Monday, 20 November 2017


As I'd been away and was playing catch up when I got back; I completely forgot when I last posted that the two year anniversary of my first blog - 3rd November 2015 - had been and gone! That flew by...

The first Monday in two years without a stint in a charity shop. What did I do instead? I went back to bed to finish off my book! Got up when it was finished, got ready, popped into to town to do some errands and picked up the grandchildren from school. It made a change not being on my feet all day..

Everything charity shopped. Cardigan, (Laura Ashley); scarf and boots all from the Red Cross. Navy blue velvet cords M&S bought in Sandy Wood Green Animal Shelter charity shop last Wednesday after my group walk.  I bought the top in Sense in Kettering on Saturday's rummage for 2. 99. All jewellery is charity shopped.

My earrings seem to have disappeared in this picture!

On Tuesday I volunteered at the Guildhouse. We had a meeting and I was able to tell the Manager that I won't be back after Christmas. I've got two more sessions there and that's it! More freedom...

Yellow pinafore; Sainsbury's retail sale plus a further 20% off. The blouse is charity shopped as are the scarf and leggings; the boots are from Lidl. I wore a charity shopped long sleeved yellow top under the blouse for added warmth.  

I actually cut and hemmed this pinafore as well the navy blue cords I wore on Monday. It took me longer to thread the needles than sew the bloody things; I only had tiny needles in my sewing box. Everybody comes round for a needle and some thread and leaves me with nothing! I bought myself a packet of needles with large eye holes on my way back from volunteering at the library. I have another pair of trousers to hem so I won't have to spend so long trying to thread the needle.

I have been eyeing up this jacket  in the Guild House for a few months now and had rejected it on the grounds it wouldn't fit me. I  decided to try it on finally as I only have a couple of sessions left at the Guild House.  Do you know what?  It fits absolutely fine! 4.00 and it was all mine. It's a bright yellow duffle jacket with a detachable hood and toggle fastenings. I wonder what people in the States and Canada call this type of coat? Do tell. 
Of course Paddington Bear is one of the most famous of duffle coat wearers and I seem to recall dear old Michael Foot (a  British Socialist politician, now dead) used to wear one.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were a present from my ex mum in law. The necklace was from Oxfam in Newport Pagnell about two years ago - my very first visit, I think.

I went walking with the group on Wednesday. We walked from Rowney Warren through beautiful woods and seven miles across fields and woods to Haynes and Deadman's Cross. It was a very cold day but we soon warmed up.
Image courtesy of Google images

This what I changed into and went to Rushden to pick something up. Of course I just had to have a quick whirl round the charity shops while I was there...

Yellow trousers; La Redoute sale, blue top Sandy charity shop last week; 1.99. I really like this top; the colour and design reminds me of Delft china. I brought the cardigan back with me from the caravan but can't remember where I bought it in Ireland in 2016. I find it hard to resist a patterned cardigan! Boots; 1.99 Red Cross shop.

I bought this necklace on a rummage recently but can't remember where. I happened to have an almost matching pair of earrings in my collection...

The wonderful Salvation Army shop in Rushden always comes up trumps. They had a jewellery sale on. Like I need more jewellery! Nevertheless, at 50p per item I couldn't resist. I bought 4 necklaces and 2 rings. I also bought one grandson a t shirt here and a lovely Phase Eight lace tunic top for me. There were four other shops to look at and I bought a bangle for 99p in one and  something for the other grandson in another. No more rummaging for me for a while, I think, but then I remembered I'm going to visit Hilary in Devon in just over a week's time. I can't see me and Hilary not going rummaging but I might set myself a very strict budget and try to stick to it...

Clashing with the curtains...everything charity shopped except the boots online retail.

 Can you see a mark on my hand? It's an oven burn from my 'new to me' oven. I had an insurance cover on my old Candy double oven and decided one day a few months back it was a waste of money, so I cancelled the direct debit.  Less than a month later the oven went - it's called Sod's Law! As I have plans for my kitchen I didn't want to invest in a brand new oven, so I bought one secondhand from the second hand white goods dealer who has a shop at the bottom of my street. How convenient was that? Anyway the oven is now well and truly christened...

On Friday I did a bus walk with the group. We caught a bus from Bedford to Rushden Golf Club and walked to Souldrop, Sharnbrook, Felmersham, Radwell to Oakley where caught a bus back to Bedford. It was 10 miles and I was completely shattered. I went to bed at 9 pm and slept like a log!

On Saturday we went to see my son.

