Rain at last!


It appears that if you rely on email notifications of blog posts; Blogger has now fully ceased sending them out and has nothing in its place. If you want to receive notice of my blog posts you can either follow me or make a note that I post fortnightly usually on a Tuesday. Thank you for all your support.

I received an all clear letter from the mammogram I had a few weeks back on Wednesday morning. A very good start to my day. I went out for a walk just after 8 am and walked along the river to Great Denham and on to Biddenham; just over 5 miles in all. I went swimming on Tuesday evening at 8 pm and there were only 6 people in my lane which was wonderful. I swam 40 laps or 1.3 km in 50 minutes and got out early. It's not the best time of day for me to swim as I always have pretty full on days but I think I'll stick with it until the swimming timetable resumes to normal again!

This was Wednesday's outfit. Green cropped wide leg trousers by White Stuff; can't remember which charity shop; top by Boden from 1.00 rail somewhere; sliders as before. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought online.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday's temperatures were around 26 degrees which I could manage comfortably and we had a couple of short showers on Wednesday afternoon. I just managed to rescue the washing from the line in time but it wasn't the 'wetting' sort of rain, really. We needed some proper rainfall badly. After my walk, breakfast and getting ready; I walked to town to the bank and then drove to Aldi to do part of the weekly food shop. Later in the afternoon there was a police car and an ambulance parked outside my house; it appeared they were dealing with someone in the middle of a mental health crisis. Under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 2007, the police have emergency powers and can remove someone in mental health distress to a place of safety i.e. a police station; where they will be assessed by a medical officer - hopefully a psychiatrist. When I was a nurse in training back in the early 1970s; we had to know large sections of the Mental Health Act 1959 off by heart! That act was updated to the 1983 Mental Health Act and then the Mental Health Act 2007.

I was so enjoying the gorgeous summer weather. Warm and sunny (mostly) everyday. I feel it's the first 'proper' summer I've experienced in 8 years! Thursday was such a day and I dressed for comfort and coolness:

Everything charity shopped. The shirt has been worn frequently on blog posts; the trousers by F&F were acquired last year end of summer. White top underneath by Karen Millen was 1.00 rail find. Clogs by Lotta of Stockholm; they're slingbacks and very comfortable. I found them in the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell last autumn and luckily they were my size. All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were part of a larger pair bought in a Debenhams sale and I recently turned them into two separate pairs.

I started the day with a hairdresser's appointment. Then another 5 mile walk along the river again but this time to Priory Marina. After breakfast and getting ready I went to Lidl and Sainsbury's to do the rest of the weekly food shop. I spent the rest of the day reading my book about the life of a pathologist. I've a couple more non fiction books  on my TBR pile to get through. Sometimes I like to read non-fiction and sometimes just fiction. Sometimes I alternate between the two. It's great to have so much choice. I also feel I'm well overdue for a visit to the library; I've been building up a list of reviewed books I'd like to read. The library is always my first choice when I'm looking for specific books and nine times out of ten they have or can get the books I want.

Another fabulous day on Friday but I believe we have more very hot weather on its way next week. temperatures in the high 20s and into the 30s; eeek! I wore more blue on Friday:

Trousers and shirt both from M&S; the trousers were a recent buy a few weeks back. Tee shirt by Dunne's Stores and the very comfortable Birkenstocks as before. All jewellery charity shopped.

My daughter had asked me to show her the shortcut to her gym across the fields near to where she lives so I met up with her on Friday morning and showed her; then continued my walk until I had completed 5 miles. I had errands in town to run and had to go back to Sainsbury's because I had forgotten something for Sunday's dinner. I hate it when that happens. The eldest grandson and his girlfriend were coming for dinner on Sunday so we'd have as many at the table for dinner on Sunday as we do on Christmas Day. Luckily, the weather is so fine some can eat outside and some inside so I didn't have to worry that I didn't have enough space at the table for everyone to sit down. We could chat through the dining room window if need be! Also at the weekend was Jamaica Independence Day with celebrations in the town square. We went last year but this year it's being celebrated on Sunday and it's such a busy day for me; although I expect OH will get to it one way or another...updated to say he didn't. 

We spent most of Sunday evening in the garden after dinner chatting to eldest grandson and his girlfriend and drinking wine. We spent Saturday evening watching this - 'Four Strangers'. A Croatian drama from 'Walter Presents'. We do like international crime drama! It's partly becoming more familiar with the sound and some of the words of different languages. I can say the F word in about 6 or 7 languages now...we also like seeing if the adverts from the original sponsors of 'Walter Presents' show up. There were 4 in total and we categorised them as; 'Baby Airbag'; 'Coffee Lady'; 'The Hipsters' and finally 'The Girls'...if we get to see all 4 we feel chuffed. Weird, I know.

