Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Of pigs and pheasants...

I went walking on my own on Friday morning after dropping the grandchildren to school. I tried to retrace the route of the walk we did on Wednesday. I got lost (as usual!) but ended up walking 7 miles in total. I know where I went wrong - I walked the wrong way round the woods.  I disturbed lots of pheasants and patridges whilst I was out - they were flying out of the undergrowth by the dozen and the pheasants ran like crazy. Next time I'll have the route perfected and can add it to my list of local walks.

This is the Irish Blarney Mills woollen cardigan I bought from the Save the Children last week. It's dark grey with brown speckles and lovely and warm. I didn't need to wear a jacket with this on Friday. The trousers are also the ones I bought last week.

In fact everything is charity shopped and that's the bangle I bought last week, too. It's very simple; two white discs on a silver bangle. I bought the necklace from Marie Curie in Bedford.

I went for another walk on Saturday; only 4.5 miles but I had some interesting company!

I wished I'd put some apples in my rucksack to feed this beauty. Part of the walk I did takes me through the estate of Howbury Hall; home of the Polhill family. They have a herd of these lovely black pigs who are very curious and friendly.

 Howbury Hall, Bedford

Howbury House during the second world war when it was used as a hospital.

Saturday's outfit

Once again everything is charity shopped except the boots donated by my daughter and the earrings were part of a set -  a present from OH. Can you see I pinned a silver leaf brooch to my scarf to keep the knot in place? Unfortunately it didn't last as the scarf was made of slippery chiffon...

The red skinny jeans are from Laura Ashley, the top from River Island and the waistcoat from Gap.

 My Monbretia (Crocosomia) plant is dying off...

Here's mummy pig and three (possibly four - see the extreme left) of her babies. 

There's another walk we've done in the past to Ickwell (in Hertfordshire) where there are some lovely pink porkers and Vietnamese pot bellied pigs to see. I've also seen Llama's in a field on one of our walks but can't remember where it was now.

I bought these lovely Alstromerias in Lidl.

On Sunday OH took photos using my camera rather than the camera on my phone. I can't make them any larger as they spill over the margins but I can't see any difference in the quality - can you?

I went for the monochrome look to do the house work, cook dinner  and make a plum crumble. Everything is charity shopped except the brogues from Tesco sale.

I love the sleeves on this top but they do tend to soak up water when I'm washing up!

Although I have mastered the technology of taking photos on my camera; downloading them to my Chromebook and then on to my blog; it's easier and just as effective to use the phone camera. Who knew?

Monday's outfit

Top ; Save the Children some weeks ago £4.00 - it's by the White Stuff; wool cardigan/jacket Barnardo's last week £3.99 and leggings M&S but can't remember which charity shop...

Everything charity shopped except the boots - from Lidl a few weeks ago. Very comfortable...

I remembered to wear a brooch - bought from Save the Children some months ago for £1.00.
(Six year old grandson took the photos).

I had to go into the Red Cross charity shop to say hello to the Manageress - I do this every week - and ended up spending £5.97 on: three tops for me and I also bought a sweatshirt for my middle grandson in Save the Children for 75p. I think one of the tops might be a bit tight - but it's navy with a coloured paisley pattern so I hope not, but if it is my friend might like it.  Another top is long sleeved too but made of very light material; probably more suited to summer; the third item was a ginger coloured Zara cardigan. Total spend this week is £6.72. I have donated two 'going out' or dressy type dresses; one worn once and the other twice; plus a shrug that was too tight on the arms (again). So 3 items in and 3 items out...

I had quite a lazy day on Tuesday partly because I've got this bug that everyone seems to have. Middle grandson and his mum have had it; blocked and snotty nose with a cough that is particularly troublesome at night. I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday as I didn't want to share my germs with everyone.

Everything charity shopped except the cardigan which I bough in a La Redoute sale about 7 years ago so I've had my money's worth!

