Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!


Don't worry, this isn't one of those retrospective posts prevalent in blogland at the start of January. I might dress in vintage clothing but I don't wallow in the past. I've no interest in looking backwards, you'll not find me blogging about my highlights from the previous year or posting selfies from ten years ago, the past is a foreign country and all that. 


Now, where was I? I signed off on Saturday with every intention of sorting out my travel wardrobe but got distracted by a delivery from Lahore containing a job lot of cushion covers handmade from the off cuts of antique rugs and old kilims I'd won on eBay before Xmas and I spent a hour or two stuffing cushions and moving things around until I was satisfied.


The rest of the day went to plan although we ended up watching Bridge of Spies for the fifth time as it was on TV and we couldn't resist seeing it again.


On Sunday morning we didn't get up until 9am which is unheard of for me but I was too engrossed with my current Le Carré novel to leave the bed. For breakfast we ate toasted sour dough bread with some delicious artisan-made vegan cashew cheese spreads my brother gave us for Xmas*. I placed an order for toiletries with Superdrug & arranged to collect it from their Walsall branch tomorrow.

*Here's the link, it really is delicious.
WEARING: Vintage psych maxi (99p, eBay, 2007), 1960s leather coat (gift from Sarah, who used to blog as Lucy Nation), Original Mary Quant scarf (jumble sale, 2014)
 Jon needed to go to B&Q (a DIY superstore) to get something crucial for the bathroom redo and also to buy some logs for the wood burner so I went along for the ride.

Stephen Squirrel, guardian of the wood pile

After a lunch of spicy noodles I got cracking with my holiday packing. My method consists of pulling out a pile of potential garments, trying everything on and laying the stuff I'm happy with out on the spare bed. Over the course of the following week I'll whittle the pile down. One of my maxi dresses needed shortening so I fired up the sewing machine and spent an hour sorting it out. Uninspired by selection of holiday tops in my stash I turned to the internet for help, finding something fabulous from a vintage shop I follow on Instagram. The unexciting tops? Along with the three books I finished earlier in the month, they'll be redonated to the charity shop later in the week.

I consumed a total of 70 books in 2019 - the first time I've ever kept track of my reading. 

After a shower we ate the rest of last night's pizza with salad & jacket wedges and watched The Repair Shop and more of Dutch crime thriller Blood Pact.

The Guardian are right, it's a must watch
On Monday, after a Wii Fit workout, I took down the Xmas cards, fairy lights and festive greenery I'd draped over the Trechikoffs in the lounge (just visible in the photo with the new cushions) and woke Jon up for our fruit & yogurt.

WEARING: Vintage suede and sheepskin trimmed coat (Second To None, 2017), 1970s embroidered velvet maxi and Reiss wool fedora (both eBay), 19th Century Gujarati pendant (flea market find)
Jon was determined to finish the bathroom so I left him to it and walked into Walsall to pick up the Superdrug order, drop off a couple of parcels at the Post Office and stock up on fruit & veg from the market. Needless to say I couldn't resist popping into the charity shops where I found this embroidered suede waistcoat with the Zara price tag still attached for just £4.50. After a lunch of - you guessed it - spicy noodles, I had a play around in my wardrobe to see how my new-to-me waistcoat could be worn.


I had another look at my travel wardrobe, removed two dresses & a bikini from the pile and slung the three possible wraparound maxi skirts I'd earmarked for the trip in the washing machine as their hems were looking a bit grubby, then I hung them up in the utility room to dry. Bathroom more or less completed, I had a look at my favourite fair trade homewares website for a replacement bathmat and ordered a couple of hand loomed cotton chindi rugs (made using surplus fabric from the Indian textile industry) which had been reduced to £7.50 each.


After a shower (which, after only being able to have baths for the last two years, I'm loving!) we ate baked potatoes stuffed with vegan cashew cheese and watched another couple of episodes of Blood Pact.


