Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Home again, home again jiggity jig....

Hello again!

I went back to the food bank last Tuesday after an eight week break and wore this...

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. Denim jacket by Dorothy Perkins.

Navy linen trousers, M&S, charity shopped; top bought for 3 euros in Co. Donegal charity shop.

Yellow shoes  bought last summer in charity shop in Donegal for 3.00 euros.

It was good to be back at the Food Bank. Supplies are getting quite low so we're hoping Harvest Festival brings in a big clutch of donations...

Last Wednesday started out as cool and drizzly so I didn't fancy walking with the group. It had rained in the night and I didn't want to be sliding around in mud. I'm a wuss, I know, but the forecast was better for Thursday so I decided to walk on my own on Thursday.

Instead I went for a good old rummage to Great Denham and Kempston.  My daughter asked me to see if I could get her some bowls. I didn't see any. I bought a Gudrun Sjoden tunic top for 3.99; a Cath Kidston spectacle case for 2.99 and some over the door hooks for my kitchen cupboard for 79p. I shall use them to hang up my tea towels and pot holders. All of these were bought in Barnardos and I  also bought a couple of books; one for my friend Hilary as I'll be going to see her sometime in October, I think. I usually try to bring her half a dozen books I think she'll like. She usually does! I also bought some M&S floral jeans for 2.00 in the Keech Hospice shop (reduced rail) which has now opened up in Great Denham; I bought some wool (naughty, naughty me) for 2.00 in the Daycare Hospice shop in Kempston for 2.00.

I don't know if I've been spoilt by charity shop prices in Bedford town and whilst on holiday but both the Keech Hospice shop in Great Denham and the one in Kempston and the Cat's Protection shop had clearly raised their prices. I got lucky with the Gudrun Sjoden top but the average price for a top seemed to be about 6.00! I'm sure it was 3.99 before I went away.

I thought these orange trousers were quite clingy until I saw the photos! Into the charity shop bag they go. As did the jacket; I don't like it anymore.

Everything charity shopped but can't remember where I bought what. I do remember the blue polyester  jacket was 50p from a reduced rail in  a charity shop in Royston or Baldock; I think it was on my first ever visit. Orange shoes; charity shopped last summer in Co. Donegal.

All jewellery charity shopped

I went out walking on my own on Thursday and did over 6 miles. It turned out to be a beautiful day. I'm trying to find a new route for the New Year Ramblers walks programme. I had found a really good walk back in the early part of the summer but it would be too long for the Wednesday walks which are usually about 7 to 7.5 miles long.

Blue again!
I wore this on Friday when I walked with the group from Harrold to Odell and back again - 6.5 miles. I just added walking boots and socks! The blue patterned top is the Gudrun Sjoder one I bought in Barnardos. The Blue kimono, which has a black lining, was bought last year but I can't remember where. The jeans are by M&S and are also charity shopped. Shoes are by Clarks and were charity shopped, too.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I haven't yet swapped over my wardrobe as we continue to have some warm days interspersed with cooler ones but I am wearing layers which helps with the transition. I have been so enjoying the sunny days it makes up for missing them in Ireland.

I haven't stopped wearing a vest for the whole year only on exceptionally hot days. I have always had an occasional reaction to elastic or something in waistbands but in the last couple of years it has got worse, so I find having a vest to tuck into my trousers/jeans/skirt can stop the itching somewhat. Often it's the knicker elastic that triggers it off though and even PJ bottoms have been to known to have me scratching like crazy!

We met these two lovely donkeys on our walk. They both enjoyed the attention and petting. I must remember to put a few carrots in my bag the next time I'm out. You never know who you might meet when you're out walking...

I also did the food shopping on Thursday and popped into Aldi. I only buy Aldi's washing up liquid, face serum and night cream otherwise everything else comes from Lidl and some from Sainsbury's. Anyhow, I must have had perfect timing for Aldi as they had king sized 100% cotton sheets in a bag, on sale for 49p! Bargain! I bought 8. 2 for me, 2 for the daughter, 2 for the ex daughter in law and 2 for eldest grandson.

I bought this hat somewhere before I went on holiday but can't remember where . It was 1.99

It's my daughter's 40th birthday this month. It does make me feel old having a child in their 40s! As part of the (several) celebrations she spent the weekend at Centre Parks with friends and I child minded youngest grandson on Saturday. He had a football match on Saturday morning and I had planned to take him black berrying in the afternoon. He didn't want to go...the lure of a screen was more inviting.


Trousers bought in Leighton Buzzard charity shop for 2.00. Red striped top bought in charity shop in Letterkenny, Co.Donegal for 3 euros.  Shoes, PJ shoes local retail. I bought two tops, a shirt, a pair of jeans and two dresses in total whilst I was away. Quite restrained for me, I thought. OH took a large black plastic bag full of unwanted clothes to the charity shop in the week. I'm trying very hard to stick to my one in, one out maxim.

