Monday, 23 November 2020

A lot of jeans and some cooking


I haven't been doing much since I last posted and am looking forward to the end of this lockdown...

All jewellery charity shopped.

When I started this post we were one week into the mini lockdown. I had booked to walk with my group on Wednesday; but of course due to the lockdown it was cancelled. I wish I could say I went for a walk regardless but I didn't. Instead I did some washing and stuff around the house; and for dinner I tried 'Fish Finger Bhorta'; a recipe by Nigella Lawson from her new TV series. It was delicious; even though I didn't bother with the pink pickled onions sprinkled on the top... I heard part of a feature about it on 'Woman's Hour' on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday morning. The fish fingers seemed to be controversial, I don't know why. I'd definitely make it again!

This was Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except the boots which were bought on line. Jacket by Warehouse and bought from the 50p rail in my Barnardo's; jumper by Next donated by my daughter; trousers are by Zara and years old; I can't remember which charity shop they came from. They are made of a thick material and are nice and warm.

Thursday is my food shopping day so off I set; this time on my own.  Dawn was busy trying to complete the final assignment for her on line course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). I almost did the same course whilst I worked at the university; but it would have meant travelling to evening classes twice a week -  to Luton. I just couldn't face it after working 5 days a week. And, actually after teaching for 31 years;  the last thing I wanted to do after I retired was to teach again!

Almost everything is charity shopped; jeans by Next and frayed by me, top by Oasis; striped top by Primarni and my old red boots bought online. 

All jewellery charity shopped.

In the afternoon I went into town to run a couple of errands. I spent the rest of the day catching up with Blogland and  doing some pruning and dead heading in the garden. My current book, 'Commonwealth', by Ann Patchett is highly recommended. I've only one more book of hers to read then I'll have read everything she's written. I'm afraid I'm a bit obsessive when I find a new to me author. I've also just finished reading 'Redhead by the Side of the Road' by Anne Tyler; one of my all time favourite authors; and I have to stay I was a little disappointed. The ending was so abrupt! Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

On Friday, to break the monotony we had a trip to Sharnbrook to pick up more coal, then a trip to B&M for bird food and a new doormat. How exciting is my life? This was my outfit; jeans as above, top bought in my Barnardo's the week before lockdown began; jacket by Windsmoor; bought on the 1 euro rail in Donegal. Boots by Primarni but bought in a charity shop.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

I managed a 5.5 mile walk in the afternoon which was bright and sunny but with a cool wind. It's good to walk through a golf course and not worry about being hit in the head with a golf ball! I'm leading a walk in mid-December and need to recce it soon. It's been a while since I walked it and I hope I can remember the route. It all depends, of course, on whether our lockdown ends on 2nd December...

Saturday was wet and miserable so no walking for me. In the evening Dawn and I went to dinner at my daughter's. She made a vegetarian meal which was delicious and she'd baked an apple cake for dessert; but I was too full to eat any of it. We took some home to have as dessert on Sunday.

  I went out for a 6 mile walk on Sunday morning when we had a sunny interval that lasted for several hours.  I walked along the river to Priory Marina and back again. Grandchildren and daughter came for dinner. I didn't take any outfit photos at the weekend as I forgot on Saturday and stayed in my walking gear all day on Sunday. 

On Monday, I ran a few errands and spent the afternoon making a macaroni cheese and a Bara brith; or tea loaf as I call it. My mum gave me a recipe for it back in the 1970s which I made for years; but this time I followed a recipe cut out of the Guardian newspaper some time ago. Dawn has shown me how to make Dhal; and shared her Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe with me which I made on Sunday. In the space of little over a week I've learned 3 new recipes (including the Fish Finger Bhorta) which I can add to my repertoire of meals. That's one of the worst things about cooking thinking what to cook for each meal and eventually you run out of ideas. Well, I do and I don't like cooking to start with...

On Tuesday I went to the food bank as usual. There were only 2 of us and we were very busy. This is what I wore - all charity shopped; all from my Barnardo's except the white Gap shirt. Tunic by M&S; jeans by Next and boots. 

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. 

It was a very grey day on Tuesday; I would have really loved to have gone for a swim. Oh well, only 14 days to go until I can. I cooked dinner, did a wash and sorted out bed linen. I bought a new duvet in Lidl on Monday as my spare duvet was leaking its stuffing. I only noticed when I took the cover off for washing. 13.5 tog rating by SilentNight normally retailing at 52.99; but only 14.99 in Lidl; and I had 2.00 off on my Lidl Plus digital card! Last week I got 10.00 off my weekly shop as I had spent over 200.00 within a certain time period.

