Tuesday, 14 April 2020

The jacket challenge continues/ finishes and starts again..

Who knew we would adapt so well to a form of imprisonment and enforced idleness? Surely after this people will realise that it is possible to work from home; that maybe not all of us have to work at full time jobs and could reduce hours; that it's great to spend time with the family; and that less pollution is a win win for everybody AND the planet? We shall see...my friend Hilary says her chestiness has gone (she's asthmatic) for the first time in 30 years. She puts it down to the lack of traffic pollution.

As for me it feels like I'm on holiday. I'm going to bed later and getting up later but still trying to keep a structure to my day by setting tasks to achieve on a daily basis; including down time for reading and crocheting.

This was Wednesday's outfit on Week 2 of lockdown. Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots - online retail.

Skirt by M&S; 1.00 rail in a Stamford charity shop. Top by River island;  1.00 rail somewhere.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

OH started furlough on Wednesday. He spent ithe day in the garden. It's looking so neat and tidy and we managed to buy some more plants (Lidl and B&M). My daughter bought me a beautiful pink rose for Mother's Day and it's now planted in the garden where it will hopefully last.

I went for a 6 mile walk in the afternoon. Just around the streets of Bedford; there weren't many people around but everyone who was was cheerful and practising social distancing when we passed each other.

Jacket Challenge - Day 8

Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except boots - online retail. Tunic; Monsoon, RSPCA charity shop; trousers by Zara; 3:16 charity shop;  Navy jacket by Classic; 1.00 rail in Melton Mowbray Salvation Army.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Life goes on in the new normal. If it's Thursday it must be food shopping! Lidl was fine again; but I heard the staff telling an elderly gentleman that he shouldn't be buying one or two items; that only a large shop should be done necessitating a once a week trip. Not so easy for elderly people or people who live on their own...There was a humongous queue outside Sainsbury's stretching back through the car park and spaced out with people standing 2 metres apart. It moved quickly though. Once again I got all the things I needed but it took twice as long as usual. I'm not complaining. In the afternoon I walked to the post office to post a present to my son as I won't be seeing him for a while. 

I have not had much luck with my new crochet project -  in terms of following the pattern, I mean. This is the second pattern in a row I've given up on; despite having already made a blanket in this same pattern in the past.  Now I have abandoned the pattern and am doing my own thing -  which I'm calling 'The Wavy Line Striped' blanket which I think is a pretty fair description!

Jacket Challenge - Day 9
All jewellery charity shopped
Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Zara; can't remember, River Island boots; my Barnardo's; top by Kim and Co; can't remember; Jacket by Indigo Moon; Barnardo's in Sandy. The light in my my bedroom gives this gauzy effect which is why I usually take the blog photos in the spare room. I've had to get rid of these trousers as there was a stain on one knee. I applied stain remover and rewashed them but it seemed to be an oil based stain and won't come out.

I wore this outfit on Friday. I had to go to Aldi to buy things I'd forgotten; basic things like bread and milk even though I written a shopping list... there was a queue to get in but it moved very quickly.

Saturday was such a beautiful day. I couldn't wait to get out for a walk.

Typical UK footpath. Blackthorn on both sides. This year I am determined to collect the sloes and make some Sloe gin. The Ramblers have been running a campaign called 'Don't Lose Your Way' to reclaim over tens of thousands of  miles of 'lost' footpaths before the law changes and they're lost forever. You can see more about it HERE.

This path is a continuation of the path around the Iron Age hill fort site at the back of the golf course. It leads down to stables where they have not one but two exercise rings for the horses. One is covered to protect from the weather; and the other open to the elements but with sand on the ground. Mostly, I see the horses in the surrounding fields. The path then takes to the road and it was walking up a steep part of this road called Church Hill, that I turned my ankle on an unlevel bit at the side of the road and fell in a heap on the ground. My goodness was the ankle sore! But I could walk on it and continued on another 4 miles. By the time I got back to my car I was in agony and couldn't wait to get home and put ice on it and rest it. It was pretty swollen but nothing was broken. In fact, the injury to my ankle left me hobbling around for days and I think I may have torn a muscle or a ligament. It was still swollen and a bit sore a week later.

 On Saturday evening we had another Zoom meet up and drink; it was good to see everyone.

