Friday, 12 August 2022

This, That and a Bit of the Other - A Slice of Normal Life

Looking back at my recent blog posts what with Glastonbury, Cornbury, Corfu, Birmingham and Gloucester it seems like we'd done nothing but gad but there's been plenty of normal activities squeezed in between trips out, holidays and festivals and all spent in the most glorious weather.


Monday kicked off with a half-a-mile swim followed by breakfast in 'Spoons and we both wore things we'd found in the clearance charity shop the previous day. This £3 linen sun top (with the original shop labels still attached) matched my vintage 70s Anokhi maxi skirt perfectly! The tasselled earrings and  pom pom trimmed basket were previous charity shop finds. Jon wore a new-with-tags Zara Man cotton fine knit top (£2) with some organic cotton shorts (a recent-ish sales buy) and his trusty suede Crocs slides. 

Tuesday was a charity shopping morning. I wore another 1970s Anokhi maxi skirt with a vintage Dolcis straw bag and a shirred suntop in block printed Indian cotton - which still had the store tags attached (I can never get my head around anyone who buys something from a proper shop and never wears it) -were both old charity shop finds.

Jon wore another of Sunday morning's purchases, a block printed cotton Levi's shirt from their Denizen range (a fashion-forward label, only available in India) along with the previous day's shorts and a pair of authentic Italian-made Raybans he found in a chazza.

With another festival imminent we erected the trade tent in the garden last week and - with Liz's help - we got our stock sorted. On Wednesday we packed it all up and loaded the van before spending the rest of the day basking on the lawn in 30°C sunshine - bliss! No outfit photos as I spent the day in my bikini.


On Thursday we went for an early morning swim and after clocking up half a mile ended up having the second Spoons' breakfast of the week - naughty! Jon wore a tee shirt he'd picked up from a charity shop earlier in the year.


I'd not worn this dress in ages. I made it back in 2014 using a pair of Grace Sullivan "Treetop" screen printed curtains (purchased by the original owner from the cool London store, Heals, in 1971) for which I paid £2 at a car boot sale.

The Butterick pattern is from the early 1970s and drafted by Kenzo. I keep saying I should make more - but large amounts of vintage fabric in prints that appeal is so hard to find (and uber expensive online).


Friday was scorchio - 37°C! Like Tuesday, we were up and checking out the charity shops bright and early, so we could spend the rest of the day sunbathing. Jon wore a 1980s viscose shirt, slides and a pair of cotton chambray shorts, all of which were charity shopped.


A fortnight ago, Monsoon had a 48 hour flash sale, slashing their already reduced stock by up to 70% and I snaffled this Indian cotton embroidered co-ord from their S.E.W Sustainable range for less than £30. As our temperatures are akin to those in Greece, I thought I'd road test it for our next holiday and it gets the thumbs up - cool, comfy and fully lined - perfect! The vintage Greek souvenir bag was a charity shop buy years ago.

I'm a solar-powered reader and love nothing more than wearing a skimpy bikini and powering through a book in the sunshine. Over the past two weeks, I've read William Boyd's Trio, Jo Nesbo's Midnight Sun, and demolished Philippa Gregory's epic Wideacre trilogy. I've also read two Greek-themed novels, Aegean Dream by Dario Cariello and Victoria Hislop's Cartes Postales from Greece (courtesy of my lovely friend, Lynn) and I've just started on some non-fiction, It's All Greek To Me by Charlotte Higgins.

Viewing-wise, we were glued to the women's Euros and the England flag is still flying high- go, Lionesses! We loved the Commonwealth Games and the closing ceremony was brilliant especially Punjabi MC, Walsall's Goldie and Beverley Knight. We've enjoyed Anatomy of a Scandal and Luxembourg cop thriller, Capitani but found Norwegian cop thriller, Seizure, rather weird. The Newsreader was really good and although we're only one episode into Black Bird, we're already gripped. 


We've not seen Mr Trousers in ages but Ollie continues to be a frequent visitor eating us out of house and home and, in recent days, he's been napping in the borders. I don't think he'll ever be a house cat but if we can find a way of trapping him and getting him checked over by a vet, we'd be more than happy to offer him a home - or an outbuilding.

The £1.50 Lidl Waste Not boxes continue to provide us (and Jacob) with the ingredients for lots of colourful meals.


