Saturday, 27 February 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 26th & 27th February, 2021


As forecast there was a heavy frost on Friday morning and after a quick lap of the garden the lads were soon snuggled back in bed. I put away the previous day's laundry, did the final Wii Fit workout of the week and, as it's now light before 7am, popped the free books back outside and did an impromptu litter pick of the avenue in my exercise gear. 

After breakfast I wrapped the last of the ebay purchases and Jon popped them round to the post office, calling at the supermarket for supplies on the way back. Meanwhile I took everything out of the garden shelter, weeded between the paving slabs and swept up the leaves. It's now ready for visitors when restrictions for entertaining friends in our gardens are lifted on - hopefully - 29th March. Eagle-eyed readers will see that a couple of my photos are from the Autumn, no flowering geraniums just yet!

Jon arrived back as I was taking stock photos of more menswear, a mix of workwear and casual jackets. Remember those antiqued leather flying jackets with the zip off sleeves? They were all the rage in the early 1980s. 

Friday saw the return of Thursday's vintage Anokhi embroidered mirrorwork skirt, this time worn with a 1970s Jeff Banks W1 label blouse bought from a car boot sale 20 years ago for 50p. 

The details: Vintage Gujarati amulet pendant (Kutch, 2018), 1960s-does-Edwardian lace-up suede & leather boots (car boot sale), Afghan earrings (eBay), retro sunglasses (Jaded, London sale 2018)

Jeff Banks & his then-wife Sandie Shaw, 1967 Source


Jeff Banks' W1 range is another iconic British Boutique label. Jeff Banks, who Brits of a certain age will remember as the affable presenter of The Clothes Show in the 1980s (I met him and he was lovely), founded the Clobber boutique with his business partner, Tony Harley in 1964 where they stocked clothes by such illustrious designers as Ossie Clark, Janice Wainwright and Jean Muir. The shop was the forerunner of Biba and ran out of stock so frequently that Jeff Banks, acting as designer and working with Freda Fairway, who had made clothes for both Mary Quant and Hardy Amies, launched the W1 label which was also stocked in department store Fenwicks in the 1960s and 1970s.

After uploading my stock to eBay and a break for noodles Jon and I went for a walk around the block, it was a gorgeous day but the temperature had reverted back from the balmy 17°C of the last couple of days to the more normal 8°C. I was glad of my pompom hat and scarf.

Kezzie & me, Brixton 2015


My lovely blogging friend Kezzie celebrates her 40th birthday next week and, as parties are illegal, she's hosting a virtual one instead. She's mad about Dr Who (she does a weekly cosplay, Tardis Tuesday) and has asked us to dress up in a themed outfit using clothes we have to hand. After some research I managed to pull an outfit together from my wardrobe and pose for a photo in readiness for the big day. 

We watched the government press conference, discovering that us over-50s should have our first vaccine by 15th April. Tea was a delicious Higgidy aubergine & spinach masala pie Tony had treated me to (he and Jon are still doing doorstep grocery exchanges). 

SOURCE


Later, fuelled by a few rum & colas, we watched the first episode of the new series of Unforgotten and a couple more of the I Can't Get You Out of My Head documentaries and both got up in the night to gaze on the beautiful Snow moon.

On Saturday morning Jon made tea & brought it back to bed where we lay and read until 8.30am. After he'd had gone downstairs I stripped and changed the bed, put away the plants I'd left soaking in the bath overnight and cleaned the bathroom. 

Richard arrived with the post which included this book I'd bought from The Guardian Bookshop. I'd read a glowing review online the other day and when my friend Elaine posted a link to an interview with the author, the co-founder of Fashion Revolution, Orsola de Castro, I decided to treat myself. 

By the time I'd loaded the washing machine the veggie sausage sandwiches were ready. It was another cold but gloriously sunny day and I'd intended to peg the laundry out on the line but halfway through, disaster struck and the dead tree we normally attach the washing line to snapped, catapulting the washing across the lawn, so the tumble drier and clothes airer got called into action instead.

I sat at the kitchen table crocheting whilst Jon investigated wooden posts and Stephen basked in a sun spot on the kitchen table. 

