Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Going Viral

It turned out that feeling knackered, bruised and battered wasn't because of our week at Glastonbury, we'd come back with Covid! Yes, after almost two and a half years, the bastard virus had finally caught up with us. Whilst I had nothing more than a tickly cough, poor Jon had every symptom going and was flat-out in bed for 48 hours but thankfully, with days to go until our next festival, we're now symptom free, our tests are negative and normal service can be resumed.

I used my isolation time well, I've sorted, priced and packed fresh stock for the next festival, replaced zips and done some dressmaking, I've sunbathed (despite the weather not being up to much) and I've read three books, including revisiting my childhood favourite, Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. When Jon was finally able to get out of bed, we caught up with The Great British Sewing Bee and binge-watched Back in Time For Birmingham, the BBC's excellent fifty year history of the British Asian community along with The Undeclared War, the gripping Channel Four spy thriller.

During the great lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 we lavished lots of love and care on the garden and our hard work is paying off, although still very much wild & untamed, its not quite the wilderness it used to be. There's perennials we'd almost forgotten popping up all over the place and the lavatera I bought in a titchy little pot from Wilko for £2 last Summer is now so huge we can't see out of the kitchen window.  

Jon rigged up a cheap irrigation system for our patio plants, it comes on for five minutes twice a day. The only work we  have to do is sweep up the mess from the dreaded lime tree (it's that time of year, again!) and harvest the raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants planted two years ago and now growing in abundance. 

I dug out this photo of Mum and I in Hope Cove, snapped by Liz in 1985 just after we'd taken our A Levels. Every year both my family and Liz's would holiday together, spending a fortnight in South Devon during the Summer and a week in the Lake District for Autumn half-term. Thirty-seven years on and we're about to go away together again - she and husband Al are crewing for us at Cornbury! My hair colour's changed but I'm the same weight I was when I was eighteen and I'm still wearing Barry M lipstick & nail paint. I wish I'd still got that TopShop two-piece (or co-ord, as the kids call 'em), it's properly vintage now.

Whilst having an in-depth chat about insecurities with the girls at Glastonbury, I mentioned how, in 2019, I developed an aversion to my arms and spent the last few years hiding them beneath sleeves. My new fitness regime has changed all that and, at 55, I've never felt better about my body, wonky arms and all - not only from the mental and physical benefits that exercise provide but from the frequent compliments I get on my swimming technique. I can't tell you how empowering it is to be admired for my physical prowess rather than how I look. 

Whilst vintage is still my first love, I get so much pleasure from experimenting with the amazing variety of contemporary clothing I find on my charity shopping adventures. This Free People "Hot Tropics" culotte jumpsuit (£2, Banardos) came with me to Crete back in May and got another outing, teamed with some secondhand Lotta of Stockholm silver clogs, when I popped into town this morning.

This was what I wore the day before we travelled to Glastonbury. I know loads of people loathe ripped jeans but I was drawn to these TopShop "Mom" skinnies when I spotted them in the clearance chazza and, at £2, it was no big loss if I hated them - but I didn't - who knew that high-waisted jeans were so comfy? I wore them with a chambray blouse (originally Gap) also from the clearance shop, a vintage Kashmiri waistcoat (a hand-me-down from Cheryl), secondhand gold Lottas (eBay), a fair trade leather tote bag (from Jaipur) and a charity-shopped Yasmin Le Bon gilt necklace.

Back to work - and this is where we'll be tomorrow, preparing to trade at the last ever Cornbury Festival (sob!) I'm beyond excited to be catching up with more of our festival family after a three-year absence and can't wait to see if any of the headliners buy anything from us - we sold some shirts to The Darkness when we traded at Lakefest a few years ago. 

It's set to be a crazy week - we get back home from Cornbury on Monday evening and the following morning we're flying to Greece (airport chaos permitting). Whilst our last two trips have been all about exploring, adventure and sight-seeing, this is going to be a lot more chilled. We're returning to an island we adore, with our days spent mostly on the beach and laid-back nights whiling away the evenings in traditional tavernas. I'm taking four five dresses (three are secondhand, two are cheeky retail buys). 

