Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Stormy weather and a skirt challenge.

I was at the foodbank on Tuesday as usual. This is what I wore - plus gloves!

This is the H&M dress I bought as the original one was too large; it was, of course, charity shopped.  Navy short sleeved cardigan also charity shopped somewhere; I've had it for ages. Leggings; Joe Brown retail and boots online retail.

I spotted my first 'wild' crocus on my walk on Wednesday morning. I walked 6 miles; saw the curly haired pigs again and heard my first skylark of 2020! In fact the hedgerows were alive with the sound of birds; twittering, cheeping, chattering, chirping and of course, singing. I love it.

A wild crocus. People's gardens are full of them and snow drops but I like spotting them in the wild. There's a snowdrop walk next week with my group and I planned to go.

I volunteered on Wednesday afternoon as it was stocktaking; and wore this. This is a closer look at my jewellery - all charity shopped. I bought the turquoise and silver pendant on a torc from my Barnardo's a few months ago. Just before we closed on Wednesday, a lady brought in some donations and told me she had donated my pendant. She'd bought it on holiday in Cuba and believed it was made out of a silver spoon! She said it had a matching bracelet; but she kept that. It's not often you get to know the history of a donated item you've bought!

 This was the Acne Studio skirt I bought on last week's rummage to Sandy - it has pockets! The turquoise paisley top was bought from another charity shop in Stevenage on Saturday's rummage and the jacket was 1.00 rail buy from the 3:16 charity shop. The OTK boots were bought in my Barnardo's for 5.00. They were the ones where the heels fell off and I had them re-heeled...you might just spot my turquoise opaque tights in the photo below. They came from The Cat's Protection League.

I bought a lovely maxi dress from M&S from Barnardo's on Wednesday. It was just too pretty to not buy and I have a birthday meal i n London coming up so this was perfect. And it only cost 5.00!

I walked again on Thursday. I did the same walk as on Wednesday but reversed it; 6 miles and it was the most beautiful day. It had been very cold in the morning minus 1 degree; but the sun was shining. there was no wind at all and the sky was wonderfully blue. After the walk I went to do the food shopping.

All jewellery charity shopped; except the earrings from ebay and the scarf is also charity shopped.

I don't think I've worn this tunic/dress on the blog. I bought it in a charity shop, naturally, but I cannot remember where; possibly the Mercy in Action Outlet store where all clothing is 2.00. It doesn't have a label but it's warm and it's green! I wore it with this homemade vintage jacket which I bought in The Red Cross shop some years ago. It was very cheap about 3.99 I seem to recall.

The leggings are retail from Joe Brown. Talking of leggings I went to wear my brown (retail) M&S leggings the other day and found the moths had been at them. They've been relegated to walking leggings. I can't even just pop along to M&S and buy a replacement pair as our M&S closed last year. The nearest one is 12 miles away in Biggleswade and if I order online I'll have to pay a fee to have it delivered...

When I was at the charity shop on Wednesday afternoon I found a lovely Betty Barclay green maxi dress for 3.00. Reader, I bought it! I wore it  on Friday with the same jacket I wore yesterday and a charity shopped tee. All jewellery charity shopped.

I wore my green River Island boots; bought from my Barnardo's.

As well as being green the skirt has a sort of chequered pattern which you can just about make out in this photo. I didn't swim on Friday but went to the cinema with my daughter to see 'Little Women'. It was so good and I'm so pleased I went to see it; I usually don't bother to see the film if I read the book as it's usually inferior to the book.

I went for a long, 10 mile walk on Saturday. I combined three of the walks I've led in the past into one to see if I could create a new walk but at 10 miles it's too long. It was a lovely day; not cold, bright but a bit windy. I stopped and had a chat with a bloke driving a tractor. He said he was about to start drilling seed that should have been planted in October but the wet weather in the autumn had made the ground too soggy. He wasn't sure if the seeds would be ok and wouldn't know until three months time. I hope Storm Ciara; which hit us on Saturday evening, hasn't ruined his plans but I suspect it has.

This was my outfit for Barnardo's volunteering on Monday. Denim dress from my Barnardo's as was the striped tee. Leggings and boots as before.

