Whenever you are looking for a (holiday) home and you see one in a nice green area, be aware that the area is green for a reason. That reason being: it rains a lot. Like in the Netherlands which has many green trees. Some summers, like the one just past and the one two years ago, were hot with hardly any rain and it brought on all sorts of problems. Like saltwater streaming into the rivers, foundations of houses cracking, dikes crumbling. Very nasty things. We are prepared for rain, not for drought.
We are also not prepared anymore for flooding which happens a lot these days. Clearly the climate is changing. In the old days a very wide strip of land on either side of the rivers was left bare to handle flooding. Then we managed the water so well, we got cocky and started building houses on these strips of land. Not such a good idea. They will probably find a way to manage it again as the Dutch are good with water but still, these are strange and scary times.
Kitty had a few hours on a Tuesday to do a photo shoot and it rained cats and dogs that morning. We went anyway, hoping for a dry spell.
Below: To give you an idea of the weather, watch this 37 seconds’ video.
If you are not British and are wondering what “brass monkey’s weather” means, here is the explanation.
It is used to describe cold weather and the saying derives from the traditional Navy phrase “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”. This references the brass structure or ‘monkey’ where cannon balls were stacked. When I was 22, I worked for 2 1/2 years with English people in The Hague, who didn’t know a word of Dutch and I picked up quite a lot of slang.
We sat in the parked car for an hour before the worst rain was gone.
Below: I took my wonky but big umbrella and ventured out. It was much worse for Kitty who was standing in the drizzle with her valuable camera. The earrings are by Lara Design (as usual).
Below: From across the small canal. The bag is a second-hand one. Bought at Vintage No 5 in Alkmaar (for the Dutch). When I bought my neon pink and neon yellow tops in this shop, I saw the bag winking at me (I swear). It is a Mulberry Bayswater Bronze Metallic for those who know these things. It is shiny and I love shiny things. I weighed all the pros and cons (the latter was just the price) and decided it would be a very handy bag which would go with nearly anything as it is metallic. That turned out not to be true. The bag is an attention seeker. You have to be careful it isn’t competing with other items in your outfit. I still love it though. It wasn’t cheap, but a hell of a lot cheaper than new and in very good condition.
Below: We had fun.
The blazer is a second-hand oversized men’s blazer, although small size. I bought it at a second-hand designers shop in Haarlem (again for the Dutch: Paragons). As an oversized men’s blazer is highly fashionable, I thought I’d try my hand at it and tried on a blazer at random. Pretty oversized. The owner of the shop replied that I was wearing the wrong size when I complained that it made me look like a man. “Try this Kenzo blazer”, she said handing me the one I ended up buying. I loved it immediately. Because there was a slight damage on one of the cuffs, it was very reasonably priced. The damage was no issue for me as I always roll up my sleeves.
The shirt is my husband’s heh heh heh.
Below: I like to stand nonchalantly when I am dressed like this: boyfriend jeans, trainers (sneakers) and an oversized blazer. Kitty gave me permission. That’s a first. Usually she shouts: “I want to see your hand!”
Below: It might be a small size for men, but it is still oversized for me as you can see by the shoulders.
Below: The little antique pocket watch has been in my possession since 1994. I used to have vests with little watch pockets but gave them all away. With this blazer I put the watch in my top pocket which is not really right and a bit dangerous. When you bend down, it falls out and dangles on the chain.
Below: I could wind it but, as I hadn’t used it for a very long time, I couldn’t figure out how to set the hands to the right time. I tried to pull the winding button at the top but it didn’t give and somewhere in my memory was this little voice warning me.
Now, where do you find someone who can tell you how to work an antique pocket watch? Watchmaker is a dying profession.
I got lucky though. Last week I saw an old man in my street of whom I knew he had worked in a little shop with watches and clocks. I asked him and he knew!
See the little black thingy on the outside of the watch, the one above 1 o’clock? You have to push that with your nail and then you can change the handles with the winding button. As soon as he said “the little black thingy”, my memory came back.
Below: Standing on a bench for a change. It gives you a good view of the bag.
Below: Someone has been drying his sports clothes on this bench haha. Some other time bro.
Below: The arm of this bench wasn’t as wet as the rest, so I could put my tush on it. Checking the sky to see whether it would rain again.
We had half an hour and that was it.
Below: Getting drops of water from the tree on my head.
Below: Close-up of the shirt embroidery and the blazer fabric.
Below: Here she is again. My fearless and highly skilled photographer, Kitty.
It is like it always is. When we think it is going to be a terrible photo shoot, it turns out to be fab.
Below: This is what it could have looked like grrrr. I took this iPhone photo the next day when it was beautiful weather.
What happened in my life this week
Saturday was another great day with Anke and Sabine (the three of us are the Shopping Saturday ‘group’). We shopped in Amsterdam and the weather was beautiful. Sabine took 295 photos which I have to reduce to a much, much smaller number for a blog post. I am now down to 50 and will keep on ‘killing my darlings’.
Below: Of course I cannot show you the photos we took as that is for a blog post, but this one of a street in Amsterdam gives you an idea of the mood. I so love Amsterdam.
Sunday Ron put a new bolt on mum’s front door. She can now open the door a crack and the bolt will prevent a person entering without her permission. Below: we played Rummikub again.
Monday was a very quiet day. Fitness, washing my hair, blogging and having the front door open all day as it was being painted. Brrrr…so cold.
Tuesday Kitty and I did a photoshoot in a park (or as I call it: ‘in the woods’). We had a jolly good time and chatted far too long, totally enjoying ourselves.
