Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Walking, swimming and rummaging


Last Wednesday I walked by myself and not with my group. I did a walk that combined elements of several walks that I've previously led. It was a beautiful sunny but cool day and the walk was 10.8 miles. I did enjoy it. I saw a Buzzard; a Kestrel being mobbed by two crows and several Red Kites.  I also startled a pheasant, but that's nothing new; I do it almost every time I'm out for a walk. They are daft birds; if they'd just stay put I'd never know they were there; and they wouldn't have to erupt out of the undergrowth in a riot of squawks and feathers!
All jewellery charity shopped.



Navy lace trousers; my Barnardo's 2.00. Top by Primarni 1.00 rail somewhere; and jacket 4.00 in the 3:16 charity shop. Red brothel creepers/beetle crushers 5.00 from a Wellingborough charity shop.


I have put my summer sandals and shoes away and brought out the boots and winter shoes. I've packed away the lightest of my summer clothes but I haven't completely swapped over yet...

Thursday was the day Marian and I planned to visit Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and enjoy a day out together. It was not to be. Marian doesn't live very far away from Hatfield House and she arrived there first. She rang to say that they were filming and it wasn't open to the public! I went to her house in London instead and we did some catching up. We can do Hatfield House another time and as Knebworth is also only down the road, we can do that one, too!

I wore this:

Jacket from Oxfam in Kilburn a couple of years ago: 2.00. White lace top by Next; 1.00 rail. All jewellery charity shopped.


Green trousers by Zara and picked up in the Salvation Army in Peterborough last Tuesday for 4.50. Green boots (never worn) by River Island bought for 4.00 in my Barnardos.

And this is the Seasalt raincoat bought for 5.00 in my Barnardos.

I went swimming again on Friday and managed 24 laps of the pool.  Fridays seem to be by far the quietest day to swim. At one point there was only me and one other in the middle lane!

On Saturday, I walked with a different walking group in the village of Bolnhurst where we walked 7 miles in cloudy and cool weather.


Green boots as before. Trousers by F&F; charity shopped but can't remember where. The linen top is by Monsoon and I bought it in a charity shop in Letterkenny for 2.50 in their sale. I can't remember where the very useful dark blue cardigan came from; but it was another charity shop buy.

More smudes around the eyes; I need to look in the mirror before I do these photos!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.




Ed, Marian and Katherine.

My cousins came to dinner on Sunday. We had a lovely day and I drank quite a lot of wine (for me) hence the red face - and we lit the fire for the first time so that must be partly to blame! I wore some silky harem pants I bought in my Barnardo's for 2.00 sometime ago; with my current favourite white blouse and a black and white kimono bought somewhere in Ireland about three years ago. All jewellery charity shopped.

On Monday, I was at Barnardo's and we had so many donations we were climbing over them to get to the back. When I left, despite sorting and tagging all morning, there were still dozens of bags left to sort...
I wore this dress by Seasalt that I picked up the week before.

Sorry crap photos alert:
I don't know what happened to the camera here; it might be because the light is behind me or maybe the flash didn't work but the colour has leached out. Sometimes I really miss OH as my photographer!

Tights, headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped.


Shoes: Primarni sale two years ago.


I bought this denim jacket by 'And Other Stories' for 5.00 in the 3:16 charity shop earlier in the summer.

It was good to get back to the Food Bank on Tuesday; I'd missed two weeks. We have the Harvest donations coming in thick and fast now. It's very comforting to know that as our stock diminishes there's always something; Harvest, Christmas, Easter, Special Appeals that enable us to build up stocks again.

I spent Tuesday afternoon doing the big swapover. I filled one plastic bag with stuff for the charity shop and 5 filled with my summer clothes went into the loft! All in all it took me about two and half hours to do the swapover...thank goodness that's out of the way until next year!

The weather has cooled down considerably and it's cold in the mornings; and the evenings are very chilly. We've lit the fire every evening; in fact we did it last Sunday when Marian and her family came down. It's very cosy and it means I don't have to put the heating on!