Stir-fries and salads, Greek-style courgette and Feta fritters, coleslaw & potato salad, Iman Bayadi, griddled aubergines, smashed avocado, plum crumble, lime and ginger cordial, jacket potatoes, Punjabi aloo gobi to take away with us, tartiflette (for Jon) and vegan banana cake to name but a few dishes we've enjoyed. A special mention has to go to the Sugar Baby by Matisse melon, it was bloody gorgeous! 


We've not only found stuff for ourselves - the Kinky rails have been topped up ready for the festival goers - there's loads of men's stuff as well but I'd have been snapping all day if I'd also included it!


Frank Usher, Doc Martens, Diane Freis, Hilo Hattie, Berketex, Michael Sinclair, Paul Smith and Cresta Couture, 1950s day dresses and suits, maxis and midi dresses, West African waxed cotton, skirts in all manner of lengths, jumpsuits, playsuits, blouses and shirts, leather trousers, showgirl hot pants, ethnic embroidery, silk, Scottish tweed, denim, velvet, block printed cotton and mohair....


In addition to my linen sun top, here's a few more bargain additions to my own summer wardrobe - Indonesian-made snakeskin sandals (£5) - I usually loathe wedges but I'll make an exception for these beauties, I love how the snakes are wired and wrap around my ankles! A vintage hammered brass choker (£1), gold leather Converse All Stars (£2); Superga flatforms (£1); cotton crop top (new with tags) £1.50; Monsoon leather lined sandals (£1) and a new-with-tags one shoulder cotton top (£3) 

And more vintage glass to add to our collection - the tangerine vase looks suspiciously like Geoffrey Baxter for Whitefriars but no matter if it's a fake, I love it anyway.



We're off to drink Havana Club & cola in the garden (its almost 7pm and still 31°C - yippee!) but not too much, there's more birthday celebrations scheduled for tomorrow! Hopefully I'll have time to report back before we leave for next week's festival. Chin, chin!



46 comments:

  1. So glad you treated yourself at Monsoon, I have bought quite a lot of a Sustainable range during the flash sale also some bikini's from Boden that I will have to read the blurb on the labels to verify but apears to be somewhat eco friendly. What a tan you have! I love those snake climbing gold sandals :) the yellow top chazza find is beautiful, i love yellows/oranges - it looks great with a tan. ref £1.50 Lidl boxes, our branch has no respect for the food or the customers and can't be arsed to put a nice selection, I have seen them literally throwing it in the boxes like it's rubbish and they fill the boxes with no even or sensibble distribution (i.e. 5 bags of potato and a few rotton bananas and another with all broccoli and tomatos, when I ask if they can juggle them a bit they say no, lately no boxes have been on offer but when I next see this I plan to take pics and email their head office - it's so disrespectful to their customers and the products too :) Betty

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    1. Monsoon have some lovely things in their SEW collection, I was amazed by how much they reduced them by and was really impressed with the quality. I wonder about Boden, a lot of their things that I find in charity shops are made in China and I can't understand how the company can claim to keep an eye on the production in the factories there, it's not like you'd be able to turn up and catch them unawares, is it? I did buy one of their bikinis in a chazza and it was a really good fit, though.
      Jon and I think our Lidl boxes are so good because, looking at most people in Walsall, they look like they exist on burgers! We're so spoilt for choice it takes us ages to decide which box to buy luckily the staff encourage us to take two! xxx

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  2. oooh, didn't you get lots of lovely stuff from the chazzer. Plus, the Monsoon dress is a bargain! I love finding Monsoon in the charity shop! Pity there aren't so many of them nowadays.
    The food boxes and meals from them are brilliant! I haven't had a Lidl box for ages- mind you, not been at school of course, but even then, didn't have the capacity for carrying it!
    Indonesian sandals are cool! I watched someone handmake a pair of sequinned sandals in Bali- she painstakingly sewed on the sequins and I felt guilty when I realised I'd bought a pair a while back for the equivalent of £4.

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    1. I love finding Monsoon in the chazzas, too - their choice or colour and print seems far superior to most of the high street dross.
      The Lidl boxes are ace, aren't they? I seem to have far too many courgettes so I'll be baking a cake to take with us to the festival tomorrow to use the last few up.
      Those Indonesian sandals you had made sound fabulous. xxx

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  3. Excellent finds- food and frocs. It's nice to see the kitties. Interesting about Denizen as a Levi's label. We actually have that sold in Targets here in the states. I've bought my son his annual blue jeans from mom pair of them and long sleeve chambray shirts. It looks like Levi's may be phasing it out though according to some sources but here's a link to what's available now. Target is a local company so that's why it peaked my interest when you mentioned the brand. https://www.target.com/b/denizen-from-levi-s/-/N-q4e5p

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    1. Oh, I hope Levi's doesn't discontinue the Denizen brand. I love their jeans. I got them from Target, just like you.

