Monday, 31 May 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 29th, 30th & 31st May, 2021


On Saturday morning, despite the forecast for a gloriously sunny day, we woke to grey skies and drizzle. Jon was up first and made tea which he brought back to bed where we lay and read till gone 8am. While he started on breakfast I stripped and changed the bed and filled the bathtub with houseplants.

After our sausage sandwiches, although it was still grey and miserable the drizzle had abated and I was able to peg my washing out on the line. Once dressed I set to work on the area outside the gates which we'd weeded and seeded last Saturday. Sadly, the torrential rain of the past week seemed to have washed the grass seed away and the ground elder had taken root so I spent four hours on my hands and knees with a trowel ridding the area of the bastard stuff once again. Meanwhile, Jon spent the morning in the greenhouse tending to the veg plants, sowing more seeds and potting up.


I found buried treasure, the remains of a Victorian Minton tile.

Over a cup of tea, we searched Facebook and found a nearby farm that grew and cut turf to order so Jon called them and arranged delivery for Tuesday morning. The cost was half the price of the local DIY superstore. Hopefully, we can get it down before the evil weeds take root again.

By mid-afternoon, the sunshine had finally broken out from behind the clouds and after feeding all the plants with an organic liquid seaweed feed (21 trips with the watering can before I lost count) I stripped down to the bikini I'd optimistically put on earlier in the day and spent the rest of the day on the lawn.


After tea (pizza!) we cracked open the rum and watched three hours of The Killing. I love the characters but I'm beginning to wish they'd get a move on and crack this case.

On Sunday morning Stephen had me up at the crack of dawn. Again it was grey and overcast and my teeth were chattering as I wandered down the garden at 5.30am to peg out the tea towels I'd left on a 90°C wash before I'd gone to bed the previous evening. I put the kitchen plants in the utility room sink to soak & mopped the floor before taking mugs of tea back to bed and reading until 8am. 

By the time we'd had breakfast and watched Andrew Marr the sun had broken through the clouds and I decided to give the skirt I'd bought from the clearance charity shop last October its first outing. 


The only Finewear garment I've found online is a 1950s nightie. I love that it's a model, a sample taken to boutiques and possibly the only one in existence if the garment didn't get approval for a large production run. The cotton is crisp, the print insanely fabulous (cacti, flamingoes, antelopes and tigers, what's not to love?) It's even got pockets.  



With the exception of my vintage 1960s Dior sunglasses (an eBay treat from Jon), Rajasthani silver snake bracelet and my orange nubuck Lotta from Stockholm clogs, everything I'm wearing is from the charity clearance shop - the off-the-shoulder top, the hammered silver bangle, the pom-pom trimmed basket and the copal beads. The top is going back to the chazza next week, I'd forgotten how annoyingly voluminous it is to wear.


As usual, the charity shop had its usual banging soundtrack and, beneath my mask, I was singing at the top of my voice, which if you've ever heard me sing, is truly terrifying. I hadn't heard D.I.S.C.O by Ottawan since school!


Charity shop karma, it never fails! We donated a box of ceramics and a bag full of surplus camping gear and were rewarded by the chazza shop gods. We came back with a 1980s beaded jacket by Directions; Vintage Indian cotton midi dress; Wooden-framed clutch bag; 1970s tooled leather souvenir pouch; a Paul Smith denim blazer ; a pair of framed tapestries (only bought for the frames, the contents will be donated back next week)


Vintage English-made mustard tweed jacket with leather patches and trim; handmade 1970s cotton dress; 1970s Leygil of London knife-pleated midi dress; set of 1920s pamphlets and advertisements; John Rocha wool waistcoat and a cotton knit Polo Ralph Lauren jumper that I forgot to photograph.


These mohair 1980s handknits must have come from the same home. I love them and I think the hip festival goers will do, too.


After nipping into Wilko for a few essentials we got home just in time for our lunchtime noodles. We spent the afternoon in the garden, pottering, planting, pruning and basking in the heat of the afternoon sunshine.


As it was a Bank Holiday weekend (like we need an excuse) we had a beer with our halloumi and roasted vegetable tea and moved on to the rum when we watched more of The Killing later.


On Monday morning I had a wander around the garden and pegged out the washing I'd left in the machine overnight and was thrilled to discover that three of the Oriental Poppies had finally flowered, almost a fortnight later than usual! I forewent the Wii Fit for tea and an hour and a half in bed with my book. 


