London, Jamaica and a couple of celebrities...

Well, that two weeks flew by! Where does the time go? Before I know it we'll be setting off for Ireland; I can't wait!

On Wednesday my daughter and I had a trip to London. My daughter had asked that we go charity shopping in London over the summer break so we set out for Camden to start our rummage. There were about 7 charity shops in Camden Road and we saw lots of lovely things but neither of us bought anything. I did not need anything but was happy to browse books and bricabrac. I did see an amazing Bruce Oldfield brocade swing evening coat for 60.00; but it was too expensive for my budget.  I didn't need another evening coat anyway; I have two and rarely go out in the evenings to wear them! I opted to wear my dungarees to London as it was a hot day and they're both cool and comfortable. The striped tee is by Matalan; the dungarees had no label and both were charity shopped. Worn with charity shopped white pumps and headscarf.

On the train and on the underground I wore my mask. I was very surprised to see that lots of people didn't bother with their masks. This did surprise me as I thought it was compulsory on London transport or TfL. I didn't see anyone without a mask challenged by any station official or any other member of the public. 

All jewellery charity shopped.

 Unfortunately, the 'Curse of Camden' struck again. You might remember the last time I went to Camden with my daughter; my phone along with with my debit card and bus pass in the same cover; was stolen from my bag in a distraction robbery. (I have to thank that incident for my switch to cross body bags and the ditching of handbags). This time we weren't robbed but my daughter lost her Travelcard and although we back tracked to every charity shop and the cafe where we stopped for coffee; no one had seen it or handed it in. She had put it in the back pocket of her jeans. We had to go back to King's Cross station where she was issued with a replacement ticket to get home but we had to blag our way through the underground stations...

From Camden we moved on to Notting Hill. There were only two charity shops there and I bought this bangle for 2.99. My daughter was tempted by a dress in one of the shops but resisted then wished she hadn't; she fretted about it all the way home. We've all been there haven't we? The 'if only I'd bought it' moments...

From Notting Hill we walked towards the West End. My grandson works in a vegan restaurant called 'Mildred's' in Soho where we had booked a table. We caught a bus that took us to Regent Street where we went to Liberty. One of my most favourite shops in London.
I didn't take enough photos. Top; some of the famous Liberty silk scarves and some of the beautifully carved doorways in the shop.
 I spotted the blue plaque to Sir James Barrie author of Peter Pan; on the Bayswater Road. Kensington Gardens is on the other side of the road. As children, we used to walk from where we lived in Paddington; to Kensington Gardens with Milly, our dog, every weekend. As I got older I spent many a Sunday walking with my friends along the Bayswater Road; admiring the artwork that was always on view and for sale along the railings of Kensington Gardens. Carnaby Street (above left) was another place I went often with my friends in the l960s to admire and sometimes buy clothes in the shops. 'I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet' was popular for military clothes; and of course there was Lord and Lady Jon. As a teenager OH spent a summer at Lord Jon; assisting his eldest brother who was a tailor working above Lord Jon producing the clothes they sold in the shop below.


I found this photo on line and have included it as I had an almost identical dress made of pale pink mohair wool; it was handmade (crocheted) by someone for me in 1969!

We had a lovely meal at Mildred's and there was time for just a short catch up with eldest grandson - the restaurant was very busy. Whilst we were there we saw Akala (rapper and author) waiting for takeaway food and Bernadine Evaristo; joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize; having a meal with a friend.

I picked the new car up on Thursday morning and dropped the old car off with no regrets! The new car is a Toyota Yaris Hybrid. It uses electric power on speeds below 30 mph; at traffic stops such as traffic lights and in traffic queues. It was a pleasure to drive to Lidl for the shopping without worrying if I was going to break down!

Everything charity shopped. Wrap around skirt by Kaliko; t shirt by Principles; denim jacket as before and green pumps by Sainsburys bought in their sale a few years ago.

Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

I spent a lot of Thursday on the phone and laptop; changing over my insurance; cancelling my breakdown cover; (the car came with 12 months free European breakdown cover) and sorting out my residents parking permit which would take a few days to arrive. As the car doesn't have a CD player I had to find room for the CDs that lived in the car and that meant reorganising the DVDs and CD collection in the living room...I made dinner for middle grandson and OH. Middle grandson had been working with OH since Tuesday. It was good experience for him plus he earned some money. He seemed to enjoy it and was looking forward to his pay packet on Friday.

I took the car for a longer drive on Friday and it was a joy to drive. I went to St. Neots which is about 14 miles from Bedford and went for a rummage. I bought a book and a bangle - both 99p each and a skirt from a 1.00 rail.

Dress by Zara, Kimono by Peacocks; leggings by Primarni and Bjorn clogs; all charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.
The Hibiscus bush (left) has started to bloom. This is more like a small tree and started as a foot high 1.99 plant from QD. Before the flower opens it is purple but once opened it turns pink. Above right is the first of the Hollyhocks to bloom. The other one didn't even have any buds on it. The Crocosmia has just started flowering, too. The white splashes are bird poo - this plant is below the feeder in the Hibiscus tree.

 I set out for an early walk on Saturday morning. It was warm and cloudy. The hay was spread out to dry in windrows in this field and will be gathered into bales soon for winter silage for livestock. I started my walk from Milton Ernest where I haven't been for a while; it was a lovely walk of 8 miles.

Saturday was also Jamaica Independence Day. Usually, I'm in Ireland for August so haven't been to any Jamaica Day celebrations for a while. This year the local council renamed Harpur Square in town, 'Jamaica Square' for the day! They provided a stage for a range of performers; local talent Donna Marie; Levi Roots;  some local sound systems and DJs and a Steel Pan Band. There were also a range of stalls selling food, drink and cultural artefacts. Jay Blades (from BBC's 'The Repair Shop' programme) was helping at one of the stalls run by my best friend's brother-in-law. I forgot to take a photo... people dressed in the colours of the Jamaican Flag and even the police van was covered in Jamaican flags. OH didn't think to put his Jamaican shorts suit on and you can see what I wore.

Everything charity shopped except the leggings bought in a Store 21 sale. Dress by Tu and yellow shoes from a Devon charity shop.

All jewellery charity shopped. I went into to town in the afternoon and saw the Steel Pan band; OH and I went  back together about 5 pm and saw Levi Roots performing. We celebrated until about 9 pm; when we realised we hadn't eaten and went for fish and chips on the way home. I haven't drunk so much Red Stripe lager in ages! Luckily there were no after effects and I woke up hangover free on Sunday morning. I ventured out for another walk. Sunday was a cooler day, quite breezy with a bit of drizzle. I walked 6.8 miles from Bromham bridge; to Great Denham across the golf course; then along the river to Queen's Park and home.

This wonderfully fruitful Buddleia bush was spotted in Great Denham on the walk. Look at all those blooms...

I wore this and just added walking boots and a raincoat. Everything charity shopped except the white pumps from Primark. Jeans by Next, t shirt by F&F and blue shirt from M&S.

Headscarf and all jewellery all charity shopped except the silver ring from Sainsbury's.

OH and I went to the garden centre in Poddington where we bought a mini greenhouse. We decided to chop down our non functioning honeysuckle (it's growing from a pot which is the problem, I think) and put the greenhouse there. We had seeds aplenty on the fox gloves and alliums to start us off and we had plants we could split and take cuttings from. We successfully separated a sempervivum (House leek) a few weeks back and planted it up in a separate pot where it's doing well. I love sempervivums and bought my self a six variety pack  whilst at the garden centre. We did the housework when we got back from the garden centre and I cooked dinner for us and the two grandsons. I was busy reading or on the lap top most of this week in the evening so we hadn't found anything to watch on TV. I was definitely experiencing 'The Border' vacuum...

It was great to get back to Barnardo's on Monday. Two of  my friends from the walking group popped in to say hello as they were walking in the area. I hadn't seen either of them for quite a while. We'll meet up again on 21st August when there is an 'Oranges and Lemons' London walk where we will visit all the churches in the old nursery rhyme. I am so looking forward to it as we will be walking in the City and out towards the east end of London.

