Life trundles on...

 Hello and happy October to you! 

This year seems to be flying by; lock down and all! I'm back in my normal groove now; and I did the swap over to autumn and winter clothing once the weather changed toward the end of September. I took 3 plastic bags to the charity shop and for once I can now move the hangers in my three hanging spaces relatively easily. Normally, they're bunched up so close together things are always falling off. I do have more summer clothes than autumn/winter though!

I went to the food bank as usual on Tuesday and wore this:

Everything charity shopped except the grey boots; online retail. Trouser by Laura Ashley and top by Store 21.
Apologies for the crap photos.

I bought this long blue jacket about 2 years ago from a 1.00 rail and this was the first time I wore it! I'd like to wear it more often. You can see one of my summer coats hanging on the back of the door waiting to go up in the loft...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I had to take my car to Kwik-Fit to get the front lamp replaced, so after sorting out the last of summer clothes, bagging them up and putting them in the loft; I set off for Kwik-Fit. Whilst the lamp was being replaced I went to a local shop to pick up some SR flour;  when I went to Aldi on Monday after the food bank; the flour shelves were bare! It seems that people are panic buying again. Anyway, I bought my flour and walked back to the garage; and was astonished to see a rather mangy looking fox run across the street in broad daylight! It had probably been digging about in the bins as the street where the garage is is also full of take- away shops and restaurants. I've seen urban foxes in the wee small hours but never in daylight; I occasionally see one when I'm out walking in the countryside.

An inquisitive swan on the Grand Union Canal

And talking of walking in the countryside I walked with my group on Wednesday. We started from Stoke Hammond in Milton Keynes, walking along the Grand Union Canal towards Leighton Buzzard passing Great Brickhill; where we stopped for our break in the graveyard of the church! We walked back through some woods and back along the Grand Union - a total of 6.7 miles walked.

This very strange figure complete with wig was on a houseboat we passed on the walk. I found it very creepy...

Great Brickhill church

An old building in the village of Great Brickhill.

On my way back from Stoke Hammond I stopped at Newport Pagnell for a rummage. 2 out of the 5 charity shops weren't open but I picked up a tunic/dress in Keech and a pair of earrings; in Oxfam I bought a  brooch.

On Thursday I had a very busy day. I started out by making a birthday cake for my middle grandson's little brother. His mum had asked me to, so I did. Then I went to do the weekly food shopping at Lidl and Sainsbury's. When I got back after a rainy morning start; the weather brightened up and off I went for walk. I walked part of the route that I did last week with the group and had a very enjoyable walk of 6.3 miles.

 It was on Thursday, too, that our local swimming pool reopened for the first time since March 23rd. A walking friend rang me to tell me and I also saw it online. I booked a slot for Friday morning. It was a strange experience, I must say. We had to book online and were asked to wear our costumes under our clothes; and to get changed poolside. Our clothes were left around the pool; there are raised areas all around. Clearly numbers were limited by the need to book online. When I got into the pool there were 5 people each in the slow and medium lanes and only 2 in the fast lane. By the time I finished my 32 lengths (1.6k) I was the only one left in my lane. Then came the weird bit; no showers allowed but we were able to get changed in the cubicles. There are about 50 cubicles in total; but we were not restricted to any particular ones. When I went outside of the changing area to where the mirrors and hair dryers are; no hairdryers (no surprise there)  a member of staff was sanitising the area. What I wondered was would he sanitise all the cubicles (although only a maximum of 12 had been used)? He wouldn't have known what cubicles we used and it seemed both wasteful and pointless sanitising them all; or maybe they didn't get sanitised? I need to find out! 

Unfortunately, in my haste to get back into swimming again I forgot to put my swimming goggles on and had very sore, bloodshot eyes for the rest of the no outfit post.

This was Saturday's outfit.

I have sussed out the problem with the camera. It's when it's in selfie mode it takes those very gauzy photos. So now I have to position the camera on the tripod with the back facing me, click with my remote; and hope for the best! These photos were taken this way and I don't think they're too bad. Better than the ones above anyway!

