Tuesday 27 September 2022

Flying to Ireland...

Hello again! Autumn is well and truly here now.

Last Tuesday evening OH and I went to watch this at the cinema. I'd completely forgotten OH had booked tickets for it and when he said to me at 7 pm 'what time shall we leave?' - it reminded me! It was a very enjoyable film and laugh out loud funny in a couple of places...but I wouldn't want to watch it again.

I lost one of these earrings later in the day. I bought them about 15 years ago at a car boot sale for 50 p!

I started Wednesday by going to Sainsbury's to collect a heated clothes airer. After researching heated airers and dehumidifiers the heated airer won. I'll let you know how I get on with it once I start to use it. I hung out Wednesday's wash on the line before I left to recce the walk I'd lead in a weeks time. The weather began as quite cool but soon the sun came out and it became very warm. The walk was 7.3 miles in total and there were no obstacles or closed footpaths this time to contend with. I took a slightly different route to the last time I led this walk as I combined two previous walks together. I think the group will enjoy it.

I changed into this charity shopped Wallis skirt and 1.00 rail long sleeved tee when I got back. All jewellery charity shopped. My foot was a bit sore so I rested it for most of the afternoon whilst reading my book. 'Lessons in Chemistry' by Bonnie Garmus. Marian gave it to me at the weekend when I was there. Both she and her daughter had read and enjoyed it and I, too, enjoyed it .

This wonderful sunflower was spotted on my walk in Ravensden Church End. Such an unusual colour for a sunflower!

I bought the t shirt by M&S from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's on Monday. The skirt was also a Barnardo's find back in the early summer. White Clark's shoes as before; denim jacket charity shopped also. Earrings; charity shopped; the brooch (just about seen) on the jacket was a present from OH. Strangely enough I'd not the felt the urge to go for a rummage for the past two weeks. I didn't know why that was but I didn't need anything so was quite happy not to go!

Back to Thursday morning swimming. I managed 48 laps and the pool was very uncrowded. I had the lane all to myself for the final ten minutes and for the ten minutes prior to that it was only me and one other swimmer. After getting ready it was off to do the Lidl weekly shop which was unpacked and put away promptly. I had several errands to run in town and after doing those came home put my feet up and caught up with blogs before making dinner. In the evening we caught up with 'All that Glitters' which is a competitive jewellery making programme; very similar in format to 'The Great Pottery Throwdown' and 'The  Great British Sewing Bee'.

I changed into this on Friday after I recce'd my bus walk. Top by Boden; Barnardo's; shoes by Clarks via The Cat's Protection League. Trousers are years old and bought in a La Redoute sale. All jewellery charity shopped.

The bus walk involved catching a bus from the bus station to the village of Sharnbrook.  From there I walked to the village of Felmersham; onto the village of Radwell and across the fields and golf course into the village of Pavenham where I caught the bus back to Bedford. 6.5 miles in total. I'll have to warn people to walk quite briskly; if we miss the bus back to Bedford it's a 2 hour wait for the next one!

I was surprised to see this patch of sunflowers and chicory in the middle of a field in Sharnbrook. Accident or design, I wonder?

This was the view of St. Mary's Church at Felmersham from one side of Felmersham bridge.

This was the view from the other side. I stopped here for 5 minutes to have a cup of coffee and a biscuit. It was quite cool out at 16 degrees with a gentle breeze. When I got home I felt quite cold and had to put on a warm cardigan; the first time I'd done that in months! In fact the weather had cooled down considerably over the weekend averaging about 16 degrees daily. Friday night was very cold and I woke up to 9 degrees on Saturday morning. I actually put the heating on for an hour I was so cold plus I needed to check it still worked. It did. I packed away my summer pjs and will use the ones I have (long sleeved) until it's time to get the winter stuff down from the loft.