Four Strangers

I went for a swim on Sunday morning. When I got back I made a vegan dish for dinner for my daughter and I; prepped all the veg for a traditional roast chicken dinner; did the house cleaning and finally cooked the dinner. I wore this outfit:

Cool cotton dress from Next (27 degrees on Sunday) via 'Mercy in Action'; charity shop. I picked it up last week one day I had errands to run in town. I like to have a quick look in the Castle Road charity shops every week. I am also thinking of wearing this dress as a long jacket over some pink linen trousers I have; the buttons down the front lend it to doubling up as a jacket, I think. The sandals I've had for several years and can wear my orthotics in them as they have a closed heel. Unfortunately, the soles keep separating from the upper;  although OH has glued and clamped them several times; I have to relegate them to the bin now. It's a shame as I like the simplicity of them and they're real leather. All jewellery charity shopped.

Another hot day on Monday. I felt the heat as soon as I got up whereas on Sunday the morning started out quite cool. On my way back from Barnardo's the temperature gauge said 27 degrees. We had more technical issues in the shop on Monday; the system used by the computer was down. It meant we couldn't print labels or gift aid labels and the deputy manager couldn't send or see emails or stats or targets. As I was leaving it still hadn't been fixed and then the till went down...that meant customers would have to pay in cash with the exact money. I was glad to leave and hoped it would all get sorted soon!

This trouser suit is a story of two halves. I found the trousers in Barnardo's a while ago; they're from Zara. Then two weeks ago as soon as I walked in I spied this jacket on the rail waiting to go out on the shop floor. I checked my blog photos and sure enough the jacket was the exact match to the trousers and also by Zara. Of course I had to buy it and wore it today. The shop has air con so I wasn't too hot but the jacket stayed off for the rest of the day. Tee shirt by Country Casuals bought from Cancer Research recently - I looked for ages for a plain red tee shirt. The green sliders were found in a charity shop; possibly when I was last in Devon. They had a sling back but I cut it off as they're slightly too big for me. Who could resist green suede shoes?

All jewellery charity shopped.

The garden continues to thrive and provides constant pleasure. We had a bit of a swap around last Saturday morning and chopped back the Buddleia hard. It had taken over and was cutting off the light of too many plants. It's very robust and will grow back again, that's why you see it growing out of gutters and walls! OH cut the wisteria and put up some wire so it can climb higher and not just across the dining room window. OH also picked up some half price lupins and delphiniums at B&M last week and they are all just about to bloom. There's always something to look forward to in the garden. Our tomatoes have done very well and provided us with plenty this year and they taste good!

Tuesday was another hot day. I wore this to the food bank where I helped with making up food parcels and did a few hygiene bags. Only a few were needed as there were plenty already made up. The hygiene pack operations part of the food bank had now been moved from the back warehouse to the middle warehouse with clearly delineated spaces for made up crates of hygiene packs. It's an improvement on the prior arrangement in terms of ease of layout but I will be on my own. In the other two areas there are always other people. We had also started the new hours so by 11.30 am I was finished. I went with Lynne; one of the other volunteers; to the community orchard which is very close by to see if there were any damsons. There were but they weren't quite ready. Lynne said there were several trees full of ripe damsons last week but they'd obviously been picked. I shall go again next week and see if the current ones are ripe - if they're any left and if so I will make some damson jam. 

Everything charity shopped. Top by Cos; trousers by OVO; both from Barnardo's. Brown sandals by New Look via Cat's Protection League. All jewellery charity shopped.

In the afternoon I paid a visit to Pells; a local plant nursery and farm shop. They had no damsons either but I bought a few plants to replace those that have died off or been killed off by the heat. I have to say that I've found this year the variety of plants available in both nurseries and supermarkets have been quite limited or am I imagining it? I also made a trip to the library and picked up a couple of books then cooked dinner. In the evening we watched the final instalment of 'Four Strangers'. We thoroughly enjoyed this series and now have to find something else to watch.

The sweet peas decided to start producing some flowers - at last!

This was one of the plants I bought. It's an Impatiens New Guinea ImPower 'White Pink Eye. The pot was picked up in a Northampton charity shop when I visited there a couple of Saturdays back with my daughter.

When I was at Barnardo's on Monday I picked up this black and white shirt by Monki. I do like a nice black and white print. Grey trousers by H&M from 1.00 rail in The Children's Society; Birkenstocks as before and all jewellery charity shopped. It was a cool outfit for a hot day...

