Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 19th & 20th January, 2021

On Tuesday morning I did my Wii Fit workout, gave the rugs in the middle room a thorough going over with a stiff broom and cleaned the mantelpiece, which was filthy from the wood burner below. After our fruit and yogurt breakfast I resewed the hem on my quilted house dress and had a blog catch-up.

WEARING: Levis 511s (eBay), Rockport desert boots & vintage tooled leather belt (charity shop), 1970s cord jacket (nicked from the stock room), FabIndia wool scarf, waxed leather cap & band tee (bought new)

Jon's mission for the morning was to collect our friend Adrian's bike in our works van and drop it off at the bicycle repair shop for a service as it wouldn't fit in Adrian's sports car. Adrian followed him, in these Covid times one daren't risk passengers! Going somewhere different, no matter how mundane, offers a rare opportunity to dress up so he wore the 1970s Western-cut cord jacket he'd snaffled from the Kinky Shed the other day.


Meanwhile, my sartorial adventures in my Wear:Sleep:Repeat challenge meant I rewore Monday's vintage British army jacket over a 1960s Ayesha's embroidered cotton gauze kaftan (eBay), topped off with my me-made yellow Aran hat. I bet you thought I'd be wearing my Sarah Jane Adams tribute dress under the camo jacket, it was one of my choices but the kaftan won. 


The details: Vintage brass & copper jewellery (inherited from my Mum), Topshop gold leather boots (reduced to £7 in their sale four years ago so I bought two pairs!), Medusa belt buckle (Jon found in a 50p box of horse brasses in a charity shop).


My cuttings in the propagation station had rooted so I potted up the Mother-in-Law's Tongue and the Zebrina outside in the shelter.


After Jon got back from dropping off the bike, we had a coffee and Izzy the postman arrived with a parcel. I'd had a hankering for a Breton top and after some extensive research found a French brand called Armor Lux, established in 1938 and, eighty-three years later, still committed to producing sustainable, high quality and fairly traded garments. As luck would have it I found the exact top I wanted in my size & colour combination (aubergine & navy) on eBay on Sunday and won it for a bargainous £8.50 (they retail at 55€)


 I threw it in the washing machine along with the contents of the laundry basket, hung it all up to dry in the utility room and then had a bowl of noodles for lunch.


When Jon whizzed back to the repair shop to collect the bike I made him some flour-free, peanut butter biscuits as a treat (recipe HERE). I played around with my sewing for a bit and then we went for a walk around the block, perfectly timed as the forecasted rain started the second we got back. Liz (Adrian's wife) had been having a sort out and sent me a couple of coats she no longer wanted. The quintessentially British classic, the waxed Barbour jacket, went straight into the Kinky Shed. This vintage Elgee of London beauty needed repairing, which I did at the kitchen table accompanied by Pointless. I tried it on afterwards and I'm rather smitten.


Tea was pizza (what can I say? We love it!) accompanied by corn on the cob and coleslaw. 


The previous evening we'd started watching Monster, a gripping but rather unsettling Norwegian noir on Channel 4's Walter Presents and so continued with a couple more episodes. Leaving Jon to his music I went to bed with the book I'd started on Monday night, another grisly thriller. With my viewing and reading habits you'd think I was obsessed with murder, in real life I'm a cheerful soul, honest! 


Storm Christophe had arrived late the previous evening and I awoke on Wednesday to torrential rain and gusty winds. After my Wii Fit workout I wrapped my eBay sales parcels, put away yesterday's laundry and joined Jon for breakfast. 


It's not favouritism, Stephen won't stay still long enough for a photo!


My self-imposed Wear:Sleep:Repeat challenge is making getting dressed during lockdown a lot more interesting. I'm also putting a bit more thought into my accessories rather than reaching for the same combinations day after day.


I'm wearing Tuesday's kaftan with a vintage Kashmiri wool work waistcoat, bought from eBay, over the top. I've no idea what's going on with the colours in the photo below, I look like I've been painted. 


The details: Tribal-inspired spike necklace (charity shop, 2019, £1); a mix of Kashmiri papier mache, '70s plastic and a fair trade rainbow brass bangle; Lotta from Stockholm clog boots (eBay) and some Indian earrings I inherited from Mum.


