Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Birthday Celebrations and the End of the Skirt Challenge

I had errands to run in town on Wednesday and when I'd finished decided to walk to the Danish Camp along the river. I walked on one side of the river there and on the other side on the way back. It was a bleak, grey day and it rained on the way back; but I just put my hood up. I'd walked 8 miles by the time I got in!

Everything charity shopped. Boden cords and Oasis jumper from the 1.00 rail in my Barnardo's. The Nomads dress/tunic was also charity shopped but can't remember where. Grey boots online retail; they're getting very shabby so I'll be getting rid of them.

All jewellery charity shopped. I bought the necklace in a Co. Derry charity shop for 3 euros.

Thursday was busy. I went to Sharnbrook to pick up more coal, did the food shopping and put it away. I went swimming as I wanted to walk with the group on Friday. I went swimming about an hour later than I usually do and on a different day and had the middle lande completely to myself! It was wonderful. I may do this from now on as I don't have to do the school run on Thursday and once I've done the shopping the day is mine...I hope it wasn't a fluke!

Skirt Challenge - Day 10

I wanted to wear my Zara jacket (1.00 sale bargain - my Barnardo's) but Thursday was a cold, raw day and it just wasn't warm enough! Everything charity shopped except the jumper and boots; presents from my daughter. Skirt by Tu; shirt by M&S 1.00 rail in the 3:16 charity shop. I popped in there on Wednesday and spent a few pounds  in their 1.00 sale.

Tights charity shopped. This skirt doesn't fit well round my waist so it's been relegated to the charity shop bag.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Skirt Challenge - Day 11

More pattern mixing! Everything charity shopped. Skirt by M&S; spotted top by Mandolin; my Barnardo's and striped roll neck by John Lewis 1.00 rail also found in my Barnardo's.

Tights and all jewellery also charity shopped.

Boots - present from daughter.

I wore this outfit on Friday after I got back from our bus walk. We walked from Shefford to Clifton, onto Southill and back to Shefford. It was a really lovely day with bright sunshine and bright blue skies. The walk was just over 7 miles but as I had to walk to my car I did just under 8. There was an Age UK in Shefford and of course I had a look. I bought some Clark's summer shoes for 4.99; some striped summer trousers for 3.99 and a lovely book about car boot collectibles for 1.50.

Two beautifully coordinated walking companions; Jan and Lesley; who's in her 80s!  And some views over the Bedfordshire countryside.

On Saturday we did the housework as we were having everyone over for dinner on Sunday. I made several trips to town including one for wool. My Cup Cake blanket is not the stash busting project I'd hoped it would be! I just didn't have enough blue wool left to make a reasonable sized blanket. I had to  buy 5 more balls of wool in order to be able to complete it. I managed to get quite a bit of crocheting done on Saturday. I want to have it finished by the time we go to Ireland as I like to have a project to do while I'm there. I know what the next project will be; a Lazy Waves pattern in greens. I may have to find a couple more balls of green, too!

Everything charity shopped. Jeans by Zara 3.00; my Barnardo's; top by Next; can't remember. Jacket by M&S; 1.00 rail somewhere. Blue boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped except brooch; bought in Donegal gift shop. Headscarf was a present.

I went for a 6 mile walk on Sunday morning.

Skirt Challenge - Day 12

Everything charity shopped. I bought the Oasis top for 1.00 in my Barnardo's but cannot remember where anything else came from. The jacket is an old Next one.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; Beale sale - it's closing down...

That's the skirt challenge completed - thank goodness! At least I've worn them all and I did get rid of 9 out of the original 20, if you remember, although I've already replaced 1 of those with a 1.00 rail bargain from the 3:16 charity shop last week...

In the afternoon my brothers, Marian and Katherine, daughter and partner and grandsons came for dinner. OH made curry goat and curry chicken, daughter made cocktails - I had loads, and we played Charades and Articulate after dinner. I think I can say that everyone had a really great time! Although my birthday wasn't until the Monday I was allowed my birthday cake early:

I have to confess that I felt a bit yuck on the morning of my birthday. Too many cocktails, I think. I went to the charity shop as usual but finished a bit early as my daughter was taking me out for afternoon tea to a hotel in Stevenage.  I took some cakes in  to Barnardo's and was given a beautiful bunch of tulips by my manager and deputy manager; how sweet of them. The afternoon tea was lovely; and we had planned to go for a rummage to nearby Letchworth after but it was such a nasty, cold wet day we both wanted to go home instead.  So we did! I was given some wonderful birthday gifts. Quite a lot of money; a lavender candle and chocolates from youngest grandson;  eledest and middle grandsons gave me Amazon vouchers and an orchid; my son sent me flowers and chocolates and gave me money; my daughter gave me two books including the new Hilary Mantel book (yay!) and some new wrist straps for my Fitbit; my brothers gave me money; OH bought me a maxi skirt and is taking me away next weekend. My cousin gave me special tea bags; a beautiful cup and saucer and her daughter found, bid for, and won a Mary Quant headscarf for me! How lucky am I?

