A very happy week was spent with...

This is my cousin, Linda. She is the oldest of the cousins on my mum's side and we first met when I was 7 (in 1961) in my granny's house in Ireland.  Linda had never visited England before so she came to spend 5 days with me in April; we had such an enjoyable time.

In the photo above I'm wearing an  embroidered wool waistcoat from a charity shop which Linda bought me.  I'd seen this same waistcoat on a rummaging expedition with the OH last year and didn't buy it. I'd been regretting it ever since!

 Linda and I spent a whole day charity shopping and a couple of hours on another day. We went to the Ampthill and Great Denham charity shops and quite a lot of the Bedford ones.  There were still seven charity shops in Bedford we didn't have time to visit  so that's for Linda's next trip. Did Linda find anything? Yes! She found some beautiful cardigans;  some trousers, a sweater and some shoes. I found a pair of jeans; some colourful trousers; a skirt and some pictures for Ruby Super.

We went for dinner at my daughter's one evening and also managed to fit in two six mile walks on two different days. On one of our walks, Linda marched up the drive marked 'Private Property' and in the photo above is at the door of Clapham Park House which was:

'Originally built in 1873 for the Howard Family, founders of the Britannia Works in Bedford, Park House is a magnificent striking piece of Victorian architecture in a French Gothic style.' (From the Rightmove website).

We went to London for the day on Saturday where we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Treasury. This was taken in Parliament Square. We also went to the Tower of London.

We set out to visit the Perspehone bookshop in Bloomsbury but got there too late...

We went to Harrods at Linda's request and splashed out on some pastries - I'd scoffed mine by the time I took this photo. Linda's is still in the bag...

I'd never been to Harrods before. I was wondering why the sales assistant was staying so close to my side in the women's wear department as I was stroking a white suede and fur coat. Then I looked at the price tag - £35,000!!

We spent the rest of the day in Chelsea where we paid a flying visit to my eldest grandson at work and then met up with my brother and went out for a meal.

On Sunday the family came for the dinner.

These are the colourful trousers I bought in a Bedford charity shop and all the other items I'm wearing are also charity shopped. 

I took Linda to the airport last Monday and was very sad to see her go. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up and feel that I have a sister in Linda. 
Life resumed as normal on Tuesday with a stint at the Food Bank.

Everything charity shopped. Purple velvet jeans; Red Cross 1.99. Grey waistcoat is from Gap and patterned shirt is from M&S. 

Boots - Christmas present from daughter.

Beads present from OH but charity shopped as are the earrings, bangles and watch.

On Wednesday I invigilated at the university where I used to teach. I shall be doing more invigilation in May and in June shall be poll clerking on election day. All the little extra cash is most welcome as I still have another 2.5 years before I get my state pension...

Everything, except the boots, is from a charity shop. The tunic, which has a French label was 1.99 at the Red Cross - the collar has a row of hook and eyes fastening as do the sleeves. I chose to leave them open as the beige (gah!) trim made a nice contrast and went with the beige M& S trousers. The waistcoat was from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. All jewellery is charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's. The headscarf is a recent acquisition (must stop buying them - the picnic basket where I store them is filling up) from the 3:16 shop for 1.00.

On Thursday I did the usual food shopping and went for a 6 mile walk. My youngest grandson is staying every Thursday evening now as my daughter has taken up boxing and has a late training session. I take both grandsons to and from school on Friday so it is just as easy for him to stay overnight with me.

This is the tunic/dress I bought in the Killybegs charity shop for 2 euros. It's by Apricot and I loved the red orange flower display around the bottom. Everything is charity shopped including the boots, but the grey leggings are from Sainsbury's Tu range.

All jewellery charity shopped including this necklace which I also bought in the same Killybegs charity shop as the tunic but about two years ago. It's a bit of a treasure trove that charity shop...

I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers on Friday and we walked from Henlow to Langford and back again; about 6.5 miles. I kept my jacket on the whole time as although it was a nice bright day the wind was chilly. 

This is the Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, London and the site for the origins of The Bible Society.

I walked again on Saturday; only this time it was in London and the 34th 'Unlock'  London walk. You can read about the 'Unlock' walks HERE in more detail, but they are essentially fund raising walks for urban charities, visiting a range of different churches in different parts of London.

This year the walk was in Battersea and Clapham. It's the third consecutive year I've done this walk and it's always very interesting. It attracts those of a religious persuasion (not me!) and walkers.

This is St. Mary's on the Thames path near to Battersea bridge. It wasn't one of the seven churches on the walk but I rather liked it.

Battersea Bridge built in 1890

We ate our lunch here. Behind this bridge (Battersea Railway Bridge, built in 1863) was a helicopter landing pad; the helicopters were arriving and taking off about every ten minutes.

I wondered about this building  in Comyn Road, SW11 - it looks like a boring red brick red modern building, but if you look carefully there are a couple of old fashioned, possibly Victorian, dresses sculpted on the front of it. Was it originally the site of a factory? An orphanage? A school? I wish I knew - and Google wasn't any help.

This beautiful flowering tree was in the sub tropical section of Battersea Park but I have no idea what it was.

This Victorian Gothic church is called St. Nectarios; it's near Lavender Hill and is now a Greek Orthodox church containing the most beautiful icons.

