Monday 28 August 2017

August Outings and a Suitable Hat for an Adventure.

August is going out on a high, I'm sitting here typing in 27 degrees, the first proper hot weather since that mental week way back in early June. It really has been a miserable summer weather-wise hasn't it?  but I'm ever hopeful this will hold out for another couple of weeks for our annual jaunt to Bournemouth.

So what have I been up too this month? As ever time seems to have galloped by and thankfully after last month's mad frenzy I haven't been spending none stop!

Sadly for my wardrobe but not for my pocket one of the Collectif dresses had to go back. This one in fact.
Whilst the others fitted perfectly this one was so small I couldn't even get it on let alone attempt to zip it up. It never ceases to amaze me how the same dress size can vary so dramatically within one company! At least reflect it on the size chart people, or maybe to be fair it was wrongly labelled.

My only clothing purchases this month have been a pair of leggings and a lovely olive green cardigan from M&S. I was actually looking for new plates at the time but they didn't have anything I liked.

Talking of the wardrobe as I never have the time to do a one in one out when I buy stuff I tend to have a day of taking everything out and sorting through it. With my main wardrobe I do find I keep putting the things I wear back in the middle so items get pushed to each side and forgotten about.

I'm still using up random leave at work and have been taking Thursdays and Fridays to make long weekends so one grey and miserable week I did my main wardrobe first and my second wardrobe a week later. I Ebayed and charity shopped a few things, in fact I'm quite proud of the fact my second wardrobe now shuts with ease and isn't rammed full to the point of danger. It tends to house my going out dresses or special occasion dresses so I don't go in there that often if I'm honest and here is confession time. I have become that person I read about and always smugly think 'well at least I'm not as bad as that'

I am thoroughly ashamed to say not only did I have a couple of dresses still with the price tag on. I actually had one still with the tag but absolutely no recollection of where or when I purchased it. I have never done that before and I feel pretty dreadful. Out of control purchasing well it's a slippery slope and not one I want to head down, been close once, never again.
Anyway here it is (in a crumpled heap) after being worn and it fits perfectly thankfully. The only downside is a side zip fastening with a very rough edge at the top that was bloody painful under my arm by the end of the day so I need to do something about that, hmmm I hate side zip fasteners.
The other thing I was cross with myself over was a dress hanging up with make-up all over the straps, usually I always check things before they go back in the cupboard and clean as appropriate, it's so much easier to do when a stain or mark is fresh. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to get out....
Anyway I've had a stern word with myself, the dresses that stayed live to fight another day and I have made some pennies on the ones that didn't, so all is good.

Soo and I got together for a day out, we decided to go to Henley on Thames. She's never been and apart from a flying visit a few years back for some emergency dental treatment over the Christmas break  it's been many a year since I was there.
We were so busy yapping as we left the house I forgot my camera. Oh well I thought never mind, until I got there and was reminded how damn beautiful the place is and then basically spent the whole day cursing myself every time a lovely photo op occurred, which was often!

I may go back with the Mater as she has expressed an interest in seeing the town again too so if I do I will take pictures galore. In the meantime I nicked a couple of the internets!
We basically just ambled about going into any shop that took our fancy as well as looking in the beautiful little church and walking alongside the river. We did note there are A LOT of estate agents in the town, I don't understand how it can support quite so many, so we looked in the windows of most of them and played money no object, because frankly you need to pretty much be a multi-millionaire to live here.
It was one of those days where the sky keeps letting rip with a sudden torrential downpour of either rain or hail and the first time it happened we dived into 'The Vintage Look' a quirky mix of antique and retro household items. I ended up spending my left over birthday money on this mad dog because it made me laugh every time I looked at it.
We googled the artist when I got home (as you do) and it turns out to actually be a thing, and I got it for a good price as it goes!

Another rain pit stop was in Tudor House Antiques, what a place!!!
On our visit instead of baskets in the windows upstairs there was a half shop dummy, bosoms pressed to the glass which was somewhat distracting!

