Thursday 30 November 2023

56 Years and 359 Days!

Where on earth has the last week gone? 

We spent a large part of Saturday tackling the leaves. Whilst Jon dealt with the driveway, I cleared the pavement that runs alongside our fence - a 100m stretch - sweeping them into the gutter and making sure the drains were clear. Despite looking like the Wreck of the Hesperus in my bobble hat & combats I still had to endure predatory men kerb crawling and beeping their car horns. Honest to god, do they really think I'm flattered? 

On Sunday we popped out to the clearance charity shop and spent the afternoon doing housework. 

I wore a 1960s beagle collar all-wool maxi with a vintage embroidered suede jacket and a Monsoon fedora along with some Kuchi earrings and an Arts & Crafts brooch from 1901 (snaffled for £3.03 on eBay a fortnight ago)

On Monday a friend & I assisted a chap who'd recently inherited a large amount of jewellery, sorting through it to ensure that there wasn't anything of great value before it was sent to auction. There were a few pretty pieces but I was very good and didn't offer to take anything off his hands. 

I wore one of my vintage Afghan dresses with a sheepskin waistcoat, some Kuchi earrings and a Rabari dowry necklace bought in India almost a quarter of a century ago.

Tuesday kicked off with an early morning swim followed by breakfast at Wetherspoons and a mooch around the town centre charity shops. Back at home, with Lord Jon's assistance, I touched up my roots, it had been 6 weeks since I'd last done them but as I'm getting progressively lighter with my hair colour the regrowth isn't that noticeable any more.

I didn't get round to posing in Tuesday's outfit so here's a flatlay (that's hip kid speak for photographing your clothes on the floor). Charity shopped from head to toe, I wore a 1970s Suede & Leathercraft Ltd coat, Yasmin Le Bon for Wallis pendant, Piccadilly for Paskal Italian-made leather boots, a River Island felt fedora and a satin maxi dress with flared sleeves which was originally from Zara but snaffled from the clearance charity shop on Sunday morning for £3.

I haven't used a hairdryer in years, when I wash my hair I plait it and leave it to dry overnight. For a change I wrapped my newly dyed hair around this Night Waves band I found in a charity shop a couple of years ago (Claire's have them in their sale for £1.50 HERE). It looks a bit strange but it stays put when I'm in bed and the waves it creates are a nice change to my usual Pre-Raphaelite crimped locks.

Jon's been part of the NHS's Grail Trial for the last three years and Wednesday morning marked his final blood taking (you can read more about the trial HERE). Once he got back we popped over to our favourite Black Country town for some charity shopping. I wore a vintage Louis Caring maxi dress (if my friend Max is reading this she'll recognise it) along with a navy thermal polo neck, vintage felt hat and my trusty Afghan. With sub-zero temperatures, it was a bitterly cold day but at least the Midlands avoided the snow that dusted Scotland & the North.

As I never expected to own an it bag, I'm reluctant to let this navy leather croc embossed Victoria Beckham tote bag go especially as I'm also called Victoria B so it's got my name written all over it. 

It originally retailed at over £3000 (HERE) - I paid £3!

I also wore a 1960s gilt chain belt and a pair of enamel and brass earrings bought from FabIndia in Mumbai back in 2020. 

With another bastard cold start to the day, today (Thursday) I dug out this early 1960s embossed silk cheong-san bought from a house clearance stall at a car boot sale over a decade ago. It's quilted, lined with feathers and astonishingly warm plus that additional padding gives me an arse like Kim Kardashian's! Before you say it, no I've never watched the show either but I've seen photos of her online.

After this morning's swim and 'Spoons breakfast Jon did a tip run whilst I tackled more of the leaves. I've put the eBay shop on holiday for a week so with the time I usually spend photographing and listing stock I've been curled up in the lounge reading.

I've dropped into wartime Belgium to accompany English Intelligence officer, Kay Connelly whilst she locates Nazi Germany's rockets, launched from occupied Holland and wreaking havoc in London in Robert Harris's V2; I've followed the incredibly brave real life Secret Operations Executive, Noor Inayat Khan as she transmitted hundreds of radio messages to the London from occupied France before being captured and murdered by the Nazis at Dachau (Code Name Madeleine by Arthur J Magida is on loan from my friend, Nikki) and I'm now in 17th century Madrid with celebrated artist Diego Velazquez sampling life in the court of King Philip IV of Spain with Amy Sackville's Painter to the King

I once read a blog post accusing fiction lovers of having empty lives and reading to escape their reality.  I don't know about you but I read to enhance my life not to escape from it. 

Until a few months ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have considered setting foot in a branch of Sports Direct but with my reignited passion for swimming I've popped in for goggles and left impressed with their range of women's sportswear. These Slazenger performance swimsuits (unlike fashion ones, these won't get ruined by chlorine) have been reduced to clear - the geo print is down from £29.99 to £6 and the retro floral down from £33.99 to £10.99. 

This is what 57 looks like (well, 56 and 359 days!), I reach that epic milestone next week!

Don't worry I haven't completely sold my soul to the devil, the circular economy is where my heart belongs. Here's this week's secondhand finds....

Clockwise from top left: Contemporary Nicole Farhi tweed & velvet jacket; Cape Cornwall recycled sari silk kimono; 1970s Maurice Henri velvet waistcoat & midi skirt suit; 1980s Mushroom by Perlei boned cocktail dress; River Island denim chores jacket (now in Jon's wardrobe); 1980s mohair hand knit; Monsoon fake fur gilet; vintage 1960s gents Afghan; 1970s Dereta printed velvet jacket; 1970s old skool sports top; Reversible felted wool hooded poncho ( made in Nepal). 

Clockwise from top left: 1980s leather belt with novelty Swiss watch buckle; 3 x beaded evening bags (made in India); 1980s English sheepskin hat; Pink leather gloves; 1960s vinyl handbag; Italian leather & pewter puckle hip belt; Nepali cap; Harris Tweed & leather gloves (now Jon's); Italian red leather hip belt; Vintage Mexican leather cowboy boots; Elbow length vinyl gloves and wool beret with sequin bow.

I found these two unworn Wonderbras marked up at £1.50 in the underwear basket yesterday and excitedly handed over my £3. As they're labelled Made in the UK and are manufactured by Gossard they're over thirty years old and therefore officially vintage (Gossard lost their licence to manufacture Wonderbras in 1994). Back in the day I used to go out clubbing in a hot pink Wonderbra, platform boots and leather hot pants - thankfully that was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people rarely took photos on nights out!

These feats of engineering really are a wonder, they even give me, Ms AA Cup, an impressive cleavage!

I'm escaping the UK for a few days and celebrating my birthday in the sunshine. (Don't worry, this little monster will be well cared for in our absence.)

Thanks for reading, see you on the other side.