This was what I wore. Palazzo pants no label; top by F&F and jacket by Precis both 1.00 rail or in the case of the jacket 1 euro rail in a Dublin charity shop. The pants were also charity shopped but I couldn't remember which one. Clogs by Seasalt from a Devon charity shop.

All jewellery charity shopped except the brooch made locally in Co. Donegal.

I went for a swim on Monday evening and did 43 lengths (1.4k) it was pretty crowded so I swam mostly breast stroke.

Back to the food bank on Tuesday where I made up food packs; one of the two volunteers who usually makes them up was off. I soon got back into the rhythm of it and packed 20 single person packs; bagged them up and labelled them ready to go out to the distribution centres. I prefer putting the toiletries away and making up the hygiene packs but a change is as good as a rest so they say!

I wore jeans again - very practical in the warehouse. I have a Food bank tabard but haven't worn it much as I get very hot with the lifting, stretching and bending but I guess I'll be grateful for another layer once the weather gets cooler. Jeans from Next; top by Jessica Graaf 1.00 rail and kimono from 1,00 rail at Barnardo's. Clogs via Vinted. The heel had fallen off one of the clogs by the time I got home. Last time this happened the heel was in the car and OH glued and nailed it back but I think I'll have to go to the shoe mender's and wondered if it was worth it as the clogs were only 2.00!

The top is very, very pale lavender and the kimono has pale lavender in it too, so I matched them with  purple jewellery - all charity shopped.

Our new neighbours have almost moved in. They are a young couple and told me at the weekend they liked the green colour I had painted the exterior woodwork of my house so much; they were going to paint their door and its surrounds the same colour. And they did! When I got back from the food bank it had been painted and very good it looked too. They have also painted their steps which reminded me I still had to paint ours. I had abandoned the idea back in May when we had such horrible wet weather. I must do it before we go to Ireland in September.

I wore this pant/trouser suit on Wednesday. I bought it last year in a charity shop
but hadn't worn it. I like the jacket but not the trousers so I donated the trousers and kept the jacket to add to my jacket collection. It has a very similar print to the Kimono I wore on Tuesday. The striped tee was by Jaeger and the red shoes were bought online.

All jewellery charity shopped.

My group walk was a bit too far away so I set out mid morning by myself on a very warm (23 degrees) sunny day. I walked 7 miles in total; from Mowsbury Park car park to Ravensden Church End; along a byway to the water tower then across fields and tracks back to the start point. As I was climbing up the bank from a foot bridge; my foot slipped and I fell - straight into a hugely overgrown clump of nettles! I was wearing the striped tee as above and both my arms were stung from wrist to above the elbow on the inside. I was tingling all day...I did look for dock leaves but didn't find any until about 20 minutes later when it was too late. Dock leaves rubbed on nettle stings are meant to soothe them. It worked when we were kids but doesn't seem to do the trick anymore!

I saw this huge piece of machinery cutting the grass and laying it into windrows on my walk:

I went to Lidl when I got back from my walk to do some of the weekly shopping. I was off to London to see cousin Marian and visit the V&A on Thursday and food supplies were running low...I spent Wednesday evening belatedly catching up with blogs and comments.

We had a fabulous day out on Thursday. I totally forgot to take an outfit photo but I took plenty of photos at the V&A. It was Marian's and my second visit  here together and we still only managed to get halfway round the the first floor! We've planned another trip for the winter months as there are still 2 more floors we hadn't explored. I could have taken hundreds of photo; I was too busy looking and wondering but here are a few things that caught my eye.

This must have been the original sign at Gloucester Rd station (above). South Kensington station was closed and will remain closed until Spring 2022 so Gloucester Road was the best alternative station for us. Left; the tearooms designed by William Morris's company 'Morris & Co'; one of their first commissions was for the V&A museum. On the right the outside space where we ate our cream tea and watched children frolicking in the pool. The picture below does more justice to the tearooms; they had spectacular ceramic columns...

