Friday, 23 December 2016

'Tis The Season To.... Go Chazzing!



What's the best thing about this time of year?

An excuse to dress up? Nah, don't need one of those, as you can see from this week's outfits, I do it on a daily basis. 


The food? Don't think so. This is the contents of our fridge. We're off for an Indian with the rest of the Dead Relatives Society on Xmas Day. No big shop needed (I'll nip into News 'n' Booze on the way to the curry house for the wine). We won't be eating any more than usual just 'cos it's the Baby Jesus's birthday.   


The decorations? You're mistaken, there's no festive decor to see here, you're looking at my art installation. Inspired by Frank, it's called Balls To The Lot Of It. 


The best thing about this time of year is that, while the rest of the population take on the appearance of the undead, traipsing around shopping centres like zombies, buying mass produced shite they can't really afford and swearing at anyone who dares get in their way, the chazzas are deserted.

Here's just a bit of what we've bought recently.


As sales are slow many chazzas have got sales on - my favourite had reduced everything to £1 and even though it's modern I couldn't resist this fringed suedette waistcoat which went with what I was already wearing.
Clockwise from top left: 1960s corduroy shift dress; Alpine trilby; 1980s diamond hand knit; 3 x Indian block printed silk scarves; 1980s Canadian made quilted jacket; Hugo Boss wool blazer; Velvet bow tie; 1970s Berketex Lurex jacket; Cacharel voile blouse; Nylon negligee; 1970s quilted velvet Chinese-style jacket.


Clockwise from top left: 1970s Crimplene day dress; 1980s Snakeskin envelope bag; 1980s does the 1940s Country Casuals leopard trim jacket; 1960s simulated sheepskin jacket; 1970s Gor-Ray maxi skirt; 1950s Duggie wool & Acetate scarf; 1960s vinyl bag; 1960s Gordon Scott leather pumps; Acetate scarf; Suede jerkin; 1960s handbag; 1950s silk duster coat
Tooled leather bag featuring Indian dancers,  vintage framed print of Chacun Son Tour by Boris O'Klein (my brother's getting this for Xmas); Indian Rabari tribal skirt; 1960s Ban-Lon knit; Peter England shirt ; 1950s Scottish wool scarf; Paperbacks galore (beats Xmas tripe on the telly); 1950s souvenir scarf from Yemen (which makes me very sad); 1970s John Weitz for Burton shooting jacket; 1930s cape made in Chicago.

Hooray for non-retail shopping in December - no queues, no argy bargy, no credit card debt and best of all, no bastard awful Xmas songs on the PA system. As we've given the mainstream shops a wide berth I've only been subjected to Stop The Calvary once this year, thank f*ck.

Massive sleeved maxi (from Curtise, sleeves added by me); Indian waistcoat (Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, 2016); Hmong necklace (from Krista); Silver boots (Retail)

As atheist orphans our Xmas is simply a bank holiday devoid of tradition and without family commitments, god-bothering or over indulgence but, however you spend it, I hope yours is everything you want it to be.

See you soon!

91 comments:

  1. I'm inspired by your addition of fabulous fantastic sleeves to an already sensational maxi! I've a pet velvet house robe with ratty sleeves, and now I shall sort out my fabric stash (and hope to be graced with the matching talents of Goody at Eat the Blog), then locate an alterations shop (or smite Santa with a hint for a new sewing machine).

    Bless you for making me snort my coffee through my nose, dear Vix, with your observation that the pom-pom décor was "inspired by Frank." "Balls to it all!", indeed, especially the 231st playing of Elvis' "Feliz Navidad".

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    1. Here's to Santa hearing your request for a new machine, Beth! The made-over robe will be a triumph.
      I wish you hadn't mentioned that song, I keep hearing it now....noooooo!
      Have a cool Yule! xxx

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  2. Armed with charity shop and home made gifts we are off to our daughter's on the day to celebrate her new house. Had to get a gift for a friend on Wednesday but the town was packed with people carrying expensive looking bags. Lunch will be a vegan Macsween haggis which is delicious with roasted vegetables and choccys to follow. A happy unchristmas to you and a healthy, happy and successful New Year.

