Saturday 26 November 2016

A week of dresses....

I meant to post this post yesterday but Blogger was playing up. It kept crashing, not saving my changes etc. I gave up and went to bed in a huff...

 2 bunches of Alstromerias this week - cream and lilac - just to cheer you up! I bought the green jug in a charity shop  years ago.

Yes, I know it says a week of dresses and I'm wearing trousers but these are the weekend photographs...

Saturday's outfit - Everything is charity shopped except the brown boots from Debenhams. Kimono; New Look, top: Monsoon, cords; Primarni.

All jewellery charity shopped except the rings.

We had a lovely day trawling the Kettering's chazza's on Saturday. Both my younger brothers live in Kettering so we left middle grandson at their house watching a football. match on Sky which we don't have. It was a bitterly cold day.  There were a total of 12 charity shops in Kettering, two of which were furniture and electrical ones. We visited all the other 10!
I did go a bit mad (again) but I did at least manage to buy a bolero jacket for the dress I'm wearing to the 'do'; in fact I got 2...

Here's my list of shame  goodies:

I  silver bolero jacket - £9.99 (!!!)
1 more bolero jacket £4.50 - this one was less dressy but it will go over lots of things; I found it before I bought the silver bolero
I pair of grey Mary Jane shoes - £1.00
2 brand new with tags scarves - £2.00  (presents)
2 pairs of earrings - £2.00
6 knitting patterns and a gold disc necklace - 80p

Total spent = £20.29

OH kindly bought me a really nice purple necklace in one of the charity shops for £2.50. I have necklaces/beads of every colour except purple!

There was an exhibition of Agatha Christie's life and characters at the Manor House museum in Kettering. We planned to visit it on the way back as it was close to the car park but we got the timings wrong. It's on until 7th December so I'd like to go and see it before it finishes...

Sunday's outfit - earrings Sainsbury's and necklace bought online last year. I could have worn my new purple one but thought it might be too much purple...can you have too much purple?

Everything is charity shopped except the leggings which are from a Store 21 sale last year. Bangle and watch charity shopped.

The top is from a pound rail in a Wellingborough charity shop; the cardigan was bought in Barnardo's last Tuesday for £2.99.

Monday's outfit - Day 1 of my dress challenge

I am terrible at keeping track of my clothes and where I bought them. This jacket was bought last year but can't remember where. It's one of my favourite jackets because it's green - so I thought I'd pair it with a blue dress. You know that old saying "blue and green should never be seen"? What rubbish! I think blue and green are fantastic together. The jacket is, I think, home made.

Everything is charity shopped - even the navy blue slip I'm wearing under the dress. The dress is from Kaliko and I think it was a £1.99 bargain from the Red Cross shop.  It wasn't; I just looked back in my blog - it was £5.00 from the Oxfam shop.

All jewellery charity shopped

 It being a Monday I was volunteering at Save the Children. I did not leave empty handed -  I bought a necklace for £1.50; a lace top for £1.50. Two Sympathy cards, 99p. Total spend £4.99.

Over the next two weeks I have to attend two funerals and one inquest. The inquest is into my friend's son's death and the funerals are of my lovely neighbour, Cynthia, who had a stroke earlier this year and never really recovered; the other is of one of my walking friends who died suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks ago.

On a more positive note I'm going out for four celebrations over the next few weeks. Three are Christmas related. One is Save the Children volunteers' Christmas meal; one is a Rambler's Christmas meal and the third one, of course, is OH's Christmas work do. The fourth one, which is this weekend, is for my youngest brother's 59th birthday and my oldest brother is also coming up from London for the celebration.

Tuesday's outfits -  Day 2

I was at the food bank this morning; there were only three of us there which is unusual, but we got a lot done. People are so generous and kind and we are receiving lots of Christmas goodies which we will make up into special Christmas packs for families.

Everything is charity shopped except the red leggings which were bought online. I think this dress might be more a tunic than a dress; I don't think I'd wear it without leggings underneath.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I love my short hair. I love that it's grey. The trouble with short hair, though, is that it's difficult to change its style...side parting, fringe, brushed back - that's about it! This is where hair accessories are useful. Today I tried tying a scarf round my hair - with thanks to Suzi of 'Alternative Ageing's video here.

