Monday 29 July 2019

Last post before Ireland!

This will be my last post for a while as I'm taking a blogging break whilst I'm on holiday in Ireland. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I spend quite a lot of the summer in Ireland at my mobile home in Donegal. There is virtually no internet access and I have to rely on free wifi in cafes and pubs and restaurants; which of course makes blogging difficult. I do my best to keep following your blogs and try to comment where I can but actually writing a post is pretty difficult so I take a break.

This was Monday's outfit worn to the charity shop to volunteer. The top is from Bedford market; a 1.00 bargain bought  a few weeks back. Trousers from Monsoon; bought from the 3:16 charity shop. The Mary Jane shoes from Clarke's  were also charity shopped but I can't remember where.

I've just realised that I have broken my #slowfashion pledge by buying the 1.00 bargains in the market. I was fooled by the cheap price;  forgetting they weren't second hand...although come to think of it,  the striped linen top I bought and wore on my previous post had a very clever mend on the front. Maybe these 1.00 bargains are customer returns because they have flaws? I will have to ask the stall holder the next time I see him. All the items he had on the stall for 1.00 had tiny flaws; I believe they're called 'cabbages' in the trade. They also all had 'Made in Italy' labels or at least all my buys did. He probably buys a job lot of 'cabbages' from the manufacturer and then flogs them as cheap as he can.
And why not? I assume they'd only go to landfill otherwise.

Scarf and jewellery both charity shopped.
This top has a bit of fraying at the shoulder seam.

I wore this to the Food Bank on Tuesday. It was a scorching hot day. Dress charity shopped; can't remember where, it's by Mantaray.

All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.

White cardi charity shopped. Shoes by Clarks; charity shopped 10.00. Could have worn my pink top I bought in Teignmouth with this - see below!

On Wednesday I walked with the group. It was a lovely sunny day again. We walked from Eynesbury - Eaton Socon - St. Neots and back to Eynesbury. Most of the walk was by the river.  The good thing about Rambler's walks is that you never come back by exactly the same route. We did 7 miles in total.

This is the church of St. Mary the Virgin in Eaton Socon seen through the trees.

An Oast House in St. Neots. Used for drying barley and hops to make beers and ales.

This was the site of Payne's Brewery in St. Neots. Now converted into flats.

Some wild flower planting in the meadow by the river bank.

I went to Sandy in the afternoon and had a rummage. I bought some bits of jewellery and a M&S coral linen top for 2.00; and that was it.

Thursday was a busy day as I had to take youngest grandson for a doctor's appointment;  which meant collecting him from school and later in the evening taking him for football training. I also did the food shopping. I went for a 4 mile walk whilst grandson was at football training.

On Friday, I took him for a hospital appointment then onto school in the morning. I had planned to go for a swim; but as my muscles were still quite sore I thought I would give it  a miss this week. I completely forgot that the school holidays start the following week; and that apart from 7 am to 8.50 am; there would be no more lane swimming.  Oh blast it. I might have to try evenings when it will be quieter.

Lovely gladioli from Lidl.

 I spent a few hours on Friday looking around the town centre and High Street charity shops and I bought nothing!

I went to see my son on Saturday taking my middle grandson, as I always do. Another beautiful day!
I bought these trousers and top from the Children's Society when I was in Teignmouth. Both were 2.99 each.

I did start out with a cream jacket but it was too warm so opted for this lace waistcoat instead; also charity shopped. I have to wear something over the top because when I was removing the price tag from the top I stupidly ripped it instead of cutting it; resulting in two small tears. As I can't do invisible mending I have to cover it up.

Sandals 3.99 my Barnardo's. Scarf from Primarni retail last winter.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were bought in the New Look  winter sale. I didn't have any gold coloured hoops and these were reduced to 2.50.

On Sunday OH and I ventured to our local car boot sale which is only held once a month. Although I had decided not to buy anymore clothes; I did! A red maxi skirt by Simon Jeffries for 1.00; a green embroidered jacket by Olsen for 2.00; a white lace coat for 2.00; and an African print skirt for 1.50.

The jacket needs an iron!

I wore this to the charity shop on Monday. It was hot and humid. The pale pink trousers are by Dotty P and were from the 1.00 rail in the 3:16 charity shop - another pink item added to my wardrobe. The top I've had for years and the lace shirt too; both charity shopped. I can't remember where I bought them. Pink shoes charity shopped  in Donegal for 3 euros.

