Outfit of the day 20/01/20

It was so crisp and sunny today as we set off for yet another hospital appointment. Just the right weather for my gorgeous Liberty of London cashmere and silk shawl. It has such beautiful colours and is so lovely to wear, with its warm and snuggly feel.

I had to have some tests for my heart, which are linked back to the occasion in August when I was taken into hospital by ambulance after having a scary incident. The tests were rather uncomfortable and messy, but I continue to be so grateful for the NHS and the wonderful practitioners I have been so fortunate to meet. When we have the results of all of the various investigations, I will write it up on here.

This was today’s outfit…

Outfit of the day 20/01/20 with Liberty’s Hera shawl

Today’s outfit:

  • Radiant Navy cotton short sleeved top – Lands’ End.
  • Radiant Navy cotton crew neck cardigan – Lands’ End.
  • Navy stretch cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Cobalt blue crystal and silver earrings – Sonrisa Boutique.
  • Blue and cream enamel and crystal Owl bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Cream enamel Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Cashmere and silk shawl, 140cm, in blue, purple, lilac and navy – Hera – Liberty of London. Folded into a triangle and draped around the neck.

The outfit was finished off with my navy leather Hotter shoes (as we expected quite a long walk from the hospital car park), my waterproof navy jacket and the wonderful dark blue Africa leather Massaccesi Selene handbag. What a lot of navy!

I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to let the January sales pass by without purchasing something – I don’t have the willpower! Let’s hope it arrives before Friday’s post and that it fits! No more hints from me, though – LOL!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 17/01/20

I did it! We went out together on Tuesday!

It’s funny really. Only a couple of years ago, I was laughing on this blog at the thought that visiting a garden centre was the highlight of my week. At that time, Lovely Husband and I would drive out on an afternoon, several days per week, to walk around one of our many local garden centres, have a cup of tea and a snack, and then drive home again. It was the only exercise that I could manage and LH was trying his best, as a former PE Teacher, to help me not lose any fitness that I had. Now, managing to get to one garden centre in several months feels like an achievement!

Going out is still very difficult for me. Trying to pick a day when I feel fit enough is hard enough, but actually leaving the house causes issues. I find the outside world both frightening and confusing. Although my sight is a lot better, the hustle and bustle of people, traffic, the wind in the trees, the colours and shapes, flashing lights etc., are overwhelming. I must force myself out of the “safe” bedroom and outside the house, but it is hard.

Outfits of the day: 14/01/20 and 17/01/20

I wore the outfit on the left on Tuesday: Lands’ End navy cotton jumper and cord trousers, navy shoes, cobalt blue earrings and my new Hermès scarf Plumes en Fête. Today, I am dressed in the outfit on the right which is an old John Lewis turquoise cashmere v-neck (the colour never photographs accurately) with an even older Indian silk scarf. The two knots shown are the asymmetric wrap (on the left) and the cowboy cowl (on the right). I had better make a proper collage with the Plumes en Fête outfit so that I can add it to the Scarf of the Moment post that I uploaded a few days ago.

I have yet another hospital appointment on Monday with more tests on my heart, so I will try to post when I get home.

I do hope that you all have a great weekend.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 15/01/20

Well, I have only finished one book this week. My concentration issues have been pretty bad and I have also had problems with memory. My review will explain why.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

The book was Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Here is the blurb:

All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn’t touch her?

All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town?

All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women?

Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.

This is my review as written on Goodreads:

Three WomenThree Women by Lisa Taddeo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is another of those love, indifference, or hate books! I didn’t hate it, in fact some parts were quite interesting or entertaining, but my overall impression was definitely “meh”. I cannot really see the point of the book. It is supposed to be non-fiction, but the way that the three women’s lives were interleaved, felt much more fictional in tone – with cliff hangers and some sensationalism. It was all too sad and grey, with very little to make me feel that I could care about the women.

