Monday 20 May 2019

Yet another birthday weekend!

Hello again and I hope all of you in Blog land are well.

 On Bank Holiday Monday OH and I ventured out to a car boot sale; getting there as everyone was packing up! There were ominous looking rain clouds in the sky so I didn't blame the sellers. We should have got there earlier...

Back to the food bank on Tuesday.
Everything charity shopped. Jeans; Gerry Weber, 4 euros in a Donegal charity shop ; Jacket 1 euro; Dublin charity shop. Top; can't remember. Boots by Matalan; retail.

All jewellery charity shopped. I bought this enamel brooch for 2.00 in the Salvation Army in Bedford on Tuesday afternoon. I did all the High Street charity shops in Bedford; all 5 of them and 2 others that are close to the High Street. Apart from the brooch, I spent 6.00 in the Mercy in Action shop buying a striped cardigan, a striped polo neck by John Lewis and a maxi skirt by Jigsaw all 2.00 each. I stopped by the Sue Ryder shop where they had a trousers sale on and bought two pairs for a 1.00 each.

Scarf also charity shopped.

Wednesday was  horrible. Rain all day. I had planned to walk but didn't. I had various errands to run on Wednesday including going to the farm shop in Sharnbrook to buy more coal and kindling. When I got there I remembered they only open from Thursday to Sunday - doh!  We've been lighting our fire most evenings. Whenever I'm out anywhere now I look out for fallen pine cones. There were lots near the school I poll clerked at on voting day, so I went back the next day with a carrier bag and filled it. They make good kindling for the fire. There are lots near our local swimming pool so I plan to go there and fill a few more bags. I like free things!

Back to Wednesday afternoon and the closed farm shop...I decided to drive a few miles further and visit the charity shops in Rushden.

Necklace bought last week for 1.50 in the Keech Hospice shop. Earrings bought in New Look at Christmas. Scarf charity shopped somewhere.

Everything charity shopped except the shoes by Tu at Sainsburys. Trousers by John Lewis; 1.00 in Sue Ryder. Striped top by Principles ; 1 euro in Donegal charity shop. Cardigan M&S; reduced to 1.50 in my Barnardo's.

In the Salvation Army I bought a brooch for 75 p; a necklace for 1.00 and a pair of trousers for 3.00. In Cancer Research I splashed out 1.50 on a home made shopping bag with a lovely cherry pattern and a big red button. That was it. I was looking for Mary Wesley books but not one of the five charity shops had one. I need to look in the library next.

On Thursday I volunteered at the charity shop after taking my car in for a service in the morning and doing the food shopping. I found a nice necklace for 1.00 but didn't have time to browse as I had to pick up a grandson.

 On Friday I took youngest grandson for a hospital appointment, then to school and I had to go back to Sharnbrook for the coal. I had planned to go for a walk but it kept raining (again!) so I went back to Barnardo's and had a proper look round. I bought some H&M and M&S black patterned leggings for 2.50 each. They're such useful clothing items if a little dull... I delivered a donation to the Day Hospice Boutique and found two Mary Wesley books and another nice necklace! I paid a visit to the library and ordered the outstanding MW books and I'm looking forward to re reading them.

On Saturday I finally got out for a walk!

Everything charity shopped. Shoes, Clarks (these are my summer walking shoes) can't remember. Striped cardigan; Mercy in Action 2.00. Jeans and navy knit top 1.00 rail Red Cross.

All jewellery charity shopped.
I decided to walk by the river where there was a rowing regatta in progress.  It was  the 155th Bedford Amateur Rowing Regatta. I've lived  in Bedford for 38 years and didn't know it existed. It very busy and very exciting - those canoes (?) can really speed; there was a lot of cheering from the various supporters and the coxswains and coaches were yelling through their megaphones. It seemed to be mostly schools and colleges participating.

 On the opposite bank of the river there was a wedding celebration.  Just above the heads of the wedding guests is a hotel. It looks like a 1960s tower block and is a blot on the landscape next to the river, in my opinion. It is, however, a popular and pricey venue for weddings. The piper was playing to the wedding guests. I've never seen that before.

You can see by the sparkle on the water it was a bright sunny day but there was a shower. Thankfully it was over in minutes.

