Wednesday, 3 March 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 2nd & 3rd March, 2021

Yet again, Tuesday got off to a bitterly cold, frosty start. After I'd put away the previous day's laundry and done my Wii Fit workout I caught up with blogland before joining Jon for breakfast and then hurredly getting dressed. We'd arranged for the joinery company who made our windows to measure up for a replacement front door as ours is so rotten that it's beyond repair. Living in a conservation area we have to have a like-for-like replacement not that any conventional ready-made door would ever fit our oddly shaped house.

We drove up to the local garden centre, which had just reopened following refurbishment, as Jon wanted to get some wood chippings (we'd used our stash of twigs we'd normally mulch ourselves in the woodburner) and I needed some cactus & succulent compost. A pot sale! Don't all rush to Walsall in the hope of getting stoned, these are  pots of the ceramic variety reduced to half price which I could do with as my olive tree needs repotting soon but decided to go back once we'd worked out the exact size, hopefully they'll still be there.

 Back at home Jon cleaned out Jacob's enclosure, added the mulch and, despite the temperature, the tortoise, too as he was stomping around the house and getting under everyone's feet. 


I potted up a couple of aloe vera cuttings I'd managed to root from my mummy plant. 

After our noodles we went for a walk around the block via the post box and posted These Demented Lands to a friend. The sun had finally broken through the clouds and although still cold it was nowhere near as damp & oppresive as it had been. Jon had another bash at digging up the bamboo roots from the area we'd started to clear last September and I took stock photos of sportswear and uploaded my listings to ebay.


Wear:Sleep:Repeat continued with another outing for Monday's India Imports of Rhode Island maxi dress, topped off with my latest crocheted pom pom hat. 


After excitedly rummaging through the clothes my friend Cheryl had given me on Monday, I decided to take this German-made sheepskin coat on a trip out. It is so cosy and soft & I love the toggles.


The details: Doc Martens Darcy boots (Facebook selling page), Indian jhumka earrings & vintage pendant (part of Cheryl's clear-out)



Tea was a Quorn, mozzarella & pesto escalope with some peas and mashed potato (which photographed really badly) and we spent the evening watching the final of the Can't Get You Out of My Head documentares, Are we Pigeon? Or Are We Dancer? with a break halfway through for Interior Design Masters. 



Wednesday was another chilly day. After my Wii Fit workout I caught up with blog comments before breakfast. Stephen and Jon went on a road trip to the vets for Stephen's regular thyroid check. After the strict social distancing rules of the first lockdown the surgery had started to allow owners to enter the treatment rooms with their pets but after numerous incidents of entire families turning up without masks it's back to handing your pet over at the front door and chatting to the vet on the phone outside. Stephen has put weight on and she's pleased with his progress. As usual they'll call with the results of his blood test within the next 24 hours.


I'd just got back from emptying the composting bin at the top of the garden when the heavens opened and we were subjected to a couple of hours of torrential rain which scuppered any plans I had for photographing more of the stock in the garden. Instead I wrapped the ebay sales and, using a too-small Kuchi tribal bangle Cheryl had given me and a disassembled Lamani dowry necklace from my stash, made myself a new pendant.


How nice for the rain to stop in time for an outfit photo! Wear:Sleep:Repeat saw the return of Tuesday's sheepskin coat, worn over the near-twin of the previous day's dress and, underneath that, my Armor Lux Breton top.


The details: Me-made pendant, Afghan earrings (eBay), tribal bangles and coin bracelet (part of the collection Cheryl had given me), Mjus leather boots (charity shop)


After a break for noodles we planted some red and traditional green basil seeds as the plant I'd grown last summer was staring to look a bit long and leggy and pasta and pizza just isn't the same without a generous handful of fresh basil. The rain seemed to have eased off so, needing to post a parcel to a friend, we went for a walk around the block via the postbox. Needless to say, we took a rubbish sack and a grabstick along with us. 