On Wednesday, the walk was quite far away so I walked on my own after a trip to town to run some errands. I recce'd the walk I'll be leading at the end of the month which is a 7 mile walk from Milton Ernest to Thurleigh and back. It was meant to be sunny in the afternoon but it was very cloudy and I kept my waterproof jacket on all the time as it was chilly!


This dress is a Joe Brown dress bought for 5.00 in Derry. The jacket was bought last year and is very warm, so was needed.  I can't remember where I got it from or how much it was. Can't remember where I got the boots either!


Necklace bought in Ireland in a charity shop; earrings were a present and the fish brooch was bought in the new Hospice Shop. Bangles and ring also charity shopped. I noticed in town on Wednesday that the relatively recently opened 'Autism Bedford' has closed. It lasted less than a year. I did have a bit of a rummage and bought two tops for 2.00 each and a necklace in Mercy in Action and  in Cancer Research I picked up a Masai animal print top for 4.50.


On Thursday, I went walking by myself again and recce'd a new walk for the Spring programme. I managed to get it down to 8 miles and when I walk it more often I maybe able to shave off a bit more. As I only wore my Scottie dog dress for a few hours on Wednesday; I wore it again with a different jacket and jewellery on Thursday. I should have also gone to my doctor's on Thursday for a full medical MOT - my first ever. OH has had several. My doctor's practice is a bit slow with new initiatives but as I've been with them for 38 years I'm ok with that. Unfortunately, they called me and cancelled my appointment so I have to rebook...damn!


Just before I set off for a swim on Friday - note no mascara. It's easier to wipe off the rest of my makeup when I get to the swimming pool.  All jewellery charity shopped and top bought at my Barnardo's on Monday.

I swam 30 lengths - 1.5 k. I am really enjoying getting back into swimming. When I was younger and still at school; Hilary and I swam every weekday before school and sometime at the weekends too!


My Frida Kahlo bag - bought as a present for me by my lovely (ex) daughter-in-law. I use it when I go for a rummage or I'm running errands in town.


Saturday was a chill out day. I slept late having spent 4 hours the evening before, yes I really mean 4 hours, unravelling and rewinding a ball of wool that had got hopelessly knotted and tangled! I still had to cut a bit out that I couldn't untangle but only a little. I needed the colour for the Hydrangea blanket otherwise I would have given up on it sooner. Hilary is coming down in November for a weekend so I need to have the blanket finished by then...Saturday evening saw the return of 'Spiral'; a French police series on BBC4. This series is one of my all time favourites. Did anyone notice there was no 'Tin Tin' in the first of the new programmes?

I'm wearing the (spotted) tunic by Myrine bought in the Mercy in Action for 2.00; over brown M&S retail leggings and charity shopped boots. This jacket by Viyella was 1 euro from the Donegal Animal charity shop.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped. I went into to town on Saturday afternoon to return a library reservation and stopped at the Guildhouse charity shop. It only opens on Saturdays and I rarely go to town on a Saturday but I'm so glad I did. I picked up these lovely clogs for 3.00 - they are incredibly comfortable and had not been worn:


On Sunday I went to see my son. It was a bit of a chilly day so I dug out this coat. It's by Primarni  charity shopped somewhere; and I've had it for more than a year but have never worn it!


This is the Masai top bought in the Cancer Research for 4.50 in the week.


M&S animal print leggings; 2.00 my Barnardo's and brown boots charity shopped somewhere.



All jewellery charity shopped.


Monday saw me back at Barnardo's for more volunteering. I bought some great fashion books:


Someone must have been studying fashion as there were quite a few books; but it was these I was particularly interested in; especially the biography of Coco Chanel.


Jacket present from daughter. Tunic, trousers, scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.


Grey ankle boots online retail last year.


I wore this to the food bank on Tuesday.  Practical and warm clothing for the warehouse. We have an amazing new pair of scales where we can just wheel on, weigh and wheel off! Of course we have to deduct the weight of the trolley or wheeled base and the weight of the crates from the total. Sometimes it's quicker to use the lift on lift off scales...Everything charity shopped except the boots - as above. Can't remember where I got the clothes from.



All jewellery charity shopped.