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    1. Have a brilliant time, Maureen. We used to serve up those vegetarian haggises back in the bad old days when I used to organise Burns Suppers for 500 accountants, never tried one. Maybe one day.
      Have a fabulous Notmas! xxx

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  3. In this house is mainly food shopping, with so many young ones who eat their weight everyday we cannot shop enough. We buy local and not fancies, but still shopping. I hate shopping for food, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Still, it is just a reason to get together in a pretty mess, hahahahhaha.
    Much love and all the happines in the world for you and Jon
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. No! Food shopping is the pits, even more soul destroying than brand new retail shops!
      Have a fab festive season. xxx

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  4. yes and yes - no x-mas craziness for me too. just artsy fun at the railroad keepers house :-)
    fab dresses - you look so very cool and glamorous!! and your house seems very "gemütlich" with all your colorful decorations <3
    can´t take my eyes off of the tribal skirt and aden souvenir scarf.......
    hugs! xxxxxx

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    1. A like-minded soul, Beate. Artsy, alternative fun with your handsome man and fabulous feline.
      Email me if you're interested in the skirt - it's too big for me, sadly!
      Have a wonderful Xmas. xxx

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    2. did send you a mail...... but if you have other things on schedule then no hurry :-) xxxxx

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  5. You always look fab! I try to stay away from the stores during this time of year. To much madness for me. My daughter doesn't ask for much and so I can usually get everything online or have it on layaway and paid out before the first week of December. I always believed that if I don't have the cash to paid for it then, I will not put it on a credit card.

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    1. Thanks, Tracie! Your shopping sounds far more civilised than the madness that goes on here. Who wants to get into debt all for the sake of one day? Absolute madness.
      Have a fantastic Xmas. xxx

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  6. You do everything with such a style, even this holiday season! My spouse is an atheistic mailman...so he really despites Yuletide, or Joulu like we call it :D Right now he is working on 14 hour shift you see. I do not mind, and we do celebrate it a bit leaning to ancient Nordic heathen habits but it is not my favorite week of the year either for sure :D

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    1. Hello, Aallotar! Your poor man, this time of year must drive him crazy! Have the most wonderful time doing exactly what you want to do, we intend to! xxx

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    2. Oh, I ment to write he despise not despite... my english is not always so correct,sorry :D

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    3. Oh, I ment to write he despise not despite... my english is not always so correct,sorry :D

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  7. Mrs Grinch here and I haven't even been in a store or town. I hate the run upto Christmas Day even though I don't have to do any food shopping as my mum does it. I just hate all the bloody hype for one day and I'm getting worse the older I get. Can't believe how bad I am this year though.
    All that aside enjoy yourselves and Pom poms to it all haha xxx

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    1. This time of year is a blinking pain in the bum. Everyone just goes mental, forgets their manners and drives like lunatics. The sooner it's all over the better (and then it's almost India time).
      Sending loads of love to you & The Welder. xxx

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  8. Ha, balls!
    You struck gold with those blue shoes and the green handbag.

    I've largely escaped the wild holiday shoppers, though I was unexpectedly confronted with it when I went to buy beer yesterday. I mean, I understand wanting to stay plastered through the first of the year, but I wasn't expecting the chaos I encountered.

    I enjoy baking, so the holidays don't feel like a chore. I won't show you my fridge as it is filled with booze, birthday cake, and cheese.

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    1. Curses to my massive feet! Those shoes are fabulous for tiny footed women.
      The things you do for some beer, that's the only reason I'd take on the supermarket Xmas mentalists. Luckily I had the foresight to keep a bottle of rum back from my birthday.
      Have an ace festive season. xxx

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  9. I also went out thrifting but they were full-on with the Christmas music which drives me nuts. I think I avoid shopping at this time of the year for the music as much as the crowds.

    Looking all kinds of fabulous as usual!

