Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Flaming June and a visit to Kew Gardens

Hello everyone!

We've had some lovely hot weather - well the old saying is 'Flaming June' after all!

Cool cottons are my go to when it's very hot and to me that's anything from 25 degrees upwards. Skirt by Apricot bought at my Barnardo's last Monday and the t shirt was from the Cat's Protection League a few years back. Hilary was with me when I bought it so probably 2019?


Jacket by Per Una; charity shopped in the Red Cross shop.


All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace was one of the 4 for 1.00 in Emmaeus when we were there some weeks ago.

This was Wednesday's outfit. I went swimming in the morning as the gas boiler was being serviced on Thursday and I had to wait in for the engineer. I won't be bothering with morning swimming again; it was even more crowded than the afternoon sessions! I'll stick to Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I managed to swim just over 1 km then got out of the pool; I was tired of colliding with people. After I'd showered and changed and had something to eat at home; I walked to B&M to get some more bird food supplies and then walked back to town and bought Marian a birthday present. It was very hot indeed and I was glad to get home and cool down. We watched TGBSB in the evening; the final is next week and it will be a close run thing between Raph and Serena; either could win it.


Everything charity shopped. Jacket as before. I bought this Anokhi skirt last summer in a Newmarket charity shop. The top is from the 1.00 rail at the Daycare Hospice shop and is by Minuet. The shoes were bought last winter online and this was their first outing.


All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace was another one of the 4 for 1.00 in Emmaeus.


The engineer came soon after 9 am on Thursday and I set out at 11.30 to do the food shopping in Lidl and Aldi. After unpacking it and putting it away I went to Kempston to the Cat's Protection League for a rummage. I bought another pair of plimsolls; black this time.  I came home and chilled in the garden; doing a bit of pot swapping, weeding and deadheading. I don't sunbathe so I put the umbrella up; loaded the chair with several cushions and read my book. I made dinner for OH and middle grandson who comes for dinner every Thursday and Sunday. Then I went to meet my friend Ann at our usual meeting place; 'The Fox and Hounds' where we had a meal and great catch up!

On Friday, I drove to London in horrendous traffic on the motorway. It took me an hour to drive 7 miles from junction 13 to 12 then, thankfully, it was clear. I met up with Marian and her daughter Katherine and we set off for Kew Gardens. It was a perfect day; not too hot with a bit of a breeze. We walked for miles but had a wonderful day. So much to see and such a feast for the eyes.


Known also as The Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew has the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world. " In 1772, King George III inherited the Kew estate and joined it with the royal estate in Richmond – two gardens became one. It was George III's mother Princess Augusta who founded the original botanic garden at Kew in 1759" (Source; Kew Gardens website)
Top right is Kew Palace; home of George III. The stone dragon/lion overlooked the smaller of two lakes; this one looking across to the Palm House. The statue of the naked man killing a serpent  (Apollo killing Python?) was in the middle of the lake.
Top; the Temperate House and below The Palm House.
The giant water lilies were in the water lily pond house.

Some of the wonderful plants and flowers. Bird of Paradise (bottom right).

Top left flowers are Calendula.
The red leaved plant was a fuschia.
This strange structure was The Hive. Designed by the artist Wolfgang Buttress; the steel structure houses a multi-sensory experience meant to simulate the inside of a hive and the communications between the occupants.  It was a strangely eerie experience but very enjoyable.

Just some of the many photos Katherine took. Everything I wore was charity shopped. Jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson (originally part of a skirt suit). White top by Next and trousers by Tu. Clarks shoes also charity shopped; cross body bag from Vinted.

Just outside the Lily Pond House (bottom right). Top right is part of the beautiful wrought iron staircase in The Palm House.


Look at that Cedar tree!

Saturday began with a trip to Aldi to buy some extra bits for Sunday's barbecue.


Everything charity shopped. Jeans by Next; coral top by M&S and pumps bought from Barnardos.