All jewellery  and scarf charity shopped.

On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale. I bought 2 pairs of earrings and a couple of things for the house. It's only held once a month and it's in the grounds of a garden centre so if we need any garden stuff we can pick it up at the same time. Next month will be the final one for this year. There is another boot sale that runs all year round - weather depending, but's a good 12 miles away and sometimes it gets cancelled and you don't find out until you drive up to the site...very frustrating.

Everything charity shopped except the leggings bought in a sale at Store 21 in Rushden - which has since closed down.

All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.

You may remember my hall table which I rescued from a skip on my daughter's estate. I bought the lamp for 1.00 and the wicker basket containing 4 small bottles for flowers, for 50p at the car boot sale. It has a label saying 'Fleurs' but it was back to front in this photo! The lamp is a touch lamp. The jug and basin came from the same car boot sale for 2.50 earlier this year. The books are for my brother and youngest grandson still hasn't taken his word search books home...

The flowers are hibiscus flowers from my hibiscus bush.

After the food bank again on Tuesday morning  (I go every week now) I walked on my own on in the afternoon. It was another beautiful day. I'm leading a walk in a couple of weeks and needed to recce it. The route was drawn up by a walking colleague; it follows the river from the town centre (where a new development and new bridge was completed earlier this year) then still following the river we walk to the marina and on to a couple of villages and return to Bedford. I am walking the route properly with my colleague next week but I wanted an advance check. Needless to say I took a wrong turn and ended up in a nature reserve. I carried on walking hoping I  would find a bridge and cross over the river to the marina side but I ended up in a clearing with nothing but the river ahead of me.

To my shock there was an encampment of men living in tents in the clearing; I saw 5 tents in total. There were clothes hanging in trees and containers of food, and in the middle, a chiminea. It reminded of a less squalid Calais in France where there were huge encampments of refugees. I have no idea who the men were who were living in the encampment I saw but how dreadful that people are reduced to living like this. It's not too bad at the moment as the weather is fine but what happens when the weather turns cold and wet? This is an area of flood meadows and is left under water deliberately to encourage the wildlife. Those poor men...

I spotted this Heron and a Kestrel along the river. Sadly no kingfishers...

I walked with my group on Wednesday. It was an 8 mile walk and involved quite a lot of climbing. I was pretty knackered by the end I can tell you. But there is no rest for the wicked they say; I changed into this when I got back and made my daughter a birthday cake:

Everything charity shopped. Skirt from Next; 1.99 in Red Cross. Animal print top by Tu; 1.00 rail Keech Hospice shop. Can't remember where I got the shoes from, Oxfan, I think but they were also charity shopped.

Library book waiting to go back on the hall table.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought this lovely coral jacket in a charity shop in Dublin for 1.00 euro; I washed it and ironed it but it's too small - damn! Another item for the charity shop bag...

In the evening we went to my daughter's and brought presents, cards, flowers and cake.


I went for a rummage on Thursday and bought two items in the Mercy in Action charity shop for 2.00 each. A pair of jeans and a green fringed kimono. This was Thursday's outfit:

Top; French Connection, 3:16 charity shop 3.99; cardigan, Red Cross 1.99; leggings retail as was scarf (Primarni) and pink shoes charity shopped.

Necklace present from OH charity shopped in Kettering.

 All jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday I walked with the group again. We caught the bus from Bedford to Sharnbrook then walked from there to the village of Melchbourne then on to the village of Risely where we caught the bus back to Bedford. 8 miles in total.

Long row of thatched cottages in Melchbourne. It's unusual to see so many thatched cottages together in one row.

Another thatched animal for my collection - a fox seen on this roof in the village of Risely.

I went to see my son on Saturday. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which I bought at last Sunday's car boot sale for 1.00. 

  Everything charity shopped.

Kimono 2.00; Mercy in Action, top - can't remember; black jeans 3 euros charity shop in Donegal town; shoes 3 euros Killybegs, Co. Donegal.

It's that M&S coat again...7.00; Cat's Protection League. It was was quite nippy on Saturday and I think I may have to get my winter coats and jackets out and put the summer ones away. Boo hoo!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Ireland Part 2...

All jewellery charity shopped. Blue earrings bought in Co. Sligo charity shop for 99 cents
Hello again. Thank you for the lovely welcome back comments; I really appreciated them. It's such a fabulous supportive community blogland. Mostly, anyway....

I can't say it hasn't been strange since I came back. I did very little for nearly eight weeks and now I'm back to rushing around but first let me tell you a little more about my time in Ireland.

I wasn't aware OH had taken this photo outside the church at the funeral of my cousin.  Here I'm checking with my cousin Gillian who is reading which bit at the service. Behind me is cousin Irma and of course, cousin Doirin in black and white. Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped and the kimono is the first one I ever bought. I'm wearing a black shirt underneath it which I bought in a charity shop in Donegal for 2 euros and the black and white trousers are 1 of 8 pairs that I had. I left this pair in Ireland.

