Monday, 26 July 2021

48 Hours of Me - Books, Museums & Wonky Carrots


 I only stopped my Distancing Diary posts a week ago and I've already forgotten what day it is, I was convinced it was Tuesday until Jon pointed out my error. Publishing a blog post every couple of days has been brilliant for adding structure to my existence after "normal" life was snatched away. What with the glorious weather and reducing my online time over the last few days, I feel like I've had a holiday from myself.


The Olympics have taken over daytime TV so no Andrew Marr Show this Sunday morning which made us feel most discombobulated. What hadn't changed was our weekly trip to the clearance charity shop at the top of town although, unusually, I only came back with a book while Jon snagged himself a couple of teeshirts. We donated a boxful of retro camping gear and a couple of paperbacks. 


I wore two of my latest eBay finds, my silk Stella Forest maxi dress and Ancient Greek sandals along with the straw bag I found in a chazza last week. If I'd bought the dress & sandals at their full retail price I'd have spent £444 - my secondhand, preloved price? £35!


Despite the forecast being for a miserably wet Sunday, it was anything but. We spent the afternoon in the garden bagging up the trimmings from Jon's mammoth hedge cutting session (all 100m of it) in addition to the contents of a wildly overgrown border I'd managed to clear earlier in the week.  With tomato plants coming out of our ears, I emptied the frazzled Kinky Shed windowboxes and planted them up with tomatoes and basil.


 Jon planted up some broad beans and dug up his onions and garlic, leaving them to dry. We had to giggle at this very oddly shaped carrot, it reminded us of the mandrake root in Pan's Labyrinth (one of my all-time favourite films).


Too knackered to contemplate eating anything more taxing than cheese and biscuits, we spent the evening watching back-to-back episodes of V&A: Secrets of the Museum having binge-watched Baptiste during the week.


On Monday I wrapped my weekend eBay sales, loaded the washing machine & pegged the laundry out on the line, did my Wii Fit workout and transplanted some potted nasturtiums into the borders. After breakfast, Jon went shopping (via the tip) and called in on Tony while I cleaned the bathroom and the stairs. When he got back I was enjoying the 27°C heat, basking on the lawn in my bikini reading.




After our noodles, we loaded Young Kim with the rest of the garden waste, I threw on my Cotton Cottage block-printed maxi dress (bought in Goa last year) and drove back to the tip. The rest of the day was spent lounging in the sun interrupted by a surprise visit from my brother who we'd not seen since Xmas Eve.


Jon had found someone else on Facebook offering free builders rubble so, after a tea of quiche and salad, he drove over to fill the works van with 20 bags (around a tonne) whilst I watered the pot plants and finished my book in the evening sunshine. When I'd seen it in charity shops previously I'd dismissed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as being soppy chick-lit but it was wonderful. If you enjoyed A Man Called Ove you'll love this. I read it in a few hours, always a sign of a good book.


Once Jon got back I poured us both a large glass of wine and we watched the final episode of Secrets of the Museum. Neither of us has been to the Victoria & Albert Museum but have visited its wonderfully opulent Indian counterpart in Mumbai, now called the Dr Bhav Daji Lad Museum, which opened its doors in 1872. 


Talking of travel, we're off on a National Trust adventure in the morning. A house (and a county) neither of us have visited before. It's the first time we've left the Black Country for a fortnight!
 

See you soon!

46 comments:

  1. The Stella Forest dress is an absolute stunner, well done.

    I haven't watched Secrets of the Museum yet, it's recorded and waiting for some wet weather but when we lived closer to London it was a favourite for an annual trip. I don't miss many places in the south of England but the V&A is one of the exceptions.

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    1. Thanks, Jayne! I do love a posh frock, I felt very special rummaging through the Primarni in a pure silk, hand-finished designer gown!
      As a fellow repairer of clothes you'll love Secrets of the Museum, it's mesmerising! xxx

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  2. That silk dress is lovely! I spy my woven bag's twin - twins again, Vix! I know what you mean - I did two quick blog posts this weekend, instead of one bastard massive one, and I feel like it was a holiday yesterday, since I had so little blog-work to do. Of course, catching up on all the other blogs and the comments...how did I ever do this when I was working full-time?