In the river meadows the horse chestnut candles were in full bloom and smelt lovely.

On Sunday I went to see my son and wore this:

First wear of white jeans this year!  Everything charity shopped. Jeans by Next; can't remember. Checked shirt/dress; 4.50 in the Children's Society, Cambridge. Grey studded tee; can't remember; probably 1.00 rail somewhere...

Shoes from Oxfam; think it was Northampton or it may have been Ely...

Necklace recently charity shopped from Salvation Army in Rushden; 1.00. I bought these earrings from Oxfam in Newport Pagnell for 7.00. Headscarf charity shopped; 1.00.

Sunday was a beautiful day; warm and sunny. Three lots of washing done and dried on the line. I love it when that happens! I also completed the big clothes swap over. I put 5 black plastic sacks full of winter stuff (including coats and jackets) in the loft.

Monday was busy, school run, charity shop, mammogram at local hospital and school run again. We had so many donations at the charity shop over the weekend there were more 50 bags waiting to be sorted. We got through quite a few but as fast as we emptied one someone brought in another donated bag. It's such a contrast to the Children's Society where we sometimes were desperate for donations. It's all to do with parking. There was nowhere to park at The Children's Society; being in the middle of town, but Barnardo's is in a small shopping centre with plenty of parking in the middle of a housing estate.

This was Tuesday's outfit. I wore it to the food bank. In the afternoon I had various errands to do in town and then as I had to pick something up at the Retail Park out of town, I went to Ampthill to check out their Barnardo's. I bought  a  white sleeveless top with an asymmetric bottom from the 1.00 rail and at last I found an animal print pencil skirt from M&S for 3.00. I've been looking for one of these for ages. It's been put away for the autumn.

I bought this jacket a couple of years in a Kilburn charity shop for 2.00. It's very bright and colourful and got lots of comments from colleagues at the food bank. The loose white
 trousers and the green top underneath the jacket were both 1.00 rail finds. The white trousers have been re-donated -  too baggy.

All jewellery charity shopped. Scarf also charity shopped.

The good weather continued on Wednesday. It was only a week to go before I lead my next Rambler's Walk so I went to recce that rather than walk with the group. It's just as well I did as I couldn't remember the route! It's amazing how different the countryside looked in the winter months compared to  now. For a start, all the trees are full leaf which obscures the views and landmarks such as this one:

A compost heap!
This was one was burning so it was pretty visible.

 When I realised I had gone wrong,; I back tracked to find exactly where it happened and in total walked 9 miles.  It was such a beautiful day and the air was full of birdsong. I think I caught the sun and should have worn  a hat. I have no excuse I keep two summer hats in my car.

In the afternoon I had to go to a shopping complex called 'Rushden Lakes' about 12 miles or so outside of Bedford where I picked up something for my son. As I rarely buy 'new'clothing, shopping centres bore me.  But it was such a lovely day and I enjoyed these wooden sculptures:

Rushden Lakes does have lakes and hosts a Wetlands centre; hence the bird sculptures. I  walked around the lakes as part of a Friday bus walk with my group last year. That was a day of really lovely weather, too.

All jewellery charity shopped.
This was Friday's outfit. I was feeling very rough on Friday and it lasted throughout the whole weekend. I think it was a virus or some sort of flu. I couldn't smell properly or taste my food. I had a hacking cough, a temperature, a headache and sore throat and throw into that mix, a continually streaming nose and you can see why I felt rough. I'm lucky; I'm very rarely ill so the only way I know how to cope with it is to carry on regardless. I did spend Friday afternoon on the sofa under a blanket though, until it was time to pick up the grand children from school.

Everything charity shopped. Skirt from Jigsaw 2.00 from Mercy in Action; top 1.00 rail somewhere; jacket - an Italian label I've had for about 10 years and bought it from the Red Cross originally- I think. Mary Jane's from Oxfam in either Ely or Northampton.

It was OH's birthday on Sunday; but as we are having a big family meal to celebrate it and to introduce cousin Marian to the wider family on Bank Holiday weekend (which is next weekend in the UK); I took OH away for a weekend of R&R. We stayed overnight in Horwood House; a hotel in Buckinghamshire. But first on Saturday we set off for Aylesbury which is also in Bucks, for a bit of a rummage.

