Walking and not walking

I expect a lot of you will be aware that Google will be removing Google+ from Blogger. What effect this will have on Blogger or Blogger comments I'm afraid I don't know, other than if you comment using Google+ it will no longer work and such comments will disappear from the blog!  I hope it won't put you off from commenting! If it does cause problems it may necessitate me moving to another  blogging platform...we'll just have to wait and see.

Hello again!

We've had some very cold weather recently but it didn't stop me recce'ing my walk again on Tuesday afternoon, as well as going to the food bank in the morning. This was Tuesday's outfit after the walk and I wore it to the food bank too but with leggings underneath for extra warmth.

I can't remember where I bought any of these charity shopped items except the white top which was a 1.00 rail buy. The African print skirt and the Country Casuals tweedy jacket were both bought last year. I'm wearing my tan suede OTK boots - online retail. It's damn cold in that warehouse!

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

It was - 0.5 degrees at the start of the walk on Wednesday with frost covered grass, icy puddles and icy stretches along the farm tracks, but the walk was very successful. There were 32 of us in all. We were so lucky with the weather despite the cold; the sun shone and we had a clear blue sky. I'm going to repeat this walk for the group again in May but I'll reverse the route and because it will be the height of Spring the landscape will look different.

I forgot to show you these. These are giant hay bales we pass on the walk by Twinwoods,  but I don't think they're for animal fodder  - too big. I do think, though, they maybe mixed in with the left over food that goes into the anaerobic digesters . We send our out of date food from the food bank here.

Anaerobic digester' at Twinwoods. Industrial buildings in a rural landscape; what a contrast!

To backtrack to the very beginning of the week; I went to Barnardo's on Monday morning for what I thought was a 'chat' with the manager. It turned out to be a two hour induction session and I was to start properly the following week. It's a charity shop in the middle of a large housing estate and it's the lucky recipient of many, many donations. They haven't had the volunteers to sort the donations so they are piled up just waiting to be sorted.  I'm looking forward to it! Naturally, I had a rummage whilst I was there and bought a brown, wool Per Una (M&S) maxi skirt for 49 p. The last of the big spenders that's me!

This is what I changed into after Wednesday's walk.

Everything charity shopped. Boots from Red Cross 1.99. Jeans by Per Una (M&S); bought in the Mercy in Action for 2.00. Green tunic 1.00 rail; Keech Hospice shop, Great Denham. Green top underneath tunic; Primark retail some years ago.

Scarf  present from a friend; all jewellery charity shopped. The green necklace is one I picked up in Age UK, Ampthill a few weeks back for 1.50. Those square beads remind me of  Basset's Liquorice Allsorts...

I have a couple of tips for you if you like to wear headscarves as I do often because short hair can be very boring! The first tip came from my OH. If you have a stretchy type t shirt or any t shirt really, that you no longer want to wear; cut the bottom off it. It can be a narrow or wide offcut; whatever you prefer. You are then left with a circular, stretchy band that you can use on your hair. It may be necessary to make a narrow hem where you cut the material, but it depends on the material and how neatly you cut it. I just turn that bit under. Another way to recycle old t shirts!

The second tip is that 'infinity' (circular) scarves are often picked up cheaply in charity shops, as indeed, are a lot of long and square scarves. I have turned a couple of my infinity scarves into headscarves by,
in one case, winding it around my head and tucking the ends in. The other I cut it where it joins into a circle and made it into a long scarf. I was able to do it because it was made of a nice stretchy material that didn't fray, and in fact as it was very long once I cut it, I also cut off a bit at each end as well!  I'm wearing it here:

The blanket progresses. Just laid out ready to sew the nine blocks of four together.

On Thursday I did the food shopping as usual and had planned to finish my blanket in the afternoon. Unfortunately, on the way back from food shopping I realised I had a flat tyre and had to drive to Tesco to pump it up. Then when I got home it was flat again. This meant a trip to my local Kwik-Fit as my local tyre fitting shop had moved to the other side of town. They rang me at 4 pm to say they only had a Pirelli tyre for 105.00 and did I want it? NO I don't, thank you very much so car stayed overnight awaiting the delivery of a cheaper tyre the next day! The car's got its MOT next month; I'm dreading it...

It snowed overnight on Thursday and we woke up to a couple of inches of snow. This scuppered my plans for a walk. I went to the hairdresser's in the afternoon and stopped at the 'new' charity shop The Day Hospice. I struck lucky and bought a pair of check trousers for 4.25; a book for 1.00; some earrings for 50 p and a ceramic picture of Amalfi for 75 p.

