Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 25th & 26th January, 2021

On Monday morning I was up just after 6am, I did my Wii Fit workout and left the lads to play in the snow, I tried to shut the front door behind them but it had frozen solid and jammed solid. I grabbed my wellies and made my way to the Kinky Shed but couldn't get inside, the padlock had also frozen. 

Too cold to sit at the PC and catch up with Blogland, I emptied and scrubbed the fridge inside and out, mopped the kitchen floor and swept the rugs in the middle room. By the time Jon got up and sorted out the front door I was toasty warm. After breakfast he attacked the shed padlock with boiling water and I was able to get in and wrap the rest of my parcels.


Jon did the weekly food shop and the Post Office run, returning to say that both were almost deserted. After sanitising and putting the shopping away I posed for an outfit photo in the snow. 


Wear:Sleep:Repeat! Sunday's Armor Lux Breton got another outing. It really is incredible quality cotton, so thick and cosy and, if you can't stretch to the retail price, they are definitely worth hunting down on eBay. This time I combined it with my 1970s Tarantella of Walsall sage green suede skirt (from friends G'n'T), British-made 80 denier aubergine tights (eBay) and my purple fedora (retail sale buy, 2019)


The details: Kuchi pendant on beaded necklace (a gift from the fabulous Ilaria), 1970s French high heeled wellies (jumble sale) and silver chain and hoop earrings (festival trading neighbours Shilpa Silver)


Remember the Winter bouquet Liz collected when we were out walking last week (HERE)? She emailed me to show me that she'd turned her findings into art already. 


Wrapped in a cape and mittens, I endeavoured to take stock photos, easier said than done in Monday's sub-zero temperatures, I was struggling to operate the camera as I couldn't feel my fingers.


After a break for noodles I spent the rest of the afternoon measuring my garments and listing them. As Jon was waiting for a delivery I'd almost written off our daily walk but it arrived in the nick of time and we were able to go for a very slow walk around the block, picking our way through the snow and black ice. We got back at just after 4.30, incredulous that it was still light. We tucked into quiche and salad for tea. After a blog catch-up (me) and musical interlude (Jon) we met up in the lounge and started to watch the second series of  All The Sins (we're obsessed!)


I'd forgotten to set my alarm on Tuesday but Frank's purring woke me up at 6.40 am. After my Wii Fit workout and breakfast I braved the black ice and ventured into the Kinky Shed for some stock. 


Wear:Sleep:Repeat continued. Just in case you're wondering it's my self-imposed challenge to rewear a garment from the previous day to create a different outfit. I've always said that if you only buy clothes you love they're almost guaranteed to go together. 


I'm wearing Monday's Tarantella of Walsall suede skirt, this time with a 1960s embroidered cheesecloth blouse made in India by Santos Fashions of London (eBay), my me-made Aran hat and some 100 denier mustard opaques I found in a charity shop years ago. They're originally Pr*mark and fit horribly but the colour is good.


The details: Vintage Afghan Kuchi earrings (eBay), white metal Banjara torque (roadside stall, Goa), Ilse Jacobsen boots (retail, 2018)


I'd had a couple of requests from repeat customers asking me to pose in stock they were interested in which I managed to do, just before the skies darkened and the sleet arrived. With outdoor photography plans scuppered I ironed and measured some more menswear and saved the descriptions to draft but after a break for noodles there was some let up in the weather and I was able to dash out and snap away.


Whilst outside I checked the postbox and discovered my latest eBay buy, a collection of vintage Indian postcards the seller had found in their attic, with some dating back to the days of the Raj. Other than Lake Sringar in Kashmir we've visited all the places featured. The seller was kind enough to include a few freebies including some 1930s greeting cards featuring the most exquisite handwriting - £2 well spent!


If the charity shops were open I'd be down there tomorrow rummaging for a suitable frame. As it is, it might be Easter before I can do anything with them!









The stationery shop this 1930s card came from, JB Karani's and Sons, in the Fort area of Mumbai (known as Bombay back then) was established in 1898 is still run by the same family. We've walked past it many times!


A few of you asked if I would share a few recipes so here's what we made for tonight's tea, Mushroom Potato Masala.

