Wednesday 31 August 2022

Escape across the border

With building work still going on next door on Saturday the 6th of August, we once again sought peace and quiet elsewhere. What's more, wanting to get as far away from the headache inducing racket as possible, we decided to go abroad for the day! 

If you're doing a double take and reading that last bit again to make sure you've got it right: we're not that far from the Dutch border, so going abroad for a day isn't as far-fetched as it might sound. Our destination of choice was Middelburg, the charming capital town of the Dutch province of Zeeland, a leisurely drive of just over an hour from Dove Cottage's front door.

Long-time readers have accompanied me here a couple of times before, as we spent two short holidays in Zeeland, in November 2018 and November 2019, staying in a lovely airbnb on the outskirts of  Middelburg.

We therefore know the town quite well, and what's more, we knew exactly where to find free parking, on a street parallel to the one our airbnb cottage used to be in. From there, it is just a 10 minute stroll into town. Before doing so, however, we had a sneaky peek at the cottage, which it seems has been sold on in the meantime, and sadly is no longer available on airbnb.

The walk into town is delightful, crossing a picturesque canal with a park laid out on the old town ramparts and then, after passing the Kloveniersdoelen, an imposing building dating from 1609 (above, top right), crossing a second one which takes you straight into one of the town's busiest shopping streets.

If it all looked familiar but strangely out of kilter to us, it must have been because we'd only ever seen Middelburg in November.  Admittedly, I thought that whitewashed windmill De Hoop (above, top left) didn't look quite as atmospheric as it did in Autumn. Have a peek herehere and here, so that you can judge for yourselves ...

Having yet again made a late start, it was soon time to look out for a place to eat. It didn't take long for us to be enticed inside a café called Reynaert, and back out again into its sheltered garden terrace where, as luck would have it, there was a free table for two.

Jos was wearing the short-sleeved shirt I found for him in the charity shop the other day. It's from C&A and although clearly a men's shirt, it was mixed up in a rail of women's blouses. I've added a close-up of its lovely sailing boats and palm trees pattern for you to admire.

We ordered toasted sandwiches with cheese and ham, which came on sourdough bread, with a salad and tomato ketchup, presented on a rustic wooden board covered with newspaper-print greaseproof paper.

Luckily for us, non-alcoholic Leffe - a Belgian beer - was on the drinks menu, so that we didn't have to assault our taste buds with non-alcoholic Heineken! 

After lunch, we continued along the Langeviele shopping street, passing up the various offers of the local delicacy, Zeeuwse Bolussen - a sticky sweet bun made from white bread dough rolled in dark brown sugar - or one of the many cheeses Holland is famous for.

We could hear a veritable cacophony of sounds reaching us from the direction of the Market Square. Apparently, Middelburg's yearly fun fair (or kermis in Dutch) was taking place and the square was filled with the most outrageous fairground attractions, their thumping sound systems vying for attention, with the ubiquitous chorus of screams emanating from the most spectacular ones. 

Needless to say, we couldn't get away fast enough ...

Once past the Market Square we strolled through Middelburg's main shopping street, Lange Delft, and went in and out of a couple of shops in search of a light jacket or cardigan for Jos to wear. He'd left his linen jacket in the car but as the day's highs of 22°C came accompanied by a brisk breeze - as it often does here in semi-sea locked Zeeland - he was starting to feel the chill. 

After purchasing an ochre denim shirt, which I'm sure will get plenty of wear in Autumn, we turned into one of the narrow side streets leading towards the town's most famous - and certainly most visible - landmark, the Lange Jan.

This 90,5 meter high wedding cake layered tower belongs to the town's large abbey complex which was established around 1100 by Flemish monks.

During our last visit, in November 2019, we had made an attempt to visit the three interconnected churches which are also part of the complex. Much to our dismay, however, we couldn't find a way in, even after a  helpful man directed us to a door behind which lay some atmospheric cloister passageways complete with intricately carved ceilings. Here too, any doors which could have given us access to the churches were firmly locked. Back at home, the mystery was solved when we found out that the churches are only open to visitors from Easter until end of October.

Now, we were finally able to have a peek inside the Nieuwe Kerk (above), which was built in the 16th century, and the Koorkerk (below), which dates from the 14th century. The churches are joined by a central choir called the Wandelkerk. 

Afterwards, we sauntered through the cloisters which, in stark contrast to our previous visit, we didn't have completely to ourselves. Not that you'd notice in the photos! I'm sure you know by now that - unlike in other areas of life - I've got the patience of a saint when it comes to taking photos.

