Tuesday, 11 May 2021

What the heck is the weather doing?

Although the temperatures in April were below the seasonal average it was still a lot warmer than before we went to Cornwall. I didn't need to put the heating on in the morning and although we were still lighting the fire each evening; it was usually around 7pm and not 5pm as before. On the last Wednesday in April, I went to recce the walk I'd be leading on 12th June and walked 7.5 miles. There were so many cowslips everywhere; it seems to be a bumper year for them.

More wildflowers spotted on my walk: left - Lungwort, top right; Greater Stitchwort; bottom right; Common Daisy.

I went to the hairdressers on Thursday morning and as she is near the Daycare Hospice I popped in for a quick look and dropped a carrier bag full of donations off. I bought a pair of dungarees and a cobalt blue top. I've never owned a pair of dungarees and I'm just hoping that at 67 I'm not too old to wear some! Just need some warmer weather...


This is the homemade dress I  bought from the Wood Green Animal Shelter charity shop when I dropped off a bag of donations last week.


I wore it with my bargainous 50p River Island jacket which I really love but swapped over to my denim jacket when I went off to the weekly shopping for a more casual look. Everything charity shopped including green River Island boots and thick woollen tights underneath. It was still a bit chilly thanks to the cold wind.

All jewellery charity shopped.



I went to Sharnbrook for logs and kindling; then Aldi, Lidl and Sainsburys. In Sainsburys, I got a real bargain; L'Oreal mascara for 1.50! Either Sainsburys are no longer going to stock this brand; or the company have discontinued it so they wanted to get rid of it. I like L'Oreal mascara and wear it all the time; I liked this discounted one so much I bought 3! In the evening we went over to my daughter's house with a birthday present for her partner.


Friday was a really nice day with bright sunshine and in the afternoon it was actually quite warm. I went swimming in the morning and did my 40 laps at last in 56 minutes. I was in need of bird food supplies so taking advantage of the lovely day walked to B&M and Home Bargains; both on the far side of town. I walked along the High Street and was pleased to see both the Marie Curie and the Autism Bedford charity shops were now reopened. I had a quick look in both and bough a green wool Jaeger high neck jumper in Marie Curie for 2.00. Updated to say when I washed it I noticed it had moth holes at the front! However, I am going to try and darn them - me who's never darned anything in my life!


The trousers are by F&F from Vinted, charity shopped shirt is also by F&F; jumper by H&M and boots; both charity shopped.

                                            
All jewellery charity shopped.
As well as going to B&M and Home Bargains; I walked to County Hall to collect some Covid -19 home testing kits. I'm acting as a Poll Clerk on 6th May at the local Police and Crime Commissioner Elections. I had to do some online training on Wednesday evening and we were advised to pick up the kits and test ourselves at least 4 days before the election and on the actual day itself. By the time I got home having finished all my errands; I'd walked 3.68 miles and was very hot; I didn't really need a jacket at all.


OH had his second jab on Saturday. After that we drove over to Kettering and went for a rummage. I bought a green shirt; 2 necklaces and some earrings. We met my brothers outside in a pub garden and had a catch up and then we drove home in brilliant sunshine. It had been quite chilly all day despite the sunshine and especially sitting in the pub garden.


Everything charity shopped except boots bought online. Trousers by Quiz bought from my Barnardo's and top by F&F bought from the Bedford Daycare Hospice shop.


I wore this M&S jacket from Vinted; it wasn't warm enough!


All jewellery charity shopped.

Sunday was a pleasant day. I went for a 5.5. mile walk in the morning along the river to Great Denham and onto Biddenham. In the afternoon we finally emptied out our compost bin which takes up far too much room in our garden.  I was going to take it to my friend Lynne's allotment; she told me when I met her on my walk that she could do with another one. We got six bags of rich black soil out of the compost bin which was very pleasing.  I washed the bin down as it was covered in bird poo being situated near the bird feeding station. I made a roast dinner for OH and both the grandsons.

Although Monday was a bank holiday in the UK; the charity shop was opened so I did a shift from 10 am to 1pm. We weren't very busy but the donations came in steadily. I was very naughty and bought a dress, a skirt and a jacket; which the new manager was going to assign to the rag bag. I rescued it! After I got home from the charity shop OH and I went to the garden centre and bought some plants to fill up our new space; I also stopped at Aldi and bought a small tray of petunias. It was a horrible day cold, wet and windy. We decided to move the compost bin to Lynne's allotment another day.  I did the housework and made soup with the leftover chicken from Sunday. I spent Monday evening catching up with blogland and reading.