On Saturday OH and I went to London to visit his mum. She has been very ill and it was the first time we could visit, as visiting was restricted in the hospital; but now she was home.  It was a lovely visit and she seemed much better - even better than I expected.

Everything I'm wearing was charity shopped except white shirt by Hawes and Curtis bought retail. Skirt by French Connection and top has no label. Boots were picked up in the Cat's Protection League last week. They were very comfortable as we walked for quite a while; pavement walking is more tiring than walking across fields I swear!

Leather jacket present from my daughter, all jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing blue and black striped tights which you can't see; they were bought on line. 

We drove to Kilburn; found some free parking then walked along the High Rd looking for charity shops. We found 4 and I bought some perfume in the Heart Foundation shop and a dish and some earrings in Cancer Research. Then we carried on walking until we came to West Hampstead where we visited another 4 charity shops but I didn't buy anything. There were several new buildings and blocks of flats in Kilburn; nothing stays the same for very long does it? When I was growing up in London; Kilburn High Road was our local shopping area; and for special occasions we went to Oxford Street. I started my first job in Kensington so Kensington High Street was my shopping place then. I was in Biba's every lunchtime trying things on and desperately saving my wages up for a Biba outfit...

I had hoped to go for a walk on Sunday but it wasn't the nicest of days - rainy and cool. We've lit our fire every evening for more than a week now and I guess it will continue like that until Spring.

Top by Pepperberry; African print trousers (homemade) and brown suede boots all from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the weekly housework and cooked Sunday dinner of roast lamb. Both grandsons came for dinner and middle grandson zoomed off home at 7pm on his electric scooter. Now you see him, then he's gone....OH is thinking of investing in one for work. It would save wear and tear on his car and on the petrol costs!

Back to the charity shop on Monday. I wore this Desigual dress which was a gift from Vix HERE; with red tights and red boots. I kept my jacket on for the whole of my shift. We keep the front door open to assist with ventilating the shop and it was cold!

All jewellery charity shopped - tights and boots online retail.

I went to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted on Monday afternoon. I hate the first day or so when they've been done; the woman always makes them too dark; but the tint fades quickly enough. I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday as I was waiting in for a delivery of new flooring for upstairs. It arrived just before 2pm and laying then commenced. I bought the flooring last Friday and got free delivery as I spent over a certain amount. The flooring upstairs was a cheap laminate that had been down for 15 years and was in need of replacement.

Tunic/dress from Warehouse charity shopped in Keech in Newport Pagnell. Jeans by M&S; also charity shopped and boots, too. I think the dress would have looked better with long boots rather than over trousers; as I was going to bed I tried it...


All jewellery charity shopped.

By Wednesday, the spare room and the study had been re-floored. It was hard work emptying the rooms of furniture and then bringing it all back in again but I was just so pleased to have it done. Hopefully, by Friday it will all be completed. I went to town on Wednesday to run some errands and I walked to Aldi. No group walk today as it was fully booked when I went to book. I'm booked on next week's walk to St. Neots, though! I also managed to go to the Castle Road charity shops x2 and bought a dress and some winter Joe Brown trousers to replace some winter trousers I already had and didn't like much.

I just love the trees in their autumn colours; this is one of the many beauties along my street:

The building is sheltered housing for the over 55s and is directly opposite my house. The flats are available to buy or rent; and there is also a council block of sheltered housing for older people about a hundred yards away from my house on the same side of the road. In fact thinking about it; in my immediate neighbourhood there is a lot of specific housing for older people. I suppose it's part of living in a society that is full of ageing people and I think I've only just realised it!

This was Thursday's outfit. I dressed for warmth and was too warm all day! Everything charity shopped; skirt by Top Shop; jumper by , boots bought in Cat's Protection League. 

All jewellery charity shopped. I bought the earrings last week in Newport Pagnell Keech Hospice shop.