Shirt; 1.00 rail 3:16 charity shop; denim dress; retail (present). Boots online retail. You can't see the colour properly in these photos but the shirt is a beautiful blue colour.


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; Sainsbury's - old.

Birthday flowers from colleagues at Barnardo's.

Birthday bouquet and jug from my son.

I went to the food bank on Tuesday and after I'd finished I decided to recce the walk I'll be leading for my Ramblers group next Wednesday. I had a really busy week ahead what with being taken away for the weekend so this was the best chance I had. The weather was very weird on Tuesday. It was very warm; 16 degrees but very, very windy! I walked 8 miles and although it was muddy in places it wasn't as bad as I had expected.

I wore this on Tuesday. Everything charity shopped. Trousers from my Barnardo's; picked up on Monday for 3.00; tunic; can't remember. Jacket; 1.00 rail from Bedford Hospice shop. Blue boots from the Red Cross Shop.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I decided not to walk with my group on Wednesday as I had too much to do. I walked with my daughter and did 6 miles; another windy day but not too cold and it was dry at least. I wore this:

Kimono; my Barnardo's; shirt by Dunnes store charity shopped in Ireland; Next boyfriend fit jeans; my Barnardo's. Red boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

In the afternoon I went to Aldi for some bits and picked up more kindling. Then I went to Kempston to my doctors to collect a repeat prescription and took it to the chemist. I visited the Cat's Protection League whilst waiting for the prescription to be made up. I bought a blue floral crossbody bag and some smellies. Then it was back to Bedford to get my  eyebrows done and to run a few errands to a range of places including buying a birthday card for eldest grandson who is 25 on Sunday. In the evening I met up with my other best friend of 32 years, Ann, and we had a meal out and a catch up. We chose the wrong evening as Liverpool were playing and the pub was full of extremely noisy Liverpool fans! It was good to catch up and we both said we should do it more often but life gets in the way...

On Thursday morning I received a letter from my doctor's practice telling me they were closing. I've been with this practice for 39 years but it is closing down and we have all been reallocated to another practice. Luckily, the new practice is within walking distance for me whereas the old practice was a drive away.

On Friday OH and I set out for Stamford in Lincolnshire to spend the weekend as part of my birthday celebrations. We stayed at 'The Crown' in All Saints Place which was a wonderful place to stay. We had been to Stamford a couple of times before but had never stayed overnight.  Stamford is a town which has 17th and 18th-century stone buildings, older timber-framed buildings and five medieval parish churches. Stamford is a frequent filming location; including the 2004 version of 'Pride and Prejudice'; 'Middlemarch' and 'The Da Vinci Code'. In the age of the railway the Earl of Burleigh wouldn't allow the railway into Stamford so it was moved to Peterborough instead. That may be why the buildings in the town have remained so well preserved and it is one of the towns in the UK with the highest densities of listed buildings. We did a fair amount of rummaging and sightseeing taking in Oakham in Rutland the UK's smallest county; and Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire as well.

In the hotel room. Everything charity shopped except the boots.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Buildings in Stamford. The two top and bottom left were all in the street where the hotel was. The houses by the river are the backs of alms houses.
Views from Stamford; All Saints Brewery. The plaque was outside one of the buildings in the top right photo.

Another house and famous historical person on All Saint's Place.

Top left church in Melton Mowbray; top right church in Oakham; bottom left All Saints Church, Stamford and bottom right Browne's Hospital, Stamford.

Views from Oakham. Top left; a Norman Hall; thatched house top right and bottom left; bottom right OH outside the  Wheatsheaf pub!
Melton Mowbray luminaries and a frieze celebrating Melton Mowbray including the famous pork pie.

Charity shopped tops by Phase Eight and QED; skirt present from OH; by New Look. Boots online retail.

Scarf and jewellery charity shopped.