You walk in and every single inch of space from floor to ceiling is rammed full! You have to turn sideways to get through some parts and upstairs having to literally bend myself double under the low beams whist tiptoeing on a narrow staircase where each tread was so piled with stuff on each side you could only just fit your foot in the gap between certainly added a frisson of danger to my visit.
It certainly led to a jokey camaraderie with the other customers as you tried to find a spot to squeeze into so they could ease past you, especially as you often keep bumping (literally) into the same person again and again as you go round.
The other mad thing about the place that Soo pointed out was there wasn't a speck of dust. All these shelves piled floor to ceiling and someone clearly kept them spotless. what a job!
Anyway despite all that it's a bloody amazing place and we had a fab time poking about to our hearts content. I also made my next random purchase of the day.

A vintage pith helmet, because, why not?
I'm not actually sure where or when I shall wear it but it fits perfectly and is in near perfect condition. I do have these mad moments of impulse and frankly have learnt to just go with them, I offered the guy £20 for it because that was all the cash I had on my person and he accepted so that was that.

I also had my annual trip to the Stonor Park Craft Fair with Mum this weekend. I went home with her after work of Friday and had a lovely dinner at The Red Lion  then we were up early for the craft fair the next day.
It wasn't as big or as busy as previous years but actually that made for a pleasant day because it was so much easier to get about. I bought a couple of things.
 I'm definitely going through more of  a nautical phase than usual right now!

An owl for the garden reduced to £20 and a Monkey Puzzle Tree reduced to £9. I have always wanted a Monkey Puzzle so even though I don't have my own garden to put it in (which I always maintained would be the prompt to finally buy one) I bought it anyway. You can grow them in pots and who knows what the future will bring? (better start playing the lottery....)

We also sat in the sun and listened to The Haywood Sisters
who we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Anyway today we are planning to go for a walk and enjoy the last glorious day of the bank holiday so I better get my arse in gear. I shall leave you with my only bag purchase this month and one that came from an actual retail shop no less, something that does not happen often!
Bought in New Look for £8 in their sale.

Friday 4 August 2017

July. The Highs, The Lows, The Epic Purchases.

Well that was July, it certainly had it's moments and frankly I could have done without them, but as thankfully it wasn't all bad, I'm not going to think, about or talk about, the shit stuff.

The fact I am sick right now and displaying all the usual signs of being run down (let's just say my currently look is bubonic plague chic) means some TLC is due fast. When my body does this to me I have learnt to listen.

So on to good things. I had a great day out shopping with Soo and a lovely dinner out with friends, who surprised me with a belated birthday bottle of prosecco on the table when I arrived. My friends are the best.

I also finally managed to take some of my holiday time, I am seriously in danger of losing it as the academic leave year ends in September!?! I had squirreled 2 weeks away anticipating another house move but as we have put that off for a year I had those 2 weeks to play with.

I had great plans for my week off, great plans, I'm sure your guessing by now I didn't achieve them, AT ALL. Well maybe one or two.
I got one day out in the garden
I *finally* cleared the path right to the bottom of the garden, it's only taken a year. Now I just have to start moving sideways to the left.....
How gorgeous is this clematis that now has the room to flower and flourish?
Also how awesome is this spinning seagull Himself bought me in Penzance? He's been going great guns in the miserable weather we have had lately

It was my Mother's birthday so I took her out for lunch, it rained so we sat inside the lovely riverside pub we had chosen and I ate delicious macaroni cheese. I ate it again the next day as it goes, also with Mother but this time at a garden centre.
When I think on the fact I had decided to eat sensibly on my week off, I actually ended up pretty much eating my body weight in cheese.
But as it was my birthday the week before and, are you sitting down? I did not eat any cake!?!*&!%! I guess I was allowed to make up for it with much cheese.

