Friday, 17 March 2017

Birthday celebrations and a swap

Our birthday celebration trip to London was brilliant. It was a really pleasant day; warm with the occasional bit of sun.

Here is the wonderful bloggers scarf - birthday present from my daughter, and the leather jacket was a Christmas 2015 present from her; boots, Christmas present 2016 from OH; hat, Christmas present 2014 from eldest grandson;  black leggings M & S retail; dress from New Look, charity shopped in Cancer Research for 3.75 last week.

Silver necklace bought in Age UK, Sandy two Saturdays back.

Earrings and bangles charity shopped. Watch; Christmas 2102 present from daughter.

We started with a cup of tea in West Hampstead and a rummage, of course! It got warmer as the day went on and I discarded the hat and then the scarf...I had some birthday money from my brothers to spend but I was quite restrained. I bought a bottle of Orla Kiely perfume for £15.00 (retails between 35.00 - 47.00 on line; a bargain in my eyes) and a pair of sparkly tights for 2.75 in the West Hampstead charity shops. We then hopped on a bus and went to Golders Green. They had quite a few charity shops and I bought a yellow cardigan for 1.99 in Barnardo's. We didn't have time to check them all out as a couple were closed for the Sabbath, but we were also running out of time. We had to get back to Chelsea and meet up with brothers and nephews.

Should have taken more pictures but here's the West Hampstead fire station. (LCC stands for London County Council).

 I have a soft spot for West Hampstead, although I grew up in Paddington, as it's where my favourite and regular disco was ('The Purple Pussycat' - I kid you not!) and it was a favourite destination for me and my mum on our rummaging excursions until she moved to Kettering in 1999.

After leaving Golders Green we headed off for Sloane Square where I was able to go to the eldest grandson's restaurant - he works there - and say a brief hello. He was rushed off his feet the poor lad.

Two brothers, one daughter, two nephews; OH and me in Battersea waiting for our meal.

The return journey. Missing  - one nephew and one daughter who had things to do, places to go, people to see...

It was a lovely day and although we all had sore feet (the oldies) we're going to do it again before too long.

Sunday was housework and cooking dinner for the family. On Monday I was volunteering as usual in the Red Cross shop. Busy, busy, busy. I bought a bracelet and a short kimono top (see Tuesday's OOTD). I still had birthday money to spend so no guilt feelings about buying stuff...

Everything charity shopped except boots which I'm sure you recognise by now. The tunic was bought in a Donegal charity shop. All jewellery charity shopped. It was another nice day like Saturday; with a slightly chilly wind but at least it didn't rain.

I wasn't needed at the Food Bank on Tuesday. When there are too many volunteers in we can't get much done as we are in each other's way and have to queue at the weighing scales for ages. Everything is weighed in and out at the Food Bank. If you donated a single tin of beans it would be weighed in and recorded!

Top; Red Cross, 1.99, red top; 50p rail in a charity shop in Royston; jeans, charity shopped and red boots bought on line.

So, I had a free day to do exactly what I wanted - sort of. I had a hairdresser's appointment to keep, I was cooking dinner and I was picking up middle grandson from a football match, but in between I was free. I went to Barnardo's at Great Denham for a rummage (birthday money burning a hole in my pocket) and they still had their 99p rail. I bought a Jaeger checked jacket for 99p. I washed it and it came up fine. I might wear it on Saturday to a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton - yes, I'm off gallivanting again at the weekend!

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought with 50th birthday money in Bath - my 'Bath earrings.' I've just realised that was 13 years ago but it feels like it was yesterday...

I also paid a visit to the 3:16 charity shop in town as I haven't been there for a bit. I bought a pair of jeans; a necklace and a ring. I had planned to start my next crochet blanket but got engrossed reading a play by Kate Atkinson called 'Abandonment'. Before I knew it it was time to pick the grandson up...

On both Wednesday and Thursday I went walking by myself. I walked 7 miles on Wednesday and 6 miles on Thursday. Wednesday was the most amazing day; 16 degrees, sunny and a beautiful blue sky.

This was at the beginning of the walk. I'm at the top of a field and the housing estate in the distance is where my daughter lives. Look at the sky!

I met Mr and Mrs. Mallard out for a stroll...

In fact, I met lots of people and as one elderly lady, astride her mobility scooter, said; "the sun brings everyone out".

 Over the two days of walking I saw and heard quite a lot of birds. It's one of the pleasures of walking for me - what birds and plants can I spot? I saw:

  • A Kestrel
  • A Red Kite
  • A Buzzard
  • Magpies
  • Rooks
  • Crows
  • Jackdaws
  • Wood Pigeons
  • Dunnocks
  • Sparrows
  • Great Tits
  • Blue Tits
  • Coal Tits
  • Pied Wagtails
  • Meadow Pipits
  • Blackbirds
  • Starlings
  • Goldfinch
  • Mallard
  • Moorhen
I also heard but didn't see:
  • Skylarks
  • A Woodpecker

Near the end of the walk. I was going to the left and across some fields but the path to the right leads down to my youngest grandson's school.

I babysat on Wednesday evening for my daughter who was playing in a netball match and just remembered to take a selfie:

Everything is charity shopped including the jewellery. The striped top is one of the 99p sale rail bargains from Barnardo's last week. It didn't fit as I expected; it was a bit baggy at the bottom but it will look alright over trousers or jeans. I wore it over a denim skirt.

