Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Nominations and other things

I have a new icon on my blog called the 'Sunshine blogger award' for which I was nominated by Penny of  'Frugal Fashion Shopper' see here. I must first say a very big thank you to Penny and how pleased and surprised I was at her nomination. If you go to Penny's blog, which is always a very good read, she explains the origins of the award and what is for:

'the Sunshine Blogger Award is given from bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire creativity and positivity by bringing sunshine to the blogging community and to their readership alike. It is a way of encouraging one another as in saying ‘Hey, you are doing a great job and we can see it. Keep it up!!

  Penny is in her 70s, buys a lot of her clothes from charity shops, has an amazing hat collection and writes interestingly and informatively about ageing and other issues.  She has just started a a series of You Tube videos here of make up tutorials for older women.

I am so honoured to be nominated. Thank you, Penny!
 All I have to in return is to place the icon on my blog which I'm happy to do; mention and link back to the person who nominated me; answer that person's questions and nominate four more bloggers!

This is the skirt I bought on my Saturday Bedford charity shop rummage. 3.50 in the Independent charity shop. Top and jacket; which is by Roman were 1.00 rail finds. The jacket was bought in Wellingborough.

The skirt has covered my boots which were charity shopped in the Salvation Army  in Rushden; brown suede Chelsea boots by Next for 5.00. For warmth, I wore thick brown woollen tights underneath the skirt but I ended up being too warm! The weather has been unbelievable for this time of the year. We are living proof of climate change.

All jewellery  and scarf charity shopped. This scarf is a long but not so stretchy one; my ears were hurting where I had tied it too tightly...oh dear look at my double chin!

Going back to the nomination; here are the questions Penny asked and my replies:

  1. Why did you begin blogging?.  I began blogging in November 2015. Through Pinterest I had discovered blogs for older women -  what a revelation! I then realised that a lot of blogs, though both inspiring and full of very good advice, featured a lot of clothes and accessories that were beyond my budget. I’ve shopped in charity shops since the mid 1980s and knew you could find lovely things; especially clothes at prices most ordinary people could afford. I often got complimented on my outfits and my style and I thought I could share what I found in charity shops with other older women and encourage them to shop secondhand and look great, too. The other thing about writing a blog for me is it acts as a sort of diary/journal with photographs as a record of my life at a certain time. I’d never managed to keep writing a diary or journal before.
  2. Has your blog changed since you started it? I don’t think my blog has changed a huge amount since I first started it.  Like you, I wasn’t and am still not interested in selling anything and I won’t change that.  I never wanted to give anyone ‘style advice’ and I still don’t. I think I take more photos. I have added a ‘Books Read’ page as I am avid reader and reading is a very important part of my life. I also blog less frequently and have longer posts. 
  3. Blogging is time-consuming – what are the challenges you face in finding the time?Blogging is incredibly time consuming. As it’s a two way communication process it requires a lot of reading of other people’s blogs and commenting. I have had to limit the amount of blogs I follow and comment on because it was taking up so much time. It also takes a lot of time to produce the blog. The photography, the writing, the thinking about what to write; the comments etc. In order to manage the time required for blogging I write longer posts and blog fortnightly rather than weekly. I spend two days (a few hours each day) in the week where I read and comment on other people’s blogs. I try to stick to this but sometimes get tempted if I’m on my laptop and wander over to someone’s blog to see if they’ve posted anything new…When I’m away in Ireland I don’t have internet connection and can neither write my blog nor follow other blogs and I miss it!
  4. When do you write a post – the morning or the evening? I write my blog constantly. As soon as I’ve posted one post I start on another. Usually it starts with just a photo but that requires some context and content. I write almost every day and I write at any time of the day or evening: rarely after 9 pm though.
  5. What is your favourite topic?I don’t have a favourite topic but I suppose if I was to quantify the content of what I blog about it would be my charity shop finds and what I’ve been wearing.
  6. What’s the thing you love most about blogging? The thing I love most about blogging is the comments I receive. People are so generous, kind and supportive. I also love finding out about other people’s lives and the interesting things they get up to.
  7. What’s the thing you like least? The thing I like least about blogging is that I sometimes worry that people will get bored reading about the same things I get up to. I have actually asked people about this and the overwhelming response was - no, people like it!
  8. Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time? I don’t know if I will still be blogging in five years time. I hope so, because I enjoy it. If I stopped getting comments I think that would stop me blogging. Until that happens, I’ll keep on!
I shall get to my nominations for the award shortly...

