Sunday, 28 November 2021

Stormy Weather

With the rain lashing against the windows and the winds battering the trees, Storm Arwen had already arrived when I rolled out of bed at 6.30am on Friday morning, having had a wonderful night's sleep beneath the new wool duvet. 

Our brass Eid lights cast a welcoming glow in the kitchen on a miserable morning.

 After breakfast, we decided to tick a few jobs off the to-do list. First was cutting up the old duvet and using it to restuff some cushion covers, saving it from landfill.

I bought these hand-embroidered climate change cushion covers from my favourite fair-trade company, Ian Snow's sale several years ago, follow the link at your peril, there are about a hundred things on there I'd buy if I could.


Jon repotted the cheese plant. When he'd finished I tried out a tip I'd learnt the other day and polished the leaves with the inside of the banana skin, they came up a treat.


My tradescantia cuttings had finally developed roots so I potted them up in the handmade £1.50 ceramic planter we'd bought on our charity shop trip the previous day.


I was going to hang it in the bathroom but the green is a perfect match to the arsenic walls in the kitchen so I hung it up in the inglenook instead.

The other £1.50 planter we'd bought did end up in the bathroom.

Between showers, I managed to dash outside and take some stock photos and list a few things on eBay whilst Jon mended the bannister which had been hanging at a strange angle for far too long.


After lunch, we walked to the postbox on the corner to post a parcel. I did have a coat on (it was freezing!)

WEARING: Kharibu block printed dress (eBay), vintage Indian cottage waistcoat (Last year's Xmas present from Liz), Mjus boots, planished silver bangle & '70s sheepskin hat (charity shop finds), Heatgen thermal polo neck & leggings (M&S seconds, bought from eBay)




In recent years the UK has embraced Black Friday and when he got up I'd told Jon that I'd bought a massive telly and an American-style fridge the size of a garden shed while he was still asleep. Funnily enough, he wasn't fooled!

Stephen Squirrel had spent most of the day slumped on landing, across the heating pipe. He managed a couple of hours rampaging around the garden before the heavens opened and the winds raged with renewed ferocity. We could hardly hear the tv above the noise outside.


The forecast had warned of wintery showers but we were surprised by how much snow greeted us when we opened the curtains on Saturday morning. Stephen refused point-blank to set paw outside and instead lay with us in bed while we read until 8am.







After veggie sausage sandwiches, Jon went out on an emergency dash for rum as supplies were running dangerously low. Meanwhile, I cracked the ice in the birdbath, topped it up with water and replenished the feeding station.

WEARING: Schott NYC pea coat, Fat Face cashmere jumper, canvas cap and Clarks' boots (all charity shop finds), Levi 510s (eBay), Antiqued leather cross-body bag (bought in Rhodes)

Lord Jon wore the Schott NYC woollen pea coat he'd snaffled on Thursday. He'd unbuttoned and washed the detachable fake fur collar before I had to chance to photograph and feature it in last week's collage of charity shop finds.
 

His coat currently retails at £428 so the £5.95 he paid was a bit of a bargain. Who needs Black Friday deals when you've got Black Country charity shops? 

WEARING: 1980s Indian block printed dress (Olds Cool Traders), Frye Campus boots(eBay), me-made hat and vintage Aran cardi (charity shop)

As costs per wear go, I've had this £3 cardi a week now and I think it owes me money!

With it blowing a gale outside, I spent a lazy afternoon sewing a craftism banner.....Lynn sent me the book, it's so inspiring.


Before curling up in the lounge with the wonderful Matthew Shardlake, finally reaching the end of the 650-page book I started a fortnight ago.


The old fella's got a particularly fluffy coat this Winter, I wonder if we're in for a bad one?


Tea was Jon's paneer & bindi (okra or ladies fingers, depending on where you're from) Punjabi-style curry which we ate whilst watching a surprise government update where BoJo informed us that masks in shops and on public transport would be mandatory from Tuesday in a bid to slow down the new Omicron variant. No change for us as we never stopped wearing them.

It was an evening of rum, cola and The Americans. We're 15 episodes in now, with 60 more left to watch.

On Sunday morning, I followed Stephen outside, poured boiling water on the birdbath only for it to freeze over moments later. I took mugs of tea back to bed and lay reading till almost 9am - I love Jo Nesbo even when his books don't feature Harry Hole.

