Monday 26 October 2020

Autumn things and a visit...

Hello again and I hope the end of October finds you well. Our clocks have gone back and it's darker in the morning but the days are apparently longer. I can't say I've noticed yet! Although I only post once a fortnight I do find that fortnight rolls around very quickly....

All jewellery charity shopped.

When I last posted it was on a Monday; but I'm going to backtrack to Tuesday where I went to the food bank in the morning.  The Manager said the numbers using the food bank are increasing - as we expected once the colder weather had begun. My two colleagues were in and we worked very hard - as we always do. With all the lifting, bending, carrying and walking around the warehouse I always feel as if I've had a workout by the time I've finished.  On Mondays at the charity shop, I usually need to sit down with my feet up for about an hour once I've got home; as standing for 4 hours takes it toll on my back. I never sit down in the charity shop -  ever!

I wore this outfit on Tuesday and kept the jacket on in the chilly warehouse. The day brightened and warmed up in the afternoon. I went into town to run a few errands including picking up 2 library book reservations. They came neatly wrapped in brown paper bags! What strange things are happening now with this virus. I don't have to return them in the paper bags; but they will be quarantined when I do.

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by Phase Eight and jumper by Seasalt. Jacket from Donegal Donkey Sanctuary shop; boots Sainsbury's sale.

Wednesday started out bright and fine which was lucky as I joined a group walk from Little Paxton in Cambs. We walked for 6.7 miles; mostly along the River Great Ouse; it was a lovely walk. I spied these strange but very pretty fungi:

Very autumnal colours; orange on the top and bright yellow underneath.

After the walk I went to St. Neots which was close by and had a rummage in the charity shops. They are about 7 in total in St. Neots but only 4 were open. I bought myself some new jeans and a shirt.

Everything charity shopped. Jumper by Tu; 50p rail my Barnardo's. Jeans by M& Co. bought yesterday in Wood Green Animal Shelter; St. Neots. Boots; Sainsbury's sale as before.

All jewellery charity shopped. 
 I wore this outfit to do the weekly food shopping on Thursday. I went to Lidl, Aldi and back to the Bedford Garden Carer's for more kindling. It turned out to be a nice afternoon but cold;  and I was sorry I didn't go for a walk. There were two  government announcements this week. The first one on Monday was about  categorising Covid-19 restrictions across the country into 3 tiers;  medium, high and very high. Much of the North of the country is under the very high tier. On Thursday, it was announced that London would be joining the 'high',  level 2, tier. I wondered how this might affect our planned trip on Saturday to see grandson; but as long as we ate outside we would be fine.

I managed my 40 lengths on Friday. I surprised myself and did it 53 minutes. The last two lengths were the hardest but I felt as if I could have carried on swimming....

The same jeans as before; top by Wallis with striped Primarni top underneath. Everything charity shopped.
Grey boots retail online. Everything comfortable and easy to get on off for swimming.

All jewellery charity shopped.

 This was what I wore to London. Skirt by New Look; second birthday present from OH; he sliced through the original one with an axe whilst chopping wood! Cashmere jumper by F&F and striped top by Primarni; both charity shopped. I wore my OTK boots for extra warmth which I bought on online retail. The leather jacket was from a Co. Dublin charity shop in 2016 and cost me 9 euros.

The earrings are from Etsy and are Art Deco - I treated myself.

What can I say about London? It started out so well. We met the eldest grandson at the tube station near to where he lives. We went to Camden and had a lovely meal and a catch up; and all the while he was watching Liverpool play. He's been an avid Liverpool fan since he was knee high to a grasshopper!

 We said goodbye as he had to go to work; then my daughter and I had a wander around the charity shops on Camden High Street. Nothing was bought as everything was so expensive and I don't need anything - not at those prices anyway! Then disaster struck. I was rooting around in my bag for my phone which also contained my debit card in the phone case ( put in for ease of tapping in and out of the tube) when the horrible realisation hit that it was gone. It had been stolen/nicked/thieved! I blamed myself. I meant to change bags at home before I set out; the bag I was carrying only closed with a snap fastening in the middle. I'm usually very vigilant in London, as I'm well aware of pickpockets; but on Saturday my guard must have been down. 