WEARING: 1970s maxi skirt, vintage crewel work waistcoat, 1970s ribbed polo neck jumper (all Ebay), Russian folklore belt (charity shop), Vintage Moroccan atomiser pendant (used to belong to my friend Maxine)

On New Year's Eve I started the day with a Wii Fit workout, dusted the lounge and, when Jon got up, we had fruit and yogurt for breakfast. After ironing the skirts I'd washed yesterday, along with some photos of our stall set-up I submitted an application to trade at a music festival we'd not been to before which took the best part of the morning.


Jon drove over to the out-of-town pet superstore to stock up on cat food as he'd realised that a 10% off voucher he'd been sent expired the next day and I knocked up a veg sabzi for later. Izzy the postman delivered the top I'd ordered on Sunday afternoon and I was thrilled to discover that it was even lovelier than expected and it looked great with all three of my potential holiday skirts, making the decision process even more difficult.


After a vegan pasty Jon made a start on his holiday packing while I sorted out the travel toiletries and the miscellaneous stuff (torch, sleeping bag liner, army knife, guide books, mosquito coils, adaptor plugs, etc.,) Jon downloaded some freebie books for our e readers, a real game changer - I used to pack twenty books before I discovered the miracles of technology!

Frank and his giant catnip fish

Neither of us can be arsed with New Year's Eve - paying to get into the pub, queuing to get served at the bar, nowhere to sit, pissed-up strangers trying to snog you, wading through puddles of vomit on the walk home - no, thanks very much! After all, we've got a whole month of going out to look forward to. So instead, we ate our curry, cuddled up on the sofa with the cats, a packet of salt & vinegar crisps (or two packets in Jon's case) and a few cheeky drinks, watched the rest of Blood Pact, a documentary about Dante Gabriel Rossetti and were in bed just before midnight.


WEARING: Vintage Afghan dress (Goodbye Norma Jean Vintage, 2018), purple wool fedora (retail buy, 2019), 1970s leather boots (borrowed from the stockroom)

This morning Jon was up first and brought mugs of tea back to bed. I carried on reading my Le Carré novel until the cats decided we needed to get up. After checking in with the Wii Fit we had toasted sour dough bread with vegan cashew cheese spread for breakfast.

St Matthew's Hall, Walsall's branch of Wetherspoons, the town's first permanent library, built in the Greco-Doric style in 1831

Of late Jon and I have started a new tradition - instead of going out on New Year's Eve and staring the year with a raging hangover, we celebrate New Year's Day instead. It feels a bit like the first day of your holiday, when you find a bar, order a beer and, giddy with excitement and slightly jet lagged, you speculate about what adventures lie ahead.

WEARING: 1950s chores jacket (charity shop), block printed scarf (Gujarat, 2018)

After wishing the bar staff a Happy New Year and exchanging pleasantries with the clientele, we raised a pint of £1.99 Shipyard to 2020, pulled out our India guide and made some rough plans for our trip.


Hungry, Jon ordered a pulled chicken and avocado salad and I had a small vegan pizza.


We had an interesting conversation with David, a Willie Nelson lookalike, who regaled us with tales from his hippy travelling days. We declined to join him for a third pint, knowing from past experience that it would lead to a full-on session with us staggering home in the dark, hours later. Yes, for once in our lives we acted like responsible adults! We finished our second pint, bid our goodbyes and were back in the house with a cup of tea by 4pm.


Tonight's plans? Well, the viewing is looking a bit scary - Victorian thriller The Limehouse Golem followed by the BBC's latest adaptation of Dracula. Not sure what we'll eat (or if we'll bother), we're both still stuffed from lunchtime.



See you soon!

