At this point we were in week 12 of the lockdown with the following week beginning to see the start of a return to 'normal' life; as all non essential shops would be allowed to open. Tuesday should have seen me taking my car to Bletchley to finally sort the oil leak; but my neighbour knocked on my door at 9am to tell me my car window had been smashed in. Someone had broken into my car and the other neighbour's car (we were parked side by side) using a large stone; and had tried to start the cars using a screwdriver. I found the blade of the screwdriver in my car and my other neighbour found the handle of the screwdriver in his. What a total pain it was contacting the insurance; the police; clearing up the mess. It wasn't possible to get the window repaired until Friday so I had to find somewhere else to park it safely and of course I didn't get to Bletchley at all but had to rearrange for Thursday.
Tuesday was the first nice day in a few days; warm, with bursts of sunshine. I took my car and parked it at my daughter's for safe keeping then I walked whilst youngest grandson rode his bike; first to his Dad's where he was spending the night then I walked home. That was 4 miles walked and in the day I walked into town twice and back again to go to Wilco's for more bird food and other bits so that was another 3 miles walked 7 in total.
On Wednesday I was back at the charity shop.
Sorry, the light was strange in the spare bedroom
Everything charity shopped except the shoes online retail. Top by Joules and trousers by Papaya; both from my Barnardo's. I had planned to walk home from the charity shop which is why I wore these shoes but it was raining quite heavily when I left so OH picked me up instead. A much cooler, wetter day.
The shop was looking the cleanest and tidiest I'd ever seen it. The manager had been busy scrubbing and cleaning. We set up a hand sanitising station at the entrance; put tape on the floor to demarcate social distance barriers and erected the 'sneeze' screen at the till. We also designated a special area both front and back for new donations which have to be quarantined for 72 hours before we can sort them. I then spent the rest of the time replenishing the men's section which involves hanging items on hangers; adding the right size cube to the hanger; making out a price tag and attaching tag to the item.
Scarf and jewellery all charity shopped.
I had quite an adventure on Thursday. I drove my car minus the front passenger window to Bletchley. The part it needed had to be sent from Luton so rather than wait around all day I set off for Bletchley bus station which, luckily for me, was about a 5 minute walk away. Using my free bus pass I was able to get a bus into Central Milton Keynes, which looked like a ghost town, and from there a bus back to Bedford. I felt a bit nervous getting on public transport as the last time I'd been on a bus was the 20th March; but the first thing I did when I got home was to wash my hands as thoroughly as I could and then wash them again. If I had known I would travel by public transport I would have brought my gloves and facemask with me. I needn't have worried as the most passengers on the bus at any one time were 5; and 2 of those were on the upper deck!
These are the second pair of loose trousers I picked up in Bedford market last week and have a deep purple background. I have a purple shirt which would go well with them but it's in the caravan in Ireland! Top charity shopped and charity shopped shoes by Hotter.
Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.
OH and I went to do the food shopping when I got back and then we set out at 4pm to pick up my car - oil leak now fixed.
On Friday, I finally got my car window replaced. The next thing to do will be to take the car to a car wash and treat it to its twice annual wash! As we live on a street with double yellow lines we can't park it outside the house and wash it ourselves - our traffic wardens are very efficient and would slap a ticket on it within a couple of minutes...
It was a strangely warm day on Friday despite being quite windy and with several down pours. I didn't get out for a walk through a combination of not wanting to get caught in a downpour and sheer laziness.
I changed these shoes for Mary Janes but too late for the photos. Everything charity shopped except the leggings which were a George sale buy.
Tunic H&M; waistcoat/topper unknown but both charity shopped. Shoes by Clarks; charity shopped.
Hair is driving me mad. It's neither one thing nor t'other. It's neither short nor long. It's neither straight nor curly. How I hate it and can't wait for 4th July. This is the back:
The plants in the garden continue to bloom and delight. It's part of my morning ritual before I feed the birds to walk around the garden and check out what's new. The oriental lilies have gone mad; and even though the fuchsias in the front window box are reluctant to burst into bloom; the ones in the hanging basket aren't.
The hydrangea at the front has several blooms whilst the sweet pea continues to climb and has 5 different colour flowers so far. I just adore the smell of sweet peas. The canna lilies are doing well. With the garden in mind, OH and I went to the garden centre on Friday afternoon. I was on a delphinium hunt but wasn't successful. I shall phone the other garden centre we used before they were allowed to reopen to see if they have any - my fingers were tightly crossed...
