Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.


This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put my walking boots on when I got to the start point - well, at least that was the plan for Wednesday 1st March. The start point for the group walk was the village of Silsoe. I set off in good time but as I travelled along the A6 the rain came down quite heavily which was very off putting. Then, in the village of Clophill; the village before Silsoe, there was a long tail back of traffic. That was unusual for the time of the day but ten minutes later I discovered why; roadworks and temporary traffic lights. The ten minute delay meant that when I got the Silsoe turn off it was already ten o clock and as I've said before the Ramblers are nothing if not punctual; starting off at ten on the dot. I wasn't too bothered as I had planned to go to Luton after the walk to pick something up for my son - and have a rummage. I did it in the morning instead!

I was saddened to see how very run down the town centre in Luton looked. When I was based at the university there; I was forever popping out in my lunch break to have a rummage in the charity shops. There are now only four left; three national charities and one independent shop. I found a book and a knitted dress in the Sally Army which was marked down in the sale items. After collecting my son's item; I stopped at Aldi in Luton on the way back and picked up Earl Grey teabags and some night cream; neither of which I'd been able to get in my local Aldi. A successful trip I'd say. Once home I had to go out into to town to pick up a parcel for OH at the sorting office; I'd left the card to claim the parcel at home in my handbag and only took my rucksack with me in the morning...

The dress hangs very nicely but the photos don't show it very well.

Swimming on Thursday was very busy in contrast to Tuesday. I did have the pool to myself for the last 10 minutes and in total manged to swim 48 laps - 1 mile. I used to strive to swim 48 laps every time, but I was often absolutely knackered when I got out, now I just swim what I can in the 60 minute slot. It usually works out at about 45 to 46 laps. I changed into this outfit when I got home and had something to eat before embarking on a trip to the farm shop and to Lidl. Everything pre-loved except the boots. The dress which had the label removed was the one I picked up on Wednesday's trip to Luton. Polo neck underneath by M&S; tights made of bamboo were so warm and bought in Brixton charity shop; jacket by Moto and all jewellery pre-loved, too. The polo neck is off to the donations bag; the neck is floppy. I like a polo neck to fit me snugly around the neck and this one doesn't.

I was horrified to see at the farm shop in Sharnbrook the coal had increased yet again by 1.00 per bag; making the three bags (60kg) I buy on a monthly basis now 39.00; instead of the 30.00 it was when I first started buying it. Hopefully, once the warmer weather arrives we will no longer need to light the fire every evening and therefore save some money. I worked out that between buying fuel (coal; logs; kindling) for the stove and paying the gas and electric for the month; OH and I spent 390.00 in total for February 2022. Once upon a time that would have equated to a quarter's bill i.e. 3 months. I'm just lucky we can afford it but I can't bear to think of the amount of people who can't and go cold as a result. 

I collected youngest grandson from school made dinner and then dropped same grandson off to basket ball practice. In the evening we finished watching the last in the series of 'Unforgotten' which was excellent.

On Friday 8 of us met at Langford garden centre and walked 6 miles from Langford to Henlow to Clifton and back. We stopped for tea and cake at the garden centre. The weather was chilly; a bit drizzly and very cloudy.

Henlow Grange. Now a luxury spa resort and wedding venue; you can read about the original inhabitants (Edwards, Raynsfords and Addingtons) HERE.

Talk about a carpet of snow drops!

When I arrived home the postman had delivered 2 books I'd ordered online and I spent the rest of the day reading the second book in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. Now to hunt down the third in the series...

This was Saturday's outfit. OH and I went to Emmaeus to drop off a bag of donations and then onto Olney to have a quick rummage in their 3 charity shops. I bought nothing except a brooch and a ring but OH found 2 pairs of work jeans. Dress by Kaleidoscope; jacket by New Look and all jewellery pre-loved. Boots as before; present from my daughter. It was another chilly grey day. Our temperatures stayed at between 6 and 8 degrees this week but were set to drop next week; just in time for my birthday!

Olney is a quaint little town with lots of beautiful old houses; these are the front windows of one of the houses: I just had to stop and have a nose and take a photo.

Once home I chilled out for the rest of the day. OH cooked and we started watching another 'Walter Presents' series called 'The Wall; Cover Your Tracks'; set in French speaking part of Canada.