Secondhand accessories - bikinis x 2, Superga organic cotton plimsols, some leather chappals picked up in India years ago, Ancient Greek "Crystos" handmade leather sandals (they retail at £195 - I paid £18 - ya gotta love eBay!), a wicker bag, a straw clutch and my oversized basket. The tan leather "comfort sole" gladiators are from a proper shop.

TopShop "Mom" shorts, gingham shorts, Superdry Indian cotton camisole, Broderie Anglaise off-the-shoulder top and Joules straw hat (all charity shop buys).

See you on the other side!


  1. I'm sorry Jon had two wretched days, but good to know it's moved on. Enjoy seeing your friends, that's a terrific photo. I remember thinking how chubby I was at 18, but I was just healthy.

  2. Oh no, you got the Covid! I'm glad it didn't hit you too hard, and sending good vibes to Lord Jon that he's back to 100% quickly. Your garden is looking amazing - funny how all that work pays off, lol!

    I'm excited for your next fest - I've seen Bryan Adams (back in 1983!!, local boy!) and Beans on Toast (he opened for Frank Turner a few years back in Seattle).

    I bet that Greek vacation is CALLING to you - so much work all these festivals are!

    My heart is with vintage, but I also love finding interesting "new" retail items - it keeps things exciting, right?

    Good to catch up with you, Vix (thanks so much for the comments, I know that's a lot of work!). Big virtual hugs to you, my dear friend.

  3. Sorry you felt rubbish but you both sound to have bounced back - have a brilliant break and .... see you on the other side ­čśü

  4. I suspected you had brought an "unwelcome guest" back from Glasto with you, glad you're both doing OK now and hope Jon doesn't have a relapse by doing too much too quickly.

    You look fantastic whatever you're wearing and yes, it's incredibly empowering to be told you are doing well at a sport. Happened to me recently and it really does make you feel great :-)

    Have a great time at Cornbury and fingers & toes will be crossed for you that your flights don't get messed up. xx

  5. My friend's daughter also brought the virus back from Glastonbury. I'm glad you're both feeling okay now and that you're gearing up for your next festival and holiday. Xx

  6. What a great post! Love the ripped jeans and chambray shirt pic your hair is amazing in that one! I am sorry you got the dreaded virus and hope Jon is back to 100%. You look amazing and that is testament all the exercise you do. Had a fab day some Aussie cousins called in and so excuse for a pub lunch. On the weekend just gone we happened on a Crypt with 100s of skulls dug up by the Victorians. I thought of you and how you find interest and history in your own neck of the woods. We had been to this place before and not even known it was there! Anyway Vix have a great festival and holiday. Shazx ps remember following your garden work avidly in the lockdowns you kept me sanex

  7. Sorry to hear that you caught Covid. I still haven't had it [famous last words!] but nearly everyone around us has and we have been in very close contact several times [including TYM with it here]. Hope you have a relaxing break...you'll both be ready for it and thoroughly deserved. Arilx

  8. Oh no, hope you're both completely recovered soon! Same thing happened to us, after dodging the bullet for 2 years, we both succumbed. Hubby was just ill for 3 days, I ended up in hospital for 2 days (suspected pneumonia, which wasn't in the end) and 6 weeks of chronic fatigue!! OK now, thank goodness. Have loved reading about your adventures at Glastonbury, hope you can get to many more festivals this year. Sending you lots of love from Barcelona! xxx

  9. Ah god, sorry you both got covid. Glad it wasn't too terrible.

  10. Bummer that you got covid. I dodged a bullet, half the summer stock theatre I work at had it last week. We had to cancel 9 shows, but start back up tomorrow. We're lucky the rest of the season wasn't canceled. Have a fab time in Greece!

  11. Great that you have both recovered so quickly :) And, wow, staying the same weight -congratulations. Great for your health and wallet, and such an inspiration.