Jacket Challenge - Day 10

I have to say I'm quite enjoying the jacket challenge because it enables me to show off some of my collection of brooches. I'm hoping to follow Ann; HERE; who has been posting lovely photos on IG of her amazing brooch collection; and do a blog post about my brooch collection soon.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; donated by my daughter. Jeans by Next 1.00 rail; top by M&S; can't remember. It has quite full sleeves which made the River Island blazer (1.00 rail; Barnardo's) a bit tight and uncomfortable, so I swapped it for a floral cardigan in purple, turquoise and green when I went out for a walk - and swapped the boots for walking boots and socks. It was so warm I didn't need a jacket. I'd planned to take another photo of the revamped outfit but injuring my ankle put paid to that.

All jewellery charity shopped. That's my Cuban silver spoon necklace; and I'm wearing a two little birds brooch. Remember that Bob Marley song? I know, that was 'Three Little Birds' but you know what I mean (listen to it here) the brooch reminds me of it everytime I wear it!

Jacket Challenge - Day 11

My beloved Next denim jacket. About 5 or 6 years old and charity shopped somewhere.
The dress is made in the USA and is by Tua. I paid 5.00 for it in a charity shop in Olney; one day last year after a Rambler's walk there.

Boots online retail. I only managed to wear them for a little while. I put my winter coats away on Sunday and a little bit of my winter wear.  The weather had definitely taken a turn for the better - much warmer and sunnier. Hooray! That's my wrap around felted wool coat on the line; just washed and ready to go up in the loft with the heavier winter items.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Due to the swollen ankle I had to resort to flip flops on Monday...
Everything charity shopped including the flip flops! Trousers by Laura Ashley; top by Masai; and dress worn as a shirt by Red Herring; 1.00 sale, Bedford Daycare Hospice. Flip flops; my Barnardo's.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I managed to order some more plants (Stocks and lupins) from a local nursery over the phone. They could be picked up from the nursery gates. OH spent the day putting up a planter made out of a pallet that I bought from a local buy and sell group; just as lockdown was hitting us. Once we have it filled with plants I will share it with you.  OH also managed to buy more plants from B&M;  some sweet peas; more pansies and a lovely purple plant one that neither of us know what it's called.  All the plants were reduced; a lot were dead and beyond saving OH said. B&M weren't expecting further deliveries of plants either. I read somewhere that all the tulips in Holland had to be destroyed. Can you imagine that? I can't. Fields and fields of wonderfully coloured tulips - gone.

Other than cleaning out the fire; doing a wash; and making a casserole, Monday, the beginning of Week 3 in lockdown was a day of leisure involving day time crocheting and reading! Like many other people I volunteered to help vulnerable and self isolating people in the community. I was asked to befriend someone who was social isolating and call them regularly. I began doing this on Sunday. When my ankle is back to normal I may also be needed to shop for or pick up prescriptions.

On Tuesday, I was able to wear proper footwear again. Ankle improving; still puffy but not as bad as the weekend, I went to the foodbank where we operated the same system as last week. Only three of us in and practising social distancing. It was busy but we finished earlier than usual. Demand is still high for food parcels and hygiene packs.

Jacket Challenge - Day 12

Everything charity shopped.Clarks shoes bought from Age UK in Stamford.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Jeans by Next; spotted top no label 1.00 sale; Daycare Hospice shop. Jacket bought in Co. Donegal Animal charity shop. I'm sad to report that this green spotted blouse has been thrown away. When I was going to bed I saw an ominous orange stain on the front  - yes, a bleach stain. Why does it always happen to clothes I really like?

I spent much of Tuesday afternoon in the garden.  It was sunny in bursts but when the wind blew it was chilly. Did two whites washes and hung them out to dry. It's so good to get the washing on the line and it dries in no time. I miss going out on walks but the ankle wasn't up to it. I'm hoping it will be back to normal by the end of this week and I can get back to regular walks. I'm also badly missing the hairdresser's; but I'm a bit curious to see how my hair will look as it gets longer. I've had it short since May 2009 so I will find it strange! I did manage to go out later for a walk round the neighbourhood with OH; we passed this mural on the side of a house on the way back. There are several frescoes around Bedford; this  one is number 2.

Jacket Challenge - Days 13 - 16

As the weather has now become warm and sunny, I am less likely to wear the warmer of my jackets.  Once again I'm going to cheat and show you photos of when I've worn them before. There is one jacket I haven't yet worn; which you'll see further on.  That brings the final number of jackets up to 17 - and I put one in the charity shop bag!

