Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Get Lucky

Sunday started in the usual way, with tea in bed and a longish lie-in with my current read. After breakfast, we drove down to the clearance charity shop to drop off a bag of donations which mostly consisted of Jon's old clothes following a radical sort-out. 

WEARING: Cord maxi skirt (Dilli Grey), vintage Anokhi jacket & Toast cowboy boots (eBay), Accessorize beret (charity shop)



When we visited Shugborough last week, as always we were captivated by the beautiful swans so I couldn't leave the shop without purchasing this tray for £1.


It's by the Welsh-English pottery designer, Susan Williams-Ellis for Portmerion. Susan (1919 -2007) was the daughter of the eminent architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who founded the Italianate village of Portmerion in Wales, somewhere I've yet to visit.

Bedsit land, 1987

 Although I don't wear them, I like jeans. During the 1980s and 1990s, my go-to casual wear was tatty 1950s Levis worn with Doc Martens or Chelsea boots then, up until 2006, it was Topshop's Baxter skinnies tucked into '70s stack heeled tan leather boots accompanied by a vintage blouse and waistcoat or my trusty Levis, hacked off above the ankle with knee-length silk sari dresses, brought back from India, worn over the top. After my hip replacement I pretty much stopped wearing jeans, the fabric irritated my scar and dresses felt (and looked) better. 

I've tried jeans over the years, my vintage Lois bellbottoms got loads of compliments but the fit wasn't quite right and my charity-shopped Diesel cut-offs never venture further than the garden. With two eight-foot rails crammed with women's jeans ranging in size from a UK 6 to a UK 36, I'm convinced that one day I'll find the perfect pair in the clearance charity shop but I have to be in the mood for wading through acres of tatty denim and on Sunday I was.

How exciting - a label that isn't Primark, Matalan, George at Asda or New Look! Lucky Brand is American although the sizing is English (they briefly sold through TopShop). The manufacturer's garment label inside describes them as "Overalls" but no self-respecting Brit would ever describe them that way - they're dungarees - derived from an Indian word commonly used in the 17th Century to describe a coarse cloth "dungri". The East India Company bought this cloth to make workwear trousers and added a British twist to the word, renaming it "dungaree".

There are no changing rooms in the charity shop but at £2 I was happy to risk it, I could always redonate them the following week.


Lucky Brand claim to produce their denim responsibly, using solar power and rainwater during production and prioritising their worker's welfare. Their website requests customers to wear more than once before washing, to always use cold water and never to tumble. They recommend patching them when they wear out to make them your own and when they're no longer wearable as jeans, to cut them down into shorts or chop them up to use as patches. If you decide the style is no longer for you, they recommend donating to a charity or reselling to raise the funds for a replacement. 

After lunch, we popped round to see Liz & Adrian and exchange Xmas presents as they'd both had Covid over the festive season and we'd not seen them since my birthday. Later, we watched The Pottery Throwdown, which we're slightly obsessed with.

Monday was dedicated to eBay. Jon dropped off the parcels at the Post Office while I ironed, measured, photographed and listed some stock. And, of course, it seemed appropriate to work in my workwear, the previous day's Lucky Brand dungarees. 


I'm wearing them with an embroidered polo neck jumper from East, my Toast cowboy boots, wool beer mittens Liz made me and a silk Kantha scarf I bought in Jodphur in 2020 BC (before Covid). I think I'll ditch the belt next time.


After five hours of hard labour, I settled down in the lounge with my book. The evening's entertainment consisted of a glass of dry sherry, the Antique's Road Trip and two episodes of the second series of Deep State.


It was back to icy conditions and thick frost on Tuesday morning but the sunrise was mesmerising so much so that I had to wake Jon up to share it.  




I did have a coat over the top of my quilted jacket plus thermal leggings & polo neck, cashmere wristwarmers and two pairs of socks, the skirt is already lined but I added an underskirt for an extra layer.