All jewellery charity shopped. The headband is one of four different coloured ones I have; bought from Barnardos - all 50p each. I don't  know if you've noticed but I don't wear headscarves very often these days. It's difficult to wear a mask with a headscarf!



Having had a busy couple of days I decided to chill out on Saturday. It was cooler but still lovely and I could have gone for a walk; instead I spent most of the afternoon in the garden sitting under the umbrella making a list of which of our plants should come back next year. This year I've tried to label every plant we have so we shouldn't get accidentally rid of anything which might grow back again. As well as that I also caught up with blogland and booked  just one swim for next week. I wouldn't have time the following Thursday to swim as I was leading a walk and the shopping doesn't do itself. Next Friday, I'd be off to Devon for the weekend!


This was the last field on my walk. Look at the cloudless blue sky...

Sunday was a scorching day - 28 degrees. I went for a walk in the morning before it got too hot and started out doing an urban walk but as I was near where my daughter lives I went across the fields for the last 3 miles making it a 6 mile walk in all. We had a barbecue and everyone came round. 2 loads of washing done, dried and put away as well; all in a couple of hours!


I spent Monday at Barnardos decoding the women's clothing. That meant reducing it if it was past its sell by date or if it had been reduced already; marking it down to 1.00 for the 1.00 rail. I found a few things for me, of course, which meant removing a few items from the wardrobe when I got home to make room for them.


Outfit all charity shopped. Top by Valentyne; trousers by Monsoon and white pumps; all from Barnardos. Monday was another hot day 26.5 degrees my car temperature gauge said. There was a bit of a breeze when I got home so I hung out the washing where it dried very quickly.

All jewellery charity shopped.

In the evening my daughter and I went for a walk of 5 miles. We did the walk I'll be leading on Thursday. A couple of footpaths were very overgrown thanks to the weeks of sunshine; and I'd need to warn people to be careful where they put their feet. It's easy to wrench an ankle in a rabbit hole or just a hollow in the ground...

A cooler and cloudier start on Tuesday but it soon warmed up when the sun came out. By the time I'd finished at the foodbank for the day it was in the low 20s. Busy at the foodbank; unpacking and putting away toiletries and making up hygiene bags for single people, couples and families. I must have made up 50 hygiene bags. They contain personal toiletries: soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush and hand wash; household cleaning products: washing up liquid, cleaning cloths, cleaning spray, toilet paper, tissues and washing liquid tablets.


Everything charity shopped. The red lace top I got from Barnardos on Monday; yellow linen shirt by Wallis and harem pants hand made - not by me; both also from Barnardos. Shoes; online retail.



All jewellery charity shopped. Did you notice I wasn't wearing earrings? I forgot to put them on and only realised when I went swimming in the afternoon. Last Wednesday, when I went for a swim I forgot I had earrings on and jumped into the pool with them on! It wasn't too crowded at the swimming pool on Tuesday and I managed my 40 laps with relative ease. I pottered around in the garden after that tidying up, moving pots around, deadheading etc. We have campanula growing out of the wall at the back; I believe it originated from the garden whose wall we (illegally) share. The campanula had taken over so I cleared a corner near the strawberries and moved the rhododendron there. It was dwarfing the other pots where it was and it's unlikely to bloom again this year. One of the two foxgloves flowered so I moved it to the front. The second foxglove is almost in flower.


I walked with my group on Wednesday in Harlington. The walk was 8 miles  in 26 degree heat and it was mostly uphill! We walked over Sundon Hills and Sharpenhoe Clappers; two of the few hilly areas in Bedfordshire which, like Cambridgeshire, is very flat country in the main.




I was completely knackered when I got home but I still had to walk into town and run some errands. Then I came home and put my feet up until it was time to make dinner.


Everything I wore was charity shopped. Both linen top and trousers by M&S; shoes by Clarks. Hat and Lanvin sunglasses also charity shopped as was all the jewellery. I wore waterproof trousers and boots on the walk and just changed into trousers and Mary Janes when I got home. In the evening we watched TGBSB and Serena won, as I predicted. Precision won the day but I didn't like the winning outfit she made...did you?


