Most of my blog posts are at least partly written with Phoebe snoring away in the background.
While I sit typing at my desk, there she is, curled up on the wicker chest behind me, a vintage sleeping bag draped over it for comfort. It’s one of her favourite spots, and she often follows me upstairs, jumping on the chest mere minutes after I’ve sat myself down. Her snoring, at times gentle but often quite loud, is a soothing soundtrack which blends perfectly with the strands of classical music emanating from my pc's speakers.
These days, our little black monster is the one constant in our lives, and I’m often quite envious of her innocence, oblivious of the sea-change which has taken place over the last seven months.
Time keeps ticking away relentlessly, and it's almost beyond belief that we've yet again put the clocks back last night and that Winter Time is therefore upon us once more.
Another constant in my life is the daily joy of dressing up, any pandemic woes notwithstanding.
The blue based dress I was wearing two weeks ago on Saturday was part of my birthday haul from Think Twice back in September, and had been patiently awaiting its turn ever since. The hint of orange in its print prompted my choice of cardigan and opaques, in a delicious burnt orange reminiscent of Autumn foliage. My belt's caramel shade made use of the same colour palette.
I went off-colour by adding some green, in the form of my brooch and bi-coloured necklace, where it joined the dress's off-white elements.
On my feet, my ancient navy ankle boots which, together with the opaques, were the only retail items in my outfit.
My sister called around that morning, and as we're not part of a bubble, we stood talking at the required social distance, she out on the pavement and me on our doorstep.
Our chatting was interrupted when a guy arrived in a van to deliver the pie we'd ordered a couple of weeks ago. These were being sold in aid of a local school and it's common practice here that they are being sold door-to-door by the school children. We are usually happy to participate when it's that time of the year again and one of the neighbourhood children rings our doorbell.
After a hefty slice of cherry pie for lunch, I decided to make the most of the dry and reasonably sunny weather and make a start with Spring bulb planting. So far, I've done the snake's head fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris), crocuses and winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis). The snowdrops, grape hyacinths and alliums are still on my to-do list, but need to wait until their designated places in the border have been cleared.
I had finished just in time before it started raining, which soon increased in heaviness and continued to plague us intermittently throughout the evening.
What a relief to be greeted by the sun on Sunday morning! Just to be on the safe side, however, I decided to play my part and wear some bright sun-shiny colours.
The calf-length bottle green pleated skirt was a cheeky retail buy the other week, picked up at the same time as the boots I mentioned in my previous post. The vintage shirt, with its pink, green, yellow and white florals, was a charity shop find back in March 2019, and as a firm favourite, it has been making regular appearances on the blog ever since. As has the belt, which has been in almost constant use after I set eyes on it in a haberdashery shop just after lockdown.
The necklace was a gift from my friend Inneke, while the fluffy yellow cardigan was one of my latest charity shop finds. The first of its undoubtedly many wears!
That day, I indulged in my usual Sunday pastime of pottering around house and garden, making photos of the latter's Autumnal exuberance.
As a drop in temperature had been forecasted for the next week, I thought I'd better get out a selection of slightly warmer scarves. In fact, I was relishing the thought of wearing my favourites, in particular the ancient frilly turquoise one and the fluffy sugar pink boa I charity shopped last year.
Imagine my panic when I couldn't find either of them. I think I looked in all likely as well as unlikely places all over the house, until I finally found them hiding in a suitcase in the company of my faux fur stuff. What a relief!
The temperature had dropped to highs of only 13° Celsius by Monday, and even though it turned out to be a sunny day, it was quite chilly when I left for the office that morning, so I insisted on wearing one of the lost and found scarves!
Tuesday saw a repeat of Monday's weather, although it started clouding over by early afternoon. Jos had a hairdresser's appointment in the morning, so during his absence, I dusted the dining room and mended a half-slip and a dress, both of which had suffered split seams.
In spite of the clouds, which at some point looked as if they held rain, we were itching to get out of the house and clear out heads. There's nothing quite like immersing yourself in nature to chase away the dark thoughts that keep rattling around in your head like uninvited guests who have more than outstayed their welcome.
Not wanting to venture too far from home due to the weather's apparent uncertainty, we thought we'd check out the domain surrounding the old fort where we had our impromptu picnic the week before.
There's a footpath around the outer moat, which we followed until we came full circle. In this day and age, there's a one-way system as the path is reasonably narrow. Nevertheless, we came across one or two dog-walkers ignoring the rules and meeting us from the opposite direction.
However, on this Tuesday afternoon, with the sun regularly hiding behind a blanket of clouds, there weren't too many people about, so that we could enjoy the spoils of Autumn in perfect solitude.
