Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Reading, Wearing, Watching, Buying.....


Last Wednesday we watched the wonderful, The Colour Room, a British film about Staffordshire potter Clarice Cliff and the creation of her Art Deco era Bizarre range. I was inspired by Clarice's trademark long scarves and the plaited hair of the factory girls when I got dressed the following day.



The day was occupied with ironing, photographing and listing our recently acquired stock on eBay and the evening was spent with The Apprentice once we'd caught up on The Antiques Road Trip.

WEARING: Lucky Brand dungarees, vintage screen printed Indian silk scarf (both charity shopped), vintage Oasis Trading Indian gauzy cotton blouse (eBay), second-hand Docs (Facebook selling page)

When we got back from Cirencester on Friday evening I finished crocheting a hat for Lord Jon, which I'd started before we left the house, ready for him to wear on our weekly Walsall walk the following day.

WEARING: Shawl collar cardi, cord workers' jacket, Clarks' boots (all charity shopped), Levis (eBay), antiqued leather bag (Rhodes), wool muffler (FabIndian, Jodhpur), wool hat (made by me)

Our walk took us around the block, a route we'd not done for a while, where we spotted yet more beautiful Victorian mansions being modernised (ie., ruined with inappropriate windows and doors and vast breeze block extensions).

WEARING: Kharibu Indian cotton midi dress & Amor Lux Breton top (both eBay), vintage suede coat, 1960s sheepskin boots (charity shopped), wool hat (made by me) 


Our visitor came for lunch, demolishing three sachets of cat food and a bowl of biscuits. I sat on the doorstep throwing treats at him in an attempt to gain his trust. He came within grabbing distance but I restrained myself, not wanting to spook him. By the way, it's definitely a HE, we caught him spraying up the cast iron radiators, propped up further down the garden.


Some friends popped round in the afternoon and, after they'd gone, I tried out the foot mask that my lovely friend Allie had sent in the box of treats that turned up the other day, followed by an indulgent soak in the bath. My feet have never felt so soft!


 The evening was spent with rum, cola and the rest of Spy City. Written by one of my all-time favourite authors, William Boyd, it's an extremely stylish Cold War thriller with a great plot but the lead, Dominic Cooper, didn't really impress until the final episode when he acted his socks off.  


The laundry basket was overflowing so when I got up on Sunday morning I threw a load in the machine along with the Ecoegg that Lynn had kindly sent me - an ovoid rubber ball you fill with the wax pellets provided and put in the drum of the washing machine, it claims to last for up to 70 washes (at 60°C or less) and can also be used for hand-washing. I use the coolest wash setting for most of my laundry (15°C) and it worked perfectly. I normally use soda crystals as I loathe the artificial smell of washing powder, the Fresh Linen scent was just right, the washing smelled like it had dried outside on the line - which it hadn't, I'd hung it up in the utility room. I noticed that Wilko sell the refills last time I popped in.

After mugs of coffee and toast, we headed off to the clearance charity shop for our weekly visit. Needless to say, we went bearing donations, two old hats of Jon's (to make room for the one I'd crocheted and the one he'd bought in Cirencester), the CS Samson Shardlake mystery I'd finished during the week and a pepper mill that we no longer used. 

Nothing new to see here! I wore one of my vintage Afghan dresses (bought from a vintage fair in 2018), the 1960s-does-Edwardian boots (from a car boot sale in 2010) and a 1970s felted wool hat I bought from a charity shop in Cirencester four years ago. Actually, I'm lying - the navy blue Heatgen polo neck is a recent purchase, Jon ordered some new pants & socks from M&S and I added it to the order to qualify for free postage. 


The charity shop did us proud! Three posh gents' jackets - one by Hugo Boss (union made in the USA), another by Kenzo and the other by Dolce & Gabbana (both made in Italy) - all hand-finished and made from virgin wool and undoubtedly from the same source as they were all a 42R. There was also an Armani 100% cashmere jumper, a funky 1970s coat from Debenhams, a gorgeous hand-knitted pure wool jumper with puffed shoulders (which I'm keeping), another West German Fat Lava pottery floor vase by Scheurich and a cute terrarium - perfect for the bathroom.  
 

