Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Maxi challenge completed...and a cat picture!

No, I haven't got a cat but read on to see why I have a cat photo...

I wore this navy blue pleated maxi skirt outfit when I last went out for the day with Cousin Marian to see the Mary Quant exhibition (in December) so I'm including it in this maxi challenge. When I bought it in a charity shop somewhere I thought it was black but it's a very dark navy blue...

Maxi Challenge - Day 8

Maxi Challenge - Day 9

Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail. Skirt; Phase Eight; top by Mint Velvet. All jewellery charity shopped. I went to the hairdressers before I met up with Marian and this was what I wore last Thursday to go and look at the Wallace Collection; which neither of us had ever seen before. We had a lovely day and it included tea and cake, of course! We're planning our next outing already...

The Wallace Collection is an art collection in London open to the public, housed at Hertford House in Manchester Square, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford. It has wonderful collections of furniture, paintings, ceramics, metalware and armoury. The style is mainly Rococo and definitely not to my taste. Everything is highly decorated; embellished and festooned with ornamental bits and bobs. I find it very overwhelming - too much detail - and I much prefer simpler and plainer styles. As for the art; I disliked most of it. There were a couple of Rembrandts that I was drawn to - both portraits; but the rest, based on Greek and Roman mythology; or dead animals with fruit or fish, no, thank you! I prefer modern art on the whole. I did like the Majolica though (bottom right)! I'm glad I've been and seen what was there. 
Fabulous shoes!
Look how ornamented the furniture is!
The scooter above was advertising a bespoke tailors that we passed on our way to visit the Persephone Bookshop in Bloomsbury; after we'd seen the Wallace collection. I treated to myself to a book; 'National Provincial' by Lettice Cooper. The photo of the umbrella shop established in 1830 in New Oxford Street, was an antidote to the glut of mostly clothing chains that dominate Oxford Street. And as I don't have a cat and therefore usually have no cat pictures to post; I borrowed Marian's! This is Fatty who has taken a shine to me. He is well named but doesn't look it in this photo. He has a brother called Thinny but he wouldn't stay long enough for a photo. Marian's had them since they were tiny.

Just to backtrack a little I went for a swim on Wednesday as I wanted to walk with my group on Friday. I did my requisite 30 laps. It's just as well I took the photos before I went because there was so much chlorine in the water. I complained to the reception staff on my way out; but not only were my eyes red and sore all day from the water; I also had itchy, gritty eyes and blurred vision. I am going to have to buy and wear goggles much as I don't want to.

Everything charity shopped. Cardigan by M&S; skirt by Red Herring; top by Next; boots by River Island. Footless green cable knit tights online retail.

Scarf and all jewellery charity  shopped.

My daughter went into hospital on Friday to have an operation on her shoulder. She has dislocated it four times in the past eighteen months and the operation should stop that happening. She will be out of action for three months (minimum); will need to wear a sling for at least the first month and will be handicapped having the use of only one arm/hand and the left one at that! This was what I wore on Friday to do the school run and do the food shopping. A walk was planned but abandoned as it was a horrible day. In the evening OH and I went so see 'David Copperfield' at the cinema which was wonderful. We both really enjoyed it.

Jumper by River Island, shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt, plaid trousers by H&M - all charity shopped. Boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday, I went to see my daughter and then did a 6 mile walk. What a miserable, cold, grey day it was. I can see why people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Luckily, I keep seeing signs of Spring - cherry blossom on trees, green shoots popping out of the ground promising daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops. I thought I got a glimpse of one of the parakeets as I drove out of my daughter's estate - a flash of green caught my eye...

Another thing that caught my eye on the walk were these pigs. They are a recent addition as I've walked this walk dozens of times and had never seen any pigs before. I also saw them a while ago and thought how totally covered  in mud they were; but today's closer  inspection revealed they're pigs with curly hair! You can just make out part of the mummy pig in front of the wire fence. on the extreme left. She had about 8 piglets in all one of which is face on. Beyond them is a field of not curly haired pigs. I've never seen pigs with curly hair before - have you? I believe these are Mangalica pigs which almost became extinct with less than 200 left by the 1990s. A rare breed indeed.