For two generous portions:

6 button mushrooms (roughly sliced)
2 medium potatoes (scrubbed, cubed & parboiled)
I medium onion (chopped)
Tin of chopped tomatoes
2" fresh ginger & 4 cloves garlic (whizzed together in a mixer to form a paste)
1/4 pint water
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt (to taste)
3 tsp oil (we use rapeseed)
Coriander leaves

Heat oil in a large pan, add cloves and garlic ginger paste and saute
Add onion and saute till translucent
Add tomatoes, mushrooms, potato, salt and all the spices. Saute for 5 minutes
Add water and simmer until vegetables are cooked - add more water if you want a runnier curry.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve however you like.


Our was accompanied by rice and a beer - we needed it after BoJo's press conference. Over 100,000 dead and yet there's still Covidiots convinced it's all a hoax.

Tonight we'll be watching more of All The Sins and looking forward to a hopefully snow-free walk tomorrow.

Stay safe and see you soon!

65 comments:

  1. Great old postcard find, I love old postcards. Supper looks yummy, something to keep you warm with all that snow. We got a tiny bit but are likely in for more this week. Fortunately not enough for hubby to have to shovel thankfully

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    1. It's definitely curry weather at the moment! A little snow is pretty but whn the shovel has to come out it's no fun at all! xxx

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  2. Back when everyone smoked and had a lighter in their pocket, icy locks were quickly fixed. I don't really know what I'd do now when that happens. Fortunately my newer cars don't need a key put in the door to unlock them.

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    1. Luckily the van opened on its first attempt. It's been ages since we had frozen locks, what a treat 2021 is turning out to be! x

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  3. The snow looks so pretty but way too cold for me! Love the outfits, you still amaze me with them every time I pop in here. Your meals look delicious and I love the old postcards too!

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    1. I'm not made for cold weather either, Martha! I was born in the wrong country.
      Old postcards are like time capsules especially when they've been used. x

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  4. That you have walked past the shop when the 1930s card came from gave me a big lump in my throat - such continuity is so rare these days. Pehaps next year you will be able to return - maybe take them a copy of the card, or at least show photos?

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    1. Isn't it wonderful that the same family are still running the same shop. that's such a good idea to take the card back and show them - when we can travel again! x

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  5. Being from across the pond over here in the wacky-dacky USA (has been a rough 4 years and then add covid to the mix) I am probably asking a dumb question but... what kind of heating do you use? I love reading your blog and I noticed often you mention the cold inside the house, too cold to work on PC, or you are wearing hats inside due to the cold. Now, due to expense, I don't run my heat too high and tend to wear sweaters & layers if I get chilly, I turn the heat down at night and sleep under quilt / comforter as I don't sleep well in too warm a room anyways. But I did wonder what you use for your heating for your home.

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    1. Hello Dawn! We have gas central heating with radiators in each room. It's costly to run in a 270 year old house, we don't have double glazing downstairs (the windows are 9 foot in height and we cover them in plastic film during the winter)and the house is too old for cavity wall insulation. We use a wood burner during the day and whack the heating up in the evening - but turn it down before we go to bed. Like you we have a quilt on the bed and hot water bottles. Hope that helps! xxx

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    2. Hello! Yes, the age of your home, and no double glazing makes sense now, and no cavity wall insulation (due again to the age of your home) and just that alone would make so much of a difference. Thank you for sharing this 'info' - I had long wondered how you heated your wonderfully old home. Take care and stay warm xxx

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  6. You look elfin in your elf-greens and mustards with your bobble hat! Brrrr! We haven't had snow here, just hard frosts and rain today. As we say in Scotland, it was "gey dreich". I was totally uninspired today and only went out to deposit spent flowers in the organic waste bucket. It's amazing how you can fill a lot of time on very menial tasks. Love the postcards, what a lovely find. You have such a nose for interesting objet d'art. I have watched all kinds of undemanding detective dramas - no scary bits or violence! I am a late comer to Gogglebox and have been gorging on past repeats which make me laugh and feel like I have company (pathetic). How talented is Liz? Wonderful watercolours. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello, Catmac! Gay Dreich! That sums up the grey drizzle perfectly and keeps cropping up in the Val McDermid I'm reading.
      Funny you should mention the organic waste bucket, I used to eave it until I couldn't fit the lid back on and now I'm up and down the garden emptying it in all weather, I think I've probably worn a track into the lawn.
      Gogglebox is wonderful fun. I watch it only for someone to repeat what I've said word for word second later, it is like watching it with friends. I bet Death in Paradise is a favourite, I haven't watched it in years but I'm tempted to as I like Ralph Little. xxx