At the time of our visit, Middelburg was hosting Façade, a contemporary art festival, which is still running until the 6th of November. 

At the end of the cloister, coming from the direction of the abbey courtyard, there was a shallow, bowl-shaped mirror consisting of hundreds, perhaps even thousands of triangular mirror fragments. This work of art is called Random Triangle Mirror and is the work of the British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor. Come close enough and you will see yourself in an infinite number of self portraits, in the artist's own words, the ultimate selfie moment!

The red door in the photo on the top right gives access to a small herb garden, a place for quiet contemplation, although not in high season with so many people milling about.

One of the benches is permanently taken by a sculpture of Hans Lipperhey (1570-1619), a German-Dutch spectacle-maker commonly associated with the invention of the telescope, as he was the first to try and obtain a patent for it. He settled in Middelburg in 1594 and remained there until his death in 1619.

You can catch a glimpse of my outfit here, built around the flower-infused 1970s does 1940s Diolen dress which is a firm favourite in my wardrobe. 

My Clarks Cloudsteppers, of course, were essential for a day of sightseeing. 

We emerged from the cloisters into the abbey courtyard, where we paused for a while and checked out a giant, blue dolly rope (plastic thread which is attached to fishing nets) covered hand by Kianoosh Gerami, who is based in the Zeeland town of Zierikzee. According to the Façade website there should have been three of these hands. I wonder what happened to the other two ...

We continued our wanderings, interrupted by cheesecake and cappuccino in a favourite café, coming across yet more works of art at regular intervals.

At one of the entrances of the tranquil  Kuiperspoort, three and a half metres above the unsuspecting spectator’s head, a garland of spiky grey spheres has been suspended (top centre). They are by Dutch artist Tanja Smeets. The Kuiperspoort itself is a picturesque 17th century cobbled courtyard. Jos is standing just inside one of its other entrances in the photo on the top right.

On the bottom left is part of an installation by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm (he of the melting sailing boat in Middelheim), who became world-famous for his sculptures about the absurd and the paradox in our society. Here, he has attached second-hand furniture - a complete interior, actually - to some walls.

By late afternoon our feet were getting tired, so we walked all the way back across the town to where our car was parked, picking up some food to eat at home along the way.

Our journey home was uneventful, except for a 10 minute wait at a drawbridge to give way to some sailing boats.

In the meantime, much to our relief, our neighbour had started work on the new wall. It would steadily grow higher in the next days. It still hasn't reached the required height as I write and it certainly won't be in the running for any beauty contests. However, once it has been insulated and finished, it is expected to look a whole lot better. I will keep you posted, obviously.

I'm now skipping two weeks, fast-forwarding to Saturday the 20th of August. I'll be posting about the weeks in between shortly, but as we made another trip to Middelburg that Saturday, I thought it only fitting to include it here as well.

Creatures of habit that we are, we immediately made our way to Reynaert upon arrival. While we were waiting for our lunch to arrive, I had a look at the map, plotting our itinerary for the afternoon.

First up was a rummage in a second hand clothing shop established on the premises of an old tobacco factory (top left). Disappointingly, there wasn't anything which caught our fancy, but while we were contemplating the impressive row of Lourdes holy water bottles displayed in the windows above the shop's door, we got talking to two nice German ladies, who'd just arrived back from Cornwall and were slowly making their way to the North of Germany. By bike! I was quite chuffed when they told me they were impressed with my command of the German language, which I'm sure reading Beate's posts in the original language has contributed to.

We were pleased to see that the fun fair had upped sticks, so that the Middelburg's magnificent town hall was once again in command of the Market Square.

It was voted the second most beautiful monument of the Netherlands and with its richly decorated façade, its profusion of statues and little turrets and its charming red, white and yellow shutters, it's easy to see why. 

Building began in 1452 and took over 80 years and several generations of an architect family from Mechelen (Belgium) to finish. 

I might have left that second hand clothing shop empty handed, but finding four brooches at Sebastian den Herder Vintage & Designers more than made up for this. It turns out that Sebastian is a collector of brooches himself, and it was nice chatting to someone so passionate and knowledgeable about them. 

The little bird brooch on the bottom left is Lea Stein, by the way.

