Friday, 26 January 2018

It's getting warmer chez Vronni...

Hello again!

The rather odd title will have more meaning when you read on but meantime
I've been on a Dorothy Whipple reading binge; recently reading three of her novels in a row. I enjoyed them so much I wanted to read more. With the exception of a book of short stories I've read all of DW's books now and I have a big sense of loss. If you're not familiar with DW she was a popular author earlier in the 20th century who sank into obscurity until rescued and republished by Persephone Books in the early twenty-first century. Her books are quiet, understated stories about people; their lives, loves and mistakes and always beautifully written. Highly recommended. 

I went out for a 6 mile walk last Friday morning; did some food shopping and picked up the grandchildren from school. Another grey day so I tried to brighten things up with some colour. Everything is charity shopped except the shoes from Primarni 5.00 on sale and the shirt from Tu at Sainsbury's, also on sale. I don't like paying full price for anything! The dress is by Joe Brown's and I've had it for about four or five years now. I can't remember which charity shop I got it from. Tights charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of the 7 pairs I bought in St Neot's on an earlier rummage. Scarf charity shopped.

I wore this on Saturday. Checked dress; The Children's Society, 4.29, Cambridge. Cardigan; M&S charity shopped somewhere. Top under dress by Primarni. Boots present from daughter. Scarf charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; Christmas present from OH.

I had a very quiet weekend and did quite a lot of crocheting. I'm now on to the third set of squares for eldest grandson's blanket - 20 x yellow circles in a black square. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this I'll be on the final set of squares. I've decided to go with more red circles as I have a lot of red wool left. I had to go out and buy a ball of black wool as I didn't have enough but I'm hoping to use up all the red, yellow and orange wool I left over when I do the blanket border. I'll make quite a deep border.

On Tuesday I took the youngest grandson to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for an appointment. This was my outfit. Everything is charity shopped except the OTK boots - online retail.

The jewellery is all charity shopped. The earrings were another of the seven pairs I bought last week in my St. Neot's rummage.

On Wednesday, I went walking on my own again. I find it very difficult to get out if bed on these dark mornings so I can't always make the group walks in time - they start at 10 am and I usually have a 20 or 30 minute drive to the meeting point. At the moment it's easier to walk on my own at a time of my own choice. Wednesday was very windy, cold but with a beautiful blue sky and some sun. Yippee! I recce'd my walk for the Ramblers and did 7 miles. I saw a flock of Redwings which made my day. I'd never seen a flock before. I didn't have my rucksack with me so no binoculars but I'm almost sure they were Redwings...

On Thursday evening OH and I went to our other local cinema, Cineworld to see 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri'. A brilliant film which I first heard of here at 'Mrs. Miniver's Daughter'; a lovely blog about books, films, exhibitions and sometimes, food!

I walked again on Friday this time with the Ramblers and did the Friday bus walk. We caught the bus to the village of Turvey and walked to the village on Olney in Buckinghamshire; 7 miles away, then caught the bus back to Bedford. It was cold but very bright and sunny. A lovely walk with lovely people. We finished with tea and cake whilst waiting for the return bus...I rarely travel on buses so it's always a treat for me and I always see things I haven't noticed before! I changed  into this when I got back to pick the grandchildren up from school.

 Every thing I'm wearing here is charity shopped. The top was from a 99p/1.00 rail somewhere and the jeans more than likely came from the Red Cross 1.99. Both are by Next.

I went to Kempston in the week and had a look in two charity shops. I bought a few things in the Keech Hospice shop including this striped cardigan above for 2.25. They had 50% off coats, jackets and skirts. Trying to get rid of as much winter winter clothing as possible, I expect before they bring out the Spring/Summer clothes. People have reported seeing snowdrops so it means Spring is on the way. I've seen cherry blossom but it certainly doesn't feel like Spring!

Last Sunday I had planned to go for a 7 mile walk with my daughter but it rained, sleeted and snowed -  so that was the end of that idea! I wore this outfit on Sunday. More monochrome! The velvet trousers are the bottom half of one of those velour track suits and it and the spotted top and waistcoat were all charity shopped. I'm wearing my black BNWT New Look Chelsea boots bought in Newport Pagnell at the Willen Hospice shop for 6.00.

I like these sets of photos together but I can't remember how the heck I got these three together like this. Of course I did it on my phone which complicates matters..

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which I treated myself to from Sainsbury's.

Tuesday was volunteer day. I wore this sweater dress I bought last week in the Keech Hospice shop for 3.99. It's by Tu (Sainsbury's) and although I already have a navy sweater dress; this one is made of fine wool, has a V neck and two pockets. The striped jacket was bought in the same place at the same time. Scarf and boots also charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped. Earrings another pair of the 7 I bought in St Neot's a couple of weeks back.

I've been very busy over the past weeks researching online and running around to get a range of quotes. My house was built in 1906 and although we have central heating; it's a very cold house as we have the original sash windows at the front and wooden floors. I've decided to replace the kitchen window, back door and bathroom window (all put in in the 1960s) with UPVC ones, which will help retain the heat. Not pretty I know but functional. The glass in standard UPVC windows is seven times thicker than the glass in my windows - so one of the guys who came to give me a quote told me! I'm also going to open up the chimney breast in our original living room and install a multi fuel stove. That should help warm the house up when needed and we can move back in there. We swapped living rooms about three years ago and our original living room is bigger.

