Monday 25 February 2019

Hospitals and how I tie my headscarf...

I forgot to mention in my last post that in one of those post photos I only had one earring on. Did any of you spot it? OH didn't notice either and he's the one who took the photos! I didn't realise until I was getting ready for bed. Unfortunately, I still haven't found the earring. I thought I might have dropped it  in the car but no; it wasn't there. I shall hang on to the other one just in case it turns up. I'm wearing the earrings in question in the photo (above). Bought from The Guild House when I volunteered there briefly.

It's true, Spring is on its way! Snowdrops seen in Milton Ernest when I recce'd my walk last Tuesday afternoon. I also saw aconites and crocuses; both emblematic of Spring flowers.

 Everything charity shopped. With the exception of the tunic/dress which is from New Look and I can't remember where I bought it from and how much it was; everything else is from the 1.00 or 99p rail. Both jeans and jacket are by Next and silver pumps by Zara; these were 2.99 from Barnardos and bought at the end of the summer last year. I've never worn them before; they were very comfortable. The jacket went to the charity shop as I bought another ...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday as it was half term.

Last Wednesday, I set out to walk with my walking group from Rowney Warren;  only to realise I was driving on the wrong road to the walk. By the time I turned around and got on the right road I arrived five minutes too late for the walk start. Nothing for it but to drive home; pick up my map and head out to recce a  bus walk I will be leading in June. The plan is to catch a bus from the bus station in Bedford to the village of Sharnbrook. From there walk to the village of Felmersham, then onto the village of Radwell, then Pavenham; where we will catch a bus back to Bedford. It was a beautiful day for walking, bright, dry and not too windy.

Felmersham bridge. I saw a dead otter was also a bit grey and gloomy...

St. Mary's Church; Felmersham. Built between 1220 -1240.
The day then brightened up...

Pavenham thatched cottage. Lots of  houses are made of this honey coloured stone in the village -  as there are in several villages in this area.

Pavenham old village school.

Front of the school.

What I had forgotten about my recce was that when I reached my destination, Pavenham, I would have to walk back! I walked 12 miles that day and was out for 5 hours; I enjoyed every minute of it.

On Thursday I led my 5 mile amble and it went very well. There were 21 of us in total and it was  a really lovely day with brilliant sunshine and a temperature of 12.5 degrees. People were peeling off layers of clothing as we went along!

Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped.

Top; Keech Hospice 1.00 rail. Navy jacket by Jigsaw; 1,00 rail somewhere. Navy leggings; M&S, can't remember. Boots; on line retail.

Of course it was Valentine's Day last Thursday. I came home to these:

Aren't they beautiful? I also got chocolates and a beautiful card from my love. I am a very lucky woman.

Middle grandson took these photos and was too lazy to get up off the sofa which is why I'm looming in this alarming fashion...

All jewellery charity shopped. 

I did the shopping on Friday for a change and then pottered around at home; doing the washing and trying to get my new printer set up. I've tried three times now with no luck but I will not be defeated by a printer! I shall keep on until I get the bloody thing working.  I want to print out a new crochet pattern for  my next project. I also ran some errands in town and popped into the 3:16 charity shop where I picked up some summer trousers for 3.00; a skirt from the 1.00 rail and unusually for them, as they haven't had any nice jewellery in for ages; two necklaces for 99p each.

Both Thursday and Friday were beautiful days; sunny and bright. It was 14 degrees here on Friday and the media were talking about a 'February mini heatwave'. Honestly, there's no surer way to bring about a change in the weather because on Saturday despite it being 13 degrees it was chilly, grey and dank...

Never mind, I dressed in bright colours to cheer myself up. Everything charity shopped except boots and tights; on line retail. Skirt  by French Connection 1.00 rail, 3:16 charity shop. Top by East; 1.00 rail somewhere and I haven't got a clue where the cardigan came from; possibly the Red Cross in which case it would have cost 1.99.

All jewellery charity shopped. I bought the necklace in Kettering last week for 1.50.

Last Saturday OH and I had to go back to where we bought the solid fuel burner from as we needed to reseal the door. On the way back from there we stopped in Ampthill for a quick rummage. I got lucky. In the RSPCA shop I bought a white lace top by Next from the 1.00 rail and a pair of earrings for a 1.00. In Barnardo's I bought a Country Casuals boucle knit jacket (!) for 2.50; a pair of  pink embroidered shoes by Next for 1.50 and a pair of earrings for 50 p. I've spent 12.50 in the charity shops this week. I have been very good at putting stuff  back into the charity shop bag and we took a full plastic sack to one of the charity shops in Ampthill.