Whilst Jon continued with painting the window frames, I used the kitchen wall as a backdrop and took photos of the Banjara bags we used to buy from friends in India to sell at festivals.


After a break for noodles Jon continued with his painting whilst I did a bit more sewing. Can you see what it's supposed to be yet?


We didn't go for our daily walk as the paint was still drying & we couldn't leave the house with the windows open so we made a promise to go for a proper stroll tomorrow whatever the weather. Instead we downed tools and watched Joe Biden's inauguration and raising a glass of American-style beer in his honour. 


Tea was corn on the cob, sweet potato wedges with melted cheese and a salad using the rest of our Poor Man's Capers. 


After such a miserable day weather-wise I've been looking forward to our Wednesday night rum since this morning. Cheers!

Stay safe and see you soon! 



61 comments:

  1. I absolutely love copper and brass accessories...Arilx

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    1. Thanks, Aril! A change from my usual silver. x

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  2. I'm really enjoying seeing the results of your outfit challenge.

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  3. Evening Vix! just made me giggle I've been looking forward to my Wed rum all day she says - yeah just had a ginger beer myself we deserve a tipple the weather has been awful. I love pizza too! Two beautiful close ups you and Frank! Don't worry we know you are a cheerful soul even with your taste in reading and tele viewing lol Love the kaftan. Wow the sewing project is coming along. I have too many Breton tops, liking that colour. Pesky Phil tried to run away again yest! Shazxx ps learnt a lot more about Joe Biden today so sad about his first wife and daughter he lost in a car accident. Let's hope him coming into power signals some hope for the US.x

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    1. Morning Shaz! Hasn't the weather been a bore? It was good to get out for a walk yesterday after a day of being stuck inside. I can cope with freezing cold if there's sunshine but these incessant days of endless grey are enough to drive us all to drink!
      What's up with Phil? Doesn't he know we're under lockdown? He needs to stay home!
      Poor Joe Biden having to deal which such tragedy and what strength of character he must have to be able to continue, pick himself up and continue working for the people. I feel hopeful for the USA. Stay safe! xxx

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  4. Jon is so dapper in his cord jacket and striped scarf, and you are a treat in that lovely dress with your yellow toque, Vix! I love love love that you're showing your accessory details (could ya tell?? ha), and am drooling over your mum's beautiful jewelry. Gold boots? Hooray! I love them.

    That Elgee coat is magnificent. I would keep it!

    Aw, Frank, look at that face! I just want to give him a snuggle.

    Your dress is so gorgeous - that vest looks awesome with it.

    I was thinking of you yesterday as I hemmed my puzzle dress - I found the sewing very relaxing and felt so accomplished when I was done! I'm proud that my stitches are nearly invisible! I'll have pics up tonight.

    I've been looking at some of the coverage from the US inauguration - I hope that the US all takes a deep breath now.

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    1. He's keeping that jacket, I've talked him into it. One day we will be able to leave the house and do normal things again and we need to be wardrobe ready!
      Those gold boots were so ridiculously comfy I needed two pairs in my life. Neither pair have any signs of wear, I'll be rocking them in the nursing home at this rate.
      Hand sewing is such a delight, you can feel yourself calming down with that first stitch. It's good to spend time with our clothes!
      I bet our American friends are feeling a lot more optimistic now. xxx

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  5. Looking absolutely fantastic as always Vix! Your meals and those peanut butter biscuits look fantastic too. Your Banjara bags are gorgeous as well as the piece you are sewing. I think that will be my favorite yet. You amaze me! Thank you for joining us for a toast to President Biden. What a huge relief to finally have him in office. I will finally be able to sleep well tonight for the first time in the four years!

