Monday, 15 March 2021

Happy birthday to me

I bought these daffodils in the food charity last week. The flowers were all closed but by the following morning several had opened and then all had opened when I took this photo. Such cheerful little beauties!

The weather in the week beginning  March 1st had definitely turned colder. On Wednesday, it was both cold and foggy and it rained in the afternoon.  I just didn't fancy a walk. I did fancy making a cake, however, and as I didn't have enough butter or ground almonds decided to go to Aldi or Lidl to buy some. Aldi didn't have any ground almonds but Lidl did. Somehow on that little trip I managed to spend almost 25.00! I bought new PJs; 2 new pairs of socks, some drawer dividers and some green wool; as well as the things I went for. The cake, a mincemeat crumble cake, took forever to cook but I finally used up the 2 remaining jars of mincemeat I've been promising to use up for months. Both jars were dated use by August 2020  and tasted absolutely fine. Use by dates are just guides and not the law. The cake was really delicious. I caught up with blogs and before I knew it, it was time to make dinner and light the fire. There is always so much to do I never seem to have time to feel bored; although I do wonder if I didn't blog and follow other people's blogs would I have lots more time on my hands?

This was Wednesday's outfit; everything charity shopped except the boots from Sainsbury's sale and the earrings from eBay.

These check trousers by Zara are years old and very warm; top by Ashley Brookes and houndstooth check cardigan by F&F.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings from eBay. I bought myself 3 new pairs to make up for losing 3 pairs last week. I've also asked for some earrings for my birthday...

Thursday was another bleak cold day. I went to the farm shop; Sainsbury's and Lidl and having unpacked the shopping and put it away I realised I had forgotten several items. I walked into town for the missing items and then went for an urban walk of 5.4 miles.

This was Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except boots as before. Trousers by Next, shirt by Chicos; cardigan by Laura Ashley. I put a box of books out and my old cup and saucer as I'd treated myself to a new one. When I went out later to retrieve the box in case it rained overnight the whole lot was gone box included and my handwritten 'Free - help yourself' sign!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Friday was a brighter day but still cold. I went into town to QD for some bird food items; debated about going for a walk and decided against it. I had plenty to catch up on my laptop, books to read, washing to do; crochet squares to make etc.

Everything charity shopped except OTK boots bought online. Skirt by Per Una, M&s; top by Next and jacket by Country Casuals.

The above two photos are taken in selfie mode whereas the one below is not; a clearer picture but hard to pose for as you can't see yourself!

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings from Etsy. I spent Friday afternoon crocheting but feeling guilty I hadn't gone out for a walk. I made up for it on Saturday. I met up with my daughter and we took her neighbour's dog and ourselves on a 9 mile walk. Part of it was to recce a walk I'll be leading on 12th May for the Ramblers; but as it was a nice afternoon we decided to extend it. I think 9 miles walking is a first for my daughter! In the evening we finished watching the last episode of Deutschland 83; next we're looking forward to watching Deutschland 86.

I had ordered some new cushions online and got an email on Sunday morning to say they were ready for collection. It meant driving to Rushden to our nearest Asda; I decided to go on Monday as I wouldn't be home schooling and would have a free day. On Sunday, I walked 9.6 miles and did the usual housework and made dinner. I was a bit stiff and sore after two days of long walks and decided not to walk again on Monday and to have a rest.

It was a bit of a shock to the system getting up 6.45 am on Monday to get youngest grandson up and ready for school. I take him on Mondays in 'normal' time for an 8.30 start. The traffic was horrendous; it took me more than 5 minutes just to to exit my street. What a huge difference the schools going back make to the traffic; but of course it was the first day back at school since the Christmas break. 

I drove to Rushden to collect my new cushions - it was good to see somewhere different.  When I got back I made some butternut squash and sweet potato soup as well doing two loads of washing and catching up with blogs and blog comments. My crocheting is coming along nicely; I now have enough squares to make 2 rows of of a 12 row blanket. 12 x 12 =144 squares. I wonder how far I'll have got when I post this?