  12. I'm 17 lbs. heavier than I was when I got married at 19yo but I'm a "little bit" older than you are, Vix. I will be 66 years old next month... and have had 3 children! I can't wear a bikini anymore but I don't look half bad, if I do say so myself. My children and grandchildren love me to pieces so if that's any testament of a life well spent, I suppose I've hit the jackpot. I pray you & your hubby get well very soon & have no lasting side effects from the nasty C. ~Andrea xoxo

  13. You look awesome, just to get back to my pre pregnancy weight with willow will be something!! Sadly I have the much hated bingo wings. But I do enjoy walks round the dog park with milo.
    Even if it 35+ degrees here and 90 percent humidity!! Kato has taken to the heat like a star.
    He is UVed up, I am wearing my UV gauntlets and yes the are a thing and my large hat as us Japanese ladies don’t want to age badly.
    I bloody knew covid would catch up with you 2 !! I now am quad jabbed!! I went the us navy base for my last one of the year. A little snotty but ok . 2,000 yen worse off, but I don’t want covid again! Home in August to introduce Kato to the family and then back for the kids back to school.
    Enjoy cornbury, it’s a shame it’s the last one Connor went to one and he had a blast!! hope you treat liz and al like royalty. Enjoy Greece , and like you I am not enjoying the summer of airport chaos WTF!! Is going on!! Love and hugs Allie

  14. Oh not, not the dreaded virus. Thankfully you are both over it and just think what a boost to your immunity you now have. I can't wait to hear all about Greece. Have a thoroughly lovely time.

  15. Glad you two are feeling better. I love your denim outfit, a great mix.

  16. Sorty to hear you caught Covid. My SiL also got it from Glasto. She only had it in December.
    Your jumpsuit is gorgeous! I love it! I'm not a fan of ripped jeans but you make everything look good!
    Poor Jon! Glad he's got better though! Loved seeing your massive flowers!
    This year, I've decided to actually make myself write down what I've picked (didn't quite manage with the spinach and rocket though) and I'm already up to 460 strawberries. Blueberries are up to 120!

  17. Glad to hear you're both fighting fit again! Your garden looks incredible - so lush and colourful! Your Free People jumpsuit is a stunner. I bought a Free People winter top off eBay a couple of years ago and just love their style and quality. As for your wonky arms - they are toned and beautiful! I'm excited for you about Cornbury (although I did gulp when I saw Ronan Keating in large typeface, but I'm sure you'll be dodging that one). I can't quite bring myself to wear ripped jeans (although some of my own have worn through naturally in the past), but you have somehow pulled it off. Have fun and enjoy your well earned rest in Greece. See you soon! xxx P.S. Love the photo of you and your Mum.

  18. Glad you and Jon got over Covid quickly. I hope Cornbury is a roaring success and you both have a fabulous restful holiday in Greece. Looking forward to your next post. Hugs.

  19. with all the masses you´ve meet at glasto..... thanx goodness you´r both vaccinated!
    your garden looks beautiful with all the flowers - your work is very fruitful now. and thanx to the irrigation system the beauty will last... here its so very hot since weeks, i could use one to. speaking of hot - no need to fly away for us - we have subtropical climate at the doorstep now.
    you look so very fab in the pink jumpsuit! and i love the old photo!

  20. What a relief that you're both symptom free and that your tests came back negative just in time for the last ever Cornbury festival! You must be super excited, and then having another trip to look forward to as well. After two days back at the office, I'm already in need of another holiday, but it'll be work-work-work until September :-(
    Your garden is looking fantastic, and that Lavatera truly has Triffid-like proportions!
    Like you, I'm picking up more and more contemporary clothing when charity shopping. With much fabulous stuff, it would be silly not to just because it's not vintage.
    You manage to even make even ripped jeans - which I fully admit I loathe - look fantastic!
    Have a fabulous time, and I can't wait to read all about it! xxx

  21. I always thought you and Liz looked like you were related and being good friends for such a long time you almost are-I know of more people getting covid recently than previously-I'm older than you Vix ,I'm almost 63 and remind myself of the quote-Aging aint for sissies x

  22. There's a lot of COVID about again. I'm expecting to get it at any moment.
    Have a brilliant time at Cornbury and in Greece. Lots to catch up on next month xxx

  23. Thank goodness you are both up and running again and ready for Cornbury. How lovely that Liz will be with you as well. Your positivity about life is so refreshing Vix, you’re a shining example to us all and you make me smile.
    Clothes wise it’s great that we find a joy in mashing up new and old. I’ve only a couple of crimplene outfits that I wear now and am more likely to be found adding some M&S summer frock with a bit of vintage or biker boots and jacket.
    Enjoy your holiday, it’ll be a good chill out for you. We are off to the caravan next week for the first time proper (fingers crossed). Lots of love from us two xxx