Thursdays is always a busy day as I do the grocery shopping (Lidl and Sainsbury's; I went to Aldi on Wednesday). I also picked up some kindling from the charity called Bedford Garden Carers and went to B&Q to pick up more trim for the flooring as we needed 4 more strips. I'm down to one mask at the moment. I've lost 3 since last Friday. My two Irish flag masks were lost outside B&Q when I went to order the flooring; and one that I bought in Iceland on Monday afternoon was lost on my return from town on Wednesday. They keep falling out of my pockets. I have only one left that Ann made me; I have disposable ones and the visor for the charity shop; but I'm sad to have lost my Irish flag ones. Updated to say I found one of the Irish flag masks in my swimming bag on Friday - yay!

Another beautiful tree;  the leaves changing colour from the bottom upwards. 
This was on my way to the swimming pool on Friday morning where I swam my usual 30 lengths; there were only 4 of us in the lane to start and by the end I was on my own. Heavenly! In the afternoon I went for a flu jab at my doctor's surgery. It's a new doctor's practice as my original surgery closed earlier this year; I had been with them for 39 years; but at least the new surgery is within walking distance. I was in and out in 6 minutes....

Saturday's OOTD

Joe Brown trousers charity shopped in Bedford Daycare Hospice shop; top by Masai; can't remember which charity shop I got it from. Boots; my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought in Beales. My scarf matches a dress I bought from Etsy a few months ago; it needs shortening so I must remember to take it to my friend Ann who will shorten it for me.

On Saturday, I had to go back to B&Q to buy yet more trim for my bedroom floor; it's being finished on Tuesday afternoon. The doors are being re-hung as they needed planing at the bottom and the metal strips need to be put across the door once the doors are in place so it's nearly done.

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the river to the Marina, beyond and back again. I walked 6 miles and got caught in a shower on the way back. I was totally delighted to spot a Jay; the first I've ever seen. It very conveniently perched on a gate and then dropped down to the ground.

That blue bar at the side is unmissable! 

I had been reading about Jays in my 'Beechcombings; book. They are responsible for many of the oak trees that we have in this country. In the 1950s scientists began to observe the acorn planting routines of Jays. Over a ten week period it was estimated that the birds were making 60 acorn gathering flights per ten hour day and burying up to 5,000 acorns each. The autumn total for the whole of Britain acorn planting by Jays may be as high as one and a half billion! So not only are they beautiful to look at; Jays are very useful and contribute to our natural flora and fauna.

Flowers from my garden. Osteospermum, Lantana, Begonia, Fuchsia and an orange one I don't know the name of but I love the green stripe at the back of the petals...I am drawing up a list of plants to buy in readiness for next year. They include Hellebores, Alliums, Larkspur, Anemones, and I'd love some Rudbeckia for their cheerfulness; I much prefer them to Sunflowers.

I wore the same trousers on Sunday; but added my vintage shirt and a jumper by Divided. Everything charity shopped including brown suede boots which came from my Barnardo's - I think!

Earrings donated by my daughter.

I went for a 5 mile walk and then cracked on with the housework when I got back. We had roast chicken for dinner and daughter and two grandsons came. It was a brilliantly sunny day; a typical autumn day cool but bright.  I spent time last week watching all 6 episodes of 'Life' - a BBC drama and on Sunday evening OH and I started watching a Walter Presents French drama called 'A Deadly Union'. I also succumbed to reserving some Ann Patchett books from the library - 5 in total - and a couple are awaiting collection which I'll do on Tuesday after the food bank. It's a very narrow collection point they're operating; only between 10 - 1pm each day.

Monday's outfit for charity shop volunteering. I was the only volunteer in. Non stop donations. This is the dress I bought in the Daycare Hospice shop last week. It's by Next and I wore it with very thick tights and a slip underneath. Jacket by Dorothy Perkins; also charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought in Donegal gift shop.

