Monday, 28 January 2019

Mixed Fonts and lots of monochrome


Ten outfits featured and 5 are monochrome. There's a theme emerging but I don't know why. I didn't plan it...

Anyhow, now we're well into January it's been back to the normal weekly routine for me at last. School run on Monday; food bank on Tuesday, walking on Wednesday, food shopping and a walk or a rummage on Thursday, school run and walk or rummage on Friday. 


 Dress charity shopped in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland on the way to see my Dad's family in August 2018; I thought it was a Desigual dress at first but it's a French label and cost 5.00 euro; cardigan charity shopped in UK. My tights are green and charity shopped. Boots from Sainsbury's some years ago. Red long sleeved top under dress; Primark, retail about 3 years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped.

This is what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. Everything charity shopped except the boots - present from my daughter.


Brown jeans by Ralph Lauren; 1.00 rail Red Cross shop, top by New Look; 1.00 rail somewhere, jacket 2.00 in Willen Hospice Shop in Newport Pagnell. Scarf charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Wednesday I walked with my walking group for the first time since the end of November. We walked in and around Ampthill Park; 7.3 miles mainly up hill! Ampthill Park was one of King Henry VIII's hunting grounds and the site of Ampthill Castle; where Katherine of Aragon was kept during the divorce proceedings from the King. The castle, which no longer exists, is commemorated by a 'Katherine Cross'.

 The Katherine Cross (listed grade II) stands in a prominent ridge-top position 700m south of the house ( Ampthill House) , a tall stone cross of Gothic design erected by James Essex in 1773 for the second Earl of Upper Ossory, to mark the site of Ampthill Castle. The cross, sited on a plateau with views north towards the house and Bedford Plain, bears a shield of England impaling Aragon, and an inscription by Horace Walpole commemorating Katherine of Aragon's residence: 'The mournful refuge of an injured Queen' 

Source: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000378



Here's an interesting piece of relatively recent  information about the cross:
The cross hit the national headlines in March 1982 with the discovery here of the hidden golden hare jewel - the prize that Kit Williams had created for his highly successful treasure hunt book 'Masquerade' .The hare was auctioned at Sotheby’s in December 1988, selling for £31,900 to an anonymous buyer.
Ampthill House from the distance. Wonderful views of Bedfordshire. When the grandchildren were younger we used to come to Ampthill Park to go blackberrying. 

After I'd walked on Wednesday I went to browse around Ampthill's four charity shops. I bought some fingerless mittens in Age UK for 1.50 which are quite long; they should keep my forearms warm when I wear my red Fenn, Wright Manson jacket, as it has three quarter length sleeves. If not I may have to crochet some! I also bought two green necklaces.


I wore this on Thursday to do the food shopping. Very formal  I know but it's just what I wanted to wear. Everything charity shopped except the boots - as above.


 It was the pink top I fancied wearing; bought from a 1.00 rail somewhere it's too short to wear over trousers so it has to be worn with a skirt. I 'lost' this skirt in the depths of my wardrobes for a few weeks until it resurfaced so I thought I'd better wear it quick time! I paid 1.99 for it in the Red Cross; I think, and jacket was also from Red Cross - 1.99. Dark pink tights charity shopped (just seen) - they have tiny triangles on them.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I had errands to run in town after I'd done the shopping and had a browse around a few charity shops but bought nothing. My legs were actually quite tired after Wednesday's walk and I didn't want to antagonise my knee. On Friday it was very cold and I didn't fancy walking out in the fields. I had to collect something from town and I spied this on the way home.



Yet another new plaque and this time on a building that has always fascinated me since I moved to Bedford town in 1991. (I moved to Bedfordshire in 1981 and lived in a village 3 miles outside of Bedford for 10 years).


It's a very church like building but it's attached to a row of stuccoed Georgian houses which are used as offices (see below). You can just see the end of the house the building is attached to in the photo above and below. It was a children's home for over 103 years. Since I did my blue plaque walk early last year I've been notified of or found another 4 plaques  in and around the town which brings the total up to 20!



I have no idea why the font suddenly changed but could I get it to revert to my favoured one - could I heck! In fact I couldn't get the font to revert to the original one. This is a post of  (accidental) mixed fonts...

Friday was a very cold day with an icy wind. I abandoned my plan to go walking...




More monochrome pattern mixing...


Everything charity shopped except boots; retail. I've had the cross over top for about eight years but can't remember where I bought it from. Cardigan from Salvation Army 5.00. Skirt; 2.99 from 3:16 charity shop.


All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.



Saturday's outfit. I managed a five mile walk. 



