Monday, 25 September 2017

I Heart My Sleeves



What with the wide-brimmed wool hat and showstopper of a vintage top worn over a jersey maxi, today's outfit is almost a complete rehash of last Thursday's but I like to keep it real. I've never dressed up especially for my blog - what you see is what you get, which, if you'd bumped into me in Wilko a couple of hours earlier, was exactly what you would have seen me wearing.


Our friends, G &T, have got my taste off to a tee. When we went round to theirs for dinner at the weekend they presented me with this incredible 1970s blouse. Would you look at those effing sleeves!!! 


I bought a couple of these stretch jersey maxis for traveling around India in at the beginning of the year. New from an UK-based Ebay seller, with postage they cost around £5 each (last of the big spenders, me!) and proved perfect on overnight sleeper trains or, with a long sleeved tunic over the top, modest enough for venturing away from the beaten track where a glimpse of my bare shoulder could have caused outrage. They survived being rinsed out nightly in the shower, retained their colour & shape and didn't need ironing - the ideal travel dress. I'd packed them away in my India suitcase but rediscovered them when I was putting away a bikini I'd recently bought. This week's weather has been typically schizophrenic, cold in the mornings but hitting the balmy heights of 20°C by lunchtime, and these boring dresses have come into their own, lightweight and perfect under my collection of outrageous vintage tops.



So what was I doing in Wilko*? My life is so damned glamorous! Well, in addition to the fabulously funky top, G & T also gave me a pile of vintage tea towels. As I've already got a drawerful, I turned half of them into tote bags - and managed to bust my last sewing machine needle in the process - hence the reason for an emergency dash into town.

*For non-Brits Wilkos is a family-owned, British high street chain that sells homewares & household goods.


They also gave us the epitome in hippy home furnishings, a macrame pot plant holder, now proudly displaying one of our spider plants (what else?) As you can see I blog in the old fashioned way, on a PC. I'm one of the 15% of adults left in the UK who doesn't own a smart phone and I'm proud to be in the minority.


I also came back from G&T's with a pile of paperback books which are always welcome. I'm a voracious reader - especially when it comes to Scandi chillers, crime novels, spy stories, political thrillers and tales set in Asia. I used to record what I'd read on Goodreads but I've let that fall by the wayside in recent years - I've got the memory of an elephant so I'll always recognise a book I've read. I get through between 20 to 25 books during my month in India and read nine during our trip to Greece (read on my e Reader which I only use when travelling, it seems wrong to use it at home) and I usually devour a couple of paperbacks a week over the rest of the year (unless it's sunny when I'll lie in the garden and read one per day). I rarely keep the books I've read, I donate them back to the charity shop when I'm done.

WEARING: Vintage Lurex chevron stripe blouse (present from friends); Stretch jersey maxi (eBay); Wide-brimmed hat (current H&M via charity shop); Banjara tribal coin belt (bought in India); Coin choker & bastard massive hoop earrings (Punjabi accessory shop)
I hope this weirdly warm weather continues 'cos I've just talked myself into ordering another of those dresses in rust. Oh well, it can always come to India with me if it decides to snow next week!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack.

See you soon.


94 comments:

  1. Vintage tea towels! My favourite thing to collect.

    If you ever see towels with dogs, keep me in mind. They are hard to find here in Canada.

    Have to agree with you on the long jersey maxis. Find a good quality and they last well for what you pay for.

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    1. I'll keep my eyes peeled! I did have a couple but they're way past their best now. xxx

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  2. SLEEVES!! I do love a fecking massive sleeve, not for me sadly as I'm such a clumsy cow I'd scoop up god knows what in them. You look utterly fab.
    Love the tea towel bags, the telephone box is ace.
    Loves ya!
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, darling! It would have been a crime to dry the dishes with that telephone box tea towel. Love ya! xxx

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  3. Too funny but I must be in the 15% of the USA that doesn't have a smartphone, too. I just don't care that much about it; I use my phone for texting occassionally and to carry with me in case of emergency or car break-down, etc. It isn't my life. Facebook and texting and all that computer time just isn't my bag. I'd rather read a book. And I can't stand talking on the phone at length! BTW, love those sleeves!!
    Dawn P.

