Monday, 25 October 2021

Life Lately


I was astounded to wake up on Saturday morning and discover it was 8.50am! After tea in bed, courtesy of Lord Jon, I stripped and changed the bed and hurriedly got dressed as we were expecting visitors, a lovely couple we met at a festival seven years ago who were passing by on their way to Birmingham's NEC and asked if they could call in. After an hour's catch-up, we had a late breakfast of buttered crumpets and spent the rest of the day in the garden, planting bulbs, sweeping up leaves and planting up the Kinky Shed windowboxes with the Goldcrest mini conifers I'd used last Autumn, ivy dug up from the garden and four cyclamens Jon had snaffled for £1 from Morrisons when he'd done the shopping the previous day. 


The garden is still blooming madly, another showing for our Dusky Maidens delphiniums, dahlias galore, and Choca Mocha cosmos going berserk. I can't believe the 10p begonias, petunias & penstemon we'd bought from Wilko back in May are still all in flower, too. 


Half of our geraniums are still blooming, too. We cut down the spent ones, repotted them and moved them to the utility room windowsill where they'll hopefully survive the winter.
 


As promised, here's Patrice, our newest old car, an 18-year-old Citroen C5 in Lucifer Red with two owners from new and a full-service history. We discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits still inside the CD player so we reckon he's a bit of an old rocker on the quiet. Jon's come over all Gallic with his Breton top and beret - it's either Patrice's influence or the anticipation of seeing The French Dispatch later this week.


After pizza and potato wedges roasted in a homemade salsa sauce made with homegrown tomatoes, chillies, onions, garlic and capsicums, we cracked open the rum and finally rewatched O Brother Where Art Thou? which was just as brilliant as we remembered.


Sunday started off with tea in bed and a leisurely hour of reading. I was very excited to see a reference to poor Margaret Pole, Jon's 16x great aunt, in my current book (courtesy of my friend, Dawn)- another of his ancestors executed by Henry VIII. After veggie sausage sandwiches eaten whilst watching the Andrew Marr Show, we gathered our bag of donations and headed to the clearance charity shop to drop them off and were pleased to see that a lot more people were wearing masks. 


Of course, we left the chazza with more stuff! 

Clockwise from top left: Quiksilver surf shirt featuring ladies astride rockets (now in Jon's wardrobe), a made in Fiji surf shirt, 1980s cotton playsuit, 1980s cropped stonewashed denim jacket, 1980s pure silk Greek Urn print shirt, handmade cable knit flecked wool cardi, quirky cactus print shirt, 1980s Harrington-style jacket and a pile of paperbacks.


We popped into Wilkos and bought soda crystals, bulbs (of the electrical and botanical variety) and some rather intriguing looking compost made from coir to which you add water and it expands to 10 litres. 


Sunday started off mild and dull and rapidly descended into miserably wet, putting paid to our plans to plant more bulbs. I wore the 1960s Ayesha Davar embroidered cheesecloth dress I'd found on eBay back in August & used the amazing vintage leather bag Lynn had given me when she & Philip visited us last month. (As you can see, the Empress of India nasturtiums show no sign of dying off.)


After an afternoon of eBay wrapping and blog reading, we had toasted sandwiches for tea and caught up with Ambulance on the i-player.


After Monday's Wii Fit workout I washed the vintage glass and scrubbed the window frames ready for Jon to fit the poor man's double glazing (plastic window film) at some point this week. 


As the weather was playing nicely, I photographed and listed some coats while Jon did the Post Office run. As you can see, we use the garden wall as a backdrop for our eBay photos and to reach it involves walking over a border, which invariably leads to muddy feet. Jon had laid cardboard down but I had a better idea. Back in the summer, I'd spotted some stepping stones on special offer at our local garden centre so we had a drive up after lunch and were pleased to see that they were still there. 


Et voila! Hopefully no more muddy feet. We'll be planting daffs in this bit soon and keeping the bees happy when Spring arrives.


