Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The end of the dress challenge...thank goodness!



I'm definitely fed up with the wearing of dresses now; so here's a few more cheats in that I've already worn  these dresses on previous blog posts...

Day 17

This one has gone to be re-donated. I don't like it on me and its tight around the arms. Worn here with a kimono bought for 5.00 and checked leggings which also went to be re-donated - too thin.

Day 18


This dress is by Wallis and made of very thin material. I love the sleeves
 and the bright colours so this one's a keeper. Waistcoat by Next charity shopped; and black boots by Sainsbury's.

Day 19


This one is also made of very thin material. I bought it for 1.00 in the 3:16 charity shop and wore it on my birthday trip to London in March this year. I was frozen; even though I wore it with leggings (from M&S retail). Black ankle boots present from my daughter as was the leather biker jacket.

Day 20

Everything charity shopped but can only remember where the spotted blouse and cardi came from; a little town in Cornwall; when I went away in May half term last year; with my daughter and the two grandchildren. I can't remember the name of the little town we visited. The blouse is by South and was on the 1.00 rail...the cardigan is from my Barnardo's, I think. Grey boots online retail and all jewellery charity shopped.






On Wednesday, my youngest grandson came home from hospital; his implant was removed successfully.

My group were walking far away again (that's three weeks on the trot).  I just walked to Queen's Park, then along the river to Great Denham and Kempston then home. It was a 7 mile walk  in length and it stayed dry throughout although it was grey and dismal day; but there was a short burst of sunshine. while I was out.  I walked past this Gurdwara on  my way to get to the river...


On Thursday, I led my 5 mile amble and there were 6 of us. Another grey, dank day but it didn't rain and the walk was very pleasant. In the afternoon I went to see the grandson who was fine; only saying his jaw hurt after the operation. We played board games and card games all afternoon and his mum went off to do her shopping. He's delighted he has a week off school to recuperate! When I got home after this I changed into the above outfit and went and did my shopping.

I swam on Friday, the usual 30 lengths. It felt very good to be back in the water and at one point I had the whole section entirely to myself. It was bliss. I went to my Barnardo's to look at the 'Everything 99p' sale only to find it was 'Everything 1.00' sale. I bought a couple of items for the grandsons; a pair of purple cords for me; a summer top by Monsoon and a brown M&S jacket. I spent 5.00 in total.

Day 21

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday, OH and I went for a rummage to Newport Pagnell. I went mad and bought a fake Astrakhan coat by M&S for 25.00 in the RSPCA charity shop. I fell for the sleeves and the fit of it. I have two warm winter coats; one of which makes me look like a box on legs, so that one is being re-donated and the new one will replace it.

 This was what I wore on Saturday which was very chilly day.


Dress by East; can't remember. Jacket  by Roman; 1.00 rail in Wellingborough about 6 years ago. Boots by Sainsbury's retail. The dress is made of wool ;  is fully lined and is very warm. It's a boring colour so I like to jazz it up with other colours. You can't see it in these photos but I wore it with bright orange tights. 


This was me ready for the off. Wool wraparound coat bought in the Cat's Protection League; scarves and gloves charity shopped also. I'd been to town in the morning to run some errands and picked up a little brooch with two birds on it for 1.00 in an animal charity shop. I pinned it straight to the coat.



I went for a walk with my daughter on Sunday morning of 5 miles and we saw a Barn Owl -  in bright daylight! I was so thrilled...
This is what I changed into. Cords from my Barnardo's; top from 1.00 rail somewhere - I don't like it on me, so it will be re-donated. Cardigan from the independent charity shop in town and the Bjorn clogs were found in the Cat's Protection League some weeks back. I wore them round the house and found them very comfortable.

All jewellery charity shopped.


Monday comes around before you know it. I wore this to volunteer on Monday.
All jewellery charity shopped and headscarf from Primarni.


Brown skirt by M&S: 1.00 rail somewhere, same with the pink top. Next jacket about 7 or 8 years old and originally charity shopped. Underneath I had thick woollen tights; it was -1 degree when I took the middle grandson to school on Monday morning and it took a long time to scrape all the ice off the car...


