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.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Obsessions...


I'm on a bit of a Monica Dickens (great grand daughter of Charles Dickens) reading mission at the moment. I read 'One Pair of Hands' at school and followed it with 'One Pair of Feet'.  I read 'The Listeners' some time ago (I picked it up in a charity shop) then I got 'Mariana' as a Persephone book present  last year and then another one; 'Winds of Heaven' for Christmas this year.

This isn't my Persephone edition, of course, bur the original Penguin edition!

 I checked to see what the library had of Monica Dickens books
 and requested 2 which I've not long finished reading, I requested some more and I've just picked up 6 reservations; all from the stacks.

 I'm a bit obsessive about authors I like; I try to read their entire back list, if I can. 

Fabulous vintage cover!
I'm helped in these endeavours by my public library and thank God we still have ours. It's a wonderful resource. Today, whilst picking up my books, I saw a youngish man doing a very large jigsaw; a young woman, her friend and a small child doing a craft project, people reading the papers, using the photocopier and choosing books, DVDs and CDs. (Apparently, they do digital downloads of both books and music too - which I must check out). Upstairs in the library, people were using the computers; the reference section and the local history section. When I was doing my degree as mature student back in the 1980s; the local history section was a godsend. They also have a 'Knit and Natter' group on a Wednesday afternoon; public talks and lectures throughout the year and toddler/baby activities, too.

Let's hear it for our public libraries and let us cherish and preserve them!

I'm a bit obsessive on the whole, really. If I like something I want lots of it or to engage in it a lot - walking, charity shopping to give just two examples. Perhaps I'm just greedy?

 I like loafers so I have to have pairs in lots of different colours; I like to crochet so I have collected wool  in every colour while I'm out charity shopping.  I've stopped now because I have run out of storage for wool, but I was tempted by some purple wool yesterday. I like earrings, so I have earrings in all colours and shapes and have a collection of more than 300! I like bangles and have them in all colours...still seeking the elusive yellow ones, though!

Image result for loafer images

I like books and keep buying them, even though storage space for books is almost all gone and I could never read all the books I have - even if I started tomorrow and read everyday until I die! Still, I'll never be short of something to read will I; especially if I get to the point of not being able to make it to the library. Really, I should stop getting books from my library and just read through my shelves at home. That was my plan originally but I keep reading book reviews and then I go to the library to track them down and so it goes on. And on...

At least my obsessions are harmless and I can accommodate them in my home - I've not had to resort to piling stuff in the hallway and on the stairs and in every room until it's inaccessible like some real life hoarders do!

Today's (Tuesday) weather was a bit of a shock - rain - after 6 days of sunshine!


Earrings charity shopped; ,as is the blue and green top bought last year as the summer ended, for 99p.


When I started out this morning, these green Laura Ashley trousers (charity shopped) were crisply ironed. When I went into town for a bit of a rummage - I was seeking navy blue, Capri or 7/8 trousers; I stepped on a loose pavement and ended up with a very wet foot and soaked trouser bottoms!


 The blue cuff was 20p from the Salvation Army in Rushden last week. Blue loafers bought two years ago in an on line sale. I did find the perfect pair of navy blue trousers today - hurrah!! I also bought a lovely blue striped duvet set to replace the one I've just given my eldest grandson.

After almost 8 months he's finally found a room in London near his university. As he works in a restaurant in Sloane Square as well, he frequently  travels back to Bedford late and because I live close to the station, he's been staying with me  a lot of the time. I shall miss him but he'll be back for Sunday dinners!

I did the winter to summer clothes changeover this week. What a pain in the arse it is! Anyway,  it's done  now and as is often the case in my case - the weather changes. Here's what I wore on Wednesday. I walked 6.5 miles on my own and got caught in the rain and got soaked!

I still haven't painted my toenails....
Loose trousers charity shopped, top donated to me by my daughter, sandals charity shopped.


I bought this watch in the 3:16 charity shop. I like the big numbers on it.


Earrings and necklace charity shopped. The necklace was a bit itchy so I won't be wearing it much I don't think.

This is Thursday's outfit. We walked in a village called Old Warden only 4.5 miles but what a beautiful day it was.


Loose trousers from Bedford Market - a fiver, I think, last summer.


Top, loafers, earrings and watch - all charity shopped. I think I've caught the sun on my meanderings. At least I've remembered to put the sunscreen on!

How's your week going?

Monday, 9 May 2016

Summer's caught me on the hop!


Necklace, watch (M & S, bought in 3:16 charity shop on Thursday), bangle and earrings all charity shopped.