By Thursday one of the sweet pea plants bloomed and  later in the day there were four! I led my walk of 5.5 miles with 8 attendees all of whom really enjoyed it. We were very lucky to escape any rain although it was pretty overcast all day. The rain arrived in the evening. I spent the afternoon doing the food shopping and doing two washes one of which I was able to hang outside to dry. I popped over to my daughter's to wish the youngest grandson a happy 11th birthday for Friday and to drop off his present. The plan had been to have a barbecue after school but Friday was looking very wet so Plan B had to be devised. I'd miss it all as I was going to Devon on Friday morning.


I wore this to drive to Devon on Friday morning. The traffic was fine until I got to Swindon where I queued for an hour to get to the M4. I've not had much luck with Friday travelling, lately! Grey linen trousers by Whistles; top by Toast and denim jacket by Dorothy Perkins. Pumps by New Look. Everything charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

After a good old catch up at Hilary's we went out for a pleasant walk of 5 miles. We stopped at a hotel and had a couple of drinks. Here's Hilary posing in the gazebo...


On Saturday we drove to Teignmouth and had a good rummage around the charity shops. I bought a teapot and two small bowls. In a junk shop I wanted to buy a terracotta cylinder to use as a plant pot for the garden; the shop owner insisted on giving it to me as it had a fine crack in it. I didn't care! Guess what? I left it in Hilary's car and forgot to take it back home with me! Never mind - next time. After tea and cake we drove to Exmouth and continued to rummage. I found a dress by Zara for 2.00; a wrap around skirt by Kaliko for 5.00; two necklaces for 50p each and three bangles to add to my collection of 'plastic/lucite/bakelite' bangles. These three were in very subtle muted colours.


I wore this outfit with loose chambray trousers.


Exmouth; beach facing houses.


Looking across the beach at Exmouth to Dawlish.

We had arranged to meet Hilary's daughter and twin granddaughters for a meal at a restaurant facing the beach. We were seated upstairs on the terrace and it began to rain. We had parasols covering the table but the cover didn't extend to our backs so we got wet. There was no room inside so we ate our meal quickly and left. The rain continued all evening. It looked liked Flaming June had finished.  It was so good to see Hilary and her family again. The last time I saw her was in 2019! My journey home was uneventful on Sunday morning and I got home just in time to do the housework...OH made dinner.


Monday's outfit worn to the charity shop. Wearing the Kaliko wrap around skirt bought in Exmouth; striped tee and denim jacket by Dorothy Perkins all charity shopped. Shoes bought online.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I was busy decoding all morning  at Barnardos and picked up some reduced items; a dress and a tunic both from the 1.00 rail. On Monday evening OH and I went to see 'The Father' at the cinema. I cried but had no tissues in my bag and had to use my skirt to wipe my eyes! I have a drawerful of individual small packets of individual tissues but forgot to put one in my bag. A superbly acted film and all one can say is " Please God don't let that happen to me".


New things have bloomed in the garden after all that rain:

Top left; Tiger Lily; bottom left Verbena; top right Hebe; bottom right; Calendula.
Left: Geum, top right the 2nd Foxglove; bottom right one of the 3 Hydrangeas has bloomed.


More flowers from the garden. In this photo although not all seen are; Pansies, Sweet Peas, Dianthus and a Snapdragon.

At the foodbank on Tuesday I made up loads of hygiene packs, put away toiletries and restocked the picking area where we pick the products we use for the hygiene packs.


Everything charity shopped. Linen trousers by Next. top by FabIndia bought at Barnardos on Monday on the 1.00 rail. Shoes bought in a Devon charity shop some years ago.