I spent the afternoon reading, finishing the Neil Broadfoot thriller I'd started earlier in the week whilst Jon tinkered around with cars. After tea, we watched the rest of the gripping BBC drama, Rules of the Game before The Great Pottery Throwdown.


After a quick blog catch-up, I retired to bed with my latest read.


On Monday morning, after my Wii Fit workout, I wrapped the eBay parcels and washed the bedding that Jon had brought downstairs when he got up. Jon did the post office and supermarket run whilst I ironed and wrote descriptions for today's eBay listings. Lord Jon did the photography after lunch.


I'd been stalking this block-printed Dilli Grey skirt since it had appeared online and, after selling one I didn't like quite so much to raise the funds, I placed an order. I wore it last week with a vintage Phool jacket and on Monday teamed it with a vintage denim cowboy shirt (nicked from the Kinky Shed), a Spanish leather coin belt Cheryl had given me and my Toast cowboy boots. It's fully lined with pockets and a drawstring waist, perfect for tucking in my ever-increasing layers, the thermometer hasn't crept above 3°C for days.


CAT paid us another visit and hung around for around an hour. Luckily Stephen was snoring his head off on the settee and didn't notice. 


 We spent the evening watching the three-part documentary series, The Puppet Master - the true story of the con man who claimed to be an M15 officer. I remember reading about the case in the Guardian when it came to light and not understanding how he could have got away with it for so long. It's an excellent - and shocking - watch. 


Although there was no frost when I got up, Tuesday seemed colder than ever and therefore the perfect opportunity to wear Sunday's charity shopped wool jumper along with my Dilli Grey cord maxi skirt, River Island velvet ankle boots and a vintage Indian silk screen printed scarf (both charity shop finds).



We headed to our favourite Black Country town for a morning of charity shopping. Although the mask mandate isn't due to be lifted until Thursday only about 50% of shoppers were wearing them but the shops were quiet and it was easy to keep our distance. 


We found: a vintage Harrington jacket, a 1970s knitted top from Etam (remember them?), a Baracuta jacket (an insanely expensive English Mod label), a 1970s fake fur, sheepskin gloves, And Other Stories silk cami (for me), a handmade velvet maxi skirt, a Toulouse Lautrec glass vase (keeper), a 1980s pure silk Puccini blouse with the tags still attached, a 1940s tweed riding jacket, a 1950s St Michael Scottish mohair scarf, a handful of singles from the 50p box and a Goa souvenir leather belt (must be old, they don't make quality souvenirs these days). 


Lord Jon snaffled this fleecy-lined cardi for a couple of quid, feeling so cosy in it that he's not taken it off since he tried it on. He's rather attached to the hat I crocheted him, too.



We'd had a flurry of eBay sales so Jon dropped them round to the Post Office whilst I laundered the morning's finds. The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with Blogland and buying my return train tickets to Birmingham as I'm off to meet Nikki in the morning. Later we're planning to watch Munich: The Edge of War adapted from the book by another of my favourite authors, Robert Harris.


If you're wondering what singles we bought, there's the Tamla Motown classic When You're Young & In Love by The Marvelettes (1967), Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax (1983), Oh Well (Part 1 & 2) by Fleetwood Mac (1969) and the original version of He's Gonna Step On You Again by John Kongos (1971) which featured in BBC's amazing series The Serpent and was covered by The Happy Mondays. £2 well spent!

See you soon

46 comments:

  1. wonderful finds and.. I loved all the outfits, Vix! I mean it, I can't even say which one I like more!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lyosha! It's lovely to hear from you! xxx

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  2. Phwoar . . . you really do have a better class of charity ship finds than I ever see up here!
    Although really, it does not matter. I have more clothes than I regularly wear and don't need any more.

