More gallivanting - interrupted...

I walked with my group on Wednesday. 7 miles from the village of Risley to the village of Keysoe. There is a green burial site at Keysoe and I have left information about it with my will as I'd like to buried somewhere like this; in the countryside under or beside a tree if possible. Halfway along on the walk we came to a  small field which had been cleared at one end and there was a marked grave with a cross on it. Someone had requested to be buried there and I must say the view was lovely! I forgot to take photos so you'll have to take my word for it. This might be a sombre note to start on but it's important to have this sort of conversation with your loved ones about your wishes when you die.

This was Wednesday's outfit. Boyfriend jeans by Next bought from 1.00 rail at Barnardos on Monday; top bought there last year and pumps from Primarni. It turned out to be a warm day on Wednesday 22 degrees and sunny all day.

 All jewellery charity shopped. The bangles were bought in Devon last weekend 99p each.

Friday's outfit.

Thursday was a cooler day. I went to the hairdressers in the morning and then off to do the shopping at Lidl. I spent the afternoon going to B&M for bird food supplies where I also bought some more plants. Then it was tidying up in the garden and moving stuff around.  I picked some of our first strawberries. We also have raspberries and what we thought were blueberries are actually redcurrants! We need to move all our pots and plant racks forward so we can cut back the grape vine; get rid of the scarily rampant Campanula and Periwinkle and some spiky plant bugger that's sprung up behind the Buddleia tree. It's a two person job so need OH to help. We started watching a new 'Walter Presents' in the evening 'Box 21'. Gripping stuff...

Trousers by Phool bought at the Daycare Hospice shop near my hairdressers on Thursday. I always pop in for a quick browse. I picked up some bars of Yardley's Lavender soap, too which I love. I used to hate the smell of lavender in toiletries but now I love it. Top by Next also charity shopped; kimono and clogs by Evie; both from Vinted.

I forgot to wear my rings but all jewellery was charity shopped.

I bought these cornflowers in Teignmouth at the weekend.

On Friday I went to Sainsbury's for a few things and then drove to the retail park to Argos to collect a new dish rack. Our current one; bought in a charity shop was too shallow and the plates kept falling over. Then I drove to the Salvation Army charity shop for a rummage. I bought a deep metal pot which we'll use as a planter once OH drills some drainage holes in the bottom, a yellow felt cushion and a couple of books. I started this one straight away...

Derek Jarman was an artist, writer and film-maker. When he was diagnosed as being HIV Positive in 1986; he decided to make a garden at his cottage on the barren coast of Dungeness. This was about the making of that garden but also a memoir of his life. I love nature writing, biographies and memoirs and this combines all three. In the afternoon I went for a six mile urban walk. We had a takeaway curry for dinner; I had fish biryani.

Saturday was a pretty laid back sort of day. I picked the youngest grandson up as I was looking after him until it was time to take him to his Dad's for the weekend. After that I went for a 5 mile walk along the river towards Cardington. It was a pleasant day and I hung the washing out when I got back. I also popped into town to buy some yorkshire puddings for Sunday's dinner and bought some Delphiniums from the food charity. OH had gone to visit his mum for the day so I didn't have to cook; just made myself an omelette and salad for dinner. Unfortunately by the time OH got back it had rained without me noticing and the washing got wet...

All jewellery charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. Dress by Zara from 1.00 rail at Barnardos last week. The pumps came from the Cat's Protection League and the trousers are by Tu but can't remember where they came from.

Delphiniums in my Victorian jug (1878) bought for 1.25 in the Keech Hospice shop some years ago. It has a fine crack in the base but doesn't leak - thankfully!

In the summer we always look forward to car boot sales on a Sunday but our nearest ones weren't starting again until July. I set out for an early walk of 6 miles on Sunday walking along the river towards Great Denham and Biddenham. I saw a rat on a bird table eating the seeds but by the time I got my phone out to take a photo of it it had scarpered! OH and I did the housework and I cooked dinner. OH went to B&M and bought some reduced plants; marigolds; another geranium and another Salvia; bringing our total up to 5 now - all different colours. I had bought some Mimulus in the week and OH planted some of them in the charity shopped pot.  And talking of plants this was what was blooming afresh in our garden:
Top left; the first of our three rose bushes to bloom. Top right; the Salvia has fully bloomed. Bottom left; a subtly coloured lily (OH loves lilies especially the Asiatic Lilies - me, I'm not that botheredand bottom right the third of our Foxgloves has started to bud.
Top left: Helenium. Top right; my Fig tree is almost taller than me. Bottom left; another Salvia; bottom right the second foxglove has grown a second spike of blooms. The garden is a constant source of delight seeing what's blooming or about to bloom. We still needed to clear the back wall but that would be a job for another day as the rain started and continued for the rest of Sunday.