These are very poor photos, apologies. These were taken at the end of a very long day last Monday, just before I went to bed. I was up at 4 am to take youngest grandson, his mum and dad to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. Grandson was having a middle ear implant operation and had to be on the ward for 7 am. He was born with Microtia Grade III, see here, which means he only has 50% hearing and a malformed ear. Put simply, he has no opening in the bone where his ear is so the sound can't be conducted through the bone into the inner ear. The implant will change that to 100% hearing or as near as dammit.  A wire is implanted into the ear which stimulates vibrations in the inner ear and has a magnet attached at the other end. There is a second stage to the operation in a few weeks time where they attach the processor (a little disc) to the skull over the ear and above the magnet. He was ready to be discharged by 4.30 pm, so after I'd done my stint at the charity shop I was off to Cambridge again to pick them all up again. He is recovering well and of course off school. He's been so brave. I'm very proud of him.

This is the boucle jacket by Country Casual bought in Barnardo's, Ampthill on Saturday for 2.50. Yellow velvet dress charity shopped in Ireland as was the necklace. Tights, scarf  and all jewellery charity shopped, grey boots retail.

This was Tuesday's outfit. I was at the food bank as usual.

Everything charity shopped except the kimono; Christmas present from my daughter and scarf; Primarni.

Trousers by Tu; white lace top by Next bought in the RSPCA for 1.00 on Saturday; boots from Oxfam 5.00.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I've been asked several times about how I tie my headscarf so in this post I am going to attempt to explain it you.

I had been experimenting with tying a headscarf for some years but it never looked right. Then when I started reading online blogs and eventually writing my own blog, I came across this:
 It's from a blog called 'Alternative Ageing'. which is well worth checking out.  This was the video that kick started my headscarf tying. I think the most crucial thing about this video is that Suzy teaches you to tie the scarf at the top of your head. I had been trying unsuccessfully previously with tying the knot at the back of the head. I then began to adapt my own way of tying my headscarf and here are some pointers:

1) In the video Suzy uses square headscarves. I have many of these, but find they have to be pretty large ones. Small ones are no use. Also, sometimes the material the square headscarves are made of can be very slippery. As I use oil on my hair on a daily basis; oil+ slippery scarf = NO!

2) So, after buying up dozens of headscarves in charity shops, I then experimented with the ordinary long scarves we usually wear round our necks; and found they work much better (for me). The best long scarves are the ones with a bit of stretch. Too long a scarf is not good as there is too much material to tuck in. I sometimes cut the scarf, if I don't mind not wearing it as a neck scarf, because you can tuck the cut end in. Now on to the actual tying:

Large cotton head scarf square.
Stretchy long scarf

First ever scarf tied. It's a square headscarf.

Stretchy long scarf
a) If you're using a head square, fold it as Suzy shows in the video. I like mine to be quite wide but she folds her quite thinly. Just experiment and see what you like.

b) If you're using a long scarf, fold it in half length ways as you would if you were going to wear it around your neck. Modern long scarves are  usually very wide, so to go on your head you need to make them narrower. Just to be clear, I mean for you to fold the scarf in half along its entire length.

c) Hold the scarf behind your neck, covering your ears and stretching the lengths up to the top of your head, holding one length in each hand; make sure each length is equal.
d)  Now tie it (I don't knot it as I make several ties and it looks like knots). Make sure your ears are covered. OR you may prefer to leave your ears exposed - it's up to you.
e) Tie another tie and another. I usually make three ties because I like the height the scarf gives if I do this. Having the scarf flat to my head doesn't suit me. It also makes the length of the scarf more manageable for the tucking ends in stage.
f) This is the final bit and the hardest!
You will have two lengths of scarf hanging down on either side. You need to tuck these ends in. I usually tuck mine either side of the knot at the top of the head tucking it in all the way round.  OR, you could tuck it in in front of the knot going under the ear  this time and tuck in around and in front of the ears. You could even take the ends, if they're long enough, bring them to the back of the neck and tuck them in there. Just experiment and see what works for you. Alternatively, you could tie a big bow on the top! I'm trying to find the ideal length of scarf to do this - watch this space!

