In spite of all the time I've got on my hands, my blog keeps lagging seriously behind.
This had me stumped at first, until it dawned on me that it is simply because I have more time.
Where in the past, my blog mainly covered my weekend escapades, I'm now diligently recording all my non-working days which, apart from the weekends, also include Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays! And even if on quite a few of those days nothing much seems to be happening, I'm still aiming to show you what I've been wearing. Getting dressed up, after all, keeps being one of my greatest pleasures and in these strangely warped times often the highlight of my day.
But tomorrow is Christmas and, although my diary's next installment is supposed to continue with Thursday, 10 December, it simply wouldn't do not to bring you a bit of Christmas cheer!
So, I'm setting the time machine's controls for the Thursday of last week, briefly skipping one week ahead to the day when we put up and decorated our Christmas tree.
Not being much of a Christmas person at the best of times, this year in particular I wasn't feeling even remotely in the mood, and would have gladly given the silly season a wide berth if Jos hadn't insisted on the tree.
And you know what, once Jos had lugged the box containing our faithful "faux fir" out of the basement and we'd started to assemble the damn thing, I actually began to feel ever so slightly festive.
The radio was playing 60s pop songs, to which we sang along, and slowly but surely the tree emerged from its colour-coded components. After we'd completed the next stage, the slightly bothersome task of putting in the string of 100 LED lights, I'm sure you'll agree we deserved a glass of non-alcoholic beer!
Note my funky apron fashioned from a piece of 1960s tablecloth - which used to grace festive tables during my childhood - fastened at the back with a safety pin. Klassy, as Sheila
would say! I was wearing this to protect my frock's fragile fabric from the faux fir needles.
Our decorations are a jumble of vintage baubles - some of them heirlooms - and anything that has tickled my fancy over the last twenty-five plus years, which includes miniature bird houses, rag doll angels, felt icicles and birds such as the clip-on wren on the top right, which is one of a pair. Oh, and I've got a pair of sparkly silver chairs as well.
The eagle-eyed among you might spot some candles too. Do not worry, though, they are obviously never lighted. They are vintage and, with their little clip-on candle holders are heirlooms from both our families.
OK, that's quite enough Christmas stuff, I should say.
Now let's get back into that time machine and return to the order of the day, which is what we did two weeks ago on Thursday.
The day didn't start very promising, all grey and overcast and accompanied by a chilly 5°C, so that we'd resigned ourselves to yet another day spent at home.
But lo and behold: while we were having lunch the sun suddenly decided to grace us with her presence after all!
Too late in the day to go for a proper walk, we were nevertheless in need for a breath of fresh air or two, so we walked down to our garage and drove to the water tower in the neighbouring village of Reet.
I dressed up in some of my warmest Winter finery, which included a coat picked up in Think Twice last year, accessorized with a burgundy faux fur stole (a sales bargain back in 2018) and a matching burgundy beret.
December's sun was sitting low in the sky, caught in the branches of the trees. Some of them were bearing strange fruits on their bare branches, which made them look like some kind of freakish Christmas trees, their baubles put on willy-nilly by hasty, clumsy hands.
We climbed the tower in the hope of spotting the uppermost spheres of the Atomium in Brussels, about 30 kilometers away. The last time we were here, on a hot Summer's day, the view had been hidden behind the lush foliage of a line of trees. But although these had all shed the last of their leaves by now, we were once again thwarted by nature as it was too foggy for any clear, distant views.
Nevertheless, the ethereal ghost-grey mist which was swathing the landscape, the flat horizon only interrupted by a far-off church steeple standing proud, evoked instant nostalgia.
Directly below us, a massive gash in the landscape has been made by one of the last vestiges of the once powerful and prolific brick-making industry. From up here, it looks like a Lilliput world, complete with Dinky Toy trucks controlled by Gulliver's hands.
The village of Reet might be a sleepy backwater, it is blessed with a small charity shop, where obviously we had to stop on our way home.
Initially, the only item thrown up by the clothing aisles was a zippered cardigan for Jos - not pictured as he is so enamoured with it he is refusing to take it off - but then I spotted a rail filled with festive clothing. Among these, a glorious vintage frock in golden yellows and oranges threaded with Lurex!
It's got a giant Paisley print, a pussy bow, gorgeous buttons at its cuffs, and it was my size! No need to think twice about this one! Strangely enough, it's from the same label (Ein Fink Modell) as the frock I found the other day.
I also picked up several brooches, priced at € 0,50 each. I took a snapshot of them while I was waiting in the car for Jos when it was his turn to go into the shop. Note the background fabric, which belongs to my beret!
Back in the garage, we took some photos of what I was wearing underneath my coat.
The pinkish-red and grey dress with its folksy print was another Think Twice find from last year. On top, I wore the chunky black and white cardigan I'd picked up at a charity shop a couple of days earlier.
At my waist, a pinkish-red leather belt, which was an old retail buy, as was the felted flower corsage I pinned to my cardigan.
