We've been bracing ourselves for storm Eunice as I write, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those of you who are affected by the storm have escaped the worst.
Now, before we take a trip back in time to the first weekend of February, which will be the subject of this post, let's have a quick look at the past week, which I've been itching to tell you about.
Never mind those gale force winds or the obligatory showers which delighted in plaguing me during a couple of my commutes, there was sunshine on the menu too.
But sunshine wasn't the only thing to put a spring in my step! First of all, on Monday I took the afternoon off for a blogger meet up with Kezzie and her husband, known on her blog as CBC, who were visiting Antwerp this week. It was an absolute joy to meet them and Kezzie and I chatted as if we'd known each other forever. We might even have done a spot of vintage shopping!
Then there was a second, impromptu, meet up on Thursday, before we said our goodbyes. I'm so glad they loved the city I used to live in for nearly 15 years, and to which I have been commuting to for a further 27.
Photos will follow, of course, in due time!
Back to the order of the day now!
After a dismal Friday, Saturday the 5th of February looked set to be the best day of that weekend.
There had been some light frost overnight, but the blue sky and sunshine which greeted us that morning were definitely issuing an invitation to go for a walk. Highs of 8°C had been predicted which, although not bad at all for the time of year, still prompted me to wear my newly charity shopped H&M jumper.
With such a joyful colour palette to play with, I took my lead from the turquoise in its pattern to wear one of my favourite skirts, its slubby turquoise fabric threaded with multi-coloured specks.
Paying tribute to the pops of red, I added a red vinyl belt with a square buckle to define my waist. The jumper didn't look right tucked in, so I wore it out, but in spite of its exuberant colour and pattern, I felt it looked too bland and unfinished without the belt. More red was added by the plastic cat brooch I pinned to the jumper.
The morning's chores finished, it was time for some fun, so after lunch we drove off to one of our best-loved nature reserves for a head-clearing walk.
I've more than once blogged about Blaasveldbroek, which is one of our regular, all-seasons haunts, but I was surprised to find that our last visit dated from early October, when Autumn wasn't even in full swing.
For the sake of variety, we started our walk from the main car park this time, which soon took us past a whitewashed chapel, its blue and white striped door open day and night for people in need of praying or burning a candle.
The chapel is dedicated to Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van de 14 Bunders, or Our Lady of the 14 bunders, a bunder (Latin: bonnarium; French: bonnier) being an old unit of land measurement, which was slightly larger than a hectare.
Legend has it that in the harsh winter of 1760, a statue of the Virgin Mary was found here during peat cutting. As the part of the pond where it was found miraculously did not freeze over in winter, it soon became a place of pilgrimage. The small chapel that stood here burned down in 1858, and the present one was built two years later.
The broek part of Blaasveldbroek means a marshy area, and indeed there is water galore here, and not just in the reserve's many ponds and lakes. The incessant rainfall of the last couple of months had caused quite a bit of flooding, particularly since the majority of this watery wonderland is barely above sea level.
In ancient times, this was an impenetrable area, where fairies and marsh spirits were rumoured to live, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of their descendants still roam here.
For the obligatory photo of my outerwear, I'm posing in front of the root system of a gentle giant slain by a past Winter storm. It has been there so long it has become a landmark.
I'm wearing a butterscotch Astrakhan jacket charity shopped in December 2020, combined with the floral eternity scarf I found the other week. The red knitted hat, which is contrasting deliciously with the colour of my skirt, was a charity shop find as well.
The area, which used to be regularly flooded by the nearby River Rupel, was dammed in between 1100 and 1300. Afterwards, it was used intensively for the exploitation of peat, traces of which you can still see today in the reserve's scattered ponds.
As we walked, the sky darkened with clouds racing by and holding the promise of rain.
Without the warmth of the sun, it suddenly felt several degrees colder, the false Spring day reverting to just another grey Winter one.
We quickened our step, enticed by the cakes we'd left in the boot of our car.
The sun briefly reappeared, illuminating the cloud reflections in the largest of the lakes, before taking a final bow.
She was definitely conspicuous in her absence on Sunday the 6th of February.
Torrential rain and lots of wind was our lot throughout the day, and we were even treated to a veritable fire and brimstone thunderstorm in the evening.
We were obliged to take outfit photos inside, all of them too dark to make use of without the aid of some serious editing.
To cheer myself up, I was wearing another favourite dress - well, all our clothes should be favourites shoudn't they?
It's always a joy to wear this blue on off-white tile-patterned textured polyester one on a Winter's day!
Although I usually wear it with yellow, I thought I'd try it with orange this time. They do say variety is the spice of life!
My bright orange opaques were joined by an orange beaded necklace, while the beaded brooch I pinned to the dress has some orange in it as well. It was a recent charity shop find already featured in my previous post, as was the belt which I omitted to show you at the time.
We'd slept late for us, as it was just gone 9 am before we were able to drag ourselves out of bed.