Everything charity shopped except the boots as above.
Jeans  by Gerry Weber; Donegal charity shop 3 euros. Tunic by Next and red striped top both from 1.00 rails.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I had my youngest grandson for the weekend to give the daughter a chance to recover from the immediate effects of the operation. I took him to basketball on Sunday morning and while he was playing I went for a walk. I managed 4.75 miles. I had a busy day on Sunday with the housework and cooking; the Fitbit said 22,000+ steps by the time I went to bed...

Maxi Challenge - Day 10

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; Primarni.
Jacket by Concept; 1.00 rail at Barnardo's; skirt by R&S (?); 2.00 in Scope, Aylesbury. Brown striped top by Next; 1.00 rail 3:16 charity shop.

How miserable our weather has been. Rain for most of Monday. I was glad to be indoors at Barnardo's. There were so many donations we couldn't use our back (sorting) room. Instead, we dealt with the bags of donations that were in the shop and I focused on the bric a brac. I got rid of old stuff and put much of the donated stuff out. I bought myself a lovely wicker basket picnic set. It has 2 china cups, two china plates, 2 cutlery settings and a china container of toothpicks! When I got home I added my rather snazzy orange and white plastic picnic set including proper orange picnic cutlery. All I need now is picnic weather!

On Tuesday I was at the food bank as usual. My usual colleagues weren't in so I did the big Sally Army  order by myself. I wore this plus my big blue wool coat and some gloves as the warehouse was very chilly...

Maxi Challenge - Day 11

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. Black corduroy maxi skirt by Next, I've had it for about 10 years; top by Toast; 5.00 in Oxfam a few weeks ago; jacket can't remember.  Barnardo's in Ampthill, possibly. Boots by River Island bought in my Barnardo's. (Sorry about the washing; it was too cold to hang it out!)

I spent the rest of the day helping my daughter run some errands in town; renewed my resident parking permit and bought more bird food. I had picked my daughter up and so had to drive her home. I went home and hung up my washing before fetching youngest grandson from after school club and dropping him to his Dad's.

Maxi Challenge - Day 12

 Skirt from Bedford market; top is by Oesta,Barcelona;  kimono, no label; both charity shopped but can't remember where. Red boots as above.

 Scarf by Ted Baker and charity shopped recently.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I went for a 4 mile walk with my daughter on Wednesday morning and after a cup of tea at her house, I set off to Sandy for a rummage. I was very pleased to find a black, wool maxi skirt by Acne Studio of Stockholm in the Sue Ryder shop. I paid 6.00 for it.  I checked out their website and their wool skirts retail from £200 - £500, so I reckon 6.00 was a bargain! I also bought a roll neck top (3.50) and a blue knitted beret (1.50)  in the Wood Green animal shop; in Barnardo's I bought an Indigo Moon red jacket for 3.00 and a couple of necklaces and a bracelet for 2.00.  A satisfying haul.

 Looking at what I have left to complete this maxi challenge; I've decided that 2 out of the remaining 3 maxi dresses won't be worn as they're too thin - even with leggings underneath! I can wear them when the weather gets warmer. The weather has turned cold here although today was lovely and sunny, too. Therefore, I have 1 dress and 2 skirts left to wear; 3 if I decide to wear the new skirt; I probably will as I like to wear my 'new to me' garments as soon after purchasing them as I can.

Maxi Challenge - Day 13

Everything charity shopped except boots; present from daughter,
jumper by Tu; 50p rail my Barnardos; skirt  by Simon Jefferies 2.00; car boot sale.

Leather jacket; Co. Dublin charity shop.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. The beads broke whilst I was in Lidl doing the weekly shop; luckily I was able to mend them''[].

Before I went food shopping on Thursday; I went for a 5 mile walk along the river:

It was a surprisingly mild day but very gloomy. It drizzled at the start of my walk but it didn't last long. This is the view looking towards the town bridge with St. Paul's church in the background; taken from the Embankment.