I also found it hard to keep each woman on track in my mind. The chopping and changing between the three became confusing. It was rather unnecessary because there was no link between them. But, some people love the book, so maybe my verdict is unfair?

View all my reviews

I urge you to read the wide range of reviews of the book on Goodreads and on other sites. It is highly rated by many people. Others feel similar to me. So, please don’t be put off if you have the book on your “to read” list.

Oh! I do need to find a great read on our library’s ebook site. There’s no chance of me managing a print book yet, so I am stuck for the time being. Never mind, onwards and upwards!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 13/01/20

The wind is blowing wildly outside, but I am cosy and warm under the winter-weight duvet with my iPad, a cup of tea and a biscuit, trying to write a blog post. Our weekend began very quietly, as Elder Son was away on one of his trips, but it ended noisily when he came home full of excited chatter! Normal living for us has been restored.

Friday’s post, about my newest scarf (Hermès’ Plumes en Fête), has had an amazing number of hits, which is very gratifying. I am still to wear it outside the house, however, as my health is too poor to venture out. It seems that I am comfort dressing at the moment. That means wearing mostly pyjama trousers with thick jumpers and a woolly scarf, rather than one of my “posh” silk ones. Lovely Husband is trying to encourage me to wear my better clothes, jewellery and scarves indoors, even if we don’t go out and I really need to scrape together some energy to do this.

I have been able to undertake some “useful” tasks this afternoon to help with our household, which make me feel better. LH is rather computer phobic, so at least I can do this kind of work – writing letters and emails, updating hospital visits and lists of medications, or organising our finances. Typing on the laptop is still quite difficult as I can’t automatically remember where the correct keys are. This iPad keyboard is much easier. Oh, the things that come so easily when you are fit and well!

OK, I think that is enough from me today. If I do manage to go out this week, I will definitively write about it here and I will also upload a Reading Roundup post too.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Scarf of the moment: Plumes en Fête

In the Autumn of 2019, I had firmly decided that my small Hermès scarf collection was complete. As I am now in my 60s, I am very ill with multiple chronic conditions, I hardly ever leave the house so rarely get an opportunity to “dress up”, and storage space is getting very cramped 👈 there are probably loads more reasons why I shouldn’t purchase any more scarves! But the new season’s offer started to appear and I began to slide down the slippery orange slope once again…

So, let me introduce you to my purchase for the Spring/Summer 2020 season:

Plumes en Fête by Aline Honoré for Hermès

Plumes en Fête, colourway #09, product code H003433S 09, designed by Aline Honoré.

Description

On opening the iconic orange box and gently taking out the scarf, a swirl of beautiful feathers sweeps into view. They have a sense of movement around a central empty space, as if the wind has caught them in an eddy. With the scarf laid out flat, the feathers appear to begin from the top right and bottom left-hand corners, with a clockwise motion. Even the corners of the scarf are filled. There is no border to the scarf which also has a lovely contrast hem. The whole scarf is a study in pattern and movement. Each feather is drawn in amazing realistic detail with beautiful markings and use of colour.

I chose the colourway #09 because I love blues and, yes, there are many shades of that colour in this masterpiece. There is also a vivid green, turquoise, white, a subtle purple and pale orange. The contrast hem is another shade of purple. Some of the other versions of the scarf have more variety in their colours, others are more like the shades available in nature, some are vivid and fun, and others are subtle or pastel. I think that there is a colourway for almost everyone!

Colourways

The colourway for my scarf is #09: Bleu Cobalt/Turquoise/Vert. These are all of the versions offered for the silk twill, 90cm, Spring/Summer 2020 season. If you click on any of the images, you will be able to see a larger picture with the Hermès purchasing code.

Design story

Details

Here are some close-ups of my scarf in a slideshow format:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How I wear the scarf

At the time of writing this post (beginning of January 2020), I haven’t yet worn the scarf with any of my outfits, so have been unable to make my usual “Outfit of the Day” collages. When I do wear this gorgeous scarf, it will be with cobalt, navy blue and also with white. I might also see what it looks like with other shades of blue. I would be interested to know if readers of the blog would try it with other colours. There is a lovely shade of bright green in the scarf, but I don’t have clothing in that colour.

