Friday 27 October 2023

Sunkissed in October

We are well and truly on the slippery slope of Autumn, with October on its way out and November looming menacingly on the horizon. 

Umbrellas and windscreen wipers have been doing overtime this week and sunny spells were so short-lived that they could easily have been missed with a blink of the eye.

All this, however, was still in the future when the first true month of Autumn tiptoed in on Sunday the 1st of October. With forecasted highs of 24°C, it felt more like a Summer's day, although there was no denying the hint of Autumn in the air. 

I have to confess that, apart from the rain and the darkening of the days, I absolutely love this time of year. So, as long as the weather gods find it in their hearts to send us sunny weather, I'm not complaining and I'm certainly game for a walk.

In spite of it being only about half an hour's drive from Dove Cottage, we hadn't been to our beloved Blaasveldbroek since March. In fact, a quick search of my blog revealed that for some reason we hardly ever seem to visit this wonderful nature reserve during the Summer months. 

If I did my sums right, this should be the 19th time you have walked here with me since the early days of my blog in the Spring of 2016.  So do forgive me if some of the sights have become a bit too familiar by now ...

However, we only discovered the path we started Sunday's walk with during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Typically, it happened when we took a wrong turning and got lost. Now, it's almost a given that our walk takes us past the lake with its tiny island, catching the odd tantalizing glimpse through the trees until we reach a boardwalk (above, top left) leading towards a jetty.  

There used to be a bench here, which was ideal for a secluded picnic, or simply for sitting in contemplation of nature. Sadly, it seemed to be leaning ever more precariously with each visit, until it was slowly but surely sinking into the water, and it was ultimately removed.

We stood on the jetty for a while, breathing in lungfuls of spicy Autumnal air and staring across the lake where we spotted the giant sunlounger among the reeds (above, top right).

Giant sunlounger? Well, yes, here it is, its giant proportions duly demonstrated by Jos, who decided to take forty winks!

Meanwhile, I investigated the still abundant flora, noticing in particular those of an invasive nature, like the Crown Vetch (above, bottom right) and Himalayan Balsam (below, top right), the shape of whose flowers have earned them the nickname of 'policeman’s helmet'. Its botanical name, Impatiens glandulifera) is a giveaway of the fact that it is a relative of the humble Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana).

Having finally managed to drag Jos away from the lounger, we continued on our way. We had to take a left turn here instead of continuing on the path which would take us past the crooked poplar tree. Tempting though it was to keep on walking, it would have meant quite a detour and, eventually, a stretch along a tarmacked path on the outskirts of the reserve. 

However, the tree insisted on having its photo taken, which has become something of a tradition.  I have counted no less than eight photos of it on my blog, taken in various seasons over the years. 

Veering left, our walk took us on a long and straight path hemmed in by tall reeds and trees which catch and collect the warmth of the sun. After heavy rainfall, and particularly in Winter, the path can become quite waterlogged, which often - like here, on our last visit in early March - makes it hard to negotiate unless one is wearing wellies.

No such thing now, as it was virtually dry as dust, even the low lying water meadow the path skirts before the heart of the domain is reached.

We passed a patch of Michaelmas daisies which was buzzing with bees and some Sweet Chestnut trees ready to drop their lethal ammunition from a great height.

It was well past midday when we approached the visitor centre. In spite of the rather alarming number of cars in the car park, we hadn't met too many other walkers and the picnic area was all but empty apart from a couple of cyclists taking a break.  Consequently, we had the pick of the picnic tables!

There's another lake with a jetty here, which is just perfect for the obligatory outfit photos.

I was wearing my beloved chambray maxi skirt combined with the Finnish peasant-style blouse I picked up from Think Twice back in July. They were united by one of my chevron patterned stretchy belts and I picked a green wooden Les Cordes necklace charity shopped in the early Summer of 2020.
My sage green suede Mephisto ankle boots turned out to be the perfect choice and didn't suffer from walking in the dewy grass.