I went to the library; ran a few errands in town; did some household chores and then got stuck into my latest book. It's by Dodie Smith (author of 'I Capture the Castle', 1001 Dalmations; among others) and I'm enjoying it. I do enjoy reading women authors of the 1930s and 1940s; many of whom have now been forgotten. I don't think Dodie Smith is one such author but she is really only known for the two books mentioned above.

I don't have many pairs of boot cut trousers left, maybe two or three pairs and this is the only cord pair I possess. I used to always wear cord trousers in the winter in all sorts of colours and I can't think why I stopped wearing them; maybe with the advent of skinny trousers. I've never seen skinny cords - have you?

These cords are from Primarni, the top is an unknown label but bought in the British Red Cross shop earlier this year for £1.99. Boots charity shopped.

Necklace charity shopped; earrings from Sainsburys.

I had my first cough free night on Tuesday night; slept really well and woke up too late to walk with the group  - so I set out on my own  on Wednesday morning and walked just over 7 miles. It was a bright, clear with a chilly wind and I had a brilliant walk. Saw more pheasants, a sparrowhawk and a buzzard as well as skylarks, meadow pipits, rooks, wood pigeons, blackbirds, blue tits, dunnocks, robins, great tits and gulls. I'm sure there  were even more species but the little buggers don't stay still long enough for me to get a good look at them!

This knitted dress is from Autograph at M&S and yet another £1.99 bargain from the Red Cross shop back in the Spring. Today is the first day I've worn it. I could have done with a warm cardigan over it as it got very cold later in the day.

All jewellery is charity shopped. I particularly like long silver necklaces because they go with everything! The watch is from Next and was a Christmas present about five years ago from my daughter.

Both tights and brothel creepers/beetle crushers were bought online.

On Thursday I'm going walking on my own and do the weekly food shopping. On Friday I'll go walking again and do the school run. My friend, Hilary, hopes to arrive about two in the afternoon, so we'll catch up, go out for a meal on Friday evening; some chazza shopping on Saturday and a walk on Sunday morning before Hilary departs for Devon. She is retiring at the end of December so we hope to see more of each other next year and she is definitely coming to stay with me in Ireland.

I've got both grandsons on Sunday night as it's half term next week - thank goodness -  a break from the school run and maybe a visit to London to see the ex mum-in-law...

Hope your week is going well and your weekend does, too.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Holding myself to account

My weekend passed peacefully enough  - even with the two grandsons staying! Let's put it this way - there was no bloodshed. Just low level constant sniping and bickering. They both got into bed with me on Sunday morning having woken me up at 7.30 am (aaagh the horror!); we had a very strenuous play fight and tickling session. I think I was the winner.

We went to visit my son on Saturday. I was glad I wore a jumper because it's definitely jumper weather now. This is the top I bought in the 3:16 sale and the trousers were bought last week in a new charity shop for a local day hospice in Kempston (just outside Bedford) for £4.00. Brogues from Tesco sale. All jewellery charity shopped.

I remembered to wear one of my brooches!
 I've had these earrings for about 20 years.

I finally had a really good sort out of my wardrobes at the weekend. OH had put a floating shelf in the top half of my wardrobe to hold my handbags (my idea) unfortunately the combined weight was a bit much and they kept toppling off. I removed them from the shelf, put them in plastic storage boxes and pushed them under the bed - which is where they were originally kept. This allowed me to remove all  trousers off their hangers, fold them up and stack them on the shelf instead. 

I now have less packed wardrobes with a rail for skirts, cardigans and waistcoats. Another rail for tops and tunics. I keep dresses and jackets on the bottom rail of what was my son's wardrobe along with evening/going out wear; whilst coats, long dresses and walking gear are hanging in a cupboard next to the bathroom. I cleared all my stuff out of the shared (with OH) chest of drawers so it's all his and moved mine to the drawers in the cupboard in the bedroom. So, almost all my clothes are in one place now. I still don't have drawer space to store my slips, gloves and swim suits so I keep them in boxes under the bed. I'm not complaining (really) as for much of my adult life I shared a double wardrobe with the whole family!