Everything charity shopped. Boots from Northampton charity shop years ago; jeans, can't remember, jumper and tunic; 1.00 rail at 3:16 charity shop.


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I also picked up my crochet again after a break of a couple of weeks. I had originally planned to make another 'Sunburst Granny' square blanket but 36 squares in changed my mind. I decided to sew the 36 squares into groups of 4; crochet a border around the now 9 blocks of 4; sew the  9 blocks together and crochet another border around them. Here's one of the blocks of 4:





On Tuesday I went to the food bank. It's so full we all stayed in the big warehouse trying to find space for it all. The big warehouse is absolutely freezing so I kept my charity shopped (Donkey Sanctuary Shop, Ballyboffey, Co.Donegal) coatigan on whilst I was there.


Trousers, top and tunic all charity shopped. The tunic was a 1.00 rail bargain. It's been re donated as the pockets, which I was so pleased to find it had, are just weird. Whichever way round I have the tunic the pockets are not facing the right way - goodbye!


All jewellery charity shopped. I got the necklace for 99p in a Devon charity shop.


On Wednesday I walked with my group again. We walked in and around Turvey, a village about 6 miles from Bedford. We did  just over 7 miles. The temperature was 0.5 degrees at the start! It was actually a lovely day despite the cold and icy wind. The sun shone and the sky was very blue.


Everything charity shopped except boots and tights; online retail. Dress by Boden; kimono no label.


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.



Thursday was a very cold day but one or two degrees warmer than Wednesday. I wore this jacket all day - I should have buttoned it up for the photo. It's by Susan Bristol and was bought in the Red Cross shop for 5.00 in their closing down sale. 


I've been lighting our multi-fuel burner earlier as the weather has been so cold, but once it warms up it does give me a flushed face... Everything charity shopped. I can't remember where I bought any of it, but I don't think I've featured the skirt, by Great Plains, on the blog before. The jumper is cashmere and by F&F. Animal print shirt by Ashley Brooks.  Leggings: M&S retail and boots present from daughter.


I bought the necklace (above) on Wednesday for 99p in Barnardo's, Great Denham. I had a bit of a rummage after the walk on Wednesday; apart from the necklace I also bought 2 pairs of earrings and a brooch all 99p each. I went to the Castle Road charity shops after and bought a striped dress by Masai for 8.50 (probably at the top end of prices I'll pay in a charity shop - but still cheaper than Primark!) in The Children's Society as well as 2 silver bangles and a pair of floral patterned tights; both 2.00 each. That's this week's rummage completed; I haven't got any time left to go rummaging, too much on!

Thursday was a busy day. I did the food shopping (Lidl and Sainsbury's); went to Sharnbrook to pick up coal for the burner; and went to Tesco's for petrol as our nearby Sainsbury's garage is closed for refurbishment - Tesco's is the other side of town. I had also planned to recce my walk but we had rain off and on all day and I had enough of mud on the walk on Wednesday! I spent the rest of the day getting on with my crochet project. I've almost finished the 9 blocks of 4 and just have to join them and do a wide border. I've decided to use this blanket in my study as the current blanket in there is very small. I'll give the existing one to a charity shop; it's an ideal size for a baby blanket.

Some views from my planned walk for the 30th January.


Near the start of the walk...


On the home straight...


The last bit - that's Milton Ernest Church in the distance. The walk starts from here. I recce'd it again on Friday. What a strange day it was; temperatures up to 12 degrees from 2 and 3 degrees of previous days. There was also a bit of sun. It's a lovely walk even if I do say so myself; I heard and saw sky larks, heard a wood pecker; disturbed a few pheasants and saw a buzzard take off from the ground and at close range. What a wing span it has - amazing. The last time I walked this route I saw a dead sheep in a ditch. It was still there... The ground was very muddy in places and I decided to adapt the walk so we don't have to cross 2 muddy fields. This means I'll need to recce it again before the walk date.  The walk is 7 miles approx;  it starts from the village of Milton Ernest continues on to Thurleigh and back in a big loop to Milton Ernest.



Saturday's outfit - everything charity shopped except black top from M&S - Christmas present years ago from my ex-mum-in-law.


Leggings 1.00 rail; Great Denham; Cardigan by Next 4.00 from Autism, Bedford. Boots Oxfam.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I set out on Saturday to recce the walk again but it kept drizzling - the wetting sort; so as a compromise to avoid getting totally soaked, I walked the last bit of route avoiding one of the muddy fields. Much better and still coming in at just over 7 miles. I just have to hope we have dry weather on the 30th!



I went to see my son on Sunday. I wore my new to me Masai dress charity shopped in the week, with a charity shopped Zara waistcoat and M&S lace effect leggings; Christmas present from daughter. Boots; Matalan, retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.


