Monday, 22 May 2017

A yellow jacket and some strange weather

Jewellery charity shopped
I had a busy week last week. I volunteered on Monday as usual and on Tuesday I was at the Guild House. They had had a pamper evening previously and raised a good amount of money; some of which was from goods from the charity shop, but what a mess was left behind...

I left  the Guild House with three items; I had sworn I wasn't going to buy anymore stuff with my holidays not far off, but I can't resist a bargain. I bought a lovely bright yellow jacket (above); a summer dressing gown which I'll take and leave at the caravan and a pair of summer trousers. That's it now; I need to tighten my purse strings...


Wednesday's outfit


All the jewellery is charity shopped except watch; Christmas present, and earrings; present from OH bought on a trip to Oxford.


Everything charity shopped except slip on shoes - Primarni. 

 I was invigilating all day on Wednesday in the large gym of the university where I used to work. Two two hour exams and you have be there 30 minutes before the exam start time to get the room ready. There's a lot walking involved in invigilating; you spend most of the time on your feet. Patrolling  the aisles to make sure there's no funny business going on; fetching more exam scripts for those who write a lot (!), escorting students to the loo. I probably clock up miles but as I have to turn my phone off I'll never know how many... It rained heavily for most of the day and by the afternoon the roof of the gym began to leak - luckily not on any students' heads!

I stayed at the campus for lunch and met a few of my ex colleagues which was nice. I invigilated again on Thursday morning and I'm doing two days next week as well.

Friday's outfit

On Friday I did the school run, went to the hairdressers, and organised a cake for OH's birthday which was also on Friday. We went out in the evening with two of my three brothers (Julian is on tour at the moment) to Corby to a Portuguese restaurant to celebrate. We had a really enjoyable evening.


Everything is charity shopped but I can't remember where...I think the kimono is from the Red Cross; the trousers are from F&F and the white top is by Next; all in their second summer of wear. The weather was wet and dull on Friday all day. Where the heck has the summer gone?


All jewellery charity shopped and the boots are daughter donated. As it got chillier toward the evening on Friday I took these thin cotton trousers off and replaced them with jeans - and socks!


On Saturday I went to see my son. Luckily the weather had improved and the drive there was great but coming back we had torrential rain and hailstones!

Everything is charity shopped; the yellow jacket is from M&S and I got it at the Guild House last Tuesday. Jeans; can't remember and the spotted top was charity shopped last summer, but again I can't remember where...


White lace slip-ons; Primarni. All jewellery charity shopped.

I forgot to say in my last post that I received an email from someone at T.M. Lewin (who are a firm of shirt makers). They had seen that I'd acknowledged wearing their shirt on one of my blog posts and wanted to know if I would add a link to their company. I declined on the grounds this is my personal blog and I'm not giving anyone free advertising! They also mentioned something about wedding dresses; oh dear, they certainly asked the wrong person!

On Monday it was back to  volunteer at the Red Cross. I was so proud of myself - I left with one headscarf priced £1.50.! What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Hot and sunny. The first truly hot sunny day I've experienced this year.


Everything charity shopped except the red shoes - PJ Shoes in Kemspton.


Kimono from New Look and jeans are from Monsoon; both 1.99 at the Red Cross last year. The jeans are a purpley blue and they match the purple flower in the kimono perfectly. The floral top underneath the kimono is from a charity shop in Donegal and cost 50 cents.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I believe the rest of this week is going to be very pleasant so I'm planning to walk every day for the next few days, as I didn't get any walking done last week. I always miss walking when I don't do it for a while.

I know it is definitely summer now because the swifts have arrived; screaming high up in the sky over the street where I live. To me that is the sound of summer.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Before Barnsley and after...


Last Wednesday was such a fabulous day! The sun shone - all day. It was warm. At last a proper May day. I went walking with the Ramblers from Sandy to Blunham; 7.8 miles. In the afternoon I had more errands to run in town.


I bought myself some new Mary Jane's in Kempston. I've been looking in the charity shops but so far no luck. I bought this turquoise pair. Palazzo pants; Jane Norman, charity shopped. Elephant top; charity shopped in Co. Donegal somewhere - can't remember where. Cardigan - Studio catalogue a couple of years ago.