I think these two birds were cormorants. I've never seen cormorants in trees before. On rocks out at sea, yes; on top of tall buildings, yes; in Bulgaria I saw cormorants on the sails of a windmill; but never on a tree!

Signs of Spring - cherry blossom!

A break from the maxis on Friday. I went for a 3 mile walk around the town; popped into the Castle Road charity shops on the way; then went for a swim and did my usual 30 laps. I wore my new swimming goggles for the first time and they did the job brilliantly. No sore, red eyes...

Do you remember I bought a H&M dress for 2.00 in the Mercy in Action charity in Bedford High Street? I had to re-donate it as it was too big around the hips. Well, guess what I found in the Mercy in Action, Castle Road shop? Yes, the exact same dress - at twice the original price I paid for it; but in a medium so it will fit me properly! I also bought some rings and a brooch.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped.Top BNWT by F&F; bought on Wednesday's rummage to Sandy for 3.50. Jeans by M&S; and the kimono is the same one I wore with the denim maxi skirt in the week; but on the reverse side.

Boots; online as before.

Maxi Challenge - Day 14

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by M&S; vintage shirt bought from Red Cross shop 1.00 rail; Next jacket; can't remember. It's not surprising because I remember wearing this jacket to the interview for my last job - in 2004! I've had it for more than 15 years...boots also charity shopped somewhere.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Scarf; Primarni.

OH and I went for a rummage on Saturday to Stevenage and then onto Hitchin. We hadn't been to Stevenage for quite a while. There were only six charity shops but we both did really well. My best purchase was a black velvet vintage M&S blazer from the 1.00 rail in the Salvation Army. I also bought a pair of leggings for 2.50 with a ruffle down the front; an Izbel dress/tunic reduced to 1.50 and a turquoise paisley top for 3.75. I also picked up a ring, a brooch, a pair of earrings and two bangles.

Maxi Challenge - Day 15 - it's over!!

Cheated again! This was from November 2018. Maxi dress bought in a St. Neot's charity shop. Jacket 1.00 rail in a charity shop in Wellingborough. I'm wearing floral ankle boots bought online which have since been redonated. It wouldn't have been practical to wear this slightly too long dress to the charity shop or food bank on Monday or Tuesday but this is what I did wear on Monday:

All jewellery charity shopped and scarf.

I'm looking a bit grim here; I don't know why I was perfectly happy...

Frilled leggings (they're a bit weird I think; but hey ho) from River Island; 2.50, Izbel dress; 1.50; red boots online retail; cardi; can't remember but all previous items charity shopped in Stevenage on Saturday.

Another Stevenage charity shop find; black vintage velvet blazer by St. Michael (M&S) 1.00 rail; brooch 50p same shop.

Volunteered as usual on Monday; it's stocktaking week so I will be going in again on Wednesday afternoon to help out. I found a top on the 50p rail; a denim dress (finally) and a pair of blue Mary Janes - both for the summer or possibly the spring. I've spent quite a bit on rummages lately so I'm going to stop for a while unless I find an absolute bargain or something really fantastic...watch this space!


  1. More lovely outfits Vronni, and serious shopping envy going on over here!
    Not sure about the frilled leggings to be honest, but love the black and white outfit at the top.
    I had a couple of Charles Trywhitt shirts but have just donated them to my local charity shop as I never get to wear them. Such a waste as they were not cheap!

    1. The CT shirts are ridiculously expensive, JayCee. They once contacted me and asked me if I would recommend their products on my blog - I said no!

      Thank you for your comments!

  2. Well done on your maxi challenge, Vronni! Your chevron one is a fave, as is that two-done denim-y one. Isn't that frilly pig so funny? He's as happy as a pig in...well, you know, ha ha!

    How weird that you found the same H&M dress in your size! Double the price doesn't seem too bad when you remember that you only paid 2 for it.

    Here's to a speedy recovery for your daughter. You must be Mom/Grandmother of the Year, with all the running around, volunteering and other things you do to give back to other folks in your life. I'm astounded at your energy.