When I can make some collages, they will be added here.

Scarf ties

I have taken some quick photos of possible scarf ties. In truth, there really are endless ways of using this scarf to show its beautiful features. I think that the waterfall knot looks particularly amazing, although it’s not very practical for daily life!

Plumes en Fête – scarf ties

1) Top row L to R: simple bias fold, cowl knot, cowboy cowl knot.
2) Middle row L to R: waterfall knot, simple tie, edo knot.
3) Bottom row L to R: criss-cross knot, asymmetric wrap, half-bow knot.
Many of these scarf ties were made using a MaiTai mother-of-pearl scarf ring.

Background information

I tried to find some information about the designer of the scarf, Aline Honoré, but was unable to track down very much worth linking to here. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would be very grateful.

HSCI Hermes Scarf Catalogue
Aline Honoré
Some of the wonderful scarves designed by the artist.

I though that I would include a detailed article about feathers…

Wikipedia
Feather
Comprehensive article with links and references.


I hope readers have found this exploration of Plumes en Fête both interesting and useful. Once again, if you find any errors or have any additional information that I could add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 08/01/20

This first Reading Roundup of the year covers the last books that I finished in 2019 and the first of 2020. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that I am still struggling with book reading since the stroke at the beginning of September. Although my eyesight has improved quite a lot – the “cloudy” parts are much smaller – I do have issues with the central area of my vision. This means that I still cannot read print books, even with my glasses. With ebooks, I can adjust the font size and can just manage to decipher the words enough to be able to read fluently. As books usually have such dense print and not much clear white space, I cannot cope with them. Websites, magazines and newspapers are much easier for me.

The main problem, however, is with my memory. Long-term memory function seems to be fine, but short-term memory is not what it used to be. This has a real impact on my reading in that I cannot remember clearly what I read the day before. This means that I often have to go back and re-read parts that I have already finished on previous days. It also has the effect that I struggle to remember the plot of a book when I have finally reached the end, for more than a few days.

I am writing this so that visitors to this regular part of my blog understand why my book reviews are getting so short. OK, I was never the best reviewer even when I was well and working! I freely admit that. I love books and reading – these have been my life, but I am aware of my limitations. I tend to react to a book in one of three ways – “Wow!”, or “Meh” or “OMG! That was terrible!”. So, please excuse me for the Reading Roundup posts at the moment. I will try my best, but I am not going to make this into an obligation or burden for myself. This is only a personal blog, after all!

The Blame Game by C J Cooke

Right, so bearing all the above in mind, here is the first book: The Blame Game by C J Cooke. This is the blurb:

He said he’d do anything to protect her.

She said she’d do anything to protect her family.

And they both said they would forget what happened twenty-two years ago.

But now it seems that there is someone who will stop at nothing to make them remember…

Who is playing the blame game?

Well, that doesn’t tell us much about the book! It was quite a complex tale, weaving past events into a story of severe trauma. This is my attempt at a review – for more and better reviews, please have a look at Goodreads:

The Blame GameThe Blame Game by C.J. Cooke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book with a lot of twists and turns. A family – mother, father, son (with ASD), daughter – appear to be on a holiday in South America. Things seem to be fairly conventional and then events happen which overturn everything. Interwoven with a traumatic past, the book switches between the present and the historic point of view and the plot accelerates to a gripping conclusion. It is difficult to say much more without giving too much away.

As a mother of a son with ASD, I found the portrayal of this very interesting and useful for the plot!

View all my reviews

Envy by Amanda Robson

My last book of 2019 was Envy by Amanda Robson. This is the blurb:

She wants your life – and she’ll do anything to get it…

Erica has always wanted to be exactly like her neighbour, Faye: beautiful, thin, and a mother. But Faye’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems – she has a terrible secret, and slowly but surely, it is threatening to destroy her and everything she holds dear.