We walked about 7.5 miles on the walk and if I include my walk to and from the station it was more than 8 in total. We returned to King's Cross by bus and I just managed to snap this sculpture; behind Marble Arch, from the top deck front seat of the bus. It was almost like being back at school again!

On Sunday I went to see my son

Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas present several years ago; the necklace and earrings were donated to me by my daughter.  The Next corduroy blazer bought from Red Cross for 1.99 about a year ago.

White jeans bought in Derry and the spotted top was bought on my rummages with Linda, in the Ampthill Barnardo's.

I was quite excited as it seemed warmer and sunnier on Sunday. I thought I might begin the winter to summer wardrobe swap over but changed my mind as the day went on and it got colder and colder...

Monday was a bank holiday but it was business as usual at the Red Cross. I started at 10 am instead of 9.30 am but finished at the same time. Did I buy anything? Yes, I did. 2 more necklaces (naughty me!) one turquoise and one an orangey yellow colour. A yellow top and a cardigan both 1.99 each. Two books for my friend Hilary; whom I'm hoping to visit in Devon at the end of May or in June.

This is the Desigual tunic/dress I bought in  the Red Cross in Derry. The top underneath is from Primarni; the leggings were bought retail at Sainsbury's and the Mary Jane's are from a local shoe outlet. I had left them behind in the caravan and made sure I brought them back with me as I hoped we may soon start to have a summer...

All jewellery charity shopped and the head scarf was one of 3 bought at the 3:16 charity shop.

My crochet blanket is coming along nicely, but I'm not getting that much reading done. I never do when I'm crocheting. I did manage to read the last of my 'Furrowed Middlebrow' birthday books and have now read four in this imprint. I've enjoyed them all but none have gripped me in the way many books have and I doubt I shall be buying anymore. They are also very tightly bound and you have to 'crack' the spine or fold the pages back severely to read the books properly. I still have two new Persephone books (also birthday books) to read and then there's all those books on TBR pile...

I really want to start the winter to summer swap over but I daren't - it's too damn cold. Here's hoping it warms up soon!


  1. Wow, it seems like you and your cousin had a very action packed 5 days. I love the waistcoat she got you and your colourful trousers. My favourite is the tunic/dress from Killybegs charity shop, and that fab necklace you are wearing with it. The "Unlock" walks look very interesting, and I love St. Nectarios church. Hope the weather gets better soon: we had one good day on Sunday, but now we're back to the old miserable weather. xxx

    1. It was a hectic 5 days, Ann and I was in need of a break when it was over!

      Today has been sunny and bright although there's still a cold wind. I'm tempted to start swapping things over...

  2. That's so nice you were able to spend five days with your cousin seeing the sights and shopping. 35,000 for a coat eh? I won't ask what the pastry cost!

    That Disigual dress is wild in the very best way-I love it. The colours and print are unlike anything I've seen.

    Spring seems to be hiding here as well.

    1. Actually, the pastries were about £3.00 each. I had a Palmier.

      I was very pleased with the dress and I got volunteer discount, too.

  3. Ooh, we both have purple velvet jeans! Twins even though we are so far away. I love seeing all your charity shopped stuff - great score on your Desigual dress! I have several of their pieces, and they are not cheap.

    I love all these pictures - I've been to London only, but I smiled at the horse head statue.

    1. Oh I do love purple velvet - very royal I think!

      I also have a lovely purple velvet cardigan bought retail from TK Maxx, but the sleeves are very tight. Anne, from 'Spygirl,' suggested transforming it into a sleeveless waistcoat by removing the sleeves. One day, when I'm in a sewing mood I might just do it!

  4. I correctly guessed desigual. Lucky find.

  5. What a busy time you've had! I'm so pleased to hear that Linda had a fantastic trip. I love that waistcoat she surprised you with, it's gorgeous!
    Great family photo, love your hippy-tastic trousers.
    A fab round-up of outfits, you're a master (or is that mistress?) of the selfie stick these days. xxx

  6. lots of beautiful outfits, landscapes and buildings to comment!. Glad that you enjoyed your cousin's visit, it looks like you had a lovely time together! And I love particularly the waistcoat she brought you and those colorful pants!
    You know I have a weakness for your bijouterie, I'm in love with the turquoise necklace and also with the red one! And those fab tunics and the lovely walks! and that last desigual dress is awesome!

    1. Thank you, Monika.

      I bought 3 more necklaces this week, a bracelet and another ring! I cannot resist cheap, colourful bijouterie! I think I am an addict...


  7. You and your cousin did loads. I hope Linda had an enjoyable time on her visit to England. We always end up in Fortnums when we go to London, and get an outrageously expensive pork pie to take home.

    Heh, you went walking near Henlow. My dad was based there...

    1. Yes, for a small place, Henlow has the RAF camp complete with its own theatre; the spa and the dog track! It's also a lovely walking route!

      Linda's looking forward to her next visit already!

  8. I knew that was a Desigual dress! They are always so bright and colourful.

    It is always nice to have visitors. Looks like you squeezed in lots during her stay.

    I love that sculpture of the horse's head. How unusual!

    We also had "body guards" in Hong Kong at all the very high end shops.


  9. I have obviously led a very sheltered life, Suzanne, I had no idea there were 'body guards' in shops!

  10. I love that family shot Veronica, and also love the jazzy trousers you're wearing that day too. I've only been to Harrods once in my life and for some reason seemed to suffer a panic attack when I couldn't find my way out. The store is huge isn't it?

    Anna x


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