After negative lateral flow tests, buttered toast and the Andrew Marr Show, we got dressed and headed into town for our weekly clearance charity shop rummage and it looked like most people had already taken heed of yesterday's government update and were pretty much all wearing masks.


With the exception of his Farah jacket, a reissue of a 1943 military pilot's uniform, bought in a charity shop four years ago, and some vintage leather gloves, Lord Jon's wearing exactly the same as he did the previous day.

I'm wearing a vintage '70s Anokhi skirt, a Reiss felted wool fedora & Mascob for Liberty velvet Badin jacket (all eBay), Mum's Biba lace-up boots, an embroidered leather Kashmiri belt (charity shop), a hand-embroidered blouse bought in Greece, a gold leather bag (India) and some wool beer-mittens, knitted by Liz.

We came back with a canvas Helly Hansen jacket; a 1980s orange leather cartridge bag; a fold-up barbeque, a couple of paperbacks; some leather combat boots from Zara; a Light of Asia, Madras Indian cigar box (McDowells, makers of the white rum we always drink in India, sold the company in 1951 so its at least 70 years old) and a pair of 1970s crepe-soled Italian sheepskin-lined suede boots which fit me perfectly - hooray!

It's still icy cold, the snow is still falling and to add to my woes, Jon's only gone and passed on his cold. I never get colds and this is the second in six weeks. I'm off to take a couple of echinacea tablets and curl up in front of the fire with Jo Nesbo.....I'll see you soon!


60 comments:

  1. Woke up to a light spattering of snow this morning but it's all gone now with the weak sunshine we've had. Friday night was when the hoolie arrived, lots of storm damage in particular lots of trees suffered - I've never heard such fierce winds as there was. Had to go out and tie up my rose branches which were battering the front window and I nearly ended up in Kansas! I'm watching Columbo (one of the latter day ones, he doesn't smoke his cigars in these!) whilst taking a break from domestic trivia and yer man from The Americans is in it, very young he is too. Meeting Betty on Thursday, so excited about it!Keep cosy in front of your fire and get Lord Jon to peel you some grapes since he contaminated you with his snotty nose!xxx

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    1. I've just seen the update on Betty's blog and I'm gutted that the meeting has been postponed, I think I was looking forward to it almost as much as you were!
      You had some terrible weather over the weekend - those winds sounded like they were terrifying.
      I Googled that Columbo episode, I need to watch it especially as it was about the rave scene - totally Jon's thing being in a Madchester band. xxx

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  2. November and December snow dusting us lovely. By mid January I'm wore out by it. March, it does my head in! Your pictures are the lovely snow versions. We wear masks I stores, voluntarily. I guess about 50% do, but if I'm getting looks, I don't notice because I don't care. I know Christmas isn't your thing but I bet you'll get good traffic with eBay in the coming weeks. I'm trying to be local and tactical with my gift giving, and will pop into our few charity shops to search for a few ideas I have. That sweater is fabulous.

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    1. You get so much snow! Its a novelty here and rarely lasts long, my head would be done in if I had to endure the white stuff for months on end like you do. xxx

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  3. Your new cushion covers are beautiful and I love they are from fair trade company. Your home looks lovely...and you already have snow! Your garden looks lovely covered with snow. I really the purple beanie and the blue maxi dress you paired with it. That's a pretty knit cardi as well....it's great it already owes you (cost per wear) money. You do have great charity shops there I'm sure, but you also have a great eye and knowledge of vintage items. Now, that's something that cannot be bought. Jon looks great in that jacket. I also like your dark maxi skirt, that top fits it so well I initially thought it was a dress. Gorgeous vintage belt as well. The old fella's coat does look extra fluffy, maybe the winter will be colder? Enjoy your book. If Stephen King is praising that Jo Nesbo's book, it must be good. Stephen can be quite critical of other authors. Scandinavian noir is always a good idea.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana! Those cushion covers are old, it's just the stuffing that's new (or at least repurposed). It's a wonderful company. When India went into lockdown they started a campaigh to feed the hungry and raised thousands and thousands of pounds. xxx