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    1. Dawn, you're a girl after my own heart! I'd rather be out there actually living rather than experiencing (and sharing )them through a tiny screen.
      I'd rather read a book, too! Reading's never a waste of time. xxx

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  4. Hi Vix, everyone seems to be having such strange weather. We are 32C with a humid of 40C. Too hot for me.
    Love your new top, you look fabulous in it.
    I am a great reader too as you can tell by the pile of books beside my side of the bed!
    No cell phone here either although Chuck HAS to have one for work. It gets shut off at 4:00pm and isn't turned on again until 7:00am the next day.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Robin

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    1. Goodness me, Robin, that is hot!!
      Jon's the phone user in this house, too. They're useful for taking card payments when we're working at fairs but that's about it.
      I could get rid of the bedside tables and use books instead! xxx

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  5. You look stunning with those sleeves!!! My Computer broke and I can't even blog with this (not so) smart phone---- you're better off with the PC, trust me!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm that short sighted there's no way i could do anything on a feeble little phone, I even need my specs to see the clunky old PC screen these days. xxx

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  6. Wow , What an outfit it suits you a treat , Brilliant idea with the tea towels , I blog via laptop i can't get around doing it on my phone either , I managed to get my friend mel one of those plant holders last year but it was humongous she was thrilled with it , i dont keep books either and sell them on my stall or donate if they dont sell , I tried a kindle but sold it after a month or too i prefer the feel of a book , Dave says i an strange as he prefers a kindle lol xxxx

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    1. Thank you!!
      Jon's got a laptop and I can't get on with that either. I must have been a Luddite in my past life - technology just doesn't do it for me!
      I agree, E Readers are ace for travelling with - I used to take 25 books to India with me before I got one - but it wouldn't be right to use one at home! xxx

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  7. Really great arms, your friends do know your taste. I made a much larger macreme plant hanger many years ago, I wonder where it went to. It even had beads. You sound like the same kind of reader I am. I am reading Camilla Lackberg Buried Angels. Great dark mysteries, have another of hers waiting in the wings found at garage sales. Love the tea towels made into bags, there are only so many tea towels one can use and sometimes the vacation ones aren't that great for actually drying dishes

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    1. They are great friends!!
      I've read a couple of Camilla Lackberg books which I've quite enjoyed but been a bit disappointed with the endings both times, they seem to wrap up a bit too neatly - I'll give her another try if I find any more in the chazzas. xxx

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  8. Great way of using interesting teatowels, may not look as good with market ones though. Have you read the littlest coffee shop in Kabul yet, I read it earlier this year and really enjoyed it.

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    1. Hi Helen! No, those brown and white checked fluffy ones off Walsall market wouldn't be much cop in the style stakes would they?! xxx

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  9. Great… But I love to hear about your reading. I am a great fan of Louise Penny, a Canadian author. I also like Julia Keller.… I live in Appalachia so her books really speak to me. Keep up the good karma for us Old hippies!

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    1. Hello Teresa! lovely to hear from you. I've made a note of those authors, I'll keep my eyes peeled in the charity shops. Thank you! xxx

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  10. What a gorgeous blouse. Those sleeves are marvellous but I suspect no good for doing the dishes in or anything practical. Still who needs practical when you look so fantastic? I love reading too and use to read a lot but now my eyesight is so bad that I rarely bother. I should probably get new glasses. What a fabulous way to use up old tea towels. I always spy them in the charity shop and have bought some beauties recently. Totally unused too. I suspect that they were "kept for good" but really should get used for something. Your tote bags display them perfectly. Xx

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    1. Those sleeves weren't the easier thing when I ate my lunchtime soup, I must admit!
      I saw some great ideas for tea towels when I was looking for an easy bag tutorial including a bed throw and reupholstering an armchair with them. I covered the seat pads on the kitchen chairs with some mad Spanish ones years ago and they're still going strong.
      The good thing about e Readers is that you can adjust the font size so I can read without my glasses - Jon wets himself laughing at the size of the text I need! xxx

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  11. Love a good wide sleeve except I'm so clumsy I end up dunking them in whatever I'm having for my dinner if I get distracted. Hope it stays warm up your wayx
    Arilx

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    1. I've been known to wrap my sleeves round my wrists a couple of times and peg them so i can wash up!
      It's been lovely all week - no sleeves again today! xxx

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  12. I do love a good sleeve too! I envy how much you read, I realised recently that I hardly read anything anymore which is sad as it used to be my favourite hobby. I'm trying to get back to it and disconnect from the internet a bit more. I don't blame you for not having a smart phone, I waste far too much time staring at it blankly (although I do blog from my PC too, can't be faffed trying to type things out on touchscreen!)