It was still chilly on Sunday at 4 degrees but bright. I went for a 4.3 mile urban walk then back home to do the weekly house cleaning and cooked roast lamb for us all. Everything I wore was pre-loved; skirt by M&S; jumper by Gap and shirt underneath by Next; boots as before. Jewellery also pre-loved; I didn't bother with beads for a change.

I had a busy week ahead of me. On the day of my birthday I had a dental hygienist appointment; brilliant planning there Veronica - not! In the evening everyone would come around for birthday cake. On Friday, I was at long last taking sister-in-law out for the day to the West End and hopefully to eat at grandson's restaurant. Priscilla flies back to the USA the week after, so Friday was best day to go and it's the only day of week where I am free from commitments. On Sunday we'd be going out for my birthday dinner with my three brothers...

I took out my black broiderie anglaise maxi dress (pre-loved) to wear on Monday with this Tu (retail) polo neck underneath and this jacket (also pre-loved). I wore the dress belted and my New Look burgundy boots but I didn't really like the outfit; unfortunately I had no time to change so I wore it to Barnardo's on Monday. I'd worn the dress with a belt which was a mistake. It's the sort of dress that looks best on its own with out anything else. I decided to hang onto it and wear it when the weather gets warmer. I'd worn it before when I went out for a Mother's Day afternoon tea with my daughter a year or so ago. At Barnardo's we weren't very busy and I processed donations all morning. It seemed our paid member of staff who works two days a week had left; having found herself a full time job. I'll miss her; she was very young and lots of fun. It'll be months before she's replaced. When I got home I changed into jeans as I had to go to the building society and the bank. It was a grey miserable day but the temperature was 9 degrees so it was warmer than it had been for days.

When I set out for the food bank on Tuesday morning it was 3 degrees but no frost or ice to be seen. Apparently it had snowed in Oxfordshire and Suffolk overnight but we had escaped it. I wore Next jeans worn yesterday after Barnardo's; H&M polo neck underneath an H&M tunic; all pre-loved and boots from Tu; a Christmas present in 2021 from my daughter. All jewellery pre-loved. I'm wearing tiny diamond studs for earrings; I don't wear stud earrings that often. On the way back from the food bank I stopped at Sainsbury's as we needed bread and milk and I needed to get some cash out. I prefer to use cash to do my weekly food and fuel shopping.

I went for the usual Tuesday afternoon swim;  managing to lose my stud earrings at the pool; I think they fell out of my swimming goggles case when I put them back in after my swim. I then came home and cooked dinner. The daily routine of cleaning out the fire continued and of course the inevitable washing. I have hardly used the heated clothes airer since Christmas but it may yet come into its own; if nothing else it will get used as an airer in the summer months when the washing line is full. The afternoon was cold at 5 degrees but sunny. Now the trees here are blossoming and on Friday's walk we saw lots of blackthorn in bloom; frothy white blossom and later there will be sloes...

The snow got to us eventually. I woke up to snow falling on Wednesday morning. Light but persistent. The ground was wet so it wouldn't settle but that scuttled my group walk plan. Instead I decided to have a lazy day. A lazy day is one where I don't have to be somewhere by a certain time and I love a lazy day! After having breakfast and getting ready I went into town to return a library book. Someone else had reserved it and the library had sent me a reminder to return it on time. I then had a quick mooch around picking up some essential items; then home again to do the weekly Aldi shop. From Aldi I had planned to go to a different farm shop as we had run out of coal and the Sharnbrook farm shop didn't open on Wednesdays. Would you believe the road to Pell's Farm Shop and Nursery was closed for road repairs (bloody potholes everywhere) however, so I asked OH to pick up a small bag on his way home from work. By the time OH got in from work the snow had settled on roof tops, walls and trees.

I wore M&S wool trousers; H&M polo neck and M&S kimono with red boots as before; all pre-loved as was all jewellery. The series we had been watching (The Wall: Cover Your Tracks) had stopped at episode 5 and would resume on Friday. It was very frustrating to find this out but I'd look forward to seeing what happened next on Friday evening...there were 8 episodes in total to watch so it maybe another 3 weeks before we get to find out whodunnit!

