Thursday 24 March 2016

Problems with Blog - again

I'm sorry to say that the problem with the blog I and many other bloggers experienced a couple of weeks ago is back. I get google+ notifications that I have a comment but when I click on it to get to the blog it's not there. I can't even read the notification in it's entirety so its pretty frustrating all round.

I'm hoping the problem will be resolved by the time I return on 7th April.
Here's hoping!
Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful Easter.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

We're off to Donegal!

Yes -  we're off to Donegal on Easter Sunday for 11 days. I'm getting excited now and can't wait for Sunday to come. 

When I retired in March 2014, one of things I bought with my occupational pension lump sum was a mobile home in Co. Donegal, Ireland.  I had been  returning to Ireland regularly since 1997 for holidays. I often stayed with relatives and sometimes in rented cottages, but I really wanted a base as I knew I would be visiting Ireland regularly in the future as long as my health and mobility held

This is 'Ruby Super'. She sleeps 8. Her decor is a bit dated but I don't mind. We're only here for between 6 - 8 weeks a year and she's very comfortable. (When the youngest grandchild can go to school by himself I will probably stay for longer spells). The only drawback is she is not centrally heated; I couldn't afford a centrally heated one. The windows on the right hand side look out onto St. John's Point, which is about 5 miles away and Donegal Bay.  I can also see Ben Bulben, Co.Sligo (a mountain made famous by a W.B. Yeats poem here) from these windows. 

It is such a beautiful and peaceful place.There are several lovely beaches a short drive away and last year I had the magical experience of watching a pod of dolphins at play at Fintragh Bay.

This is our nearest beach at St. John's Point. I swam in the sea here last Easter - it was freezing but exhilarating!
When we get up in the morning in Donegal and look outside we often see hares playing. There are lots of them around and sometimes they bound past the mobile home when we're out on the decking. We also had an eagle fly over the site last year - and I missed it! I was out walking on my own and only found out when I got back. 

This is Tramore Strand at Port Noo. A lovely beach that is about 2 miles long. When the tide is out you can reach the little island. We nearly got stranded last year as the tide came in so fast - we waded back  to the beach thigh deep in water!

Internet connection at the site is sporadic so it is unlikely I'll be blogging until I come back but if I can I will. There is a lovely little cafe we eat at regularly in a nearby town which has free Wi Fi, so it's not impossible to keep in touch.

I wore this to the charity shop on Monday. Jeans bought at Lidl £7.99 - bargain! Jacket £1.00 rail, Age UK, Rushden some months ago. Top, Monsoon -  bought in last week's rummage from the RSPCA shop. Boots - Primarni.  All jewellery charity shopped except earrings - present from OH last year and turquoise ring - retail.
Oi you - who you looking at? I was talking to my OH while he was taking this photo...

I left the shop with some t shirts for the two grandsons. Nothing for me until  I went to the British Red Cross shop to see if they had opened up again after being closed all week because of flooding - and they were! I got really lucky. Another pair of green, loose summer trousers, a lovely patterned dress/tunic - with pockets -  and a fabulous cobalt blue Geiger jacket with embroidery and gold buttons that looks like it's from the 1980s. All three items were £1.99 each.

Jeans same as Monday. Cardigan - La Redoute sale about 6 years ago. Top - charity shop, boots charity shop.

Beads picked up last week in Keech Hospice shop. Bangles charity shopped and watch.

Earrings present from daughter about 2 years ago.

After the food bank on Tuesday I had to go into town.  I picked up a white cotton hat to take to Spain in July, and a lovely red disc necklace -  both for £1.00 in the Reuse Centre.

I'm off to Patti's 'Visible Monday' party at 'NotDeadYet'  here -
someone said we're having chocolate eggs!

Sunday 20 March 2016

Ramblings - not the BBC Radio 4 programme!

On Wednesday we went walking in Sandy and did just over 8 miles.

This rather beautiful house (complete with garden waste bin!) was on one side of our walk starting point  at Beeston Green; Sandy, Bedfordshire on Thursday. It was an amble and we walked 5.5 miles.

Image result for Beeston Green images

 This green, which was one of the biggest village greens I'd ever seen, had 44 different varieties of trees!