    I've been in the V&A! I saw an exhibit of Grace Kelly's clothing there in 2010.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! That dress is a joy to wear, I can't believe the previous owner sold it so cheap but I'm glad she did! Get us, matching bags and turquoise pendants, haven't we got good taste?
      Blogging is a huge (and enjoyable) part of our lives, it feels good to take a break every now and then and even better when you catch up with comments!
      I bet the Grace Kelly exhibition was good. They were restoring Shirley Bassey's crystal encrusted catsuit that she wore to perform Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, what a costume! xxx

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  3. Have read Elanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as well as A Man Called Ove and loved them both. Currently reading A Fine Balance, based on your recommendation. About a third into and can't imagine how much more this book has to offer. It is devastating, to say the least and what these people go through just to survive. Makes me grateful for all I have even in these challenging times. Ranee (MN) USA

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    1. Hello Ranee! It sounds like we've got very similar taste in books.
      A Fine Balance is utterly incredible, I loved those characters like they were members of my own family. Rohinton Mistry is an absolute genius. xxx

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  4. It’s just lovely to see the two of you enjoying your life together so much. Especially in the evenings watching tv, planning your next day’s adventure and working together in the garden. To me there is nothing better in life. Watched a film Upside last night. Enjoyed it so much but I can’t talk to Ian about it when it’s over. I thought of him cutting our hedges. He made such a great job. My home help picked me some of my daffodils yesterday. They are so early. It’s winter and they are beautiful. Today it’s raining. Heaven help those being flooded out of their homes in Germany People are so brave.

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    1. Hello Sally! I haven't seen The Upside but it sounds like a good watch, I love Nicole Kidman. It must be horrible not being able to talk about the film you've just watched with Ian - I often google film reviews after I've watched something to see what other people thought - I never read reviews before I watch anything in cae it puts me off.
      It sounds very strange for you to be enjoying daffodils in July, you really are on the otehr side of the world. Take care. xxx

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  5. Just me again. Your carrot made me laugh. If I recall correctly it’s caused by an over rich soil. Someone can comment if I’m wrong.xxx

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    1. I think it might be because he didn't thin them out enough! He planted two beds of them so we shall have to wait and see. They taste okay despite the weird look, thankfully! x

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  6. a silk dress and comfy sandals for £35! you did do well :) and you look lovely. Am wondering what all that builders rubble is for (giant rockery?!)

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    1. I did! That lady is my new favourite seller, I check if she's added anything else every morning!
      The builder's rubble is for backfilling the shed base Jon's been building, nothing exciting. xxx

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  7. I read Eleanor Oliphant sometime ago, it’s a very touching story and a book I know many of my friends have read too.
    Your bargain dress and sandals are beautiful and the garden as always is a perfect backdrop to show them off.
    We are off to the caravan tomorrow and taking mum to the cottage she likes to stay in at Grange so I don’t think there’ll be much blogging done.
    Have a lovely week. We are keeping fingers crossed that we don’t get to much of the rain that’s been forecast xxx

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    1. It is a really lovely read, isn't it? Not soppy or sentimental, just a wonderfully absorbing story.
      I did think of posing outside the charity shop in my £444 outfit but decided the garden looked better than a hideous steel and glass building!
      Have a lovely time - all of you - in your happy place.
      We had a deluge for about 40 minutes last night but it seems okay now, although Jon's planned to spend all day moving his builder's rubble today so its bound to pee it down! xxx