    Have an amazing non-holiday, love, health happiness and brilliant thrifting for 2017.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I hate Xmas music. We were having a debate in the pub about whether there's ever been a decent Christmas record. I liked Fairytale of New York when it came out but almost 30 years after it came out I can safely say I can't stand it now.
      Have a wonderful Xmas. xxx

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  10. I'm loving the art installation I hope Frank gets to attack a few of them! Loving the green bags as ever. Have a fab time in India. x x

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    1. Stephen's had a good go, Frank hasn't spotted them yet, the dozy git!
      Hope you have a fab Xmas. xxx

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  11. And why the feck not! I'm with you on non-retail shopping; I've done precious little of it save for the larking about with Mum I had in Cardiff. Love Balls to it All and remember a pompom is not just for Christmas! There will be no fuss and bothering-God or otherwise-here; a nice rest beside the fire is in order. Have a fab time and see you in the New Year.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxx

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    1. Larking about is always allowed especially if it involves picking stuff up and shrieking "How fecking much?" so loudly that the security guard starts following you round Marks & Spencer.
      Have an ace Xmas.
      Love ya! xxx

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  12. Oooooooh, what size is the red nylon negligee? That is so very, very red, it's calling to me ❤

    Don't you look fabulous? Hope you have a wonderful time with your friends.

    We had a wander through town yesterday, it was nice to be calm amongst all the chaos xxx

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    1. I think It's your size but I'll check in the morning. Storm Barbara doing her worst out there.
      Have a fantastic Xmastime with Andy & The Bunnies. We haven't bought the boys anything, they'll have to make do with pompoms! xxx

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  13. I'm an atheist too, but I was raised a Christian and I still like to celebrate Christmas. Plus I used to work in retail for many years, so I get a perverse enjoyment out of shopping and not having to work on weekends and nights. I like Christmas music as long as it's the old standards (I just heard Pentatonic's Christmas album and I just about puked!). Anyway, glad you're having fun and getting lots of thrifting in! :)

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    1. Do whatever you fancy, as long as you don't end up bankrupt or in jail that's all that matters! After years in the hospitality industory I still don't feel comfortable dining out in posh establishments. I scrutinise the glassware, shift the silverware and come out in a cold sweat if I see a crease in the table linen. I think I need therapy!
      Have a wonderful Xmas, Laurie! xxx

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  14. There is one thing I think you have to admitting indulging in with your Indian food - liquor! Just like most of the other indulgers :)

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    1. Would it surprise you to hear that i haven't had a drink since Monday?! I'll only need a couple of glasses and I'll be under the table! xxx

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  15. Bloody brilliant. I don't even have an art installation much less any other decorations and my fridge resembles yours... although there are a few bottles of fizz in mine. I agree wholeheartedly about chazzing this week, I went out on Wednesday and like you nabbed myself a few bargains. I see you've picked up another souvenir headscarf....I've worn mine loads already. Enjoy your ruby with the DRS, I'll be working that day, bovvered?? It'll soon be over. xxx

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    1. Glad you've got some booze in. That'll see you through the madness.
      The chazzas are brilliant in December and so quiet, too. We ought to keep it quiet or all the bastards will be in there next year!
      Good call, working for the day. Beats a festive edition of Eastenders and some crap kids film! Cheers darling! xxx

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  16. Forgot to say..that turquoise dress is sensational! x

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    1. Isn't it? A birthday present from The Monk. She's got excellent taste. I wore it to 'Spoons on Monday and got asked if I was a pagan. xxx

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  17. You and your home are festive every day. How wonderful that you found so many treasures while others were shopping retail. I agree. It's the best time to find beautiful pieces in unexpected places. You look marvelous!