This was Monday's outfit. I stayed in walking leggings and top all weekend. Everything charity shopped except the boots bought online.

Trousers by Zara, top by Pepperberry and cardigan by Merc of London. I remember buying this cardigan in a Jewish charity shop in Golders Green on a birthday trip to London in 2018...

All jewellery charity shopped except the necklace from South Africa; a gift from my ex mum-in-law.

Back to the food bank on Tuesday even though it was my birthday... I was surprised to find that there were several March birthdays among my colleagues. I put away toiletries and cereals and then continued splitting up the tea bags; and unloading and putting away more boxes of teabags. I have jobs set up ready for next week as the warehouse manager won't be in. OH bought me some lovely new walking boots for my birthday; my brothers, son and ex mum-in law all gave me money. It was a beautiful day bright and sunny; I should have gone for a walk but by the time I had paid the mobile home fees online and completed the 2021 census form also online it was too late!

In the evening my daughter and her partner made dinner for us and we celebrated my birthday as befits a 67 year old - in style!  

Opening birthday cards; I was pretty flushed as you can see -  after one glass of champagne! I only had the one.

Dress and jacket by Next; both charity shopped. I've had this jacket for more than 10 years and get lots of wear out of it every year. It has a leather trim down the front and around the neck. OTK boots bought online.

Earrings and brooch bought in Donegal and made by local crafts people. Other jewellery charity shopped.

My daughter bought me a new FitBit which is a smart watch and I also received two pairs of earrings, chocolates, a bottle of Canadian Club whiskey and an animal print blouse; from my daughter, grandsons, and middle grandson's mum. How very spoiled I am! You can see one pair of my new earrings here:

They're fish shaped and attached to a circle which goes through the ear. They should be much harder to lose than the usual dangle type of earrings!  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. All other jewellery charity shopped.

All clothes charity shopped except tights online retail. Boots by River Island, dress, no label but it has pockets! Top by John Lewis.

It was a miserable day on Wednesday; wet, windy and cold. I had to go to  town to two banks and to order some flowers for Mother's Day bouquets from my grandson's to their mum's; I spent about an hour in total walking about in town. I was glad to get home and in the warm and any thoughts of an afternoon walk disappeared. I spent quite some time setting up the new FitBit.It became extremely windy in late afternoon and evening as if a storm was brewing. I could hear it in the chimney and the windows were rattling all through the night.

Thursday started out bright and sunny but the high winds continued. I went to the farm shop, to Sainsbury's and to Lidl for the weekly shopping. After unpacking it all I added a headscarf to my outfit in preparation for an urban walk but soon after unpacking the shopping it began to rain heavily followed by several hailstorms. No walk for me! No hanging out the towels I had just washed either...

Everything found in a charity shop except the M&S boots from a Bedford FB buy and sell group and Snag tights. Dress by Oliver Bonas, spotted shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt and headscarf; all found in my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I spent Thursday afternoon doing more research on Ancestry UK before making dinner for OH and middle grandson. He's back for dinner on Thursdays now they've gone back to school. Another bit of the normal weekly routine returning. 

I have been redrawing my family tree as I made some errors on my original copies; and I was also chasing up a query from 2nd or 3rd cousin of mine in Kent as to how we're related. Through our great grandparents it turns out; they were brother and sister. Spending time on Ancestry UK is like going into a time machine; hours can pass as I pore over Parish registers written in Latin in many cases. I bought middle grandson an Ancestry DNA kit for his birthday in January and he is waiting for his results to come through. I expect his ancestry will be fascinating; covering the UK, Ireland, Africa and the Caribbean. I never expected when I did mine that it would come back as anything other than 100% Irish; but I have 13% DNA from Malta and 15% from Northern and Southern Italy! I have managed to trace relatives back to great, great, great grandparents; to the early 1800s at least and haven't found the Mediterranean connection. It must be generations back and I think it will be from my father's side; my maternal grandmother's family were from Dublin and cities tend to be more cosmopolitan than the countryside.