This was Friday's outfit. M&S Velvet leggings bought with Christmas money from my brothers; boots retail online. Tunic; Keech Hospice sale rail 1.50.  For warmth I added this short sleeved cardigan (above) bought for 1.00 from Barnardo's. Tulips and hyacinths bought from Lidl. The hyacinths smell divine. I used to dislike the smell but as I've got older I now like it!

Some  jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought from Salvation Army for 99 p. The earrings were a 50th birthday present to myself!

Saturday's outfit.
Don't know why the photo is gauzy..
OH and I went for a rummage on Saturday to Emmaeus. These are the plaid trousers I bought on Friday at the Daycare Hospice shop. Navy boots - on line retail. The top is by Forever 21 and was bought in a sale some years ago; its since closed down.  The jacket is charity shopped from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. It's one of the first things I bought there when they opened up about 18 months ago. It's a Jaeger jacket and I think from the 1990s. Maybe you vintage aficionados might be able to confirm or correct? I bought some perfume, a pair of tights and gold necklace at Emmaeus.

Middle grandson went to work with his Grandpa on Friday. It was  national 'Take your child to work day'. Mum doesn't work and his Dad doesn't live locally. As we live in the same town it was easier to do it this way. Even if I was still working I wouldn't have been able to take him with me as I did lots of one to one work with students and it wouldn't have been allowed for reasons of confidentiality. Both OH and grandson had a great day together and there maybe further opportunities for grandson in the summer holidays.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Sunday it was such a bright cold day I set out early and recce'd the walk in reverse even though its not until May! It was -0.5 degrees at the start and 4.5 degrees by the end. I came back and did housework. How I hate it, but it has to be done. I also completed my blanket on Sunday adding a teal and mustard border.

I'm very pleased with it. I've called it the 36 Sunburst Square Blanket.

The weather changed on Monday and we had rain and warmer temperatures; 10.5 degrees! I went to Barnardo's for my first day of volunteering. I spent most of the time sorting out the jewellery which I love doing. The manager found me a pretty fabric noticeboard to which I pinned brooches and earrings  and it looked pretty stylish at the end. There is still another huge bag of jewellery to sort through, but I'll get stuck into that next week. It takes a few months before I get the pin numbers and codes to work the till but I think I'm going to really enjoy volunteering here.

Monday's outfit. Tweed jacket; Country Casuals charity shopped but can't remember where. Great Plains dress from Barnardo's 1.99 - they were doing a special on dresses that week. OTK boots on line retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

 Back to the food bank on Tuesday and then I spent the afternoon cooking. Yes, you heard correctly. Cooking. Me. Moi. I don't know why but I fancied cooking. I cannot remember the last time I felt like this. Cooking is usually boring and onerous to me. I have been cooking everyday (more or less) since 1975, so is it any surprise I don't like it?  I love to eat but hate to cook. Anyway, I took advantage of the urge and made butternut squash soup; pork stew and a coconut pound cake. All were very tasty. I wonder if it will ever happen again?

Everything is charity shopped. I've had the jacket by Next for about 9 years  and of course I can't remember where I bought it. Nor can I remember where I got the top from, but the skirt was 49 p from Barnardo's.  You can't see my boots too clearly but they were from The Salvation Army in Rushden; bought back in the summer for 5.00. The boots are by Next; brown suede Chelsea boots - my favourite.

All jewellery charity shopped. Pink earrings 99p Barnardo's, Great Denham two weeks ago.

I had planned to walk with the group on Wednesday but woke up too late. I didn't really mind as we had a lot of rain overnight and the ground would have been very muddy and slippy. I had errands to run in town and then I came back and chilled for the afternoon. I did make a bread and butter pudding to use up the left over Panettone. I hate wasting food so I don't think I'll buy Panettone again next year at Christmas; the only who's been eating it is me! The same applies to Stollen cake I bought. I also bought a small iced Christmas cake reduced to 89p in Aldi after Christmas and again no one ate it except me...

The hyacinths and tulips are still going strong...

The weather forecast looked good on Thursday so I set out to walk by the river. I'd led this walk before for the group, but I took a wrong path and ended up walking 10 miles instead of 9! It was a lovely walk even though I was a bit stiff later in the day. I changed into this outfit to do the food shopping.

Everything charity shopped. Apart from the boots; Salvation Army, 5.00 and the jacket; Willen Hospice shop; 2.00 I can't remember where the top, and the skirt from Next, came from but both were charity shopped. Tights from TU charity shopped also.