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    1. Hello Martha! Thanks, Martha! Joe Biden's speech at the inauguration ceremony was wonderful, I was transfixed by them. It must be such a relief to have him as your president. xxx

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  6. I love those hand bags.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  7. My houseplant cuttings seem to be doing well. I am treating them like babies at the moment, it’s funny we call mothers toungue a snake plant over here. Paul’s not happy with you I told him that I want to stop eating meat and fish. I don’t eat a lot anyway. And he put a Japanese version of a sausage on a hot dog really and i told him it made me feel sick!! And then he saw one of your posts and he went bloody vix. I went no twinny has been veggie for 30 years you idiot!! Then he shut up!
    Love the challenge you are doing good girl. I can’t resist a good coat neither . Hence I was told to have a good coat clear out. Then I read Sarah’s book and now I want a baseball jacket!!! hes going to kill me. I will just see what work has in. Love working in the vintage industry you get some gems you have to agree!! Take care and keep safe love and hugs to you all

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    1. Snake plant is a lot more PC than Mother-in-Law's Tongue. It's so exciting when your cuttings take. I've been really struggling with the gorgeous Ginko Bonsai Tony bought me for Xmas, it was dropping leaves like mad. I've moved it yet again and finally it seems okay. It's hard work being a plant parent!
      Tell Paul that veggie is good. Jon eats meat and fish but it's very rarely so he enjoys it all the more when he does ( cheaper, too!)
      Sarah Jane looks so good in a baseball jacket, she even had me reconsidering a 1980s bomber jacket I've got in the stockroom! Stay safe! xxx

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    2. Ohh bonsai they need a lot of TLC, I have one, I have had it for 10 years, they tend to love the humid climate. Try and keep it away from drafts and they hate direct light , you need to trim it regularly and they hate lots of water. Just so. Also use florists wire to train it they grow Into beautiful shapes.
      We went to a display at Meiji shrine 2 years ago and some were 200 years old with their beautiful thick bases and twisted branches.
      Get a bonsai book they are really helpful. If you need anything else just ask

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    3. Thanks, Allie! I shall keep an eye on him (I'm sure he's a boy, he's a bit temperamental!) xxx

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  8. It's either a crop top with angel sleeves or it's going on to become the bodice of a flowing maxi dress, the colours are just so vibrant, I love it. Your wardrobe combos are fun - steady on - next you'll be creating a lockdown capsule wardrobe! I do love the way your jewellery is so much a part of your style- I only have 4 pairs of earrings lol - I did look at the linky you sent me a while back but the ones I wanted had sold out - might check it out again... I like your gold boots - that was a lucky investment and the breton top - a real classic, Boden do good quality ones too so worth looking out for - you need a beret for fun:) Hope the rain is not causing flood issues for you. Betty x

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    1. Capsule? Never!!! This is a bit like my travel wardrobe, everything I pack has to go together so I can mix them up and make loads of outfits, I suppose that's the advantage of being drawn to the same colours.
      I'm glad those earrings are back in stock. I can't believe you'v only got four pairs of earrings. When we start travelling again you'll have to buy a pair from each place you visit, that way you can have a wearable reminder of your adventures.
      I did look at Boden when I researching Breton tops. Seasalt have some gorgeous ones and their ethics are really good (the men that founded it were Walsall boys!) xxx

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    2. only joking I know capsule wardrobe is not you! What a great idea a pair of earrings for every trip! I have two pairs from Dubai so am on a starter - thanks so much for that link - I have ordered some will blog them to death soon xxx

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    3. I know, you love your clothes as much as I do! Choice is everything.
      Maybe we should plan our adventures to places famous for jewellery making - or have a girls' weekend away! xxx

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  9. Those bags are gorgeous, you know how to tempt me!! AND I've copied the recipe for the Peanut Butter Cookies ... more bloody temptation ;-)

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    1. Who doesn't need a bit of sparkle in their lives? Those peanut butter biscuits are delicious, I managed to eat one before Jon demolished the lot! xxx

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  10. I can’t stop looking at those bags they’re awesome. Such a lot of good stuff on your post today. Makes me want to have a root through the Kinky shed.
    I see Jon’s beard is back. He looks rather fine in his jacket and scarf.
    Well done on the baking. I bet Jon appreciated them with a nice cuppa. Isn’t this weather awful. I’m only glad we are so high up. It has it compensations when it’s raining but it’s naff when it’s snowing and icy.
    Stay warm and dry you two xxx