I woke up to heavy snow on my birthday and temperatures of 1 degree. In 1954 the year I was born in London; the temperature was 10 degrees with wind and rain...

By the time I'd walked to the swimming pool my umbrella was caked in snow. Once I'd had my swim and left the pool to walk home the rain came down and before too long it was if it had never snowed. I had a dental hygienist appointment at 12 and came home to have something to eat first before walking to the dentist. Then it was off again to the farm shop and to do the weekly Lidl shopping. Whilst I was in Lidl; my cousin Susan rang to say that my Aunty Rosie had passed away at 12 noon. It was quite a shock as I knew she hadn't  been well for a while but she was still in the nursing home where she lived with my other aunt and not in hospital. Susan was with her when she died holding her hand. In a way she's the last of my mother's family as my other aunt has dementia and doesn't know us anymore. It's all very sad and I'll miss her. She had a mischievous sense of humour. RIP Auntie Rosie. The funeral would be held on Saturday. I tried to find flights but they were very expensive plus I would have needed to hire a car and find accommodation so I made the decision not to go to the funeral. I would be able to watch the funeral mass online on Saturday and when we go to Ireland in April we'd be able to visit her grave.

I wore this outfit on Thursday. Kilt skirt by M&S; top by Tu; boots as before and everything including the jewellery was pre-loved. I lost one of my earrings on the way to the dentist and this pair were the replacement.

 My beautiful birthday cake. I was thoroughly spoiled with lots of lovely presents and cards. OH bought me new summer walking boots; perfume; a bottle of Canadian Club (my favourite tipple) and some African print earrings. My son bought me a gift card for a world wide retail outlet; my daughter bought me some perfume; some chocolates and a scented candle. My middle grandson bought me an Oodie (a very warm indoors hooded top - it will be perfect for the caravan); his little brother bought me a Stegosauras pot (!) containing a succulent and my daughter in law bought me some tulips and a bar of Ferrero Rocher chocolate which at the time of writing had been scoffed. OH started on it on Thursday night...

No snow on Friday but it started out very windy and chilly. My sister-in-law had cancelled our trip to the West End as she had to wait in on Friday for a special delivery letter to do with her state pension. She flies back to the USA on Thursday. So I had a free day ahead of me - two in one week! Skirt by M&S; polo neck by Uniqlo; tank top by Mandolin; boots from Sainsbury's children's range; everything pre-loved and all jewellery also pre-loved.

After a morning of pottering about at home; I went for a rummage in the afternoon once I'd posted off a parcel to my son. I went to the Castle Road charity shops and the Cat's Protection League in Kempston. I was on a hunt for Elly Griffith's books and tank tops. I found a tank top and a ring but no Elly Griffith's books, unfortunately. The sun came out in the afternoon and it was lovely to have some brightness after 2 grey days. The temperature peaked at 5 degrees. Middle grandson stayed over night and after sorting him out some dinner I spent the rest of the evening reading.

The bright but cold weather continued on Saturday. I seem to have had a short skirt/tank top phase going on. Skirt by Laura Ashley; polo neck by Zara; tank top by Amaranto (picked up on Friday at the Cat's Protection League), boots as before. Everything and all jewellery pre-loved. First airing of this copper toned necklace.

My auntie Rosie's funeral mass was being live streamed from Ireland at 12 noon and OH and I sat down to watch it. It was a lovely service and a lot of people attended. After that I walked into town to collect a couple of reservations from the library and then walked along the river from the library to Great Denham and Biddenham to home; 5 miles in total. I chilled out for the rest of the day finishing my R.F. Delderfield book and starting the third in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series. In the evening we caught up with Episode 6 of 'The Wall'; we'd tried to watch it live on Friday evening but couldn't get it to start at the beginning as we tuned in half way through.

I went for another walk on Sunday morning in bright sunshine and it was actually warm at about 13 degrees. I was sweating when I got back home after walking 4 miles. OH and I did the usual house cleaning when I got back and then I had a leisurely day with no cooking required; we went out for my birthday meal at a Nepalese restaurant with my 3 brothers. My daughter wasn't very well so didn't come with us. The food was delicious and we all wanted to go back for a return visit soon.

Started reading this on Monday evening and until we can carry on watching 'The Wall' we started watching this Dutch crime drama:

With 3 series and 10 episodes per series it should keep us going for a while!

