Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Normal service is resumed

Hello everyone! 

It seems like a long time ago since I last posted but it's only been 24 days. In that time I've been to Donegal for two weeks and my cousin from Ireland came to visit me here in Bedford. I have had a wonderful three weeks and it was also good to have a break from blogging! I did miss everyone else's blogs and have tried to catch up since I returned.

I'm going to dedicate this part of the post to Fiona of 'Made in a Muddle' here. Fiona has a mobile home in France and asked me to do a post about about my mobile home in Ireland - so here goes.

The site we stay at  is at the top of a hill and has about 180 mobile homes in total. It is split into two separate areas by a road. There is a children's playground; a green play space with trees and tyre swings; a football/tennis/basketball pitch; picnic sites and a hut for wet weather activities, on site. There are also woods to the rear of the site, two nearby lakes and lots of local beaches.  Our mobile home is on the upper slope of the hill and at the end of a row. It is a truly beautiful spot and we are surrounded by mountains.

We are 17 miles from the town of Donegal; 3.5 miles from Killybegs and about 7 miles from Ardara. There is a garage cum post office cum grocery shop cum deli at the bottom of the hill, about 4 miles away and it's our nearest shop.

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This is 'Ruby Super' hereafter referred to as the 'caravan'. She is a static caravan or mobile home made by Atlas and was originally made in the mid to late 1990s. I bought her in April 2014 after I retired in March. I had the wooden decking/patio and base around the caravan made especially. Ruby Super has three bedrooms but can sleep eight people as the seating area in the living area pulls down into a double bed.


There is no central heating but I do have a gas fire in the living room and two other electric heaters. However, electric voltage is is limited in a caravan and you learn pretty quickly how many electrical items can be in use at the same time. When the electricity is 'tripped' it's only a short walk to the decking to 'throw' the switch. As it can get very cold, in the evenings especially, I always have a good supply of throws and blankets which are stored in the large basket.




I like the layout in the caravan  - apart from the sleeping areas and bathroom, everything else is open plan. From the kitchen window and two of the bedroom windows I can see St. John's Point which is one of the longest peninsulas in Ireland.  The peninsula is separated on either side by McSwyne's Bay and Inver Bay; which feed into Donegal Bay and the North Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, I can also see Ben Bulben mountain  across Donegal Bay in Co. Sligo. If you look very carefully at the picture below, in the distance on the left hand side you can just make out Ben Bulben. There were very few clear days on this trip but when it is clear it's as if I can lean out of the window and touch the sea!



The kitchen is compact but has lots of storage space. I have no washing machine but there is a laundry on site with two washing machines and two tumble dryers. They are not free; unfortunately...


This is the bathroom. There is a shower to the left of the photo.


There is a separate loo



One double bedroom complete with another wardrobe of clothes, shoes, jewellery and perfume!


Two twin bedrooms.

When we've been away from the caravan between September to Easter, the caravan suffers from mildew. We leave plates of salt and humidifiers (non electrical) bought at hard ware shops to help with the mildew. This year we've left the blinds up and curtains open to maximise any sunshine and warmth; until I return in July. The caravan heats up really quickly when it's sunny. 

We also have to pack any clothing or textiles, including bedding, away in plastic bags to avoid them becoming mildewed. If we were able to visit more frequently this would be less of an issue. So far though, it has been the only problem we've experienced and we love Ruby Super. When I return in July, I shall be applying weather protection stain to the decking and washing the outside of the caravan with a mop and bucket. Thanks to Fiona for alerting me to this - it was in the terms and conditions,  but I had completely missed it!

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Are you ready for some outfit posts? Not many I'm afraid; I was too busy having a good time!


I only managed one selfie with the selfie stick. Everything charity shopped. Cardigan; 50p at a jumble sale, top; £1.00 rail somewhere, can't remember where I bought the trousers.


All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

When OH arrived we spent a day in Derry.


Taken outside the Guildhall in Co.Derry. Everything charity shopped except the bag; online retail and the boots; Christmas present. The mac is by Max Mara and I bought it for 4 euros at my favourite charity shop in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. I also bought a pair of brown trousers and a green and black pair of trousers there for 2 euros each and a tunic by Apricot for 3 euros. It was a chilly day in Derry hence the gloves and scarf!