I find it's easier to use a square headscarf - I had this one in my collection of scarves and I picked up another one in a charity shop - oops! I'll be looking for more  headscarves next time I go rummaging...

OH said I look like Ena Sharples in my head scarf! For non UK readers Ena Sharples was a sour faced character in a British soap called Coronation Street.  It started in 1960 and is still running. Ena always wore her hair in curlers covered with a turban tied headscarf. It's a good job I know OH is only joking...

I had errands to run in town on Tuesday afternoon so I visited the Red Cross shop for a quick look. Did I buy anything? You bet I did! I bought the aforementioned headscarf for 99p and a lovely mustard colour jacket for £1.99 by Country Casuals. I also picked up a bow tie for OH for 99p. Total spent £3.97.

Wednesday's outfit - Day 3

Everything is charity shopped except the loafers - Tesco sale last winter.

The dress is from Wallis and was a £1.99 item from the Red Cross. I think I may have also got the 1980s jacket from there too last year, but I really can't remember.

I bought the striped tights in the 'Black Tom' street jumble back in the summer.

All jewellery is charity shopped except the earrings which I bought in Bedford market. This is the necklace I bought in Save the Children on Monday.

I have two other short black dresses. One is a black lace dress and is a bit too dressy for everyday wear. I need to wear it somewhere soon as the last time I wore it was 2012 to my niece's wedding! I also have a black velvet short swing dress which was bought at the end of last year and only worn once. I'm not quite sure about it and I'll have to wear it for a blog post to get a better idea of what it looks like on me. Because I have big boobs I don't think swing dresses are for me.

On Thursday I had to attend a funeral. I wore this outfit with a black coat, black hat, pink scarf and pink leather gloves. I bought the dress, which is from Country Casuals, at the Red Cross shop last year for £1.99. I don't like it on me and it's gone to the charity shop bag. Boots from Zara originally but bought in a charity shop. The toes are beginning to go so I need a new pair of long black boots. Another reason to keep looking in the charity shops!

The jacket is the plain bolero jacket (M&S) I bought on Saturday in Kettering before I spotted the silver one. All jewellery charity shopped. I went to Kempston and Great Denham on Thursday morning before going to the funeral in the afternoon and I visited four shops. I was looking for more square headscarves to use on my hair and I bought 4. One was 99p from Barnardo's and the other three were £1.50 each from St.John's Hospice shop. I also bought a brightly coloured tunic in the Cat's Protection League for £2.99. Another £8.48 spent! Oh, and I bought a hot drinks flask for 99p = £9.47.

I cheated and wore a maxi dress on Friday. Apart from the black velvet dress mentioned above I only have three other short dresses; another swing dress but yellow, and I have the same reservations about it  as I do about the black velvet one; the other is a black and green wrap dress and a bit too dressy for everyday wear; the final dress is black and cream and designated for job 'interviews' - I haven't had one since I bought it...

I bought this jacket on Tuesday afternoon in the Red Cross shop for £1.99; it's also by Country Casuals. It's a nice tweedy material, it's more yellow than it appears in these photos, and it's trimmed with a light brown suede on the collar, sleeves and placket. I used my hand held steamer to freshen it up and get rid of the creases.

The necklace was bought for 50p in Kettering last Saturday. The boots are the most recent pair donated by my daughter. I thought they had gold doo dahs on them but it's only a trim on the zip. All jewellery is charity shopped.

Total spend this week in the the charity shops £18.46. I made the decision to get rid of the yellow swing dresses as it's a bit short so that's 2 things out this week.

I'm looking forward to a nice meal and a catch up with my three brothers on Saturday; I hope you all have a lovely week.

Friday 18 November 2016

A week of skirts...

I had a lovely time with my son last Saturday and a chill out day on Sunday.

Bought this necklace a few weeks months ago in a charity shop, of course!

Everything is charity shopped except boots bought online last year.

