Friday, 26 January 2018

It's getting warmer chez Vronni...


Hello again!

The rather odd title will have more meaning when you read on but meantime
I've been on a Dorothy Whipple reading binge; recently reading three of her novels in a row. I enjoyed them so much I wanted to read more. With the exception of a book of short stories I've read all of DW's books now and I have a big sense of loss. If you're not familiar with DW she was a popular author earlier in the 20th century who sank into obscurity until rescued and republished by Persephone Books in the early twenty-first century. Her books are quiet, understated stories about people; their lives, loves and mistakes and always beautifully written. Highly recommended. 


I went out for a 6 mile walk last Friday morning; did some food shopping and picked up the grandchildren from school. Another grey day so I tried to brighten things up with some colour. Everything is charity shopped except the shoes from Primarni 5.00 on sale and the shirt from Tu at Sainsbury's, also on sale. I don't like paying full price for anything! The dress is by Joe Brown's and I've had it for about four or five years now. I can't remember which charity shop I got it from. Tights charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of the 7 pairs I bought in St Neot's on an earlier rummage. Scarf charity shopped.


I wore this on Saturday. Checked dress; The Children's Society, 4.29, Cambridge. Cardigan; M&S charity shopped somewhere. Top under dress by Primarni. Boots present from daughter. Scarf charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; Christmas present from OH.

I had a very quiet weekend and did quite a lot of crocheting. I'm now on to the third set of squares for eldest grandson's blanket - 20 x yellow circles in a black square. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this I'll be on the final set of squares. I've decided to go with more red circles as I have a lot of red wool left. I had to go out and buy a ball of black wool as I didn't have enough but I'm hoping to use up all the red, yellow and orange wool I left over when I do the blanket border. I'll make quite a deep border.


On Tuesday I took the youngest grandson to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for an appointment. This was my outfit. Everything is charity shopped except the OTK boots - online retail.


The jewellery is all charity shopped. The earrings were another of the seven pairs I bought last week in my St. Neot's rummage.

On Wednesday, I went walking on my own again. I find it very difficult to get out if bed on these dark mornings so I can't always make the group walks in time - they start at 10 am and I usually have a 20 or 30 minute drive to the meeting point. At the moment it's easier to walk on my own at a time of my own choice. Wednesday was very windy, cold but with a beautiful blue sky and some sun. Yippee! I recce'd my walk for the Ramblers and did 7 miles. I saw a flock of Redwings which made my day. I'd never seen a flock before. I didn't have my rucksack with me so no binoculars but I'm almost sure they were Redwings...



On Thursday evening OH and I went to our other local cinema, Cineworld to see 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri'. A brilliant film which I first heard of here at 'Mrs. Miniver's Daughter'; a lovely blog about books, films, exhibitions and sometimes, food!

I walked again on Friday this time with the Ramblers and did the Friday bus walk. We caught the bus to the village of Turvey and walked to the village on Olney in Buckinghamshire; 7 miles away, then caught the bus back to Bedford. It was cold but very bright and sunny. A lovely walk with lovely people. We finished with tea and cake whilst waiting for the return bus...I rarely travel on buses so it's always a treat for me and I always see things I haven't noticed before! I changed  into this when I got back to pick the grandchildren up from school.


 Every thing I'm wearing here is charity shopped. The top was from a 99p/1.00 rail somewhere and the jeans more than likely came from the Red Cross 1.99. Both are by Next.

I went to Kempston in the week and had a look in two charity shops. I bought a few things in the Keech Hospice shop including this striped cardigan above for 2.25. They had 50% off coats, jackets and skirts. Trying to get rid of as much winter winter clothing as possible, I expect before they bring out the Spring/Summer clothes. People have reported seeing snowdrops so it means Spring is on the way. I've seen cherry blossom but it certainly doesn't feel like Spring!

Last Sunday I had planned to go for a 7 mile walk with my daughter but it rained, sleeted and snowed -  so that was the end of that idea! I wore this outfit on Sunday. More monochrome! The velvet trousers are the bottom half of one of those velour track suits and it and the spotted top and waistcoat were all charity shopped. I'm wearing my black BNWT New Look Chelsea boots bought in Newport Pagnell at the Willen Hospice shop for 6.00.


I like these sets of photos together but I can't remember how the heck I got these three together like this. Of course I did it on my phone which complicates matters..


