Saturday 8 June 2019

Updated post - More Family, more walking and more bargains!

NB - I've had an issue with posting my most recent post so I am re-posting it. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to copy across the comments I received from Vix, JayCee, Mim and Suzanne but thank you for the comments anyway!
The baby blackbirds flew the nest just after I last posted. They returned and were feeding on my bird feeders. I felt like a very proud mum watching them become more independent by the day! About 5 days after the fledglings flew the nest we went to look at the abandoned nest. To our astonishment there was still one egg in it. I can only surmise the egg embryo is dead as Mrs. Blackbird had not been sitting on the nest for quite a while.

The construction of the nest was exquisite; made of tightly woven grass and fine twigs. It was sitting on the middle shelf of a metal, three tier, open shelving unit (charity shopped of course!) that we attached to the garden wall and fence and used to put plants on; but the lavender bush had completely grown over it.  I had even forgotten it was there! Update: Mrs Blackbird returned to sitting on the nest - maybe the egg embryo isn't dead...

We've been enjoying some beautiful sunny warm weather since my last post. I've been very busy so haven't always been able to take advantage of it. This outfit below was worn to the food bank on Tuesday and it was very pleasant to be able to to do what we do there and not freeze! We even kept the doors open the entire time. Everything charity shopped. Jeans by Next; striped t shirt by Gap and tunic unknown label; but can't remember where I got any of them from. Shoes from Oxfam; Newport Pagnell 10.00.

All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace was a recent purchase but can't remember where!
I had some errands to run in the afternoon in and around town. I looked in a couple of charity shops but bought nothing.

I did the usual on Monday;  the drop off school run, volunteered at Barnardo's (I bought no clothes!) then the pick up school run. On Wednesday, I led my walk from Milton Ernest and had 45 participants! Everyone enjoyed the walk and agreed it was completely different than the one I did back in February - although it was the same walk! I had reversed it, but the main difference was nothing to do with me -  that was down to Mother Nature covering the landscape in verdant green and of course the beautiful sunny weather. I still have two more walks to lead in June and need to get recceing the shorter one. The longer one is the bus walk and I have recce'd that frequently.

When I got home after the walk I just chilled out as I still felt rough from the previous weekend and had been coughing for most of the night before. I even had a short nap  on the sofa; something I rarely do in the day.

On Thursday, I poll clerked again, this time for the European Elections. I thought there would be a very small turnout but we ended up with a pretty steady stream of people all day. There were a few lengthier lulls between voters and I managed to get a few chapters of my book read, but it was such a long tedious day. I collapsed into bed when I got in!

I didn't wear this on Thursday. I would have been considered to be visibly supporting a political party if I wore this; as blue is the colour of our Conservative Party. In fact, all the primary colours can't be worn as the Labour Party colour is red; the Liberal Democrat Party colour is yellow and the Green Party is, of course, green. I wore my new Mary Portas shirt over black and white trousers with a dark grey Next jacket. Neutral colours.

Took the youngest grandson to his UV appointment on Friday morning, then to school. I also had to do the food shopping as I had poll clerked all day on Thursday. It was a really warm day  - 23 degrees. Everything I'm wearing was charity shopped. Trousers by Monsoon, 3:16 charity shop, blue lace tunic; can't remember; silver pumps by Zara 2.99 from my Barnardo's last summer. All jewellery charity shopped.

I look a right misery in this photo!
I didn't need this jacket at all because it was so warm.  It's part of a maxi skirt suit by Fenn, Wright and Manson which I bought in the Red Cross shop for 12.00 some years ago. I've only worn the complete suit once so far to a christening; and have split it in order to get more wear out of it.

After I had done the food shopping, I went for a rummage to Kempston. In the Cat's Protection League I found a good winter walking jacket which was showerproof so I snapped that up; BNWT for 7.00. The Keech Hospice was closed for refurbishment, so that just left the Day Hospice shop. I bought a Joules tunic for 6.00 and as pair of white jeans for 4.00.