After the foodbank I decided to go to Ampthill for a rummage as I hadn't been for a while. In Barnardo's I spied a couple of fashion books that had just come in as a donation. I have only one or two fashion/style books; then on Monday I picked up 4 at my Barnardo's and then 2 more in Ampthill. One book is about Erte fashions and the other is a visual style source directory  of fabrics, wallpapers, paints, flooring and tiles by Judith Miller. Both were 1.00 each. I was well chuffed.

Got a busy week ahead; hospital appointment with grandchild, hairdressers, eyebrows, swimming and two group walks - see you on the other side!

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

On being a pensioner...

All jewellery charity shopped.

 Hello again!
I've been pleasantly surprised at how lovely the weather has been since our return from Ireland. It's chilly at night and first thing in the morning, but I'm still wearing my summer wardrobe...just.
This top is by Nomads and was bought for 3 euros in the Animals in Need charity shop in Donegal town. Martina cut my hair in Ireland and cut it very short, so it's just beginning to grow back a bit now.


Everything charity shopped; lace jacket Barnardo's 2.00; white Next jeans, can't remember. Shoes; 3 euros in Killybegs charity shop about 3 or 4 years ago. All jewellery charity shopped.

School runs, charity shop volunteering and food bank volunteering are all back in the weekly routine. I did a fair amount of child minding the first week I was back as it was my daughter's 41st birthday that week; (oh, that makes me feel so old writing that) and she celebrated in style!   A weekend in London, plus a day out in London, a meal with friends on her birthday and I took her to see Downton Abbey at the cinema and out for a meal, as well. We both really enjoyed Downton Abbey - we got into it when we spent May half term in Cornwall last year and watched a DVD of the first series; then we we were hooked and had to watch the entire series over the next few months!


 Another Ireland top. This one is by George (Asda) and was 2.00 euros; I love the sleeves and find I wear it a lot. White goes with everything and I love the pattern. Linen trousers 1.00 rail somewhere and shoes as above.


Cardigan by F&F; for the chilly evenings; charity shopped for £2.00 in my Barnardo's.


All jewellery charity shopped; these earrings were picked up in Sligo town for 1 euro.

I got back  into walking, too. I walked with my group in Woburn Sands on the first Wednesday I was back and a really lovely 7 mile walk  A lot of climbing into and out of woods. As the name suggests it's very close to Woburn Abbey and Safari Park;  but a nice village with its public loo in a Shepherd's Hut! I didn't take any photos - too busy catching up with everyone's news.


On Thursday I walked 9 miles. I wanted to recce the walk I'm leading in October; starting from a different place, but realised after 4 miles it would be too long; so just walked an old route back to the start which came to 9 miles in total! 

I'm wearing one of the three jackets I bought in Ireland This one was 5 euros and is by


The top underneath came from the 25p basket in my Barnardo's as did the scarf. All jewellery charity shopped.


These were charity shopped Next jeans I was going to donate but chopped the bottoms off and frayed them. Shoes from Sainsbury's earlier this year.

I also wore the jacket in Ireland, too: this was taken when we had a drive around the beautiful mountain called Ben Bulben in Co. Sligo. We wanted to walk a part of the mountain called the Gleniff Horseshoe; but several days of torrential rain caused several land slides and walking there was not a sensible idea! Another thing to do for next year.



Everything charity shopped except shoes; on line retail.
Trousers are by H&M and can't remember where I got them; the shirt was from the 1 euro rail in the Animal charity shop in Donegal, but can't remember where the lace top came from. It's because I buy so much from charity shops...


All jewellery charity shopped. My scarf had started to untuck itself here; OH didn't notice and neither did I, till I saw the photo! This scarf is an infinity scarf which folds to be an almost square, so I fold it over into a triangle and then fold it over several times into a rectangle. I've experimented with a 'Rosie the Riveter' head wrap, but need to wait till I have a bit more hair to fill it before I show you as the scarf covers the whole of the head!


