Wednesday, 1 February 2023

What's another week?

We woke up to another grey and miserable day, in which the mercury would only climb to a measly 1°C, on Sunday 22 January. I could have happily stayed in bed or have wrapped myself in a blanket on the sofa with a book if we wouldn't have had the January edition of our favourite indoor flea market to go to.

As we know from experience that it tends to be freezing cold in the flea market venue, dressing up warmly was of the essence. In order not to lose too much time in the morning, I'd assembled the components of my outfit the night before. This included dragging this gorgeous but rather neglected fur collared and cuffed vintage Tweed jacket from the depths of my coats wardrobe. It's actually part of a suit found at Think Twice many years ago, and which I last wore to go the same flea market in January 2020.

I thought its mustard colour speckled with red and brown was the perfect companion for the flannel skirt, which I fell in love with when I spied it in the shop window at Uniqlo back in October. It's from the shop's collaboration with the French model and fashion designer Inès de La Fressange and I was initially told it was sold out. Imagine my delight when, a couple of weeks later, I happened to walk into the shop to shelter from the rain, and found it waiting for me after all!

With my days of hot flashes seemingly over I've been starting to feel the cold lately, so I'd recently unearthed a bag of polo neck jumpers which hadn't seen the light of day for many years. Among these was the purple one I wore with the Arola skirt the day before, and this turquoise one, its sleeves adorned with a row of tiny buttons.

In spite of the t-shirt I'd layered underneath, I was still worried I'd be cold. I got my thinking cap on and, a rummage through my warmest woollens later, came up with this traditional cream cardigan embroidered with blue and red flowers and tied with red braided drawstring. As in years past, just looking at it was enough to make me break out in a sweat, I wasn't at all amazed that I'd last worn it in February 2018, when it featured in a twin post with the fabulous Beate

Just like I did five years ago, I pinned a red-hearted brooch to its plunging neckline, then added more red with my necklace.  My perspex ring, part of a haul from the flea market's previous edition, echoed the shade of my skirt almost exactly. 

To complete my outfit, I wore a yellow knitted beret, my turquoise raggedy scarf which wasn't too bulky on top of my jacket's generous fur collar, and a pair of gold leather gloves.

Upon entering the venue, it immediately became apparent that we needn't have dressed so warmly, as they'd switched on the heating. Before too long, my scarf disappeared into my bag, and I wore my jacket open throughout our trawl.

It did take us a while to get into our stride this time, and it wasn't until we came upon Tania's stall that we made our first purchase: a vintage Smiths Ringer kitchen timer for our collection. As it needed a bit of a clean, I cleanly forgot to take a photo (pun very much intended). Generous as ever, Tania gave me the orange flower corsage and the rather creepy hair clip - the eyes open and close - for free!

Our first serious purchases were only made after we'd taken a break for lunch. At Rita's treasure trove of a stall I was happy to see she still had some perspex rings for sale, from which I selected the caramel and sparkly green one on the top left. Jos fell hard for the kaleidoscope (bottom left and centre), which has joined our modest collection. Three IS a collection, right?

Rita's stall also had a wonderful display of vintage brooches, from which the two faces in profile and the sailor with the ginormous fish came home with me.

The four other brooches came from an older lady we've been buying from for many years but whom we only recently found out lives in the next village to ours. My favourite of these is the blue ceramic Brutalist brooch in the middle of the bottom row.

We were getting a bit tired by now and our eyes were starting to have problems focusing on aisle after aisle of goodies on offer. This usually happens to us towards the end of this particular flea market, and it isn't at all helped by the eye-confusing lighting at this venue.

Nevertheless, my eyes briefly re-found their focus when I spotted the Twiggy mannequin head at the back of a stall. As she was quite different from the one who came to live at Dove Cottage in July 2016, and the seller offered her at a more than reasonable price, she really was a no-brainer.

Obviously, this meant that I had to do a reshuffle of the mantelpiece in our spare room, but here she is, having joined her sisters Twiggy I and 1930s Idina!

There wasn't much improvement in the weather in the week that followed, with the temperature playing tag with freezing point and the sun the rarest of commodities.

In order to cheer myself up, I went and checked out the newly opened Think Twice shop near my office, where I promptly fell in love with this diamond patterned vintage blouse. Incredibly, though, I decided to leave it behind, and it wasn't until Thursday that I went back for it, counting my lucky stars that it was still on the rails.

With the kitchenette in our office finally completed, my colleague and I spent some time on Tuesday morning unpacking and putting away the office kitchen ware. We had only just finished doing so when in walked our bosses, paying us a surprise visit all the way from Miami. As we still had an apartment building of heavy archive boxes to shift, we immediately set them to work, while I went to get supplies at the supermarket and my colleague, who only works a half day on Tuesday, went home.

