Birthday celebrations aren't everybody's cup of tea. Some people go all out year after year, having parties or at least a get-together with loved ones involving cake, perhaps, and oodles of presents, while others ... don't. Personally, I am in the latter category, preferring to treat it as just another day, especially when it falls on a weekday and I have to work, at most doing something with just the two of us.
Now, milestone birthdays are something else entirely. But what if they occur in pandemic times? And I'm not talking about my own birthday which, although a milestone one, will only be in September.
No, this birthday in question belongs to my lovely blogging friend, Kezzie, who is celebrating her 40th birthday end of this month. And as her options are quite limited, she has asked us for assistance in organizing an online fancy dress party based on the characters of Dr. Who. She is a great fan of the series and engages in cosplay based on the iconic TV series on a weekly basis, published as TARDIS Tuesday on her blog.
Not knowing the first thing about Dr. Who, apart from the fact that it involves a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS, a lot of head-scratching ensued from my side. Turning to Kezzie's blog was therefore the obvious starting point and, as she often cosplays Clara Oswald, who was a companion of the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, I thought I might as well have a look at her outfits. Thus Dr. Google was consulted and when my eye was caught by Clara wearing a tartan dress, I knew I could do something similar. It's from an episode called The Name of the Doctor.
Now my dress, which is vintage and has been in my wardrobe forever, isn't quite the same as Clara's. The colours of the tartan are different, it has a bow at its neckline, and it has long sleeves rather than short. Initially, it had a collar and cuffs which at one point must have been white but had slightly yellowed with age. When I removed them (one of the cuffs had a rather unsightly and persistent stain), I discovered that they weren't original to the dress anyway.
Like Clara, I wore the dress with a pair of black opaques and I added a chain necklace from my collection. Seeing Clara's rather covetable shoes, I racked my brain until I remembered this posh pair of Italian made vintage loafers, which were a lucky charity shop find back in October 2017.
Obviously, I'm not Clara's younger self, but a future Clara she meets on her travels with the doctor to a strange time when the world is in the grip of a pandemic, the virus having wiped out all hairdressers. Pure Science Fiction!
Happy Birthday, Kezzie!
Phew, I'm pretty exhausted by all that time travelling, so I think I'll stay here for a while, at the end of February's second week.
We had reached Friday, the 12th of February by now, and we were still in the throws of our cold wave, the sub-zero temperatures now joined by a fierce and icy wind, with the brightly shining sun our only salvation.
I had shunned my few remaining polo necks for many years, as the mere thought of wearing them made menopausal me break out in a sweat. But when I spied this green one in the bag of cold weather clothes living inside our linen chest, I decided to give it another go.
The grey and pink floral velvet skirt was a charity shop find from the other week which apparently I forgot to tell you about. This was such a joy to wear!
I wore a pink tie-neck cardigan on top, accented my waist with one of my favourite zig-zag belts, and accessorized the polo neck with a pink seascape brooch and a 1960s style silver tone necklace.
Friday has replaced our pre-Covid Saturday charity shopping day, and that day, we visited not one but two shops, which yielded quite a few finds.
Pickings were meagre but still more than worthwhile in the first shop, where I found a scrap tote bag with bamboo covered handles, a pair of blush pink retro style shoes and a heavy carved bangle which is possibly Bakelite.
The two cardigans came from the second shop, the floral one being yet another King Louie one.
This is one of the smaller shops - but still bigger than the average UK charity shop by comparison - and can be a bit hit or miss. I can list lots of fabulous things found here over the year (the shoes I wore to cosplay Clara, and the Astrakhan jacket I'm wearing later in this post, are prime examples), but we often come away from the shop empty handed as well.
Their jewellery cabinet has more than once been the source of some lovely additions to my brooch collection. In fact, the majority of my charity shopped brooches were picked up here, so it's always worth having a look. This time, there were no less than four which tickled my fancy.