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  4. Oh, my! Snow. It's not here yet, but it seems to be later these days in the Heartland. Admiring your showcase of painting in the stairway! So many lovely things. Looking so fetching on this cold day, indeed! Peacoats and hats and even more. Lovely blog!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ellie! Good to meet you! x

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  5. Snap on the snow and it's just started again here. There was me hoping it would have melted by now. That gorgeous furry hat looks toastie warm. x

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    1. I could probably go out in a bikini with this hat on and still stay warm. xxx

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  6. First snow here in northern New England and cold! 17 degrees F this AM. The view of the city from my 5th story window is lovely, but I still detest winter

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    1. Arggh! Don't envy you those temperatures at all, darkelady. As a fellow winter hater lets look on the bright side, only 20 more days until the days start getting longer! xxx

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  7. Holy Moly Batgirl, that's quite some snow. Our little inch has already almost gone but we are forecast minus 5 tonight so there will be lots of icy to look forward to. Not surprised Stephen dug his claws in and refused to step outside.

    I also have a wool duvet but am not using it at present because I find it too heavy. Old polyester ones make splendid beds for four-paws though ­čśŁ.

    So sorry you have also got this damn cold, I'm on week 3, fingers crossed you get rid of it much faster. xx

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    1. I saw your forecasted temperatures on the BBC, I hope you dug out that wool duvet!
      That's a good point, I might use the rest of the duvet to make something for Stephen Squirrel although he'd probbaly prefer Jon's new coat, little monkey!
      I'm hoping I've seen the back of this cold now, I don't want it back! xxx

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  8. I hope you're okay. I have a feeling I might also be starting with another cold. If so, it had better just be an everyday, run of the mill one this time.
    It sounds as though you are more expert at breaking ice than I am. This week I was being lazy and trying to smash the ice in the bird feeding station without removing the dish first. Of course it then broke suddenly, spilling icy cold water all down the inside of my boots, soaking my socks and jeans from my knees down. Lesson learned. X

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    1. Thank goodnessthe cold only lasted three days. I'm hoping that's it and it won't keep coiming back to haunt me like Jayne at Bag End. These periods of isolation have caused havic with our immune systems, haven't they?
      Oh dear, you poor thing, helping our feathered friends and getting a soaking, that's not fair at all! xxx

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  9. Oh my, stormy weather and snow! I guess we can't complain about the two rainy all-dayers we've had and our temperatures, even if they've dropped considerably, are still quite bearable as well.
    I'm loving the Ian Snow cushion covers, and what a great idea to cut up your old duvet and use them as filler.
    As usual, your outfits are fabulous, and I'm particularly loving Friday's. I've probably said it before, but you do suit a sheepskin hat!
    Black Friday's made it to Belgium too, unfortunately. So glad it wasn't one of my office days, although they bombard you with BF deals online too. There's really no escaping it. We did our usual Friday charity shopping trip and got double points on our loyalty card because of Green Friday, which sounds much better to me.
    The emergence of the new variant is very worrying, isn't it? We're still in the thick of the 4th wave with the Delta variant here with new rules left, right and centre.
    So sorry to hear you've got another cold. I thought I was in for another one too, but - fingers crossed - it seems to have passed me by after all. xxx

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    1. I love looking at the snow but hate all the disruption it causes. We've had yours and Sheila's torrential rain today, Jon's been out in the street unblocking drains with his shovel attempting to prevent a flood!
      Sheepskin hats are one of the best things about Winter (although I've been known to wear mine in July - good old British weather!)
      That Black Friday nonsense drives me mad, at leats the Americans get a public holiday the day before.
      I'm sorry Belgium has the Omicron variant too, it is a worry. I'm hoping I can have a proper birthgday night out this year before it all goes t*ts up again! xxx

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  10. We’ve had the storm up here as well and today a mammoth drop of snow. Needless to say there’s no chance of us going out.
    The recycled duvet has made fantastic cushions. They made me think of Grayson Perry’s artwork.
    Hope the cold disappears soon. I’ve had a cough for three weeks which is unusual for me.
    Fingers crossed this comment works xxx