I like to leave my fringe below the scarf but you may prefer to cover yours (if you have one); again it's all about experimenting once you've grasped the basics.

I  do hope this helps and if you have any questions just ask in the comments or email me at

On Thursday I walked with my friend from the food bank. We walked 7 miles.

Everything charity shopped except boots; retail.

Tunic by The White Stuff; can't remember where I bought it from. Jeans; 1.00 rail and cardigan by Gap; 1.00 rail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday I went on a 9 mile bus walk with my walking group. We caught a bus from Bedford to the small town of Shefford. We then walked from Shefford to Meppershall; from there to Shillington, then onto Hexton and finally walking to Barton le Clay where we caught a bus back to Bedford.

Shillington Church where we sat outside for a break in the warm sunshine - in February!

It was a lovely day but misty in the distance. View from the graveyard at Shillington.

Who says Bedfordshire is flat?

Blackthorn in blossom.

I had the laziest weekend in a long while this weekend. No grandchildren at all. OH had a wisdom tooth removed in hospital on Saturday morning; I took him there and brought him home again. He slept all day. There is still some pain and he's currently eating a soft diet until he can manage more solid food. Anyway, I went for a rummage in Bedford on Saturday. I came home after a few shops because it was one of those days where I kept buying things and I don't get my pension  until 8th of the month! I bought a lovely, finely pleated maxi skirt in a metallic greenish brown; in the Independent Charity shop for 3.50; I think it was from BHS originally as it has a 'Berketex'  label; I also bought a bangle and some earrings in the same shop for 50 p each. In the Sue Ryder shop I bought my bargain of the day. A metal, William Morris print, concertina file holder for 3.00.

Everything charity shopped except my (long) headscarf which was a present from my eldest grandson some years ago. Dress and kimono M&S. Boots 1.99: Red Cross. Tights, can't remember.

I bought this necklace in the 3:16 charity shop. The bangles are charity shopped; the plain red one was bought in Dublin for 1.00 euro.

Now, these earrings are another tale of lost earrings. I bought the original pair of earrings for 2.00 in the Keech Hospice shop. About  a month ago after picking up the grandchildren from school one Friday wearing these same earrings; I realised again at bedtime I had lost one. It wasn't in the car or anywhere in the house, but I kept the remaining one. This Saturday, I went into the same charity shop and was delighted to see they had another identical pair pinned to their earring display. Of course, I bought them and if I lose one I now have a spare! I do wear backs on my earrings in an effort to prevent losses but they often slide off.

The weather was really pleasant at the weekend; warm and sunny. People were out in shorts and t shirts - in February! Despite the weather I didn't even go out for a proper walk only a short one on Sunday but did the usual chores and cleaning at home; read my library book; sorted out my next crochet project and watched TV. I don't usually watch much TV, but at the moment I am watching and enjoying; 'Trapped' on BBC4; 'Baptiste' on BBC2; 'The Great British Sewing Bee' on BBC1; 'Shetland' on BBC2; 'A Very British History' and 'Soon Gone' both on BBC4.

My printer  (Christmas present from OH) is now up and working which is fabulous. I shall give my old printer to my eldest grandson when he next comes down. The printer is in my study, you can just spot it to the left of the chair. I don't think I've shown you my study before; I come here if I want to get away from the TV  to do my crocheting and reading and upstairs is warmer than downstairs so I tend to use this room so I don't have to put the heating on in the's a very small room.

Everything is charity shopped or was a gift. The lamp is from Ikea. The chair came from the Reuse shop. One cushion is from Oxfam and the other from Barnardo's. I made the blanket. The miniature suitcases came from all over and hold the very small leftover scraps of wool and various crochet bits and bobs. Yes, you can see I like Matryoshka dolls but the collection has got a little out of hand! The speakers were a present from me to OH who plugs his phone into them and plays music while we do the cleaning on a Sunday. It was mostly 60s this Sunday, but can be reggae, world music, jazz or even folk. I never know in advance what it is but it sure helps the chores get done!

