Sunshine has been a rare commodity of late. When yet again we woke up to a dark and moody day on November's final Friday, we knew we needed all the help our daylight therapy lamp could give us.
After breakfast bathed in artificial daylight, Jos walked into the village to get a newspaper for us and an elderly neighbour, nipping into the garage for our car on the way back.
As it was Friday, we were off on our weekly charity shopping trip, planning to take outfit photos afterwards, crossing our fingers for a ray of sunshine later in the day. But while the rain held off until we were back, it started getting gloomier by the minute. By mid-afternoon, realizing that we were running out of time, we returned our car to the garage, hoping that its white brick wall and skylight would provide sufficient natural light without having to use our camera's flash.
My outfit's main components, the dress and cardigan, both from contemporary retro labels, were charity shopped on the same day a couple of weeks ago.
When I dressed up Angelica in them to show you my finds, I loved the mix of caramel and blue of the dress with the butterscotch yellow of the cardigan so much that I decided to wear them together myself.
The dress was accessorized with a tan belt and a tan and black beaded necklace, while the squishy stag head's brooch provided a fun and funky element. I love how the cardigan's buttons echo the colour of the belt, which was serendipitous rather than intentional.
That Friday, our shopping trip first took us to the outskirts of a town called Mechelen, just under 10 kilometer from Dove Cottage. The charity shop here is a large, two-floored one, with the second floor entirely dedicated to clothing and textiles.
There were some treasures waiting for me in our second shop, which was the famous three-floored one in Duffel.
Here I found a short-sleeved blue and white marled knit jumper closing with a row of three shoulder buttons, as well as a thin green long-sleeved one, a turquoise chunky scarf and - oh joy - a vintage slip still with its tags. It is inset with Dentelles de Calais, a type of lace which has been produced in the Calais area for at least two hundred years. According to their website, Dentelles de Calais is the label of an iconic lace, the stuff of dreams with its beautiful craftsmanship and timeless glamour. The lace is inherently linked with French chic, elegance and femininity and talented designers use its sublime beauty and transparency to show off the body’s curves and delicate skin.
My final find were these magnificent denim blue Western style boots. It was only when I got them home that I noticed they were by Sasha, a Dutch label established in 1909. There's a Sasha shop near my office, and when I went to check them out during one of my lunch breaks, I was delighted to see similar boots with a € 175 price tag. Mine were just € 4,50 and in near perfect condition. Oh, the joys of charity shopping.
To make the most of the sparse amount of daylight streaming in through our dining room window, I posed for photos while standing on Bess's round orange carpet directly in front of it.
I was facing Bess's battery of Snooze Bays across the room, and this is what I saw. Oh Bess!
We, on the other hand, rejoiced in the fitted carpet of Autumn leaves at our feet, and were delighted to see a colony of tiny mushrooms climbing up the tree on the bottom right. That's one of them up close on the top right.