As we returned to our starting point we passed an information board which told us that part of the route we had just walked was called the Skylark Walk. It was true  - we heard and saw so many Skylarks including one flying up from her nest on the ground. The sound of skylarks is one of my most favourite sounds.

On Saturday I went out walking by myself and did 5 miles. I walked from  the village of Ravensden to the outskirts of another village called Wilden and back to Ravensden -  I did a big loop.

These are some of the beautiful houses I passed. There's something just so romantic about a thatched cottage!

This made me laugh. I expected to see a grossly obese animal but when I looked further into the field I saw this horse. I had no idea horses could choke on apples and carrots; if I remember when I go walking I try to put apples or carrots in my rucksack in case I do meet any horses. I won't be doing that again!

Sunday was a beautiful day, in fact it would have been ideal walking weather but we went to a visit a very good friend in hospital. He had a stroke 7 weeks ago and is off to a rehabilitation unit on Monday in Northampton. He is much improved from when we last saw him and it was lovely to see him sitting up, out of bed and talking.

I got OH to take some pictures outside as it was such a lovely day. Garden needs a good tidy up and cutting back which we'll do next weekend before we go to Donegal. I gave the checked trousers another whirl. They're really quite heavy so I won't be able to wear them in the summer. Unfortunately, the British Red Cross shop where I bought them has suffered from flooding and has been closed all week. So no more £1.99 bargains for a while.

Black top £1.00 rail, cardigan charity shopped, creepers on line retail.

Leather moto jacket Christmas present from daughter.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Have a good week!

Saturday 19 March 2016


I actually managed to leave the Save the Children charity shop on Monday without anything for myself! I did get a few bits for the two youngest grandsons  - so not completely empty handed.

After walking on Wednesday I was still in a decent enough condition; i.e. not covered in mud with muddy boots, to do a bit of rummaging on my way back home.  I had some birthday money left even after buying a badly needed new pair of waterproof walking trousers. As always happens I then found a perfectly good pair of walking trousers (although not waterproof), and in another colour for £3.99, when I went to Ampthill; a very small market town with only 4 charity shops.

I'm trying to be sensible with my purchases now as I have too many clothes. This time I was looking for clothes for my holiday in Spain. I've already picked up a skirt from a charity shop for summer here and a greatly reduced, brand new,  pair of sandals at the Tesco outlet shop for £4.00.

This is what I've bought this week...

A grey and white spotted sleeveless dress. I will wear it with a lightweight jacket or something underneath -  a t shirt maybe - because I don't really do sleeveless. As I don't have enough wardrobe space I keep any lightweight summer clothes in the chest at the foot of my bed, and hang it all up when the weather changes to summer - hence the wrinkles. This was on the reduced rail at Barnardo's for £2.99.

Brand new, with tags, loose F & F  summer trousers £2.29 on reduced rail at Barnardo's. I just love green.

This floaty top was £1.50 in the RSPCA shop. I'll have to wear a camisole underneath but I love the colours. I also bought my OH a grey knitted top in here for £1.00 and 3 hot water bottles for £1.00! We're off to Donegal soon and may be needing them.

On Thursday, with the money I had left over I went down to the High Street in Bedford and looked at the charity shops there. There are 4 but I only looked in 3 as I spent all my money. I spotted this Monsoon top in the window of the RSPCA shop for £3.99  - and it was my size. It's not a summer top, but it's a useful tunic to add to my collection and a lovely rusty red colour.

Another summer skirt from Bay (a now defunct chain, I recall) with lots of lovely colours in it   - it looks a bit wrinkled because I had just washed it and hung it up to dry. I bought this in the RSPCA shop for £3.99.

I picked up the lovely chartreuse coloured beret at the Oxfam shop for £1.99. The three bangles were a £1.00 each in Marie Curie. With the exception of yellow; I now have enough bangles in all colours to last me a good long while. The earrings, which remind me of Vix of Vintage Vixen here for some reason -  I bought on Wednesday, in Barnardo's for £1.49. 

 I stopped at the Keech Hospice shop on my way back home and picked up the gold beaded necklace for 99p, as it had a broken catch, but I fixed it with a pair of tweezers.

A good week's rummaging and birthday money all spent!

Wednesday 16 March 2016


Because I'm getting older my memory is not as good as it was. That's my short term memory I'm referring to. I used to have a marvellous memory for names although that is getting rusty now. Apparently long term memory is retained really well as you age. So, I'll have lots of memories I can look back on. This is one from 3 years ago, on my eldest grandson's 18th birthday. There he is combing his hair - as usual! Today, is his 21st birthday. 