The multi-coloured wooden beaded necklace was charity shopped, while the vintage ceramic poppy brooch was a flea market find.
No poppies of any kind remain in our garden, but there's still plenty going on. There's the last of the Oxeye daisies, for instance, while most of our Geraniums seem to refuse to give in to the inevitable. The pink Garvinea - a hardy garden Gerbera - we bought back in June (bottom left) has been an absolute delight, even if by now the last of its flowers is dying gracefully. Meanwhile, the tiny leaves of our Cotoneaster, forever in competition with its berries, are still stealing the show with their fiery reds.
Friday was a wet and dismal day, with a slight rise in temperature. Wanting to strike the iron while it was hot, we visited another charity shop, where once again I was in luck.
I'll leave my finds for a next post, but before I go, I'll show you what I was wearing that day.
You've seen my orange and purple plaid H&M skirt quite recently, but that didn't stop me from wearing it again. This time, its companion was one of the tops I found at the charity shop earlier that week.
It's a thin, navy polo neck from River Woods, sprinkled with white and burgundy spots. It had been years since I last wore a polo neck of any kind, as I found it was not compatible with the menopause, but I actually loved wearing this one!
The fluffy orange Pauline B. cardigan (charity shopped) was perfect to ward off the chills.
I added a navy belt, another charity shop find, and a long beaded necklace which was a gift from a friend. My Cameo brooch was part of my birthday Think Twice haul back in September.
So, that's it for now.
All that's left is to wish you all a wonderful Christmas. No matter how you celebrate it, please do it responsibly. Stay safe and be extra fabulous!
Your Christmas tree looks beautiful Ann. You decorated it well. It actually reminds me of 'our' tree, which is pretty old (from before we met) and it seems to be of about the same dimensions. I love big trees but decorating them can be time consuming so I'm happy with a medium sized one.ReplyDelete
I really like your outfit with the pattern coat, the burgundy faux fur stole and beret. The boots and the vintage bag are fabulous as well. A great look! I also really like your yellow and orange vintage frock. Beautiful coloures and pattern.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas!
Thank you Ivana! I'm happy with a medium-sized tree as well. This one's more than big enough for our small home! xxxDelete
I can't see one reasone for not being reasonable and resposible. :-)ReplyDelete
We don't have a Christmas tree this year and I just thought that this may be the reason why I am in no mood for Christmas at all. So next year ...
I wasn't in the mood for Christmas either and in fact, putting up the tree was my only concession! xxxDelete
Merry Christmas Ann.ReplyDelete
I hope that you both have a happy day.
Here's to a much better yrst for everyone.
Thank you Carole, it has to be a better year, hasn't it? xxxDelete
i found something about "fink modell":ReplyDelete
seems that it was a quite famous label back then, i had a dress from them too..... growed out of it.
the dress you found in reet is a stunner - it will be even more stunning on you - you´r wearing warm yellow & orange so very well......
the brown patterned caot with the faux fur stole and hat in bordeaux looks very elegant!
a few days ago i brought some conifere twigs in and decorated them with straw stars - the BW was very happy - but even i got in a slightly festive mood by doing so........
stay cosy and safe!
Thank you again for the link Beate! I think I've got a couple of other Fink dresses as well. Or at least I used to have ... xxxDelete
Merry Christmas! Yes, this year's been tough and many are not in a holiday mood but, as you realized, pulling out the decorations and putting up a tree can change that. Glad you're feeling better. Happy New Year.ReplyDelete
Thank you Ally, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas in spite of the challenging year! xxxDelete
Merry Christmas Ann. Your christmastree look amazing.You did a good job :)ReplyDelete
I wish you wonderful days with nice strolls around.
With a very huge christmas hug Tina
Thank you Tina! We actually went for wonderful walks, both on Christmas Day and Boxing Day! xxxDelete
Merry Christmas. I hope you have an enjoyable day. I didn't want to do much this year either, but in the end was glad I did. Here's looking ahead to a New Year.ReplyDelete
Thank you Goody! I certainly had an enjoyable day, even if it was a bit of a subdued one. Glad to hear yours was enjoyable too! xxxDelete
Merry Christmas! We used to have real candles too when I was a kid. Can't remember is they were lighted, in my mind they were. The,, new,, orange dress is gorgeous, I love lurex. And I like the H&M skirt outfit a lot. That skirt is gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Thank you Nancy! We used to have some of those very candles on my childhood tree as well. I remember my Mum very briefly lighting them! xxxDelete
Merry Christmas! I love the H&M skirt, it has a real 70's vibe to me. LiseReplyDelete
Thank you so much Lise! xxxDelete
It's a beautiful tree !! But your sweet little cat doesn't "help" you? .. What a beautiful view from the tower, it looks like a watercolor painting! You found a treasure with your brooches ... I love your outfits! I am happy to have met you .. I wish you a Merry Christmas!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Carmela! I'm afraid Phoebe didn't help at all! She doesn't even show the slightest interest in the tree. Which is good, so nothing gets broken! xxxDelete
Your Christmas tree looks amazing! I love that you have real candles on your tree even if you don't light them.ReplyDelete
Lovely outfits as always and didn't you do well at the charity shop; the dress is amazing and what a brilliant collection of brooches. I especially liked the painted one.
