Tuesday 22 December 2020

A Collection of Coats and Jackets for the Winter Months

I walked with my group on Wednesday; the first time in 5 or 6 weeks. We met here in Ickwell Green and walked 4.5 miles; shorter than the advertised walk but the mud was a problem so an alternative route was walked. It was cold but bright; and when we stopped for our break near the end of the walk; we had mince pies and sang the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' in a wooded glade! I don't know what the wild life made of it...

There were several pretty thatched houses in the village and I didn't think to take photos until the very end of the walk. I also wished I had worn a warmer top as I never really warmed up.  It took the car heater going full blast for several minutes on the way back until I felt warm again.  On the way home I stopped at the Bedford Daycare Hospice shop. I bought a cool green top by Quiz and Co; a yellow patterned shirt by Tu and a real bargain; a brand new never worn M&S  grey coat for 3.00! I stayed in my walking gear after adding a warm jumper when I got home.  Feeling very pleased with myself ;I then ventured into town to buy some more decorations; I tried the Christmas pop up shop but their prices were ridiculous - £5.00 for tinsel! I went to Wilco in the end and got plenty at much cheaper prices.

On Thursday I did the usual food shopping and spent the afternoon finishing the present wrapping. It was a warmer day and if I'd had the energy I would have gone to recce my walk. I need to do so soon as the walk is next Wednesday...yikes!

This is the green top bought yesterday worn with green jeans and brown suede boots. Everything charity shopped.

Winter Coat/Jacket - No. 1

This is the M&S coat bought yesterday, too. I'm going feature my winter coat collection over the next week or so, following Penny's lead HERE over at 'The Frugal Fashion Shopper'. This is coat number one. Not really a winter coat but still quite warm, as Thursday was warmer than the previous few days. Do you like my gloves? I call them my Kandinsky gloves as they remind me of a Kandinsky painting. They were charity shopped in Huntingdon; I think.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I got up at my leisure on Friday - no more school run - and went for a swim. I did 40 laps (2k) and did it in record time time; 52 minutes. It usually takes me between 55 and 58 minutes. I wore my new M&S leggings with a charity shopped Store 21 tunic and online retail ankle boots.

Cardigan for added warmth bought in the Independent charity shop in town.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. Hair's a bit wild as I'd just finished drying it from my swim and I still have the faint outline of my swimming goggles under my eyes! I bought a job lot of brand new lipsticks from our FB local buy and sell group; 15 lipsticks in total for 5.00. Several of them are too dark for me; but I've been experimenting with the remainder and usually end up mixing two colours to make the right colour. I shouldn't need to buy anymore lipsticks for a good while! Updated to say that I invested in a Maybelline lipstick; Superstay Matte Ink as recommended by Ann over  at 'Polyester Princess' HERE. She swears it stays on under a face mask. I agree. I add a bit of vaseline over my lips for a hint of gloss.

I went  into town yet again on Friday afternoon. The 3:16 charity shop had reopened and I bought a couple of Kilner jars for 50p. They were taking donations so I planned to drop off my large plastic sack of donations tomorrow. After doing various errands mostly linked to Christmas; I came home just in time to let middle grandson in; who was going to stay for  dinner and stay the night.

Saturday's outfit

Saturday was grey and wet. I went to Sharnbrook to buy more kindling and also picked up a large bag of logs for 4.00. We'll try these and if they're fine will buy more as OH usually gets much smaller bags than these from B&M. From Sharnbrook I drove a further 5 miles to Rushden where I visited my favourite charity shop The Salvation Army; and one other called strangely: 'The Swivel Club'. In here I bought a new shopping bag (my collection of shoppers is growing) a jar of my usual night cream for half the price and a deep pinky red spotted cushion. In the Sally Army I bought a knitted jacket; another scarf (with embroidery and red in colour) and a summer weight kimono. On my way back home I dropped off my bag of donations to the 3;16 charity shop and bought the last of their Kilner jars. Everything in the shop was half price. I've bought 5 Kilner jars in total for 3.25; and filled all of them already! I also bought more flowers from a local charity and here they are:

Saturday's outfit

Everything charity shopped except boots online retail. You may remember this jumper by F&F had humongously long sleeves. I had a brain wave while getting dressed and cut them off to just under the frill. Much more manageable now. Underneath I'm wearing the Tu shirt bought on Wednesday at the Daycare Hospice shop;  where you can see the sleeve ties hanging out of the jumper sleeves in the above photo. The plaid trousers are by Red Herring.