This lovely building is Houghton House nr Ampthill. We walked from Ampthill to Maulden in a big  7 mile loop last Wednesday and passed this on the way. I've brought the two younger grandsons here for a picnic in the past.

It's the shell of a 17th century ruined mansion with commanding views of the Bedfordshire countryside and thought to be origin of 'House Beautiful' in 'Pilgrim's Progress'; written by John Bunyan who was born and lived in Bedford, but is buried in Bunhill Fields in London.

There were 55 people on that walk and here are some of them going through a 'kissing gate'; so called because it only lets one person through at a time but you could stand either side of the gate and have a kiss! Just as well that we don't because it would take a heck of a long time get through the gates. That's a blackthorn tree in full blossom.

Bedfordshire views...

I went to the food bank on Tuesday morning as usual and wore
another monochrome outfit. I  managed to find a nice stretchy monochrome scarf for 50 p in the 3:16 charity shop but I bought it after I wore this outfit. Everything charity shopped except striped long sleeved t shirt ; Primarni.

Ruffled tunic 49p rail at Barnardo's, Great Denham. Trousers by F&F; can't remember. Boots: Oxfam 5.00.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Outer wear; long jacket by David Emmanuel; Red Cross shop some years ago. Scarf; Primarni retail.

The weather changed on Thursday to cooler, cloudier and rain and is still the same. I had set out to a walk on Thursday afternoon but it rained on and off for most of the afternoon so I didn't go. On Friday, I went to the hairdressers in the morning and did some errands then had a short 4 mile walk in the afternoon.   I also picked up  middle Grandson from school; youngest grandson was still off with his ear.  I give them a weekly treat on Friday after school - we go to a local sweet shop and they can spend a certain amount on sweets. I get to sample what they've chosen!

This was Friday's outfit:

I have to show you this photo. When I looked at the photos OH had taken I shocked to see a black smudge at the side of my nose -  me poking about with the the fire again. What's worse is that at the time neither me nor OH noticed and I always have a quick peek in the mirror to check before we start! It's the blind leading the blind sometimes when it comes to taking blog photos in our house...

Everything charity shopped. Tunic; Keech 1.00 rail; black shirt 1.00 rail somewhere and green trousers, too.

Off white Mary Jane's by Clarks. Bought in the Oxfam shop in Newport Pagnell last time I was there. They were 9.99 but hardly worn. I should have worn some sort of sock as they rubbed me.

All jewellery charity shopped.
Smudge free!

On Saturday, I went out to try and recce a slightly longer start to my next bus walk. I walked from Sharnbrook to Felmersham but in an extended loop. I met a couple whilst out walking and they walked part of the way with me to show me where to go. Very companionable. I walked 6.5 miles including through a farmyard where I was ankle deep in cow muck! It took ages to clean my boots when I got back and I had to wash my laces. It's alright; I don't actually mind the smell of cow muck at all but others do.

So, now I'll come to my nominations for the Sunshine Award. This was very hard and took quite a lot of thinking about but I finally came up with the following four:  all non advertising and all shop almost exclusively at charity/thrift shops. There's a range of countries represented here as well, Vix is in the UK; Ann in Belgium; Monica in Spain and Goody in the USA.

1) Vix of Vintage Vixen
2) Ann of  Polyester Princess
3) Monica of Mrs. Allnut
4) Goody of Eat the blog

The rules for this award are as follows:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
  4. Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog. 5)List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.
Sunday's outfit. Skirt 3:16 1.00 rail, top 1.00 rail somewhere; Next jacket years old and can't remember where. Tights charity shopped and Next boots bought in the Salvation Army, Rushden for 5.00.

All jewellery charity shopped. I bought the necklace in the week at Cancer Research for 2.50.

I'll have to ask my four nominees the questions I'd like to them to answer at the end of this blog although the most appropriate place to ask would have been above. I've noticed that any cutting and pasting on Blogger (or it may just be me) throw the formatting out; including the fonts and alignment.