And these are my new boots bought in Sainsbury's sale during lockdown. I paid 7.00 for them and wore them for the first time today.

I'm missing the eldest grandson as I haven't seen him for a while so next weekend the daughter and I are going to go to London to see him and probably have a meal in his restaurant; that's something to look forward to.  I may be able to catch up with my cousin, too. I just hope London won't be affected by the new 3 tier system rules....


  1. I've started my swap-over but haven't finished in a long way. Until very recently our charity shops stopped taking donations, so that it was hard to do a proper cull, as the bags would only be in the way and gather dust. I'd love to have space to move the hangers in my wardrobe, but that'll probably never happen :-)
    I love the outfit you wore to the food bank, especially with that gorgeous long blue coat on top!
    How amazing to spot a fox in broad daylight, but I agree with you that houseboat creature is quite creepy! Your swimming pool experience sounds rather weird indeed.
    As for the outfit photos, they are indeed much clearer now. I've noticed a distinct difference between normal and selfie mode when I'm taking photos with my phone's camera.
    lots of lovely outfits as usual. I particularly love the French Connection skirt and the African print trousers.
    I love the trees in their Autumnal hues. Always a sight for sore eyes! xxx

    1. I dream of having Sheila's closet - don't you?

      I'm glad you've noticed the difference between normal and selfie mode on your camera; it's not just me then!

      Take care

  2. very cool new boots! and the mille fleur dress you wear with is fab on you!
    love the tartan skirt with cosy jumper and the long blue jacket - indeed you should wear ot more often - its gorgeous and matches you style.
    jays where named after their acorn planting habit in german *eichelhäher* :-D we have many around the house, but mostly i HEAR them - warning loud the other animals that a human is around.......
    hooray for being back in the pool and for having it almost for yourself!
    the sculptur is extremely creepy - looks like it came out of the water at midnight - hu. your walk sounds lovely, but why is the church on great brickhill made of field stones?? ;-P
    wish you luck for your london visit!! <3

    1. Beate, thank you!

      I'm not sure exactly what the church is made of but it could be flint or cobblestones. People used whatever building materials that were local to them; and that's why there is such a variety of house styles here.For example; houses made of sandstone in Stamford, Lincs; in Devon they used Cob (soil, straw, lime mix) and thatch and parts of Norfolk you see lots of flint buildings.

      Take care

  3. How good it must feel to be back in the pool-even without goggles. I've never worn a dress over jeans, and while you prefer this particular one with boots, I have to say it does look good with jeans as well. I'm going to try that as it gets cooler. So far, we're still having warm weather.

    We have a very annoying blue jay that will sit on the railing and scream until someone goes out and refills the feeder. He's a good mimic as well, leading me to believe more than once that we had a hawk outside!
    I hope you can avoid further lockdowns. It is going to be a long winter if people don't start following the rules.

    1. Yes Goody, let's hope we have no further lockdowns but I'm not holding my breath...

      The dress over jeans thing was around in the (late?) 90s; I believe. Whenever it was it passed me by; but then I've not been a follower of fashion for a long time now! At least it's warm to wear for the colder months.

      Take care

  4. Glad to read that you're back to walks and swimming pool (even if it's by appointment and having no showers, these are strange times!). Lovely that you've seen some local fauna too!, I've never seen a fox. Once I saw a wolf (in the distance) when walking in the country, it was pointed at me by dad, it was amazing to see such a shy animal!.
    Love your blue outfit, the skirt print is stunning and your leather jacket looks fab!, love your matchy accessorizing too!.
    Lovely african print pants (so cool!) and also lovely Desigual dress, you rock it with those red accents!.
    I like your idea of wearing a tunic/dress over jeans, it's more casual than wearing it with boots (elegant!) but really cool too.
    Love your cosy pullover and plaid skirt ensemble, you look adorable in this!. And your new floral dress is a stunning piece and love how you've Winter-ized it, and your new boots!
    I'm also enjoying the autumn colors, the golden and reddish leaves are so beautiful!, lovely photos of those magnificent tres!
    Hope you and your family are safe!