Day 13

Boiled/felted wool jacket;  2.00 rail Willen Hospice, Newport Pagnell.

Day 14

Country Casuals jacket - can't remember

Day 15 

M&S jacket 50p sale; my Barnardo's

Day 16

Orange boiled/felted wool jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; 8.00 in Daycare Hospice Shop, Kempston. This was taken the Christmas before last.

Jacket Challenge - Day 17

Everything charity shopped except the navy top; sale in Store 21 in Rushden. Linen trousers by Next; jacket by Indigo Moon; bought in Barnardos in Sandy the day I walked there from Bedford. It has sequins on it. As it was such a warm day on Wednesday I took the jacket off and replaced it with a kimono in the afternoon.

Shoes are by Clarks and I use these as summer walking shoes as they are very comfortable.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I walked into town as we needed some things and combined it with a short daily walk. My ankle was a bit sore when I got home so I'm planning to do a 'normal for me' walk tomorrow i.e. at least 5 miles; and get back into a walking routine.  I complained to the council about the road verge where I hurt my ankle and they sent me a claim form...watch this space!

I've now finished the Autumn/Winter clothes challenges and with that in mind I spent the rest of Wednesday swapping my wardrobe over. I just hope and pray we don't get a cold snap now!

Here I am in Thursday's outfit; all charity shopped. Kimono is actually a dressing gown; trousers by Zara and pink tee shirt years old.

Shoes by Clarks as before.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I went shopping on Thursday for food and essentials. Queued for 25 minutes at the farm shop; 10 minutes in Aldi and 10 minutes in Lidl. The queue for Sainsbury's started at the entrance to the car park and went round the entire car park in a big U shape - I drove in and out again. OH went out later in the day when there were shorter queues. My brother told me he went to his pharmacy to collect his prescription and queued for 90 minutes!  OH and I went out for a walk in the evening. We took carrier bags with us and collected fir cones for kindling  in a couple of different places. We hadn't lit the fire for two evenings as it had still been warm; but we had plenty of kindling for when we do!

Shoes recently purchased from a charity shop but can't remember which one. Trousers bought in a La Redoute sale ages ago. Yellow kimono by 'Look at the Stars' (!) charity shopped in my Barnardo's; as was the top from the 1.00 rail.

All jewellery charity shopped. I've taken to tucking my hair behind my ears as it has grown so much.

I went back to where I injured my ankle on Friday,  to take some photos to send the council; and had a short walk around the village. Apart from doing some washing, all I did all day was sit in the garden and crochet. The sun was lovely, the air was full of birdsong and the thrum of bees. I read somewhere that butterflies like really ripe bananas; and as I had one, I hung it up with string to see if attracted any. I didn't spot any  butterflies in the garden but saw several on my walk.

Do you believe in coincidences? Here's one for you. I received some Amazon vouchers for my birthday and spent them on a couple of books; one called 'Square Haunting' which was a series of mini biographies of five women who all lived in Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury. In the book similarities were drawn with one of the women's (Hilda Doolittle or HD) style of writing to someone called Dorothy Richardson who allegedly wrote the first 'stream of consciousness' novel 'Pilgrimage'. I liked the sound of 'Pilgrimage so ordered it - a Virago edition which I collect - and it arrived on Friday. Searching for something to watch on TV that evening I watched a programme about Virago books we'd recorded ages ago; and lo and behold they talked about 'Pilgrimage' and its importance to the feminist literary tradition.

On Saturday I plucked up the courage to go for a proper walk. It was a glorious day.

Everything charity shopped except Caterpillar boots; car boot sale.
Dressed for a walk complete with walking boots. I walked 5 miles without any ill effects to my ankle. I walked again on Saturday managing just over 6 miles. It's lovely walking in the countryside - I don't see a soul! The oil seed rape has started to bloom so there are fields of yellow everywhere...

Monday saw the beginning of the 4th week of lockdown. It was decidedly chillier with a strong breeze but the sun did come out later in the afternoon. I walked to Wilco in the morning to get some essential household items. They had plants for sale and some were reduced.  I bought some seeds as well as some miniature kits for sowing seeds under a protective cover. OH will be busy! I bought delphinium, larkspur, foxglove and chinese lantern seed. We've never had success with growing from seed before so I hope the covered trays might do the job. I also managed to buy some petunia plants which OH planted  in the pallet planter; as well as a trailing succulent plant that has gone mad and some transplanted pansies. I would liked to have planted busy lizzies in the planter but it's a bit early for them; the nursery suggested I try again at the end of the month.