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    1. Saturday, Sunday & Monday were definitely days to stay in. I hope they're wrong about more on the way1
      You're right about those cushion coversm there are a touch of the Grayson in those illustrations.
      Dr Chris Smith was on the Beeb this moning saying that respiratory infections are rife at the moment. I'm glad my cold only lasted a few days. A three week cough must be so draining, I hope you kick it into touch soon! xxx

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  11. Snow is so beautiful. Do I really miss it? Not really

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    1. Lovely to look at, miserable to live with. Thousands of people are still without power! xxx

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  12. Jon's coat was a bargain! I'm loving your excellent outfits. The last one is especially Pretty!
    It was sunny here today- no snow for East Essex!
    Xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Kezzie! Sunday's outfit was a befuddled last minute choice with my cold but it turned out rather well!
      I don't understand why anyone would spend over £400 on a coat and donate it to a chjarity shop, but Jon's delighted when they do! xxx

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  13. Love that Ian Snow website and I see the little pink cat you sent me the linky for ages ago is still there and now reduced :) your sheepskin boots are nice, can't go wrong with those. Can't believe the snow you have - in sunny Surrey we have not even any ice on the windscreen most mornings when I go out to the car! Get well soon with that cold - Stones ginger wine mixed with whisky is my remedy

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    1. You need to put that little pink cat on top of your Xmas list, you need her in your life!
      My sheepskin boots are deliciously warm and with good crepe soles, too - nice and springy to walk in! Well worth £3!
      Fancy you not having any snow - I'd happily share ours, We're supposed to gbe having more over the weekend! xxx

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  14. Sorry you've caught the dreaded lurgy - definitely reading by the fire is self care (particularly with the weather as it is at the moment) Off to check out the Ian Snow website - I may be some time!!
    feel better soon xx

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    1. Thank you! I'm a new woman today, I can breathe freely again - although by the look of tomorrow's forecast I may milk the recouperation a little longer and have a day in front of the fire reading! xxx

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  16. Starting to believe that I will have to live to 100 to get my to do list done. Which I don't mind. I like those new pillow cushion. They look fun.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. It's as good a reason to keep going till you're 100!
      Those cushions aren't new, I bought them years ago, They're so old they have George W Bush on them! xxx

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  17. SNOW!! I guess our torrential rains are not so bad after all! Vizzini's coat is extra-thick right now too (even a thorough brushing doesn't thin it), so I guess a cold season is ahead. Poor Stephen, I hope he got lots of warmth and cuddles.

    Glad you are hunkering down and taking care of yourselves, Vix. Heard rumour of the Omicron variant here too - we never stopped our mandate for masks in public spaces, but I fear that all the travel happening over the next month is going to cause a massive spread/outbreak. Gads, will this never end?

    Thank you for the delightful clothes - such lovely outfits on both of you! - and for letting us peek at your purchases. Great find in those lovely boots! Take care, Vix!

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    1. I couldn't believe all that snow, I'd laughed when it had been forecast! We've had your torrential rain today and Stephen's insisted on going out in it. Jon keeps having to towel him dry!
      I'm really pleased to see that the majority of people have embraced the mask mandate. We never had to wear them outdoors although I tend to put mine on when I leave the house and remove it when I get home rather than keep touching my face between shops. My favourite mask is quilted so it's perfect for winter! xdxx

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  18. BUMMER ABOUT THE COLD. Vix - getting up of a winter's morning to that beautiful lighting - it almost makes me want to be more domesticated and do lovely things in my home, too. However, Im steadfastly resisting... I think maybe I am......... or not......

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    1. Go on, treat yourself to some fairy lights, they're not just for Xmas! xxx

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  19. have to report: the snow arrived here this morning......
    but it´s not cold enough to stay.
    loooove the folk wear fusion of the black with colours ensemble!! gorgeous!
    dapper stephen got a fluffy coat indeed - lisbeth looks twice the size already - they know something.....
    the BW is quite envious of the cool coats jon´s wearing!
    @cold: our immun systems are not well trained because of all the isolations - its already in the media that colds and flu hit much stronger this winter.
    xxxx

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    1. You love the snow, don't you? I'm sure you'll get loads of it soon and it'll stick around for much longer. I'll just be happy not to have to wear wellies on my birthday!
      Cats know far more than we do.
      Jon's really lucky with his secondhand coats, I still can't believe why poeple would get rid of them! xxx

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  20. I've already had a look at the Ian Snow shop and noted a couple of cushion covers that I might well fill using the same idea as you. We've just taken a couple of single duvets that came out of our caravan to our local wildlife centre but I've still got a couple left, plus old pillows!