Boots; Sainsbury's, leggings; Store 21 sale (I noticed when I was in Rushden last Wednesday that this shop had closed. Such a shame it did good household stuff). Phase Eight lace tunic; Salvation Army Rushden; 5.00. Kimono, 1.99 Red Cross shop about three years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped. This is one of the 50p necklaces from the Salvation Army in Rushden.

On Monday evening, OH and I went to see 'Murder on the Orient Express' at our new Vue cinema. I booked the tickets online and they have a senior i.e. over 60 category which I booked. The online information said the film started at 8.10pm. When we got there we were told the film started at 8.45 pm and the online information was wrong. We had a wander around the new complex; I crossed over the new bridge over the Great River Ouse for the first time. I was very sad to see that new complex has been inhabited by an encampment of homeless people. It was a bitterly cold night and it is shameful that in such a rich country as ours people still have to sleep on the streets. If I had my way I would turn one of the vacant premises in the new complex to a night shelter for the homeless.

When we returned to the cinema the manager gave us two free cinema tickets to make amends for the delayed start time. Yippee! I enjoyed the film. I'd not seen the original and this is one of the few Agatha Christie books I haven't read. The clothes were fabulous and Judy Dench had some amazing jewellery!

On Tuesday I volunteered at the food bank in the morning and in the library in the afternoon. Tuesday wasn't a bad day but Monday was very cold with a really chilly wind. I just didn't fancy going out for a walk so I got on with sewing the ends of my third blanket in. Yawn...

Everything charity shopped except boots; online retail.
The cardigan was from the 1.00 rail in Extra Care, Kettering last Saturday. The blouse is from the Red Cross 1.00 rail. Can't remember where the trousers came from but they were charity shopped as well as the scarf. All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace is another of the 50 p necklaces from the Salvation Army in Rushden last Wednesday.

On Friday I went to spend the weekend with my friend Hilary in Devon. We went to Exmouth to visit her daughter and grandchildren and have a good old rummage as Exmouth has about 10 charity shops. I'm still looking for a purple bangle; I'm finding it very hard to find one - one that fits, that is. I don't know if it's the arthritis in my hands or just general old age but my knuckles have definitely got bigger which makes finding bangles that fit, problematic. I sometimes struggle to remove my bangles in the evening as my hands/knuckles/fingers have swollen.

I had a lovely weekend with Hilary but forgot to take photos - doh! We went to Exmouth; I found two pairs of summer type trousers; 2 necklaces; one 50p and one was a 1.00; a bangle (lilac not purple) and a pair of earrings. I had a budget of 10.00 and only spent 8.00!

This was Sunday's outfit. I'm wearing a Desigual tunic which I charity shopped somewhere; over a green top from Primarni and  brown leggings from M & S;  brown boots from Sainsburys; scarf and jewellery charity shopped. The necklace is yet another of the 50 p bargains from the Salvation Army in Rushden.

I had a horrible journey back from Devon on Sunday. There were 3 separate accidents between junctions 22 and 21 northbound on the M5 to Bristol; I was between the two junctions and we were at a standstill for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The journey home took me over 5 hours.

I've now finished my crochet blankets and have sent 3 to 'Knit for Peace'. I'm currently sewing my hexagons together and hope to have it finished by next week. I may give this blanket away; it all depends on what it looks like when it's properly finished. I'd like to give it away. I won a book last week  - a biography of James Ravilious (son of Eric) on 'Dovegreyeader scribbles' blog here. I'm so looking forward to reading it.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

It's all Greek to me!

Hello again! It seems a very long time since I've posted but it's just one day late.
Middle grandson and I had a very pleasant stay in  Kontokali, Corfu.

Corfu Old Town - a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Image courtesy of

We stayed here at the Hotel Telesilla in Kontokali a ten minute bus ride from Corfu town. Spotlessly clean; lovely staff and fabulous breakfasts. Highly recommended.

 Here I am in not so sunny, but nicely warm, Corfu Old Town on our second day (Monday). Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped except shoes which are retail. 
We wanted to go to the water park, Aqualand - Grandson's top priority, but unfortunately it had closed for season on 8th October, so we took the bus into Corfu town and explored...

I was very taken with this lovely door way in the Old Town. It was home to a dental surgery. The architecture in Corfu town is very interesting. A mixture of Venetian, French and English neo-classical and some Greek. Corfu was occupied or colonised by a variety of nations in the past; all of whom have left their mark on the buildings and landscape.