 Whilst out walking in Mountcharles, Co. Donegal, I spied one of these:

Do you know what is?
It's a robot lawnmower. I saw it moving from a distance and found it a little bit scary but it was doing a great job mowing neat, even strips of lawn, then turning around doing another one.....

When my daughter came out to stay we spent a couple of days in Belfast. We stayed overnight and did some sightseeing on both days. The second day we did an open top bus tour and one of the most interesting things we saw were the murals on the 'peace' walls dividing the Protestant areas from the Catholic areas. I took many more photos but my phone ran out of memory and in the effort to free up some space many were accidentally deleted. These are all I have.

Daughter in front of a Peace Wall

I hung out with my cousins; Gillian, Doirin and Irma in Irma's new house. The red striped top was charity shopped in Donegal for 3.00 euros.

I went to a summer festival in Sligo with Martina and saw Paddy Casey;

And Mundy

Of course it rained but we were prepared with folding chairs and umbrellas... Martina danced her socks off - she did, honestly!

When OH came out we went to visit Lissadell House in Co. Sligo. We first visited it 19 years ago. It was the home of the Gore-Booth's; of whom Constance Gore Booth, better known as Countess Markievitz, was one of the prominent and the only female leader of the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.

This is the only photo I had left on my phone. Lissadell Bay seen from the Alpine Garden of Lissadell House.

In the walled garden  of Lissadell House, there were several signs asking us not to pick the fruit and vegetables.  I posed for a photo where I was pretending to pick a pear. As I reached up, a drone suddenly appeared and hovered above until it was sure I was only pretending! 21st century security....

We also took this ferry from Burtonport to Aranmore Island, population 400!

You can see from the photos that it was misty, drizzly day. We didn't see the island at its best but it was a beautiful, peaceful place. We'll definitely be paying a return visit and will hope for better weather!

I didn't get much crocheting done on holiday. I just wasn't in the mood very often. I've crocheted the equivalent of two rows of my latest blanket so there's only seven rows or 63 squares left! I'll be getting back in to it now I'm  getting back into my usual routine.

When I got back from Ireland, I had the grandsons for two days as they didn't return to school until Wednesday. On Tuesday we went to Woburn Safari Park. Some of my photos didn't get saved because of the memory problem so a giraffe and some lorikeets is all you're getting...

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped including my African print bag.
I don't know why youngest grandson is pulling such a weird face...

Lorikeets drinking nectar....

We saw lions, tigers, bears, camels, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, eland and other deer, spider monkeys, lemurs, capybaras, sea lions, wallabies, emus and water buffalo. Middle grandson did a high ropes course called 'The Giraffe Climb'.  We had a lovely day.

On Wednesday, OH and I went to Leighton Buzzard for a much needed rummage. Leighton Buzzard which is in Bedfordshire was home to Mary Norton' author of 'The Borrowers,' one of my favourite children's books of all times.

This is now a school.

We had never been  to Leighton Buzzard before and there were 7 charity shops including one for Breast Cancer. - that was a first for me.  I bought  a pair of trousers for 2.00 and a tea cup for 49p! We stopped in Ampthill on the way home where in Barnardos they had a 49p bin for men and women's clothes; getting rid of summer stock, I suppose. I bought quite a few bits -  not all at 49p!

These leggings were one of the 49p bin buys. Everything else charity shopped; the turquoise cardigan is an old faithful wardrobe staple. Pink shoes charity shopped in Donegal.

There are some Irish shortbread biscuits and jam under the hall table for my friend Ann...

The navy top by Wallis was another 49p bin buy! The kimono was also bought in Barnardo's for 2.99. Navy trousers from Primarni about three years ago. Shoes as before.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought this necklace in Donegal for 2.00 euros.

I also went to visit my son at the weekend and wore this:

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought this coat by M&S for 7.00 in the Cat's Protection League; either earlier this year or late last year. Either way the weather was not right for it, so since I've come back I'm wearing it as much as possible. Black sandals charity shopped locally just before I went to Ireland.

Green trousers, Next; patterned top, Next; lace shirt unknown label; all charity shopped.

Yellow scarf charity shopped.

Finally, I ended my first week back at home with a 9.5 mile walk with my friend from the food bank.

I've been enjoying the warm, pleasant and sometimes sunny weather  since I came back from Ireland and it was so good to wear my summer clothes and sandals. I wore sandals only on maybe three occasions in Ireland because it just wasn't sandals weather. But there is a definite autumnal feeling in the air now The evenings have drawn in, the trees are changing colour and it may be time to start checking out what summer clothing needs to be swapped over...

Until next time, cheers!

Thinking about stopping...

  Hello again! Where did January go...? When I left you back in the middle of January we had just entered into a very cold and icy weather s...