According to the team co-ordinator, on Sunday, the Shine A Light on Litter day, Jon, me and a hundred other volunteers collected 402 sacks of litter from around Walsall. What a team! Although litter louts make me angry I'm also annoyed by people who ignore the rubbish right outside their homes. When we'd walked around the block yesterday we'd noticed another pile of McD's trash dumped on the pavement in a neighbouring road (not ours). Neither of us had our gloves or a bag with us and thought that one of the residents would pick it up and put it in their own bin but no, 24 hours later it was still there.


Back at home I spent the rest of the afternoon sweeping and tidying the spare room. Look! Jon's managed to mend the flying puffin...don't look too closely, he's more crack than pottery.





It's Wednesday which means that it's not only rum & cola night but it's also Bin Eve. In these strange new times it's quite the event dragging the wheelie bins out and getting our litter picking sacks labelled up and ready for Thursday's 7.30am fortnightly collection. We even wave at the binmen, after all it's been months since we've been allowed visitors!


 Tea was grilled halloumi with roasted vegetables. Until Vronni mentioned it on her blog, I'd not heard about BBC4's latest Nordic Noir, The Man in Room 301. We'll be catching up with that later. 

Source

That's after I've sorted out tomorrow's outfit. In these stay-at-home Covid times even a trip out litter picking requires a fabulous frock!


Stay safe & see you soon!

45 comments:

  1. You’ve done a super job on the pendant, it looks really good. My friend works at the vets and they can’t allow owners in either for the same reason. They are also working in teams rather than all together in case anyone gets the virus. It meant they wouldn’t have to shut down completely if they split up. I hope you get good results for Stephen.
    Following on from today’s budget it looks like we can carry on with the furlough scheme while September, which is brilliant as it takes me upto my state pension starting.
    Those two dresses are gorgeous and so are your bobble hats. Looks like you’ve cracked the pattern now.
    Lots of love from us two xxx

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! I loved that bangle and was determined to do something with it when I realised it was way too small for my whopping great wrists.
      Isn't it a shame that people keep breaking the rules? Stephen hates the vets and Jon feels so guilty having to hand him over in his box rather than come in with him, all because a hardcore minority won't comply.
      I've had an email to say we're due another self-employed payment, every little helps and in your case it's worked out brilliantly.
      I still have to keep watching the tutorial before I make a hat! xxx

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  2. Well done Jon for fixing the puffin! Outfits are fabulous as always :) love the coin bracelet, and home made necklace. hope Stephen is ok, we had a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with Amber's vet visits and had to wait outside a lot. Love seeing your tortoise - we had one once that disappeared (probably stolen as they are sought after now).

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    1. Jon's a good 'un! The other two puffins were a bit lonely without their pal!
      Still waiting for Stephen's results but he's running around and shouting like a mad thing at the moment (we could put it down to senility but he's always been like this!)
      My brother & I originally had a tortoise each but Marcus's ran off! xxx

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  3. Our vet has a window too - and a pet room to pickup/drop off now. Great save on the puffin, maybe one day you will find a replacement. I love buying pots - another month and we will resurrect our outside room and start planting things :)

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    1. It makes sense, doesn't it although Jon feels terrible having to hand Stephen over and not go in with him.
      I could have gone mad with all those pots but I shall measure up and buy the correct sized one like a grown-up! xxx

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  4. A few things caught my eye-I love your Tuesday made by you pom pom hat. The color combination is spectacular. I have found I can't drive and wear a pom pom hat as for my back I sit so high and forward it scrapes the car ceiling, but would love one like that pom free! The other thing in particular I have to love on is the puffin's. I don't recall seeing them before and I love those little birds.

