Monday, 11 February 2019

Walking and not walking


I expect a lot of you will be aware that Google will be removing Google+ from Blogger. What effect this will have on Blogger or Blogger comments I'm afraid I don't know, other than if you comment using Google+ it will no longer work and such comments will disappear from the blog!  I hope it won't put you off from commenting! If it does cause problems it may necessitate me moving to another  blogging platform...we'll just have to wait and see.


Hello again!

We've had some very cold weather recently but it didn't stop me recce'ing my walk again on Tuesday afternoon, as well as going to the food bank in the morning. This was Tuesday's outfit after the walk and I wore it to the food bank too but with leggings underneath for extra warmth.


I can't remember where I bought any of these charity shopped items except the white top which was a 1.00 rail buy. The African print skirt and the Country Casuals tweedy jacket were both bought last year. I'm wearing my tan suede OTK boots - online retail. It's damn cold in that warehouse!


Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

It was - 0.5 degrees at the start of the walk on Wednesday with frost covered grass, icy puddles and icy stretches along the farm tracks, but the walk was very successful. There were 32 of us in all. We were so lucky with the weather despite the cold; the sun shone and we had a clear blue sky. I'm going to repeat this walk for the group again in May but I'll reverse the route and because it will be the height of Spring the landscape will look different.


I forgot to show you these. These are giant hay bales we pass on the walk by Twinwoods,  but I don't think they're for animal fodder  - too big. I do think, though, they maybe mixed in with the left over food that goes into the anaerobic digesters . We send our out of date food from the food bank here.

Anaerobic digester' at Twinwoods. Industrial buildings in a rural landscape; what a contrast!

To backtrack to the very beginning of the week; I went to Barnardo's on Monday morning for what I thought was a 'chat' with the manager. It turned out to be a two hour induction session and I was to start properly the following week. It's a charity shop in the middle of a large housing estate and it's the lucky recipient of many, many donations. They haven't had the volunteers to sort the donations so they are piled up just waiting to be sorted.  I'm looking forward to it! Naturally, I had a rummage whilst I was there and bought a brown, wool Per Una (M&S) maxi skirt for 49 p. The last of the big spenders that's me!

This is what I changed into after Wednesday's walk.


Everything charity shopped. Boots from Red Cross 1.99. Jeans by Per Una (M&S); bought in the Mercy in Action for 2.00. Green tunic 1.00 rail; Keech Hospice shop, Great Denham. Green top underneath tunic; Primark retail some years ago.


Scarf  present from a friend; all jewellery charity shopped. The green necklace is one I picked up in Age UK, Ampthill a few weeks back for 1.50. Those square beads remind me of  Basset's Liquorice Allsorts...

I have a couple of tips for you if you like to wear headscarves as I do often because short hair can be very boring! The first tip came from my OH. If you have a stretchy type t shirt or any t shirt really, that you no longer want to wear; cut the bottom off it. It can be a narrow or wide offcut; whatever you prefer. You are then left with a circular, stretchy band that you can use on your hair. It may be necessary to make a narrow hem where you cut the material, but it depends on the material and how neatly you cut it. I just turn that bit under. Another way to recycle old t shirts!

The second tip is that 'infinity' (circular) scarves are often picked up cheaply in charity shops, as indeed, are a lot of long and square scarves. I have turned a couple of my infinity scarves into headscarves by,
in one case, winding it around my head and tucking the ends in. The other I cut it where it joins into a circle and made it into a long scarf. I was able to do it because it was made of a nice stretchy material that didn't fray, and in fact as it was very long once I cut it, I also cut off a bit at each end as well!  I'm wearing it here:






The blanket progresses. Just laid out ready to sew the nine blocks of four together.

On Thursday I did the food shopping as usual and had planned to finish my blanket in the afternoon. Unfortunately, on the way back from food shopping I realised I had a flat tyre and had to drive to Tesco to pump it up. Then when I got home it was flat again. This meant a trip to my local Kwik-Fit as my local tyre fitting shop had moved to the other side of town. They rang me at 4 pm to say they only had a Pirelli tyre for 105.00 and did I want it? NO I don't, thank you very much so car stayed overnight awaiting the delivery of a cheaper tyre the next day! The car's got its MOT next month; I'm dreading it...


