Sunday, 17 January 2021

Lockdown Number 3 and a cold spell


Lockdown number three is upon us. Nowhere open other than essential shops; no swimming; indoors or outdoors. Stay at home, save lives, save the NHS is the repeat mantra; as our hospitals become overloaded with covid patients. It was brought home to me on the Tuesday before last when I went to the food bank. The food bank is considered an essential service so it stays open. One of our drivers has covid and was hospitalised just after Christmas and was on oxygen. Luckily, he was recovering; but because of this we were asked to start wearing masks in the warehouse.

When I was at the charity shop before the Tier 4 restrictions and the current lockdown closed it; I wore a mask there for about four hours at a time. I'm usually only at the food bank for 2.5 hours; but when the manager told me to go to the bathroom and look at my face about 11am; I was startled to see that all my eye makeup had run and I had two big panda eyes! I can only put it down to the coldness of the warehouse which exacerbated the condensation between my mask and eyes; this has never happened to me before so it must be the difference in the air temperature between the food bank and the charity shop. The outcome will be that I shan't bother wearing make-up to the food bank anymore while we have to wear masks.

 I wore this on Tuesday with thick leggings underneath and a slip and of course a vest underneath the top. The skirt is by George but bought at our local QD store for 4.99. I spotted it when I went to buy some bird food last week. The jumper is by Next and was donated by my daughter; the shirt by Hawes and Curtis underneath was also a retail buy; as were the boots bought in a Sainsbury's sale. For a change, everything I'm wearing is retail!

All jewellery charity shopped -  I reapplied my make up when I got home...

Tuesday was also my middle grandson's 16th birthday. I made him a birthday cake using a Mary Berry recipe. The ganache topping was a bit bitter I thought; as there was no sugar included in the mix. If I make it again I will add some caster sugar to counteract the bitterness of the chocolate.

On Wednesday I went out for a 6.5 mile walk along the river. The water levels had partially subsided; but as you can see in the photo below, where the flood water spilled over the river bank; all the (mostly plastic) debris was caught in the lower branches...

I wore this and just added walking boots:

Everything charity shopped. The skirt, by Juice, was charity shopped in West Drayton last summer. The green jumper by Seasalt and the green boots were charity shopped at my Barnardo's. The jacket by Country Casuals is another of my winter jackets. I can't remember where I got it from but it has become a wardrobe staple. It wasn't warm enough for my walk on Wednesday so I added my navy blue coatigan and gloves.

To match the multi coloured skirt I added multi-coloured jewellery. My brother, Mark, brought me those earrings back from a holiday in Spain some years ago and the necklace was bought in a Co. Kerry charity shop. The scarf was also charity shopped at my Barnardo's.

On Thursday, my daughter had to work so I childminded the middle grandson. That meant doing home schooling with him from 9am until 2.30 when it was outdoor play! We did maths (percentages and pie charts) SPAG (Spelling and grammar - colons and semi-colons) English (Ernest Shackleton's Polar Expedition). For outdoor play we went for a walk into Bedford and I showed him the house with the blue plaque to Aeneas Mackintosh; who was also on the Shackleton polar expedition. My daughter has to go into her school twice a week starting next week to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children. I shall be spending the remaining Monday's throughout this lockdown; homeschooling my grandson!

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by French Connection, top by Classic and shirt underneath by Chico's, Black suede knee high boots from my Barnardos.

                                           All jewellery charity shopped.

I had to go shopping on Friday because of childminding on Thursday. I went to Sharnbrook for more coal and kindling; Lidl and Aldi. In the afternoon I walked into town to go to Iceland; and stopped at our  Sainsburys Local on the way back. Then I drove to a newly opened branch of 'Home Bargains' and picked up some items there; including more bird seed and bird treats. I was surprised to see a new Lidl had opened up beside them. We now have 4 Lidls in and around Bedford; 3 Aldis; 2 Tescos; 1 Morrisons and 2 Sainsburys.

