Thursday 22 February 2018

Half term and after

Hello again!

I wore this last Saturday to go and meet my son.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped except the kimono - present from my daughter. Black Mc & Co brocade trousers; can't remember; same for the yellow top; boots, New Look; Willen Hospice in Newport Pagnell, 6.00.

I finally got out for a walk on Sunday in the morning. I did 5 miles along the by pass to the village of Biddenham and on my way back I spied this Muntjac deer (no, it's not a dog). The amazing thing was that on the other side of the fence you can just see in the foreground of the photo; is a grass verge, then pavement and then the busy two lane by pass. I guess there was only about fifty yards between the deer and the road.

 The walk on Sunday kick started my walking mojo. On Monday I took middle grandson out for a bike ride. We walked to Bromham; a village I lived in for ten years where I took the grandson to see our old house. That was a 6.5 mile walk. It was half term that week. No school runs to do!

All jewellery charity shopped.
Gosh, I am so shiny in this photo I look plastic! I was hot and flushed as well. I know my highlighter can make me look shiny but I have matte cream eye shadow on and it looks shiny, too!

Everything charity shopped except the shoes online retail - I'm really into black and white at the moment... trousers and shirt by F&F (Tesco) shirt from Red Cross 1.00 rail; I can't remember where the trousers came from and I only bought them recently. The tunic is from a Donegal charity shop and was 3 euros.

On Tuesday, I recce'd a walk around Bedford Town which I'm going to call 'Bedford Town Blue Plaque Walk'. On my walks I've discovered 10 blue plaques and 1 brown, all to people who were born or lived in Bedford and achieved 'great' things. Here's just 3 of the blue plaques to give you an idea...

And here's the only non blue plaque:

That was 6 miles walked! 
Bedford is the home of John Bunyan who wrote 'Pilgrim's Progress; although he was born in the village of Elstow which is on the far outskirts of the town. I'm debating whether to start the walk from Elstow where there is a blue plaque on John Bunyan's birthplace; but that would add 2 further miles to the walk. Decisions, decisions....

In the afternoon I went to Hitchin with my daughter as it has quite a few independent shops and she was looking for  inspiration for her spare bedroom, whilst I had a rummage. I bought a top for 99p and that was it after visiting 9 charity shops! I do not need more clothes so I looked at other things. Only one or two things caught my eye clothes wise and I desisted! I felt very smug...

Not looking so shiny here but then I wasn't standing beside a hot fire!
 All jewellery charity shopped. Necklace; 1.50 3:16 Charity shop; pink earrings bought in a Barnsley charity shop.

On Wednesday it was extremely cold and windy so I stayed home and got on with eldest grandson's blanket.  I finished it on Wednesday evening!  Here it is -  not pressed and no ends sewn in as yet.

I also went to see my friend, Ann, in the afternoon and we had a good catch up.

It was a mistake to wear a dress and tights; it was most definitely trousers and boots weather. Everything charity shopped except the grey velvet brogues; Primark sale £5.00. Top; Country Casuals, 99p rail in the RSPCA in Hitchin; grey cardigan, Red Cross; 99p rail;  pink tights 1.00, Red Cross; grey dress, can't remember.

I took middle grandson for another bike ride on Thursday  -  4.5 miles and did the food shopping. This was OOTD for last Thursday. Everything charity shopped except the boots; on;line retail. The coatigan was warm and cosy; bought from the Red Cross in the closing down sale for 5.00; it's by Susan Bristol and the previous owner had sewed press studs in between the buttons so it didn't gape. Thank you! Underneath I 'm wearing a Next patterned top (can't remember) and Next jeans (can't remember); scarf charity shopped at Red Cross, too. I do miss that shop!

Earrings present from OH; all other jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday i walked with the group and we did a bus walk from Bromham to Cranfield; 7 miles, it was muddy, muddy, muddy! Walking with heavy, clay like mud stuck to your boots is like walking with a couple of bricks on your feet and very tiring. The mud is the only downside to walking in the country side.