    Not surprised you stalked that Dilli Grey skirt. It's an absolute beauty and you look wonderful in it. 🥰

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    1. Thanks, Jayne! I'm guilty as charged, I ought to change outfits twice a day to get full use of my wardrobe! xxx

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  3. I am beyond envious of your scores on LP's! My daughters would be envious of those scores as well. My head started bobbing just reading Relax! The 42R man was quite the dapper dresser-those are some wonderful finds. I hope cat keeps coming to visit. Let me kow what you think of Munich, one of my weekend views.

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    1. Relax was such an iconic track, wasn't it? It does even feel that dated when you listen back forty years later.
      I wonder if the dapper dresser has changed career and no longer needs his designer tailoring, I'm sure I'd have noticed him if I'd seen him in town!
      I loved Munich, I was on the edge of my seat in some parts. Wasn't Hitler chilling? xxx

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  4. Love your Colour Room inspired outfit! Great chazza finds again! I remember Etam well and I'm also on the lookout for a Tweed jacket. The jumper looks very warm and cosy with your Dilli Grey skirt. Funnily enough, I've also been eyeing up a West German floor vase similar to yours, but I just don't have a suitable place for it. Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well is such a good song! We saw Peter Green in the 90s in a little club in Dudley. He was still struggling at that point, but when he played that song, his brilliance shone through. Glad the cat is still visiting. He's obviously keen to get to know you. xxx

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    1. I loved The Colour Room - we need to explore The Potteries when the weather's warmer, don't we?
      Jon found that Etam knit, he was excited to spot the label, a proper blast from the past. The tweed jacket is a sweet thing, it needs a bit of TLC but I can't resist really old pieces, I feel its my duty to save them.
      Fancy seeing Peter Green in Dudley, he was a troubled man but an absolute genius. xxx

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  5. That cord maxi skirt is going to pay for itself in no time.

    Wonderful finds. I need to be quicker on the uptake to get to your eBay shop 🙂

    I've had trouble trying to comment from my laptop lately, as hopefully this will work from my phone.

    When is it ever going to warm up? Xxx

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    1. Hello Annie! A couple of people have told me that they've had trouble commenting, Blogger is rather temperamental sometimes! Yes, the Dilli Grey skirt will owe me money before too long, I wear it at least once a week and I think the preinted one will be just as useful!
      It's been so cold today, those endless grey skies don't help either! xxx

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  6. I love Clarice Cliff's pottery, so I'll have to check out The Colour Room. In fact, it's already the second time someone recommended it on their blog, although I can't remember whom the other blogger was. Edit: I just realized it might have been Claire! Your Clarice Cliff inspired outfit is delightful.
    It's so sad that people seem to have no respect for older properties, and cannot wait to tear out the original features. Although Dove Cottage is just a plain 1930s two-up, two-down, we are probably the only ones in our terrace to still have original floor tiles in the hallway and the original mantelpieces in most of our rooms. Not to mention the original sash window in our front room.
    Loving your block-printed Dilli Grey skirt, which looks fantastic with the vintage denim cowboy shirt and that incredible coin belt. I also love your new-to-you jumper - who ever thought you'd be a jumper convert! - which makes up yet another fabulous outfit created with your cord Dilli Grey skirt!
    Great chazza finds as ever, and glad to read that you've finally established that Cat is definitely a he! xxx

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    1. A few bloggers had mentioned The Colour Room but I think Claire's the only one we both follow. It's a lovely film, beautiful to look at, too!
      I'm glad Dove Cottage is untouched. Our last house, a Victorian terrace, was the only house on our side of the road with the original windows, doors and Minton tiled hall - all the rest had had everything ripped out in the 1960s!
      No India and wearing jumpers - who'd have thought it? Jon and I are loving finding all these woollen delights in the charity shops and supplimenting our wardrobes with them, it's making the long Winter a little more bearable! xxx

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  7. I loved your 'Colour Room' inspired outfit. I had read about this film and want to watch it. OH is busy scrolling our TV channels to see if we can, as I type - fingers crossed...WE CAN! Thanks for reminding me.

    What brilliants finds - as ever. I loved your puff sleeved jumper and all your outfits were fabulous. Loved your home made hats; Jon looks very snazzy in his. OH is a lover of fleece lined cardigans too and is always on the look out for them. He has a lovely herring bone one which was a recent find. More fab West German pottery..