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    1. I don't turn the computer on for a couple of days each week so I get a proper break. it's amazing how much stuff I can get done when i'm not distracted by blog reading and travel forums! xxx

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  13. Love these bold sleeves! Funny, I only use my e-reader when traveling, too, but always have some "real books" on my nightstand. You look fab as always, thanks for linking up, xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! Nothing beats a proper book, does it? xxx

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  14. That is a fabulous top and it looks perfect on you! I'll have to check ebay for inexpensive jersey dresses - I always seem to forget.
    Cool totes! They'll sell like hotcakes.
    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! Ebay's pretty good for boring basics. xxx

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  15. Fantastic outfit! The sleeves are just perfect for your vivacious, bold style! I also appreciate dresses like yours, I wear them at home in winter. They feel as comfy as PJs! Love the idea to dress them up with such a bold fabulous blouse!

    My aunt made a gorgeous macrame plant holder, way before I knew anything about bohemians. I think my parents still have it in their apartment, where they have many, many plants... such a cozy feeling in long Siberian winters...

    <3 <3 <3

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! When I bought those dresses I justified my extravagance (ha!) by saying I'd wear them at home, promptly forgetting all about them!
      I'd love to have a go at making one of those plant holders, I think making them must have been all the rage in the 1970s. People seemed to be a lot more creative back then. xxx

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  16. I found a cheap source for durable stretchy black yoga pants and wear them with funky tops all of the time. Makes getting dressed at 0'Darky Thirty a lot easier. I know you don't wear a lot of black but the outfit looks amazing on you (but seriously, what doesn't!).

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    1. I bet it does! Nothing worse than getting dressed in the dark!! xxx

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  17. I collect vintage tea towels-you've come up with a nice way to use them (I mean other than actually using them which shortens their life considerably).

    I can barely get dressed-you won't find me dressing for the blog either. Love that top, but especially the belt.

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    1. There's some brilliant ideas for using vintage tea towels around, I got sucked into some amazing pages when I had a search for an easy bag tutorial!
      I'm like a woman possessed when I see the tribal gypsies wearing those belts in India and always end up buying them off their bodies! I've even got a mirrored blouse I'd admired on a lady I'd passed walking down the road! xxx

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  18. tea towel totes! Now that's a tongue twister. What a cool idea.

    PS: no cooking wearing those sleeves

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    1. You couldn't say that after a few beers! xxx

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  19. Firstly thank you for the curiosity, of which it is indeed. Do you think it's something someone didn't finish or they were going to cut up. I'll let you know what I do with it.
    As far as blogging goes I've only just found an app that allows me to blog from my phone and it's so much easier than having to load my pics onto the ancient pc. It had been refusing to upload my pics properly for awhile. I've more or less got to grips with the phone blogging now.
    The teatowel totes are a cracking idea and those sleeves are crackers on your top. Your couldn't keep your hankie up there haha lovely xxx

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    1. I'm glad you got it, as soon as I saw the word "Hankies" embroidered across it I thought of you! I was expecting it to have compartments at the back. It seemed strange to have gone to all the trouble of creating that intricate needlework and then tossing it away.
      You had terrible trouble with your PC last year, I remember! xxx

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  20. What a gorgeous lurex top!
    Macrame was my mom's hobby well into the 80's.
    The only thing I use my smartphone for is the camera, the calculator, and texting my husband grocery lists,

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    1. Macrame needs to be revived! It must be easier than crochet - something I can't for the life of me master! xxx

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  21. you look absolutely stunning - your style definitely has a point of view! found you on visible mondays.
    http://ahhhsoneo.com

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  22. oh massive envy I have been searching for a macrame plant holder for absolutely ages and have decided I will have to try making one (I vaguely remember doing one in class at school in the 70s and found some how to videos on utube just need the rope and beads (Brighton here I come) yours looks brilliant. I don't have a smart fone either, too much technology going on imo. I love your jersey dress - am thinking I need one for train journeys on an epic trip planned for next year in Vietnam - bet they keep mosquitos off your legs too.