On Monday I wore these green Next shoes (BNWT) bought in the Spring from the 3:16 charity shop for £2.50. Although the heel is small I just find walking in any heeled shoe an uncomfortable experience.  I was glad once I got home from volunteering in Save the Children to get them off! I tried the 'half tuck' thing with the green top into the skirt and I like it.

The cardigan is from M & S and bought in the Red Cross shop for £1.99 last week. The green top was also bought from there earlier this year and was a staple of my summer wardrobe - it has short sleeves and it's green! The green and black skirt I've had for ages and this was the first time I've worn it. The pendant is from Age UK in Newport Pagnell and the earrings are from Bedford Market.

I've decided to keep a log of what I spend in the charity shops and this week I've spent quite a lot. I spent £11.00 in Save the Children on Monday alone. I bought a striped maxi dress for next summer at £3.00; an Irish made cardigan for £4.50; a necklace for £1.00; 2 pairs of school shorts for middle grandson at £1.50 and a ball of green wool for £ 1.00. I'm hoping to start a new crochet throw in greens and blues any day now...

On Tuesdays I'm at the food bank and its pretty chilly in the warehouse, so I wrap up well. Everything charity shopped except the trousers which are from Lidl. All jewellery charity shopped.

Excuse the tree trunk arms!

We did a 6 mile local walk on Wednesday. This is us approaching Great Wood in Ravensden - just before the rain came down!

Thursday's outfit

Continuing with the charity shop spending theme I bought this 100% wool jacket/cardigan in Barnardo's on Wednesday afternoon for £3.99.  It's by C. Gilbert designs and it has a phone number on the label! I think it's a Liverpool code...I bought one of the grandsons a winter jacket for £1.99; a necklace for £1.99 and a bracelet for £1.00.  I then went on to visit the Cat's Protection League shop in Kempston on Wednesday and bought a pair of cuffed blue, black and white trousers for £1.99.£21.99 spent so far...

The  purple and blue top was charity shopped last winter and I think this is my first wear. It's made by Nomads, (never heard of them) and is a Fairtrade label. The leggings are from an on line retailer and the boots were donated by my daughter.

Necklace from local retailer 'Simi and Lola' and earrings were customised from a Sainsburys pair. I was playing around with the edit function on my phone camera here hence the fuzziness...

Talking of technology; I managed to get my USB sticks and Chrome Book to talk to each other yesterday. This means, in theory at least, that I can connect my camera to the Chrome Book via the USB connection so I can use my camera to take photos. I shall experiment at the weekend.

After doing the weekly food shop on Thursday I went into town to run some errands and stopped at the Red Cross shop. Of course I couldn't leave without buying anything and spent £1.99 on a M&S showerproof jacket in a silvery grey colour and £1.99 on a long, 100% wool, brown and black trimmed cape coat. It should be nice and warm so I've donated my black Puffa coat bought 3 winters ago in the same charity shop. I also donated a brown velvet blazer I've had for years but which was bit tight on the sleeves. Two items in and two items out.

Total spend this week in the charity shops = £24.97. Rather a lot, so I won't be visiting any more charity shops this week! I'm going to try and refrain next week as well as my best friend Hilary is coming down next weekend and we'll have a day out charity shopping  next saturday accompanied by tea and cake.  I just need to decide where we are going to go...I can't wait!

I'm walking on Friday and Saturday weather permitting. I have a child free weekend this weekend so I'll make the most of it.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 7 October 2016

A week in the life of....

Saturday's outfit

I bought the cardigan last Thursday in the 3:16 charity shop for £1.00 - it's from good old M&S. Navy with a yellow trim and white embroidery - what's not to like? I also bought a grey, cable knit, roll neck jumper for £1.00 as well. It's the sort of jumper that needs something underneath; a shirt or long sleeved t shirt.