The V&A museum was founded in 1852 following the huge success of the British Exhibition in 1851 at Crystal Palace;  its collections were intended to be a resource for students of Art and Design. Originally known as the 'South Kensington Museum' it was opened on the current site in 1857 with the aim to acquire the best examples of decorative art from all periods.

The museum holds 2.25 millions objects (2017 stats) but only about 250,000 are on display at one time. The BBC has been screening a TV series called 'Secrets of the Museum'; which is all about the V&A and it's where the public can get to see some of the usually hidden items. It's a fascinating series and highly recommended.

Part of the precious metals displays.  Gold Monastery doors on bottom right and bottom left is a Bible cover designed in 1997.
This was part of the modern age design display. Above; a plywood chair and plywood bookcase; specially designed for Penguin paperback books which were introduced in the 1930s. The tea set is by Susie Cooper. The chair made me think of a womb and Fallopian tubes! On the left is an African design chair with a wallpaper section behind; both designed by Caribbean artists in the 1940s/1950s.
An electric kettle dating from the 1930s; a Slipware jug with a  pewter lid and below; two Slipware teapots from the 18th century. The embroidered pieces are cushion covers from the 18th century.
An Art Deco fireplace and decorative over mantel;  left an English designed four poster bed in the Chinnoisierie style popular in 18th century. I thought it looked pretty contemporary except for the dragons on the top...
This wonderful glass light fixture was actually a living organism!
I could have spent all day and all night exploring but by about 4.30 pm we were both pretty tired and set off for home. I was able to buy a miniature souvenir book packed with useful information from the V&A shop; and as they were reduced from 5.00 to 1.00 I bought one for Marian, too. You can even find a bargain at the V&A, it seems!

Before I set off for London on Thursday morning I had picked up middle grandson and took him to his old school as it was the day students were receiving their GCSE results. He did well! He got a 9 the highest possible grade, (in History) 2 x grade 7 in Maths and Biology; and the other 6 subjects were 6's and 5's. 4 is the pass mark. We were all very proud of him and he  enrols in Sixth Form College next week with his successful grades.

This was Friday's outfit. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by M&S; white top by Karen Millen from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's and yellow linen shirt by Wallis also from Barnardo's. Yellow shoes as before.

All jewellery charity except the green ring which my daughter bought in South Africa for me in 2003. I went to Lidl, Aldi and Sainsbury's on Friday morning to finish off the shopping. I went to town in the afternoon as I had some errands to run. I booked a couple of swims for next week and a walk on Wednesday with my group. I made dinner for OH and I spent the evening reading my souvenir book from the V&A.

This was how the garden was looking last week; you can see the first flower on the Canna Lily; 'Yellow King Humbert'.
The Hollyhock was in full bloom; a bud appeared on the Magnolia. Below left; the Agastache which had had to be staked as it grew very quickly and on the right is the Begonia bought last Sunday at the Garden Centre.

Saturday was a very warm day and I set out for a walk with the North Beds Ramblers; they only walk on Saturdays and start at 1.30 pm. We had a lovely 7.5 mile walk from Pavenham,  to Felmersham, Radwell and back to Pavenham. There were 16 of us in total. I wore this outfit plus my walking boots. Leggings bought from Store 21; tunic from Warehouse and tee shirt by Lily and Me; both charity shopped. Sandals; retail from Clarks - ten years old.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings bought from eBay.
OH made dinner and we started to watch a new Bulgarian drama TV series from 'Walter Presents'  called 'The Devil's Throat' on More 4 in the evening.

It was another lovely day on Sunday; warm and sunny. The daughter was off camping with her family in Norfolk so I hoped the weather was good for her there. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Next; linen top by Valentyne; green mules bought in a Cornwall charity shop in April this year.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

I had nothing planned for Sunday other than doing the usual housework and cooking a roast dinner; when I spotted an advert for a Vintage kilo sale in the Corn Exchange on FB. I booked a ticket for 1 pm - the earlier slots had sold out. Luckily, I didn't go with high expectations as I expected the best stuff to have gone early. There was an awful lot of denim; sports wear and men's shirts and shorts none of which I was interested in; but I did find two pretty tops which cost me the princely sum of 2.55. The jewellery was very tempting but expensive so I resisted. If I go to one again I'll make sure I get there early! I started to watch 'The Boleyns - A Scandalous Family' and became so engrossed watched all three episodes!