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    2. Death in Paradise is glorious rubbish!!! Plots are paper-thin but it's fantastic escapism and I love Ralph Little too!

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  7. OOH! Thanks yo for posting the recipe and I can even figure out the measurements. I'm so sad at the state of the recovery rates, and how long after the promise with vaccines that it really will take to get the world safe again. Thank you for your piece of brightening my days.

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    1. Enjoy if you do make the masala!
      I don't know what we'd do without blogs and virtual friendships. xxx

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  8. I spray WD-40 on my door jamb and in my locks when the temp gets to freezing. it really works, my front door and car locks used to freeze and stick before I started doing this. I LOVE your blogs. I look forward to reading them.

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    1. Oh! I hadn't condisdered WD40, something we always have in the cupboard, and a lot less dangerous than messing about with boiling water! Thanks, Leigh! xxx

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    2. I put in a reply which seems to have become lost in the ether. Sorry if I'm repeating. WD40 is amazing and has many uses - check the website! It is great for cleaning stainless steel.

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  9. Ooh, these are two of my favourite looks so far, Vix! That green suede skirt is amazing and such a great colour - I love that acid yellow with it, and with the pinks and purples? I die! This seems to be causing your creativity with your outfits to soar! You always look great but I can definitely see a change in your style as you experiment. Love it.

    Snow! we didn't even get a dusting of the promised snow of last weekend. I'm a bit jealous! That bundle of cards is amazing. I love finding people's correspondence - it feels like a glimpse into another world.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! I rarely wear anything above the knee so it was a real challenge to inject a bit of colour with the opaques without looking like a kids' TV presenter!
      WE've got more snow on the way apparently, I'm enjoying a mild day today. xxx

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  10. winter is going serious at yours!
    ordering the new windows was right in time i guess. @ padlocks: in our region padlocks are covered with a small piece of rubber (from an old mat or a tire) that is nailed to the door or frame..... no water from rain or snow can get in and no ice builds up.
    love both combinations with the cool skirt! those colours! sensational! best challenge ever!
    the postcards are extremely lovely!!
    thanx for the recipe! although fresh coriander is not available here...... but i have plans to seed some in a pot.
    stay warm!! xxxx

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    1. That's a really good idea. Sometimes the simplest ones are the best.

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    2. I second Cherie's comment, the rubber encased padlocks are a brilliant idea!
      Thank goodness for a good stash of opaque tights, I don't wear them very often but I was happy to find two pairs to match my wellies!
      Jon found the coriander plant on the reduced to clear shelf in the supermarket, it was looking a bit sorry for itself but it's perked up now. I had no luck growing it last year but I live in hope. xxx

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  11. Love that skirt!! I have a suede jacket that I love wearing. But it’s too wet at the moment to wear it! Mum found me a pink baseball jacket on eBay for 99p so when she has done me a parcel she will send me it, I’m a bit of a fila sportswear whore and she has found me some bargains on eBay and is going to send me them as well and this t shirt from skinny dip which says I hate people. Perfect for the current situation I think!!
    We have the odd spot of snow! I love old cards I like reading them and wondering if they did have a lovely time or did they just say that ?
    Liz is so talented, you will know how we feel now what it is like living in japan the old single wall homes in the winter we have to have the heaters on all the time even in the winter.
    Keep safe and be well

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    1. The label on my suede skirt warns agianst wearing it in the rain, not a great garment when you live in the UK! Well done to your mum for finding you that baseball jacket and the Fila stuff, my brother is into his terrace wear so he lived in that brand in the 90s!
      I hate people! Jon needs that, he's started getting so irate about stuff I've had to limit his news watching!
      Our house is always coldm, even in the height of summer. The postman must think I've got really bad roots as I keep answering the door to him in a hat! Loads of love. xxx