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    2. Thanks, Sam! That's really interesting about Target and Denizen, I wonder if they trialed the range in India first (hence the claim that it was exclusive). The shirt is definitely for the Indian market - the sizing of men's clothing there is completely different , Jon's a Medium in Europe and an XL in India! xxx

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    3. Unknown - Ebay is your friend. It's a great place to hunt for discontinued lines.x

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  4. I had wondered how 'your' cats were doing - glad that Ollie is still around, he seems to have such a sad face. I am enjoying the heat too however the worrying lack of rain and water in general weighs heavily.
    The waste not boxes look amazing - our local Lidls sadly don't do them although I have asked. Enjoy tomorrow's celebrations!! xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Kate! Ollie does look sad. My brother saw him for the first time last week and said - that's a proper feral cat - his shape and demeanour is completely different to the domestic moggies we're used to, bless him!
      What a shame those Waste Not boxes aren't available nationally. I think all supermarkets ought to offer them. xxx

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  5. You always make me smile, hugely, Vix, as I read your posts. What a great life!!! You always look so gorgeous, and exactly how someone of my age always wanted to look, and Jon is so dapper.

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    1. What a kind thing to say, thank you so much! xxx

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  6. I always think that those new-with-tags items are things bought online that people couldn't be bothered to return, often due to whack sizing. I love your hot weather outfits, Vix, especially that Kenzo design! That's really early in his fashion career!

    I'm glad Ollie is still coming around - must be nice to see a kitty!

    I love your snake sandals - they would look so good with all my snake jewelry! I also love the unusual glass you found.

    Good luck on the next festival, Vix! Stay cool, baby!

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    1. You're right, Sheila. I think the vast majority of tagged stuff is stuff bought online from China, especially that Shein brand - the quality is atrocious!
      I thought you'd approve of the Kenzo pattern - such a clever design. I really like the shorter version of that dress, one day I'll find the correct fabric.
      I thought of you when I spotted those snake sandals, if you weren't an ocean away we could share them being shoe size twins! xx

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  7. I pick up a pattern in thrift (charity) store today and paid twenty five cents. The original price was eighty five cents. Pattern new here is between $8 and $10.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. That's a great find! I'm always rummaging through the patterns, too! xxx

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  8. Hilo Hattie - that's a blast from the past! I bought my Mum one of their long dresses back in the late 70s.

    I've donated things with tags to thrift stores. It's been an impulse buy, final clearance, no returns deal. Better in a place where someone might find it and love it than turning it into a dust rag or leaving it reproaching me in the closet.

    Wideacre was my first Phillipa Gregory, I think I read it just after it was published and still find it disturbing.

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    1. Yes, Hilo Hattie - I've found a few of their things in chazzas, no doubt bought back from cruises over the years. Their colour combos are fab.
      You're right to donate brand new stuff to charity shops rather than have buyer's remorse every time you open your wardrobe. We don't have many "new" shops in town (I've never shopped at Primark or New Look), just chazzas, so the only impulse clothing buys I make are secondhand to start off with.
      I thought The Favoured Child was even more unsettling than Wideacre. Philippa Gregory is a wonderful writer, I follow her on Facebook, she's a fantastic person (loves cats!) xxx

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  9. Must say Vix, that stripe shirt Jon is wearing looks fab... I'd wear that myself. And I adore your shirred top, it looks so pretty and feminine.

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    1. Thanks, Cherie! I've noticed that a lot of the stylish European women we see on our travels wear men's shirts and look really cool in them. xxx

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  10. It’s getting as hot as Tokyo minus the humidity. I have been hiding in the house with kato and willow. Or going to places with air conditioning. Light and Paul don’t mind it but I want to keep my fair skin .
    Every time I see that handmade dress it makes me smile, my mum used to love heals when I was young and she still has a coffee table made by them. I want so badly want it . I went to buy some baby bits for light out of a certain well known baby store called M & P ‘S and they refused to give me duty free. So I dumped everything on the counter and walked out! What is going on with this country. I went to another store no problem.
    Doing well with second hand goodies I see. I have been getting lots from eBay. Some good some meh. But that’s the risk I suppose. We are off to Lincoln next week as willow likes the imp trail. And I love it . Plus plenty of bargains to be had!

