Friday, 3 June 2016

Rainy days and Mondays...


I'm sorry now, I packed my winter stuff away! It's been a horrible week of weather here; cold, wet and windy. I actually put my heating on for two evenings because I was tired of feeling cold. Despite the weather it's been a busy sort of week. Too busy to take outfit photos much of the time, but here's one I remembered to take as I was getting ready for bed on BH Monday night:

I still haven't got round to painting my toenails....

Everything charity shopped except the trousers which were bought from the sale rail in Sainsbury's!

I didn't go to a car boot sale on Monday because the weather was dodgy. I didn't want to drive there - it's about 9 miles away - to find it had been called off because of the weather. It didn't rain that much in the end but I did something very useful instead. I got out my sewing basket and did some mending! I sew so rarely it's worth a blog mention.

I took up two pairs of trousers (including the one in the photo above), sewed a tie back onto a dress and mended, quite successfully, I thought, a rip in my eldest grandson's jacket. He turned up unexpectedly on BH Monday and it was lovely to see him. I did lots of his washing and he set off back to London with a red suitcase full of clean clothes and a large shopping bag containing a dismantled computer desk.  I picked it up in the British Heart Foundation shop for a fiver! 

The weather has interfered with my walking, too. I wanted to walk on Tuesday but it was a day where it rained all day without stopping until about 5 pm. I'd gone to the the food bank in the morning and had hoped it would clear up enough in the afternoon to go walking  - but it didn't. It wasn't a particularly nice day on Wednesday either, but I went walking in London with my daughter.

One of the many beautiful canal side homes we passed on our walk. This one was between London Zoo and Regent's Park Mosque.

We walked part of the Jubilee Greenway. We didn't realise this when we started out but kept seeing discs in the towpath saying 'Jubilee Greenway'. In fact, we were following a walk I found online, but it dated back to 1999;  'Little Venice to Mile End', 8.3 miles.  By the time we added the walk from the train to the tube, it came to 10+ miles. 

We started off from Little Venice (nearest tube Warwick Avenue). My primary school was quite close to here and it was a frequent outing taken by the school .  Here you pick up the Grand Union Canal and the walk was mostly on the canal towpath. We passed London Zoo, where we saw a couple of boars and in the aviary some herons and cranes. At some point we picked up the Regents Canal and came to Camden Lock; then King's Cross, then Islington where we had to get off the canal towpath and walk to the Angel. We picked the towpath up again and we stayed on it until the end, at Mile End. We could have gone on for another mile to Limehouse Basin, but daughter was freezing so went for a coffee to warm up. It was a col, windy and wet day but the walk was great!


We saw this wonderful display on one of the many narrow boats we passed.


One canal side dweller had opted for a life size cow as an ornament on their balcony...


This gorgeous lady, on closer inspection, is being defecated and urinated on by two cherubs  - or is it just me?  She was dangling from the opposite bank of the canal.  She looks uncannily like Amy Winehouse.


Finally, an extremely enterprising person has set up a floating bookshop on the canal called: 'Word on the Water'. How clever! Unfortunately, it was closed so we couldn't have a nose round.

We saw police divers at work. I asked them if it was a training exercise and they said no. As there weren't any body bags  or stretchers around I assumed they might have been searching for a weapon but I suppose I'll never know. Damn it, I want to know what they were looking for!

Back to London on Thursday to see ex mum-in-law. We took middle and youngest grandsons to Nandos - they love it. Can't see why - I was not impressed.


Friday's outfit. Top and cardigan; charity shopped. Skinny jeans and boots - Primarni. Necklace, bangles and earrings; charity shopped.


It was so cold, this is what I wore when I went food shopping!


Luckily, I don't pack everything away for summer. This coatigan is by Mint Velvet and I bought it three years ago from a charity shop in Northampton. Yes, it was cold enough for gloves!

I believe the weekend is bringing better weather - I do hope so!

I'm linking up with Anne's 52 Pick Me Up - Black/White at Spygirl here just because I can!

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!