After so long in lockdown I still get a thrill every time I set foot in a charity shop, I don't even need to find anything, I just love the possibility that I might. Tuesday morning's finds included two leather belts, one by St Michael, another by Fashion Ways of London, a 1980s antiqued leather waistcoat (remember those flying jackets all the cool kids wore?), a burnt-out velvet scarf, an After Six by Roland Joyce 1980s beaded cocktail top, a 1980s Sixth Sense (C&A) wool blazer, a 1970s cotton velvet maxi skirt and the star of the show, a 1950s Irish Tweed lined cardi (coatigan), which Jon found.


Someone who must have been our age had donated their record collection and we spent an enjoyable half-hour leafing through the vinyl we bought the first time round and still own including The Dead Kennedys, The Specials, The Beat, and The Ruts. Lord Jon snaffled this little lot. 


Cat news! We'd not seen our little visitor since Stephen scared him away on Sunday morning. Jon left a bowl of food out when we went shopping and he was just finishing it off when we got back. He retreated to the rockery to wait for the bowl to be replenished, which again was polished off in minutes. When we went for our walk on Saturday morning we spotted him squeezing through the gates of the derelict Highgate Brewery, so if he's not a member of the cat colony who lives in the old windmill, he might be roughing it in here. 



I'll keep you posted!


I'm off to peruse the National Trust guide, a day out beckons.

See you soon!

55 comments:

  1. Those dungarees remind me of a pair I had back in 1980-loved them-lived in them. We in America have something we fondly refer to as Bib Overalls, witch are less jumpsuit, and more work wear. I've had several pairs over my life-wouldn't mind a pair of vintage ones now if I find, but will save as a treat for reaching a a weight loss goal. They are snatched up immediately by my daughters age group-the 18-32 year olds so it would be a hunt to find. You wear them well.

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    1. I know what you mean by bib overalls - I found a vintage pair in a charity shop last week made in a Lancashire mill in the 1960s. Jon's dyed them smoke grey as they were white, the hipsters here love workwear, too! xxx

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  2. Love your Tuesday outfit, looks very warm and cosy. You would have certainly needed that up here this morning. Impressed with Jon's vinyl haul, all of which looks terribly familiar . . .

    Mr Cat is a beautiful visitor and I hope Stephen can be persuaded to stop chasing him off. He doesn't look like a youngster and there is something in his face that says (to me) "seen too much, tired of it". Fingers crossed and all that. 😽 😽

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    1. Thanks, Jayne! I was dressed similarly the other day and a hip young chap called my style "Cowgirl Chic", I googled vintage cowgirls and I can see where he's coming from, wide brimmed hats, full skirts, stompy boots and lots of earthy colours.
      Charity shops are usually full of the most dreadful vinyl - it was so exciting to relive our youth!
      Mr Cat does look very world-weary. I've had strong words with Stephen, reminding him that he was living in an outhouse until we rescued him 16 years ago! xxx

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  3. Lucky Brand for 2! Man, that brand is $$$

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    1. Wow! I went in their flagship store in Newbury Street when I went to Boston in 2001 and think I was too intimidated to look at price tags! xxx

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  4. Love the tray. I found a good one in a chazza recently too! I also have a thing for swans at the moment, having purchased a little Sylvac swan planter for the bookshelf. I think he needs a companion. Those jeans are fab! They really suit you. When the fit is good (and styled so well) they are so versatile. I bought some Replay jeans off EBay last year to replace my other worn out ones - so comfortable. Great vinyl haul and fingers crossed your little visitor makes friends with Stephen. xxx

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    1. You can't have too mnay trays, can you? Those Sylvac swan are lovely, I shall keep my eyes peeled to find yours a mate, failing that we'll have to go back to Shugborough with a bag of breadcrumbs, one would make a fine addition on your pond!
      Only last week Jon said that I'll never find a pair of jeans I'm happy with - I love these, they'll be fab with Lottas and bare legs in the Summer!
      Replay! They did some fantastic denim (and great tee shirts). xxx