I wore this on top of my outfit and it's winter coat number 2. I forgot to take a photo with the coat on so here's an older picture of it. The cape coat is by Fenn, Wright and Manson; is made of 100% wool and is nice and warm. I wore it with maroon gloves bought in a Marie Curie charity shop in St. Neots.

Winter Coat/Jacket - No. 2

I waited for the forecasted break in the gloom which did eventually happen but not until after 3pm! It gets dark soon after 4 pm so there wasn't enough time for me to recce my 8 mile walk. That had been my plan for Saturday afternoon but scuppered once again by the weather. Looking ahead to next week's weather; it looked as if Monday morning was going to be fine - well, dry at least;  I swapped my shift at Barnardo's to the afternoon. I'll go on the recce walk as soon as I have dropped youngest grandson off to school and I'll hopefully be at the shop for 12 ish.

Sunday was such a miserable day. It rained all day. I did the usual housework and cooked Sunday dinner for both grandsons and OH. Wearing brown today; everything charity shopped. Trousers by Joe Brown; sparkly polo by Tu and top by Masai. Boots also charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped. That's the Tu blouse I wore yesterday hanging on the radiator; such a pretty pattern and of course it's yellow which makes it a winner in my book.

The weather forecast was right. Monday morning was bright and sunny and quite mild at 12 degrees. But what a miserable recce my walk was. Everywhere was waterlogged and muddy. Walking in mud is both physically exhausting and fraught with difficulty - for me at least. My chief concern is am I going to fall? I don't mind getting dirty or muddy. Just as well, as the mud splashes went up my thighs despite wearing gaiters over my leggings; and at times there was so much water  in the fields it was like wading through a stream! I don't think the sodden fields will have dried out by Wednesday but at least it will be more fun walking with a group and there will be someone to catch me if I fall!

Winter Coat/Jacket  - No 3

This is what I wore to the charity shop. Everything charity shopped except the leggings which were a present from my daughter. The top is a Primarni one bought at the 3:16 charity shop before the most recent lockdown. The jacket was bought in the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary charity shop - which had closed down when I went back in the summer. Boots charity shopped at my Barnardo's.

The scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

The charity shop was pretty busy and I went a bit mad buying two (BNWT) dresses; a green one by Oliver Bonas and one by Biba in orange, black and mustard. Both are quite lightweight; but I plan to wear the green one on Christmas Day. I also bought a black/white/grey warm cardigan and a coral linen summer top. That's the last of my charity shop spending for this year as I've more than made up for the lack of charity shopping during both lockdowns!

Winter Coat/Jacket No.4

This was what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. I made up hygiene bags, packed away toiletries and generally restored order. I really enjoy tidying things up and putting things away in their proper place. People mix the shower gels and the shampoos, for example, and it drives me nuts! Everything is charity shopped except the boots bought in Sainsbury's summer sale. The leggings were black with green splodges by M&S; from my Barnardo's as was the dress by Izabel. The jacket is made of orange, felted wool. I can't remember where I bought it from.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Winter Coat/Jacket No.5

I woke up on Wednesday morning listening for the sound of tyres hissing on the rain slicked road; but I heard nothing. It was dry and a quick check on the weather forecast showed it would only rain in the afternoon. Phew! I was very relieved and the walk I led was actually very enjoyable. There were eight of us (our rules allow ten people maximum; including the walk leader) and some of the previous waterlogged fields had drained off the rainfall. There were still several muddy sections and a tricky downward sloping field at the very end; but no one fell over and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves after our 8 mile trek. 

I changed into this outfit when I got home and wore this cape coat by First Avenue; charity shopped in the Red Cross for 1.99 in 2015. It's a warm 100% wool cape; but a bit itchy around the neck; and for that reason I would usually wear a scarf under it even though it has its own scarf attached.