Isn't that green pearly fan adorable? I suspect that the tiny Queen's Guard wearing his bearskin hat must be a London souvenir brooch. Vintage souvenir brooches are a particular weakness of mine.
Our final find of the day was this gorgeous rug. We were on the lookout for one, never expecting to find something suitable so soon in our search.
Initially it was meant for our spare room where, due to Phoebe's bladder problem about 7 years ago, our vet advised us to install a second litter box. With space at a premium, we managed to wedge it in a rather awkward space just beyond Jos's wardrobe. Now that we got rid of the box, we thought it would be nice to have a rug in front of the wardrobe.
We had a change of plan when we got it home, however, replacing the rug in the dining area of our kitchen with this one and putting the old kitchen rag rug upstairs.
After a particularly frosty night, it was still -6°C when we were having our final fruit and yoghurt breakfast of the week on Saturday morning.
The sun was still out in full force, so we’d planned a walk for the afternoon.
The continued deep freeze temperatures prompted the wearing of yet another jumper, this time a blue vintage one which has three rows of ajour flowers caught between two rows of tiny red hearted daisies.
Again, we initially only met a handful of people, and were in fact quite surprised there were hardly any children adventurous enough to make use of the reserve's sledge-worthy inclines.
It was only on our way back that we met several small groups of people approaching us from the opposite direction. They were generally well behaved, even if it was yet again mostly up to us to step aside until they'd passed.
The sun was a bright orb in an almost cloudless blue sky, casting a sparkling glow upon the carpet of rock solid snow.
Thaw set in, slowly but surely, on Sunday, when the mercury climbed to +5°C by mid-afternoon. Decidedly balmy after a week's worth of sub-zero temperatures, I was able to go out into the garden in just my dress without freezing to death.
My 1960s red and grey floral shift dress is lightweight and unlined, and thus required a full slip worn underneath. I combined it with a pair of 120 den slate grey opaques, the grey echoed in my chunky wooden necklace. My oval floral brooch acted as a cameo pinned at my dress's collar.
The low-heeled tall red boots were a flea market find in October 2018.
That afternoon, we were in the mood for a spot of baking. Nothing to elaborate though, but a tried and tested recipe for what the booklet is calling a scone cake.
The original recipe features apples, orange zest and blackberries, although we replaced the latter by blueberries this time. In fact, you can use any soft fruit you fancy.
We were a bit lazy, so instead of making the dough by hand, we used the food processor we inherited from my Dad. In fact, it was only the second time we used it since we brought it home back in 2018, so the poor thing must have felt a bit neglected, and kept looking at us reproachfully from its perch at the end of our kitchen table cum worktop.
I'm not even sure my Dad ever made use of it, even though he had made quite a bit of an effort to get hold of one.
After having had a newspaper subscription for many years, he was outraged by an ad in said paper offering the food processor to new subscribers for next to nothing. Dismayed, he phoned the newspaper and stated his case. He must have been very convincing, as they agreed to let him to make use of the offer. He was quite a character, my Dad!
We couldn't wait for the cake to cool down, and had a piece each almost straight from the oven!
We would be moving from harsh Winter conditions to temperatures reminiscent of early Summer in just a matter of days. But that, my dears, will be for a next post.
One thing is for sure, Spring is well and truly on its way. Do stay safe, sane and sensational!
So great you're cosplaying to celebrate Kezzie's birthday. You did a fantastic job of recreating Clara's tartan dress outfit. You look dashing in that tartan dress and your hair looks amazing too.ReplyDelete
I also like your other outfits a lot. The green poloneck looks great paired with that printed skirt. I also like the green and blue styling. The red vintage 1960ties dress is absolutely beautiful.
Spring is definitely on the way. I both enjoy and dread it.
Have a great week ahead!
Thank you Ivana! I'm not very good at that sort of thing, so I was glad to stumble upon Clara's tartan dress, knowing I had something similar in my wardrobe! xxxDelete
What a great idea to celebrate a milestone birthday. Kezzie is great-I love following her Instagram.ReplyDelete
That cake looks perfect. I might have licked the laptop screen.
