Thursday, June 16, 2022

Long Days, Barley Haze, Saves and Stranger Things

Who doesn't love a jumble sale?  Well, you're in the right place, because after a hectic week of hospital visits, phone calls, show preparations, appointments, charity shop drops, errands and website updating, I've barely had time to come up for air and so, this post will comprise disparate memories of the last couple of weeks - snatched moments here and there; a veritable blog jumble if you will. 

Lotte has been on form, delivering mice to our door step, dropping them on the ground - eyes fixed firmly on us - and gesturing towards them with her head, only to discover that the prize has scurried away to freedom.  So far, so cute...but not so much when she repeats the same trick inside the house.  I mentioned this recently, but last Friday night after a particularly stressful day, any chance of unwinding was swiftly undone by the furry fruit loop!  After endless re-arranging of furniture and lifting of sofas to track down the little rodent, our efforts finally paid off!

I did manage to get a hastily taken outfit photo at some point.  Here I am attempting a rock chick look with a charity shopped waistcoat by Kinshasha born fashion designer Olivier Strelli, which has languished for too long on my clothes rail without seeing the light of day. 

I know very little about the designer, other than the scant Wiki information which confirms that from 1974, Olivier based himself in Brussels and that his full line collection was shown in Paris in 1980.  Famous clients include Brigitte Bardot and the Rolling Stones.  However, the waistcoat, whilst not something I would normally gravitate towards, did somehow catch my eye and I've decided it's a keeper.  

I teamed the aubergine coloured waistcoat with a basic navy and white T-shirt, a green Anokhi scarf and accessorised the outfit with a vintage silver amulet and smoky quartz pendant.  The very messy bun was quite deliberate you understand and not as a result of a really bad hair day.

We managed to squeeze in one walk as I recall; a leisurely amble along peaceful country lanes and farm tracks...

...and through barley fields - one of my favourite things to photograph.  

In the first image, I tried to capture the gentle sway of the barley in the breeze.  Coincidentally, during a mammoth sort out, I discovered some old photos, including this one I had taken of our son many moons ago (how can he now be less than a year away from adulthood?), wandering through barley...

...and again now.  Sorry, a glimpse is all we get these days.  Time and tide waits for no man (or woman).

It's occurred to me that I have failed to share my recent thrifting and charity shop finds, so here goes.

First up, a Chinese silk jacket.  I've been looking for an unstructured blazer, but can't bear the fabric on most of the ones I have seen.  Pure silk will do just fine.  It's not exactly unstructured, but I like the length and colour (teamed with my old faithful cotton maxi) and it's not something you stumble across every day!  Cost?  £4.95.

With all the recent inclement weather, I have been on the lookout for a new waterproof.  This olive green Top Shop waterproof was just the ticket.  Naturally, rain disappeared from the forecast as soon as I handed over my cash and we are now in the midst of a heat wave with weather warnings of a very different kind.

A short, but cute Cath Kidston dressing gown for the princely sum of £3.00.

A Whistles denim shirt - an eBay score for a tiny fraction of its original price.

Gareth sourced (a fancy term for "skip diving") some vintage glass sweet shop jars (two with Bakelite lids)...

 housing pasta and rice on the kitchen counter.

Oh, and not forgetting this pair of collectible 1950s Czech bullet lens vases designed by Rudolf Schrotter and widely sold across Europe in an array of rainbow colours, even gracing the shelves of the beloved and sorely missed UK high street store Woolworths.  Just feel the weight of them.  Go on!

Kicking back at night, we've been sampling the delights of Stranger Things and I'm thrilled that Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill is now hurtling towards number 1 off the back of episode 1.  

I'm not sure what I find more amusing/irritating about this season of Stranger Things; the fact that teenagers across the globe are now "introducing" their parents to Kate Bush, or the incredibly cheesy dialogue between the show's main characters.  Really, did any of us display such sparkling wit at such a young age?  I suppose it depends on whether or not you ran with the cool kids.  I'm guessing it's also part of the producers homage to 1980s cinema.  Having a smart mouth, white socks and a whiter smile, was a must for protagonists of American teen movies back in the day.