Sunday's outfit.
Everything above is charity shopped except boots donated by my daughter. She's given me another pair - black suede with gold doo dahs. I must try and wear them soon! The beads are the ones I bought for £1.49 last week.

 I didn't go walking on Sunday although it was a beautiful day and just right for walking. I'd had a busy week and I find I don't have the same energy levels that I used to so I decided to potter about at home and I didn't even bother with make up. 

 I've also decided that I will stick to just volunteering on Monday and Tuesday and walk Weds, Thurs, and Friday mornings and only do weekend walks if I really want to or if the weather is especially good. This means that I have Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday afternoons free. I do the weekly shop on a Thursday afternoon. Monday and Friday afternoons are limited by the school run and childminding. I'm as busy now I'm retired as I was when I worked - and for the last five years of my working life I only worked three days a week!

Monday's outfit. Day 1 of skirts.

 Goody of  'Eat the Blog' here is doing a week of jumpsuits so I thought I'd see if I could manage a whole week of wearing skirts instead of wearing trousers/jeans/leggings which are my usual go to clothing items. I also thought that I'd concentrate on short (ish) skirts and exclude maxis - which I wear quite often.

Everything charity shopped except the cardigan which was bought online as a present from OH.

I bought this skirt last week in Barnardo's, Great Denham. It's one of those skirts that I'll struggle to find things to go with. I have a yellow blouse, but it's too long; if I tucked it in and wore a jumper, preferably short sleeved, over it it might work. I suppose white would work as well. The thing is I tend to like and buy tops that are hip length to cover the troublesome middle area -  and they just don't go with this length skirt.

I had a free day on Tuesday. I haven't heard back from the Bedford Guildhouse although I had hoped to start there today.

Tuesday's outfit - Day 2 of skirts. I felt like wearing some orange...

These are my orange beads x 2 - again!

Everything charity shopped except the boots and earrings which are from Sainsburys.
The skirt is from the Red Cross shop and I bought it months ago. I bought the blue watch on my charity shopping trip on Tuesday.

I seem to have changed my charity shopping modus operandi. I'm going less frequently but spending more. I should think it will all balance out over the year but spending up to and over £20.00 on a trip is hard to get used to. I usually have a maximum limit of £5.00 for a charity shop item - only to be exceeded if it's especially good/different/unusual/ irresistible! I spent £19.24 in total on Tuesday in two charity shops. I went to Rushden which is about 12 miles away from Bedford. This is what I bought:

  •  A deep blue lace maxi party dress - with short sleeves - £3.75
  • A tunic in an oyster colour £5.00. 
  • A Next scarf - 99p
  • Towel and pillow case - £1.50
  • A watch - £1.00
  • A necklace - 50p
  • Earrings - £1.00
  • A  small notebook and a knitting pattern - 50p
  • 5 books £3.95
  • 4 place mats - 99p

I now have a dilemma. The deep blue maxi dress I bought on Tuesday would be fine for OH's work do but it has short sleeves. I'd need a bolero or a stole to wear over it. I could probably find one or the other in a charity shop but I'd need to get my skates on as the do is 4 weeks away. I could (hopefully) return the cranberry bought on line  dress and get a refund. I am unlikely to wear this dress again whereas I am likely to wear the deep blue dress again. I wouldn't have to have the cranberry dress altered....decisions, decisions!

I went walking on Wednesday by myself and did 7 miles. I walked the route I'll take when I lead another Rambler's walk in January 2017. It's amazing how different the same route looks in different seasons and it's also a good idea to check that the footpaths are kept clear and passable. Sometimes walks have to be changed or cancelled because formerly passable footpaths have become so overgrown. It's usually the landowner's responsibility to keep the footpaths clear as many receive a payment from the local council to do so. The Ramblers, too, take responsibility for keeping footpaths, signs etc clear and organise path clearing teams on a regular basis.

Wednesday's outfit - Day 3 of skirts

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped. I had taken my watch off as the strap had begun to irritate me.

I don't know where I bought this skirt from but it was bought recently. The top is from the Red Cross shop. The boots are the weirdest colour, a sort of greyish brown - taupe maybe? They're Italian leather boots and bought for £2.50 from the Re Use centre last winter.