Have a great week.
Thank you Goody! I was giggling at the thought of you licking the laptop screen :-) xxxDelete
Yum, that cake looks amazing! I don't bake anymore (too tempting!) but I do appreciate others' baking efforts!ReplyDelete
Happy weekend, Ann! thanks for the reminder for Kezzie's birthday - I need to get a Dr. Who outfit put together ASAP for tomorrow! I love your Clara-esque outfit!
Your new velvet skirt is awesome with that green and vivid pink! So pretty. What great finds you discovered at the thrift shop! I love the bangle.
Your snowy walk is full of so many amazing pictures. I am always the one to move aside for people too, even if it means me standing in mud waiting for people to pass me as they walk 2 or 3 abreast (grrrr). People can be so thoughtless.
That red dress is fantastic. What a rich pattern.
Happy weekend, my dear friend!
Thank you Sheila! I do not bake very often, but thoroughly enjoy the process once I get going. And the eating, of course ;-) I'm so fed up with people walking 2 or 3 abreast and not even making the effort to walk single file when they are passing. After all this time, I have kind of given up and just stand aside. xxxDelete
I don't watch Dr Who either but I think you did a great job recreating the outfit to celebrate your friend's birthday! It's nice to see you had so much luck opshopping too!ReplyDelete
I feel like I'm always the one trying to make distance here too - even though there are no cases of the virus I don't want to catch anything from people! I still remember the time I asked the kids to get into the side of the path when we were walking a local trail, to give the people approaching space to pass. Being little kids they weren't the fastest at moving, but the people approaching didn't do anything to move to the opposite side and increase the distance either - until my son had the most perfectly timed cough (he wasn't sick, just a random cough) and the people practically lept to the opposite side of the path. That'll teach them, ha!
Hope that you had a nice weekend :) It was a bit hot and humid here but we still managed to get out to the park :)
Away From The Blue
Thank you Mica! Once I'd stumbled across Clara's outfit, it was easy ...Delete
I had a giggle at your son coughing at exactly the right moment. That'll teach them indeed! xxx
I'd rather not have a birthday party than one online. However, I'll have my door open on my birthday and hopefully, we can be outside where I'll make soup on the fire, serve cake and coffee. Before everybody freezes to death they can go home or come inside.That's my plan. I do not know about the plans of my family and friends.ReplyDelete
Have a nice week!
I don't usually throw a birthday party myself, we just try to do something nice with just the two of us. Nevertheless, I was happy to participate and loved that so many people did, making Kezzie's day! xxxDelete
Haha Ann you are perfect dressed for Dr.Who Assistent, you made me laugh. A pandemic wiped out all hairdressers!? Never ever!😬ReplyDelete
You look amazing in this red flowerd dress and your scone cake looks sooo yummy. I am thankful march and spring is on the way.
with a very huge hug Tina
Thank you Tina, and I'm glad I made you laugh :-) xxxDelete
Tardis Thursday? What a ingenieus idea! I used too love Dr.Who! Still love that tune. Last year was the first in years that I was at home for my Birthday. I usually celebrate it in Rye. What a good story about your dad, my dad would do that too! Love the green polo with that royal blue. Enjoy the spring weather!ReplyDelete
Thank you Nancy! I don't think I ever watched an episode of Dr. Who, although of course one cannot help but know about it :-) xxxDelete
aha! Dr. Who! I was a huge fan back when it was Tom Baker and the fella who came after him. When I saw you in that tartan dress, I thought you were a dead ringer for the air hostess lady. She was one of the companions who got inadvertently snatched up in the alien adventures. All you need is some type of air hostesy-esque hat!ReplyDelete
Gosh your walks look so serene. The areas you walk through look very pristine and litter-free. I can almost imagine a fairy-tale is taking place there.