I can recall exactly at which point the phone must have been taken.  On Camden High Street between Savers and Lidl; we were accosted by an elderly looking 'bag' lady asking us to buy her something in the shop; we declined as we were heading to the tube. It must have been at this point the phone was lifted out of the bag - the classic distraction act. They managed to spend about £50 (in Savers!) by the time I was able to get the card stopped; and as we were close to my phone provider's shop; we went in and got the old phone blocked and sorted out a new one. What a shame, as it had been such a lovely day up until that point. Needless to say we drove straight home; my daughter had wanted to go to Oxford Street to Topshop but we'd had enough by then! We drove to London; parked in a long stay car park and took the tube to and from Camden. No changes but quite a few stops. The tube was eerily uncrowded; there were only two other people in our carriage on both outward and the return journey - on a Saturday! Strange times indeed.

The upside is the new phone takes much better pictures!

This was Sunday's outfit and everything was charity shopped. Boots bought recently at the Cat's Protection League; green dress old; the shirt is by Chicos;  and was bought on Friday afternoon when I went to Rushden to the very good Salvation Army shop and its excellent 1.00 rail. I also bought a Damart green and white top for the summer and put it away; and some brilliant books. Including this one...

Footless green tights; online retail but scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Back to Barnardo's on Monday. Our new volunteer has swapped to Thursday, mornings so it was just me and the manager. We stopped donations around noon as we had no more room to store them. I put lots of garments out on the shop floor; having hung them on hangers and tagged them first. And of course I can rarely leave without buying something; I bought a dress by Fossil; a winter blazer by John Rocha (I put my linen summer blazer in the loft) and two tops. I was able to weed out two tops from wardrobe for the charity shop bag; the net gain was one dress! I spent 12.50 in total. 

This was what I wore; everything from Barnardo's. Skirt by Next, top by Pepperberry, boots; no label. Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. I was wearing orange bangles but have to take them off to get my jacket off  - don't you hate having to do that? I forgot to put them back on for the photo! When I got home from the charity shop I did two washes and hung them out, cleaned out the fuel burner (a daily weekday job for me) and cooked dinner - another weekday job for me. I spent the evening catching up with blogs and reading my new gardening book.

When it was OH's birthday in May we were still in lock down; and we didn't go and stay overnight in a hotel which is something we usually do for our birthdays. As a surprise I booked us an overnight stay in Bury St. Edmunds for next Saturday so we're both looking forward to that. I've never been to the town itself but have driven close by when visiting my son. I've also booked us a visit to Ickworth House and Gardens for Sunday which is only 4 miles from the town. I hope it's not a wet day as only the gardens are open!

There's still a few blooms left in the garden...

This was what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. Trousers by Zara and top by White Stuff; both bought from my Barnardo's. Boots online retail. The red top is one of the many long sleeved stretchy tops I have in a range of colours and coloured stripes mostly from Primarni; some bought retail ages ago but many are charity shopped. Such useful items of clothing to wear over and under things...

All jewellery charity shopped.

The demand continues to rise for food vouchers at the food bank. They have issued 450 vouchers so far this month and the month is not over yet. With the Covid-19 'very high level' restrictions gradually spreading across the UK, sadly I can only see these numbers rising. 

I had lots of phone calls to make when I got home thanks to the loss of my phone and phone case. I was able to replace my bus pass and emailed about replacing my railcard. While I was in administrative mode I also renewed my prescription on line and renewed my car insurance; paying more than 50% less than my current provider!  Thank you Money! I did a wash and hung it up; then I baked a sponge cake using the leftover buttercream from the birthday cake I made over a fortnight ago. Don't worry I had frozen it! It tasted very good even if I say so myself. I picked up middle grandson from school as a treat and then came back and made a chicken casserole. The afternoon turned out to be pretty bright and not wet; I should have gone for a walk but I didn't realise it was so nice outside until it was too late...