My skirt's new (well, new to me, not new new!) When I was away I saw a Greek woman looking fabulous in a sun-bleached, vintage-looking denim skirt and scoured eBay for something similar when I got home. Mine's 100% cotton (no horrible lycra) so it should get better and better with age.



Frank's already making use of the stepping stones. Mud and white legged cats aren't a good combination.


I couldn't resist snaffling this terracotta pot from the garden centre's bargain corner.


Tonight we've had roasted halloumi and veg for tea and cracked open the wine, Rioja for Jon and Revolutionary Rose for me.



Tonight we'll be watching The Outlaws. I hope it lives up to the hype.

See you soon!
 

40 comments:

  1. I too have a long denim skirt that I just love with boots and tights on a fall day. I scored haloumi at our Aldi and an looking forward to an olive, spinach,and tomato salad to eat with it. Love the look and practicality of the stepping stones

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    1. Denim seems the perfect choice for this time of year, I'm quite fancying something similar in cord, too!
      Enjoy your haloumi - we did! xxx

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  2. oh yes - it is the time again to double up the windows.... we did it last week.
    your garden has still a lot of flowers!
    cool new old denim skirt, it will age very well and develop a nice patina. the new car looks pristine and the color is the perfect red - our´s is due for MOT (TÜV in germany) - and i fear it will not pass...... we really need a good mechanic.
    stay warm and dry! xxxxx

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    1. Well done for getting your windows done already! It makes such a difference to both the inside temperature and the condensation, doresn't it?
      I hate how modern denim has lycra in it, it makes it age very badly and seems to go shiny and mishapen. I'm really pleased with that skirt!
      Good luck with your TÜV, I wish you lived closer as Jon would be more than happy to give it a look over! xxx

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  3. Your garden is still looking lovely and colourful and those nasturtiums are just amazing. I need to get out in the garden and do some tidying up ready for the winter but I'm struggling to find the time - the days are just whizzing by. The car is an amazing find - I have been looking for a new car as I don't think mine will pass its mot next month and even secondhand cars have gone up in price!
    The rose looks very tempting but I am working tomorrow and wine and small children just do not mix x

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    1. Thanks so much! I hope you find the time for a bit of gardening, its so rewarding when you do - although I'm struggling to motivate myself to get those bulbs planted!
      We were so lucky with Patrice, we'd heard how the prices of second hand cars had gone through the roof and Jon was soon on the phone when he spotted him online - even better that we got the price reduced by 25% when the seller accepted knackered Young Kim in part exchange! xxx

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  4. Goodness, I cannot remember when I last slept that late (it's currently 05.25 and I've nearly finished the first pot of coffee!)

    Patrice looks very smart, as does Jon - of course! And your new skirt is lovely, as are all the plants still in flower. It's a strange Autumn - many of the leaves are down but I have more blooms going than I think I have ever had at this time of year.

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    1. I don't know what happened there, it's unheard of me to sleep much after 6am although you beat me hands down!
      It is a strange Autumn, I'm wrapped up in a woolly hat, boots and an old suede coat to take photos outside and I'm nearly expiring with the heat! xxx

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  5. Hi Vix, your black maxi is beautiful and also the denim skirt is great too - I have several and they do indeed get better with age. I noticed you have hydrangea in the garden, the heads look really lovely in wreaths and arrangements dried so if you can catch them before they go soggy they are worth keeping :) Patrice is fabulous - talk about getting noticed when you go out, you will be the talk of the town!