Although we've got a mammoth litter pick scheduled for Sunday, as we were walking around the block we just had to take a grab stick and plastic sack along with us. The disadvantage in living in a quiet part of town is that people drive here with their takeaways and throw the wrappers out of the car windows when they're done. The streets were awash this morning and Frank was very interested in the fish and chip wrappings when we got back.


Wear:Sleep:Repeat saw me wearing Friday's Jeff Banks blouse, this time worn underneath my vintage Rumak cheesecloth dress to which I added a 1970s belt (both charity shop finds) and topped with the plum fedora I'd bought from Debenhams' sale back in 2019.

The details: Bejewelled bracelet (gift from a vintage trader friend), bejewelled cuff (charity shop), Frye Campus boots (eBay, 2017), coin earrings (inherited from Mum).


I decided to give myself a day off eBay listing, instead finishing the crochet I'd started earlier and, of course, it's another hat only this one is made with my newly acquired skill...tweed stitch. My new normal life consists of taking stock photos outside, going for walks and litter picking and hopefully, in the next few weeks, some gardening - I may as well have a good selection to chose from, minimalist I ain't! 

After getting the plants down from the used-to-be-a-coffee-table shelf and windowsill in the kitchen and putting them into the sink in the utility room to soak, I sat in the lounge and finished The Knife, popping it on Jon's side of the bed for him to read (he's also a Harry Hole fan) and searched the shelves for my next book.

With darkness descending so quickly during the winter, self-care Saturday had fallen by the wayside , instead I've grabbed the odd ten minutes here and there to epilate my legs, strip off the nail paint and deep condition my hair. With Saturday's glorious sunshine streaming through the spare bedroom window I spent 40 minutes tending to myself before showering.

Tea was.....pizza! Tonight we'll be drinking rum, catching up with Grayson Perry and probably watching more of the mind-bending Adam Curtis series. 


48 days of Wear:Sleep:Repeat squeezed into one collage! 

Stay safe and see you soon. xxx

57 comments:

  1. Lovely weather isn't it?
    I love the pic of your cat snoozing in the sun.
    I remember Jeff Banks but didn't realise the background to his career. The book you got looks very interesting.
    I will be getting my covid vaccination on Friday as I work with children who have special needs. The assistant head at one of the schools where I worked rang me up and said I could register. I also have the date for my second injection on May 27!
    I hadn't realised until you said March 29th as that is another signficant day for us as our youngest son turns 21.
    Enjoy your Saturday evening - I'm just off to cook my biriyani!
    XX

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    1. Gah! Blogger ate my comment!
      I'm delighted that you've had your vaccine and I share your excitement about 29th March as its two of my friend's birthdays that day! xxx

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  2. Someone dumped a pile of wo oden palettes by our trash (you have to pay for collection over a certain amount or take it to the dump, so they took it here instead. Isn't that thoughtful?)which would normally make me angry, but I need to re-do my raised beds before spring so...yeah. I was less thrilled with picking up thousands of pieces of packing foam pellets that blew into my garden from someone else's improperly disposed of trash.

    I'll be interested to hear what you make of the book. I saw a review as well but figured I'd try to convince our library to buy it.

    Have a good weekend.

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    1. How very thoughtful! That's great that they've actually dumped something useful though, beats greasy burger wrappers!
      I don't read a lot of non-fiction but the extracts I'd seen were really informative. I'll let you know! x

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  3. How as a massive Dr Whobgam have I not met Kezzie? I will need to pop over and send birthday greetings. I'm sorry your hard work trash picking seems never ending with lazy brutes. I'm sure even in your work out wear had you as the most glamorous picker upper of trash. I'm trying a chicken and fruit salsa recipe and my daughter and I are doing a moonlike walk.

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    1. Kezzie is a sweetheart, you'll love her!
      I didn't know you were a Dr Who fan, Sam! xxx

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  4. I just can not understand the mentality of those who just lob their litter out of the car window. I just does not compute 😶 We do get the litterers around here too - but more on the lines of a single can or crisp packet and of course the tied bag of dog poo - most people in the village will pick up and bin random trash but still .... I wish we did not have to....

