Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Choosing outfits and other things...

Hello my lovely bloggy friends!

Transitional dressing; (old photo)  light weight dress with cardigan and leggings underneath with ankle boots. Everything charity shopped including jewellery/

Most of these are reservations from the library so I've been on a reading mission to get through them all.  Two are non fiction and the rest are novels. You can only have reservations out for 3 weeks...since first writing this I've read 6 and picked up two more reservations...
Well, to continue from where I left off in my last post; I did get all my winter coats and jackets out the Monday before last. In the afternoon I went to Newport Pagnell for a rummage and picked up two books and a waistcoat by Country Casuals for 50p. The last of the big spenders that's me!

On  Tuesday, I had to wait in for somebody in the morning and couldn't go to the food bank; so I decided to do the rest of the actual swap over of summer to autumn/winter wear. I don't swap everything over. Most of my shirts, for example, hang in the wardrobe all year round. Nevertheless, it took up most of the morning. The weather had been staying quite warm and sunny at around 16 - 17 degrees but the evenings and mornings were chilly. I even thought we might light our fire but then on Wednesday and Thursday it was 21 degrees plus and very sunny - summer returned! Of course it would as soon as I put the summer stuff away....

Thursday's outfit. Dress bought in Ireland for 3.00 euros ; navy leggings charity shopped; navy ankle boots on line retail. Had my hair cut, too.

Necklace bought in Donegal charity shop for 2 euros. Earrings from Salvation Army bought last week: 1.00.

 I had a black plastic bag full of unwanted clothes and a large shopping bag full of odds and ends  by the end of the swap over so I took them to the Keech charity shop in Great Denham. I'm glad I did as the Barnardo's there had a sale on. I bought two pairs of trousers for 79p each, a pair of cream leggings for the same price and I also bought a lovely pair of Next pyjamas in a very soft material for 3.79 in the same charity shop.  And there I was complaining they had raised their prices recently! One of the first  items I swapped over was my nightwear. Out came the warm and fleecy pyjamas and away went the cotton ones; the short sleeved ones and the short night shirts. The nights are officially cold!

On Friday, I went with a walking colleague to recce the next walk I'm going to lead. It ended up being a mile longer than planned, but it was a very pleasant walk along the river.  Although the temperature was cooler than the previous two days it was still bright and dry. Total distance walked including to and from the bus station (the start and end point of the walk) was 9 miles. So, 8.3 miles for the group as whole; as we'll meet at the bus station.

There was total traffic mayhem on that Friday morning as much of the area in Bedford around the town bridge and the high street was closed off by the police investigating a fatal stabbing. I found out later that day both my daughter and OH got to work pretty late because of the traffic chaos. This unfortunate incident followed another fatal stabbing two weeks ago in Bedford of a 16 year old young man. Thank goodness these are rare occurrences in our town.

Everything charity shopped. Tunic by Tu; leggings unknown no label; boots found in St. Neot's charity shop a couple of years back 2.99. Cardigan; Primarni 9.00. I've wanted a long orange cardigan  for ages but couldn't find one in the charity shops. I'll wear this one a lot, I know.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday I walked with a different walking group. It was such a lovely day and a fantastic walk. We walked from the village of Great Barford to Blunham to Tempsford to Roxton and back to Great Barford; 8.5 miles. The only thing that spoiled it for me was I tripped over a tree stump and fell flat on my face! I skinned my knee and my hand and on Sunday I had big black and blue bruise on my knee cap. It was okay though I could still walk on it.

Believe it or not this a church - with a thatched roof! It's the Congregational Church in Roxton.

 A beautiful original wattle and daub thatched cottage in Tempsford.

Now to the point of the title of this blog: on my last blog post I got this interesting comment from Karen who lives in Vancouver:

K - "Is part of the ability to put together something more unusual or eclectic taking the time when you're not getting dressed for something to check out what goes with what? I always think I'll do that but then don't. I'd like to know if you take time behind the scenes to put things together or if it just happens for you?"

I did have to think about my reply because I thought I just do it and don't really think about it, but of course there is a lot of thinking involved in choosing outfits! This was my reply below and I'm very glad Karen asked me the question because I now have pictures of the outfit choices I like and want to wear again (or something similar) and have stored the pictures in  'Winter' and 'Summer' albums. I will, of course be adding to them.

V - With regards to outfits I sometimes get inspiration for 'looks' from other bloggers, magazines, the internet, Pinterest, people I see in the street. I want to try wearing tunics over long skirts - a look I saw on 'Advanced Style' so I'll be experimenting with that over the next few months...