All jewellery and head scarf charity shopped.


This was what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. Jeans by Gerry Weber charity shopped in Donegal; floral top charity shopped in my Barnardo's. All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Boots charity shopped from Oxfam.

For Christmas I had asked OH to buy me an Ancestry DNA kit. I have a half brother on my dad's side and have no  information about him except a rough idea of his birth year. I was hoping that by doing my DNA and making it public on Ancestry DNA; there was a chance I might find him. Anyway, I got my results on Tuesday and the ethnicity breakdown is fascinating. My ethnic origins are as follows:

52% Ireland and Scotland
23% England, Wales, Belgium, Channel Islands, Luxembourg
14% Malta
5% Italy (Sicily to be specific!)
5% France
1% Spain

And there I was thinking I came from a long line of Irish peasants!
The thing is that we probably all have really mixed ethnic origins because of migration patterns and trading routes in the past. I have no idea where the Maltese, French, Sicilian and Spanish bits have come from; but they do have something in common and that is Catholicism. Maybe a shared religion explains it? I don't know and probably never will. From certificates and family information I can go back as far as Great Great Grandparents on my mother's side; and to Great Grandparents on my father's; and there are no non Irish sounding names. No one married outside Ireland except my maternal Great Grandparents who married in Stockport, Cheshire and my maternal Grandparents who married in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The grandparents had met in Ireland but I don't know about the GG Parents. Both sets migrated temporarily to the UK and the USA in search of work.
I've been to France, Spain and Italy but now I really want to go to Malta and Sicily!

Went for a walk on Wednesday and did 6 miles.  It was just an urban walk as the fields would have been terribly muddy after Storm Ciara and all the rain but I spotted these little purple flowers; violets, I think growing alongside the road in a patch of grass.

Thursday's outfit. Shopping done, coal fetched from the Farm Shop in Sharnbrook and I cracked on with the Seashell blanket in the afternoon. I only had 4 rows left to do...

All jewellery charity shopped.

Jacket and tunic Daycare Hospice shops in Kempston and Bedford. Leggings (which have a fleece lining!) from Bedford market. Boots present from daughter.

Can you see the flower on the jacket? It's a brooch I picked up in a charity shop ages ago and it came  in useful when I singed this jacket on the gas cooker - it hides the damage.

Look what my Valentine bought me! A beautiful bouquet which I put in my Anthropologie jug charity shopped from my Barnardo's. There was also a box of chocolates but they were gone very quickly...

Skirt Challenge - Day 1

I did say I would do a skirt challenge next so I began it on Friday. I have 16 skirts to wear - mostly knee length as I'm not comfortable with mid calf skirts unless I wear long boots with them.

Jumper by Seasalt; charity shopped in my Barnardo's. Minimum make up as I was going swimming later on Friday.

Skirt by Dorothy Perkins; charity shopped somewhere. Boots; Sainsbury's retail. Cream cable knit tights charity shopped somewhere.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Skirt Challenge - Day 2

Skirt by Armani. Bought in the Mind Charity shop in Camden, London on my birthday last year by my daughter.

Yellow jumper; River Island and cardigan charity shopped. Boots; Sainsbury's. Pink tights charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The weather at the weekend was very windy, cold and very wet. No walking at all took place but not only did I finish my blanket I managed to get the border done as well.

Without the border

With the border done; washed and drying over the banisters.

On Saturday evening we had booked to go to The Mango Room in Camden for brother Julian's birthday meal but Storm Dennis put paid to that. The trains were very disrupted and there were engineering works as well to contend with. We didn't want to make it to London and then get stranded. We sensibly decided to cancel and we'll do it in two weeks time. I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to wearing my new to me maxi dress...

On Sunday, we went to see my son in Suffolk. There was a lot of surface water and deep puddles on the roads; but our part of the country wasn't too badly affected. My heart goes out to the people in the UK who were affected by the weekend's storms and flooding.

