Walking and a visit to London
Welcome to Barton Hills in Bedfordshire. One of the very few hilly bits as Bedfordshire (and Cambridgeshire) are notoriously flat! This was where we walked last Wednesday also taking in Galley Hill and Warden Hill. A lovely walk of 6.75 miles; my first Wednesday group walk since late May or the beginning of June when I developed Plantar Fascitis and had to rest my foot. It was great to catch up with lots of people.
This was the last week of the summer holidays with no Thursday morning swim. I went to do the Lidl weekly shop and also stopped at Aldi as on the way back. I went into to town to return library books and had a quick wander to the Castle Road charity shops. I bought two stainless steel pots with holes in the bottom; possibly part of a steamer originally but perfect for plants and only 3.00. I also bought a book at the library - all paperbacks 55 p! Everything I wore on Thursday was charity shopped; trousers by H&M; shirt by Dunne's Stores and charity shopped in Ireland a few years ago; the cardigan by White Stuff. I have no clue where I picked up the brown sandals other than it was a charity shop...all jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which were bought from Sainsbury's. It wouldn't surprise me if the necklace also originally came from Sainsbury's as it matched the earrings perfectly but I bought it in a charity shop.
On Friday I walked with my group again; this time a bus walk. The first one I've done this year. We caught a bus from the bus station to Great Barford and walked back along the river. After a few miles we reached the Danish Camp in Willington where we stopped for coffee and cake.History tells of the Danes sailing from The Wash to Willington, where they made a homestead and repair harbour. The layout of the land that can be seen today certainly suggests a substantial settlement. This historical site has always been known as 'Danish Camp' and was opened to the public in August 2007.
We stayed at the Danish Camp for about half an hour bumping into a group of health walkers; some of whom were Rambler members of old. They do short walks of 2 -3 miles and many are in their 80s. We then set off for Bedford via Priory Marina and the river meadows; walking almost 9 miles in all by the time I reached home. I spent the rest of the day with my feet up; reading and catching up with blogs and blog writing. In the afternoon my second pair of new glasses arrived.
I wore this Monki shirt and General Research jeans both from Barnardo's with walking boots and just put the Birkenstocks on when I got back. Jewellery all charity shopped. It was overcast for much of the morning but warm and humid at 23 degrees. The sun came out later. I managed to lose another pair of sunglasses; I think I left them on the bus and as it was cloudy I didn't need them. I only realised when I got home...
A Cyclamen bloomed! The foliage had been fresh and green since Spring when it was last in flower.
OH was off to London on Saturday for a reunion with old school friends and neighbours. The last event was cancelled because of a rail strike. Saturday was another warm and humid day which was quite overcast at times. I went into town to the butchers, to Iceland and to return the last of my library books. The Sue Ryder charity shop had an end of summer sale on and I popped in for a look. I found a pair of River Island beige linen trousers for 1.00 and as I'd been looking for a pair like these for ages I was chuffed. Hopefully, I'll still get some wear out of them over the next couple of months...I was so glad I decided to have a look. I did two washes during the day and hung both out to dry which they did in a couple of hours. In the winter we dry our clothes indoors; on the radiators but also on an airer or clothes horse. I was reading something online about using a dehumidifier to help dry clothes indoors. It helps reduce condensation and dries the clothes quickly and are apparently cheap to run. Anyone out there have any experience of doing this? We are going to have to cut our fuel consumption drastically. I certainly don't want to be paying out over 300.00 per month for gas and electric!
Everything charity shopped. Shoes by Clarks; skirt by M&S (Per Una to be precise as is most of my secondhand M&S stuff). Top by Amari; which coincidentally is the name of my youngest grandson. The bag was found at the Cat's Protection League shop in the last couple of months. All jewellery charity shopped. In the afternoon I went for 4.2 mile walk...
The first part of the walk away from the main roads is this footpath which runs behind the Brickhill allotments and to the left is the industrial estate where the food bank is. In fact, when I took this photo I was almost directly adjacent to the food bank. As I began to take the photo the view ahead was clear but somehow I seem to have just caught this random person. It's a busy footpath with lots of dog walkers; walkers and some people were out black berrying as well.