You may remember a few months back I set myself a challenge to wear all of the unworn dresses I had accumulated? Well, this was one of them. By Kaleidoscope but I can't remember which charity shop it came from. It has a low neck and low back and because Saturday stayed quite chilly until late afternoon; I wore a polo neck underneath. It's a dress that needs something underneath it otherwise it would be both cold and indecent! And two more wardrobe firsts in a long time; tights and boots! Boots also charity shopped. The dress had an ochre coloured pattern on it although it looks black and white in the photos. It went well with my ochre/deep mustard coloured denim jacket which I wore when we went out. All jewellery charity shopped except the necklace which was a present from my ex mum-in-law. As for the unworn dresses I still have two left to wear. One is a summer dress so will be saved for next year and the second I'll probably wear when we go out for a meal with my brothers in a few weeks time.

Whilst I was waiting for the bus on Friday I popped into the Keech Hospice shop in the bus station to pass the time. It was my lucky day. I found 2 BNWT bra's in my size; one from 'Victoria's Secret' and a BNWT M&S nightshirt. I also found the earrings I'm wearing in the photos above and a pair of shell earrings.

On Saturday OH wanted to go for a rummage and we needed some plants that would flower in Spring. We went to Rushden which is about 12 miles away from us and has one of my favourite charity shops 'The Salvation Army'.  As usual it came up trumps; I found a Marrimekko t shirt and a white pair of beads; spending less than the price of a cup of posh coffee. OH also found a couple of things. We also spotted some plants in Rushden itself including a tray of mixed Wallflowers and some Bellis Perennis so didn't stop at the garden centre on our way back as planned.

I'd completely forgotten to book my Sunday swim so didn't go but I did a lot of housework instead. Cleaning upstairs and downstairs and now my son has moved again I have a spare room which needed a good sort out. My daughter would be 44 on Monday and we'd arranged to meet up for a birthday celebration meal at the Albero Lounge in Bedford by the river. No need to cook dinner or to wash up afterwards! We all enjoyed our meal except OH who wasn't impressed with his at all. I also indulged in a pudding; well it was Sunday the only day of the week we have a pudding at home! In the evening we watched a new BBC series called 'Blood Lands'. There was a previous series and we may have to watch that too...

Everything charity shopped and seen before.The earrings were a present from middle grandson and his younger brother. The youngest grandson came back and stayed overnight as his mum and the rest of the crew went out partying for the rest of the evening. They had a great night. I remember being 44; it was the year I met OH and we'll have been together 25 years next year. Where have the years gone?

No charity shop volunteering on Monday as it was the day of the Queen's funeral. It was a dead sort of day if you'll pardon the pun. No shops open; very little traffic and no one around. I had a lazy day and wore this:

This taffeta skirt by Femme was bought in a charity shop about 2 years ago and never worn. It has a silver trim on the bottom frill and I really like it! I thought it was a bit too dressy for everyday wear but I've changed my mind and can see me wearing it a lot this autumn and winter; probably with leggings underneath. The top by F&F and the boots both charity shopped; the boots by 'Niceness' were found early in the summer when it was too hot to wear them. All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings bought from eBay.

I even tried the skirt with a couple of belts! Both belts donated by my daughter.

In contrast Tuesday was extremely busy.

It was back to the food bank where I made up hygiene bags but ran out of a lot of items before I finished; washing up liquid; shampoo; shower gel and toothpaste. More deliveries were due Tuesday afternoon. I  live in hope to see the supplies restocked for next week...

Top by M&S; trousers by LC Waikiki (?) and boots as above; all charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped. When I finished at the food bank I dropped off the rest of my son's stuff to him. After that it was home to  hang out a wash and I also made green tomato chutney. On Monday OH had cut back some of the plants including the tomato plant and we harvested about 2 lbs of green tomatoes. I made green tomato chutney last year; it was lovely but I used a different recipe this year simply because I couldn't find last years's one or remember it very well! I did a second wash and hung it out and then made dinner. I put my feet up for the rest of evening and read my book. I tried to book a swim for next Sunday only to find the 9 am slot no longer exists! When I go again on Thursday I'll find out why; I hoped it was because it was fully booked but I doubted it as the 7 am slot still had lots of spaces left. I opted for 12.30 for this Sunday but it's an awkward time in the middle of what is always a busy day for me; what with house cleaning and cooking. We shall see.

