Friday 24 November 2023

Not Tonight Josephine!


Going by how he carried on with Josephine in Ridley Scott's latest blockbuster, I doubt if Napoleon ever uttered those immortal words. 


We went to see Napoleon at Walsall Light on Wednesday, the day it was released, and despite it being bastard freezing in the auditorium we were transfixed from start to finish, so much so that we felt the need to dress up (or, as the kids of today call it, cosplay) on Thursday afternoon.


My grandma always maintained that if you bought whatever garments took your fancy, no matter how outlandish, then the right occasion to wear them would eventually present itself . So for Jon's play on Tsar Alexander I's Cossack soldiers during the 1812 Russian Campaign he wore a charity shopped Zara jacket, a couple of my belts, a vintage military balaclava and my vintage Tuscan lamb hat.


Paying homage to the magnificent Joaquin Phoenix, I'm wearing my Great-Great Grandfather's Cheshire Rifleman's jacket & matching waistcoat (what normal person doesn't have 19th Century militaria hanging in their wardrobe?), a 1930s Akco gents' silk foulard and one of my fedoras pinned at the front to turn it into Napoleon's trademark bicorn hat - a trick Mum deployed with her own hats for me & my brother's infant & junior school plays. 


I answered the door to the postman dressed like this and he didn't even bat an eyelid, he's that used to me!


Thursday was mild enough to forego the coat so I thought I'd give a nod to the Duke of Wellington (played by an almost unrecognisable Rupert Everett in the film). Long time readers may remember this maxi-length waistcoat I made from my brother's childhood bedroom curtains using a 1969 Buttericks pattern. They'd hung in his bedroom since 1971 until my Dad chucked them away in 2013 and I rescued them from the bin in the nick of time. 


If you're wondering, the barkcloth fabric features David Whitehead's iconic Soldiers print which was inspired by Napoleonic-era uniforms and was sold through hip London store, Heal's. (My parents had very good taste.) The vintage hand-embroidered Indian dress was a birthday present to myself back in 2021.


Do yourself a favour, don't wait for it to reach your TV screen, get your arse down to your local cinema, immerse yourself in the Napoleonic Wars and you too will be prancing around the garden in a bicorn hat when you get home. 


Our other viewing this week has been Boat Story (BBC1/iplayer) which was so good that we watched the entire series over two nights.  Gratuitously violent, darkly comic and with an all-star cast, if you enjoyed the BBC's The Tourist & The Outlaws you'll probably love this as much as we did. Over on Channel 4's Walter Presents, our latest obsession is Carmen Curlers, based on the true story behind the heated rollers of the same name which were manufactured in Denmark in the 1960s and went on to become world famous. It's glamorous, stylish and utterly compelling and it's so refreshing to watch a Scandi series that isn't all about rape, murder, human trafficking and child abuse. The opening credits are so stylish they give the Bond franchise a run for its money.


I'm still dressing for Autumn, although I plan to be coatless and enjoying some sunshine for a few days very soon - well it is nearly my birthday...


In my trademark vintage block print....midi dress & quilted jacket both 1970s Phool, felted wool fedora (Accessorize via Sue Ryder charity shop) and green sheepskin collar (clearance charity shop).



Vintage Roshafi block printed midi dress, vintage quilted Indian waistcoat (Xmas present from Liz & Al, 2020), Kurt Geiger fake snake leather boots (Vinted), orange felt fedora (retail buy, 2018)


Block printed midi dress by Dilli Grey, bruise coloured leather coat (Banardo's), felt fedora (Accessorize, 2022), fake snake Spanish leather boots (Urban Outfitters sale, 2021)



1960s suede mini skirt (Graziella at Moseley Vintage Hub), vintage suede coat (my friend, Cheryl), slouchy knit hat & Clarks boots (charity shop).


Vintage Afghan dress (misdescribed as Peruvian and snapped up for a bargain price), 1960s suede boots (Gisela), my beloved Afghan coat (ebay, 2019) worn with a plum fedora (retail buy along with the orange one shown earlier).  




Inbetween eBay listing, our jaunt to Bilston with Liz & Al, our trip to the cinema to see Napoleon and our bi-weekly swim & Spoons breakfast we've visited Walsall's newest eatery (that's not a burger joint or a chicken shop, Joey Greek Restaurant in George Street.