On Saturday, we had a laid back kind of day as we were having a family get together in the evening. I did find time to go to the 3:16 charity shop which is very close to where I live. I bought a blue summer jacket for 2.00. It was originally 6.00 but they'd reduced it to 4.00 previously and then finally down to 2.00. It will be a very useful addition to my wardrobe. I've been discarding quite a lot of my summer wardrobe items as I either don't like them anymore or they don't fit properly.

Now to the get together. My cousin Marian was coming down with her daughter and youngest son to meet my brothers and daughter. We had a wonderful evening in a restaurant in Loddington in Northants and everyone got on really well. Marian was quite overwhelmed to meet us all, as she gone from having no blood family and only one remaining living relative from her adoptive family. Here we all are at the restaurant:

L to R. Brother Mark, daughter's boyfriend, daughter, brother Tony, OH, me, Marian, brother Julian, Marian's daughter Katherine and youngest son, Eddy. All cousins either first or second.
Marian and Katherine also recently spent a week in Ireland meeting some of our very large extended family for the first time!

This is my 5.00 outfit! Sandals by Zara:  2.99 in my Barnardo's; jumpsuit 1.00 rail Barnardo's; Ampthill, jacket by Precis 1 euro rail in Dublin. Scarf charity shopped. The jumpsuit was a pain the proverbial you know where to get in and out of it when I needed a wee...

Necklace and earrings; presents from my lovely OH. Bangles, ring and brooch charity shopped.

Went to see my son on Sunday and wore this:

Skirt, 2.00 from Scope in Aylesbury; vest 1.00 rail; jacket retail bought from Beales (our local department store) in a sale about 4 or 5 years ago.

The scarf was a present from  OH's daughter and the sandals were charity shopped from Barnardo's in Ampthill; I think!

 Earrings donated by my daughter, brooch and necklace charity shopped. I bought the necklace for 3.50 from the Day Hospice Boutique shop. It belonged to the volunteer there and she bought it in Kenya. The print on some of the beads reminds me of giraffes. Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful warm sunny days.

 The weather was cooler on Monday and we had several short showers but it didn't deter us from going to a car boot sale. It turned out to be the last of the year - it's the same one we went to a couple of weeks back and got there too late.  It won't open again until February, so we need to find another venue...this dress was bought for 5 euros in a Mullingar, Co.Westmeath charity shop last summer. It looks like a Desigual dress but the label is 'Paris'. I did see a Desigual dress for sale at the car boot sale but it was tiny and I'm not!

The shoes are from a local shoe shop PJ shoes in Kempston.

Denim jacket from Next not Dorothy Perkins as stated previously. Charity shopped years ago. All jewellery charity shopped except the necklace which I bought at a car boot sale for 50 p more than 10 years ago. I bought very little at the car boot sale; a necklace for 50 p, a bangle for 50 p; a DVD for youngest grandson; some toys for middle grandson's little brother; right at the end I spotted a tapestry frame for 2.00 and bought it. It's a tall one and collapses down so it's portable. I have a Kaffe Fasset tapestry set I bought in an Irish charity shop in Co. Longford for 4 euros; now I have the equipment I can get started! My creative mojo has been very quiet lately. I made a crochet hat in Ireland and haven't picked up my crochet hook since! I'm not worried, it will come back.

On Tuesday, I did a bus recce for my bus walk. No food bank as it was half term week. I took the bus from the bus station to the village of Sharnbrook and walked to the village of Pavenham from there - 7 miles. I did it in 2 hours exactly but didn't stop at all. I walked at the fastest pace I could manage.  Of course on the actual day we will walk at a slower pace and have several stops. It was a lot cooler on Tuesday although we had some sunny spells and some showers. Luckily, I didn't get wet at all. I should have taken a bus from Pavenham back to Bedford but my daughter picked me up instead. I now need to recce the walk I'm going to lead for an amble which will only be 5 miles. I have a very good idea of where I'm going to walk just need to walk the route.

