really lucked out with your charity shop finds. That top you spied is a real treasure! And, as I mentioned on IG, that 1970s/modern skirt/top combo is just a delight to see together. I love it when vintage and modern day collide in fun ways.


    1. Thank you Sherry and so do: I was really happy with how the skirt and top combo worked out! xxx

  10. Have a lovely rest of week! Happy belated birthday too. I think I forgot to wish you a happy birthday in my previous comment.

  11. Happy Birthday! How absolutely lovely of your bosses to send you flowers. Beautiful ones too.

    That squirrel brooch is too adorable, and I'm excited to see how you wear that pink chain as a belt.

    1. I thought you might like the squirrel brooch, no idea why really :-) xxx

  12. Hope your b'day week was bliss. The flowers are beautiful from your thoughtful bosses. As usual, a gorgeous buffet of stunning dresses. My favourites are definitely the green/blue dress and also the plum/pear/hydrangea one. The C&A dress has a flattering cut. Love that style but incredibly hard to find at a reasonable price. The floral skirt and floral (tulip?) top are the prettiest combination. Great haul - love it all except maybe the white necklace. I'd love those shirts for me! You're so talented tweaking vintage into looking so chic! I'm with you on autumn. Being menopausal and experiencing frequent hot flushes means I can no longer bear warm days. The park looks beautiful - are they passionfruit you are picking? Have a lovely week.

    1. Thank you Suzy! I'm not too sure about the white necklace either, but they had a sale on and I thought it had potential. Well, we will see. Oh, and I was picking apples, or rather acting as if I was :-) xxx

  13. Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like you found yourself some fun gifts.

    I'm sure it put a huge smile on your face getting that lovely bouquet from your bosses.

    I read about that encased doll on your IG. Poor thing. I think they had something similar in one of the Toy Story episodes. It would make a good subject for a story or book.

    I'm drooling over your new blouse.


    1. Thank you Suzanne! You're right, it would make a good subject for a story. I will put my thinking cap on! xxx

  14. What lovely flowers - happy birthday! You had a very stylish week, impossible for me to pick a favourite outfit! And you got some cute finds opshopping!

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  15. Happy birthday!!! The flowers are amazing! You look gorgeous in all your outfits but the outfit with the decades apart items are the best combination ever! I LOVE that navy patterned shirt you found with the dagger collar- you find such beauties! My little sister and I are going to Bruges at the end of October and I am hoping I can sneak a look or two in some charity shops there- any recommendations at all? We're only there for 2 nights so I am hoping that she won't mind me sneaking a look as she is the queen of the holiday itinerary and isn't a charity shopper (doesn't know about my blog either!!). I hope Think Twice is having a sale! Love your three complimentary blouses too!

    1. Thank you Kezzie. I'll definitely get back to you on Bruges. You might very well be in luck at Think Twice. The shop's not too far from the main square, the one with the belfry, so I'm sure your sister wouldn't mind you sneaking off ... xxx

  16. Gorgeous flowers I hope you had a wonderful birthday. Hasn't the weather been fabulous? Almost as good as all your finds!

  17. What gorgeous flowers, what a lovely gesture!!
    All your outfits are fab. I especially love your pattern mixing outfit, that tee shirt is very Orla Kielly and it's great to know that those bargainous Clarks' slingbacks are getting plenty of wear, what a find they were!!
    Jos looks like a very elegant English gent in his Panama hat! xxx

    1. Thank you Vix! I love those Clarks slingbacks and they're very comfortable too. They have replaced another, similar pair which was on its last legs. And yes, I was thinking of Orla Kiely too! xxx

  18. I'm so sorry to be so behind in my comments, Ann! Happy (extremely belated) Birthday, Ann! Sorry to have missed it. Those flowers were gorgeous, that's for sure! Amber always tries to eat my flowers when I get them! ;) I love that gorgeous top and skirt (from the last photo & a few above!). They complement each other so well. I adore that squirrel brooch too! ;) XXX

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and birthday wishes. It's always lovely to get your comments, whether they are early or late. I do understand that life sometimes gets hectic. I'm usually way behind with replying to the comments I got. xxx

  19. what a lovely bouquet of flowers, and also lovely floral ensemble that you wore on your birthday!, love those polka dots and florals all together!
    Lots of lovely outfits indeed!. I understand that you like particularly the green and blue dress, it's so fabulous!. And I love particularly your Saturday outfit, the mixed prints in red, the accessorizing and the shoes!, gorgeous!
    And I'm also a huge fan of Autumn, so warm and colorful and pleasant season!. Love to see all these pictures!

    1. Thank you Monica! I'm quite disappointed with Autumn this year, though. It has been raining non-stop for two weeks now ... xxx