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    1. I'm with Paul and Light, I'm absolutely loving the weather although I went a bit funny on saturday night and Jon banned me from sitting in it yesterday.
      I love vintage Heal's too - Mum & Dad had a lot of that and Habitat when they got married. You need your Mum's coffee table, keep angging her. In one of the chazzas on Friday morning there were 10 brand new Heals beds and mattresses - all of which had been snapped up by a landlord - lucky tenants!!
      M&P's sound dreadful, I hope you complained via social media.
      Glad you're finding some bargains! xxx

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  11. Lovely to see the Treetop dress again, and I adore the Monsoon co-ord, just fabulous!
    Belated birthday wishes to Lord Jon, I read your last post but couldn't seem to comment.
    Hasn't the weather been fantastic? I know I should be worrying about drought and global warming, but I just love it. I'll never get to heaven ­čÖé

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    1. You made me smile, my friend, I'm the same as you - dancing around the kitchen with delight when I hear the weather forecast (tut tut!) - I bloody love this weather!
      I'd not worn my Treetops dress in a age - probably because I went through a weird "I hate my arms" stage for a few years - I'm over it now. That Monsoon co-ord is just fantastic quality, I love it when things are made properly. xxx

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  12. Good grief - your Lidl boxes are considerably more interesting than the drab offerings I have seen. The boxes in my local store are absolutely pitiful compared to yours.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a decent dose of 'normal' . Mr Ollie is looking good, and I do hope he will feel able to get closer to you - perhaps a dose of cold weather might make him realise you & Jon are an absolutely soft touch and good for a warm & comfy bed somewhere.

    Hope your next festival is a success. Friends of mine set off for one yesterday morning and are already on the way home - after one night they decided the heat is just unbearable and they've cut their losses and given up.

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    1. Hello Jayne! As I commented to Betty, I'm pretty sure our Lidl boxes are so good because the vast majority of our townsfolk live on burgers and fast food, I don't think they'd know what to do with an aubergine or a courgette.
      I don't think Ollie will ever be tame - he spits if we get too close but will wander into the house and sniff around the kitchen if we stay very still.
      What a shame your friends had to leave the festival early - much as I adore the heat, it's not conducive to sales so I won't mind if it dips a few degrees between next Thursday and Sunday! xxx

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  13. Yes, you've done lots of gadding about holidaying and selling your lovely wares, but my goodness you do deserve it after the past couple of years with everything being so curtailed. So enjoy it all and don't even feel guilty about the two trips to 'Spoons' :-)

    I love John' Levi's shirt, he has good taste. Don't you think that sometimes men's shirts are just so much nicer than women's. I would wear that with jeans or shirts myself.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue! You're right, when i think back over the last two and a half years we'd hardly been anywhere, it seems like a bad dream now.
      Jon's shirt is fab, isn't it? I've always loved finding menswear in charity shops, a lot of it is so much better made than the women's wear. xxx

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  14. I'm absolutely loving all your hot weather outfits, but my favourite must be the Treetops curtain couture dress, which I've swooned over before, closely followed by that gorgeous Monsoon sales bargain! Glad to read you've been enjoying the hot weather. As you know, temperatures well into the 30s make Jos and I hide inside :-)
    It's lovely to see Ollie is still around. I had been wondering about him and Mr. Trousers!
    Fantastic chazza finds all around. Picking have been very meagre lately over here.
    More birthday celebrations? Have fun! xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann! When I first made that dress a few vintage aficionados were horrified that I'd chopped up those curtains but far better that fabric is seen than hidden away in an airing cupboard for all eternity!
      I'm always surprised to find good stuff in chazzas during the summer, you'd think people would be out enjoying themselves rather than clearing their cupboards, but I'm glad they do! xxx

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  15. Hello Vix, I'm checking in after a week off the t' interweb for house duties, so please expect a barrage of catch up comments! Lovely to see you in your fab handmade 'Treetops' dress and Jon is looking super dapper in his Levi shirt & cool shades. I can just imagine Elizabeth Taylor wearing those gold snakeskin sandals! To echo the comments on the veg boxes - I wish my local Lidl did ones like that! We have gotten into their vegan sushi platters though - delicious! :) Have fun with the birthday celebrations. I'm sure a shandygaff or two may be involved xXx