Everything charity shopped except M&S boots bought from a local buy and sell group. Knit dress by M&S; knitted jacket by Elizabeth Scott; floral tights also charity shopped in my Barnardos.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We've had a very cold spell since just after Christmas and this weekend was no different. There was also freezing fog on Saturday. My daughter and I went for 5.5 mile walk along the river to Great Denham. My neck scarf was wet when I got back; and so was her hair. It was because there was so much moisture in the air from the fog.

Everything charity shopped except boots and the fleece lined leggings; both online retail. Skirt by M&S; jumper by Oasis.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did a bit of a lamp reshuffle after Christmas and found myself a lamp short to go on this this table in the dining room. When I was out walking on Wednesday I passed a house which had a pile of stuff by the bins; including this lamp which has a silver lampshade, although it looks gold in this photo. I knocked at the door and asked if I could take the lamp and they said yes. I was surprised it still worked! The metal jug originally contained birthday flowers from my son and I will re-use it as either a vase or a plant pot. Sunday was a less cold and sunny day. Hooray for the sunshine! I went for a walk of 4 miles just around and about; and made Sunday dinner for everyone after doing the housework. In the evening we started to watch the TV series 'The Serpent' set in 1970s Bangkok. Very well made and the fashions bring back so many memories of my misspent youth...

On Monday, I home schooled the youngest grandson from 10 am until 2.30pm with an hour break for lunch. I took him home at 3pm where he was going to spend 30 mins doing basketball practice or 'outdoor play' according to his timetable! He got a mobile basketball stand and basket for Christmas. He is missing his football practice on Wednesday evenings and Saturday football matches; and his basketball practice on Sundays; but strangely enough he's not missing school! 
My brother Julian, who lives in London called me to say he has had Covid, had been unwell; but was feeling much better and was out of isolation on Wednesday. This seems to be the difference with this current outbreak; I know far more people personally who have had it this time; than when we had the first lockdown back in March 2020.

Note the Fortnum and Mason hamper doing duty as a table and storage unit. The A3 sketchpad sitting on it at the moment is where I drew up my family trees. I'm just waiting for the photocopying shop to open up again and I'll get copies made and posted off to some of my cousins in Ireland.

Back to the food bank on Tuesday. I was busy and got lots done. I wore this outfit; another skirt. For some reason I can't fathom I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately. It's strange because the weather's been so cold trousers would have seemed the better option; but it's the skirts that have been calling me...I remembered not to wear mascara to the food bank this week!

Everything charity shopped. Denim striped skirt by Per Una; shirt by Punt Roma and top by Classic. Boots by Vanilla Moon and bought in my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; from Sainsbury's.

After the foodbank I walked into town to go to the bank. I then went to Asda in Rushden (our nearest branch) to pick up another click and collect order. When I came home I made a pot of soup from Sunday's leftover chicken and a bread and butter pudding from leftover Christmas Panettone. I spend Mondays and Tuesdays catching up with Blogland; but I usually write my own blog on a daily basis. This is normally because I'd forget otherwise; but with this third lockdown it's rare to do anything other than shop, walk and home!

Wednesday was cold and miserable; it rained for most of the day. I wanted to go out for a good walk; but fields were out because of the mud and the rain scuppered other plans. However, I had to walk to the sorting office to pick up a parcel and then I had to go to Argos to collect some new landline phones. Our current landline phones which we've had for more than 10 years had died. I've also recently changed my landline package to a cheaper one; and if it wasn't for the occasional relative in Ireland who calls me on the landline; I would give it up. Almost everyone has a mobile phone now; and of course it's easy to make (free) international calls with Facebook and What's app.

Sorry about the photos; the light was not good as it was a gloomy grey day; and if I put the light on it always has this weird yellowish tinge. Don't worry I'm not jaundiced like this in real life!

These are the leggings I collected from Asda; (along with more underwear - badly needed). I find their bras fit me the most comfortably; and as I'm not a standard size have experienced some very uncomfortable bras; including ones from M&S. Everything else is charity shopped. Top by Swamp and striped top underneath by F&F; boots charity shopped from my Barnardos.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were bought from Etsy.

