I'm once again pausing my travelogue to give you a brief update of what's been happening in July - which isn't much, actually - and to show you what I've been wearing. As we've finally established a proper routine and have been photographing my outfits on an almost daily basis, this will be a mainly outfit-based post. There will be 7 of them altogether so, lending one of Sheila's catchphrases, which I hope she doesn't mind: grab a cool drink, or a warm beverage depending on where you are, then sit back and relax.
Thursday, 4 August 2022
Catching up is hard to do
Blogging about my travel adventures means that I'm even further behind than usual, so let's hop into that time machine and alight on Monday the 11th of July.
This linen blend dress - the polyester content keeping it from wrinkling too much - is one of my all-time favourites. A lucky € 3 Think Twice find last August, I was looking forward to wearing it again this Summer. However, after its out-of-season sojourn in the linen chest it was in need of a bit of ironing. As I'm sure you know by now, the latter is a seldom seen activity here at Dove Cottage!
Anticipating hot weather, I'd spent the weekend in a frenzy of ironing my cotton Summer dresses, so that it was now ready for its first wear of the season. That Monday, with the mercury climbing towards the mid-twenties, couldn't have been more perfect for this.
It's a classic fit and flare dress and I love how the bodice's red, blue and yellow deckchair stripes develop into a chevron pattern in the skirt. And it's got pockets too!
Red was my colour of choice for my accessories, all of which you've seen before. The wooden brooch with its carved cornflowers, poppies and edelweiss is vintage and was flea market find.
The weather gods cranked up the thermostat to 29°C on Tuesday.
Enter the maxi skirt I'd cheekily bought at C&A back in May. With its full-on flower meadow print and two fuchsia pink crocheted lace strips at the hem, who was I to say no? I instantly knew its crisp organic cotton would be ideal for a day like this, and I wasn't wrong.
Paired with a bright orange cotton blouse by Gigue - a fairly recent charity shop find - I felt cool and collected all day. That is, until I braved the bargain hunting crowds after work. By the time I'd reached our pick-up point, sweaty pools had collected in my armpits, which I did my best to hide during our photo session by keeping my arms pinned to my sides.
Our Sweet Peas, which we planted as two tiny things back in May, had just started producing their first blooms in the week before our holiday. Judging from the seed pods I had to remove when we came back, they must have put on a real show while we were away.
They've since put on a repeat show and their fragrant blooms in colours ranging from palest pink to a deep burgundy have been an absolute joy to behold. Daily removal of seed pods is obviously required to keep the show going, as is regularly picking stems to carry their delicate scent inside.
Now, where were we?
Wednesday saw a repetition, not just in terms of weather, but also in the wearing of that wonderful C&A maxi. This time its companion was a green, cap sleeved blouse edged in pink rick-rack and with a row of buttons in the same colour. From the Belgian Who's That Girl label, it was found for a pittance in a charity shop in Poperinge while on holiday in Belgium's west country in September 2020.
I added more pink in the form of my beaded necklace and owl brooch.
One of my chevron patterned stretchy belts came out to play, as did my gold Gabor sandals, both of which were retail buys.
I couldn't help but notice the similarity in colour between the rick-rack and buttons and the gently nodding flowers of Anemone hupehensis ‘Hadspen Abundance’. Abundant it is indeed, but it's also rather early, as it's only supposed to flower in September!
In other garden news, our Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum, top right) with its fern-like foliage and clusters of lavender flowers, has finally seen it fit to produce some blooms, while it is actually supposed to flower in late Spring, which it duly did last year.
The pots of Osteospermum and Nemesia (top left) and Mimulus (bottom right) have both benefited from the haircuts they received when we came back and have repaid my efforts by another round of flowering.
And then there's the pink Petunia (bottom left), the offspring of one of last year's, which decided to settle into a crack between the paving stones in the courtyard.
Thursday was another sunny Summer's day, but with a tiny drop in temperature to a much more bearable 24°C.
It was a quiet day at work, and after my hairdresser's appointment during lunch break, I went to check out a recently opened charity shop a couple of doors down. Apart from a most delightful red and white striped Zara jacket, which alas turned out to be a bit too snug in the chest area, the stock was of an altogether boring variety.