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    1. Thanks, Judith! Yes, festive is for life, not just for Xmas!
      Hope Xmas is fabulous for you. xoc

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    1. Thanks, Toaster! Have a brilliant Xmas! xxx

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  19. Although we have full fridge and freezer it will make it streeeeeech and it will hopefully last between one and two months , I will be planning to go to that place in Shropshire ( I know you do dont like to reveal it lol ) after the holiday as i know being an old charity shop manager you can get some bargains that time of yaer , Have a great your type of christmas , I am so looking forward to your India posts have a wonderful time xxx

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    1. I have every faith you will! There's never much in ours. Even at the age of 50 we still live like students, trying to make a meal out of a mushroom, some out of date cheese and half an onion!
      Happy hunting - I think that's us done till February now!
      Have a fantastic Xmas. xxx

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  20. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. You seem to have simplified everything and done it your own way, I love it!. So I'll raise a toast to your balls installation which is perfectly lovely, have a great time. xxx

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    1. You also, Sally! I'm raising my mug of Pukka tea (and pretending it's alcoholic) ...chin, chin! xxx

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  21. Didn't you do well! Some fabulous finds - my favourites were 1930s velvet cape and the fabulous duster coat.

    All your outfits are gorgeous as are the accessories.

    I love the decor inspired by Frank - pom poms everywhere!

    I hope your day goes with a very pleasant bang and that we'll see you on the other side...

    xxxxxxxx

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    1. Hello, Veronica! I wonder what it is, do loads of people have a massive pre-Xmas clutter to make room for all the new tat they're expecting to receive or are the chazzas that desperate for donations that they're putting out everything they have in the stockroom including all the "old fashioned" stuff they usually chuck in the rag bag?
      Hope you have a brilliant Xmas! xxx

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  22. I can rely on you for a healthy dose of good sense and festive swearing, love - thank god! Although I have to say Jon looks a little crestfallen at the state of your fridge, think he was hoping for more booze...
    I knew that turquoise frock would look the cat's pompoms on you. Loving the art installation, all the frockage, and of course you found some fab stuff in the chazzas - loving the look of that Gor-ray maxi skirt, and the 1930s cape is a stunner. Funnily enough, I thought this week would be dead as a dodo at work but we've actually done OK sales-wise. And we have steadfastly refused to play any Christmas music in the shop too!
    Enjoy your curry with the Dead Relatives Society, forget the god bothering, and try and make it home in one piece - I know the DRS can get a bit messy!
    Love you! xxx

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    1. He's worse than a cat for standing by the fridge looking pitiful. He snuck off to Khan's Corner Stores yesterday for some tobacco and a lot of shuffling with a carrier bag (either it's a six pack of bitter or I've got a sack of sprouts for an Xmas present).
      That's good news that the shop did well - I bet it had a lot to do with the lack of festive tunes.
      The DRS can be a bit messy, fortunately one of the members has to go to work on Boxing Day to face the imbeciles who insist on queuing all night to save £50 on a bed.
      Love you! xxxx

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  23. Longtime U.S. lurker coming out of the closet. I've enjoyed your blog for months, but this post had me LOL from start to finish. Happy deity-free Winter Solstice from one pair of "atheist orphans" to another.

    BTW, I've noticed the same thing as you have about the thrift/charity shops being relatively deserted. I picked up several half-price bargains at my local Salvation Army store today that I wasn't expecting.

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    1. Thank you for de-lurking, A.Marie! Lovely to hear from you. You've no idea, after weeks of being subjected to Xmas on social media how refreshing it is to meet like-minded people.
      Great to hear that there's good bargains to be had on the other side of the Pond!
      Have the most wonderful notmas avoiding the norm! xxx

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  24. Hi Vix, great post. It gave me a good chuckle, which I really needed after losing my grandmother this week. I hope 2017 is a good one for you and Jon. Xxx

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    1. Hi Jess, I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma, big love to you. xxxx

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  25. Enjoy your bank holiday!! I can't wait for tonight, new little red dress and plenty of cocktails. Xx

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    1. Have a fab time, a most excellent Xmas and take photos of that red dress! xxx

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  26. I'm sitting here swooning over your purple dress!!! It is the perfect shade of purple and the silver jewellery sets it off perfectly, especially that pendant. Enjoy your curry tomorrow, veggie toad-in-the-hole for me with sprouts - I love sprouts. xx