Hope you had a good Christmas and best wishes for 2021! At least it couldn't be worse than the year we've had - could it?
Thank you Vronni! That painted brooch is gorgeous, isn't it? I already wore it in the meantime! And no, I don't think 2021 can be any worse ... xxxDelete
Belated seasons greeting Ann. Your tree looks wonderful , how fortunate to have some family decorations bringing back memories every year.ReplyDelete
Glad you are enjoying putting your outfits together every day , it does raise the spirits I find.
Wishing you and Joss best wishes for a brighter New Year. xx
Thank you Jill! Indeed, putting outfits together does raise the spirits, and it's one of the things that kept me sane this year! xxxDelete
I hope you had a good Christmas Ann. For us many dog walks were the highlight, whatever the weather.ReplyDelete
Speaking of walks, you have shown some quite different scenery here, the quarry photos contrasting with the beautiful nature ones.
It's good to do something that makes us feel better and it's nice to share your outfit stylings a lifter of spirits!
Stay safe. xxx
Thank you Sally! We too try to go for walks whatever the weather, although we don't have a Ziggy as an incentive :-) xxxDelete
I hope you, Jos and Phoebe had a wonderful Xmas.ReplyDelete
Your makeshift pinny was inspired and you thoroughly deserved that non-alcoholic beer after putting the tree up, it looks enormous!
Your coat looks lovey with the fake fur trim and your walks are always so interesting, the old brick industry and the glimpse of the Atomium.
Looking forward to seeing you in the giant paisley frock! xxx
Thank you Vix! Our temperature has dropped considerably so I'm waiting for the right moment to wear the giant Paisley frock. Don't want to spoil the effect with a polo neck and /or a cardigan! xxxDelete
Lovely christmas tree and lovely decorations, particularly those bird houses and vintage baubles!, and totally agree about having a beverage and listening to some music when decorating the tree, it makes a difference!ReplyDelete
And I'm totally in love with your yellow paisley dress!, it ticks all the right boxes: the colour and motives And Lurex!. Fabulousness!
Love your burgundy stole and matchy beret with your brown coat, looking really elegant!, and love your dress and cardi mixed patterns, it's a brilliant ensemble!.
And love your plaid skirt and orange cardi and this new polo neck. I'm a huge fan of them despite hotflashes ;D.
Wish you have a fabulous holiday! and a happy new year!
Thank you Monica! I'm definitely planning to wear my polo necks more now that my hot flushes have subsided a bit! I'm glad I kept them instead of donating them to charity! xxxDelete
Like a moth to a flame, my eyes are drawn to your beautiful - and extremely reasonably priced - vintage brooch finds. The butterfly with its smaller set 3D wings really made my heart skip a beat.ReplyDelete
And that dress, complete with Lurex, is such a terrific find as well. Its rich, warm palette instantly made me think of late summer, when the local hay and corn fields were sway in shades of umber, gold, flax, and saffron under sunshine in much the same hues.
I hope that these last days of a year that felt more like twenty are going positively for you, my dear friend. Here's to the final push and the prospect of brighter, safer, and happier days ahead.
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
Thank you so much, Autumn! I couldn't believe to come across that dress and those brooches in one and the same shop! The charity shop goddesses must have been pleased with me :-) xxxDelete
I hope you and Jos had a fabulous Christmas - that paisley dress was clearly your gifts from the Charity Shop Gods! It's wonderful.ReplyDelete
Thank you Mim, we did, and I'm glad the Robots had an enjoyable Christmas as well! xxxDelete
Oh, I love your perfect Christmas tree! Thank you for showing the ornaments - I just love seeing them. It makes me smile to see them.ReplyDelete
I love that yellow dress you found! Wow, it's a stunner! Your outfits here are stellar as always, but your stole/beret combo have you looking like a glamourous movie star!
Glad you, the Queen of Christmas ornaments, appreciate my tree :-) I couldn't believe it when I spotted that dress on the rails! xxxDelete
I’m finally and slowly catching up with my favourite blogs, so be prepared for a flurry of comments.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean about getting dressed being the highlight of your day, it’s mine too some days. It’s nice to feel put together and presentable.
I glad you started to feel festive when the tree came out - it’s a lovely tree by the way. We have a similar clip on bird, which confused the cats no end the first year it came out. Over the years they’ve learned that it’s not worth bothering with, it’s not real…
You look incredibly stylish in your tweed coat and burgundy faux fur stole!
Thank you for catching up with comments, Hazel, and I am truly honoured you consider your blog as one of your favourites. Phoebe doesn't seem bothered about the tree or its ornaments at all. She hardly even looks at it! xxxDelete