All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which I treated myself to from Sainsbury's.


Tuesday was volunteer day. I wore this sweater dress I bought last week in the Keech Hospice shop for 3.99. It's by Tu (Sainsbury's) and although I already have a navy sweater dress; this one is made of fine wool, has a V neck and two pockets. The striped jacket was bought in the same place at the same time. Scarf and boots also charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped. Earrings another pair of the 7 I bought in St Neot's a couple of weeks back.

I've been very busy over the past weeks researching online and running around to get a range of quotes. My house was built in 1906 and although we have central heating; it's a very cold house as we have the original sash windows at the front and wooden floors. I've decided to replace the kitchen window, back door and bathroom window (all put in in the 1960s) with UPVC ones, which will help retain the heat. Not pretty I know but functional. The glass in standard UPVC windows is seven times thicker than the glass in my windows - so one of the guys who came to give me a quote told me! I'm also going to open up the chimney breast in our original living room and install a multi fuel stove. That should help warm the house up when needed and we can move back in there. We swapped living rooms about three years ago and our original living room is bigger.

If I have enough money left (!) I want to replace our kitchen as the current one is a cheap one installed by my friend's husband in 2005. Also, it is such a small kitchen I've never had room for my fridge and freezer in there; I would like to have a kitchen where these two appliances are integrated instead of being out in the hall....

 I had planned to go walking on Wednesday but it was a rotten day - very windy and wet! Instead I visited various local places that stock solid fuel stoves and a kitchen specialist shop. I bought a solid fuel stove and by my next post it may be in place, burning wood or coal - fingers crossed! However,  as I was in Ampthill that, of course, means Barnardo's and the 99p rail. I did so well. I bought a tunic; another sweater dress, a pair of cropped jeans, a short sleeved top, a long lightweight coat, another scarf (yes really!) and some long blue beads - all 99p.

What was even better than my bargains was that I met an old colleague in Barnardo's who is now volunteering there. I last saw her in 2000, so it was lovely to meet her again. We're going to get together very soon.

Comfy clothes for trekking around the shops
Everything charity shopped. M&S jeans; Primark denim shirt; Fat Face cardigan. Boots present from daughter.


All jewellery charity shopped.

On Thursday, OH took a day's holiday and we had a day of culture in London.  We were in London just before midday. Our plan was to go to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum; have dinner out and then go to Shepherd's Bush Empire to watch 'This is the Kit' in the evening.  I first heard this band on Irish radio in the summer and bought all their albums when I got back to the UK. They are firm favourites of mine now; you can have a listen to them here. I saw they had a concert on in January so I booked some tickets - in October! They are appearing in Cambridge at 'The Junction' on 26th. If I'd known that back in October I would have booked tickets for Cambridge; only 30 miles away but then I would have missed out on a fabulous day in London...


Home made vintage  swing coat bought at a car boot sale, scarves charity shopped, boots from Sainsburys. Leather gloves; Christmas present from my friend Ann. This is what I wore to London and kept on for most of the day. It was a chilly but sunny day and the Empire, too, was pretty cold until all the seats filled up with people.


The Zara tunic was bought in Barnardo's on Wednesday for 99p; jacket M&S; charity shopped in Kettering. Leggings also M&S retail.


All jewellery charity shopped including another pair of the 7 pairs of earrings bought in the Hospice shop in St. Neots.


 'The Lovers,' by Paul Day is at  St. Pancras International but I have never seen it before! Probably because it's outside the station and I'm usually inside heading from the mainline station to the tube.

It is a truly wonderful piece of sculpture. This is one of the many detailed sections from the plinth.

The V&A was fantastic. I had never been before despite being born in and living in London until I was 18 and for some periods after that. I'm nearly 64 now and thought it was time I went! Better late than never is my motto.

We were there for about three hours and I only managed to have a look at the fashion section - not the Balenciaga Exhibition sadly; it was booked up; the jewellery section and briefly, the ceramics. Another trip is required to see the rest of the things I want to see! After  standing for many hours looking at beautiful objects and yes, I admit it, almost dribbling at times; I developed back ache and we, very extravagantly, got a cab from the V& A to Shepherd's Bush where we had dinner and went to the gig.

'This is the Kit' - 25th January 2018 - on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire doing the final encore!