In spite of having taken precautions by wearing long sleeves and a pair of tights, I was bitten by a nasty beast yet again. However, I was able to nip it in the bud by applying hydrocortisone cream the minute I got home.

I left Jos sitting on the bench and went exploring the so-called Beaver Island which juts out into the lake. This is basically an adventure playground for children adorned with several otter and beaver related wood carvings. 

From here, I spotted Jos on his bench, but although I called out to him and waved frantically, he couldn't work out my whereabouts. If you squint or zoom in you might spot him sitting there in his orange shirt slightly to the left of the tree.

The remainder of our walk meandered through the woods until we reached the largest of the lakes with its population of water birds of various plumage. It was eerily quiet apart from the occasional quacking of a bickering pair of ducks and the disgruntled clucking of a single moorhen. Soon, the loudly honking Canada geese which overwinter here will be lords and masters of the lake again.

The first week of October brought a sudden drop in temperature, from a sizzling 26°C on Monday to just 20°C with lots of wind and a couple of showers on Tuesday. And although the sun briefly rejoined us on Wednesday, at 17°C it felt decidedly chilly.

Short-sleeved it may be, the knit polyester fabric of this fit and flare dress is perfect to keep the goosebumps at bay at this time of year. With its floral brown, orange and white pattern, there's no denying its 1970s heritage. 

A charity shopped yellow Zoë Loveborn cardigan, squishy moose brooch, orange ring and ditto beaded necklace completed my outfit.

The caramel suede ankle boots I'm wearing were picked up that very day during lunch break. As I casually strolled into high street shop Van Haren, I spotted them sitting on a shelf of bargains.

The same shelf also contained a pair of black mock crock ankle boots, which I ended up buying as well. Surely, at € 20 and € 25 respectively, it would have been a crime not to?

See you soon for another October catch-up!

Saturday 21 October 2023

A bevy of bargains and a booster

It's been a whirlwind of a week, starting with a check-up appointment at the ophthalmologist, followed by a visit from my bosses and ending with a funeral. On top of that, Autumn has decided to stop dragging her feet. With a flick of the wrist, she has made her entrance, almost halving the summery temperatures we'd been enjoying without so much as a by-your-leave. And that's before mentioning the soul-sapping rain, relentless and neverending at times, but thankfully nothing compared to Storm Babet which has been battering parts of Northern Europe.

But my blog is running hopelessly behind and has only just reached the last week of September, which is why, incongruously as it might seem, I am still wearing my Summer frocks. 

The thermometer still refused to duck below the 20°C mark, which I made the most of by reaching for those dresses which were still rattling around, unworn, in my wardrobe.

This one's another charity shopped King Louie. I love its waffle fabric and its smattering of orangey red and off-white berries on a midnight blue background. I wore it on a weekday when the mercury would climb to a balmy 24°C.

Apart from my red Kiarflex shoes and blue perspex ring, all my accessories were of the white variety. Both the carved plastic necklace and the portrait of a lady brooch were found at various flea markets, while my pleated leather belt was a charity shop find.

But even if the weather gods had kept the fires burning, they seemed to be in a tiff about whether to treat us to sunshine, grey skies or showers, which is why we often had them all in one day.

The days were noticeably getting shorter too, with daybreak arriving a couple of minutes later each day.

Look at that army of dark indigo clouds, with the orange glow of the rising sun behind them. This was snapped at the garage complex on our way to work one morning. Our garage box, by the way, is located at the back of the creeper-clad building, which used to be the premises of a lemonade factory.

As Think Twice had started another one of their famous sales, when everything in the shop is gradually reduced day by day until  € 1 day is reached, I spent my lunch breaks visiting four out of the five Think Twice shops Antwerp is blessed with.

On Monday, € 6 day, I found these two treasures which, incidentally, are a perfect match. The skirt, in a patterned velvety fabric, shows every indication of having been handmade. The sage green blouse with its dotted and dashed burgundy and forest green stripes was made in Sweden and is from a label called ST Martinez, which I couldn't find anything about online. Not that I looked for very long ...

