Sunday, 29 May 2016

T'was the week before half -term...

It's been a strange week this week. I haven't done much walking; only two days and both times only 4.5 miles. I did one of the walks with my daughter, which is always enjoyable; and next week is half term week, so we're going to do a long walk in London. Transport for London (TfL) has loads on their website here. I just need to choose one!  I'm so used to walking about 3 times a week minimum and doing reasonable distances; that when I don't I feel a bit discombobulated! When we do go to London to walk we'll meet up with the oldest grandson - I have missed him.

I volunteered on Monday and on Tuesday did my final  invigilation. On Wednesday I had planned to go to London for the day, but a good friend needed some support and practical help; I took her to see her oldest son who is currently in a coma in hospital. She lives in Cambridge and the hospital is in Huntingdon.

 Her mobility is impaired at the moment as she recently had an operation and still has an open wound.  She needed a wheelchair, so I pushed her in the chair from the car park to the unit and back again. It was very sad to see her son in this state and no one knows what the future holds for him at this present time. It came out of the blue. None of us know what might happen tomorrow and it's why we have to make the most of the time we have and show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives.

On a happier note, our friend, who had a stroke back in February is making excellent progress. He's getting up and down the stairs and around using a tripod. He's having all the necessary interventions and will hopefully be back home soon.


This was Thursday's outfit. The weather is so weird that I'm never sure what to wear. It seems to be chilly in the mornings and usually warm and sunny in the afternoon, so a cardigan of some description is always needed. I've packed all my heavier cardigans away for the summer so have mostly lightweight ones at the moment.


I look at least 8 months pregnant from this angle - but I blame the top!


This is one of the tops I bought last weekend in Ely. The cardigan is an old one from a La Redoute sale. I love the colour - it's a sort of washed out blackcurrant and I knew it would be a good match for this top. Purple leggings bought on line; loafers charity shopped.


It was  so chilly on Thursday morning, I wore this velvet coat from Boden into town with a scarf - both charity shopped. I like this coat but this is only the second time I've worn it and I've had it for years! I'm trying to stop having 'going out' clothes (such as this coat) because I rarely go out anywhere dressy; it's pointless keeping clothes for 'best'. I love the colour of this coat; it's almost the same as the cardigan. I also love velvet - so tactile!


All jewellery charity shopped.

I visited a few charity shops in the week and bought a pair of beige (yes, I'm afraid so!) snakeskin type print trousers, (2.99) white cuffed trousers  (3.99) - perfect for holiday; spotty top (1.49) below and a pair of loose, black trousers for 99p.


Saturday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except earrings which were from Sainsbury's about 8 years ago. The spotty top was from the new charity shop in town; Wood Green Animal Shelter.



I took the youngest grandson to the audiology clinic on Thursday. He was born with Microtia so only has hearing in one ear, but he's doing fine. On Friday I went to the hairdressers and for short walk of about 4.5 miles. My daughter and I walked on Saturday, in glorious sunshine for a 4.5 mile walk.


On Sunday I went to visit my son and everyone came for dinner. Again it was chilly when we left about midday but by the time we returned at 5 pm it was warm and sunny.


Top: Monsoon, charity shopped, trousers bought with voucher from Tesco -  so almost free; coat: David Emmanuel, charity shopped. Yellow loafers; old, Tesco outlet store.

Earrings, necklace, watch and bangles all charity shopped. Middle grandson took the photos, so this one is a bit blurry.

I'm looking forward to next week - half term. No school run so a couple of lie-ins instead!  Probably going to a car boot sale on Bank Holiday. I'll be going to the food bank on Tuesday;  I've missed about 3 weeks because of the invigilation. Two trips to London - one to see ex mum-in-law and one for a long walk and visit youngest grandson at the restaurant where he works.

I'm  on the last of the Monica Dicken's books and need to decide what to read next.
I've got a new Anne Cleeves (she writes the books the 'Vera' and 'Shetland' TV series are based on). I've got Angela Thirkell's autobiography; Emma Tennant's reminiscences of her affair with Ted Hughes in 'Burnt Diaries;' or a new Kindle download about the Orkney Islands called 'The Outrun'. Spoilt for choice I am!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Ely weekend


We had a brilliant time in Ely. 

Ely is in Cambridgeshire and is part of the Fens; 14 miles north east of Cambridge, about 44 miles from Bedford. The name Ely  is derived from the Isle of Eels, when the city was surrounded by water and marshland.
 The Fens, also known as the Fenland, is a naturally marshy region in eastern England. Most of the fens were drained several centuries ago, resulting in a flat, damp, low-lying agricultural region.