All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace was one of the 50p ones bought in Devon at the weekend. I went swimming in the afternoon and did 42 laps. I spent the rest of Tuesday catching up with blogland and writing my own. It's funny to think that on Monday we should have been coming out of lockdown completely; according to the original lockdown easing plan but the Delta variant of Covid-19 put paid to that. The 18 plus age group can now be vaccinated and by the time we get to the next milestone in the easing of lockdown plan on  19th July we may be able to return to normal - whatever that new 'normal' may look like. I think it's going to be quite a while before we ever go back completely to the way we were before the pandemic struck and maybe we never will. The pandemic has changed the way we work with more people working from home and it looks likely to stay that way. It's changed the way we shop; more people shop online. I know several people who now prefer to do their supermarket shop online rather than visit the supermarket themselves. It may also be that for many people it's changed the way they lives their lives for the better; appreciating family members more and what they already have. I look forward to reading the research in the years to come...
  





Tuesday, 8 June 2021

I think it might be summer - at last!

 Hello again!

We really enjoyed our trip to the cinema last Monday evening; even though we started out at the wrong cinema and had to hop in the car and drive to the other cinema venue! I'd got so used to walking into town to the cinema I'd almost forgotten there were two cinemas. There were only about 12 people in total in the cinema we finally arrived at; all well socially distanced. I was so glad not to have to wear a mask throughout the screening. We really enjoyed the film (Nomadland) even though not a lot happened. It seems we have our own tribe of RV (recreational vehicle) dwellers here in the UK; according to a recent Guardian article HERE.


Tuesday's outfit - practical for the foodbank and swimming in the afternoon. I wear minimal makeup and remove it just before swimming; my costume is on under my clothes.  I thought we might be able to have showers at the pool since the further easing of restrictions on the 17th May but not so far. Everything charity shopped; jeans by Next; top by M&S; cardigan had a Canadian label but I cut it out as it was irritating my skin. I bought myself a pair of white pumps from Primarni in anticipation of wearing them with summer dresses - if the weather ever becomes summery!



Another colleague returned to the food bank on Tuesday and intends to carry on; that will make 4 volunteers and 1 manager there on Tuesdays on a weekly basis. Occasionally, the warehouse manager is in on a Tuesday as well. The plan is for all the volunteers to return by September, but I know several of the original ones won't be returning.

Although I booked as soon as I could there were no places left on the Rambler's Wednesday walk. It's one of the things I dislike most about the pandemic; having to book everything. It does reduce the joy of spontaneity. I thought I might go for a walk by myself later in the day but never made it. The weather forecast said no rain but I just didn't trust it!


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Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Wallis; jacket by Classic; top by Miss Look and yellow shoes charity shopped in Donegal.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Wednesday was pretty busy. I went to the hairdressers in the morning and then went to Home Bargains to buy yet more bird food supplies and a couple of household bits. I came home and walked into town to get my eyebrows done and run a couple of errands.  On the way back from town I stopped at the food charity and bought some flowers; stocks and lisianthus.


I cleaned out the fire and relaid it ready to light when OH got in from work. Our weather forecast was showing warmer and sunnier weather from Thursday. I was hoping I wouldn't need to buy anymore coal as supplies were running low and it would mean I could save some money. We don't normally light the fire this late in the year. I spent time in the afternoon catching up with blogs; I booked next week Rambler's walk and I tried to book for cousin Marian and I to go and visit 'The Red House' in Bexleyheath. I was hoping to take Marian there as a birthday treat in June, but the National Trust seemed to be releasing booking dates only one or two days ahead at a time. 'The Red House' is the Arts and Crafts home of William and Jane Morris who were central to the 'Pre-Raphaelite' movement in the 19th century.

The long awaited change in the weather on Thursday was remarkable. It was warm and sunny with the temperatures peaking at 19 degrees in the afternoon. I did the food shopping in the morning (Lidl and Aldi). I decided to make the most of the warm sunshine and go for a good walk rather than a swim. I'd also had my hair done the day before and wanted to keep it looking nice longer than a day! The walk was wonderful; 8 miles across fields. I saw brimstone and peacock butterflies; rabbits; a pheasant, three partridges and red kite eating carrion on the ground. It flew away with the carrion in its mouth when it saw me but dropped it. The air was full of the sound of birdsong.

There were several of these flowers in one particular area on my walk. I looked them up when I got back and they're Salsify. I believe you can eat the root.