I bought this necklace on Tuesday for 50p at the Salvation Army charity shop in Rushden.

On Thursday the weather conspired against walking. It was cold, wet and very windy! I will walk on Sunday morning instead - weather permitting.

Thursday's skirt - Day 4

Earrings bought last week in the Salvation Army, Bedford.

Grey patterned skirt from Age UK - now sadly gone from Bedford. Everything is charity shopped except the jumper which was donated by my daughter - a gift which was too big for her.

Friday's skirt - Day 5

I went walking by myself today. It was cold and sunny. I tried to walk the route I walked on Wednesday but in reverse. Of course, I got lost and so I walked 8 miles as I had to retrace my steps.  I'm very good at getting lost! I didn't see this  tree in its lovely colours on my walk but near my grandson's school. It's slowly losing its leaves...

Everything is charity shopped except the boots and earrings which are from Sainsburys. I don't think I've posted a photo of me wearing this plaid skirt before. It's from Principles and I bought it last winter. I'm not mad about it so I think it will be off to the charity shop bag...I might try it on with my navy blue ankle boots and see if it looks any better. I don't think I'd ever wear it with shoes.

This jumper/sweater is 100% cashmere which might explain why it's so creased. My jumpers don't normally crease. I paid about £3.00 for this but can't remember where. I also have a navy blue v neck cashmere jumper  (also charity shopped) which I haven't yet worn. I wonder if that will crease, too? I hope not.

I've enjoyed the challenge of wearing a skirt everyday. I've still got about three or four other (shortish) skirts that I could have worn but I have featured them on the blog before.  As I like a challenge I've decided to have a week of wearing dresses next week and I'm quite looking forward to it.

I've got to Friday with only one charity shop trip but OH has just informed me we are going to Kettering charity shopping on Saturday! I'll try to be good. I can look for a bolero or shrug to go with my charity shopped party dress.

I'm just coming to the end of Jonathan Franzen's, 'Freedom' and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It's quite a tome  at 706 pages, and my next read is equally weighty; Annie Proulx's latest novel:
 'Barkskins,'  at 713 pages. It's a reservation from the library so I need to get started on it soon...

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and wrap up warm!

Friday 11 November 2016


Since I published this post the lovely Spy Girl aka Anne Bray here sent me this surprise sketch!
Thank you so much, Anne.

There have been rumours but it was finally confirmed on Monday that our lease at Save the Children will not be renewed in July 2017. The shop will cease to exist as they won't be looking for any other premises.

It's a real shame. Save the Children was one of the first charity shops in Bedford. I think it opened in the 1980s; there is a photo in the stock room of the charity's patron; Princess Anne, at the grand opening of the shop and the shop staff were all wearing 1980s style clothes. As our shop is in the town centre, like many other town centre businesses, the charity can't afford to renew the lease. Or to put it another way our shop doesn't generate enough income to make it worth their while renewing the lease. The high cost of town centre leases means the town  centre itself is about to lose a baker's and our outdoor clothing store has shut for the same reason, as did a dry cleaners, a pie shop, a cafe and a newsagent - to mention just a few.

I don't know how old this photo is. The shop to the left has opened as a hairdressers since.
Being in the town centre has another disadvantage and that is there is no where to park and drop off donations. I don't know about you but I do tend to accumulate one or two black bin bags of charity shop donations and then donate them, but of course it then needs to be a charity shop with parking nearby. The other nail in the coffin for my charity shop is the sheer competition from the other charity shops in the town centre; 10 others in total!

Monday's outfit
As you know I'm a regular visitor to the Red Cross shop (everything £1.99!) which is very close by and I'm friendly with the manager there. I've been asked previously if I'd volunteer there, so now I can say yes, but it will  probably be next year before I start.

 I fancied some purple on Monday; the cardigan is the top of a skirt suit that I bought in Ireland for 8 euros; I've yet to wear it as a suit and Monday's cold weather deterred me once again. Everything charity shopped except the boots which are from Lidl.

Necklace present from daughter and earrings from - where else? Sainsburys, about 6 years ago.