Thursday was another wet, cold day. In the afternoon an icy wind  also developed; but luckily we haven't had any snow although it was forecast for the weekend. As I drove to Sharnbrook for kindling and logs, I could see water-logged fields again. I went to Aldi and Lidl as per usual on a Thursday and in the afternoon had to walk into to town to collect the final part of middle grandson's 16th birthday present. 

I picked up more flowers from the local food project charity on my way home from town putting the metal jug to good use.

I decided to wash all the crochet blankets in my living room and found that one had come apart in one area. I decided to mend it; and as I did I remembered I had some left over hexagons from a previous project. The footstool in the living room was pilling on the top due to the friction of our feet, so I decided to make a mini blanket/throw to cover and  protect it. I needed to sew the hexagons together and make a good size border to make it large enough to cover the footstool. I think I might have my crochet mojo back again as I'm also looking forward to starting a brand new project and using up some of my wool stash - what better way to spend the lockdown than creating something new out of secondhand wool?

This could be my next project; the 'Cheerful Circles Blanket' pattern by Marion Mitchell of ''.

I made something similar a few years ago for my eldest grandson.
I made this 'Circle in a Square' blanket which is quite similar for my eldest grandson a few years ago.

It was like this all day...

Everything charity shopped except leggings. Tunic by Zara and jacket by Concept UK; can't remember where I got either of them from the boots which are by Next came from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.
(I hate this about Blogger; for some reason unknown to me it will change the font and although I try and change it it doesn't allow it. I used to know how to correct this on the old Blogger but not this one).

I wore this on Friday. Everything charity shopped except the boots bought online retail last year.The top is by Gudrun Sjoden charity shopped in my Barnardo's; and the cardigan was bought in the Animal Welfare charity shop in Donegal town for 3 euros.It has rosettes around the collar which you can see more clearly in the photo below. Jeans by M&Co.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were a present from my ex mother-in-law. My fitbit was donated to me by my daughter. It's great for keeping track of my steps and reminding me to get up and move when I've been sitting too long; usually when I'm on my laptop, crocheting or reading. I've set it so it doesn't do that after 6pm and won't interfere with TV watching. Talking of which we finished watching 'The Serpent' on Friday evening. A totally brilliant series based on a true story and the 1970s fashions were amazing!

I went for a walk of 6 miles along the river on Friday The river had overflowed the banks in a couple of places. In one place the river meadow was so full of water and mud that I had to divert my route back onto the tarmac footpath. The weather was dull but it didn't seem as cold as it has been; we have snow forecast tomorrow and this is often what happens before the snow falls; the temperature rises slightly.

I wore this on Saturday.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail. Red jeans by Laura Ashley; red shirt by Primarni and striped top which is years old is (and is on back to front in this photo!) is by Mercer Madison.

All jewellery charity shopped.

There was no snow on Saturday but there was rain. I waited for it to stop then went for an urban walk. I walked 4.5 miles around our town streets. I enjoy walking the streets occasionally. I like to see what's new, what's different; what haven't I noticed before? There were quite a few people out and about so it seemed like everyone took advantage of the gap in the rain.

Sunday was bright and sunny! It was so good to see the sun and it lasted for most of the day. I went out for another walk and walked to Bromham Village; turned by the bridge and came back via the by-pass. 5 miles in total. It was quite warm but there was a cold wind. Still lots of water-logged fields, unfortunately. I might try a field walk next week maybe on Tuesday afternoon after the food bank.

Everything charity shopped. Cord trousers by Trader; top by M&Co and orange jumper underneath by TU. Orange clogs by Seasalt;
charity shopped in Teignmouth.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the usual housework and cooked Sunday dinner. I have home schooling to look forward to on Monday (not) and am praying for good walking weather as it's walking that keeps me sane in these lockdown days!