It snowed overnight on Thursday and we woke up to a couple of inches of snow. This scuppered my plans for a walk. I went to the hairdresser's in the afternoon and stopped at the 'new' charity shop The Day Hospice. I struck lucky and bought a pair of check trousers for 4.25; a book for 1.00; some earrings for 50 p and a ceramic picture of Amalfi for 75 p.


This was Friday's outfit. M&S Velvet leggings bought with Christmas money from my brothers; boots retail online. Tunic; Keech Hospice sale rail 1.50.  For warmth I added this short sleeved cardigan (above) bought for 1.00 from Barnardo's. Tulips and hyacinths bought from Lidl. The hyacinths smell divine. I used to dislike the smell but as I've got older I now like it!


Some  jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought from Salvation Army for 99 p. The earrings were a 50th birthday present to myself!

Saturday's outfit.
Don't know why the photo is gauzy..
OH and I went for a rummage on Saturday to Emmaeus. These are the plaid trousers I bought on Friday at the Daycare Hospice shop. Navy boots - on line retail. The top is by Forever 21 and was bought in a sale some years ago; its since closed down.  The jacket is charity shopped from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. It's one of the first things I bought there when they opened up about 18 months ago. It's a Jaeger jacket and I think from the 1990s. Maybe you vintage aficionados might be able to confirm or correct? I bought some perfume, a pair of tights and gold necklace at Emmaeus.

Middle grandson went to work with his Grandpa on Friday. It was  national 'Take your child to work day'. Mum doesn't work and his Dad doesn't live locally. As we live in the same town it was easier to do it this way. Even if I was still working I wouldn't have been able to take him with me as I did lots of one to one work with students and it wouldn't have been allowed for reasons of confidentiality. Both OH and grandson had a great day together and there maybe further opportunities for grandson in the summer holidays.



All jewellery charity shopped.


On Sunday it was such a bright cold day I set out early and recce'd the walk in reverse even though its not until May! It was -0.5 degrees at the start and 4.5 degrees by the end. I came back and did housework. How I hate it, but it has to be done. I also completed my blanket on Sunday adding a teal and mustard border.




I'm very pleased with it. I've called it the 36 Sunburst Square Blanket.

The weather changed on Monday and we had rain and warmer temperatures; 10.5 degrees! I went to Barnardo's for my first day of volunteering. I spent most of the time sorting out the jewellery which I love doing. The manager found me a pretty fabric noticeboard to which I pinned brooches and earrings  and it looked pretty stylish at the end. There is still another huge bag of jewellery to sort through, but I'll get stuck into that next week. It takes a few months before I get the pin numbers and codes to work the till but I think I'm going to really enjoy volunteering here.


Monday's outfit. Tweed jacket; Country Casuals charity shopped but can't remember where. Great Plains dress from Barnardo's 1.99 - they were doing a special on dresses that week. OTK boots on line retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.



 Back to the food bank on Tuesday and then I spent the afternoon cooking. Yes, you heard correctly. Cooking. Me. Moi. I don't know why but I fancied cooking. I cannot remember the last time I felt like this. Cooking is usually boring and onerous to me. I have been cooking everyday (more or less) since 1975, so is it any surprise I don't like it?  I love to eat but hate to cook. Anyway, I took advantage of the urge and made butternut squash soup; pork stew and a coconut pound cake. All were very tasty. I wonder if it will ever happen again?


Everything is charity shopped. I've had the jacket by Next for about 9 years  and of course I can't remember where I bought it. Nor can I remember where I got the top from, but the skirt was 49 p from Barnardo's.  You can't see my boots too clearly but they were from The Salvation Army in Rushden; bought back in the summer for 5.00. The boots are by Next; brown suede Chelsea boots - my favourite.

All jewellery charity shopped. Pink earrings 99p Barnardo's, Great Denham two weeks ago.