(Three years ago I used to dye my hair to cover my grey. I stopped dyeing it in December 2014 and I have no regrets at all.  I wrote a post about it here .My scalp is also a lot less itchier)!

To return to the memory theme.  I was present at this and the youngest grandson's birth and what magical moments they were. Now the eldest is at university in London; working his socks off  in a restaurant when not at uni and I'm very proud of him. We're off out again this Tuesday evening to eat and celebrate his birthday and I hope to celebrate many more birthdays with him and the rest of the family.

Here he is after being serenaded by the  Brown's restaurant staff and us and presented with birthday cake made by me.  He was incredibly embarrassed by it all but had the good grace to smile - just as I took this photo. Even though I had my glasses on it took me until later on in the evening to realise those were strawberry quarters NOT carrots!

This is what I wore: OTK boots - birthday present from daughter; black skinny jeans; Lidl, last week  £5.99, striped top; Primarni years old, Bench waistcoat/sleeveless top; Age UK sale rail £4.00 last week. I think I should have left the waistcoat opened.

Beads, bangles, watch, earrings and brooch all charity shopped.

I'm looking very flushed here but I was rushing around before setting off to Milton Keynes and meeting grandson off the train.

I'm also reading a rather sad book about memory; 'There Were no Windows' by Norah Hoult.  It's about an elderly woman, who is clearly suffering from Alzheimer's disease, set in the 1940s. The story is narrated from the differing perspectives of the people she comes into contact with. Some of these people are from her past and some are more recent acquaintances. As her short term memory is exceedingly poor, she constantly repeats herself and asks the same questions to the increasing irritation of everyone she knows. She lives in fear of being sent to the lunatic asylum as she has no family who care for her  - but is at the mercy of her cook/housekeeper - or is she...? I'm still reading it so don't know the if she is or isn't!!

I'm off walking on Wednesday and Thursday with the Ramblers and if it stays dry on Friday I'll go out walking by myself on Friday in between the school run. I've got some birthday money left to spend so should be having a rummage on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon...

Hope you're all having a good week!

Saturday 12 March 2016

Birthday weekend

Yes, the fun continues...

Off out for dinner with my OH and brothers on Friday evening. We went to Kettering to an Asian restaurant.

Everything except watch, boots and earrings is charity shopped. The black and white check Zara trousers were my latest acquisition last Monday at British Red Cross,, £1.99 .

Orange top Next; charity shopped; black jacket; David Emmanuel, charity shopped.

The restaurant in Kettering is one we've been to several times before and the food is delicious. I had Goan fish curry. It's probably the closest I'll get to Goa! For dessert I had a fabulous mango and coconut ice cream creation...

On Saturday I went to visit my son and I wore my new OTK boots, my lovely daughter bought me for my birthday.

Everything charity shopped except boots, leggings and leather jacket. Tunic; Age UK sale rail £1.49, waistcoat/sleeveless jacket; The Children's Society.

I love the boots. I love the colour and they are so comfortable.

Necklace RSPCA and earrings Salvation Army.

It's been a great week and tomorrow OH and I are out walking in the morning. Everyone is coming for dinner so that's a brilliant way to end the week,

I hope you all have had a lovely weekend.

Thursday 10 March 2016

Birthday week

This was me on my birthday on Wednesday - just about to cut my cake!

Skirt charity shopped in Donegal last year. Top £1.00 rail at Keech Hospice worn over a floral top charity shopped about 5 years ago. Earrings, beads and bangles all charity shopped. Although you can't see them, I wore grey ankle boots charity shopped a couple of weeks ago.

I had a lovely birthday. 62 years old and I still feel 18 inside! That's the weird thing about getting older; your body changes and ages, but inside you're the same person you always were. I wonder if I'll feel the same in my 70s and my 80s - should I live that long. If I'm still blogging I'll let you know!

I got some lovely presents. Some walking poles and some tan over the knee boots from my daughter. I've had a hankering for OTK boots for a while but all the ones I saw had high heels. Unfortunately, these were a little too porn movie for me; then the lovely Anna of 'Anna's Island Style' suggested flat, OTK boots. Brilliant! No more porn star look.....