Pinafore dress 4.50 from the Day Hospice shop; it's by Matalan. Striped polo neck by John Lewis 1.50 in my Barnardo's. Scarf charity shopped somewhere...

Tights and all jewellery charity shopped. Boots by Matalan.

Outerwear. Jacket, a present from my daughter. There were about 6 charity shops in Aylesbury and I bought this skirt in Scope for 2.00. It's quite floaty and I liked the abstract print.  I also bought a necklace and a ring for 1.00 each in the Heart Foundation.

Some buildings in and around Aylesbury.
The red brick building is the Courthouse; there were two lions on plinths in the market square and I loved the Green Man pub. The window was from a building in Winslow where we went out for an Indian meal on Saturday evening. I had a Vegetable Thali but couldn't really taste or smell anything!

This is Horwood House.  Built for and occupied by the Denny family (pork and bacon manufacturers) it was built in 1911 in the 'William and Mary' style. The steps by the door in the wall (top left) are the steps leading to the formal garden and pool (bottom left). The grounds are extensive and we had fun exploring them. I was in the hotel swimming pool at 7.20 am and swam 44 laps of 25 metre pool. There was only one other person in the pool; it was wonderful to have it virtually to myself.
We had a game of giant chess...

OH had a kip in the giant deck chair....

All jewellery charity shopped

Happy birthday to my beau!

Everything charity shopped except trousers La Redoute sale some years ago. The top is by Isle and was a 1.00 rail bargain at the 3:16 charity shop on Friday. I wasn't too ill to bypass a charity shop! Shoes 3 euros in a Donegal charity shop.

Our plan  for Sunday afternoon was to visit  Ascott House; a National Trust property with gardens, on our way home, but we got there two hours before opening time and didn't want to hang around.  I must use my NT pass soon or it will expire! We stopped at a car boot sale instead in Linslade; nr Leighton Buzzard. I bought these:

A Mary Portas shirt for 1.50.
 A turquoise suede coat with lovely sleeves for 2.00. The photo doesn't do the colour justice. The coat is by Peacocks!

I was very pleased with my buys. It was a lovely way to finish off a lovely weekend. And guess what? A final lovely thing happened when we got home. We have a large lavender bush that grows in the corner of the garden. It has gone 'woody' and I have asked OH to be vicious and cut it back really hard. He's such a softie he wouldn't; and it was just as well. We found a blackbird nesting in it! It's very close to where we hang the washing out, but she sits there quite unperturbed by us. Latest update; there are fledglings in the nest; at least three - I got a sneaky look today!

Monday 6 May 2019

Ireland and after...

Have you had a great bank holiday weekend? Ours was nicely chilled out with nothing too strenuous to do but first to back track to my last post.

Hello again!

I'm afraid I got my beaches mixed up in my last post. Above is me on Rossnowlagh beach; the last beach outfit photo featured on the other post was me on Coral beach, St.John's Point. 

Everything I'm wearing in this photo is charity shopped except the leggings which are from by Tu at Sainsbury's. The orange boiled wool jacket is by Fenn, Wright and Manson: 8.00 from the Day Hospice shop in Kempston; the tunic is from the 1.00 rail in Keech in Great Denham; and I finally found a plain green shirt in the animal charity shop in Donegal on the 1 euro rail. All jewellery charity shopped. Headscarf present from a friend.

And talking of Donegal do you recognise this woman with Ben Fogle?

 I was in the SVP charity shop (St. Vincent De Paul) in Donegal and a woman was standing next to me at the counter. I had asked to look at an amber type necklace and the woman standing beside me began to tell me about a real amber necklace she bought from a charity shop for 2.00 many years ago. Her face looked so familiar and then the penny dropped.  Her name is Judith Hoad and she was featured in Ben Fogle's series 'Lives in the Wild'! I told her I recognised her from the series and she threw her hands up in mock horror! We had a great chat about lovely Donegal where she has lived for the past 25 years.

