Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Green gloves and a blogger meet up!

I'll get to the green gloves in a bit...


On Wednesday I led a Ramblers walk of 7 miles. It was a chilly, overcast day and we were cold at the start but soon warmed up. Everyone enjoyed the walk including me! It was the same walk that I did the first time I ever led a walk back in May 2016, but I reversed it and added on a short bit to the end. I've now led 3 walks for the Ramblers and want to find a new walk to lead for the Autumn programme.


Trousers are from the Tesco outlet shop, boots present from daughter this Christmas. Every thing else is charity shopped.


I went for a rummage on Thursday afternoon after the food shopping. I went to the Kempston charity shops as I hadn't been for a while. I got quite a few summer items for the grandsons and for myself some green earrings 75p; a white top 1.00; and finally an animal print blouse in brown; 2.49 in the Keech Hospice shop. A yellow  scoop neck top for 2.99 in the Cat's Protection League and last but not least, a turquoise bracelet and ring; 1.00 each from the Day Hospice shop. I didn't bother going to the Barnardo's shop as I was chazza'ed out by then.


I wonder if any of you know what this tree is? I saw it whilst collecting the youngest grandson from school - it's just around the corner and I thought it was so striking. Please let me know what it is as I haven't a clue!


I bought this necklace in a charity shop in Derry for 2.50. Top and shirt also charity shopped.

On Friday, I went walking by myself and it was a brilliant walk. The weather was pleasant; bright but windy. I saw my first swallows of the year and you know what that means don't you? It means summer's here! At last. Thank the Lord and pass the gravy. I'm sick of overcast skies and wind and cold...


Jeans from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's Great Denham bought on a rummage with Linda; man's shirt £1.00 box Keech; cardigan 1.99 Red Cross shop. Boots; DDB.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Top by Wallis; charity shopped, Country Casuals jacket; charity shopped. Trousers; La Redoute sale and black brogues; Tesco outlet.

It was no longer summer on Saturday, in fact it was overcast and cold again.  But despite the weather I went to Rushden for a blogger meet up. It's the first one for me and it was with the very lovely Kelly of the Mother of Reinvention blog HERE.  Kelly's blog states she is a:

Plus-Sized Sewing Scientist with a Love of Corsets, Kittens & Cake! Vintage Seamstress, Novice Knitter and All-Round Crafty Type.

 It was a pleasure to meet Kelly.  She had moved to Rushden five weeks previously for a new job and luckily really likes her new town and neighbourhood. It was so nice to meet another blogger and I felt I had known Kelly for ages already through reading her blog


We started with a cup of tea and a chat and then went rummaging! We had a fab time and started by visiting the most excellent Salvation Army charity shop where Kelly's friend, Bill, joined us. Kelly found some lovely material - she loves to sew. She also found some great square plates with matching bowls, some cookie cutters and a cute pottery butter dish. I found some earrings for 50p, a lace skirt for 3.50, some wool for 50p and a boring, but useful, tupperware dish; also 50p. We went on to visit 4 other charity shops where I bought a large cake tin and that was it. Then in true blogger fashion we all decamped to Wetherspoons for a drink and some lunch!

Kelly and I plan to meet up again and next time we'll go to Kettering or Northampton - both good places for charity shopping.


I bought these beads at the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings from Sainsbury's; bangles and ring charity shopped.

On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale at Lidlington. We got there at about 11 am; we don't like early starts... I bought a lovely handmade vintage coat for £2.00 which I am so delighted with. I still have to steam it and then I'll post a photo.

We're off to a reunion of OH's ex battalion at the weekend - Barnsley here we come! I don't know Yorkshire very well at all so I'm curious to see what Barnsley and its environs look like. We might squeeze in a quick rummage. Anyway, I may wear the coat with a knee length dress; I'm still thinking about it.


Monday was volunteering at the Red Cross. By the time this photo was taken at about 8.30 in the evening my linen trousers were baggy at the knee and very creased - I'd just been on my hands and knees washing the kitchen floor!


Everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from a local shoe outlet called PJ shoes in Kempston.

Of course I couldn't leave the Red Cross without buying something...
I bought some books; some elbow length emerald green gloves; some brand new grey Mary Jane's with a little heel and a top. I don't know where on earth I might wear the green gloves but an occasion might present itself - who knows? It's always as well to be prepared!