I wore this to the charity shop on Monday. Everything charity shopped except the brogues; Primarni retail. Trousers are by F&F but can't remember where; patterned top by Next, can't remember. Cardigan  from charity shop in Golders Green 2.00; bought on my birthday trip to London two years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Talking of London, I went there on Tuesday to give an old ex colleague a hand with a discussion group for her research project. We were based  in Brixton and when it was over we went to West Hampstead  where she lives and where I could hop on a train straight back to Bedford.

I didn't have much time to take photos; of course I had to visit a few charity shops! This is Coldharbour Lane in Brixton.

Lovely mural spotted down a side street near to the discussion group venue.

All bridges should be painted in such bright colours! Brixton Road.

I bought some boots from Topshop for 5.00 in Traid on Brixton Road and a pair of new bamboo chevron striped tights; 4.00. I haven't seen Traid in any town outside of London. There used to be an amazing one in Kilburn High Road near to where my mum used to live.

In West Hampstead I bought two skirts from a reduced rail in Oxfam. Both were by M&S which I didn't notice till I got them home. One skirt was blue suede knee length for 2.99 - I don't have any suede clothing other than two gilets; and the other is a  knee length black or navy - can't decide which - checked one; 2.49.

This is what I wore. Photo taken on my return home after a 12 hour day...

Dress by the White Stuff bought on Monday in my charity shop for 4.50. Jacket  by Fenn, Wright and Manson bought in Day Hospice charity shop in Kempston. Tights and OTK boots bought online.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The Rambler's Wednesday walk was too far for me to go this week but I was so shattered after my day in London on Tuesday that I didn't have much energy for walking anyway. I spent the day pottering about at home and went to the library later in the afternoon. I sorted out under my bed. I find under the bed a really useful storage space and at the moment I have two plastic crates of handbags; one plastic crate of walking clothes (they were taking up too much room in my wardrobes); two containers of tights - both coloured and patterned; two containers of scarves, one of which is mostly the shorter scarves you tie round your neck made of very fine materials; a lot of which were my mum's and one full of Pashmina scarves. I also have a bag full of cards from my family. Where I would put all this stuff if I didn't have space under my bed I hate to think! What do you keep under your bed? Do tell!

Everything charity shopped except brogues; as before. Jacket by Jigsaw; 1.00 rail; blue jumper from 1.00 rail Barnardo's in Ampthill; skirt by East can't remember.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Yes I'd been poking the fire again...

I'm off to London at the weekend for birthday celebrations and that will be in my next post. You may have noticed this post is earlier than usual but I wanted to get the nominations out there as fast as I could.

Now to those questions for my 4 nominees:

1) Why did you start blogging?
2) Has your blog changed since you started it?
3) Blogging is time consuming - what are the challenges you find in finding the time?
4) When do you write a post - in the morning or the evening?
5) What is your favourite topic?
6) What's the thing you love most about blogging?
7) What's the thing you like least?
8) Where do you see yourself and your blog  in five years time?

 I look forward to reading your replies!


  1. I have been seeing these Sunshine Blogger awards popping up again lately - they were very big when I started blogging back in 2008, but died off. Nice to see your answers! I hope you are still blogging in 5 years, as I enjoy your posts - they are like a long walk with a friend (how appropriate!).

    Your outfits as always are stellar - queen of accessories! I love that flowering blackthorn - our Japanese cherry trees will be out soon.

    A tip for removing formatting when you're copying from another source: when you are in your composing window, look for the Tx symbol in the menu bar at the top. Click that and drag it across the text that's formatted weirdly. The "Tx" removes all the background formatting for you. :)

    An early happy birthday and wishing you a sunny week!

    1. Thank you, Sheila. I had a hard time trying to choose my nominations!

      Thank you for the tip for removing formatting, I shall put that to good use in the future.

      To date we've had some sunny days - hurray!

  2. Congratulations on the Sunshine Award! As a new to the scene blogger, your nominations will introduce me to more inspiration. Again, I have picked your monochrome ruffled tunic outfit as a favorite. Ahh, the black thorn tree steals my heart for proper spring. Your charity shopping experiences give us inspiration for stretching our outfit building muscles. Thanks for generous sharing. Judy

    1. Thank you, Judy.

      Yes, the hedgerows and lanes are full of blackthorn blossom - it's definitely Spring!