Nothing came home with me on Tuesday's foray a bit further afield and Wednesday's rummaging opportunities were scuppered by a hairdresser's appointment. 

By the time Thursday rolled along, everything was down to € 4. I met up with Inez for our weekly cappuccinos and catch-up at the T2 coffee corner, after which we went shopping like we did in the good old Pre-Covid days. We were both successful, as Inez managed to find a flapper style dress and a plaid skirt in shop # 1, while I pounced on this groovilicious pussy-bow blouse in shop # 2. 

I'm forever vowing to stop buying coats and jackets, but Inez insisted I try on, and subsequently buy this glorious double-breasted tailor-made textured wool jacket. Not that I needed much persuasion, as I fell hard for its Autumnal green and burnt orange colour scheme - the photos, taken inside on a dark day don't really do it justice - and just look at those gorgeous buttons!

Although I'm a bit stingy with the handful of days of annual leave Iv'e got left for this year, I'd decided to take Friday off that week. That must have peeved the weather gods, though, as the day was mostly cloudy, with just the odd sunny spell and a few scattered showers.

In fact, it felt quite Autumnal, even if at 22°C it was more than warm enough to wear this lightweight viscose dress, a bargain from the C&A Winter sales in 2017.

I picked up all the colours in the dress's William Morris style pattern, starting with white for my belt - the same one as in this post's first outfit - and vintage flower brooch. My mustard cardigan matches the pops of mustard in the pattern almost exactly, while pink was represented by my necklace as well as the cardigan's pink buttons. 

On my feet, the Mary-Jane style shoes I snapped up at Think Twice the other week. They are actually a much brighter shade of green which my camera appears to have a problem capturing. Here, they almost seem match the teal bits in the dress. 

The ring on the bottom left has pale green bits floating in transluscent glass and was picked up at Kruidvat, the Low Countries' equivalent of Superdrug!

After breakfast, Jos went and did his good deed for the day by walking into the village and picking up and delivering a newspaper for our elderly ex-neighbour.  Meanwhile, I bit the bullet and started the lengthy process of my biannual wardrobe swap-over by exchanging about one third of my Spring/Summer dresses for their  Autumn/Winter sisters.

Needless to say, I had help from Miss Bess!

Then Jos came back saying he’d been to the apothecary to enquire about making an appointment for his Covid booster jab. As luck would have it, it was one of their "jabbing days" and as there wasn't a queue, he was able to get it done straightaway. What’s more, they said I could come in too, if I was there before 12. I made a dash for it, but had to change into something more accessible first. I would have had to semi-undress if I'd kept wearing my C&A frock! Anyway, that’s both our booster jabs done!

Our plans for the afternoon consisted of a visit to the charity shop on the outskirts of Mechelen. However, we found our usual route interrupted by roadworks and couldn't make sense of the suggested diversions. As by that time it was raining torrentially, we decided to drive back home and make do with our local edge-of-town charity shop.

A fluffy orange cardigan and a funky pair of Zara trousers - which was hiding among the nightwear - ended up in my basket.

Saturday saw a return of the sun, even if the temperature dropped a couple of degrees to 20°C.

The Diolen dress I'm wearing had been patiently waiting its turn since I brought it home from Think Twice in July. I also gave my navy flapper-style shoes a final outing before packing them away until next year.

The rest of my accessories - apart from the blue and white striped perspex ring - were of the red variety: a charity shopped vinyl belt and beaded necklace, and one of my cat brooches from Katty's Katshop in Antwerp.

After lunch, we decided to have another go at reaching the charity shop in Mechelen, as the alternative route looked quite straightforward when I'd looked it up online. And guess what: we made it, without getting lost even once!

It was definitely worth the effort as finds were plentiful. First up, this vintage maxi skirt with its bold floral pattern. It's by Coronet Modell, which I believe is German. Again, trawling the Internet didn't have the desired result. 