All clothes charity shopped. Red jeans by Laura Ashley; turquoise top by M&S and cardigan had no label. Can't remember where I got any of them from. The cardigan is about 8 or 9 years old. I wear flip-flops as slippers in the summer; these ones were originally my daughter's. The bookcase houses my green Virago book collection and my Persephone books collection. I always look for these when charity shopping. All the green Viragos were found in charity shops; a few of the Persephone books were found in charity shops but most of them were Christmas and birthday presents.

I like jugs - as you can see!

Looking serious here! All jewellery charity shopped.
In the evening we finished watching the last of 'Box 21' - a gritty Swedish/Romanian drama. Highly recommended.

It was still raining on Monday morning.

Off to Barnardos as usual. Dress by Monsoon bought in Devon two weeks ago; trousers by M&S from Barnardos and pumps bought in The Cat's Protection League.

All jewellery charity shopped.

After Barnardos where I bought a pair of black and white checked M&S trousers and a green cross body bag to add to my collection I stopped at Home Bargains for bird supplies. When I went last week B&M had no suet blocks and by now I needed both suet blocks and fat balls. I also bought a new type of bird feeder which hangs below the fat ball feeder and the pigeons (greedy, fat pigs that they are) can't balance on! I dead headed some plants in the garden then caught up with blogland. I made Lemon Chicken Pesto and potato salad for dinner. In the evening we started to watch 'The Pleasure Principle' a Polish/Czech/Ukraine drama. After one episode we were hooked! I also finished the Derek Jarman book which was wonderful and definitely a keeper.

Two new discoveries in the garden on Tuesday. Top; Clematis Orientalis. Bottom; Cistus x purpureus 'Alan Fradd' otherwise known as a 'Rock Rose'. We have 3 clematis in the back garden; one grows along the wooden fence shared with our left hand neighbours and it had already bloomed; the second is growing through the Wisteria and has yet to bloom. The one pictured above was planted about 2 years ago and thought to have died! What a nice surprise! The Cistus was from last year and didn't have a label so we had little idea of what it was. The flower had gone by late afternoon but there were several buds waiting to flower so I didn't mind too much. I blamed the birds as they love to flit in and out of the containers; or it might have been Mr. Squirrel digging up or burying his stash.

Tuesday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by H&M; striped tee by F&F; yellow top by White Stuff and green shoes by Hotter - another Cat's Protection League find last year. Off to the food bank where I made up at least 50 hygiene packs and put cereals away. One of our volunteers made a return on Tuesday. He is 80+ years of age and had some heart problems earlier this year. He looked well and did well for his first day back; taking care to pace himself and not bending too much or lifting heavy loads. There's a lot of bending, stretching, lifting and carrying heavy loads at the food bank - a good weight resistant workout; plus I tend to walk quite a lot between the warehouse and the picking areas.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I went for a swim in the afternoon and did my 42 laps (1.4 km). The last 15 minutes was just me and one other woman - heavenly! I can just imagine how blissful it would be to have your own 33.3 metre swimming pool and swim in it everyday...

No walks with my group on Wednesday - too far to travel so I set out in the morning to run some errands in town and then went to the Castle Rd charity shops for a rummage. The Castle Road area of Bedford is filled with small terraced house that are a lot bigger inside than they look from the outside. A lot of professional people live in the area and it has its own vibe with lots of independent shops and cafes; three charity shops; a junk shop and it used to have a bookshop until it moved premises at the start of the lock down last year. As I walked from where I'd parked my car I came across this scene:

A street exercise/Wednesday workout session!
I didn't get a chance to find out more although I did ask permission to take a photo. Complete with music playing, an instructor and keen participants armed with weights... I wondered if it was an impromptu session or if it was a regular occurence. There's a park very close by maybe they got fed up with going there for their exercise session and decided to stay at home (I walked past several open doors so these people lived in this street). I wonder what the other neighbours thought about it? I thought it was a brilliant idea and you can see that they are people of a certain age so it was clearly for health reasons. Then as I walked past a coppiced tree I saw this:

Isn't it exquisitely beautiful? It's Trametes versicolour or a Turkey Tail fungus. It made my day. The beauty in nature never ceases to astonish and surprise me.