Aren't they fabulous?

I went completely mad on Friday and swapped my winter wardrobe to my summer wardrobe; I'm now thinking I was a bit premature. It was cold on Saturday when I met up with Kelly - I was cold the whole day. Then Sunday was very pleasant but Monday was cold, grey and windy. Luckily, I only pack away the thickest of cardigans so I still have a few warm  ones in the wardrobe. Just as well as one was needed on Monday.

Tuesday was a warmer day but still cloudy and grey. I had a busy day running errands here, there and everywhere. My blanket is about half way done:


I want to have it finished by the time I next go to Ireland so I can start a new one whilst I'm there.


I went to town today without a jacket or coat and was warm in this outfit. Everything is charity shopped. Skirt is by Phase Eight; top by M&S, sea green cardigan; Per Una at M&S. Mary Jane's charity shopped in Ely almost a year ago.


All jewellery charity shopped. The ring was bought on my rummage in Kempston last Thursday and the necklace is from the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings are from Sainsbury's and have to be at least 7 or 8 years old...

I still haven't got round to steaming the coat but here it is:



This is the button detail on the sleeve. I love it. I think I might wear it on Saturday evening to the reunion - what do you think?

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A very happy week was spent with...


This is my cousin, Linda. She is the oldest of the cousins on my mum's side and we first met when I was 7 (in 1961) in my granny's house in Ireland.  Linda had never visited England before so she came to spend 5 days with me in April; we had such an enjoyable time.

In the photo above I'm wearing an  embroidered wool waistcoat from a charity shop which Linda bought me.  I'd seen this same waistcoat on a rummaging expedition with the OH last year and didn't buy it. I'd been regretting it ever since!

 Linda and I spent a whole day charity shopping and a couple of hours on another day. We went to the Ampthill and Great Denham charity shops and quite a lot of the Bedford ones.  There were still seven charity shops in Bedford we didn't have time to visit  so that's for Linda's next trip. Did Linda find anything? Yes! She found some beautiful cardigans;  some trousers, a sweater and some shoes. I found a pair of jeans; some colourful trousers; a skirt and some pictures for Ruby Super.


We went for dinner at my daughter's one evening and also managed to fit in two six mile walks on two different days. On one of our walks, Linda marched up the drive marked 'Private Property' and in the photo above is at the door of Clapham Park House which was:

'Originally built in 1873 for the Howard Family, founders of the Britannia Works in Bedford, Park House is a magnificent striking piece of Victorian architecture in a French Gothic style.' (From the Rightmove website).


We went to London for the day on Saturday where we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Treasury. This was taken in Parliament Square. We also went to the Tower of London.


We set out to visit the Perspehone bookshop in Bloomsbury but got there too late...


We went to Harrods at Linda's request and splashed out on some pastries - I'd scoffed mine by the time I took this photo. Linda's is still in the bag...

I'd never been to Harrods before. I was wondering why the sales assistant was staying so close to my side in the women's wear department as I was stroking a white suede and fur coat. Then I looked at the price tag - £35,000!!

We spent the rest of the day in Chelsea where we paid a flying visit to my eldest grandson at work and then met up with my brother and went out for a meal.

On Sunday the family came for the dinner.


These are the colourful trousers I bought in a Bedford charity shop and all the other items I'm wearing are also charity shopped. 

I took Linda to the airport last Monday and was very sad to see her go. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up and feel that I have a sister in Linda. 
Life resumed as normal on Tuesday with a stint at the Food Bank.


Everything charity shopped. Purple velvet jeans; Red Cross 1.99. Grey waistcoat is from Gap and patterned shirt is from M&S. 


Boots - Christmas present from daughter.


Beads present from OH but charity shopped as are the earrings, bangles and watch.



On Wednesday I invigilated at the university where I used to teach. I shall be doing more invigilation in May and in June shall be poll clerking on election day. All the little extra cash is most welcome as I still have another 2.5 years before I get my state pension...


Everything, except the boots, is from a charity shop. The tunic, which has a French label was 1.99 at the Red Cross - the collar has a row of hook and eyes fastening as do the sleeves. I chose to leave them open as the beige (gah!) trim made a nice contrast and went with the beige M& S trousers. The waistcoat was from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. All jewellery is charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's. The headscarf is a recent acquisition (must stop buying them - the picnic basket where I store them is filling up) from the 3:16 shop for 1.00.