After having made our purchases, we continued our meander through Middelburg's maze of cobbled streets. Once again, we strolled through 17th century Kuiperspoort (above, bottom left and right), exiting this inner-city oasis at the quayside, where we walked along a stretch of canal lined with monumental old merchant's houses and filled with quirky houseboats.

And just look at that brilliant blue sky!

Before I go, let's have a look at what I was wearing that day, for which I'm taking you to the peaceful abbey courtyard.

My midi-length circle skirt usually has many admirers. Charity shopped back in 2019, it is something of an oddity. Although there is a label, I suspect it is a personalized one and it is actually somebody's handiwork. Apart from its mid-century style print, it has a visible red side zipper and features random felt circles and visible stitching.

The green lacy short-sleeved jumper was an old Think Twice find, while the red cropped cardigan, as well as the belt, necklace and bangles were picked up in various charity shops. The enamelled butterfly brooch was a flea market find.

I'm currently counting down to our trip to Belgium's west country next week, but before I leave I promise to be back with a round-up of August's outfits and happenings.

See you soon!

Friday 26 August 2022

Wall of sound

We started the first week of August with more than just a little trepidation. This, after all, would be the week that the wall between our and our neighbour's properties would be removed. Apart from any other inconveniences, we weren't exactly looking forward to the lack of privacy we'd have to contend with in our kitchen - which has a big window looking out on the passageway - and part of the garden for several days.

Peace and quiet still reigned when we set out on the morning of Monday 1st of August, which would turn out to be another muggy day, with highs of 26°C. 

Cool cottons to the rescue once more! If hot Summers will become our new normal, I guess I'll have to change the name of my blog!

Looking at the photos, I realize that only one item in my whole outfit is vintage (the brooch) and that, apart from the top from the Danish ICHI label, which I charity shopped two Summers ago, everything thing else was bought brand new. 

The necklace, with its colourfully painted wooden disks, came from Accessorize and has been in my collection for many years. The gold tone Gabor sandals were a sales bargain in the Summer of 2019, while I plucked the tiered skirt from a rail of reduced items at C&A while we were shopping for Jos earlier this year. The raffia belt, which has a black twin, was recently found on the high street.

At the office, I tried to bear it as long as I could without having to put on the air-conditioning, but brain melt left me no other option after lunch. It was a bit of a dismal day, particularly as I was on my own,  with only yours truly to moan to, as my colleague had the day off.

Meanwhile, Jos kept me up to date about next door's proceedings. Apparently, our neighbour and his uncle and cousins, who'd come all the way from Austria to help him out, had started clearing the endless piles of rubble from their garden in preparation for the impending building work. So far, so good.

Tuesday dawned sunny, but with quite a bit of wind, which somewhat tempered the 30°C indicated by the thermometer. It was still stiflingly hot, so I needed another one of my cotton frocks to keep me cool.

This bright blue flower and foliage sprinkled one was a gift from Vix back in 2019 which makes it extra special. And how serendipitous that she is wearing the skirt I gave her that same year in her latest post!

Creature of habit that I am, I always seem to pick orange to accessorize it with. I've lost count of the times I've worn this orange belt lately. It's super comfortable as apart from its front panel, it completely consists of a supple elastic. In spite of having its origins in a cheap fast fashion shop, it is still going strong after more than 10 years. The buckle is showing a bit of wear and tear, though, which is easily remedied by regular applications of a dab of orange nail polish!

My necklace and ring were both charity shopped and the brooch is vintage, found on a flea market.

With another Think Twice sales in full swing, I literally hotfooted it to my favourite branch for a browse, and ended up buying two dresses for € 5 each. 

You'll get to see one of the dresses in a minute, but let's have a look at the wall situation first!

As our kitchens were now facing each other unhindered and we were feeling quite exposed, we kept our shutters firmly closed, with only some chinks letting in the tiniest amount of daylight. Initially, our neighbour had promised to screen off the area to make things a bit more comfortable, but it never happened, not even after we'd reminded him a couple of times.

The mess in front and behind our compost bin are the sorry remains of the ivy and climbing Hydrangea which were growing up the wall. When we asked our neighbour to put these on his skip, he initially refused, telling us the skip was meant for building rubble only. However, he later did get rid of it after all. With council collection of garden waste as good as non-existent here, this saved us quite a bit of  hassle! And only rightly so, I think. 

The temperature rocketed up to 32°C on Wednesday, so one of the dresses I'd found at Think Twice couldn't have been more perfect for keeping it -  relatively - cool.