I had planned to walk with the group on Wednesday but woke up too late. I didn't really mind as we had a lot of rain overnight and the ground would have been very muddy and slippy. I had errands to run in town and then I came back and chilled for the afternoon. I did make a bread and butter pudding to use up the left over Panettone. I hate wasting food so I don't think I'll buy Panettone again next year at Christmas; the only who's been eating it is me! The same applies to Stollen cake I bought. I also bought a small iced Christmas cake reduced to 89p in Aldi after Christmas and again no one ate it except me...

The hyacinths and tulips are still going strong...


The weather forecast looked good on Thursday so I set out to walk by the river. I'd led this walk before for the group, but I took a wrong path and ended up walking 10 miles instead of 9! It was a lovely walk even though I was a bit stiff later in the day. I changed into this outfit to do the food shopping.


Everything charity shopped. Apart from the boots; Salvation Army, 5.00 and the jacket; Willen Hospice shop; 2.00 I can't remember where the top, and the skirt from Next, came from but both were charity shopped. Tights from TU charity shopped also.


All jewellery charity shopped. I meant to pin my copper brooch to the jacket but completely forgot.


Friday was a miserable day; wet, very windy and grey. It rained for the whole day so I didn't bother going on the bus walk to Toddington. I had various errands to run as well as the school run.

Everything charity shopped except the plain black top from Primarni retail years ago and the boots from Matalan retail. The cardigan was bought recently in Autism, Bedford as was the scarf. The skirt by TU is several years old now and I can't remember where I got it.


You can see I've been heaping coal on the fire again - flushed face.
All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday we went to Kettering for a rummage and a catch up with my brothers. I bought 4 necklaces;  a bangle; a brooch and 3 pairs of earrings; a skirt for 2.50 in Salvation Army; a Country Casuals long cardigan reduced to 1.74 in the Heart Foundation; and a hat in Sense for 1.00. The jewellery came from all over. There are  10 charity shops in and around Kettering town centre. There were 11 but seemingly Oxfam closed just before Christmas.

Saturday's outfit. I wore a beret for a change.

Desigual tunic; charity shopped in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath for 5.00 euros. Top, leggings and boots all retail.


Beret charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped - and I bought a lot more...

Sunday was another horrible wet day but it did clear up in the later afternoon. Too late for me to go walking as I was cooking dinner and Sunday is the day for the dreaded housework...

On Monday I was at Barnardo's for my 4 hour volunteering stint. I stayed on for an extra hour and a half as it was half term so no school run. No jewellery sorting today but bags and shoes. Sorting, pricing and displaying. Then I did some more sorting and pricing including a bag full of tops, dresses and a skirt all by Ghost and in my size! Was I tempted? No. The only garment I really liked was a blue tunic but I already have several blue tunics and I don't need another one.


This was Monday's outfit. The skirt was picked up in the Salvation Army in Kettering for 2.50 on Saturday. The top is by Great Plains but can't remember where I bought it. Tights charity shopped from The Cat's Protection League; boots, Sainsbury's retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.


Necklace bought from Wood Green Animal Shelter shop in Kettering on Saturday for 99p.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Mixed Fonts and lots of monochrome


Ten outfits featured and 5 are monochrome. There's a theme emerging but I don't know why. I didn't plan it...

Anyhow, now we're well into January it's been back to the normal weekly routine for me at last. School run on Monday; food bank on Tuesday, walking on Wednesday, food shopping and a walk or a rummage on Thursday, school run and walk or rummage on Friday. 


 Dress charity shopped in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland on the way to see my Dad's family in August 2018; I thought it was a Desigual dress at first but it's a French label and cost 5.00 euro; cardigan charity shopped in UK. My tights are green and charity shopped. Boots from Sainsbury's some years ago. Red long sleeved top under dress; Primark, retail about 3 years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped.

This is what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. Everything charity shopped except the boots - present from my daughter.


Brown jeans by Ralph Lauren; 1.00 rail Red Cross shop, top by New Look; 1.00 rail somewhere, jacket 2.00 in Willen Hospice Shop in Newport Pagnell. Scarf charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Wednesday I walked with my walking group for the first time since the end of November. We walked in and around Ampthill Park; 7.3 miles mainly up hill! Ampthill Park was one of King Henry VIII's hunting grounds and the site of Ampthill Castle; where Katherine of Aragon was kept during the divorce proceedings from the King. The castle, which no longer exists, is commemorated by a 'Katherine Cross'.

