Tuesday 3 August 2021

'Baby, you can ride my car'

 Hello again and very happy Tuesday to you!

In my last post I had just got my car back so I was able to meet up with the walking group for a 6 mile walk from Woburn on Wednesday. It was the first time we'd had so many walkers on a walk (thanks to lock down) and I saw quite a few people I hadn't seen in over a year. It's been left up to walk leaders as to how many people they want on a walk. If the numbers are limited people have to email or text the walk leader to say they want to attend the walk so the walk leader has a record of attendees. If the numbers are unlimited (the Rambler's norm) then everyone's contact details have to be taken before the walk commences. It was so incredibly hot that the 6 mile walk felt more like 12 miles! It was a really nice walk; we saw a huge herd of deer on the move: we didn't really walk close to the safari park but more across fields and through copses in a big loop and back to the start at Woburn Church.

This was the view we had across the field at the start of the walk. Owned by the Russell family; the Dukes of Bedford have been living here since 1575. This particular building was erected in 1744 by Henry Holland and Henry Flitcroft for the 4th Duke of Bedford and his wife, Anna Russell; who is credited with the introduction of afternoon tea to the country. Thank you, Anna!

This was what I changed into when I got back. Tunic/dress by Gudrun Sjoden (can't remember if it was from the Daycare Hospice or The Cat's Protection League) leggings by Primarni but charity shopped. These sandals have no manufacturer name that I could see;  they're my second oldest pair about 6 years old, I think; originally charity shopped. I wore a headscarf as I didn't need to wear a mask and my hair was a mess having worn a sun hat throughout the walk.

I had to run some errands in town in the afternoon otherwise I would have happily stayed home in a cool room! I believe it went up to +30 degrees F at some point...

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought at Sainsbury's several years ago. I made dinner for OH and I and we watched the last of the new series of 'Baptiste' in BBC i player. We needed to find something else to watch for the rest of the week...

Despite more glorious weather on Thursday it was not a good day for me. I got up early and was ready to set off to do the weekly food shopping at Lidl; when I realised I had locked myself in the dining room. The catch on the dining room door is faulty and if the door is closed properly it can only be opened from the outside. The window was wide open so I climbed out thinking I would come in via the back door but I'd locked the back door already in preparation for going out! No neighbours were in on either side; otherwise I could have gone through their house and through the front room window. Not wanting to call OH home I went into the alley way and had a rummage around. I found a slim trowel and with a bit of manoeuvring managed to 'pop' the lock on the dining room door - phew!

This dress didn't get a single wear last year so it was time it came out of the wardrobe. I know I bought it at the 3:16 charity shop a few years ago and I think it was very cheap. I couldn't resist it as it's cotton and it has spots! No pockets though. Leggings as before and Clark's sandals BNWT from Cats Protection League; I think.

All jewellery charity shopped.
Did the day improve? No, I'm afraid it got worse. I set out for Lidl and had reached a major roundabout junction when the car just cut out and wouldn't start again. I couldn't believe it. I rang the breakdown company and using the 'What 3 Words' app on my phone I was able to let them know my exact location. "Every 3 metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words". See HERE if you 'd like to know more.

I asked that the car be taken straight back to the garage that had repaired it. Once the car had been dropped off; I walked into town and did the shopping at Lidl and took a taxi home. I noticed quite a lot of empty spaces on Lidl's shelves and it was the same last week; it's to do with the 'Pingdemic', I believe. I heard a discussion on the radio that morning where the head of 'Iceland' food chain and the CEO of a haulage company were asking the government to make food industry workers and lorry drivers key workers who, if they'd had both vaccinations or had proof of a negative test, wouldn't' need to self-isolate if they got a 'ping' from the Track and Trace system. Apparently, there were some food product shortages and some supermarkets were having to reduce their opening hours as so many staff were self-isolating. The numbers of cases of the Delta variant of Covid had continued to rise daily but was now beginning to slow down. The garage called me to say the fuel pump had gone - more money spent on the car! I went swimming in the afternoon and swam 1.5 km (45 laps). Lane swimming was limited from the following week as it was the start of the school summer holidays. I booked an evening swim for Monday and if it wasn't too crowded on Monday; I would book another one for Tuesday evening.

