The days, most of them dark and damp, keep chasing each other across the weeks. Sunny days are few and far between and have a knack to avoid the weekends, which have been filled with livid black clouds, ominously threatening stormy weather. On days like these, the world outside our window is looking wet and bedraggled, with any sudden and short-lived rays of sunshine to be treated as tiny miracles.
My thoughts keep returning to those blissful few days we spent in Bruges. How lucky we've been with the weather! I can only be thankful for this rare stroke of luck.
I find that coming down from holiday mode is becoming increasingly difficult as the years go by, so I usually allow myself a transitional day to come back to earth in a bid to keep the post-holiday blues at bay.
And what does one do on such a day, which once again proved to be of the interminably grey variety? I'm sure you'll agree that only wearing colour would do the trick.
There's nothing new about the vintage Lapidus of Sweden dress I plucked from my wardrobe. An old Think Twice find, I fell in love with its yellow and tan floral print, even if it was missing one of its buttons and its previous owner had added a rather incongruous crocheted lace border at the hem. The latter was swiftly removed, and I was overjoyed to find the dress came with a spare button, solving the first problem in mere minutes.
No pockets though, just fake pocket tabs which, same as the collar, have a strip of plain yellow in the same fabric the buttons are covered with.
Both the multicoloured necklace and the belt with its tortoiseshell buckle were charity shop finds. The brooch is part of a haul from an antiques centre in Carmarthen, Wales, back in 2017, while the orange opaques were a gift from the lovely Kezzie. The chartreuse long-line cardigan is from Belgian brand Mayerline, by way of a charity shop. In fact, only my ring and boots were retail buys.
If we weren't none to pleased to be back home, our black furry monster could be heard meowing pitifully when we were unlocking our front door.
Was she glad we were home or complaining that we'd left her in the first place? Look at that eternally grumpy face! Nothing new here either!
While I was assembling this collage, it struck me that it must have been written in the stars that we were bound to have a black cat at some point, as all these objects firmly pre-date the arrival of Phoebe in our lives. We even owned a grumpy black cat mug!
We got home on Wednesday and taking Thursday off as well meant that I only had a one-day working week to slowly ease myself back into the daily grind.
Still, I wasn't sorry when another weekend rolled along, even if the weather forecast was looking pretty dire. It's no use having temperatures of around 13° Celsius when a storm is brewing!
Saturday was the proverbial calm before the storm but still a bit of a washout, so that a walk of any kind was out of the question.
Nothing new about my outerwear, all of which you've seen before, but the dress I'm wearing is a recent acquisition, found at Think Twice on the same day as the navy and white houndstooth dress featuring in my previous post.
Zig-zags in lilac, cream and brown make up the print of this vintage shift dress. It's got a stand-up collar with a floppy side tie, which I fastened with a white on blue floral cameo scarf clip.
A vinyl, oval buckled belt in the palest of lilacs was added to accentuate my waist, while a sky blue long-line cardigan and opaques in a similar colour completed my outfit.
I could have opted for tan or blue boots, but I thought my green ones made the outfit a bit less matchy-matchy. Also, they desparately needed breaking in, and I'm happy to report they did just fine!
The porcelain cameo brooch was a last-minute edition as I felt the dress needed another adornment.
A closer look at the side tie is offered on the right, along with the ring I picked, which seems to reflect the dress's colours perfectly.
At first, it seemed that the charity shops were competing with the weather in utter blandness, but then I found this fabulous coat, new with tags, from the French L33 label. It was mine for just € 8. It's a Spring weight, so it's currently waiting in the sidelines.
On Sunday, we huddled inside Dove Cottage, while storm Ciara was raging outside. Before she arrived, though, we were able to briefly nip outside to show you what I was wearing.
I love this navy fit and flare dress, with its cheerful blue and green print, but for some reason it hadn't yet been worn this Winter. Well, I do know why, of course. I simply have too many dresses, which all have to wait their turn! But do I care? Not in the least!
Green seemed to be the perfect choice of colour for my belt, opaques and cardigan, to which I pinned the peacock feather brooch I bought in a Welsh charity shop last Summer.
My necklace with its filigree leaves is from Veritas, a well-known chain of Belgian haberdashery shops. I found it new on card in an Antwerp charity shop last year.
If the charity shops didn't deliver, the latest Think Twice sales certainly did. On the two days when everything was € 4, I visited all four of their Antwerp shops during my lunch breaks and ended up with a more than decent haul.
The green crepe dress - the photographs do not do the actual colour justice at all - is waiting for replacement buttons as I don't like the ones it currently has. I'm thinking of pink but I haven't found what I'm looking for in my stash yet.
Initially, I thought this green, yellow and white plaid dress, with its ginormous sleeves hemmed with Broderie Anglaise, was a handmade affair, but then I found a factory label hidden inside. I can't wait to wear it in Spring!
I've always loved green and blue together and whoever said the colour combination shouldn't be seen need their heads checked, in my opinion.
I can't wait to wear this cotton Summer frock either!
Other finds were a bright blue floral maxi dress edged in yellow, a funky print shift dress (centre picture), three skirts and two blouses. Don't they make a cheerful collage?
And finally, this chiffon dress complete with pussy bow and pleated skirt made its way into my wardrobe. I fell head over heels for its white, blue and berry watercolour print.
But I've not only been buying things, I have done quite a bit of selling as well. Last weekend, a lady I met at our last flea market in July, came over especially from Holland for a rummage through my no-longer-loved and no-longer-fitting items, and I'm happy to report she bought more than half of my stock.
That's not to say I wasn't a bit sad to see some of it go, but on the upside I'm definitely left with enough space to accomodate my new purchases.
I'll be back with the last episode of my Bruges travelogue soon.