That's what I've been up to for the past fortnight. I hope the fonts return to normal for my next post...I will have completed my current crochet project (fingers crossed) and I should have news about volunteering at Barnardo's in Great Denham in the next post as well. See you soon!

Monday, 14 January 2019

A new beginning...


Hello again!

As I  started to write this post I had been without my mobile phone camera for almost three weeks. The good news was my phone could be repaired but it would be another week or so before I got it back so there are more fuzzy photos. You have been warned!


 All jewellery charity shopped.


Skirt by Adini; charity shopped. Tunic bought in Donegal charity shop - probably not the best way to wear it with this skirt.  Oh well - my first 2019 outfit mistake.  I wore the tunic to travel back from Ireland in back in early September but I wore it with jeans; it was so hot when we got off the ferry it was a shock! The boots are retail and came courtesy of OH who got some vouchers for a high street store at Christmas. He gave them to me and I found two jumpers for him and a pair of grey suede boots above for me. I just had to pay an extra fiver and they were mine.

Everything charity shopped except boots and leggings.

I got back into my walking regime after an almost three week break. I hadn't intended to have a break but between shortened days due to early sunsets; miserable weather and sheer busyness before Christmas; it was only when it was all over I got my self in the frame of mind to go for a reasonable walk. I walked 6 miles on the Sunday before New Year and 5 miles along the river on New Year's Day. Everyone was out for a walk! It was so busy, thronged with families and dogs and children. The sun was out and stayed out for quite a while which must have been the trigger. I lead my walk on the 30th January so need to get on with a few practice runs. I really miss walking when I don't do it. It has become a part of my everyday life now.

Everything charity shopped except grey suede boots as above. Tunic charity shopped in Co. Donegal; cardigan charity shopped last year but can't remember where. Leggings online retail.
On New Year's Eve I was child minding. My youngest grandson stayed up to toast the New Year in with us, and we watched an impressive fire display standing on our street just watching the neighbours in all directions letting off their fireworks. 

All jewellery charity shopped.

I volunteered on Wednesday at the food bank as Tuesday was a bank holiday. We were climbing over crates and over each other there was so many donations. All very welcome and thank you to the people of Bedford for their generosity and kindness.

I had an idea that evening which I put into practice the following day. As you know, I have too many clothes (!)  and storing them has become an issue. It was brought home to me when I couldn't find  specific items in my wardrobe. I knew I hadn't given them away. I did find them eventually (weeks later!) but they had got pushed behind or under something else.  Time to remedy that!

I have a chest at the end of my bed which was originally used to store bed linen but I had commandeered it  a few years ago to house some of my summer clothes. I bagged up two black sacks of summer clothes and put them in the loft. I moved the bed linen out of the cupboard in my bedroom and replaced it in the chest. Then I reorganised my wardrobes. I took out all my cardigans; folded them and put them in the cupboard in my room. I now have all my jumpers and cardigans and trousers in one cupboard;  below the cupboard housed in 3 large drawers are; my nightwear; my leggings; my short sleeved tops and my long sleeved tops; all tee shirt style.

 In the wardrobe, I put all my tunics on one rail with all my skirts and waistcoats/vests and on the rail above I stored all my shirts and tops. I have another rail in another room which houses all my jackets, dresses and kimonos. Finally, I share another rail in a cupboard next to the bathroom with OH where we store our coats and my maxi dresses. How I would love to have all my clothes in one place in one room. I can dream can't I? I could actually do this with my study, but if I had to choose between the clothes and the books; the books win! I know I am lucky to have so many clothes and somewhere to store them so I'm not complaining.

 I felt so much better when I had done this; I could actually see what I had. I could move the hangers along the rail - they were too tightly packed previously to do this! I also re-donated quite a few items which helped free up space, too. It was a good way to start 2019, I thought and all I have to do now is:

1) Buy less stuff i.e. clothes
2) Practise 'one in - one out' wherever possible.

On the last day of OH's holiday, the Thursday after New Year's Day, we went to London to see his mum. It was lovely to see her. She's 96 in March! It was a bitterly cold day and we just had time for a mini rummage in Willesden High Rd and Willesden Green. All I bought was  a blue Beanie hat by Bench for 1.00! Wasn't I good?


 Seen on the corner of Willesden Green, this is the smallest barber's I have ever seen.  One chair only! Where you can see the mirror on the door behind the chair, that was the length of the shop!  It was just a very tiny triangular space with a barber's shop inserted! It's hard to convey how tiny it was in this photo but you would have had difficulty swinging half a cat; never mind a whole one!  Mind you, £7.00 seems a good price to me for a haircut; they start at 10.00 here in Bedford...