All jewellery charity shopped.


Back to the food bank on Tuesday. Everything I wore was charity shopped. Trousers by Dunnes Stores (an Irish chain store); boots by Vanilla Moon; shirt by Punt Roma and top by Classic. It was a very windy day and pretty cold with the occasional burst of sun. It's May and I still haven't taken the summer stuff down from the loft AND we're still lighting the fire in the evenings! I went for my usual swim of 40 laps in the afternoon; then cooked dinner of salmon, roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sweet potato fries. I watched 'All That Glitters' and read in the evening by a nice warm fire... 

All jewellery charity shopped.

The plan was to go for a walk on Wednesday afternoon. I had errands to do in town and had a quick rummage; as both the 3:16 charity shop had reopened and the new YMCA. My outfit was all charity shopped. Red camouflage leggings from my Barnardo's; the striped dress is by H&M and also from my Barnardo's. The red and black striped cardigan is one I charity shopped somewhere years ago but can't remember where...boots as before. Once I got back home the heavens opened and we had hail followed by rain - all afternoon. Walk cancelled! However, I did go to Lidl and do my weekly shop.  Thursday was polling day here in the UK and as I acted as a poll clerk it meant an early start on Thursday. I got up at 5am for a 6.30 am start. The polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. We have to set up the polling booths and dismantle them afterwards as well put up and take down notices and reconcile the paperwork.


This was me at about 11 pm on Thursday 6th May after a 16 hour stint at our local polling station. The time went surprisingly fast; I worked with someone I'd worked with before so that was good. We were steadily busy throughout the day. We were asked not to wear colours associated with political parties so I opted for black and white with red boots. Jacket by Zara; charity shopped at my Barnardo's; the dress was picked up at the 3:16 charity shop; which reopened this week with a half price sale. Leggings by M&S retail. All jewellery charity shopped.

April was mostly wet and cold and in the garden flowering was somewhat later than usual. Adam Frost of 'Gardner's World;' a popular gardening programme here in the UK felt his flowers were blooming about 3 weeks later than usual. I'd say we're about the same compared to last year anyway.  Here's some of what is starting to bloom in my garden. Top left; the wall flowers are doing well; we have some others that have no flowers yet. Top right; the delphinium is starting to flower. In the planter the pansies have become huge and a bit blowsy. Bottom right the aquilegia (our first) is doing well.

The lavender has come on in leaps and bounds this week; the new magnolia has quite a few flowers but they haven't yet fully opened. The rhododendron has had buds for ages; but they've suddenly become bigger and look about to pop! There are also some buds on one of the clematis. Unfortunately, our first time ever anemone which had a lovely purple flower was destroyed by the winds on Thursday. Luckily there are several others in the pot so I'm hoping they'll bloom soon. 

On Friday, I went for my usual swim of 40 laps. I was so puzzled by the incongruity of the Fitbit watch recording of my swimming; I spoke to a couple of the pool attendants and queried the length of the pool. Shock, horror! It's 33.3 metres and not 50 metre as stated on the website. All the times I've been swimming 40 laps and thinking it's 2km are wrong. I've only been doing 1.3km! If I can manage 42 laps in the 60 mins available to swim; I could bring that up to 1.4k so that's the plan for next week's swimming. I've noticed this week how much more crowded the lanes are at the pool. Hopefully, after 17th May we may no longer have to book in advance and maybe the showers will finally reopen, too! I went to Aldi and to Sharnbrook for coal in the afternoon. It was a very pleasant afternoon, warm with lots of sun. I decided to go to Kempston for a quick rummage and bought a Gudrun Sjoden dress in The Cat's Protection League for 5.00; and a M&S floaty shirt in the Keech Hospice shop. There are 5 charity shops in Kempston but I only went to 3 as I'd spent enough by then...


Sunday's outfit. jeans by Next; top by Masai  both charity shopped and clogs by Evie via Vinted.



Earrings from eBay and beads charity shopped.

Saturday, in contrast to Friday, was grey, miserable and wet. It rained for most of the day. I had an extremely lazy day. After I'd got up and eaten my breakfast; I had a second cup of tea (such decadence) and sat on the sofa and finished my William Wisting (Norwegian detective) book. Then I decided it was time to do the swap over from winter to spring clothing; I don't know why, as the weather certainly wasn't springlike. It was quite a big task and took about 3 hours. I put 4 black sacks of winter clothing in the loft; unpacked 4 bags of spring/summer clothing and hung them up or found room for them. I discarded 20 items of clothing to the charity shop bag which; taking into account what I bought recently in Cornwall and on the few rummages I've done since we came back, still means I've got rid of more than I bought - whew! I went for a 5  mile walk on Sunday morning, did the housework and we had a mini bbq with my daughter and two grandsons in the afternoon; we had to run indoors as it began to rain halfway through. It had been an overcast but pleasantly warm day at 19 degrees and it was lovely not to feel cold for a change!