This is the lighthouse at the top of the Old Fortress (which you can see in the very first picture above). Grandson and I had an interesting afternoon exploring the fortress and climbing up to the lighthouse.

There are three fortresses in Corfu. This is the 'New' Fortress viewed from the Old Fortress.

We had an 'Island Highlights' day excursion on our third day and went to visit the Monastery at Paleokastritsa, which the lovely Vix also visited earlier this year. You can see her post about it here.

It was a lovely place and the weather veered between sunshine and showers. There were cats everywhere in the monastery. You can see one behind me in the photo above. Grandson was much taken with them. As well as cats, the grounds were also filled with flowers and plants and the whole place had a tranquil atmosphere despite the tourists -  and wonderful views out to sea.

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped and has been on the blog before except the necklace which I bought in a charity shop in Tralee, Co. Kerry in the summer for 2 euros. It had little leather tongues interspersed with the beads but I didn't like them so I cut them off.

We then headed down to Paradise Bay where we took one of these little boats to explore some caves. No life jackets or anything! There were no rain  showers on our little cave jaunt which just as well as ours wasn't a covered boat...

The view from Bella Vista - a small village at the very top of a mountain  where we had lunch. I believe that is Paradise Bay below.

We then went on to visit the summer home of the Empress of Austria, Elizabeth; the Achilleion Palace built in 1890.  Grandson and I are on the terrace at the Achilleion Palace above. In the far distance you can see the coast of Albania.
We finished our day excursion with a trip along the coast  towards Corfu town taking in Kanoni and Mouse Island (Pontikonissi) which has another monastery; Mon Repos (birthplace of Prince Phillip); ongoing archaeological excavations on the outskirts of Corfu town and places of interest in Corfu Old Town itself. It was a great day out but I was completely knackered at the end of it!

Kontokali Bay beach - ten minutes walk from our hotel.
It was on a hill above this bay that the Durrells lived  in their second house in Corfu - the Daffodil or Primrose Yellow House. Kontokali has another more recent link to the Durells, but this time the recent TV series. The family, who ran the hotel where we stayed, their son had a part in the series. There were photos of him and other members of the cast in the restaurant of our hotel. I didn't watch the series so I don't know what character he played. Sorry. He was a pretty handsome bloke though...

We spent the morning of our last full day (Wednesday) on this tiny beach. We were going to go on a day trip to Albania originally but the seas were too rough so it was cancelled. It was a lovely sunny day and the temperature was about 21 - 22 degrees. Just perfect for me!

There was a dead sea turtle that had been washed up by the sea. It could have been washed up on the private hotel beach next to this one and someone put it on the low wall that divided the beaches. Poor thing. It had clearly been there for a while and the stench when you got close to it, was horrific...

 There was a lot of plastic litter on the beach so I picked it all up and put in a black sack that was already there. Why people can't pick up their own rubbish beats me. It only takes a few seconds to do. It was mostly plastic bottles; discarded flip flops and suntan lotion containers.

On a more positive note - if I'm not mistaken that's a banana tree/plant! Grandson took this picture on the same beach as the washed up sea turtle.

This is Gouvia Marina; two minutes walk from our hotel. We visited it on the way back from the beach where there are the remains of the very small fishing village it once was. We spent the afternoon chilling out at the hotel pool. It wasn't heated and Grandson didn't spend very long in it. I don't mind the cold water as once you're in and sufficiently numb you warm up!

Taken on the balcony on our last morning.  Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped.
We had breakfast and then went to catch our mini bus to the airport. It was a lovely sunny day of about 23 degrees.

Necklace present from OH and bought in Donegal town. Earrings from The Guild House; 2.99. 

I would love to go back to Corfu with OH and do some proper grown up exploring...

We came back on Thursday to rain and cold and it was quickly back to the normal routine. 
We went to see my son on Saturday and drove in great style to Suffolk. OH had bought a new car while I was away. He'd been looking at some before I left. It's a big car that will be very useful for going to Ireland in as it has a capacious boot and runs on diesel.

I got back into walking on Sunday and walked again several times the following week; on one of which I stopped and had a long chat with this thatcher in the village of Biddenham.

Monday was the first day in 2 years, apart from holidays and bank holidays, that I didn't volunteer in the charity shop. I didn't have a chance to miss it as I had to look after the youngest grandson -  it was a teacher training day.

This was one of the outfits I wore during the week. Scarf, dress and cardigan charity shopped; the cardigan, originally from Monsoon, was from the Red Cross, 1.99. I expect the dress was also from there but can't remember exactly. The boots are from Sainsbury's retail and the leggings are M&S retail.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which are from Oxford Market; a present from OH.