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    2. I agree on the tray front. I'm laughing at the idea of a swan in our pond. Not much room for swimming! Glad you've found some jeans to suit. My Replay ones are lovely, but they are slouchy and have turn-ups, but invariably get muddy when we go for walks. My Zara skinny jeans are much better for walking as they tuck neatly into boots, but mine have developed a weird wrinkling, so their days are numbered I think! xxx

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    3. Your Replay jeans sound perfect for the Summer. I love the look of bell bottoms but my Lois ones were far too long and I could only wear them with mahoosive platforms which defeats the object of casual dressing! My Topshop Baxter jeans lasted ages but were really low waisted, I'm so over showing off my belly button! xxx

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  5. stephen doesn't exactly act like a gentleman! but maybe he still misses frank......
    i too gave up on jeans in 2006 - they started to feel wrong on my body. but your "latzhosen" look great on you - extra points for a company that acts sustainable.... although the photo was made with a model - very nice hands and no seamstress would sew the label over the belt loop ;-D
    stay warm! xxxxx

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    1. He's a terrible cat, I was embarrassed at they way he was yowling at that poor stary cat!
      Latzhosen - I'm adopting that word, it's great! That's anothet issue with jeans, that gaping at the waist, dungarees eliminate all that.
      I hadn't looked at that photo and you're quite right! I bet the real maker didn't have such pretty hands! xxx

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  6. you made me laugh, from now on ACDC will have a new meaning, for sure! jajajaja
    PD: I love the newone lad!😍 He reminds me my Nerón....

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    1. Hehe! What a brilliant name for your cat! I bet he acts like an emperor, too! xxx

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  7. The Dead Kennedy’s - that takes me back to my University days

    And you look amazing in those dungarees
    Siobhan 😊

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    1. Talk about a blast from the past! There was loads of King Kurt, too - remember them?!
      Thanks, Sioghan, I'd almost given up on ever finding Vix-shaped denim! xxx

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  8. I loved seeing your Dilli Grey cord maxi again. It's such a gem and every outfit you've created with them was gorgeous! And talking of gorgeous: how lovely is that swan tray? Like you, I've still got the visit Portmeirion, which has been on my list forever.
    Love the dungarees, and Lucky Brand does sound familiar to me, so perhaps they were sold in Belgium as well. I used to live in dungarees in my late teens, although mine were red cord, not jeans. I haven't worn jeans in ages, not even as wet weather holiday gear or for gardening. The rails of denim in our charity shops are as plentiful as they are at yours, it seems.
    I'm loving Lord Jon's vinyl finds, which I'd already admired on Facebook. It's been a while since I found any decent vinyl in a chazza.
    It's lovely to see Cat is back, poor thing being chased away by Stephen. He or she definitely seems to love his/her food, though! xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann! That Dilli Grey skirt was such a wise investment. Like you, I don't have many "plain" clothes and it's such fun to own something that goes with everything.
      One day we shall get to Portmerion - maybe together!
      These dungarees are really comfy. I had a pair of cord ones as a toddler with a bumble bee patch on the bib, happy days.
      We were in our element with all the vinyl. It's like someone had raided our collection while we were out.
      Poor Cat - Stephen is so uncouth sometimes. He's been given a stern talking to, lets hope it does the trick! xxx

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  9. Ooooh I hear you on denim, Vix - but those dungarees look so fab on you. I avoid jeans as I won't be doing with anything that makes me feel like a freak of nature lol. I'm high-waisted and short-waisted which means most jeans sit closer to my hip rather than my waist. They just don't look good on me and like the 'perfect white t-shirt' have no place in my wardrobe. I do have a couple of pairs that I have taken apart and refitted but I can't be bothered to do it for something that makes me feel a bit ordinary tbh.