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    1. They're like a different species, aren't they? Even worse were the bags of household trash I picked yesterday, they don't want to dirty their bins at home so drive to the town centre and dump them there! xxx

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  5. Your outfits are super stunning, love them both! Meals look fantastic too. I sorry your clean up is never ending. What's wrong with people?! I can't wait to see what you do with you garden in the spring. Enjoy the rest of the weekend Vix :)

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I really don't get some people but checking my litter totals on the Facebook page and reading what the other members are doing restore my faith in human nature. x

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  6. Vix, you look gorgeous in both outfits and I am especially swooning over your purple shirt!😍😍😍

    It is so lovely that Tony and Jon have doorstep grocery exchanges. What a thoughtful thing to do. X

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Only one person per household is allowed to shop in supermarkets so it's great that they share the shopping, nothing gets forgotten! xxx

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  7. Wonderful outfits as ever, I always enjoy the back stories to them. I will look forward to seeing your garden unfold for Spring . I am pleased that there is now some good news on the lifting of lockdown guidelines. x

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    1. Thanks, Jill! It's very exciting that there's finally a way out of lockdown. xxx

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  8. It's lovely to see the cats finding those deliciously warm patches of sun now that the days are becoming brighter. The only downside is it's showing up all the dust in my house!
    I hope today's litter pick goes well. It's just a shame it needs to be done at all.
    Your purple shirt is fabulous. X

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    1. Cats will find the tiniest slither of sunlight and bask in it, won't they?
      You're right, the sun really does show off evry speck of dust! xxx

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  9. Thats some collage! shame about the tree, hope you get a clothes prop sorted, I could do with one come to think of it. I used to buy Jeff Banks clothes in my younger days, they were always really good quality but affordable - your purple top is wonderful, I would wear it to death. I think you get a better calibre of litter dropper than we do - I saw a nappy on the pavement the other day - ffs how on earth does that happen?! I am going to follow your example and do some self care on a Sunday - ladies in continental Europe apparently/allegedly spend much more time (and money) on this than us Brits.

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    1. I know, it was the perfect weekend for line-drying, too! Jon's found some wood but it's not such a rush to get it fixed now, it's been vile out there today!
      Jeff Banks' clothes were wonderful and command a small fortune when they turn up on ebay, not that I'd ever part with that blouse.
      We were horrified by how many bin bags filled with household waste we found yesterday, it's like they don't want to use their own bins and leave it for someone else to deal with.
      Self-care is always time wiseley spent and yes, our European sisters always look a lot better groomed than the average Brit! xxx

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  10. It’s starting to warm up here, and I have decided to change my wardrobe over, I have 3 big bagfuls for work and I am still not done. I was in bed yesterday as that covid jab has still been playing tricks with me! Hot and cold. So I hid upstairs and binged on you tube and watched some one revive her shoes she was proud as punch and I was as well for her.
    I am glad you will getting your covid jab soon. I hope you have an easier ride than me and Paul!! We did the local area tidy up and it was so nice just to talk to neighbours who I had not seen for a while. They are dreading the tourists returning and are not keen on the olympics as they feel it will bring covid on our shores. I tried to reassure them but I didn’t do a very good job.
    A new book for me to look for you and Lynn are keeping me busy. Keep safe love and huggs allie

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    1. Goodness me, I know load of people who've been vaccinated and not heard of anything worse than them feeling tired for 24 hours. Which vaccine did you and Paul have?
      You know me, I'm as tough as old boots, I don't even have a scar from my TB vaccination!
      Do you think the Olympics will go ahead? I'm still very sceptical about anything scheduled for earlier than September! Stay safe! xxx

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    2. It’s the American one. Damn I cannot remember the name, I did call their hotline and they said it was due to some of my medical conditions I have .
      The olympics I don’t think so. I would like it to a good morale boost, but the population of japan are not keen. They want all kinds of restrictions put in place . But we will see

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    3. That's worrying that they didn't check up with you about pre-existing conditions before jabbing you, isn't i? I hope it'll pass and you're 100% again soon.
      Leeds and Reading have announced that they're going ahead, a couple of our usual festivals announced that they were postponed until 2022 but several are still keen to go ahead but with restrictions and operating at 50% capacity. I'd much rather wait until we can do things proprly but, if they tell us to trade we'll have to or risk losing our pitches in the future. Dilemmas, dilemmas. xxx

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  11. Rubbish here too - down one side of our garden is a very narrow lane which is a dead end. Completely secluded from everything and everyone except the occasional dog walker it is a favourite "hang out" spot in summer - if Covid has been good for anything it's stopped the nightly collection of bored teenagers. So now we just get the odd car hiding at the bottom and there is always rubbish left behind.