Wednesday was a scorching hot day, too. I started out by doing some filing. I have a rather haphazard system but it works. I accumulate a few months worth of 'important' papers/documents - council tax statements; bank statements; car insurance; etc, etc. Then I sit down and file them in my concertina folder. Any unwanted papers OH takes to work and shreds for me.

 After getting ready and having breakfast I went for a walk of 6 miles across the fields. I saw three hares which made me so happy. One of the hares was running toward me; it clearly hadn't picked up my scent. Then it did and it turned and ran across the field; joined by another two as it ran. Maybe a family group; they are such beautiful and fleet creatures. Of course, I wasn't quick enough to get a photo. Many of the fields have been harvested already with bales already made up. This one hadn't been cut yet.

I went to do some of the weekly food shop in Aldi and then chilled out catching up with blogs and trying to finish my latest book about Stanley Spencer the painter...

I went for a 5 mile walk on Thursday morning along the river from Queen's Park to Great Denham and on to Biddenham and home. It was extremely hot and the day's temperature ended up being 31 degrees. In England we had another hot weather warning in place from midnight on Thursday and lasting through until Sunday. Whatever the weather the shopping still has to be done and I went to Lidl after my walk. I chose this cotton skirt and matching top for coolness by Adini; both charity shopped but at different shops and about 18 months apart. It comes out for a wear at least once in the summer. Underneath I wore a Karen Millen 1.00 rail find and I even dared to bare my arms! I had a bruise on one arm and no clue how or when it got there...I didn't wear any beads as it was too hot. Bangles and ring charity shopped but the earrings were a 50th birthday present to myself bought on a birthday weekend trip to Bath back in 2004...

Before I went to bed I tried buttoning up the top and belting it. I'm not sure if I like it or not; I don't really do belts....this one was donated by my daughter.

Did I say we had extremely hot weather? Temperatures between 32 and 34 degrees Celsius for several days and into the weekend. I can cope up to a point but it's the early evening when I'm overcome by it as I sit and watch TV or read my book and feel myself drip with sweat and glow as if I'm on fire. I couldn't wait for the weather to break as it was predicted to do by Sunday evening. (It didn't). I had some errands to run in town on Friday which I did quite early to avoid the heat. I went for a quick rummage at the Cat's Protection League shop in Kempston and bought nothing. I like to check out this charity shop and the ones in Castle Road every week and the Children's Society in Bedford came up with a pair of wide legged cropped mustard trousers. I also went to visit my friend Ann and took her some plants from our garden. This was Friday's outfit:

Everything charity shopped. Skirt by Jigsaw from an Aylesbury charity shop a couple of years ago; top by George via my Barnardo's on Monday. These are my summer indoor slippers; flip flops from my Barnardo's years ago. When I went out I wore my Sainsbury's sliders.

Like the rest of the country I was seeking out the coolest clothing I could find. This cotton dress was bought in an online sale earlier this year and it was lovely and cool. I had to wear my cotton half slip underneath as it was a bit see through. Sandals by New Look via Cat's Protection League and all jewellery charity shopped except the earring which were bought on Bedford market some years ago. I started Saturday with a 4 mile walk at 8 am and it was just beginning to heat up. After doing a few chores I settled down and read my book for most of the day. There was a local festival on and youngest grandson was staying over. He went off to the park in the afternoon to play basket ball with his friend! Aah, the resilience of the young.

I'd been wanting to read this book for ages. It came out in 2015 and I had it on my wish list for several years;  no one bought it for me so the library obliged instead...it was a very tender portrayal of an unusual working class artist. In the evening we watched a new 'Walter presents' series set in Ukraine and called 'Hide and Seek'. Recommended.

Sunday was boiling hot (33 - 35 degrees) I had difficulty sleeping that night. I wore a cotton dress and flip flops and no make up; there was no point; it would have just run down my face...I didn't even bother with photos. I did go for a 1 mile swim in the morning; then did the usual cleaning; OH cooked Sunday dinner for a change which was lovely. Both grandsons and son were here for dinner and a lot of ice lollies were consumed and cold melon in the efforts to remain cool...

I picked up these tiny pleated mustard trousers by Uniqlo in the Mercy in Action charity shop last week for 3.00. Sized XS; I knew the elasticated waistband would stretch to accommodate my waistline. They were nice and cool to wear with this Next top I'd had for several years via Barnardo's. Unfortunately, my bangle kept catching on the top and I should have removed it but didn't. The top is now covered in little pulls and snags and will probably be relegated to the charity shop donations bag. All jewellery found in charity shops.