    A good charity shop is a bit like a time machine - I love the clearance outlets best, as the managers haven't tried to make them look all 'high street'. My pet peeve is finding clothes on the floor that no-one sees fit to pick up. I always rescue them and give them a little shake and pat - after all - someone designed them and made them - so they deserve a bit of respect. My best chazzer buy of late is a long sleeved, inky blue merino wool tunic top - I've worn it endlessly this winter - it's fine, goes under everything and it cost me £1.

    Lovely to see that your stoic guest cat keeps coming back - I hope Stephen settles - cats are so territorial; lady cats as much as toms.

    Take care all - stay fabulous xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Elaine! I'm short waisted, too. Dresses with a defined waist always hit the wrong spot and make me look a very odd shape. The joy of dungarees is being able to hoist the straps up to their highest point.
      You made me giggle about rescuing things off the floor in charity shops, I do that, too. Sometimes I take longer clearing up the shop than I do rummaging the rails - I'm an absolute nightmare in my festival shop! My eye starts twitching if someone lets a dress slip on the floor and walks away oblivious.
      It's garments like your merino wool tunic is what makes charity shopping such a joy, something you'd never actuively seek out but once you stumble across it you can't live without it!
      I think Stephen's gone senile in his old age - he was an utter embarrasment when he spotted Cat on Sunday morning! xxx

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    2. LMAO my eye twitching is reserved for the folk who roughly clack the hangers/stock up and down the rails whilst curling their lip at the lack of vintage treasures falling into their laps. Or those who waltz up to the counter asking for 'something cheap for Halloween/a costume party' - then snigger as they browse the rails. It upsets me that these privileged nitwits are oblivious to the fact that some folks rely on charity shops to clothe themseves and their families - and often, that polyester granny frock being sneered at - was maybe actually someones Granny's favourite. Gah!

      In other news - the East espadrilles arrived safely today - they are wonderful!!

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    3. I've got another one for you - the ones who walk straight up to the counter and ask if they've got any clothes in a "size 16/cardis/dresses" without even bothering to look at the rails, like it's some posh department store!
      I'm so glad the espadrilles have landed - East need to remake them! xxx

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    4. The answer to that is "Yes, of course!" with a bright smile and vague wave of the hand at all of the rails. You do wonder who cuts their food up for them.

      I bought a kantha elephant from East years ago - I think he's stuffed with straw - I was entranced by the random nature of the stock back then lol.

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  10. I bet those dungarees really are dead comfy. They'll be ideal for working in.

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    1. They are! I get myself into all sorts of funny positions when I'm taking photos and they were lovely and comfy! xxx

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  11. Those records are a definite score! I would be thrilled to find such classics in my local op shop (as they are known here in Oz). I like the dungarees and the history behind the jeans label - how interesting. I was always a fan of dungarees and Levis back in the day despite having such short legs! You look great though.

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    1. Hello Nicola! We were amazed to spot those records, everyone's after vinyl these days and its either been really picked through or crazy expensive. We've still got all of the vinyl we've ever owned and it's brilliant to find stuff we wanted back in the day and didn't have the cash for at the time!
      I thought those dungarees wouldn't work but was delighted when I tried them on. xxx

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  12. I love me a pair of overalls, and I wear them until they are destroyed mostly with paint as I am always painting something.

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  13. I love your overalls - they look great on you, Vix! We use the term "dungarees" in Canada, but "denim" and "blue jeans" (or jeans) are the more popular terms. Overalls refers to the style more than the fabric - you can wear them over...all things! I hear "coveralls" sometimes to refer to overalls, but that's a less frequently-used term. Heh, I'm such a word-nerd.

    I love poring over your finds. I've promised myself a shop again soon - it's been 3 whole weeks now!

    That is a handsome cat. Is this how you acquire new fur-boys? You lure them with food and then keep them? I have no idea how you got Frank or Stephen. We see very few strays around here - the racoons and eagles (and cars) get them.

