Friday, 18 November 2016

What Lies Beneath



Now, here's a dilemma. What's a maxi lovin' girl supposed to wear over her dresses when Britain is in the grip of winter? My cropped fake furs look fine but freeze my arse off and midi length coats just don't look right. I was desperate to crack open the wardrobe and give Sunday's Stockport finds an outing but didn't want to risk hypothermia.

WEARING: Dress made from the remnants of my culotte dress & my trusty 1971 Living dressmaking pattern; Original 1960s go-go boots (Ker-rang's vintage car boot sale, 2011); Swirly lurex psychedelic tights (present from a friend); Early Liberty of London silk scarf (car boot sale)
I've made a few mini dresses specifically to wear under mid-length coats (this green crushed velvet number being the latest) but sometimes only a maxi will do.


Fortunately the goddess of charity shopping was looking down on me and, on a visit to the shop our friend Ellen manages, she pointed me in the direction of this Verona of London 1960s maxi coat. British-made with pockets and a hood, 100% wool, fully lined and loads cheaper than anything available on the High Street. What's not to love? Yes, it's black but hopefully the Greek Key gold lurex braiding stops me looking like a clone from Commuterville. Those days are well and truly over.


I like that the buttons finish mid-thigh so you get a cheeky glimpse of psychedelia when I'm walking.


So, all wrapped up and ready to brave the icy conditions, we walked into town for our annual eye tests and some freezer bags, string & soda crystals from Wilko (I know, we're just so goddamn rock'n'roll) Afterwards, mission accomplished, we popped into The New Art Gallery to catch Oliver Jones' "Divine" before it closed.

Eva Rothschild  "Alternative to Power"
We regularly drop in but as I rarely carry my camera when I'm out shopping, fail to mention it on the blog. I was thrilled to read this post by Thrift Deluxe who made a two hour journey last weekend just to visit The New Art Gallery. Many people are amazed that Walsall has a world class art gallery but contrary to popular belief, the Midlands aren't a cultural wasteland.

Divine by Oliver Jones

Laundered, steamed, stitched and stashed away in the Kinky Shed, here's the rest of this week's vintage finds. Needless to say we also brought back paperback books, old school vinyl and numerous dance CDs, singing along to R Kelly's Ignition all the way home on Wednesday.

Clockwise from top left: Hand knitted jumper; St Michael wool blazer; Veronica for Rembrandt catsuit (which came with a see thru' over-dress); Silver Dollar rhinestone encrusted cowboy shirt; Gold lame pencil skirt; Quilted nylon jacket; Tooled leather bag; Suedette Italian-made bomber jacket; English-made fringed Western-style jacket; Burton Tailoring three-button blazer; Shannon of Walsall 100% wool pea coat.
We've got Saturday and Sunday off, that's the second free weekend this month! I've no idea what we're going to do but hopefully it might involve alcohol and pubs.

WEARING: 1960s Verona of London maxi coat (PDSA, Wellington), Vintage Pakistani velvet tote bag (Jumble sale)

Thank you so much for supporting Walsall and signing the petitions. You're all fabulous!

Have an ace weekend and see you on the other side

79 comments:

  1. I have an abaya that looks just like your maxi coat. It's made of kashibo or something though. I feel like an Arabian princess wearing (with loads of kohl kajal).
    I'm in love with those go go boots with the green velvet dress!
    xox

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    1. It does look very Arabian, doesn't it? I was looking at the abayas on the market but they were all either grey or beige, not a good colour on me!
      Those boots were a hear-stopping find a few years back, I still get emails asking if I'd sell them. No way! xxx

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  2. wonderful coat. You could never look like a commuter. Love a good art gallery, I'm happy to work in a building that has one. I pop in from time to time when I need a break from sewing

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    1. That's a relief! I'd hate to be mistaken for a normal person!
      Art does make for a wonderful diversion. If I'm ever having a bad day, I'll run into the gallery just to look at a couple of my favourite pieces. xxx

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  3. you are right about the Paintings in the Art Gallery , I was suprised when we visited although its not a place we go usually i think its on par with London Art Gallery's well worth a visit if you are out of the Area , If people combined this with the leather Museum and the black country museum it would be a good Day out , Loving the black coat and bag xxx

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    1. We do have some decent attractions, don't we? The Arboretum is fantastic, too. The visitor's centre cafe is absolutely rammed at lunchtime. xxx

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  4. It is quite weird seeing you all in black, but then it's a great foil for a cheeky glimpse of bright that'll flash thru'! And you look incredibly chic in it too! The green velvet mini is fab too. Have a great kick-back weekend.
    Zxx

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    1. I often feel like wearing black will render me invisible but I got a lot of compliments to town yesterday so it must be okay.
      Jewellery untangled, leaves raked, borders and pots tidied up, washing basket empty and big wardrobe tidy - and it's still only Saturday! xxx