70 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Vix! Wow - you have been busy! Loved the Limehouse Golem, hope you enjoy it too. Great waistcoat another great find!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! Loved The Limehouse Golem, I've been nagging my friends to watch it. xxx

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  2. Happy 2020 to you both. Things are hotting up for your trip now, I’m getting excited for you.
    It’s been the laziest day of the silly season so far for us. Apart from pulling the decorations down and a visit from
    my goddaughter it’s been a telly and radio day here.
    Cheers to a good 2020 for us all and a meet up in the summer hopefully xxx

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    1. Hope you've both got 2020 off to a good start. Yes to a meet up in the Summer, it's been far too long! xxx

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  3. I thought we were the only ones in bed before midnight , We stopped going out on new years eve years ago for all the same reasons as yo, a lot of it is hypocritical , I de christmased today , its all packed away now , There are some great dramas coming in january i should get set to record them while you are away , Happy New Year to you and john , I am back blogging , hoping to stay this time xxx

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    1. We don't have a recording device, I'm hoping it'll all be on the i-player when we get back! xxx

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  4. Happy New Year.
    I have only recently discovered your blog and reading through the archives and really enjoying it.
    Marlene x

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  5. I absolutely love those cushion covers. And your blue leather jacket from the 60s...and your new top. 70 books! Holy cow :) (had to throw an India reference in there). I've kept track the last few years and I read 30, although there were at least 5 I started and stopped after getting halfway through as life is too short to read crappy books. I used to finish every book I started but that is too painful if by the halfway mark it's dreadful. India is just around the bend, so exciting!

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    1. Holy Cow, I like your style!
      You're dead right, life is too short for boring books, I jettisoned a few after the first couple of chapters but didn't count them in my final tally! xxx

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  6. That maxi dress is wonderful! I also love the brown boots you paired it with, they remind me of my fav pair. You look lovely. The fair trade Indian bathrobe looks nice too. The books you're reading seem great too. I only discovered Le Carre last year and so far only read one of his books, I should look for more, I like his style of writing. E-books are great too, I often download the classics for free from project Gutenburg. I agree with you on the whole NYE celebration things. Much better to stay at home than to fight for a drink. This year we went over to another married couple house for dinner and that was it, basically I like to celebrate NYE at home. My husband and I had the tradition of celebrating New Year Day instead of New Year Eve (that we would typically spend at home). On the first day of new year we would drive around the whole region and visit all of our favourite places in Herzegovina. We broke the tradition this year but might do it again next year. This year we decided to skip the whole trip idea to visit his friends and family, there was no time to do both and since I work in another country now (and my husband moved with me) I figured this might be the only chance we have to see his family and friends for the next six months or so.

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    1. Le Carre is wonderful, my love affair with his writing started with The Spy Who Came In to The Cold and I've devoured everything else since then. Testament to his brilliant writing is that all the films/tv series based on his work have been just as gripping.
      Your New Year sounds very relaxing and civilised, a great start to 2020. xxx

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  7. Happy New Year!

    We also had a "wild and crazy" evening in front of the fire with the pug.

    That light blue leather trench is stunning! And the new top is perfect for you. Cannot wait to see it on your travels.

    I wish we had the BBC here. Dracula looks amazing.

    Suzanne

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    1. Back at you!!
      One of the best things about getting older is doing exactly what you want and not what everyone expects you do do - long may it continue! xxx

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  8. I always find deciding which clothes to take on holiday quite nerve-wracking, even if we only go away for a week, and are travelling by car, so I'm sure travelling light won't make it any easier. Putting aside all potential candidated and then whitlling them down is how I do it to. That new top is amazing: those sleeves! I'm loving your new cushion covers and my favourite outfit is the psychedelic dress with the blue leather coat. Celebrating on New Year's Day sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately I have work tomorrow, so that's not a possibility. We don't ever go out on New Year's Eve, though, and like we did for the past couple of years, we are getting together with friends and play board games! Apart from the going back to work part, I'm actually glad that all the silliness is over! Happy New Year to you both, and hope to see you in June! xxx

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    1. It is! It takes me ages to whittle it down - I've had another look today and weeded out a couple more dresses and a pair of sandals - and won myself a cracking pair of unworn posh label espadrilles for £1.50 on eBay this afternoon to promptly fill the gap!
      Hope your NYE was fun, it sounds like it was! xxx

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  9. Happy New Year! Love your bright and beautiful clothes and photos of the interiors. You beat me at books in 2019...
    Our Eve was tame. Gary, Dad, my sister and me. Table games and mushroom popcorn as snack. Watched an episode of Love It or List It and turned in an hour before midnight.