It was an overcast and cool day so I layered up.

Trousers by Laura Ashley, top by Zara and tee shirt underneath by F&F all charity shopped including the shoes.

All jewellery charity shopped. 
I got very lucky in the Castle Rd shops. I bought a new runner for my hall and a new picture for the dining room; 5 books; a winter jacket/coat (homemade) in the Daycare Hospice shop; a New Look skirt (2.99) and a pair of brown leather sandals with a clog like base (1.99) in the Children's Society. In the junk shop I picked up 2 pots for plants;  I did very well! In the afternoon I went for an urban walk of 5.5 miles. It threatened to rain all day but didn't and at around 4 pm the sun came out for a brief visit but disappeared again. I was hoping the weather would improve for the weekend because on Friday and Saturday I was off gallivanting again...

My Aunty Joan (my dad's sister) lives in Burton on Trent and was diagnosed earlier this year with cancer of the jaw. She underwent a huge operation and once she was ready for visitors I said I'd visit. As my ex-sister in law lives in Birmingham I thought I'd spend Friday with her staying overnight and set off on Saturday morning to see Aunty Joan; returning home the same day. That was the plan anyway.

Thursday started out so well. The sun was shining and it wasn't raining. I got up early and had a wash done and pegged out to dry by the time I set off to do the weekly shop. On my way back from Lidl, disaster struck. The temperature gauge on my car was flashing on and off and the symbol for 'car has a problem' came on. I drove straight to the garage where after being driven home in one of the garages cars plus my shopping; I was told it was probably the head gasket. The head gasket went in 2017 and shouldn't have gone again so soon. The garage wasn't able to repair the car until the following week as was a big job to do so I had to cancel my weekend plans. No gallivanting for me!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Trousers by F&F; top by and shoes by Hotter; all charity shopped.

I went for a swim in the afternoon and was very pleased with myself as I managed to do 45 laps (1.5 km) in the hour; in fact as I was climbing out of the pool the life guard blew his whistle to signal the session was ended. The pool was not very crowded.

Can you see my new hall runner?

Friday was a hot day!  I had to go into to town for bread and on the way back stopped at the food charity and bought some Peonies and Lisianthus for my weekly fresh flower display. The delphiniums were moved to the kitchen.  I walked 5.7 miles in the afternoon stopping at Aldi on the way back. I hadn't managed to get there on Thursday because of the car problems. I don't buy very much from Aldi so was able to carry what I did buy home in one bag.

Shoes bought from Sainsbury's; jeans by M&Co and top by Damart; both charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Saturday was very humid but overcast. I met my daughter and we went for a 5 mile walk. Then after changing into a skirt; OH and I went to Northampton for a rummage and by then the sun had come out and it stayed out. We were last in Northampton around Christmas time and since then 3 of the charity shops had closed down. It has two very large charity shops that do both furniture and clothes; a Scope and a Salvation Army. I bought a summer walking top and some earrings in the RSPCA; some Jo Malone cologne; a book and a (winter) skirt in Age Concern from the 1.00 rail. I found a Vegan cook book in Scope for my daughter. The first I've ever found and I've been looking for weeks! We stopped for a coffee and pancakes then set off for home where everyone came round to watch the England v Ukraine match...nuff said.

White top by Next; skirt by New Look; denim jacket old, brown sandals by New Look; all charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

We went to our first car boot sale this year on Sunday morning. Very disappointing. There were about ten cars in total and it rained throughout. I bought a purse for 50 p. The car boot sale is held on the premises of the garden centre in Milton Ernest so we went inside for a browse and OH bought some plants; a Zinnia; a Gazania and 2 Nicotiana in a deep red and a pink. There are pots that still need filling. Throughout the week OH cleared the back wall of  unwanted creeping things and we reorganised the plant pots and moved the plant pot stands. We did the usual Sunday housework and I cooked dinner for both grandsons.

On Monday as I was car less; I walked the youngest grandson two thirds of the way to school then caught the bus to Barnardo's in Great Denham.