Nothing boring about the vintage dress I was wearing! This was another one of last Summer's charity shop finds. Trimmed with white bias tape at the collar and cuffs, with an abstract seascape decal and a wave-like pattern on the skirt, it was definitely love at first sight.
And no, I wasn't about to do any gardening! The red rake belongs to the man who rents the part of the communal garage we sometimes use as our photo studio. I know his lovely wife sometimes reads my blog, so if she does read this: hello there!
I just couldn't resist posing with it as it perfectly matched my outfit ...
It was my final working day of the week, but unfortunately there was not much rest for the wicked, as we had a flea market to prepare for.
I did, however, manage to finish my latest read, which was rather addictive. It was part of my book haul from various Shropshire charity shops, by the way.
More deckchair stripes, anyone? Friday's outfit saw the return of an old favourite: a multi-coloured stripy jumpsuit which was a New Look sales bargain in 2018.
Having done a fair bit of gardening in it over the years, it is becoming a bit worse for wear, with an unsightly patch of pilling, which fortunately isn't visible in the photos. Well, I guess that's fast fashion for you ...
I'll wear it until it falls apart, though. This time, I took my lead from the blue stripes and added a blue camisole underneath, cinched my waist with a blue belt with a rather fabulous square buckle, and wore a blue glass ring. I paid tribute to the jumpsuit's multiple other colours with my cat brooch, necklace and sandals.
With Sunday's flea market in mind, we drove down to a bargain shop at the edge of our town to buy a batch of clothes hangers.
Then we continued to our local charity shop for a rummage. There was a buy two, get one free offer on clothing, and this is what I found. The green twigs and birds fabric belongs to a skirt by Belgian label Wow To Go. Funnily enough, it was only when I got home that I twigged (pun totally intended) it was exactly the same pattern as the top I charity shopped the other week (above, bottom right).
I'd been on the lookout for decent yellow tops for months, so the pleated one, originally from H&M, was a welcome find. I only found the third item, which is the pink and white gingham top, at the very last moment, as it was in a box full of stuff near the till.
With the temperature still a balmy and bearable 24°C, this is what I wore on Saturday.
The yellow, red and black floral top is yet another recent charity shop find which was still waiting for its turn. It is by the Danish ICHI label. It couldn't have found a better match than the 1970s black and white button-through skirt. The pattern is tiny flowers, not polka dots, as you can see in the close-up. With its three rows of white rick-rack and its pockets, it is definitely a winner!
While the skirt came from Think Twice, both the belt and the necklace were charity shopped. My brooch is war-time 1940s and an example of the era's make do and mend philosophy. The lady has been painted directly on a piece of fabric, obviously by someone very talented! It was a lucky flea market find and you can see it in more detail here.
Most of the day was spent going through my boxes of stock, selecting the best items for my initial rail. I would replenish the rail whenever an item was sold and a clothes hanger became available.
The majority are things which I no longer love as much as I used to, are no longer me, or have simply become too snug. Then there are those items I picked up at the tail end of various Think Twice sales for € 1 or € 2, bought specifically with our yearly flea market in mind. With you know what throwing a spanner in the works, of course, this would be the first one in three years ...
It was just gone 7 am when we wheeled out the rail, put our folding table outside and brought out th rest of our stock, which included shoes, handbag, costume jewellery and miscellaneous items.
By that time, our street had already been abuzz with traders putting up their stalls for well over an hour. They were joined by early punters on bicycles out for the deal of the century. I soon lost count of the times we were asked whether we had any watches or mobile phones for sale.
My clothes and jewellery sold like hot cakes, but in spite of regular interest, there were no takers for the shoes. As they were cluttering up sorely needed space, they're now ready to be taken to the charity shop. I did sell all of the handbags, though, most of them in bulk at a steeply reduced price.
At around 28°C it was too hot for a rummage, so I only went to say hello to a friend who had a stall a bit further on. I was given the tiny cat and mouse sculptures by the nice lady running the stall next to ours.
We called it a day at 2.30, which was later than we'd anticipated. In spite of our vintage parasol, it had become quite unbearable out there.
As Bess hadn't been too keen on the comings and goings outside our front door, we spent the rest of the day indulging her.
Those are Jos's fancy new pyjamas, by the way, straight from good old Marks & Sparks in Shrewsbury.
That's it for now. It'll be another installment of my travelogue in my next post, for which I hope you'll join me again.