Wednesday was a quiet day again and the painters finished the work on the front of the house. They did a beautiful job. The door was open or ajar the whole day…pretty cold, even though the sun was shining.
Thursday, the day of my eyelid operation. It was a cinch. The actual operation lasted 10 minutes. Of course the anaesthetic injections weren’t really fun but the hurt was about 10% of the injections I had with the same operation 28 years ago. That has improved in time.
Below: This is how it looked the next day. With my reading glasses on, you’d hardly notice it. Of course, a red lippie helps.
I am very proud of myself for figuring out how to create a collage in Photoshop Elements the way I wanted it to look. Funny how such a silly little thing can make you feel so good about yourself.
Friday was recovery day. Dressed in comfortable clothes, creating blog posts with a cold patch on my eyes now and then. The first day I used the cold patch for 15 minutes every hour to keep the swelling down. Doing this the next day is probably useless but it feels nice.
You have inspired me to get out my oversized blazer after a couple of years’ storage and try it again this year. Thank you. What about your high top sneakers? Any info on where I could try for similar?
Glad I saved you money. Shopping your own wardrobe is always the best (although I am horrible at that).
My high top sneakers are Zadig & Voltaire, which means grossly overpriced. I had looked for high top sneakers for months and couldn’t find a pair that I liked. Until I saw these. So I paid the price.
But…Ecco should have them as well and they make excellent sneakers for a much better price.
I love this casual look, I love seeing you in jeans and I personally find the combination of a blazer, shirt and jeans to be the most beautiful basic. And you dress it with grace and style this outfit. You know I like elegant and very feminine looks, but I also love this one in particular, it’s one of my favorite looks.
Oh wow, thanks Josep-Maria. That is quite a compliment. This Sunday you will see a skirt again.
Just realized that I missed your blog post this week as we were away for the weekend. I love the blazer look and the way you are wearing the antique watch and chain. Your bag is gorgeous, but you are so right about metallics. I have several metallic bags which I thought would go with everything. Not so, as you say! I’m still working out what looks best with each.
Golden shoes and boots or even better silver shoes and boots do go with nearly everything, bag are a bit more tricky. But if they do go, they create a great impact. Have fun with working it out.
Considering the weather was very wet, you got some fabulous photos! I love the rain…it’s actually threatening here today. I hope it does, because we desperately need it!
As for your outfit, I ABSOLUTE LOVE IT!!! In fact, I might have to do a style steal on the blog next week. I’m going to see if I can recreate it myself! Shame I don’t have such a lovely location (or my own photographer) for the photos though lol! Can you send Kitty over to Portugal?! LOL!
I don’t think Kitty would mind (all expenses paid of course haha), but she has her work and two kids, so I am afraid it is a lost cause.
You must have lovely locations in Portugal if you drive a short while. It is such a beautiful country.
And about doing a style steal…go ahead; I am very curious to see what you come up with. Don’t forget to raid your husband’s wardrobe.
I LOVE the pocket watch element of this outfit, Greetje! I am a fan of oversized menswear blazers, since my first ones were taken out of my dad’s closet in the mid-80s when I was a teen! And you got a lovely Kenzo one, too, well done. The bag is fabulous – it looks very much like a fancy Birkin – and the colour is stupendous!
Sorry to hear about the wacky weather – we’re currently in the longest drought we have EVER experienced in Canada, and some areas of the “wet” coast are now having to put in water restrictions as drinking water is getting sparse! Not in my city, but still! We could use the rain…
Good to see your mum – she looks like a sharp game player!
It is a strange, mixed-up world. You could use the rain, we could do without it. Having said that, I think that is not true. I could do without it, the land cannot.
Ron gave away two suits to my nephew a couple of years ago, who is now returning them. Next Sunday I can pick them up from my mother’s house and see whether I can wear them haha.
And yes, my mum is a sharp game player.
Great outfit, preppy, but modern. The pocket watch makes it quite special.
Did I hit the jackpot this time? I was so pleased I could use my pocket watch again.
Great photo shoot! The outfit and the photographer are wonderful. But, as you said your “other photographers” are very good too. See you next week. 😉
Yep. But I will credit Kitty for having the photography skills AND the creative eye. She is good.
Till next week.
Great photo shoot!
You look like a college kid with great style!
I wonder whether this is a compliment hahaha. If I look like a college kid at the age of 68, isn’t that a matter of mutton dressed up as lamb? You can be honest with me Veronica, I don’t get hurt easily. I am Dutch, we can take it on the chin.
I love this outfit and the photo shoot turned out fabulously in spite of the rain! It must be so much fun to work with someone like Kitty. Your antique pocket watch is also gorgeous and so unique.
I’m glad that your eyelid surgery is done and hope that it’s healing well.
I should also mention that I took inspiration from you for my last Fashion Friday post. I hope you’ll take a look if you haven’t seen it already.
It is indeed fun to work with Kitty but all the other photographers are friends too, so it is always fun. But I’ll give Kitty the credits for taking great photos. She is highly skilled. Not everybody can turn out photos like this.
I am now over to your blog to read your post.
Another great outfit, so flattering and youthful.
You are very kind Linda. Thank you very much. I am quite pleased with it myself and it is comfortable as well (big plus).
I really like this outfit – you look great!
Glad your eye surgery went well. I look forward to seeing how it looks after you’ve healed. I would love to do my lids, but I would also have to do the bags under my eyes, and I’m just too chicken! Oh well…
Have a great week.
I have seen under the eye surgery twice and both times it wasn’t that good. Of course that is no real research, just my experience. Could it not be an option that they drain the fluid from the bags with a needle? (You can guess that this is not a professional speaking, can’t you?)