Whilst I was out with Mum I bought some wine. Now to set the scene my Dad really knows a thing or two about wine. Not in a pretentious wine snob anything less than £20 a bottle is beneath me way. But he was good with wine and I don't think he ever bought a bad bottle. He tried to teach me but sadly it wasn't to be.

I still go out and buy wine because I like the look of the label or because it's on an offer. It's safe to say over the years I have bought MANY bad bottles.
No prizes for guessing what made me choose this bottle!
It was Himself who bothered to read the label
and then took great delight in pointing out the 'wine based drink' on the back, I opened it with a sinking heart. As it goes, well chilled, it wasn't that bad. I've had better and I've certainly had worse. Having said that I don't think I'll be buying it again.

I finally sorted my cds since moving a year ago. yes, yes they are alphabetical, come on now, I'm an ex-librarian for god's sake.
I made random discoveries like Nephew Number One *still* has all bar one of my Gary Numan cds and apparently I have 5 Placebo albums even though I have always assumed I don't really like them. Hmm.

I also finally took myself into Oxford outside of work hours and to the Ashmolean Museum to visit their Raphael exhibition.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, both from the point of view of the fabulous and fascinating exhibits themselves and the deep joy of wandering round people watching and shamelessly eavesdropping their conversations. Bliss.

It reminded me just how dreadfully long it is since I last sat and just sketched random things around me. I got a £5 voucher from Paperchase for my birthday so this week I used it to buy a lovely A5 sketch book (and a unicorn keyring with the left over!)

So here we are in August so I shall end this blog with my July purchases. It's going to take a while so sit back, put up you feet and marvel at my epic spending....

I shall begin with a couple of gifts to ease you in.
Birthday brooches
Birthday deer. Spotted by Himself in Penzance, I am beyond thrilled with this beautiful gift. Himself knows me well.

Ok so I did also buy some bits in the Accessorize sale (not pictured.) two nautical style scarves, a pearl bead choker and cherry print socks as I recall.

July was going ok, I had managed to resist various sales I was quite pleased with myself, then I got an email saying the Collectif sale had started........

The frock I have been stalking on their website was in said sale but dear readers I resisted! Oh yes, I held my nerve and sure enough I got an exclusive 'extra 30% off' email not long after. Well as you can imagine that frock hit the checkout faster than Usain Bolt out of the blocks. I still haven't got over missing out on the burgandy tartan one in January!
This is it
My holiday frock for Bournemouth, if I can hold out that long that is. As it goes it actually isn't stretch cotton like my other Dolores dresses but Jute?? I don't think I've worn jute since the sack race at infant school, but I'm game for such a delicious frock!
Oh and I may also have purchased another colourway at the same time, you know saves on postage and all that.
I wore it to work this week and I am seriously in love. having said that I do need to adjust the elastic in the sleeves because at the moment they are so tight I was losing the circulation in my armpits.

I ordered something from the Hell Bunny sale but they couldn't find it in stock so they refunded me and I bought this dress from another website sale instead. It's very red and orange and it makes me very happy.
I also bought a necklace and earring set which I repainted when it arrived
much nicer than the weird metallic paint effect it originally was. I thought that was it and my purchasing for July was done until I got ANOTHER exclusive Collectif email to say all sale items had an extra 50% off.
"Hmm" thought I "I'll just have another wee look, what harm could it possibly do?"

These may have arrived on Monday......

Just in case you think I'm neglecting my handbag purchasing skills, think again
£2.80 for this cute little 60's box bag.

Finally the best until last. To set the scene; I had to dive into town for some bits and pieces the other Sunday. On the way home I have to pass the British Heart Foundation shop and unlike most other charity shops it is open on a Sunday. This bag was directly in my eyeline through the open door. I literally burst in, snatched it up and galloped to the till, startling the bored looking hipster serving who clearly thought I was completely insane. Did I care? No way Jose! and especially not for £3.49

Behold this glorious, glorious piece of  1980's.
How magnificent?