Talking of all things 1980s, check out this Delorean, parked up outside The Navigation Pub on the return leg of our aforementioned walk.   

In the garden we have spotted what we think are orange fox-and-cubs - native to alpine regions of central and southern Europe - popping up in various places, including amongst the wild geraniums.

The terrifying triffid that is the Gunnera Manicata, is also looming, dangerously close to the safety of the house.  Gareth can't resist a Gunnera.  

After years of enslavement to the thirsty beast during summer months in the garden, fear not!  This time, we have wisely curbed its invasive tendencies by planting it in a container, where it seems quite content, more shaded, less thirsty and hopefully less inclined to sting and consume us!  (Flip flops are mine - carelessly cast aside - not the rejected parts of some unsuspecting Little Shop of Horrors-style victim).

That's all for this week folks.  I'll leave you with a short video of our other stranger thing. Turn the sound up!


  1. Sounds like you've been even busier than me these last few weeks! I do love a jumble of snatched moments, though. We haven't let Bess venture into the garden yet, as we're close to a busy crossroads, but our previous cat Phoebe used to "lose" live mice inside too. She was at her best, though, when she brought back earthworms and dropped them on the carpet :)
    Your Olivier Strelli waistcoat is a stunner, and I'm loving both your and Gareth's latest finds. Those vases are particularly swoon worthy!
    If there's anything that captures the spirit of Summer, it must be barley fields. How sweet is that photo of your son as a young child, and how bittersweet the passing of time. Will have to watch that video on my phone later, it doesn't seem to be working on my laptop ... xxx

    1. Earthworms? We're supposed to be grateful for these gifts too. :-D Thanks Ann. We snatched them off the shelf as soon as we spotted the glass vases! I find looking at old photos is always bittersweet. I shouldn't, but I do feel a little sad when I think how quickly the time has passed. Hopefully the video will work for you. xxx

  2. so you are responsible for the lack of rain lately.....
    mice should get eaten - not left to disturb the household in the middle of the night - send lotte to lisbeth for boot camp..... love your barley shots and i´m glad you could squeeze in a leisurely walk and some treasure hunting - great finds in clothes and glass things!! you´r a fab rock chick!

    1. Thanks! I apologise for the dry weather. I'll go and buy a parasol - that should sort it! :-D I've booked Lotte a plane ticket! xxx

  3. Hello Claire, of course I'm here for the good jumble sale :) What a sweet little mouse! Well done for catching and saving it. The barley field pictures are just gorgeous. Ol' Glass Eyed Mumrah's had one of those lovely bullet vases in the past, so I know how heavy they are. You are rocking the waistcoat. I look either like David Essex or a magician why I try one on :0

    I can't wait to see Stranger Things 4 - but Monsieur is making me wait until our eleven year old can watch the whole lot with us in the holidays (surely eleven has to be the best age to start?). I may secretly watch it by myself. We've already had one spoiler thanks to the bloomin' BBC News last night!!!!!!!!!! They could have just said the Kate Bush song (which by the way, is one of my favourite songs) has enjoyed a revival due to a pivotal scene in the series. They didn't have to SHOW the scene and EXPLAIN IT before we had chance to lurch for the remote. I will never forgive them for this! Honestly, no where is safe! Huff & puff, rant over ;) That Delorean car is just fab. Love it. Take care m' pickle xXx

    1. I'm sure you don't look like David Essex, or a magician. :-D Eleven is the perfect introductory age for Stranger Things. I also saw that bloody spoiler too. I can't believe they did that! We're a couple of episodes behind, as we like to savour a series and not binge watch. I was very disappointed in the Beeb for that! It's one of my favourite songs of all time too. I'm way more excited by Kate reaching number one than Tom Cruise's ego trip being the number one film! xxx


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