    It's interesting about the eco egg. My charity shop colleague was singing their praises on Monday at Barnardo's and even googled some for sale on eBay and Amazon to show me. She bought hers from QVC. I use the spiky balls in my tumble dryer but they were a charity shop purchase.

    CAT is getting very interesting; I think you may have a new addition to the family before too long!

    Hope your week is going well and that it bloody warms up a bit!
    xxx

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    1. I'm excited that you can access The Colour Room - let me know what you think of it! My friend Claire and I have promised ourselves a road trip to The Potteries in the Spring as we've both discovered ancestors who were famous potters, it's only 40 minutes up the road, we've got no excuse really!
      Jon loves those fleece-lined checked shirts, too! I'm amazed how many turn up in charity shops!
      Those Ecoeggs are in Wilkos now, they're really good. I used to have those spiky balls for the tumble drier but those wool balls I got from the charity shop are much better (and quieter!) xx

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  8. Evening Vix! where do I start? loved your first outfit - the softness in colour and texture of the gauzy blouse against the dungarees - perfection, loved the new skirt, you look great in the thifted jumper with the puff sleeves ahh the Toast boots hmm lots to like. Wish us luck got to try and get Dave to the vet tomorrow he has a poorly eye. He won't come quitetly. I knew you would see more of "Cat". Great post as usual Shazx

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    1. Thanks so much, Shaz! I love those dungarees for messing around in the house, they're so comfy and they're giving my gauzy tops a new lease of life! I hope Dave's eye clears up, it's a nightmare trying to administer eye drops to a cat - I speak from experience! xxx

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  9. Gorgeous cat! But we've had 2 female cats that were sprayers - only outside, thank heavens. I spoke to our vet as they were rescues and I wanted to double check they were female and learnt that both sexes spray!

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    1. Hello Julia! I had no idea girls could spray - the little monkeys! There I was convinced he was a boy, too! xxx

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    2. yes, Julia is right, we had a spayed black cat (Heidi) who regularly sprayed and also had a very unpleasant smelling minge which meant we had to take her to the vet each Spring to have some glands 'emptied' in a most undignified manner :)

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    3. No way! I've owned (or been owned by) three girl cats in my adult life and none of them did such a thing! Cats are a constant source of wonder, arem't they? It must be why I love them! xxx

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  10. You cat whisperer you!! I hope Cat joins your abode soon! BUT, if he sprays, will you do anything about that if he stays with you?i.e. lopping off the goolies?
    You did well in the charity shops- the jumper is really rather lovely. Your new Dilli Grey skirt is beautiful and looks good with the blouse!
    I've wondered about those Ecoeggs. We used to have an early model (or something similar) when I used to live with my Mum in my 20's- we used to just shove it in- like soap nuts I guess. At the mo, I use refill powder from the Refill shop in Northumberland.
    The Puppetmaster sounds intriguing!We watched Snowpiercer episode 1, series 3 today- very exciting!

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! The lady who lives behind us commented on Facebook that he's been visiting them for three years, he'll go in the house but won't let anyone pick him up so between us we'll try and tame him and get him to a vet.
      I used to use those soapnuts. The Ecoegg is great. Those wool balls I bought from the cahrity shop for the tumble drier are good, reducing the drying time and perfect for bunging in with a musty smelling coat or jacket to freshen it up without washing it.
      Snowpiercer sounds like something Jon would enjoy, he likes dystopian fiction. xxx


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  11. Ooh, he sprays, could be trouble. But that face...

    Loving seeing your shopping haul finds. What a great bunch of menswear. I had two skirts I bought in Etam in Edinburgh in 1996 - I wish I still had them!