On Wednesday I led my 7.3 mile Ramblers walk from Ravensden. There were 18 of us and everyone said how much they enjoyed the walk. It was cloudy but warm and the sun came out later in the afternoon with the temperature reaching 22 degrees at one point. On my way back from the walk I stopped at Aldi to do some of the weekly shop. I stayed in my walking gear all day so no outfit photos.  Both grandsons came for dinner and I dropped both of them home afterwards. OH and I had started watching a new BBC series called 'Crossfire' on Tuesday and as it was a 3 part series we watched the second part on Wednesday evening. I was very relieved to hear helicopters in the final minutes of this episode. What am I talking about? You'll have to watch it to see!

I wore this on Thursday; everything charity shopped including all the jewellery. Jeans by M&Co; dress by River Island; shoes by Clarks and denim jacket by something or someone unpronounceable...

I went for a swim in the morning. The reason there was no 9 am lane swimming slot on Sunday was the pool was holding its Open Day and encouraging more of the general public to come and swim. It should be back to normal for the following Sunday but they did warn me that they will be changing the timetable and there will be fewer lane swimming slots and more general swimming slots at the weekend. I can see I might have to do an early morning swim (7 am - 8 am) on another weekday in the future; Tuesday would be the most suitable day for me. Watch this space!

 Once I was ready I set off to do the weekly Lidl shop and on the way back stopped at my Barnardo's. As I hadn't volunteered on Monday I was keen to have a rummage and I caught up with the Deputy Manager who had been on holiday to Greece since I last saw her. I found a lovely dark blue saddle cross body bag and a dressy white top which will go with so much stuff in my wardrobe. I had sorted out a bag of items for the charity shop so I added a white top I've only worn once to it. That will be dropped off on Friday. I unpacked and put the shopping away and then went into to town to run a few errands. I needed a new mascara and I needed to go to the Nationwide - the only building society we had left in Bedford - we used to have several. I spent the rest of the day cooking dinner, reading and blogging until we watched the final instalment of 'Crossfire' in the evening.

On Friday, I had my Covid autumn booster jab at the local chemist. I was hoping to combine it with my annual flu jab but they had run out of of over 65 flu jab vaccine so will try again next week. As I was in town I then went for a rummage to the Castle Road charity shops and to the Hospice shop near my hairdresser. One of the Castle Road charity shops was closed - lack of volunteers but in the Hospice shop I found a book and a pleather, metallic pleated skirt. I was delighted as I'd wanted one of these for ages...

Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Whistles; top by Masai; no label polo neck. Shoes by Clarks. All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought from eBay. 

I wore this on Saturday. Everything charity shopped. Wide legged cropped denim trousers by Toast; top by F&F and striped cardigan by Bella. Shoes by Clarks and all jewellery charity shopped except the earrings bought in  Co. Donegal gift shop. We're off for a week soon to the mobile home in Donegal, to get it ready for the winter. We're going to fly and hire a car for the week; it costs the same as 2 overnight stays and taking the ferry; which is our normal mode of getting to Ireland. I'll be very interested to see what the Irish weather will be like in early October; cool, wet and windy I'd say!

I got up on Saturday and made a West African Vegetable Stew with Peanut Sauce for a vegetarian Sunday dinner. I would make a chicken stew for the meat eaters and for the grandson who won't eat 'wet' food or anything in a gravy; I'd make him roast chicken. No wonder I don't like cooking very much! Later that day my daughter and I met up and went for 4.5 mile walk in Milton Ernest. We had coffee and cake afterwards in the garden centre which was very good. That evening we started watching a new 'Walter Presents' Icelandic drama called 'Sisterhood' and it made for some tense viewing!

On Sunday, I went for a swim just after midday swimming the usual 48 laps. It was pretty crowded to start with so I swam in the middle lane; swapping back to the slow lane for the last 15 minutes when there were just 3 of us. I must remember to book my swimming slots the week when I'm in Ireland or they'll all go by the time I return - I will set myself reminders on my phone. Once home again I  made some vegan Cherry Bakewell flapjacks for my daughter and I and cooked dinner. More episodes of 'Sisterhood' were watched in the evening and I finished my book; 'The Handmade House: A Love Story Set in Concrete'by Geraldine Beddell (she used to write for the Guardian newspaper). A hair raising tale of a self build house in London with eye wateringly high levels of debt and dreadfully high stress levels...it all came good in the end!