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    1. Oh, veggie toad-in-the-hole, haven't had that in donkey's! Love sprouts, too especially sliced thinly and roasted in the oven with loads of sea salt and chillies! Yum.
      Have the best Xmas. xxx

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  27. Vix - I want to thank you so very much for the beautiful and thoughtful posts that you create for all of us. I so look forward to checking your blog twice a week to see what adventures you have been up to. The National Trust posts have been awesome. I am in the U.S. and these are properties that we wouldn't otherwise get to enjoy. You are funny and kind and I enjoy your work so very much! Thank you and enjoy your upcoming travels.

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    1. Hello, Liz. How lovely to hear from you. I'm thrilled that you're enjoying the NT trips, I'm hoping to squeeze another in before the New Year.
      Have a wonderful Xmas. xxx

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  28. Love all your chazza finds! I'm sure you will not be surprised that The green handbag is a favourite. Here's it's the complete opposite, as there's usually not much to be found at the chazzas this time of year. Still, we persevere. I love the sound of the Dead Relatives Society. Have a great day! xxx

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    1. I must like the green bag a bit too much, I managed to squeeze it in twice!
      Maybe the Belgians are more sensible than the Brits and buy secondhand presents for their loved ones rather than rack up the debt on new stuff like the majority of people do here!
      Have a fantastic day! xxx

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  29. Pom Poms!!!
    Have a fabulous weekend Vix and J- I'm bingeing on Doctor Who.
    xox

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    1. Back at you, Carol & Robert! Enjoy Dr Who! xxx

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  30. That purple dress is beautiful on you!!What a gorgeous color! Our thrift stores charge so much here I'd rather buy new. However when buying new, you just don't find unique or quality things anymore do you? I just ordered some nag champa to see what it smells like. I love the smell of the alternative shops and all their different incense scents. Your post about your suitcase made me curious of what nag champa smells like. Hope you enjoy your day today and every day! Your positive vibe is always a breath of fresh air! :-)

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    1. Hello, Lily! Lovely to meet you. I hope you love nag champa as much as we do. It's like India personified! xxx

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  31. I spend my yule whit my 10-year old daugther at local hotel,they had x-mast lunch(traditional Finnish style for her and quite good vegan food for me..)The Spa&Saunadepartment was also open so i relaxed on the hot tub whit beer and kid was playing on the waterslide nearby.I give some arts&crafts supply for her as present and some movie tikects and horsebackriding lessons.She was w e r y pleased,horselover!And what did i get,-she made me a mug whit text"maailman paras äiti"-worlds best mother to me,and she had also made a homemade bear-shaped soap to me.Love em'!From my folks i get 100 eur presentcard to bookstore,and very nice nepalian skirt and woolen cardican..This was probably best yule in 10 years..no fussing,no running in the crowded shops etc..Happy holidays to you two and the cats!Loving your blog!

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    1. Hello DebDeb! Now there's an Xmas I can relate to, vegan food and all! Thanks for visiting. xxx

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  32. Fab buys as usual, thank goodness for chazza sales! I've given my friends/family charity shopped presents as usual and they are more than happy with them. Couldn't agree more about the consumerism and debt, words not in my vocabulary. Have a lovely weekend and holiday, we have escaped to the Cotswolds (where the internet is scant) and have already sought out the local chazzas, but chose to spend Christmas Eve paddling through mud in the ruins of a medieval manor house and it was fab! xx

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    1. Oh, lucky uou! The Cotswolds sounds like the perfect retreat. Can't wait to hear about your expedition. A medieval manor beats shopping hands down! xxx

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  33. Oh no! Look at Jon. The man's starving Vix, throw him a crust will you?! Q complained like mad last night because we had a picnic tea, with cheese and biscuits, olives etc. Complained he was going to starve!! :)) So funny. Well, what can I say? Hope you have a great Christmas day out with your chums at the DRS. You've certainly done well at the chazzas, there's all sorts of goodness there. Love the birthday dress from Monk. Didn't you do well?! xxxx