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    1. Thanks, Sam - they're all my favourite colours rolled into one ball of wool, my heart skipped a beat when I spotted the wool online. If you ever fancy trying crocheting your own you don't need a pom pom, they do look good on their own - although you know me and pompoms!
      Aren't the puffins cute? I was delighted to find them in a charity shop. I'd seen them in a trendy interiors shop in the 1980s and had to wait 30 years before they turned up secondhand - but they did in the end! x

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  5. Hi Vix! Isn't spring in the air feeling great? Mac has started some plants from seed in our solarium and they are sprouting nicely. Our daffodils that come up all over our property were like 2 weeks later than normal to bloom, but finally are popping out, have a bouquet picked in the dining room. We have rescued another cat that came to our home almost a year ago. Now that he is full grown my two fixed males don't get along with him, so got an appointment today to have him fixed this coming Monday. Living in the country we and lots of neighbors in the our valley get strays dropped off...I don't understand how a person can be so cruel to abandon animals, but anyway we now have 3 rescues and they are all the best cats! Sure wish this covid could come to an end, but now with Biden in the White House and changing all the orders that President Trump made, I am afraid we will have another breakout with him wanting 11 million illegal immigrants in our country. He released l08 with covid yesterday and sent them up to the middle United States and they are not quarantined. It just freaks me out! You probably hear of everything going on in our country, really saddens me. On to a happier subject......love your dress and repeat! You always look so cheerful in your beautiful dresses! I am doing the tag challenge on Anne Brooke site. I love it, I am a couple of weeks behind, but hopefully I will get caught today or tomorrow. My sister said they would be great gifts, like package them up about 10 of them and put in a pretty box and ribbon for Christmas gifts, so that is what I am doing. Fun project! We used to have an annual spring cleanup around our area and then meet at our local tavern or the community hall and have a neighborhood potluck. However, our county a few years ago, said they could not afford to bring out the dumpsters and their employees who volunteered anymore. So now its just picking up garbage and disposing of it on our own, needless to say, there are still the ones that toss and don't pick up! I detest litterbugs!! Like you say, lots of fast food trash is tossed, good ol MacD's. Today is beautiful and tomorrow the rain will return, but that is what makes the flowers and grass and trees grow! Have a great and safe day! Can't wait to see your new door when you get it. I love your home!

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    1. Lovely to hear from you, Chrystal!
      Even though it’s been cold here there is a really sense of Spring in the air and it feels good. Mac’s seedlings sound like they’re coming along well, I keep checking ours for signs of green shoots. I love daffodils. I’m not one for cut flowers but I make an exception for daffs, those cheery little faces and sweet smell always put a smile on my face.
      How exciting about the new addition to your cat family and I agree, there’s something intrinsically wrong with anyone who abandons an animal, thank goodness for kind hearted souls like you and Mac. I hope the new boy eventually gets accepted into the brood. Rescue cats make the loveliest of companions, they are always so grateful & loving.
      I think my friend Lynn (the first to comment on today’s blog) is also doing the Anne Brooke tag challenge, its a lovely way to use your creative juices and useful as you’ll always have something pretty on hand to add to a gift.
      The UK had a terrible litter problem in the early 1970s but cleaned up its act for a while, now it’s worse than ever but driving back from the garden centre through town on Tuesday and I was heartened to see how once notoriously bad streets were looking clean and tidy. Power to the people! It makes me feel good that I can make little positive changes to our corner of the world.
      I wish McD’s (it’s always them even though we have many other of fast food outlets in town) would print the car registration numbers on all the packages they hand over to customers then the powers that be could trace the litter bugs and impound their cars, they’d soon feel differently about their loutish behaviour then.
      We’re sharing your rain again this morning but you’re right, we can’t do without it. Xxx

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  6. Hooray for Stephen - he looks positively majestic. Oh, people are gonna people, especially when it comes to masks, litter...well, you name it, really.

    Love your jewelry here, Vix - that container necklace was a good pick from your friend's haul, and I love the Ms. Fixit creation of the bangle + old necklace.

    I'm dying for it to be warm enough for me to go back out on my deck. I have plans to improve it from last year! So nice to see you and Jon out working in the garden. I love the little glimpses of your home, and your tables, your dollhouses, etc. Enjoy your rum!

    S.