All jewellery charity shopped. I meant to pin my copper brooch to the jacket but completely forgot.

Friday was a miserable day; wet, very windy and grey. It rained for the whole day so I didn't bother going on the bus walk to Toddington. I had various errands to run as well as the school run.

Everything charity shopped except the plain black top from Primarni retail years ago and the boots from Matalan retail. The cardigan was bought recently in Autism, Bedford as was the scarf. The skirt by TU is several years old now and I can't remember where I got it.

You can see I've been heaping coal on the fire again - flushed face.
All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday we went to Kettering for a rummage and a catch up with my brothers. I bought 4 necklaces;  a bangle; a brooch and 3 pairs of earrings; a skirt for 2.50 in Salvation Army; a Country Casuals long cardigan reduced to 1.74 in the Heart Foundation; and a hat in Sense for 1.00. The jewellery came from all over. There are  10 charity shops in and around Kettering town centre. There were 11 but seemingly Oxfam closed just before Christmas.

Saturday's outfit. I wore a beret for a change.

Desigual tunic; charity shopped in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath for 5.00 euros. Top, leggings and boots all retail.

Beret charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped - and I bought a lot more...

Sunday was another horrible wet day but it did clear up in the later afternoon. Too late for me to go walking as I was cooking dinner and Sunday is the day for the dreaded housework...

On Monday I was at Barnardo's for my 4 hour volunteering stint. I stayed on for an extra hour and a half as it was half term so no school run. No jewellery sorting today but bags and shoes. Sorting, pricing and displaying. Then I did some more sorting and pricing including a bag full of tops, dresses and a skirt all by Ghost and in my size! Was I tempted? No. The only garment I really liked was a blue tunic but I already have several blue tunics and I don't need another one.

This was Monday's outfit. The skirt was picked up in the Salvation Army in Kettering for 2.50 on Saturday. The top is by Great Plains but can't remember where I bought it. Tights charity shopped from The Cat's Protection League; boots, Sainsbury's retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Necklace bought from Wood Green Animal Shelter shop in Kettering on Saturday for 99p.


  1. That African wax print skirt is beautiful-if there's such a thing as a perfect print, I think that might be it! I wish headscarves would work for me but I have such an oddly shaped head I end up looking terrifying instead of stylish.

    So glad to hear the volunteering is going well. Pinning brooches to boards sounds like fun, but hard to resist buying them all.

    Our neighbours have hyacinths in the yard. If it is a warm spring day you can smell them in the sunshine and it is pleasant but I can't stand them indoors or as a note in perfume. Maybe I will grow to like them as you have.

    1. It's strange as how we age we like or dislike things. I find cinnamon in conjunction with chocolate (cocoa), for example, as in a cake unpleasant. But I used to love it!

  2. I really love your style. You definitely have an eye for colour and patterns and I am trying to learn what goes together. I have always preferred a fairly plain style but now I think I am becoming a little more adventurous. Thanks for your blog. Also, can you give details of how you tie your head scarfes, or have you shown it previously.

    1. Hello Rosie,

      It's lovely to hear from you. I am very glad you are becoming more adventurous! I'm more adventurous now in what I wear than ever in my life before and I'm 65 in March! It's a combination, I think, of retirement - no dress code restrictions and increased confidence.

      With the headscarves I was inspired by this blog (link below) and have since experimented and worked out my own way.


  3. What a fabulous bunch of outfits, colors and lovely advice on headscarves (thanks for sharing!). I do love your african print skirt with the tweed jacket, love you in greens, blues and plaids (doubled plaid is fab!), love your Thursday outfit with the striped top and stunning beads and obviously I love the Desigual dress with the red beret!
    Love your style, love your accessorizing, and love to read about your walks and activities, and your volunteering (so important!).

    1. Thank you, Monica! It's people like you who make blogging worthwhile...

  4. Your turban tutorial really helped me wrap it up! As usual, the outfits are ALL smashing, but the very last one, red/black and silver accessory suits you perfectly. The thrift shop must be thrilled having you onboard.
    Your dinner with coconut pound cake makes me hungry. Speaking of English Christmas Cake, every fall I personally make one of those 5 pounders for Handsome - marzipan and all ya'll. Your walking is bound to inspire me off the sofa sooner or later. Thanks for fabulous sharing. Judy @fancified.ca

    1. A 5 pound cake! Wow! Does he eat it all by himself or do you help him? I've never attempted a Christmas cake - yet!

      Thank you for your lovely comments, Judy.