After breakfast, I dragged out the suitcase from under the bed and swapped a handful of heavier maxis for some strappy sundresses and happened up this Anokhi kaftan I'd bought at the end of last year and promptly forgotten about.


I often admired these lightweight cotton kaftans when I'm in Anokhi but never got around to buying one as there are always other gorgeous garments to distract me. They pop up on eBay regularly at around £70 so I was amazed to see one listed as a Buy-it-Now for £7. When life returns to normal I'll be wearing this when I walk to a Greek beach, in the meantime meandering around the garden in Walsall will have to do.


I sat in the sunshine winding garden wire around some of my pots of nasturtiums so I could suspend them from the gazebo.


Jon built a composting area using the remains of the old shed he'd demolished last month and spent the rest of the morning clearing an area at the bottom of the garden to accommodate the shed that will replace the three rotten ones. I emptied out the compost bin, wheeled it up to the new store, then washed out the old plastic bin and dragged it outside the gates with a "FREE" sign. The lovely Singh family from round the corner were delighted to take it off our hands.


After noodles, I moved the terracotta pots to where the compost bin was used to bed, swept up the mess, and retreated to the lawn for the rest of the afternoon while Jon levelled off the ground ready to lay the turf tomorrow. 


Tea was a nan bread pizza with salad accompanied by a glass of wine. 


At 25°C it's been the warmest day of the year and the lads have spent most of the day sleeping inside, Jon's taken them for a walk around the garden now the heat's died down and I expect we'll have trouble getting them in later.


With all this boozing, lazing about in the sun and being totally decadent blogging's fallen by the wayside. I shall get up early tomorrow and endeavour to have a gargantuan catch-up before the turf arrives.

See you soon!

55 comments:

  1. Wow sounds like a glorious Bank holiday week -end, happy Monday evening Vix! we have been using the dooberlacker sorting out the outdoor carport(forgot I had chairs from Freecycle years ago so they came up got washed off ready for when people visit (we had to keep moving chairs on the week end when family came around.) Just watered the new babies but gee you are so far ahead. I always look at your flower montage and think not got those yet ha ha you work far harder in your garden than I do. Back to Vix world - wow what a chazza haul those jumpers from the eighties brought back memories. That knife pleat dress is fab and I bet Sheila will be eyeing off your one off skirt (with pockets no less). I love the kaftan you forgot about. Great post as always and hope your turf laying goes well. It will look great! Shazxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Monday back at you, Shaz! Hasn't it been glorious? I bet you were happy about those chairs!
      Watering plants, it's been a while since we did that. I hope your newbies catch up soon. I was so excited about the poppies, I've been so worried they weren't going to bloom this year.
      Those jumpers were the thing in the 1980s, weren't they? I was so pleased to find five in one go and in lovely condition, too!
      That skirt reminded me of Sheila's bullfighting skirt, another epic print!
      Have fun in the sun. xxx

      Delete
  2. It sure looks and sounds like you had a perfect holiday weekend Vix! That's the great thing about blogs, there always there to catch up when we can or to just jump right back in. I'm amazed to see how beautiful and green your garden is already, you two have really worked your magic there! I really like that skirt and the kaftan too. Great finds at the charity shop as well. Have a fantastic week - cheers! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Martha! Wonderful to have some sun and warmth, too! Yes, blogs are like a good book, you can pick them up when you're in the mood and get totally absorbed in them again. xxx

      Delete
  3. What a great post. Oh for 25 degrees or drizzle. There has been torrential Rain for 3 days and nights in Canterbury NZ many roads closed. Farms like lakes . Animals dead. Finally stopped, but yes weve got the drizzle now.
    Your videos inspire me. Before the flooding I shopped on line and bought $100 worth of indoor plants. Some to add in the kitchen window and a beautiful Gerbera on a chest under an arched window in my bedroom as I am in bed unless it’s sunny 🤣 and I can sit in my porch, I’m so lucky not to be underwater and my cook and cleaner can still get here. Lucky the gardener turned off the irrigation a couple of weeks ago. It astounds me how much you get done while everyone is still asleep. I was like that in my 20s . Watered my roses and carted buckets of liquid seaweed to them weekly. I had a neighbourcome asking why my roses were twice as big and beautiful as his. Quite a compliment for a young girl from a 50 year old man. Hope Stephen ok. I would love to know what you put on your pizzas and how and what you roast. I have to be gluten free. There’s not much choice in bread here. In fact it’s disgusting. Oh to be young again. You always cheer me up. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salluy, your weather sounds like most of may was for us, the wettest and coldest since records begin. It does wear you down! I'm glad you've treated yourself to some houseplants to cheer yourself up.
      I love being the first awake and just wandering around, ticking off little jobs without anyone to interrupt me. I drive everyone mad with my constant movement, I thought I'd have slowed down at 54!
      Jon usually roasts peppers, onions, wedges of unpeeled potatoes and beetroot with the haloumi. Our pizzas are from the deli counter so whatever veg option (for me) is on offer that day - generally spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes or peppers. It's 6.30am and I'm making myself hungry already! xxx