 My OH bought me two Persephone books here from my wish list;  a floating book shelf which I want for my bedroom, so I can keep what I want to read to hand. There are some other things he bought me but they haven't arrived yet and I don't know what they are - ooh the suspense!

No, it's not my house! I wish it was. It's unusual because it's a clapboard house with a thatched roof. Thatched houses in this part of the world anyway, are usually made of stone or brick. I thought it was unusual so I took a picture.

I went walking today in Ravensden;  another village in Bedford. I walked 5 miles, heard and saw skylarks and various other birds. The air was filled with birdsong AND the sun came out - briefly!

This pump may have been the original village pump - it was outside the thatched cottage on the roadside; I thought the mini daffodils and crocuses around it were lovely.

When I used to go on holiday to Ireland as a child, in the 1960s; at the end of my maternal grandmother's road was a pump like this. People used it daily as several houses didn't have mains water.

This house (one of two) was across the road from the thatched cottage. It has a date plaque under the window gable which says W and the date 1800. At first I thought the W was for William IV, but his reign started in 1830. It is more than likely the name of a local landowner of the time and this was probably one of his worker's cottages.

I bought this top at Save the Children last week. I love the pattern but I'm not keeping it. I look pregnant in it according to my OH!  It's not a flattering shape if you have big boobs!  I knew it wasn't really right for me but I liked the pattern, the colours and the fact it has velvet trim on the sleeves and bodice.  A case of heart rather than head. Oh well, in the charity shop bag it goes. Jeans M&S, charity shopped, boots Tesco outlet, 2014.

I wore this knitted waistcoat over it for warmth; charity shopped last year.  And, because I'm old fashioned in many ways I have a vest/camisole underneath for even more warmth! Necklace and earrings charity shopped.

I mentioned the 1960s earlier in this post. I've not long finished 'Exposure' by Helen Simpson which is set in the 1960s, and concerns an ordinary family (is there any such thing?) who get involved, unwittingly, in an international espionage incident. It was such gripping reading I forgot to breathe in places; then I watched 'Happy Valley' and  forgot to breathe in that as well. All this not breathing is not good for a 62 year old you know....

Monday 7 March 2016

Problems with my blog

There has been a problem with Blogger which has affected my blog. I can't always see the comments people leave me although I get the Google+ notification telling me I have comments and it allows me to see maybe two lines of the comment but no more.  When I have replied to a comment, or in one case, when one reader replied to my post - both the comments and replies disappeared!   As a new blogger I find the comments  people leave me both encouraging and enjoyable and without them there seems little point in blogging. 

The Blogger help forum is full of people with similar complaints to mine and the problem has persisted since 25th February. I am therefore removing the Google+ link as a temporary measure to see if improves the situation. Please bear with me.

Yet another kimono!

This is the fifth and final kimono in my wardrobe. It was actually the first one I ever got - a Christmas present from my daughter, about two Christmases ago. I wore it on Saturday with slouchy jeans, charity shopped at British Red Cross shop, £1.99. A green top from La Redoute, bought in their sale about 4 years ago. Black creepers on line retail. Earrings from Sainsburys, of course! Necklace bought recently in a local shop -'Lola and Simi'. Bangles and watch charity shopped.

This is what I wore to go out with my daughter on Mother's Day. I had planned to wear a dress but it was cold and I'm going out next Friday with my brothers for a birthday meal, so I'll wear a dress then. Everything I'm wearing apart from the boots, jacket, and earrings is charity shopped.

Trousers Age UK £1.99; grey spotted shirt charity shop last year - can't remember which one; white jumper £1.00 rail Keech Cottage Hospice shop; boots donated to me by my daughter; jacket Christmas present from daughter; scarf one of 4, present from step daughter.

The meal was lovely - I had three courses as it was a special Mother's Day menu. Normally, I can't manage 3 courses but the starter was small as was the dessert. I also got a Jack Garrett CD and some chocolates. I am very lucky, I know!

I hope you all have a fantastic week.

Friday 4 March 2016

It's definitely Spring!

After a monochromatic look last week I wanted more colour on Monday.  Plus, it's springtime! I bought this yellow dress from E bay before Christmas. It looked asymmetric in the photos on line- it isn't - but I do like the colour. I used to really dislike yellow and for some reason I now love it!

