Update 23/06/17: For “Older Ladies”!

As I have spent most of the day reading in my pyjamas, I thought that I would simply post this great video for your amusement. As an “older lady” myself, I love both the song and the video!

I hope my readers all have a great weekend!

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 22/06/17

Thank goodness today has been cooler. Yesterday was unbearable. I felt unable to breathe for most of the evening and was so unwell that I couldn’t even concentrate enough to read!

So, I have been resting for most of today. We watched some recorded TV and then I came upstairs and watched The Handmaid’s Tale on my iPad. That programme is getting better and better. I wish that Lovely Husband would watch it with me, although I am unsure whether he would react in the same way that I do. I will re-read the book when the series has finished.

Today’s outfit:

  • Coral cotton relaxed fit t-shirt – Lands’ End.
  • Navy linen and viscose mix trousers – Isle. These are much nicer than the photo!
  • Gold waterfall earrings.
  • Gold colour leather and chain wrap bracelet – ADA collection from Cadenzza.
  • Gold colour leaf skeleton pendant – Wallis.
  • Navy leather sandals – Suave.
Today's outfit 22/06/17

Today’s outfit 22/06/17

I had to smile yesterday. You know when Facebook shows memories of what you have posted years ago? Well, my memory was the picture uploaded below. This was taken by a dear friend at the School Library Association Weekend Course at Guildford in June 2009. I was wearing my Librain sunglasses with my favourite dress and I think I was a bit warm, judging by the shiny face. Happy days! Many of my school librarian colleagues and friends are at this year’s Weekend Course in Harrogate. I do wish I could be there with them.

The Librain

The Librain

Hope you are all having a good day.

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 21/06/17

So this is the hottest June day since 1976 here in the UK. I can remember what I was doing on this day in 1976 as it was so funny. I was an Ancient History and Archaeology undergrad at the University of Birmingham and we were in the middle of a dig on the main island of Orkney. Whilst England was sweltering with a heatwave, we had sunny days interspersed with ones where thick fog rolled in off the sea. We students were living in an old school building, sleeping on the floor with no curtains at the windows. Dawn is just before 04.00 in Orkney at this time of the year and we were wide awake at that time. Then we would have to do heavy digging work all day. Our main staple foods were spuds and rhubarb – not together! Anyway, one night we decided that it must be mid-summer’s eve and a group of us girls had rather too much to drink and we went out to dance around a cairn in our nighties, trying to be mystical druids or something. The locals probably thought we were mad hippies. Except that we got the wrong night and had to do it all again! Ah, to be young!

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves

Well, that happy reminisce of times past nicely leads into my first book of the week. Not set in Orkney, but further north in a remote part of Shetland. Ann Cleeves’ Thin Air is the sixth book in her Shetland Island series. I have had to skip a couple but will come back and read them when they become available from the public library. This series keeps getting better and better with each book and I cannot wait until I get hold of the next one. As usual, I have written a very short review for Goodreads. If you wish to read more detailed ones than mine, do have a look on this site. The link is in the sidebar.

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

I have also finished the sixth book in Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series, The Outcast Dead, this week. I did not enjoy this one quite as much as the others. This is what I wrote on Goodreads, whilst giving it three stars:

I enjoy reading this series and love the characters’ stories and development in each book. This one, however, was not my favourite. The plot seemed thin and it all came together at the end in a bit of a rush. I will continue to read more in the series and hope that the next one is better.

On the other hand, many people wrote on Goodreads that they thought it was Griffiths’ best so far. So, it just goes to show how personal reading is.

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

The next book to tell you about is Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly, part of his Harry Bosch series. Now, anyone who has a hero named Hieronymous Bosch is OK with me and I usually love Connelly’s books. This one, however, was not good. It felt like two shorter novels spliced together with the plot split between the USA and Hong Kong. I also did not like how the author stereotyped Chinese characters in both places. It felt more like an action thriller than a detective novel. I did read it all, though!

Killer Look by Linda Fairstein

Killer Look by Linda Fairstein

I have today started reading Killer Look by Linda Fairstein. Again, this is part of a long series and I have already read one book. I will let you know what I think of this one next week, all being well.

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 20/06/17

I am cheating again! In reality I am sitting in the coolest room in the house with an electric fan wearing a thin cotton nightdress and very little else. Yesterday I sweltered in a large baggy t-shirt and knickers! Yes, Summer has arrived in the UK with a vengeance. Those of you who are reading this from beyond our shores may perhaps laugh at our British obsession with the weather. Living in the English Midlands, we are used to a very changeable but temperate climate. We are not used to extreme weather events and our homes and buildings are not constructed to deal with them. So when we get huge storms, heavy snowfall, very high humidity or very low temperatures we… simply… cannot… cope! Very few workplaces or homes have air conditioners, most do not have thick walls or shutters at the windows. So we swelter and sweat and faint and moan!!!