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    1. You don't see them, do you? strange when you think how many houses used to have macrame plant holders back in the 1970s. Attics throughout the Uk must be full of them!
      Here's the link to the seller I got my dress from - other sellers are available but this one worked out the cheapest. xxx
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Womens-Sleeveless-Maxi-Summer-Dress-Vest-Racer-Muscle-Back-Maxi-Long-Jersey-8-26-/251950448084

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  23. Smartphones....give me strength , i abhor them , flatly refuse to use one , or own one , guess im just a dinosaur ...I can quite happily put my little nokia down and forget about it for days when im not at work

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    1. Yay! I was in the dentist's waiting room the other day and an elderly lady shouted "Look at these morons with their stupid phones, they're all bloody addicted" and it's true, everyone bar me and her were staring at their phones in silence.
      Me and the elderly lady had a right old chat about how she was a matron at Walsall's hospital back in the 1950s and what the nurses used to get up to after their shifts had finished. In a few more years time no one will be capable of making conversation with a stranger, all stuck in their own little worlds taking selfies and writing text speak. xxx

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  24. fabulous combination of a simple, comfy dress and a very dramatic blouse! hat and silver belt make it perfect!!
    love the bright bags you´v sewn - they will sell like mad!
    i don´t have a smartphone too - i simply don´t need it.
    much love! xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! I do love a dramatic sleeve.
      I bet vintage tourist scarves would make good tote bags, too - not that you'd want to chop your beautiful collection up! xxx

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    2. hahaha - thankfully the scarves are to delicate to use them for bags !!
      but i bought lately bright patterned totes from a flea - in GDR there were not much plastic bags, everyone carried a textil tote in their purse - often home sewn from curtains and such....
      xxx

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  25. Sleeeeeeves!! Love them, though not practical for cooking in, as I recently discovered. I like the tea towel bags, what a good idea. Xx

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    1. Clothes pegs are the answer, wrap the sleeve round your arm a couple of times and peg it! xxx

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  26. Love the sleeves, I'm not that fond of black, but you've pulled it off with this outfit, it has to be special, right? I also love the towel bags, they're going to sell fast! I'm amazed at how much you read! I've been trying to read more lately (and spend less time on technology). I've found that I love reading before bed. Xxx

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    1. I'm sort of coming round to a bit of black every now and then - it'll never be my favourite colour (or is black a non-colour?) xxx

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  27. Had a look for the dresses but can't find them!!! Love the blouse, it all goes well together.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. Glad you found the seller in the end, I look forward to seeing your turquise jumper! Hahaha! xxx

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  28. I love the totes, what a great way to use the excess tea towels.

    Long jersey dresses/skirts are great to dress up in my opinion, great for travelling, take up virtually no space, cosy and infinitely dress up able! You look fantastic in that outfit too. xxx

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    1. Thank you! I can now shut my kitchen drawer as I've used a few from my own stash! xxx

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  29. those are some mighty sleeves!
    I find that the boring basics often get worn more than 'the good stuff'. I have a very boring navy sweater that gets worn with so much, it's a sort of blank canvas of clothes.
    Loving your tea towel tote bags - that's such a good idea!
    I love seeing people wear the same items of clothing on their blogs, it's real, it's how people dress, I tire of blogs that show new outfits every week, it's so unrealistic.
    I remember making on of those macrame pot plant holders at school in the 80's, I actually really enjoyed it! :)
    xx

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    1. I do wonder where people get the money to wear a different outfit on their blog each day, I like to see stuff worn on repeat, too - like your lovely green skirt!
      You learnt macrame at school? That's so cool and far more useful than our Latin classes! xxxx

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  30. Those sleeves are fabulous! The drama! Especially with the hat.

    Those tote bags are brilliant!