Headscarf; charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which, of course are from Sainsbury's and the watch; Christmas present.

Thursday's outfit. Trousers; Bedford market last year; top; Red Cross 1.00 rail last Monday; cardigan; Christmas present; Mary Janes; charity shopped in Donegal.
I went out for a walk by myself and did 6 miles.

The youngest grandson took the photo above and likes to sit down when doing his photography, so I always appear to be looming in his photos!


All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday we set off for Barnsley. It was surprisingly quick to get to; passing Sheffield on the way. Hi Curtise!


Everything is charity shopped except the shoes; Tesco outlet store. David Emmanuel coat, also charity shopped.


Tunic; Donegal charity shop; white jeans; same.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Once we had booked into the hotel we went into town to look round the chazzas. We visited 7 charity shops in Barnsley; I bought two skirts; one by Barbara Hulanicki (of Biba fame) for 1.00 in the Arthritis research shop and a brightly patterned, M&S summer skirt for £1.39 in the  British Heart Foundation charity shop. I also bought two pairs of earrings 1.50;  4 bracelets for 1.00; a green top 1.00 and a pair of green suede winter boots for 1.99 in Age UK. I was very pleased with my haul and liked Barnsley town centre and market very much.


I didn't opt to wear either the green gloves or the new vintage coat to the reunion. The coat is heavy and the hotel was so hot; too hot in fact.  OH and I both woke up in the night because of the heat  even though we left the window open in the hotel bedroom! We're used to a cool bedroom...

I wore this black lace dress which I last wore to my niece's wedding in 2012; charity shopped (forgotten where) and the turquoise coat is by an unknown brand but was nice and light; also charity shopped. The shoes were bought with an M&S Christmas gift voucher years ago and are from the Twiggy range. Handbag bought on a rummage to Royston and Baldock last year.

We didn't think to take a photo together - doh!  But OH did get lots of video footage. He has a new phone and was trying the functions out.


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings and watch - presents from my daughter. The turquoise bracelet and ring were charity shopped from the Hospice shop in Kempston last week.


The reunion  evening went well  although it turns out that this reunion was not what I expected. It wasn't OH's battery reunion but another battery whose numbers have been depleted over the years. OH's full battery reunion is in September in Birmingham.

We set off at 10 am on Sunday morning after a big breakfast and were home 2 hours later!


Everything charity shopped. Tunic; Monsoon, RSPCA shop; snakeskin patterned jeans; Barnardo's. Can't remember which charity shop the orange shoes came from; they're so comfortable, and the headscarf was also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were donated to me by my daughter. That's my vest strap showing there; I can't quite summon up the nerve to stop wearing an under layer even though the weather is much warmer than it was. I'm obviously getting old...

The irises in my garden are blooming!

On Monday, I was volunteering at the Red Cross; we were frantically busy as two staff members were off and we have a visit from the area manager on Tuesday. Everything had to be up to date and neat and tidy. I hope to be trained to use the till from next week, so that when people are off I can cover the till on a Monday if needed.

This was Monday's outfit. I wore the green top I bought on Saturday in Barnsley for 1.00 and one of the 4 for 1.00 bracelets. It almost matches my necklace but is chunkier.



Everything is charity shopped except the Mary Jane's bought new last week. Jacket M&S; charity shopped in Kettering, M&S skirt; can't remember where I bought it, probably Red Cross!


All jewellery charity shopped.

I've booked the ferry to Ireland and I'm very excited as my best friend Hilary maybe coming with me. More about that soon...have a lovely week everyone.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Green gloves and a blogger meet up!

I'll get to the green gloves in a bit...


On Wednesday I led a Ramblers walk of 7 miles. It was a chilly, overcast day and we were cold at the start but soon warmed up. Everyone enjoyed the walk including me! It was the same walk that I did the first time I ever led a walk back in May 2016, but I reversed it and added on a short bit to the end. I've now led 3 walks for the Ramblers and want to find a new walk to lead for the Autumn programme.


Trousers are from the Tesco outlet shop, boots present from daughter this Christmas. Every thing else is charity shopped.