Everything is charity shopped. The linen skirt by Country Casuals was bought in a charity shop in Bury St. Edmunds and worn with thick woolly tights underneath. The cardigan was bought at my Barnardo's and the top underneath from a 1.00 rail somewhere. I had a fancy for animal print on Wednesday afternoon and wore my animal print boots as well.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were bought online.

The skirt has a faux belt attached.

I had spotted a pair of red M&S ankle boots for sale (BNWT) on our local Facebook buy and sell group; and drove to Wootton, a village about 7 miles from Bedford; to pick them up. They'll replace the pair I have that have become very shabby and worn on the uppers and need re-heeling. To get them re-heeled would cost as much as I bought the replacement ones for and the uppers would still be scuffed and worn. 

I made a chicken casserole for dinner and I have a plan to use up some of my mincemeat by making a cake (even though I will probably end up eating it all) and possibly some mince pies this week. I have readymade puff pastry in the freezer that needs using up so I thought mince pies would fit the bill. I've also seen a blanket on IG that has sparked my crocheting mojo into life and I've begun to plan it in my head. There's no pattern for it so I'll have to improvise. There is a central section of very small granny squares; then the rest of the blanket is made up of rows of block stitch. I made middle grandson a block stitch blanket some years ago so at least I don't need to learn a new stitch!

Winter Coat/Jacket No.6

I wore this on Thursday to do the  weekly food shop. Looking at these photos I can see that my skirt is not on properly. The seam should be at the side NOT the front! You'd think at age 66 I'd be able to dress myself properly by now - apparently not! Anyway, everything is charity shopped. Skirt by M&S; top by Minuet; shirt underneath has no label; jacket from Co. Dublin charity shop. Gloves, scarf and boots also charity shopped. You can see the desire for animal print continued...

All jewellery charity shopped.

After I'd done the shopping and packed it away I met up with my daughter for a walk. Her school had been closed all week as three staff members and several children had developed Covid. Our walk stuck to solid tracks and avoided fields and was only 4 miles. We spotted two chickens; thoroughbreds I think, as they were white and the cockerel had a beautifully multicoloured, plumed tail. I didn't know if they belong to the nearest house or farm; both quite a way from where we saw the chickens.  I enquired at the first house and was told that chickens are frequently abandoned along this lane. The woman said she would contact the nearest farmer who often took the abandoned chickens in. There was also a dead juvenile fox near the chickens. I hope the farmer found the chickens or foxes may get them or even a vehicle; although vehicles are few and far between along this lane...

Winter Coat/Jacket No. 7

Coat bought from La Redoute about 5 years ago. Boots by M&S; bought from local buy and sell group. You'll never guess what I did. I dropped mayonnaise on the toe of the left boot. I sprinkled sodium bicarb on it to absorb the grease but it has left a a small mark on the toe. What a twat I am!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Jeans by Gerry Weber bought in a Donegal charity shop. The white top is from Monsoon and the black and white shirt by Glamorous; both from my Barnardo's.

I went for a swim on Friday morning but only did 32 lengths. There were a few very slow swimmers in the slow lane and I had to keep waiting for them to move off before I started another lap. After  my swim I had to go to the retail park to our only remaining M&S foodhall to pick up some Christmas Day food items. Middle grandson came for dinner. The schools broke up for Christmas today here in Bedford. 

On Saturday we moved in Tier 3 'Very High' restrictions along with most of the rest of England - 38 million of us! Saturday was a strange day weatherwise. It was sunny, it rained and we had hailstones. I had to go to town in the morning and wore this:

Winter Coat/Jacket - No.8

This is a coatigan that I wear a lot. It's very warm and I bought
it from The Cat's Protection League about two years ago.

I shall be redonating these Gerry Weber jeans as they are too short; usually I find most trousers are too long for me. Top by Boden; and the knitted jacket I bought at the Sally Army last Saturday. Boots by Vanilla Moon and were charity shopped at my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.

It was yummy and I cleverly froze half...