    We are currently in a heat wave. No joke. It hit 40 C yesterday with the humidity. Today it is doing the same. It has been summer for about 3 weeks now with non stop heat. It feels like July instead of almost October. That's okay though. I'm in no rush to welcome winter.

    Suzanne

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    1. I can't believe your weather! I bet you're getting loads of wear from your gorgeous summery dresses.
      xxx

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  31. Love the outfit Vix plus those great creative bags from tea towelsYou are certainly hugely busy.

    When do you go to India?

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    1. Thanks, Sally!

      Hopefully we'll go to India in January. We did toy with December, when we always used to go, but January is loads cheaper and much quieter. xxx

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  32. First off, the outfit is classy and amazing on you.
    I bet those tea towel bags are quick sellers - I'd like one!
    I am always breaking my sewing machines - me + machinery = disaster.
    I too send my books back to thrift after I've read them - I rarely re-read them.

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    1. Hi Tami! I've seen quilts made from vintage tea towels, maybe that should be your next project! xxx

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  33. Imagine having friends called G&T! They do know you well: the sleeves on that blouse are fantastic. When I first met Jos, he had one of those macrame plant holders, which I begged him to throw out! Now I wouldn't mind having one. How my tastes have changed! Although I succumbed to a smartphone a couple of months ago (shame on me, I know), I am still blogging on my PC. I'm sure the tea towel bags will sell like mad, they're fab! xxx

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    1. I know, a match made in heaven, huh?!
      Fancy making poor Jos throw his plant holder out. I'm glad you've seen the light now. Hopefully you'll find a replacement on one of your vintage hunting trips soon!
      I'll probably be the last person in the UK not to own a Smartphone - I'm so vintage! xxx

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  34. I think it's a fab idea to turn your vintage tea towels into shopping bags - well done you! What good friends G and T are.

    The blouse is blooming gorgeous and it goes well on top of the maxi jersey dress. The thing I find with jersey dresses/maxi skirts/trousers is that they 'knee' i.e. show where your knees have been by leaving two puffed out shapes after they've been worn for a while.

    I like books about India/Pakistan, too. Once I've got through my pile of reservations from the library I want to read Arundhuti Roy's new book - have you read it yet?

    When I'm out and about chazzing (less of that now)I always look out for books for Hilary; she likes non fiction and when I visit her in Devon I always have a nice big pile of books for her.

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    1. I haven't had the knee problem. I was quite surprised those dresses survived a month in India, when I've taken the odd modern maxi dress I've found in chazzas away before I've usually ended up leaving them behind as they've gone so tatty - strange considering there's vintage dresses I've taken to India for 20 years still going strong!
      I'm hoping Arundhuti Roy's book turns up in a chazza soon, loved the extract I read in The Guardian. The God of Small things is one of my favourite books ever, I've read it so many times and even visited Kottayam in Roy's honour! xxx

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  35. What a great outfit, the sleeves on that blouse are fab! I can't get over how many books you read, I think last year I only read about 25 books. I used to read loads and would get through a book a week but it has dropped significantly in recent years. I've started taking a book with me to work to read at lunchtime (I used to read on the train but I'm always too tired now) so I'm hoping I'll get through a few more books this year. xx

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    1. I love reading, I'd happily sacrifice the tv for a good book. xxx

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  36. Cool idea with the tea towels!I too am one of the 15%, my phone gets regular ridicule indeed I have been told I am pathetic for being such a technophobe but do I care??

    That top is so you, I seriously do not know how you cope with those sleeves. xx

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    1. Jon keeps threatening to get me one of those big clunky brick phones designed for the elderly, I tell him I'd be delighted with it. At least I could see the screen without having to get my reading glasses out! xxx

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  38. Never mind Wilko, you look as if you could be lounging around Studio 54 in that incredible outfit! Absolutely gorgeous! I'm making this comment via a smartphone (playing catch-up on the hoof as I've been away in France) but always blog on the pc and on my days off I often forget about the mobile.
    Love the tea towel totes...brilliant idea! Xxx

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    1. If only I had a time machine!!!
      France again, you lucky thing. I'm expecting - and hoping for - lots of photos! xxx

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  39. Some really special friends to gift you with that fabulous top! Love the tea towel idea. You're so darn talented Vix. Never ceases to amaze me what you come up with. And even though I have a smart phone, I'd rather use laptop or desktop any day to read and comment online. Can't stand trying to type on the little things. Drives me batty.