We even found the perfect location for outfit photos in a little clearing, where I was able to indulge in a spot of leaf-kicking and pretend forest-bathing.
It was the perfect weather for my burgundy tweed jacket with knitted sleeves and yoke, a serendipitous charity shop find about a year ago. It's got multi-coloured speckles all over, tying in with the rainbow of colours in my ancient knitted scarf.
As you can see, I was properly booted this time, no luxury on the at times slippery and muddy path.
Underneath my coat, I was wearing a vintage chevron striped wool skirt in black, brown and bluish grey. My geometrical print blouse with its tie collar started life as a mini dress bought from the high street. I hardly ever wore it but loved the print too much to let it go, so I painstakingly shortened it into a blouse.
I needed a large brooch that wouldn't get lost in the print, so out came my fake Lea Stein cat brooch, while I pinned a knitted flower corsage to my charity shopped King Louie cardigan in exactly the same shade of blue as my opaques.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the chevron striped belt I'm wearing is the same as the one I was wearing in Sunday's outfit, but look again and you'll see that the buckle is different. Both belts are the result of some retail therapy after lockdown, and have fastly become firm favourites.
At some point, the path steadily climbed above the fort itself. A backward glance was rewarded by a glimpse of its deliciously faded, creeper clad and moss encrusted, glory.
There is no denying that we were feeling decidedly less stressed at the end of our walk, our moods having been boosted by the language of nature.
I'll be back with another exciting slice of life in pandemic times in a couple of days. In the meantime, I am counting on all of you to stay safe, sane and fabulous!
I love your pictures, Ann - and appreciate the one of you taking a picture of yourself taking a picture! ;) Fantastic color combinations, my dear! If you ask me, I would say that these several months brought the best of your fashionista self. Please understand what I mean. You were always fantastic, but I feel something jumped on to the next level, you create one outfit better than another, and you look glowing and free on your photos!ReplyDelete
I love taking a forest walk with you. Justin and I try to walk in the woods or our little neighborhood more or less frequently (with some gaps though), but I rarely take photos, mostly videos to share with my folks in Russia. How lovely to have your sister to stop by and chat, even with the social distance between you. My brother and parents are half the planet away, and it's heartbreaking at times.
Thank you my lovely friend and, once again, it's so good to see you blogging again! I certainly understand what you mean, as I've noticed a style shift in the last six months or so, my time off work giving me the gift of time. I can hardly imagine my family being half the planet away, which must be especially heartbreaking right now! Love you too xxxDelete
I love your cat brooch. We most cerainly need a cat around to get us through theses times mentally healthy. It's always a pleasure to see your colourful clothing. All the best! xxx RegulaReplyDelete
Thank you Regula! Our cat has certainly been a joy and a life-saver these days. A bundle of purring and snoring innocence :-)Delete
I love these vibrant looks especially the floral top and skirt. The cherry pie look so yum.ReplyDelete
Thank you Lovely! The pie was really yum and didn't last long :-) xxxDelete
lisbeth´s "bed" is a sheepskin covered chair beside of my bed - her snoring and other tiny sounds are the best for good sleep......ReplyDelete
the new blue dress has such a lovely print and the plissee skirt is chic - and yay for bottle green!!
today i burried some found bulbs into the border - have no idea what will come out of them :-D had some tulip bulbs burried in a plastik basket too - but the basket had two holes and zero bulbs - mice!!!
Thank you Beate! In fact, Phoebe does have several "beds" including the foot of our bed when we're in it :-) Oh no about the mice eating the bulbs. It seems Lisbeth hasn't been doing her job :-)) xxxDelete
i must defense lissy - the mice are voles - lissy is waiting in front of their holes for hours.... but they are clever beasts and stay "downstairs".....Delete
Cats are so funny when they snore, it's a lovely comforting sound when they're asleep during the day! How sweet that Phoebe accompanies you around the house, bless her.ReplyDelete
I love the chevron skirt , the colours in the first dress (the belt matches that delicious tart a treat!) and how tall and elegant you look in the bottle green pleated midi.
Your outdoor adventures look absolutely beautiful. We've got back from a repeat visit to my favourite national trust garden and I feel wonderfully chilled and relaxed.
How lovely to get a socially distanced visit from your sister. If only more people were like you and abided by the rules!
have a wonderful and safe week! xxx
Thank you Vix! She really does follow me around a lot. Sometimes I try to tiptoe out of the room when she's sleeping, only to be followed mere minutes later! I do despair sometimes about people's general behaviour. We haven't seen Jos's children in months! xxxDelete
Cats are adorable when they sleep and that's pretty often, isn't it? I'm sure Phoebe's presence is comforting. It is always nice to have a cat around. I feed three cats here and since we are renting in a house where their owners also live, they seem to have accepted us as their own.ReplyDelete
Your first blue print dress is so pretty. That's a lovely print and the belt you wore with it is very pretty. The orange tights are a nice touch as well.