Lightweight, sleeveless and with a solid white collar, this greyscale dress printed with black squiggles has an extra trick up its ... err ... sleeve in the form of a pair of deep pockets. It's so satisfying to shove one's hands into them when standing around doing nothing but having one's photo taken!

Its only minus point is its elasticated waist, but that was easy enough to hide under one of my belts.

There was no contest for red as an accent colour, which in addition to the belt, I used for my necklace, ring, cat brooch and another pair of sales bargain Gabor sandals.

No outfit photos were taken on Thursday, so I haven't got the slightest idea what I wore that day. 

My diary tells me the temperature dropped to 27°C, and that it rained both in the morning and again at night.

On our way home, we could hear heavy drilling and the high-pitched screeching sound made by a grinder when we were just half-way down our street. I'll give you three guesses where this terrible racket was coming from ... Obviously it was even worse once we were inside. While the concrete for the new wall's foundation was drying, our neighbour and his three stooges were completely stripping the downstairs rooms. This went on until about 8 pm, but only because we complained, as I'm sure it would have gone on for much longer if we hadn't. 

I had the day off on Friday, but at that point I can't say I was looking forward to the long weekend ahead. There was nothing for it but to make plans to flee the house as much as we could.

I watered the garden first thing, then, after our customary fruit & yoghurt breakfast, we slapped together a couple of sandwiches and were off for a day of rummaging, picnicking and sightseeing.

In between charity shops, we stopped off at one of the forts turned nature reserves surrounding the city of Antwerp, where we found a bench for our picnic. 

With the temperature down to 23°C, I could safely be a Polyester Princess again without breaking into a sweat. For some reason, this vintage frock, its pattern a patchwork of dotty squares in greens and yellows, hadn't been out of my wardrobe for a couple of years at the very least.

This one too has an elasticated waist, which I covered with one of my stretchy belts.

I love the dress's square necklace, although in the above photo I can see one of my bra straps wanting to make an escape. Oh well. 

I kept to greens and yellows for my accessories, and was carrying my current favourite weekend bag, a fast fashion find from the high street back in that age of innocence, Spring 2019.

Here's what I found in the charity shops that day: a silky Summer dress, a lightweight cover-up and a pair of mock croc ankle boots by Van Dal.

There was a short-sleeved shirt for Jos too, which you'll be getting to see in my next post, 
as well as a long-sleeved wrap dress, which I just realized I forgot to photograph.

With most of the afternoon still in front of us, we then continued to the charming little town of Lier. 

In spite of it being less than half an hour's drive from Dove Cottage, we do not visit it very often, unless it is for a social call, as Jos's younger daughter An lives in the town. In fact, we'd made arrangements to meet her later for a drink.

From the car park, there is no chance of missing one of the town's landmarks, the imposing St. Gummarus Church, and particularly its tower, which is popularly known as the "pepper pot".

From 1378 onwards, the former parish church was converted into this beautiful example of Brabant Gothic style. Construction took about 200 years, and influences of baroque and rococo are therefore visible. 

After passing the church and admiring its amusing gargoyles, we walked into the direction of the River Nete, which flows through the town. The striking building with its cheerful red and green shutters is called De Fortuin and was built in the 17th century. Over the centuries it has been used as a grain store, a coal depot, a lemonade factory, a cabinetmaker’s workshop, a town warehouse and a restaurant.

We've now arrived at the Zimmer Square, where the Zimmer Tower, with its captivating Jubilee Clock showing 13 different time indications, is taking pride of place. Both the square and the tower were named after the clock's creator, Louis Zimmer (1888-1970), who donated it to the town of Lier in honour of Belgium's 100th anniversary in 1930.

Too early for our rendez-vous with Jos's daughter, we then walked towards the beguinage for a stroll.

On the bottom left is the central part of the façade of  St. Margaret's Church, built in the 17th-18th century, and dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch, martyr and patron saint of the beguinage.

The beguinage itself has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

It is a typical 13th century street beguinage with 11 narrow streets and 162 small houses. Most of the houses date from the 17th-18th century. The narrow passageway on the bottom right is called "Hemdsmouwken" (meaning "shirtsleeve") due to its shape, and it is only 98 centimeters wide at one end. It was originally meant as a fire-break to stop fire from spreading from one row of houses to another.

We were gasping for a drink by now and although there was still no sign of Jos's daughter, who had been detained, we made our way back to the square, where we enjoyed one of Belgium's excellent range of non-alcoholic beers. 