Saturday was a beautifully warm sunny day. Such a contrast to last Saturday when we had thunderstorms, hail and rain! I went for a 8.7 mile walk along the river towards the village of Willington. On the way back I stopped at the market for fruit and veg and went to the bakers for a loaf of granary bread - my favourite. There were fewer people in town than on a 'normal' Saturday but still pretty busy.
Day 1 - White top Challenge
I have quite a few white tops (about 8 in total, I think) so I am planning to give them all a whirl over the next few days; another challenge you might say!
This was my outfit on Saturday:
Everything is charity shopped. Trousers by Monsoon; shirt by Kaleidoscope; walking shoes by Clarks.
Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.
If the weather stays as nice as Saturday's I'll be able to paint my brooch collection chest of drawers. It's an old IKEA set of drawers bought years ago and used to store crochet patterns.
I don't have much in the way of fancy wrapping paper or wallpaper. I don't really like wall paper and most of the wrapping paper I had was for boys birthdays with space rockets or footballers on it. Once the shops have re-opened on Monday; I can have a better look round for some pretty paper. I used an old bath mat cut up to line the drawers and as it has holes it's handy to stick the pins in to display the brooches. Meanwhile I'll show you what is inside:
These are the enamelled brooches and the ceramic brooches in my collection. The mustard/pearl and the blue/pearl are from the British Heart Foundation; they sometimes have their own retro style brooches for sale. Below the blue and pearl brooch is probably the brooch I've had for longest. It has a mosaic pattern which is then enamelled and has the old 'C' clasp. I've had it for so long I don't remember where I got it from but I've had for more than 25 years. The blurry oval brooch below that is plastic and has the silhouette of a woman on it; it's tricky to see because of the light reflection. This was my most recent brooch acquisition from the Bedford Daycare Hospice shortly before lockdown began. On the bottom row I have an oval scenery brooch with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Ann at Polyester Princess HERE has a similar one and it is thanks to her I'm featuring my brooch collection. She's been showing off her brooch collection on IG so check it out! All my brooches have been bought in charity shops, car boot sales, from Etsy or presents.
This is the 'gold', old and animal brooch collection. I have several more brooches but some are pinned on jackets and some on my winter coats which are packed away in the loft! Most of the first row is made up of gold coloured brooches. I have two (2nd row extreme right) that feature galleon type boats. My favourite among these gold brooches is the green and gold brooch on the top row; extreme right. It reminds me so much of brooches worn by women in the 60s when I was growing up. The third and fourth rows are my 'old' brooches. The circular brooch with a separate thinner outer circle is Edwardian; I think looking at the style and the clasp - trumpet type. The pattern on the brooch has mostly rubbed away but it has slightly raised texture. It's real silver and I bought it in the 3:16 charity shop for 5.00. Between the two cameo brooches is an Art Noveau style brooch in the shape of a swan resting its head on its back; and the stone is a topaz colour not red as it looks in this photo. This one is not hallmarked but the the oval and mother of pearl one above it is; and the bar brooch with the small green stone has no hallmark either. There is a small bar brooch with a floral oval between the two cameos and I saw a similar on Etsy described as Victorian. The smaller cameo brooch has a link that enables it to be hung from a chain and turned into a pendant. The square pewter brooch with the green stone described as ' Art Deco Ruskin style' was part of my birthday present this year from my son. It was bought from Etsy. The elongated yellow coloured triangle is also very Art Deco; I think. On the bottom two rows are the animal brooches including insects and fish. The two dragonfly brooches were my mums and I've never worn them. The smaller butterfly brooch came attached to a jacket I bought in a charity shop. Oh dear, it looks like the bear has come unstuck....
This is the floral/leaves brooch collection although a couple don't fit into any category! The top row features brooches made out of velvet, felt, leather, and a zip! I have a Celtic ring type brooch and two thistle brooches; all very reminiscent of what women were wearing in my childhood. There are a couple of ceramic flower brooches; the large green oval features some embroidered flowers and on the bottom row second from the beginning is a micro mosaic brooch. From spending quite a lot of time on Etsy lately these are all described as dating from the 1950s; although I know the micro mosaic type brooches can date back to the Victorian era. I can't really buy anymore brooches as I have run out of space to store them. I'll try to remember that when I'm next rummaging in a charity shop or a car boot sale!
On Sunday my daughter, her partner and both my grandsons came for Sunday dinner in the garden. Another very warm day with lots of sunshine. I went for a 5 mile walk along the river in the direction of Great Denham.
Everything charity shopped except the scarf which is a Mary Quant one. My cousin's daughter found it on ebay for me and gave it to me for a birthday present - thank you Katherine!