My daughter bought me the small blue chest of drawers with birds on it and the painted white chest both on the left. Both are full of wool! The green kneeling pads are what I use to 'block' my crochet squares. I should keep them in the chest, but it's full to bursting...the bureau was bought from the Heart Foundation charity shop and up-cycled by my friend. The DAB radio was bought by me when it was on sale at Sainsbury's; I listen to the radio a lot and we have one in every room except the bathroom.  The green lamp was 50 p at a car boot sale. I have a collection of miniature chest of drawers on top of the bureau; I have several more on the book shelves but had to stop collecting as there is no room!

The weather has been fabulous. Today (25th) it was 18 degrees. Sometimes in the summer at the mobile home in Donegal it's not even as warm as this!

I wore this to the charity shop where I volunteer. The jacket is from the 1.00 rail at the 3:16 charity shop; you can just  make out the sequins and beading  it.

These trousers are by Abercrombie and Fitch and were 5.00 but I can't remember where I got them. Black tunic also charity shopped but cannot remember where I got it from either. Scarf from Save the Children; 1.00. Boots; Northampton charity shop 3.99.

All jewellery charity shopped.

It's my 65th birthday soon and we're going to go to London for the day and will hopefully meet up with my brother who lives in London. I'd quite like to go to the Sir John Soane's house/museum, but will have a look on the web to see if there are any exhibitions I'd like to visit; and I'd love to go back to the V&A. I'd also like to have a bit of a rummage  and we'll go for a meal somewhere before setting off for home. By the time of my next post this will all have happened so I can tell you all about it.


  1. First of all, sending get well wishes to both your chap and your grandson! Here's to good hearing and happy teeth!
    What a shame about the earring. I may turn up, stranger things have happened.
    I'm so impressed with all the miles you walk, I'm not surprised that you barely notice the time passing by, you don't half visit some picturesque places (minus the dead otter!)
    Some gorgeous outfits, loving the French Connection tile print skirt and those Rupert trousers especially. I'll check out that blog - I look terrible in headscarves, I think it's the lack of a fringe.
    I love your cosy room, the up-cycled bureau is lovely, what a talented friend. I've got the twin of your DAB radio, a cast-off from a pal, I can't live without 6 Music.
    What a find that William Morris file was, I'm green with envy.
    There's an incredible vintage fashion exhibition on at the V&A at the moment, a couple of friends have been sharing some photos.
    Have the most fabulous birthday! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      The exhibition at the V&A is a Christian Dior one and its sold out!

  2. Same here - brave fellows, dealing with their ear and teeth.

    Love your outfits, such great colours. I enjoy your scenery and buildings - it's so ENGLAND. :) I love the V&A when I was in London! Go!

    1. Thank you, Sheila!

      I think you would need several days to explore the V&A...

  3. Thanks for the tips on tying scarves. I will now go and find all my scarves and practice, practice, practice!! You do some lovely walks too, and I love seeing the countryside too. I am hoping the head scarves will be useful on a cruise my husband and I are going on soon.

    1. Good luck with the scarf tying and they could be very useful on a cruise - they can hide a multitude of hair issues!

      I'm so glad you like photos of the countryside; it is beautiful but I wouldn't want to live in it.

  4. First of all, sending well wishes to OH and your brave grandson! I might be giving your head scarf tying tutorial a go, although I'm not convinced they look as good on me as they do on you. They are kind of your trademark, aren't they? What a lot of walking you've done, and I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying this early Spring weather as well. From your outfits, my favourites are the ones with the French Connection skirt (love the symphony of greens and blues!) and the last one with the Abercrombie & Fitch trousers. This one reminds me of my punk days ;-) What a cozy little study you have. Serious envy on that as well as the William Morris file holder. I love his designs! Wishing you a happy birthday and a fabulous day in London! xxx

    1. I'm afraid punk passed me by, Ann. I was a young mother and we were very hard up!

      Thank you for you lovely comments; as always.

  5. Veronica, Your generous sharing always inspires me to grow in multiple areas. Pattern mixing, walking and volunteering only scratches the surface. As a North American, seeing England's country side charms the socks off me. Cheers, Judy

    1. Hopefully, Judy, I'll continue to charm your socks off with lots more pictures!

  6. Lovely post and lovely outfits!. Thanks for sharing your tips on tying a headscarf, really useful advice!.
    I love particularly the blue and green color combo, because of the mixed prints and big beads, you look really gorgeous!. Also lovely yellow dress and boucle jacket with the colorful necklace (your collection is fab!). Love the navy and red outfit (with the recovered earrings!), love the monochromatic ensemble (you rock in it!) and love the last outfit particularly. You look adorable in those plaid trousers with some plaid too in your headscarf and necklace, and love the jacket over the tunic, such a fabulous layering! Gorgeous!
    Glad that your grandson is recovering and wish he feels better and happy soon!, he's a brave boy!. Best wishes for O. too!
    And it's lovely to have a look at your study, the bureau is my favourite piece, such a magnificent job of art!. I also love a chest of drawers and had to quit collecting them ;DDD

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      I think the thing I liked about the mini chest of drawers was just that - they were miniature and I love all things miniature. I still lust after them in charity shops, though...