It was a bit cooler on Friday morning. I took my time getting ready and opted to wear this skirt by Per Una which was bought from a local buy and sell group earlier this year. The top by Next was from 1.00 rail at the Salvation Army bought yesterday when I went to Lidl. I wore the top outside the skirt in the end and not tucked in. Jacket and pumps as before - both charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.
I walked to Daycare Hospice charity shop where I found 2 sleeping bags for my daughter and a pair of M&S trousers for me. My daughter and her family are camping later in the summer and had no camping equipment other than tent. I ran a couple of errands while I was out then came home and did some washing; including the sleeping bags and pegged everything out to dry. On the way back home I picked up some Freesias from the food charity for this week's floral display. 

My lovely next door neighbours moved out on Friday to a nearby village; I was very sorry to see them go but looked forward to meeting the new neighbours. In our row of four houses I am the longest resident; moving to this house in September 1991  - almost 30 years ago! In the evening we started watching another Polish drama called 'The Border'.

A cooler and fresher day on Saturday. My daughter and I went for a 5 mile walk; there was a brief shower so we took shelter in the woods and then continued on. In the afternoon we went to Wellingborough for a rummage and daughter came, too. My daughter did very well, as did OH and I didn't too badly either. I bought myself a paisley man's shirt by Linea; a blue gingham short sleeved top and a book. I also found a packet of cutting boards which will be useful for when I'm framing my pictures. Made of rigid plastic they provide a firm surface to cut on; be that paper, plastic, glass or even fabric - as long as it's not too large. I thought they might also be useful when I'm making earrings as well - at 1.00 for 3 it would have been to rude not to buy them! We stopped for coffee in Wellingborough and then dropped my daughter home.

Everything charity shopped. Linen dress by Woolovers bought at the 3:16 charity shop last year;  it looks grey in the photos but it's the palest of lavenders which is why I wore purple jewellery with it; I found the same dress on line for 65.00 on the Woolovers website. White top by George now about 4 years old; Mary Jane's by Clarks. You can see I'm wearing headscarves again as we no longer needed to wear masks indoors.

All jewellery charity shopped. 
We went out for something to eat to an Indian restaurant called Radhuni situated on the Embankment opposite the river. We had meant to try this restaurant some time ago but along came Covid which put paid to eating out for a while. As I was leaving the restaurant; a group of women who were sitting behind us told me they liked my style. I find women can be very complimentary to other women so thank you all you complimentary women out there! I often admire other women's style/clothes jewellery too and tell them so. The restaurant was next to Russell Park and we went for a short stroll round before we drove back home. I loved the wildflower planting:

On the subjects of plants the garden continues to grow. Some of the plants have died back; the Sweet William; some of the Dianthus; the Geums; the Gazania;  one of the Lavenders (which I replaced courtesy of Lidl on Thursday) most of the Osteospermums; a purple Salvia and the Penstemon. However. there are new plants appearing; top right is Mandevilla or Rock Trumpet; also a Lidl buy and below another Lidl buy 'Cotyledon Grandiflorus' or Balloon Flower; so called as the buds look like little balloons. The red rose bush had lots of blooms; the pink one had only one at a time and the yellow rose had disappeared; I did prune it  hard so hopefully it may come back...

On the left; the second of the Hydrangeas at the front has burst into bloom; as has the Lantana (top right) and the Lupin (bottom right) has a second flower spike. I noticed it has an antiseptic smell which I find strange; whilst the Lantana's leaves have a wonderful citrus smell. OH made himself mint tea with the mint we bought last week at the garden centre. Our gooseberries; raspberries; red currants and white currants have also finished; not that we had much produce from them in the first place. They may need replacing as they're a few years old. The grape vine produces nothing but leaves; I tried to persuade OH to chop it down but no luck so far...