Rosie the Riveter.
On Friday, I kept to my pledge to swim regularly once I was back in the UK; having enjoyed it so much whilst in Ireland. I swam 20 lengths of my local pool which is 50 metres long and not 100 as I thought originally. Anyway, I swam a kilometre and I want to try and gradually increase to 30 or even 40 lengths. which will be 1.5 or 2 kilometres.  I met a walking colleague in the pool and she said to me "oh you're a real swimmer". I wasn't quite sure what she meant. I wasn't in the fast lane (I use the middle) and I try to do alternate lengths of breast and back stroke. I'll ask her when I next see her! I enjoyed the swim but it isn't a patch on sea swimming. However, 80+ miles for a sea swim is a bit far on a weekly basis so the local pool will have to suffice.

Another change since I've got back is that I am now officially an OAP (old age pensioner), a Senior Citizen or an oldie. After having my state pension age delayed by 5.5 years thanks to changes in government policies; I am in now finally in receipt of my state or old age pension. I also have a bus pass which I'm itching to use. I may use it soon as I need to recce the bus walk I'm leading in December and I can catch a bus - free! - from the start point. No sooner had I received my first part payment of my state pension than I got a letter from the tax office telling  me my personal allowance code has changed. Yes, I'm taxed on the state pension, but not directly; my personal tax allowance is reduced by the same amount of annual pension I receive! There is no escape from the tax man...

I seem to have a smudge  on my cheek - not noticed when taking the photo...
I did a bit of rummaging in Bedford the week I was back. I did buy a few things. 
Now, the top I'm wearing here is several years old and was bought from a 1.00 rail somewhere. In the RSPCA charity shop in the week I spied the matching skirt for 4.50 and of course I had to have it.  A lucky find. It's by Adini.


Shoes as before and all jewellery charity shopped.


I picked up quite a few winter things during the week apart the skirt; 2 dresses and 1 lightweight maxi dress and a jumper. I had several things to do in town on different days so popped into the nearest charity shops whilst I was there...

I got very lucky in Barnardo's on Monday. I bought some brown leather OTK boots for 5.00; a SeaSalt raincoat for 5.00 and a lovely yellow necklace for 1.00. All plus discount!


All jewellery charity shopped.


This is what I wore to the charity shop on Monday. The trousers were bought in Ireland in the NCBI shop in Donegal for 3 euros. The shoes were bought in the same place as the orange pair in the first photo above. Killybegs charity shop 3 euros. The top is by Dunne's stores and was about £3.00 but bought here in the UK. The Next jacket is a 1.00 rail bargain and is several years old. I always have to roll up or tuck under sleeves as I have short arm - and legs!


Tuesday was the day the weather turned. It lashed down all day and was very dark and gloomy but the sun did venture out at times. I had to wait in for our new bed to be delivered and missed volunteering at the food bank. Our metal frame bed collapsed one night before I went away to Ireland, but I can't complain - we've had it for 17 years! Mind you, the bed in my spare room; a wooden one; was bought in 1993 which makes it 26 years old and it's still perfect. It was very expensive when I bought it and I suppose it shows that sometimes you get what you pay for.

I went for another swim on Tuesday and managed 22 lengths; I think I can do 30 on my next trip but the pool can get quite crowded; and as I like to swim backstroke as well as breaststroke, the more crowded the pool the more likelihood I could crash into someone. The pool filled up very quickly on Tuesday afternoon. I think Friday's are less crowded but I planned to walk again on Friday.


I forgot to post these photos of my great grandfather and grandmother's final resting place on my previous post.  We visited here, cousin Marian, me, Linda and Doirin. Their names are not on this gravestone; I don't know why; but their son; my great-uncle Harry's name is. We think this Michael Kerr is a relative of my great grandfather (not a sibling as we know their names) as they all came from the same area. The carved figures above came from the abbey of St. Fraoch founded in 570 BC. You can just see the abbey above the wall and it is behind this wall that my great grandparent's grave can be found.


I have posted about the famine pots in Ireland before but here is a little more information about the one in Donegal Town; I took Marian to see it.