I wore this outfit last Thursday. The beautiful weather we've had since last Wednesday has caught me on the hop and I hadn't got round to painting my toe nails! I like to have painted toenails if I'm wearing sandals in the summer. 

These sandals are about 5 years old and were bought in the Clark's sale. I also have a brown pair. The magenta skinny jeans were charity shopped last week in Rushden and the striped top also charity shopped a few months ago. Whilst I was rummaging in Rushden last Tuesday afternoon I also bought a BNWT, Next, cardigan for £4.00; and a plain white, short sleeved, Next top for £1.00. I picked up some earrings and a turquoise and silver cuff for 20p, all from the Salvation Army charity shop.

On Wednesday I went rambling and we walked from Biggleswade to the RSPB headquarters in Sandy which was 7 miles.


The Lodge - Headquarters of the RSPB in Sandy, Bedfordshire,


The topiary above is an Avocet which is the RSPB symbol. It had pride of place on the lawn!


Rhododendrons blooming in the grounds.


This beautiful Georgian house is called 'Shortmead House' and was rescued from near dereliction by the current owners and lovingly restored. It has a par terre at the front and a lovely small lake, as well.

I walked by myself last Thursday and did another 7 miles.


On Friday, I drove to Devon to see my best friend of 50 years. We had a lovely time. We went charity shopping in Taunton on Saturday and this is what I wore. The palazzo pants are from Sainsburys 50% off, top charity shopped, shoes charity shopped, watch, beads, bangles and earrings all charity shopped.


I bought some orange comfy shoes, a beautiful hand made, greeny/blue jacket for 99p, a black, orange and white top, some books and a pair of swimming trucks for middle grandson. What I was looking for was some navy blue trousers. Did I find any? No. I'm still looking.


This is my lovely friend, Hilary.



As well as charity shopping, eating out, and visiting Hilary's daughter and grandchildren we managed to fit in a bit of walking. On Saturday we walked about 4 miles and passed this telephone box cum free library in a little village called Bolham.



You take any book and leave a donation which goes to charity. You can also donate books. I think it's a great idea as most of our old telephone boxes are now gone and the new ones are just plain hideous!


On Sunday we walked by the canal and did 8.77 miles. We passed these nesting swans on the opposite bank. We also saw, later on, a swan followed by some very new cygnets.


There was a lovely little canal side cottage tea room with a tea pot theme....


How was your week?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bank Holiday Monday walking



No, I didn't come across this lady on my London walk. I wish I had! Isn't she colourful and fun?

She's called 'Mrs. Back to Front' and she's a Punch and Judy Professor. She runs a Punch and Judy show and on the second Sunday in May in Covent Garden there is a Punch and Judy Festival. Who knew? I got this information from a fascinating blog called 'Spitalfields Life' here.

The walk on Bank Holiday  Monday was marvellous.  The Westbourne River starts at Hampstead but we didn't go that far. We started at Marble Arch, walked down Bayswater Road on to Paddington and Paddington Station; then to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park; Knightsbridge to Chelsea where the river runs through special pipes at Sloane Square tube station;  onto the Chelsea Pensioners Hospital: along the Embankment and just down the road from here is where the Westbourne river flows into the Thames via a tunnel; across the bridge to Battersea Park and back via Hyde Park to Marble Arch. 12 miles in all and my feet were throbbing by the time I got home. Pavements are far harder to walk on than fields, woods and footpaths!



This is a house in Cheyne Walk in London. I just loved the Wisteria as well  as the house. 5 storeys and a basement - that's a lot of cleaning!

We have Wisteria at the back of our house but it hasn't blossomed yet...

A lot of famous people lived in Cheyne Walk -  so there were lots of blue plaques including; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Eliot; Sir John Lavery; Algernon Swinburne, to name just a few.


This is, of course, the Albert Memorial opposite the Albert Hall opposite Kensington Gardens. 

When I was a child and lived in London, we walked from where we lived (North Paddington) to Kensington Gardens regularly (about 5 miles by my reckoning); sometimes with our dog and sometimes without. 

As well as the Round Pond and the Peter Pan statue; the London Museum was situated in Kensington Palace and free. We spent a lot of time in that museum. It  moved to London Wall  in 1976 and in 2021 it is supposed to move to Smithfield.


We saw these horse riders cross over from Hyde Park and into this mews - there must be stables down there somewhere...

I'm walking again on Wednesday and this weekend I'm off to Devon to see my best friend of 50 years. 

Hope you are all having a good week!