Sunday was overcast and cool with light showers. The first thing I did when I got up was to rescue the washing which had hung out overnight. I spent time in the garden dead heading, weeding and changing plants around from front of house to back and vice versa. I then walked into town to drop off the last of my library books and post a letter.

Everything charity shopped. Jeans by East; top by Next and Kimono by New Look. Shoes charity shopped in Devon.

All jewellery charity shopped.

OH and I did the weekly housework and I cooked dinner. Both grandsons came for dinner. The youngest grandson ended up coming back and staying the night as the neighbour's house next door to his Dad's house caught fire and everyone nearby had to evacuate their homes. Their roof (the neighbours) was totally destroyed but no one was hurt; thank goodness.

I wore this to Barnardo's on Monday. The trousers looked a bit weird and ended up in the charity shop bag. They're too short and wide; but not like the wide leg cropped trousers that are quite popular at the moment. I did think about cutting them down into shorts but I haven't worn shorts for a very long time and doubted I ever would again. Trousers by M&S; top by Monsoon; both charity shopped. Shoes; online retail.

All jewellery charity shopped.
I went for a swim in the evening; it was no more crowded than the day time session so I booked an even later slot for Tuesday at 8 pm. I did my 45 laps (1.5 km) in 55 minutes and wanted to try to get to 48 but needed to go to the loo desperately by that point and got out of the pool. I managed to swim faster on Monday as I swam mostly breaststroke which I'm faster at than backstroke.

Off to the food bank again on Tuesday. I wore this M&S shirt from the 1.00 rail in Barnardo's. It had been in the shop for ages and I took pity on it. I love the pattern and the vibrant colours but I didn't really need another linen shirt! I have a habit of doing that unfortunately; taking pity on clothes no one has bought. Jeans by Next also charity shopped and clogs bought in Sainsbury's.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were also bought in Sainsbury's a few years ago. As I no longer go to Sainsbury's on a weekly basis I no longer stop and look at their earrings and am tempted to buy some. I noticed quite a while ago that the range of earring designs they did was quite limited; I think they must have changed designers or decided to reduce what designs they had.

Very busy at the food bank making up hygiene packs and putting crates and crates of hygiene products away. I walked there and got a lift back as I was picking the car up in the afternoon.
I was able to collect youngest grandson from summer school and would do that for the rest of the week. I went swimming at 8 pm on Tuesday evening and it was very crowded which surprised me. I was hoping that people wouldn't bother as it was quite late in the evening but apparently not!  I was too fast for the slow lane and had to move to the middle lane; where I had to swim mainly breast stroke and swim faster than I wanted to. I gave up after 30 laps (1 km) and will avoid that time slot in the future. I like to swim both breaststroke and backstroke and feel a little cheated when I can't...

Wednesday's group walk was from the village of Harrold onto the village of Odell and the Santa Pod race track through Odell woods and back through through the two villages; 6.3 miles in total. On the way back I stopped at the Rushden Salvation Army  charity shop where I bought a book for the youngest grandson; a Willow pattern jug for me and a knitted dress which has been put away for winter. I also stopped at the charity shop with the strange name - so strange I can't remember what it was! I picked up a pair of Hotter shoes BNWT and two pairs of earrings for 50 p each. I stayed in my walking gear all day but strangely the woman in the Salvation Army shop admired my 'look' even though I explained it was my walking gear. I think it was the headscarf she liked and I had coordinated my earrings and my beads to my top - of course! It was very warm and I didn't need to wear my waterproof jacket/anorak. Yes, I have an anorak.

I went to the hairdressers first thing in the morning on Thursday; then I did the weekly shopping at Lidl and Sainsbury's. My brother had asked for underwear for his birthday so I went to buy them for him at Sainsbury's. After I had put the shopping away and put on a wash it was off to town to run some errands. The youngest grandson likes drawing and is quite good at it so I went to buy him some art supplies to keep him going over the summer. I was pleased to see his new secondary school is one that specialises in the arts. He is not an academic child and has been hampered by only having hearing in one ear; but he does try and works very hard. By the time I got home it was time to collect youngest grandson from summer school. They had had a trip to 'Gulliver's World that day. He told me in great detail what rides he and his friends had gone on and who was scared and who wasn't! He went to a presentation and party at his old (primary) school from 5 pm and I picked him up again at 8 pm; where I found out he had won a trophy for always putting in 100% effort. I was so proud of him.