Sometimes, an outfit idea will pop into my head and I'll go and hang the garments up together and see if they work. For example, the orange print trousers and blue jacket combo above was one of these. But once it was on and I saw the photo I didn't think it worked. 

I have to plan my outfit for the next day before I get into bed and usually have it hanging up and ready to go for the following morning. If I don't, it can take me ages to sort an outfit out (too much choice!) and I don't usually have time to waste!

Sometimes, I look through my wardrobe for inspiration and other times I'll stick with some tried and tested ones. I did at one point write down my outfits but I didn't keep it up. Ideally, I should have a file with photographs of all my 'successful' outfits and just be able to flick through when inspiration is needed. This would be doable as most of my outfit photos are readily available on my laptop - I just need the time...

It's that cardigan again...I told you I'd wear it a lot. It was much cooler last Monday. I actually wore my winter coat and a scarf (around my neck) to do the school run. Boots - Christmas present from daughter; cardigan retail as above. Black trousers; Lidl. Tunic charity shopped.

Another thought struck me after writing the reply to Karen and that is when I pick an item to buy. I nearly always have a mental image of what I could wear it with in terms of cardigans/jackets/trousers/shoes building a whole outfit around the one item. I remember a piece of style/fashion advice some years ago I read, and whilst I usually ignore most of it this seemed to be so sensible and practical particularly for separates. It was when buying an item of clothing 'to think about 4 or five other items from your wardrobe that you could wear with it and if you can't  - DON'T BUY IT!' i wish I could say I always follow this advice - but I don't;  hence I have a couple of items that hardly ever get worn because I can't think what to wear with them...do you have the same?

All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing hoop earrings for a change; I rarely wear hoops. Scarf charity shopped. Another book waiting to go back to the library on the hall table...

I decided I would not visit any charity shops last week or at least not buy anything. I had the walk to recce again as I was leading the bus walk on Friday; I had a walking date with my food bank friend, Lynne, as well as the usual group walk on Wednesday. Things that would stop me buying - I hoped!

Everything charity shopped except leggings;  online retail. Dress bought for 5 euros in Mullingar, Co. West Meath animal charity shop, whilst on holiday. Red brothel creepers (beetle crushers) bought from Wellingborough charity shop for 4.99 a few years back.

Scarf charity shopped; necklace bought in charity shop Co. Donegal for 2 euros; bangles and ring charity shopped.  Earrings bought in Bedford market. I'm so red and shiny as I just finished cooking in the kitchen...

I walked with the group on Wednesday - 7.2 miles. It was another pleasant day; lovely for walking. I had to go to the library to return and collect books (more reservations) in the afternoon; I had a quick look in Sue Ryder as it's near the library. I couldn't resist a grey spotted top for 5.00 (their average price for a top) and a necklace for 2.00.

Everything charity shopped except grey brogues - Primarni sale 5.00.
White jacket from Kettering charity shop 4.99.

Navy pleated skirt and top; charity shopped but can't remember where...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I recce'd my walk on Thursday with my friend from the food bank and then lead it for a small group on Friday. Both days were beautiful walking days; I took this photo on Thursday from the Butterfly Bridge. There are several main bridges across the river in Bedford  (lots of smaller on, too); the Butterfly Bridge, the Suspension Bridge (above) the Town Bridge, the New Bridge and the County Bridge (next to County Hall). Part of the walk route took us to Cardington Village and we stopped at the cemetery to see the memorial and burial place of  the 42 victims of the R101 Airship disaster in 1930. The airships were built and housed in Cardington Hangars. The interiors are also used for filming quite frequently as they are simply enormous. I believe the first Batman movie was filmed in here...

Source - Alamy stock photo. Cardington Hangars.

We stayed and had our break in the cemetery. A very peaceful place.

Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except the boots; on line retail, velvet cardigan; TK Maxx - many moons ago.

Jeans from the Mercy in Action charity shop 2.00. Can't remember where I bought the top.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I have come to a standstill with my Willow square pattern blanket, so began a quickly worked up giant Granny Square blanket to use up my stash of green and blue wool. Every tenth row will be an alternate colour. It continues to grow day by day...

I went to spend the day with my son on Saturday. Everything charity shopped. The coat is by David Emmanuel and I bought it for 7.00 in the Red Cross about three or four years ago.

The spotted top was bought from Sue Ryder in the week for 5.00; the black bootleg cords 1.00 rail in the Red Cross shop. The shirt underneath was bought online in a sale. I had spent months looking for a smart white shirt in the charity shops but couldn't find one in my size. I bought one on line in the end and then began to see smart white shirts in my size in the charity shops every time I went to one! It's the 'Sod's Law' of charity shopping; look for something specific in your size and you won't find it; stop looking and there'll be loads!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

On Saturday evening my eldest grandson and his girlfriend came to stay. It was lovely to see them together and we all sat down for a nice traditional Sunday roast cooked by me. I forgot to take photos...