    1. Thank you, Monica.

      I wish I had seen a wolf in the wild! I believe there is talk of re introducing wolves to the wild here in Scotland; so one day maybe...

      Take care

  5. Hi Vronni, my favourite outfit this week is the Next dress with the denim jacket, you look fabulous! Take care, rgds, Lise

    1. Thank you, Lise.

      That dress was a lucky buy - my colour and my size - that doesn't happen that often!

      Take care

  6. I love the Desigual dress with red tights and red boots! And blue is definitely one of your colours,pareticularly that royal blue you wore on Saturday.
    I wonder why showers are forbidden? I would have thought a shower was a good thing in terms of washing away the virus.
    Well done on all the walking. I am have around 300 miles to go to get to 1000 by the end of the year, which is challenging!

    1. Thank you, Gail.

      yes the shower thing is weird but then I suppose they'd have to clean them too every session and they probably don't have the staff.

      That sounds like a tough challenge - you'd need to do roughly 100 per month or 25 per week; I rarely walk as much as that per month so it would be a huge challenge for me, too!

      Take care

  7. Good to see the Desigual dress again, it looks fab on you! Love the last outfit with the head wrap, those amazing handmade trousers, the 1970s dagger collar shirt and the profusion of blues and rust tones in all our outfits.
    I'm pleased to hear that OH's mum is improving, what a worry for you both.
    With all that walking and swimming you're going to be as fit as a fiddle.
    Have a fantastic time in London! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix. I do love the Desigual dress so thank you once again!

      OH's mum is 96 and too frail for the treatment for her condition but she's had a good long life. She has refused to go back to hospital and wishes to stay at home and her family will respect those wishes. She is as sharp as a tack mentally despite the hospital stay and the debilitating illness.

      Take care

  8. I'm amazed that you were able to do 32 lengths first time back in the pool after 6 months! It sounded a bit strange though - the 'no showers' seems quite ridiculous as Gail says. I won't be going back until restrictions are lifted. You are so lucky to have some eyebrows left.
    Mine are now very sparse and almost invisible so I have to pencil them in. I tried having my eyelashes dyed but it did very little as they too are sparse now and need the thickening and lengthening from mascara.
    The autumn trees are lovely. I will be going to our local 'gardens' tomorrow to revel in the reds and golds. It is a wonderfully bright and clear day today; all the windows open as we had fish last night! You always look so striking in your outfits - I like bright colours too. I'm always surprised by how much you are out and about even in these strange times, I feel tired just reading about it! I have to push myself to do anything at all. I wish I could hibernate until it's all over but I think that would be a long time!

    1. Hello and thank you for commenting; I'm so sorry I don't know your name...

      I was surprised myself at doing 32 lengths after such a break; but I did swim regularly in the sea when I was in Ireland so that must have helped. My ambition is to get up to 40 lengths which I should just be able to do in 60 minutes - here's hoping!

      I try to get out of the house everyday; even if it's a walk into town to pick up something I could buy around the corner in my Sainsbury's Local. I would truly be climbing the walls if I couldn't leave the house....

      Take care

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  10. Some fabulous outfits here, Vronni! My favourite is the one with the plaid skirt, followed by the Desigual dress (but does the pattern continue on the back? that is one of my pet peeves with them), but they are all great!

    I love how the trees are changing and I did not know that about jays! We have Stellar's Jays here and many, MANY Gary oak trees, so that would explain all the oak meadows!

    Good to hear you were able to go to the pool, but that seems odd that they wouldn't designate certain stalls, so that they wouldn't have to sanitize them all after! 32 lengths is amazing!

    Good luck on your trip to London! Hang onto your special masks! :)

    1. Thank you Sheila, no the Desigual dress is plain black at the back.

      I found another of my lost masks so I have only lost one so far!

      Take care

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