Before that though it was off to Barnardo's as usual. We have an inspection soon and so that everything was as it should be; me and another volunteer went through different sections ensuring all the labels were in date and had the correct size cube and price on the label. 

I also  did the shop banking in the nearby village of Bromham. It looks as if Great Denham has lost its post office along with many other places across the UK. My local post office at home was closed down about 7 years ago and to avoid the very crowded town centre one; I often drive to near where my daughter lives and use the post office there. In fact with all the retail outlets closing down; it's forcing people into their cars more and more as the retail parks are rarely in town centres anymore. The bus services aren't always very regular and sometimes you have heavy stuff to carry...

In the afternoon I should have run some errands but one of the Ivel Valley group came round to interview me for our forthcoming Summer walks programme. It's a new item in the programme and I was the third person to be interviewed in the new series of interviews. I decided to run the errands on Wednesday instead when I go to Aldi. I didn't take any outfit photos as I completely forgot as we did at my birthday meal, too.

On Tuesday, I wore this  pre-loved Next dress with a striped polo neck underneath picked up from the 1.00 basket at Barnardo's a few weeks ago. Boots had no label but were pre-loved as was all the jewellery. It was once again surprisingly warm and sunny.

We were busy at the food bank. I put away accumulated toiletries and cleaning products; then made up crates of toiletries for two of the distribution centres. After that I helped with the food parcels; weighing them out, labelling them and stacking them up. It's like a work out at the gym - not that I've ever been to the gym. I took advantage of the weather when I got home and hung the bed linen on the line; on Sunday I'd managed to get towels dry outside; that's not been possible for ages. It's another sign that Spring is upon us and thank goodness for that. I'm off for a swim now and later on I'm meeting up with my other best friend Ann, for a meal out and a long overdue catch up! I'll see you in a fortnight.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

A visit to Devon and other things

Back again! How time flies; it seems but a day or so since I last posted but it was a fortnight ago. It's been the usual fortnight of volunteering, swimming, walking; charity shopping, visiting family and I also went on a trip to Devon; more of which later.

Tale of a lost earring...

This was Tuesday's outfit. I went swimming at an earlier time because of half term so I wore minimal make up. Everything pre-loved; velvet skirt by Mistral via Barnardo's; shirt by Linea; jumper has no label; boots by Sainsbury's. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings from eBay.

 After my swim I went into town to run some errands and then on to Aldi to save me a trip on Wednesday. I like their Earl Grey teabags and this was the third week they hadn't any in stock; nor their Caviar night  cream. That happens frequently with the night cream but I've never known the teabags to be out of stock for so long - I'm blaming BREXIT! Tuesday was Valentine's Day and I received this:

And a big box of chocolates! Thank you, OH, you are my Valentine for sure! The chocolates only lasted 2 days; both of us love chocolate...

I'd been praying for decent weather on Wednesday as I was leading a walk from Milton Ernest/Clapham/Thurleigh/Milton Ernest. My prayers were answered; the sun shone; it was dry and what's more the awful muddy bridle ways and footpaths across the fields had dried up - mostly. There were 25 of us in total and we walked 7.5 miles. This was when we stopped for a break half way through:

If you look carefully you can see some horses in the field. On the very last leg of the journey we walked between two fields with a horse in each one. I don't know much about horses but they may have been Clydesdale's. What a pair of show-offs! As soon as they saw us coming they got very excited and then began trotting and even galloping around their respective fields; round and round they went and looked as if they expected applause. They were wonderful and I wished I'd videoed them but I was trying to be a responsible walk leader...

From the walk I drove to the farm shop trying to save myself time on Thursday; the food bank had asked if I could go in on Thursday afternoon to help make up food parcels. The farm shop is in the next village from Milton Ernest and as soon as I approached the roundabout to the farm shop I remembered they don't open on Wednesdays! I went home; caught up with blog land; hung the washing up; sorted out the fire then made dinner. Middle grandson came round to borrow a suitcase; he's off to Barcelona on Friday with two friends for a long weekend. They'll watch Barcelona play Cadiz at the stadium in Barcelona and hopefully get to see the wonderful Gaudi cathedral, too. It's his first trip abroad without his parents or grandparents and what better way to celebrate being 18 years old?