I went for a rummage on Thursday afternoon after the food shopping. I went to the Kempston charity shops as I hadn't been for a while. I got quite a few summer items for the grandsons and for myself some green earrings 75p; a white top 1.00; and finally an animal print blouse in brown; 2.49 in the Keech Hospice shop. A yellow  scoop neck top for 2.99 in the Cat's Protection League and last but not least, a turquoise bracelet and ring; 1.00 each from the Day Hospice shop. I didn't bother going to the Barnardo's shop as I was chazza'ed out by then.


I wonder if any of you know what this tree is? I saw it whilst collecting the youngest grandson from school - it's just around the corner and I thought it was so striking. Please let me know what it is as I haven't a clue!


I bought this necklace in a charity shop in Derry for 2.50. Top and shirt also charity shopped.

On Friday, I went walking by myself and it was a brilliant walk. The weather was pleasant; bright but windy. I saw my first swallows of the year and you know what that means don't you? It means summer's here! At last. Thank the Lord and pass the gravy. I'm sick of overcast skies and wind and cold...


Jeans from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's Great Denham bought on a rummage with Linda; man's shirt £1.00 box Keech; cardigan 1.99 Red Cross shop. Boots; DDB.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Top by Wallis; charity shopped, Country Casuals jacket; charity shopped. Trousers; La Redoute sale and black brogues; Tesco outlet.

It was no longer summer on Saturday, in fact it was overcast and cold again.  But despite the weather I went to Rushden for a blogger meet up. It's the first one for me and it was with the very lovely Kelly of the Mother of Reinvention blog HERE.  Kelly's blog states she is a:

Plus-Sized Sewing Scientist with a Love of Corsets, Kittens & Cake! Vintage Seamstress, Novice Knitter and All-Round Crafty Type.

 It was a pleasure to meet Kelly.  She had moved to Rushden five weeks previously for a new job and luckily really likes her new town and neighbourhood. It was so nice to meet another blogger and I felt I had known Kelly for ages already through reading her blog


We started with a cup of tea and a chat and then went rummaging! We had a fab time and started by visiting the most excellent Salvation Army charity shop where Kelly's friend, Bill, joined us. Kelly found some lovely material - she loves to sew. She also found some great square plates with matching bowls, some cookie cutters and a cute pottery butter dish. I found some earrings for 50p, a lace skirt for 3.50, some wool for 50p and a boring, but useful, tupperware dish; also 50p. We went on to visit 4 other charity shops where I bought a large cake tin and that was it. Then in true blogger fashion we all decamped to Wetherspoons for a drink and some lunch!

Kelly and I plan to meet up again and next time we'll go to Kettering or Northampton - both good places for charity shopping.


I bought these beads at the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings from Sainsbury's; bangles and ring charity shopped.

On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale at Lidlington. We got there at about 11 am; we don't like early starts... I bought a lovely handmade vintage coat for £2.00 which I am so delighted with. I still have to steam it and then I'll post a photo.

We're off to a reunion of OH's ex battalion at the weekend - Barnsley here we come! I don't know Yorkshire very well at all so I'm curious to see what Barnsley and its environs look like. We might squeeze in a quick rummage. Anyway, I may wear the coat with a knee length dress; I'm still thinking about it.


Monday was volunteering at the Red Cross. By the time this photo was taken at about 8.30 in the evening my linen trousers were baggy at the knee and very creased - I'd just been on my hands and knees washing the kitchen floor!


Everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from a local shoe outlet called PJ shoes in Kempston.

Of course I couldn't leave the Red Cross without buying something...
I bought some books; some elbow length emerald green gloves; some brand new grey Mary Jane's with a little heel and a top. I don't know where on earth I might wear the green gloves but an occasion might present itself - who knows? It's always as well to be prepared!

Aren't they fabulous?

I went completely mad on Friday and swapped my winter wardrobe to my summer wardrobe; I'm now thinking I was a bit premature. It was cold on Saturday when I met up with Kelly - I was cold the whole day. Then Sunday was very pleasant but Monday was cold, grey and windy. Luckily, I only pack away the thickest of cardigans so I still have a few warm  ones in the wardrobe. Just as well as one was needed on Monday.