Boots; gift from daughter.

The 1.00 sale had gone extremely well and a lot of stock was cleared so we were busy reorganising and re-stocking the rails. I found myself another red beret - I'd left my other one in the caravan and it's definitely beret weather...

Day 22



All jewellery charity shopped and headscarf.


The foodbank was busy as always but there were lots of us in and I got away a bit earlier. Knitted dress by Phase Eight; can't remember where I got it from; probably the 1.00 rail in the Barnardo's in Ampthill. Leggings retail in Store 21 sale some years ago, boots from my Barnardo's and jacket from Barnardo's in Ampthill.


It wasn't so cold on Tuesday and there was quite a lot of sunshine. I went for a swim in the afternoon as I was leading the bus walk on Friday and wouldn't have time to fit a swim in.

In the evening we went to see my brother playing at The Stables. It was a lovely evening and we went backstage for a drink with Julian and some of the band members afterwards. I wore the trouser suit I found in Sandy, the coat I bought in Newport Pagnell from M&S and my wool, embroidered scarf bought in St. Neots earlier this year. OH took the photos using his phone camera; they're still not very good I'm afraid...


Everything charity shopped including the pink leather gloves.


All jewellery charity shopped.


I bought the shoes for 1 euro in the St. Vincent's charity shop in Donegal Town.

I recce'd the walk I'll be leading on Friday on Wednesday. It was a cold day but again bright and sunny. The sun had real warmth to it when I felt it on my face. The walk was 7.4 miles. When I got back I went into town to run some errands and then went to have a look at the Castle Road charity shops. I bought some deep red leggings by Joseph for 1.99 and a pair of boots from H&M for 2.99. I also picked up a pink cat brooch for 99p all from The Children's Society.


Everything charity shopped including jewellery and headscarf.


Cardigan by Next; from my Barnardo's; top by Liz Claiborne, 1.00 rail somewhere; trousers by F&F. Grey boots; online retail.


Ready, steady, go!!

In the evening we went to watch a live screening from the Garrick Theatre in London of Shakespeare's 'The  Winter's Tale'. It was simply wonderful. Kenneth Branagh was Leontes, Miranda Raison (from 'Spooks') as Hermione and Judi Dench as Paulina. The screening lasted almost three hours and I was captivated all the way through. There is no one like Shakespeare for laying bare the human condition in all its joys and sorrows. There are a few more live theatre screenings next year including; 'Cyrano De Bergerac' with James McEvoy in February; 'Welkin' with Maxine Peake in May and 'The Comedy of Errors' in May. I look forward to them all. It's so much cheaper and there's no travel to London involved watching theatre performances this way!

It was a red day on Thursday. Everything charity shopped.


Except the boots from Primarni. Can't remember where the top came from but the jeggings by Joseph; charity shopped in The Children's Society yesterday. The cardigan was from the Independent Charity shop in town.


The top is by Wallis and was a 1.00 rail bargain.


All jewellery charity shopped and the headscarf.

I did the food shopping in the morning and went to Ampthill in the afternoon for a rummage. I bought a book and an earring holder, both for 50p in the RSPCA. I saw nothing that grabbed my fancy...I was very disappointed in the Barnardo's in Ampthill. It looked such a mess and there was nothing on the rails of any interest; the 1.00 rail has now been relegated to a huge bin where I did  have a rummage, but it was all just tat. Disappointing.

I was pleased with this 50p earring holder, though! I put my 'fancy'
earrings on it.

I led my bus walk on Friday; missed one of the footpaths as I was chatting to someone (naughty me) so we came the long way round doing 8 miles in the end. There were 13 of us; I wasn't really expecting anyone to turn up as it was grey and miserable day. They're a hardy lot the Ramblers! It did rain a bit but only light drizzle and we rewarded ourselves with a stop in a local cafe at the end. I had Frangipane cake which was delicious. This cafe is only a couple of hundred yards from my house and the cakes are to die for. I go very rarely because it wouldn't be good for my waistline if I went more frequently!