Kaftan Sunday! No make up to give my skin a rest. I bought the kaftan at Barnardo's last Monday. It was very easy for swimming on Sunday morning. I swam 48 laps or 1 mile as usual. The light is very muted; I don't know why. The day was warm but mostly cloudy with the threat of rain all day although in the end there wasn't a drop. OH and I did the weekly house cleaning and OH also made dinner for everyone; my daughter brought a vegan dish for us. I did help by prepping all the vegetables! In the evening we started to watch a 'Walter Presents' Italian crime series called 'Redemption'.
Back to Barnardo's on Monday. Processed donations all morning and got lots done. Outfit all charity shopped. Trousers by F&F; top by Nomads and denim kimono by Paul Costello. Pumps also charity shopped and all jewellery except earrings Sainsbury's retail. I bought nothing at all. What a warm and sticky day it was although we had rain in the night. I'm off to the hairdressers tomorrow as she's back from holiday; I was so looking forward to having my hair trimmed and tidied up.
I did, however, pop into Keech Hospice shop which is across the road from Barnardo's on my way home and have a look at their stuff. I bought a nice pewter Celtic style brooch for 2.00.
These were taken before I got to the hairdressers on Tuesday after I'd been to the food bank. Everything charity shopped except the dungarees which were bought in Bedford Market as secondhand - there's a mend where the label should be. Shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt; shoes by Clark's. I forgot to wear some beads!
I spent the first half hour to forty-five minutes at the food bank unpacking toiletry donations and putting them away. Then I made up 50 family hygiene packs leaving just 3 bottles of shampoo and 3 tubes of toothpaste for the afternoon shift. An order of toothpaste (one where the food bank actually pays for the goods) should have been delivered on Monday but the supplier was out of stock! After the hairdresser's appointment I went to B&M to see if they had any plants - they didn't but I did stock up on some bird food supplies.
Wednesday's group walk was wonderful. We started from Oakley, walked toward Stevington along the river Great Ouse then onto Pavenham and back to Oakley. It was warm but there was a breeze so it was perfect walking conditions. We walked 8 miles in total. The thatched cottage is one of several we passed. The spot by the river is where we stopped for our coffee break.
I wore this top plus walking trousers and stayed in the outfit all day but here's the haircut. The sides and back are now much shorter as the hairdresser used the clippers before trimming with scissors. We continued watching 'Redemption' in the evening which has proved to be a really gripping watch.
This was what I wore on Thursday. I started out with a 1 mile swim; it was good to be back in my normal routine. Then off to Lidl to do the weekly shop. Everything charity shopped. Trousers by Top Shop; tee shirt by Whistles; jacket from Vinted and sliders as before. All jewellery charity shopped. There were no plants at Lidl but I did buy some tulip bulbs for the Spring.
I'd been looking forward to Friday all week as I'd planned to go to London and stay with my cousin Marian and also visit my friend Bernie whilst I was there. But first of all on Friday I had Grandma duties and took the youngest grandson for a dental appointment. After dropping him off I went into to town to collect some school uniform items for him and a second year A level text for the middle grandson from W.H. Smith. Then I set off down the motorway and got to Marian's within an hour; she lives very close to the motorway.
For the first time in I don't know how many months it actually felt chilly when I got up on Friday morning! When I took grandson to the dentist it was 15 degrees but by the time I drove to London the temperature had climbed to 19 degrees and in between showers the sun shone. I wore this outfit. The dress came from Barnardo's; the linen jacket is very old from Age UK. I started out with the sliders but my feet were so cold I later changed into socks and white pumps. All jewellery charity shopped except the ceramic brooch bought in a Co. Donegal gift shop and the earrings were a present from OH.
In the afternoon Marian and I had a walk around Hendon combined with a trip to the chemist to pick up a prescription. This beautiful house; 'Church Farm House' built in the 17th century and Grade 1 listed; is in the heart of Hendon and now part of the University of Middlesex. There was a blue plaque on the house but obscured by Wisteria; as far as we could make out was once the home of Mark Lemon; the co-founder and first editor of Punch magazine. I confirmed this later with Professor Google...
