Friday post 21/04/23: catching up!

What a time we have had! It all began a week last Wednesday when Lovely Husband began to feel a horrible pain in his right leg. He has suffered from severe back problems and sciatica for years and has learned how to bear the pain and discomfort, but this was something worse than usual.

I won’t go into any more detail, but it has been a very difficult time, although we have been able to find some rather dark humour in our situation. I suppose it could be seen as amusing that we are both stuck in bed! We are trying to keep ourselves occupied by reading, watching TV on the iPad, and chatting about this and that. I have forced myself to go downstairs far more than usual and we have been leaning on Elder Son too.

Anyway, this is why I have not been able to get dressed or wear anything nice this week. And as for modelling a scarf!!!

Let’s hope that LH recovers soon and we can all return to our “normal”, perhaps even better than normal!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 19/04/23

Well, I have a confession to make this week: I haven’t been able to finish a book! Lovely Husband is ill, so we are sharing the bed and I am dragging myself up and down the stairs to fetch the necessary provisions. When Elder Son has a day off he takes over, so it is not so tiring for me.

Anyway, all this means that I have been unable to read a book. LH wants to chat and I can manage a bit of web surfing in between, but cannot concentrate on my book. I hope he gets better soon (not because I need to read, of course!).

Happy Reading to you all…

Love and best wishes,



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Scarf of the moment: Tulipomanie

Earlier this year, before the new Spring/Summer 2023 Hermès scarf designs began to appear online, I had already decided that I was not going to purchase any more scarves or shawls of any size until the price fell, if it ever did. That was a firm decision.

Really, it was…


Oh well, my firm “resolution” lasted a few weeks! One of the new scarves began to attract my attention. I quickly realised that I loved it in many of the colourways. This is very unusual for me as one colourway usually stands out beyond the rest, but this scarf looked wonderful across the board.

Eventually, I decided that one particular scarf might work with my wardrobe with the scarf’s blues, silver grey and purples. That scarf is Tulipomanie designed by Aline Honoré, 90cm silk twill, colourway #02 Argent, Violet, Bleu, Ref: H003964S 02.


The scarf in a beautiful study of different kinds of tulips. The flowers are arranged on a plain background with space between them so that an onlooker can distinguish between each carefully drawn tulip. Every bloom is a gorgeous delight of colour, contrast and shading. Some of the scarves have a wide variety of colours, others, such as #16, have a more limited palette. In this case, oranges and greys. I also loved the scarf with the pink background, #03, but, as my previous purchase was Robe Légère with a similar pink background, I felt like I had to ignore this!

The colourway that I chose, #02, has a pale silver-grey background and the tulips are drawn in shades of blue, purple, violet, pink, and yellow. Some of the flowers are of the full-blown “parrot” varieties, others have the stripes associated with “viridiflora” types; some are tightly furled, others have wide open petals. The whole scarf is a study in colour and pattern.

NB: Please let me know if you notice any inaccuracies in my writing about tulips. I know that I love them, but am also aware that I don’t know enough about them!


These are the colourways for the Spring/Summer 2023 silk twill 90cm scarves. I have added in the codes to help those of you who may wish to purchase a scarf.

Design story

This has been taken from the Hermès website:

Tulipomanie design story


Here are some closeups of my scarf in a slideshow format:

How I wear the scarf

As I have only just bought the scarf, I have not had much opportunity to wear it. I have, however, taken photos to show a variety of scarf knots (see the next section). This time I decided to try the scarf with different cashmere jumpers in a range of colours. You can see how the scarf reacts to differing background colours…

Tulipomanie with a variety of cashmere colours

The cashmere sweaters are from Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Pure Collection and WoolOvers and in the colours: navy, light grey, purple and lilac.

Scarf ties

I have tried on this scarf in a variety of ways. At the moment, as it is so new, the silk fabric is very crisp and stiff so doesn’t fall easily into soft folds. Anyway, you can get the general idea of how it looks when worn. The mother-of-pearl scarf ring is by MaiTai.