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    1. We ought to send them off to Spoons together, they can stuff their poor starving faces with Xmas burgers and all the festive cheesecake they can eat!
      Hope you had an ace time and the post-Cuba comedown isn't hitting you too hard! xxx

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  34. Absolutely loved this post, Vix. Couldn't stop laughing, poor Frank! :) I bloody hate Christmas for all of the reasons above and have been branded a bit of a fruitloop for expressing it at any given opportunity. I care not a jot. I have not had a chance to peruse the chazzas recently but am going to follow your example and hit Edinburgh some time this week while the masses are at the sales. You look fabulous in your wonderful dresses and I am in awe of your fabric matching on those "bastard massive" bell sleeves. Hope that you and Jon are having a fabulous time. Xx

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    1. Welcome to the Can't Be Arsed Society, Kelly! Honestly, people do think you're deranged when you don't like Xmas. I'll have fun when I want to, not when I'm told to!
      Hope you struck chazza shop gold while the rest of the world fight over massive tellies! xxx

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  35. Lots of great finds. I love your art installation, we have lots of multi-coloured pom poms in our hallway (the kids made them), I will have to think of a name for them. I think everyone should spend Christmas how they like, but agree some people go really mad.

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    1. Kids do love pompoms, don't they? A friend popped round and his little boy was transfixed.No wonder my Mum used to get me and my brother making them when it was school holidays. xxx

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  36. We also have two big, furry round cushions in purple and red known as "pom and pom" :).

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  37. mwhaha, you look adorable and I love your attitude. I feel supported in my own lack of xmas/commercial spirit, as we just meet our parents for traditional dinner on 24th (no presents and no overload of food, we're really ol'fashioned!)
    I believe in enjoying my own holidays the way I like!
    Fabulous purchases indeed!, and also fabulous maxi dress (once more!)
    besos

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    1. Hear! Hear! No conforming. So many people get pressurised into doing stuff because it's expected of them. I'm old and ugly enough to make my own mind up.
      Hope your festive weekend was spent exactly how you wanted it to be. xxx

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  38. Those shoes - great find.

    Perhaps I should wander into town and hit the chazzas tomorrow... if I can tear myself away from the PlayStation. I'm losing track of the day of the week already, it's a good feeling.

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    1. You deserve a break, you've had a mad few weeks at work. The chazzas should be even better next month when everyone goes decluttering mad! xxx

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  39. I love how you added sleeves to the already super-gorge maxi, making it even more fabulous; the material matches perfectly too.

    Hmmmm - my birthday is on Christmas Day :-| Prob why I'm not a big fan either (can't be bothered with the fuss about NYE too) xxx

    P.S. Mum's never forgiven me for causing her to miss out on her Christmas lunch in the maternity hospital 48 years ago!

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    1. Happy Birthday for the 25th! A far better reason to celebrate!
      I bet your poor mum wasn't very popular with the hospital staff either! xxx

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  40. I stayed away from all the shops over the holidays, even the secondhand ones. I did have one slip-up on Wednesday where I ended up in a favourite shop while visiting my mother and ended up with a couple of new dresses. I like your pompom decorations - good thing Frank probably doesn't understand the symbolism. My fridge pretty much looks like yours most of the time.

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    1. Two new dresses doesn't sound like a slip-up to me! Funny how you always find something when you've got no intention of going shopping. xxx

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  41. ha! Ball To The Lot Of It is genius! Only you could make pom poms about balls and make it looks amazing in the process.

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    1. Thank you! Everything is enhanced with a pompom or three! xxx

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  42. FABULOUS! Love your art installations. And I have to report that my own Non Retail Shopping for family gifts was an absolute hit. My youngest son said they were the best gifts they'd ever all received! Last report, trying to get the gorgeous dress off Paige (aged 5) to wash was a challenge :)

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    1. I'm thrilled that your family embraced a non-consumer Xmas. They sound as fabulous as you are. xxx

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