    1. Thank you so much, Sheila!

      I saw the curly haired pigs again today looking a lot cleaner than last time...

  3. this are not cherry blossoms - viburnum farreri perhaps.
    no one does maxi look as elegant and chic as you!! love them all!
    weather is very wt and extremly stormy here too - wan´t complaine the rain as it is much needed - but i could do without the storms...
    thank you for the museum pics - i´m a lover of all thigs baroque and roccoco actually :-D
    best health wishes for your daughters shoulder!

    1. I've always called these trees cherry blossom trees; our streets are full.of them and when they are in bloom they always herald spring! Thank you for the correct name and thank you for your kind comments, Beate.

      We have storms at the weekend I believe, so I hope yours are finished!

  4. Hi Vronni, I'm guessing you saw the Cormarant in Bulgaria on the windmill of Nesebar? We have one all year round resident Cormarant in Nesebar, he lives on a rock in the Black Sea close to the shore. I think he may be injured in some way that he cannot fly as he is all alone in the winter but in summer gets visitors :) Seems happy enough though, diving for food, spreading his wings to catch the sun if and when in it pops out. I have also never seen them in trees! Love your outfits, particularly the chevron maxi too. Be Well. Lise

    1. Yes I did, Lise! Nesebar was a fa bulous place to stay and we went Varna for the day while we were in Bulgaria.

      I feel sorry to hear about the lone, possibly injured Cormorant - poor thing.

      Thank you for commenting.

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  6. Well done on completing your maxi challenge, Vronni! I'm loving that chevron print skirt. Thank you for sharing those photos of the Wallace Collection. I'm quite partial to that kind of thing, although I do understand it can be a bit overwhelming. Off topic, there is a Belgian band from the 1960s who called themselves The Wallace Collection, they had a kind of one hit wonder called Daydream! How fun is that tartan scooter! I also love Fatty, although I'm sure he's quite a bit thinner than our Phoebe ;-) On the subject of those pigs, we also came across some curly haired pigs on a walk lately, they were covered in mud as well. Funny creatures. We've also seen cormorants, drying their wings, but I've never seen them up in a tree either. And finally, what a wonderful array of outfits you're treating us to again. Picking a favourite is almost impossible, but I think the day 11 maxi challenge one is very elegant, and I'm quite partial to the one from day 13 too. xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      It's good we like different things otherwise life would get very boring! Beate's partial to a bit of rococo, too.

      What a fab name for a band!

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  8. You look fabulous in every maxi skirt! and I love particularly the striped-chevron one!, so cool!
    The Wallace collection looks really overwhelming, even if I enjoy watching some highly decorated furniture and lots of details and embellishments!
    I also love your no-maxi outfits, lovely color combos and matchy accessories!, so fab!
    I love how you wear maxi skirts with jackets, and you look so elegant and chic in them!, your accessorizing is brilliant!. Love all of them!
    And your denim skirt looks stunning with the colorful blouse and purple kimono, so cool!!
    I think these are cormorants. I've seen cormorants in trees near the river, and seen them diving into the water to fish, which is amazing!. Hope you see them doing it too next time!

    1. hank you, Monica!

      I look forward to seeing a cormorant dive from a tree for fish! You'll be the first to know when I see one...

      Hope you're managing to stay warm.


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  10. You're really rocking those maxis! (Thought my favourite outfit is the one with the green tights. It's a fab colour.)

    I hope your daughter's shoulder op went well; I managed to injure both mine at once and they took so long to get better - a year! At times Pete had to help me dress/undress. So I hope the op fixes hers and after a few months out of action she's better than ever.

    There was a native British breed of curly-haired pigs, but it went extinct during WWII when priority was placed on particular breeds to maximise productivity.

    1. Thank you, Mim!

      When I saw the pigs I did a double take. I couldn't make out if they were sheep or pigs and was very puzzled by it until I looked them up online.

      My daughter is finding the loss of her independence so frustrating and the pain doesn't help but hopefully she'll be better than ever.


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