 I wore this:

Dress by Oliver Bonas; Bedford Daycare Hospice 6.00. Red shirt by Primark; 1.00 rail somewhere. Boots; online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Skirt Challenge - Day 3

This is one I wore more recently on the blog. It would have looked better with long boots, I think. I bought a pink cotton roll neck jumper for 50p from my Barnardo's last Monday to go with this skirt; but unfortunately I didn't check the size and it was far too big. I'll redonate it and keep looking for another pink top...

Back to Barnardo's on Monday for volunteering. Decoded the men's and added more clothes to the rails and tagged and put out out a range of clothing and bric a brac. Have you noticed I haven't been rummaging on any of my free days for the past two weeks? I'm just sticking to buying stuff from my Barnardo's on a Monday. I have next weekend away in Devon with Hilary, so I'll have a good old rummage then!!

This was Monday's outfit:

Everything charity shopped except boots - as before.

M&S cord trousers; old; yellow top 1.00 rail somewhere; kimono; my Barnardo's last year.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Skirt Challenge - Day 5

I wore this to the food bank on Tuesday. Everything charity shopped except black boots as before.

Skirt by M&S; my Barnardo's 3.00; jumper by M&Co; 1.00 rail somewhere; jacket by M&S my Barnardo's 3.99.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped except earrings donated by my daughter. The beads are quite unusual as they're made of wicker.

Because it was half term there were only a few of us at the food bank and I made up the Sally Army crates. I've got a busy week ahead of me. I'm taking the middle grandson to London for a tour of Wembley Stadium  on Wednesday; and after that we plan to get a Thames Clipper to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory et al. On Thursday, I am at the hairdressers; having the car's MOT done; doing the food shopping and taking the youngest grandson to the cinema and out for something to eat. And to top it all on Friday I'm off to Devon to see my best friend of 54 years; Hilary! I'm so looking forward to catching up and having a good old rummage.

See you on the other side!


  1. busi bee! and a very stylish one!!!
    of cause i do love the green looks - the one with the maxi a bit more - that skirt is such a beauty. the one with the acne studio skirt is very cool and mustard yellow is fab too....
    snowdrop walk? how lovely is that! can i come with you ;-D
    sorry to hear that the birthday party got blown away - esp. as you had a brand new dress to wear :-D - this dreaded storms did many demages here too - luckily not on our own property.

    1. Thank you Beate!

      Unfortunately, I didn't make the snowdrop walk because of horrible weather but they are springing up everywhere now; and crocuses and daffodils so Spring is almost here...

      Glad to hear you didn't suffer any storm damage - those poor people who were affected by it and the flooding I feel so bad for them.

      Hope you stay warm and dry!

  2. Another bevy of beautiful outfits, and I'm having a hard time choosing a favourite. Like Beate, I love green, so I definitely love all your green looks, and especially that divine Betty Barclay maxi skirt. And for only £ 3, too. Lucky you! The necklace worn with the green jumper caught my eye too, as well as the Armani skirt and that lovely jacket you are wearing with your final outfit. The ancestry kit sounds exciting, and it looks like you have to come to Belgium now too ;-) Sorry to hear you had to cancel your brother's birthday dinner, but it was probably for the best. Those floods caused by storm Dennis seem to be pretty severe. Poor people! We've been following this closely as it concerns some of our favourite UK places. A busy week ahead, indeed, and Devon to look forward to, how exciting! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann!

      Yes, I think a visit to Belgium is needed as well as Malta and Sicily!

      You might see big changes when you return to the UK as your favourite places have been so badly affected...

      I hope you're storm free!

  3. Another selection of great outfits. Enjoying the skirt challenge. I only own two!
    I have been toying with the idea of trying one of those DNA Ancestry kits as my uncle mentioned we may have spanish/jewish blood from way back. Would be interested to find out if that's true.

    1. Do it JayCee; I found it so fascinating and it's spurred me on to travel a bit more. I want to go to Sicily now and Malta.

  4. I recently discovered your blog, and I love it! I am in my 60's, recently divorced with little money, and working part time pre retirement. Now I am on my own, I am trying to find activities and places to go. You inspire me on many fronts - colourful and cheap clothes, fitness, and your community work.

    1. Hello Janey,

      Thank you for your comments.