This was what I wore to Barnardo's on Monday. The skirt by Topshop and the jacket by BHS were bought last Monday from there. The skirt has an asymmetrical hem which I didn't realise when I bought it and it also has two slits; it's a most peculiar skirt.  I don't like asymmetrical hems so I will re-donate it. It's a shame as I love the colours and the ditsy print. Shoes charity shopped and green top also charity shopped. I managed to buy zilch this week and plan to buy zilch for a while as I have wardrobes full of summer wear to choose from...



All jewellery charity shopped.

Just as I was getting ready to leave the shop someone brought in about 8 plastic sacks of women's clothing (our limit is 3 per household). They said there was a lot of designer stuff and that most of the clothing was brand new and still had the labels on -  we took the lot! I really don't understand how you can have a wardrobe full of clothes you've bought but never worn. I opened one bag to have a look and everything was either designer or from popular high street clothing stores; all with shop tags intact. All very small sizes of course. I had asked the donators (jokingly) if they'd robbed a warehouse; they said their wardrobes were full and they were making space for more...


I finally wore my new to me dungarees to the food bank on Tuesday. Totally practical for bending, stretching, lifting and carrying but not so good when you need the loo! Luckily, I rarely need to use the loo at the foodbank. They're a little baggy; I think a size down would have been better. I have my swimming cossy on underneath so maybe when I wear a bra it might be less baggy in the chest area. I did try them with a belt but me and belts don't work; I always look like a sack of potatoes tied in the middle. They were extremely comfortable to wear. Charity shopped from the Daycare Hospice shop for 6.00; top also charity shopped and the yellow shoes were charity shopped in Ireland.


After the foodbank; where I put away 10 crates of toiletries and cleaning products; made up 21 hygiene bags and put cereals away I took the car to the garage for its service. Then off I went for my swim.


All jewellery charity shopped. I lost yet another earring!

I hope by the time I post again in a fortnight; the weather will have settled into a more consistent rhythm of being warmer and with more sun as it should be for this time of the year. We will also have moved to yet another stage of easing out of the lockdown and we'll be able to eat in restaurants, go to the cinema and theatre and have overnight visitors. Normality is beckoning...










18 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear that things are getting back to normal over in the UK, Vronni! We are still waiting on our first round of the vaccine here in Canada - MAYBE we'll get our second sometime in the summer. Sigh. At least, my shot is TODAY! (so excited, can you tell?) and my husband's is on Sat. Such a relief.

    You've been so busy with walks and volunteering and shopping - life definitely sounds like it's getting normal again. My favourite pieces out of your outfits (this is my fave part!):
    - That plaid aqua dress - it fits you so well, and that is a great colour on you.
    - The leopard trousers look - I love all of it. You look long and lean!
    - Your polling outfit - I love the sleeves on that jacket!
    - The pale aqua/mint outfit. Too bad about the skirt (I have an asymmetrical skirt like that, with a slit too! It's quite odd), but these colours are so YOU.
    - Your overalls are amazing! I love the flowers on them. They are a little loose, but not too bad. I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out.

    Have a great couple of weeks ahead, my dear! Here's to lots of walks in the sunshine, blooming flowers (the rhodos are out here, along with lilacs and the peonies are starting to burst), and good times with your family!

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    1. Gosh I'm so late with comments - I don't even know why. Thank you, Sheila and welcome to vaxers club!
      xxx

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  2. I absolutely LOVE those dungarees. They're so nice and different. Also pretty wild about your yellow and blue outfit with those wild trousers. You do put together incredible outfits.
    I thought we had long hours on election day in Nebraska! That's an awfully long day, but so good of you to volunteer to do it.
    I can't wear asymmetrical clothing-it drives me mad.

    Hope the weather starts behaving decently for you.
    Take care.

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    1. Thanks, Goody.

      I did get paid for the polling duties but not a huge amount; it works out at just under 10.00 per hour. Still, it's all gratefully received....
      xxx

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  3. The dungarees look great! Very trendy and definitely "you." I love the beige/oatmeal jumper with the leopard print trousers. Shame about the asymmetric skirt, the colours are pretty.