This is what I wore. I was sorry I didn't wear my grey leggings instead of these (charity shopped) grey tights which had tiny coloured random squares including yellow ones. My legs were cold.


Yellow dress Tu sale; boots; Matalan retail, top under dress by Country Casuals; charity shopped about six years ago. Kimono charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought in Donegal  and made by a local artist.

On Saturday, it was my grandson's 14th birthday. I made him a chocolate button chocolate cake with sparkler candles. He was very pleased.

Happy birthday, Isaiah!



I love this tunic but I always look like a sack of potatoes when I wear it. Charity shopped somewhere but I can't remember where. Lace effect leggings by M&S; Christmas present from daughter. Boots by Oxfam. Scarf gift from a friend. Top underneath tunic by M&S; 1.00 rail charity shop.


All jewellery charity shopped.


Amongst my stack of painted bangles are the two I bought in Northampton last week.

I managed to read 113 books in 2018. A large number of books are read in July and August when I'm at our mobile home in Ireland. Plenty of time to read. I often stay up all night to finish a book when I'm there because I can always have a lie-in in the morning...


Daughter took these
 photos. All jewellery charity shopped.

Checks, spots and stripes.

This was the best of a bad bunch of photos. Taken from the other end of the hall so you can see all the coats and coats over the banister...OH always take photos from the stairs so all the mess isn't seen!  Checks, spots and stripes. Everything charity shopped. I bought the knitted top in Ireland and the spotty blouse is a 1.00 rail find from Great Denham, Barnardo's. These check trousers are very warm. I can't remember now where I got them from but they're good winter staples. Striped scarf also charity shopped.

My phone was to be delivered on Tuesday so I didn't make it to the food bank that week. It was good to have the phone back and the quality of the photos will now get better! I had various errands to run in town on Tuesday afternoon so as well as a trip to Great Denham to hand in my volunteer application to Barnardo's and have a rummage; I also fitted in a short walk. When I last went to Barnardo's in Great Denham they were really desperate for volunteers. I picked up a form and decided I would like to volunteer in a charity shop again and why not in one of  my favourites? All I can hope is that it doesn't close down like the other two I volunteered at did!


Everything charity shopped except the boots - online retail. Dress; Phase Eight 2.99; Barnardo's Great Denham; jeans can't remember where; Kimono by Indigo; M&S, 3.00 Age Concern Northampton.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Both Barnardo's and Keech Hospice in Great Denham had sales on. Irresistible! I bought a blue/grey/yellow tunic and an asymmetrical roll neck top in Great Denham at 99p each. Keech had plenty on offer. I bought a skirt; a pair of trousers; (summer weight), a  long, short sleeved cream cardigan; a long sleeved grey floral top and white and grey knitted tunic. all at 1.00 each. So, 7 items bought for just under 7.00. I re donated 5 items; overall gain was 2 items in.

I had planned to walk with the group on Wednesday but I had set my phone to do updates overnight. I completely forgot this would mean the phone switches itself off and consequently the alarm didn't go off in time. I hate having to rush so I took my self off for a walk. It was a very cold day with a strong. icy wind but it was sunny! I recce'd my walk and finally got the route right. I  made it 7.3 miles by the end which is spot on. But oh my goodness, was I knackered by the time I got home. I'm out of practice and it felt like it. Never mind; I'm getting back into my walking routine now. On Thursday I recce'd my shorter walk (an amble) that I'm leading in February for the Ramblers. This one starts and finishes at the same place as the longer one but the middle part is different and at 4.5 miles almost 3 miles shorter.

On Friday I set off on my long overdue visit to Hilary in Devon. We had a lovely time.  Lots to catch up with! On Saturday went to visit her daughter and twin grand daughters in Exmouth. We hijacked their scooters...


We got rained on but soon dried out. We went out for a meal and did several lovely walks. Look at these beautiful 16th century almshouses in Tiverton.





I'm taller than the door!

I was sorry to say goodbye to my friend of 53 years but hope to be back in Devon in May half term week when I will probably take grandsons as well. Although the 14 year old may not want to come - he's got very grown up all of a sudden and doesn't want to hang out with me as much as he used to. That's okay; they all go through this phase. This is the fourth teenage child I've had in my life and the one thing you know about the teenage years is that they/you get through them and they come out the other side as lovely individuals. Only one more to see through...

Kimono bought in Co. Galway charity shop; dress by Primarni retail; tights charity shopped and boots Matalan retail.



All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing giraffe earrings as the colours went with my outfit and beads.