Necklace 1.00 from my Barnardo's a few weeks ago. All jewellery charity shopped. Scarf from Primarni.

Tuesday's outfit.

I don't know why I thought this M&S: 2.00 coral linen top from Barnardo's in Sandy, would go with this skirt by Classics and charity shopped, too. Maybe because there is a faded coral flower in the pattern? Not that discernible in the photo  - sorry. Although I love the print on this skirt I can never really find anything in my wardrobe that goes with it. It's gone into the charity shop bag which is almost full again. By the way, the pink cotton top I bought in Teignmouth is a faded pink and would have gone better; I had washed it but hadn't tried it on and when I did on Tuesday morning it didn't fit! I'll wear it as a cardigan instead; over my short sleeved maxi dress above with the blue and pink pattern.

Anyway, I think I need a shocking pink top; preferably in linen or cotton and with sleeves.  I have three maxi skirts it would go with and various other things. I've spotted a gap in my wardrobe! This will be my charity shopping mission for the next few weeks. I'll probably find something in Ireland...

I don't look hot in this photo but I was! The sweat just ran down my face all day and I hate it.

My plans for walking this week were totally scuppered by the heat. We had really high temperatures. 26 degrees on Monday; 32 degrees on Tuesday. I wanted to go for a walk after the food bank on Tuesday but it was too darn hot. I decided to go to Olney; a small town I haven't visited for a while; which has about 4 or 5 charity shops. Unfortunately, there were road closures and although I tried to get there via a different village the road was still closed. I couldn't be bothered with sat navs and maps; it was too hot and my brain goes to mush in the heat. I went to Kempston instead. I didn't find a shocking pink top but I bought a brooch for 2.45 and 3 items for 1.00 in the Cat's Protection league. A wooden box; an earring holder and a paper lampshade still in its box.

On Wednesday it was 31/32 degrees. Definitely not walking weather. My face was running with sweat as I tried to put my make up on! I persevered with it and went to volunteer at the charity for another four hours. At least they have air conditioning. Otherwise, I'd be at home twiddling my thumbs. The charity shop was very busy and I was mainly out the back processing the donations - we had dozens and dozens of donations.

Top and Phool skirt charity shopped from the Day Hospice shop in Bedford.
Shoes; Tu retail. I saw them reduced to half price when I was in Sainsbury's the other day. Don't you just hate it when that happens? I did buy mine in March or April though!

All jewellery charity shopped.

I wore this on the hottest day of the year. It reached 37.8 degrees in the Botanic Gardens  in Cambridge. For us it was about 35 to 36 degrees. I did the food shopping early and then my daughter and I went to Leighton Buzzard. We had wanted to go to Ascott (home of the Rothschilds) so I could make use of my National Trust pass again; but it was simply too hot to be walking about gardens and houses. We had lunch in Leighton Buzzard and a quick look round the charity shops - about 4 in total,  then came home. I bought nothing.

Striped top by M&S charity shopped in Ireland for 1.00 euro; skirt from M&S also charity shopped but can't remember where. It's a few years old and I have a similar one in the caravan!

The headscarf came from my Barnardo's. Shoes bu Tu at Sainsbury's; retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday I spent the day with the middle grandson. I took him to Cambridge for the day.  He's very interested in History (and Politics). It was a black and white day for me. Everything charity shopped. Linen top by Next:; trousers by New Look; sandals by Clarks.

Kimono by Halys and charity shopped  in Ireland.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

   We went to the Whipple Museum in Cambridge at Grandson's request as it was about the history of science. There are 7 museums in Cambridge so you are really spoilt for choice. I'd also booked a tour of the colleges and I wanted to take Grandson for a punt on the River Cam. We didn't manage the last as by the time the tour finished we were both pretty tired. Plus, I'd got stung by a wasp when we sat down for a cream tea! I was trying to bat it away from us when it got lodged under my big yellow ring (!) and stung me. I was able to pull the stinger out but my hand became swollen and sore. The last time I got stung by a wasp was when I was 17 and walking with my maternal grandmother back from the little town where she lived in Ireland.
These photos were taken before the tour began.
We started our tour at The Round Church; bottom left. Grandson is never off his mobile left photo; part of King's College - we didn't go to this one but it's where the Christmas Carol Service (Carols from King's) is broadcast from on Christmas Day. The top right photo is Thomas Harvey; the man who discovered how blood flows round the body. He is holding a heart in his hand!
This is Christ's College, Cambridge.
There are 31 colleges in Cambridge and the older ones have a similar layout. There is an imposing gate; (top left and middle right) and an inner part called a court at Cambridge and a Quad at Oxford;  the court usually consists of the dining hall, a chapel, the Master's house (bottom right); student and Master's rooms/offices. Some of the larger colleges have more than one court.
 The tour begins:

Trinity College - the richest of all the colleges.
St.John's College. Two prominent abolitionists studied here; Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce.

Sidney Sussex College (and below). Oliver Cromwell studied here as it was the Puritan college.

We also visited Magdalen College but I didn't take any photos.

On Saturday we went to Kettering to celebrate my brother Mark's birthday. A good time was had by all! We went to the local Thai restaurant which we've been going to for nearly 20 years and it's still as good as it was when it first opened.

I'm wearing the same outfit twice on the same post!  I think this could be a first for me.  This trouser and top combo is very comfortable and I jazzed it up with the white lace jacket bought from local car boot sale for 2.00. It has no label in it but it's going to be one of those really useful pieces. It rained for most of the day on Saturday and was a lot cooler. Our mini heat wave was over!

All jewellery charity shopped, as well as scarf and sandals from my Barnardo's.


That's all from me folks; I'll see you in mid September!

Monday 15 July 2019

A vintage dress and lots of flowers

Well, here I am with Hilary in sunny Teignmouth in Devon!
The trousers were bought from my Barnardo's for 2.00; the yellow linen top from the same place for 3.99. Shoes from a local shoe retailer; P.J. shoes. Bag, scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

 After a horrible stop/start journey to Devon on Friday, due to a combination of roadworks and Glastonbury traffic; I arrived on a very hot afternoon. We spent the afternoon and evening catching up and went out to get something to eat. The decision to go to Teignmouth on Saturday (about an hour's drive from Hilary's) was made as I hadn't been before and they had a reasonable amount of charity shops. It was a really nice seaside town and despite the heat -  26 degrees; there was a lovely breeze. OH told me the temperature in Bedford on Saturday was 36 degrees!

Some Teignmouth views
Top left; beachfront at Teignmouth, just look at that cliff! A hotel in the town; top right. Some lucky person had this lovely balcony overlooking the beachfront; bottom left and this beautiful street planting; bottom right. We visited 7 charity shops; 1 was closed. I bought  matching trousers and top for 2.99 each and the skirt (below) all in The Children's Society in Teignmouth. We stopped in Exeter on the way back to Hilary's had a look around about half a dozen charity shops; I didn't buy anything except a 30 p ashtray for the garden! I left early on Sunday as I didn't want to get caught up in the homeward bound Glastonbury traffic and the journey home was uneventful.

Monday was the start of a very warm week. The temperatures were in the high 20s right through til the weekend.

This was Monday's outfit.

This skirt by Kaleidescope was worn to the charity shop for volunteering. I have very little pink clothing in my wardrobe, but including this new to me skirt from a Teignmouth charity shop, I now also have another pink floral skirt by Phool, recently charity shopped too. Two pink floral skirts in the space of a fortnight! Of course, I then needed a plain pink top to co ordinate with the skirts, and I was lucky to find one for 2.00 in Teignmouth as well.

Phool skirt. I  bought this in the Hospice shop near my hairdressers for 2.00.

Linen top by Next; 1.00 rail and jacket bought retail from Beales in a sale about 4 or 5 years ago. Shoes; Donegal charity shop. All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Tuesday's outfit. I wore this to the food bank.

More pink!
 I needed cool cotton clothing all week. Everything charity shopped. Pink duster/kimono by Lakeland charity shopped in Newport Pagnell, I think, for about 4.99. I've had for it for quite a few years - at least 5. Top underneath by Next 1.00 rail somewhere and white jeans by Matalan. Pink shoes as before. I have one pink tee shirt and that's the sum total of my pink wardrobe! I wore the Phool pink skirt in the week but forgot to take photos...

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I've just realised I haven't updated you about the blackbirds...Mrs Blackbird wasn't sitting on the nest and after about 4 days of this we had a peek; still 5 eggs; but they had been rained on as well as neglected so clearly they weren't alive. I took the eggs out of the nest in case it can be reused at some later point. At least 2 blackbird fledglings made it. I guess the second clutch is only viable if the conditions are right. I have kept the eggs ; one spontaneously erupted and the smell was awful. I'm keeping the eggs outside in a dish out of curiosity, really, and they're covered up so Mrs. Blackbird can't see them...the colour began to fade as soon Mrs. Blackbird stopped sitting on them but they are still rather beautiful.

I walked with my daughter on Wednesday (6 miles) and in the afternoon took her food shopping as she can't drive at the moment. I did my own food shopping at the same time. On Thursday I walked by myself and recce'd a new walk also 6 miles but I didn't recce the start which I know well. It's about 2 miles so the actual walk will be between 7.5 to 8 miles.  I may have to try and shorten it a little but it's something I can work on over the next few months. Apart from an amble, I have sorted out all my walks for the new Autumn programme so I'm feeling a little smug...

This was Friday's outfit. I went to the hairdressers in the morning.

I had errands to run in town in the afternoon and whilst I was there I spotted the clothes stall in the market was having a 1.00 sale. Always worth a look. Last year I bought a very brightly coloured tunic here for 1.00; but I don't like the material, so I wear it as a headscarf now as it's a simple square shape. This time there was quite a lot of linen on offer. I bought two linen tops; a linen spotted dress and a pair of shorts for youngest grandson all 1.00 each! Last autumn I bought a beautiful gaberdine, three quarter length, jacket for OH from this same stall in a 1.00 sale.

I must learn to smile for these photos!
Everything charity shopped. Trousers from Tu top by Next; kimono by Topshop. Can't remember where I bought any of them from. Shoes by Clarks; bought in Oxfam, Newport Pagnell.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were bought retail from All Ears; a local shop that used to specialise in earrings but no longer does.

I didn't do much rummaging the first week of July. I did go with my daughter to one charity shop as she was looking for some items for a project she's doing; and in the course of looking at the vintage section upstairs at our Sue Ryder charity shop in town; I spotted this vintage 1980s dress. Now, I was never a particular fan of the 1980s fashions; I don't like mid calf length dresses or skirts on me, and I don't do belts as I don't have a waist. It remains a mystery to me why I bought this dress; as it is all of those things I just said - yet I love it!  I love the colours and the print.  It's 100% viscose but feels like cotton. The shoulder pads are sponge encased in netting which I've never seen before. It's by Mandy Marsh and cost 10.00. I saw several similar ones on Ebay, which were more expensive, so I suppose it was a bargain.

This one from ebay was described as from the 90s, rare and selling price was 39.00!
I think if my daughter hadn't persuaded me, it would still be hanging on the rail! What do you think? Was it 10.00 well spent?

Jacket from Beales sale, retail; sandals bought from my Barnardo's for 3.00. I can see me wearing this dress with coloured tights  (green?) some Mary Jane shoes, and a warmer jacket for the autumn.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped. I wore this outfit to visit my son on Saturday.

I stopped and took a photo of this cottage and garden that we pass on the way to my son's. It's a beautiful English cottage garden and I just love it.

Sunday's outfit

This is me doing my minimalist look - for more about minimalism vs maximalism see Suzanne's post here

Everything charity shopped. The top is one of the linen 1.00 tops bought in the market last Friday. Jeans by Next from 1.00 rail somewhere. I cut them and frayed the bottom. Sandals bought from the Cats Protection League for 4.99 last summer.

All jewellery charity shopped.
The warm weather continued into the weekend  and carried on to the following week; although we had some rain on Saturday. I think it's safe to say that summer has arrived!

I got good news the previous week; I get my state pension in September! I now have official confirmation and figures. I've also sent off for my bus pass! Hopefully, it will be waiting here for me when I get back from Ireland in mid-September. No more bus fares when I do the bus walks with my group and I can leave the car at home and take the bus on rummaging trips.

This dress was bought in Bedford Market last year at the close of last summer. It wasn't 1.00, but under a tenner. Unfortunately, it was too long for me and so I put on top of my sewing box and there it sat until the weekend when I decided to take the hem up and wear it. I wore it to the charity shop on Monday.

Dress; Bedford market retail 2018. Jacket charity shopped by Next.

Shoes online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.
I bought a striped skirt; a winter walking top and a necklace in Barnardo's on Monday and some nice, new to me drinking glasses with water melons on them.

On Tuesday I was at the food bank. In the afternoon I went for a rummage to Ampthill where I haven't been for a while. I did well in Barnardo's and was able to use my volunteer discount! I picked up another boiled/felted wool winter jacket  and a plain and simple,  longer line, navy blue cotton cardigan. from Canada. Both were from the 1.00 rail.  I also bought a lovely Chinese style bag; for 2.00; a necklace, a bracelet and a book.

There are three other charity shops in Ampthill and I bought a couple of CDs in one; a CD of Malawian music which I am really enjoying. I love all sorts of African music and this was my first experience of music from Malawi. In the Mercy in Action charity shop I found, for the first time in this country, what I thought was a genuine 1970s, pure silk, purple floral maxi dress. It had the label ' A Wealth of Nations' in it and it was reasonably price; but it was a size too small. I nearly cried. I should have taken a photo.

I changed into this outfit after walking with my group o n Wednesday morning. We walked 7 miles from the water mill in Bromham to the windmill in Stevington and would you believe it I left my phone at home and couldn't take any photos.

I had planned to wear a green silky jacket with this skirt from Dorothy Perkins, which I bought from the Day Hospice shop for 4.00 a while back; but it didn't look right. I'm not sure about this lace top either but it's what I wore. Can't remember where I got it from or the green top but both were charity shopped.

Shoes online retail. All jewellery charity shopped.

Our garden is blooming nicely at the moment:
We have window boxes at the front and behind the wall we have about three feet of space for more pots; our hollyhocks haven't bloomed this year sadly but the gladioli, my mum's favourite flower, has just bloomed.

I went into town on Wednesday afternoon having errands to run and I bought 6 plants in the market. It's not what's in the charity shops that's tempting me it's all the plant stalls and plants outside the supermarkets! We've planted the new plants out the front.

On Thursday I did a short walk with the group. It was an informative walk: the theme was 'Tree Identification'. We met near the river and walked to a park; where with the help of handouts and divided into groups of three; we attempted to identify a range of trees. It was great fun, and I think I might be able to recognise a few more species of trees. I did the grocery shopping in the afternoon.

Thursday's outfit. Jeans as before. Top by Adini from a 1.00 rail in Barnardo's Ampthill quite a few years ago. White top also 1.00 rail.

Sandals: Clarke's retail. These sandals are on their 9th or 10th year of wear!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Friday's outfit. On Friday I went for a swim after taking youngest grandchild for a clinic appointment and then on to school. The whole week had been hot and sunny and I didn't want to walk in the humid heat. I really enjoyed my swim. It's years since I've done any lane swimming. Any swimming with the grandchildren was always playing in the water. I felt very invigorated after the swim but also
quite sore. My chest, back, arm and inner thigh muscles were aching.

I'd like to start swimming once a week on a regular basis. I did 14 lengths and want to build it up to 20 and then possibly 30. There are periods every day where the pool is open for lane swimming and as a senior citizen it cost me 2.30 not 4.50. I was well chuffed!

Trouser's by M&S in Barnardo's; St. Neots 4.00. Top a recent purchase from the Day Hospice shop; I think for 2.00. Green shoes online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday we went to my cousin, Marian's BBQ in London. What a lovely day it was. The good weather continued and we ate delicious food; drank plenty and the company was excellent. Two of my brothers came and Julian entertained us with a ukelele.

Amari knows how to chill out!

I didn't get a chance to take an outfit photo so this one will have to do. Wearing a F&F jumpsuit from 1.00 rail with a no label lace blazer.; 2.00 in my Barnardo's. All jewellery charity shopped. I thought the jump suit had three quarter length trousers; but when I ironed it they were normal length trousers. However, throughout the evening the crotch of the jumpsuit began dropping. By the time I came home the crotch was just above my knees! How weird was that? The jumpsuit has now been relegated to the charity shop bag!

Sunday brought cooler weather and rain. After a week of glorious sunshine and temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees; I can't complain! I'm really looking forward to going to Ireland in August  and hope the weather holds. There will be just one more post from me before I take a summer blogging break.
See you in a fortnight!

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