      There are so many places to volunteer - and it's so much fun. I don't know where in the world you are but your local library might be a good starting point and we have an organisation called CSV - Community Service Volunteering in out town - where you can go and express an interest in volunteering.

      Good luck!

  5. Oh, so many great outfits, Vronni! You are a master outfit-maker! I'm particularly taken with your Acne maxi skirt, that Armani skirt and your ruffled jacket. Sorry to hear about the wild weather! Seems like Mother Nature is slightly pissed off at us humans, eh?

    Happy weekend, my dear. Thank you for the flower pictures! There is spring in the air!

    1. Thank you, Sheila!

      I think Mother Nature has every reason to be pissed off at us humans!

      Crocuses and daffodils everywhere...yay!

  6. What a fabulous selection of outfits particularly that Acne maxi skirt. Isn't that a really expensive hipster label? I bet it cost a bomb new (it certainly looks posh!) You really do look good in green, always buy it when you see it.
    Liking the sound of the curly pigs!
    Jon bought me one of those DNA testing kits last year and I got him one for Xmas - I'm 85% boring British but with 10% Belgian and 10% French (Brittany to be exact) and Jon's 15% Icelandic/Norwegian. Malta's a wonderful place, you definitely need a trip there - my brother goes every October, the flights are cheap as chips and the weather is gorgeous! xxx

    1. Hello Vix - great to hear from you! Yes I looked the Acne skirts up online and they retail from 200 - 500 for a wool skirt which mine is!

      Thank you for your lovely comments.

      I'm hoping when the weather gets better I'll get better photos of the piglings; mud and curly fleece is not a good look...

      I've got even more reason to go Malta now!

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  8. I love reading about your walks, I haven't been doing very many this year so far because I'm a bit of a wuss with the wind and rain.But I love watching the cycle of the seasons when I drive to Cambridge for work, the fields being ploughed, the seed being scattered. How great to get a history on a donated item! I'm loving all your skirts, being a big skirt fan, particularly the Armani - beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      I know what you mean about the walking - that's why I go swimming as well it can compensate (partly) for not being able to walk whenever I went.

  9. I just can't decide which outfit I like best! I do love the Seasalt jumper I am a bit of a fan not that I can afford therm usually!

    1. Me too! Only in charity shops though...I found some clogs at the weekend!

  10. When you get to Greenwich, step on the Prime Meridian for me! That's something I've always wanted to take Danny to do.

    These outfits are all so lovely. The skirt challenge will be fun to see as skirts are often the most interesting part of an outfit. Glad to hear you didn't flood, but agree that it is just awful.

    1. It's too late now, Goody but maybe next time...

      I find skirts difficult so I'd be pleased to see what you think at the end of the challenge.

  11. so many fabulous outfits!, I do love your long tops/tunics with trousers, you rock this style particularly and it looks also really comfy!. First outfit is fab! and also loving the red floral top you wore on Tuesday!
    Also lovely green outfits, the mixed prints and textures are so brilliant!.
    And I'm admiring your new skirt challenge too!, and the fab Armani skirt, woww!
    Love your black dress with red tights (cool!) and lovely Monday's outfit, the mixed prints and the kimono are so cute! and all your fantastic accessories!
    Glad to read that you're ok as news about weather in the UK have been so worrying, totally awful!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      I do like to wear clothes I'm comfortable in...

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  13. You look so good in those deep rich greens. I also loved the subtle mustardy yellow pattern-clash outfit with the kimono jacket; low key yet opulent. Oh, and I covet that pendant made from a silver spoon - seriously gorgeous. So good when one is in the right place at the right time!!

  14. You look adorable in anything you wear, Dear!! It is isn't very easy to select the best ones. The collections were merely exceptional. I loved the green tunics with blazers and every accessories you wore were astounding. The skirt challenge was also impressive. Hope you have great month ahead and keep inspiring us with stylish posts!!

  15. What a selection of outfits you have! Not to forget your admirable collection of brooches, and other accessories. My friend is very particular about the accessories she wears. She has an impressive collection and she is a real pro at accessorizing her outfits.


Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...