OK, perhaps some people can deal happily with hot weather like this and rush out to beaches, parks or lidos to lie out in the sun. In fact I used to enjoy hot days when on holiday in the Mediterranean, but I am really struggling at the moment. My illnesses, such as asthma, make this almost unbearable. One night, I was hardly able to breathe and kept waking up gasping for air. It was very frightening. I am very glad that it is a little cooler today and hope the night will be better.

Anyway, I will show the outfit that I wore on Saturday before I was overcome with the urge to strip just about everything off! Eek! Not a pretty sight. I did have to laugh this morning, though. Lovely Husband hardly ever seems to notice what I wear, unless I am really dolled up. This morning, he looked at me (in my “ever-so posh” nightie) and said, with a wink, “You look very elegant today!” I grinned and struck a pose. “But you are always beautiful to me, whatever you wear,” he replied with a smile. Ahh! 😍

Today’s outfit:

  • Aqua cotton relaxed t-shirt – Lands’ End.
  • Beige chinos – Lands’ End.
  • Blue leather sandals – Suave.
  • Pearl stud earrings – John Lewis.
  • Turquoise and cream bead necklace with gold charms – BOHO-LANE via Etsy.
Today's outfit

Today’s outfit

Situation in the UK

The atmosphere here is very sombre at the moment and I have been trying to deal with my reaction to recent events. My mental health is such that I cannot cope with writing about these on this blog, so I will stick to the mainly trivial for the time being. It goes without saying that that I feel very strongly for all people who have been affected, but I am not going to write about those feelings.

Best wishes and stay safe,


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Wardrobe planning #24: Costume jewellery – #01 Horn and necklaces

I have collected a lot of jewellery over the years, much of it fairly inexpensive costume pieces. Most of it fits quite well into my colour wheel so that it goes with my clothing choices and I now make sure that I bear my colours in mind when I buy new items. I also have more expensive jewellery, that I wear often, but I have decided that it would not be a particularly good idea to post about that, for obvious reasons.

You will already have seen quite a lot of my “bling” over the past months, but I want to share some of my favourite pieces in this post. I have already written about my Halcyon Days enamel and Ferragamo leather bracelets, so I will not repeat those, but I will mention some bracelets that I have not already shown in the next post. This week I am posting about my horn jewellery collection, some sentimental items and also necklaces and pendants.


I think I have shown most of my horn items already, but here they are all in one place. I love the natural horn pieces – the shades of dark brown to cream go well with many of my clothes. The lacquer comes in a rainbow of colours. This is a starter collection, I suppose, as I intend to get some more items in the future. I would like pendants in blue and also cream at some point. I may also buy some more earrings. Perhaps some smaller ones.

Horn jewellery

Horn jewellery

The purple pendant is see-through in that the lacquer finish is thinner and allows you to see the pattern of the horn. It is also only on one side so it can be flipped over and worn with the natural brown horn side. Both pendants are on adjustable cords. These items look good all year round.

This horn jewellery was purchased for very reasonable prices from several Etsy stores, including QueCraft. Some of these stores are no longer in business, but new ones seem to have since joined, so I am sure that items like these would be easy to find. Of course, Hermès has its own horn jewellery range, but this costs £££ and so is way out of my league!

Oh, and here is a horn bangle from another source – Pia.

Horn bangle - Pia

Horn bangle – Pia


Jewellery sets

Jewellery sets and sentiments

These all have sentimental attachments for me! The small silver bell on the left was bought for me by Lovely Husband from an antique shop on the Pulteney Bridge in Bath on our honeymoon. The other sets were presents from family members: a bracelet and earrings with tiny flowers set in resin and a necklace and earrings in peachy-beige and gold enamel from Pilgrim.

Necklaces and pendants

Necklaces #01

Necklaces #01

I seem to have collected quite a few beaded necklaces over the years, together with some made from shells. Top left is in blue, white and gold beads; the centre necklace has brown, white, gold and some blue. One shell piece is teal and brown and the other turquoise and lime green on a brown cord. The one on the bottom right is made of silk, in shades of blue, turquoise and pink, and was a gift from my Mum.

Necklaces modelled!

Necklaces modelled!

This is what they all look like when worn. The necklace in the centre is quite heavy; the silk one is so soft and light against my neck.

Necklaces #02

Necklaces #02

As you can see, you really do not have to spend a lot on costume jewellery. You can still get something that will make an impact or nicely finish an outfit for very little. The most expensive piece here is the amber rope necklace; the most inexpensive is probably the shell pendant in that I have had it since I was thirteen! The large crystal and silver pendant looks great in the Winter with my “snowflake” earrings and I have already shown the blue topaz and silver pendant in a previous post. The leaf skeleton pendant was purchased from Wallis a few years ago and I bought the turquoise and gold tassel beaded necklace from an eBay trader, BOHO-LANE. I could love something similar in purple.