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    1. It's quite exciting that we can actually get in the Kinky Shed and move around at the moment! I must have known something subconsciously when I listed those festival bags as Glastonbury cancelled 24 hours later. It looks like another Summer at home then.
      With all that dreadful flooding I thought of you both, safely up your hill. What an awful few days. It's thick with frost this morning but the sky is turning blue an dthe birds are singing! xxx

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  11. I bet the Banjara bags sell right away on your e-bay site. I will be interested to see how quickly. I love bags! More than clothes, give me new bags, and backpacks, and slings, and large totes and so on. I was glued to the television for the poet laureate Amanda Gorman-chills and not form our cold weather, though it warmed right up yesterday. I am always curious as to UK Tea combinations. I'd have never thought to have an ear of sweet corn with pizza.

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    1. I didn't know you were into bags, Sam. I always say I'm not really into bags but I do love an oversized tote bag or a battered vintage leather shoulder bag and there's always the £1250 Victoria Beckham bag I scored for £3 at the charity shop last year so maybe I am!
      Amanda Gorman - what a talent! Another reason to be proud of being American this week!
      xxx

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  12. those banjara bags are to die for........
    i knew your sewing will be a nomad dress! and you do it in real nomad style - collected pieces sewn together patiently. it will turn out beautiful!!!
    franks cute portrait make me want to kiss this pink nose - can you do it for me please ;-D
    your challenge is still very interesting to watch and i love to see all the long hidden jewelry. such fabulous pieces.
    the storm will arrive saturday - but as a blizzard if i look at the forecasted temps.....
    stay warm & safe!
    xxxxx

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    1. I know you love a bit of Indian sparkle!
      Thanks for the sewing encouragement. I'm keeping it on the mannequin where I can look at it every day and add bits and pieces when I have the inclination. It's a real temptation not to match fabrics up too much, isn't it? The more random the combination the better.
      Frank says thanks for the love, he'd make a very handsome partner for Lisbeth with her thick fur and pretty face.
      Blizzards! I think we've got snow forecast for the weekend but hopefully just a dusting. xxx

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  13. OOh, I too reckon your sewing will be a dress! I'm doing a bit more sewing now, it's a good use of time.

    I love the breton top, can't wait to see how you style it.

    Were your capers nasturtiums? I made them with ransoms last year and they were nice, but might try naturtiums this year.

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    1. It will be a dress eventually although I'm taking my time and letting it develop. Sewing is a brilliant way of stretching out time, radio on, hand sewing as opposed to the machine. Bliss!
      Yes, the capers were nasturtiums and jolly tasty they were, too! xxx

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  14. This may be wishful thinking but your brilliant yellow home-made Aran hat atop the camou jacket made me think of daffodils popping up through the dull greens and browns of garden debris. And you did say you heard Jacob stirring in his sleep. We live in hope. (At least we made it through the inauguration. I saw Bernie's mittens and thought of you.)

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    1. Not so wistful, Beth. I've noticed crocus shoots peeking out of the ground this week and Jacob came out of hibernation yesterday, he clearly knows something!
      I must admit to holding my breath during the inauguration every time I saw anyone in the invited audience move. Bernie in his mitts, bless him! xxx

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  15. Oh, you both look so FINE. I went out to the nearest 'safe' (ie properly organised and 'policed' by security) supermarket this morning. There were only a dozen or so terrified shoppers, legging it around the shelves (we went super-early). I was the only fancy lady there, apparently lol. First time out in 3 weeks.

    Is that another Afghan-inspired dress? It looks lovely - so starved of colour and ready for Speing. I was going to wear my Frankenfrock this morning but it is now too big - so it is currently on the alteration pile. I've been using the rowing machine to strengthen my core (sounds great - don't know what I'm talking about - and my knees hate me lol).

    Your bags are glorious - I am developing a squint trying not to look LMAO I have to keep taking myself upstairs to stand in front of my cocktail cabinet full of bags - in order to remind myself of what I already have.

    Roll on Covid-jabs and leaving the house!!