    As well as food wrappers and bottles we are now seeing a frightening number of these small Nitrous Oxide cartridges which apparently are one of the latest "misuse substances' of choice.

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    1. Those nitreous oxygen capsules are the bane of my life, it's bad enough having to pick them up at festivals - they're so messy and make the users act like idiots! xxx

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  12. You look wonderful in a fedora, Vix! We're still sloshing through snow yet, here in Indiana, but it won't be long now until I'm in the thick of spring cleanup for another year. Most of the years my weary & aging bones don't feel like the winter's rest lasted nearly long enough... but this year I can't wait to get outside again. Must be the virus isolation. I'm scheduled to get my first vaccine on Monday at noon. The Moderna one. We'll see how it goes. Good luck with yours in April. ~Andrea xoxo

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    1. All the best with your vacine, Andrea! The Moderna one won't be available until the Spring here.
      I hope Winter leaves you soon and Spring is upon you! xxx

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  13. The embroidered skirt is a real show !! It looks beautiful with whatever you wear it! I like the particularity of the jewels .. I love them !! ..Like your crochet works !! Have a good week, Vix!
    Hugs, Carmela

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  14. Hello Vix, what a lovely picture of you and Kezzie! Your outdoor den is looking nice and sung.

    Gosh, I wouldn't have recognized Jeff Banks from the 1960s picture. I remember the Clothes Show in the 80s. Interesting to hear about his career. I have a friend that's a dead ringer for Caryn Franklin!

    There's a story in these parts that a local teenage lad used to hang out with his friends in his car at night, and would leave takeout wrappers on the road. An old neighbour would apparently push them through his family's letter box in the early hours of the morning :0 (Hard to do when they're doing drive by though!) Lulu xXx

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    1. Kezzie is lovely, it was so exciting to meet her all those years ago!
      I love Caryn Franklin, both her fabulous individual style and her attitude, what a great person for your friend to resemble!
      I'd be tempted to copy the actions of the old chap who posted the wrappers through the letterbox of that teenage lout's letterbox. I've alwaus hated litter but now I'ce started to take it personally! xxx

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  15. Reading your blog is now a fixture in my weekly routine. I love it!
    The wear, sleep, repeat challenge is really great and I am loving the photos showing the progress of your outfits. It has certainly made me look at my wardrobe and try to be a little more creative with it.
    Have a lovely Sunday, hopefully the sun is shining for you too!
    Holly xx

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    1. Hello, Holly and thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      My challenge is really helping me to make my clothes work harder, I'm seeing new combinations of old favourites all the time now.
      Wasn't Sunday glorious? xxx

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  16. Your food photos caught my attention, Vix. Adding veg to a pizza was our family's cunning plan for sneaking vitamins into the kids. We'd chop up a "stoplight package" of bell peppers (red, yellow and green) with a sweet onion to create a handsome galactic swirl on a cheesy infinity. Sometimes a portabello mushroom monster with olive eyes would zoom by...

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    1. Jon's always been a fussy monkey when it comes to veg but sweetcorn or mushrooms on a pizza and he never bats an eyelid! xxx

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  17. awww - stephen in the sun and frank sniffing the garbage.... cute cats!!
    the gauzy purple blouse looks lovely - it was a posh label back then i guess. both outfits are fab!
    the pretty pompom hats will serve you well into may - esp. on tours to the country side. or - if that will happen again - on a chilly, rainy festival ground..... and maybe you can sell some to the shivering crowd.
    xxxx

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    1. They're naughty boys rolling around on the brekfast table and foraging for scraps in the bin but we do love them!
      There's something timeless about that blouse, in the 20 years I've owned it it never feels dated.
      I've had a few orders for festival hats already! xxx

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  18. I do hope you get to do some festivals this year, wouldn't that be fabulous? Your outside room looks perfect for visiting, we are hoping we get some decent weather and can start moving our patio furniture back outside so we can use it more. I love love love your pom pom hats, you make them look great!