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  5. You will NEVER look like a clone from commuterville. Love your new coat. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Em! Practical and glam, it's a keeper. xxx

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  6. I've enjoyed both yours and Thrift Deluxe's posts about Walsall. Love learning about other places.
    Arilx

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    1. Thanks, Aril! Blogging is wonderful for introducing us to new places, isn't it? xxx

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  7. that was an amazing find and I would have fought you for it lol,,,,,
    the bag you carry with it is also beautiful,,

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! I'm glad we're separated by an ocean....I'm a lover not a fighter. xxx

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  8. What a coat! It is raining and howling tday so I'm envious. Glad you saw Thrift Deluxes post
    Museums rock.

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    1. Thank you! That sounds like the day we had on Thursday, some parts of the Midlands even got hit by a tornado! Stay warm! xxx

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  9. That coat looks like it was made for you! I love the silhouette of a good maxi coat, you look fab. I'm always blown away at the things you find in charity shops, unfortunately it's nothing but years old grotty Primark at this end of the country.

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    1. Thanks, Freya! Sometimes I'm amazed with the things I find. Living in an unhip place and being smaller than the average women is a huge advantage! xxx

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  10. YOU a clone from commuterville? arf arf! Blimey, your new maxi coat is just gorgeous, Ellen obviously knows you well. I've been looking for a new coat, without success, modern ones are so thin and mostly drab so I've an eye out for a warm vintage replacement. Your bag is a superb accessory.
    Never for one moment did I think the Midlands were a cultural wasteland, it has produced so much talent. Ta for showing us some amazing art. Enjoy your boozy weekend. xx

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    1. Ha! You're right, I never fitted in very well when I was one.
      Modern coats are terrible. They often look great in The Guardian fashion pages but end up thin and rubbish in reality. xxx

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  11. That is the ultimate coat-it will go with everything. I don't think anyone will mistake you for a commuter.

    I have a collection of coats that are never quite what I need, so I've started wearing a thermals under my dresses-but your coat is much more chic.

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    1. I'm a thermals under dresses woman, too! I wore some hideous vintage blue long johns under my outfit last Sunday and had to keep hoisting the bloody things up as the crotch kept descending to my knees. It's a good job I'm not single, my antics would never attract anyone. xxx

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  12. That coat comes from the hand of the gods, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I have fallen for those amazing burgundy boots you are wearing with the short dess.
    Here is also getting cooler, and by cooler I mean 16-17 degrees, hahhahaha. We only have a little heater in one of the rooms ( on and off) and one thin blanket in bed. We are hoping for some real cold to kill the nest of the tiger modquitoes, hahahhaha.
    Much love, my dear friend and inspiration.
    May the alcohol be with you

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    1. 16 - 17 degrees? When we have temperatures like that in August Brits on Facebook moan that they're too hot (I was born in the wrong country!) xxx

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  13. OMG - the charity shop gods love you, Vix! What an absolutely fabulous coat and I just love the Greek key detail. I thought it was an abaya at first (I do like them, too). You look absolutely stunning in the coat and what a wonderful match the beautiful tote bag is.

    Clever old you making mini dresses out of what was left from your maxi culotte dress; loved the Victorian button type boots with it. Some brilliant stock finds again.

    Enjoy your free weekend - pubs and alcohol sound good to me! There's a new Scandi series on BBC 4 starting this week - I think...

    xxxxxxx

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. I was so excited, I can tell you. It's give my entire wardrobe a new leash of life.
      I can't seem to find anything Scandi on the Beeb. Deep water, the Aussie thriller, is pretty good. xxx

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  14. Ooh I do love that outfit and for one thing, you'll never look like a Commuterville clone! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

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    1. Thanks, VK! Hope you have a fab weekend, too! xxx

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  15. I absolutely love that bag. I have a similar coat but without the gold, it's quite gothy looking but when I got it out to wear today the fasteners were broken, so I need to do a repair job before I can wear it. Xx

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    1. Oh I hate it when I put something away when it needs mending. Your coat sounds fab and can easily be blinged up if needs be! xxx

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  16. Fantastic coat! I'm surprised that they don't start making maxi coats again with all the maxi dresses out there! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! I was looking at some of the hijabi stalls on the market as they sell full length coats. The styling is pretty good but the quality wasn't! xxx

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  17. Well you solved the conundrum of what to wear over mini, midi and maxi-dresses!! The weather here in Thunder Bay, Ontario is most unpleasant. It's sleeting down bastard icy, snow granules. The ice-coated snow stings when it hits your face. There are numerous vehicle collisions as commuters try to get home. Me? I have the luxury of going to the gym. Where I plan to stay until the rush hour traffic sorts itself out.