      Delete
    2. Thanks Viv, am about to do a shop on line. It’s Queens Birthday weekend coming up. -would have been our wedding anniversary - and no courier for 3 days. I always forget something. Will be having some of Jon’s roasts. Thanks so much for that.

      Delete
  4. Aw, look at those sleepy boys! Vizzini is getting floppy in the sun now that it's getting warmer here (finally).

    Love the Finewear skirt - what a pattern! - and also your remembered kaftan. How amazing to find that piece of the tile in the garden!

    What an amazing stash of mohair sweaters! Those look...WARM, hee hee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't cats funny when they get some sun on their fur, yu can do anything to them!
      Isn't that print on the skirt amazing? All the things hipsters love but made decades ago! xxx

      Delete
  5. I really like two tone purple sweater
    Coffee is on and stay safe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So clever to be able to knit like that! x

      Delete
    2. Like that too. 😊 Looks similar to one I made in the 1960s when recovering from flu. My favourite colours.

      Delete
  6. That was a whopping bargain on the Anokhi kaftan and perfect for your holiday. I hope your efforts on the ground elder pay off - it's so hard to eradicate but putting down turf rather than seed gives you a good head start. You look tanned and relaxed :) Bettyx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't it just?My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I spotted it!
      That ground elder is such a pain, hopefully the turf should do the trick. xxx

      Delete
  7. You always find the best items in charity shops. You have a great eye. I love your outfit with the off shoulder blouse and printed skirt, it's wonderful. Your Anokhi kaftan is beautiful...and what a deal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ivana! I'm managed to find a secondhand replacment for the charity-shopped off the shoulder blouse that isn't quite so big! xxx

      Delete
  8. I used to love mohair jumpers in the eighties! We cleared out our loft a couple of years ago, and found a mohair jumper I'd started to knit, the pattern and the balls of wool, wrapped in a carrier bag. All still in new condition too, which was surprising as they must have been up there for twenty odd years! I love the purple one VIX, will it be on sale in your shop online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb! That half-knitted jumper was a great discovery. The jumpers are for our festival stock as opposed to ebay but feel free to email me at goanmad(at)hotmail(com) if you're interested. xxx

      Delete
  9. you will get rid of the weeds by mowing the new lawn regularly - weed don´t like to be mown.... but for the wildflower plans its getting hard with all that grass. you´ve to be patient.
    totally love the 50s skirt - gorgeous print! and the whole outfit looks fabulous too. oh those beads....
    the mohair sweaters are very cool and will sell like a storm on a chilly festival ground.
    lovely shots of stephen and frank <3
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not good at being patient, that's my problem! The new lawn looks amazing now we've laid the turf, I don't mind some weeds - great for Jacob's diet, but ground elder is horrible.
      I still can't believe my luck finding those beads! xxx