  1. we are still in lockdown #2....... slowly the numbers get down. but not the death cases....
    so thank you for the wonderful rainbow of outfits!! my big favorite this time is the one with the multicoloured modern art skirt - will copy it if the weather becomes warm enough for such a light skirt - i have all the incrediences in my wardrobe :-D
    so bad that your land get flooded - but on the other hand i guess the nature is in need for some extra wet. i had to put the hiking on the backburner because with snow on the steps and steep paths ist much to dangerous for my old bones.....
    but we still can do a good old walk if we wear the right boots.
    glad you found your crochet mood again - doing something beautiful with our hands is a very good medicine.
    your grandson is such a lucky kid to get homeschooled by you! and the shackleton story is one of my fav adventures - how cool that you can show the plaque & house of a expedition member!
    the birthday cake looks fabulous - love my chocolate bitter :-D
    stay safe! xxxxx

    1. Glad to hear your numbers are down, Beate and that you can still get out for a walk; weather permitting.

      I did wear leggings under that skirt; it's really a summer weight skirt. Thank you for always lovely comments!

  2. I'm sorry to hear you're in lockdown #3. The shops and schools have all re-opened here, but everything else is still closed. I hope it doesn't come to another lockdown here, but today they've closed the entire secondary school in our village, and all students, teachers and their entire families are in quarantine because of one infection, with the dreaded British variant :-(
    Anyway, I'm glad you're not letting the sight down and are still getting dressed in your usual colourful attire, which is always a sight for sore eyes!
    Homeschooling your grandson must be quite the challenge. How lucky you were to find that lamp outside that house! Glad to hear your brother recovered from Covid. So far, I've known of only a handful of people who had it - and recovered, including my friend's 86 year old Mum.
    Glad to hear you've got your crochet mojo back, a lovely lockdown occupation when it's too wet to go for a walk. xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann!

      I am missing the chazzas now and have resorted to online charity shopping and buying from our local buy and sell group!

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  4. Fab outfits Vronni! I agree with Beate, that funky skirt is my favourite look, what a fabulous print.
    I'm always craning my neck and trying to look at all the lovely things in your house, the lamp was a fab find and the hamper looks great. How good that you've got your crochet mojo back, you're so good at it. The cake is very impressive, too.
    Sorry to hear about Julian and your van driver having Covid. At last count we've had 17 friends who've had it. Let's hope this lockdown does the trick. I've got no inclination to go further than round the block, the weather doesn't help.
    Wasn't The Serpent fabulous? The acting was sublime. We've just finished Spiral (boohoo!) so we need to find something else - I'm pretty sure I've exhausted everything on Walter now!
    Stay safe! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      We still have at least 6 or 7 series to catch up with on Walter Presents so that should see us out of this lockdown at least!

  5. Good to see you, Vronni! Before I get into showering you with compliments, here's some tips on the new Blogger:
    -all of your photos have "background" formatting - this is where the bold, italicized print is coming from. It's a default.
    -in your menu at the top of your posts, look for [...] if you can't see the full ribbon above your posts - click that and look for the T with the line through it. If you highlight your text, then click that crossed T, it will remove that formatting.
    -you have a huge amount of "white" or blank space at the end of your post - don't forget to hit delete when you're done typing to get rid of all that. :)
    -I find that when I create a new post, it helps to hit Enter a few times, then select that blank space, and Remove Formatting on it (the crossed T). It will give you back single-spacing for your typing. I do this and then add my photos, which loads them in the right order (sometimes they load backwards, with the one I load at the end showing up first), and then I add my text after.

    I hope some of that helped you!