Love at first sight for the silky polyester blouse with its striking yet mysterious white pattern on a black background. Its label says Femina, and apparently it was sold in a boutique in Graz, Austria.

I ummed and ahed over this handmade vintage skirt, but in the end I simply found its naive picket fence and flower print irresistible.

En route à la maison, we stopped at the tiny charity shop in the neighbouring village of Reet.

Here, the clothing rails were full to bursting and even contained one or two very covetable vintage pieces, which sadly enough were far too small. 

Not vintage, but from the sustainable Belgian Froy & Dind label, is the cobalt blue wrap dress with patterned blue, red and white hem, on the left. The floral tea dress on the right is by Monsoon, the very first item from that label I've ever come across in a Belgian charity shop. Both were mine for a snippet of the original retail price.

Phew, that's September all wrapped up, sot that I can finally start blogging about October in my next post. We might even have squeezed in the odd walk.

See you again soon!

Sunday 15 October 2023

In search of lost time

Time has once again been slipping through my fingers and my mind is reeling from the fact that almost a month has gone by since the events I'm writing about in this post. But here I am, having a lunch break coffee and catch-up with my friend Inez on Wednesday the 20th of September.

This is the coffee corner in Antwerp's latest and largest Think Twice shop, which opened its doors back in January and which, being only a couple of minutes' walk from my office, is our go-to place for meeting up, perhaps followed by a quick rummage if time allows. You can see the rails of clothes in the background of the photo on the top left and the shop's till on the far left of the one on the bottom right. 

I was wearing green and lilac that day, topped with my orange leather jacket which is draped over the back of my chair. Both the fruit patterned frock and the jacket were Think Twice finds once upon a time. 

My lilac cardigan was charity shopped and I needed both it and the lilac cat printed scarf I got from my friend Inneke to combat the draught which drifted in from the open door. I would be surprised if the temperature reached the forecasted 22°C that day, as it felt quite Autumnal, with an impenetrable layer of grey clouds and lots of wind.

But I was wearing a big smile as that week I'd finally taken the first steps towards officially working only a 4-day week! There's a system here in Belgium where, from age 60 onwards, one has the opportunity to opt for a so-called landingsbaan (landing job) with 1/5 time credit until retirement and with an additional allowance from the government. I already got the necessary permission from my boss and all that needs to be done now is fill in a sheaf of documents and send them off to the authorities. After the official period of six months I will automatically have my Fridays off without having to use up my holiday allowance. Can't wait for the 1st of April to come around! 

Until then, I'll have to grit my teeth and alternately work 5-day weeks and take up some of my precious - and seriously dwindling - time off. Which is exactly what I did on Friday the 22nd of September.

At barely 17°C, it was decidedly chilly, the upside being that it remained mostly dry until late in the afternoon. Long sleeves, layers and ankle boots to the rescue!

After a morning of pottering, our usual Friday rummage at the charity shops was on the menu. In order to get into the charity shop goddesses' good books, my outfit mainly consisted of charity shopped items.

Both the skirt - which is Essentiel Antwerp! - and the label-less pink floral blouse were found earlier this year, while the holy grail green suede Van Dalen ankle boots were snapped up in February 2021.

The pink beaded necklace was yet another charity shop find, even if I can't remember where or when. In fact, only the pink belt and the green heart brooch are the odd ones out here. Both were retail buys, the brooch doubling as a holiday souvenir as it was bought in Cardigan in June 2017.

The day's itinerary took us the charity shops in Mortsel and Lier, and while finds weren't exactly plentiful, they were enough to sate our rummaging urges.

First up is this gorgeous red cotton jumper patterned with blue and white triangles and rectangles. It's by Nathalie Vleeschouwer - a Belgian designer with Antwerp roots - and had apparently escaped the shop personnel's notice, as it was priced at the usual € 5,90 for jumpers. It would have retailed at around € 150.

A green Summer blazer by the - yet again Belgian - Green Ice label ended up in my basket as well. I love the charm details on one of the lapels. It's going to be a nice surprise unearthing this next Spring!