  24. Thank goodness you are both up and running again and ready for Cornbury. How lovely that Liz will be with you as well. Your positivity about life is so refreshing Vix, you’re a shining example to us all and you make me smile.
    Clothes wise it’s great that we find a joy in mashing up new and old. I’ve only a couple of crimplene outfits that I wear now and am more likely to be found adding some M&S summer frock with a bit of vintage or biker boots and jacket.
    Enjoy your holiday, it’ll be a good chill out for you. We are off to the caravan next week for the first time proper (fingers crossed). Lots of love from us two xxx

  25. sorry Jon had covid so badly but glad to read that you are both over the worst. You have so much going on this year now that festivals are back! Going on holiday the day after you return is brave and your holiday wardrobe looks very pretty. I do weight lifting at the gym and have found it made a tremendous difference to my arms but also my legs (les mills bodypump class has a lot of squats in it!). Your garden is looking superb, all that effort is rewarding you. Hope you have a fabulous time. Betty x

  26. I'm really glad that Covid slid neatly into your time at home and then 'did one' ready for your next adventure, but it sounds as though you were hit quite hard, especially Jon. But you're both such positive people and you just get on with things when you can don't you.

    I'm not even going to mention you still being the same weight that you were when you were eighteen .... la la la la la ;-)

  27. Glad to hear you have both recovered from the dreaded Covid. I've not been feeling well for a few days but it wasn't Covid; grandson and son in-law had it too and we all tested negative.

    Loved the jumpsuit and the ripped mom jeans look fab; high waisted jeans are the dog's whatsit's as far as I'm concerned. I have a similar pair that I plan to wear for our London walk on Saturday; I'm just praying they won't be too hot as it's going to be a scorcher.

    So glad you're back at Cornbury especially with friends and how incredibly well organised you are to have your holiday packing done - already! Needs must and all that...

    Have a totally fabulous and chilled week away!

  28. Oh no! I am so sorry for Jon getting the full covid experience!

    My Family and Other Animals was one of my childhood favourites! I need to get back to watching The Durrells, but I just have so many things to watch! The garden looks lovely and how nice to have all that fruit!

    How wonderful to have a friend for that long! I met most of my close friends around 9 years ago now so looking forward to hopefully having lifelong friendships!

    Have a wonderful time at the festival and on holiday!

  29. Some might describe me as a zaftig Teutonic type lacking only a helmet with horns atop her silver locks to complete the look, but I'm actually tall (5'2") and thin (###) for my family and I have the albums to prove it! My German granny was famous for being able to lift any basket or barrel she could get under and grasp. Quite right, Vix, to point out that while appearances are important -- especially among those of us who regard dressing up as an art form -- fitness matters more, especially as we age (and catch whatever bad bugs are circulating).

  30. I am so sorry the virus finally caught up with you - you were one of the few people I know aside from me who hadn't had it yet. I hope Jon is feeling much better by now. Now that so many of the summer festivals have returned (we have one happening here this weekend) I think there are going to be a lot more infections.

    Bravo for the body acceptance and acknowledging the hard work you have been putting in to stay in shape. Unfortunately, there isn't really anything one can do about the softness that appears under our upper arms - there's no specific exercise to target that area, but keeping strong and fit overall does wonders for one's mental and physical health.

    I love the Free People jumpsuit - that clothing brand is VERY expensive new, and it's not common to find pieces from them at secondhand stores. Most of the stuff at shops over hear is Forever 21 and Shein crap.

  31. Sorry to read that you got the virus and that Jon had so annoying symptoms. We've being quite relaxed last weeks (masks off!) but considering to be more cautious again as incidence is increasing here!.
    Lovely to see you rocking in your jumpsuit and looking fab in jeans too!. So amazing to see you so young in that picture with your mom!.
    I'm not the most comfident woman ever and have lots of insecurities, but still going sleeveless in the summer and wear my bikinis at the swimming pool, because it's damn hot here!. I work everyday with my 2kg weights as part of my routine therapy to avoid my shoulders' tendinosis, so have strong shoulders now!
    Your baggage always look Fabulous!, so delightful to go to Greece to chill!


Thank you for leaving a message. There may be a delay before your comment is published, I'm moderating the comments to keep the crazies & spammers at bay.

Lots of love, Vix