Monday, 20 September 2021

Something for the Weekend

 It's been a busy weekend here at Stonecroft with a large portion of it spent attempting to sort out the garden which is still blooming madly. Despite a forecast for torrential rain, other than a few sharp showers on Sunday morning, it's been glorious for days.




My plan for growing tomatoes in the Kinky Shed windowboxes failed miserably so I emptied them into the compost heap and Jon repainted both the boxes and the window frames. We'll plant them up with some Autumnal blooms when we're back from our travels.

Over the weekend, we planned an itinerary for our trip (very grown-up!) and booked our accommodation.  As usual, we'll be travelling around on local buses and staying in different places, this time in a heritage hotel in the heart of the Medieval quarter in the island's principal town, in a tiny beachfront cottage 50 yards from the Aegean Sea and in rooms that stand in the shadow of a 2,500-year-old acropolis. It'll be my third visit to this particular Greek island. I first went 30 years ago (on a lairy 18-30s holiday with a girlfriend) and more recently, in 2001 with Jon although we were there in August and it was 40°C in the shade so we didn't venture further than our 7th Century stone house and the beach.


Following the recent government update, the over 50s were urged to have an annual flu jab to stop the strain on the NHS this winter so Jon booked us in at Boots the Chemist on Sunday. We were expecting to pay but discovered that it's free for us old folk! 24 hours later and, just like the last time, we've suffered no ill effects. We had to pop into the clearance charity shop on the way there, donating a hi-fi system, three shirts and three pairs of shoes from the stockroom, a blanket and a box of hair dye in a colour I no longer use.

Needless to say, we came out with a bagful of goodies, which included an amazing Versace-inspired tiger print shirt for Jon (it's already in the travel bag!), a super-funky 1970s zig-zag knit maxi skirt in a rare larger size, a stunner of an Indian block printed midi dress, a roll of West African waxed cotton offcuts and a 1980s button-thru' midi skirt.


There was also a 1960s hand blown glass vase, an Indian silk brocade coat, a John Le Carre novel, a 1980s blouse, a new-with-tags protective case with a fab print and Valley of the Dolls denim midi skirt.


I left the house in a block printed midi skirt but felt the need to try on the skirt as soon as I got back as it reminded me of the one worn by Monique in The Serpent.


 I've not worn a denim skirt in years but there was something rather pleasing about the kick pleats and cleverly positioned pockets and, a massive plus point, belt loops large enough to accommodate a wide leather belt. I don't do skinny ones, go big or go home! 

WEARING: Valley of the Dolls denim midi with 1970s cheesecloth blouse (eBay), Lotta from Stockholm clogs, a vintage silk screen print Indian scarf, wooden beads & leather belt (all charity shopped) and a 1970s tooled leather shoulder bag (eBay).



Our Autumn raspberries were having a growth spurt so, after lunch, we moved the arch by the pond to the veg bed opposite the Kinky Shed to support the plants.


On Monday morning it was business as usual with a Wii Fit session and a couple of loads of washing pegged out in the sunshine before 8am. 


I was keen to give yesterday's chazza-shopped dress a whirl but, to be honest, it wasn't on for long, I was in a bikini by 10.30am watering the parched patio pots and cutting back the red and blackcurrant bushes. 

WEARING: Contemporary Indian block printed cotton midi dress with purple fedora (retail buy, 2017) and Toast cowboy boots (eBay)

I love living in such an ethnically diverse area, where Indian and African textiles are as commonplace in charity shops as the more mundane high street cast-offs. 

After lunch, I lay on the lawn with my latest read, Reconstruction by one of my favourite authors, Mick Herron. I would have done so earlier but the sun's really low in the sky at this time of year and the grass doesn't get any sun till gone midday. 


Jon finished his packing, taking out a couple of things. I followed suit, whittling my choice down to six dresses (one of which I'll be flying in), two bikinis, two bags and my straw hat (I'll sort out footwear & jewellery tomorrow). Our combined baggage allowance is for a single 20kg bag and, as we're travelling around, we're trying to pack as lightly as possible. A couple of the towns we're staying in are traffic-free, the last thing we want to be doing is lugging a massive bag up this hill in 32°C heat. (Packing post fans - there's one coming up very soon!)

Awww, look at The Lads, fast asleep under the rosemary bush. The dreaded bag is out from under the bed and they know something's afoot!

I'm off to drink wine and eat pizza. Later, we'll be watching this afternoon's The Antiques Road Trip on catch-up and Silent Witness.

See you soon! 


39 comments:

  1. Your garden really looks great for this late in the season. Mine is a ragged mess at this point, but not dead enough to pull anything out.
    Love the denim skirt. They're useful wardrobe pieces, and that's a very nice one.
    Will look forward to the packing posts.

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    1. Thank you! I've got rid of a lot of the nasturtiums from the rest of the garden. They'd swamped all the other stuff and with the unexpected sunshine and heat the other bits are enjoying their moment in the sun!
      You and Ann have both rocked a denim skirt lately. I was really pleased with the fit of this one. I picked it up and put it down ijn the shop four times, such a ditherer for a £2 skirt! xx

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  2. Your garden is looking fab! Ours was a bit bit bedraggled after two weeks with no water but OH watered and tidied up and it looks a lot better...

