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...


  1. good morning vronni!
    28°C? HA! we had 38° the whole weekend, the other days 32°..... i covered the veggies with a tarp to prevent from the burning sun and we spend the weekend behind the thick walls of the red salon - duing nothing then reading, talking and looking TV. i only wore swim shorts and a bikini top.
    i really was hoping that the world would change to the better after a pandemic showed us how precious life is - but sadly most people are just to stupid to see the obvisious....... i wish we could do the grocery shopping online - since ages befor C. actually. but here in G. the grocery discounter don´t offer such.

    your outfits - especially the ones with maxi skirts - are very chic! love the light, summery colour palette - like ice cream colours.
    thanks for taking me to kew gardens - what a stunning place! and the pics from your walks make me want to join :-D
    discovered the head scarf-mask-oxymoron too......
    ...clever move the notice which plants will be perennial!

    1. Oh Beate, I can't bear such high temperatures. My brain goes to mush and I feel so lethargic...

      I do not like the idea of online grocery shopping. I like to look, feel and smell things and besides I'd miss the bargains!

      Hope you have cooler temperatures now and thank you, as always, for your comments.

  2. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who considers anything upwards from 25°C hot! Obviously, I love Summer weather, but at around 30°C, it is just too hot to do anything much at all, and our walled garden is such a heat trap, and there isn't much shade from midday onwards, so sitting out there is no option either.
    I loved seeing your outfits as usual, my favourite being the one with the Anokhi skirt. The top and jacket are just perfect with it!
    I'm ever so slightly envious of your visit to Kew Gardens, which has been on my list for absolutely ages. Being stuck in traffic must have been horrendous, but definitely worth it judging from your wonderful photos!
    I'm hearing you on the scarf + face mask problem. Add a pair of glasses and it's even worse! Too much going on around the ears!
    Your visit to Devon brought back happy memories, as we holidayed there back in 1997 and 1998.
    Your garden is looking very colourful. I have a yellow Geum too (as well as a red one), and several self seeded Foxgloves, one of them an absolute giant!
    I've heard about the set-back in your original lockdown easing plan. I do hope we'll be getting back to some kind of normal soon. There have obviously been some changes - quite a few of them permanent - for me personally, but I still hate online shopping with a vengeance, and working from home isn't working for me either. We'd need to move to a bigger house and somewhere quieter for me to be able to work from home in comfort! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      Let's face it when comes to heat we're both wimps!

      I hope the permanent personal changes have been positive ones.

  3. Kew Gardens is on my list of places to visit in this country. I need to get around to watching the recent TV series on it. The roads are getting much busier. We had a long journey up to visit my Dad on Saturday, lots of caravans and lots of cars. You've been very busy, even fitting in a visit down here! We've just been over to Teignmouth after dinner so two of the girls could have a swim in the sea.
    Your outfits all look lovely. I never have much luck in charity shops for myself but I did pick up a few bits last weekend for the girls up at my Dad's.

    1. The sea at Teignmouth didn't look very inviting on Saturday I must say. We were also disappointed in that our favourite tea shop didn't have it's usual array of home made cakes only cup cakes - which I don't like!

  4. I always love getting caught up with you, Vronni! So many wonderful outfits (loving the Anokhi and Kaliko maxis), and pictures of your glorious flowers, AND all the scenery! The UK has such interesting places to visit - Kew looks amazing.

  5. Your maxi skirts are beautiful, and I love that coral top and matching jewelry on you!

  6. It's never too hot for me! I was a lizard in a past life.
    That Kaliko wraparound skirt and the Anokhi for East maxi look fantastic on you, you really suit those delicate shades of blue.
    Kew! I'd love to visit. Your photos are wonderful particularly that one of you striding beneath the magnificent cedar tree. That wrought iron staircase is so lovely it makes me knees go weak!
    I really wanted Raph to win, Serena was a wonderful sewer but lacked his creativity and imagination. I wasn't keen on any of the final dresses.
    I don't have any family members to appreciate but the lockdown has definitely helped me notice the subtle change in the seasons & to love my garden, home and the clothes I own although I cannot wait to be back at Gklastonbury or getting on a plane and escaping the UK! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      I think you were a lizard in a past life too! Have you ever been anywhere where it was too hot for you?

      I do hope you can get on a plane and get away in a very hot country for a change a scenery this year.

  7. Not in love with super-hot weather either, so you definitely have my sympathy. I haven't used our cooker in a couple of weeks now.
    Love all these outfits but especially that pink one. That's a great shade of pink for you.
    I never did adjust to online shopping for anything beyond essentials (I like to pick my own fruit and veg) but you're right-a lot has changed and may never go back to how it was.
    Thank you for taking us along to Kew!

    1. Yes, one has to squeeze the avocados etc...

      Thank you, Goody!

  8. My first time visiting your blog (via Gail's WhatsApp group) How interesting to learn some more about you! You really do have an eye for colour, your outfits all look fab on you. I feel that as my hair has now lightened quite considerably I need to inject a few more bright colours into my wardrobe. You've inspired me!

    1. Hello Debs and pleased to meet you!

      I'm so glad I've inspired you to try brighter colours! I bet you'll look wonderful in them.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Two of my favourite places: Exmouth (I lived there for a year,long time ago) and Kew Gardens. The hot June weather seems a distant memory, it's been very cloudy with rain for the last week. Your hiking outfit with hat is very natty! I keep meaning to try a Ramblers walk xx

    1. Exmouth looks a great place to live and my friend's daughter loves it. Do try a Rambler's walk!

  11. I love your bright outfits and the range of maxi skirts you have! They are my summer staple too! It's so nice to see how you wear them all, and that you had so much luck finding them in the opshops!

    Good news about your vaccinations too - we are sadly so far behind with vaccinations here as our government didn't get any supply - it will be end of the year before we get a big amount they say. very frustrating! But aside from that life is back to normal here so I hope it gets back to normal for you soon too!

    Hope you are having a nice week! :)

    Away From The Blue

    1. Hello Mica and thank you for commenting on my blog.

      I do hope you get vaccinations sooner rather than later; it does help boost your confidence.

      Glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you; they're feeling pretty normal here but we're not wuite there yet!

  12. Dear Vronni, so lovely post, your summery trousers and linen shirts are so lovely, and your accessorizing so brilliant!. Love to see you wearing this comfy&cool ensembles, so inspiring!
    Love particularly your Phool skirt and the harem pants you wore with a red lace top, so gorgeous colours!
    Really interesting to know something about the Kew Gardens, I've always wanted to visit them (maybe next time?!)
    (I'm late in my commenting!, Sorry!)


Blogoversary and some other stuff

Hello again!   When I left you last I showed you my latest TBR pile. What I realised later on that day was I had already read two of them. W...