Everything charity shopped except the clogs from Sainsbury's. Skirt by Jigsaw bought from Vinted; striped top by Massimo Dutti from Barnardo's;  jacket with Italian label; bought from Age UK when we had one in Bedford; it's about 8 or 9 years old now.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I wore a vintage full length white slip under the outfit as the skirt is quite see through.

When I got back from Barnardo's I hung out a wash and did a second whites wash which I hung inside. It was just as well as the rain came down in the evening and it rained very heavily. No need to water the pots! OH and I finished watching 'The Pleasure Principle' and caught up with Saturday's episode of 'Beck'. We missed it because of the football. It looks like it's going to be another good series so that's our Saturday night viewing sorted. For viewing in the week we decided to try another Polish thriller called 'Pakt'. I bought a copy of 'Nomadland' by Jessica Bruder on my Kindle for 99p and started that on Monday. It made for for very interesting if not disturbing reading. 

I was at the food bank as usual on Tuesday and swam 45 laps (1.5km) in the afternoon. There seemed to be fewer people in the pool again and I wondered if more people were returning to work as our UK Furlough Scheme was coming to an end. I do appreciate having a near empty pool to swim in! 

At the time of writing this post I still haven't got my car back. It's looking as if I might have it back by late on Thursday but I don't actually know for sure whether or not I'll get to Birmingham and Burton-on-Trent this weekend or not. Watch this space....


  1. I so enjoy your posts, Vronni - I get caught up in what's going on, and your colourful outfits and random adventures. Sorry to hear about your car's gasket! My mum's family is from Burton-On-Trent (my great-grandfather worked in the Bass Ale brewery), with her aunt born there but her mother (my gran) born here in Victoria in the 1930s.

    Clothes! My favourite things:
    - the 'camo' suit and the giant brass necklace.
    - the pops of red in the black and white outfit.
    - the denim jacket and leopard pleated skirt combo (great outfit).
    - that beautiful white linen skirt.

    Good for you, getting in so much swimming and walking! Your garden is looking amazing - I love seeing all the flowers. I see fungus like that here quite a lot, and agree, Nature is so soothing and wondrous, isn't it?

    I was amused by the neighbourhood workout group. I sometimes see Tai Chi groups at the field near my home. I know someone who collects Penguin published books - they are all the same looking: orange/white/black.

    Have a good week, my dear friend!

    1. How interesting you have family connections to Staffordshire - home of potteries and breweries. Did you visit there when you cane to the UK? I don't know the area very well at all.

      Thank you for your comments and I hope your week goes well too!

  2. Cars are wonderful things but oh so unpredictable. I hope you're up and running again soon.
    The shirt in your first photo is delightful. What a fun thing to have in your wardrobe. Can't beat the Phool trousers either. You find the very best stuff.
    So many beautiful flowers. I'm envious of your currants as until recently it was considered an invasive species and you couldn't grow them here. I think that changed a few years ago, but they're still rather rare even as fruit in the grocery. Blueberries on the other hand, we're awash with.
    Those are good conversations to have with your family about burial. We did our wills back in 2019 not knowing what was ahead but it was such a relief to know it was all set out in writing. I don't think that's grim at all-no one is going to be here forever.
    I wonder if I could get my neighbours to do a community workout? There's several of us getting along in years and it would give the kids something to laugh at.
    Hope the car repair is quick and painless.

    1. Thank you, Goody,

      I think a community workout sounds like a fab idea. I couldn't do it on my street - too much traffic passing by!

  3. Love the turquoise and red outfit. Unusual colour combination but stunning together.
    You make some great choices for your weekly flower selection. I haven't bought flowers for ages.
    I love salvias too,such variety and attractive to bees. I have a new one this summer "Pink Lips" which is doing really well.
    Thanks for the recommendations of Pakt and The Pleasure Principle. Added to my list! I love these European dramas x

    1. Thanks Gail,

      Today OH bought another tray of mixed colour Salvias so we have 7 pots of Salvias in total now!

      We are really enjoying The Pakt and there are 2 series.