    I'm always amazed at how animals 'read' their humans. They know the bag means you're off somewhere...our dog used to know the word 'walk' and we had to resort to spelling it to avoid her going berserk!

    What a totally fabulous haul. I adore Jon's tiger shirt and your midi dress and the denim skirt looked wonderful on you and yes I think you captured the 'Serpent' look perfectly. I did wonder what you meant when you said 'Valley of the Dolls' skirt immediately thinking of the book!

    How exciting for you to be going away; I need to catch up with your posts to find out exactly where - not Corfu then? And hopefully not where the volcano has just erupted!

    Take care
    xxx

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    1. Lovely to hear from you, Vronni!
      The time we spent preparing for End of the Road and the five days we were away really took its toll on ours as well, I didn't know where to start!
      I read Valley of the Dolls as a teenager and loved it. I seem to remember the film being rather stylish when I watched it years later.
      Not Corfu this year and definitely no volcanos although they were plagued with those awful forest fires. I haven't mentioned the island yet! xxx

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  3. What a picture you in amongst the florals! It is going to be weird when you go back 'on the road' next year. How on earth will you manage that and the garden? All the homegrown food you've eaten this year. You will not only need a cat'looker-after' but a garden tender too!! That denim skirt is fab, what a good score. Those cats, well, any cats, they "know" don't they? Rene used to makee herself all comfy on Arthurs' pile of clothes and sometimes just curled up in the rollalong. Zxx

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    1. Thanks, Z! Most of the plants are perrenials (veg aside). Last year Jon bought a cheap irrigation system which he's thinking of extending for next summer. Our lovely cat sitter looks after the patio pots which is a great help!
      Cats are so strange, aren't they? xxx

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  4. If your textile "off cuts" are 2.5 inches wide then you actually have a jelly roll for quilting.

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    1. I thought it was a jelly roll as soon as I saw it1

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    2. I haven't the patience for quilting and the only Jelly Roll I know is the American jazz musician from whom The Red Hot Chilli Poppers got their name!
      I'll be using my waxed cotton ro cover something - maybe a lampshade or a picture frame! xxx

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  5. What a garden ! What a holiday and an outfit to dream for - the diamond top one. What is the name please of the pink Bush next to the blue hydrangea ? My Patty pan seeds have been sown for over a week now. No sign of life yet.
    Have a fab trip. ❤️

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    1. Hello Sally! Those patty pans will take a while but I can grow them, anybody can!
      The pink plant is a Sedum "Autumn Joy", the butterflies love them! xxx

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  6. How exciting to be so deep into the planning for your trip, Vix! I love your denim skirt - I laughed when you showed the label, as I'd read "Valley of the Dolls" and wondered if a character in the movie wore a skirt like this or...what? Oh, it's the actual brand! It all makes sense now, lol. Love the Indian dress too! I also love that we get a ton of ethnically diverse clothing in the thrifts - I've been lucky to find a lot of Indian-made clothing, as well as beautiful vintage kimonos. I always see saris, but my Indian colleagues have warned me that I'll be laughed at if I wrap them wrong!

    That tiger shirt is incredible. I'd have wrestled you for it! L would totally wear it.

    Our wee lad also knows that something is afoot when a certain bag comes out of the closet. The look of fury on his face! Your lads are positively chill in comparison.

    Have a good week, Vix!

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    1. Hello Sheila! I think I need to research the Valley of the Dolls, all the clothing I found with that label online seemed rather 70s influenced, I wonder if the brand was inspired by the film?
      I thought of you when Jon excitedly showed me the tiger, I knew it was something you'd grab, too!
      I have worn a sari a few times but got Indian friends to tie it for me. I'm always looking for saris in chazzas but they're usually of the mass-produced polyester variety, the silk and cotton ones are treasured. xxx

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  7. Enjoy your Pizza.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  8. The lads are adorable falling asleep like that.
    It's great you planned your holiday to Greece. Heritage hotel sounds like a great place to stay. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time, Greece is a country that has a lot of offer in terms of culture and cuisine.
    The denim skirt outfit is fantastic. I love the skirt and the wide belt. The statement top and the Lottas are lovely as well. The Indian print dress is lovely as well.
    Have a great week ahead!