It was sunny and breezy on Monday but became wet and cold by the afternoon and then the sun came back out. This week the weather is set to be colder and with winds from the north - hello Autumn! I wore this outfit to volunteer at Barnardo's. Everything charity shopped.  Clarks shoes; Cat's Protection League; denim jacket charity shopped in Ireland; the vintage skirt by Lucia came from a charity shop in West Drayton a few years ago. The Pepperberry top and blue cross bodybag came from my Barnardo's. All jewellery from charity shops.

I worked with the Manager which was nice as I hadn't seen her for a while. I spent the morning processing donations and getting them out on the shop floor; she unpacked a delivery of Barnardo's new goods (15+ boxes) and organised where they went. My car was collected for the rear bumper repair and I picked up a hire car after I finished volunteering. Hopefully, my car will be back by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. The hire car was a little red Fiat 500; the same car cousin Marian has! It had a manual drive and as I'd got used to driving my automatic car it took a bit of practice. Once I was home I spent time trying to think what to pack for Ireland in the preposterously small cabin bag I'm taking with me. I'm very lucky in that I already have a wardrobe of sorts in Ireland; I don't need to bring a lot with me but I do need warmer clothing and of course that takes up more room in a suitcase. I whittled it down to 2 pairs of jeans plus a selection of warm tops; 1 maxi dress; 2 swimming costumes; 1 skirt; I extra jacket and 1 extra pair of boots. I'll wear another jacket and another pair of boots as part of my travel outfit. You might wonder why I'm taking swimming costumes in October to Ireland? Well, I have it on good authority that the sea is at its warmest in October (in Donegal that is) thanks to the Gulf Stream. I plan on swimming at least a few days and I'll let you know! 

Off to the food bank on Tuesday. Lynne wasn't in so I made up food parcels but I did pack the toiletry donations away. We'd had deliveries of most items but washing up liquid was still in short supply. It also rained for much of the morning. I'd left a wash on and was hoping to hang it out when I got home. Luckily the sun did decide to appear in the afternoon and I put the wash out on the line; keeping one eye on the weather ready to rescue it if it rained again. I wore this outfit. You might have noticed I've been layering up my clothes which is due to the drop in temperature. The weather is most definitely autumnal and the trees across the road are beginning to change colour...

Everything charity shopped except the polo neck by Isle which was bought in Bedford Market last year on the factory rejects stall. Tunic by White Stuff; trousers by F&F and pumps by Vans. All jewellery also charity shopped. 

The rest of my week is pretty busy. I get the car back on Wednesday;  have a hairdresser appointment on Thursday and lead the first of my two bus walks on Friday. I hope to be back in again in a fortnight but may post a day or two day late because of our trip to Ireland. Until then stay safe and well...


  1. As always, it seems you've quite busy and I always admire how much you manage to achieve in a day. I shall definitely have to look into retiring, as apart from my work at the office I don't seem to do much with my days. Even my weekends pale in comparison to yours!
    I'm intrigued about the heated airer, as I've never heard of the existence of such a thing!
    Glad to hear your walk went well, and that you've had your Covid booster jab. I'll get mine on Thursday.
    Gorgeous outfits as usual, but I'm particularly loving the first one, with the Wallis skirt and the burgundy long-sleeved top. Also loving the Femme skirt!
    Wishing you a great time in Ireland. Hearing you on packing, though, especially at this time of year ... xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann. I highly recommend retirement.

      I've only just discovered that the heated airer requires the cover to remain on so the heated air circulates within; I wondered why a bloody great cover came with it!

  2. Ocean swimming in Ireland in October! I hope that comes to fruition, Vronni! Love your outfits, particularly that long slinky dress (LOVE it with the polo-neck underneath, so classy), the top/skirt with the cool sleeves/silver stitching (love the wide brown belt), and the pleated skirt at the end. I loathe cooking, so I would not be doing all those customizations for everyone's preferences, lol. Like Ann, my non-working time is nowhere near as productive as yours.

    1. Thank you, Sheila.

      I hear you on the loathing cooking; I don't like it but have to do it. It's funny but I don't see what I do as a lot; I used to do more but don't have the same energy levels. Unless I'm reading, crocheting or watching something I find it hard to sit down for long periods....