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    1. He needs capturing! That face is so sweet, I love his peachy coloured fur and brown nose.
      Etam was great back in the day, well made and affordable. The little knitted top hasn't ever been worn, what a waste! xxx

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  12. I think I would like to watch The Colour Room - it must have been good to inspire you to dress in the factory girl style! it looks really good, I always think plaits look really fun but don't have enough hair to get a good one! Good to see Wowcat is still visiting. Do you have some dried catnip? (I get mine from Neals Yard in Brighton but think it's available in pet shops these days too) If you sprinkle that round the doorstep you can't fail to entice him in :)

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    1. I think you'd love The Colour Room. It really is a fantastic watch and a reminder of how lucky we are to have been born in the mid 20th century!
      Have you ever tried plaiting your hair into a silk scarf to bulk it up a bit? I never think your hair looks thin!
      Funnily enough I think WOWcat came into our garden to nibble on the cat mint, even though it's died back over the winter he keeps snuffling around the patch where it usually is and we've seen three other cats at it as well over the last couple of weeks. I keep singing "My cat mint brings all the boys to the yard" when I see them stomping around the flower bed! xxx

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  13. cute oufit with the dungarees!!
    but i love the other looks too - the "new" sweater over the gorgeous blue skirt and the southwestern style especially.......
    lord jon is so very privileged with the cool handmade hats from your hands!
    the unnamed cat really is a heartbreaker <3
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Beate! I'm looking forward to wearing those dungarees with clogs in the Spring!
      The cat is just gorgeous. Aparnetly he's also a visitor at the house behind us, I'm surprised he's not the size of a hippo with all these meals! xxx

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  14. Some brilliant finds there, and that jumper looks lovely and cosy ... something we definintely need at the moment. Jon suits his new hat :-)

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    1. Thanks, Sue! It's definitely big jumper and coat weather> I'm so glad people keep donating them! xxx

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  15. I have the exact same Lautrec glass jar, only mine has a cork stopper atop it and I've always used it as a sphagetti jar! My bestie bought it for me sometime in the '90's I think. I'm so glad you rescued that cosy looking sweater. Someone took a lot of time handknitting it. Loving Pottery Throwdown at the mo and the new Martin Freeman drama which is a bit heavy but absolutely spot on as far as social history is concerned. xxx

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    1. Hello stranger! Lovely to hear from you! Haven't we got great taste? I wondered if it was originally a spaghetti jar, mine bears the evidence of being used as a vase for the last twenty yeras, it needed some serious scrubbing to get it looking respectable!
      I'm looking forward to catching up with The Responder. The Pottery Throwdown is the best one yet, there's some serious talent in that bunch, isn't there? xxxx

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  16. My minor claim to fame is that my oldest client had Clarice Cliff as a guest to her wedding. Her parents had been friends with her husband and his first wife [who he left for Clarice] so they invited her! Arilx

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    1. That's a fantastic claim to fame! Have you seen The Colour Room? It's of the same ilk as The Dig, gentle and beautifully shot. xxx

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  17. Thank you for recommending The Colour Room, it seems like something I might enjoy watching. Clarice Cliff sounds like a fascinating ceramic artist. The cast seems nice, I saw Matthew Goode in a some minor roles and I enjoyed his acting. Your 'colour room' inspired outfit with the plaids, the signature long scarf and dungarees is fantastic. The outfit with the Indian orange maxi dress is fabulous too. All of your outfits are always stylish. The one with the jumper and the blue maxi is really cool too.
    I'm sorry to hear that the Victorian houses in your neighbourhood are being ruined by modernization. While it is possible that someone might not be able not to afford historically accurate windows, block extensions should really be a no, aren't they? Windows at least can always be replaced, but once a part of house is covered up by block extensions or even worse demolished in name of modernization, a piece of history has been lost forever.

    I'm glad to see that the vising tomcat made another visit. :) I think he wants to make friends. It's definitely a tomcat, female cats can never have that rounded shape of the head (except perhaps in some rarer breeds but as as I know that head shape is not something one can see in a regular female cat). This head shape seems to be most prominent among stray tomcats. At least, that's what my life of observing cats has taught me. :)

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    1. I think you would enjoy watching The Colour Room, Ivana. It's set in the Midlands, the area of England where I'm from and it features working class women, something you don't often see in films!
      I get so angry with beautiful heritage houses being destroyed. We live in a desirable post code so a lot of people only buy the houses because of the close proximity to the local amenities with no interest in the home they've bought.I wonder what will be left of our post-industrial towns and cities in another ten years, our past is disapearing before our eyes. xxx

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    2. That's true, one doesn't often see working class women in films. I would have never known what working class women used to wear if it weren't for historical fashion YouTubers.