As the sun was out in the afternoon I went for a brisk 5 mile walk to Biddenham village and back into Bedford. I passed this house on the way back; I've got wisteria envy again...

I've found my days are beginning to settle into a routine even in these strange times. I get up, eat breakfast, get showered, changed and make up on. I then go for a walk or to pick up things we need from the shops. I spend a portion of time each day on my lap top trying to keep up with blogs and to write my own. I spend time talking to the person to whom I'm a befriender and talking to various members of the family. I'm reading and crocheting, washing, cleaning and cooking. On Tuesday mornings I'm at the foodbank. I haven't missed rummaging strangely; except today when walking down the High Street towards Wilco and peering in the charity shop windows!

Summer Jacket Challenge - Day 1

A sunnier day on Tuesday but I was chilly! I wore this to the food bank where we spent the morning making up food parcels for the distribution centres.

Everything charity shopped. Jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; Keech Hospice shop. Skirt and tee shirt by BHS (remember them?) my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity except the earrings from Bedford market.

Can't remember where I bough the Clarks Mary Janes from.

That's it from me; I have another, this time remarkable, coincidence for you in my next blog post. Meanwhile stay safe, sane and keep on blogging!


  1. Some fabulous outfits here, Vronni! My favourite has to be the maxi with your beloved denim jacket, red boots and spotted scarf, just gorgeous! loving the kimono-cum-dressing-gown, the green beads and how good you look in jeans.
    The pallet planter is gorgeous, love the colour. You've done well with sourcing plants. The garden centre we got our compost from is doing plant deliveries now but they keep selling out. I have wistweria envy, too. That house is fabulous.
    Sorry to hear about your ankle and glad it's on the mend now.
    Life is full of freaky coincidences.
    Stay safe and healthy and let's hope the weather warms up tomorrow as promised, it's been so cold her after last week's mini heatwave! xxx

    1. Yes, the weather here has got better -I wish it would last!

      I'm hopeful of some busy lizzies in a couple of weeks from the a local nursery. We're lucky we have three so must find some at one of them!

  2. My goodness, what a lot of jackets! I used to have quite a lot myself when I was working and earning money - I think I counted around 30 at one stage. I donated a lot of them when I gained weight but now that I have lost weight again I wish that I had kept some of the really good ones.
    Glad to hear that your ankle is getting better. I twisted mine a couple of years ago and it took around 3 months to heal!

    1. 30? You make me feel so much better, JayCee! Fat chance of buying anymore at the moment...

  3. Terrible time for an injury but thank goodness it was only a sprain. Glad to hear you're able to walk easier now.

    I'm barely getting out. I could walk around the neighbourhood, but haven't much felt like it. I shop every few weeks and it has been quiet, without crowds, but still enough to make me a panicking mess. I doubt I'll ever get used to it.

    Love all your jackets-you have such good ones. I'll look forward to seeing your collection of brooches.

    1. Sorry to hear that the lock down is making you you panicky when you go out, Goody. Hopefully, we'll be looking back and laughing at what went on by the summer....

  4. Oh no, your poor ankle! I recently (January) gave mine a good twist too - it was fine after a week or so, and I'm glad to hear yours is better enough for your regular long walks.

    Your stunning paisley maxi is my absolute favourite of all your outfits, but they're all good - they always are! I like your taste in jackets - like me, you run to the ornamental and gew-gawed, ha ha!

    Please share pictures of your gardening - I am a poor gardener, and we haven't a single plant in my 4th floor condo, so I'm living vicariously through you and the other bloggers who garden!

    It's nice to have a routine, even in these trying times, isn't it? I could get used to this!

    1. Thanks, Sheila!

      Yes, I'm just waiting for a few more things to bloom and then I'd planned to take some photos of the garden. If you have an enclosed outdoor space (?) you could grow some exotic plants...

  5. you look so very gorgeous with red headscarf and big red pearls!!!
    and the combo of yellow&black jacket with y&b top is fab - genius pattern mixing.
    i feel sorry for your foot and hope that it will be healing to its former fitness - not being able to go for a walk is so frustrating - i know what a talk about....
    the palet planter is a great idea for a tiny garden, yard or even a baclony!
    super sweet walking outfit! and yes - here is wisteria envy too. but i know, that it is to late to plant one......(and our roof must be done - better not plant something near at the fassade)
    the typical brit path looks lovely with the blooming hedges!

