Hot town, summer in the city...

As if Jane and Beryl did not have enough of each other, they have been off doing 'posh' inter-railing in Europe with their youngest daughters in tow. What could possibly go wrong? Well, at least not their wardrobes, they hope. Twelve days on this trans-continental extravaganza and Beryl has elected to take only hand-luggage. While Jane is luxuriating in a well-packed medium-sized Globetrotter - typical! 

First stop Paris... 

Dress from The White House Designers Sale £69, bag John Lewis £79, vest top Zara £5.99

Off up La Tour Eiffel and Jane is upstaged by a young Parisienne in gorgeous yellow frock - still, she's not downhearted as her floppy dress is cool and comfortable in the Paris of 36 degrees.

TK Maxx linen top £25 and East Skirt £75

Beryl takes in the Christian Dior Exhibition. 
Part of Jane and Beryl's remit they feel is to try out looks on behalf of the mature portion of the population.  Beryl is 4ft 11 ins tall or more accurately 4ft 11ins short, and therefore theorises that if she can pull off a look anyone can. This summer she has been sporting this maxi skirt from East, and has been it finding jolly useful. In fact it is proving to be that sort of mythical item, which fashionistas mutter about, that you dress up or down or go anywhere in from beach to festival.  

Top The White House Designers Sale £20, trousers H&M £12,99
via her daughter's charity chuck out bag, shoes Hermes (a gift)
Jane was chuffed to bits to find these silky trews discarded by her daughter with the tag still on. If she's entirely honest, they are a tiny bit slimy and sweaty, but never mind, they have an elastic was it for the enormous meal she has just eaten.

 From Paris Jane and Beryl board the train to Naples, in order to visit Herculaneum and go up Pompeii

Jane and Beryl study classical form
By this point Jane and Beryl have picked up a hire car. Beryl has elected to drive through Naples at rush hour despite, until recently, not venturing further than Winchester on the back road. This does not end well. Beryl narrowly misses a parked Vespa, drives up a one way street the wrong way and is forced to do a very public three-point turn, only then realising that she cannot actually get the car into reverse gear. Italian men rush to her aid. Smile and wave Jane, smile and wave.

Carol with parasol

T-shirt £8 Sainsbury's, shorts £16 and sandals £16 Dorothy Perkins

It's 40 degrees and Beryl's wearing her shorts. Now, it is fair to say, that Jane would rather poke her eye out with a stick than wear a pair of shorts. However, even 'The Great Jane' herself has to agree that this last minute stripy purchase from that well known international designer Dorothia Perkin, is something of a triumph. A slouchy and insouciant linen mix with a drawstring, there is no hint of trying to hard - Mammius Maximus agrees. 

Hat vintage, Accessorize, top Zara £19.99, trousers Ghost sale £29, bag Next £35

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum... Not really, but Jane can't resist. Here she is in the arena where the Pompeiians came to watch gladiators being slaughtered for fun on a Saturday night. Jane can think of other things she'd rather do in this outfit, which kept her cool and dignified in trying circumstances - she's too hot, and will never moan about the menopause again in dear old England. How do women on the continent manage, she wonders?

Next stop, Tivoli Gardens, Rome...

Jane wears: Jigsaw top £7 second hand sale, trousers £10 Italian market
Beryl wears: handbag Kate Spade, sandals Dorothy Perkins £16

Finally, Jane and Beryl are ensconced in Casa Mimosa in Tuscany and are about to take in the open air classical concerts of the Anghiari Festival with the Southbank Sinfonia

Red French Connection jumpsuit £100, Scarf £55, Susie P Accessories

Top vintage Ghost £29, skirt Zara £39.99, shoes Zara £29.99

Wednesday in Anghiari and our fashionistas are off to market, Beryl is beginning to think that Jane should have forked out for a better hire car

Top Zara £5.99, trousers Zara sale £17.99, shoes as before
Jane realises that her entire holiday wardrobe is incredibly Zara-centric. Nothing wrong with that, of course, just hats off to Zara.

Dress £55 Kushi
Jane and Beryl have both sprouted versions of the unstructured voluminous frock this summer, which is a departure for Beryl who favours the fit and flare. Anything fitted however is not her friend in extreme heat, and then there's the holiday over-eating to consider. Again this does the dress up/down thing. Beryl wore this home on the plane with stripy, heeled espadrilles as they were her heaviest clothing.  

Top The White House Designers Sale £26, trousers St Ives £19

Jane and Beryl are invited to a concert at the Contessa's castle

Hob-nobbing with fellow concert-goers

Dress Anthropologie £128, shoes as before

Jane gets out her most favourite frock, a three-year old sale purchase from Anthropologie.  

Vintage Jaeger

Beryl pairs her East skirt with a John Lewis silk top. All goes well until Beryl takes the wheel home, winding her way down the unmade road. Suddenly she swerves to avoid a pot-hole and sticks her front wheel in the ditch. Lots of incredibly kind middle-aged Englishmen come to her assistance, but the car remains firmly lodged. Beryl considers removing her skirt and placing under the wheel to add some much needed traction. Fortunately, just in the nick of time, four burly Italian men turn up and lift the car out of the gutter as if it were a cloud. Jane smiles and waves. 

Cool Carol

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