  3. Belated happy birthday wishes to your daughter.
    Isn't it strange how it can be sweltering and suddenly we need tights and the heat turned on? I love that beautiful Boden top with the autumn leaves. It goes perfectly with yellow trousers. The ruffled skirt reminds me of cowgirl stuff. Maybe try it with some suede or denim?
    I hope you have a good time in Ireland. It makes sense the sea would stay warm but...well, you're brave!

    1. Thank you, Goody.

      Weather is just weird.

      I 'll try pairing the skirt with denim; I don't have anything in suede - well, one single jacket!

  4. Hi, visiting your blog for the first time via Gail. What a lovely read. And what a impressive earrings collection!

    1. Thank you, Nancy and welcome. I shall pop over to your blog for a read, too!

  5. You've knocked it out of the park with your outfits! I love the dress with polo neck worn under it, and the pattern mixing of the polka dot top with striped trousers. One day we will have to go charity shopping together! I do hope your walking group keeps a good pace as 2 hours is an awful wait for a bus! Swimming in October sounds fabulous, I would do it! I saw some swimmers in a tarn in the Lakes when we were there a fortnight ago. Have a wonderful time in Ireland.

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      Yes, I'd love to go charity shopping with you. I have no idea what the East London/Essex charity shops are like...one day.

  6. idyllic landscapes and fabulous outfits!!
    love the maxi dresses especially - perfect casual elegance.......
    its getting complicated with your swimming - is´t it? hope that you will find the perfect time slot for you. but your walks sound wonderful - lots to see on the way.
    have a nice trip to ireland and i envy the sea swimming!!
    much love! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      I am so looking forward to sea swimming...

  7. So much variety in your outfits and I love the pretty scenery you shared.

  8. Fabulous outfits in general Vronni, but especially love the black and white striped trousers with the spotty top. Enjoy Ireland, Rgds Lise

  9. I hope you have a wonderful trip to Ireland and manage to squeeze in lots of swimming. Nothing beats sea swimming does it? Your pool timetable sounds very frustrating. There's no booking needed at ours but we always go to the adult only sessions as I don't want to be dive bombed by a kid.
    Some cracking outfits, as always, loving your stay at home outfit with the red boots and top with the fancy shoulders.
    Geraldine Beddell's book sounds interesting and I'l have to look at some of those series on the TV. We're just catching up with The Capture - wow! Loved the first series and the second one certainly doesn't disappoint.
    The vegetarian West African stew sounds very interesting. You're a better woman than me doing all that cooking - I knew there was a reason why I'd never had children!
    Happy birthday to your daughter and happy travels! xxx

  10. Wonderful outfits. Enjoy Donegal. Will be interested to hear if the sea is warm....

    1. Thank you, Hilda! I'll let you know about the sea....

  11. Lots of fabulous outfits and lots of activities!, I admire your talent to manage so many activities, walks, volunteering and running errands too.
    Love you in maxi skirts/dresses and denim jackets, totally my kind of style too, particularly that first outfit!. Also love your (unworn) elegant maxi dress!
    I have a weakness for monochrome outfits that you create, so brilliantly accessorized and interesting!, great styling!. And love that you found those 'Niceness' boots at a charity! such a great find!
    Also lovely colourful trousers and jeans with tunics on top. Looking really comfy and stylish!. So inspiring!
    One of my favourites is that vintage skirt by Lucia, love some abstract colourful print!.
    Great idea to fly to Ireland if it saves money and time, even if the cabin luggage is so annoying. Totally agree about packing some swimwear (whatever the season) as the weather can be unpredictable, and the sea is actually warmer in autumn.
    Wish you a fabulous trip!

    1. Thank you, Monica. alas, I never got to swim in the sea after all....next year hopefully!

  12. You have the most amazing collection of great outfits. Anna

  13. Ooh, the leaf top and saffron-coloured trousers look both fab and seasonal. Your outfits are always so well put together.

    The stew for the Sunday dinner sounds delicious. (Can't beat some peanuts; maybe that's my Burmese coming out!) And that's a lot of green tomatoes, your plants must've been really fruitful.

    I hope you had a great time in Ireland... I'm about to find out when I read your next post.


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