All jewellery charity shopped.
When I went to see my friend Ann in the week; she had cut and hemmed this long coat for me.  I bought it in the Cat's Protection League for 6.99 some weeks back. It has an Eastern European label and is too small on top so I can only wear it open. The bottom half is open anyway; luckily it wasn't too cold on Saturday so I wore it for the first time. Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail. Skirt by East; Red Cross 1.99; top by Tu 99p rail; scarves both from the Red Cross shop too; 1.00 each. I'm always on the lookout for the type of crinkly, stretchy scarf I'm wearing on my head as they don't slip like the head squares do. Many of my other scarves are too long or have fringing on them but these are perfect. So far, I have this scarf in four colours...

OH and I went to Emmaeus on Saturday which is a charity for people who are homeless; as well as all the second hand goods for sale which includes up cycled furniture, there is accommodation on the site. It also has a very nice cafe. I was looking for another basket to put my bangles in and some curtains for the dining room. I got lucky on both counts.

The top of the coat can be worn as a jacket by unzipping the bottom half. It's a swooshy coat which I like.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The finished blanket, pressed and ends sewn in. I was so glad to see the back of it. I could get back into my reading...

I've had a much quieter week this week. Monday and Tuesday were busy with all the usual things including painting the chimney breast in the living room now the plaster has dried. I didn't go walking on Wednesday as I wanted a quiet day at home to get stuff done and the Ramblers walk was quite far away. I went out in the evening for a birthday meal with my ex- colleague Yvonne and four of her friends. A very merry evening ensued and it was lovely to meet up with Yvonne again. 

On Thursday I did the shopping and chilled out. Chill being the operative word as it was a freezing cold day and I didn't fancy a walk. I've agreed to lead two more walks for the Ramblers; a bus walk in May which will be the 'Bedford Blue Plaque' walk (see I did make a decision! I still have to recce the bus part) and another of my cross country walks in June.

Talking of walking reminds that when I led my walk a couple of weeks back I passed this thatched roof house which I've walked past dozens of time and spotted these two straw pheasants on their roof. I think they must be recent additions because I've never noticed them before and that section of the roof looked very fresh...

This was Thursday's OOTD.

Everything charity shopped except velvet brogues; Primark sale 5.00. The cardigan was bought  in a charity shop in Golders Green last year for 1.99, when I went to London on my birthday. I think the Next top was from a 99p/1.00 rail somewhere and I just can't remember where I got the F&F trousers from.

 All jewellery charity shopped. I'm red in the face because I 'd just finished baking in the kitchen....that's another one of the 'stretchy' scarves I like for my hair.

This is for Fiona of 'Made  in a Muddle' - she recently did a post here where she reviewed some cosmetics and mentioned she had discovered the reasonably priced 'Revolution' brand in Superdrug. I'm wearing a Revolution lipstick (I bought mine in a chemist in Donegal - they don't have Superdrug) in this photo, which I applied in the morning and I'd eaten my dinner by the time this photo was taken. Excellent lipstick staying power!

I've got a busy (and cold) weekend ahead. On Saturday we are off to London to visit OH's mum and will probably have a rummage whilst we're there and on Sunday I'm off meet up with my son. We should be going to my daughter's for dinner on Sunday as well, so at least I won't have to worry about cooking!

In the meantime I'll leave you with the thought that it's going to get even colder next week so to warm you up here are the last of the photos I took on our trip to the V&A museum...

As I was approaching this display I knew it was Biba! It was my favourite shop when I started my first job working just off Kensington High Street in 1969; where Biba had relocated to new grand premises. I was in there every other day ogling the clothes, trying on the lipsticks and perfumes and generally soaking in the atmosphere. The dresses are from 1970 and the shoes are by Emma of London about 1972 - 1973.

Evening coat 1924 - 1926, English. Evening dress by Callot Soeurs, Paris 1922 -1925

Shoes; 1965 Roger Vivier  -  Bag; Christian Dior  1960s

Shoes 2012 - Meadham Kirchoff

No info for this bag but isn't it gorgeous?

Miniature evening dress by Gres 1950.
I was fascinated by these two examples standing about two and a half feet tall. I'm guessing they are similar to the miniature pieces of furniture made by carpenters and joiners before embarking on the life sized version.