It's been about 20 years since I had the house painted and it was badly in need of painting. I arranged with daughter's partner to do it as he is an all round Jack of Trades. He had made a list of what I needed to buy; which meant sometime soon I needed to go to the DIY store and buy stuff. I don't like DIY stores very much and put off going there. I needed to buy masonry paint, paint for windows, the front door and gate; paint for the front gable and filler; the thought of it made me yawn with boredom.  Thursday afternoon would have been the ideal time to do this chore; instead I spent a very pleasant time spending my birthday money online. I bought music, swimming shoes, 2 cross body bags; a pair of yellow boots and a pair of clogs. The footwear and bags were from Vinted. The swimming shoes were in case I'm brave enough to go for an outdoor swim in the week beginning 29th March; as that is when outdoor sports can return. I have swimming shoes at the caravan for sea swimming but none here.

I checked the forecast on Friday morning as I was determined to go for a walk. There was less chance of rain in the afternoon so I set off for 5.5 mile walk in breezy sunny conditions. I walked along the river to Great Denham and very enjoyable it was too. I wore this outfit; just substituting walking boots and socks for the long boots with the addition of a waterproof jacket. Spring blossom was everywhere.

All jewellery from charity shops except the earring which were a present from my sister in law when she was here last year; they came from South Africa. I forgot to wear a bangle.

Everything bought from a charity shop. Snake print leggings by M&S, top by Next and red stretchy top underneath from Primarni. The long suede boots were 99p from Barnardo's in Ampthill last summer. I have worn these and a pair of OTK boots this winter but not my other pair of leather OTK boots nor my two pair of long boots. I've also not used handbags much at all in the past year. I either use a fancy shopping bag when I'm running errands; a ruck sack or a cross body bag when I go out for a walk. I can see me getting rid of all my handbags; keeping just one good one; and some for the evening in the fond hope I may actually get to go out in the evening somewhere this year! I have a storage box of handbags under my bed and it would free up space...

I walked into town on Friday morning to collect a Vinted parcel from the Hermes parcel shop and went to Iceland for a couple of things I'd forgotten when I did the shopping yesterday. Don't you hate that? I do it all the time.  I picked up a spring bouquet and a couple of cyclamen plants from the food charity on my way back from town. When I got in I potted the Cyclamen up and a couple of Hyacinths into containers for the front window. I then braved the DIY shop; going to Wickes to buy the paint. Thankfully it was relatively painless!

On Friday evening we watched the final episodes of Deutschland 86. Ready to start Deutschland 89 on Saturday. Between crocheting and watching TV I haven't got much reading done this week...

My second cross body bag from Vinted arrived on Saturday morning and after breakfast I went into town again to collect the Mother's Day bouquets from my grandsons to their mums. I delivered them both in the afternoon and the daughter and I went for another walk; taking the neighbour's dog once again. When the sun came out it was lovely but we had rain, hailstones and strong winds as well. Managed 5.5 miles in total.

This is the first wearing of my birthday blouse. I think I could have added beads but by the time I took the photos it was too late. Marilyn jeans by M&S charity shopped, kimono present from my daughter and boots bought in Sainsbury's sale.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Sunday was Mother's Day. As I have no children at home there was no breakfast in bed sadly but I did get some beautiful cards from my son, daughter and middle son's mum.

My daughter made me this beautiful hamper full of some of the things I love. Flowers, plants, wine, sweets, chocolates, peanut and date butter, home made chocolate and hazelnut squares, some shower mousse and a hair mask. Completed with a beautiful heart saying 'Grandchildren loved here' - very true! How lucky am I and how blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

I got up and made a honey cake and when OH emerged we went to visit a garden centre/farm shop we'd never been to before. We bought Delphiniums, Alliums, Dianthus, Candytuft, Tomato plants and a Narcissi. OH potted all up when we got back and I got on with the housework. I made dinner as well and there wasn't time for a walk but it was a bit of a miserable day so I didn't mind.

I spied this on the way back from the garden centre. Such a sweet little cottage but just look at mummy Duck with her ducklings on the thatched roof. I always look out for the 'Thatcher's signature' on thatched roofs and this is the first time I've seen one of these.