 The Katherine Cross (listed grade II) stands in a prominent ridge-top position 700m south of the house ( Ampthill House) , a tall stone cross of Gothic design erected by James Essex in 1773 for the second Earl of Upper Ossory, to mark the site of Ampthill Castle. The cross, sited on a plateau with views north towards the house and Bedford Plain, bears a shield of England impaling Aragon, and an inscription by Horace Walpole commemorating Katherine of Aragon's residence: 'The mournful refuge of an injured Queen' 

Source: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000378



Here's an interesting piece of relatively recent  information about the cross:
The cross hit the national headlines in March 1982 with the discovery here of the hidden golden hare jewel - the prize that Kit Williams had created for his highly successful treasure hunt book 'Masquerade' .The hare was auctioned at Sotheby’s in December 1988, selling for £31,900 to an anonymous buyer.
Ampthill House from the distance. Wonderful views of Bedfordshire. When the grandchildren were younger we used to come to Ampthill Park to go blackberrying. 

After I'd walked on Wednesday I went to browse around Ampthill's four charity shops. I bought some fingerless mittens in Age UK for 1.50 which are quite long; they should keep my forearms warm when I wear my red Fenn, Wright Manson jacket, as it has three quarter length sleeves. If not I may have to crochet some! I also bought two green necklaces.


I wore this on Thursday to do the food shopping. Very formal  I know but it's just what I wanted to wear. Everything charity shopped except the boots - as above.


 It was the pink top I fancied wearing; bought from a 1.00 rail somewhere it's too short to wear over trousers so it has to be worn with a skirt. I 'lost' this skirt in the depths of my wardrobes for a few weeks until it resurfaced so I thought I'd better wear it quick time! I paid 1.99 for it in the Red Cross; I think, and jacket was also from Red Cross - 1.99. Dark pink tights charity shopped (just seen) - they have tiny triangles on them.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I had errands to run in town after I'd done the shopping and had a browse around a few charity shops but bought nothing. My legs were actually quite tired after Wednesday's walk and I didn't want to antagonise my knee. On Friday it was very cold and I didn't fancy walking out in the fields. I had to collect something from town and I spied this on the way home.



Yet another new plaque and this time on a building that has always fascinated me since I moved to Bedford town in 1991. (I moved to Bedfordshire in 1981 and lived in a village 3 miles outside of Bedford for 10 years).


It's a very church like building but it's attached to a row of stuccoed Georgian houses which are used as offices (see below). You can just see the end of the house the building is attached to in the photo above and below. It was a children's home for over 103 years. Since I did my blue plaque walk early last year I've been notified of or found another 4 plaques  in and around the town which brings the total up to 20!



I have no idea why the font suddenly changed but could I get it to revert to my favoured one - could I heck! In fact I couldn't get the font to revert to the original one. This is a post of  (accidental) mixed fonts...

Friday was a very cold day with an icy wind. I abandoned my plan to go walking...




More monochrome pattern mixing...


Everything charity shopped except boots; retail. I've had the cross over top for about eight years but can't remember where I bought it from. Cardigan from Salvation Army 5.00. Skirt; 2.99 from 3:16 charity shop.


All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.



Saturday's outfit. I managed a five mile walk. 



Everything charity shopped. Boots from Northampton charity shop years ago; jeans, can't remember, jumper and tunic; 1.00 rail at 3:16 charity shop.


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I also picked up my crochet again after a break of a couple of weeks. I had originally planned to make another 'Sunburst Granny' square blanket but 36 squares in changed my mind. I decided to sew the 36 squares into groups of 4; crochet a border around the now 9 blocks of 4; sew the  9 blocks together and crochet another border around them. Here's one of the blocks of 4:





On Tuesday I went to the food bank. It's so full we all stayed in the big warehouse trying to find space for it all. The big warehouse is absolutely freezing so I kept my charity shopped (Donkey Sanctuary Shop, Ballyboffey, Co.Donegal) coatigan on whilst I was there.