Tuesday was a warmer day but still cloudy and grey. I had a busy day running errands here, there and everywhere. My blanket is about half way done:


I want to have it finished by the time I next go to Ireland so I can start a new one whilst I'm there.


I went to town today without a jacket or coat and was warm in this outfit. Everything is charity shopped. Skirt is by Phase Eight; top by M&S, sea green cardigan; Per Una at M&S. Mary Jane's charity shopped in Ely almost a year ago.


All jewellery charity shopped. The ring was bought on my rummage in Kempston last Thursday and the necklace is from the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings are from Sainsbury's and have to be at least 7 or 8 years old...

I still haven't got round to steaming the coat but here it is:



This is the button detail on the sleeve. I love it. I think I might wear it on Saturday evening to the reunion - what do you think?

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A very happy week was spent with...


This is my cousin, Linda. She is the oldest of the cousins on my mum's side and we first met when I was 7 (in 1961) in my granny's house in Ireland.  Linda had never visited England before so she came to spend 5 days with me in April; we had such an enjoyable time.

In the photo above I'm wearing an  embroidered wool waistcoat from a charity shop which Linda bought me.  I'd seen this same waistcoat on a rummaging expedition with the OH last year and didn't buy it. I'd been regretting it ever since!

 Linda and I spent a whole day charity shopping and a couple of hours on another day. We went to the Ampthill and Great Denham charity shops and quite a lot of the Bedford ones.  There were still seven charity shops in Bedford we didn't have time to visit  so that's for Linda's next trip. Did Linda find anything? Yes! She found some beautiful cardigans;  some trousers, a sweater and some shoes. I found a pair of jeans; some colourful trousers; a skirt and some pictures for Ruby Super.


We went for dinner at my daughter's one evening and also managed to fit in two six mile walks on two different days. On one of our walks, Linda marched up the drive marked 'Private Property' and in the photo above is at the door of Clapham Park House which was:

'Originally built in 1873 for the Howard Family, founders of the Britannia Works in Bedford, Park House is a magnificent striking piece of Victorian architecture in a French Gothic style.' (From the Rightmove website).


We went to London for the day on Saturday where we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Treasury. This was taken in Parliament Square. We also went to the Tower of London.


We set out to visit the Perspehone bookshop in Bloomsbury but got there too late...


We went to Harrods at Linda's request and splashed out on some pastries - I'd scoffed mine by the time I took this photo. Linda's is still in the bag...

I'd never been to Harrods before. I was wondering why the sales assistant was staying so close to my side in the women's wear department as I was stroking a white suede and fur coat. Then I looked at the price tag - £35,000!!

We spent the rest of the day in Chelsea where we paid a flying visit to my eldest grandson at work and then met up with my brother and went out for a meal.

On Sunday the family came for the dinner.


These are the colourful trousers I bought in a Bedford charity shop and all the other items I'm wearing are also charity shopped. 

I took Linda to the airport last Monday and was very sad to see her go. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up and feel that I have a sister in Linda. 
Life resumed as normal on Tuesday with a stint at the Food Bank.


Everything charity shopped. Purple velvet jeans; Red Cross 1.99. Grey waistcoat is from Gap and patterned shirt is from M&S. 


Boots - Christmas present from daughter.


Beads present from OH but charity shopped as are the earrings, bangles and watch.



On Wednesday I invigilated at the university where I used to teach. I shall be doing more invigilation in May and in June shall be poll clerking on election day. All the little extra cash is most welcome as I still have another 2.5 years before I get my state pension...


Everything, except the boots, is from a charity shop. The tunic, which has a French label was 1.99 at the Red Cross - the collar has a row of hook and eyes fastening as do the sleeves. I chose to leave them open as the beige (gah!) trim made a nice contrast and went with the beige M& S trousers. The waistcoat was from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. All jewellery is charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's. The headscarf is a recent acquisition (must stop buying them - the picnic basket where I store them is filling up) from the 3:16 shop for 1.00.


