Birthday weekend and other things

I had a lovely birthday weekend. Our walk in London was not from Waterloo to the Houses of Parliament as I thought. We caught the tube to Waterloo and then from Waterloo we got on the train to Chiswick. From Chiswick Station we walked along the Thames Pathway to Hammersmith Bridge passing Barnes Bridge and Putney Bridge. This walk traced the course of the Oxford - Cambridge boat race from Mortlake to Putney; only ever rowed three times in the history of the boat race so far. The walk was 7 miles in total with a stop for lunch.

 At Hammersmith Bridge we went into Bishops Park and onto to Fulham Palace - the Bishop's seat, where we had tea and cake. The best way to finish a walk I always think!

Fulham Palace. 

This is the River Thames and very unappealing it looked too; that's the old Watney's Brewery, a typical Victorian warehouse building; it's now owned by Budweiser.

This is for Sheila of 'Ephemera' here -  a great Star Wars fan! This house overlooked the Thames. I don't think I'd want a life sized Stormtrooper on my balcony. And I certainly wouldn't want what another house had; a full sized white cow on their balcony with SALT written on the cow's flank = salt beef!

These two churches are at either end of Putney Bridge. Above is St. Mary's Church and below is All Saint's Church. St. Mary's Church was the site of the Putney Debates. The Putney Debates were a series of discussions between members of the New Model Army – a number of the participants being Levellers – concerning the makeup of a new constitution for Britain in 1647. (Source Wikipedia).

The view from Blackfriars station. I thought I had got the Shard in but I hadn't; it's on the right hand side but out of view. That's Tower Bridge in the distance. It was a very dreary day as you can see above and there were several showers...

I went out with my brothers and OH on Saturday night for a birthday meal - this is what I wore.
Trousers by Abercrombie and Fitch from the 'Mercy in Action vintage rail' bought for 7.00. Top from La Redoute sale a few years back. Long jacket; David Emmanuel charity shopped in the Red Cross; boots, daughter donated. 

All jewellery charity shopped except necklace; present from OH and bought in Donegal.

 Lovely birthday cake!

I was very spoilt. My son gave me money and I bought two of my favourite perfumes. My brothers gave me money; OH bought me posh headphones, books and CDs and daughter bought me books and CDs. I was very pleased and grateful everything. 

We had finished our meal and were on our way home - a member of staff kindly took this photo...

On Sunday I went out for afternoon tea with my daughter. It was Mothering Sunday here in the UK.

I got a bunch of daffs for free and some daffodils in a pot from the place we went to as well!

I've got a new kitchen coming and it's going to be fitted whilst we're away in Ireland at Easter. I'm having extra plug sockets installed and some are being moved as you can see in the above picture.

Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots - on line retail. Dress bought  in Cancer Research, waistcoat from Zara charity shopped but can't remember where.

I don't know what happened to these photos - the light was peculiar!

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings 99p from e bay.

My daughter bought me a beautiful cactus plant in a lovely chintz plant pot for Mother's Day and gave me the most beautiful card. I got a lovely card from my son and some from the grandchildren, too! I am very lucky to be surrounded by such loving family.

On Monday I had some birthday money to spend so I thought I'd see what the Barnardo's in Great Denham had on offer. You may remember I don't go there too often as the new manager got rid of the 99p rail and put everything up to London prices. What a shock I got! EVERYTHING was 99p and had been since after Christmas. They may be permanently keeping everything at this price they're not sure; just waiting on an area manager's decision...

I bought some buckle boots from Miss Selfridge; a green corduroy skirt (both can be seen below), a navy sleeveless top; a beach wrap;  another headscarf in yellow and turquoise; a cross body bag; a leoprint long sleeved t shirt and a hoody and long sleeved t shirt for grandson. All 99p each. They had very little in the way of jewellery. Then I went to the Cat's Protection Society in Kempston where I bought a green summer coat from M&S and a pair of red jeans that fit me properly, so out went the old red pair! I did enjoy my spend up - 23.00 in total!

Everything charity shopped except striped top Primarni retail. Skirt and boots; Barnardo's Great Denham 99p each; I think I bought the kimono in Ireland but can't remember where.

Green tights charity shopped about 6 years ago. Scarf bought in a Stevenage charity shop for 1.00 last year.

All jewellery charity shopped. Those blasted hanger thingies have escaped again!