Trousers by Whistles charity shopped somewhere; top Bedford Market; 1.00 rail and Mary Janes by Clarks also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped.



On my way over to the starting point for my walk; I spied this in a skip and rescued it!


A radiator cover. It has a little hole in it but I can disguise that. I knew it would fit my bedroom radiator and it's now given me an extra shelf for storage.

On Friday, I got up very early and set out for Kettering. My youngest brother, Tony, was having an angiogram and stents inserted into his heart. I took him to hospital and picked him up 8 hours later having had two stents inserted. All done through his wrist; it's astonishing really. He watched the video replay of his heart's blood flow prior to the insertion of the stents and after. He said the difference was amazing. Our NHS is truly wonderful. He's back to work on Monday! I stayed over  in case of any issues, but was back in Bedford by 8.45 am on Saturday which was another lovely, warm sunny day.


Everything charity shopped except the animal print faux clogs which are from Sainsbury's. I got £5.00 off as I had 5.00 worth of vouchers. Orange trousers from F&F bought from my Barnardos as was the turquoise paisley top.



All jewellery charity shopped.

I met up with my daughter and walked the walk I'll be leading  in two weeks time. It was only 5 miles but such a pleasure walking in the warmth of the sun. We met a few frisky horses in a field; luckily they were fenced off from us. I love them, but they're so bloody big close up!  I spent the rest of the day preparing for a trip to the seaside on Sunday with the two grandsons. I had to dig out my as yet unused wicker picnic basket (bought from my Barnardos) out of the under stairs cupboard and my cool bag. All the picnic cutlery and crockery needed to be washed and I put ice packs in the freezer for the cool bag. I walked into town to buy individual cold drinks and snacks for a picnic. I cooked chicken pieces for the grandson and made filled  rolls, coleslaw and salad as well. I made lemon pesto chicken for dinner and then we settled down to watch the cup final. I didn't, I'm not very interested in football. My three brothers are all Chelsea fans so they had all been looking forward to it. Instead I finished the last in the sequence of Barbara Pym books I have and now have to fill the gap with the missing books before I read any more. I like to read things in the right sequence where I can. I picked up three new books in Kettering when I was there on Friday having a rummage and waiting for the brother to phone me; I also found a couple of necklaces and a bangle.

The few days of sunshine have brought changes in the garden. The rhododendron bloomed at last as did the irises. The dahlias, too.



There are quite a few purple flowering plants; alliums, sinetti, delphiniums, lavender, wallflowers and although you can't see it clearly in this photo there is a periwinkle which smothers the back wall lower down; and higher up there is some campanula.


The flower chair. I still haven't painted it but can't quite make my mind up; I like the weathered look of the wood...

Sweet William

On Sunday, my daughter and I took the two grandsons to the seaside.  When the two older grandchildren were younger this was a yearly ritual on May bank holiday weekend. We went to Hunstanton, Norfolk;  a Victorian seaside town which is our nearest seaside;  just under 90 miles away. We couldn't find anywhere to park when we got there so drove a mile or so up the road to Old Hunstanton beach. There were no amusement arcades or rides or 'Sea Life' here; just a cafe selling seaside paraphernalia and ice creams. We found a spot on the beach and ate our picnic. The grandsons and I walked down to the sea which was very far out and had a paddle. We played ball games on the sand then went to get a ice cream. When we finished our ice creams it was time to go home and we drove back in two hours. There was traffic on the way there and back; in fact I haven't seen traffic like it since pre Covid-19 days. Things really were returning to normal!


I wore this to the charity shop on Monday. The shop isn't particularly warm so the fact I was wearing tights when the temperatures were 21 degrees outside didn't matter. Everything was charity shopped. The pinafore dress; a little bit too big, was from F&F via the 3:16 charity shop. I couldn't be bothered to find something else to wear. Tights and shoes can't remember; and the top is a regular in my outfits.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Tuesday the fuschias had bloomed.