Back to Barnardo's on Monday. I bought 3 tops from the 1.00 rail and a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for my daughter. We're still without a manager but I believe the post has been advertised.  Everything I wore was charity shopped except the faux clogs from Sainsburys. Skirt by M&S 1.00 rail in St. Neots; top by Tu 1.00 rail somewhere. The linen jacket is about 8 or 10 years old bought in Age UK when we had one in Bedford.

All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

It rained overnight and rained again on my way back from Barnardo's. I had thought I might go for a walk but the rain decided against it. Instead I made Lemon Chicken Pesto and chicken soup from the leftover Sunday chicken; did some washing and caught up with blogs and comments. The sun did come out later in the afternoon for short periods although it was a much cooler day today - a distinct autumnal feel.

Here's the latest from the garden:

Top left - we have a sunflower! I'm surprised we don't have hundreds as I feed the birds sunflower seeds. Top right; Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susan. Bottom left; Passionflower. When I moved to this house 30 years ago there was a Passionflower in situ; it flowered every year and even had orange fruits growing on it. Then it disappeared so a few years ago we bought a replacement. Another QD 1.99 job I think. Bottom right; some of the Sempervivum I bought at the garden centre.

I'm back at the Food bank tomorrow and have booked a swim for the evening so I'll see you in a fortnight!


  1. I so enjoy these in-depth posts on all your adventures, Vronni! The standouts, clothing-wise, are your yellow dress, the black and white leopard (in two outfits) and your flowered pant-suit. I get it re: the trousers, though. If they don't fit, they have to go!

    Your garden is amazing. Sigh...

    I wish I'd seen more of the V&A Museum - I've seen "Secrets of the Museum" - it's a fun show!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoy the in-depth posts! It's inevitable they're long and detailed as I only post once a fortnight; it's good I have something different to report on now and again otherwise I'd fear that I'd bore people to death!

      I'd love to see how Vizzini would react to being in a garden. Do you think the flowers would survive long?

  2. Congratulations to your grandson. Well done!
    The new car sounds like fun to drive. I think our next car will probably be a hybrid-I'll be interested to hear how it works out for you. I'm in love with those flowered dungarees. What a great piece to have in your wardrobe.
    Glad you survived the Red Stripe. My younger self used to enjoy it but doubt very much I'd be able to handle it now. I think my drinking days are over :)
    You managed to get out of Liberty without buying fabric? I have no such restraint. Good thing I haven't been there in 20 years.
    Looking forward to your next check in before you leave for Ireland. Glad your new neighbours are nice. Ours are moving in this weekend and *seem* normal enough so fingers crossed.

    1. Thank you!

      Vix, reckons the dungarees are the ones you can buy at festivals. As I haven't been to a music festival for years I take her word for it. They were a lucky charity shop find.
      The new car is very easy to drive as it's automatic and has sensors that turn on the wiper blades for you; there's a camera for reversing and I can play my music using Bluetooth on my phone. So far I am enjoying driving it and it seems pretty economical on petrol.

      There'd be no point me buying fabric in Liberty - I can't sew!

  3. Sorry I seem to have missed your recent posts- they were not popping up on my blogger sidebar for some reason.
    You have been busy! I would no longer feel confident visiting London now, which is a shame because it used to be a treat for us as a stop over on our trips abroad. No more of those now!
    More great outfits but my favourite is that yellow dress. So me!
    Hope you enjoy your delayed trip to Ireland. Wave as you pass us by xx

    1. The posts not popping up are to do with another change to do with Google, I believe. I only post fortnightly so you can always catch up quite easily. I don't know how some people manage to post every day.

      I'm sorry you don't feel confident visiting London anymore; hope you might feel able to in the future?

      The yellow dress is from Sainsbury's via a charity shop and I am very fond of it.