I'm standing against the wall that once surrounded the city of Derry. This plaque is in memory of all those who were killed  by weapon systems within the city and district of Derry.


Another part of the wall. 
OH and I had a really good rummage in the charity shops of Derry on Easter Saturday. There were nine in total that we found and only one was closed. I was quite restrained for a change (!) and bought a necklace in a hospice shop and a Desigual tunic top in the Red Cross shop; where I got discount bringing the price down from £6.00 to £4.80! On the way to Derry we stopped at Ballyboffey to have a rummage and I bought a pair of trainers and a pair of walking shoes for 99 cents each. In the Donkey Sanctuary charity shop I bought a ring for 5 euros and a couple of books.


This picture was taken in Letterkenny, where we stopped for a meal on the way back from Derry. I have no idea what the sculpture is and there was no information about it that I could see.

 We also spent a day in Sligo where we went rummaging as well as visiting family. I bought some white jeans for 2.50 euros and a couple of bangles. I also visited another cousin and his wife in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo before OH came out. This the view of the Atlantic from their garden:

On that occasion my cousin's wife, Martina and another cousin Caroline, and I, went walking around the base of Ben Bulben. It was a beautiful walk and we had two dogs with us who were very well behaved throughout. 

And other than reading, eating, sleeping, a bit of walking, listening to the radio and starting (finally) a new crochet blanket, I did very little else! 

Only another 100+ rows to go....
I'll post about my cousin's visit in my next post. It's good to be back!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Donegal is calling me...

Saturday was such a beautiful day. Warm, sunny but there was a chilly breeze at times. Spring is most definitely here with warmer weather forecast for this week.

OH and I had a rummage in Rushden and we also visited Emmaeus in Carlton on Saturday. Emmaeus is a charity for homeless people and is international in its scope. At Emmaeus they do furniture; household goods, electrical items, antiques and vintage items, bikes, garden equipment, clothes, shoes, bags. jewellery, craft materials, toys, books, DVDs, CDs and LPs. I bought a bangle and a ring, a small terrarium for plants, 2 succulent plants and a cafetiere for my daughter who's been after a small one for ages. I spent 6.50 in total.

This is how I started out. I soon discarded the scarf and gloves - too warm!

Everything except the handbag is charity shopped. Trousers from Monsoon; felted wool jacket by Paraphase; bought in the Donkey Sanctuary Charity shop in Ballyboffey in Donegal. Apart from the lovely embroidery on the jacket; it has golden bugle beads up near the neckline. It cost 10 euros, but I love this jacket and need to wear it more often. Boots from Red Cross shop winter 2015; for 1.99.


I was getting a bit of practice in with my selfie stick. I'm off to Donegal on the 4th April for two weeks and OH won't be out for the first 8 days I'm there, so I'll have to take my own OOTD photos!

The floral top is from the Red Cross 1.00 rail and the cardigan was bought in Barnardo's in Golders Green for 1.99.


Both scarves charity shopped; watch, necklace, ring and bangles charity shopped. Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie in Cambridge. See my nice, clean, shiny kitchen? 4.5 hours it took me on Friday; my arms were aching on Saturday.

In Rushden I bought a grey dress by East for 4.00 in the Salvation Army. I may not get any wear out of it now but it will be useful for next autumn and winter. East clothing is very expensive so I had to snap it up. I also bought a small wool picnic/lap blanket for 1.00; this will be taken to the caravan as it can be very chilly in the evenings. I also bought a lovely velvet patterned top in Cancer Research for 3.00. All in all a good day's rummaging. OH did well, too.


I got up early on Sunday and walked 6.8 miles. With Wednesday's 6.7 miles my total for this week was 13.5 miles - 6.5 miles short of my target of 20 miles.

Sunday afternoon was tea at the Swan Hotel in Bedford courtesy of my wonderful daughter. It was delicious and I was so stuffed at the end of it.



This is the African print skirt I bought at the 3:16 charity shop last week for 3.50. The top is by Cotton Traders and the jacket is by Country Casuals; both charity shopped at he Red Cross for 1.99.


Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. Boots; Christmas 2016 present from daughter.

On Monday there was no Red Cross volunteering. The manager had rung me on Friday to say there was a flood in the shop from a leak upstairs and that the shop would be closed until Wednesday. It felt really strange not going into the shop but I had errands to run in town so walked past the shop anyway. There were buckets everywhere catching the drips! There was also what looked like a 1970s maxi dress on the model in the window! I decided to go back on Wednesday and see if it was my size.