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    1. Happy New Year, Rebecca! Mushroom popcorn? I'm intrigued! I'm off to Google Love It or List It, a new one on me! x

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  10. Oh gawd that waistcoat is stunning. I was tempted to have a look on ebay to find one that I could bling... maybe when I have lost twenty pounds I will treat myself.

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    1. Do it now, you can always replace it when you lose the weight and at least you'll feel fabulous when you're dieting with a snazzy waistcaot to distract you! x

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  11. 70 books! I'm totally impressed - I've never been anywhere near that number, and fell woefully short with only 31 books this year (still, better than none!). Love the pictures of Stephen Squirrel and Frank (Vizzini also got a giant fish, but only supervised play as he gets a little wild-eyed after a bit).

    Your New Year's sounds fantastic. No hangover here (I quit drinking 2 years ago), but L is resting on the couch, so I shall rustle up brunch soon. Wishing you and Jon and the boyz a very Happy 2020, Vix!

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    1. 31 books is pretty good going, I tend to devour books when I'm away and then slow down the rest of the year - I had no idea I read as many as I did.
      Frank goes wild for cat nip, Stephen Squirrel doesn't get it at all, Cats are so weird! xxx

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  12. I'm loving your style. I used to do a lot more second-hand, but have got out of the habit as my husband is a dreadful Amazon addict (and for a while was a bit crazy about Ikea) and I have two smalls in tow, which isn't conducive to trawling the charity shops. However, as they get older and I want to instil in them (and him!) the virtue of second-hand, I really want to get back to it. You're inspiring me.

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    1. Lovely to meet you! Thanks for commenting.
      I hope you manage to wean the husband off the Amazon habit. Jon loves charity shopping as much as me, if he can't find clothes he's head first in the boxes of vinyl or ransacking the bookshelves. x

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  13. Happy New Year to you Vix and your loved ones.I don't drink alcohol at all now - 10 years ! as I like it a little too much-but then again for the last few years I have had hemiplegic migraines- people joke and say perhaps I should start again.You look lovely in your blue coat -I have a few rooms a similar colour x

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    1. Happy New Year, Flis! Ten years booze-free, that's seriously impressive. xxx

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  14. Did you enjoy Limehouse Golem? I did. I passed on Dracula as I was a massive vampire fan in my gothspent youth, and all the trailers made it look like typical Moffat bollocks. What did you make of it? (If you thought it was good I might give it a go on iPlayer.)

    I think we all get as much fun from your holiday packing as you do!

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    1. I loved Limehouse Golem, too. As well as an excellent (and surprising) story line I fell in love with the arsenic green wall colour in the police station, I need to hunt something similar down for the kitchen.
      I really enjoyed Dracula, I've been banging on about it all weekend. Twitter was ablaze with love for it as were most of my Facebook friends. Give it a go! x

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  15. Happy new year to you both! Glad you've had an enjoyable season, I love your idea of celebrating New Years Day instead. It's been years since I've bothered going out on NYE.
    That Zara waistcoat is stunning, can't wait to see how you wear it.
    I watched the first Dracula tonight too, loved it!

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    1. Happy New Year to you!
      Wasn't Dracula excellent? I had to watch some of those scenes with my hands over my eyes - that eye fly and the broken fingernails! xxx

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  16. Have a fabulous new year Vix.
    Hugs-x-

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  17. Happy New Year to you both!
    The new top has great sleeves. You do find the best stuff online.
    Haven't been out on a NYE in 20 years. Can't say I miss it.