Isn't Jos looking splendid in his vintage shirt from Think Twice?

Jos's daughter arrived just in time for another drink and a chat. Then, as our parking ticket was about to expire, she walked us back to the car park where we arrived just in the nick of time.

On our way home, we made plans for next day's escape from the wall of sound - wall of noise would have been more apt here, but doesn't sound as nice -  which you'll read all about in my next post.

Monday 22 August 2022

At the close of July

Finishing the last chapter of my travelogue has been a bit of a wrench, leaving me with the feeling that our longed-for and long-awaited UK holiday is now well and truly a thing of the past.

The upside, of course, is that I can now continue with a catch-up of what the Summer of 2022 has brought us and, obviously and most importantly, what I've been wearing.

But what a Summer it has been so far! For someone who struggles with temperatures from the high twenties onwards, the on-an-off heatwaves haven't exactly been a gift. On top of that, we have been subjected to our neighbour's extensive renovation project for weeks now, with no end in sight. The constant, day in-day out noise going on well into the evening has made us flee the no longer safe haven of our house on several occasions.

But all that was still in the future in the last week of July as, yes, that's how far behind my blog is.

Monday the 25th of July marked the start of yet another working week, although having a free Friday to look forward to was making things ever so slightly better. Much to our relief, we were also treated to a drop in temperature, Monday's 24°C being so much bearable for both Jos and me.

Unless we are running late, we've developed the habit of stopping off at the Museum of Folklore about half-way down our street and snap a couple of outfit photos in its front garden before work.

That day, I was wearing a cotton frock, its floral print a cool tapestry of greens, blues and a dash of white, which I picked up from Think Twice in May 2021.

I added a dollop of mustard yellow in the form of my necklace, belt and briefly worn cardigan and pinned one of my favourite brooches, a creamy metal butterfly, to the dress's bodice. 

At my feet, a comfortable pair of gold Gabor sandals as yes, comfort has definitely been key for my feet lately!

Another pair of my most-comfortable shoes on Tuesday, although the forecast of a couple of heavy showers and temperatures of barely 20°C made me switch the sandals for a pair of sky blue flats closing with Velcroed straps. They're in the running for equalling the Cloudsteppers, but they're not quite there yet.

Anyway, the dress I was wearing is one of my lightweight Diolens, bought from a now defunct vintage shop in Antwerp which I had the pleasure of frequenting for a year or two.

I picked up the blue from its prevalent coral pattern, not just with my shoes, but with my cardigan, woven belt, necklace and ring as well. Even my floral brooch is rimmed in blue. Everything apart from my ring and shoes were charity shop or flea market finds.

The mercury remained hovering in the low twenties on Wednesday, but contrary to Tuesday the forecasted showers never materialized.  With the sun shining brightly all day, I could have worn sandals, although these navy blue flapper style flats tend to give my feet sufficient breathing space.

I could also have worn a less sweat-inducing dress than this Crimplene one if the weathermen hadn't got it wrong again in forecasting a similar day to Tuesday's.

Apart from a rather riotous navy, cobalt and yellow on white pattern, the dress is graced with a wide wing collar and an admittedly rather superfluous bow at its neckline. It's not one for the faint-hearted though as it is certainly making you stand out in a crowd.

I picked yellow for my vintage beaded necklace and navy blue for my ring. The navy belt with its cream plastic buckle used to belong to my Mum and it's one of the rare things in terms of clothing and accessories that I own from her.

Thursday was a sunny but windy day, which felt much cooler than the 23°C the thermometer claimed it was. 

Cue the wearing of more Crimplene, in the form of the flowered and dotted blue blouse I charity shopped between Lockdowns in 2020. Its companion is a beloved vintage skirt sprinkled with daisy-like pinkish flowers. This too was a charity shop find although predating the blouse with several years.

In fact, everything else I was wearing - including the shoes and jacket - was charity shopped, except for the stretchy belt and my pink plastic ring.

The shoes, though! Bought for just € 4 in September 2018, my feet have always been happy in this pair of blue Miz Mooz slingbacks. That is, until now. I had blisters before I even arrived at the office where, luckily, I had a pair of ancient ballerinas lurking in case of a shoe mishap. I immediately changed into those, as I was having coffee with my friend Inez during lunch break and I couldn't see myself limping to the coffee shop in those pesky Miz Moozes and make matters even worse ...