    Hello Maryland - big love to you xxx

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    1. Well, thank you, Fancy Lady!
      How's you mum doing?
      I bet it felt good to get out even if it was only the supermarket. Jon says Morrisons was really quiet and the few in there were all in masks, hooray for that!
      It will be another Afghan inspired dress when I get round to it. I keep looking at it and getting something else out of the fabric stash to add to it.
      Lockdown weight loss? Go, you! That's brilliant. Jon says he tried The Plank last week, his arms started shaking and he was laughing too much to continue. Back to the exercise bike for him!
      I never thought I'd say it but I'm impressed with how quickly those vaccines are rolling out, arms at the ready, it won't be too long for us now!
      Stay safe and much love. xxx

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    2. Thanks be - it's looking like my Mum is asymptomatic, Vix. I feel like talking about it will be a jinx - the staff are magnificent. The jabs have reached the North West - my Mum will need to wait a month for hers (after infection) but hopefully antibodies will keep her safe in the meantime. We're scheduled for April-ish.

      It felt good to be out walking in the fresh air - but a bit sad to see other people plainly-terrified. No eye contact, head down - keep walking. The doormen at the supermarket reminded me of Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness. I didn't feel that fancy - but then I never feel particularly fancy lol. There were no ballgowns or tiaras involved yesterday.

      Lockdown weight-loss - maybe - the Plank thing is hilarious. I think all that laughing at an angle strengthens your belly muscles. It also makes you realise how crap your vaccuum cleaner is lol. We have a selection of home gym torture devices - I love the rowing machine but it is hell to actually squat down low enough to sit on it (ricketty knees, Mechano'd ankle that doesn't bend). Once I'm perched on it there's no stopping me. I also have an air-walker - so I can stride along for miles (but only if I have my laptop set up to watch a DVD as it is VERY boring).

      Ah well, life is looking up - things are sprouting in the garden and - be still my heart - the sun is shining.

      Stay safe and well - jabs are coming xxxx

      p.s. Hi Maryland - big love; hope things are better today xxxx

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    3. I'm so pleased to hear that your Mum's okay and that she's being looked after with love and that those few weeks fly by and she can get her vaccine really soon.
      Isn't it sad that so many are so scared? There's being careful and there's letting it take over your life. I bet you made Max & Paddy's day, not only by looking wonderful but I bet they knew you would be smiling under your mask. xxx

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  16. What the heck is Speing? SPRING!!!!

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    1. Whatever you want to call it, it can't get here fast enough! xxx

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  17. woww, so fab outfits, this kaftan is such a gorgeous piece and love the way you've accessorized, both with the brass and copper jewellery and the more colourful bangles too. I have a weakness for your waistcoats over dresses anyway!.
    Your sewing project is looking more and more fantastic, love these colours and textures!
    besos

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  18. Your outfits are fabulous and I'm certain you have a woolly hat in almost every colour now :) I was wearing a very similar yellow one today. X

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    1. We all need some yellow in our lives at the moment, sunshine on outfit form! x

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  19. I'm enjoying your Wear, Sleep, Repeat challenge so much, and I'm thinking I might to collages of my stuff too. The weather's been so awful that we haven't been out and about much and I'm lacking the energy for any indoor projects, so it would be nice to have some "fillers" for my blog! Your kaftan is gorgeous, but I still like it better with the waistcoat than with the army jacket :-) Those gold boots are divine!
    Aw, look at Frank's face! What a handsome boy! I'm swooning over that vintage Elgee of London coat. No wonder you are smitten.
    I'm thinking your sewing project will either be a cropped top or the bodice of a maxi frock, but whatever the case, those sleeves are to die for! xxx

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    1. There's so little else happening we might as well lavish some due care and attention on our wardrobes and accessories! I'm struggling with collages since PicMonkey changed their format, it takes longer to make one than it does write a post of late! xxx

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  20. Such a fab dress! It looked great with the camo jacket but I really liked the beautiful waistcoat with it. Fab jewellery, too! Jon was looking very dapper.

    What you're sewing looks gorgeous; is it going to be a top or are you adding a skirt? Can't wait to see it...

    I love those bags!