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    1. Thanks so much, Betty! You know, I was looking at those hydrangeas and wondering if I should do something with them as the colours are lovely. I might have to get my clippers out after lunch! xxx

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  6. My nasturtiums are still going strong too I'm going to plant the Empress of India seeds you gave me a pot next Spring so I can keep them in sight throughout the year.
    Love the denim skirt, I think I'll have a look for one too. They are great all year round 🙂 xx

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    1. I can't get over our nasturtiums. I'd chucked some spent ones on the compost heap before we went to Greece and now it's absolutely covered in flowers! xxx

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  7. I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Marquee Club in London in 1975!Snafu were on the same night. All that hair and very tight jeans and that was just the men! Garden looks ace, as does 'Patrice'. Got a real bargain there. What was the mileage?xxx

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    1. Wow! There were a couple of girls at school absolutely obsessed with Lynard Skynyrd, used to drive us mad in the coomon room playing Free Bird on repeat! I wonder if Patrice's former owner had big hair, his address in the log book was "The Enchanted Cottage" so I'm imagining a wizard!
      Patrice's got 84,000 miles on the clock. xxx

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  8. How lovely to meet Patrice and although the same age as Frida is not as vintage as her. She has a tape player, nothing as modern as a CD player. Happy to say she passed her MOT again, so off we go for another year.
    It’s lovely to see the garden still blooming. I always have a little mental chat with Auntie Gladys when I see it, asking her what she thinks of it. By now she would be bringing pots in to overwinter on the bedroom and kitchen windowsills and soon discussions would start about what theme to have in the new year. How I miss those cosy winter afternoons in her front room.
    Just finished my zoom Pilates so I’m going to check on the wandering welder, he’s pulling off the cork tiles in my studio in readiness for a better thicker one piece cork wall.
    Enjoy your day lovely friends xxx

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    1. I hope Frida passed her MOT with flying colours. We've got a little DAB radio for Patrice - we have to have our 6Music soundtrack on every journey!
      I'd love to have some of Auntie Gladys' advice as to what to plant next. I bet you miss those cosy chats and that beautiful beaming smile.
      My Dad always lined up the geraniums on the lounge windowsill over the winter - we didn't have central heating so they really thrived!
      Can't wait to see that new wall! xxx

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  9. That was a lie in and a half! (For you)!

    Loving the outfits both yours and Jon's. Love the denim skirt and top and the lovely embroidered dress with the fab bag. Patrice looks very Gallic - n'est pas? Jon matches him very well...

    I am intrigued by the coir compost; I must look for that when I'm next in Wilco. We need a new mop head so I'll go there for it. The still blooming flowers in your garden are just lovely and I am determined to have Nasturtiums next year - what jolly flowers they are and they seem to last so long. Love the new paving stones; that was a genius idea.

    The vintage glass collection was so pretty especially with the light shining through it.

    I watched 'The Outlaws' yesterday and enjoyed it!
    xxxx

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    1. I know, I never sleep that late. I felt very naughty!
      Isn't this weather wonderful? I'm really enjoying not having to wear coats yet although Jon says he might pack his shorts away next week.
      That compost sounds really interesting, doesn't it? I like that it's so small so you can stash a couple away in the house for emergencies.
      I shall send you some of my nasturtium seeds if you'd like? They're such jolly looking things and need absolutely no care or attention whatsoever! xxx

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    2. Oh, yes please to the nasturtium seeds! I haven't spotted any yet; looked in Wilco today as well. I'll email you my adress and thank you so much, Vix.
      xxx

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  10. Is it strange that I'm intrigued by your compost?

    Massively impressed by how much you manage to get done in a day.

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    1. Hello Katrina! I was intruiged by that compost, too. I shall let you know how I get on with it. It's brilliant for people who don't drive (like me!) as its easy to carry home from the shops. xxx

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  11. Lovely to see your still blooming garden, so much colour!. And those stepping stones are a great idea!.
    Looking fab in your black dress and also in your denim skirt. Totally agree that Real Denim ages beautifully, the more you wear it, the more you love it!. And you rock your turquoise necklace!.
    Lots of interesting reading/watching materials, thanks for sharing!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I was pleased that those srepping stones were still in the sale, the lads love them!
      It's so hard to find real denim, isn't it? the charity shops are full of that awful cheap stuff with lycra. xxx

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  12. What a lovely colorful post, I am amazed that your garden can look so good when it is almost November!