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    1. He wasn't quite so majestic when he was tangled up in my hair at 4am this morning, wailing to go out! Poor boy though, he hates the vets and usually clings to Jon when he's in the treatment room - Emily, the vet, said he was very brave yesterday.
      It's very exciting having some new jewellery to play with, I was surprised at how well my bangle necklace came together. My head is exploding with other possibilities now!
      I'm hoping that in another month it'll be warm enough to play outside. I amazed myself with my restraint over those pots and all the pretty spring plants! xxx

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  7. Wow your litter picking team did well. Hats off to you guys !! It’s weird our bin collection is every other day as we live In a commercial area, I kind of like the jolly little jingle it plays so you know it is coming. We recycle everything over here and it is a nightmare, we have a kind of spreadsheet on what goes where and if you get it wrong wow your in trouble. That’s why a lot of people eat out here.
    Love those maxi dresses, they are so pretty, I was watching a documentary on wish and I never not that I ever did want to buy a product off wish again, 7 Year old making your dress, toxic chemicals in make up. Dodgy electronic products . Rats running around the factory workers. The list goes on. 12 bags went to work with me and 4 empty drawers!! I couldn’t do a compact wardrobe though!!
    But I am getting there. Take care and keep safe.

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    1. Being part of that team has made such a difference, I was starting to think that everyone in Walsall was a selfish, entitled litter lout but there's loads of us giving up our time for the greater good and I'm really starting to see a difference. I've earmarked a really dirty street & alleyway for today but by the rate the team of going someone might have already beaten us to it!
      The enviromental damage that cheap clothes do to the planet and how people suffer for our need for fast fashion is heartbreaking, isn't it? If you can find it have a look at Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion's Dirty Secrets. It's a real eye-opener and she's a really engaging presenter.
      I'm so impressed with your clearing out - 12 bags of clothes to sell on and four empty drawers. You are amazing!
      Much love to you all! xxx

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  8. wow, both dresses are lovely but they look even better with the addition of the sheepskin coat!, looking so fabulous!, I'm always in love with your stunning jewellery, those Cheryl's pieces are so fab!. And admiring the revamp of the bracelet into a pendant!, brilliant!. Your pompom hats are really lovely too, you rock them!
    Lovely that you got some new pots in sale, I have to go to a garden center and buy more geraniums, once I've realised that these are the best thing to plant in my balcony pots (pansies are great for Winter too, but they don't last too much!).
    Glad that Stephen is feeling better and so lovely to see Jacob's enclosure ready for spring!.
    There is a spring breeze in the air, isn't it?
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica! That sheepskin coat arrived just at the right time, it's turned very chilly here and combined with thermals I can keep wearing my summer cotton dresses and stay cosy!
      I love geraniums, I can't wait for ours to stop blooming again, they last ages, don't they? I love pansies but the ones I bought in the Autumn didn't last for very long, the cyclamens fared much better. xxx

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  9. i would rush to walsall for the petrol and pale turquoise coloured pots! they suit the BWH very well i think :-D
    lately i saw only black and gray in our gardencenters..... is that a yucca plant behind sweety frank? its huge and so many green leaves - ours are not very happy over winter in the dark house - but its way to frosty here.
    the sheepskin coat is gorgeous and a very sensible choice - and a perfect match with the half-twin dresses! must make a notice about using to small bangles as a pendant! genius vix!
    i´m still in awe with the green tiled mantelpiece......
    oh - and congrats to the successful litter picking action! good to hear that someone was so stupid dumping trash complete with adressed envelopes and gets fined now. but not good that people do not clear up their own driveways......
    xxxxx

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    1. I bet that's why all those pots are half prcie, everyone except for us wants grey, grey and more grey!
      It is a yucca plant, it's Frank's shelter in the rain. It's gone crazy in the last month or so despite the snow, Jon's had to prune it as it's getting hard to walk behind it without being stabbed by a leaf! xxx

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  10. Well done on the litter pick, big problem here too because so many of our roads are small and quiet there is no-one to see the lazy scumbags. There's a wide bit ¾ mile up the lane from us where is is obvious that work vans stop and unload the day's rubbish. Always too much, too heavy, and too far to bring it home but thankfully our local Council are very good at collecting it if you let them know.