Tulipomanie scarf ties

I don’t know all of the names of these scarf ties, but here goes:

From the top left, downwards: cowboy cowl knot, cowboy knot, half bow knot.
Centre, downwards: asymmetric wrap, cowl knot.
Top right, downwards: something I made up (!), criss-cross knot, something else I don’t have a name for 😂😂😂.

Background information

I tried to find some background information about the wonderful artist, Aline Honoré, but could not find anything worth posting here. It is about time someone wrote a piece about her work! Instead, I have listed a few sources of information about tulips themselves, plus something about Tulip Mania.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum: The Tulip
Interesting information about these gorgeous flowers.

BBC Gardener’s World Magazine: How to Grow Tulips
Detailed and useful pages with plenty of videos.

Royal Horticultural Society: Tulip
Set of pages about these flowers with information about the types of tulip and how to grow them.

Wikipedia: Tulips
A comprehensive article about the flower.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum: Holland and Tulipmania
A set of interesting articles about this phenomenon.

English Heritage: Tulips through time: from “Mania” to “Mainstream”
Blog post on the history of tulips and where to visit them in the UK.

Farmer Gracy: Tulip Mania, the “Bubble” Caused by the Love of Flowers
Beautiful photos of tulips in this blog post.

Wikipedia: Tulipmania
A very detailed article.

And, of course, there are numerous videos of the wonderful displays of tulips and the growing fields in The Netherlands. In fact, there are so many that I couldn’t decide which ones to post here, so I have left that search to you! Have fun 😊.

I hope readers have found this exploration of Tulipomanie 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.

Love and best wishes,



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Friday post 14/04/23: with some cheap and cheerful scarves

Welcome to my blog! Today, I have been sorting out my massive load of photos and images on the iPad and came across these two random snaps that I took quite recently. I have a drawer of fairly cheap and cheerful scarves that I have collected over the years. Most of them are silk, but of varying quality, and the designs are in a huge range of colours and patterns.

These are the photos:

Well, you can see that the photos were taken before and after the recent visit to my hairdresser! In the image on the left, I was wearing my recently purchased pink jumper from Lands’ End, and on the right, my purple cashmere jumper from Pure Collection.

I have owned these two pretty scarves for quite a long time, at the very least from before the start of my Hermès obsession. Therefore, I have unfortunately forgotten where I bought them. It probably says so somewhere on my early blog posts and I have been trying to find some mention of them, but I cannot trace them. Never mind, they are lovely and colourful and lift my outfits very well.

Over the weekend, I am planning to put the final finishing touches to a new Scarf of the Moment post for my latest Hermès scarf, Tulipomanie. I hope to be able to upload the final version on Monday evening, 17th April, all being well.

Anyway, that’s all for now! Happy Weekend 😘😘😘.

Love and best wishes,



Posted in Blogging, Clothes, Outfit of the day, Scarves, Wardrobe | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Reading roundup 12/04/23

I do hope that you are all enjoying your own reading. Over the last week or so, I have been struggling to concentrate, but I have managed to finish one book…

Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The book was Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Dragonfly Falling (#02 Shadows of the Apt). I read part one a few weeks ago and enjoyed it, so bought the second and third books in the series straight away. This is a very long series, so I am not sure if I will retain my enthusiasm right up to the end, but we shall see!

This is the blurb:


The armies of the Wasp Empire are on the march, and first to feel their might will be the city of Tark, which is even now preparing for siege. Within its walls Salma and Totho must weather the storm, as the Ant-kinden take a stand – against numbers and weaponry such as the Lowlands have never seen.

And after his earlier victory, the Empire’s secret service has decided veteran artificer Stenwold Maker is too dangerous to live. So disgraced Major Thalric is despatched on a desperate mission, not only to eliminate Stenwold himself, but to bring about the destruction of his beloved city of Collegium, and thus end all hope of intelligent resistance to the remorseless imperial advance.

While the Empire’s troops are laying waste to all in their way, the young Emperor himself is treading a different path. His thoughts are on darker things than mere conquest, and if he attains his goal he will precipitate a reign of blood that will last a thousand years.”

And here is my response on Goodreads:

Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt, #2)Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, this is part two of a ten book series and I am wondering if I will reach the end. I am pretty certain that I will do so, if the author can maintain the level of engagement that his best writing brings!