Behind me you can see my bag packed for Ireland - I've had it packed since February expecting to travel at Easter. I bought this tunic at Barnardo's and I think the jeans by Next came from there, too. My ruby slippers on the other hand, came from a charity shop in Co. Meath, Ireland.
Monday was week 13 of lockdown: although I think it's probably better now described as semi lockdown. Today all shops are able to open officially. Pubs, restaurants and cafes are only open for take aways. We can't visit other people in their homes - only in their gardens or in other outside spaces and only up to 6 people in total. Some children have returned to school; others haven't. Some people have returned to work, some people continue to work from home and some people; like my eldest grandson's girlfriend have lost their jobs and have to find new ones. It's still strange times in the main. Whatever it is it's my new normal.
This was Monday's outfit:
Everything charity shopped. Dress by Zara from the 3:16 charity shop; jacket with French label; from when we had a Age UK in town - I've had it for at least ten years. Clogs by Seasalt charity shopped in Devon.
Monday was the charity shop 's first official opening day. Our normal opening hours are 9 to 5pm; but 10 to 4pm are the new opening hours and no weekend opening. It was manic in the shop on Monday. So many donations we had stop them at about 3pm for the day. Lots of customers in (only 5 allowed in the shop at any time and both front door and back doors open) and lots of things sold. I volunteered from 10 to 3pm and was in need of a good sit down when I got home!
Tuesday was another sultry day and off to the food bank for me. We did everything that needed to be done and got off half an hour earlier. Unfortunately, when I was bending to retrieve a tin from a low shelf something went in my back; a muscle I think. It was very painful later on in the day and I had to take some Ibuprofen. It was painful to sit and painful to get up again. It also became painful to walk!
Everything charity shop except mustard trousers from La Redoute sale years ago. Linen jacket as before; top by M&Co; shoes from Donegal charity shop.
Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.
After doing the housework; OH and I set off for a stroll around town to see what shops had opened and what hadn't. Not a single charity shop was open! There were quite a few people about but of course good weather always brings people out. When I was at the charity shop yesterday OH went to B&M; it's his new favourite shop and he bought the dianthus below and planted them up in this recycled watering can that used to leak everywhere.
This old plastic one also leaked so that's been repurposed and these fuschias are blooming. The ones at the front are almost ready; I check everyday to see if they have bloomed but so far, not.
Back to the charity shop on Wednesday. Busy, busy, busy! But first of all I picked the youngest grandson up from his Dad's and took him to school. My back pain had persisted and I was most comfortable standing up. By now I had progressed to an anti-inflammatory tablet I was prescribed when I hurt my knee a couple of years ago. It still hurt to walk; but as it rained for most of the day I didn't miss my walk at all. We also had quite a lot of thunder and it was very humid. When I emerged from the charity shop to the outside it was like walking into a warm, steamy bathroom. I collected youngest grandson up from school and took him home.
Everything charity shopped. Dress; no label; jacket M&S; shoes by Clarks.
Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.
The rain continued on Thursday. I got up put a wash on and went to do the food shopping. I visited Lidl, Aldi and the bg Sainsbury's where I queued for a few minutes to get in. I needed a red cabbage which is why I went to all three supermarkets but there were none to be found. Then it was home, unpack the shopping and bake a birthday cake for my youngest grandson who was celebrating his 10th birthday. He's delighted to be in double figures. They all came to my house and we sang happy birthday and gave grandson his presents. He stays with me on Thursday nights as there is only half day at school on Fridays. Whilst the lockdown is till in existence he will stay with me on Fridays and he will be picked up by his mum or dad when they finish work.
Day 2 - White top Challenge
I picked this top up at Barnardo's on Wednesday. I like the shape of it. The top is by MisLook; trousers retail (old) Tu at Sainsbury's; shoes from a Donegal charity shop. Hair was freshly washed so it wasn't looking too bad. Thursday's outfit.
All jewellery charity shopped including the bracelet which was also picked up in Barnardos on Wednesday.
It rained for most of Thursday ( the garden was very grateful and it saved OH from his evening watering ritual). My back still hurt when I walked so no walks were done.
Jacket/Kimono Challenge - Day 21 and White Top Challenge - Day 3
Yes, I'm doing two challenges simultaneously. I need to keep myself amused!
Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Quiz; my Barnardo's; top by M&S 1.00 rail somewhere; jacket by ; can't remember. Shoes by Clarks.
Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. On several occasions I've almost put this jacket in the charity shop bag; but always relent. I like the diagonal stripe/animal print effect on it. I've had it for about four or five years, I think.