I had the usual manic Thursday. Swimming followed by a trip to the farm shop for coal and kindling (again!) Then it was off to the food bank where I made up 16 food parcels for small families; there were no other volunteers in, surprisingly. From the food bank I went to Lidl to do the weekly food shop and into Aldi to see if the tea bags were back in stock - they weren't. Home to sort out the fire, put the shopping away and cook dinner. I finally sat down around 6 pm. We had started watching a new 'Walter Presents'  international crime drama set in Geneva called 'Sacha' and  were enjoying it. I know if OH is enjoying something he doesn't fall asleep!

Jeans on Thursday; I'd forgotten I had these cropped flared jeans by Next which I found on a fairly recent rummage. The tunic is by Indulgence and was found in a Co. Galway charity shop about  4 or 5 years ago. Boots as before and I only wore earrings and beads both of which were pre-loved.

I had planned to go to London on Friday to take my sister-in-law for a trip around the West End (her choice I hasten to add; not mine) and then out for a meal, but she cancelled on Thursday as she wasn't feeling very well. Instead I went on the unofficial bus walk. We started at Colmworth Golf Course. Colmworth  is a village about 5.5 miles outside of Bedford. It was a pleasant but very windy walk; the remnants of Storm Otto making itself felt. We stopped at the golf course clubhouse for tea and cake at the end of the walk. My coffee and walnut cake was delicious. It was interesting to see they had a 'refill business' as part of the clubhouse. In an endeavour to cut plastic waste and the ensuing pollution; you take your bottles of washing up liquid; liquid detergent; fabric softener; hand wash etc and refill them with ecologically sound replacements. It was the last thing I expected to see in a golf clubhouse!

I wore the same jeans again with a different tunic; boots as before. Jewellery all pre-loved. I added walking boots and socks for the walk and my red Moto corduroy jacket. When the wind wasn't blowing it was quite warm at 14 degrees.

We passed this sweet cottage on the walk; note the Thatcher's signature on the roof; a pheasant I think or a peacock?

We visited St. Deny's Church in Colmworth which dates from around 1430. Such a plain and simple church; with the exception of a couple of beautiful stained glass windows. The walls were made of exposed brick in places; there were no elaborate carvings to be seen anywhere except the marble one to the left of the altar. It seemed really out of place compared to the rest of the church.

There was a lunch about to take place in the church but they kindly let us have a look around before the lunch began. 

Plain and simple.

 I spotted this magnificent horse sculpture in the grounds of the golf course. Apparently the golf course has a wedding venue and this is a popular spot for the wedding photographs. That's the river Great Ouse in the background. There were nine of us on the walk and we walked 6.7 miles. I'd miss next week's walk as I'd be off to see Hilary down in Devon next weekend. Yippee!

Saturday was a miserable grey day with lots of rain. Not allowing the weather to put us off we went to Kettering for a rummage; to see my brothers and go out for a meal together.  Before we did that I walked into town to the library to pick up two reserved books. I didn't find much in Kettering except some accessories; 2 necklaces; a belt and a pair of earrings. I also found 2 more Elly Griffiths books so now have a collection of 5. I wore this Next dress picked up on Tuesday when I popped into town for some errands. The 3:16 charity shop were having a sale; I also bought something else but cannot remember what it was other than it was summer wear and I put it away for the summer. I wore OTK boots which hadn't been worn this year. The coat, also pre-loved, was a Facebook Marketplace find and by Dept 19.  You can't see it in the photo but the coat is navy with a light coloured stripe. Gloves, scarf, and bag all pre-loved. OH and I spent the what was left of the evening watching a BBC 4 drama set in Galway on the west coast of Ireland:

Sunday was a lovely day. Bright sunshine throughout the day. I can cope with the cold if the sun shines but the last few days the weather had been surprisingly mild; reaching 14 degrees at times. Apart from walking to the big Sainsbury's I didn't go out at all. OH and I did the usual house cleaning and I made dinner. Only youngest grandson came for dinner and I dropped him home afterwards. 