 I had plans to go for a walk in the afternoon but the weather was so horrible I didn't bother. Cold and windy and grey...


On Tuesday I was at the Food Bank and in the afternoon I walked 8.25 miles. It was a good day; sunny and warm but with a cold breeze and eventually the clouds got darker and it rained a little.


Everything charity shopped except the loafers bought on sale at Tesco's outlet shop about 3 years ago.


Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie. All other jewellery charity shopped.

On Wednesday afternoon I went back to the Red Cross; wouldn't you flipping know it they had sold the dress from the window! I bought a brown patterned tunic and a Planet summer jacket in bright orange as a consolation prize; both 1.99 each. In the morning I walked with the group from Great Denham; we walked 7 miles and it was a a very pleasant walk. As we finished back in Great Denham I had a quick browse in Barnardo's and bought a white linen shift dress and a pair of navy blue leather loafers - both 99p each.

It was such a gorgeous day on Thursday! It registered 21.5 degrees centigrade on my car barometer.  It felt like a summer's day so I dug a summer dress out of the chest where I store my summer clothes. I bought this dress which is by Studio from a 1.00/99p sale rail somewhere at the end of last summer when it was too late wear it, so this is its first outing.

The jacket was one of the first things I bought at the Guildhouse when I started there; it's linen and made by an Italian company. I paid 3.50 for it. I wore tights and a long slip underneath the dress and the boots were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter.


Headscarf, bangles, necklace and watch all charity shopped. Earrings are from Jamaica and are made of copper in the shape of steel pans...present from OH.

On Friday I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers from Kempston via Wootton and Bromham. We walked 8.75 miles culminating with tea and cake at Bromham Mill. The best way to finish any walk I think!  The weather was fine. By the time I got home I had to go straight to collect the grandchildren from school so stayed in my walking gear. My walking total this week was 24 miles over 3 walks.

On Saturday I went to see my son and wore this:


Everything is charity shopped except the loafers which were bought from the Tesco outlet sale about three years ago.



Necklace was a present from my youngest Grandson's dad some years ago. All other jewellery charity shopped.

I shall spend Sunday packing for Ireland; I've had the car checked, got my euros and the ferry's been booked for ages. I shall be taking a break from blogging and when I get back my lovely cousin, Linda is coming to stay with me. It will be her first visit to England and guess what she wants to do? She wants to come charity shopping! That can be arranged with no difficulty...

I hope you all have a lovely Easter and if you don't celebrate Easter that you at least get a nice break. Take care everyone and see you on the other side!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Just another week

It t was forecast to rain on Saturday so I got up early and walked 7 miles. It was quite warm, cloudy but with lots of patches of blue sky; although there was quite a strong breeze. It was a lovely walk; I saw a Kestrel again and this time I saw some yellow hammers/corn buntings as well. Every time I walked last week I saw the Kestrel. I think it's the same one because twice it flew out of the same copse. I'm so used to seeing Kestrels hovering over the roadside it's a bit of shock to see them in trees and flying over fields!


Everything charity shopped. The jeans are the ones from the 3:16 charity shop last week; 1.50 (half price sale),  top from Tu at Sainsbury's;  the necklace is from Mercy in Action outlet shop, 1.00. The boots are from Lidl last winter and the earrings are about 20 years old. If you think I'm looking a little different in this photo it's because I'm wearing a nude lipstick instead of my usual red lippy! I was saving that for Saturday evening as I was going out for a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton.

Cushion bought in the Oxfam shop about 18 months ago.
I had errands to run in town on Saturday and I struck it lucky. I walked past the 'Reuse Shop' and they had a rather nice small chair in the window. It was perfect for my study so I bought it. The chair which used to be in the study was rather too large and it went on Freegle.  Last week I missed out on one on e bay because I forgot to check on it -  and it sold for £20 including delivery. My chair was £30 and it had just been reupholstered. Reuse is a charity shop and they have someone at this shop who reupholsters chairs and sofas and someone else who up cycles furniture. I have a floral covered footstool that I can put my feet up on (charity shopped, of course). I now have no excuse not to start my next crochet blanket!