    Stay warm!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. No! Not bastard snow and ice already! That's no fun. We've been told that we're going to have a harsh winter (we've escaped for the last few years) but some parts of the country had snow yesterday. Boo! I hate it. xxx

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  18. Nice coat! It's quite perfect for what you needed. Looks very nice on you.

    That artwork looks amazing. Must have been stunning to see in person. Here's hoping that your gallery gets to remain open.

    Wishing you a great weekend! xo

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    1. Thanks, Louise! We do get some excellent artists exhibiting. Even if people don't "get" contemporary art it's always worth a visit. xxx

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  19. Very classy lady coat - and not at all a commuter look. One must stay warm!

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    1. One must stay warm and I did in my new old coat! Thank you. xxx

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  20. Hi Vix, your coat is giving me major fabulous witchy vibes! That's great that you got to made a mini dress from the left over velvet material. Your bouffant pony tail looks amazing. How did you do it? I've been feeling bored with my hairstyle for a while, and would love to do something similar to how you've done yours. Xxx

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    1. Hi Jess and thank you! My hair was more luck than planning but this tutorial is pretty much how I did mine. I used dry shampoo to give it a bit more body before I put it up. xxx
      http://www.howcast.com/videos/510286-how-to-do-a-high-ponytail-long-hairstyles/

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  21. Your bag goes perfectly with the coat = gorgeous. xx

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    1. A sign that coat was waiting just for me! xxx

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  22. Love the bag and coat together.

    I have been telling everyone this week all about the gallery, and asked them to check out the petition, thanks for the mention!

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    1. My pleasure! I was thrilled to see Walsall getting a positive mention. Thank you so much for signing the petition. It would be a sad loss if we lost our gallery. xxx

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  23. That psychedelic maxi is marvellous and how good of your friend to point you in the direction of that coat. I agree it looks quite Arabian. The New Art Gallery looks fabulous and a great place to pop into on your way to/from the shops. Our little town doesn't have anything that comes even close, although Antwerp is full of interesting places ... xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann! I can't believe nobody had snapped up that psych dress weeks ago, people are odd.
      Our art gallery is fantastic, we get visitors from all over the world visiting it. xxx

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  24. I love the black maxi coat, the gold trim really sets it off, very unusual and I bet it's toasty warm.

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    1. Thanks, Gisela. It is toasty warm. I was lovely and cosy despite the nasty outdoor temperature! xxx

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  25. Feck me , love you are divine. Love that maxi coat and who wants to be a clone in a fleece when they're off to buy freezer bags? You know how squishy my soft spot is for Walsall! The New Art Gallery is superb....I must get back there for a visit next year. I tell everyone about it and the petitions. We have to look after these places do we not?
    Have a terrific rest of weekend.
    Love ya.
    xxxx

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    1. One must dress their best for buying freezer bags, it's the law!!
      I know you're a big fan of the art gallery. I think you've visited it more than some of the residents! xxx

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  26. You're bang on about the coat situation. I often get so far with an outfit then realise I'm in trouble with the top layer. I have to say that coat is divine! I love it. You look like an Eastern Princess in it. So beautiful. And the bag is perfect too.
    I never think of the Midlands as a cultural vacuum, but maybe that's because I live here...
    Enjoy your free weekend, whatever it involves. I'm sure it won't be dull! Xxxx

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    1. I hate that. Having an outfit in mind and then ruining it with an inappropriate coat, bloody Winter! xxx

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  27. The coat is gorgeous and totally NOT "commuterville", ha!!! I'm still obsessed with anything maxi, weather be damned. (Easy for me to say, I suppose.) Your Kinky Melon finds are wonderful too.

    I'm happy to see you looking wonderful and truly hope you keep that utterly fabulous-looking museum (I'm guessing, based on comments about the petition?) As you know, we're in devastating times here. I'm trying to figure out where my little talents and energy fit in to the matrix of protest.

    Love you forever.

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    1. P.S. Please give Curtise a huge hug for me.

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    2. Thanks, Jean! Lovely to hear from you.
      We've got scary times ahead of us and we need to focus our fear into doing positive things, protesting and getting our voices heard.
      The council have now declared that the Art Gallery has three years to find it's own funding and that closure isn't imminent but I can't say it inspires much confidence.
      I will pass your regards on to Curtise.
      Love you. xxx

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  28. I love your coat, if only fashion could come back round with coats like this again! The art gallery looks well worth a visit. I love your indian velvet shopper. Enjoy your weekend off. I too want sparkly go go boots like yours - you could auction them and probably make a small fortune!

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    1. I know, fashion was so much better in both style and quality back then!
      I'm always being asked to sell my boots but I'd only have to buy more and it's pretty hard to find a similar pair now for less than £100! xxx

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  29. That coat is so chic and quite bewitching. Even more so knowing that we could get a glimpse of floral thigh. Lovely as always.