The coffee was gorgeous (cappuccino for me, Greek coffee for Lord Jon) and the staff were very impressed with our pigeon Greek!


Don't moan that there's nowhere in our town to go, use it or lose it, Walsall people.



Food-wise this was this week's Katy Beskow vegan recipe, a Moroccan flatbread to die for from her Comfort Food book. Lidl beer an optional extra!


We've had sunshine this week as well as a pretty sunrise on Tuesday morning.


Here's our latest secondhand finds - some sold within minutes of being listed on eBay.


 Clockwise from top left: 1980s deadstock West German lace collar blouse; Vintage French leather & sheepskin aviator jacket; 1960s Mansfield cossack-style all wool jacket; 1960s felted wool hat; French cycling jersey; 1970s Jeepers sequin boob tube; 1980s deadstock beaded shirt; 1960s guitar; Suede tassel trim belt; 1980s Donkey jacket; Doc Martens "Aimilita Triumph" convertible boots ; Farm Rio midi dress; Marseille Des Torts track top; Limited Edition Pharrell Williams for Adidas baseball jacket; Vintage Belgian cycling jersey; 1990s velvet jacket; 1980s Tricoville midi dress; 1970s cable knit tank top; Marks & Spencer leopard boots; 1980s C&A shirt; Marks & Spencer top hat.



1970s fur coat; 1980s spotty satin top; 1970s Bear for Wear, California leather jacket; 1960s French-made paisley shirt; 1990s cord coat; 1980s Scottish-made tweed blazer; 1960s Samuel Sherman dress; 1970s fake fur; 1990s suedette & fake fur top; 1980s beaded cocktail top; Arabian kaftan; 1980s Alexon blazer; 1980s fake leopard coat; 1940s rayon jacket.


I'm not particularly adventurous when it comes to makeup but inspired by my new blog friend Looks of Love T , I couldn't help snaffling these boxed and sealed Sleek products which I spotted in a charity shop on the way back from the baths on Tuesday. At £2 it was a no-brainer!  


I'm not sure if this is true or not but it didn't half make me laugh and they say the English are filthy.

I'll love you & leave you as rum is calling, see you soon!


50 comments:

  1. Brilliant cosplay! I had a good chuckle at you answering the door to the postman and him not batting an eyelid, though :-) Thursday's outfit, with the curtain couture maxi-length waistcoat, is absolutely brilliant too, and obviously I'm swooning over your parade of Autumnal outfits as well. My particular favourite this time is the 1960s sued mini skirt with the vintage suede coat.
    I'm glad to hear that a Greek restaurant has newly opened in Walsall and my eagle eye detected that they are serving Belgian made Lotus Biscoff biscuits with their coffee!
    Fab chazza finds as always - I'm not surprised some of them were snapped up instantly - and I would definitely have snapped up those Sleek makeup products too! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann! You name it Izzy's seen it all in the years he's been delivering post to us!
      That waistcoat used to feature regularly in my outfits, I'm not sure why it's taken a back seat lately, the fabric is something else, isn't it?
      I didn't realise Lotus Biscoff were Begian, you know you're in an above average establishment when you get one of those with your coffee!
      It's exciting to try new makeup isn't it? I'm loathe to spend money of new products just in case they don't live up to expectations so when they pop up cheap and unused it's madness not to snaffle them! xxx

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  2. My first thought was "Adam Ant!?"

    Good to hear you enjoyed the movie. It's had some not so great reviews over here, which is causing the other half to rethink heading out.

    Enjoy your birthday holiday. Malaga wine in your future?

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    1. Funnily enough Jon wore that jacket and waistcoat when he dressed up as Adam Ant for a friend's pop star themed fancy dress party back in the noughties (he can't get that jacket on now!)
      Napoleon was fantastic, it's had rave reviews here and even some of our celebrity historians (Lucy Worsley & Dan Snow) have recommended it. I'm sure your husband will love the battle scenes, they're incredible!
      Thanks you - not Malaga - but you're in the right country! xxx

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  3. Saw the trailer for Napoleon last week when my sis and I went to see Killers of the Flower Moon at our little local community cinema (larger than average projector screen and harder than is physically comfortable seating!). For Napoleon we've booked the Everyman! Your postman is a keeper!! Charity Shop prices up here are becoming unrealistic.Have a great weekend xxx