Ely Cathedral 3.jpg
Ely Cathedral. Known as the 'Ship of the Fens' as its height makes it visible from miles around in the flat countryside.

I am standing outside Oliver Cromwell's house. He crops up a lot in these parts; he went to school in Huntingdon where we visited a few months back here.

White jeggings and green top bought in Tesco's sale about 2 years ago. Scarf, loafers, earrings, bangles and watch all charity shopped.



On Sunday, we went to the Cathedral. We were lucky enough to hear the choir practising. The music they made caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up.
 The cathedral was magnificent. I'm not religious but you cannot but feel a sense of awe in such places at the lengths people went to in their design and devotion to their God.




Beautiful stained glass windows. There is a museum of stained glass here as well.



The Octagonal Tower

Amazing detail  and painting on the ceiling.

After looking at the Cathedral we strolled around looking at wonderful buildings and then walked by the Great River Ouse. We felt quite at home as the same river runs through Bedford.


Prior Crauden's chapel - finished in 1324.


Lady's Hall - completed in the 1330s.


Don't know whose house this is but isn't it gorgeous?


We rummaged on Saturday. Ely has 7 charity shops and we also went to Newmarket in Suffolk which was about 15 miles away and checked out theirs. I bought a spotty cup and saucer in Newmarket and that's all! I bought two tops; a pair of shoes and a small tray with an Art Noveau print on it, in Ely.


This shop (in Newmarket) was originally a butcher's making special sausages under Royal licence. It's now a building society.

Jeans, Save the Children; top British Red Cross; coat, Age UK; scarf, present from step daughter, handbag, birthday present from middle grandson and his mum. Shoes, Primarni.
Can you see the original tiling and lovely pillars?



Earrings - donated by my daughter!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Holiday shopping finished...


I have found everything I need for my holiday in Spain and really have no excuses for rummaging anymore...does that stop me? NO!

Everything charity shopped except kimono - yes another one, which I got from the car boot sale on Sunday. The black loafers are from a local shoe outlet.
On Monday I bought some high waisted dark blue jeans in Save the Children. I packed away my ripped jeans with the winter clothes and I can't be bothered to go up in the loft and rootle around in 3 different bags for them, so when I saw the jeans on the rail on Monday I snapped them up. I have lighter blue jeans but no dark ones - that's my excuse anyway!

Look, Goody! A bathroom selfie! I'm copying Goody of Eat the Blog here who takes lots of selfies in her bathroom. I've done it to show the lovely red earrings I bought last week in the Cancer Research shop.
 I went to the British Red Cross on my way home from volunteering and bought a Spanish top (from Barcelona) with a lovely lady printed on it. I plan to wear the jeans and top on Saturday when we go to Ely. It's the OH's birthday so we're going away for the weekend. Dinner with brothers in Kettering on Friday night and then off to Ely early Saturday morning for an overnight stay. Naturally, I'll be having a rummage but not for holiday clothes!


In fact, I'll be looking for a new rucksack and some walking boots. I went walking on Wednesday with the group to a very small town called Olney, about 12 miles from Bedford; in the county of Buckinghamshire. It's a really pretty little place but I didn't take many photos - only one.

 It rained throughout the entire walk (all 7 miles of it) and my feet were very wet. My boots are supposed to be waterproof and this had never happened before. When I got home and inspected them the material on the uppers had split or torn and that's what let the water in. New ones are required.


I really liked this house i n Olney. The ground floor windows are weird because they seem too small for the style of house, but made of lovely stained glass - and the wisteria is beautiful. I haven't got the colour right in this photo, but then I'm no expert.  I just point and click and hope for the best!


Wednesday's outfit.
Skirt from Age UK (it's since closed down, I'm very sad), top from £1.00 rail at Keech Hospice; necklace from a charity shop in Donegal; brogues from Tesco in the half price sale. Tights on line. Earrings, Sainsburys. Watch and bangle charity shop.


Denim jacket - charity shop.

Whilst I was in Olney, I explored their three charity shops and I bought the most beautiful green Chinese style jacket for a fiver in the Willen Hospice shop. I need to press it first and then I'll post a picture of it. It's very dressy, so I can't see me wearing unless I'm going anywhere a bit special - or maybe I'll just wear it on Friday night and be overdressed!

Oh, go on then - here it is in need of pressing, mind...