  7. Hi I have been a lurker for a while, even though I am in my mid 40’s, I totally love your style and how you make everything work.
    I love how you get things for a steal ( who doesn’t love a bargain!). I hope am still as stylish when I get into my 50+, and I hope that I keep my blue hair as well.
    From one nurse to another sending you love and best wishes.
    And keep the blogs coming as I love reading them. It is like a little window into your world. Allie xxx

    1. Thank you, Allie, for your very kind comments! It's great that you've commented and I hope you continue to do so. See my next post for why I say this...

  8. Sending my best to your grandson. That's a lot to go through in a young life and he's a brave child. Hope your other half is healing from the tooth extraction-that's a misery I'm unfortunately all too familiar with.

    Can't wait to try out your scarf tying technique. With my fluffed-up curls it might be a good look.

    Have the happiest birthday!

    1. Thank you, Goody! Both are fully recovered. Grandson returns to school tomorrow.

      I would love to see photos of you in your headscarf; I bet you'll look fab!

  9. I hope your grandson and OH are continuing to recover well.

    You do a lot of walking! I'm trying to get back into the habit of fitting in a walk before work when possible, but it's only ever 2-3 miles. You see some lovely places on your walks; Bedfordshire has such pretty areas.

    Also: good collection of books there. It's always good to see a lot of well-loved books.

    1. Thank you, Mim. Both are fully recovered.

      Apparently o n a YouGov poll, Bedfordshire came second to last in a list of places the great British public visit the least. Northamptonshire was the last. Don't understand it all; both have beautiful places to see and lots of wonderful countryside!

  10. I do hope your OH and grandson are doing well and how fabulous is your study?? I love it.

  11. I hope your grandson's second operation went smoothly and I hope your hubby is feeling better after getting the wisdom teeth removed. That is never fun.

    I'm always so impressed with the amount of walks you get in. With the wonderful weather and signs of spring it is the perfect time to be out enjoying it. We are still in full winter here and experiencing an extreme cold warning for the next week. Ugh. Both my husband and myself can't wait to get back outside when the weather warms up.

    Your study is so cozy!

    I really liked that blue and green outfit too.

    Have a great week!


  12. Hi I just found your blog via Vix's blog, it is fab to read about your adventures. Like you I just turned 65 and am loving dressing up and life in general. Thanks for your blog I will be following you from now on.
    Shelagh xx

    1. Hello Shelagh and thank you for commenting!

      I'm so glad you like dressing up and life in general - aren't we lucky to be so easily pleased?

  13. Loved hearing about your storage solutions, and really could emphasise with your printer woes, we got a new one recently too.I
    That blue floral too is so pretty and so clever how you coordinated the colours in the kimono outfit. Thanks clearinghouse detail on the headscarf tie process, most inspirational, I'll give it another go soon.
    Hugs, enjoy the week, x.

    1. Ah yes, technology... least said and all that!

      I'd love to see your headscarf tying...

  14. Hello. I have been following your blog for quite some time now and enjoy seeing the wonderful bargains you always seem to find in your charity shop visits. We have a very limited selection over here and, although I am always on the lookout for a bargain, I am not always lucky.
    Although I have been reading your posts for some time, I had never thought to leave a comment before. It was only when I recently decided to start my own little blog that I realised that writing posts without receiving any kind of feedback can be a little disheartening.
    Anyway, I hope you continue to blog as your posts always cheer me up!

  15. Thank you for reading and commenting. As you say it makes such a difference when people comment and of course it doesn't have to be every post.

    I shall pop over to your blog and have a read now...

    Hope your week is going well!

    1. Thank you for taking a look!
      So far this week has been pretty wild and windy so hoping for better weather to get out for a decent walk soon.


Very proud mummy.

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