I changed into this to do the school run:


Black and grey - very boring! All jewellery charity shopped.


Boots; online retail. Skirt by Hennes (pre H&M?) 1.00 rail British Heart Foundation; top by Oasis; 1.00 rail somewhere earlier this year; cardigan charity shop in Donegal. I like the neck on the top; it's not quite a polo neck it's shorter and I prefer this length to a polo neck on me as I have a short neck as well as short limbs...


Whilst sorting out something suitable to wear for the London Walk to see the lights and decorations on Saturday; I had a count of the tunics I possess. I counted 38 and this doesn't include some linen tunic/shirts I wear in the summer! It's safe to say I have over 40 in total. I thought I would set myself another challenge and attempt to wear all of them beginning this week. I won't to commit to wearing one everyday; but I'd like to wear them all over the next couple of months, as it's a good way to decide whether I want to keep all of them - nobody needs 40+ tunics! I will probably include a couple of cheats where I've worn a tunic on a blog post quite recently so here's 2 to get us going!

Days 1 & 2 Tunics



The London walk was very interesting and according to my step counter (I forgot to set my walking app) I walked the equivalent of 12 miles. I was extremely tired by the time I got home. This is what I wore:

Day 3 - Tunic



Jeans by Next; charity shopped. White shirt by Gap and floral tunic by Anthology both charity shopped but can't remember where. Grey boots online retail.



All jewellery charity shopped.

Our walk took us down Oxford Street, round and through Hyde Park to Pimlico, then Sloane Square, Chelsea where we stopped for lunch. Then to South Kensington back through Hyde Park to Marble Arch.

Top left; this was us gathering at Marble Arch. We walked down Oxford Street and through St. Christopher's Place where you can see the some of the decorations and giant Christmas tree. I spotted this lemon tree growing in a front garden somewhere in the West End. 
Skating at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington - top left and right. Bottom left; The Royal College of Organists; just beside the Albert Hall. Bottom right -'Winter Wonderland' seen from the other side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It's a huge funfair and there were queues of thousands waiting to get in!

Top left; a Regency crescent; top right and bottom left; home of Earl Russell (Duke of Bedford) Prime Minister. Middle right; home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and bottom right home of Vita Sackville - West and her husband. I've not long finished a book about Vita, her mother, her daughter and her grand-daughter: 'A Houseful of Daughters' by Juliet Nicholson. I love the architecture in London; there is such a variety of styles and periods.

Day 23 - the final dress!



This is a charity shopped Seasalt dress bought in my Barnardo's for 2.00. It's called 'The Millpool Dress' for reasons that escape me entirely! What has a dress got to do with a millpool for Heaven's sake? Do they hope customers might be more inclined to buy a named dress?


Cranberry plaid tights, charity shopped; grey velvet brogues bought in the Primarni sale a few years back.


All jewellery and head scarf charity shopped.

That's all from me folks - see you in a fortnight!

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The dress challenge continues...


Day 3


This is one of two Desigual dresses I own. This is a summer weight dress which I wear with a big cardigan around the house. I can't remember where I got it from but it may have been in Ireland.


Long sleeved tee - Primarni, years ago. Tights charity shopped. Boots by River Island from my Barnardo's.


All jewellery charity shopped.

A bit of good news! I've got a place at the Christmas lunch. I received a phone call telling me the good news. I will get to sing Christmas carols after all...

I went walking by myself on Wednesday. The weather was lovely; chilly but sunny. My group was walking quite far away in Hertfordshire and I don't like spending an hour in the car driving to a walk and an hour back. It also takes up the best part of the day. Anyway, I set off to walk by the river and en route decided to walk on to Sandy and stop and look in the charity shops; then catch a bus back. I thought it would be about a 7 mile walk; but in fact it was 9.25 miles by the time I got to Sandy town centre! I had to stop for a cup of tea and a sit down... I found a nice pair of matching trousers and jacket in a lightweight material (for summer, really) in the Wood Green Animal shelter shop for 7.00. I was quite stiff the next day and put off any further walking as I didn't want my knee to flare up. It also rained a lot on Thursday.