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  8. Looking lovely in your bargains! Hi Vix, that's a great idea planting up the window boxes on the Kinky shed with your tomatoes and basil. I love your attitude to gardening make it up as you go along look at the stunning results! Well yest was my birthday and for what started out as a low key day ended up being a day of joy there is no other way to describe it! Surprise visits from friends (the place looks like a florists) my mate shouting me a huge salad in my favourite beer garden and well I could go on and on. It was such a lovely day by the end of it i was filled with joy and gratitude for the people I know. Anyway sounds like you had a suprise visit too from your bro. You have reminded me I want watch the V & A programm I want to get there one day.thanks for a great post Vix xx Shazxx

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    1. Happy belated Birthday to you, Shaz! A fellow fire sign, no wonder we get along! I'm delighted that yiou were showered in gifts, saw friends and had dinner out. Hopefully you even had some sunshine, too!
      The V&A programme is so good, I think both series are on the i-player! Loads of love. xxx

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  9. Hi Vix,
    Fantastic bargain with the dress and the sandals, I love your style.
    Secrets of the museum sounds right up my street, I shall try and find it on catch up.
    Marlene xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Marlene! Give Secrets of the Museum a go, it's a bit like The Repair Shop without the tears! xxx

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  10. Book club keep passing on Elinor Olephant, but I think I am going to read myself. We've had some interesting carrots in the ones m daughter has brought home, but they taste the same as the perfectly unwonky ones. You have so much energy-I'm hoping to absorb some through our posts.

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    1. It's a really good read, I think you'll enjoy it. xxx

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  11. the "new" dress, sandals and bag look gorgeous on you!!
    great harvest of onions and garlic! all my carrots looked like yours - i blame the mice......
    "secrets of the museum" sounds like something i would like to see too - i often stalk the website of the V&A for their historical clothes collection.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Beate! I felt like a princess in that posh dress and sandals.
      We've grown some carrots in raised beds and others in the ground so it'll be interesting to see the difference when we pull them up - that's if the magpie doesn't get to them first!
      I love visiting the online V&A and admiring the clothes. The series is wonderful, the restoration tips are utterly fascinating! xxx

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  12. Secrets of the Museum is FAB there's also Scotlands Treasures on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDfoggAEapc and Irelands Treasures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFJ4vn_ddSE if that kind of thing floats your boat.
    I can't help but think about those invaluable folks who are at risk of losing their jobs https://tinyurl.com/3zv8xjue

    Your Stella Forest is divine and the sandals look blissfully comfy.

    Our flowers are currently getting battered by rain. I fell on my potato bucket last week (thank you vertigo lol) and we've just finished eating the big panful of spuds that got harvested after I demolished the foliage by landing on it lol. DELICIOUS spuds. But not recommended as a harvesting method (bruises - me, not the spuds).

    Stay safe, all xxx (big love to Maryland)

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    1. Hello Elaine and thank you! I think I've seen Scotland's Treasures on the i-player. I'm fascinated by the conservation methods - soaking ancient manuscripts in hot water and sewing up chiffon with thread finer than a human hair, I can hardly bear to watch in case they bugger it up!
      If that seller hadn't been selling a vintage block printed skirt I'd never have found the other European designer labels she was selling - I'd lusted after Ancient Greek sandals but had never heard of Stella Forest or Masscob before!
      I've been nagging Jon to tip the spuds out of their bag since Monty did his on Gardeners's World. I might have to resort to radical action and tumble on them instead! I can't wait to eat ours! xxx

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  13. After 15 months of losing track of time and not knowing what day it was, working full time again if nothing else has put me on the right track again. I think I liked it better before, though :-)
    You're a sight for sore eyes in your silk maxi, sandals and wicker bag outfit, and your Cotton Cottage maxi is gorgeous too!
    Secrets of the Museum sounds wonderful, I've never been to the V&A either. In fact, I haven't been to London for - eek! - 24 years!
    Can't wait to see where your NT will take you! xxx

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    1. I bet you did prefer not knowing the day of the week to being back at work and in the swing of it again. Oh well, at least you'll enjoy your escape to Bruges all the more!
      I felt very posh clothed in handmade sandals and a silk frock, it made the charity shop rails of Primarni clothes feel even more cheap and nasty than they normally do!
      24 years since you were last in London! It feels like an eternity since I was last there. We were supoosed to be trading there next month but neither of us could face the hassle of the 4am start, a long drive and hotel accomodation! xxx