It was a wonderful day and the gig was fantastic. I'll post more about the exhibits at the V&A in my next post otherwise you'll be here all night reading it! I should also have completed Grandson's blanket and can show you the finished article.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and for those in colder climes, stay warm!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone!
I know the New Year is eleven days old already and I'm a bit late...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I didn't mention in my previous post the lovely Christmas presents I received this year.  Three Persephone books from my wish list and 3 CDs (I know, I'm so last century, but I like to be able to have my music in solid form not in cyberspace or in/on a computer chip!) Three types of perfume; two, some of my all time favourites and one that's new to me. I went from having no slippers to two new pairs; both of which are greatly appreciated. A new bra and pants set. Some earrings; a pearl necklace with matching large pearl earrings. A map holder and an ear warmer; both for when I'm out walking.  A paperweight and a fabulous bookmark. A bracelet. A gift voucher. Some thick woollen tights. Some Ferrerro Rocher and the biggest bar of chocolate I've ever seen...thank you so much!

On Friday before New Year's Day OH and I went to Cambridge for a rummage. It's been ages since we had been to Cambridge and we were going a bit stir crazy as we hadn't been out for a few days. I'd gone out on Thursday for a short 4.8 mile walk as I needed to start getting back into a walking routine after a only walking once a week for the past three weeks.


I thought I'd give the Welsh Tapestry cape an outing to Cambridge . I bought it at the Red Cross in their closing down sale with 50% off  - 2.49. It was nice and warm and two women complimented me on it when I was out and about in Cambridge. I bought the bag at Barnardo's for 4.99 a few months ago. I find it hard to resist a sparkly, sequinned bag; it reminds me of my hippy days! Everything is charity shopped except the boots; present from daughter, Christmas 2016.


I'd been to the hairdressers first thing on Friday morning; I was badly in need of a hair cut.
Purple velvet trousers 1.00 rail somewhere. Apricot tunic; can't remember. Brown lace top can't remember either...can you see more scarves peeking out at the end of the cupboard? They're hanging on an Ikea scarf hanger thingy...

Necklace -  present from OH; earrings from Sainsbury's; bangles and ring charity shopped.

I bought one garment; a checked shirt dress for 4.29 in the Children's Society. I bought 8 balls of wool in the same colour for 4.00 in Sense. I also bought two rings; one in the RSPCA for 1.25 - a pink one; and a silver one for 75p in the Heart Foundation and in Scope I bought a bangle for 50p. In the Oxfam shop I bought a tray for 20p - I love it!


My favourite shop amongst the Cambridge charity shops is the Salvation Army shop in Mill Road but it wasn't open. The Romsey Hospice shop wasn't open either and the YMCA had disappeared, but we managed to get to 11 charity shops in total!


On Saturday i went to see my son and this is what I wore. The trousers were bought in the Sainsbury's sale at 50% off; the boots were a Christmas present from my daughter the Christmas before last. Everything else is charity shopped. The shirt is by F&F and was from the 1.00 rail at the Red Cross; the tunic was bought a couple of years ago; I haven't worn it very much really. It was 2.99 from Age UK in Ampthill.

On New Year's Eve I was baby sitting and saw the New Year in with OH, a glass of Canadian Club and ginger ale and 'Hootenanny' on the TV. The one thing I like to do each New Year's Eve is count up how many books I've read. I started recording what books I read in about 2006; I used to record them on a spread sheet; yes, I am anally retentive, I know. Now, I just record the books read on a list and they are part of this blog, too, but on a separate page. This year I managed to read 92!


This was New Year's Day outfit, The dress is from Primarni - bought with a Christmas gift voucher, Boots present from daughter. Tights, scarf and jewellery  (except earrings) all charity shopped.


It's not obvious in this photo but the tights are plaid.

Earrings a present from OH bought in Oxford market on a birthday trip to Oxford a few years ago. Necklace bought in Derry charity shop in the summer.

I took the youngest grandson swimming on Tuesday and got back into my walking routine on Wednesday with a 6.7 mile walk to St.Owen's Church in Bromham and back. It was flippin windy! I had errands to run in town when I got back and I couldn't do my usual shortcut through the flats near the bus station as the wind lifted my poncho off me and blew it away - and I nearly got blown over along with it! I went the longer way round in the end...


Everything charity shopped. The grey checked dress was bought in Cambridge last week for 4.99. I'll be able to wear it as a dress as well, with boots and tights or even sandals in the warmer weather. The grey cardigan was from the Red Cross shop for 1.99 as were the jeans.  The top underneath the dress was from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. Grey boots also charity shopped.