All jewellery charity shopped.
This is what I wore on Saturday evening to my friend Cecilia's 60th birthday meal.  She and my best friend Ann went to school together in Luton and I got to know C when we used to go raving together in the early to mid 1990s. We had some brilliant times!

We had a lovely time on Saturday night although there was no music and no dancing. I saw a couple of people I hadn't seen for years, so it was great to catch up. It was such a shock for my friend as she was only expecting her immediate family...


These photos were taken when I returned from the birthday meal past midnight. I'm wearing my 99p Jaeger jacket; the skirt is from M&S but is very steam punkish (I thought) with the bustle at the back, it came from a charity shop in Kettering for 2.99. The black cross over top is one of the most  frequently worn and useful items in my wardrobe and is also M&S; charity shopped years ago.


This is Monday's outfit.  The top is for the charity shop bag as it doesn't fit properly around the bust. It says large but it's clearly not large enough! It's a shame because it's an Ossie Clark top; charity shopped but can't remember where. Everything is charity shopped except the leggings bought in a Store 21 sale.


Necklace gift from next door neighbour; earrings Sainsbury's.

The Red Cross shop was so full of bags of clothes waiting to be steamed and hung up that we didn't do much sorting on Monday - there was just no room! I did have a good sort of the jewellery and put new stuff out. I bought my daughter a lovely summer top off the pound rail - she liked it; thank goodness. I bought a green dress for myself for 1.99, and a a red  checked headscarf which I wore with Tuesday's outfit (below).

I was at the Guild House on Tuesday and was quite busy sorting stuff and pricing it and as usual I did a bit of a ironing. It's funny I hate ironing at home but I don't mind it at the Guild House; it's probably the fancy steam iron they have.

Asleep on my feet, here!
Everything is charity shopped except my daughter donated boots.


The waistcoat is the one I bought at the newest charity shop in town last Wednesday for 1.50; it was lovely and warm. The top is from Barnardo's 1.00 rail; trousers M&S, can't remember which charity shop; scarf; Red Cross on Monday.


All jewellery charity shopped except red ring; Sainsbury's and watch which was a Christmas present from my daughter about 6 years ago. I've had these earrings for about 20 years.

I went to the 3:16 charity shop to drop off some books and bought a maxi skirt with an African print for 3.50. It will be lovely for the summer but I may wear it this Sunday. My daughter is taking me out somewhere - to eat presumably. She sent me a message - ' Mum, on Sunday don't have any lunch and don't let Wes make you any dinner either; can you guess what we're doing? Lol'. It's Mother's Day on Sunday, of course. That's three weekends in a row I will have gone out somewhere - oh, the excitement!


On Wednesday morning I walked  6.6 miles with the group and I wished I hadn't! It was wet, cold and windy. I got soaked and was so cold that when I got in I put my PJs and dressing gown on. The afternoon was windy but sunny and dry -  wish it had been in the morning - it's called 'Sod's Law...'

The wind continued on Thursday but at least it was dry. I had lots of errands to run; I had my eyebrows done; I did the food shopping in Lidl and Sainsbury's; I also went to Aldi, two banks, the card shop, a gift shop and the dry cleaners. It was my best friend, Ann's, 60th birthday so I took her card and gift round to her. She was off to London to go out for a meal and see a show with her two daughters. I was glad to get home and put my feet up for a bit!


Everything charity shopped. The cords are by Primarni; the waistcoat is by Bench; bought it at Age UK in Bedford - which is no more. The top is by M&S. Everything is grey today - I just fancied some grey.


The earrings are from Sainsburys; the necklace is also a Primarni one but I bought it in a charity shop quite a few years ago. Bangles, watch and red ring charity shopped.


I bet you won't believe what I did on Friday. Walking - no. Charity shopping - no. Visited friends - no. I started at 9.30 am and finished at 3 pm (when I leave to pick the grandchildren up from school); cleaning my kitchen was what I did. It needed doing; I cleaned the cooker and the cooker hood, all the surfaces, tiles, appliances and the floor. It's time I begrudge but it has to be done. Oh well, that was Friday!


This is the green dress I bought at the Red Cross on Monday for 1.99. The kimono is also from there. Daughter donated boots; the green tights are also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's.

Oh and I are going out for a rummage tomorrow - haven't decided where yet but I'll let you know how we got on...

Have a fab weekend everyone!