I made a cake in the afternoon using up a jar of mincemeat - only two to go! 
I also listened to the Prime Minister's announcement and found we are moving into Tier 4 restrictions from Saturday at 12.01 am. The restrictions looked remarkably similar to the first lockdown we had back in March. Tier 4 includes London; most of the South east and the East of England.  We are not allowed to travel outside of tier 4; the Christmas relaxation has been scrapped entirely for Tier 4; all non essential shops are to close as are gyms and I presume swimming pools. Just what we need at Christmas - NOT. No charity shop for me on Monday then!

Winter Coat/Jacket No.9

Strictly speaking this isn't a winter weight coat but it's good for those milder day. It's by John Lewis and charity shopped from my Barnardo's as was the scarf. I bought the yellow leather gloves from a stall outside someone's house for 1.00!

I'm afraid this is yet another blue dress; this one by Apricot. At 1.50 it was a bit too much of a bargain to miss; spotted when I popped into the 3:16 charity shop to drop off a carrier bag of donations on Saturday morning on my way to town...

Blazer by John Rocha also from my Barnardos; yellow tights bought in an Asda sale and boots online retail.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped except the necklace which is from South Africa; an (early) Christmas present from my ex mum-in-law.

It felt peculiar on Monday not going to the charity shop; but I wore what I had planned anyway, even though the only place I went was to the bank; and in the afternoon met up my daughter and we did a 3 mile walk.

This skirt was another find on Saturday at the 3:16 charity shop and at 1.50 a not to be missed bargain. Jumper by Oasis and jacket by River Island from my Barnardo's. Boots donated by my daughter.

All jewellery charity shopped except ring bought from Sainsburys a long time ago.

It was extremely busy at the foodbank on Tuesday. I stayed on for an extra 75 minutes to help make up enough hygiene packs to last over the Christmas period. We open again on 3rd January but I said if I was needed I would go back sooner. This was what I wore and I kept my cardigan on as the warehouse doors remain open all day:

Everything charity shopped except the boots online retail. Cardigan by Next; trousers by M&S; yellow top by White Stuff; all from my Barnardo's. Grey and yellow top by Primarni and bought in a Derry charity shop.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

I still have 4 more winter coats to feature; but they'll have to wait until my next post. I hope you all have a lovely festive season; and let's hope that 2021 sees the end of the pandemic; the vaccine widely rolled out and a return to a more normal life for all of us!


Tuesday 8 December 2020

The blue dress challenge continued and the end of lockdown...

Day 2 - Blue Dress Challenge

I wore this to the food bank on Tuesday. 

Dress by Lily and Me; charity shopped but can't remember where. Boots online retail.

The food bank was busy. I spent the morning packing toiletries away and making up toiletry packs for singles/couples and making up family packs. We had been given a big donation of out of date floral bouquets from M&S; and as there were so many; we were allowed to take one each. As it happens, I  had picked up 2 M&S bouquets for 1.00 each on Saturday at a local charity that collects leftover food and out of date items from supermarkets; and allows people to donate 1.00 and take their pick. I had kept one of the bouquets for myself and took one to my daughter's. The one I got from the food bank I dropped round to Ann. She was very pleased with it. After I dropped the flowers off I went home and baked, for the first time ever, a Pecan Pie. I forgot to take a photo of it and I'm afraid it's all gone now. It was delicious even if I say so myself! In the afternoon I went to pick up a summer skirt from M&S that was advertised on our local buy and sell FB group for 3.00. It's in tiers of pink and orange and is the perfect summer maxi. Roll on Summer!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Two of the last roses from my garden.  Dawn had bought me a lovely bunch of Alstromerias the week before and this was the last remaining bloom.

Day 3 - Blue Dress Challenge
Dress by Tu, jacket by M&Co; both charity shopped. Boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings - from good old Sainsbury's.