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  12. Good morning Vix! I like you enjoy the writing on the back of old postcards just as much. How lovely you have been past the family shop the greeting cards came from! My post card collection would appear to have been correspondence between two sisters that lived over 100 years ago. My mum worked for an old English lady (who settled inAus) and when I was 11 I was gifted the collection. I have kept them of course ever since. I bet you will work your magic with yours. The kitchen looks great and although it is a different look for you I am loving your breton top with the skirt! Just showed Phil the new daffs coming up in the lawn so yep spring is coming Vix. What about Liz' art? so talented! have a great day and enjoy your rum tonight (see I know the routine lol) Shazxx

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    1. Afternoon, Shaz! I love the sound of the postcard colection your Mum's employer gifted you, what a wonderful thing to own. I'm dying to frame mine but I'll have to wait!
      The suede A Line 1970s skirt was a staple look for me in the 1990s - usually barely covering my bum - it feels weird to have so much leg on display these days!
      You made me smile mentioning the Wednesday night rum, hope you enjoyed your ginger beer! xxx

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  13. That recipe sounds blimmin lovely. Our local Hindu centre does the most amazing chick pea curry. I may just have a look online and see if the are doing takeaways.

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    1. We're having the rest of that curry tonight...yum! We haven't had an Indian takeaway since 2019, the last time I ate a curry that someone had cooked for us was in Mumbai! xxx

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  14. I love that suede skirt, it's a shape I love to wear too, so comfortable and practical and looks great. I cant bear badly fitting tights, being fairly tall they're often not quite long enough, it's a bug bear.
    I love the wild flower paintings.
    Your curry recipe looks very tasty, spicy and good.
    It's a bit warmer here today, it felt pleasant walking Ziggy instead of the usual frozen face feel. Hope it's better over in Walsall too and you get a good walk in. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I'd forgotten how flattering A Line skirts are (and comfy to wear as well, no trailing hems in the snow). Badly fitting tights are awful. I've been spoilt by Snag.
      I bet both you and Ziggy enjoyed a milder walk, it feels so good not to be swathed in all the layers every time we nip outside although I think more snow is on the way. xxx

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  15. Love the look of that curry - definately one for me and Hubby to try. Saturday night is always curry night for us - its the one night we eat on our own without the girls. Trying out different recipes, glass or two of bubbles - never tire of it. Have been following your blog since the start of the fist lockdown although only just started commenting. Always enjoy seeing what you and Jon have been up to.

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    1. That's lovely that you and your huband have a special curry night once a week and experiment with different recipes, it's all too easy to fall into a routine especially in these strange times. It had been ages since we'd made that masala and it was delicious.
      It's lovely to get to know you. xxx

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  16. Your winter morning tales had me longing (oh let's not kid ourselves - I'm always grieving for it) - mornings when I left home at 6.30am on my trusty motorcycle and sidecar combo to go to work.

    We fashioned little insulated wraps for the gate padlock and the bike shackle - usually copious amounts of oily rag wound about lol. For a time I invested in heated handgrips which were a delight - but if you've ever worn a crash helmet you'll know about the need to contantly be wiping your visor to keep it clean - you NEVER wanted to let go of your toasty grip to do this lol! Very happy days.

    WD-40 is great for keeping your mechanisms working (oooh matron lol) as it keeps water out (and so nothing to freeze). It is ace at getting the sticky residue off things that have had a label on them too. I used to clean my bike with it - squirt on - watch the whole thing smoke alarmingly for five minutes once you fired it up - feel smug, as people thought I'd spent hours polishing it.

    Those postcards are gorgeous, Vix. If we ever go on holiday we are expected to send back at least one postcard to my Mum!

    I try to avoid BoJo bullshit as much as possible - it also annoys me that nothing is ever said about the feckwits of the parish who have behaved like total idiots - and who continue to do so. Pointing at politicians seems to absolve anyone who has a cheeky get together and put themselves and their larger social group knowingly at risk. Don't get me started with deny-ers. (Falls off soapbpx all exhaused).