I like that the frogging does up on a slant and it has embroidery on pointed sleeves...(it looks very shiny in this photo but it has a nice sheen). You also can't see what a beautiful shade of green it is; this photo doesn't do it justice.


Look, pointy sleeves!


I wore this on Thursday. I started out with long sleeved white top but I spilt Frappuccino down it on my way back from doing the Lidl shop. 

Everything is charity shopped and this skirt was the first thing I bought for the holiday in Spain. I don't know if I like it that much, so I think it might be going in the charity shop bag...


Another bathroom selfie. This is to show the 60s vintage necklace I bought years ago in a charity shop. I know it's vintage 60s because when I was 11, my Uncle Paddy bought me the very same one! He had no idea about buying children presents - being a long time bachelor - but I was delighted with my Christmas present from him back in 1965. He worked, for a time, on the news stand at Paddington Station and used to bring me Agatha Christie paperbacks every week. RIP Uncle Paddy.


On Friday I went walking by myself and walked 8 miles. I saw this beautiful deep pink flower bordering an oil seed rape field and was intrigued by it.  I've never seen it before and have no idea what it is. Does anyone out there know?


I know what this is - it's a cornflower!

Part of my walk takes me along a quiet byway called 'Carriage Walk'. It was once the drive way to the residence of the Earl of Asburnham and it's an avenue of stunning horse chestnut trees...


When I lead my walk on the 15th June I'm planning our mid way break round about here.

'Under the spreading chestnut tree'....
from 'The Village Blacksmith' by Longfellow


There was an abundance of lilac.

The air was full of the sound of skylarks. Vix of Vintage Vixen here has said she doesn't know what a sky lark sounds like, so here's a sample for you, Vix -  listen here


This is Friday's outfit.
 I couldn't be bothered to dress up to go out for dinner; particularly as we would be eating curry and 99% of the time I manage to get some on me!


Maxi dress, charity shop; Top Shop waistcoat; charity shop, orange shoes; Taunton charity shop
Earrings, beads, bangles, orange ring and watch all charity shopped.


Hope you have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Supplementing my pension.....

Friday was a horrible day here. It was cloudy and grey and the wind was cold. I went for a short walk around Bedford and did 4.5 miles. It was not field walking weather at all.


This is Friday's outfit. Skinny jeans, Primarni. Floral pumps, Primarni. Top, bracelet and watch charity shopped. Necklace belonged to my mum. Earrings, Sainsburys.


This cardigan was needed for warmth! I bought it last week in Rushden at the Salvation Army charity shop for £4.00, brand new with tags. It's from Next.


On Saturday I went to see my son.


My perfect navy trousers; £3.50 in Cancer Research. Navy top ; Store 21 sale, shoes Oxfam and the piece de resistance; the green jacket 99p from a charity shop in Taunton last weekend. Beads, earrings and bangles charity shopped.

I went to a car boot sale on Sunday morning. I bought two tops, a brooch, some spotty drinking glasses and some notelets. I thought I had got there late but in fact I was too early! There were only 3 stalls up and 2 more were being unloaded. I didn't hang around  - I had a busy day ahead.


On Monday I was at the charity shop volunteering in the morning, did the school run and then at 6 pm I was invigilating at an exam at the university where I used to work. This is what I wore on Monday.  By the time of this photo I had removed my rings and bangles as my fingers and hands tend to swell up by the evening. My wrists and arms are rarely empty.

Doing little bits of paid work helps supplement my occupational pension.  I don't get my state pension until I'm 65 and six months, which is more than three and a bit years to go, so 'every little helps' - as the advert says! It's especially useful when holidays are coming up.

 Since I retired I've worked as an evening carer for 6 months; going from one client to another in their own homes. I loved it, but it was poorly paid as travel time was not remunerated.



Last year I worked for the local council opening and processing postal votes  - we had 5 elections in all - in April and May; poll clerked on voting day and then invigilated  later in May. I'm also an invigilator for the Open University but so far they have not required my services....


Black skinny jeans; Lidl. Kimono, shoes, top, earrings and necklace; charity shopped. The shoes were a £1.00 find last year in the 3:16 shop and the blue top was also £1.00 from Save the Children.

I'm waiting to hear back from the Council about postal votes opening for the  EU Referendum in June. If they do want me then that's a little bit more money earned...

Fingers crossed!

I'm linking up with Patti's 'Visible Monday' here and Anne's '52 Pick Me Up' here with my beige cardigan.