Tuesday, 1 October 2019

On being a pensioner...

All jewellery charity shopped.

 Hello again!
I've been pleasantly surprised at how lovely the weather has been since our return from Ireland. It's chilly at night and first thing in the morning, but I'm still wearing my summer wardrobe...just.
This top is by Nomads and was bought for 3 euros in the Animals in Need charity shop in Donegal town. Martina cut my hair in Ireland and cut it very short, so it's just beginning to grow back a bit now.


Everything charity shopped; lace jacket Barnardo's 2.00; white Next jeans, can't remember. Shoes; 3 euros in Killybegs charity shop about 3 or 4 years ago. All jewellery charity shopped.

School runs, charity shop volunteering and food bank volunteering are all back in the weekly routine. I did a fair amount of child minding the first week I was back as it was my daughter's 41st birthday that week; (oh, that makes me feel so old writing that) and she celebrated in style!   A weekend in London, plus a day out in London, a meal with friends on her birthday and I took her to see Downton Abbey at the cinema and out for a meal, as well. We both really enjoyed Downton Abbey - we got into it when we spent May half term in Cornwall last year and watched a DVD of the first series; then we we were hooked and had to watch the entire series over the next few months!


 Another Ireland top. This one is by George (Asda) and was 2.00 euros; I love the sleeves and find I wear it a lot. White goes with everything and I love the pattern. Linen trousers 1.00 rail somewhere and shoes as above.


Cardigan by F&F; for the chilly evenings; charity shopped for £2.00 in my Barnardo's.


All jewellery charity shopped; these earrings were picked up in Sligo town for 1 euro.

I got back  into walking, too. I walked with my group in Woburn Sands on the first Wednesday I was back and a really lovely 7 mile walk  A lot of climbing into and out of woods. As the name suggests it's very close to Woburn Abbey and Safari Park;  but a nice village with its public loo in a Shepherd's Hut! I didn't take any photos - too busy catching up with everyone's news.


On Thursday I walked 9 miles. I wanted to recce the walk I'm leading in October; starting from a different place, but realised after 4 miles it would be too long; so just walked an old route back to the start which came to 9 miles in total! 

I'm wearing one of the three jackets I bought in Ireland This one was 5 euros and is by


The top underneath came from the 25p basket in my Barnardo's as did the scarf. All jewellery charity shopped.


These were charity shopped Next jeans I was going to donate but chopped the bottoms off and frayed them. Shoes from Sainsbury's earlier this year.

I also wore the jacket in Ireland, too: this was taken when we had a drive around the beautiful mountain called Ben Bulben in Co. Sligo. We wanted to walk a part of the mountain called the Gleniff Horseshoe; but several days of torrential rain caused several land slides and walking there was not a sensible idea! Another thing to do for next year.



Everything charity shopped except shoes; on line retail.
Trousers are by H&M and can't remember where I got them; the shirt was from the 1 euro rail in the Animal charity shop in Donegal, but can't remember where the lace top came from. It's because I buy so much from charity shops...


All jewellery charity shopped. My scarf had started to untuck itself here; OH didn't notice and neither did I, till I saw the photo! This scarf is an infinity scarf which folds to be an almost square, so I fold it over into a triangle and then fold it over several times into a rectangle. I've experimented with a 'Rosie the Riveter' head wrap, but need to wait till I have a bit more hair to fill it before I show you as the scarf covers the whole of the head!


Rosie the Riveter.
On Friday, I kept to my pledge to swim regularly once I was back in the UK; having enjoyed it so much whilst in Ireland. I swam 20 lengths of my local pool which is 50 metres long and not 100 as I thought originally. Anyway, I swam a kilometre and I want to try and gradually increase to 30 or even 40 lengths. which will be 1.5 or 2 kilometres.  I met a walking colleague in the pool and she said to me "oh you're a real swimmer". I wasn't quite sure what she meant. I wasn't in the fast lane (I use the middle) and I try to do alternate lengths of breast and back stroke. I'll ask her when I next see her! I enjoyed the swim but it isn't a patch on sea swimming. However, 80+ miles for a sea swim is a bit far on a weekly basis so the local pool will have to suffice.

Another change since I've got back is that I am now officially an OAP (old age pensioner), a Senior Citizen or an oldie. After having my state pension age delayed by 5.5 years thanks to changes in government policies; I am in now finally in receipt of my state or old age pension. I also have a bus pass which I'm itching to use. I may use it soon as I need to recce the bus walk I'm leading in December and I can catch a bus - free! - from the start point. No sooner had I received my first part payment of my state pension than I got a letter from the tax office telling  me my personal allowance code has changed. Yes, I'm taxed on the state pension, but not directly; my personal tax allowance is reduced by the same amount of annual pension I receive! There is no escape from the tax man...

I seem to have a smudge  on my cheek - not noticed when taking the photo...
I did a bit of rummaging in Bedford the week I was back. I did buy a few things. 
Now, the top I'm wearing here is several years old and was bought from a 1.00 rail somewhere. In the RSPCA charity shop in the week I spied the matching skirt for 4.50 and of course I had to have it.  A lucky find. It's by Adini.


Shoes as before and all jewellery charity shopped.


I picked up quite a few winter things during the week apart the skirt; 2 dresses and 1 lightweight maxi dress and a jumper. I had several things to do in town on different days so popped into the nearest charity shops whilst I was there...

I got very lucky in Barnardo's on Monday. I bought some brown leather OTK boots for 5.00; a SeaSalt raincoat for 5.00 and a lovely yellow necklace for 1.00. All plus discount!


All jewellery charity shopped.


This is what I wore to the charity shop on Monday. The trousers were bought in Ireland in the NCBI shop in Donegal for 3 euros. The shoes were bought in the same place as the orange pair in the first photo above. Killybegs charity shop 3 euros. The top is by Dunne's stores and was about £3.00 but bought here in the UK. The Next jacket is a 1.00 rail bargain and is several years old. I always have to roll up or tuck under sleeves as I have short arm - and legs!


Tuesday was the day the weather turned. It lashed down all day and was very dark and gloomy but the sun did venture out at times. I had to wait in for our new bed to be delivered and missed volunteering at the food bank. Our metal frame bed collapsed one night before I went away to Ireland, but I can't complain - we've had it for 17 years! Mind you, the bed in my spare room; a wooden one; was bought in 1993 which makes it 26 years old and it's still perfect. It was very expensive when I bought it and I suppose it shows that sometimes you get what you pay for.

I went for another swim on Tuesday and managed 22 lengths; I think I can do 30 on my next trip but the pool can get quite crowded; and as I like to swim backstroke as well as breaststroke, the more crowded the pool the more likelihood I could crash into someone. The pool filled up very quickly on Tuesday afternoon. I think Friday's are less crowded but I planned to walk again on Friday.


I forgot to post these photos of my great grandfather and grandmother's final resting place on my previous post.  We visited here, cousin Marian, me, Linda and Doirin. Their names are not on this gravestone; I don't know why; but their son; my great-uncle Harry's name is. We think this Michael Kerr is a relative of my great grandfather (not a sibling as we know their names) as they all came from the same area. The carved figures above came from the abbey of St. Fraoch founded in 570 BC. You can just see the abbey above the wall and it is behind this wall that my great grandparent's grave can be found.


I have posted about the famine pots in Ireland before but here is a little more information about the one in Donegal Town; I took Marian to see it.

On Wednesday I walked with my group again; this time in Olney. It was a lovely walk and we did 7.4 miles. We had a couple of brief showers of drizzle but not enough to put us off. I paid a quick visit to 2 of the 4 charity shops in Olney and bought a lovely maxi dress for 5.00 in Age UK. It has an American label called Tua/Fua (?)
    Source: Attic24.typepad.com
I am beginning to feel like picking up my crochet hook again. The last thing I crocheted was a very large hat at Easter which I donated to a charity shop. This blanket is the Hydrangea Stripe pattern from Attic 24 here and is my next crochet project. I just need to pick my colours which is the easiest part!

Here they are laid out on the dining room table. I had to stand on a chair to fit it all in. I'm incorporating the purple and lavender I bought for my Willow square blanket project. I made 20 squares and got bored with it! I will continue with that project after this one but I'll do the remaining squares in a variety of colours, instead of just two and that will stop me from getting bored.

Here's the first few rows done. They blend quite with my skirt!


Thursday's outfit. Linen top by Wallis 3.99 and trousers by Quiz 2.00; both from my Barnardo's. I'm wearing a sleeveless wool jumper underneath which was from a 1.00 rail somewhere and I tucked it in which I think was a mistake. Shoes charity shopped in Ely; I think.



All jewellery and scarf charity shopped except earrings bought in a Beale's Christmas sale years ago.
I used my bus pass on Thursday and took the bus to Milton Ernest - for free!! Then I walked back to Bedford which came to a total of 10 miles. I still had to do the food shopping when I got back but surprisingly I wasn't feeling tired at all.


All jewellery charity shopped.


It's the Adini skirt again plus the linen top I bought from my Barnardo's for 3.99 before I went away.


Shoes from local PJ shoe shop.


On Friday I visited the Castle Road charity shops for a rummage. I had wanted to do the group bus walk but my knee was a bit twingy (is there such a word?) after the 10 mile walk on Thursday so I thought I had better take things easy. This was my haul. The bag is by Next and was 2.99 - I just need an occasion to use it now! The necklace came from the same place as did the oval brooch; both 1.00 each. The ceramic fish brooch - I love it - and the primary colours necklace came from a new Hospice shop in Castle Road which must have opened whilst I was in Ireland. We now have a total of 5 hospice shops in Bedford; 2 are Keech and 3 are for the day hospice including one which is on the premises of the hospice itself.


I went to see  my son on Saturday and wore this.  One of the dresses I bought last week. 2.00 from the Mercy in Action charity shop.
Cardigan also charity shopped in my Barnardo's, I think...


All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.


Tights made of bamboo were 5.00 from Traid in Brixton and shoes are from Primarni 5.00 in their sale last year.

On Monday I volunteered at Barnardo's and wore this:


Everything charity shopped. Dress from Salvation Army (no label) 4.00 bought last week. Jacket 1.00 rail in Age UK, Wellingborough. Can't remember where I got the boots from. They were 4.00 as they still had a price sticker on them! I bought them in the summer and put them away for autumn/winter.  Scarf from Barnardo's. I'm showing my slip here; or Charlie's Dead!!


All jewellery charity shopped.

I missed out o n the foodbank again this week as I took my daughter in law to the Passport Office in Peterborough. She and middle grandson are off to Trinidad after Christmas!


An animal print, brown and beige theme going on here. I just fancied it when I was deciding what to wear. I'm wearing two scarves as they are quite fine ones and I bought the necklace in Ireland in a charity shop somewhere.


Trousers are old; brown top a recent 1.00 rail addition. It's too short for wearing over trousers so it will be worn with skirts in future. I don't have a plain brown top only a shirt/tunic so I though this would do. It won't. Cardigan charity shopped and boots as before. I can't remember where I bought any of these from!!



I'm going out for the day this week with my cousin Marian and on Sunday she and her family are coming to us for a get together. If the weather is fine we'll have a BBQ but if it's not we'll eat indoors. The forecast does not look promising. Since I wrote about the good weather since I came back from Ireland the last few days have been wet but it is still warm and muggy. I've put my sandals and shoes away and dug out my boots and winter shoes; I'm not ready to swap my clothes over - yet! I'm hoping to hang on for a couple weeks. Have you done the swap over yet?


The blanket is growing....

25 comments:

  1. I love the short hair on you. It really suits you. And I love your mustard/ochre coloured outfits. It's my favourite colour and I have been buying lots of items in various shades of it to jazz up my boring grey and black staples. My excuse is that since losing weight nothing else fits me!

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    1. Thank you, JayCee.

      Mustard, ochre gray and black sound like lovely combinations! When you're next in the UK you'll have to hit the chazzas and restock!

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  2. The tax man will find you no matter where you try to hide!

    The butterfly print skirt and top are gorgeous.

    It's excellent you've decided to add swimming to your already rigorous walking schedule. I need to get back to properly working out.

    Good to have you back!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Thanks Suzanne,

      I'm really enjoying the swimming - 26 laps today!

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  3. I love the mustard coloured outfit, very stylish and striking - and I think it looks good tucked in :) Lise

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    1. Thank you Lise; I bet you wear everything tucked in!
      xx

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    2. Ha-ha - actually I don't :) I have had an apple shape most of my life and over the last couple of years have lost the extra 10 kgs I have nearly always carried so only venturing into tucking in nowadays - and not that often mind you - old habits die hard! Lise

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  4. I find that once you're back in your usual routine, your holiday soon becomes a distant memory, which is why I'm doing the travelogue ;-) I'm particularly loving that gorgeous blouse in your second outfit. As for the pension and tax, it isn't any better in Belgium. By the time I get there I will have narrowly escaped an age delay (I hope), and as for the tax man ... it's grim really. On the more enjoyable things: how fabulous that you found that matching skirt! I'm also loving your jewellery finds especially that ceramic fish brooch. Another favourite outfit is the mustard one, and I'm seconding the commenter above me in that the top looks great tucked in. It does sound as if your weather has been way better than ours: Summer has definitely disappeared and we did have a rather wet few days. xxx

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    1. You may have heard that the case the women who were deprived of their pension at 60 had their case heard in the Supreme Court on Wednesday and lost...they may appeal but I think it unlikely.

      I'm so pleased with the skirt that matches the top - thank you.
      xxx

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  5. How nice to find the matching skirt to your beautiful top! The print is wonderful-reminds me of butterfly wings. Congratulations on your pension. It is 65 in the US so I have some time before I can collect. Private companies will extend "Senior discounts" of one sort or another starting at 50 so I do get to save a few pennies here and there. I'm really hoping the Social Security isn't bankrupted by the time I can collect my pension!

    I am so excited to see your newest crochet taking form. The colours are absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Thank you.
      I do hope you get your pension when it's due! I'm so grateful to have mine.

      I hadn't thought of the pattern as butterfly wings but I can see it is!
      xxxx

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  6. I adore that beautiful butterfly print, Vronni, how amazing that you found the matching skirt. The white lace top with the fabulous sleeves sets my heart all a-flutter! I want one like that!

    I have been enjoying your head wraps very much - how do you feel about them being very trendy right now? My 20-something coworkers wear them.

    Congrats on being an official pensioner! I love that you do so much activity and volunteering. Good for you.

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    1. Thank you.

      I had no idea head wraps were trendy, Sheila! I'm on trend - ha ha! I hadn't thought of the print as butterfly wings; see my comment to Goody above but of course they are!
      xxx

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  7. in the GDR we had a lovely TV series called "pensioneers never have time".... :-D
    your wonderful busy life reminds me of this!
    i´m really impressed how stylish you look every day! my fav is the white blouse with statement sleeves and the butterfly wings printed 2 piece - and the miracle of finding the matching skirt ages later!!!
    i would like to go swimming too - but i cant stand a public pool and our river gets to cold......
    xxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate. That programme sounds like fun and I'm constantly find I'm always busy...

      I was the same as you about the public pool and for years I would only go to a small pool that was part of a private school and open at really awkward hours. Now, I don't care anymore about the public who use the pool; I just shower before and after my swim. I like swimming in rivers but not by myself. I think you can get used to the cold - eventually!
      xx

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  8. Another fabulous round-up of outfits. That George white top is lovely, excellent sleeve action. The Adini two piece is great, isn't it? Love that bold print, it's like butterfly wings.
    I used swim regularly for years after my hip replacement, Walsall's got a fantastic brine bath as well as an Olympic size pool - trouble is that I made so many friends during my visits my swimming was constantly interrupted by chatting not to mention popping into charity shops on the way there and going for coffee with my swimming friends afterwards, I had to stop as it was costing a fortune!!

    I can't resist an old graveyard, we always stop off and wander around them when we're abroad. How sad that that tiny Brachan pot fed up to 80 people.
    Mount Ben Bulben makes for a wonderful backdrop!
    LOving the colour combination of your latest crochet project! x

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    1. Thank you, Vix,

      Swimming for you must have been like a day's outing! I've swum, showered and walked home again in just over an hour as the pool is less than 5 minutes walk away. A brine bath - what the heck is that?

      I don't know why I couldn't see the pattern on the top and skirt as butterfly wings before but now it's been pointed out to me by several people - I can!
      xxxx

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  9. Totally agree with previous comments that your Adini two-pieces look like butterfly wings (so lovely pattern and colors) and that your white top is fabulous!.
    I do love every outfit, particularly those with yellow accents. I think you rock this color!. Love your comfy shoes too and the fabulous accessorizing!, you're brilliant!. Also love those chevron tights and cute striped cardi!.
    Lovely to see your blanket growing so quickly, the colors are so delightful, for sure crocheting is more enjoyable when colors are that fab!
    There were some changes in government policies here too, so many people's old age pensions have been delayed. So unfair. I'll have to wait until 67 to receive mine (if there's still such a thing!). Glad that you got your bus card!, really useful!
    besos

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    1. Oh what a bummer, Monica, 67! It must seem like a lifetime away...I think my daughter might have to wait until 67, too

      Thank you for your lovely comments.
      xxx

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  11. How lucky to find a skirt to match your top! The butterfly pattern looks amazing, and has so much potential for mixing and matching.

    Re: your comment immediately above, your daughter's close to my age and I've got to wait till I'm 67 too. (I've always had the fear there wouldn't be one when I got round to retiring, so have paid into a private pension for years, and if need be will be able to withdraw that from 57.) I don't think of you as pensioner at all!

    That pot is heartbreaking. The fact my country did so little is a stain on its history. (I've always wondered if my g-g-grandfather was orphaned as a result of the famine.)

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    1. I just hope that you and my daughter can manage to last until 67! My daughter's a teacher and it's a pretty stressful occupation...you sound like you've got it all sorted. Good for you.
      xxx

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  12. No I haven't done my full season switch yet; I planned to do it today but instead I'm sitting on the sofa with the cat, watching the rain and catching up on blogs, which I don't think I've really done for months - and yours is my FIRST!

    Congrats on picking up your pension and bus pass. Fortunately mine kicked in at 65 then they started deferring the start date a few years later - so that was one of the benefits of being REALLY old, and probably the ONLY benefit! As well as tax we have to pay to social security too even as pensioners, the payments being based on a percentage of gross total income.
    Anyway, I'm straying. Just want to say that it's always a thrill to see you in that mustard shirt, and I'm a big fan of you in neutrals and I think perhaps they're creeping in a little more these days?
    Oh and FINALLY,just want to say that you have a very pretty face!
    Hugs, Mary x.
    thepoutingpensioner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Mary!

      I've still not done my swap over and we have lit our fire once...

      Yes, I like the occasional neutral outfit but I would never wear them everyday whereas I will wear colour everyday!

      Hope you have a good week.

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