    Loving what Liz did - she's got such a lovely style and line in her work.

    Currently obsessed with this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxP8kxUn5bc
    will probably drive your boys batshit - but so calming.

    Take care, all - Maryland - big love to you xxxx

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    1. I'd love to have seen you on the motorcycle and side car looking all fancy! I'll let you into a secret, I've only ever been on a motorbike once - in India, on a beast of an Enfield, no crash helmet, driving down lanes looking for a rave - I was scared to death but loved it!
      That's fab that you still send postcards to your mUm, let's hope we'll be travelling again before too lopng and you can ciontinue with the tradition.
      We sit and watch BoJo, get exasperated with his bufoonery & inability to answer questions and need a drink, it's no good for our sanity at all!
      Loved that bird song - the cats were very confused, thank you! xxx

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  17. They say purple and green should never be seen, except on an Irish Queen! but of course, with your usual tres chic aplomb, you carry it off spectacularly! Love the high-heeled wellies, only you can wear them with such flair. Love the yellow ones too. The postcards tug at my heartstrings for the people who went before and who cared for each other so much that they bothered to buy,write and send the cards. Fabulous that you rescued them to care for them even longer. I love your friend's artwork. I shall be showing off my friend's artwork soon. Have the rest of a good week and thanks for another spiffing post.xxx

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    1. Bless you! My Mum and Grandma both had the same high heeled wellies back in the day, I was thrilled when I found a pair for myself!
      The postcards are just lovely, aren't they? The beautiful handwriting and that they'd been stored away for so mnay years.
      Liz has such a good eye, I'm looking forward to seeing your friend's creations. xxx

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  18. I think the weather deities have arranged snow and freezing weather especially for you since you are stuck at home this year! But it does look magical, doesn't it? I'm almost envious as we only had the tiniest bit of snow for a couple of hours ...
    Your Breton top looks incredible worn with the sage green suede skirt and aubergine tights and boots! The skirt looks equally fantastic with your cheesecloth blouse, mustard opaques and Ilse Jacobsen boots. Both are a sight for sore eyes and look extra colourful in all that snow!
    Liz's Winter bouquet art is stunning, as usual, and I'm loving the collection of Indian postcards. What a wonderful find! xxx

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    1. Those weather gods are certainly keeping us entertianed, we've got even more snow forecast for the weekend, the last lot has only just melted! I'm quite enjoying it, at least it makes the same old view look a bit different.
      I'm really pleased with that Breton, I shall have to restrain myself and not start a collection but striped really do go with everything! xxx

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  19. I’m really enjoying your repeat wear challenge. Your right about things going together when you like them. I like mashing clobber together.
    The postcards are great, I like the backs the best.
    I’ll be glad when the weather warms up properly, I intend getting out in the garden this year. I bet it’s been hard for you to not getting your dose of sunshine and Indian culture. Do you know what though. Aren’t we doing great my friend xxx

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! It's giving me focus every morning rewearing something in another combination, I was starting to take an hour to get dressed in the morning before I started it, too much choice!
      We are doing so wellm, aren't we? I'm loving these earlier sunrises and longer days, we're hurtling towards spring, I can feel it! xxx

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  20. Loving the green suede skirt; especially with the green top and the fab yellow boots. I don't think Primarni do coloured tights any more; the last time I was in there (early last year) it was a sea of black - I was looking for a brown pair...

    The snow is horrible I hate it with a vengeance.

    Liz is a very talented woman. The pictures are exquisite and who knew there was this much flora at this time of the year? The postcard and card collection was a good buy; I hope you find the right frames once the chazzas have reopened. I can't wait!

    We're just about to watch the final 2 episodes of 'All the Sins' - very quirky!

    Take care and stay safe,
    xxxx

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    1. Have a look on eBay for opaque tights, there's loads on there in all the colours including brown!
      I normally hate the snow as it interferes with doing stuff but with nothing else going on I've embraced it this time although I'm enjoying today's mild weather and not having to worry about going arse over tit on my walks!
      We've just finished sesaon 2 of All The Sins, I loved it even more than the first series. I keep singing the theme song and annoying Jon. xxx

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  21. Those postcards are fabulous what a great find. You can't go wrong with a breton top, I have far too many!