    Take care
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I will add a skirt to it eventually, I'm waiting for inspiration to strike! xxx

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  21. Hello Vix! Looking gorgeous as always, so fresh and lovely! I love the challenges you set for yourself. You have been growing and learning all through this pandemic, and it is great to behold. I'm soooo addicted to your blog. I refresh on the days I know a post is coming out!

    Also -- ready to LOL? -- is Jon's beard bushier? I'm struggling to find the difference in the pics. I am one of those unfortunate people who can never spot what's different about someone!

    xxx from a very tired Miami healthcare-adjacent worker!

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    1. Hello Mei! Hope you're staying safe and sane in Miami!
      Jon is usually clean shaven but in recent months he's only bothering to shave every month or so, I'm quite liking the beard! xxx

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  22. Those bags just shout summer, they are so lovely and bright.
    I'm enjoying the slow reveal of your sewing creation, cant wait to see the finished article.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how you wear the breton top, I've always had a bit of a fondness for them (goes with my love of France I reckon).
    That's a gorgeous portrait of Frank. xxx

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    1. It was such a miserable day on Wednesday I knew photographing those bags would put a smile on my face! xxx

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  23. Hello Vix, the gold and yellow really suits you… but then I’m starting to wonder if there is a colour that doesn’t suit you! Lovely Breton top. Will be interesting to see how you style it, as my mam keeps on buying me stripy tops and I simply don’t know what to do with them all. It was quite funny yesterday afternoon, as my nine year old daughter’s Zoom class all spontaneously starting celebrating the moment Trump left the White House. Lulu xXx

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    1. Thanks so much, Lulu! I came to yellow late in life, I always associated it with the kind of girls who wore white stilettos, listened to Rick Astley and went out with boys who drove Ford Capris!
      That Breton top shall make an appearance very soon.
      I love that your daughter's class celebrated Trump leaving the White House, political at 9 years old, there's hope for the future! xxx

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  24. Jon's looking so dapper in the first photo - perhaps he should keep that jacket? You are continuing to hit it out of the park with your outfits - great colours and patterns, and the accessories are wonderful. I've lost track of what day it is, and have been wearing the same 5 or 6 pieces of clothing since Christmas.

    Frank is looking well!

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    1. He's kept that jacket, he didn't need much persuasion. One day he will have a more exciting reason to wear it other than a trip to the bike shop!
      Is the rotation of 6 garments since Xmas a capsule wardrobe? watch out, Shelley you'll be going all Marie Kondo on us next and embracing minimalism! xxx

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  25. Just finished reading Sarah Jane Adams book. What a fun way to writing a autobiography. We enjoyed the Biden concert, and are looking forward to brighter days.

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    1. It was a really good read, wasn't it? I'm so thrilled for you now you've got Joe, things will get better! xxx

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  26. Well done on the plant cuttings! They will be wonderful!
    I really like your kaftan- it's a beauty!
    That breton stripe top is wonderful! I cannot resist a stripy top and have a whole host of charity shopped ones- my stepmum and Dad bought me one for my birthday from Joules last year with bees on so cute! I've just discovered that I could get a 50% discount on Seasalt Cornwall as a keyworker till Tuesday and I am SO tempted by one of their darker stripy tops (which would work out at £12 I think) but I've already bought my one item of the month! Ah, decisions!

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    1. I was so tempted with the Seasalt tops, I really like the company's ethics (the owners are Walsall boys) and the quality is brilliant. Take advantage and use that discount code! xxx

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  27. I did think you'd be wearing your SJA inspired outfit, but this dress is equally as glorious! I like a bit of a wardrobe challenge, I find it makes me consider each outfit more carefully, rather than just chucking on what's clean and close to hand. It makes me feel better to be wearing an outfit I really like.
    I have ebay purchase envy - that Breton top is lovely.
    xx

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  28. I just Love all those Banjara Bags!

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  29. I hope the rum was good!

    Re: obsessed with murder. All your posts reminded me to catch up with Spiral, which I watched a bit of the first series when it was first on telly but nothing since... it somehow seems more graphic than the Scandi stuff. I find it slightly unsettling. Possibly because there's no real warmth anywhere in any of the characters - there's usually something mundane or cosy offsetting the awfulness in a lot of the Scandi ones. That said, I'm going to watch the rest...

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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