I wanted to give this dress one last chance but off to the donations bag it goes. I bought it from Vinted during the first lock down but it's difficult to style as the neckline is too low and has to have something underneath. I wore this retail buy TU polo neck as it has some splashes of purple in it. I do love the colour of the dress but the sleeves, although nice, are not fitted enough at the wrist. More negatives than positives, so goodbye purple dress! Boots pre-loved and striped tights were a gift. All jewellery pre-loved; including the square earrings bought on yesterday's trip to Kettering.

As we had missed last Sunday's episode of the Pottery Throwdown we caught up with it and watched Sunday evening's episode as well. I also finished one of my reserved library books; staying awake until the wee small hours to finish it. It was the first book I'd read that was set during the pandemic in 2020; in this case in the USA; and what memories it brought back of those incredibly strange times. I have read everything by Elizabeth Strout and love her pared back and elegant prose - and her acute observations and wisdom about humankind.

I volunteered at the Kempston branch of Barnardo's on Monday. There seemed to be a lot of people away or on holiday and I was asked if would go to Kempston. I spent the morning cleaning the bric a brac shelves; of which there were loads and re-organising them. When I'd finished my shift I went to the Multiple Sclerosis centre where they were having an everything 1.00 sale. I bought a suede Damart coat with fur lining (I'll be well prepared for the next big chill!) a short denim waistcoat; a smart Betty Jackson jacket and a very warm nightgown, to take to the caravan with me. I also picked up a couple of books for Hilary.

This was what I wore. Everything pre-loved except the boots from New Look. Skirt by Betty Jackson; top by Monki. All jewellery pre-loved. It was a warm day with the car temperature gauge saying 15 degrees. Once I was home I hung up the wash I'd left on in the morning; sorted out the fire and made chicken soup for dinner with yesterday's left over chicken. After that I caught up with blogging and chilled out. I'd go out again later that evening to collect middle grandson and his friends from Luton Airport. Updated to stay I collected him and a friend and was home after 11 pm. They had a great time in Barcelona and seemed to have packed a lot in the short time they had.

Tuesday was not such a good day. First of all it was cold and grey. When I went to bed on Monday night and got up in the wee small hours to go to the loo (which I do at least twice in the night; another of the joys of getting old) I had vertigo. I suffer from BPPV (Benign Paroxymal Postural Vertigo) from time to time. It feels as if inside of your head is spinning and sometime when you open your eyes the external world is spinning as well. You can also feel nauseous and the dizziness affects your balance. It's not a life threatening or serious condition and is caused by the displacement of calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear; which in turn is triggered by specific changes in the movements of your head. It's more common in the over 60s. I almost always have a bout of it when in the caravan in Donegal and I think that's because compared to our bed at home, the bed in the caravan is low. Anyhow, that was a long winded way of saying I wasn't feeling myself on Tuesday and consequently didn't go to the food bank or go swimming.

I did get dressed and made up with minimal make up expecting to go swimming as usual in the afternoon; but decided it was better not to as the dizzy spells and nausea hadn't worn off. By dinner time they had. I wore this knitted Max Studio dress with pre-loved leggings underneath both from my Barnardo's. The pre-loved boots were Sainsbury's children's boots and the scarf is an infinity one I've had for ages; also pre-loved as were the earrings.

I had a lazy sort of day spent mostly reading. I did do a  towels wash and dry it; sorted out the fire but no cooking. We had fish and chips for dinner. By Wednesday I was fully recovered and that was just as well as I was off to spend the day with my son who had moved to Norfolk some months ago. As a practising Muslim he won't allow any photos to be taken. We had a lovely day together but the weather was grey and miserable. I wore my knitted Zara dress again for warmth.

The photos weren't very good as the light was poor.  Dress from my Barnardo's; tights and boots both gifts from my daughter. All jewellery pre-loved.

Don't know why I'm looking so serious!

Thursday was frantically busy as usual. I went for a swim in the morning managing 46 laps which surprised me as I hadn't been for almost week. After a shower and washing my hair I went straight to the hairdresser's for my monthly appointment. Then it was home to have something to eat and to finish getting ready. Off to the farm shop and Lidl; by the time I finished that it was time to pick up youngest grandson from school. Home again; dinner cooked and off to basket ball practice. After recuperating on the sofa for a while I sorted out what I was taking to Hilary's on Friday whilst OH took my car to the garage to sort out tyre pressure; oil; water etc. I always ask him to do this when I go to Devon. It's a good 3.5 to 4 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Everything I wore on Thursday was pre-loved except the boots which were an online buy. Jacket by Peacocks; polo neck by H&M; cropped wide leg trousers by Phase Eight and all jewellery also pre-loved.