Day 4

This is my 20p M&Co jacket from my Barnardo's. The pinafore dress is by Red Herring and I think was a 99p bargain from Barnardo's a while back.


I had to go back to the doctor's on Thursday morning to get my BP checked as it was a bit high when I had a health check a few weeks ago. I had planned to walk there but the rain put that off. It was still a bit high when the nurse measured it, so I got a blood pressure monitor to take home to check my BP three times a day for a week. I'm hoping my BP will be alright and that I won't need medication. Unfortunately, high BP runs in my family and it also happens as you age... I had errands to run in town when I got back; including the overdue visit to the library and I did the weekly shopping. I did manage to squeeze in a visit to the Cat's Protection League charity shop where I bought a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume and a bottle of Valentino perfume for under 7.00 (I am a lover of perfume and wear it every day). I checked the perfumes out online and the Estee Lauder perfume retails at 129.00 and the Valentino one at 69.00, so that was a great find. They both smell really good. I also bought a woollen wrap around coat for 8.00 - no label, but roomy and practical. A plain black coat I've never worn went into the charity shop bag to make room for the new one.


Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

 The top is a vintage patterned one which was a 1.00 rail bargain from, I think, the Salvation Army shop. It has a German label and I've had it for quite a few years. It's brown, cream, orange and turquoise and I thought it went well this dress. The tights were a present and the boots are from Primarni. I wanted a pair of animal print ones in a Chelsea boot style; but couldn't find any in the charity shops. You wait, I bet I'll start finding lots now I've stopped looking! Still looking for that animal print, knitted dress - with no success so far.


I picked up my reservation from the library and am reading it now. It's called 'Reckless Daughter' by David Yaffe; a biography of Joni Mitchell. I played the albums; 'Blue' and 'For the Roses' so often when I was 17, that I wore both vinyl copies out and had to replace them! The book is a fascinating read and gives a lot of information and detail about her songs; many of which are autobiographical - as I always suspected. For example, 'Little Green' is about the child she gave up for adoption in the 1960s; 'A Case of You' is a compilation of her relationships with Leonard Cohen and Graham Nash (of Crossby, Stills, Nash and Young). This is the first biography of a musical artist I've ever read. I nearly always read biographies and autobiographies of authors. Actually, let me correct that  - I did read Morrissey's autobiography back in 2013. Facebook provided me with that information when it asked me if I wanted to repost a memory from 6 years ago!

Day 5

I went for a swim on Friday and did 30 laps - 2k. My eyes and sinuses were fine.. I'm wearing my other Desigual dress which was a gift from Vix of Vintage Vixen
 blog HERE.


Beads and earrings charity shopped. I don't bother with bangles and rings when I go swimming. It makes getting dressed longer!


I wore my Nike camouflage leggings underneath for warmth; charity shopped from my Barnardo's and charity shopped black Chelsea boots. Can you see my new jewellery display above my head? Bought from the Dog's Trust charity shop, when Hilary was here last weekend and OH kindly secured it to the door for me. It's just occurred to me how well my black and red corduroy jacket would go with this dress; they're very similar in colour and have lots of detail  on both of them.  A closer look at the jewellery display:


I have 2 other racks with necklaces on them and 8 hooks full of necklaces! I need to stop buying necklaces...


On my walk back from town on one of the days I went, I spotted this new to me plaque next to our Sainsbury's Local, just around the corner from where I live. When I led a Blue Plaque Walk around Bedford a couple of years ago I included 16 blue plaques. The number has now risen to 21 in and around Bedford!


Saturday was a bit grey and gloomy but I set off for a walk hoping to beat the forecasted rain. I walked to the village of Bromham and back which was 6.65 miles. I didn't wear a dress as it wasn't practical for walking to wear one so I had a day off from dresses!