This was Friday's outfit. Clogs from Sainsbury's; jeans by Next; top by Matalan; both charity shopped and kimono via Vinted. I took a bus to Kempston determined to use my bus pass as much as possible and visited the Cat's Protection League charity shop where I bought nothing except a Kindle cover that matched my lap top cover; from the donations box. I got home in time to miss the torrential and prolonged downpour which lasted most of the afternoon. I picked the youngest grand son up again from summer school - the last day, thank goodness...

All jewellery charity shopped.

In the evening we went to Kettering for a birthday meal with two of my brothers. Julian was on the Isle of Wight at the Ventnor Festival and wasn't able to come. We had a fabulous meal and a great catch up - so much so we forgot to take photos. That was a shame because I wore some 'new to me' lurex trousers; a coat and a pair of shoes none of which had been featured on the blog before - never mind, another time. We had time when we got back home to watch an episode from Series 2 of 'The Border'. It was one of the most gripping series we'd watched in a while and planned to finish watching it over the weekend.

This was Sunday's outfit. Phool trousers and top by both charity shopped as were the black leather sandals.

We did the usual Sunday housework and OH cooked dinner.  I went for a 7 mile walk to Bromham along the river to Great Denham; across the golf course; through Biddenham and home. As soon as I got in the rain came down! In the evening we finished watching 'The Border' and I felt a bit bereft.

All jewellery charity shopped.

You might have noticed I skipped Saturday. That's because it was a shit day. I set out at 9.45 in the morning to go to my daughter's to meet her for a walk. I got half way there and the car broke down - AGAIN. I was so fed up and when the breakdown service arrived they couldn't get it going. They said it was one of two things - both of which the garage has replaced in the last few weeks! By now I was spitting feathers and ready to do damage to somebody or something...the garage doesn't open at the weekend; the car was recovered to as close to it as we could get it. I then had to feed a parking meter every two hours until 6.30 pm on Saturday evening when free parking kicked in until Monday morning. I emailed the garage telling them what I thought and what I wanted. This final episode made me decide to buy a new car. I was planning to change my car at the end of this year and pass the old one on to someone in the family but I wouldn't want to burden them with it now. I'd lost my confidence in driving the car and just had to hope I could part exchange it for a new one or sell it to recoup the money I've spent on repairs so far. Rant over.

OH bought this Shasta Daisy on a visit to B&M; he's always wanted one.

I didn't go to the charity shop om Monday. Instead I went and bought a new car. I'll pick it up on Thursday and hopefully won't have to worry about breaking down on every journey I go on. I part exchanged the old car as part of the deposit on the 'new to me' one. I need to cut down on unnecessary spending now; I'll have to limit the rummaging! I spent most of the afternoon trying to sort out middle grandson's new phone contract and by the time I'd cooked and eaten dinner it was a bit too late to go swimming.

This was Tuesday's outfit worn to the food bank. 
Busy doing the usual hygiene packs and putting toiletries/household items away in their proper places. We had sufficient supplies of everything but our next big donation surge will be around Harvest festival time when we get lots of donations from churches and schools.

I'm off for a swim later and on Wednesday my daughter and I have to trip to London which I'll tell you about in my next post. See you in a fortnight...


  1. Well, you've had a busy, frazzly time of it, Vronni! So sorry to hear about all the pain-in-the-arse issues with the car - I bet it feels so good to drive a new-to-you one, even though it means cutting back on your charity shopping (a small price!). Glad you've been able to get out and swim and walk, to help burn off that frustration.