      Delete
  10. After the war and rationing was over it feels like they completely threw out the rule book and produced just the best (and maddest) figurative prints; that Finewear skirt is a wonderful example and I like the fact that it's very freehand in the pattern placement. But you're right, the top is rather generously cut for someone as svelt as you.
    I remember those outrageous, graphic mohair sweaters from the 80s but I never had one - Dennis the Menace style black and red stripes seemed particularly popular. Their predecessors were the half-hole cotton and mohair chunky punk styles of the late 70s I think. I remember knitting myself a multi-layered silk and cotton jumper with lots of threads hanging off it, constructed from over overlapping squares and drapes as an art project around then. I thought it was the dog's at the time but looking back at photos I looked like a pudgy extra from Duran Duran's Wild Boys video. It's not my worst fashion mistake but it's close. You always seem to conjour up wonderful outfits Vix, but you must have the odd occasion where you look back and think 'what on earth was I up to wearing that?'
    The Killing is so good (and kind of leisurely but I like that in a show). I've been rewatching the BBC serial of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on BBC4 over the bank holiday. Now that's a story that's not going to be hurried, but I loved every carefully nuanced, understated second. I enjoyed the more recent film but it's a scenario you want to really wallow in, even if you already know 'who did it'. I don't imagine many directors would be given the space in the schedule for a 7 hour adaptation nowadays, but back then it was much more common. I remember watching it when young but missed a number of the more subtle elements back then; really lovely to see it again, wonderful ensemble cast. I hope they'll continue in this vein of quality repeats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hwllo Fifitr, hope you had a fabulous holiday!
      That print (and colour combo) is a masterpiece. I can't imagine the excitement of seeing clothes like that in the shops after years of rationing and make-do and mend, I bet people went beserk! I've found a replacment for that voluminious top on eBay, that saggy thing is going back next week.
      I've never been into knitwear but did have a fuschia and turquoise mohair jumper in the 1980s I lived in - necessary in my unheated £11 a week student hovel! Your creation sounds most inventive, we certianly knew how to dress individually back then - I'm rather glad digital photography wasn't a thing back then though. I'd hate to see what the reality looked like.
      I occasionally go through the last 12 years of blogging and expect to find a horrific outfit but most of the time I look and wonder why the hell I sold something!
      I loved Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy when I watched it with my dad back in the late 1970s and Jon & I rewatched the series three years ago and it was even better the second time round, beautifully executed and just as good as the book (unlike a lot of the Le Carre TV adaptations). I loved the film, too. xxx

      Delete
  11. Had to come in out of the sun today as yesterday I burnt my arms, didn’t even feel it as I was sat under the trees. Lesson learned.
    I’d love to find a wheelbarrow full of those ceramic tiles for a project I fancy doing in the garden. I’ll find some somewhere I’m sure.
    Philip says hello and to tell you he’s on the mend. I’ll be glad when he is as his clothes sense has gone out the window. He’s dressed like an old codger xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! The Brit abroad look without even having left the country!
      I love old tiles, I've always had a plan to turn the garden into a Gaudi-esque mosaic paradise...in my dreams!
      So glad Philip's on the mend. Tell him to get the snazzy gear back out, you always feel better when you look good! xxx

      Delete
    2. Great minds think alike on the tile front xxx

      Delete
  12. I was going to make some comment about all the glorious fashion items, but all I can think about now is a naan bread pizza!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. In true British style I am simply going to moan that it's too darn hot. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that new skirt. The colours and the pattern are fabulous.
    I think you are bringing Greece to Walsall with that kaftan.
    Enjoy the balmy weather. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jane! I wish I could bring Greece to Walsall, with no India this year it seems like a long time since I last escaped the UK (9 months!) xxx

      Delete
  15. We've had glorious weather since last Friday, so yay! Our Oriental poppies still haven't opened, but I'm sure it won't be long now. Watering and feeding is yet again become quite a chore, even if I'm a long way off 21+ trips with the watering can!
    That Finewear skirt is absolutely delightful, as is the Anokhi kaftan. I'm so glad they both got their maiden outing. And oh my, the chazza shop gods have indeed been more than obliging. What great finds!
    It's so easy to fall behind with blogging, isn't it? But surely being totally decadent is far more important! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad you're having wonderful weather, too. It makes such a difference to everything. The endless watering is the only downside and now we've got a new lawn that will need a thorough drenching twice a day for the next fortnight! xxx

      Delete
  16. I love a mohair jumper. The purple one is my favourite too. Arilx

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm glad you got to the chance to sunbathe and chill after all that hard work in the garden! 4 hours of weeding would kill my knees dead, I think. I hope you have a good thick kneeler.

    I loved your 1950s skirt and the kaftan was lovely and definitely made for a Greek beach.

    What fabulous finds; the 1920s leaflets and pamphlets were superb and the mohair handknits - wow! I received a letter from Barnardo's today telling me my donations have so far raised 119.00 of which they'll receive a further 25% from the government in gift aid. If you give, you get back.