If I have enough money left (!) I want to replace our kitchen as the current one is a cheap one installed by my friend's husband in 2005. Also, it is such a small kitchen I've never had room for my fridge and freezer in there; I would like to have a kitchen where these two appliances are integrated instead of being out in the hall....

 I had planned to go walking on Wednesday but it was a rotten day - very windy and wet! Instead I visited various local places that stock solid fuel stoves and a kitchen specialist shop. I bought a solid fuel stove and by my next post it may be in place, burning wood or coal - fingers crossed! However,  as I was in Ampthill that, of course, means Barnardo's and the 99p rail. I did so well. I bought a tunic; another sweater dress, a pair of cropped jeans, a short sleeved top, a long lightweight coat, another scarf (yes really!) and some long blue beads - all 99p.

What was even better than my bargains was that I met an old colleague in Barnardo's who is now volunteering there. I last saw her in 2000, so it was lovely to meet her again. We're going to get together very soon.

Comfy clothes for trekking around the shops
Everything charity shopped. M&S jeans; Primark denim shirt; Fat Face cardigan. Boots present from daughter.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Thursday, OH took a day's holiday and we had a day of culture in London.  We were in London just before midday. Our plan was to go to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum; have dinner out and then go to Shepherd's Bush Empire to watch 'This is the Kit' in the evening.  I first heard this band on Irish radio in the summer and bought all their albums when I got back to the UK. They are firm favourites of mine now; you can have a listen to them here. I saw they had a concert on in January so I booked some tickets - in October! They are appearing in Cambridge at 'The Junction' on 26th. If I'd known that back in October I would have booked tickets for Cambridge; only 30 miles away but then I would have missed out on a fabulous day in London...

Home made vintage  swing coat bought at a car boot sale, scarves charity shopped, boots from Sainsburys. Leather gloves; Christmas present from my friend Ann. This is what I wore to London and kept on for most of the day. It was a chilly but sunny day and the Empire, too, was pretty cold until all the seats filled up with people.

The Zara tunic was bought in Barnardo's on Wednesday for 99p; jacket M&S; charity shopped in Kettering. Leggings also M&S retail.

All jewellery charity shopped including another pair of the 7 pairs of earrings bought in the Hospice shop in St. Neots.

 'The Lovers,' by Paul Day is at  St. Pancras International but I have never seen it before! Probably because it's outside the station and I'm usually inside heading from the mainline station to the tube.

It is a truly wonderful piece of sculpture. This is one of the many detailed sections from the plinth.

The V&A was fantastic. I had never been before despite being born in and living in London until I was 18 and for some periods after that. I'm nearly 64 now and thought it was time I went! Better late than never is my motto.

We were there for about three hours and I only managed to have a look at the fashion section - not the Balenciaga Exhibition sadly; it was booked up; the jewellery section and briefly, the ceramics. Another trip is required to see the rest of the things I want to see! After  standing for many hours looking at beautiful objects and yes, I admit it, almost dribbling at times; I developed back ache and we, very extravagantly, got a cab from the V& A to Shepherd's Bush where we had dinner and went to the gig.

'This is the Kit' - 25th January 2018 - on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire doing the final encore!

It was a wonderful day and the gig was fantastic. I'll post more about the exhibits at the V&A in my next post otherwise you'll be here all night reading it! I should also have completed Grandson's blanket and can show you the finished article.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and for those in colder climes, stay warm!


  1. I'm so happy you made it to the V&A!
    I've lived in homes with antique windows, and homes with modern and I much prefer the modern ones. Being able to fold the windows in for cleaning is a joy. They're stronger too, when the gales are blowing or a confused bird slams into them. I wish you luck with the home renovations.
    The black, white and brown outfit is phenomenal. Every part of it works and looks as though it was sold as a set. I was thinking of you today when I bought a massive necklace. I knew you wouldn't leave it, and you've inspired me to try some new things.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you, Goody! Three people have told me lately via the blog that I have inspired them - to buy big/more/fancy jewellery! I'll be getting a big head at this rate...

      I have had one or two small birds crash into the one of the sash windows at the back but they were momentarily stunned then flew off. I put a metal angel on a string and attached it to the window frame after that to stop it happening again. The angel makes such a racket when it's windy!

  2. I ought to go to the V&A too, I was tempted by the Balenciaga exhibition but as usual did nothing about it.
    Lovely outfit choices as ever, loving the denim shirt look with FF cardi, (always drawn to red) and striped jacket and tartan scarf. Have you been watching scarf tutorials on Youtube? How do you tie it like that?
    The St Pancras sculpture is fabulous especially the passengers on the platform detail around the plinth.
    Have a good weekend Vronni. xx

    1. Hi Fiona,

      No, I haven't been watching scarf tutorials but do I have a lot of pins on how to tie scarves on my Pinterest board; under my name and the board is entitled 'Practical and Useful'.