    Lovely outfits (I would have binned the too-short trousers too), and the flounced skirt with the plaid is my favourite. I agree on complimenting each other - it's a good way for folks to exercise their "incidental social" muscle and get used to the small polite interactions with people again, plus it feels good!

    Happy to hear your grandson is going to pursue art in his school - it sounds like he has a good one. Happy to hear you're able to celebrate with your family safely.

    Big hugs, and take care!

    1. Thank you, Sheila. You're so right - it has been a stressful time; which is strange because it's just a car! But a car is a very important part of my life and it's difficult to live it without access to a car.

  2. Happy new car! It'll be lovely to have a reliable motor after all that worry. As Sheila says, cutting back on your rummaging is a small price to pay.
    Fancy getting locked in the house, I shouldn't laugh but it did make me giggle - sorry!
    The Phool trousers, bastard massive wooden beads and spotty top looks so good on you, not that the others don't! I always compliment men and women if they're dressed well knowing how good it feels when strangers compliment me.
    We enjoyed The Border when it was first on Walter Presents, I think we've exhausted almost everything on there now - there's been nothing that floats my boat for ages. I've inadvetedly signed up for a month of free Amazon Prime so I shall se if there's anything decent to watch on there instead.
    Happy motoring! xxx

    1. Thanks, Vix. I need to cut down on the charity shopping so that won't be a hardship at all and oh the joy of being able to get in the car and drive knowing I'll get there without any hassle!

      I have Prime too but have never watched it; I need to cancel it...

  3. I like your grey spotty dress that you wore with leggings and love those Phool trousers. They look so comfy and easy to wear. What a nightmare, all those car problems. I'm afraid I'd be the same as you and lose confidence in driving it. There's nothing worse than breaking down in a busy area. Hope you enjoy your new car.

    1. Thank you! It was terrifying breaking down on the busy roundabout and the though it could continue to happen spurred me on to find a replacement car.

  4. I'm not surprised you get compliments,this is the best selection of outfits yet! I love the pale lavender Woolovers dress and the spotted dress you didn't wear last year, not to mention the colourful Per Una skirt. You use jewellery and headscarves so well.
    Garden looking good. Does your lantana over winter? I tried growing it, it reminds me of Greece, but it died in winter. Is The Border good? Desperate for a new European drama. I wasn't keen on Baptiste (we tried the last series) or Pakt. Sometimes after a long day I'm looking for something exciting but without an overly complicated plot!
    I've taken the liberty of sharing your post in my linky. Hope that's OK. Xx

    1. Thank you, Gail.

      Our Lantana died off before the winter last year so I'll have to see how if it survives this winter. Someone in the USA told me it is a nuisance where they live on a par with Japanese Knot Weed so it must be pretty robust.

  5. You have the most fantastic style! No wonder women keep stopping you to tell you so! And I love seeing you in the headscarves. I'd quite like to get into wearing them but I haven't quite mastered them. On the occasion I've given it a try, I end up looking a bit pirate-like on account of my long hair lol!!
    Sorry about all your issues with your car. Congrats on ordering a new one. I bet you're thrilled!!
    I think I will dub you the new Queen of the Charity shops from now on. I'm amazed at the wonderful garments you've discovered. I'm a bit envious actually lol!
    Suzy, The Grey Brunette

    1. Thank you, Suzy!

      You might need to put your hair up to wear the headscarf; it's just experimentation really. I keep meaning to make a video to show how I do my headscarf - everyone has their own way and there are lots of videos on Pinterest too.

      I'm going to pop over to your blog now...

  6. Lovely outfits.
    I wanted to say well done to your grandson. He should be very proud.
    Always giving your very best effort is a wonderful thing. As an ex teacher I would say that those are the students I valued most.
    Well done young man and I wish him happy learning at his new school.

    1. Thank you, Carole.

      I will tell him what you've said as he seems to think he doesn't try as hard as the teachers say he does!