There was no group walk for me on Wednesday as it was fully booked when I went to book it. It was a horrible wet day and rained almost all day. I did have to go to town nevertheless to the post office and to pick up a few bits.  Everything charity shopped except tights online retail. Top by H&M; dress by Stella Morgan from the one euro rail in the Animal Welfare charity shop in Donegal. The boots are from my Barnardo's and are yet another new to me pair. I went back to get them on Tuesday, as I regretted not buying them on Monday. They're leather and made in Italy. I already had 3 pairs of black ankle boots; but one pair was looking a bit shabby so I thought I'd replace them.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings bought from Sainsburys.

The dress has a nice texture with little dots of colour:

Determined to go for a walk on Thursday I waited until the afternoon when it was bright, sunny and breezy. I walked 7 miles.

One of the views on my walk past a freshly ploughed field.

I also did the weekly food shop at Lidl and put it away before setting out on my walk. My jeans are from Evans and bought during the lock down in their sale; top charity shopped but can't remember where. I'm wearing the shabby pair of black boots but I will be re-donating them; the heel is a bit too high for me and I struggle to do up the zip.

All jewellery from charity shops; except the earrings from Etsy. I changed the green ring and bangles for purple ones but after I'd taken the photo!

I went swimming on Friday and did 40 lengths again. I've realised that there is a 30 minute gap between the swimming sessions so clearly this is the time they clean. Youngest grandson came to stay for the night but we had to be up early; he was off to a football match and OH and I were off to Bury St. Edmunds.

This was Friday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. Top by Mango; my Barnardo's, the trousers are years old and can't remember where I got them from.

All jewellery charity shopped.

By the way those aren't bags under my eyes they're the suction marks left by my swimming goggles! They takes ages to disappear...

On Saturday, we set out for Bury St Edmunds; I wore this:

All jewellery charity shopped. Those are all our coats and jackets hanging up behind me.

New red boots bought online; these ones are real suede. The other pair of red boots I had have become stained so these were the replacement. Dress by Fossil from my Barnardo's; bought on on Monday. One of my many useful striped tops underneath.  I am wearing leggings under the dress for warmth and the dress doesn't hang as well as it should because of this. Jacket by Precis bought in a Donegal charity shop.

We arrived in Bury St Edmunds around lunch time and found about 8 or 9 charity shops to rummage in. I bought a plain orange jumper for 3.99; a Country Casual skirt for 3.00 and a pair of red Jasper Conran gloves for 2.00. My hands were so cold and I'd forgotten both gloves and scarf. OH bought a brand new pair of brand new, handmade leather shoes in one of the charity shops and was very pleased with himself. The skirt is a plain black one but I bought it partly for next week's 7 Day skirt challenge organised by Gail of Is this Mutton HERE. Wear a different skirt everyday for 7 days and post daily on IG or do a blog post featuring all 7 skirt outfits on 3rd November. I've set myself a few challenges in the past as you know so it will be good to take on someone else's challenge.

After checking in to the hotel and chilling out for a while we ventured back into town and had the most delicious meal at Zap Thai Restaurant. I had a crab dish with coconut rice and green tea ice cream for dessert; all of which was so tasty. Then we we went back to the hotel and watched the start of a new series of Scandi Noir on BBC 4 called 'DNA'. During this week we've also watched all episodes of 'Walter Presents' drama; 'Missing by the Lake' and are now watching 'Killer by the Lake' which is Series 2 of the same drama..

On Sunday, after finding somewhere to have breakfast and visiting the RSPCA charity shop where I bought another skirt by Red Herring BNWT for 3.00 ; we visited the famous cathedral and Abbey and Abbey gardens. The Abbey was once one of the richest Benedectine monasteries in England and the town grew up around it. The abbey is called St. Edmundsbury - meaning the place where St. Edmund, the Anglo-Saxon martyr king; is buried and remained a place of pilgrimage until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

This is Abbeygate. The cathedral is in the town centre; this is one entrance to it and the Abbey and the Abbey gardens. It's a beautiful place to walk about and we want to go back when the weather is better. It was very chilly, unfortunately, and neither of us had brought particularly warm clothing with us.

