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!



  1. What a wonderful collection of warm, snuggly and elegant coats and jackets.
    I have just taken a load of mine to the local charity shop as we are in the process of downsizing and our new house has very limited storage space. I am sure I will come to regret downsizing my wardrobe!

    1. Thank you JayCee and I hope you don't regret downsizing your wardrobe....

      Happy festivities!

  2. very chic coats!
    and chic outfits with and without them.... i´m in love with all the animal printed items.
    glad that your planned walk turned out great and the fields were dry. was today for a short round in the nearest wood - after two rainy days it was quite muddy - but the moss was thick and bright green :-D
    we are in lockdown since a week now. a lot of winging about x-mas. as if it is about shopping, eating out and partying......
    stay well! xxxxx

    1. Thank you Beate for your always positive comments!

      Unfortunately we have severe flooding in our town at the moment; it's a strange sight I can tell you. Luckily I'm not near the River Great Ouse.

      Take care and best wishes for 2021.

    2. oh no! hope the flooding is over by now - i know that this makes for a uncomfortable feeling from my own experience....

  3. I think you might have even more Winter coats than I do! Your new, charity shopped M&S one is gorgeous, and yes, I love those gloves very much! You did well in the charity shop, it seems, and just in time too, with them being closed now. I love the blue Apricot dress and the skirt from the 3:16 charity shop. Another favourite outfit is the one with the linen skirt and animal print cardi, and the plaid trousers + F+F jumper. The print on that blouse peeking out is gorgeous!
    I'm glad to hear that your walk went well in spite of the mud, and that you love the lipstick. Great idea to wear vaseline on top, I will try that one out. Thanks for the shout-out by the way!
    I'm sorry to hear that you're in Tier 4, and that Christmas is cancelled, so to speak. We can only invite one person inside our houses, so there will be not much celebrating here either. Although I do fear that a lot of people will be breaking the rules! xxx

    1. Thank you Ann,

      We still managed a Christmas and are nor recovering...lol!

      Take care and may 2021 be a better year for all of us.

  4. You have an awesome collection of winter coats, Vronni! I love your new M&S one, and those gloves are so spectacular! They remind me of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" or "Starry Night" (Van Gogh).

    Please ship your leopard coat to me IMMEDIATELY (lol) - I LOVE it! I laughed at you getting your skirt's seam on the front - I've done that too! You'd think we would have these things figured out by now.

    Sorry to hear about the new (again) lock-downs. That really sucks over Christmas. We are not permitted any social gatherings, although people who are single/live alone are permitted to have one household of up to 2 people as their "bubble", so we are having our friend Nick over (he lost his wife to cancer in June). My mom is bubbled with my nephew, so we can't see her, but I've booked a Zoom call with my family (even my uncle in Australia!) on Xmas day.

    Wishing you a very Happy Holidays, my dear friend. Thank you for all the good you put back into the world, in your town, and on your blog. Big hug!

  5. Beautiful coats! A coatigan seems like such a practical item.
    The mincemeat cake looks delicious. I wouldn't worry about using it all up-the stuff keeps forever if you keep pouring in booze.

    I'm so sorry about the restrictions right at Christmas, but hopefully it will save lives and suffering.

    Wishing you the best and happiest holidays and New Year

    1. Thank you, Goody!

      Happy holidays to you and your and beat wishes for a better 2021!

      Take care

  6. What a fabulous selection of coats! That M&S one was a real bargain as was the cape, what a shame about the itchiness, sometimes one does suffer for looking fabulous!
    I know you do a big family Xmas and you were the first person I thought of when BoJo did his announcement at the weekend. Lets keep everything crossed that these new restrictions slow down the spread and that the vaccine reaches us sooner or later.
    Sending you loads of Xmas love and positive vibes! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      We still managed our Christmas gathering; although there were people missing. I don't feel guilty as the only people I have mixed closely with since March 2020 has been my family...

      Take care and may 2021 be better year for all of us,

  7. Love all your coats. The red jacket is so vibrant. I especially loved your mustard top. You have a great eye for colour.

    Wishing you and your lovely family a very peaceful and healthy holiday. Xx

    1. Hello Kelly, how lovely to hear from you! How is bonnie Scotland? Thank you for your comment and I hope you and your family had a peaceful and healthy Christmas, too.

      Take care

  8. Lovely coats and jackets collection, from the first bargainous grey one!. Love particularly your red cape and also your brown one, they look pretty elegant and cool!. Your orange jacket is a favourite of mine and your shiny teal jacket too!. And your gloves are so fabulous, particularly those 'Kandinsky gloves'!.
    Lots of delightfully printed tops and colourful tunics. And love all the yellow details and your animal print outfits!, you rock it!.
    Sorry that you're in another lockdown conditions. I hope people behaviour could be more sensible, but suspect that we will have another lockdown soon too. So annoying.
    Wish you a fabulous holiday and a happy new year!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      I think our lockdown will continue through till January as well - unfortunately!

      Wishing you a wonderful New Year,

  9. Another bright 8 colourful post - thanks. I'm intrigued as to how you have avoided Covid when you are out among people so much. Family members are no less likely to pass on the infection than any others are they? We has Christmas dinner with our local daughter and family and now him indoors has a cold, well let's hope that's all it is! I feel that the (vaccine) light at the end of the tunnel has dimmed somewhat now that we have more people in hospital than at the first peak in April. I also think should be vaccinating all essential workers, not just in health and care as top priority because they are out and about and could be spreading it unwittingly and getting it themselves.

    1. Hello Lynda and thank you for your comments. Since our lockdown started in March 2020; the only people I have close contact with are my family - and yes that does carry a risk; especially as my daughter is a teacher. In all other situations I socially distance or am wearing a mask.

      I suppose the essential worker vaccine would entail a lot of arguments about what exactly is an essential worker; and not all essential workers are directly involved with members of the public. I'm thinking about refuge collectors as an example. It's like what is considered to be essential shops. I noticed when I last went to town the Vape shops were open - I certainly wouldn't consider vapes essential but then I don't vape!

  10. Tier 4 must be a complete pain. We're still in Tier 2 in Wiltshire, but with 3 and 4 on all sides I expect that'll change soon. That said, friends working as doctors in London reckon things are absolutely horrendous there, so I'll be staying in, Tier 4 probably wouldn't make any difference to me. I'm glad you and your family all seem to be safe and well.

    1. Well, you'll have heard the news today, Mim! Welcome to Tier 4...and a Happy New tear

  11. I love your coat and jacket collection! Many interesting styles!

  12. You don't disappoint with your collection of winter coats. I love the cape coat, though annoying that it is itchy around the neck! The Kandinsky gloves are pretty special. You get some amazing bargains - an unworn M&S grey coat for £3 and Kilner jars for £3.25!
    I know what you mean about muddy walks. I am looking forward to frosty days when the mud becomes easier to walk on. It's only a matter of time before I fall over in the mud! Happy New Year to you x

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      Falling over in the mud is not a good experience but I'm finding it hard to find a non muddy path at the moment!

      Take care


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