At Barnardo's there was more stock taking.  Yawn. Luckily it was a cards and wrapping paper stock take which the Deputy Manager took care of. I worked with the same colleague who used to volunteer on Monday mornings; she is going to restart doing some Monday mornings so I'll see more of her in the future. We were busy processing as many donations as we could get out onto the shop floor and got through quite a few bags. I found a Ted Baker navy blue linen top; a pair of winter trousers by Wallis; plus a pair of walking sandals. I'll put my orthotics in them and they'll be great for my urban walks. My daughter donated me a pair of old trainers; which I wore trainer socks with on two of my walks last week. The socks chafed one of my heels and I got a large blister - ouch! Once that heals I'll be able to wear the sandals for urban walking and without socks. Talking of walks I received the Rambler's Autumn schedule of walks and I'll be leading 2 walks in September and 1 in October. I am very much looking forward to Autumn; along with Spring it's my favourite time of the year.

It was still muggy and hot on Tuesday but we we had thunderstorms and torrential rain in the afternoon and it became much cooler.  Thank the Lord. It was much needed and at least it meant OH didn't need to water the garden when he got home from work!

This is as close to a nude lipstick that you'll ever see me wear...

Everything bought from charity shops except daughter donated Birkenstocks. Yellow wide legged trousers by Quiz, top by Wallis and tee shirt by F&F. All jewellery also charity shopped. I wore this outfit to the food bank where I once again was finished by 11.30 am.

On my way to the food bank I was diverted from the usual road I drive down due to roadworks; I saw and heard something I haven't heard since childhood. Do any of you remember the 'rag man'? He drove a horse and cart around the streets; ringing a bell whilst calling out 'any old clothes; any old iron?' As children we used save glass bottles and he would give us pennies for them. Anyhow, I didn't see a horse and cart but a small open back lorry with several rusty metal chiminias in the back; the driver was ringing a hand bell out of the vehicle window and calling out something which I didn't catch. He was clearly collecting scrap metal. What a blast from the past; I had no idea it continued today. I'll make a point of driving down that road in future to see if I can catch what he was calling out.

On that note I'll leave you having had an uneventful fortnight with no trips anywhere but really the weather was mostly too hot to even think about going anywhere. Maybe next time? Stay safe cool and fabulous.


  1. A rag man/scrap collector is a definite blast from the past. They were mostly gone from Chicago by the 60s. We don't even get ice cream vendors driving through our neighbourhood.
    That's terrible heat. I'm so sorry you're dealing with day after day of it. The mental exhaustion from it can be as bad as the physical. ting in a dark room to keep cool just seems to make everything worse.
    Great outfits again. I'm in love with the blue one, and the new trousers look so elegant. I hope next time you post it will have become cooler.

    1. Thank you, Goody.

      We used to get ice cream vendors come to the street opposite but I haven't heard them in a long while... the weather is just starting to heat up again but in the mid 20s so I can cope!

      Have a great weekend

  2. You've surpassed yourself with the outfits, hard to choose a favourite, although I do love the long patterned blouse with the white top underneath, and the yellow trouser outfit. I don't remember the rag man, although I remember plenty of others - the Corona van (delivering fizzy drinks not the virus) and the coalman, who would take our 1 small bin and hoist it over his shoulder. Re plants at garden centres - yes, fewer around! Probably a Brexit thing? I keep meaning to replace the ones that died during the heatwave/our absence, but at this rate will wait until a bit later and buy my usual stacks of pansies for winter xx

    1. Thank you, Gail.

      I remember the coal man vividly and the coal being put through the coal hole into the coal house in the basement flat where we lived. I think the Corona drinks person came later and we were not allowed fizzy drinks except at Christmas!

      Have a great weekend

  3. metal has become more precious this days - the prices are rising - so no wonder the old habit of collecting it has a revival :-D
    i´m in awe about your beautiful summer outfits!! especially the cool colored - blue, green, turquois, white - are stunning on you. and my fav jewelry is the necklace that looks as if you had stringed together the contents of a fruit basket......
    we still have this un-bearable heat - the cool wet weather from the atlantic gets blocked by a continental high........ i´m glad i do not have to go anywhere most days so i can spend them in a spaghetti strap top and very short & lose shorts - very close to naked to be honest ;-D
    your garden looks fabulous! love the white metal seating set!

    1. Thank you, Beate.

      I'm sorry you still have the horrible heat - our temperatures began to climb again today, You have to wear what keeps you coolest and I bet you look great inw whatever you choose to wear.