    Love your corduroy outfit and your lovely block-printed dress. It seems odd to me to see you in trousers!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Hello, Sheila. I love words, too! There's a Raj-era dictionary I've got called Hobson-Jobson which explains the Indian origins of words still in common use today - shampoo, bungalow, pyjamas, dolally and dungarees.
      I remember when we were in lockdown and your shopping posts kept me going when all of our chazzas were closed.
      Years ago when Walsall was a thriving industrial town all factories had at least one cat to keep the rat population down, they're bred over the decades and with no predators there are lots of ferals and strays around. Stephen, his mother and a couple of siblings were living in an outbuilding of a man who came to do some work for us when we first moved in. He'd manage to rehome all but Stephen so we offered him a home and named him after him. Frank had been hanfing around the garden for months, dirty and terrified, it took us a while to lure him in with treats and food but we did in the end! xxx

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  14. This brought back memories of the 1970s, when I was a very young, impoverished mother. My sister and I would trundle (run as fast as we could, actually) to an enormous, dusty warehouse fill of old clothes in mountains of boxes - some gear dated back to the 1940s. I'd buy stuff, bring it back, mend as needed, and embroider as wanted, as you did in those times. And when I eagerly read of your chazza adventures - I so wish that we could still get great decades old, clothes, here.

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    1. Ah, the 1970s and 1980s - the golden age for secondhand clothes. I'd go to jumble sales back then and come back with armfuls of flapper dresses, 1940s Barathea suits, 1950s cotton dresses and military jackets and after some alternations, cold water dye or new buttons always have a new outfit to wear! xxx

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  15. I have a few pair of jeans and one pair of dungarees but they never get worn. They look cute on you. Lucky Brand shows up often in our thrifts, I'll have to take another look. What I really want is one of those horrible denim pinafore dresses, I think I've lost all self respect ;)
    Glad your cat buddy is back. He has such a sweet face.
    I still have most of my vinyl. How I managed to hang onto it I couldn't say as I moved a lot when I was younger, but I did. When I go and my stuff gets donated someone is getting a load of weird psychedelic stuff.

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    1. I loved the outfit with the denim skirt you wore the other week. Good luck with your pinafore dress quest, I've been hunting for a cord version for a friend, the charity shops are full of thigh length Primark & H&M ones but nothing midi length or well-made.
      Vinyl holds so many happy memories. Like you I've kept almost every record I ever bought but shedded everything else along the way. xxx

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  16. Hi Vix, I love your vintage Anokhi jacket in the first photo - it perfectly compliments your outfit!

    Plus the dungarees - wow they really suit you. We call them overalls here in Ausrtalia - hehe!

    Enjoy your day out! X

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  17. Hi vix love the dungarees they are my current staple. I have given the kids a good laugh yesterday when we were in london I didn’t realise my trousers had ripped untill willow pointed out . So I had a nice big thigh hole whopps. I had to run into ekk dare I say it Primark and buy a pair of leggings please forgive me!!
    Love the records Paul was well jealous. We had a good laugh and went into harrods. I did buy some coffee. But man that place. Ekk S. Love and huggs

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    1. Hi Allie! I remember us chatting about dungarees via email last year! Fancy ripping your trousers, what a disaster. You're totally forgiven for dashing into Primark, emergency purchases are allowed!
      Have a safe journey home, my friend! xxx

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  18. your overalls LOL [i'm American] look great on you. the swan tray is really cool.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh! Same language but so many different words! xxx

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  19. dungarees suit you and with the East jumper and silk scarf look really pretty. Your cat visitor looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, poor chap, I would call him Worried of Walsall and make him mine :) Your sunrise is amazing, all I have seen this week is fog and grey :)

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    1. Morning, Betty and thank you! Hope the healing's going well.
      He's got such a serious little face. Worried of Walsall or Wowcat for short. Jon's determined to get him tame.
      We've had some beautiful days lately. Yesterday's sunrise was astonishing! xxx