The rummaging was quite successful; I had birthday money to spend! I bought earrings and a ring for 5.00 each in Oxfam in Stamford. I bought 3 maxi skirts; one a summer one for 4.00; and the other two were 1.00 rail buys. I also bought a cotton navy jacket to replace my current one as the sleeves are too long, also from the 1.00 rail; a BHS checked jacket from 1.00 rail and a short sleeved cardigan, too. I bought some long red beads and 4 books so I did very well and was very pleased with my buys. It was a lovely relaxing weekend and I was almost sorry to return home on a wet and windy Sunday.

Everything charity shopped. Maxi skirt by M&S; top by Matalan; cardi by Fenn, Wright and Manson. Boots as above.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

This cardi is no more. It caught fire when I stretched up to the cupboard over the hob and I had to dunk it in the sink. No burns ensued but I did drop a baking tray full of hot oil on my (bare) foot earlier in the week! The superficial burn is healing and is at the itchy stage now...
I've finally had to acknowledge that it is most unlikely that we'll get to Ireland at Easter now; thanks to Covid 19. I worry about the mould that invades the caravan over the winter months; but just have to hope it doesn't worsen as we won't be there to clean it all away. Still, as long as we all stay as fit and well as we can that's the most important thing. I listen to the information about the virus and  will act on advice given by the government. My brother in London has friends who've had the virus and recovered. My grandson and his girlfriend both work in the hospitality sector and I don't know what they'll do for money if their places of work have to close.

I ventured into Sainsbury's on Tuesday as I took middle grandson's mum shopping. I wish I hadn't; the shelves were mostly empty. It was a shocking sight and it's so unnecessary. It's people being greedy and selfish; mostly. There's enough for everyone. I expect we'll see a type of rationing introduced and I for one think that's probably a good thing. I shall do my shopping as usual on Thursday and if they haven't got what I want I'll just have to go without it or improvise!  In Ireland my cousin told me that people are buying up deep freezes (her husband works for an electrical retail store) which they proceed to fill up...

This was Tuesday's outfit for the foodbank. We  spent the time making up hygiene bags for food bank users. It is unlikely the food bank will continue as the distribution centres are being closed - all part of trying to suppress Covid-19. I am happy to continue in the warehouse and have said so but the decision lies with the food bank organisers  and the local council as to what will happen in the near future.
 The Ramblers suspended all walking  and walking related activities today but I shall continue to walk on my own as per usual.

Everything charity shopped except the boots and jacket; jacket present from my daughter and the boots were donated by her.

Leggings by Joseph; my Barnardo's; tunic from the 1.00 rail and roll neck top, too.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We've entered a different world my friends. Let's hope we can survive it. I have a feeling that the blogosphere and blogging friends will become even more important to us.

Stay safe and keep your spirits up!


  1. I'm sorry you won't be getting to Ireland this year, but you're probably wise to stay put at home. I shopped last week, but didn't go wild with it. We have enough should it become a month or so indoors, but I'm troubled that people are supplying like it is the end of the world. People that are paid monthly will find the stores bare by the time they can go.

    Stay safe and well.

    1. You too, Goody!

      I'm off to do my shopping tomorrow - wish me luck!

  2. A belated Happy Birthday! Stay safe and well in these strange and uncertain times Vronni x

  3. Even if it's for the best, it's still heartbreaking that you won't be able to go to Ireland over Easter. We booked a short break in Holland in April, which we will have to cancel too. Hopefully we'll get to travel to the UK in June, but I don't want to think about that right now. I'd rather look at your parade of colourful outfits instead! I very much like the print on that Nomads tunic in your first outfit, and I love the necklace you're wearing with it. Another favourite is the orange/red outfit with the maxi skirt you wore on your weekend away. Stamford and Melton Mowbray look gorgeous, and I'm loving your collages. Can I ask which software or website you used to make them? Oh, and snap: I've got that Car Boot book too! xxx P.S. Do stay safe and healthy Vronni!

    1. Thank you, Ann. Yes, I'm hoping to get to Ireland in June but like you can't think that far ahead. What a coincidence about the book!

      I just use Google photos for the collages. There is an option called 'For You' where you select collage and you can have up to 9 photos in the collage; select the photos and hey presto!

      Stay safe and healthy, too, Ann. Just think of all the extra reading you'll get done!

  4. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! It looks like you had a great time, got thoroughly spoiled (and drunk, you naughty girl, lol) and enjoyed yourself on your trip away. Lovely pictures.