    Enjoy the lovely weather.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two hours in and I was losing the will to live! That ground elder and it's endless roots is the worst thing ever.
      I've been dying to wear that 1950s skirt since I found it, it just screams summer. doesn't it?
      I love old adverts, that pack is absolutely fascinating!
      Isn't it exciting to get those Gift Aid letters and know your old stuff has done so much good? xxx

      Delete
  18. Lovely that you made the most of the 25ºC, basking in the sun! and wearing even a bikini!. Love that you've worn this beautiful kaftan too. And I'm totally in love with your 'animal print' skirt, ;DD it's such a beautiful print, actually it has put a smile on my face!
    Lovely to see your fabulous finds, you're lucky And talented!. Loving these handknits, so fabulously 80's! hope that festival goers appreciate them!.
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a while since I basked on the lawn in a bikini - long may it last!
      Isn't that print wonderful? The colours make me smile! xxx

      Delete
  19. That skirt is a fabulous find! Love it styled with the white top and pom pom basket.
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh such goodness, Vix! I do hope you can find a way to use that Minton tile fragment - it is quite lovely. The Finewear skirt is a triumph - what a print!! And you really must share the Vamping Chart in your ephemera swag!

    The Anokhi kaftan looks so lovely on you, Vix - that style has me looking like I'm in mortal combat with a duvet cover - but you look like a pretty butterfly. An absolute steal too!

    The weather is amazing at the moment isn't it? We were sitting out with our posh coffee yesterday and declared ourselves to be on the Costa Nowt (it makes a change from holidaying at Ourgate lol). For a little while there, it really felt like Before Covid times - I feel so lucky to have our own small, outdoor space. I'm normally not a sun-lover - but it does lift your mood like nothing else.

    Topped up our charity shop karma yesterday and got rewarded with a beautiful 70's frock. The construction,finish and print are sublime.

    Stay safe all - get the suncream on. Maryland - big love to you as always xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Elaine! I've got a couple of those Minton tiles (unbroken) surrounding the bathroom sink, they're things of such beauty, aren't they? Try getting a decent tile these days, they're all grey!
      Jon said I looked like a butterly in that kaftan, too. I reckon it'd be really easy to run up using a duvet cover or a throw - you could refashion that peasant one you got in the chazza.
      I'm loving this weather so much, it's never too hot for me. I'm trotting around outside from 5.30am every morning, full of ideas and excitement.
      Well done on scoring the 1970s frock. There's so much cheap fashion in the charity shops it really does make you appreciate a well-contructed gem, doesn't it? xxx

      Delete
  21. The chazza find are fab Vix. I love the animal print skirt - falmingos, antelope, tigers AND cacti!!! You look very cute wearing it. The oriental poppies are beautes. I am very envious of your stacked terracotta. Hope you got some sun today after the storm warnings. Lulu xXx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, lulu! I'm not usually keen on 1950s fashion on me but I was prepared to make an exception for that insane skirt!
      We didn't get any rain at all yesterday. Jon was hoping for a shower to help with the turf! xxx

      Delete
  22. Wow, great finds at the thrifts. We felt the same way about The Killing and in the middle ended up abandoning it. Love the terracotta, such lovely aged look to them. That piece of Minton tile is glorious, I am sure you saved it for some future project :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did do well, I love it when that happens and we end up bringing more home than we donated!
      I thought it would be the final Killing last night but no, there's anither one left to go. I've enjoyed it but feel like I've aged 5 years since I started watching it! xxx

      Delete
  23. Oh my! That skirt is amazing. The fabric is gorgeous. But I'm even more taken by the midi dress- how cute is that!
    The Anokhi kaftan was a great buy. X

    ReplyDelete
  24. You really did get charity shop karma!!!! I adore the knife pleat dress and the collar one (want to do a swap? I'll send you my 1970's purple and blue striped ruffle one in exchange!!! Ha!! 😁)
    The Anokhi Kaftan is marvellous. I'm gutted that I didn't accept an offer on a lovely Anokhi dress that I was made- I missed the message and didn't take it and of course it was swiped up!
    Your wedges are making me hungry!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sounds like you had both a productive, and relaxing bank holiday. Sylvester loves a nice patch of sun to lie in, but as he's strictly and indoor cat, he has to wait until late in the afternoon when the sun shines in my living room window.
    That skirt is WONDERFUL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. All hail the charity shop gods! We've had a few wins lately but most of our local ones aren't taking donations right now so stuff is piling up in the dining room. I'm laughing at the idea of the 'vamping chart' you found. I know it's a piano thing, but it makes me think of a checklist for doing things Theda Bara style.

    Your cats are very sensible. Mine flomp around in the sun all day then act like utter gits all night because they have so much energy to burn off.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a message. There may be a delay before your comment is published, I'm moderating the comments to keep the crazies & spammers at bay.

Lots of love, Vix