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  20. I wonder how long it will be before your cat visitor moves in! I am just thinking I am ready for another cat - I miss having a little furry animal wandering around the house of sat on the sofa next to me. Hubby is not so keen so will have to work on him!
    I went in a couple of charity shops last Friday and the one's down here haven't got much stock and what they have got is utter rubbish - you are lucky to keep finding what you do. x

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    1. I think it may be a slow process if he's feral, as I suspect he may be. One of my friend's husbands was so heartbroken after they lost their cat he swore he'd never have another so she went out behind his back and collected a rescue cat from a charity and he's fallen madly in love all over again.
      What a shame the chazzas were disapointing on Friday, keep at it! xxx

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  21. I hope Stephen can be persuaded to tolerate the new kitty visitor. I agree with Jayne, he does look like he's had it rough and is ready to settle down and be looked after.

    Thrift shopping has provided the few hours of entertainment I've had through the pandemic and like you, I am excited about the possibility of finding something fabulous. The tweed-lined cardigan is amazing - is Jon going to keep it? I'm very impressed with the record score too, as most of the vinyl that shows up in our thrift stores is crap. Our local auction house recently got a ton of vinyl that they auctioned off in lots and I couldn't believe the prices people were paying for 70's and 80's pop and rock lp's. Local record stores are selling used vinyl for $15 - $25 each now.

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    1. Stephen is a law unto himself. I hate to think of a cat roaming the streets without a warm home, if the worst comes to the worst and we can tempt him in the cats will have to have separate parts of the house.
      Charity shopping has become even more of an adventure since lockdown. That Irish Tweed cardi is a womens, Jon can't get his hands through the sleeves - much to his regret. xxx

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  22. Really wishibg you both all the best with Wowcat He looks quite weary and worn down with street life.
    Fingers crossed
    Tess x

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    1. Thanks, Tess! I think it may be a slow process, Wowcat is very nervous! xxx

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  23. I'm in love with your cord skirt, it's a fab piece and love it with the anokhi jacket, great ensemble!
    Really lovely dungarees too, so amazing to see you rocking in jeans!. I've never been a huge fan of blue jeans, but I remember having some black denim skinnies back in the 90's (and some indian gauze tunics too!). I'm loving your purple mittens too: totally fab as you can wear your jewellery!.
    Lovely quilted jacket and maxi skirt, such a perfect ensemble!, and really warm and fabulously layered outfit!. Wise Lady!
    I'm amazed that you found those fantastic LP's, I think that we would be over the moon about finding these at a charity!. Wowww! (some old favourites there!).
    Hope that Mr. Stephen gets used to the new visitor! Looking forward to read about him!
    besos
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I'm in lovewith my cord skirt, too - it goes with everything. I can't believe I've finally found denim that fits. I'm going to have fun playing around with those dungarees.
      Yes, fingerless mitts rock, I can't keep my rings on when I wear gloves and without them I don't feel like me!
      Jon was thrilled with that pile of vinyl! xxx

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  24. Ah, you look good in everything! You even make dungarees look amazing! I struggle with jeans too!I like the look of that black velvet skirt!

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  25. Fun to hear news about the appearance of Stranger Cat! I wonder if he will visit you again. I'm assuming he will, especially if you motivate him with food. :)
    As always, I enjoyed your stylish outfits. That cord maxi skirt is fabulous and I like how you styled it- such a great look. I love the outfit with the printed maxi dress as well. It's lovely that you found a pair of jeans you liked. I have always liked dungarees but (in my experience) it's hard to find a pair that fits well. You look fantastic in that pair of dungarees. The combination of these two colours (denim blue and deep purple) is so lovely.
    I wish we had more charity shops here. There are bazaars where you can buy all kind of things, but they are chaotic...and second hand shops are rare.
    P.S. The mute swan tray is beautiful. I love swans. Have a great day!

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    1. Stranger Cat, I like that! He/she popped round for brunch this morning and managed to eta two sachets of cat food before Stephen spotted him/her!
      Thank you for the kind words about my outfiots, we are so lucky with our charity shops! xxx

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Lots of love, Vix