When Faye’s daughter Tamsin goes missing after school, the police turn to Erica. But is Erica the only one who has been enviously watching Faye? Or is there another threat hiding in the shadows…?

An unsettling, claustrophobic thriller about jealousy, greed and desire from Sunday Times bestseller Amanda Robson.

This was another random choice from the Public Library’s ebook service. Here is my short review:

EnvyEnvy by Amanda Robson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book started off quite well, with what appeared to be an attractive, confident woman being watched and stalked by a disturbed and damaged one. As the story developed, it became interesting and gripping as many of the initial assumptions were overturned and I began to enjoy the ride. The plot, however, deteriorated in the last third until it became almost ludicrous, with characters being completely turned into something else. Not for me!

View all my reviews

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse

Well, at least my first book of 2020 was far better. In fact it opened my new decade of reading with a nice fanfare, although perhaps not quite a full firework display!! It was The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse (apparently the start of a new series). This is the blurb:

Bringing sixteenth-century Languedoc vividly to life, Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets; of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties . . .

Carcassonne 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to get out of La Cité alive.

Toulouse: As the religious divide deepens in the Midi, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as sectarian tensions ignite across the city, the battle-lines are drawn in blood and the conspiracy darkens further.

Meanwhile, as a long-hidden document threatens to resurface, the mistress of Puivert is obsessed with uncovering its secret and strengthening her power . . .

Now, that is a proper blurb! It actually tells you something about the book you are going to read!

The Burning ChambersThe Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read other Kate Mosse books and have had a patchy experience, but this one was a really good, enjoyable and meaty read. The historical background was interesting and I found that I already had some useful knowledge. There was a good balance between story telling and historical explanations. The characters were well-drawn and interesting. I was also pleased to see that there are more books in the series which will appear in the future – with, perhaps, an answer to the intriguing start to the book?

I do wish that I could be well enough to visit the areas of France that Mosse writes about, particularly Carcassonne. The countryside and the scent of flowers would also be wonderful to experience. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

View all my reviews

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

I have now started another book, which I plan to write about in next week’s Reading Roundup post: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Until then…

Happy reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfit of the day 06/01/20

First of all, I must apologise for not uploading a Scarf of the Moment post about my new Plumes en Fête today. I struggled over the weekend and couldn’t manage to write the post and take the necessary photos. Instead, I will try to have it ready for Friday.

I hope that you all had a good weekend. Mine was a little different. Lovely Husband drove me to my usual hospital where I had a heart monitor fitted. This was a planned investigation that had been proposed back in August, when I was taken into hospital with heart issues. I had to wear the paraphernalia from Saturday lunchtime until this morning when we drove all the way back to the hospital to return it. I am not sure how long we will have to wait for the results.

Anyway, when we arrived back home, we had lunch and then had to write some letters and emails to family and friends with updates about my various health issues and other matters. I am now really tired, so have returned to bed to read, write this post, watch TV and eat a mince pie with a lovely cup of tea!

Here is today’s outfit…

Outfit of the day 06/01/20 with Hermès’ Sweet Dreams

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy cashmere v-neck jumper – John Lewis.
  • Navy cord leggings – Lands’ End.
  • Bright blue resin and silver earrings.
  • Navy leather shoes – Hotter.
  • Wool and silk scarf, 100cm, in blue, grey and white – Sweet Dreams – Hermès. Tied very casually using a mother-of-pearl scarf ring by MaiTai.


I did manage to do something useful for the blog over the weekend. Browsing through, I realised that the Scarf of the Moment post for my Savana Dance gavroche needed updating. So, I worked on it for a few hours, changing the format of the post to match more recent additions, writing new sections, inserting links and uploading images. There are still a few tweaks needed, but it is virtually finished.

OK, that’s all for now. On Wednesday I will write about the books I have read over the Christmas period.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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