Miniature day dress by Jacques Fath 1950 made in silk tussah.
The names of the materials used to make clothes also fascinates me; many have now gone out of use, sadly.

This cotton skirt suit was made in Guyana in 1951 for Beryl Gilroy. She soon after moved to London to finish her teaching studies and became one of the first Black head teachers in London. She later became a successful writer.

John Galiano  -  1984

Dress on the left - Giles Deacon 2014
Dress on the right - Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga 2004

Bag - French about 1920.

Hope you all have a great weekend and for those of you in the UK - wrap up well!

Friday 9 February 2018

I feel the heat...

All jewellery charity shop except earrings from e bay.

Hello lovelies!

Well, I have been a busy bee for the past couple of weeks, but first I must show you just a few of the wonderful things I saw on our visit to the V&A museum.
 I have to go back as there was so much more to see.

The photos of the jewellery didn't come out very well but this is one of the better ones. It features coral and turquoise jewellery from the 1920s. How amazing is that coral tiara? The coral daisy type items are two hair pins and a brooch/pin. Some of the jewellery was breathtaking.

Moving on...

A retable (altarpiece) by Raphael about 1410.

I managed to visit the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art:

Istanbul circa 1731.

I didn't think to photograph the information panels so I can't remember from where and which eras these beautiful dishes came from.

Now to the clothes:

Alexander McQueen - 1990s

Early 1900s
The coat is by Liberty of London 1905 -1910. The yellow mantle by Paul Poiret 1913.

1925 - shoes by Lilley and Skinner! Remember them?

Utility clothing 1940s

1960s - Pyjama suit by Emilio Pucci about 1968. The  orange dress is by Courreges. I used the chequered outfit as inspiration for an outfit. See below.

1950s. Embroidered dress by Norman Hartnell.

This last  item was both unusual and very clever. A patchwork embroidered wall hanging made in 1820 out of overcoats and military uniforms.

I don't find clothes from the 19th century and earlier centuries as interesting as the clothes from 1900 onwards and this is reflected in the lack of photos from those eras. Sorry! There were quite a few displays of them though and if you like fashion, style and clothes then the V&A is for you! I wish they had even more clothes on display...

After all that beauty and glamour you'll have to make do with me now!
This is the sweater dress I bought for 99p in Barnardo's in Ampthill. Cardigan also charity shopped, by M&S. Headscarf; charity shopped. The one around my neck can double up as a sarong and was brought back from Jamaica by OH for me quite a few years ago.

Navy leggings; M&S 1.00 rail and blue boots; 1.99 both Red Cross. 

This outfit below, is the one I wore last Sunday when I went out to  Sunday lunch with OH and two of my lovely brothers. Julian was getting over the horrible bug that's affected very many people here and stayed at home. 
The outfit was inspired by one of the outfits seen at the V&A; unfortunately I didn't have a chequered brooch to match so made do with my 50p zip brooch instead! Just seen in the head and shoulders photo below. Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped except the black top and the boots which are from Sainsbury's.

Skirt 1.00 from 3:16 charity shop; cardigan charity shopped is by F&F (Tesco). The black top is one of two I bought in the La Redoute sale about three years ago.

I lost one of these earrings later on in the day. I'm always losing earrings and it's my own fault because I'm often too lazy to put the backs in. You'd think I'd learn by now wouldn't you? I have a bag of single earrings that are missing a mate. I live in hope the mate will turn up one day. Strangely enough I lost a silver and coral earring about a fortnight ago and this week OH found in his car! A few years back i lost a copper steel pan earring OH brought me back from Jamaica at the same time as the scarf (see above). About a month later I found it in the gutter (slightly flattened) near to where I often park my car! So you can see why I keep the odd ones just in case....

Scarf charity shopped; jacket (Fenn Wright Mason) charity shopped in the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell; 5.00.

On Wednesday afternoon, having led my 7 mile walk for the Ramblers, I went to meet my ex colleague for a coffee in a cafe in the village where she lives. It was lovely to catch up; I haven't seen her for 18 years!

I gave my charity shopped Boden velvet coat an outing. I thought it went well with my Primark sweater dress bought with a Christmas voucher. The navy ankle boots were bought online retail. Scarves charity shopped.