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    1. They're inseperable when they know we're goimng away, they form their own little gang, lads against humans!
      I can't wait to wander around two-thousand year old ruins and eat amazing food.
      It took me a while to decide to buy that denim skirt, I wasn't sure if it was boring but I do like the fit! xxx

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  9. I remember reading Valley of the Dolls.It was quite a shocker for its time. That's a jelly roll of fabric that you've acquired. Bet it will look stunning when it's made up with all those lovely bright colours.Such lucky finds again. X

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    1. I remember one of my mum's friend being appalled at seeing me reading Valley of the Dolls at the age of 11. I went on to Payton Place next!
      That's three of you mentioning jelly rolls (a term I'd never heard of until Susan commented last night), quilting isn't for me I'm afraid. I love West African waxed cotton and have already used a few of the strips to transform a mundane household object. Photos coming very soon! xxx

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  10. I'm rather envious of all the blooms in your garden. Ours isn't looking as splendid as it did this time last year, what with all the rain we've had over Summer. Also, our patio plants and hanging baskets greatly suffered from the heatwave we had when we were away. I'd grouped most of it together in a shady corner, but still there are quite a few casualties!
    Phoebe always knew what was up when our travel bags came out, but Bess is still blissfully unaware. I'm sure it'll be a different story when we next pack our bags ... xxx
    Great chazza finds again, it must be all that stuff you're donating! Loving the block printed midi dress, and the denim skirt. Finding one that ticks all my boxes has been my holy grail for a while now.

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    1. I think our garden is at the stage where it should be in August, the dahlias & geraniums are going mad and I've had to pull up a lot of the nasturtiums as I couldn't see out of the window any more!
      Bess hasn't picked up on the travel bag vibe yet. Frank's been insanely loving, even with me this week. It doesn't half make you feel guilty! xxx

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  11. looking forward to the 'packing post' so glad you are finally able to travel... Jon's tiger shirt looks luxurious. Betty :)

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    1. It's up! I love sharing my packing, it stops me sneaking things in at the last minute as I'm sure someone will spot something I hadn't posted about! xxx

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  12. awww - the lads - so very cute!
    your garden looks wonderful for this late season.....
    the newest blockprint is gorgeous and the denim skirt a very chic model - cool tiger shirt for jon!
    must be exiting to go to greece finally - the foto of that coast is very enchanting.
    xxxxx

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    1. The lads are being so cute this week, it's making me feel very guilty - although they'll be just as loving with our cat lady as soon as we've gone!
      Our garden is looking the best it's been all year, I shall miss it! xxx

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  13. The Indian dress is fab, and the denim skirt looks great on you.
    Your garden is still looking lush. The weather has been so lovely recently, I've been sitting out every day.
    Looking forward to the packing post 🙂 xx

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    1. Thanks, Annie! Hasn't it been gorgeous? I've been getting my sunbathing practice in this week although it's 33°C in Rhodes today, a bit hotter than Walsall! xxx

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  14. Good evening Vix. You still have so much glorious colour in your garden. We still have a lot blooming but I must admit it was inside for me today as I decided to go through all my clothes and decide what should go why hang onto things when someone might love them listing on ebay not my strong point will get round to it. Beautiful pics, but wow Vix in a denim skirt! £2 well spent. You have styled it wonderfully. the Indian midi is gorgeous two very different looks but both wonderful on you. You must be so excited for your holiday!! I was going to ask if a packing post was coming but I see there is goody. Well Vix have a great evening hugs Shazx ps got flu jabbed booked (my first one eek)

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    1. Hello Shaz! Hope the flu jab went well for you, it was our first one last year and we were fine both times.
      Well done for being so disciplined and going through your wardrobe like that. Listing on ebay is a bit daunting at first but once I start I really get into it and rather enjoy it. Good luck and make loads of sales! xxx

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  15. You pick up the best stuff in your charity shop, the dress is gorgeous. Sadly there is nothing in ours except ordinary run of the mill shops clobber.
    I’m getting excited for you for the upcoming travels now. There’ll be plenty to talk about when you get back. I’m wondering how different you’ll find things from your last trip abroad.
    We are off to Grange again this week. Mum and Jill are staying in an apartment and we will be at the caravan. There’s a trip planned to look round the beautiful Holker Hall and Sunday we will be at Prom Art. Fingers crossed the weather holds for us all.
    Enjoy your packing and planning xxx

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    1. My dress reminded me a bit of your fabulous new one from The Cotswolds, I was thrilled to spot it amongest the Primarni!
      Have a wonderful time in Grange, the weather is looking amazing for the next few days. I've been getting into training all week and lounging around in my bikini! xxx

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  16. Hello Vix, I am really excited for your mystery Aegean getaway! Great Chazza finds. I am always on the look out for African waxed fabric. The denim kick skirt and Indian block printed dress are fab too. Lulu xXx

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    1. Hi Lulu. No mystery, I shall share where I'm off to in my next post!
      I do love some waxed cotton, so cheery and fun! xxx

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  17. Oh my, you are going overseas. Lucky you. I can't wait for your packing post. XX

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  18. My oh my, I adore that Indian print dress! It is GORGEOUS!!!!! What a find. You look lovely in it. My Autumn bliss raspberries have been going for it too- they have been fruiting a lot!xx

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  19. Your upcoming trip sounds idyllic. Now I'm looking forward to your packing post - I love those :)

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  20. That denim skirt looks great on you!

    Aaaah, holidays! I hope yours is really good. It must feel wonderful to go somewhere sunny again.

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Lots of love, Vix