With the range of available non-alcoholic beers growing steadily, we are always on the lookout for the correct glasses the serve them in. After sampling the non-alcoholic version of Chouffe at Jos's son and daughter-in-law back in July, the beer has slowly but surely become a favourite. Brewed at the Achouffe Brewery in the Province of Luxemburg in Wallonia, Belgium's French speaking region, the beer's mascot is a gnome called Marcel. 

After fruitlessly searching for the typical glasses featuring the gnome, Jos finally found not just one, but two of the elusive glasses!

Back at home, I caught up with blogland and published a blog post. Then, after dinner, we watched an episode of the Belgian version of Celebrity MasterChef we'd recorded earlier that week.

Although we were treated to the odd sunny spell on Saturday, the mercury didn't climb higher than 18°C that day. 

The ideal conditions for wearing my Nathalie Vleeschouwer jumper! I even found it its perfect partner in a geometrically patterned circle skirt, charity shopped in December 2019. The skirt is somebody's quirky handiwork, with a visible red side zipper and featuring random felt circles and patches of visible stitching. 

A blue beaded necklace, early plastic white and grey swallow brooch, blue glass ring and red Camper shoes completed my outfit: all second-hand finds except for the ring.

We went around to Jos's son and daughter-in-law, Kris and Carolien, in the morning, mainly to see grandson Cas, whom we hadn't seen for far too long. Oh my, how he has grown! Hard to believe he'll be going to preschool in January!

Then, after lunch, we drove to the three-story charity shop in Duffel, where we hadn’t been since god knows when due to extensive roadworks making the shop nearly impossible to reach. Following the instructions on their Facebook page, we finally made it there, getting lost only the once!

Being a Saturday, it was reasonably busy, so I made a quick round of the rails. This burgundy King Louie shirt dress sprinkled with tiny teal and white flowers was a no-brainer. It came with a tie belt, but obviously I'll be wearing it with a contrasting belt from my stash.

Drawing the curtains on Sunday morning, we were greeted by a gorgeous Autumn day. The sun would be shining non-stop and, at 20°C the weather couldn't have been more perfect for our plans that morning. We were meeting up with Inneke and Maurice for a stroll in our favourite park, Middelheim.

We'd agreed to meet at 10.30 but were caught up in traffic due to a funfair taking place in our village. Then we spent a silly amount of time finding a parking spot as cricket championships were being held on the cricket ground near the park. So, we were several minutes late when we walked past Misconceivable (2010), the crooked boat created by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm.

Inneke and Maurice were waiting for us in a sunny spot near one of the sculpture park's most popular works, Polar Bear by the French artist François Pompon (1855-1933), who started out working as an assistant for Rodin among others. This work marked François Pompon’s first success at the 1922 Salon d’Automne in Paris. Middelheim Museum owns the third copy, while the original is in Musée d’Orsay in Paris. 

The little snail seemed to have taken a liking to it, and the feeling might very well have been mutual, as the bear seemed to glad to be wearing it like a brooch!

We went for a short stroll, noting that the park was still in some disarray due to the ongoing reshuffle. In fact, I've just read on their website that some parts of the park are temporarily closed due to major earthworks.

Our feet, all of which seemed to be in agreement, took us firmly to one of our favourite parts of the park: the open air depot, where sculptures who once used to grace Antwerp's public spaces are enjoying their retirement. Or are they?

During the reshuffle, these open air depot habitués are joined by works of art which have been temporarily moved here from their former locations in the park.

Among them some of my all-time favourites, like Running Girl (above, bottom centre). Dating from 1976, her creator was the Czech sculptor Kurt Gebauer (b. 1941).

And then there's the quite menacing Manifestanti (Demonstrators), dating from 1957, and by the Slovenian sculptor Drago Tršar, who passed away in April shortly before his 96th birthday.

The rather timid Ursula (1965), with her sensible overcoat and time-worn handbag, seems to be quite unperturbed by it all. She was born from the imagination of the Spanish sculptor Julio L. Hernandez (1930-2018).