In my hunt for a red cabbage on Friday I decided to go to Waitrose in Ampthill. If anywhere would have a red cabbage it would be there. We have a Waitrose in Bedford; but in Ampthill their Waitrose is right next to Barnardos....say no more! I queued for ten minutes to get into Waitrose and they didn't have a red cabbage; in fact they hadn't had any red cabbages for weeks. You can't say I didn't try. I like to make coleslaw with red cabbage when I can get it. In Waitrose, I did manage to pick up a Foxglove plant reduced to 2.79. OH will work his magic on it and encourage it to produce more flowers.
Talking of flowers we have a new rose that smells divine. I can't tell you its name because the rain has washed the label information away. The lupins are popping up everywhere. The sweet peas are proliferating and the geraniums in the hanging baskets are looking luscious.
As for the geraniums in the front window box they are just about ready; I've been waiting weeks for them to bloom!
Anyhow, I digress. Barnardos was an oasis of calm and I bought an Eastex dress (too big and gone into charity shop bag); and a black and white jacket by Next - both from the 1.00 rail. I also bought 2 necklaces; I red and 1 grey; a book about women in the 1920s; a book of vintage crochet afghans and two pairs of new striped bamboo socks for the middle grandson at only 1.00 each pair. The best bargain of all was a floppy hat with a floral trim from Jigsaw for 1.00! It felt very good to have a rummage and there were only two other customers in the shop. I had two bags of donations to give in; one was mine and the other was my daughters; but because of having to quarantine the donations they had run out of room and weren't taking any more donations.
It had started out rainy on Friday and rained off and on all day; although by late afternoon the sun came out and it brightened up a lot. I should have gone for a walk as my back was feeling a lot better. I had a book I was keen to finish so made a vow to do two long walks over the weekend especially as better weather was on its way... but I took grandson out for a walk to our little local nature reserve. in the afternoon. The entrance to it is in the middle of an ordinary residential street; it was set up by local residents in the early 1990s. I've been taking all three grandsons here since they were tiny; for blackberrying and to see what's in the ponds. Lately, we've been keeping our eyes on the ponds and were hoping we'd see frogs and newts; but all we saw today were more tadpoles. In another few weeks there will frogs and newts - we just need to be patient. I thought the lilies in the pond looked gorgeous and there were lots of wild sweet peas around. A lady I got chatting to told me they were called everlasting sweet peas and that they have no scent. Nevertheless, I picked myself a small bunch.
On Saturday, I got up and went for a 9 mile walk. It was bright, dry and very warm at times. I have a new route in mind which I got inspiration for on today's walk and I can't wait to get out next week and recce it. The house is filled with flowers at the moment. I'm sorry I didn't cut the stocks and put them in a vase too; but they're almost finished now. From L to R. Lavender from the garden, everlasting sweet peas from the nature reserve; bottom row; sweet peas from our garden and peonies from Lidl. Apparently, you need to cut the sweet peas back so will they flower again and again through to August. The source of this information was none other than Monty Don! (A well known TV gardener and garden journalist for those who don't know who he is).
Sunday was a lovely day; warm and a bit cloudy. In the morning OH and I went to Emmaeus. It opened last week and we were looking for more plant pots. Before they allowed us in they took our temperatures; that's a first for me! I found two skirts and pair of sock boots for the winter. One of the skirts was 1.00; the boots were 1.00 and the other skirt was BNWT by M&S Per Una for 3.00. Original price 45.00!
We went to my daughter's for a bbq in the afternoon which was very pleasant as we were all able to sit out in the garden. I picked up and dropped off one of my brothers from Kettering so had no time to walk on Sunday.
Week 14 of the semi lockdown started with me volunteering at Barnardos. We have changed our our opening hours (11 - 4pm) and opening days and are only taking donations on alternate days. This is to help us not to become overcrowded with donations and also because there is only one volunteer - me and the manager. The shop will be closed on Wednesdays so I won't be able to volunteer on that day so its back to Mondays only. The assistant manager should be returning at the end of June. This was Monday's outfit:
White top Challenge - Day 4
(I know it's not white all over!)
Everything charity shopped. Top from Bedford Daycare Hospice; H&M trousers; shoes charity shopped in Ely, I seem to recall.
All jewellery charity shopped except necklace which was a present.
In the afternoon I went for my optician's appointment. I needed a new prescription and have new glasses on their way.
The 4th of July is heralding even more changes to our current semi-lockdown so I'll see you in a fortnight and in a yet again changed world. Take care and stay safe!