I was expecting to go to the food bank on Tuesday but youngest grandson had a Teacher Training Day, so I couldn't. This was Tuesday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Monsoon, 3:16 charity shop, 3.00; top by M&S 1.50; my Barnardo's; kimono jacket was from a Royston charity shop and about 3.00. The Mary Jane's are by Clarks but I can't remember where I got them - it was only last year!

All jewellery charity shopped, except this ceramic brooch, which I bought in Donegal. It was made by a Northern Irish artist in Co. Antrim. I try to buy at least one piece of artisan made jewellery every time I go to Ireland.

I walked with my group on Wednesday; it was the annual bluebell walk to see the bluebells in a couple of local woods in nearby Wootton and Kempston. We walked 7.5 miles and had pretty good weather; the promised rain held off until overnight.

I don't think they were as prolific as last year...

This lovely fellow was dressed to kill. 
Wearing a protective coat against the threatened downpours he looked extremely stylish - a horse fashionista, one might say! I believe the stripes on his protective coat are to confuse and keep the flies at bay...

In the afternoon I had a rummage in my Barnardo's as I had an appointment to attend on Thursday afternoon and had to leave promptly at 1 pm. I'd missed my Monday session at Barnardo's as it was a bank holiday, so I was going in on Thursday morning instead. I got lucky at Barnardo's on Wednesday's afternoon rummage and bought a pair of trousers for 2.00 and a tunic top for 3.00.

 Everything charity shopped. Denim jacket by Dorothy Perkins and bought about 5 years ago. Needless to say I can't remember where I bought it from! The skirt is by French Connection and was bought in the 3:16 charity shop for 3.00. Blue top by East from a 1.00 rail somewhere. Striped tights; birthday present from my daughter. Grey velvet brogues; Primark sale 5.00. Scarf as before.

All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings are a recent acquisition from a Donegal charity shop and cost 1 euro.

This is the skirt I bought with some of my Christmas money and the one I tried to return to M&S only to find it had been reduced to 2.69! I find it very hard to know what to wear with it. It needs to be something quite fitted as the skirt is made of thick material and is quite flared. I can only think of a red crossover top I have or a white blouse with black jacket which is quite formal. Any suggestions? Nothing tucked in -  think about my spare tyre...

These are the trousers I bought at Barnardo's for 2.00. White top 1.00 rail somewhere; jacket 1 euro in a Dublin charity shop. It's by Precis. Shoes from PJ Shoes retail in Kempston.

Scarf and jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday I went to spend the day with my son and wore this. Heart top; Barnardo's 3.00. It's by Glamorous. Trousers by H&M; can't remember where or how much. Black lace top by Next 2.99 Red Cross and shoes by Zara 2.99; Barnardo's last summer.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Earrings from Sainsbury's.

The last week of April was a busy one for me. I did the school run on Monday but also took youngest grandson to our local hospital where he's starting a course of UV treatment for his eczema. By the time I dropped him off at school it was gone 11 so I volunteered at the charity shop from 12 until it was time to pick the grand kids up again from school at 3.30. I picked up an orange dress/tunic reduced to 1.50 whilst I was there. I also had eldest grandson and girlfriend staying for a few days as they waited to move into their new place...

 I managed a short town walk at the weekend and spotted another previously unseen blue plaque to this radio and music hall star. This was on De Pary's Avenue which makes 3 blue plaques on the one street!

This was Tuesday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Zara bought from the 1.00 rail in the 3:16 charity shop. Sleeveless top 1.00 rail somewhere. Yellow linen shirt by Wallis 3.99 at my Barnardo's. Scarf same place; 1.00. Shoes Donegal charity shop; 3 euros.

You may not notice anything different about these photos but there is! I took them myself. I found a tripod for a camera phone online and this is me experimenting...

It caught me just as I moved...

This was my very first attempt - no feet!

All jewellery charity shopped, except earrings which were a present.

I volunteered at the food bank after a three week break. It was good to be back. My friend Lynne who volunteers with me on a Tuesday was off to Peru the next day! Hasn't the world shrunk? When I was young the thought of anyone going to Peru for their holidays would have been as astonishing as men going to the moon...

On Wednesday, I decided I wanted a lie in and didn't make the group walk which was from the village of Northill. Instead I got up at my leisure and went for 7.5 mile walk from Sharnbrook to Felmersham to Radwell.