A view of some of the shelves in  my study. I've settled on this as the best place to take outfit photos as the light seems alright. I've given up on selfie mode on the camera; and just take the photos in normal mode standing in front of the camera without being able to see the screen - and hoping for the best! As you can see I love Matryoshka dolls and have built up quite a collection...all from charity shops and car boot sales. Some of the animal ones were presents from my eldest grandson.

On Wednesday, it was Dawn's birthday. We're the same age so I welcomed her to the Senior Citizen's club. She should get her pension any day now. I made her my special pancakes for breakfast which we had with bananas, yoghurt and honey. We had Chinese takeaway for dinner to celebrate as we couldn't go out to eat as originally planned before the lockdown. I bought her a (used) Kindle for her birthday as she liked the way the font size can be altered, when I lent her mine. The print in a lot of books is very small and for us older people it can be hard to see. I thought it was a very clever present!

I'm finding it hard to be very inspired in my outfits. I tend to go with jeans as they are the easiest things to wear. Top as above, Boyfriend jeans from Next and yellow and blue top worn underneath by Next as well. All charity shopped.
 Boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the shopping on Friday for a change and as well going to Lidl, Sainsbury's and Aldi; I checked out the charity near me to see if they were open. They were so I bought some kindling. Once we'd unpacked the shopping I made Soy and Ginger Belly pork for dinner (new recipe #4) and some flapjacks. There was good news too; Dawn has passed her course and is just awaiting her certificate -  and the Kindle I bought for her arrived. I was able to get it set up for her; and she downloaded lots of free books and bought a couple as well.

Everything charity shopped except OTK boots online retail.

Skirt by Per Una, jumper by Bon Marche. I had sworn to never buy anything from this shop as I think it's the epitome of what manufacturers think women of my age should wear; but this was a charity shop find and as there was a light blue one as well, both for 1.00 each; I couldn't resist! Jacket by LB (an Irish company) and was bought in a Donegal charity shop on the 1 euro rail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Kimono; present from my daughter; dress charity shopped in Ireland; tights charity shopped and boots from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped except cuff which was a present from my friend Ann and the ring which was bought from Sainsbury's.

We've had such wet, grey and cold weather this week that I hadn't managed a walk at all.

I made up for it on Saturday and walked to Bromham village and back again; a distance of 6 miles. I wore this skirt by Red Herring; shirt by Punt Roma and the 'I'd never be seen dead wearing that' blue jumper from Bon Marche. Everything charity shopped including Boots by Vanilla Moon from my Barnardo's.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped except for...

My little Dutch girl brooch which I bought from Etsy. 

As well as going for a walk; I went into town in the morning to go to Savers for some toiletries; took Dawn to Aldi as she wanted to buy a duvet set she saw yesterday and took my daughter some flowers. I also cooked dinner - a pasta bake - and we watched the first episode of the new BBC4 Icelandic drama 'The Valhalla Murders'.

Sunday was a bright sunny day so I got up and went out for a walk of 6.5 miles. It was very muddy:

At one point I was up to my ankles in mud. The trick is to walk through wet grass as a way of cleaning your boots of mud; it takes the worst of it off. 

OH cooked dinner, chicken curry; and both grandsons came for dinner. The youngest always stays over on a Sunday night and I take him to school in the morning. Starting next week I won't be picking him up from his dad's on Friday mornings and dropping him to school anymore. His dad's shifts are going back to pre-lockdown shifts and Amari will take himself to school. That means I will only have one day per week when I have to get up before 7am - yippee!

On Monday, he most exciting thing I did was go out and buy a new bucket as the old had cracked and was leaking! In need of a bit of something I decided to set  myself a clothes challenge. I have 8 blue knee length dresses - yes really I obviously like blue dresses. To be fair several of them are tunics, which because I'm short fit me like a dress. That's my excuse anyway! I picked out 5 that haven't been worn since last winter and decided to wear one everyday this week. Here's number 1 of my 5 day blue dress challenge:

Everything charity shopped except the boots and fleece lined leggings (so warm and bought last year) which were bought online. Dress by White Stuff; no label cardigan.

All jewellery charity shopped. Unfortunately I lost  one of the earrings whilst out buying the bucket...

I'll feature the other 4 blue dresses in my next post. Meanwhile, stay safe, take care and stay as wonderful as you all are.


  1. I can't pick a favourite outfit this time-they're all superb! And the selection of necklaces.
    I thought about teaching ESL as well, but haven't pursued it. I had a friend that did it in the 90s, and she enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. English is such a hard language to learn, but it is good to know there's one more teacher ready to take it on.

    I don't know what your mud is like, but ours is mostly clay and once it gets on shoes/boots it isn't coming off until it dries and gets chiseled off. I admire your determination to get in a walk.