  5. Indeed I've read about the Google+ thing, and I'm so glad I was never tempted to upgrade to Google+. I do hope everything works out for you, Veronica. I hate it when they change things, technology wise. I love your first outfit, especially the skirt. I've always thought you look amazing with a headscarf, and I especially like the stripy turban one you made from the infinity scarf. Other favourites are the plaid trousers with the Jaeger jacket and the Desigual tunic with the red leggings and beret. Good to hear you've started your new volunteer work at Barnardo's. Sorting out brooches sounds great fun indeed! xxx

    1. I think the only difference will be as Vix says below so shouldn't be too disruptive...

      I was a bit miffed to find out this week that the bag of jewellery I hadn't sorted got given away to another charity! Who knew what treasure was in it? Oh well, you win some and lose some!

  6. Hi I comment with Google, so don't know if my comments will show. Your hair looks lovely. Once again I did the charity shops in Kettering and couldn't find a thing ( can't be looking well enough,) realised Oxfam had closed, along with quite a few other shops.

    1. Polly,

      Your comment has shown up and it's only Google+ that will be affected, it shouldn't be a problem for you to comment. I do appreciate all comments and am always delighted to receive them.

      We'll have to meet up in Kettering one day and see what we can find for you...

  7. I think our comments and such will still work (those are not Google+), but the ability to backtrack from a commenter's name to their Google+ account will disappear. I am not anticipating a huge effect on me, hoping, anyway!

    I love all your pretty, colourful outfits - the standout for me is that beautiful grey/black dress with the leaves. Wowza, does that ever look great on you, Vronni.

    That volunteering sounds like fun. I worked in retail for 14 years, so I've often thought that would be a fun thing to do when I retire.

    1. Thank you, Sheila - you're right, it's only the Google+ thingy. However, I noticed I didn't get the option to share this most recent post, so that bit must be Google+ too. I don't know how many people are led to my blog from this 'sharing' option...we shall see.

      I think with 14 years retail experience any charity shop will snap you up!

  8. Oh I do love that African waxed cotton skirt on you, it makes you look so tall and elegant.
    Glad to hear the volunteering is going well and you're resisting temptation by not snapping up all the donations!
    The only thing I've noticed about Google+ is that I can't press a button to share a blog post, I agree with Sheila and don't think it'll interfere with any comments, I've had no trouble commenting during today's mega catch-up! x

    1. Ha ha, I'm neither tall and only occasionally elegant, Vix, but thank you!

      I experienced the same thing as you - the 'non' sharing option. I wonder what difference it will make? I expect it could reduce the number of potential readers/followers but we shall see...

  9. I love the crochet blanket it's so pretty. I'm glad to hear the volunteering is going well I'd be to tempted by everything if it was me!

  10. Hi Vronni, long time no see. You've been as busy as ever and so lucky too with your bargains. I'm always amazed at how cheap some of your finds are - lots at a pound and under is unheard of in Cornwall - you lucky thing! Well done too with the walking and organising that takes. And congratulations on your blanket being finished. I love so many of your outfits. We are quite similar in that we like short jackets as they suit our height and shape. I love the plaid ensemble, but also that CC jacket that seems to have a bit of sparkle to it. The maxi skirt at the start was also fun as was the striped tunic with the red leggings. You're always so busy - well done and have a lovely week!

    1. Yes,thank you Anna! For some reason you blog disappeared from my page (the vagaries of Blogger, I expect, it's always doing weird things, I find, like deleting comments from old posts etc) and I haven't been keeping up I'm sorry to say. Never mind, I've hopped over to your latest blog and will do some catching up...

      Yes, we both like colour and short jackets; I have to stop myself buying more! The 1.00 rails make a lot of sense as they help charity shops get rid of excess/old stock and they make more money from doing that rather than sending it off to be ragged, where they only get a few pounds per 10kg bag. Some charities, though, send their excess/old stock to other branches and that's why they don't have 1.00 rails.

      Have a lovely weekend,

  11. I comment via Google but it hasn't got a plus after it so I've no idea if that means I'm using Google Plus or just Google... guess I'll have to wait and see.

    That's a good idea for using up Pannetone. I have one left over from Christmas - it was a gift - and really didn't know what to do with it.

    I like your silver jacket with copper-brown outfit - they're colours I don't see mixed very often, and it works really well!