      I was amazed at the statue!

  3. So many outfits to love, as always. If I HAVE to choose then my faves are the stripey and flowery cardi outfits cos they look so bloomin cosy for our weather right now! Your brows and lashes are simply beautiful, you're going to have to give us a masterclass one of these days, please.
    And another pretty please, a house your when all the work is done? I love home improvements! Hugs, x.

    1. Thank you, Mary!

      I will certainly show you the home improvements. That's one of the bonuses of blogging - you can share nice things with lots of people!

  4. Home Renos are normally difficult so I wish you a quick completion.

    I've never been to the V&A museum. It sounds fantastic. I need to make note of it for the next time I'm in London.

    Lots of great outfits again but my fav is that groovy 1960s patterned dress with the bold colours.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. The V&A is so worth a trip but you'd need a whole day to see what they have - so much to see and it's free!

  5. I loved the V&A when I was in London in 2010 - they had the Grace Kelly exhibit on and I spent a good hour in there. I love all your outfits, as always - I so admire your colourful creativity. Your concert/London outfit is so classy, and really rings my bell. Good luck with your window replacement - we had our condo windows done a couple of years ago and it's made a huge difference! Happy weekend, my dear!

    1. I would love to have seen the Grace Kelly exhibition. The shop is wonderful in the V&A; I was tempted by several pairs of earrings but resisted!

  6. So many great outfits, but my favourite must be the one you wore for London, which is fabulous. I'm also loving the pychedelic tunic you wore to take your grandson to hospital as well as the long, stripy cardigan. I'm definitely putting the V&A on my wishlist for a future citytrip to London. I love the collage. I am using for mine, they have a similar template as the one you used. xxx

    1. Thanks for that Ann. I'll have to check that out. I got the collage on my phone as I use my phone camera for blog photos. I just tapped something and got the option to make a collage but can't remember what it was that I tapped...

      The V&A is well worth a visit (it's free) but allow a whole day as there is so much to see! It's very close to several other museums and the Albert Hall.

  7. I love perusing your meanderings, Vronni! I live in Vancouver but have been in love with the UK all my life, both from historical reading and from novels and movies set in your fascinating country. Sadly, I've never visited there. I love all your outfits but particularly the one with those electric turquoise tights. I have those tights but never the courage to go out of the house with them. I put them on and then take them off and put on black ones. Yesterday I was at one of our mainstream thrift stores yesterday, Value Village, ("VV Boutique" to those of us who love it) and left behind a lovely silver pendant for $4.99. I thought of similar ones I had and foolishly went home without it. I'm going back there today! In the future I will have to employ the mantra, "What would Vronnie do?" to make a better decision. Happy Sunday! It's rainy, cold and windy here too. Brrr.....! Enjoy your stove when it comes.

    1. Hello Karen!

      Please, please do wear your turquoise tights. Once you've done it it will be easier next time and I bet you'll look marvellous in them. Plus, you will cheer lots of people up with that lovely colour!

      I've been to Vancouver and loved it. My brother in law lives there and we visited in 2000; we're well overdue another visit. We never found any thrift shops when we there - we didn't know what they were called then.

      If there's one thing I've learned from more than almost 30 years of charity shopping/thrifting is; if you see something you like, buy it because it won't always be there if go back for it!

      Hope your weather starts to warm up we've had a couple of mild days so far.

    2. You're right! It wasn't there and by then I really, really wanted it.
      ** Note to self **

  8. Oooh, did you enjoy the jewellery part of the V&A? I'm such a magpie, I love that bit. I have to make an effort to find it, though - somehow, no matter what else I go to see, if I just let myself wander I always end up in the room full of plaster casts. Every. Time. And they're BORING!

    Mrs Miniver's Daughter looks interesting; I've added it to my blogroll.

  9. I loved the jewellery part, Mim. And I know exactly what you mean by the plaster casts, and yes, I do find them very BORING!

    Mrs M is a lovely blog with excellent reviews.

    1. Haha oh dear I love the plaster cast gallery! but then the V&A is one of my happy places so other than the Eastern stuff which is not really my thing I love it all!

  10. I'm so pleased you got to the V&A and liked it. I just love that museum and am a member! Seen the Balenciaga which is just ace, so that was a pity to miss it, but the jewellery section is outstanding and I'm glad you went there.

    Your outfits are all totally lovely. Although I'm a good frugal shopper (actually not so much this month!) I really think you're a role model for putting an outfit together with the right accessories that are stunning. In fact I'd say you are a stunner!

  11. Hi Veronica, Sounds ike you had an absolute blast in London. I have been toying with the idea of the Balenziaga exhibition too but have just been too busy. My friend once found a Balenciaga skirt for 20p in a jumble sale. I go to wear it once. It was beautifully made. Your outfits are all lovely and you are rocking the double denim. I love your turquoise necklace and earrings. That sounds great about getting a stove in. I have seen a lot of houses down here with them and I think that would be great to keep the place really toasty and much cleaner than an open fire, especially when the wind blows soot back down the chimney. :) I am really looking forward to seeing your lovely blanket. It sounds gorgeous. Xx