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!


  1. Well, you look pretty good there for someone who was feeling rough. I hope the little blackbird family thrives in your lavender bush. I love blackbirds!

  2. Happy Birthday, OH! What a wonderful time you've had, Vronni! As always, stellar outfits - I like your brown/white multi necklace, which reminds me of chocolates! Lovely wooden sculptures, and ooh, that suede coat is amazing! Wishing you a good week ahead, my dear!

    1. Thank you Sheila! Yes the necklace reminded of maltesers!

  3. The wild green jacket is THE BEST! You look so good in green. Sorry to hear you've been sick. There seems to be something similar going around on this side of the water-everyone's coughing.

    Happy Birthday to your OH. That's a wonderful photo in the oversized chair. Baby birds-it must be spring!

    1. I'm better now thank you, Goody. The baby birds have flown the nest...

  4. Happy Birthday to your handsome chap! I love that photo of the two of you, it's fabulous.
    What a shame you had the lurgy for his celebrations.
    Love the Bedford regatta pictures and The Green Man Inn.
    I love your suede coat (Peacocks? Never!) and the snazzy 1980s (?) blazer. All of your outfit combos are fantastic, a riot of colour and style. I wish I looked a fraction as good as you do in a head scarf!
    I love blackbirds, too - we've got a little family nesting in the bamboo, I'm scared of the cats spotting them but they seem far more interested in the field mice living in the rockery.

    1. Thank you, Vix.

      I'm so pleased the cats haven't spotted the blackbirds...

      I took the shoulder pads out of that jacket - my shoulders don't need any padding - so I think it is from the 80s. Not my favourite era I have to say!

  5. happy birthday to OH!
    english countryside looks exactly like in TV - outdoor weddings, halls&parks and row boat regattas and all ;-D
    today i love the colors: the salmon/peach/orange-y and the grass green!! fabulous!

  6. Happy birthday to your OH! I've never been to Aylesbury, but it seems well worth a visit. So does Horwood House, what a fabulous place to stay. Love the selfie of you two together, what a handsome pair! How lovely to have blackbirds nesting in your Lavender bush. We used to have blackbirds nesting in our holly. I'm loving your colourful outfits as usual, although my favourite this time is the monochrome one with the pinafore dress. Sublime pattern mixing! Oh, and that suede coat is such a great find! xxx

    1. We found the countryside around Aylesbury (The Vale of Aylesbury) to be very pretty with many thatched cottages and there are are several houses and gardens to visit nearby; Ascott; Waddesden Manor and Clayden House.

      I used to teach at the Aylesbury Campus of my old university once a month and did this for several years; but never looked around the town before!

  7. Enjoy the birthday celebrations! Some absolutely stellar outfits Vronni. I love your jewellery and headwear choices, you really make each outfit your own. On the subject of blogger meet ups (your comment on my blog) it would be amazing to have you take a few of us round some charity shops to show us how to make such great buys!

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      I just think that if you visit charity charity shops regularly you develop an 'eye' and can spot things quickly. For me it's colour, texture and pattern that attract me and sometimes I get lucky!

  8. Happy Birthday to your OH! hope you're enjoying great celebrations!
    Love your style and those lovely outfits and lovely bijouterie and matchy headscarves, you're a master!. And I'm in love with your green jacket particularly, glad it received some compliments! it's a fab piece. And lovely black&white ensembles too, you rock in them!
    Love the pic of you and OH looking fabulous!!
    (We will be in London for some days next month, I'll send you an email!!)

    1. Thank you, Monica. We had a very enjoyable time.

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  10. I love catching up with what you have been up too and seeing all your fab outfits. Horwood House looks gorgeous. How lovely to have baby blackbirds! I have been being eaten out of house and home by the birds, I can't fill the feeders fast enough so I'm hoping it's because they are all busy feeding babies.

    1. Oh Gisela, I know what you mean about the birds. I put out two fat balls and they're gone within the hour! I have seen our baby blackbirds feeding on our feeder and some baby starlings, so there's a lot of baby birds about...

      Have a great week.

  11. Not sure if you've received this comment as it disappeared so trying on Firefox :)

    Hello Vronni - your jewellery collection is absolutely outstanding - I just don't see the range and quality where I live! Love you in green btw. Sorry to hear about the virus and glad you got over it quick. Interesting to see Bedford - my parents came from Bedford and when my two grandmothers were alive we visited regularly. I remember the river and their houses in St. Augustines Road and Park Side Avenue.

    1. Thank you , Penny. I need to stop buy jewellery...the thing is it's cheap and charity shops always have loads!

      Both of those roads are quite close to me and both have beautiful large Victorian villas. Park Avenue is opposite Bedford Park and the cost of a house there is well in excess of 1M!

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  13. I'm sorry to hear you were ill - but you and OH look really lovely together in photos, both so happy.

    The green colour of your green and white Tuesday outfit really suits you - your complexion looks fantastic in those shots!

    1. Thank you, Mim!

      I just love green and maybe it likes me too!


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