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    1. It seems a shame not to use up all that stuffing, doesn't it? Jon bought me one of the Frida Kahlo cushion covers for my birthday a couple of years ao, I still love it! xxx

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  21. You certainly had more snow than us! Boo to the cold. I hope you are feeling better soon. xx

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  22. I'd forgotten how much snow you get in the Black Country compared to us in the South East. I remember it from living with my ex sister-in-law in Birmingham in the mid 1980s when I was doing a teaching course at Birmingham College of Higher Education in Edgebaston; I did my teaching practice at King's Heath and Kidderminster and one day a colleague gave me a lift to my bus stop in the snow and he skidded on the ice and hit another car...

    I hope you and Jon get over your colds soon.

    Fab outfits and I loved Jon's jackets; I'd wear those too! I have an unusual Trandescantia with pink stripes not purple. It is growing outside in a window box and I've had 3 successful sets of cuttings so far which I've potted; one of which I took cousin Marian's last week.

    Great finds at the chazzas - those boots are perfect for this weather. Loved your stock display I'm going to have a look in a mo...

    Loved the cushion covers; I'd looked at the Ian Snow website in the past and swooned at the gorgeousness there. I never looked again in case I was tempted to splurge..

    Hope the snow buggers off soon..
    xxxx

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    1. Goodness me, that sounded like a scary experience. We've have some huge snowfalls over the years. Once I was running a staff canteen in Kings Heath in Birmingham, hitched a lift to get to the city centre and walked the rest of the way. I was half dead but at least the workforce got their sausage sandwiches!
      I like the sound of your tradescantia. I popped one of mine outside as I often see them in gardens in Greece and it went mad over the summer, it'll probably die now I've brought it inside.
      The Ian Snow website is the stuff of dreams. There's an antique mirror on there at the moment, its £1250 and my heart skips a beat whenever I look at it! xxx

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  23. We've yet to have snow yet, but looking at your photos I have to admit to a bit of envy-it looks so pretty.

    The banana peel is a great tip-I'm going to give it a try.

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    1. You're usually one of my first friends to get snow, how odd that I've beaten you to it. It was very pretty - for a couple of days. Apparently we've got more this weekend!
      The banana skin trick can be used to revive leather shoes, too! xxx

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  24. We had lots of snow on Sunday too here in Coventry. I absolutely love the cushions, and the fact that you put the old duvet to good use. The kharibu block printed dress is beautiful! I got a Fat Face shirt for £5 in Warwick yesterday, (BHF) we definitely don’t need black Friday do we! I do hope you feel better soon, keep warm & enjoy Jo Nesbo! I’ve never read any of those but would like to try one now! Jayne xxx

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    1. Hello Jayne! It's unusual for us Midlanfders to get extremes of weather, isn't it? That snow was quite a shock!
      Great score on the Fat Face shirt, their stuff is fantastic quality. Who needs tyo buy new at those amazing prices?
      Jo Nesbo is a great writer, very graphic in places but unputdownable! xxx

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  25. Sorry to read that you've got a cold too, it looks like isolation has affected our immunitary systems as so many people are having a cold these days!. Take care of yourselves!
    The Ian Snow's shop is really fascinating and I keep it on mind in case we need a bedcover or cushions!, totally in love with their prints.
    Lovely outfits, dear Vix, really inspiring to see you looking so fabulous whatever the weather!. Love the earthy colours and waistcoat and furry hat, Love the block printed dress and matchy hat with your cute cardi, and Love your black dress and velvet jacket with those embroidered details, golden bag and cool mittens!. Also love Jon's pea coat and jacket, I've pointed them to Mr.A. who has highly appreciated both.
    Lovely to read that you're busy at home, pottering and revamping your old duvet (great idea!) and keeping yourselves near the fire!. We've also had some snow nearby, but it has been rain and sleet here for days and days.
    Besos

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    1. You're right Monica, I think isolation has played haoc with our immune systems. Fortunately that cold only lasted a couple of days and I hope that's the end of it.
      The Ian Snow site is wonderful, they have good sales, too so it's worth signing up for emails. Jon always buys my birthday and Xmas presents from them and I'm always thrilled.
      I think we're sharing weather, we've had torrential rain most of today! xxx

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  26. I was shocked at how bad the storm was, it wasn't supposed to come so far down the country. I was supposed to be at a demo to save our local green space on Sunday morning, but the pavements were so treacherous I thought I wouldn't be able to go. Thankfully, a kind soul gave me a lift.