    1. The Pannetone made a lovely bread and butter pud - as does brioche....

      The 'silver' jacket is an animal print felt type jacket which has proved to be very useful as it goes with lots of things...

  12. If anyone has problems commenting with google they should use the Anonymous option. Stunning outfits as usual and what beautiful tulips! Lise

    1. I've gathered that the comments won't be affected Lise, but when you post a post, so to speak, you no longer get the option to share that post with the Google+ community - whoever they are...

      Thank you!

  13. Thanks for the tip about posting anonymously. I've had problems commenting so giving anonymous a go. Great outfits as usual but the Desigual tunic is a stand out winner. You look amazing. I've never seen you in such bright colours before. Stella

  14. Love that African print skirt & your crochet blanket is stunning. You find the most amazing pieces in the chazzas! I am sad to see google+ go as I really liked its platform and format - I doubt it will interfere with commenting.

    1. Thank you, Bibi!

      I only really used Google+ to advertise my latest blog post. I can only assume Google weren't getting enough people to use Google+ so are dropping it.

  15. Hi Vronni, you have some simply amazing outfits - I love your short jackets, the plaid one in particular. As I've said before prices for tops in Brighton and Lewes start at £3 but are often £5, and same for skirts, and then dresses and coats £7-£15! There are no £1 rails at all! Back to your dress sense and your eye for colour is wonderful - I do love your 'look'. RE: cooking - more and more I'm getting to the stage where I get very stressed cooking for other people. It's no problem cooking for just us, but when people come round I get really tense and don't enjoy or taste the food. And I never ever bake anything! I think I might investigate buying in food for when people come round! Re: Blogger - I have to comment on Firefox as comments disappear on Safari - don't know why! Have a lovely week xxx

    1. I think you should buy food in when people come round if you get so stressed, Penny. I know I would. OH cooks if we have guests such as next door neighbours but we rarely have guests to dinner otherwise it's just family and they can take it or leave it!

      I think we're in a great week weatherwise...

  16. Firstly, loved seeing you in a dress, it shows your neat pretty shape beautifully.
    Secondly loved seeing you in a beret, you suit it, so parisienne!
    Thirdly, thanks for talking about you head scarves - do you think some time you could show a step by step of how you the them cos I'm still struggling! of
    Then fourthly, I loved everything else up in this post!
    Hugs and have a sunny week, x.

    1. Oh you are so kind, Mary, thank you.

      I am planning to put a little thing together about the headscarf as several people have asked me; maybe a little video...

      Have a lovely week.

  17. Popping over from Penny's blog with her nomination!!
    I am in awe of the great deals that you find. I've been thrifting more and more lately, and it's such a great treasure hunt.
    And that blanket you finished is fabulous. I am a knitter. I've tried crocheting a couple of times, but knitting is an easier habit for me. I will still crochet if I find the right pattern. In fact, I just saw some sweaters out of that pattern of your blanket, and was thinking I need to try that.

    1. Hello Jodie,

      Thank you for your comments.

      I never got the trick of knitting but whatever you do it's good to be able to create something.

      I do pop over to your blog sometimes I love to see the three different ages represented. I must leave a comment next time...

  18. Hello Vronni
    I have found your blog through Penny (frugalfashionshopper) and I'm glad I did. No adverts - great! You really like colour, as I do but you are much braver about putting patterns together. I might put a ot/stripe and a floral together but not two bold patterns. You look
    as if you might be petite like me, not tall and elegant like Penny!
    I have a lot of dresses as I think they suit my shape better than
    trousers as I have short legs. Boots in the winter solve the foot problem and sandals in the summer but it's the times in between. If only I could still wear heels other than for 'car-to-bar' or on
    cruises. You are lucky to have such fab silver hair - mine's white and soft but I'm investigating products to give my hair more body as I want to have it shorter this year. You look great in your headscarves -might give that a try.
    I don't cook very much either, other than everyday meals. I do occasionally cook for others but will make things in advance and buy parts of the meals as well. I used to a lot of dressmaking but problems with neck and back have put paid to a lot of that. My main interests now are singing,reading & walking. I'm trying to get back to swimming which I used to do regularly. How wonderful it must be to have your own pool!

    1. Hello, Lynda, and thank you for popping by!

      Yes, I'm petite and I have a stocky build as do all my three brothers; in fact I think I'm a classical apple shape but I don't have a flat bum!

      Do have a go at the headscarves; once you get the hang of it it's really easy and they can change up an outfit instantly..

      I do hope you'll continue to visit my blog and comment - the more the merrier I think.

      Have a great weekend!


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