It's nothing short of a miracle that I actually got this post written and published - albeit with a day's delay - as its creation caused me blood, sweat and quite a lot of tears. The first week of February wasn't one I wanted to relive in a hurry. In normal circumstances - whatever they are - the week is punctuated by our wedding anniversary on the 4th. If we'd lamented the difference with last year's Silver Wedding celebrations spent roaming around Bruges, little did we know that worse was to come and that from now on the week would be forever marred by the loss of our fur-baby on the 6th.
So, what to do? I never had the intention of ignoring what happened, but at the same time, I didn't want it to be the post's main focus. After all, I already paid tribute to our girl in a previous post. Two weeks on, the pain is still there, but it's no longer heart-wrenching, scar tissue slowly but surely covering the fissures in our hearts.
In the end, I thought the best thing to do was to plunge right in, and see where that got me.
On Tuesday she seemed to be more or less back to her normal self, which was a relief, although she still wasn't eating very much, nor was she very active.
It was another damp and dismal day, at odds with the temperature which had once again crept up to about 10°C.
In order to add a bright spark to the day, my wardrobe decided that purples and pinks, with a generous dollop of orange, were on the menu.
The Nordic style cardigan is H&M by way of a charity shop not all too long ago. It did come with a couple of issues, as I soon noticed a couple of loose stitches in its knit. And although I wasn't averse to its buttons, their dangling nature made the cardigan look all wonky when closed. This annoyed me no end, so my first job of the day was replacing them with flat ones from my stash of vintage buttons.
The second shelf mainly contains so-called box cameras dating from the 1930s to the 1950s, from the very basic all-black boxes to the Kodak Brownie Model I, which was introduced in 1957 (below, left).
The "twin-lens" Brownie reflex on the right dates from the late 1940s.
That night, although she was eagerly awaiting them, Phoebe seemed to have problems eating her treats, which led us to suspect she might have an infected tooth or something similar. However, due to the fact that she was generally acting out of sorts, and that her belly seemed to be quite bloated, even if she was a bit chubby at the best of times, we had the niggling feeling that all was not well.
We called the vet first thing on Friday morning and an appointment was made for Saturday in the early afternoon. We'd both slept very badly that night, and I was in sore need of what Sheila is calling Clothing as Armour.
My recently charity shopped blue Tweed skirt was begging for an outing, and after a pleasurable rummage in my wardrobe - anything to put my mind off things - I opted for this black floral beauty of a blouse. It was yet another old Think Twice find and I have reason to suspect that it might have started life as a dress.
I wore it on top of the skirt rather than tucked in, adding a squidgy, pale blue belt with a rectangular buckle at my waist. A blue t-shirt was layered underneath, and I pinned a red floral fabric flower corsage among the meadow of blooms. A final accessory was added in the form of a red glass beaded necklace.
I wore a beret and opaques in different shades of blue. At my feet, the floral textured suede Tamaris ankle boots I found at Oxfam the other week.
Anything to put our minds off things so, after making sure that Phoebe was comfortable, we escaped the house for an hour or so, going for a wee rummage in our local charity shop.
The summer top is another King Louie find, while the candy striped finely knit dress is by posh Belgian label Caroline Biss. The dresses on their website retail at € 200 plus, so surely the € 6,50 I paid for it was money well spent.
It started snowing in the evening, carpeting our world with a comfort blanket of snow flakes.
We'd stayed up late on Saturday and even watched part 2 of The Pembrokeshire Murders which, surprisingly, was able to temporarily transport us away from our sorrows.
Waking up to a house which felt weirdly empty on Sunday morning was a bit of a blow to the solar plexus, although we felt remarkably refreshed after a good night's sleep.
Saturday's torrent of tears had dried up, leaving me sore-eyed, and phonecalls with both my sister and my friend and ex-colleague Kris did me the world of good.
It goes without saying that I got dressed up - Clothing as Armour, remember - and even managed not to look too sad in the outfit photos we made outside in the snow.
The eagle-eyed among you might recognize the dress, which I retrieved from the flea market boxes.
Admittedly, the black and white necklace I was wearing does disappear a bit among the dress's funky print. I wore cobalt blue opaques and a ditto long-line cardigan, to which I pinned a white knitted flower corsage. A burgundy woolly beret and, of course, my snow boots, completed my outfit.
And so we have come to the end of the week and it's with a sigh of relief that I'm typing these final words. So glad to have this over with!
I'll be back with a sunnier outlook in a couple of days. Do stay safe, sane and sensational!