    I've bought a lot of plants, later than normal. Can't wait to get my containers ready.

    I'm enjoying All that Glitters. It's really interesting to see how jewellery is made.

    The weather. We still have the heating on. Quite often it starts off nice and I have an early walk, but then it clouds over. Oh for some prolonged sunshine! xx

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    1. Thank you, Gail.

      I'm looking forward to the final of 'All that Glitters' tonight; I think anyone could win it!
      xxx

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  4. those dungarees are total fabulous and you look like the most cool granny!!
    @baggy: not to much in my books - in the last years i started to embrace lose/oversize clothes...... its simply comfy.
    and if i were near you i would put the plissee skirt through my overlocker for a new, straight hem - the colours of it are perfect for you - love the whole outfit.
    here we had 3 days of summery weather - yesterday 28°C! and not much wind, almost tropical. i´m way behind with walking but was in the "garden gym" - digging, shlepping, weelbarrow pushing, etc..... :-D
    16h of volounteering at the poll station! WOW! chapeau my dear!
    ....your garden comes along nicely!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thank you, Beate!

      The garden is a great work out place and how fab you've had such warm weather!
      xxx

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  5. Regarding the weather, I've been wondering exactly the same thing! By this time last year I was already wearing my Summer clothes, while now I haven't even finished my changeoever yet! You're looking fab in those funky dungarees, but my favourite outfit this time is the yellow and cobalt blue one. Those trousers are absolutely fabulous! As for the asymmetrical skirt, I'm seconding Beate's suggestion to straighten the hem. The pattern and colours are gorgeous!
    We're slowly but surely accelerating the vaccinations, and fingers crossed it will finally my turn in the 1st week of June. If all goes well - which still remains to be seen - we might move towards something like normal by the end of the Summer.
    Your garden is a sight for sore eyes, even if flowering is a bit later than usual. I have noticed the same thing. I think I have the same Aquilegia, which just opened its first bloom today. Aren't they fabulous? xxx

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    1. Thank you, Ann,

      Straightening the hem is beyond my capabilities, I'm afraid; it also has 2 slits in it - just to complicate matters further. I've re-donated it now, anyway.
      xxx

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  6. My favourite outfit, if I had to pick one, is the handmade dress with the denim jacket, a fantastic combo!
    I bet those dungarees were from a festival, I know a couple of traders who sell them. They look good on you.
    We had an entire day without rain yesterday - hooray! I don't really do a seasonal wardrobe swapover, most of my gear gets worn all year round - it's more of a lifestyle swapover in these prepandemic times - no point in sequins, flamboyant frocks and opera coats taking up valuable hanging space when my life is mostly spent outside!
    Your garden looks absolutely stunning.
    Well done for doing your bit in the election - the less said about the result the better. xxx

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  7. I've put the heating on a couple of times this week it's nuts. Mind you going for a walk this evening everything has shot up and it's all so green from the rain. I love the dungarees. I bought myself some last year in a fit of nostalgia as I used to wear them all the time in my teens. Himself did politely ask what look I was going for which is his way of saying he's not sure about something but I don't care I love them!

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    1. Thank you, Gisela.

      Yes if I see another pair of dungarees in the chazzas in my size I'm having them!
      xxx

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  8. Your outfits all look lovely on you - I made the mistake of swapping my wardrobe over at the end of last month and ever since the weathers been terrible! I've had to get a couple of jumpers back out and we've still had the heating on for an hour morning and evening. I'm sure we had already had some really good weather this time last year.
    Your plants all look lovely and well done for your stint at the polling station - my friends Husband did it and it's a long old day.

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    1. Thank you,

      I was being cautious with the swap over but I was sick of winter dressing. At least with the lighter weight stuff you can add jumper, cardigans, jackets, tights etc - which is what I've been doing. It was definitely better weather this time last year...
      xxx

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  9. wow, so lovely outfits, really springlike style even if the weather didn't collaborate. Love your turquoise-teal dress with both jackets and fab jewellery. You rock these leopard and camo trousers!, lots of lovely colours, particularly Red!. Really elegant and cool in your Poll Clerk attire, and so fabulous sleeves!.
    Sorry that the assymmetrical skirt didn't work, totally agree that its colour and print are really lovely!, a favourite colour combo and fab jewellery!. And loving these dungarees, you're looking really fab in them, casual&cool!, and glad that they are comfortable!
    Love all the photos of flowers and plants, so interesting to see all the blooming!
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica!

      It is a shame about the skirt but hopefully I might find something similar soon...
      xxx

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