Dawn and I went to town on Wednesday as we had some errands to run. I needed a transparent lip liner. I used to buy the Body Shop one; but they discontinued it; so I switched to one by Rimmel. They had discontinued it as I discovered today; but luckily L'Oreal do one and I was able to buy it in Superdrug. I hope they don't discontinue this one! It's essential for me to use a transparent lip liner as it stops the lipstick bleeding/feathering into those tiny lines we develop around our mouths as we age. I haven't noticed men getting those lines though, have you? I also topped up on bird food items, bought some Jamaican Patties in Iceland and went to the Pound Shop for some batteries. Sometimes, my life is so exciting it wears me out! I made a butternut squash and sweet potato soup and cauliflower cheese for dinner. I try to have at least one or sometimes two vegetarian days per week; I aim for fish three times a week and try to eat meat only twice a week.

Day 4 - Blue Dress Challenge

This was Thursday's outfit worn to do the food shopping. Dress by H&M; charity shopped. It's a tunic really and I should have worn it over navy leggings but I gave my pretty new pair of navy blue leggings to Dawn; as they were too large for me and kept wrinkling like Nora Batty's tights! I ordered myself another pair from M&S as they are functional and essential  items in my wardrobe. Black suede boots charity shopped; kimono present from my daughter a few years ago.

 I went to Sainsbury's, Aldi and Lidl for the shopping and went back to the charity Bedford Garden Carers for more kindling.

All jewellery charity shopped

This was me just as I set out for a quick walk on Thursday afternoon.  Coat by Seasalt of Cornwall; charity shopped in Devon. It was chilly but sunny and ideal for walking. I walked 4 miles along the High Street along the Embankment and the river and back in a loop to my house. It was announced on Thursday afternoon that once the lockdown is over we will be in Tier 2 'High'. We were in Tier 1 before so this was a bit of a blow. I've found this lockdown quite boring and it's down to the weather - I can't get out for a walk when I want to unlike the last lockdown. Anyway, even though we are in this new tier the swimming pool was reopening so I booked a swim for next week - straight after my hairdressers appointment! Bad timing I know but the most important thing is my hair will have been trimmed....

Day 5 - Blue Dress Challenge

Friday was a horrible day. Cold, damp and foggy. I wasn't tempted to go out for a walk and apart from feeding the birds which I do every morning; and filling the coal bucket, I ventured no further than the garden all day. Still, I didn't waste the day. I finally completed my family tree and was able to cancel my Ancestry UK subscription saving me 10.99 per month!  When the shops reopen next week I can make photocopies and send them to my cousins in Ireland. I did a wash, cleaned out the fire, laid it and lit it; and cooked dinner - salmon with roast vegetables and sweet potato fries.

Everything charity shopped. Dress by Mudd and Water, jacket by River Island 50p rail; my Barnardo's. Boots charity shopped and tights, too.

All jewellery charity shopped.

That's the blue dress challenge completed. I really don't need 8 blue dresses so I gave Dawn two of them; and as one of the 6 is really a tunic that leaves me with 5 blue knee length dresses. And a bit more room in the wardrobe...oh no, I found another one lurking at the back of the wardrobe! Strictly speaking it's more a teal green/dark turquoise but see below...

Saturday was another cold,  miserable grey day. I went into to town to pick up a couple of things and didn't venture out for the rest of the day. This was Sunday's outfit; I felt in a turquoise/green mood. Everything charity shopped from my Barnardo's. Cardigan by F&F; trousers by Next; shirt by Chico's; boots are River Island.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were bought in Bedford market years ago.

The grandsons came for dinner on Sunday. I ventured out into a misty, moisty day and walked to Bromham village and back again a round trip of 6 miles. I also booked a second swimming  session for next week. I can't wait to get back into the water again! It doesn't matter what the weather's doing when you swim in an inside pool...

Monday was the last day of November. I managed to read 12 books this month. I have cleared quite a few spaces on my fiction bookshelves since we've had the lockdowns; and can't wait for the charity shops to open and start filling them. The last book I read had a small card in it from the person with whom I swapped back in 2013. I used to belong to an online book swapping group called 'Read it, Swap it' -  RISI for short. I'd read about it in The Guardian newspaper; and was a member for about four or five years; until the cost of postage made swapping unviable, when I could usually buy the book in a charity shop for a pound or even less. All those trips to the post office to post off my books are trips I do not miss!