When I got back home I decided I'd have a quick look in the Castle Road charity shops as it's been a while since I've been there. I'm glad I did as I bought a pair of grey linen trousers by Whistles in the Mercy in Action charity shop for 6.25 and a navy linen top with an Italian label for 3.99 in The Children's Society. It's quite common to find Italian label clothing in Bedford charity shops. Bedford (along with Peterborough) has the highest concentration of Italian families in the UK. Italian men from the South of Italy where unemployment was high in the 1950s; were recruited to come to Bedford and work for the 'London Brick' company in Stewartby just outside Bedford. Many stayed and sent for their wives and children. It's estimated up to a third of residents in the Bedford area have Italian ancestry!

On Wednesday I walked with my group in a village called Eversholt ; that's the ciurch above - a very pleasant 6.5 mile walk in beautiful sunny weather. In the afternoon I volunteered in the charity shop as I was off on Monday as it was half term and a bank holiday. I didn't have time to look around but decided to go back on Friday and do just that!

I wore this on Thursday when we went to London for the day with the grandchildren.

This is the Joules tunic and the white jeans by Next that I picked up in the Day Hospice shop in Kempston last weekend. Denim jacket as before.

Sandals bought for 5.00 in the Cat's Protection League last year. They are extremely comfortable and I walked all day in them on our trip to London.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

 Just a few photos from our London trip.  I took more but taking photos from a moving bus is quite tricky! We did an open top bus tour  around Trafalgar Square, the Theatre District, Whitehall, and on to the city; and then went to the Imperial War Museum. We finished the day by going to visit eldest grandson at his workplace in Chelsea where we had a meal. The fox in the picture above was just above the top floor windows of a house in Lambeth Road, SE1 which had a blue plaque commemorating the abode of Captain Bligh; of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame. We caught a bus across the road and one of the grandsons spotted it.

Top - outside the IWM; L to R middle row: St. Pauls, a beautifully tiled building in Fleet Street, Newspaper office in Fleet Street;  L to R bottom row; approaching Tower Bridge, a fox on the top of a house and youngest grandson trying to climb a shell from WW 2.

On Friday, I was looking after the youngest grandson for the day so he helped me do the food shopping and came with me to my Barnardo's where I splurged 9.00 buying some nice items of clothing. Hard to resist when it's buy two items and get the second one for a 1.00! I bought this tunic by M&S from the 1.00 rail in the Keech Hospice shop a while ago but hadn't got round to wearing it. It's two sizes larger than I usually wear but as tunics are loose anyway I don't care!

White jeans as before - I can usually get two wears out of white jeans. Jacket; home made (not by me - alas!) bought for 1.99 in the Red Cross shop. Shoes retail; Sainsbury's.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I bought these earrings in my Barnardo's a few weeks back. This time with my 9.00, I bought a dress/kimono by Tu; another pair of earrings and a brooch; a blue and white M&S tunic; a Fenn,
Wright and Manson skirt and a H&M yellow and black cardigan.

On Saturday, I got up and recce'd my short walk of 5 miles. One of the paths is very overgrown but I'm hoping by the time I walk it a few more times I will have beaten down the grass so it actually looks like a path. Landowners vary in how they maintain the foot paths on their land. Some are meticulous and keep the paths well trimmed and clearly laid out and others simply don't bother...

On Sunday, OH and I walked with my group on a London walk from Blackfriars to Greenwich - 11 miles along the Thames! It was a lovely day and a brilliant walk. I'll show you the pictures of the walk I took in my next post but this is OH and I at Blackfriars station:

Everything charity shopped.

Brown shirt; Italian label, years old and can't remember where I got it from.  Brown scribble top by New Look, 1:00 rail somewhere. These tiny pattern trousers are years old and can't remember where I got them from.

Red shoes; Clarks, charity shopped for 5.00 -  also can't remember. They're great for walking in.

All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing two thin, charity shopped scarves here. Sunglasses; 3 for 5 euros in Oxfam in Sligo town.

It's funny, in one week I've been to London twice. And guess what? I'm going again next weekend for a Blogger meet up. I'm very excited and looking forward to it.  I'm meeting  Vix of 'Vintage Vixen' here; Monica of 'Senora Allnut' here and Fig of 'Buttercup's Frocks' here.  Of course, I'll tell you all about it in my next post!