We finished our stroll with a drink at the museum café - cappuccinos and apple and pear cake for Jos and me - after which we said goodbye to Inneke and Maurice. 

Then we returned to our car in a roundabout way, having a peek through the windows of the Braem Pavillion, which regularly hosts exhibitions but was now unfortunately closed.

Immediately opposite the pavillion, the colourful group of sculptures called Bosque Metalica (Wood of Metal) has found its new place in the park. Consisting of eight separate elements in black, green, orange and yellow, the sculptures are by Jorge Dubon (Mexico), who created them in 1971.

I added more colour with my Diolen dress in a glorious mix of Autumnal colours to which I pinned an orange metal flower brooch which was gifted to me by the lovely Kezzie when we met up with her and her husband in Bruges back in February.

Both my orange cardigan from retro label Zoë Loveborn and my sage green Mephisto boots were charity shop finds.

I've got a busy week ahead of me, with a visit from the bosses, but I'll do my best to catch up with your lovely blogs whenever I've got a moment. See you soon!

Monday 9 October 2023

The green shoes

Still surfing on that September heatwave, we arrived home around midday on Sunday the 10th of September. 

As we'd asked our faithful catsitter Maurice to keep blinds and curtains semi-closed downstairs, it felt relatively cool as we entered the house. As expected, however, it was a completely different story upstairs, where the thermometer gleefully told us we were in for a sweltering night.

It was a good thing I still had two days at home before I had to go back to the office, so that we could leave the unpacking for another day. Besides, we had more urgent things to do, as Bess was clearly over the moon to see us and insisted we catch up on cuddles. 

On Monday morning, we came back to earth with a bang. And you can take that quite literally too! We were woken by an army of workers digging up the pavement in order to lay fast fibre. The contrast with our quiet west country cottage couldn't have been greater!

Under normal circumstances, I would only have taken Monday off and gone back to work on Tuesday. However, seeing that Tuesday the 12th of September was my birthday, that would have been a bit too painful. But even if it was my birthday and I had the day off, I was still suffering from the inevitable bout of post-holiday blues. It seems to be getting worse the older I get, too.

In order to alleviate the latter, birthday girl was wearing her recently charity shopped Wow To Go frock. Both the big green bird on a branch brooch she'd pinned to it and the red beaded necklace she'd picked that morning were charity shopped too, while the sandals were a sales bargain a couple of years ago.

The temperature was down to 21°C on Wednesday, which was just fine for my eventual return the office. I needn't have worried, as things had been rather quiet while I was away. Consequently, catching up was a doddle, although I still had to trawl through 700+ emails.

Red, black, grey and a tiny bit of pink were the main components of my outfit that day. 

I started with the vintage faux patchwork skirt, originally from C&A, but found at Think Twice in July 2021. The red top with its sprinkling of white flowers is King Louie by way of a charity shop. My red belt was charity shopped as well, while the necklace and butterfly brooch were flea market finds.

I hadn't been to Think Twice for absolutely ages, nor did I find something which even remotely tickled my fancy on the rare occasions when I'd made it to one of their shops during my lunch breaks. So, I couldn't be happier when I walked into the second nearest shop to my office and my eyes instantly zoomed in to this gorgeous long-sleeved Trevira fit and flare dress.

Flush with my success, I ventured a bit further afield on Thursday but neither of the Think Twice shops I visited that day delivered in the least.  The stock in both shops was rather uninspiring, with rail after rail of dark-hued stuff, lots of jumpers and oodles of jeans, with only a measly rail of skirts and dresses. Are we all supposed to wear trousers in Autumn and Winter, I wonder? And god forbid that we should wear any bright colours to brighten up the dark days ahead of us!

Anyway, I digress! On my way back to the office, I spotted the skirt on the left in the window of an outlet shop for the Belgian Green Ice label, and promptly fell in love. At 50% off everything, I also snapped up the burnt orange cord skirt - the photo doesn't really do the colour justice - on the right. 