Here's a bit of Wisteria porn for you.
 The two below are from houses in Radwell. The smell was divine; I hadn't realised that Wisteria had such a heady scent.

These last three are all on the same street near where I live. I've renamed it Wisteria Avenue!

When I got home I went for a good old rummage in town. I only got as far as the bus station charity shops as I ran out of money! I always set myself a budget when I go rummaging and unless I see something so fabulous I have to buy it,  I stick to my cash budget. I bought a brand new wipe clean tablecloth for my table. Decorated with sheep (!) from Dunelm BNWT; retailing at £22.00 (it still had its price sticker on it) I paid £5.00! I bought a mug for 30 p which I used on Thursday, as I was poll clerking for local elections. Of course I bought some jewellery; 2 necklaces; I brooch and 1 pair of earrings. I bought a jacket for me from Debenham's Maine range from a 50p rail at the Independent charity shop; and a H&M hoodie for one of the grandsons from the same rail. Finally I bought some Uniqlo checked grey trousers for 2.00 in the 3:16 charity shop which is where I bought the tablecloth.

Here's Wednesday's outfit.
I'm still getting used to taking my own photos. These were taken using the selfie function on the phone camera. The ones above weren't; it was me trying to position my self in the right spot/angle and click. It was hit and miss as you can probably tell!

Everything charity shopped. Orange dress; 1.50 from my Barnardo's; it's by Asos. Jacket by M&S from a Kettering charity shop 4.00. Leggings 1.00 rail somewhere.
Clark's Mary Jane shoes; 10.00, Oxfam;Newport Pagnell.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought this necklace in the Hospice Boutique - I think...
 I wore the Uniqlo trousers the following day with a white top and an animal print jacket, as I was poll clerking for the local elections and needed to look 'professional'. The polling station was in a local school just across the road from where I live. It was such a long day. Up at 5 am; at the polling station by 6.30 am and we finished just before 11 pm. I was so shattered I couldn't be bothered taking photos!

Friday was busy. School run, hairdressers, food shopping, school run again then drove youngest grandson and his Dad home. I was glad to sit down in the evening and chill out with the TV and a book.

On Saturday OH and I went for a rummage to Emmaeus. It was bright and sunny but the wind was very cold and we had both rain and hailstone showers. I wore my M&S camel cape which was a present from OH years ago. I also wore my 'ruby slippers' 2 euros in a Navan, Co. Meath charity shop. My ankles were frozen!

Boden trousers part of a BOGOF deal at the 3:16 charity shop; 3.00. Jacket from the Red Cross; 1.99 and I think I bought this top in the Cat's Protection League and paid about a fiver for it.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought some jewellery and a few CDs in Emmaeus. This is a round up of the jewellery I've bought lately.

The pearl necklace was from Emmaeus and cost 1.00. The starfish brooch was 2.00 and the three strand necklace 1.50 from the Keech Hospice shop in town. The brown and gold beaded necklace was 1.00 from the Salvation Army.
The brooch was bought in Emmeaus for 1.00 and the bottom three bangles were also from there; 50 p each. The large floral bangle was a 1 euro Donegal purchase and the floral top bangle was 50 p in the Salvation Army. I can't resist a painted bangle!

We enjoyed the finale of 'Line of Duty' on Sunday evening and we have the whole series of 'Follow the Money' to catch up with.  I see Spiral will be returning to BBC4 soon - yay!! It's one of my favourite police dramas of all time. I  have only one of my birthday books left to read. I recently picked up a copy of a Mary Wesley book called 'An Imaginative Life' which I had never read before. It has spurred me on to reread all of Mary Wesley's books so I shall be hunting for them in the charity shops (I have one already) and filling in the gaps with the library. I'm also waiting for the latest Robert MacFarlane book 'Underland' to come through from the library reservations.

I haven't done the big swap over yet. I know a lot of you have already, but I'm a bit cautious and the weather isn't the warmest at the moment. I have put my winter coats and jackets away and taken the summer coats and jackets down, but that's as far as I've got. I'm still reluctant to put my boots into storage under my bed! Maybe by my next post the weather will have become more summer like. Here's hoping!

Weird weather...

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