I believe we have some more lovely weather to come - bring it on, I say!

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Home again, home again jiggity jig....

Hello again!

I went back to the food bank last Tuesday after an eight week break and wore this...

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. Denim jacket by Dorothy Perkins.

Navy linen trousers, M&S, charity shopped; top bought for 3 euros in Co. Donegal charity shop.

Yellow shoes  bought last summer in charity shop in Donegal for 3.00 euros.

It was good to be back at the Food Bank. Supplies are getting quite low so we're hoping Harvest Festival brings in a big clutch of donations...

Last Wednesday started out as cool and drizzly so I didn't fancy walking with the group. It had rained in the night and I didn't want to be sliding around in mud. I'm a wuss, I know, but the forecast was better for Thursday so I decided to walk on my own on Thursday.

Instead I went for a good old rummage to Great Denham and Kempston.  My daughter asked me to see if I could get her some bowls. I didn't see any. I bought a Gudrun Sjoden tunic top for 3.99; a Cath Kidston spectacle case for 2.99 and some over the door hooks for my kitchen cupboard for 79p. I shall use them to hang up my tea towels and pot holders. All of these were bought in Barnardos and I  also bought a couple of books; one for my friend Hilary as I'll be going to see her sometime in October, I think. I usually try to bring her half a dozen books I think she'll like. She usually does! I also bought some M&S floral jeans for 2.00 in the Keech Hospice shop (reduced rail) which has now opened up in Great Denham; I bought some wool (naughty, naughty me) for 2.00 in the Daycare Hospice shop in Kempston for 2.00.

I don't know if I've been spoilt by charity shop prices in Bedford town and whilst on holiday but both the Keech Hospice shop in Great Denham and the one in Kempston and the Cat's Protection shop had clearly raised their prices. I got lucky with the Gudrun Sjoden top but the average price for a top seemed to be about 6.00! I'm sure it was 3.99 before I went away.

I thought these orange trousers were quite clingy until I saw the photos! Into the charity shop bag they go. As did the jacket; I don't like it anymore.

Everything charity shopped but can't remember where I bought what. I do remember the blue polyester  jacket was 50p from a reduced rail in  a charity shop in Royston or Baldock; I think it was on my first ever visit. Orange shoes; charity shopped last summer in Co. Donegal.

All jewellery charity shopped

I went out walking on my own on Thursday and did over 6 miles. It turned out to be a beautiful day. I'm trying to find a new route for the New Year Ramblers walks programme. I had found a really good walk back in the early part of the summer but it would be too long for the Wednesday walks which are usually about 7 to 7.5 miles long.

Blue again!
I wore this on Friday when I walked with the group from Harrold to Odell and back again - 6.5 miles. I just added walking boots and socks! The blue patterned top is the Gudrun Sjoder one I bought in Barnardos. The Blue kimono, which has a black lining, was bought last year but I can't remember where. The jeans are by M&S and are also charity shopped. Shoes are by Clarks and were charity shopped, too.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I haven't yet swapped over my wardrobe as we continue to have some warm days interspersed with cooler ones but I am wearing layers which helps with the transition. I have been so enjoying the sunny days it makes up for missing them in Ireland.

I haven't stopped wearing a vest for the whole year only on exceptionally hot days. I have always had an occasional reaction to elastic or something in waistbands but in the last couple of years it has got worse, so I find having a vest to tuck into my trousers/jeans/skirt can stop the itching somewhat. Often it's the knicker elastic that triggers it off though and even PJ bottoms have been to known to have me scratching like crazy!

We met these two lovely donkeys on our walk. They both enjoyed the attention and petting. I must remember to put a few carrots in my bag the next time I'm out. You never know who you might meet when you're out walking...

I also did the food shopping on Thursday and popped into Aldi. I only buy Aldi's washing up liquid, face serum and night cream otherwise everything else comes from Lidl and some from Sainsbury's. Anyhow, I must have had perfect timing for Aldi as they had king sized 100% cotton sheets in a bag, on sale for 49p! Bargain! I bought 8. 2 for me, 2 for the daughter, 2 for the ex daughter in law and 2 for eldest grandson.

I bought this hat somewhere before I went on holiday but can't remember where . It was 1.99

It's my daughter's 40th birthday this month. It does make me feel old having a child in their 40s! As part of the (several) celebrations she spent the weekend at Centre Parks with friends and I child minded youngest grandson on Saturday. He had a football match on Saturday morning and I had planned to take him black berrying in the afternoon. He didn't want to go...the lure of a screen was more inviting.