The temperature was on the up again by Friday, when we were treated to 24°C. The perfect conditions for wearing the butterfly sleeved floral Diolen frock which had been hanging ready for wear since before our little getaway. 

I accessorized it with a blue belt with green stitching (sales bargain), a green beaded necklace (charity shopped) and a green-based Cameo brooch (flea market find).

My pale green and white wooden soled slingbacks are by the Spanish ART label, and were a bargain from a shoe outlet shop near my office in May 2022. They are in the running for most comfortable Summer footwear ever!

A long and leisurely lunch break saw me having a cappuccino fuelled catch-up at the Think Twice coffee corner with my friend Inez. I couldn't get over the fact that they've got their own homemade and personalized biscuits!

But wait a minute, I can hear some of you think. What about the green shoes of your post title?

Well, Inez and I were nattering away when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a rather covetable pair of flat green Mary-Jane type shoes perched on a footstool in the shop's window. Tentatively, I tiptoed closer and gingerly lifted them from their perch, my heart making a happy leap when I saw they were my size. After trying them on to make sure, I took them to the till, where I was told - wait for it - that I couldn't have them. Turned out that they weren't allowed to sell items from the shop window until the next sales rolled along. No amount of arguing from my side made them see sense so there was nothing for it but to return - inwardly seething - to our table.

All weekend, I was plotting my course of action. I would go back to the shop on Monday, take them to the till again, hand over the money owed and walk out of the shop with them. After all, what could they possibly have done?

I'm fast-forwarding to Monday, as I couldn't possibly leave you in suspense for long, when my lunch break found me walking to the shop. Taking a deep breath, I looked in the window, only to find those lovely green shoes replaced by a pair of black boots! Damn! When I looked again, I couldn't help thinking that the whole window seemed to have been re-done. So, hoping against hope, I made my way inside the shop and towards the shoe display. And there they were! Mine, all mine!

But that was Monday, which for all intents and purposes isn't part of the subject matter of this post. So, let's rewind to Saturday.

The mercury had climbed a further two degrees by now and the day's 26°C called for another Summer dress which had been waiting on the sidelines for a while. 

In fact, the dress with its squiggly green stripes and solid white collar and cuffs originated from the same shop as the green shoes. Here I am, casually modelling it in front of the green door belonging to the museum of folklore a bit further along our street.

I opted for pink to accompany it, in the form of a pink belt - a sales bargain, bought at the same time as the blue one in my previous outfit - and a charity shopped beaded necklace and squishy flamingo brooch.

After a lie-in and a morning of pottering, we were off for a rummage at the edge of town charity shop.

Although it was a bit busy for my liking, I spent a happy hour or so browsing the rails. As if to make up for the green shoe debacle, which at that time I didn't know would end so well, the charity shop goddesses were on their best behaviour.

Starting with my best find: how could I possibly resist this vintage Summer dress in a sturdy printed cotton edged with red piping? One of its buttons was hanging on by a thread and it was missing a belt, both of which were easily remedied.

The short-sleeved red tricot top with flower appliqué is vintage too, while the floaty floral pleated maxi skirt is from Vero Moda.

Finally, there was this green sleeveless dress, which was clearly some clever girl's handiwork. It fit me like a glove, although I did have to take in the armholes just a little bit. 

As it might have been the last occasion to do so before packing it away for the season, I already wore it on Sunday. 

The weather gods, who seemed to be playing with the temperature like a yo-yo, had decided on a return to Friday's 24°C. Nevertheless it felt quite stifling, particularly when the sun hid behind a band of clouds in the afternoon. 

The haori-style cover-up I charity shopped in the Spring was the perfect layering piece. On my feet, a pair of Miz Mooz slingbacks which were last Summer's charity shop find.

A sales bargain orange necklace, an orange and green mottled brooch found on a flea market and a multicoloured pleated leather belt which I've had for absolutely ages completed my outfit.

So, that was it for now. I'll be back with another September catch-up shortly. See you again soon!