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    1. Same to you, too!
      I might get a tailor to run me up a couple more of those tops if I can find any decent fabric in India! xxx

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  18. Happy New Year! We don't go out on NYE either, it's just too stressful. We played games whilst sort of half watching BBC1. I do like your idea of celebrating New Year's Day, I might see if I can plant the seed with Andy for next year...
    What a fab top! Those sleeves scream Vix.
    It's so easy to be distracted by something lovely dropping through your letterbox, it happens to me all the time!
    xx

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    1. Your playing games with half an eye on the TV sounds far more enticing than a packed pub on NYE. New Year's Day is a lot more civilised, the riff raff are still nursing their hangovers and the street cleaners have sorted out the pavements! x

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  19. Gorgeous.....everything! You're so organised!!I tried to watch Dracula but thought the zombies crawling from their boxes looked laughable so kind of gave up. I'm enjoying the Christine Keeler story though. Have you read or seen the film 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe', another Fannie Flagg book? It's one of my very favourite films.Thanks for leaving your sweet comment at mine, I really appreciate it.xxx

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    1. I really enjoyed (not sure if that's the right word!) Dracula. Scandal looked good but I couldn't commit to six weeks - maybe if it's still on the i-player in the Spring.
      I loved Fried Green Tomatoes, both the book and the film. xxx

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  20. Have a great 2020, I'm looking forward to your holiday photos already. x

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  21. I love your kilim cushions.
    I must check out the blood pact, I've missed that one.
    We had a quiet new year's eve too, we never do much but like a relaxing meal and good film. New Year's day was a take down the tree and spring clean day, such a good feeling, followed by a lovely meal and another film night.
    I hope the packing is coming along and that you have a fab holiday, can't be long now?
    Have a lovely time and any new year wishes for a great year. xxx

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    1. Really recommend Blood Pact. Another Dutch thriller series we loved was Black Widow, I think we watched five series over three weeks!
      Happy New Year! xxx

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  22. Happy New Year to you and Jon,

    Fabulous outfits and accessories as always!

    I love your kilim cushions; what a brilliant idea. I love kilims, too.

    We don't go out on NYE anymore either; we stay in and drink to the New Year and always watch Hootenany - which I don't particularly like but OH does; this year I watched Coldplay in concert first!

    I didn't watch 'Limehouse Golem' as I've read the book; but I did watch 'Dracula' for the first time ever and really enjoyed it! Part 2 tonight...I only managed 81 books in 2019. When I worked I used to read 100+ books every year. I've tracked my reading since about 2007/2008.

    You must be so excited about your travels to India; I know I am!
    xxxx

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    1. Happy New Year to you and yours, Vronni!
      81 books! That's amazing. I'm surprised I read as many as I did - I do devour books on holiday but slow down when I'm at home. xxx

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  23. I have begun the process for packing for our trip later this month. I'm really going to try hard not to over-pack. I need some of your packing mojo!

    We gave up going out on New Year's a while ago because we hated the way people behaved. It was just too much of a hassle. Your tradition sounds great.

    Glad to see Frank looking so well. And Stephen Squirrel is as handsome as ever.

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    1. The boys say thank you for your compliments!
      Gah! I loathe people's behaviour at this time of year, calling them animals would be an insult to beasts! xxx

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  24. Fantastic waistcoats. I read this with interest - are you vegetarian? Your food sounds very yummy.

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    1. Thanks, Ratnamurti and a Happy New Year to you!
      I've been vegetarian since the 1960s when I discovered as a small child that meat came from animals. My poor mother had a hellish time trying to feed me - vegetarianism wasn't common in the UK until fairly recently! xxx

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  25. Oh, I love your style! I'm in love with this blog already!

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  26. I like your vintage/hippie chick-look, more people should dress like that IMHO. Happy2020!

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  27. happy & healthy new year to you, jon and the furry boys!
    you guys know how to do the holidays leisurely and "gemütlich" - the food looks delicious, the house cosy and your outfits gorgeous......
    xxxx

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  28. Frank and his idag. That's a Good title for a book or a movie.