This was what I wore to the foodbank. Trousers by H&M; top by Next;  both charity shopped   Black kimono present from my daughter and white pumps from Primarni.



All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace I found in a Kettering charity shop last Friday is by Coast.

It was actually warm in the food bank; unsurprising as the outside temperature rose to 24 degrees by the time I finished at 12. I went swimming in the afternoon and did my 40 laps; it was a bit of a struggle as it had been almost a week since I last swam. I had the swimming lane to myself for the last 20 minutes; except for 3 young lads who were just mucking about and not really lane swimming.

Another glorious day on Wednesday and perfect for the day's plan which was to visit sister-in-law Dawn; who moved back to Birmingham where she lived previously for 41 years and raised her children there. Her new home is across the road from this and this was the view from her living room window:

Blakesley Hall, Yardley.

Thought to have been built in 1590 by Richard Smalbroke; a member of one of Birmingham's leading merchant families. Blakesley Hall is a museum and under normal circumstances open to visitors. Unfortunately, it hadn't reopened since the first lockdown but next time I visit  Dawn we have both said we'd like to have a look around and a cup of tea in the tea rooms. There was a brief shower about 6.30 pm which cooled things down a bit; the temperature gauge in my car said 27 degrees as we drove home from Birmingham. This was what I wore and I didn't need the denim jacket at all!

 
Pumps as above; both jacket and dress charity shopped but cannot remember where. The last time I wore this dress was last September when we went to spend the day with my son.


All jewellery charity shopped.

It was very nostalgic visiting Birmingham again. It was about 10 years since I last visited and that was for a work related training course. I did a Clinical Nurse Teaching course between 1984 -1985 at Birmingham Polytechnic and did my teaching practise at Kings's Norton, Monyhull Hospital and in Kidderminster. I stayed with Dawn whilst I did the course travelling back to Bedford at the weekend; and my children went to school there for a year.

Thursday was warm and sunny. We've had a week of continuously warm and sunny weather and I've  enjoyed it so much. Just put on a dress and some footwear and I'm done. 


Everything charity shopped. The shoes came from a Redruth charity shop. The dress was bought last year from Vinted; an online secondhand buy and sell site. I had my swimming costume on underneath because it was Thursday  -  shopping and swimming day.


My new routine on Thursday is to get up early and do the food shopping as early as I can. As we hadn't lit the fire in over a week and hopefully wouldn't need to again until Autumn; there's no longer the need to go to Sharnbrook to buy coal and kindling. I finished the shopping by 11am and had a few hours free before I went swimming. I unpacked the shopping, hung out a wash and a did a second one as I had popped into Barnardo's and Keech in Great Denham and picked up a top (in Keech) and a kimono; some more books and some jigsaws for Hilary. I'm going to spend a weekend with her in Devon in a fortnight's time. I usually bring her books (she reads mostly non-fiction) and since lockdown she has a acquired a jigsaw habit...better than cocaine I suppose!

All jewellery charity shopped.

I swam 40 laps in the afternoon. I thought about a morning booking for next week's swim then I could get ready and do the shopping and have the remainder of the day free. Updated to say I had to leave this for another week as the boiler was due for its annual service the following Thursday and I would have to wait in for the engineer.

Friday was very different to the week of sunny weather we'd had. It was a lot cooler and rained for most of the day. I'd hoped to go for a long walk but the rain put paid to that. I decided to go for a long walk on Sunday weather permitting, instead. OH and I wanted to go for a rummage on Saturday. I went into town on Friday morning as I had several errands to run; to Boots, the Caribbean supermarket for seasonings and coconut cream and to drop a small bag of donations off to the 3:16 charity shop.


Everything charity shopped except the palazzo pants which were bought from Bedford Market last summer. Jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; top bought from Keech on Wednesday and the Sea Salt clogs bought in a Devon charity shop.


All jewellery charity shopped.