Monday started out wet. Not the best start for getting the outside of the house painted but with perseverance the windows got sanded down...

After dropping grandson to school I did two lots of washing and then set off for a 5.5 mile walk as I didn't walk on Sunday. Everything in the outfit is from a charity shop except the red boots as before. Underneath I wore leggings so I just removed my skirt and added walking boots and socks when I went walking.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I'm still no further with the crochet squares than I was at the beginning of the post. Hopefully by the time I post again I may have done some more! 


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Vronni! I'm glad you got spoiled, champagne, presents, chocolate, flowers - so many lovely gifts. I enjoyed all of your fun and colourful outfits, with your birthday maxi dress my favourite, followed by the red-legs one (I had to squint to see that you had boots!). Your new blouse is awesome! Someone knows you well!

    I like seeing the thatchers' signature - that's very cool.

    Great reading about all the little things that go on in your world. I've been thinking about putting a box of books out...

    Have a great week, my dear!

    1. Thank you, Sheila,

      Yes, when I saw the photo of the red tights and boots I thought I had lost my feet!

  2. Didn't you do well with your birthday gifts? I'm glad you had a lovely day!
    Your birthday dress is lovely and I love that photo of you opening your card.
    Aren't you lucky that your daughter's partner can paint your house? Our new windows need doing, Jon's scared of heights and the decorator the window company reccomended has a four month waiting list!
    You're doing brilliantly with your walking.
    Love the cyclamens in your window box, mine are still going strong five months after I planted them.
    Get crocheting! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix.

      I have cyclamens at the back that were bought last summer and apart from a couple of weeks they have bloomed continuously; wonderful plants!

  3. Lots of lovely outfits and flowers. Glad you had a nice birthday. Took me a couple of days to remember my school routine and get back into it!x

    1. Thank you!

      I couldn't remember what time the youngest grandson had to be at school...

  4. Happy birthday, Vronni and oh my, weren't you spoiled? I also love that hamper your daughter got you for Mother's Day. Lovely to see your colourful outfits as always, my favourite being the one with the red Snags, boots and headscarf which puts me in mind of Rosie the Riveter :-)
    I'm glad to read you were able to go for a couple of walks in spite of the inclement weather. We've only managed a single short one!
    Love the duck & ducklings 'Thatcher's signature', how delightful.
    As for the candytuft, I guess you mean the fluffy ones? If so, it's a cultivar of the common daisy, Bellis perennis. xxx

    1. Yes, that's the one - thank you! I struggled with the walking. Once the weather gets better you can't keep me at home but with the miserable weather we've had I have had to force myself...

  5. the birthday animal print blouse is fabulous!
    and you have build a gorgeous outfit around...... and navy blue/white with bright red is cool - love that the shoes & tights are a perfect match. very chic per una skirt and yummy toffee jacket, pearls & boots <3 houndstooth + cheeta print in cool grays is a thing to bookmark - genius.
    have a bit of envy that your life has slowly come back to normal...... thanks to stupid managment germany is far behind with the vaccination!

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      I am surprised at Germany's slowness with their vaccination programme, I do hope you get yours soon.

  6. Happy belated birthday Vronni, so pleased you had a good time and managed to celebrate with family.
    Oh those blinkin’ dates on food! I’m mindful of use bys but more blasé about BBDs, what’s going to happen after that specific date eh, are the contents going to self destruct? I’m more cautious when cooking for others (who I call The Humans) but when it’s just we two my attitude is that it’s OK for us but not for Human consumption.
    Oh those outfits. I’m amazed that your efforts have not declined in lockdown (mine have!). It got me thinking, how Wonderful it must be for OH to come home from work to see the lady of the house dressed neatly in a beautifully coordinated outfit complete with well-matched jewellery, perfect hair and make up and looking as neat as a button, and to a home filled with fresh flowers and a fab smelling comfort soup bubbling away on the hob, and a cake to follow. You are every man’s dream, for sure! I’m not going to tell my hubs about you, he may want me to follow your lead!
    So on to the outfits, all fabulous as always. For me the stunners were that amazing teal ensemble, that grey mix at the beginning of this piece and the red next top and l/sl tee. Wowzers!
    Handbags, you’re so right, I’ve hardly used a handbag this past year and I’ve probably grabbed from a choice of three cross bodies on those rare occasions. First lockdown I counted my now unused handbags ... 49 - There’s a cull just waiting to happen.
    Well done for squeezing in some walks in between some pretty desperate weather. I’ve found walks a challenge this year, for various reasons. But today is calm, sunny and bright, so I’m getting out there whilst I can.
    Hugs, Mary x .