    Theresa
    www.vintagestylefiles.com

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! That's the joy of having a 48 hour internet break every week - I get stuff done. xxx

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  40. Mmmmm, sleeves! Love them 💜 you're looking thoroughly glam here, I must say.

    I have a smartphone, but prefer to use the desktop computer for blog commenting, she says, using her phone for this one!

    Ahh, macrame! Reminds me of my step dad who made guitar straps from it in the seventies! xxx

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    1. Sleeves are brilliant, the bigger the better!!!
      Goodness me, I can barely send a text message - I'd end up being one of those "Nice shoes, follow me?" commenters if I used a smart phone to comment! xxx

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  41. Great sleeves! I'm now starting to wonder about my clothes to take to India next year... I went round Burma in trousers and T-shirts, and will probably take a similar approach in India. Boring, but inoffensive. It seems weird to have to buy a completely different set of clothes just to go on holiday.

    Those tote bags rock. I have become a Person Who Acquires Tea Towels. I always wondered how people ended up like that, and somehow it happened. Though I'm still not sure *how*.

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    1. An British Asian friend commented that some of my dresses have been to India more than she had!! After years of Indian travel I have my tried and tested wardrobe - earthy colours and prints than don't show up the dirt, look okay after a swill out in the shower and don't need ironing. Metropolitan India's easy to dress for but in the villages and less touristy places it's just polite to cover your arms and lower leg. You'll be absolutely fine with your Burma wardrobe.
      I don't know when my vintage tea towel fetish started - maybe its something that strikes when you hit 40! xxx

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  42. You kook fabulous as always, Vix. I don't own a smartphone either - my phone basically just calls and texts and I fear ever losing/breaking it as I'm not even sure you can even buy non-smartphones anymore. Those tote bags are fantastic - will they be available to buy online at all?

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    1. Thanks, Rosie! Ebay is your friend. I got mine for under a fiver!
      I'll see how those bags get on at the fairs and might stick a few on-line. xxx

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    2. Received my tote - I love it - thank you soooo much! And the little notelet is adorable xx Thanks again x

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  43. We had to make a macrame plant pot holder at school, it was a bit longer than your one and it actually turned out really well - although it did make your fingers sore lol!
    I have a bit of a thing about old red telephone boxes, when I was young we didn't have a phone in the house so I remember many a trek down to the phone box. xx

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    1. Why oh why didn't we learn anything useful at school? Macrame over Latin any day of the week!
      xxx

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  44. Turning tea towels into totebags! Genius! I hope you sell loads!!

    I was quite touched when I saw your PC setup by your window with the lovely patchwork curtains. I imagine you sitting there, browsing ebay, composing blogs, and enjoying a leisurely sip of tea while looking outside. I'm glad you are the minority of people who don't own a smart phone...smart phones are a black hole of wasted time while life passes by.

    You look amazing as usual! Love the effing sleeves!!

    happy thrifting ;)

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    1. That is where you'll find me when I'm not in the Kinky shed, working or charity shopping! xxx

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  45. Oh what a genius idea the tea towel bags are!!! Clever you!
    I love the sleeves on that massive top! I love big sleeves. You are my style hero!
    I have just been given an e-reader by a friend but I am the same, I will only use it on holiday!xx

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie!
      I can't imagine snuggling up in bed with an e reader, it seems wrong! xxx

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  46. Smashing outfit you have on there, Vix. Must be careful with those sleeves, no housework allowed. And those tote bags, fabulous. As for a smartphone, I don't even have a cell phone. or a tablet. Just a computer thank you very much.

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    1. Thanks, Pao! Same here, my mobile phone got switched off the day my Dad died and it's only been out of the kitchen drawer a handful times since. Life's for living not staring at a screen. xxx

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  47. I do love a giant dramatic sleeve, but they do get in the way of just about everything. The tote bags are delightful - love the bright colours and kitschy prints.

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