I also paid a visit to Barnardo's and the RSPCA in Ampthill  on Wednesday afternoon as I hadn't been for a while. They still had their 99p rail, too - I wonder if it will be a permanent feature? I bought a brown cardigan - I don't have a short brown one, and a green tunic; in the RSPCA I bought a tunic off their 1.00 rail. I also bought four books for 1.00, two of which were books by Iain Sinclair that I haven't read, so I was well chuffed. I've spent all my birthday money so no more charity shopping until I get to Ireland!

The weather on Thursday was such a contrast to Wednesday. It was cold, grey and there was a sharp wind. I took this photo of Ravensden Church on my walk as it is so small but beautifully proportioned.

Everything charity shopped except boots; Christmas 2013 present from daughter, and leggings bought in a sale ages ago - can't remember where. The dress is from Next; I bought it in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p in the summer but it will be going in the charity shop bag. I don't like it. The waistcoat looks better over trousers or over a longer dress or skirt - see below.

I last wore this waistcoat in November 2015!

I had a clothing dilemma on Friday; I wanted to wear black and white again - why? I really don't know. Some days I think I want to wear purple today or black and white...I usually plan my outfit the night before and hang it up ready for the morning. I started out with leggings; realised the top was too short, so added the skirt instead. I had to wear a cardigan as it was a chilly day. I think the top is too long for the skirt so may have to try the top with trousers and if it's still not right back in the charity bag it goes. I shan't be wearing this outfit again at any rate!

Everything is charity shopped even the boots. The tunic is the one I bought in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p on Wednesday.

This week I've put in the charity shop bag: 3 tops, a pair of jeans; a skirt and a dress. At the weekend I've decided to go through my scarves to try and reduce them.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Finally, the post title says " and a swap". As you will already know I am a great fan of Persephone books see here and ask for them for birthday and Christmas presents. A few weeks back, Rosemary of  'Rosie's Ramblings' here was giving away some Persephone books and sent me 4. Unfortunately, I already had 3 of the 4, and although I've managed to pass on one of the duplicates I still have 2 left. Does anyone have some Persephone books they would like to get rid of or swap with me? The 2 duplicates (both highly recommended) are:

'Few Eggs and No Oranges' - Vere Hodgson
'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' - Winifred Watson.

I hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. I love the pictures of you day out you all look like you are having such fun.
    I would also love to read Miss Pettigrew Live for a Day, it's been on my list for years and I've never got round to either buying or borrowing it.

    1. It's yours for postage, Gisela. Email me your address. It's a lovely book and worth a reread. I don't say that very often!

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  3. What lovely happy family pictures, it looks as though you had a fabulous day. Love the print on your New Look tunic and your waistcoat is superb. (I'm quite partial to a waistcoat)
    I think I used to stay at an hotel in Ampthill when I was flying from Luton back in the day (I was air crew back then) or maybe we frequented a pub there? Flitwick is another place I that near you? x

    1. Thanks, Fiona.

      I'm sure I have already replied but it's gone!

      Ampthill and Flitwick are separated by a large roundabout. Funnily enough I never go to Flitwick to look at their charity shops. I think there's only one and it's easy to park in Waitrose where Barnardo's entrance is and just visit the other three from there.

  4. You look wonderful in your birthday outing outfit - love the hat! Btw, I do like that black & white print top on you - it should look good with trousers. And like you I continue to put discarded and 'not quite right' clothes in my charity shop bag - it's good to do it. Also here's wishing you a belated very happy birthday x

    1. Thank you, Penny.

      It feels good to get rid of things doesn't it? I've just added another skirt to the charity shop bag...

  5. The family photos are wonderful, you do look a happy lot!
    Loving the tremendously cool birthday outfit and the wonderfully South American looking waistcoat. I reckon it would look good with the black and white top you're not sure about and the black maxi skirt.
    That's a lot of birds, there's quite few I haven't heard of. i'm such a townie! I know ducks anywhere, though!
    I do enjoy Kate Atkinson's writing.
    Have a fab rest of the weekend. xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix.

      We are a happy lot - most of the time!


  6. Hi back with your email blog again,I like to see you in the maxi dress, also lovely family photos. I was sorry to see on Anglia News that your Sue Ryder shop in Bedford was broken into and jewellery stolen. What low life people.

    1. Thank you, Polly.

      We seem to watch BBC London and not Anglia so I didn't know about this until I read it in the local paper. Shame on whoever did it.

  7. lovely family pictures, I'm glad you enjoyed a fab time with them!!, and love your outfit, such a cool dress!
    I like your printed tunic (orange spots!, lovely!) and you look cute in red (your red shoes look really comfy!). I think that you're right about that waiscoat, it's a nice piece over trousers or long dresses!. Love your black&white beads!
    Obviously, I love your black and white ensemble!, you rock it and all those lovely bijouterie!

    1. Thank you!

      Yes, I'm going to stick to maxis or trousers when I next wear the waistcoat...


  8. What a lovely family outing you had Veronica! The photos are such a wonderful reminder for you too. I really like you in both of those orange mix tunic/dresses as I think this is a great colourway for you. The long waistcoat has a certain charm about it too - so unusual to find something like this and it really is so very practical (I like something that covers my rear to keep me warm).

    Well done you to keep that trickle of outgoings to offset the incomings!

    Anna x

    1. Thank you, Anna.

      I've managed to put stuff in the charity shop bag this week, too! It is a trickle but a steady one!


  9. How fun to get together with your family!

    You really do show people how to create a wonderful varied wardrobe via thrifting.

    I envy your walk. It was 14 here yesterday and then dipped down to -14 at night!!! Not fun.