I picked up this checked tunic in the Cat's Protection League a couple of weeks back when I dropped off some donations to a nearby charity shop. It was 2.99 and I'm wearing it with jeans from the same charity shop; daughter donated boots and a M&S jacket from Kettering charity shop. I picked up the necklace in the 3:16 shop for 1.00 on my way back from volunteering last Tuesday.

I walked with the Rambler's group on Wednesday. We walked 7.5 miles from Sandy to the villages of Beeston; Hatch and onto Northill. I spied these creations on a thatched roof house on Beeston Green but they are solely made of metal.

I had a mooch around the charity shops in Sandy as it had been more than a week since I had even seen a charity shop! I bought a top (see below) for 1.99 in Barnardo's and a pair of trousers for 2.99 in the Wood Green Animal Shelter shop. I also picked up some bits for the grandchildren in this shop. too.

Thursday's OOTD

Everything charity shopped.

My middle grandsons' mum told me about these silver grey velvet brogues on sale at Primarni for 5.00. Very comfortable.

All jewellery is charity shopped. The brooch is made of leather.

On Friday I walked with Lynne from the food bank. We walked the old railway line -  a victim of Dr. Beeching's cuts in the 1960s - through the village of Cardington. Cardington is famous for its hangars which originally housed the Airship and are now home to Airlander; see below. It was a beautiful day for walking; we walked 7 miles.

Picture courtesy of
On Saturday OH and I went for a rummage in Market Harborough and then onto Kettering.

In Oxfam in Market Harborough; I bought these two books.  The 1960s and 1970s scrapbooks. We had the entire collection when I was teaching at the university; they were part of the trainee teachers' resources for teaching practice. The books start with the Victorian era in its entirety and then progress decade by decade from 1910.

I was born in the 1950s when rationing was still in force and Winston Churchill was still the Prime Minister; and although I remember quite a lot from the 1950s, it's the 1960s and 1970s I remember most. These books are a visual photographic record of everyday things and brands from those decades.  A big nostalgia fest for me but I think the grandsons and my children will enjoy them. I'm on the look out now for the 1950s copy; there's one on you know where...

Did you know that fluoride toothpaste was introduced in 1962 with Kolynos, followed by Colgate in 1964? That Twix and Marathon (now called Snickers) chocolate bars were introduced in 1967? That the first Bond film, 'Dr. No' was released in 1962?

Ceramics from the 1960s.

Footwear from the 1970s.

This is what I wore on Saturday. I had a scarf and gloves as well; it was a chilly and quite wet day on Saturday. The homemade vintage swing coat was bought at a car boot sale earlier this year for £2. 50. The lady who sold it to me told me she was very glad I was buying it as she could see I would appreciate it and love it. I do! It's heavy but not particularly warm. Although you can't see them, it has big diamond buttons on the sleeves.

Everything is charity shopped except the boots from Lidl. The top was bought in Barnardo's in Sandy and the yellow blouse is from Dunne's Stores and bought in a Donegal charity shop in 2016.

All jewellery charity shopped.

As well as the books, I only bought a necklace in Market Harborough.  The charity shops were very pricey. It's a really nice shopping centre with lots of independent shops. There are 7 charity shops in total but two of those are bookshops. They also had a posh European themed market with French, Belgian, Italian and German food stalls. The last time I was in Market Harborough was many years ago with my mum and OH and brother. Mum was still well enough to want to go on day trips out for a rummage. Oh happy days! Mum died in 2009.

This is the old Grammar School in Market Harborough, placed on wooden stilts to allow the Butter Market to be held below. It dates from about 1614.

Picture source - Wikipedia.
This is the church of St. Dionysius next door to the Old Grammar School. The church dates from the 13th century.

 Whereas Market Harborough is an affluent and middle class town; Kettering is proudly working class and this is reflected, amongst other thing,s in the charity shop prices. Much more reasonable!

I bought a top in Sense for 2.99, a cardigan from the 1.00 rail in the Salvation Army, two bangles in Extra Care; a pair of trousers and a brooch in British Heart Foundation and two pairs of earrings for 1.00 each in Marie Curie. I also picked up a couple of things for grandsons, so a very good day's rummaging all in all.

I'm looking forward to a free Monday - no charity shop and on Tuesday morning there is a meeting at the Guild House where I shall tell them I shan't be volunteering there anymore after Christmas. I am so looking forward to 2018!

Naahh, Luton Airport.

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