I'm not making a secret of the fact that life has been quite a rollercoaster in the last month and a half.
If Phoebe's unexpected departure from our lives wasn't enough, the increase of my workload hasn't been a walk in the park either, leaving me constantly stressed out even on my days off.
Having quite got used to my two-day working week during the better part of a year, it was a bit of a wrench to admit defeat in my struggle to get things done in the limited amount of time at my disposal. In the end, a 3-day working week isn't so bad either, although the on-off-on-off rhythm of working Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays makes me feel somewhat disorientated and funnily enough does seem to make the weeks pass by at a slightly slower rate.
Enter a certain furry creature, who would enrich our lives and turn them upside down in equal measure.
During Bess's first night at Dove Cottage, she finally left the relative but uncomfortable safety of the back of her litter box and found a hiding place under our dining room cupboard, where she remained for two days, only coming out for the bare necessities when we weren't around.
I'm sure you can imagine our relief when, early on Sunday morning, we passed through the room on our way to the bathroom and spotted her in one of our dining chairs!
I wasn't going to look at shoes, but as this particular shop has them displayed on the bottom of the clothing rails, there was no way I could have missed these spanking new looking green (!) buckled Kicker shoes. They are size 36 (3) while I generally wear a 37 (4), but they fit, so I wasn't going to leave them at € 4,50. I've inserted vintage shoe stretchers for a couple of days to create some extra room.
From the shop's book shelves, I plucked these two non-fiction books on one of our favourite subjects, the wonders of the Victorian age.
Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves tells the stories of some of the 19t century's most intriguing collectors, following their often perilous journeys across the globe in the hunt for rare and beautiful objects.
Jeremy Paxman's The Victorians explores the Victorian age using the paintings of the era as a starting point and accompanies his eponymous 2009 BBC series.
They are joining the rest of our books on the subject, nearly a shelf full of them, accidentally collected from charity shops and second hand book shops over the years.
We're swiftly hopscotching Wednesday's office day to arrive on Thursday the 11th of March.
Wind, rain and a bit of sunshine: we had it all that day, but it was the wind in particular that was prominent, as it was blowing a gale. Not even the mild temperature of 13°C was able to alleviate the overall unpleasantness of the day.
A Think Twice sales bargain from December 2019, this navy dress printed with an array of massive flowers, instantly made me think of Monica's famous massive flower skirt.
Although the red flower at the front of the dress is the most prominent, it were the pink bits in the pattern that I turned to for my tie-neck cardigan and opaques. There's purple in the pattern as well, a colour that I honoured by adding a woven belt in a similar shade.
You've seen my necklace of wooden circles and rings many times before. It was bought from Accessorize who, for a brief period in the late noughties, used to have a shop in the Grand Bazar shopping centre a stone's throw from my office.
My cat brooch was bought in a shop selling all manner of cat related items which opened opposite my hairdresser's last Summer.
We had a couple of errands to run that day, including a visit to a local DIY store, as Jos needed some bits and bobs.
With the vacuum cleaner out of bounds in the dining room, where Bess currently resides, as well as the adjoining kitchen, we bought an old-fashioned wooden room sweeper and utility brush to keep those rooms dust - and cat hair - free.
Even after all those years, Phoebe still invariably fled when the vacuum cleaner came out, so we do not want to unduly upset Bess until she is properly settled in.
The wind slightly eased in the afternoon, and I planted up the window box at the end of the passageway next to the kitchen with orange-violet and lavender pansies and frilly white double Bellis perennis at either side of its permanent resident, Heuchera 'Can Can'.
There's still a table full of Spring colour to be planted out, but I'm waiting for a sunny Spring day to go ahead with this, as well as a long list of other gardening tasks.
Hopefully, it won't be too long now for Spring to start in earnest.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a glorious April just like last year's, but bearing in mind that month's usual fickleness, I'm probably hoping against hope.
I am ending this post with the usual mantra to stay safe, sane and fabulous. See you next time!