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  14. I don't know whether it would be of interest, but Channel 5 did a series not dissimilar about the Natural History Museum https://www.channel5.com/show/natural-history-museum-world-of-wonder/
    Arilx

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    1. Thank you! I never watch any natural history programmes, I've not even seen anything by David Attenborough. I'm not sure why, I love animals and nature! x

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  15. I did enjoy A Man Called Ove so if I spy Eleanor Oliphant in a secondhand shop I will pick it up. Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favourite films as well - your carrot does look like the mandrake root. The Art Gallery of Ontario had an exhibit several years ago of the art of Guillermo Del Toro, including some of the creatures from his films. It was very cool to see the the details of the faun and creature with the eyes in its hands close up.

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    1. It's a really enjoyable book, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.
      I remember commenting on your fabulous Guiilermo Del Torro post when you went. The Devil's Backbone is another of my favourite films. xxx

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  16. That carrot is really funny! I love wonky veg! So amusing!
    Your new dress and sandals look so beautiful together! I love them both and your feet look really nice in those sandals! Wish mine were as dainty but my size 8's are rather massive!
    Great to see the tomatoes in the window boxes!
    I've not been to the V&A in my adult life but I think I should!
    Elinor Oliphant was a super book!

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    1. Isn't that carrot silly? Hopefully the rest will be a bit more normal - at least it tasted good!
      I'm often complimented on my "elegant" feet. I'm a miniscule size 7 (ha!) which is disproportionate to my pathetic 5'3"!
      I think you need to go to the V&A and share photos! xxx

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    2. Yes and have been since I was 11! x

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  17. Looking so good in your new dress and sandals , you do find the most wonderful things.
    I remember seeing the Secrets of the V & A here on ABC and thoroughly enjoying it .
    I have been catching up on your posts and may I say your garden is simply wonderful , a joy to behold. You and Jon must be so proud of all you have achieved .
    Glad to hear that people in your area are still being careful . Enjoy the rest of your Summer, hope the hot weather returns for you. xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Jill! It's lovely to hear from you! x

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  18. Lovely post!, your silk dress is a fab piece and looks even better with the sandals and straw bag (loving this bag!), and You Rock It. Love to see that your garden is looking so gorgeous and colourful and it's also providing you with lots of fresh vegetables (and a theme for conversation!, the oddly shaped carrot!).
    As a huge fan of the V&A, I enjoyed the Secrets of the Museum series enthusiastically! (some details are breathtakingly beautiful, I was moved!). I think it's one of my favourite places ever (totally Stendhal Syndrome inducing!).
    Thanks for commenting on your reads!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I was so happy to find that bag, I'd been after a smaller summer bag for ages!
      One day I shall go to the V&A! xxx

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  19. That's a gorgeous dress and I love how you paired it with a straw bag.

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  20. I loved 'Eleanor Oliphant' too. In fact I bought it for 7.99 on Kindle as I wanted to read it so badly; the first time I'd ever bought a book full price on there! Now the chazzas are overflowing with it...

    The Stella Forrest dress is just gorgeous and paired with the sandals and the straw bag it made a totally gorgeous outfit. Loved the green dress, too.

    You have been busy in your garden; the wonky veg looks strange but I'm sure they tasted great.
    xxx

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    1. Have you read A Man Called Ove? Me, Jona nd all our friends loved it. The film's got the original Swedish Wallander in it, we keep meaning to watch it. xxx

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  21. Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favourite films too. Monsieur and I often like to recreate the Pale man... with biro pen drawn eyes :0 :0 Can't beat a bit of wonky veg. I agree with Ivana, the dress and straw bag are fab. Lulu xXx

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    1. Haha! We've done the biro eyes, too! Such a brilliant film! xxx

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Lots of love, Vix