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    1. Thank you for teaching me some Swedish! x

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  29. Quite right about staying in New Year's Eve: my friends in law enforcement call it "Amateur Night"! However, had there been a local market selling those vegan cashew cheese spreads, I might have ventured forth...
    Not usually a fan of pastels, but that light blue 60s leather coat is sooo striking! How has it survived the decades? And how would you care for it? (I've a 30s German leather jacket in surprisingly good condition -- that I'm afraid to clean or wear.)

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    1. Amateur Night - so true!
      Those cashew spreads are absolutely delicious, wonderful on toast and perfect in a baked potato. Something I shall look out for in future.
      I reckon that leather coat cost a bomb back in the day and the buyer saved it for best, there's not a mark on it. Our friend who works in the furniture trade says baby wipes are the best thing to keep leather in tip top condition and he's right, they not only clean well but keep the surface supple. xxx

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  30. Happy new year! I hope that 2020 will be good to you! :)

    TheNormcoreRebel

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  31. Happy New Year! I always loathe New Year's Eve and it always throws my sleep pattern out! You are right about it being expensive and crowded. I feel so sorry for the Emergency Services- I remember when CBC was in Doncaster Infirmary for Mad Friday when he fainted on the A1 2 years ago and it was mad how many drunk people they had to put up with!
    We were invited to CBC's friend's party at her new flat in Hackney - she's just seperated from her husband of 10 years and we wanted to see her and keep in touch but it was such a pain to get to. We went from CBC's brother's home in Bow (as we were staying there) and it took soooo long to get there and back even though geographically it wasn't so far! I just wanted to veg at home (or at his Brother's). On the 1st we drove to Westfield for breakfast (which was nice) and then drove out for a walk at Thorndon with our friends and then went to a pub but I was so tired, I just wanted to go home!
    I had the Vegan burger in Wetherspoons and I really liked it! I do like Spoons! That one is a beauty!
    Your new top is beautiful- great find! I love the black polo with maxi and waistcoat look- really a great look!!! I'd like to try that!
    We went to a great charity shop today where everything was 50p- I came back with 3 tops and a skirt and I am quite pleased with them!

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    1. People just go crazy over the festive season, don't they? It all starts with Mad Friday, the day everyone breaks up from work before Xmas, the year before last there was a fight between over 100 people in Walsall town centre - I'm sure there's video evidence on You Tube. Like you, I pity the emergency services.
      Spoons do some great vegetarian food and after decades of having no choice whatsoever when it comes to pub grub I'm still beyond excited to not only have options but to be able to afford everything on offer!
      Excellent chazza scores. Polo necks are the best. Keep your eyes peeled! xxx

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  32. Ooo, I love having a peak into your living room. The cushions are a great find.

    The cashew cheese sounds interesting, I’ve heard of it but never tasted it before. What a good thing to include in a gift.

    Gosh, you read heaps, Vix! 70 books! I keep track of the books I read and in 2019, I read 16. I love reading but I must be a very slow reader- haha.

    I just adore embroidered dresses and waistcoats. Yours will look fantastic over so many of your dresses.
    Happy New Year to you and Jon (and the cats of course). X

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I can't resist a cushion or three (and the cats love them, too!)
      I haven't worn that waistcoat yet, I'm not used to owning things with the manufacturer's tags still attached, I feel like I need to keep them unworn for just a while longer before I trash them! x

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  33. Happy New Year!
    Wow, you read so much! I definitely need to get back into my reading but I always have something else that needs doing....xx

    https://paulamarieee.blogspot.com

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    1. Happy New Year! I always make time for reading, even if it's half an hour at bedtime. x

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  34. Happy New Year, Vix. Hubbie and I stayed home NYE as well. Didn't want to deal with the unruly crowds. Seems I was just enjoying your vacation photos, and it's time again for more! I'm sure you'll have tons of great outfit pix to drool over. Looking forward to them. That new top is fab!

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  35. Happy New Year Vix! New Year's Eve was spent on the couch with a blanket; I got sick two days after Christmas and am just now, a month later, starting to feel "normal" again, so reading about all you accomplished over the holidays wore me out!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix