Sunday, 22 December 2019

Tunic challenge continued...

Hello to you all and may I wish you all the best for the festive season and above all a happy new year! I'm posting a little prematurely because I'll be too busy on Christmas Eve to post...

Day 4 - Tunic Challenge

What is it about getting older that makes the time go so fast? Before I knew it, it was Monday again and back to volunteering. This is what I wore. Everything is charity shopped. Jacket by Country Casuals; trousers by H&M; tunic by Indulgence.  Boots by River Island. All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.
I like this tunic so it's a keeper.

 I spent the morning decoding the women's clothes except for coats, dresses and sportswear. We have a new policy for decoding now where we reduce everything to 50p unless it's higher end stuff and then it gets sent on to other shops or we redate it. The reason for reducing everything to 50p is because the companies that collect the unwanted clothes (rags) from charities have reduced the rates they pay for the rags per 10kg bag. The charities only received a very small amount per bag in the first place.  It makes sense to try and get 50p for something if it's going to end up being ragged anyway.

I did well and found a dressy pair of M&S trousers, a spotted top by Wallis (another spotted top to join my collection, aaargh...) and a floral print dress all for 50 p each. I also picked up another handbag...

After the food bank on Tuesday I ventured into town and finished my Christmas shopping. I'd dressed the Christmas Tree on Sunday but needed more baubles; I picked up a bag of baubles in the 3:16 charity shop for 1.00, so the tree was completed when I got home.

This is where we had our Rambler's  Christmas lunch on Wednesday. A 13th century Tithe barn; part of a hotel complex just outside the town called, unsurprisingly; 'The Barn's'. Tithe barns were used to store the rents or tithes in Europe during the medieval period. If you want to find out more about them see HERE.

We started with a 7.5 mile walk and then it was a quick change in the car to this:

I wore the scarf and earrings on the walk and wore leggings under my walking trousers. It was just a case of removing walking boots, socks, trousers and walking top and replacing it with this tunic and jacket, replacing my walking boots with OTK ones and adding some more jewellery.

Day 5 - Tunic Challenge

This tunic is long enough to count as a dress!  It's by Lily and Me and I love the fact it has pockets. It was charity shopped, but unless it was my Barnardo's I can't remember where it came from. The blue boiled wool jacket was from a 1.00 rail. Navy leggings; can't remember and the OTK boots were bought online about three years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We were entertained by one of our group playing the violin and then we sang carols. I always enjoy the carol singing and there is competition between the men and women as the carols are divided up into separate sections to be sung. It's all great fun and the food was pretty good, too!

Day 6 - Tunic challenge

Took youngest grandson to Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge on Thursday for his follow up appointment.  All was well. I also went to Sharnbrook to buy more coal.  I didn't need to go out and vote as I voted by post. I was going to poll clerk but changed my mind when they wanted me to go to a polling station that was quite far from where I live. It is an exhausting day starting at 6.30 am in the morning and finishing between 10.30 - 11pm. Now, I've got my state pension I don't feel the need to earn extra cash. Aren't I lucky? Some women of my age are still having to work to make ends meet.

This was what I wore on this miserable wet, cold day.

I got the beret out!

Everything charity shopped except the boots bought online about 4 years ago. They have become a bit stained and shabby looking so I want to replace them with a new pair; I've tried for months to buy a red pair in the charity shops; but have had to give up.  I will have to look online as I couldn't bear to trundle around the January sales. This year I have done really well with not buying new (for myself). I will have bought two pairs of boots; a pair of shoes and a swimming costume in total.  (Update; my navy leggings got holes in them so I have had to order a new pair. They originally came from a charity shop and I've had good wear out of them).

Tunic by Next; 1.00 rail. Animal print top by Tu; 1.00 rail. Trousers by Laura Ashley; can't remember. All jewellery charity shopped. Beret from my Barnardo's.

I added a cardigan for warmth. This one is by Mantaray; 'Faithful and True.'  Honestly, what is it with the names of clothing brands and items of clothing? I have a maxi dress with this label as well.  I can't remember where I got this cardigan; probably the Red Cross.

Well, the least said about the election results the better. As a life long Socialist I voted Labour and wanted Labour to win. I will just say how devastated I was. I was so demotivated by it all on Friday  that I didn't bother go for a swim. Our town's result's were positive, thank goodness, but it was a close run thing...

Eldest grandson sent this to me in the wee small hours!

Day 7 - Tunic Challenge

All jewellery charity shopped. No eye make up as the plan was to go for a swim...

The tunic is by Next and I've had it for years; it was charity shopped as is everything I'm wearing.
The jeans and top were from 1.00 rails. The boots from my Barnardo's.

You'd think after the dress challenge I wouldn't be wearing any more dresses would you? You'd be wrong. This is the 50p dress by Tu I bought on Monday at my Barnardo's. I love the pattern and the colour but it's a size too big so I shall cut it up into headscarves...I did, but they were too short as I should have cut them across the dress rather than in strips down the front and back. Doh! They're being used as cleaning cloths now...

Cardigan by Laura Ashley: 1.00 rail somewhere. Boots; online retail. Tights; Cat's Protection League.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I got out for a short walk on Sunday of 4 miles and I wore this tunic:

Day 8 - Tunic Challenge

All jewellery charity shopped.

This is my 3.00 outfit! All items came from 1.00 rails; Top by Oasis underneath an M&S animal print tunic and Phase Eight glittery leggings.

I wore buff coloured boots in the end but these boots (online retail) were good for walking in.

On Sunday evening I decided to start a new crochet blanket; these are the colours I selected. I'm making the 'Seashell Blanket' pattern from Attic 24.  See HERE. It's quite similar to the Hydrangea Stripe blanket except there are rows of V stitch and the shells are made of 5 treble crochets not 3. I am guessing this won't make much sense if you are not a crocheter...I can get quite obsessed with a crochet project once I get going. It's very addictive and I find it very soothing to crochet and watch tv or listen to music. I  think I would love a day where I could crochet all day with out any interruptions but I might as well wish for the moon!

Day 9 - Tunic Challenge

It was back to Barnardo's on Monday where I spent the day tagging, hanging and putting new items on the rails on the shop floor. I found a jumper with large spots for 50p and new thermos flask for 1.00. That was all. I've been very good at not buying stuff or rummaging the last couple of weeks. I hope it lasts into the New Year!

This can double up as a dress but I'm wearing it here as a tunic. It's by French Connection and is a good few years old; I can't remember where I got it from. The purple cords are by Boden; from Barnardo's 50p rail a week or two back and the purple velvet cardigan is one of the few things I have ever bought (for myself) at TK Maxx. In fact, it was the first ever thing I bought from there and I've had for about 10 years now.

Boots present from daughter.

All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

Day 10 - Tunic Challenge

Back to the Food Bank today. Very, very busy. It's closed from the 24th and reopens on 2nd January. That's a Thursday and I usually do Tuesdays, but I'm going in to make up a special order. Food banks are organised into warehouses and distribution centres. Some combine both on the same premises; we are lucky enough to have a substantial sized warehouse on an industrial estate and our distribution centres are usually churches or community centres throughout Bedford and Kempston. The first thing I do on a Tuesday (I'm based in the warehouse) is make up the Sally Army order. This has about 15 crates filled with things like toiletries; household goods (plates, cutlery, pots and pans etc) household cleaning items; cat and dog food; baby items, nappies, toilet rolls, staff crate (tea and coffee etc); 24 hour bags, cold packs (for people with no means of warming food) and kettle packs (for people who don't have means of warming food other than a kettle). If you thought food banks only gave out food; they do far more than that.  They welcome donations of all the things I've listed and some food banks do clothes as well. I remember living on a very restricted income when my children were very young and although I could always manage to buy enough food and make it last until the next pay packet; it was needing things like shampoo; washing powder and washing up liquid etc that were challenges to my budget.

This tunic which could also double up as a dress is by Warehouse; can't remember where I got it from. Jeans are by Next and striped tee under tunic; 1.00 rails somewhere. The little knitted waistcoat was from a 1.00 rail in the Sally Army charity shop in town a few weeks ago. Can you see my cardigan hanging on the banister behind me? I wore that on top of everything else at the warehouse!

Brothel creepers/beetle crushers online retail. I started out wearing my red ones but the sole split and was coming away from the uppers so they had to be thrown away.

All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

Day 11 - Tunic Challenge

I was very lazy on Wednesday and didn't go walking at all. I wanted a lie in, so didn't get up in time for the group walk in Biggleswade and although I had planned to walk in the afternoon by myself; after a short rummage in Olney I came home and got on with my crochet blanket! The last time I tried to go Olney I was thwarted by road works and closed roads, so I was determined to get there before Christmas. I hadn't planned on buying anything but you know the best laid plans of mice and men and all that... I bought a rather nice tweedy type jacket in blue by Honour Milburn for 5.00 in Age Concern; plus I also found a cheeseparer for the eldest grandson; who had asked me to look out for one for him. In the Willen Hospice Shop, I bought some reduced Christmas crackers so was very pleased with those and the money goes to the charity rather than a supermarket or chain store. I wore this:

I was experimenting, so this is a view I rarely get to see! It was set on video (not intentionally I hasten to add) but I've not yet managed to successfully insert a video into my blog and I don't think this one works lasted for all of 2 seconds so you've not missed much!

The blue velvet leggings are from M&S and were bought with a voucher the OH gave me last Christmas. I think it's the first wearing of them and they were surprisingly warm. The tunic is by Gudrun Sjoden; found in my Barnardo's for 2.99.

Inspired by Monica of 'Mrs Allnut' blog see HERE; who styled a new denim waistcoat in her latest post; I remembered I had a denim waistcoat and dug it out. It was charity shopped but can't remember where.

Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

On Thursday I was off to the hairdressers and then off to London with my cousin and her daughter to see the Mary Quant exhibition at the V & A. My cousin's daughter had two (free) tickets to the exhibition and kindly offered them to us. The exhibition was fascinating and brought back such a lot of memories of being a teenager in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Photography wasn't allowed; but I managed to get one sneaky shot in before I was apprehended.... There was a choir performing Christmas carols on the upper storey, the Metropolitan Police Choir; who were pretty wonderful!

I won't show you what I wore as I wore a maxi skirt; and if I ever get through these bloody tunics I plan on making my next wardrobe challenge maxi skirts and dresses.
It was a lovely day despite the wet weather and in the evening we met up with a friend and went out for a meal at an Irish pub in Hendon.

Friday was the last school run of the year - hurray! I went for a swim in the afternoon and did another 30 laps. No walking this week so far; I hope to get some in at the weekend, but the rain needs to stop first!

Day 12  - Tunic Challenge

I'm very bored with the tunics now; but the good news is I think I miscounted the original number of tunics I had and now make it 33. I've also weeded out a couple I wasn't keen on so I think after today that only leaves 21 to go!
This one was charity shopped as was the yellow tee underneath. Purple leggings and grey boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were bought many years ago in Sainsbury's. Little make up as I was going swimming later.

I've done the first 15 rows using 15 different colours of my Seashell blanket. I'll keep repeating the rows in the same colour scheme until it's long enough. If nothing else I will have used up another 15 balls of wool from my stash!

It's an unusual blanket in that you can have it on any side - there's no wrong side and in fact I prefer the 'wrong' side (top) to the 'right' side....

On Saturday we did the big Christmas food shop and I had to go to town for a couple of errands after we'd finished. Walking plans were dropped as the rain came down again in the afternoon. It was a shame as the day previously had been bright and there was even a few sunshine bursts.

Day 13 - Tunic Challenge (20 left to go)

All jewellery charity shopped.

Tunic by M&S; 1.00 rail at Barnardo's; jeans by Next charity shopped somewhere; red boots online retail.

I added this cardigan for warmth; it has no label and I found it in the independent charity shop in town for 3.00 last year.

The rain stopped long enough for me to go for a walk on Sunday. I walked to Bromham and back (6.75 miles) and just look at how high the river is here and how fast it's flowing...

Day 14 - Tunic Challenge (19 left to go)

All jewellery charity shopped

Everything charity charity shopped. Cardigan and boots as before. Leggings from my Barnardo's; can't remember where the striped tunic came from.

That's it from me folks, thank you so much for reading and visiting my blog and I look forward to your company again in 2020!


  1. So many outfits - Vronni, I admire your self-challenges! I like most of these tunics. The black and white stripes stand out to me, as do the blue velvet leggings. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Fabulous collection of tunics. I am still in shock at the election result. I cannot understand how anyone could vote Tory. Especially now we have Blojob as our leader! Anyway Vronni, merry Christmas to you and yours. Here's to a new and better year to come for us all.Carole.