Trousers, top and tunic all charity shopped. The tunic was a 1.00 rail bargain. It's been re donated as the pockets, which I was so pleased to find it had, are just weird. Whichever way round I have the tunic the pockets are not facing the right way - goodbye!


All jewellery charity shopped. I got the necklace for 99p in a Devon charity shop.


On Wednesday I walked with my group again. We walked in and around Turvey, a village about 6 miles from Bedford. We did  just over 7 miles. The temperature was 0.5 degrees at the start! It was actually a lovely day despite the cold and icy wind. The sun shone and the sky was very blue.


Everything charity shopped except boots and tights; online retail. Dress by Boden; kimono no label.


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.



Thursday was a very cold day but one or two degrees warmer than Wednesday. I wore this jacket all day - I should have buttoned it up for the photo. It's by Susan Bristol and was bought in the Red Cross shop for 5.00 in their closing down sale. 


I've been lighting our multi-fuel burner earlier as the weather has been so cold, but once it warms up it does give me a flushed face... Everything charity shopped. I can't remember where I bought any of it, but I don't think I've featured the skirt, by Great Plains, on the blog before. The jumper is cashmere and by F&F. Animal print shirt by Ashley Brooks.  Leggings: M&S retail and boots present from daughter.


I bought the necklace (above) on Wednesday for 99p in Barnardo's, Great Denham. I had a bit of a rummage after the walk on Wednesday; apart from the necklace I also bought 2 pairs of earrings and a brooch all 99p each. I went to the Castle Road charity shops after and bought a striped dress by Masai for 8.50 (probably at the top end of prices I'll pay in a charity shop - but still cheaper than Primark!) in The Children's Society as well as 2 silver bangles and a pair of floral patterned tights; both 2.00 each. That's this week's rummage completed; I haven't got any time left to go rummaging, too much on!

Thursday was a busy day. I did the food shopping (Lidl and Sainsbury's); went to Sharnbrook to pick up coal for the burner; and went to Tesco's for petrol as our nearby Sainsbury's garage is closed for refurbishment - Tesco's is the other side of town. I had also planned to recce my walk but we had rain off and on all day and I had enough of mud on the walk on Wednesday! I spent the rest of the day getting on with my crochet project. I've almost finished the 9 blocks of 4 and just have to join them and do a wide border. I've decided to use this blanket in my study as the current blanket in there is very small. I'll give the existing one to a charity shop; it's an ideal size for a baby blanket.

Some views from my planned walk for the 30th January.


Near the start of the walk...


On the home straight...


The last bit - that's Milton Ernest Church in the distance. The walk starts from here. I recce'd it again on Friday. What a strange day it was; temperatures up to 12 degrees from 2 and 3 degrees of previous days. There was also a bit of sun. It's a lovely walk even if I do say so myself; I heard and saw sky larks, heard a wood pecker; disturbed a few pheasants and saw a buzzard take off from the ground and at close range. What a wing span it has - amazing. The last time I walked this route I saw a dead sheep in a ditch. It was still there... The ground was very muddy in places and I decided to adapt the walk so we don't have to cross 2 muddy fields. This means I'll need to recce it again before the walk date.  The walk is 7 miles approx;  it starts from the village of Milton Ernest continues on to Thurleigh and back in a big loop to Milton Ernest.



Saturday's outfit - everything charity shopped except black top from M&S - Christmas present years ago from my ex-mum-in-law.


Leggings 1.00 rail; Great Denham; Cardigan by Next 4.00 from Autism, Bedford. Boots Oxfam.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I set out on Saturday to recce the walk again but it kept drizzling - the wetting sort; so as a compromise to avoid getting totally soaked, I walked the last bit of route avoiding one of the muddy fields. Much better and still coming in at just over 7 miles. I just have to hope we have dry weather on the 30th!



I went to see my son on Sunday. I wore my new to me Masai dress charity shopped in the week, with a charity shopped Zara waistcoat and M&S lace effect leggings; Christmas present from daughter. Boots; Matalan, retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.


That's what I've been up to for the past fortnight. I hope the fonts return to normal for my next post...I will have completed my current crochet project (fingers crossed) and I should have news about volunteering at Barnardo's in Great Denham in the next post as well. See you soon!