This is the Norman Tower next to the cathedral and it acts as the cathedral's bell tower. The cathedral seen through the trees and St. Edmund clutching his cross; he was killed by the Danes in 869. To the right of the Norman tower a little way up the road was the church of St. Mary where Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII) is buried. We didn't visit as services were going on and in the Cathedral, but next time...

The cathedral seen from the Abbey rose gardens. Not many roses at all. The Cathedral; originally called St. James Church was completed around 1125.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. In the Rose Garden there was a memorial tree. Every metal gold leaf on this tree was to the memory of somebody who had died. The tree is metal, too.

Houses were constructed using the ruined Abbey walls. What a fabulous place to live!

Note the Wolf sculpture. It was very close to the sculpture of St. Edmund but I don't know what the significance of it is.
Some of the Abbey ruins and a close up of the wall construction materials.

Charles Dickens plaque - he stayed at the Angel Hotel on Angel Hill;  just along the road from the Cathedral and Abbey. He gave readings of 'The Pickwick Papers' in the Athenaeum whilst he was staying here.

Then we drove 4 miles outside of Bury St. Edmunds to visit Ickworth House Gardens. The house was of course closed and conservation work was going on so there was a lot of scaffolding. The gardens weren't much to write home about and in fact our garden has more colour! There was an Italianate garden and a walled garden. The walled garden was just a long herbaceous border with not a lot in it. I was very disappointed.  There was extensive parkland with several mapped out walks but we didn't stay long. There were some magnificent trees and also an exhibition of garden photographer of the year photographs organised in conjunction with Kew Gardens. There were some wonderful photos in the exhibition. The house itself was constructed in the neoclassical style between 1795 and 1829 for the 4th Earl of Bristol; Frederick Hervey.
Ickworth House; the rear of the house facing the Italianate garden; and the exhibition boards. You can see what a generally miserable day it was by the sky in the top photo; but as we were leaving the sun came out and the wind dropped.
I love the splash of colour the tree makes - bright lemon among the green!

On Monday I joined in with Gail's 7 day skirt challenge:
 @highlatitudestyle @mummabstylish @frugalfashionshopper and @mybijoulife in the #7DaySkirtChallenge. Two ways to take part: post a daily skirt pic starting next Tuesday (Oct 24) and/or share 7 skirt pics in a blog post on Tues Nov 3. There's a linky on that day. I can send the code if you'd like to share it. if you'd like to join contact Gail on@is_this_mutton. I'll do a blog post on 3rd November featuring what I wore for the challenge.

This was what I wore to the charity shop on Monday. The skirt by Next and the merino wool top both from my Barnardo's. Boots bought in Cats Protection League. Jacket present from my daughter.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

See you in a fortnight!


  1. Bury St Edmunds looks stunning, a place I've often fancied visiting. You certainly chose the right weekend for it, it looks dry and glorious. Despite the disappointment Ickworth looks lovely in your photos.
    What a scumbag robbing your phone. I'm glad you were near a phone shop and managed to act so quickly. How on earth do you spend £50 in Savers?!
    Some lovely outfits, love the all green look, that fabulous Mango Oriental jacket and that Next skirt especially. Those new boots look great with the pinafore dress.
    Well done with the swimming and walking and all the volunteering, too. You're an example to us all!
    Stay safe! xxx

    1. Well worth a visit, Vix. Savers sells alcohol - mostly wines - so it may have been that; or perfume they could flog quickly?

      I really enjoy the volunteering and would really miss it if I wasn't doing it.

      Take care

  2. Ah, another lovely long post from Vronni! Love all your outfits - your colourful style is very much my own vibe, and you have a good eye for details. I love your giant silver disc necklace, and your new Art Deco earrings!

    So sorry to hear your phone was stolen! That's so brutal - I remember being terrified of being pickpocketed when I was in London in 2010. We saw tons of it happening when we were in Italy too. You just don't see that here (although we have SO many street people/homeless people, that is scary too).

    I'm so envious of all those historical sites! Wow, what amazing architecture. I would love to live in one of those houses built from the Abbey walls.