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  30. Oooh, I believe I spy Jon appearing exceedingly sleek and elegant in scarlet and browns in a gallery displaying a similar color scheme! (That hoop thingy is inspiring me to wonder what could be done on a lesser scale with vine and yarns...)

    Meanwhile, your own ensemble demonstrates how a lovely luxuriously long hair-do suits a lady of mature years (giggle here), and how an elaborately decorated bag suits a coat with simple lines and a reference to the bag. Only you, Vix, could combine style with comfort so well!

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    1. Jon's red, brown & navy ensemble gets lots of approval from other blokes he encounters.
      That hoop thingy is made from scraps of leather - a nod to Walsall's famed industry. Wouldn't a small scale one make a fantastic necklace?
      Oh yes, us ladies of such an advanced age need to hold on to our long locks and stop listening to the nay sayers! xxx

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  31. What a good find that gorgeous coat is, you will get a lot of wear out of it for sure. I have two full length boiled wool coats with fur collars that I thrash every winter, I love being toasty warm on a cold day. Love your hair in the high pony tail, suits you.

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    1. I'm really pleased with it, I think I'll be wearing it to death! I hate being cold and unfortunately our winter is forecast to be a bad one this year. At least I'll be ready. xxx

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    2. Vic are you a contact lenses wearer I'm a glasses wearer but contemplating contacts? X

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    3. I'm a glasses wearer as I'm short sighted and only need help with sewing and reading. x

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  32. What a glorious coat! Your bag matches! I love that it has a hood. I'm in the same predicament with maxis. I have my blue velvet floor length coat but need to be careful if it is snowing or raining as it will get dirty in an instant. I suppose that is the great thing about yours being black. My blue coat isn't warm enough once it dips below zero which it is threatening to do this week.

    I adore that cat suit! And the gold lame skirt that almost got you punched in the face.

    The art exhibit looks interesting. Admiring art is always a great way to spend an afternoon.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I've got my velvet opera coat, too but you're right, it's not that warm and the marabou trim is hopelessly impractical when it's lashing it down. You need to hunt a dark maxi coat down, pronto!
      There's always plenty of vintage in the charity shops but I try and be discerning, buying things I'd wear myself - catsuits and bling especially! -rather than just buying something because it's old, it gives the rails a bit more cohesion. xxx

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  33. What's divine in this post, is your new coat! I adore gold & black, and the silhouette is so sharp. Unexpected with not bright colors, but it's still totally you!

    I'm constantly amazed how many talents live all around us - in small towns no less than in big cities! Many artists actually prefer living in the middle of nowhere, as their own inner life is what matters, not the outside buzz.

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! Although black wouldn't be my first choice I can console myself by being warm and knowing that I've got something bright on underneath! xxx

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  34. just as i was thinking "maxi coat" - bam - there it came! very cool and dramatic thing! universes away from drab commuterville attire!!!
    and maybe you can add some more bling, embroidery, patchwork.... time by time :-)
    fabulous finds - harlequin jumper & golden skirt would make for a cool outfit!
    much love! xxxxx

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  35. Love the coat Vix, what a find! It looks likes like it was made for you, and whilst black may not be your usual colour I think it looks really good on you - definitely not commuterville! xx

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'm already hugely attached to it, that hood was a godsend in this morning's storm! xxx

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  36. What a great find that coat was. With a hood as well, I'd feel like a proper fairytale character! You're certainly bringing the glamour to every day. The art exhibition looks really interesting xx

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    1. A good week for both of us for coat finding! xxx

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  37. The gallery near us went through the same thing and they chopped staff numbers and opening times and lost the cafe which didn't help. But they are still hanging in there lets hope yours can too.
    I think the coat works well because of the length and the gold. I just can't do black, haven't for a long time.
    I remember meeting a friend in Manchester for lunch, everyone in her office came out wearing black then Jayne appeared in a cream retro trouser suit. I couldn't stop laughing. She was laughing because I gave her a red rose xxx

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    1. The council are now giving it three years to find its own funding, not great but better than imminent closure. Phew!
      I quite like black for a bit of drama but having spent most of my adult blonde years wearing it, firstly as a Smiths/indie music fan mistakenly trying to be taken seriously and later having it enforced as a corporate dress code, life's too short to be shrouded in it! xxx

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  38. What a magnificent coat, Vix - and warm too! I love the hood (would love to see you with the hood up - druidlike... The gold trim is perfect as is that black and gold bag. I just signed the petition to save your Leather Museum, hope it helps. xx

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! That hood was put to good use when we took Frank to the vet on Monday. The rail was torrential and my hands were occupied with a cat carrier, a wise investment!
      Thanks for signing! xxx

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Love from Vix
xxx