Some parts of the book were a little overlong, but others were very exciting and clever in the twists and turns. The characters continued to interest me, although I did find it a little difficult at times to remember who they all were and where they were situated in the world. I had to check the map quite a lot. Also, perhaps a silly grumble, too many of the names began with “S”, which confused me even more!

In the end, I gave this a generous four star rating and have gone straight on to the next book in the series! As ever, Tchaikovsky’s imagination is phenomenal and his writing absorbing and entertaining.

View all my reviews

So, I hope to be able to review the third book, Blood of the Mantis, next week, then I will change tack to a different book or series afterwards. Well, that is the plan at the moment.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Monday post 10/04/23: hanging in there!

Welcome to a new week on my blog. It was Bank Holiday today, so I hope that those of you who had a day off enjoyed the break.

Well, that was not a great weekend for me and my chaps! I wrote about my new hairdo in Friday’s post and mentioned that I was feeling unwell. The illness continued to develop over the weekend with more d&v (sorry!), extreme tiredness and horrible black depressive thoughts. It really was awful and worried Lovely Husband and Elder Son, who were trying to look after me.

I have been feeling slightly better today and am hoping that this mystery illness is coming to an end. Now that I can think a little more clearly, I can remember that I suffered something very similar back in December, just before Christmas. I wonder what it is?

I really need to shake this off and return to my usual levels of managing my health. After all, the Scarf of the Moment post about my latest Hermès scarf, Tulipomanie, needs to be written! I must actually try it on and attempt some lovely scarf ties!

OK, I will cheer myself up by posting some more photos of it in a slideshow…

Aren’t those images lovely?

Love and best wishes,



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Friday post 07/04/23: with a new hairdo!

Hi, and welcome to Friday’s post. At last, I was able to go to my lovely hairdresser yesterday ! I hadn’t had a haircut since December, which seems such a long time ago. Anyway, Lovely Husband drove me there and back and I just about managed to sit and be smartened up.

Here are the before and after photos:

I feel so much better!

I was also able to put together a nice outfit:

Outfit of the day 06/04/23 with Hermès’ Zebra Pegasus gavroche

The outfit consisted of a lovely turquoise jumper by M&Co, navy cord trousers by Lands’ End, and silver shoes by Hotter. I carried my navy Africa midi Selene handbag by Massaccesi, wore Halcyon Days’ turquoise enamel bangle and tied my Hermès’ Zebra Pegasus gavroche around my neck. This cute silk square comes in teal, purple, navy and white. Below, is a larger image:

Zebra Pegasus gavroche by Alice Shirley for Hermès
Zebra Pegasus gavroche by Alice Shirley for Hermès

Unfortunately, when we arrived home I started to feel really unwell. As the day moved towards evening, the tiredness became exhaustion and I developed a rather nasty condition (which I will leave to your imagination!). This continued into the night and this morning.

I am now writing at around midday in the UK and, at last, feel quite a lot better. I hope this recovery is sustained!

Let’s hope for a good Easter weekend. LH is planning a sumptuous Easter Sunday dinner with all of the trimmings, so I had better be well enough to enjoy it.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 05/04/23

Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup! I do hope that you have all enjoyed your reading recently and have discovered loads of great books, whatever your taste may be. Over the last week I have not been feeling very well and my concentration has been poor, so, unfortunately, I have only finished one book. Mind you, I did find it absorbing and interesting.

Here it is…

The Secret Midwife by Katy Weitz

The book was The Secret Midwife by Katy Weitz (ghostwriter). Basically, it covers the career and some of the personal life of a midwife during her long career. This is the blurb:

“Strongest supporter, best friend, expert, cheerleader and chief photographer . . . Before, during and after labour the role of a midwife is second to none. The Secret Midwife reveals the highs and lows on the frontline of the maternity unit, from the mother who tries to give herself a DIY caesarean to the baby born into witness protection, and from surprise infants that arrive down toilets to ones that turn up in the lift.

But there is a problem; the system which is supposed to support the midwives and the women they care for is starting to crumble. Short-staffed, over worked and underappreciated – these crippling conditions are taking their toll on the dedicated staff doing their utmost to uphold our National Health Service, and the consequences are very serious indeed.”