It is great you were able to see your sister and adhered to social distancing rules. Here on the island the population is very small so social distancing is not hard, but still the pandemic managed to spread, well what we can do.
The bottle green pleated skirt is wonderful and I like how you styled it with a printed top and a lovely belt and cardigan. Very pretty styling as well.
The area where you went for a walk is great. I like your burgundy coat and the striped skirt. That cat brooch is so pretty.
Have a nice week ahead!
Thank you Ivana! Isn't it horrible how the pandemic keeps spreading, even on your sparsely populated island? xxxDelete
Lovely photos and fabulous outfits as usual. I love the burgundy coat and the yellow fluffy sweater.ReplyDelete
Happy Belated Birthday!
Thank you Hena! I think the fluffy yellow cardigan will be in constant use this Winter. So cheerful, isn't it? xxxDelete
Snoring pets are the cutest-they have the right approach to life.ReplyDelete
Wonderful outfits this week and that lattice on the pie is beautiful. I'm not capable of anything like that.
Glad you found your scarves, and were able to see your sister if only at a distance. Have a great week!
They certainly do, Goody! These lattice pies are very common here. They actually originate from Limburg, which is one of Belgium's Flemish speaking provinces. xxxDelete
Oh, I can just hear Phoebe snoring away! Vizzini is very quiet (we can't hear him purring), but when he's "talking" to us, he is very loud and chatty. He also yowls after he's had his food (it sounds like he's saying "Hello"!) - we call that his "Yowl-p" review (Yelp is a restaurant review app here).ReplyDelete
I love your fall outfits, Ann - they are so pretty! That first blue dress is perfectly accented with orange/caramel. I'm drooling over the pie! Yum! Your bottle-green skirt is lovely - such a great colour - and will be really useful in your wardrobe, I'm sure. The fluffy cardi is so fun, and looks very snuggly indeed. Your walk outfit is fabulous - a great mix of colours and patterns. Sigh - people cannot follow simple directions! I shake my head.
I hope the week ahead is kind to you. Be calm, be safe, my dear friend.
Vizzini "Yowl-p" review made me giggle! That is totally something we would say! If Phoebe's looking or acting confused, we are calling it "Katzheimer", for instance!Delete
I could instantly see myself wearing that bottle green skirt in so many different ways, so I didn't hesitate, even if it was "fast fashion". xxx
I am with you 100% of the importance of getting out into nature. I find it wonderful for thinking things through,de-stressing and just appreciating the wonders of nature. I always feel better after a walk in the wild!ReplyDelete
Loved the outfits. The green pleated skirt is so lovely; I think flat fronted pleated skirts are fab but they are hard to find, I find. I thought the burgundy jacket outfit and the leaves were shades of purple when I saw it on IG!
I can imagine a cat snoring is a very comforting accompaniment...
Take care and stay safe,
Going for a walk in nature is indeed the perfect de-stresser, something we could all do with a lot these days. I'm glad that our latest lock-down still allows us to travel to places where we can walk. xxxDelete
Our cats seem to like it very much that I am always at home now. Especially Castor, he demands his attention very loudly when he wants it. That chevron skirt is gorgeous, I like that graphic print a lot. Isn't it just so beautiful outside in the forest. It's so energizing to be out. Have a great day Ann!ReplyDelete
We only had Phoebe for just over a year before Jos retired, so she's used to having someone at home a lot of the time. But she loves it even more when we are both at her command :-) xxxDelete
You are writing with Phoebes snorring, I am writing with Laila on my knees. She is looking at me :)ReplyDelete
Burgundy is such a nice colour for autumn. I like it so much. You look gorgeous!
Stay healthy Ann, with a huge hug and much love Tina
Thank you, Tina, and do keep healthy too! I can totally imagine you writing with cute little Laila on your knees. Sometimes Phoebe comes up for cuddles, almost walking over my keyboard! xxxDelete
How beautiful your outfits, Ann! The pleated skirt is adorable and you have created a very sweet outfit with the floral shirt and the orange necklace .. We have two adorable kittens, rescued from the street, Janis, 4 years old, lively rascal and Leonhard, 1 year old, cuddly little ... enrich our life! Have a good week!ReplyDelete
Thank you Carmela! How lovely to have two rescued cats. We adopted Phoebe when she was about one. She came from a rescue centre which picked up stray cats from the street! xxxDelete
The bottle green skirt outfit and the burgundy jacket one, both beautiful and great for autumn.ReplyDelete
I often look at Ziggy and think the same as you do with Phoebe..' where ignorance is bliss,'tis folly to be wise'.