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    1. Those postcards were £2 well spent! I'm a Breton convert now. xxx

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  22. Even in Freezing temperatures you stay so busy, upbeat and Fashionable! I feel so soft complaining about the Wind and a bit of Rain now! *Smiles*

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  23. unfortunately we have over 425,000 died and people are still acting the fool. My second shot is on Feb 12th, which can't get here fast enough. Dang, you got lots of snow! It was in the 70's here yesterday.

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    1. I'm so glad you're halfway there with the vaccines. Words fail me with the conspiracy theory lunatics out there. Oh to experience 70 degrees again, I wasn't made for this weather! xxx

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  24. Dear Vix, I'd happily wear both outfits myself and feel like a million bucks!, totally loving your style and attitude!. This suede skirt is a favourite piece, so rocking groovy!, and it looks so beautiful with the striped tee and aubergine and purple shades, totally Gorgeous!. aND also fabulous in green and yellow!, so delightful color combo and stunning jewellery and the fab yellow boots!. Looking like sunshine in the snowy background!, totally made my day!
    Your challenge is bringing so much inspiration!
    And so lovely to have a look at this postcards collection and imagine the way they'll look when framed. So amazing!
    Hope you can manage the freezy temperatures and keep your mood high and your style so fabulous!. Sending you good vibes and sunshine!
    besos

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    1. That's a mahoosive compliment, Monica! Thank you so much! I think I need another Breton in my life, stripes and block print rock! xxx

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  25. We are absolutely frozen here in Alberta, Canada. Minus 20 degrees celusius tonight...will definitely try your wonderful recipe...hopefully it will warm us up:) Love all your outfits and positive vibes. Stay safe.

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    1. Oh dear, -20°C doesn't sound very pleasant! I hope the curry does the trick and warms you up! Much love yo you in Alberta. xxx

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  26. Oh, that beautiful green skirt, Vix! I love both outfits you made with it. The gorgeous yellow boots made me think of David Bowie, as being something he would have worn. Gosh, I miss the Bowie days!! Yes, it's so cold, isn't it? What a way to start your day out, with frozen problems. Ughhh! Let's both dream of warmer spring days ahead. ~Andrea xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! We're enjoying unseasobale warm temperatures today, a whopping 11°C but we've been warned that the snow isn't over yet! xxx

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  27. That view of the Kinky Melon shed and surrounding snow scape struck a frozen nerve! Being stranded outside a building or car could be life-threatening in the Midwestern winters of my childhood. Our farmhouse and outbuildings had running water via a "pump house", a separate building that housed an above ground pump that ran on electricity. A light bulb illuminated it 24/7, and anyone observing, "Pump light's out!" prompted an immediate all-hands-on-deck response.
    But you've reminded me that we did not use boiling water to open frozen locks. There were spray bottles of alcohol stashed in convenient locations for that purpose. Believe you could also buy pocket sprays at the feed store. (A rural lifestyle is not for the elderly.)

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    1. Goodness me, that sounds scary! We don't often have such cold weather, it's a bit of a novelty and a welcome distracation. xxx

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  28. that purple and green combi is fun. The postcards look interesting, that was a clever ebay find. Your friend Liz has done some beautiful art there, she's very talented :)

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    1. Thanks, Betty! I was amazed nobody else wanted those cards, I've watched similar in the past and they've gone for ££s! Liz has such a good eye, just like you. xxx

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  29. Your friend Elizabeth is so talented. I absolutely love the winter bouquets she painted. Those vintage postcards are so beautiful! A great find.
    Your outfit in green and yellow tones is so pretty. That skirt looks great on you. The yellow boots are such a great pop of colour.

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    1. She's so talented, I can't even manage a stick drawing! xxx

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  30. If I ever complained of being cold as a child I was told to 'put on a jumper, or scrub a floor', to be fair it does warm you up. The snow can be a pain but it does look lovely (for a while at least).
    I love Liz's paintings, I'm glad I got to see what she created from her walk with you.
    What a lovely selcetion of postcards. I found some old one s in a shop a while ago, all from the local area but fascinating none the less.
    xx

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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