It is well worth reading if you are interested in issues such as the pressures on the National Health Service, the experiences of women on both sides of the “story”, the effects on staff and patients of cuts to budgets, etc. Anyway, this was my response on Goodreads:

The Secret Midwife: Life, Death and the Truth about BirthThe Secret Midwife: Life, Death and the Truth about Birth by Katy Weitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting, absorbing and also heartbreaking read. I had my two babies back in the 1990s. A long time ago, but I can still clearly remember the highs and lows of both occasions. The midwives were so central to the experience. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic one for the second birth and she was utterly brilliant and made the whole event (through the entire pregnancy, the birth and the home visits afterwards) so much better than the first birth had been.

But enough about me! This book brought me to tears in places with the wonderful births on the one hand and the awful and sad situations on the other. To see such a great NHS service and dedicated staff so battered by political decisions and dreadful management practices is heartbreaking and also depressing. I felt so angry by the end of the book that we, as a nation, allow our politicians to treat people so poorly.

I only hope that we can still turn it all around. I clapped for NHS workers during lockdown, I applaud them again!

View all my reviews

The book was definitely worth four stars. After this one, I returned to a series I have been reading. My current book is long and the plot quite complicated with numerous characters, which is why I haven’t finished it in time for this post. Also, I am planning to go straight on to the next book in the series before I forget the plot so far (my memory issues are not improving, sadly).

Back next week for the Reading Roundup. Until then, Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Monday post 03/04/23: struggling

Welcome to my blog at the beginning of a new week. I try to post on Mondays with anything that takes my fancy, on Wednesdays with a roundup of the books I have finished reading, and on Fridays with any outfits that I have worn during the week.

Today, I am struggling. In fact I have been for some time. Regulars will know that I recently had a very nasty battle with shingles on top of my usual list of unpleasant conditions. It lasted at least six weeks and I thought that I had fully recovered from it. Unfortunately, I have been left with feelings of exhaustion. I try to get up to do a small task, such as hanging some washing on the airer, but quickly become very tired, gasping for breath. I then sit or lie down whilst my breathing settles and my heart  rhythm recovers, but this seems to take such a long time. I am simply worn out.

To be honest, I am so fed up with my life at the moment! Thank goodness for my three “chaps”, my friends and kind visitors to this blog. So sorry to moan at you, but I sometimes need to use my blog to let my feelings out!

Back to normal service on Wednesday, I hope.

So, I will leave you with this cheerful photo, which I found on Twitter:

Screenshot from @womensart1 on Twitter – accessed 02/04/23

Lovely, isn’t it? All of that work!

Love and best wishes,



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Friday post 31/03/23: sorting out Spring scarves

Hello and welcome to Friday’s post. Back in September, I wrote about sorting out my scarves into two piles: Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. I did just that and put a heap of boxes together so that I could easily choose a scarf suitable for colder weather.

Today, I have done the reverse: I piled up all of the boxes and went through them to check which designs and colourways would best work with brighter days and warm-weather outfits. There are, of course, always a few weeks when it is far too hot to wear scarves, but I am sure I will find moments between now and late September when I can wear some of them.

This first one is an obvious choice: the glorious Dans un Jardin Anglais, designed by Alice Shirley for Hermès. That lilac background!

Dans un Jardin Anglais by Alice Shirley for Hermès
Dans un Jardin Anglais by Alice Shirley for Hermès

These are a selection from my pile of scarves, mainly by Hermès, but also Liberty and Ferragamo. Most are 90cm silk twill, but there are a couple of smaller scarves, 45cm gavroches and 70cm silks, too. These images are all labelled because the sizing is often not accurate. I have also included scarves that can be worn throughout the year, like the Plumes en Fête 90cm in gorgeous blues…

  • Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès

Depending on the weather, I am sure that I will be wearing my heavier jumpers for a while longer, but I will start the process of checking my clothes meant for warmer, brighter Spring days. I will also have to force myself to get out of bed and put on a nice outfit on more days than I have managed lately. I must try.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to wearing these amazing designs over the next weeks and months.

Happy weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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