After breakfast, I tackled a couple of boring but necessary sewing jobs, and then took the opportunity to tidy my sewing basket, which had so much stuff crammed into it that it refused to close. The two plastic sewing cases are full of sewing paraphernalia inherited from my Mum and paternal grandmother. It'll be a long time before I need to buy any sewing thread, as I've got some in every colour under the sun.
The green bottomed box, by the way, used to belong to my Mum too, while I bought the yellow bottomed one in a vintage shop long before I inherited the other one, as it reminded me of my Mum's.
As it was still chucking it down outside, I decided to rearrange my brooches, as the antique chest of wooden, glass-fronted drawers which is their home had become a bit of a mess.
recently asked me where I am keeping all my brooches, this is especially for her. The chest is the kind which was used to display sewing threads in haberdashery shops, and it was a flea market find in December 2018. I lined the drawers with brightly coloured felt sheets.
After all this exertion, I decided to call it a day and join Bess on the sofa.
But not before showing you some of our collection of lighting fixtures. I think it goes without saying that all of these were second-hand finds as well. We certainly needed some artificial daylight that day.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to plug my ears and block out the racket Eunice continues to make outside. I'll be glad to be rid of her!
I do hope the storm isn't as bad as expected.ReplyDelete
A blogger meet-up! How absolutely wonderful.
Always love a peek around Dove Cottage. We have the same sewing basket, but I keep plastic bangles in mine.
Thank you Goody! I've actually got quite a few of this style of sewing basket, and I'm keeping bangles in one of them too! xxxDelete
I loved seeing where you keep your collection of brooches. That is a great find! My brooches are stashed in different places, I really need to organize my accessories better.ReplyDelete
You look fabulous in that blue and white tile print dress. Gorgeous print! I like how you paired it with orange accessories. The blue skirt and green sweater combo is lovely as well.
Beautiful photos from the walk, thanks for lightening them up for us so we can see them better. The lightening tool is practically the only tool I use when editing photos. Maybe sometimes I go overboard, but I always like photos lighter.
I hope Eunice doesn't cause you any problems. Storms are never good news and nobody enjoys bad weather. On the brighter nice, it's great you were able to meet a fellow blogger in person. It must have been awesome being able to meet up with Kezzie and her husband.
P.S. Bess is very cute being so playful! That's an adorable snapshot of her.
Thank you Ivana! My brooches - and other jewellery - used to be all over the place too. I'm so glad they now have their own dedicated space, making them easy to locate! xxxDelete
Love that new jumper on you, Ann - the cheeky red cat is so perfect.ReplyDelete
I gasped at your brooch storage! I want one of those!
Aw, Bess is just so adorable. Love all those amazing lights!!
Thank you Sheila! I gasped when I spotted that drawer unit at a flea market. It is damaged on top, which is what made it affordable, as they often command silly prices! xxxDelete
Firstly , apologies for missing your last few posts . I have seen a little of Eunice on our news , I do hope it doesn't cause problems in your area.ReplyDelete
How lovely to meet up with Kezzie , aren't blogger meet ups fun . I do hope we will meet one day .
Loved your brooch storage and a peek at your collection.
Bess is such a sweet one. xx
No need to apologize, Jill. It's not always easy to keep up with blog comments! Wouldn't it be fantastic to meet one day? xxxDelete
@storm: we are still in the second one....ReplyDelete
the new pullover is fun - perfect bright colours for a winters day! the blue skirt is fabulous with it!
the marshland looks enchanting - wild and wet - no wonder the people had to invent a holy mary fairytale to brave the moor :-D
well done re-organizing haberdashery and brooches.....
i like the pattern of the 2.dress - but the non-matching at the front would drive me mad everytime looking down!
Thank you Beate! I never even noticed the non-matching until you pointed it out, but now of course I cannot "unsee" it! xxxDelete
Eunice didn't do as much damage over here as we would have thought. But it was pretty scary. How nice to meet up with Kezzie. It is so fantastic to meet up with other bloggers. Love how you store the brooches.ReplyDelete
Thank you Nancy! The meet-up was such fun. I do hope we'll meet one day. Surely we're close enough for it to happen :-) xxxDelete
I should have guessed that the home of such an incredible collection of brooches would be a beautiful one! I love those old haberdashery display cabinets and chests - lovely! I really enjoyed the story behind the little whitewashed chapel and the mere suggestion of marsh spirits has inspired me to pay another visit to a similar place close to home. The weather seems to be throwing everything at us at the moment doesn't it? Love the tile print blue polyester dress with orange accessories...perfect February attire! xxxReplyDelete
Thank you Claire! We'd been looking for such a cabinet for ages, but the ones we'd seen so far had been way beyond our budget. This one's slightly damaged on to, hence the affordable price! xxxDelete
Blaasveldbroek looks gorgeous, I love the refelection on the water!ReplyDelete
The tile print dress and the H&M jumper are fabulous. Bess looks very relaxed sprawaled out like that but I bet she's soon on the alert when she hears the rattle of a tin.