Blue Dress Challenge - Day 6!
Blue or Turquoise?

 I can't remember exactly where I picked this dress up but it was quite recently; I seem to remember I may have bought it in Newport Pagnell Keech Hospice shop on their sale rale - it's by Warehouse.

Wearing it with black Marilyn jeans by M&S, charity shopped; boots shopped in Oxfam; top by Primarni. All jewellery charity shopped. This was Monday's outfit.

OH ordered some peat/turf from Scotland for the fuel burner and it arrived today. Even though we tried to eke it out; the three bags of turf my cousin cut from his own bog in Ireland and gave to us; was finished. The smell of turf always reminds of Ireland and my childhood holidays...

 I took Dawn to do some Christmas shopping on Monday afternoon (yes, I started mine, too) at our branch of The Range. I came back and made chicken soup with leftovers from Sunday's dinner and a rice pudding. Then using another recipe from Dawn; I made an Apricot Chili chutney. It was so simple. I used a small empty glass jar, filled it almost to the top with apricot jam, added dried chopped/flaked chillies and some white or even malt vinegar to taste, mixed it well and hey presto it was done! Years and years ago in fact, the last time Dawn stayed with me about 12 years ago (she's been abroad for 8 years so it's not as bad as it sounds) we both bought an extra large packet of dried chillies from an Asian shop that was closing down. I used the last of those chillies last week; when again in another tip from Dawn, I crushed them and sprinkled them on top of the flowerpots in the garden. They make a good squirrel deterrent, so my cyclamen, pansies and rhododendron plants have not been dug up by the squirrels and may even survive the winter! I had to buy some more dried chillies for the chutney though...

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by Per Una; shirt by Primarni and top has no label. This skirt does not quite reach my ankles and as I like my maxis to cover my ankles it will be re- donated.

Boots charity shopped in my Barnardo's.

All jewellery and head scarf charity shopped.

Tuesday was a brighter but very cold day. The temperature stayed at 7 degrees all day and the food bank warehouse was freezing. I forgot to bring my gloves and hands were numb all morning. The manager said how incredibly busy they were on Friday at one of our distribution centres; not only in terms of numbers but in terms of people at breaking point. The manager had noticed a big increase in people presenting with mental health issues; as well as an increase in the need for food parcels and other essential items. Sometimes it's hard to believe we live in the 6th largest economy in the world.

Wednesday finally saw the end of our lockdown. I drove Dawn back to London which took up most of the day; but on the way back popped into my Barnardo's for a long overdue rummage! I found a yellow cable knit jumper; a cross body bag (no phones will be nicked from this!) and a spotted top with a peplum. I'm volunteering at Barnardo's on Friday afternoon from 1 - 4 pm. 

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped. Leather jacket; Dublin charity shop; beret with attached brooch; can't remember; trousers are by Rosso35; brown top by Minuet; and the vintage dagger collar shirt from Germany - by way of a charity shop.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The weather stayed in single digits all day but the sun tried to come out when we were on the motorway. It didn't succeed so it remained grey and dull as well as cold.

Thursday was a busy day. I went to the hairdressers at 9 am. My hairdresser gave me some home made green tomato chutney; it was delicious. I went swimming at 11 and managed, although it was a struggle after a four week gap, to do my 40 laps or 2k swim. Then it was off to do the food shopping. I had a 10.00 voucher on my Lidl card so I bought our Christmas tree. That's a job for me at the weekend! I also sorted out the grandchildren's Advent calendars. The middle grandson will be too old next year
 so this is his last year. I usually buy some sweets and put them in the odd numbered days and 50p pieces in the even numbered ones. Both the advent calendars were bought in charity shops; one has little drawers and the other has little houses that have to have their roofs lifted off to get at the goodies.

Thursdays outfit. Everything charity shopped. Top by Pepperberry; my Barnardo's; skirt from the sale rail at The Day Hospice Shop before the mini lockdown; boots from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped, Cardigan from a Donegal charity shop. I always wear a thick cardigan indoors until the heating is on and I warm up!