St. Mary's and Christchurch; Hendon. Dating originally from the 13th century. Marian was married in this church.
The vicar of the church was sitting working on a laptop when we arrived. They'd opened the church especially and started a book of condolences for the Queen's death which occurred on Thursday. On our way back we walked through the cemetery and came across this rather wonderful gravestone:
It contained the remains of Thomas Woolner, RA who died in 1892. A sculptor and poet; also one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. See HERE if you'd like more information.
This was Saturday's outfit. Tunic by Fenn, Wright and Manson via my Barnardo's last year. Linen trousers by River Island and picked up for 1.00 last week. White pumps by Primarni and all jewellery charity shopped.
On Saturday, I also visited my friend Bernie who lives quite close to my cousin and we went out for a meal to 'Mildred's' in Soho; which was delicious. Bernie and I caught a bus from her house to Edgware Road; we then walked to Marble Arch as I wanted to look for something for my daughter's birthday next week. From there we walked to Oxford Street towards Carnaby Street and on to the restaurant. I hated the West End crowds!
On Sunday Marian and I set off for Fenton House in Hampstead to look at the gardens. Fenton House was a 17th century Merchant's house and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1952 by Lady Binning. We didn't want to be tied to a time slot so didn't bother booking a visit to the house. Both the house and gardens were quite modest in appearance which made a pleasant change from the usual excess and opulence I've seen in some of the places I've visited.
Plan of the garden
The orchard. We were allowed to pick up any windfall apples or pears.
Another beautiful Georgian house on the same street as Fenton House. Hampstead is quite high up and full of lovely buildings and quirky streets. It's the sort of place OH and I would like to explore in more depth and probably have a rummage at the same time. In the evening OH and I watched the final two episodes of 'Redemption' - another highly recommended series.
I wore this outfit to Barnardo's. Jeans by Next; top by H&M, shoes by Clarks; all charity shopped. The long denim shirt was a recent Bedford market buy. I thought it was a denim dress but the slits at the side are too high for my liking so I've designated it as a long shirt; it's going to be a 'really useful' garment I can tell. I was a bit too warm in it even though the air conditioning was on in the shop. All jewellery charity shopped. We processed donations all morning and got a lot done; it's good to come away with a sense of having achieved something. I did two washes and hung both out to dry; washed the kitchen floor and made dinner. I also caught up with blogs and blogging; Monday comes around so quickly. In the evening we started to watch a Netflix series called 'Kleo' set in East Germany during the cold war period and the fall of the wall. So far I'm uncertain but there are 7 more episodes so will reserve judgement until I've watched some more!
It was grey and overcast on Tuesday so I cheered myself up with colour. The sun came out at times but the temperature was much cooler at 19 degrees and looks set to remain so for the next week at least. I'm not complaining but not ready to get the winter clothes down from the loft yet. Everything I'm wearing was charity shopped. Trousers by M&S; top by Tu from 1.00 rail; yellow top worn as a cardigan by White Stuff; all from Barnardo's. Vans pumps and all jewellery also charity shopped. At the food bank the toiletry situation was dire. I ran out of washing up liquid; washing powder; shampoo; and toothpaste very quickly. There were no back up supplies. The toiletries order placed a week ago was out of stock on all those items and the manager said they may do a quick trip to the cash and carry in the week. I started the day packing away the toiletries that had been donated during the previous week and there wasn't much at all. The supermarket pick up arrived before I left and I also packed those toiletries away; again very little. A sign of the times we're living in I'm afraid.
I will be recce'ing a couple of my walks this week and therefore may not walk with the group on Wednesday. In fact the Bedford Walking Festival started on Saturday and there were walks planned for every day for 7 days; should one have wanted to go for a guided walk on a daily basis! We are going 'en famille' for my daughter's birthday meal to a local restaurant on Sunday; for the workers among us they will have the following day off on Monday which was declared a bank holiday as the day of the Queen's funeral. I'll see you in a fortnight as usual!