On Thursday I did the usual food shopping and went for a 6 mile walk. My youngest grandson is staying every Thursday evening now as my daughter has taken up boxing and has a late training session. I take both grandsons to and from school on Friday so it is just as easy for him to stay overnight with me.

This is the tunic/dress I bought in the Killybegs charity shop for 2 euros. It's by Apricot and I loved the red orange flower display around the bottom. Everything is charity shopped including the boots, but the grey leggings are from Sainsbury's Tu range.


All jewellery charity shopped including this necklace which I also bought in the same Killybegs charity shop as the tunic but about two years ago. It's a bit of a treasure trove that charity shop...

I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers on Friday and we walked from Henlow to Langford and back again; about 6.5 miles. I kept my jacket on the whole time as although it was a nice bright day the wind was chilly. 


This is the Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, London and the site for the origins of The Bible Society.

I walked again on Saturday; only this time it was in London and the 34th 'Unlock'  London walk. You can read about the 'Unlock' walks HERE in more detail, but they are essentially fund raising walks for urban charities, visiting a range of different churches in different parts of London.

This year the walk was in Battersea and Clapham. It's the third consecutive year I've done this walk and it's always very interesting. It attracts those of a religious persuasion (not me!) and walkers.



This is St. Mary's on the Thames path near to Battersea bridge. It wasn't one of the seven churches on the walk but I rather liked it.


Battersea Bridge built in 1890


We ate our lunch here. Behind this bridge (Battersea Railway Bridge, built in 1863) was a helicopter landing pad; the helicopters were arriving and taking off about every ten minutes.


I wondered about this building  in Comyn Road, SW11 - it looks like a boring red brick red modern building, but if you look carefully there are a couple of old fashioned, possibly Victorian, dresses sculpted on the front of it. Was it originally the site of a factory? An orphanage? A school? I wish I knew - and Google wasn't any help.


This beautiful flowering tree was in the sub tropical section of Battersea Park but I have no idea what it was.


This Victorian Gothic church is called St. Nectarios; it's near Lavender Hill and is now a Greek Orthodox church containing the most beautiful icons.


We walked about 7.5 miles on the walk and if I include my walk to and from the station it was more than 8 in total. We returned to King's Cross by bus and I just managed to snap this sculpture; behind Marble Arch, from the top deck front seat of the bus. It was almost like being back at school again!


On Sunday I went to see my son


Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas present several years ago; the necklace and earrings were donated to me by my daughter.  The Next corduroy blazer bought from Red Cross for 1.99 about a year ago.


White jeans bought in Derry and the spotted top was bought on my rummages with Linda, in the Ampthill Barnardo's.


I was quite excited as it seemed warmer and sunnier on Sunday. I thought I might begin the winter to summer wardrobe swap over but changed my mind as the day went on and it got colder and colder...


Monday was a bank holiday but it was business as usual at the Red Cross. I started at 10 am instead of 9.30 am but finished at the same time. Did I buy anything? Yes, I did. 2 more necklaces (naughty me!) one turquoise and one an orangey yellow colour. A yellow top and a cardigan both 1.99 each. Two books for my friend Hilary; whom I'm hoping to visit in Devon at the end of May or in June.


This is the Desigual tunic/dress I bought in  the Red Cross in Derry. The top underneath is from Primarni; the leggings were bought retail at Sainsbury's and the Mary Jane's are from a local shoe outlet. I had left them behind in the caravan and made sure I brought them back with me as I hoped we may soon start to have a summer...


All jewellery charity shopped and the head scarf was one of 3 bought at the 3:16 charity shop.

My crochet blanket is coming along nicely, but I'm not getting that much reading done. I never do when I'm crocheting. I did manage to read the last of my 'Furrowed Middlebrow' birthday books and have now read four in this imprint. I've enjoyed them all but none have gripped me in the way many books have and I doubt I shall be buying anymore. They are also very tightly bound and you have to 'crack' the spine or fold the pages back severely to read the books properly. I still have two new Persephone books (also birthday books) to read and then there's all those books on TBR pile...

I really want to start the winter to summer swap over but I daren't - it's too damn cold. Here's hoping it warms up soon!