On Wednesday I walked with my group again; this time in Olney. It was a lovely walk and we did 7.4 miles. We had a couple of brief showers of drizzle but not enough to put us off. I paid a quick visit to 2 of the 4 charity shops in Olney and bought a lovely maxi dress for 5.00 in Age UK. It has an American label called Tua/Fua (?)
    Source: Attic24.typepad.com
I am beginning to feel like picking up my crochet hook again. The last thing I crocheted was a very large hat at Easter which I donated to a charity shop. This blanket is the Hydrangea Stripe pattern from Attic 24 here and is my next crochet project. I just need to pick my colours which is the easiest part!

Here they are laid out on the dining room table. I had to stand on a chair to fit it all in. I'm incorporating the purple and lavender I bought for my Willow square blanket project. I made 20 squares and got bored with it! I will continue with that project after this one but I'll do the remaining squares in a variety of colours, instead of just two and that will stop me from getting bored.

Here's the first few rows done. They blend quite with my skirt!


Thursday's outfit. Linen top by Wallis 3.99 and trousers by Quiz 2.00; both from my Barnardo's. I'm wearing a sleeveless wool jumper underneath which was from a 1.00 rail somewhere and I tucked it in which I think was a mistake. Shoes charity shopped in Ely; I think.



All jewellery and scarf charity shopped except earrings bought in a Beale's Christmas sale years ago.
I used my bus pass on Thursday and took the bus to Milton Ernest - for free!! Then I walked back to Bedford which came to a total of 10 miles. I still had to do the food shopping when I got back but surprisingly I wasn't feeling tired at all.


All jewellery charity shopped.


It's the Adini skirt again plus the linen top I bought from my Barnardo's for 3.99 before I went away.


Shoes from local PJ shoe shop.


On Friday I visited the Castle Road charity shops for a rummage. I had wanted to do the group bus walk but my knee was a bit twingy (is there such a word?) after the 10 mile walk on Thursday so I thought I had better take things easy. This was my haul. The bag is by Next and was 2.99 - I just need an occasion to use it now! The necklace came from the same place as did the oval brooch; both 1.00 each. The ceramic fish brooch - I love it - and the primary colours necklace came from a new Hospice shop in Castle Road which must have opened whilst I was in Ireland. We now have a total of 5 hospice shops in Bedford; 2 are Keech and 3 are for the day hospice including one which is on the premises of the hospice itself.


I went to see  my son on Saturday and wore this.  One of the dresses I bought last week. 2.00 from the Mercy in Action charity shop.
Cardigan also charity shopped in my Barnardo's, I think...


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.


Tights made of bamboo were 5.00 from Traid in Brixton and shoes are from Primarni 5.00 in their sale last year.

On Monday I volunteered at Barnardo's and wore this:


Everything charity shopped. Dress from Salvation Army (no label) 4.00 bought last week. Jacket 1.00 rail in Age UK, Wellingborough. Can't remember where I got the boots from. They were 4.00 as they still had a price sticker on them! I bought them in the summer and put them away for autumn/winter.  Scarf from Barnardo's. I'm showing my slip here; or Charlie's Dead!!


All jewellery charity shopped.

I missed out o n the foodbank again this week as I took my daughter in law to the Passport Office in Peterborough. She and middle grandson are off to Trinidad after Christmas!


An animal print, brown and beige theme going on here. I just fancied it when I was deciding what to wear. I'm wearing two scarves as they are quite fine ones and I bought the necklace in Ireland in a charity shop somewhere.


Trousers are old; brown top a recent 1.00 rail addition. It's too short for wearing over trousers so it will be worn with skirts in future. I don't have a plain brown top only a shirt/tunic so I though this would do. It won't. Cardigan charity shopped and boots as before. I can't remember where I bought any of these from!!



I'm going out for the day this week with my cousin Marian and on Sunday she and her family are coming to us for a get together. If the weather is fine we'll have a BBQ but if it's not we'll eat indoors. The forecast does not look promising. Since I wrote about the good weather since I came back from Ireland the last few days have been wet but it is still warm and muggy. I've put my sandals and shoes away and dug out my boots and winter shoes; I'm not ready to swap my clothes over - yet! I'm hoping to hang on for a couple weeks. Have you done the swap over yet?


The blanket is growing....