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    1. Oh no the dreaded numb bum syndrome! We're so lucky with our town centre cinema, the Light, it's a lot more intimate and stylishly laid out than the hideous multiplex we used to have to drive to after the powers that be bulldozed our beloved 1930s ABC Cinema back in the 1990s.
      I rather fancy The Killers of The Flower Moon - I'll have to check if its still on, it was released during half term and I always give the cinema a wide berth during the school holidays.
      I can't wait to hear what you thought of Napoleon. Joaquin Phoenix is magnificent and I bet you'll be excited to spot fellow Scot Mark Bonnar! I was thrilled to see Tahar Rahim, he's very easy on the eye and terrified me when he played Charles Sobhraj is The Serpent!
      Our postman is a sweetheart! xxx

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  4. I'll have to go see that movie now.
    I know you like family history ... well we have an association to Napoleon through my son-in-law. His ancestors lived on St Helena and Richard Torbett owned the property next to Longwood where Napoleon lived and died in exile. Napoleon used to take a walk through their land and found the water from their spring to his liking so had that water delivered every day. When he knew he was dying and likely to be buried on St Helena he asked to be buried on that land under the shade of a willow tree where he used to rest. Torbett managed to get a 1200 pound indemnity from the British government and a 50 pound annual fee for allowing the grave there. So the spring water favoured by Napoleon was now flavoured by Napoleon haha.
    Matt's family also have French connections to the French court at those turbulent times. His 5x great grandparents were Jean Baptiste Krumpholz and Anne-Marie Steckler, renowned harpists of the time. After Anne- Marie (or Julia as she was known) nicked off to England with another well known musician, Jean threw himself into the Seine. His daughter Louise-Francoise was adopted by the Duchesse de Bourbon ... so a "step-sister' to Louis Philippe I., King of France from 1830 to 1848.
    It's been quite funny finding all this out about his family. Started looking when my grandson was about to be born 2 years ago and my daughter asked for some family names from Matt's family tree to consider. Well their dog was already named Napoleon so their son is Albert John after his great grandfather born is Victoria, Australia haha

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    1. Hello Amanda! Wow! What brilliant family connections. Poor Napoleon, struggling with his health and resting beneath Richard's willow tree. I love that there's Napoleon flavoured water, that's proper recycling, isn't it?
      Matt's ancestry - talented, musical and passionate. You can't make more of a Gallic statement than chucking yourself in the Seine, can you? Albert John is a very dignified name for your Grandson (I had a cat named Albert!), I love the name Jean- Baptiste, too. xxx

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    2. PS Do let me know what you thought of Napoleon if you get to see it. x

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  5. I'm curious about this film. I love history....and J.P is a great actor. He really is one of the best actors of our generation. Thank you for your recommendation. I really do like your Napoleon inspired outfits. I'm giggling imagining the postman being totally chill with all of it, even a Napoleon outfit does not surprise him. :)

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    1. Hello Ivana. You're right, JP is a wonderful actor, he brings sensitivity & humanity to every character he plays including the murderous Commodus in Ridley Scott's Gladiator. I'd love to know what you thought of Napoleon if you manage to go and see it. xxx

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  6. I'm cracking up over you answering the door like that! I love dressing up for school and travelling on my 2 trains with commuters giving me baffled side-eye!
    You both look fab! I love that you have that jacket and waist coat!
    I'm glad I keep things that others would chuck out. All of our nativity costumes have vanished from school since building works so we are a bit desperate for costumes. A year ago, when the staff room was renovated and decorated, they chucked out ALL our drapes and pieces of material. I rescued several pieces from the recycling and now they are grateful I did as we have at least a few bits of material to start with!
    Your outfits are faaab!!!xx

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    1. Hello Kezzie! I love that you get into the spirit of things and dress up for school, you must be such a well-loved teacher! The jacket and waistcoat has lived through wars, parties and school plays, it's doing well, isn't it?
      I can't believe your nativity costumes have been chucked, if I lived nearer I'd have made it my business to find/make replacement costumes. xxx