On Thursday I did the usual food shopping and went for a 6 mile walk. My youngest grandson is staying every Thursday evening now as my daughter has taken up boxing and has a late training session. I take both grandsons to and from school on Friday so it is just as easy for him to stay overnight with me.

This is the tunic/dress I bought in the Killybegs charity shop for 2 euros. It's by Apricot and I loved the red orange flower display around the bottom. Everything is charity shopped including the boots, but the grey leggings are from Sainsbury's Tu range.


All jewellery charity shopped including this necklace which I also bought in the same Killybegs charity shop as the tunic but about two years ago. It's a bit of a treasure trove that charity shop...

I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers on Friday and we walked from Henlow to Langford and back again; about 6.5 miles. I kept my jacket on the whole time as although it was a nice bright day the wind was chilly. 


This is the Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, London and the site for the origins of The Bible Society.

I walked again on Saturday; only this time it was in London and the 34th 'Unlock'  London walk. You can read about the 'Unlock' walks HERE in more detail, but they are essentially fund raising walks for urban charities, visiting a range of different churches in different parts of London.

This year the walk was in Battersea and Clapham. It's the third consecutive year I've done this walk and it's always very interesting. It attracts those of a religious persuasion (not me!) and walkers.



This is St. Mary's on the Thames path near to Battersea bridge. It wasn't one of the seven churches on the walk but I rather liked it.


Battersea Bridge built in 1890


We ate our lunch here. Behind this bridge (Battersea Railway Bridge, built in 1863) was a helicopter landing pad; the helicopters were arriving and taking off about every ten minutes.


I wondered about this building  in Comyn Road, SW11 - it looks like a boring red brick red modern building, but if you look carefully there are a couple of old fashioned, possibly Victorian, dresses sculpted on the front of it. Was it originally the site of a factory? An orphanage? A school? I wish I knew - and Google wasn't any help.


This beautiful flowering tree was in the sub tropical section of Battersea Park but I have no idea what it was.


This Victorian Gothic church is called St. Nectarios; it's near Lavender Hill and is now a Greek Orthodox church containing the most beautiful icons.


We walked about 7.5 miles on the walk and if I include my walk to and from the station it was more than 8 in total. We returned to King's Cross by bus and I just managed to snap this sculpture; behind Marble Arch, from the top deck front seat of the bus. It was almost like being back at school again!


On Sunday I went to see my son


Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas present several years ago; the necklace and earrings were donated to me by my daughter.  The Next corduroy blazer bought from Red Cross for 1.99 about a year ago.


White jeans bought in Derry and the spotted top was bought on my rummages with Linda, in the Ampthill Barnardo's.


I was quite excited as it seemed warmer and sunnier on Sunday. I thought I might begin the winter to summer wardrobe swap over but changed my mind as the day went on and it got colder and colder...


Monday was a bank holiday but it was business as usual at the Red Cross. I started at 10 am instead of 9.30 am but finished at the same time. Did I buy anything? Yes, I did. 2 more necklaces (naughty me!) one turquoise and one an orangey yellow colour. A yellow top and a cardigan both 1.99 each. Two books for my friend Hilary; whom I'm hoping to visit in Devon at the end of May or in June.


This is the Desigual tunic/dress I bought in  the Red Cross in Derry. The top underneath is from Primarni; the leggings were bought retail at Sainsbury's and the Mary Jane's are from a local shoe outlet. I had left them behind in the caravan and made sure I brought them back with me as I hoped we may soon start to have a summer...


All jewellery charity shopped and the head scarf was one of 3 bought at the 3:16 charity shop.

My crochet blanket is coming along nicely, but I'm not getting that much reading done. I never do when I'm crocheting. I did manage to read the last of my 'Furrowed Middlebrow' birthday books and have now read four in this imprint. I've enjoyed them all but none have gripped me in the way many books have and I doubt I shall be buying anymore. They are also very tightly bound and you have to 'crack' the spine or fold the pages back severely to read the books properly. I still have two new Persephone books (also birthday books) to read and then there's all those books on TBR pile...

I really want to start the winter to summer swap over but I daren't - it's too damn cold. Here's hoping it warms up soon!

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!