This is Bromham Church - St. Owens seen from across the common. When I lived in this village 28 years ago I used to bring our dog, Ben for walks here.


All from Barnardo's; either mine in Great Denham or from the 1.00 rail in the Ampthill branch except the cardigan which was from the 1.00 rail in the RSPCA in Ampthill. Boden top and trousers and no label blue cardigan. Boots online retail.


I like these shorter flared style of trousers but I don't like the draughty gap between top of boots and bottom of trousers!


All jewellery charity shopped.


Day 6


I wore this to volunteer at Barnardo's on Monday. The dress is by Boden and was bought from my Barnardo's earlier this year when all the dresses were reduced to 2.00. The top underneath is by M&S and was from a 1.00 rail.


Charity shopped leggings and boots online retail. My knees look enormous!


Look, pockets!

All jewellery charity shopped. Scarf present from grandson.


Day 7
I wore this to the Food bank on Tuesday.


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.


Everything charity shopped. Boiled wool jacket; Daycare Hospice shop in Kempston. The dress is from an Irish charity shop but I can't remember which one; boots can't remember either! Tights: online retail.


Just after I took these photos I stupidly reached over a naked to flame to a cupboard and singed the bottom of this jacket. I'm going to sew the brooch  on the lapel above, which is made from similar felted wool, to the bottom where it's singed...

Day 7



Green dress from my Barnardo's. Jacket: Barnardo's in Ampthill. Boots my Barnardo's. Plaid tights also charity shopped but can't remember where.


This dress has pockets! I love pockets.


All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped except the earrings which OH bought as a present for me on Oxford Market many years ago.


Again last Wednesday my group were walking quite far away so I went out for a walk by myself around the town and did 6.65 miles. In the afternoon I paid a visit to one of the 4 Daycare Hospice shops  in Bedford and bought a few items from the 1.00 rail; a Whistles t shirt, an orange M&S cotton tunic; a cotton over shirt by Red Herring; and a pair of New Look plaid leggings. The tops will be put away for summer and I'll make use of the leggings under dresses and tunics. I also bought a necklace for 1.00 which I'm wearing below and a black fluffy beret adorned with buttons by Coast.


Day 8

Jacket by 100 Idees bought in a Donegal charity shop for 5 euros.


I'm now very bored with wearing dresses! The weather has turned very cold and even leggings under the dresses isn't always warm enough.  I also miss wearing skirts and trousers! I still intend to wear all 22 dresses and complete the challenge; but I am going to include a few I've already worn recently on my last post and I won't wear a dress every single day. It might take a few weeks to get through the 22 but it doesn't matter...


I bought this dress, which isn't by Desigual, in a Mullingar charity shop for 5 euros.  I wore it with my red Nike camouflage leggings; charity shopped in my Barnardo's and black Chelsea boots charity shopped in Oxfam for 5.00.



I bought the earrings in Bedford market and the necklace was bought on Wednesday's rummage for 1.00.

Thursday was a very busy day. I went to the dentist and hairdresser in the morning and in the afternoon it was back to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with the youngest grandson. His operation is next week. When I got back I had to do the food shopping and that was it the day had gone!

On Friday I did the school run, went into town to run some errands and then I had a doctors appointment. Unfortunately, I do have high blood pressure and have to take daily medication for it. I was so upset; I've managed so far without any medication so this really was a blow. However, I am very lucky that this is the only heath issue I have so I won't moan anymore! I missed swimming on Friday afternoon as I got back from the doctor appointment/prescription collection too late to have enough time left for a swim and pick up the grandchildren from school. I may try to go next Tuesday after the food bank as well as next Friday to make up for it.

I finished the Hydrangea Stripe blanket#2.


Here it is washed and hanging over the bannisters to dry.