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  7. Hahaha! I love the fact that you dressed up for the cinema! I hope you arrived extra early so your fellow cinema goers saw you! Funnily enough, I saw the most beautiful red 1930s military coat in an Antiques Centre the other day. I really wanted it but the price tag was a bit steep!
    I can't wait to see Napoleon. I've wanted to see it since I first saw the trailer. Apparently Dan Snow has got into a bit of a debate with Ridley Scott about historical inaccuracies, although he also said he loved the film.
    We're enjoying The Boat too, although even we thought the violence was a bit gratuitous.
    Loving the suede mini - what a perfect Autumn outfit! xxx

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    1. Hello Claire! We dressed up when we got home, I'd have frozen to death walking down to the cinema in that get-up and I doubt I'd have managed to keep that bicorn hat on my head with the brisk winds we had on Wednesday.
      Some of those military jackets can sell for £££s, I think mine's worth a pretty penny (it was worn during the first Boer War as well as fancy dress parties, school plays and just poncing around in general.
      You'll love Napoleon, he really comes to life in the film, JP portrays him as a flawed but eminently likeable character. I wish Ridley Scott had rewritten history and let him win the Battle of Waterloo! The battle scenes are incredible and Marie Antoinette's execution had me wincing. I know Lucy Worsley loved it, too. The great thing about films like this is that they bring history to life and often you leave the cinema with an awakened passion to find out more. I covered this period in for my history A Level (39 years ago!) but our syllabus concentrated on English political history so I've been researching French history since watching the film.
      Boat Story is very Tarantino-ish when it comes to violence, after a bit you stop noticing the blood and gore! xxx

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  8. Ooh, love this post Vix!! You've certainly brought a smile to my face today! , so much fun dressing up, the postman will have been smiling all the way back to the post office!! I'll definitely try to get down to our local cinema next week!! Love all your outfits, the garden is looking beautiful too! What I love about you too is that you are always discovering and making the most of the wonderful places and experiences to be had on your doorstep! When I lived in the UK as a teenager I always used to say Derby was a real dump with nothing to do. I'm sure I'd look at it with different eyes now!! Sending you lots of love from Barcelona!!! xxx

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    1. I'm delighted that you enjoyed the post, Diane! I hope you manage to get to see Napoleon, it's a wonderful film, so absorbing and an absolute feast for the eyes.
      I love this time of year in the garden, those leaves cover a multitude of sins.
      We don't live in the most picturesque of areas but with a little digging, there's loads of things to see. Even just looking up at the buildings housing the bland high street shops can be fascinating. Sports Direct is located within a marvellous 1920s Egyptian Revival revival with stylised lions heads I bet most residents have never even noticed.
      I've not been to Derby in ages but traded there several times, the Roundhouse is absolutely gorgeous!
      Sending love to sunny Barcelona from a wet and cold wintery Walsall! xxx

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  9. I really like your pink retro dress. It’s so beautiful.
    The combination of each item is so beautiful.
    It’s pink and tender, and it makes people feel brighter just by looking at it~
    https://kristen98094.blogspot.com/2023/11/find-direction-of-your-heart-in-your.html

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    1. Thanks so much, Kristen. It's interesting how people's reactions change depending on the colour I'm wearing, I think you're right about pink! xxx

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  10. Amazing Styling, your homage Outfit looks adorable. Sleek is also a favorite brand, i love your new Items. Thank you so much for the Link, big Hug from Vienna. Happy Weekend

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    1. My pleasure I love your blog! I'm loving the products I've tried so far! xxx

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  11. The new restaurant looks good. You'll be able to create a little bit of the holiday vibe when you're at your wits end with the weather at this time of year. Arilx

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    1. You're not wrong there, Aril, it's a good excuse to leave the house! xxx

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  12. Lovely outfits this week, amazing that you have been able to put napoleonic outfits together, brilliant, especially using belts for Lord Jon!

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    1. Thanks Betty! Those natural earthy block printed colours seem to come into their ow at this time of year, don't they? Strategically placed belts and safety pins were part of my Mum's arsenal for creating school play costumes!
      Hope you're both having a wonderful time in Sri Lanka - the tail-end of the Monsoon caught us out in Tamil Nadu when we visited in November a few years ago. Mind you, at least it's warm rain! xxx

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  13. Am glad to hear you loved the film-it got mixed reviews here, but if film critics are snarky it can mean it's something great.. can't wait to see it..in an actual theatre­čÖé
    Love all these outfits and coats-especially the 'bruise' coat; the colour is so beautiful.
    Oh, and the maxi waistcoat you made-that's so great-love it!