Trousers bought in Leighton Buzzard charity shop for 2.00. Red striped top bought in charity shop in Letterkenny, Co.Donegal for 3 euros.  Shoes, PJ shoes local retail. I bought two tops, a shirt, a pair of jeans and two dresses in total whilst I was away. Quite restrained for me, I thought. OH took a large black plastic bag full of unwanted clothes to the charity shop in the week. I'm trying very hard to stick to my one in, one out maxim.

All jewellery  and scarf charity shopped.

On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale. I bought 2 pairs of earrings and a couple of things for the house. It's only held once a month and it's in the grounds of a garden centre so if we need any garden stuff we can pick it up at the same time. Next month will be the final one for this year. There is another boot sale that runs all year round - weather depending, but's a good 12 miles away and sometimes it gets cancelled and you don't find out until you drive up to the site...very frustrating.

Everything charity shopped except the leggings bought in a sale at Store 21 in Rushden - which has since closed down.

All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.

You may remember my hall table which I rescued from a skip on my daughter's estate. I bought the lamp for 1.00 and the wicker basket containing 4 small bottles for flowers, for 50p at the car boot sale. It has a label saying 'Fleurs' but it was back to front in this photo! The lamp is a touch lamp. The jug and basin came from the same car boot sale for 2.50 earlier this year. The books are for my brother and youngest grandson still hasn't taken his word search books home...

The flowers are hibiscus flowers from my hibiscus bush.

After the food bank again on Tuesday morning  (I go every week now) I walked on my own on in the afternoon. It was another beautiful day. I'm leading a walk in a couple of weeks and needed to recce it. The route was drawn up by a walking colleague; it follows the river from the town centre (where a new development and new bridge was completed earlier this year) then still following the river we walk to the marina and on to a couple of villages and return to Bedford. I am walking the route properly with my colleague next week but I wanted an advance check. Needless to say I took a wrong turn and ended up in a nature reserve. I carried on walking hoping I  would find a bridge and cross over the river to the marina side but I ended up in a clearing with nothing but the river ahead of me.

To my shock there was an encampment of men living in tents in the clearing; I saw 5 tents in total. There were clothes hanging in trees and containers of food, and in the middle, a chiminea. It reminded of a less squalid Calais in France where there were huge encampments of refugees. I have no idea who the men were who were living in the encampment I saw but how dreadful that people are reduced to living like this. It's not too bad at the moment as the weather is fine but what happens when the weather turns cold and wet? This is an area of flood meadows and is left under water deliberately to encourage the wildlife. Those poor men...

I spotted this Heron and a Kestrel along the river. Sadly no kingfishers...

I walked with my group on Wednesday. It was an 8 mile walk and involved quite a lot of climbing. I was pretty knackered by the end I can tell you. But there is no rest for the wicked they say; I changed into this when I got back and made my daughter a birthday cake:

Everything charity shopped. Skirt from Next; 1.99 in Red Cross. Animal print top by Tu; 1.00 rail Keech Hospice shop. Can't remember where I got the shoes from, Oxfan, I think but they were also charity shopped.

Library book waiting to go back on the hall table.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought this lovely coral jacket in a charity shop in Dublin for 1.00 euro; I washed it and ironed it but it's too small - damn! Another item for the charity shop bag...

In the evening we went to my daughter's and brought presents, cards, flowers and cake.


I went for a rummage on Thursday and bought two items in the Mercy in Action charity shop for 2.00 each. A pair of jeans and a green fringed kimono. This was Thursday's outfit:

Top; French Connection, 3:16 charity shop 3.99; cardigan, Red Cross 1.99; leggings retail as was scarf (Primarni) and pink shoes charity shopped.

Necklace present from OH charity shopped in Kettering.

 All jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday I walked with the group again. We caught the bus from Bedford to Sharnbrook then walked from there to the village of Melchbourne then on to the village of Risely where we caught the bus back to Bedford. 8 miles in total.

Long row of thatched cottages in Melchbourne. It's unusual to see so many thatched cottages together in one row.

Another thatched animal for my collection - a fox seen on this roof in the village of Risely.

I went to see my son on Saturday. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which I bought at last Sunday's car boot sale for 1.00. 

  Everything charity shopped.

Kimono 2.00; Mercy in Action, top - can't remember; black jeans 3 euros charity shop in Donegal town; shoes 3 euros Killybegs, Co. Donegal.

It's that M&S coat again...7.00; Cat's Protection League. It was was quite nippy on Saturday and I think I may have to get my winter coats and jackets out and put the summer ones away. Boo hoo!