    Now, let's get to all the lovely things going on in this post...
    - Outfit highlights: that multi-coloured pleated skirt is MAGNIFICENT, and I love how you matched your jewelry to it. The floral tights are awesome, as is your blue jumper (great colour on you). You look like a pixie or fairy in your Wednesday outfit! Love the red jeans with the bold black and white top. I adore those wide/flared cords!
    - Oh dear, your mask made your make-up run! I haven't had that issue yet (I wear my mask for several hours a day, often), but I have noticed extra acne along my cheeks and on my chin from the moisture that accumulates in the masks.
    - Your crocheting is awesome. I love the dots in the squares look - so fun! I'm glad you have your mojo back on it - I've enjoyed having some wool to play with and to get my creative on!
    - I thought I was the only one left with a landline! I still don't have a phone!
    - good for you for helping out with your grandson's schooling. That's got to be a big challenge.
    - Scary to hear that people you know have gotten COVID! I don't know anyone who has so far, as our island has been pretty safe so far.

    Great to catch up with you, my dear friend! Have a good week!

  6. Loving the outfits and in awe of the home schooling! Those tulips are gorgeous, it's lovely to have some colour at this time of year. I'm looking forward to seeing the next crochet project.

    1. Thank you, Gisela.

      I dread the home schooling day but when I am actually doing it with the youngest grandson I quite enjoy it!

      Take care

  7. No lockdowns here-almost like they're hellbent on getting us all killed. I'm glad you're doing what's needed to get this under control. I'm sorry to hear your brother has caught it, and I hope he continues to recover well.
    Home schooling is hard work.
    Masks and mascara don't work for me either as my glasses fog up so horribly. I've tried waterproof, but it just flakes off. If you figure something out, please let us know.
    Stay safe and well.

    1. Thank you, Goody - both are recovering well from Covid.

      Home schooling is hard work. Youngest grandson is not very keen which doesn't help but after about the first 30 minutes he settles into it and before we know it it's 2.30pm and school is over!

  8. We too are now in Lockdown, number two for us, so no going out. I love all your outfits, especially those wonderful floral tights. I have just been in wide leg yoga pants and roll neck jumpers most days!
    I hope that your food bank driver is recovering now. We have quite a few cases over here but so far nobody we know.
    You are so fortunate to have so many supermarkets near you. We have one small local supermarket about 2.5 miles away and a tiny Co-Op in town. At least we do not starve!

    1. Thank you, JayCee.

      I'll let you into a secret; since I started home-schooling on Mondays; I stay in my PJs until lunchtime then I wear a pair of wide leg trousers with just a basic top and warm cardigan - and no make up!

      You need at least one more supermarket!

  9. Sorry that you're now in a lockdown, and sorry to hear that some people around you have had the virus (but glad they're recovering!).
    Lovely to see your outfits and fab accessorizing. I'm in love with the colourful pleated skirt and matchy colourful accessories!, totally stunning!. And loving particularly your blue skirt and those red trousers with striped pullover ensemble!, You Rock Red!.
    I have had lots of problems because my glasses fog up (as Goody commented!) and we have to wear a mask all the time, even outdoors. But no makeup issues (I just wear mascara and eyeshadow). Sorry I have no advice to offer!

    1. Thank you, Monica. I just don't bother mascara when I wear my face mask at the food bank; I still wear eyeshadow, eye pencil and eyeliner so I don't feel too naked! Maybe if I wore waterproof mascara it would help; but I don't as I find it very difficult to remove. Luckily it's only that one day a week when I have the mask on for any extended time.

      Take care

  10. Wow! So many beautiful outfits! I adore your multicolor skirt!

  11. It's good that everyone you know who's had Covid is recovering. It's such a horrible ilness.

    And it's fab of you to help out with home schooling. I've got a few friends who are trying to work from home *and* home school, and it's such a nightmare for them. I really feel for everyone - kids, parents, teachers. Your grandsons are lucky to have you.

    1. Thanks Mim,

      My daughter is doing both and hating it!

  12. Your outfits are as eye catching as ever but I'm loving your carefully chosen jewellery choices - the colourful necklace with the Juice skirt, the green and white necklace with the blue jumper and French Connection skirt! You're still getting some good walks in. This was a bad week for me, for two days I was so busy with work I couldn't go out at all, and I was champing at the bit. Well done for your valuable work at the food bank, even though it sounds horribly cold!

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