I'm loving the shades of Autumn this year, it's a sight for sure eyes isnt it. xxx
Thank you Sally! Perhaps the innocence of our pets is keeping us reasonably sane? I love going for walks in Autumn, but it has been quite grey and rainy lately. I'm hoping for some chilly but sunny November days! xxxDelete
Totally in love with your 'daily joy of dressing up'!, ;DReplyDelete
We've changed our clocks here too, but this change doesn't annoy me as much as the spring one.
Love your blue dress and how brilliantly you've matched your cardi and opaques and fab accessories!
Glad that you could meet your sister, and also glad that you kept your distance. Sometimes it's hard, but we have to do it. And so nice to have a pie delivered to your door!
Lovely pleated skirt and even more lovely vintage shirt, those colors are so delightful, and your fluffy cardigan is a joy for my eyes!.
And also lovely last outfit and lovely photos in the forest!. Your burgundy jacket is so fab, and goes so nicely with the skirt and those blue shades in your cardi and opaques!, totally fabulous color combo and rocking accessorizing!, the cat brooch is so cute!
Totally agree that a walk under the trees is so uplifting, it always improves my mood!
Thank you so much, Monica! I love seeing your colourful outfits too, and really don't understand why so many people insist on wearing drab colours, especially now that the days are getting shorter and darker! We can even liven things up a bit by wearing colourful masks now :-) xxxDelete
I really like the bleu and orange outfit, it's so fun and Sunday's outfit is so colourful too!ReplyDelete
it's nice you got to spend time with your sister even if it was distanced - I know when they lifted the travel restrictions my sister and I were so excited to get together again - being outside for a picnic was wonderful and much needed after weeks of Iso! :)
Hope that you are having a good week! It's a pretty stormy one here but the rain is very welcome :)
Away From Blue
Thank you Mica! How strange that in spite of the difference in season, we are also experiencing a pretty stormy week. At least it hasn't rained today and we've even been seeing a bit of sunshine! xxxDelete
I love it when the cats snooze in the same room I'm in. Sadly they often try to sit on my desk as I try to work, often laying over one arm which hinders things a bit!!ReplyDelete
Your chevron skirt is lovely.
How nice to see your sister, and that pie looks delicious. I wish someone would knock on my door and offer me pie, usually people who knock on our door are just lost!
What a shame people can't follow simple rules!
In that respect Phoebe is reasonably well behaved, although when she is snoozing on the linen chest which is right next to my desk, she often comes up for a cuddle, bumping my arm until I give her the attention she wants, or better: demands! xxxDelete
"The Language of nature"- ah, that is a very apt phrase to use and one I fervently agree with! We had a very muddy, wet and rainy walk on Thursday but really glad we did it as we felt so much better after it! The pie looks great. So nice to see your sister. We saw my Mother in Law last week and it really was good to see her given that we are going into lockdown again. I only wish I'd seen my dad and mum too.ReplyDelete
Excellent outfits again and I agree about dressing up being one joy!x
Thank you Kezzie! I was taught the language of nature by my grandfather, and have never lost my love for it. When the weather's not up to scratch, going outside sometimes feels like a chore, but I'm always glad I persevered! xxxDelete
So wonderfully and heart-touchingly true regarding our pets being a constant rock of stability and positivity in our lives throughout this unforgettably challenging and uncertain year.ReplyDelete
I've lost count of how many times I've looked at our darling (dog) Annie and felt the utmost gratitude for her stable, loving, wonderful presence in our lives throughout all of the ups and downs of not just 2020, but from the very moment she first entered our world back in early 2013.
She is our whip smart, adorable, strong willed, loving, super playful, cherished companion and this year has, unquestionably, been easier to get through thanks to her presence. 🙏
Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life
Thank you Autumn, and you are right: I don't know how I've got through this year without Phoebe, even if she sometimes drives us mad with her strong-willed character :-) xxxDelete
How nice to get out and about!ReplyDelete
Cats are an absolute blessing. I think both Pete and I have welcomed having our two around to talk to and laugh at this summer. Their lives haven't changed in the slightest, so I guess we're still interacting with pets in the same way - they're a little bit of normality in our lives.
I'm often quite envious of Phoebe's innocence, although I think she knows that something is up. I'm at home much more and we didn't desert her to go on holiday :-) xxxDelete
Loving all the green outfits. The color looks great on you. The crochet jumper is amazing!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Lovely xxxDelete