    It's too bad about your trip - I could feel the impending encroachment of COVID-19 on all of your activities, from swimming (all the rec centres are closed here), to your walking group, to shopping in the thrifts, and of course, travel. Things are very shut down here, and yes, the stupid people hoarding toilet paper! Gah! There is enough! The supply chains are open and stores have enough to restock. I wish people wouldn't be so greedy.

    I agree, our blogs are sunshine in the darkness. People want distractions and light topics. We can do our part to make the world calmer and brighter.

    Hugs to you, my dear. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you, Sheila. Yes, the impact of the virus on our day to lives will be enormous. I forego swimming today as it seemed a little stupid; I don't know if the pool was shut. I doubt it. The library was open and nearly all the retail stores in town. Whereas in London my grandson told me everything is closed and his restaurant closes today.

      Look after yourself and L, and of course the furry little monster!

  5. belated happy birthday - dear vronni!
    sending you my best wishes, especially for good health!
    well done with the skirt challenge - gorgeous outfits. my fav is the one you wore for your birthday celebration - very elegant but cool too!
    the red plissé maxi OH gave you is totally chic! and he took you on a fine trip - very picturesque town.
    sorry about your canceled trip to ireland! can you contact someone there to open the windows of the caravan from time to time on a sunny day?
    stay safe! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      Unfortunately, my nearest relatives in Ireland live at least 45 miles away from our caravan; but you have given me an idea that I could contact a caravan neighbour and ask if they would open the windows. Good thinking, Beate!

  6. You really surpassed yourself with the skirt challenge - I love how you styled the shorter skirts on day 10 and 11, it's amazing how patterned tights can transform an outfit. Very impressed with your walking and swimming achievements. Mine are both in the doldrums shall we say, but now that I'm working from home all the time, I should be able to get out walking more. Sorry to hear your trip to Ireland is probably off. I was so looking forward to seeing my mum this weekend in Plymouth for Mother's day, but she has begged me not to go because the virus is in her village. Very worrying, she is 86 although in good health. Stay safe xx

    1. Thank you, Gail.

      Such a shame you can't see your mum but it is for the best. I'm scared of going stir crazy....

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  8. Happy Birthday month, Vronni! You need to prolong the celebrations for as long as possible in this current climate!
    Loved your skirt challenge especially your elegant birthday look and the black and white outfit, just fabulous.
    I'm so glad you were able to celebrate your day and get away, Stamford and Melton Mowbray looked lovely, two places I've never been. What a shame about Ireland, though.
    Yes, we owe it to all our readers to carry on blogging and keep up the positive vibes. So many people aren't posting as frequently as they once were and when I search for other blogs to read they're all just moaning monologues.
    Take care and stay active! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      We must spread the positivity and love....


  9. Happy birthday, dear Veronica!
    And lovely post, lots of outfits and fab accessories!
    I love your purple tunic and cord trousers, and the amazing necklace and turquoise bracelet!. Love your black&white ensembles, you rock mixed prints and create really cool outfits! (love those polka dots over stripes and the magnificent silver necklace).
    And you look particularly elegant in your birthday outfit, love the pleated skirt and golden jewelery!
    Lovely denim dress and pink trousers, and also lovely kimono over the yellow blouse and lovely graphic blue top, such a cool print!.
    And those maxi skirts both look fab!. Sorry that you had an accident at home, glad it was not serious!
    And so sorry that you are reaching the same spot where we are, closing down shops and recommending people to stay at home. Glad that you still can go for a walk!. Enjoy it and stay safe!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      Yes, we are on lockdown now. As long as I can get out for a walk I'll be fine.

      You stay safe, too.

  10. I'm glad you were able to have a birthday meal and then a getaway to lovely Stamford - Ireland's not looking likely now. (I heard some bloke in our corner shop telling the staff he was off to Donegal, which seems really selfish, as he could potentially be taking the virus with him.) And I hope not being able to do your walks with your group isn't getting you down too much!

    1. Thank you, Mim. No, I'm happy walking on my own so not walking with the group won't get me down at all. Ireland's definitely off!

  11. I am certainly happy to have found your blog, first of all happy birthday.
    I am in awe at all of your findings in charity shops and I can see you are a master at pattern mixing.
    Be safe.

    1. Lorena, hello!

      I do hope you'll carry on reading my blog. I publish posts once a fortnight.

      Stay safe, too.


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 ...