On Friday I dragged myself to the swimming pool again. Yesterday's swim had tired me out and I didn't think I was up to swimming another 40 laps. But I did! I had just enough time to come home, shower and put my make up on before I set out for Barnardo's where I volunteered for four hours.

We were very busy! Our tombola is very popular; 1.00 per ticket and everyone's a winner. The deputy manager wrapped at least a hundred items for the tombola. Our Christmas gifts section is also very popular; and we've almost run out of gifts. We save donated items throughout the year for our Christmas gift section.

Appropriately enough I am dressed in head to toe Barnardo's bought clothing! Boots by River Island; trousers by M&s; jumper by George and shirt by Chicos. The jumper is a little big; but it was very warm and cosy; very much needed as it was cold and wet all day on Friday. I found some items for my youngest grandson at Barnardo's and I treated myself to a grey lace top, a pair of Pretty Polly grey cable knit tights and a whisk!

Saturday's outfit. Cape jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; from RSPCA in Newport Pagnell. Dress by Joe Brown can't remember which charity shop I got it from. Tights from Barnardo's yesterday and boot from Sainsbury's sale in the summer.

I had a lie in on Saturday morning then got up a put a wash on. After a late breakfast I set out for Sharnbrook to buy coal and kindling. It was a cold day but bright and no rain - hurrah! I also had to go to Sainsbury's as I didn't get there on Friday. I had wanted to go for a walk but in the end ran out of time. It's dark by 4 pm; and it cuts out the opportunities for a later walk. I was busy for most of the day as we put up our tree and decorations: and I even wrapped some presents to go under the tree.

All jewellery charity shopped.

As well as doing the tree and the decorations; I made a batch of flapjacks. I experimented and added dessicated coconut for a change; reducing the amount of oats by the amount of coconut added. They turned out very well and I shall take them onto the charity shop on Monday. OH doesn't like oats in any form! Next time I'm going to add mincemeat; I have three jars waiting to be used up. I have made a lovely mincemeat crumble cake in the past which would use up a jar; but as I've said before I end up eating all the cake as no one else seems to want any. OH says he'll eat some but rarely does; daughter doesn't eat dairy, son's not really into cakes; neither are the grandsons unless they involve chocolate!

I woke on Sunday to freezing fog. No walking but I did drive to Kettering to pick up; and then drop back my brothers who came for Sunday dinner. The fog was frightful; I was glad to get back home into the warmth; it was -2 degrees on Sunday evening.

To combat the murky gloominess I wore yellow with red boots. Everything charity shopped except the boots which were bought online. Trousers by M&S; top by Next and yellow jacket no label.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Monday, the weather was the same; cold, foggy and damp. I wore this outfit to the charity shop with the addition of a warm white cardigan. I bought the M&S top at Barnardo's last Wednesday; and the navy trousers are also old M&S ones. I wore thick tights underneath which was a mistake as they kept dragging the trousers down.

Boots online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We have been blessing our fuel burner stove. It makes the evenings very cosy although the cleaning out of it everyday is a chore; but I'm very glad of it. I'm also very glad to have just about finished my Christmas shopping; and spent Monday afternoon wrapping presents up. I'm waiting on one more to arrive then it is all completed. I don't think I have ever been so organised for Christmas - and so early. Obviously the lock down had something to do with it...

I'll just leave you with Tuesday's outfit worn to the food bank and in anticipation of freezing conditions. Everything is charity shopped except boots online retail.. Jeans by M&S, striped polo by H&M and the jumper by Tokyo Laundry was bought in a charity shop for middle grandson who never wore it so I reclaimed it! I stayed on later at the food bank as we had a huge donation come in which I had to off load and weigh in. I went for a swim in the afternoon and did my 40 laps or 2k. I've booked again for Friday and my new plan is to swim twice a week and walk a minimum of twice a week. I hope I manage to stick to this plan!

Take an d stay safe everyone - it's such good news about the vaccines.

Very proud mummy.

  Hello and welcome!  No, I'm not pregnant but I do have a new 'baby'. More on that later. After a two week holiday and a long E...