I love your brooch storage and I could spend hours rummaging through sewing boxes, I miss car boots and being able to snaffle thanm for pennies. I'm running out of normal coloured thread!
I can't wait to hear all about your meeting with Kezzie and I hope Storm Eunice doesn't cause too much mayhem. xxx
Oh, I do miss the outdoor flea markets too. The indoor one we go to has started up again, but we've only been once so far. I can never resist a sewing box either, even with my limited sewing skills! xxxDelete
Love this sweater and everything else.ReplyDelete
Love: Mariann Yip
Thank you! xxxDelete
I love both these outfits! I really like green and blue together, as well as blue and orange, so they both make me smile! :) I hope that you stay safe from the storm! I love our big summer storms - we had another last night and there's one predicted for today. As long as you're inside all cosy they are a delight. And if you're unfortunate enough to be stuck outside driving in them at least they never last long, haha!ReplyDelete
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! :)
Away From The Blue
Thank you Mica! We didn't have any damages worth speaking of, but it was still quite scary! xxxDelete
Oh very nice to meet other blogger. I am looking forward the pictures. 😊ReplyDelete
Your brooches have a wonderful „home“ . You can see and choose very well. It‘s a great collection. I enjoyed the walk with you again.
I wish you a wonderful sunday, with a very huge hug Tina
Thank you Tina! I love it that it's so easy to see and choose brooches now! xxxDelete
I've potted a red cat. So lovely! Stey strong during the storms. ;-) xxx RegulaReplyDelete
Thank you Regula! xxxDelete
What a nice collection of lamps. I use to have an orange lamp from the 60's. The shade was orange so it gave off a wonderful glow that inspired music sessions with a friend which we ended up calling "liquid orange night." It broke eventually but I really hope I can find another one some day. It was small so you could put it on the floor behind a table or plant and the whole corner would glow.ReplyDelete
Thank you Joni! Your orange 60s lamp sounded delightful, I do hope you find a replacement one day! xxxDelete
I love your bright and colourful posts. The effort that you put in shines out, and they are much appreciated.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Jean! xxxDelete
I've had enough of the storms, too!ReplyDelete
Lovely outfits and accessories. I love your H & M jumper; the colour and the patterns are gorgeous and the red belt was a fab idea.
I'm glad you managed to get out for a walk; I managed to get out for a walk only on one day last week and as I aim for 3 per week it was disappointing to say the least.
I was very happy to get another peek at your brooch collection and its fabulous display case - what a brilliant find that was.
How lovely you got to meet up with a sister blogger; can't wait to hear all about it...
I'm glad those storms have gone too, and that we've finally been able to sample some Spring weather. xxxDelete
Oh wow look at all your marvelous brooches.ReplyDelete
We have had a couple of sun filled days this past week and it had me smiling all day.
Thank you Hena! Doesn't life look a whole lot brighter when the sun is shining? xxxDelete
Hear, hear! I 110% agree that, ideally, all of clothing should be current favourites. The older I get, the more I have come to lean into that philosophy and as a result, not surprisingly, the more I cherish, adore, and actively wear a good percentage of my wardrobe.ReplyDelete
Suffice it to say, and as I'm sure you would imagine, my brooch adoring + collecting heart skipped scores of beats over the incredible system you have to store your resplendent selection in.
I think one could easy start a thriving cottage industry business just making and selling similar looking, reasonably priced pieces for jewelry lovers to store their treasures in.
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
Thank you Autumn! I can imagine your heart skipping a beat, mine often makes a happy leap when I open one of those drawers! xxxDelete
So beautiful jumper and so lovely red accessories which enhance its colours. Love that red cat!ReplyDelete
Always lovely to join you for a walk!
And so fab tiles print dress, it's really a mood booster with this joyful print and love the orange details you added!
Your collection of brooches look really magnificent in those drawers!, so appropriate!.
Looking forward to see photos of your meeting!
Thank you Monica! I'm glad I've been able to boost your mood with my outfits! xxxDelete
I was hoping Kezzie was meeting up with you when I saw where she was off to Ann ! The little whitewashed chapel is so very pretty. So reassuring to know that your wonderful brooch collection is housed in an equally wonderful wooden chest. Oooh, I could rummage in every drawer ;) May the marsh spirits be in your favour xXxReplyDelete
Thank you Lulu! It would have been a shame not to have met up, wouldn't it? And much fun it was too! xxxDelete
Eeeeek, I really need to get on and blog about Antwerp, don't I! (this week has been rather bonkers for personal and world reasons!). Love seeing yet another beautiful walk and SWOOON, that brooch storage is amazing! Much better than mine! Does make me think about how chaotic my own storage is though!ReplyDelete
I loved your first Antwerp post, can't wait for the next installment. My jewellery storage used to be chaotic too, which was a bit of a disaster for an organized person like yours truly :-) xxxDelete
I do love how you accessorised that fair isle jumper - there are so many colours to have fun and play with.ReplyDelete
Thank you Mim! I thought the red really stood out! xxxDelete