    Stay safe and hopefully the lockdown goes quickly.

    1. Thank you!

      You should pursue it, Goody - once Danny gets to be a few years older he'll be gone and you'll be wondering what to do with yourself!

      Our mud is clayey so it means cleaning the boots as soon as I get in or like you said I have to chisel it off.

  2. dear vronni - the first outfit is a stunner!
    and you do jeans looks in a very interesting, creative way - not boring at all. had to laugh about the "don´t see me dead in it" sweaters :-D as i always say: the look is not what we wear - its about HOW! and your colour combinations, skirts, shoes and headscarves are always trés chic!
    i took a leaf out of your book and went for walks twice! it was muddy at some places too, but the light was stunning and nobody else around..... bliss.
    love your matrioshka collection!!!
    stay safe! xxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      Can't beat a good walk - I don't mind the mud that much it's slipping in it that I worry about!

      Take care

  3. Love the black&white ensemble and your fab zara trousers, really elegant. Also love you wearing jeans, with the chambray tunic, both ways, (I'm a huge fan of striped tops as a layer!), with your yellow blouse (so fab color and so cute leopard boots) and with the paisley tunic, so beautiful motive. You rock your accessorizing, so brilliant!.
    Love particularly your black&greys outfit with the kimono and the fabulous matchy jewellery. Gorgeous!
    And you made me laugh about those blue jumpers, mwhaha. Totally agree about those ítems that 'manufacturers think women of my age should wear', argh!
    Anyway, you look fab in blue shades, and I'm looking forward to see those blue dresses.
    And so glad that you can still go for a walk despite all the muddy paths. Hope you can lead some walks with people soon!.
    I usually enjoy trying new recipes and 'experimenting', it keeps my cooking away from boring routine!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      Yes, your food always looks much more exciting than mine and it always looks delicious, too!

      Take care

  4. It's always a delight to see your parade of gorgeous outfits, but oh my, it's so difficult to choose a favourite! I'm loving the first one very much, but the jeans worn with the yellow printed tunic is coming in a close second. I'm also loving the jeans with the denim tunic over that red and white striped top.
    I also loved the peek at your bookshelves and your quirky collection of Matryoshka dolls. Speaking of books, Anne Tyler is one of my favourites too, although I haven't read that particular one. But I've just finished A Spool of Blue Thread and thought the ending was quite abrupt as well.
    Glad to hear that you've been on a couple of walks - we recently had quite a muddy one as well - and that you were able to pick up a duvet at Lidl. Although supermarkets are all open here, of course, they aren't allowed to sell anything that's not considered essential, including duvets! All items like that are cordoned off, which I think is quite silly! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      I haven't seen our supermarkets cordon anything off so they have the advantage if they sell clothes and shoes over clothing and shoes stores. No wonder so many businesses have gone bust. It's very sad...

      I think as she ages, Ann Tyler may be losing her ability to finish off her books as she used to OR have you and I just got very picky as we age, too?

      Take care

  5. Loving the peek at your bookshelves and your collection of matryoshkas! I've got a set of Russian cold war leaders on one of the windows.
    What a bargain with the duvet, something we could probably do with replacing.
    You seem to be filling your lockdown time well, we're almost at the final hurdle now although I reckon where won't be much of a difference when the tier system returns. Fab that you're still able to squeeze a couple of walks in.
    Some lovely outfits, the denim looks great, as Beate says, you've got such flair even jeans look artistic and fabulous when you wear them.
    Loving the outfit featuring the black kimono and the animal print top & funky leggings.
    I have a similar problem with vintage blue block printed Indian dresses! They keep finding their way into my life.
    Stay safe and happy! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      I've actually found this lock down more boring than before despite having company; I'm putting it down to the weather...

      Take care

  6. What a great round of outfits, Vronni! I'm enamoured of the blue denim tunic and your blazer with the full skirt. I know what you mean about Per Una - but when we find their clothes for cheap second-hand, they can be excellent basics in with all the other stuff that's more out there. You do look good in that French blue jumper - great colour on you.

    My island is getting its first COVID cases trickling down to my city on the end. We've been lucky till now! Our lockdown is supposed to end Dec 7th, but I'm worried it will be extended.

    I'm envious of all your walks! Although I walk to and from work, and do my 8K weekly walk, I could use more.

    I am also an unenthusiastic cook - you cook a lot fancier than I do! I have about 8 regular meals that I slightly vary. We eat a lot of soup and chili!

    1. Thank you, Sheila!

      Sorry to hear about the spread of Covid in your area. As for cooking, I would be happy when the day comes when we can get all we need in a tablet! I've been responsible for cooking for a family/partner for 45 years now and am sick of it!

      Take care


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 ...