    What ~IS~ it with people at present? After a year of relatively consistent messaging, even if the goalposts do change too often, how in Creation's name can a family think it is OK to arrive at the vet, and not wear masks. When did our population get so bl**dy stupid? (Sorry!)

    Hope it warms up a bit for Jacob 🐢🌞

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    1. Thank goodness your council is on the ball. Isn't it awful that works vans offload their rubbish like that? they ought to get their vehicles impounded, that'll soon stop the inconsiderate sods.
      I completely agree, the messages do change but the one consistent thing is to wear an effing mask. There ought to be a vaccine for stupidity! xxx

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  11. Well done on the Puffin mend, you can't tell from a distance at all that it ever had an accident.

    Yes I always feel it's such a shame when people just ignore litter outside their own homes or step over it on the path. I always try and carefully pick up at least one thing on my doggy walks ... especially plastic things I see along the riverbank ... well I'm usually going to the bin anyway with Suky's offering I might as well drop in an empty drinks can or bottle too.

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    1. The puffin's mates haven't noticed his extra cracks, I think we've got away with it!
      You're such a responsible citizen - I wish more dog owners would put their doggy bags in a bin instead of suspending them from trees! xxx

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  12. Good to hear that Stephen has put on weight. He looks great. I hope you will get good results from his blood tests, it is good you can get them so quickly and you will not have to wait for days.
    Shame about people ignoring litter that is in vicinity of their home but even worse are those that litter in the first place, are they not....So great your group picked up so much litter.
    You look fabulous in that maxi dress and sheepskin coat.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana! My sheepskin is really snuggly and warm, it's turned very cold here over the last few days.
      The vet called and said that she's really pleased with Stephen. It's crazy to think how long blood test results used to take, the miracles of technology.
      I was heartened to visit the area we'd litter-picked on Sunday and see that it was still clean & tidy, maybe people are starting to get the message? I do hope so! x

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  13. That pot sale looks exciting: I wouldn't mind some of those glazed pots at the back! Great to hear that Stephen's doing well. I'm sure his blood tests will come back ok. I love Cheryl's sheepskin coat, your twin dresses and the pendant you made.
    Well done on collecting 402 bags of litter with your team. I'm sure that is making a lot of difference, as would people cleaning up outside their homes. I couldn't stand seeing litter on the pavement when I step outside my front door. I'm glad Jon managed to mend the poor puffin! xxx

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    1. Aren't those pots lovely? I get a bit flustered when I see so many lovely things in one place. I've measured up the size of pot I need, I have to chose which one I like best...decisions, decisions!
      Stephen's doing well, he's just a bit annoyed about his shaved neck, every time his ruff grows back he has to go back and get retested, I might have to lend him a cravat from the stockroom!
      After getting exasperated by the state of our streets I'm feeling quite empowered, it's good to know that we can rise up and make a difference. xxx

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  14. Evening Vix! must comment firstly before I forget love the pic of the two dresses they are two of my favourites! Hope the pots are still there when you go back they look great. I had two bay trees that I thought were had it and thought no lets see they are looking great now. Always give things a chance. I love the picture with the puffins ( so glad Jo fixed it for you) those scrummy tiles. I caught some of the Interior show with Alan Carr I liked it but not sure the hubster did lol Not a lot to report this end but must say still appreciating your posts it is freezing here today and dull so enjoyed the colour of Vix world. (spoke to a customer of ours today who had had covid poor love he really suffered and yet others get off with a couple of days ) anyway will have some ginger wine to warm up now. cheers Shazxx

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    1. Evening, Shaz! Thank you, I'm rather fond of those dresses, too.
      I must go back and choose a pot (or maybe a couple) now I know the size I need. The only problem is deciding which ones, they're all so lovely!
      WE're enjoying Alan Carr and the interiors, it's a nice bit of fluff, isn't it? I thought the best two won this week, so colourful and fun.
      It's been proper dismal these last couple of days, hasn't it? I'm so sorry to hear that your customer had such a bad time with the dreaded Covid, it seems to take months for some people to shake it off. there was something on the news the other day about people still having no sense of taste four months later, that must be absolutely hellish to live with.
      Enjoy your ginger wine. It's a dry night at Stonecroft tonight - shocking! xxx

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  15. Yes even going to the supermatket becomes an outing.... and oh! to look as fabulous as you when I do venture out.... The sheepskin coat with the toggles reminds me of the thick wool blend duffel coats with hoods, and toggles down the front, that were popular in New Zealand for decades. Warm as, and keep one dry if it was raining.