  7. oh. the car.
    it was the same with our old car - years of perfect run and then one part after another came to an end in a short time - so we sold it to a do-it-yourselfer and bought a new (to us) one......
    wonderful fresh and summery outfits - love esp. the lavender dress with white ruffled blouse. you must be very happy to go on propper walks again - the manor house you show here is totally stunning btw.
    congrats to the youngest grandson for winning the award! and for the possibility to go to a school that specialises in the arts. i - as a child - would have give an arm to learn at such an institute.......
    enjoy your summer and your lovely colourful little garden!!! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate. It is awful when a previously trustworthy vehicle keeps letting you down - but it is just a machine after all! My 'new to me' car is lovely and I'm so grateful knowing I won't breakdown again.

      I think it is probably fair to say that the school will encourage students in the art subjects. Some schools encourage students in Sport, or Sciences etc. His parents didn't choose the school for that reason nor did he but it is just a lovely bit of serendipity!

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  9. Thursday was definitely not your day! I would have panicked if I'd locked myself in, so I'm admiring your cool. And how awful that your car keeps breaking down. I think buying a new one will save you money in the long run.
    Your Pingdemic has made it on the new here, what a situation to be in!
    I'd noticed you were wearing headscarves again, I can imagine it being a nightmare combined with a mask.
    Howe wonderful to get complimented by that group of women. I am always trying to do that too, it can really makes someone's day if you do.
    Congratulations to your grandson for winning that trophy!
    Lots of lovely outfits, as usual. I'm particularly loving the Phool trousers with the spotty blouse and the Per Una skirt with the Next top. The M&S shirt is a stunner too! xxx

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  11. I'm sorry you had to go through all that with the car, but now you can enjoy the confidence of a new car not leaving you stranded. It would have been nice if the repair shop had told you the car was going beyond repair before sinking more money into it.
    Congratulations to your grandson. It is great to have hard work acknowledged. The world definitely needs more artists, and people that can see and solve things in creative ways.
    That lavender outfit is magnificent and I can see why it attracted compliments.
    No Pingdemic here-we're just going along with our heads in the sand pretending nothing is happening because the state has stopped contact tracing and reporting data. Sigh.

    1. Yes, if the garage had said it wasn't worth repairing the car I wouldn't have bothered. My children did try to tell me this but I didn't listen to them...

      Thank you!

      Goody; I am astonished at the attitude of some of the American people I've seen interviewed on TV in the US for their downright weird attitudes to the virus, vaccinations etc!!

  12. Lovely outfits, no wonder you had some compliments even in your (matchy and accessorized) walkgear, You Rock dear Verónica!
    I love your style and love tunics and dresses over leggins looking so summer. Glad you can wear your headscarves again, I've had to stop wearing dangling earrings because they always get caught on my mask, so annoying!.
    Love your maxi skirt with denim jacket ensemble, so cool combo and perfect proportions!. And also love you in jeans and trousers with kimono jackets, I think you rock this style!. Love your lavender dress, it's a fav color and lovely with purple accessories!
    Love particularly your last outfit, so elegant and beautifully accessorized!.
    Sorry that your car had to be replaced, it's really annoying to deal with constant problems and so expensive!, so hope that the new car is a trusty one and bring you comfidence and joy!

  13. Sorry to hear about these struggles with your old car and Congrats on your new one! Beautiful outfits as always! I love that kimono from your Friday's outfit. Have a great trip!

  14. So sorry to hear your car broke down again! It's great you were able to buy a new car to replace it and trade in the broken one in the end. You always dress and accessories so colourfully, I love it! I really like that striped maxi skirt on you, such beautiful summer colours! but of course I have a soft spot for kimonos too!

    Hope you are having a good weekend :) We enjoyed the warmer weather at the park yesterday, such a nice day for winter!

    Away From The Blue

    1. Thank you, Mica! I am very fond of kimonos too, and I have to stop myself buying them...

      It's hard to think you are having winter whilst we are having summer!

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  16. I'm very behind on my blog reading. I'm so sorry to hear about your car troubles I totally get losing your confidence in the old car. I'm looking forward to hearing about the new one.

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