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    1. Hello Stephanie, yes we really enjoyed the film. It's up there with Gladiator as one of Ridley Scott's finest, I think. Much as watching a film at home is enjoyable nothing beats seeing it on the big screen and being fully immersed in the experience, does it?
      I dismissed that bruise-coloured coat as being grey when I first found it but it's far more purple than it first seems and thank you for the kind comments about my soldier waistcoat, those curtains for far too special to end up in landfill! xxx

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  14. Fab outfits as always. I adored the soldier patterned long waistcoat; fantastic! Loved your and Jon's cos play. I'm afraid I was crap mum when it came to costumes for school. I redeemed myself when I dressed middle grandson as a 70s pop star for a school costume event - at least I was around them so it came easy to me!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Napoleon but we won't be going to see it. I think we're going to watch 'Boat Story' tonight it looks like fun!

    Amazing finds in the chazzas. We sell Sleek make up in Barnardo's (I think; I'll check tomorrow) and I've heard the quality is very good.
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! Me and my brother were probably the only kids wearing modified Biba & Victoriana for our school plays. I think it gave Mum the perfect excuse never to have to get rid of anything! Liking the sound of the 1970s pop star outfit.
      I've still got another of those soldier curtains left, one day inspiration will strike and I'll refashion it into something else.
      Napoleon was brilliant - I'd happily go and see it again. It's such a spectacle, I felt a bit cheated emerging from the cinema to discover I was back in the 21st century, i expected 19th century France!
      Boat Story was darkly comic, just my kind of thing.
      Banardos had a lot of Models Inc makeup when the company bust a few years go. Sleek stuff's great, really intense colours that last all day. I hope you get some! xxx

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  15. Hi Vix, many thanks for sharing your absolute love and boundless enthusiasm for dressing up and having fun everyday with clothes. I particularly love the beautiful shades of your block print dresses and the quilted jackets all topped by gorgeous hats etc. We all need some colour in these dark and drab days.
    I particularly like your suede coats. I wore my lovely ‘ Jigsaw’ brown one (charity shopped) last week to go to see a Spanish film. My mother pleaded with me not to as she feared I would ruin it. Nonsense! Beautiful things are meant to be worn. I used to have a fairly similar suede skirt to yours as a child in the 70s that my mum bought for me from ‘ Freeman’s’ catalogue. Sadly it was far too big for me and I never wore it. I must find myself another one now. I love the styles of the early 70s ( and the music too).

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    1. Thanks so much, Alysia! Clothes should be fun, shouldn't they? I hate it when women become obsessed with the endless hamster wheel of fashion and feel the need to constantly reinvent themselves every season instead of having fun with what they already own and knowing immediately what will work in their wardrobes when they spot in second hand regardless of whether it's in or not!
      I'm so glad you worn that divine sounding suede coat to the cinema, I expect the previous owner was afraid to wear it and mess it up and that's why you ended up snaffling it for a brilliant price. You're so right, clothes should be worn, what's a tiny mark in the grand scheme of things?
      Freeman's catalogue? How many hours did I waste drooling over the clothes in it?! Good luck with your quest to find your replacement skirt. If only we had a time machine to transport us back to the early 1970s for a shopping spree, eh? xxx

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  16. The Napoleon movie does sound amazing but I was a bit disappointed to read in a review, that the actress who Josephine is 14 years younger than Joaquin Phoenix, 49, who plays Napoleon. Apparently Josephine was in fact 6 years older than Napoleon. Gotta love Hollywood misogyny! No way they could find any gorgeous 55 year olds actresses who could play the role.