The JAYG method was coming along. I made some errors but as it was my first attempt that wasn't surprising. I found the written instructions and photos less helpful that watching this You Tube tutorial by Bella Cocoa here


Finished - I added a couple of buttons. I still wanted to use up the remaining scraps so started making 8 inch granny squares. I'm aiming to make 49 squares which will be a 5 foot + blanket. I can work on these squares until I go to Ireland and start the Willow block blanket. That's the great thing about crocheting granny squares; you can pick them up or leave them for another time.

More black and white.

Trousers; Sainsbury's retail sale and boots on line retail. Cardigan and top charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped. I meant to wear my silver boots with this outfit but as I was walking around a lot I needed thick socks so I stuck with the trusty old red boots.

We went out for eldest grandson's birthday meal last Wednesday. He was 23 on Thursday.
I saw him come into the world...

It's been a pretty uneventful week this week. I passed by the 3:16 shop on Monday and bought four more items from the 1.00 rail getting one free as it's buy two and get the the third free. A Jasper Conran patterned cardigan; a white short sleeved top from M&S, a blue striped shirt with little birds on (see below) and a lace sleeveless tunic for the summer. Total spend 3.00.

I volunteered at the library on Tuesday afternoon.

Everything is charity shopped except the earrings which were from Sainsbury's many moons ago. The blue kimono jacket was bought on our last rummage in London for 2.99. Blue striped shirt 1.00 rail 3:16 charity shopped. Jeans; M&S 1.00 Red Cross shop. Blue boots 1.99, also Red Cross.

I didn't wear bangles as it can be quite difficult to get my coat sleeves over them and they make quite a racket when I'm shelving the books. I keep expecting one of the librarians to go 'sssshhh'!

On Wednesday I walked with the group and what a beautiful day it was. Sunny and relatively warm. I had to take my jacket off at one point! We walked from Turvey to Newton Blossomville via Cold Brayfield 6.7 miles. This is Brayfield House below. We have often driven past the lodge house and seen the path winding up behind huge iron gates: but this is the first time I have ever seen the house and it's a rear view you can see what a beautiful house it is. Look at that blue sky!

I spied this in the village of Newton Blossomville.

On Wednesday evening I started watching 'Craft Britain'on BBC4. They featured typesetting and rug making - both of which I'd love to try. The rug making reminded me of my student nurse days in the early 1970s. I trained for what was called at the time the 'Mentally Subnormal' part of the register; later renamed as the Mental Handicap part of the register;  and now called 'Learning Disabilities/Difficulties. Part of our training was a 12 week placement in the Occupational Therapy unit where you spent half the time in the 'Huts' (Arts and Crafts) and the other half the 'Sheds' (Carpentry, Marquetry; light industrial work and rug making). I loved helping the residents with the rug making...

This was Thursday's outfit. Everything is charity shopped except the necklace which came from Primark years ago.

The squares I'm making for a new blanket are to replace the blanket behind me. I don't like this one very much; it's called the 'Beachcomber Blanket' and whilst I like the pattern I don't like the white in it or the border. I wished I'd used cream instead. I will take this one to a charity shop when I've made the new one.
Silver boots; 3:16 charity shop 2.50; striped top 1.00 rail 3:16 shop.  The long cardigan came from Keech Cottage 2.25 but I can't remember where the trousers came from.

Friday's outfit

Everything charity shopped except black top: Primarni. I bought this dress from a 99p or 1,00 rail somewhere; Barnardo's in Ampthill, I think. The boots were from the Willen Hospice shop in Newport Pagnell 5.99 from New Look.

All jewellery charity shopped; I had removed my rings as I started to cook dinner...

We're off to Ireland in just over a week's time. I can't wait to see Ruby Super again and my family and friends in Ireland. The kitchen will be fitted while we're away so I'll be busy next week emptying out the cupboards and packing stuff away. I'm getting a new fridge and freezer but reusing my oven, washing machine and dryer; so they will have to be disconnected and put somewhere before we leave. It's going to be a busy week.

I'll do my best to keep up with all your blog posts while I'm away but the wifi at the site is very poor so I probably won't be able to comment very much. For those of you who celebrate it have a wonderful Easter.


  1. Love your outfits! I also love shopping for pre-loved items here on the Black Sea in Bulgaria. We never had many of these in South Africa where I am from originally. Lise

    1. Hello and welcome!
      I am surprised there are charity shops in Bulgaria. I've been there on holiday; we stayed at Nessebar but went to Varna for the day where we looked in vain for a charity shop!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday!

    You've had another busy couple of weeks with lots of wonderful thrifted outfits.

    I love the idea of going for a long walk for your birthday. Having cake at the end is a bonus.

    Enjoy your trip to Ireland and have a wonderful Easter.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

      I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't busy!