Oh dear, my thermal vest is showing...

All jewellery charity shopped.

Dress charity shopped in Donegal for 3 euros. Crochet cardigan 99p rail last year at Barnardo's. Leggings; Sainsbury's retail. Scarf charity shopped. Boots; present from daughter. You can see the newly opened chimney breast in this photo. The plaster was still very wet. When the guys took out the bricks and rubble they found this fragment of one of the original Edwardian tiles; part of the original hearth. Isn't it beautiful?

The chimney sweep came last Thursday and there was no mess at all! Once the plaster has fully dried out we need to repaint the chimney breast. By last weekend the hearth was laid in the fireplace; we had bought coal, logs and kindling; plus a coal bucket and companion set. We were ready for the burner to be installed on the Monday. On Sunday we moved the furniture out of one room into the other. It was exhausting.The dining room was now back to where it should be - beside the kitchen, and the living room was reinstated to its original place.

On Thursday I also got two (!) parking tickets. This year is the first year the council are not sending us out reminders to renew our resident parking permit. When I went to my car Thursday lunchtime to go and do the food shopping there was a parking ticket on it. My resident parking permit had run out the day before - the last day of January! When I parked up again and unpacked my shopping I went back to the car with a  temporary parking permit from my book of visitors permits; I'd been given another parking ticket! I've contested both of them. I'll let you know the outcome.

I spent a lot of the last week cleaning up and waiting in for workmen to arrive but I found time  to get to the hairdressers and one day to do some errands in town. I paid a quick visit to the Mercy in Action charity shop. I bought this no label tunic in there for 3.00 and a cotton jacket for summer for 2.00. The leggings are M&S; charity shopped and I'm wearing a  Primarni blue stretchy top underneath the tunic  as it is very low cut! Navy boots as before.

I didn't get much reading done either last week, but I have got on really well with grandson's blanket. I have now sewn all the squares together in strips and have started to sew the strips together. Next thing will be the border and then the awful chore of sewing millions of ends in; hey ho. My next project will be a throw for my bed in shades of violet and lavender.

All jewellery charity shopped. I forgot to put bangles or rings on!

This week has been very cold but from Monday evening we had the warmth of the new stove to look forward to. A new routine has been established; OH comes in from work and lights the stove;  with me having done all the necessary cleaning out of the stove and filling up of coal buckets etc during the day. It is such a pleasure to have the stove and as we won't have the TV connected up in that room until the 7th March it's also been very peaceful...

On Tuesday I volunteered as usual at the Food bank and the library.

On Wednesday I went for a rummage in the afternoon. I'm sorry I didn't go walking as it turned out to be a lovely day; very cold but bright and sunny with a clear blue sky. I decided to go to Newport Pagnell and Olney instead. I was looking for a basket to put kindling in and I found one in Age UK in Olney. In Newport Pagnell my favourite charity shop was closed for refurbishment so there were only three to look in. I bought a brooch for 2.00 in Age UK Newport Pagnell; a necklace and purple bangle for 50p each and a turquoise checked shirt 2.00 from the sale rail in Willen Hospice.

This will be my new setting for photos - my living room.
 Everything charity shopped except the boots from Sainsburys. Skirt; M&S, top; can't remember, cardigan bought in Donegal charity shop.

All jewellery charity shopped including the necklace which was a present from OH.

On Thursday new windows in the kitchen and bathroom were fitted and a new back door. Hopefully we'll feel the benefit of them soon.  I noticed the difference in the bathroom on Friday morning; it wasn't freezing cold first thing in the morning!

Oh dear: I am such a mucky cow. I've got soup on my tunic. Of course youngest grandson, who was photographer for the day didn't tell me. Yellow tunic; Sainsbury's retail. Floral leggings; retail sale. Boots; online retail. Blue top under tunic charity shopped; 1.00 rail, Jaeger jacket 99p rail; Barnardo's in Great Denham. Scarf charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped.

This weekend I'm off to see my son on Saturday and hope to get a bit of walking in on Sunday. I haven't been walking at all this week and I've missed it. I am really fed up with the damp and cold and the frequent gloom; I can't wait for some proper sunshine! What about you - what are you up to?

Until next time...

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