      I 'rescued' the white table from a skip across the road and bought the chairs on line. I now need to find cushions for them as they are not the most comfortable seats in the world.

      Wishing a cool and wet weekend (for a change)!

  4. We still have a "rag" man coming around weekly, and he's driving a small open back lorry too. He no longer calls, but rather plays a recorded amplified message, which end with "and flat batteries", in Flemish obviously.
    We've just come down from another heatwave with +30°C temperatures which really get to me. I do prefer highs of about 26°C like you.
    Loving the round-up of outfits, my favourites being the trousers and shirt from M&S, the button-through Next dress (which I think will look fab worn unbuttoned over pink linen trousers), the Zara suit found in two halves, and the matching skirt and top by Adini. I always tend to belt things, and I do think it looks great that way.
    Swooning over your fabulous garden! xxx

    1. Oh that's interesting to know, Ann. I'll listen out for our 'rag man' and see if what he says is comparable to yours....

      Thank you for lovely comments - the dress worn over pink trousers didn't look right I tried it today. Our temperatures are beginning to climb again...

      Hope you have a great weekend,

  5. I love the bold color outfits you wear. So stylish and stunning.

  6. I need to wear my statement necklaces more. I just got my hair done today, it was really overdue. We do not have problems with rain this summer, lots of summer rainstorms and thankfully weather is cooling down some. Love all of the colors you have been wearing especially that teal.

    1. Thank you, Mirelille - yes, get your statement necklaces out especially if your weather has cooled down. I just can't resist a big statement necklace!

      Have agreat weekend

  7. Sorry that you're also suffering a drought, climate change is making things difficult, isn't it?.
    Glad that policemen can take care of anybody having a mental health crisis, it happens here too! (Mental health is becoming a main theme, which I think is good as many problems are now noticed and treated!)
    Love particularly your blue outfits, both shirts are fab and love how you created a lovely colour combo and added some cool jewellery!. Love your floral maxi dress and great idea to wear it as an open jacket-vest too!.
    Totally amazing that you found the two pieces of the Zara suit!, and you look fab in it!. Same for the 'butterfly print' skirt and top, so beautiful colours! (I'm not either a huge fan of belts, can't do them work on me!)
    Your garden is looking really colourful and lush, so delightful!. Most of my plants have died!
    Lovely 'heatwave capsule' clothes too, I love your cotton dress and cute bijuterie!. Also lovely citron-yellow ensemble, you rock yellow!.
    And I've laugh hard when read your definition of 'boiling hot' being 33-35ºC, which is completely normal here. I can manage these temperatures if nights are cooler (under 18ºC is ok) but hate when nights are hot too!

    1. Climate change is a bugger!

      Thank you for your lovely comments, Monica. I think since the pandemic there is more awareness and possibly less stigma around mental health and that can only be a good thing.

      Lots of our plants died, too, despite OH's daily waterings....

      Yes, I agree if the nights aren't too hot the heat can be bearable. I have a fan in the loft which I still haven't taken down and used and maybe that would make a hot night more bearable - or maybe not?

      Have a great weekend

  8. Unbelievable! I’ve just pressed something and lost the long comment I’d written. So I’m going to have to précis the whole thing from memory.
    Congrats on your mammo results!
    Well done for cooking Sunday roasts in the heatwaves, and for doing hair make up and outfits throughout the high temps. My look has been, err, more sparse and messy!
    Thanks for sharing pics of your lovely garden, I can see why you enjoy sitting out there of an evening.
    You’ve put together lots of fab outfits, I loved the green, Next dress, yellow, and the adini set (love it with the belt btw).
    I’d better finish here before I loose this msg too
    Have a great fortnight,
    Mary xxx.

    1. Thank you, Mary!

      I've done that countless times, too. Mostly it's because I press delete instead of reply!!

      Hope you have a lovely weekend,

  9. Hello Vronni! We still get the rag and bone men around here clopping around on a horse-drawn cart - people think Peaky Blinders is a costume drama, much of the Black Country is still like that (minus Cillian Murphy, sadly!)
    Your garden is absolutely gorgeous and talking of gorgeous, how fabulous is that Zara two-piece? That often happens to me, I'll find the matching piece a week or so later.
    I've made a note of those TV shows, your taste in Tv and books are very similar to mine, I think.

    1. Thank you!

      Well, I'll definitely pay a visit to Walsall now I l know that, Vix!

  10. Your hair looks really fabulous in these photos. And that Zara trouser suit is really nice. Good to know you were able to keep cool in the heatwave; it was hideous.

    You saying you know the 'F' word in so many languages made me laugh... I can order alcohol in that many, but can't manage much more in most of them.


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