 I don't think the photograph does justice to the colours. They are lovely blues with a few greens thrown in;  they remind  of the colours of the sea. I have christened it; the Sea Hydrangea Stripe blanket. It will be wrapped up and given to middle grandson's little brother as part of his Christmas present. I've made blankets for all my grandchildren; my daughter has had two; OH has had one;  Hilary has had two; eldest grandson's girlfriend got one I made for her last Christmas and I've made one for one my cousin Liam's (RIP) daughter, Roisin, when she was born 7 years ago. I need to think about the next project...

I don't know what is up with my phone camera. The photos are not as good as it used to take although the spec on the new phone is higher . The close ups seem crisper and clearer but not the distance photos. The other issue is the sizing; but that's a Blogger thing - all my photos are selected as X-large, but just look at the variation in sizes! It's very frustrating.


I have a collection of harbour pictures on my stairs and landing. I am always attracted to the sea and its surroundings. If you believe in signs I am a Pisces!

Days 9 -12


All dresses charity shopped. This is the cheat bit... dresses I've worn recently on the blog. From top left: dress by Oliver Bonas; top right; dress by H&M; bottom left dress by Mudd and Water 50p at car boot sale; bottom right BNWT Joe Brown dress.

Day 13

This is the dress I bought in a Northampton charity shop a few weeks ago. It's by Sweewee which seems to be a cheap French label. The label on the dress does say Paris. It's not as short as I thought, so I could wear it as a dress with tights; but decided to wear it with trousers as I would be in and out all day and the weather is chilly. I thought afterwards I could have worn it with my grey cable knit tights  and over the knee boots - next time! I am wearing minimal make up; highlighter, blusher, lipstick and just pencil and Vaseline on my eyes as I was expecting to go swimming...


I've had these flared Next cords for ever, but can't remember which charity shop they came from. Boots also charity shopped.



All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings from New Look's sale earlier this year.

Blue plaques keep popping up in Bedford:



I spotted this one in the High Street on my trip to town. There is another plaque to John Usher on a different street and it was not one I knew about on my Blue Plaque walk. He designed this building which has mythical beasts on pillars and the initials AH or HA above the top middle window. I must try and find out more about the building but I am guessing it was a shop or company building. The tally is now standing at 23 plaques that I know of and I expect there are some new ones I've missed...

Day 14

It was my brother's actual birthday on Sunday and both he and Mark came over for  a home cooked birthday dinner. I walked on both Saturday and Sunday 5 miles each walk. On Sunday I recce'd the walk I'll be leading on Thursday. Sunday's weather was damp and grey.



Hot and flushed on Sunday...


Country Casuals charity shopped jacket; Daycare Hospice shop, I think. Psychedelic print dress by New Look charity shopped about 5 years ago. OTK boots; my Barnardo's for 5.00. All jewellery charity shopped.


My outfit kept malfunctioning! The buttonholes on the sleeves of the dress kept coming undone; they have stretched, I think, so this dress will be re-donated. This was the first wearing of the boots and the heels crumbled throughout the day leaving deposits on the floor! OH thought at first it was chocolate. By the end of the day there were no heels on the boots at all. How very weird.

Day 15

I wore this to volunteer on Monday. Monday's are such busy days for me; I spend the evening with my feet up usually catching up with everyone's blogs.


Dress  by White Stuff and from my Barnardo's. All jewellery charity shopped. The brooch is my most recent acquisition from the 3:16 charity shop for 1.00.


Jacket; Barnardo's boiled wool jacket 1.00 rail.


Tan suede OTK boots online retail 3 years ago.


Next Friday, my Barnardo's is having a 'Everything 99p' day, so I shall be going back to see if I can get any bargains!

Day 15


I wore this to the food bank on Tuesday. It was milder but still damp and we had rain in the afternoon. The pinafore dress is by Tu retail in their sale a couple of years ago, shirt and kimono charity shopped.


Boots present from daughter.


All jewellery charity shopped.


And I'm going to finish with yet another dress which I've previously worn on the blog so I'm up to Day 16 of dresses worn...only 6 to go!

Day 16


Joe Brown dress bought in Co. Derry charity shop for 5 euros.