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    1. Hello Susie June. Its a fantastic film. The age thing hadn't occurred to me until I read your comment, I'm useless at guessing people's ages and wouldn't have known Vanessa Kirby was 14 years younger than Joaquin Phoenix . The age difference was acknowledged in the film during Napoleon and Josephine's wedding ceremony but I hadn't thought to look up either actor's dates of birth when I got home.
      You're right though, there's hardly a shortage of fabulous 55 year female talent. Mind you, I knew the film got criticised for using an actor significantly older than Napoleon during the height of his powers.
      I'm 7 years older than he is, maybe I should have popped down and offered my services when Ridley Scott filming it in the UK? xxx

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  17. we tried to watch the boat drama couldnt get on with the narating only watched about a quarter and turned it off , that makeup was a bargain too , that pendent on my blog you thought was a fish was the back of the pendent i have updated it with a photo of the front of the pendent now as i missed that one out and the reverse carved brooch , still getting back into the swing of things lol xxx

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    1. I loved the narration, I know its not everyone's cup of tea but I found it really funny.
      Really pleased with the make-up, there was more but the colours were a bit wishy-washy so I thought I'd leave that for another lucky shopper. xxx

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  18. You look fabulous.. as always. Hoping we get a change to go and see the movie.

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    1. Thanks Hena! I hope you get to see Napoleon! xxx

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  19. Wonderful dressing up, I think I'll have to watch the movie now.

    I love seeing your outfits and especially love your purple boots... how dreamy!

    Have a wonderful birthday when it is your special day. X

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  20. Ooh, I do love a bit of cosplay! You and Lord Jon both look amazing, but I'm afraid you "win" with that 19th century jacket! I love seeing all your thrifted finds - just amazing what's out there!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! Jon was intending to wear the jacket but couldn't get it on, he's blaming swimming for broadening his shoulders - it fitted him 10 years ago! xxx

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  21. I'm eyeing that fake leopard fur coat in the montage... and wishing it hung on a rail closer to home. We just had a record low temp for November and I'm feeling the need for fur. I've very mixed feelings on the wearing of real fur: Once wore a silver faux fox chubby to a radio remote and a local menaced me with catsup and mustard squirt containers from the craft services table. (My mother's full-skin mink wrap ended its useful life lining the basket of an ancient cat. No mixed feelings there!)

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    1. Hi Beth! That fake leopard coat is fabulous, my Mum would have taken that off my hands the minute she'd have laid eyes on that. I struggle with real fur, too - I know it's better for the environment than its faux counterpart and I've no problem wearing suede, leather and sheepskin/goatskin but can't bring myself to wear fur. I don't have any problem with anyone wearing vintage fur but to assuage my guilt I always donate the profits to my favourite cat rescue charities. xxx

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  22. Wow! How many vintage treasures have you found on Ebay, I really liked your boho style dresses, I haven't gone to see Napoleon yet but I really want to go to the cinema to see that movie.

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    1. Thanks so much, Rebecca! UK eBay is so good for finding fabulous vintage garments.
      I hope you get to see Napoleon, it's worth the visit for the costumes alone! xxx

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  23. Ha! Love the idea of the postie being greeted by a Napoleon lookie-likee and not batting an eyelid. I thought my postie did well not recoiling in mock-horror at my wildly unbrushed hair and make up free face. The film looks good, I do love a sweeping historical epic. Reminds me of when I was a kid and those were the kind of films broadcast on a Sunday afternoon. Best wishes, Valerie x

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    1. The film is fabulous, Valerie! I agree, I loved those Sunday afternoon epics, too! xxx

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  24. I usually like Joaquin Pheonix in most things, and I do love a historical drama so I probably do need to make the effort to go see this. The Greek restaurant sounds like a good addition to the town. The same thing happens in Scarborough though, people moan there's nowhere to go, something opens and then it closes a few months later because no one went. Bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. That Sleek makeup is usually quite nice, I've used it a few times myself. Enjoy the rest of the week, we're quivering in snow and barely above freezing temperatures up here in the North. xx

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    1. It's a great film, Louise and JP is exceptional, making Napoleon a flawed but likeable character and of course, its a visual feast.
      Oh yes, the constant moaning about how there's nothing to do and nowhere to go and when something opens nobody does anything to support it.
      Sleek makeup's really good, I'm a big fan of their creme blush but haven't tried their eyeshadows or concealer before - both are excellent! xxx

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  25. You two are hilarious! Love the cosplay, and the fact that the post man didn't even bat an eyelid :) :) :) xXx

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Thanks for reading and for leaving a message. Please don't be anonymous, I'd love it if you left a name (or a nom de plume).

Lots of love, Vix