Then, at just after 4 pm, I managed to get myself locked into the loos! No matter how hard I put my weight against the door, it just wouldn't budge. Subsequently, I spent the next 5 minutes or so hammering on the door and shouting in order to try and catch my bosses' attention. Much to my relief, they eventually heard me and came running. They tried anything they could think of to release me from my temporary prison cell, unfortunately all to no avail.

Meanwhile Jos, who'd arrived in Antwerp to pick me up from work, had been trying to get hold of me and was starting to get worried, so I got one of my bosses to call him. Shortly afterwards, he too arrived at the office, where I was still locked inside the cubicle. To cut a long story short, it took the janitor and a grinding machine to finally set me free after about one hour!  I'm blaming my friend the landlord, who should have made sure that the renovation team he'd hired had done their job properly. 

Fortunately, the rest of the working week was uneventful in comparison!

And then it was Friday once more!

In order to combat the continuing cold this brown and beige dress with its eye-catching print came out to play. Bought from a long-gone vintage shop in Antwerp, its label proclaims its fabric is Crimplene, although in this case the inevitable polyester is joined by 20% wool, thus making it ideal for these colder days. Not nearly warm enough to go it alone though, it needed another layer, in the form of my trusty greyish green fluffy cardigan from Belgian Thelma & Louise label, last seen here a couple of posts ago.

I kept to all sorts of green for my accessories, which included a stretchy belt with faux tortoiseshell buckle, a beaded necklace and a glass ring. The jade brooch was a flea market find back in November.

I spent the morning rearranging my brooch drawers which had become a bit of a jumble, making outfit and other blog photos, and catching up with blogland. 

Having missed out on a charity shop rummage the previous week, we were now intent on making up for lost time after lunch. I struck lucky at both shops we visited, although the difference between the peacefulness of the first one and the soundtrack provided by overenthusiastic schoolchildren in the second couldn't have been greater.

Here's what I found. First up, a burnt orange King Louie cardigan with typical heart-shaped ajour pattern. I now own this type of cardigan in 9 different colours, all of them charity shopped at a fraction of their current retail price of € 74,95. This particular one was just € 5!

I thought it looked a treat with the sage green faux-button-down skirt in fine wale corduroy, which was also part of the catch of the day.

More € 5 cardigans! These shawl collared ones were new with tags from the defunct Belgian Wow To Go label. I have already worn the pink one in the meantime.

From Wow To Go's sister label Who's That Girl, a red and white striped jumper which also set me back € 5. I couldn't have been more pleased with my haul of woollens at a total of € 20, which works out to less than a 10th of their retail price.

The chevron patterned skirt is vintage but rather than the grey my camera insists it is, its colour is actual navy blue. 

Finally, there was this gorgeous beaded evening bag hidden among the tired and uninspired handbags in the quiet shop. It was only when we were on our way to the till that I noticed its € 0,50 price tag!

So, that was it. The rest of the weekend's adventures will follow in my next post. Don't get too excited, though ...


  1. Oh dear what can the matter be?
    Dear old Ann got locked in the lavatory,
    She was there from Monday to Saturday...

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. We used to sing this song at school.

    I am in love with your Uniqlo skirt - how fabulous it is. I loved all your flea market buys - those brooches and I'm so glad Twiggy has a twin (?) sister. Loved all the outfits; the turquoise with the brown patterned dress was a lovely combination. Great charity shop finds and the Think Twice diamond patterned shirt is gorgeous.

    Hope the sun has made an appearance!

    1. What a relief that I wasn't there from Monday to Saturday :-) xxx

  2. Oh dear! Fancy getting locking in the loo! That's always been my fear, I'll be even worse now I've read your sorry tale!
    That Uniqlo skirt is a great investment, it's a lovely fit. The drawstring cardi is fab with it.
    Great finds, between us we own Twiggy Triplets!
    Love the creepy eye brooch and giggling at the sailor wrestling the massive fish brooch. Fancy having nine of those cardis! I wonder how many colour combos they made?
    We've had a couple of sunny days but with a biting wind. The sun's just coming up now and the sky is a very strange shade of bruised lilac. xxx

    1. I'm sorry about that ... It's my fear now as well, I'm always leaving the loo in the office ajar from now on! xxx

  3. of cause i do remember that gorgeous vintage cardi! (thanx for the shout out) the whole outfit with that chic skirt and the cosy tweed jacket is just beautiful!!
    the hair clip is hilarious :-DDD
    not so funny getting locked in the loo - poor thing!