The journey to Devon was mostly uneventful on Friday morning. There was an accident on the M4 motorway and we were at a standstill for 40 minutes but once we moved it was fine. It was so good to see Hilary again and we went out for a 5 mile walk to Knightshayes and then out for a curry in the evening.

This poor photo shows what I wore on Saturday. Jeans by M&Co; top by Masai; polo neck all pre-loved. All jewellery pre-loved.  

We set off for a day of rummaging starting in Brixham and then in Totnes. I found a vintage striped top; several books and 3 pairs of earrings. And talking of earrings; the last time I visited Devon, you may remember, I lost my beautiful Art Deco Butler and Wilson earrings which were a birthday present. I'm wearing them in the first photo at the top of the post. I lost one of my earrings this time also; an enamelled triangular pair that I'd had for about 25 years. Luckily, I found it in my coat pocket as I set out for home!

Spotted in Brixham.

A view of Brixham from street level.

Some lovely pavement tiles from Brixham High Street.

Brixham Harbour where we stopped for tea and a snack.

A very quirky Fair Trade town...

View down the High Street from the bottom...

16th century Guildhall; Totnes.

Totnes had a Fashion and Textiles Museum which we would loved to have visited but it was closed for refurbishment. 

Seen on our canal walk on Sunday morning in Tiverton; Blundells School 1604. After a 4 mile walk and a hearty breakfast I drove back Bedford in record time; 3.5 hours. OH made dinner and we began a new series of Walter Presents 'Helsinki Files' but watched the 'Pottery Throwdown' first which had now reached the quarter final stage...

Back to Barnardo's on Monday where I spent most of my time decoding. We take off the rails clothing that has been there too long and either reduce it or send it off to other shops. It's a good way to have a detailed look of what is on the rails. I found a dress for me for the summer and a full slip that is shorter than my current vintage ones. Slips are always useful under shorter length dresses. The weather was chilly so I dressed for warmth; everything except the boots pre-loved. The hand knitted tabard was a rag bag rescue a couple of weeks ago from Barnardo's. Green plaid top by F&F also from Barnardo's; green trousers by Next 1.00 rail somewhere. All jewellery also pre-loved

In the afternoon I had several errands to run in town including picking up a library reservation; picking up a prescription and buying some toiletries. Home to clean out the fire; sweep and wash the kitchen floor and make OH a casserole for dinner. My library reservation was this book which is the first in a long series...lots more to look forward to.

On Monday evening we started watching the new series of 'Unforgotten'; the first without the wonderful Nicola Walker. It was quite gripping and then we discovered the remaining episodes were being streamed on the ITVX channel. Guess what we'll watching for the rest of the week? 

Did any of you get to see the Aurora Borealis? I kept looking out all Monday evening but no sign of them in Bedfordshire. Apparently on Sunday evening and again on Monday evening they were visible from various parts of the UK. Cousin Martina in Ireland put up amazing photos of the Aurora Borealis seen over Co. Sligo and Donegal. One day I'll get to see them...

Sorry, the photos are not very good; the light I think. I tried them in 'Portrait' and they were just as poor...

Minimal  make up Tuesday and the food bank. We are back up to the full complement of volunteers - there was even a new volunteer! I was back to making up crates of toiletries for 3 of our distribution centres and I put away a 6 crate stack of toiletries that had not been processed.

Everything has been seen on the blog before and all; including the jewellery was pre-loved. The earrings I found at Barnardo's yesterday. I thought it was going to be a much colder day than it was and wore my 1.00 Damart faux suede and faux fur lined hooded coat that I found at the Multiple Sclerosis centre last week. I swapped it for one of the food bank fleeces when I got in as the coat was too bulky to work in. In the afternoon I went swimming and swam 46 laps; there weren't many people in the pool which is always great but I worry, if there are fewer people swimming, whether the local council will close down the pool - energy costs etc. I sincerely hope not but I've read that several councils have talked about closing down their leisure facilities if their energy costs increase even further. On that somewhat depressing thought I'll leave you and hope to see you again in a fortnight...

Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...