;

When I got back home a leaflet had been delivered about milk deliveries by a milkman. I went online and set up a thrice weekly milk delivery in an attempt to cut down on my plastic footprint.  If you're interested (it's a national scheme) see HERE. My trip to Boots was also an attempt to cut down on plastic waste; buying some solid shampoo bars they had on special offer. I've found the online buying of solid shampoo bars quite pricey. I'm using my second solid shampoo bar now;  but they were both sample size and were pretty small. I still use my purple toning liquid shampoo and conditioner for silver hair about once a month; when those bottles are used up I won't bother anymore. On my way back from town I stopped at the local food charity and bought some flowers.


On Saturday one of the clematis had bloomed!
It was another lovely sunny day with temperatures between 22 and 23 degrees. OH and I drove to Buckinghamshire to Aylesbury and then on to Leighton Buzzard for a rummage.


Jacket bought from a Beales sale many years ago.


First wearing of this dress; bought from Vinted during the first lockdown. Also wearing for the first time; although you can hardly see them some material Mary Janes with a pale blue platform; charity shopped in Penzance. I needed a bit of height to stop the dress dragging on the ground. The shoes were not a good idea. My feet swell in the heat and I had the imprint of the shoe material and very sore feet all evening!


All jewellery charity shopped; also hat and sunglasses.

OH found loads of stuff. I bought a meat plate (at last); a bowl to put our keys in; a bangle; a ring and a pair of black lightweight trousers to replace a linen pair I had to donate. I would have liked another linen pair but couldn't find any black ones in my size. I'll keep looking...I found one Barbara Pym book but I already had it. We were both satisfied with our day; stopping for tea and cake in Leighton Buzzard before we set off for home. We spent Saturday evening watching the beginning of the second series of 'Thicker Than Water' a Swedish drama from 'Walter Presents'. We've also continued watching 'The Great British Sewing Bee' and it's the semi final this week. 

I walked 10 miles on Sunday; meeting up with my daughter after 2 miles. Another warm but cloudy day. I cooked dinner for OH and both grandsons and did the upstairs cleaning and mopping of floors. Waking a bit stiff on Monday morning after the walk the day before I was thrilled to see 2 goldfinches of my bird seed feeder. I've only seen 1 before on the feeder and it was a long time ago. I do hope they become regular visitors. Then whilst hanging out the whites wash when I got back from Barnardos in the afternoon; I saw a blackcap on my neighbours roof singing its heart out. The neighbour also has starlings nesting in a hole just under her gutter and the parents and young are regular but very noisy visitors to the bird feeders in my garden.


I wore this outfit to Barnardos. Dress charity shopped in the Daycare Hospice Shop it says made in India but there is no manufacturers name;  denim jacket by Next; charity shopped a very long time ago and faux clogs by Tu from Sainsburys retail. My feet needed comfortable shoes after Saturday's exploits and Sunday's walking.


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought by OH for me  in Oxford market.


I bought myself another pair of plimsolls/pumps and an orange skirt in Barnardo's. I did two washes and both were dried and put away by the evening. Another wonderful thing about the brilliant weather we've had.


For a change it was really warm at the food bank on Tuesday! Everything was charity shopped. Linen trousers by Next; shirt and kimono bought on recent rummages. Shoes bought in Sainsbury's sale.



All jewellery charity shopped.
The garden has blooms in abundance. Bottom right; pansies from the garden on my hall table. Bottom left; this delphinium has many flowers. The other delphinium hasn't so much as a bud on it and it's not as tall; I moved its position in the garden to see if that would make a difference. Top right; we have quite a lot of dianthus in both back and front garden and its all doing so well. I can't wait for the sweet peas to bloom and then I'll have bunches in the house filling the air with their beautiful fragrance. 

I've got a busy week ahead of me. I'm going for a meal and a catch up with Ann on Thursday evening; one of my two best friends, we've known each other for 33 years. On Friday I'm off to Kew Gardens with cousin Marian and her daughter and I hope to meet up with another friend for a catch up in London on Friday evening. I'll need the weekend to recover after that! I haven't forgotten about the earrings; I have, in fact, made one pair so far and will show you when I've made a few more.

See you on the other side when it may be back to normal or it may not - watch this space...