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    1. I'm excited but also a bit wary but I know once I'm in the thick of a festival I'll love it again! xxx

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  19. Your Anokhi skirt looks a treat with your Jeff Banks blouse, which is one of my favourites of yours. Thank you for shedding some light on the label and designer. I never knew he used to be married to Sandie Shaw! I can't wait to see what you've come up with for Kezzie's birthday. I've just published mine :-)
    I'm glad to hear nobody sustained any injuries when that dead tree snapped ...
    Aww, look at Stephen snoozing in the sunshine, and I can't blame Frank for investigating that bag full of fish and chips wrappings. And oh my, you've got quite the collection of pom pom hats by now! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you can entertain friends in your garden again as from March 29. Just in time for Spring! xxx P.S. My geraniums bloomed until we got that mammoth frost a couple of weeks ago :-(

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    1. Thanks, Ann! That blouse has been a regular fixture on my blog since I started it!
      Did you ever read the Morrissey autobiography? Sandie Shaw came across as very strange, no wonder she and the lovely Jeff weren't married for long!
      I can't wait to see your Dr Who tribute! xxx

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  20. What a brilliant collection of pompom hats you've created! You chose an excellent variety of colours, and that style of hat suits you. Close fitting hats like those look better when you have hair that hangs out at the bottom. Glad to hear no one was hurt when the tree snapped. I will never understand the mentality of people who just leave their trash lying about - perhaps they've always had other people to pick up after them?

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    1. Jon looks quite cute in his and he's definitely got no hair - unless you count his sporadic beard!
      Someone descrobed those litter louts as "entitled", I couldn't have put it better myself. xxx

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  21. Your outfits are stellar, Vix! I love that amazing top, and how cool to learn a bit about the history of it. I know of Ozzie Clark, Jean Muir and Mary Quant, but many of these labels never made it overseas. I do keep my eyes peeled for anything made in the UK, though.

    As the 50-55 age range, L and I will not be up for our shots until mid-July, sadly, as my province/country struggles to get enough vaccines. It's so frustrating when I hear about your quarantine maybe loosening up at the end of March. Not a chance for us...

    Lovely to see Stephen dozing in the sun - there's been little of that for Vizzini, who's mostly burrowing under our TV blankets and bedcovers for warmth.

    Oh, shoot, I forgot about Kezzie's birthday! I'd better create an outfit for tomorrow!

    Arg, litterbugs drive me nuts. We actually don't get too much of it here, thankfully.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! These old British Boutique labels are incresingly rare but as the original owners get older and move into smaller homes they do occasionally turn up in charity shops.
      I'm upset that you & L have so long to wait for your vaccines, I was very sceptical about us getting them at first but I'm not super impressed with the roll-out. If people behave we should be able to have up to six people in a group in the garden by 29th March although with the news of this new variant I'll try not to get too excited! xxx

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  22. SQUEE! Got my Covid jab letter today. Very odd how their algorithm works ... himself got his letter last week and both of his appt dates are one day after mine - I got my letter today and booked my apps at lunchtime. I know it prolly depends on the venue - and the one he chose has vanished - presumably because all the appts have gone. I was sorely tempted to choose the crypt of Blackburn Cathedral for mine - because, goth-forever lol.

    So pleased to have this on the horizon - hope everyone gets theirs soon - don't wibble if you book online - the slots go quickly, so get in there. I'm in the over 60's demographic so they're rattling on with it !

    I have a copy of Loved Clothes Last on the way too, Vix! Love the philosophy in regard to keeping all you own and repairing/remodelling (unless you are crap at it) over getting rid of it. In fact - don't get rid of it. It is such a welcome Marie Condo antidote. I don't get rid of Loved Clothes at all - and have the shredded silk garments to prove it lol.

