It was with more than just a sigh of relief that I got into the car when Jos picked me up on my final working day before the holidays.
However glad I was to leave behind the daily grind, my main source of stress and worry were the hordes of Christmas zombies which had been invading Antwerp that week. The city's main shopping thoroughfare, a wide pedestrianized street called the Meir, is just around the corner from my office. Although the street itself isn't within view from my 5th floor perch, I have been watching the toing and froing of the manic, multiple shopping bag carrying crowds in the lead up to Christmas for 26 years running.
In all those years, I have never known it to be this busy. The main contributors to this unprecedented number of shoppers were our neighbours from across the border. As everything in the Netherlands is closed due to a lockdown, there's been a true Dutch invasion here, resulting in traffic chaos and streets rammed chock-a-block with throngs of people through which I had to wind my way to our pick-up point while Jos was desperately trying to find a parking spot.
We slept late-ish on Boxing Day, or rather I did, as it was almost 9 am by the time I got up, after which we breakfasted on rolls and soft boiled eggs.
The weather forecast promised sunshine in the morning, followed by yet more rain in the afternoon, so we wasted no time in getting dressed and going for a head-clearing walk.
But let me show you what I was wearing first!
Scored for the princely sum of € 2 in one of Think Twice's famous sales, I still don't know what initially made me dither when I spotted this pussy-bow frock on the rails. When it looked as if a young girl would be beating me to it, I breathed an inward sigh of relief when her friend declared it too granny-ish.
Too granny-ish indeed! Isn't that print, which manages to combine stripes, chevrons and diamonds in pinks and purples with the odd splash of burnt orange, just glorious?
At a mere 6°C, it needed a bit of layering so, apart from the camisole and slip I was wearing underneath, I wore a chunky, plum-coloured long-line cardigan on top. At my waist, a large-buckled belt in the same colour, while the pussy-bow was kept in check with one of my cameo brooches. The latter was joined by a vintage celluloid brooch in the same shade of pink as my beret.