      I will definitely wave as we pass the Isle of Mann - look out for me!

  4. love your *charity shopping in London* outfit!!
    those dungarees are so cool, the breton top really fresh and its good to see you in headscarfes again - they are so you!
    envy your ability to just pop into V&A museum - have to do with the digital version.... your eldest grandson´s restaurant seem to be very hip and successful with all the celebs flocking in!! you must be proud!
    the jamaica fete sounds like something we would enjoy too - and you´r looking fabulous in the yellow dress ensemble...... but i´m courios about OH´s jamaica suit now......
    your garden is very lovely - beautiful hollyhocks - and we have the same hibiscus plant!

    1. Thank you, Beate and yes; I spotted your hibiscus plant on your blog! Great minds think alike....

      I'll have to see if I can get OH to pose in his Jamaica suit and put it on the blog!

      Hope you're having a great week.

  5. I'm loving the dungarees and striped top you wore for your London charity shopping trip. I've got a bit of thing for stripes lately, and am looking for more Breton tops in the charity shops! I've never been to the V&A, which I must remedy next time I visit London. Perhaps, knowing the curse, I should avoid Camden ;-) Gloucester Road tube station reminds me of my first ever visit to London, as we were staying nearby.
    Other stand-out outfits are the Kaliko wrap skirt and Principles top, and the yellow dress you wore for Jamaica Day!
    Loving the new car, and congratulations to middle grandson on his excellent GCSE results! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      I have always loved striped tops and have built up quite a collection. I think the only colour I don't have is a purple striped one so I am keeping my eye out for one...

      Hopefully the curse of Camden has been spent now. I mean what more could go wrong?

  6. You had a fun day in London! Sorry to hear about the travelcard theft. You wore a perfect outfit for Camden - very cool and edgy looking! Thanks for the glimpse of the V&A exhibition. I'll definitely go. Your garden looks amazing. Mine has run out of steam a bit. I hope you don't mind, I added your post to my link up again xx

    1. I'll have been to London one day a week for the past three weeks by this weekend!

      Thank you for your comments Gail and thanks for the link up again!

  7. Well done to your clever grandson!
    What a coincidence, I sold a Lady at Lord John blouse on my eBay shop this morning! I remember the Birmingham branch very well.
    How lovely to vist London, normality at last! I've never been to Liberty and the V&A and loved both BBC programmes about them. One day I shall get there.
    Your garden looks incredible.
    Some fab outfits, the dungarees look great and the Independence Day yellow is perfect.
    Akala,Bernadine Evaristo, Levi Roots and the gorgeous Jay Blades, get you mingling with the celebs.
    I bet you can't wait for Ireland. xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix,

      You will love both Liberty and the V&A; I promise!

      Only 2 weeks and two days to go....

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  9. Your new car looks cool, and I love all your outfits! I'm a fan of your headscarves!

  10. Lots of fabulous outfits, lots of interesting activities and a new car!, congrats on this new and shiny modern car!.
    Loving your dungarees and breton top, so cool!.
    I'm loving all these details about London (not so much that you had another incident at Camden!), the visit to Liberty (the building itself deserves a visit!) and the V&A museum which is one of my favourite places ever (I can spent several days into this museum!). The tea room is so magnificent. And I've enjoyed the Secrets of The Museum series so enthusiastically!. Hope you enjoy your visits! (I'd love to join you!)
    Looking lovely in your maxi skirt and denim jacket, you rock this combo!. Also lovely 'Jamaica colours' ensemble!. You look fab in jeans and love the way you accessorize them with some fab beads and kimonos and style!. Love your palazzo trousers and love those H&M trousers you wore on Friday with the yellow linen shirt, so cool!. You know I love your jewellery, your beads and headscarves and your fabulousness!
    Sorry that you felt on stinging nettles, so awful!. I'm always afraid of touching them when walking near the river banks (I always tell other walkers to take care of their dogs too).
    Congrats to your grandson!, you look really proud of him!.

    1. Thank you, Monica for your lovely comments. Maybe the next time you make it to the UK we'll visit the V&A together!


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