Your clothing and accessories, as always, is beautifully done. I love how you mix patterns and colour match your accessories.
happy thrifting ;)
Thank you! Not being a Dr. Who fan, I'll have to check out the air hostess lady you mentioned!Delete
That nature reserve is lovely indeed, and thankfully it's now as good as litter free! xxx
She means Tegan Jovanka!Delete
you hit the nail with your outfit for kezzie´s birthday party!ReplyDelete
the rug looks like new - what a find! but i had a smirk about that jos got the old kitchen rug for his wardrobe instead ;-D
can i come over for cake???
Thank you Beate! I'll have you know that we changed the rugs around again - the reason will be revealed in a future post - and that Jos now has the posh rug in front of his wardrobe :-) xxxDelete
You look so pretty as Clara! Really you look so young and cute in this outfit! I love the tartan and it is a totally brilliant version of hers! I love the shoes too! They are super! I totally had it in my head that you would be a Sarah Jane Smith too like Vix but I LOVE that you were Clara and my favourite Clara outfit too!!!ReplyDelete
I love your polo neck outfit too and the fun fur shrug. It looks chilly in that snow!!!
Thank you Kezzie, and I'm so, so glad that you loved my Clara cosplay. When I spotted her wearing that tartan dress, I knew that my search for ideas was over! xxxDelete
As a Who fan, you have really done more than justice to the theme. I got to love that you even added a future episode story line-you should get royalties if they go with it!ReplyDelete
Thank you Sam! Being quite a bit older than Clara, I just had to invent a story-line involving an older version of her :-) xxxDelete
What a brilliant idea to celebrate a milestone birthday! You did a fantastic job recreating Clara's look! The cake looks amazing!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Lovely xxxDelete
That dress is fabulous and totally like something Clara would wear - someone I've learnt about from reading Kezzie's blog. You look so good in dropped waist clothes, they make you look so tall and leggy!ReplyDelete
Loving the new member of the Sisterhood of the Fake Snakeskin Boots, you wear them very well. The red dress, furry gilet and green skirt are all gorgeous on you.
That rug is amazing, what a good find. That cake is so professional looking! The story of your disgruntled dad writing a strong letter to the newspaper made me giggle. My dad was a letter writer, too. He once complained about the lack of wholenuts in his muesli and got a free box - we never told him that the reason there weren't any was because Mum & I had eaten them all! xxx
Thank you Vix! I have to admit that I thought I looked tall and leggy in those photos. Never realized it was the dropped waist dress! The story of your Dad and the muesli made me giggle. xxxDelete
Well done, your Dad! It's a common gripe in the consumer programmes that long established customers are banned from taking advantage of really good offers for new customers.ReplyDelete
Your Doctor Who outfit was lovely - what a smashing dress and fab accessories. OH and middle grandson were huge Doctor Who fans until Peter Capaldi became the 12th Doctor then they stopped watching. I never really 'got' Doctor Who but loved it as a child and remember the very first episode...
I also loved your wool skirt in blues and greens; gorgeous! The velvet skirt was also fab and you certainly have some beauties in your wardrobe.
As for your charity shops finds... wow! Love the brooches, the cardigans, the pink (!) shoes and the fab bangle! I read that you can tell Bakelite by rubbing it so it warms up and then sniffing it. It has a distinctive smell, apparently. The new rug is beautiful; what a great find.
Hope your weather continues to be kind to you,
Thank you Vronni! I'm not sure Dr. Who ever made it to Belgian television, except perhaps for the earliest series. I'll have to try to Bakelite test, which I'd heard about but hadn't thought to use on the bangle. xxxDelete
Your Clara outfit is fabulous and really suits you. I'm envious of your charity shop finds - in Ireland ours are not even as exciting as in England - yours sound amazing - those shoes (beside the bangle and handbag) and your green skirt are gorgeous.ReplyDelete
Thank you Fil! I loved your outfit too, and I'm going to hop over to your blog in a minute and comment.Delete
I've learned to have patience when it comes to charity shopping. I often come back empty handed as well. xxx
Lovely to see you cosplaying a DrWho character for Kezzie's birthday party!. You rock in your plaid dress, and look apropriately Fantastic!.ReplyDelete
I still haven't watched the last seasons, too many things to do/make/watch. Sometimes I feel lazy about long series!