Next week, I will show you some more of my earrings and bracelets.

Best wishes,


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Scarf of the moment: Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs

This pretty scarf is another cheerful pick-me-up that brightens the day with its whimsical details. Designed by Christine Henry for Hermès Spring/Summer 2016 season, it has appeared as the cashmere and silk 140cm, the silk twill 90cm, twillies and in the 45cm gavroche size. I have the 90cm in colourway #09. As I missed this scarf when it was first offered (I had used up my scarf budget for that season), I was thrilled to find it later on, new and pristine on eBay – at a great price!

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs by Christine Henry for Hermès

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs by Christine Henry for Hermès

My scarf has a lovely light turquoise border, then the pattern starts in shades of yellow and blue, with teal, taupe and purple touches. The design shows flower-like birds or bird-like flowers in bands across the scarf. The details are intricate and small.

These are the colourways of the 90cm size:

These are the colourways of the cashmere and silk 140cm shawl:

And here we have the alternative colourways of the 45cm gavroche:

As the scarf has such small details, I have photographed some close-ups for you. Here they are in a slideshow:

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The design history:

Like an allegory of life itself, Au Pays des oiseaux fleurs tells of the interconnections between fauna and flora. The delicate drawing transports us to a dreamlike land of trees, flowers and birds, mingling in rich profusion. No two trees are the same, each unfurls scrolling arabesques, decorative forms and flowers, an open invitation to the multicoloured birds snapping twigs to build their nests among the branches, feeding on blossoms, transporting fertile seeds and pollens. Plants and animals blend and blur in this composition celebrating the extraordinary richness of life on Earth – the intelligence, beauty and power of nature. No single thing can thrive, it seems to say, without all the rest.

These are collages I have already shown on the blog. As you can see, this colourway looks great with clothes and accessories in shades of blue, navy, teal and turquoise.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #01

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #01

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #02

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #02

The scarf looks very cute in a number of different ties. I love to show off the gorgeous turquoise/aqua border. This exact shade is exquisite, in my opinion.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #03

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #03

Here we have some other people’s reactions to this scarf. Firstly, a YouTube video called “The Nicest Scarf in the World – HERMES “Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs” Scarf”:

Here, the A Passion for Elegance blog shows a gavroche of this scarf.

I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of Hermes’ Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs. The next Scarf of the Moment post will be in two weeks – Dans un Jardin Anglais – which I have in both the 90cm size and also as a twilly.

Best wishes,


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Sale and eBay purchases 15/06/17

It is sale time and I have been a bit very naughty, spending money on accessories again! Bad, bad Librain 😉.

First of all, I visited the Halcyon Days sale and saw that a bangle on my wish list was reduced. I had been watching this one since it first came out. We have an in-joke in this family about owls, so I simply had to have this:

Bluebell and cream enamel, Owl bangle - Halcyon Days

Bluebell and cream enamel, Owl bangle – Halcyon Days

Isn’t it cute? The tiny owls have little crystals as eyes – neat. The colours will also go well with my clothes and the bangle will be great stacked with my others in blue and cream. What do you think?

Enamel bangles in blue and cream - Halcyon Days

Enamel bangles in blue and cream – Halcyon Days

As you may be aware, two of my favourite patterns of all time are Hera and Ianthe by Liberty of London. I already have both of these as scarves, but I saw an auction for a Hera in lovely shades of blue and won it…

Blue Hera silk scarf - Liberty of London

Blue Hera silk scarf – Liberty of London

The scarf is silk, but it is a more inexpensive version than my other Liberty of London scarves as the rolled hem is machined rather than hand sewn. The pattern and colours are very nice indeed. Here it is in a cowboy cowl knot:

Blue Hera scarf - Liberty of London - cowboy cowl knot

Blue Hera scarf – Liberty of London – cowboy cowl knot

When June arrives, with its sales, I always check to see if any of my wish list items have been included. The owl bangle above was and also this Aspinal snakeskin wrap bracelet in “peacock”. I bought another one as well, not in “my” colours. This bracelet will be a present for someone later in the year.

Peacock snakeskin double wrap bracelet - Aspinal

Peacock snakeskin double wrap bracelet – Aspinal

I think I will save this wrap bracelet for the Autumn and Winter as it will look great with teal, which I think of as a cold weather colour. The snake skin is lovely with a brilliant sheen and the fastening is adjustable. I will model it later in the year.

Tomorrow’s post will be a Scarf of the Moment: Hermès’ Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs. I hope readers are enjoying this series.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès

Best wishes,


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