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    1. Lovely to hear from you, bab! I'd love to know what glamourpuss donated those snakeskin sandals to a Black Country charity shop, I'm pretty sure it's none of the women I spot rummaging in there - it's more wolf fleeces and Primarni threadbare leggings round these parts!
      I like the sound of the Lidl vegan sushi, I might have to check it out! xxx

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  16. Your heatwave wardrobe is fab! Nice to see the tree patterned dress again. I'll have to check out some of those series to watch-I don't view much in summer, but when I'm trapped at home under a foot of snow I'll be glad there's a list of things to watch.
    Good luck with the next festival.

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    1. Thanks so much! I love that Kenzo pattern, I must make more of an effort to hunt down some groovy fabric and make the shorter version of that dress.
      I love having a list of things to watch - Jon has to watch TV at night! xxx

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  17. Perhaps inspired by your advert-worthy pix of those luscious "waste-not baskets" -- I've found the word that defines your and Jon's summer wardrobes in the produce section. It's 'crisp'! 'Crisp' as compared with 'wilted'. You both acknowledge the heat and select clothing -- or the absence thereof -- accordingly, a skill visibly lacking in my tatty tee-shirt and grubby jeans or sweats wearing citizens. Those blue ensembles in the last two pix are sooo refreshing to the eyes in 37o!

    Belated birthday wishes to Jon! Enjoy the celebrations!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I love shopping for summer clothes when it's baking hot - you know exactly it is that you want to wear and its much easier to focus on the fabric rather than the print! I'm sure that the vast majority of people who complain of the heat do so as they're dressed in synthetics or clothes way too tight! xxx

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  18. Greetings from Michigan!
    Long time reader first time to write! of course it is to ask for help:) I went charity shopping with my daughter and made a haul, one that is a Dan Lee Fashion. How do I wash it!!!!!! There are no tags other than the name Dan Lee and the size. It is a full length sleeveless, green flower print guessing early 70's. I though at first it was homemade by some of the stitching but the tag is real. Do I take it to a cleaners? (please say no) or can you suggest a proper cleaning method. I appreciate any suggestions.
    Blessings, Kelly

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    1. Hello Kelly in Michigan - it's lovely to hear from you! I don't know Dan Lee Fashion but your daughter's find sounds fantastic. Don't worry, I never use the dry cleaners for my vintage finds.
      As you've not mentioned the fabric, I'd hand wash the garment using either baby shampoo or liquid hand soap.I never use fabric conditioner (it rots your clothes) so, if it has a lingering odour after you've washed it, rinse it with capful of white vinegar added to the water. Wring the garment out, pop it on a coat hanger and leave it to drip dry, Hope this helps! xxx

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  19. busy bee!
    and fabulously dressed! love the DIY curtain dress......
    and the glass is stunning.
    we don´t need to buy veggies since weeks - the garden produces enough for us, our occasional guests and some jars canned in for winter :-D
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! I do love coloured glass and I'm not quite sure why I haven't worn the homemade dress in so long!
      We've grown & eaten some of our own stuff so far this year - raspberries, redcurrants, courgettes, beetroot, rocket, strawberries, lettuce and the wild blackberries that grow in abundance, the tomatoes , onions and potatoes are still growing - but the veg boxes offer loads more variety - apricots, nectarines, plums, melons, apples, satsumas, bananas, asparagus, cauliflower and swede! xxx

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  20. The meals look great! I love eggplant and zuchinni! Two of my favourite vegetables!

    So many gorgeous clothes! I had a beautiful Monsoon jacket once! I let go of it when it got too small, though! It was the most plush velvet with beautiful buttons! We don't get much Monsoon making its way over to Australia!

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  21. Scratch that, apparently we do have Monsoon in Australia now haha! But it's still expensive! Mine was an amazing secondhand find!

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  22. So lovely post and so fab to see you enjoying some summery tempertures and sunbathing! (not my cup of tea, but glad you enjoy it!)
    And your summer wardrobe looks more and more Fabulous!, those suntops and cool prints!. Admiring Jon's shirts too!.
    besos

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  23. The dress you made from curtains is fantastic and it suits you so well!!!!

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  24. That treetop maxi is splendid. And you got a real bargain on those curtains - I've seen Heals stuff going for silly money nowadays.

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Lots of love, Vix