  4. I would love to be buried somewhere like that as well, but I'm not sure it's even possible here in Belgium to choose to be buried somewhere else than where you've lived. It's good to have those conversations though, I'll forever regret the fact that I wasn't able to talk to my Mum about her wishes.
    I loved seeing your daily outfits, and it always delights me that it looks as if you've got about as many clothes as I have, which makes me feel a whole lot better and less guilty ;-)
    I'm loving the sound of that Derek Jarman book, and will have a look out for it. I would have loved to visit his garden when we were in the area, but for some reason we never did.
    So sorry to hear about your car and interrupted gallivanting! I do hope your garage gets it sorted soon!
    The plants in your garden are looking magnificent. Mine are in need of some TLC after being flattened and drenched by all the rain we've had.
    Can't wait to go our first flea market, though I'm not sure when that will be. We're even willing to go to a rather disappointing one, as we've missed it so much! xxx

    1. Thanks Ann!
      Saw today on IG that 'Foxy Frockup' was visiting Derek Jarman's garden called Prospect Cottage.

      I have too many clothes but have just packed up a bagful to take to the caravan where they will stay permanently...

  5. not nice of your car to thwart your travel plans!! ts!
    from where do you get all the energy for doing all this things? i´m really in awe.....
    and pretty outfits too - the zara dress has a gorgeous print - but the big favorite is the look made of trousers by F&F and the paisley top - love this neon orange/coral tone.
    beautiful flowers in your garden and in the jugs - its easy to develop a jug collection as there are very pretty ones in the 2.hand market. i too own a few (mostly folk styles) and have to be strong evertime we visit the thrift barn because no room left in the cupboards......

    1. Thank you, Beate.

      I had to stop myself buying more jugs as I have no space to put them anymore either!

      I don't have as much energy as I used to but I find I like to do everything during the day and just chill out in the evening...

  6. I'm sorry about your car. What an absolute pain. Burton-on-Trent's got some great charity shops and a decent Wetherspoons.
    A lovely selection of outfits and some super pattern mixing. I love the big hammered brass pendant and your jug collection is fantastic.
    I bet that Derek Jarman book is a good read. We loved The Pleasure Principle & saw Pakt a few years ago. I can't wait to catch up with Beck although we're still rewatching The Serpent at the moment.
    Loving the garden! Jon keeps picking up salvias - always blue ones. I think we've got three. I'd love a fig tree, I reckon I could squeeze one in somewhere!

    1. If I can have a Fig tree, a Magnolia, a Buddleia and a Hibiscus tree in my tiny garden then you most certainly could!

      I hope I get a chance to visit the chazzas in Burton - if I ever get there...

      There are 2 series of The Pakt; we're only halfway through the first one

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. So many colourful outfits !I have to say I really like both the red and turquoise ones, particularly that first one with the striped cardigan that works so well with the red pants and turquoise top! :) It's like the pieces were made for each other!

    Your flowers are beautiful and the street exercise session made me smile - what a nice idea!

    Hope you are having a good weekend :) It's another chilly winter day here, but we still spent a little time at the playground this morning :)

    Away From The Blue

  9. Thank you, Mica!

    I remember spending time at the playground especially with the grandchildren as I seemed to have more time to do those sort of things with them. Sadly, they've all grown out of playgrounds now...

  10. I love that paisley top on you, and you have the coolest collection of jewelry!

  11. Lovely post!, and lots of activities!, I admire that you look so busy, it makes me feel lazy!. Particularly because I've not been walking so much as I like.
    You know I love your accessorizing!, it totally makes a difference and enhances everything!. Love your massive brass pendant!, and love the amazing red details on your black&white ensemble (and cute sneakers!). Love the red and turquoise colour combo, love your layered outfits, mixed prints, interesting jewellery and fabulous style!. You Rock It!
    Love particularly the way you wear tunics over trousers/leggins, and love your maxi skirt and denim jacket combo, so cool!
    Sorry about your car and having to pospone your travel. Hoping everything goes well. Taking your car to the garage is like visiting the dentist, they always find something more to repair!

    1. Thank you, Monica!

      You are so right about taking your car to the garage....

      Hope you have a great weekend

  12. I agree that it's important for people to know what you want after you've died. Having to try to sort Pete's mum's funeral with no knowledge, while he was grieving, was really hard for Pete (I helped where I could). My mum's got hers all planned and paid for already.

    There was a campaign last year to save Jarman's cottage - the Art Fund successfully raised the money they needed, so people can visit it and the garden.

    I love your outfits - the Monsoon dress with mustard trousers is especially fab.

    1. Thank you, Mim!

      One day I'd love to go and see Jarman's house.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

On selfies and technology...

Christmas Fairs, dinners and decorations.

A Family Norwich!