Yellow necklace present from OH last year. Yellow earrings, and bangles charity shopped.

Had a little rummage in Ampthill on Thursday. I only went to Barnardo's and bought a few things from the 99p rail; a red summer skirt by M&S, a purple patterned long sleeved top by Wallis, a sleeveless coral floral top by Betty Barclay and a brand new white cardigan with black spots by Tu. I also bought some coral and blue beads also for 99p and a few bits for the grandsons. On the way back I stopped at the Cat's Protection League - fast becoming one of my favourite shops; just think I didn't know of its existence until last year! I bought a most unusual, foreign label coat for 7.00 which on a tall person would be floor length, but on me there's at least a foot of excess material. I'm going ask my highly skilled needle woman friend, Ann, to shorten it for me and when she does I'll show it to you. It's blue with a zip but has a fitted shape, and the bottom half can be removed leaving just a very short jacket which I won't be doing as it sits on top of my fat tummy...

Ooops! Charlie's dead...(For Non UK readers that means in London parlance 'your slip or petticoat is showing')

Everything charity shopped except the boots - present from daughter December 2016. I'm wearing the 'Riot of colour' cardigan bought recently from the Bedford Guild House for 2.25. The green dress was from the Red Cross 1.99. I can't remember where I got the tights from but they were charity shopped and a few months later I found a second identical pair. They are very warm and cosy.


Necklace bought in Tralee, Co. Kerry charity shop last summer. All other jewellery also charity shopped.


Shirt and tunic charity shopped. Jeans; Lidl, boots present from daughter 2015.


Scarf charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.


It was middle grandson's birthday last Friday - he's 13 - a teenager! I made him a chocolate birthday cake and on Saturday I took him out to spend his birthday money and to have dinner at the new steak restaurant in the new quarter in Bedford. I also spent a couple of sessions helping him to ride his bike. He hasn't ridden a bike since he was 5 and that one had stabilisers so he needed a lot of practice. He managed 13 laps of the car park on Saturday. On Sunday we went out for walk cum bike ride from Priory Country Park to the Danish camp in Willington; 5.7 miles. He can now truly ride his bike after that!


Dress by East; it has a full slip underneath; charity shopped but can't remember where, possibly 99p rail  in Barnardo's in Ampthill last year. Kimono by New Look; also charity shopped somewhere. OTK boots online retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.


Tuesday was back to the normal
volunteering routine. Food bank in the morning and the library in the afternoon. We were totally inundated with donations at the food bank; it will take days to clear it all.

Everything is charity shopped except the OTK boots online retail. Skirt; 1.99 Red Cross; sleeveless top Great Plains; Save the Children 3.99. Can't remember where I got the white lace top from but it was a charity shop somewhere. I don't like the green top on so it's been allocated to the charity shop bag....


All jewellery charity shopped. This was taken in the evening so I'm flushed and shiny...I don't think I'm shiny like this in reality but it's the reflection of the light and the flash from the camera. You can tell I don't do anything to my photos! What you see is what you get.

I walked again on Wednesday by myself as it was raining in the morning when the group usually walks. It was surprisingly mild after the very cold weather we've been having and very welcome, too. Not even a breeze. I did 6 miles.

On Thursday I went to St. Neots for a little rummage. It was damp, misty, chilly and very grey. I bought two brooches and 7 pairs of earrings in the charity shops but no clothes! I had to have an earring cull to accommodate the new pairs but that is something I do regularly. I've also managed to fill another black plastic bag with items for the charity shop.


I went for a monochrome look despite the grey weather.  I'll wear colour tomorrow if the grey weather continues. I bought the trousers from The Children's Society; they're by F & F and were 2.99. I've had the cardigan for quite a while also charity shopped as is the Next lace top, but I don't remember where I got it from.


The boots were donated by my daughter about 3 years ago and this is the last wear I'll get out of them as the sole has split on one. It wouldn't be worth re heeling and resoling them as it would cost more than they originally did. Things come to an end don't they? 


All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were ones bought in St. Neots from Scope where I spent 3.50 on four pair of earrings.

My crochet blanket is going well; so far I've made 30 squares - only 70 to go! I'd better get cracking as eldest grandson is moving out in a couple of weeks and he'll want his blanket....