The temperature was on the up again on Friday, easily reaching 25°C, which was just perfect for what we had in mind that day.

After a leisurely fruit & yoghurt breakfast, we packed a couple of bags of donations into the boot of our car and went charity shopping, followed by a picnic and a stroll in the park.

As we were eating our sandwiches, we spotted the Egyptian goose with the manky wing we'd seen around a couple of times. As Jos took pity on it and threw it a couple of crumbs, the park's waterfowl dropped whatever they were doing and starting arriving in their dozens, loudly quacking and honking for their share. Oh dear, that was the rest of our picnic spoken for. Let's say that we were literally one sandwich short of a picnic. Only literally though, or at least I hope so!

After the last of the crumbs had disappeared into the birds' hungry mouths ... err ... beaks, and peace had once again descended on the park, we walked around the perimeter of the largest of the lakes.

Although things would become much worse, the lack of rain had already left its mark on the park's vegetation. We couldn't help noticing the large number of unripe acorns littering the ground. Another result of the ongoing drought, and a health hazard to horses, cattle and dogs due to their high tannin content, which makes them poisonous.

I was giving this green linen blend skirt its maiden voyage that day. I found it in the Zara sales a week or so before, instantly falling in love with its colour and pattern, and queuing for all of twenty minutes at the till, as it was the very last one and I just had to have it.

I'm not in the habit of shopping at Zara, and although I've got a couple of Zara items in my wardrobe, all of these were charity shop finds. In fact, I think this was the very first time I bought something directly from the shop.

My tropical print, short-sleeved King Louie jumper (charity shopped, obviously) couldn't have been more perfect to accompany it, as it matches the skirt's colour and its embroidery almost exactly. 

I matched the orange embroidery with a flower corsage, string of wooden beads and plastic ring in the same colour. Both the stretchy belt and the straw and fake leather handbag were found on the high street.

Oh, and my feet were being pampered with my black Clarks sandals, a sales bargain from the Shropshire town of Wellington back in 2018.

In spite of our offerings to the Goddesses of the Charity Shops, pickings weren't exactly plentiful, but I still managed to snaffle another pair of Miz Mooz slingbacks. They needed some TLC, plus I'm hoping my feet won't make me regret my purchase, but with 50% off they were just € 2, so even if they're a failure, they definitely didn't break the bank.

Browsing the bookshelves in both of the shops we visited yielded these three for my ready-to-topple reading pile. I'm currently reading Lucinda Riley's The Lavender Garden, which is exactly the kind of light entertainment I need right now.

And talking of books, in her comment on my previous post, Vronni said she'd love to know which books I picked up on my travels.  I have left one of them behind on the cowshed's bookshelves after reading it, but these are the ones that made it home. 

In the meantime, I've read both The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans, which I loved, and Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, which although brilliant wasn't the most easy of reads.

We both had a bit of an off-day on Saturday, but we still managed to drag ourselves from the sofa and go for a walk in our favourite park, Middelheim. A short walk, it turned out to be, as it was rather stifling and humid, the mercury making a move towards the high twenties.

There was a temporary exhibition by French artist Camille Henrot (b. 1978), but as it's running until 16 October, we'll be going back another time for a proper look.

Above, top right is Undelivered Message (2016), which was outside at the back of the Braem Pavillion.

We hadn't been inside the Braem Pavillion since before Covid, and as it has been recently repainted, we went in to admire this prime example of Organic Brutalist style, designed by architect Renaat Braem (1910-2001) and completed in 1971.

Above, top left, is Second Semester (2019) which was one of the works inside the pavillion. 

Now, before I got, let's have a look at my outfit. I've no doubt that my top's magnificent collar has already caught your attention.  From the Belgian label Lucy Has A Secret, it was a charity shop find in September 2019. The skirt, with its gauzy Paisley patterned layer over a solid orange one, was charity shopped last Summer, while my wide purple stretchy belt came home with me last Autumn.

I was in danger of wilting by the time we reached the museum's castle café, and I was starting to look and feel like the small sailing boat moored along the castle's moat. 

That too, is a work of art, of course, by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm (b. 1954).

The bent out of shape sailing boat, which is called Misconceivable (2010), is a characteristic Erwin Wurm piece in which a familiar form deviates subtly from reality. As the title indicates, this piece causes doubt and a sense of uncertainty in the observer. 

I, on the other hand, think it's very conceivable that, just like me, it has succumbed to the ongoing hot weather!