    Kudos to you for all your volunteering, especially as we're all starting to go through the second wave of the pandemic. Stay safe, my friend!

    1. Thank you Sheila, my daughter's two friends had purses pick pocketed whilst in Italy a few years ago...

      Take care

  3. sorry to hear your phone was stolen! but fortunately you could block it soon - and the new one makes good photos :-D
    total in love with the green maxi look! your new jeans are a perfect fit and design, the orange legged :-) mini dress is very rock´n roll <3
    Bury St Edmunds and Ickworth House are impressive architecture - altough the gardens seem to be in winter mode already. but the arboretum has some nice exotic trees......
    much love! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      I wasn't at all impressed by the garden. A garden can be a very sad place in Winter!

      Take care

  4. I've been reading reports that the number of people using food banks are going up here as well. Not surprising, really. These are hard times. I admire your ability to be on your feet for 4 hours straight in the charity shop. Not sure I would be able to manage! Loving that first outfit, well it's green, so how couldn't I? The skirt you wore to London is gorgeous too. How wonderful that you were able to go ahead, but how horrible to have your phone and debit card stolen! I'm always guarding my bag with my life, and are often told by Jos that I'm exaggerating, but this just goes to show you can't be too careful!
    Your pictures are indeed looking better, so that's something at least. That garden book looks really lovely, as does the outfit you wore for your day at Barnardo's.
    And what a great getaway you had. Bury St. Edmunds looks very picturesque, and your travelling outfit looked fabulous.
    Looking forward to seeing your skirt challenge! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      I'm looking for a cross-body bag now to use when I go to London especially. I'll just put the minimum in it and keep it close!!

      Take care

  5. I feel sorry for anyone that steals my phone-it is one of those pay-as-you-go ones and very low-e nd at that. Still, how awful that someone did that to you! Pickpocketing is sort of a dying art in a pandemic without enough tourists to prey on.

    Love those orange tights with the dress-such a good combination. I'd have gone for those boots too-you can never have too many black boots.

    Skirt challenge should be fun.

    1. Thank you, Goody!

      Apparently they might have got about 10 -15.00 for the phone which will be stripped for parts or sent abroad...

      Take care

  6. Hi Vronni - love that green outfit at the top of your post and the fuschia pink outfit is great too. So sorry to hear that your phone was stolen - how awful. Glad you got a new one so quickly and managed to block the card. Lovely walks and pix xxx

  7. woww, lots of lovely photos, so fab post!
    You know I love your style and brilliant accessorizing! (those ArtDeco earrings are Fab!), and love how you style your maxi skirts, looking fab in them!. Love the green outfit!. Also love your tunics over jeans, your colourful wide trousers, these orange tights with the cute dress, and how elegant you look in your blue dress with red accessories! (red boots rock!)
    Sorry to hear that your phone and card were stolen, at least you discovered it and could cancel everything quickly. One can't relax for a moment, so annoying!.
    Bury St.Edmunds looks really interesting, sorry that the weather wasn't better!.

    1. Thank you, Monica. I am in love with the Art Deco earrings...

      Take care

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your phone, I'm not surprised it put a dampener on your day. I'm also a fan of the green outfit. there really have been some wonderful autumn colours this year haven't there?

    1. Thank you, Gisela!

      I read that the colours are so fab this year because of the warm Spring; which encourages excess sugar production which is then stored and released in Autumn...

      Take care

  9. Oh NO to getting your purse stolen! I'm glad you didn't lose too much money, but that sort of thing dents faith in people a bit. Seeing your reply about cross-body bags to Ann - I always have crossbody bags for everyday, with zip-up tops and no flaps. (Flaps can lead to faffing about near cashpoints etc, whereas a zip is quick and easy for me but not so easy for thieves.)

    I had no idea Bury St Edmunds was so pretty - it must be amazing to have one of those houses in the old walls.

    Such a shame that food bank use is rising - we've been careful to put stuff in ours regularly, as soon as the trolleys were put back in place in the supermarket. These times are so hard for so many people.

    1. I wasn't particularly angry at the people who nicked the phone - everyone has to make a living one way or another; it's just the inconvenience of it all!

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