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  18. Hi Vix
    I’m going to have a look it for The Colour Room film, do you think it will be on Netflix, we haven’t got Sky. It looks good. I’m a bit obsessed with Martin Freeman’s role in The Responder on bbc 1 this week. If he doesn’t get an award for it, I’ll eat my hat. We are also watching the Great Pottery Throwdown but I’ve yet to see the end bits I keep falling asleep.
    Lovely to see all your outfits, especially your Dili Grey ones. During my covid weeks I’ve not had the energy or inclination to select outfits but I have got some tweedy looking lounge trousers and jumpers that make me look decent when I’m in the house. So all is not lost yet haha. Slowly, slowly I’m emerging back into life.
    The sun is out in whitworth this morning so I think a walk will be on the cards later. Have a good day you two lovelies. Happy washing days xxx

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    1. I'm pretty sure The Colour Room is on Netflix - I hope it is as I know you'll really love it. I knew Bizarre ware but knew nothing about Clarice's life and it really is fascinating. I'm looking forward to see Kinky shopper, Martin Freeman in The Responder, I've heard nothing but good things about it!
      I hope the inclination to plan outfits returns with your good health! xxx

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  19. wow, lots of fabulous outfits and also fabulously inspiring movies, series and books!. Thanks for discovering The Colour Room to me, it looks really appealing and Colourful, no wonder you were inspired by it, looking gorgeous in your dungarees!
    I'm pointing Mr.A. out Jon's outfits so he can get some inspiration and keeping my eyes open for any knits for him when rummaging!.
    Love your 'nothing new to see here' outfits, your delightful afghan dress, your cute hats (particularly those crochet ones!) and the also fabulous Dilli Grey pieces, which I'm in love with. The cord skirt totally Rocks! (sorry they don't make my size, sigh!).
    Thanks for telling us about so many interesting series and books and amazing stuff!
    besos

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    1. I hope you can track down The Colour Room, it's a beautiful film and especially exciting as it was filmed locally.
      Jon's a knit convert, too. He used to wear them in the house and at festivals at night buit finding nice looking ones in charity shops and wearing them out and about is a revelation. I'm surprised how many turn up secondhand, I thought men held on to their clothing a lot longer than us females do! xxx

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  20. Like your adaptation of the long scarf/necktie look to continue the line with the layers of color and midi-length skirts. Also admiring the fluffy, fringed "finial" of your knitted toppers -- a cheerful, cheeky, "I'm enjoying this frigid weather, thanks very much," gesture to the elements!

    OK, I'm curious enough to ask: What has Lord Jon tucked into that handsome leather bag? My brother's flight bag used to hold what was supposed to be there, plus a sandwich, an odd child's sock, the cat's spare mousie...

    M'sieur Cat has definitely decided to give you a trial. Best of luck in persuading Stephen that the squirrels are too much for him to manage at his advanced age.

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I'm like a magpie with those long silk screen scarves, I'm forever snaffling them in charity shops and rarely wearing them.
      Jon's emptied his man bag especially - check out my latest post! xxx

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  21. Vix, your Clarice Cliff factory girl look is brilliant!!! Gosh yes, I remember Etam. I used to got in there as a kid, and I remember Mumrah buting me a couple of 'new' items (very rare!) one birthday. How funny those foot socks are! xXx

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    1. Thanks, Lulu! Get you being spoilt in Etam! xxx

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  22. I had never heard of the "Eco Egg" until seeing it in this post. I'm glad that CAT is still coming around - it sounds like he definitely has a hearty appetite. He may carry on just being your "outdoor" cat depending on how long he's been living in the wild, and Stephen may just be happier that way. I'm glad he's getting a number of square meals a day, and hopefully one day he will trust you enough to let you pet him.

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Lots of love, Vix