If it was still a bit too chilly for the time of year, with frosty dawns and a stiff breeze, at least the sun had decided to pay us an extended visit in the weekend before last.
Now we could have done any number of things in such weather, all of which would unfortunately have required meticulous forward planning. Our first priority is to avoid crowded places, where we have to slalom through groups of people and do the Covid shuffle until we're dizzy. At the same time, we are more than just a bit bored with walking in the same places, selected for their quietness, again and again. Bored of all the regulations and limitations drowning every last bit of spontaneity.
Sometimes it's hard to recall just what the old, pre-Covid, normal was like.
So, more often than not, we stay put behind Dove Cottage's front door, which fortunately includes our very own handkerchief sized corner of heaven.
No forward planning whatsoever was involved in Saturday's outfit. Or was it? I happened upon this dress while I was making a start with my seasonal changeover the weekend before. It hadn't been worn at all this Winter and I was actually going to put it in the flea market boxes when I decided to give it one last chance.
The dress in question, its leaf-strewn vertical bands of navy, pink and red meeting chevrons in the skirt, has always been one of my favourites. Then why even consider getting rid of it you might wonder? Well, the last time I tried it on it had become far too snug on me and after closing both its side zipper and front buttons, its seams were ready to burst, which made me all but burst into tears.
I put it aside for a final try-on and mentally prepared myself for disappointment, when lo and behold: it fit me perfectly again. I could almost hear those seams sigh in relief.
I took advantage of the specks of green throughout the dress's pattern to pick green as an accent colour for my cardigan, brooch and necklace. I then had a bit of a problem finding a belt in the right shade of green and was just about to give up when I remembered this one, which belongs to a Summer dress. The dress's pinks were kept company by the two sugar pink flower corsages I pinned to my cardi.
It might not be very noticeable in the photo, but I was wearing rusty red opaques. My navy ankle boots were only worn for the photos, as I was either in my slippers or my ankle wellies all day.
I was delighted to see that the one and only Fritillary bulb which had deigned to come up was bearing not one but two flower heads. Elsewhere, colour was supplied by the vibrant Pulsatilla flowers and a medley of violas and pansies.
The red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) which we planted last year is preparing to shine once more and we can be quite certain of another bumper crop of white currants. Bluebell spikes can be glimpsed among their abundant foliage and the shed and back wall is dotted with the first of the unfurling rusty-red lacquered Virginia creeper leaves.
We're conveniently skipping Monday's office day to arrive on Tuesday the 20th of April. Gloriously sunny and with the temperature soaring to an almost unheard of 17°C, it would once again have been a day made for gardening. Naughty index finger, however, was still giving me gyp.
Instead, we made a trip to the nearby town of Mortsel for the purchase of a new DVD player, or rather, Blu-Ray player. As we were still in semi-lockdown, shopping in non-essential shops was only possible by appointment. However, this particular one allowed people to just turn up and queue. As luck would have it, we were the only customers and were soon helped by a friendly and very knowledgeable young man.
I was surprised to see that I only wore this skirt, found at Think Twice in February 2018, less than two months ago. With its symphony of olive, burnt orange, magenta and bright blue flowers, I could have picked any of these colours to accompany it, but often gravitate towards blue. This time, it found its perfect match in the blue of this three-quarter sleeved top, which was still airing after its last wear on the 1st of January!
The eagle-eyed among those who've clicked the link might have noticed that I was wearing the same necklace back then as well. The stretchy belt with its multi-coloured round plastic buckle is an old retail buy, as is the chartreuse cardigan. Both bangles were charity shop finds.
As neither of them were caught on camera properly, I made flat-lay close-ups of both the brooch and the ring. The brooch was picked up at an outdoor flea market. If I remember correctly, I only paid € 1 for it, and its cost per wear must be down to mere cents by now, as I have been wearing it quite a lot over the years. The glass ring was a high street buy.
I'm doing a mini Sheila style flashback on the skirt here. There's only about five months between the two photos. Apart from confirming that indeed blue is often the skirt's companion colour, I am struck by how much my hair has grown in that short space of time. The photo on the left dates from the 1st of October while the one on the right was taken at the end of February. I'd just been to the hairdresser's the day before on both occasions!