  1. I'm completely envious of your blogger meet-up, because with that group you'll have an incredible time! Take loads of photos!

    Your green and red dress is beautiful. I think that's such a unique design, and not the sort of thing you see everyday.

    Glad to hear your last walk went well, and I'm sure the two you have coming up will as well. This is a good time of year for walking. So lovely that your cousin is meeting the family.

    1. Oh, we had a fab time, Goody. I'm sorry you weren't there too!

  2. Ah, you get to meet Vix and Monica! I'm so envious! I wish we could just jump over all this land and visit!

    Love all your fun looks - you're always doing something different, which I appreciate. How fun for your "found" cousin to meet all your family! Enjoy the lovely weather on your walks.

    1. Oh dear Sheila, the lovely weather turned into 4 solid days of rain and the fifth was showery and grey in the morning but was brighter and dryer in the afternoon. Very little walking done...

  3. Judging from the photos on Facebook, your blogger meet-up was a blast. I've already met Vix, but would love to meet up with you, Monica and Fig one day! I've loved seeing all your colourful looks, my favourite being the jumpsuit, with the one you wore on your trip to London with the grandchildren a close second. Love that tunic! All your jewellery is fabulous, as usual, too. Oh, do let us know what happens to the remaining egg! xxx

    1. Read my next post, Ann for more blackbird news!

      The meet up was fab and I hope you can make one one day, too.

  4. It worked!! I've just over to remind myself of your gorgeousness! What fun we had on Saturday. xxx

  5. The post so nice you did it twice :-)

  6. although the jumpsuit is a pain to get in & out - it looks gorgeous, esp. with the pretty jacket and chic accessories you´v found for it!
    joules tunic has a beautiful print and the the black&white outfit is very elegant. you find the best 2.hand clothes!
    the family get together looks cozy and fun, and how do i envy your meetin g with vix :-D
    as for your question - the flower is "columbine" says the translater - in person its a very dark purple, but the camera could not really catch it.....

    1. Thank you!

      I always thought Columbine was white...

      We had a fabulous blogger meet up and I hope to do it again in the Autumn.

  7. Oh the blackbird saga is intriging!
    Love you in your jeans. Your make up is always so perfect.
    I feel such a slob, I snooze most afternoons.
    Love the necklace from hubs.
    That's a lovely pic of you and OH but my, you wear smart outfits for walking!
    Hugs, Mary x.

  8. I was only wearing a smart walking outfit as we would be walking on pavements and there was (at that time) little chance of rain! I usually wear shower proof trousers and a fleece with a shower/water proof jacket and walking socks and boots - leggings and shirts in the summer....

    Thank you!

  9. Lots of fab outfits to comment!. Love your accessorizing, once more (you totally rock!, I repeat it everytime, but it's True!). Love the blue outfit with the interesting layering and textures, really cool!
    And it was really appropriate that you wore 'neutral colors' to be neutral when poll clerking. Never thought on colors this way!.
    Glad that you've been lucky with summer purchases, I'm also discarding some summer clothes that look tired or don't fit!. It's time for evolution!
    You look fabulous in your jumpsuit (so fab color combo!) despite its proverbial problems ;D. And also lovely outfit with mixed prints and cute 'giraffe' necklace, such a perfect accessory!
    Glad you found this Desigual-style dress, you look gorgeous in it, comfy&cool!. And the floral tunic with the denim jacket totally rocks, lovely detail that you added some brooches to the jacket!.
    Love the green outfit and the fab brocade texture of the jacket with the floral tunic!, and also love your last outfit (and fab picture with OH), those shoes look really comfy, Clarks usually are!
    I'm now to read your next post!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Monica. I think you and I have a very similar approach to dressing as we both like layering and accessories.

  10. Lovely outfits as usual - you have such a good eye for co-ordination and layering Vronni. I'm downsizing again (more about that soon) and I'm reducing the size of my wardrobe and being very ruthless re: clothes that I haven't worn much. But seeing your outfits I think actually I want more summer jackets for a start!!!! And wow it's out with the summer clothes now in this coming heatwave - enjoy the warmth and have a good week :)


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