    1. Thank you, Carole.

      Yes, the election result was a total shock. I love the name Blojob!!

      I hope 2020 is a better year for us all, too, and thank you for taking the trouble to comment on my blog.

  3. Vronni - you rock tunics! They were made for you!
    I'm fascinated by that old barn, buildings made of wood and clay do not last that long in our climate..... And you are a very glam Wanderer!
    Thank you for writing about the food bank, i think more people should know about - even here in rich germany this kind of charity is very needed.....sadly.
    Have very "gemütlich" holidays!! xxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate.

      Isn't it a dreadful indictment on our societies that people are going hungry still when others have so much?

      Best wishes for 2020!

  4. My goodness, so many tunic outfits! I'm sure you're ready to wear something else by now ;-) Your first outfit stands out to me: I love the print of that tunic, the Country Casuals jacket, the green necklace and that fabulous brooch!
    That tithe barn is magnificent!
    I too was horrified at the UK election results. As a regular visitor, the UK is close to my heart, and my heart went out to all my lovely UK friends that day.
    Your new blanket is going to be gorgeous, I love all the colours you've chosen.
    What a shame about the dress, but it least you've got stylish cleaning cloths now :-)
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all that you wish for in the New Year! xxx

    1. Ann, thank you for your lovely comments.

      We will just have to wait and see what horrors are going to be unleashed on us....

      Best wishes for 2020!

  5. You have some really nice tunics Vronni. I love the colours of the blanket you making, I also like the 'wrong' side :) Reminds me of the blankets my late mom used to make from left over wool, multi-coloured knitted squares sewn together. Wishing you all the best over the festive season from the Black Sea. Rgds, Lise

  6. You've got quite the collection of tunics and wear them well. Love the velvet leggings, Country Casuals tweedy jacket and the denim waistcoat - a great addition to any wardrobe.
    The crochet is gorgeous, fab colours and the tithe barn is stunning, what a roof space!
    Goodness me, your election results were a close call. Walsall South happily remains Labour after 45 years but our MPs majority was significantly down to just 2000.
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful festive season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year - both on your blog and hopefully in real life! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      We must make plans for another Blogger meet up in 2020...

      Happy New Year yo you and Jon.

  7. I truly love all your outfits. You have great style. You prove that you don't have to shop at Robinson's May to get a great look. Thanks for posting.

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  9. I'm loving all the tunics, they really suit you. Our election result was too depressing to mention, I can hardly bear to think what is going to happen *sigh*. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. xx

    1. Thank you, Gisela!

      I hope you had a great Christmas , too, and may I wish you a very Happy New Year!

  10. Lots of lovely tunics! and you rock them!
    I've enjoyed to read about your volunteering at charities and food bank and how they work. Very interesting info about what to donate!.
    Glad that you could attend your Rambler's Christmas lunch and sing carols, and looking so elegant!. Lovely outfit and fab pearls!. Also glad about grandson feeling better.
    Also lovely red accessories on Day 6 outfit, particularly your beret and necklace, and lovely mixed prints (your cardi is so cute!).
    Lovely animal prints and lovely floral tunics too. Love your purple velvet cardigan and floral tunic!
    And I feel totally happy because you got some inspiration from my blog and really grateful for your mention. Obviously, you rock your waistcoats!. Love the little one over the striped tunic and how fab you look in them!. And love the denim waistcoat too, the velvet leggins and those red accessories (your accessorizing is always so brilliant!)
    Lovely striped red tunic and patterned leggings too!. Red rocks!.
    And I'm admiring your new crochet project, so colorful. Thanks for sharing the pattern you're using, it looks really cute. And totally agree that it's very relaxing to crochet and watch tv or listen to music. It's also really addictive!
    besos & best wishes for the new year

    1. Monica, thank you so much and very Happy New Year to you, too.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my tunics - there are a lot more to come; lol!!


  11. Glad to see the tunic challenge is (probably WAS by this point!) going well. Those over-the-knee boots look brilliant with a tunic.

    The election results were gutting. Things are going to be so bad for so many people... ANYWAY I'm not going to bang on about it; I think we all feel the same way about it. Here's hoping 2020 goes as well as it can!

    1. Thank you, Mim and a Happy New Year!

      Yes, we have just got to wait and see what horrors are about to be dumped on us...

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  13. Love the red beret!
    Hope you had a great festive season :)


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