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    1. Thanks, JanF! I picked raspberries this morning. We've got temperatures of 17°C forecast for today! xxx

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  13. Patrice is a real stunner! And talking of stunning: your garden is a true sight for sore eyes. I'm quite envious of your delphiniums having another showing, although our Nasturtiums are definitely rivalling yours! I've seen that coco coir potting compost around, do let me know if it's any good.
    The Ayesha Davar cheesecloth dress is gorgeous, as is Lynn's bag and your new-to-you denim skirt. Finding a great denim skirt that ticks all my boxes is still one of my holy grails! xxx

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    1. Patrice is definitely one of our better daily runarounds, his previous owners must have really loved him!
      I'm amazed at how everything in the agrden is still flourishing. I've been out and picked my first crop of Autumn raspberries this morning, I thought I'd have to wait a year after planting them before I was able to harvest any.
      I do love an embroidered Indian dress and I'm delighted with that skirt - good old M&S! xxx

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  14. Aussie crook wine, how lovely!

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    1. I know, I drink their sparkling!

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    2. I didn't know they did a sparkling wine - I'll have to put it on the list for next time! xxx

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  15. nice car! Hope it serves you well.
    I've seen that wine and resisted. Is it good or criminally bad?

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    1. Thank you! Our cheap runarounds have always conked out in the end but hopefully we'll get a few years out of Patrice. The funniest was a Seat Cordoba whose electrics went mad towards the end. We'd forever be getting locked into it and I'd have to climb out of the boot to free Jon in the driver's seat!
      "Criminally bad" - I like what you've done there! It's a really decent wine, I've done well only to have one glass! xxx

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  16. I've been looking for the perfect longer length denim skirt for ages - your's looks just like what I have in mind. Your garden is still going great guns whereas ours over here are ready to bed down for the winter. I still have some sort of trailing ivy-type plant on my porch that the squirrels keep digging in but as I have no place to keep it inside I'm going to have to find it another home for the winter.

    I'm envious that you are going to see the French Dispatch. I have enjoyed other Wes Anderson films and he always has an interesting and quirky cast. I am a huge Tilda Swinton fan so I will see anything she's in.

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    1. I loved the length of that denim skirt, perfect with boots. There's loads on Ebay at the moment, I suspect most prople only wear them in summer.
      Gah! The squirrels! I'm going to have to put netting over my newly-blanted daffodil bulbs as the little blighters will be digging them up for lunch!
      Hopefully we're seing The French Dispatch tommorrow, I keep watching the trailer and getting wildly excited! xxx

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  17. Oh I love that denim skirt. Its such a great style and shape.
    How was The Outlaws?
    X

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    1. The Outlaws was ok, I reckon it's a slow burner. I can believe Christopher Walken's in it!
      The denim skirt is from Marks and Spencer's Limited Collection (I think it was discontinued in 2019), there's a few on Ebay and the fit and quality is really good! xxx

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  18. Ack, I read this post ages ago, but didn't comment! I love seeing your flowers and purchases, and hello, Patrice! What a gorgeous little thing, and even brought a bonus CD! Freebird!

    I like the look of denim skirts, but I never wear them like I think I'm going to. Frank the photobomber what bombs at midnight!

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  19. Frank looks very big stepping on those stones. Is it perspective of is he one of those maxi size cats? I love your denim skirt. I'm sure it will look even better with age, denim works that way.

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  20. The denim skirt is really chic esp with that blouse. I don't have a proper thick denim skirt but I do have a navy chambray one and I love it. So comfy!
    The coir compost is good. I bought a couple of blocks of it last year and it was v useful esp as it is so light yo carry. My peashoots are currently growing in it!
    There's still so many lovely flowers on your garden! My patch of Nasturtiums is continuing to grow which I'm thrilled about! Still v small though.
    The car is really smart!

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Lots of love, Vix