    It's great to see your Cossack hat again, and I'm loving your embrace of knitwear. I know some people like to have a fixed style, but I think it's nice to adapt if ssomething new takes your fancy. I look back at some of my old outfits, and though I don't regret them, they feel very much of their time now. I think the pandemic has changed certain things for me. My houseplants are certainly happy, they have never looked so good now I am watering them regularly following your example. :) xxx

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    1. I couldn't beleiev my eyes when I opened the curtains on Saturday morning, it didn't even feel that cold. You did the right thing by not going to the demo, I bet there weren't many out.
      That's the joy of second hand shopping, isn't it? Your wardrobe (and home) is constantly envolving. I've just written the same on today's blog post. I never know what will arrive at the house next!
      I can't imagine ever getting dolled up again as much as I used to, I've become the more casual Vix I am in India, I think! xxx

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  27. There was some snow in the hills here too. A bit surprising for our climate considering that cold here usually starts later on.

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    1. It was quite early for us too, we don't usually see snow until after Xmas! xxx

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  28. I hope the cold is on its way out! Stay snug in your cardi.

    You did have a lot of snow - I'm not surprised Steven Squirrel wasn't a fan. We didn't get any, and that was fine by me.

    Hmm... the banana peel tip is an interesting one; I'll give it a go. Plants do get dusty.

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    1. It's all gone now, thank goodness. Jon's out of the doghouse for passing on his germs.
      I was amazed by how much snow we had. Apparently we could have more at the weekend. I hope it's gone by Monday, I had to wear wellies on my birthday last year.
      The banana skin trick is a good 'un! xxx

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  29. I hope you're feeling better and that the cold isn't bothering you anymore.

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    1. I'm feeling so much better today, Thank you so much, lovely lady! xxx

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  30. Oh I do love that vintage '70s Anokhi skirt - the colours are so vibrant and cheery. You look so glam Vix - and HURRAH for thermals. I'm even installing thermal insoles to my footwear as I go along!

    The lovely cobbler who keeps my shoes going, fitted slip-proof soles and heels to a couple of pairs of my winter boots - so excellent. His collection ticket has the saying "Shoes worth wearing are shoes worth repairing" on it and he has certainly brought some of my former sad footwear back to life. Unfortunately I can't be around solvents (if I want to breathe lol) so I'm a stranger to shoe polish - thankfully solvent-free stuff is getting better/more popular.

    We had less snow but more scarey wind. Wuthering for days. Bitterly cold too - our smart meter made for sobering viewing. The skies have been utterly amazing here - dawn and dusk - but everywhere seems to be covered in twigs, bits of tree and clumps of moss.

    Stay safe all xxxxx

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    1. Thanks Elian! I pulled that Anokhi skirt out and knew it needed an outing, the colours in the embroidered hem just seem to sing!
      Snap! I was installing thermal insoles in my boots today, someone had donated a few pakcs to the charity shop so we snaffled the lot.
      I love taking my footwear to the cobblers, it like having a new pair of shoes when you collect them, all polished up and pristine. Mine has just moved premises and told me he'd found a "weird" pair of boots in my size someone left behind years ago and never collected and I can have them - I can't wait to see what "weird" means!
      Wind is the worst, I can cope with snow and rain but wind is just evil, I hope you've seejn the last of it! xxx

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  31. Your garden looks rather pretty all snow-covered - we've had a couple of snow-falls here, but it has all disappeared what with our temperatures going up and down like a yo-yo. Jon has an enviable winter jacket collection now - he looks quite dapper in the red and black checked one.

    We have the Omicron variant over here but it seems, at least so far, that it's not as severe as the others. We still have mask mandates indoors and on public transit and I'm hoping to get my booster in January.

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Lots of love, Vix