  3. Your birthday walk makes me quite nostalgic, as I often walked along the Thames path in Chiswick when I was in London with my ex-boyfriend, although we usually walked from Strand-on-the-Green towards Kew Bridge. Love your tartan trousers and the outfit you wore on Mothering Sunday! And oh my, didn't you do well at the charity shops! Wishing you a wonderful trip to Ireland and Happy Easter. And you'll have a new kitchen to come home to! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      I'm very much looking forward to seeing the kitchen assembled.

  4. Hi you look really lovely in your outfits your hair and makeup is perfect.

  5. Happy Birthday.
    When I saw the cake with the remote on the table my first thought was, "The men in the family gave her control of the remote for a Birthday present!" Men do love their remotes ;)

    Have a very Happy Easter and enjoy your time in Ireland. I'll look forward to hearing about it when you return.

    P.S. Those red plaid trousers are the BEST!

    1. Thank you!

      I agreee, men do love their remotes but in this house we have equality when it comes to the remote! It's only because I don't watch much TV...

  6. What fabulous tartan trousers, a brilliant find. Your colourful crochet cushion is a JAYG triumph I'd say...I really must get to grips with that method. Have a wonderful time in Super Ruby, look forward to hearing all about it. Xx

    1. Thanks, Fiona.

      I thought I would be joining all four sides of each
      square but for most of the squares you have crochet a couple or three of the sides in treble double crochet clusters before you join it to the next square. I do think it gives a good finish though; especially if it's in a contrasting colour and all the corners line up to produce a really pretty motif.

  7. Ooooooo, lots of favourite outfits in this post Vronni! Firstly, the tartan trousers, of course being a Scot, but then the black floral trousers and the floral top - great bit of pattern mixing there. And then the stripes with stripes was lovely too, but finally the maxi dress - oh, how very stylish you look in that. It was great to see your birthday cake too - I can't eat cake, but I do love to see one!

    Have a super week!
    Anna x

    1. Thank you, Anna.

      I'm sorry you can't eat cake. It's one of my great pleasures in life which is why I'm a size 14/16 and you're not!

      Have a great Easter and enjoy the time off work..

  8. What a plethora of wonderful outfits! I love the plaid trousers, the groovy swirly dress, the stripes-on-stripes and the wonderfully flattering maxi dress! And I laughed out loud at the Stormtropper! Thank you for the thought/link!

    Hugs to you on your birthday, my dear! Wishing you a happy year full of great charity finds, peaceful walks and good times with family!

  9. Hooray for a great birthday. More perfume is always a good thing, I reckon. The walk looks fascinating too - London is so stuffed with history, every time I go there I come away reeling with my head filled with stories layered on stories. (Incidentally, the Black Friar pub at one end of Blackfriars Bridge is very good indeed.)

    I hope you have a fab time in Ireland - and if you do start rug making, remember to share it with us! I come across lots of ads for rug kits in my 1950s magazines, but you don't see it much any more. (Now I'm going to go and look to see if Readicut is still going...)

    1. Perhaps I should request a rug making kit as a Christmas present? I certainly don't think I'd buy myself one and this might be a way into it.

      I always loved the Kaffe Fasset (not sure of the spelling) tapestry cushion sets that used to be widely advertised but they were beyond my budget and I'm not 100% sure I'd like tapestry. At least I've tried rug making...

  10. I'm happy to hear that you had a wonderful birthday, the family photos are lovely.
    I love your stripy maxi dress especially, it makes you look so tall and glam.
    Have the most wonderful time in Ireland, hope the weather warms up and dries up for you! xxx

  11. Happy belated birthday, Veronica! I am so glad that you had such a wonderful birthday. Your photos of London are gorgeous. Hammersmith bridge is really nice. Really love those tartan trousers and all your lovely stripes. You crochet is stunning. Have a fantastic time in Ireland. Xx

    1. Thank you Kelly!

      The weather is awful here at the moment but should improve.. xx

  12. Happy belated birthday wishes, and what amazing bargains you've shown us! You get far better bargains than I do! Brighton and Lewes and even Seaford are getting expensive and we don't have 99p rails, everything is £5 or more. That 99p dress looks so good on you and excellent accessories as usual. I'm going to London for my birthday - Tate Modern and a Guardian Masterclass on writing, but I think the walk you did was lovely. We used to do that a lot, years ago though when we lived in Camberwell and could just catch a bus to the centre. Have a great time in Ireland.

  13. So pleased to discover your blog! I did a stretch of that Thames walk last year and remember the "salt" bull although I don't recall the stormtrooper! You have a great, distinctive style and a real knack for finding gems in charity shops!


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