I wore the dress with my colourful Bench top bought from the 3:16 Christian charity shop. I also wore one of my gold brooches just underneath the scarf.

 The scarf, from Zara, was a birthday present from oldest (and newest!) brother. He's 11 months older than me and we met for the first time in March 2013 - almost 3 years ago. I am going to write a post about my 'new' brother at some point. 

Earrings are a new addition from Sainsburys, bought when they had 25% off. Lapis lazuli ring is my favourite of all my rings and was bought as a treat for myself about 10 years ago.

The tights were bought in a charity shop ages ago and I've only  begun to wear them in the last few months. They are warm and quite unusual. I got three compliments on them on Monday in the shop! Shoes are from Tesco on line sale with 50% off.

I aim to leave Save the Children on Mondays empty handed but again I couldn't do it this week! When I got in they had completely reorganised the shop and had donations brought from other StC shops, so there were a lot of new items.

 I did very well. I bought a dress which was rescued from the ragbag for 50 p. A wine coloured knitted tunic for £3.50. A lovely lime green shirt; M&S again for £3.00. I also bought a pair of earrings and two bangles.

It was cold on Tuesday so I dressed for warmth! Under this knitted tunic I bought on Monday at Save the Children, I have a white top rescued from the ragbag. These are spotty, skinny jeans bought from a charity shop last year and boots from Tesco outlet.

Oh Gawd! I look a right misery in this photo. I'm not - I'm nearly always cheerful and happy! I'm wearing a metallic look necklace, silver disc earrings, bangles including the spotty ones I bought last week and a watch, all charity shopped. The middle bangle is quite unusual. It has an interesting bolt type catch. I've had it for about 10 years now. I can't see any mark or name on it, unfortunately.

On Wednesday we walked from Waresley Woods and did 6.5 miles. It's only 12 miles to Cambridge from here. It was muddy,  cold, the wind was very strong and icy and on the way back it rained. I learned my walking trousers were not waterproof; enough said.

I went walking again on Thursday from Cockayne Hatley church and we did 5 miles.  Such a marvellous name. It would make you want to go there just for the name, I think! The first ever Ramblers walk I went on was from this place. It was a glorious day, bright and sunny but chilly. There are primroses, snowdrops and daffodils everywhere you look across the countryside. We saw a Kestrel, two Buzzards and a running fox.

Image result for cockayne hatley church

This is the carving in the chancel of the church which is called the church of John the Baptist It dates back to the 15th century. 

If you'd like to know more about Cockayne Hatley there is a link to a good article here by Candida Lycett Green

This is what I changed into when I came back from walking. I had to go into town  to do a few things and do the food shopping.
Trousers bought at the British Red Cross as are the blue suede boots. Both were £1.99 because all their items are £1.99. The gilet was also charity shopped a couple of years ago but can't remember which one.

This top was bought at Store 21 in their sale on a recent trip to Rushden.

I'm using this photo to join in with 'SpyGirl' Anne's here link up for Navy/Ink blue.

Necklace years old from Primarni and earrings charity shopped, too. Oh dear, I've just noticed a bit of plastic hanging loop hanging out!

On Friday I went out to recce the walk again. Although we walked 7.5 miles I have to start from where people can park and the route we did on Sunday would only have been 5 miles. Today I managed to start at a car park and plot a 7 mile walk. I'm so pleased with myself! The walk has a bit of everything; some climbs, woodland walking, field walking, and a little bit of road walking; plus there were no stiles. This is a bonus because some people have difficulty getting over stiles....

Of course I wore walking boots and gaiters when I was walking, but a  passing, friendly dog jumped up on me and left muddy prints over my tunic. I managed to brush it all off when I got home but had to wash the coat.

I'm wearing a floral top charity shopped over a tunic bought from the Christian 3:16 charity shop on Wednesday for £4.00. Boots from the Reuse centre and leggings from Sainsburys.  Scarf, one of 4, gift from step-daughter. Pink bracelets charity shopped and watch. Pink earrings retail NOT Sainsbury's!

I'm being taken out for dinner on Sunday for Mother's Day by my beautiful daughter. An excuse to dress up!

Blogoversary and some other stuff

Hello again!   When I left you last I showed you my latest TBR pile. What I realised later on that day was I had already read two of them. W...