    Found a very cool Loved Clothes Last fanzine - it's pay what you can (so you can put in £0 at the checkout if you're strapped for cash or feel you can't justify the spend at the mo) - it's a digital zine
    https://www.fashionrevolution.org/resources/fanzine2/

    And if that kind of thing is your kind of thing - more here https://gumroad.com/fashionrevolution

    Re: litter louts - think of it this way, Vix - the entitled feckwits (and their brood) of the parish stand out so much because most people wouldn't dream of behaving so poorly.

    Off to do some rowing. Take care all and big love to Maryland - don't take your thermals off yet!! xxxx

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    1. Yay! I'm so happy that you've got your vaccine booked! They really are powering through the cohorts, aren't they?
      I hope you get jabbed in the crypyt, I'm hoping mine will be at The Black Country Museum, I'll be treading in The Shelby's footsteps.
      WE'll have to comapre notes when we've read Loved Clothes Last, the snippets I've looked at are excellent - as you'd expect - and the typeface is gorgeous, things like that matter! I was dithering about the fanzine when I started following them on IG a couple of years ago, that's a brilliant tip, thank you!
      I think you're right about the feckwits. When I log into the Facebook litter group's page I'm always heartened by photos of young lads out picking litter and children helping their grandparents, those scumbags are in the minority, aren't they?
      Keep your vest on and get rowing, sit still for long enough today and you'll ice over! xxx

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  23. I think I remember reading that you and Kezzie met but it is nice to see a photo. Can't wait to see your Dr Who inspired outfit. That's lovely.

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    1. Kezzie is so lovely, even lovelier than she is on her blog! xxx

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  24. Loving this purple blouse, and the way it enhances the fabulous colours in your embroidered skirt. And this pendant is particularly gorgeous!. And also loving your cheesecloth dress with the blouse (and hat!, so cool!), and loving the tan shades of your belt and boots matching the details of the dress, and those magnificent bracelets!, You Rock It!
    Great to see your plants and projects for gardening!, and your cute shelter ready for some visitors!. Hope that all we can enjoy some (safe) social life in the spring!
    besos

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  25. That looks like a very interesting book...

    I'm loving your collection of hats; you'll soon have every colour of the rainbow.

    I do remember Jeff Banks (we get a lot of his men's shirts in our charity shop for some reason not vintage ones though) and the Clobber and W1 labels. I also remember those 1980s flying jackets.

    How exciting is the thought of having visitors again; let's hope the weather stays good for al fresco meetings/meals in the garden.

    Take care
    xxx

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    1. I'm reading Loved Clothes Last right now, it's a fascinating read, not at all preachy. Highly recommended if you can track a copy down (or hint at a Mothering Sunday gift!)
      I think Jeff Banks did a menswear range for Matalan hence the reason it turns up in chazzas. His early warehouse stuff was gorgeous.
      I'm counting the days till 29th March, it's Liz's birthday, perfect timing! xxx

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  26. I am still very enamored with your Bathroom Wall, it's Magnificent! When I lived in a Santa Barbara Tuscan Home I wanted to do the Walls like that. Never got around to it.

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  27. Unforgotten is great - I've just read Ronni's blog where she says she's watching it too.

    Did your garden shelter stay up all winter? I'd have been scared it would blow away; you've done a great job of anchoring it down.

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    1. It's excellent, isn't it? I suppose it's a good thing that we're drip-fed episodes week by week although those 7 days take agaes to come round!
      Yes, the shelter stays up all year, it's in a sheltered corner and Jon's an expert at lashing stuff down, years of festival tent experience. xxx

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  28. What a lovely photo of you and Kezzie. I missed her birthday party sadly :(
    How’s the Loved Clothes Last? Looks like a good read.
    Well done with all your litter picking, litter infuriates me. Often we see fast food wrappings left in lanes, obviously just dumped out of car windows. The other day I saw a bag of oranges which seemed random.
    Tweed stitch looks nice. I’ve tried crochet but I just can’t get the hang of it, knitting is more my thing and even then my skills are limited. You can never have too many woolly hats :)
    xx

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Lots of love, Vix