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    1. Even taking the bin out is a special occasion lately. My head might explode if we ever go to the pub again!
      Oh yes, I know those duffels. I also remember a hooded, toggle fastening fake Aran cardi I wore as a teenager and felt dead sophisticated in it! xxx

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  16. I was wondering how you had taken cuttings of your aloe vera as the one I bought as a small plant during lockdown last year has grown so much that I can't close the curtains on the kitchen window sill for the pointy protuberances. Your Anokhi dresses are fabulous and I wish that I was still the same size as I was in the 80s to fit into some of my clothes stored in the attic!

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    1. Hello Julie! My big plant had got several smaller ones growing away from the main plant in the same pot. I ferreted them out really carefully with a fork and left the roots to soak in some water for a couple of weeks.
      I'd love a rummage in your attic and I'm very impressed you haven't been tempted to get rid of your 80s treasures! xxx

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  17. Well done on the pendant! Lovely outfits and accessories and the new coat is fabulous and looks so warm! Sorely needed at the moment; the weather is very chilly and grey. Loving the multi coloured pom-pom hat.

    I'm trying to imagine a tortoise stomping about in your house but I can imagine him getting under your feet...

    Well done Jon on mending the flying puffin - they are such gorgeous birds aren't they? One day I hope to see one in the flesh.

    I've put out some more books and a cup and saucer tp take for free on the garden wall and somebody has taken the lot including my nice labelled box!

    Take care
    xxx

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    1. The box going along with the books and teacup made me laugh. Jon always thinks someebody will take the chair I display my free books away with them!
      It's been so cold, hasn't it? A really harsh oppresive dampness that seems to get into your bones.
      Stay safe! xxx

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  18. I meant to say that it is pretty rare to see ceramic and terracotta planters at half price. Have so often wanted to buy one/some but the prices are usually eye watering...

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    1. I must go back and get a pot, I'm worried they're all going to sell out now! xxx

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  19. Thankfully in our new Neighborhood there isn't a lot of littering and residents do pick up whatever they find near their own properties, we live in a Mini Farm community within the Big City, so ours looks more Rural than most subdivision housing with smaller property boundaries. I like it looking like a slice of The Farm but within the City, since I'm a City Gal and The Man does like a Rural environment, so we've found the best of both Worlds here and it's a close knit community of wonderful people.

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    1. It sounds like you've found the perfect place to live, Dawn. Like you, I'm a city girl and all the better that you've surrounded yourself with decent and thoughtful people. xxx

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  20. Phwoar, look at those pots!!! Love me a bit of pot ogling!!!
    I'm so glad the litter picking is going so well. Mr Puffin looks v happy to be nack- bravo to Jon!
    Ah, those 2 dresses side by side are a thing of utter beauty!!! I love them!
    That German sheepskin coat is beautiful. Let me know if it ever ends up as an outcast of the one in, one out rule!

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    1. I was so taken with those pots I left empty handed, I'm not used to being spoilt for choice! I'll let you know if that coat gets caught up in a wardrobe cull, I know you'd look fabulous in it! xxx

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  21. I'm so boring I'd rather have ceramic pots than the other sort - though someone on my street must be growing their own in the loft, because on foggy days it smells like a 1960s squat round my way. I bet you could get an enormous tree in one of those bigger pots.

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    1. I agree, I'm so over all that these days! Give me a nice terracotta pot over the illegal variety! xxx

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  22. I’m glad your Puffin was able to be repaired.
    xx

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Lots of love, Vix