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      Oh, at this time of year I get really bad wisteria envy!

  6. My brother has COPD and he too says he is finally able to breathe properly again. And I will definitely be reducing my hours after all this. I don't really have a problem with this this confinement, and I am certainly enjoying the slower pace of life. The only things I'm having problems with are the not knowing when it will end, and all the idiots who still think the rules are not for them, putting everybody else at risk. It's great to see that you are still dressing up as usual. And we too were finally able to buy some plants! So glad we have a supermarket where we don't have to queue and if we run out of anything we can walk to the organic grocery in the village. I miss walking but there's not much nearby which is quiet and with a bit of green. Oh my, walking for another 4 miles with your turned ankle must have been agony! Thank you for the shout out, by the way, and I would LOVE to see a post about your brooch collection. It's great to see your collection of jackets. I might even steal that idea from you, as I've got quite a few and when am I going to wear them now? My favourite of your outfits is the Tua dress, and I just love the pallet planter! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      Yes, I realised some time ago how important time is compared to money; I was very lucky that in being able to pay my mortgage off by the time I was 55 enabled me to spend the last 5 years of my working life on reduced hours. I never missed the money I could have earned.

      Glad you got plants!

  7. I don't get the chance to wear jackets very often which is a shame because like you I love to wear brooches! Sorry to hear about your injured ankle. I've been trying to do the shopping just once a week (highlight of the week!) but I find that I still need to pop into the local Co-Op for things I forget, and things which don't stay fresh for long like bread and lettuce. Fab outfits, my favourites are the heart dress with stripey leggings, and denim jacket with red headscarf and patterned maxi dress.

    1. Who knew one would get excited about a trip to the supermarket? Strange times we live in.

      Thank you, Gail.

  8. Oh my gosh you have got some fabulous jackets! We have found the best time to supermarket shop is about 3.30pm mid week, it's still stressful though as keeping your distance seems to be an alien concept to a lot of people round here!

    1. Thank you, Gisela.

      I'd be scared if I went that late there wouldn't be much left! I try to get to the supermarkets by 11 am at the latest.

  9. What a (literal) pain about your ankle. I've done that sort of thing more than once-my ankles just seem to have a mind of their own! I fell right down in the city centre some months ago, so embarrassing and I broke my sunglasses. You may need to do some exercise to help strengthen your ankles.
    Lots of bright and cheerful outfits as usual - you are so glamorous! I'm keeping up appearances with dressing as I would to go out, full slap and jewellery of course. I continue to buy on e-bay and have sorted out a lot -about 20 - dresses for the charity shop when it re-opens. I now have about 85 dresses, all kinds including cruise wear.I habitually wear a dress and cardigan - trousers only for warmth or strenuous activity. If Victorian ladies could climb mountains in skirts I'm quite happy walking around my local fields in a dress!
    We only shop once a week anyway so nothing much has changed there. I have about 3 walks of 1hr each week and do 3 sessions of exercises, one with my PT by Skype. With usual housework,laundry etc I find I have enough to do. We've been listening to 'Bring up the Bodies' on an audio download from the library and have had a few video calls with the family. I'm used to my own company, don't getup very early (usually sleep badly anyway) and the evening snifter is closer to 5 than 6 pm. Thank God for gin!

    1. Thank you so much!

      I'm glad to hear you are managing with the crisis and sound very positive and busy and doing all the right things.

      85 dresses? OMG - I thought I was bad! Have you room to store them all?

      Take care

  10. So lovely outfits, love particularly how you create fab color combos and pick fab accessories too!. You rock!
    I agree with Vix as my favourite ensemble is the maxi dress with your denim jacket. Looking particularly gorgeous in this!. Love some red accessories too!. But also love all those jackets, the different textures and mixed patterns!. And love your kimono/dressing gown, such a cool piece!
    Sorry that you twisted your ankle, hope it's going to heal quickly (it's important to move it, but gently!). I'm happy to see that you also wear a tunic or dress to go for a walk! and good walking boots!
    it's lovely to see so much activity in your garden, I'm looking forward to see it in all its glory asap!.

    1. Thank you, Monica. You are so very kind.

      Next post I will definitely show how the garden is doing...

      Take care

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. I really like the second outfit the best, navy blue looks great on you!

    Perla Lifestyle Blog


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 ...