Love your velvet skirt and the green polo neck under this pink cardi, such a happy colour combo!. I'm a huge fan of polo necks/turtlenecks, but always in light fabrics. Also love your wool skirt in those fab colours, with the perfect pullover on top!, looking fabulous and appropriately cosy for a walk on the snow!
Lovely photos of you in this gloriously sunny day, the light is so beautiful!
Love your red&grey shift dress, its colours and print!, and it fits you like a dream, Love the necklace too and I can detect a 20's vibe which is fab!.
Your cake looks really Delicious!, and you even have one of those food processors!. I'd like to have one but my kitchen is so tiny that I would not have a place to store it, so it's just a dream!. I think that you Will find it very useful!
Thank you Monica! I don't think I've watched a single episode of Dr. Who. I've given up on series, the odd exception notwithstanding.Delete
We would never have bought that food processor, as we cannot store it properly either. But somehow neither my brother or sister wanted it, so it came home with us! xxx
Your scone cake looks delicious, what a lovely treat.ReplyDelete
I especially like those pink lace ups.
Seeing the snow photos reminds me how quickly the weather can change from winter to spring...and back again! It's nice here this week but we have a cold weekend forecast.
Hope you're having a good week Ann. xxx
Thank you Sally! The weather can be very fickle indeed. After a week of Springlike temperatures, they have now plummeted to freezing point again! xxxDelete
I can’t take my eyes off that blue and green skirt, it’s amazing.ReplyDelete
Wasn’t that a great idea of Kezzies for her 40th birthday. I popped over and had a read. It made such a good blog post with everyone contributing. I’ve left her a link to my urchin/female dr who look.
The rug was a super find Ann and sounds like you’ve found the perfect spot for it. When we had the new carpet fitted we had nowhere to put the beautiful rug we found in a charity shop a couple of years ago, so it’s rolled up tucked down the side of the bed in the spare bedroom now.
Once I’ve stopped ogling that lovely skirt I’m going to have a drool over that cake haha.
Lots of love from us two xxx
Thank you Lynn! I loved seeing your female Dr. Who/urchin outfit pop up in your comment to Kezzie's blog. What a lovely thing to do! xxxDelete
I'm not a Dr. Who viewer myself, but know a touch about the series from pop culture and the blogs of various friends who are fans. You did a marvelous job of celebrating Clara's plaid look. I adore the concept that you're a future version of her that she will encounter one day. That's very sweet - as is this awesome way to help celebrate your friend's 40th birthday.ReplyDelete
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
Thank you Autumn! I think lots of people know about Dr. Who from pop culture. I'm glad I soon stumbled on the Clara's tartan dress, which I know I could emulate! xxxDelete
Ann, I really enjoyed this post. Although I am not very familiar with Dr. Who, I do like what I have seen of the costumes and your Dr. Who inspired outfit is perfect! What a great way to celebrate Kezzie's 40th birthday, pandemic style! You have so many beautiful vintage pieces in your wardrobe and I really love your fun outfit combinations. I am an avid thrifter myself so it is always fun for me to see the wonderful thrift shop finds of others. And I really appreciate unique and creative fashion styles!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Shelbee! It was a bit of a challenge and I too am not very familiar with Dr. Who :-) xxxDelete
Oh that cake looks marvelous.ReplyDelete
It is going to be quite an adjustment when we return to normal life.
Thank you Hena, and yes, I think you are right. Sometimes I can hardly remember what "normal" looked like! xxxDelete
That's a very good Doctor Who outfit. My favourite Whos are mostly from the 1970s and 1980s, but very few of the companions had outfits I'd really covet... You did really well to work up an outfit.ReplyDelete
Thank you Mim. Not knowing very much at all about Dr. Who, I was actually relieved when I spotted Clara's tartan frock ... xxxDelete