  3. I'm truly honoured you have nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, Veronica! Thank you! I'm already working on the post which will incorporate it. I see that Sheila has already replied to your tech question, but I wanted to add there is another way to avoid this happening. Instead of just pasting, you can choose paste without formatting, and then it appears in the same format as the rest of your post. Well, that is how I do it, and it works for me. As for your post, you are your usual ray of sunshine on a cloudy (and rainy) day with all your colourful attire and fabulous accessories. My favourite is the outfit you wore to go to London. I love the blue and orange and those boots are absolutely stunning! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann and thanks for the tip. I shall be trying this out in the future...

      Hope your week is bright and sunny!

  4. I'm so pleased to have visited your blog today as it reminded me that I was nominated for this award, but it came at a time when I was in the midst of my recent travels. I must go back and sort this out - thank you! As usual you have a wonderful mix of outfits in all kinds of combinations which I love. The striped skirt was really nice along with that yellow jacket. And goodness, your under bed storage sounds just like mine. I have plastic tubs full of tights, belts and undies that don't fit but are too pretty to get rid of - how bonkers is that? I have endless boxes of shoes and boots too, plus suitcases storing clothes not in season. What would we do without that extra space? Thanks for another interesting post and have a great week x

    1. Thanks, Anna. I'd be truly stumped without the under bed storage; I suppose I'd have to keep in the loft and it wouldn't get worn because it's such a faff to get up there!

      Have a great week, too.

  5. How sweet of you to nominate me for the Sunshine Award, Vronni! Like Sheila said, these awards used to be really popular when I first started blogging. They're a lovely way to introducing readers to bloggers they might not be aware of. I was nominated in 2010 but the questions were different so I'll get a post sorted.
    What a coincidence, I was watching an old episode of the Antiques Road Trip this week and there was a feature on John Bunyan. I was amazed that at one point more homes owned Pilgrim's Progress than the Bible.
    What an impressive turnout for your walk. It certainly hasn't been walking weather this week.
    Glad you had a lovely trip to London. As always, your outfits were fabulous, particularly the shades of blue in the final one.
    Under the bed in the spare room are our two travel bags packed with things like sleeping bag liners and mosquito nets and stuff we only need once a year. Under our bed are a couple of rucksacks and some framed prints which I haven't yet found space for!
    Have a wonderful birthday and a fantastic weekend! xx

    1. Thank you, Vix! As a relatively new blogger I was thrilled to be nominated but I can see it's a very useful way of introducing people to new blogs!

      Have a fab week,

  6. It's so lovely to see your responses to the Sunshine blogger questions and learn more about you. We will never get bored with your blog Vronni as you have so many beautiful outfits made up from clothes that cost so little. Actually the storage under the bed you have makes me realise that in fact I don't have a lot of clothes as I'm very good at doing the one in one out thing! Which I have to do as I don't have any room under the bed - perhaps just as well!! As ever I am amazed at the prices as down south everything starts at £5 and goes up and up. I also love seeing what you do during the week and so admire the fact you work in a food bank. Best outfit for me was that Sunday one with the striped skirt - lovely.

    Enjoy London and have a great weekend :)


    1. Thank you, Penny. The thing is I am good at the one in and one out thing; I almost always follow it but I have so many clothes!

      If I lived in London I wouldn't buy as much because of the prices; just as well I live where I live!

      Have a great week.

  7. What a lovely thing to nominate me for-I'm flattered. Might take me a bit to get something together as I am currently struggling to keep up, but thank you.

    Your blog is always such fun to read, and never dull. Your outfits are inspiring and just a few days ago picked up a Disigual dress I'd have never heard of if not for your blog. You've given me a new way to look at my accessories as well. Here's to many more years of your blogging and and iteresting posts you bring to the internet.

    1. Thank you, Goody!

      Can't wait to see your Desigual dress; I'd never heard of them until I started reading Sheila's (Ephemera) blog but she is the Queen of designer labels without a doubt.

      Hope your week is going well.

  8. Congratulations to all the nominees!
    I love your clever and chic ensembles of chazza finds- Loving the colors & the pattern mixing.
    Under the bed (in old suitcases) is about all the storage space I have as closets have not been invented yet here in Nepal.
    A Happy Birthday to you & hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

    1. Thank you, Bibi!

      I have to say that in the UK we are not good building homes with storage although that is changing slowly. I was astonished when I visited the USA in 1970 to see how much storage spaces the homes had. My aunt, who lived in Chicago, had a winter and a summer kitchen and huge basement that ran the length and breadth of the house.