Was I good at Save the Children on Monday and not spend any money? No, I wasn't. In fact, I spent £8.75 in total - pension day on Tuesday so I felt a bit reckless - I bought 4 books at £1.00 each; a short sleeved chunky cardigan for £4.00 and jeans, 75p, for one of the grandsons.

It was such a cold day on Tuesday. At one point it went up to 10 degrees but for most of the day it stayed at 5 degrees.

Everything is charity shopped. Jeans from Primarni, shirt from M&S, tunic/dress is French but charity shopped. I also wore my new (to me) short sleeved cardigan over this lot but forgot to take a photo with it on. Boots bought in St.Ives/Huntingdon charity shop trawl.

Beads - why wear one necklace when you can wear two - charity shopped; as are the bangles and watch.

Earrings from Sainsburys

I have finally found something to wear to OHs Christmas work do. I didn't find it in a charity shop, unfortunately. I saw it online and bought it with very low expectations as it was pretty cheap for an evening dress. I thought it might look cheap and nasty or not fit properly. I was wrong on both counts; it fits well and I think it looks fine on. It's a rich cranberry red.

It is way too long for me, but my other best friend, who lives locally, is a professional dressmaker and is going to shorten it for me. I just have to take the shoes I'll be wearing to her house and try the dress and shoes on together. I shall look forward to posting photos of me all dressed up. I get about one or two occasions a year to get dressed up so I'm going to make the most of it!

On Wednesday I had a sick grandson to care for so I didn't go walking. It was a cold, wet and miserable day so I didn't really mind. I took advantage  of an extra person in the house to get some photos taken.

Everything charity shopped except the boots - Tesco outlet store two years ago.

I'm wearing the navy blue cardigan I bought at Save the Children on Monday, here. Including my camisole/vest, I have 4 top layers on! Bangles, necklace, turquoise ring and watch charity shopped.

Earrings 99p from E bay.

I managed to visit the new Barnardo's charity shop in Great Denham on Wednesday. I went a bit mad and could have gone even madder and bought another coat and a lovely spotted linen jacket.  I don't need another long coat and the jacket was so nice... but in the summer, I find, a jacket isn't necessary so it probably wouldn't have got worn. I hope I don't regret not buying the jacket...

I spent £20  in the end and this is what I got: 2 bath towels (brand new for 99p each - (I will be giving them to someone I know) and 2 tea towels; £3.00 in total. I  navy pea coat (River Island) £5.00, to replace a grey one I have and don't love -  from BHS - say no more! A green knitted dress/tunic from Dorothy Perkins £4.00; an Italian purple cardigan with gathered bell sleeves £3.00; a yellow patterned knee length skirt £3.00. Then as I had to go into town quickly, I went into the Red Cross shop to see if they wanted me as a volunteer in the future - yes! I celebrated by buying a black knitted dress from Wallis for £1.99. Now, I already have a dress similar to this but I noticed it had a little hole in the front. Whether it was there when I bought it or whether something has nibbled a hole in it I don't know.  I have worn it but didn't notice the hole!

Anyway, that was 5 items bought but I managed to get rid of 4 other items from my wardrobes into the charity shop bag; meaning only one extra item in my wardrobe. Total spend so far this week £28.75.

I had a flying visit from the eldest grandson. He arrived in the early hours of Wednesday. I did 4 machine loads of his washing (the washing machine where he lives is broken) fed and watered him and took him to the station on Thursday evening. It was lovely to see him even if it was a short visit!

This is the green knitted tunic dress I bought in Wednesday. I wore it with green leggings from Sainsburys, and a striped Primarni top underneath.

Boots, scarf, bangles and earrings charity shopped. These photos were taken in my daughter's kitchen.

I had to go to town on Friday and popped into a couple of charity shops. I ended up buying a necklace, a pair of earrings and some ear warmers (always useful when out walking) at a cost of £3.48. Total weekly spend £32.23

I walked 6 miles on Thursday and 6.5 on Friday and I hope to do a longer walk on Sunday. I'm off to see my son on Saturday and won't be anywhere near a charity shop so that's it for this week...

Enjoy your weekend everyone.


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