    1. Mary thank you for the book you've written, Lol! No, you make me sound like a Stepford wife. I'm usually crumpled and rumpled with slippers on, smudged eyes and faded lipstick when OH gets home!

      I had to do a double take when I read your handbag count! I now have 7 in total. I kept two handbags; I red and one black for the occasions when a handbag is required; four small evening bags and one funky yellow PVC shopping bag. I put three handbags in the charity shop bag.

      Glad to hear you are getting out for a walk; it's being able to walk that's kept me sane in this pandemic.

  7. Happy Birthday and Mother's Day.
    You're making me think I need to buy some tights, even if warmer weather is coming-that striped pair especially. Your outfits are all so lovely this time and I'm stunned by the beautiful necklaces you're wearing this time around.
    Good luck with the painting.

    1. Thank you, Goody.

      The painting is progressing well!

  8. You keep very busy, a role model. I think you'd soon get bored if you had time on your hands. Hope you had a lovely birthday, belated greetings. Are you a Pisces? I used to be really into astrology when I was young, not so much these days. I'm a Scorpio. As always, loving your colourful stylish outfits. You have a brilliant eye for jewellery. I love the earrings and brooch bought in Donegal made by local crafts people. I love picking up pieces made by local craftspeople and it makes me appreciate it more. Daffodils are one of the highlights of late winter for me, when they arrive in the shops ad they're so cheap. I always have a couple of vases on the go. xx

    1. Thank you, Gail.

      Yes, I am a Pisces and I love water!

      Although I retired 7 years ago this month I still organise my days as if I was at work. I do everything in the day time and relax in the evenings. Sometimes it's 5pm before I get a chance to even sit down but I have learned that I can't do too much in the day or I'm completely knackered!

  9. Happy Birthday, dear Veronica and glad that you enjoyed a delightful day!. Love your birthday outfit, those yellow details rock!, and your brooch and necklace are fab!.
    Lots of lovely outfits!. Love the way you style black&white mixed patterns, love your casual and cool ensembles with trousers and cardigans, beautiful colours and accessories.
    Love your striped tights and those new earrings!, looking fab!.
    Also fab in your red tights and lovely red headscarf, rocking some mixed patterns in blue!, so adorable!. Lovely in Red!
    Glad that you were lucky in Vinted, it's not working very much for me, probably because spanish people are (still) not used to selling-buying second hand!, so dissapointing!.
    Looking fab in your birthday blouse!. And so lovely basket of presents!, great to see you've been appropriately spoiled!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      I'm sorry to hear you haven't had much success with Vinted; I hope you find something fab soon!

  10. I'm glad to hear you ha\d a lovely birthday and what a fab Mother's day hamper.

  11. Belated happy birthday! I'm glad to see everyone spoiled you properly for that and for Mother's Day. You deserve it!

    I know what you mean about never seeming to have time. I'm trying to set aside proper time for reading blogs and writing stuff (Twitter's the worst thing for me; it's a horrible time suck and nowadays is mostly miserable too.) You're one of the people I check first when I do have time for blogs! But I suspect most of us would find something else to fill up the time, and you definitely would, you're always busy. "Spare time" is for boring people...

    1. Thank you, Mim.

      I find I have to make a firm rule to set aside Mondays and Tuesdays to read and catch up and comment on other's blogs. I try to write my blog everyday for the simple reason I'd forget what I did from day to day!

      I've never warmed to Twitter and won't be bothering at this late stage....

      I liked your phrase 'time suck' - it's very apt!

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