    1. You're welcome Beate! The scariest thing was that it took me so long to get my bosses' attention! xxx

  4. I enjoyed reading your twin post with Beate and the cream cardigan does look very cosy. You both rocked that look!
    Once again, you have managed to bag some very interesting pieces. The Twiggy mannequin looks perfectly at home with her relatives in your spare room. Really love the display!
    The Uniqlo skirt is very stylish, as is that button down skirt and I'm not surprised you couldn't leave behind the beaded bag. I'm not sure whether the creepy eyes brooch is genius or the stuff of nightmares!
    Talking of nightmares, how terrifying to be stuck in a toilet cubicle for an hour. I'm relieved that you managed to raise the alarm fairly quickly, even if you did have to wait an hour to be released. I hope someone pushed some interesting reading material under the door. xxx

    1. Thank you Claire! Unfortunately the door goes all the way down to the floor, so no reading material for me! xxx

  5. Love your cardigans so much! What a fab collection you have.

  6. An indoor flea market is a good reason to head out into the grey weather. I'm glad you knew to dress warm! The coat you wore is just beautiful and so classic. I have to say that I really love the ring you wore that day. What a beautiful and colourful accessory. WOAH that hair clip with the eyes that open and close. I LOVE IT. That is probably the coolest accessory that I have ever seen in my entire life. I am obsessed. That is just....a work of art. I love it so much. It looks like there were lots of fabulous goodies all over! That Twiggy mannequin head is great as well. Wow! What a great day out.

    OMG how scary that you were locked in the restroom! It sounds like that was quite the ordeal. Clearly the renovation team did not do a very good job. Yikes.

    the creation of beauty is art.

    1. Thank you Shannon! It wasn't much fun that's for sure! xxx

  7. How awful getting stuck in toilet cubicle. I'm glad they got you out pretty quickly, but my claustrophobia would definitely have kicked in. I hope you had a nice stiff drink after that shock. I adore that tweed jacket, the fur cuffs and collar are beautiful, and I love the sailor brooch with the fish, it's so quirky. Have a lovely weekend. xx

    1. Thank you Louise! I've got claustrophobia too, but the worst part was trying - and initially failing - to get my bosses' attention! xxx

  8. Uiii these wow to go cardigans are a great bargain. Love the colours. 😱you looked in the loo? So sorry about this. 🥴
    With a very huge hug Tina

  9. I really like the colours and the layers in your first outfit - it's good you did layer so you could shed some when it was too warm! I am loving that cute little beaded bag you found for such a bargain too.

    So sorry to hear about the mishap with being locked in! It's a relief you were finally able to get out, what a crazy story to have! My sister got locked in a toilet once when she was little - it's a story we still tell often, haha!

    1. Thank you Mica! It's indeed a crazy story to tell, and I'm sure we'll telling it often in years to come! xxx

  10. I had one of the Twiggy heads for a while but sold it on. I do have a BIG black and white poster of Twiggy in my kitchen, great black and white by David Bailey purchased from the National Gallery London. She’s next to another wonderful black and white picture of Roger Moore, knocking back a drink and smoking a cigarette, he’s looking to his right, directly at My Twiggy. She was in the audience at an event I went to at the V&A a few years ago. A talk by the marvellous Barbara Hulanicki, one of my all time favourite designers.

    1. Oh, that sounds absolutely amazing! Twiggy AND Barbara Hulanicki! xxx

  11. People must have thought that was the only coat you own..... lol And what a story about the loo, horrible. And just when your boss was visiting! He, or she, had a story to tell at home. Love those brooches, I like the umbrella one the best. We are going to look for a kitten today, as Castor really needs company from another cat. Enjoy your Sunday.

    1. I'm sure they wouldn't have remembered what I was wearing three years ago :-) Did you get a new kitten? xxx

  12. I see cardigans and smile. :-) Have a good week! xxx Regula

  13. It's a hair clip... I was wondering what that was.
    You fur collar and cuffs are gorgeous and is the white cardigan.. so perfect for valentines day.

  14. So fabulous to attend an indoors flea market in January (even if there was not heating on!), I miss indoor charity markets as we haven't had any since before the pandemic.
    Lovely outfit, looking comfy and stylish in your tweed jacket and so fab yellow-mustard shades with the turquoise polo neck and the cute cardigan!.
    And those brooches are to dye for, all of them exquisitely fab, particularly the fisherman's one and that umbrella. Also amazed by the creepy hair clip!, so surrealistic!.
    Lovely brown dress with those green accessories, really eye-catching!
    And so fab charity purchases, love all those cardigans and the cute jumper!
    Still amazed that they had to use a grinder to free you!, usually you just need a screwdriver or even a knife! (yes, been there, done that!). Since I read about your 'adventure', I take my phone with me when going to the bathroom ;DD

    1. Thank you Monica! They did try everything at hand, including knifes and a teaspoon, but they door just wouldn't budge! I've got to remember to take my phone with me! xxx