Everything is charity shopped except loafers; Tesco sale and earrings from Sainsburys.

I wanted to change my living room around on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Virgin cable from the TV only allows the TV to be in one of two places so I couldn't change the sofa to where I wanted it to go. In the end I moved the TV onto the chest and put it at an angle. It no longer seems to dominate the room - thank goodness.

I went out for a walk on Sunday morning quite earlyish as I thought we'd have rain later on. We didn't. I tried a different route and enjoyed it very much; I'll walk it again in the week and try and extend it a little. And take some photos. It was 5.5 miles and I'd like to make it 7 at least. My aim is to build up a resource of at least a dozen 6 - 8 mile walks that I can do easily and quickly. This one will be number 4. By quickly, I mean in about 2.5 hours.

Two of my brothers came over for dinner on Sunday to celebrate what would have been my mum's 84th birthday. OH made curry goat and I made an apple cake for dessert. They both went down well. My 11 year old grandson went swimming with a friend on Sunday - the first time he's ever been swimming without an accompanying adult. How quickly they grow up. He had a great time and jumped off the top board 5 times! So he says...

I don't think children today have enough freedom. My children were lucky; they grew up playing in fields and streams and running free in the countryside. I ran free in London as a child. I took my two younger brothers to school by myself from the age of 7. I was allowed  to travel on buses, alone, from the age of 10. When my mum was at work during the school holidays; I was left in charge of my brothers from the age of 9.  No harm ever came to us. We'd probably be on the at risk register today if that happened!

Monday's outfit. I've worn my first pair of tights since Spring and I cracked and got one pair of boots down out of the loft...I also had the heating on for a hour....

Everything charity shopped. I bought the pinafore dress for 49p in Sandy a couple of weeks back and the top with the big sleeves came from the Red Cross shop (everything £1.99) in the late Spring. I love the mix of colours in the top; its got every colour you can think of  - and I love the sleeves.

Earrings; Sainsburys and the beads were a present from my youngest grandson's dad.

I popped into the 3:16 shop on my way home from volunteering on Monday and bought this lovely necklace: for £2.50

It's three different colours of metal interspersed with diamonds...

On Tuesday after a morning of lifting and bending at the food bank filling up the food parcels with tins and packets; I decided to take advantage of the lovely sunny weather. I went walking by myself.  I walked 6.5 miles through the streets, through a wood and a park and back through streets to home. A  lovely warm and sunny day.

Wednesday's outfit

I walked on Wednesday  with the Ramblers - from Broom! Yes, that's the name of the village. We walked 7 miles. Another lovely bright day but with a cold wind...

Do you like my pink brothel creepers? £1.50 in the 3:16 charity shop at the end of this Spring. First opportunity to wear them today - very comfortable. Everything is charity shopped. The t shirt is from Tu at Sainsburys and bought from Save the Children last week for £2.00. I can't remember where the shirt and trousers are from.

Earrings and necklace charity shopped.

On Thursday I went to visit my friend in Cambridge. I should have got up early and gone for a walk as I have both grandchildren this weekend and won't get another chance, but I got up early and made my friend a coffee cake instead. We went out for lunch. She's doing well considering she has lost her son but she's a very brave and strong woman. She enjoyed the cake.

Everything charity shopped. The blouse was bought in a Donegal charity shop. The waistcoat is from Zara. The boots came from a charity shop in Newport Pagnell and I can't remember where I got my checked flared trousers from.

All the jewellery is charity shopped, too. This is the necklace I bought on Tuesday.

I went to the hairdresser on Friday. All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. I bought the trousers at the end of last winter and hadn't worn them before.

The top was one of the 50p bargains I got when I went to Royston some weeks ago. Red brothel creepers/beetle crushers bought in a Wellingborough charity shop last winter.

I'm going to have a busy weekend with the boys - I hope you all have a lovely weekend!