      Hope your week is going well.

  9. I have drawers under the spare bed only and they have my foldable out-of-season clothes, underwear, evening bags.
    I'm trying to think of ways of storing things so I can see what I've got more easily. I was looking at bags in the high street yesterday and then thought that I must check what I've got already as I find things I've forgotten about quite often! I'm getting ready for spring/summer and forcing myself to get everything out and pass on to the charity shop what I really don't need or want. Like Penny I'm amazed at how cheaply you are able to buy clothes. I went into a charity shop yesterday and found a dress at £10 but might have bought it at £5.00. I will pay good prices if the quality and condition is really good but this was not in that category.
    Enjoy your blog as there are no ads and you always look so bright and cheerful!

    1. Hello and welcome!

      Yes the prices in my part of the world are very reasonable. I just wouldn't buy as much if they were more expensive. I'm like you I'll pay a bit above my usual budget if the items are good quality but some of the charity shops in London charge ridiculous prices for what is essentially high street tat.

      Glad you enjoy the blog and I hope you keep visiting...

  10. congrats to the award!
    love your flamboyant outfits! colors, patterns and esp. the jewelry... have to look up miles/km - im fare behind with my walking i fear ;-D i keep under my bed....NOTHING! (ok. - some dust mice... ahem)

    1. Hello and welcome to another walker!

      Yes, I have a few dust mice as well under mine - we call them dust bunnies here. At least they don't leave droppings!

      I will pop over and look at your blog. Thank you for commenting and please do come again.

  11. I hope you have a great time in London for your birthday.

    I would miss you if you stopped blogging; I very much hope you'll still be doing it in five years' time.

    1. Thank you, Mim! That's very sweet of you.

      Hope your week is going well...

  12. Oh Vronni, that stripey skirt outfit ... 😍! And the last two ... 😍😍!! Gorgeous outfits as always.
    The graffiti was so striking.
    And congrats on your award. It was interesting to read your answers. I must get round to writing my answers, it all takes so much time and as you say, it's not just writing one's own blog, there's the comments and reading others too. It could be a full time job if we let it eh.
    And the nose smudge, I wouldn't have noticed it!
    Wishing you a happy week, x.

    1. Thank you, Mary, you are so kind. I have to say I was tickled pink by the award but I'm a very easily pleased sort of person!

      Hope your week is going well...

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  14. It is wonderful that the trees are already in bloom.

    I keep containers of off season clothing under my bed.

    Love that black and white outfit. You are a wizard with scarves. They add so much to your ensembles.

    I hope you have an awesome birthday trip!


    1. Thank you, Suzanne!

      I've seen lots of cherry blossom and Magnolia (tulip) trees in bloom, too.

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  16. Gorgeous outfits make you look so beautiful.
    have a great day

  17. woww, thank you for this cute award, I feel grateful and a little bit overwhelmed!. You're so lovely!
    It will take me some days to write a post, busy as I am these days!. I'm working on it!
    And you look gorgeous in your outfits, I love your necklaces (all of them but particularly those gem stones you wore on Friday, also the green leaves and the orange beads) and those fab landscapes and blooming trees. Your walks are inspiring!
    On another subject, I had some plastic boxes under bed when we lived in a small apartment (55 m2) but it was a nightmare to clean this space, having to remove all the boxes and stuff (the room was really small!). Now we live in a bigger flat and I don't have to use the space under bed for storage, so I put the plastic boxes into the built-in wardrobe!. I'd like a bed with storage (love drawers!) in the future!

  18. Your posts are so interesting with so much news,it's difficult to know where to start!! How lovely to find Marian. I'm very tempted to do the DNA thing on Ancestry, having "done" my family tree a few years ago, but I'm afraid I may be inundated with people from the US as some of my distant relatives emigrated there.

    Congrats on finding the Armani skirt - I am thrilled to see you are wearing it with green tights. I thought it was only me that liked green tights.

    And how gorgeous that birthday cake looked!!

  19. Thank you, Gail.

    I love all coloured tights but especially green and patterned ones.

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Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...