Tuesday, 17 January 2023

The return of the big chill...

 

Hello again. I'd like to thank you all for following my blog, reading it and commenting throughout the year. You make blogging worthwhile and I'm very grateful for all your support!

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As I said in my previous post my mobile phone was stolen on 6th January. I had gone to the Cat's Protection League on Friday where I hadn't been for a while. I bought a colourful square coaster made of felted balls which I thought would be good to place a plant pot on. As I paid for it, my phone must have fallen out of my bag onto the counter unnoticed by me and the volunteer who took my payment. I realised when I was in Lidl my phone wasn't in my bag when I went to apply my Lidl Plus vouchers, but thought I must have left it at home. Although I must say I had an uncomfortable feeling about it; as I felt sure I had taken it with me. After a thorough search at home and ringing it several times, I rang the charity shop. I was told that a man was seen picking up a phone from the counter but when challenged by the staff stated it was his! My phone had a purple leather case embossed with a floral design and although this may be sexist I doubt a man would choose that type of cover. It's such a pain when this sort of thing happens; blocking the phone and arranging for a replacement but it's all been sorted now and I have a new phone. It's really important to me as I rely on my phone and tripod to take blog photos and photos when I'm out and about.


This photo was taken on a day when the light was very poor but when I still had my old phone. Everything pre-loved except the boots from New Look, retail. Dress bought in a Co. Longford charity shop; polo neck by John Lewis. Tights found years ago and all jewellery also pre-loved.

On Friday evening we all went out for a meal to celebrate Grandson's 18th birthday. A very good time was had by all. Isaiah is a man now; able to vote; fight for his country; enter in a credit agreement and get married without parental permission. He can finally attend doctor and dentist appointments without an adult needing to be present - hurrah! He was doing mock A level exams the first week of January and has applied to 5 universities to study law in September. 


The birthday boy is sat next to me...

We had a quiet weekend doing the usual housecleaning and I cooked Sunday dinner. I also went for a 6 mile walk on Sunday morning along the river.  Over the weekend we started watching a German series on Netflix called 'Woman of the Dead'. Gripping! By Monday my new phone had arrived but the sim card hadn't so I couldn't use it. I went to Barnardo's on Monday having had a 2 week break and it felt good to be back. We were inundated with donations and I spent all morning processing them.


Source: Google

On Tuesday it was back to the food bank after a 3 week gap. I spent the morning trying to find homes for the toiletry donations that we had amassed. There wasn't room for all of them so there were several crates still to be unpacked and sorted. I also made up 6 crates of toiletries to go out to distribution centres. We have temporarily reverted to the old system of putting out the toiletry and hygiene items and allowing people to select what they need. This was the system in use before the pandemic and social distancing. Hopefully, I'll be back making up hygiene bags in the next few weeks. I didn't take any outfit photos as I was still trying to set my new phone up; it took middle grandson and me until Tuesday evening to do so. Thank goodness for grandchildren! I went for the usual swim on Tuesday afternoon and swam a mile. I went for a short  4 mile urban walk on Wednesday, went to Aldi in the afternoon and stopped in the Castle Rd charity shops for a rummage but bought nothing except a pair of boots...


It took me a while to get to grips with the camera on the new phone and I finally remembered to take an outfit photo on Friday. On Thursday I went swimming in the morning; then on to the farm shop and Lidl. On Friday it was unofficial bus walk day and we walked from Jordan's Mill in Biggleswade and along the river Ivel for 4 miles. We stopped for coffee in Biggleswade town centre. When I got home I went into town to run a few errands; collecting youngest grandson's school jumper from the school uniform shop; going to Superdrug and Savers for toiletries and household items and I visited Poundland where I buy Argan oil for my hair. Poundland has been strangely empty of late; I think the large B&M which opened in the town centre more than a year ago has taken away a lot of their business.


Everything pre-loved except the polo neck by Tu; Sainsbury's retail. Vintage jacket from Children's Society; skirt can't remember; the boots also by Tu; were Wednesday's find in the Mercy in Action charity shop in Castle Road. I found the purple tights ages ago and this was their first outing. I always buy tights if I see them (in packets) in charity shops and needless to say I have an extensive collection. That's just as well as all my tights seem to go at the toes and tend not to last long - with the exception of my Snag tights, of course. All jewellery charity shopped; the earrings were bought in a Cambridge charity shop when I took Priscilla there last week.


Saturday was wet and windy; even so OH and I went for a good old rummage. We went to Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard. I found nothing in Aylesbury except a cheap belt; in Leighton Buzzard, however, I found a round wicker cross-body bag with a leather strap; a plaid jacket on a 1.00 rail; a pair of purple lounging bottoms with fleece lining; 2 books; one of which was for my daughter and a bottle of perfume. 


I don't think the camera on my new phone takes as good photos as my old phone. Although it recognises the remote clicker I use with my tripod; it won't take photos so I've had to set the timer to 10 seconds and run to get into position! As it seemed a relatively mild day on Saturday I wore this dress which I bought BNWT from the Children's Society before Christmas; it's my size but too big so it will be re-donated. Leather over the knee boots bought from my Barnardo's 2 years ago. The cardigan by Wallis was a pound rail find at Barnardo's in Ampthill.  Bag bought from Vinted. All jewellery pre-loved.  I also wore a scarf and gloves but by the end of the day I was sorry I hadn't worn a warmer coat is it became colder and wetter as the day progressed.


In the evening we began watching the Australian series 'Mystery Road; Origin'. We'd watched the first series and thoroughly enjoyed it. This series goes back to Jay Swann's beginnings as a detective. Australia looks so dry and dusty in this series.


I've also been watching and loving 'Happy Valley'; Series 3. The writing, acting and plotting is superb. OH is not a fan so I've been catching up when I can...


 I cooked a vegan dish on Sunday: 'Jumbalaya' and cooked Tofu for the first time for dinner; OH made a chicken curry. 

This was Sunday's outfit. Everything pre-loved. Dress which is one of my favourites by Desigual; a gift from Vix HERE a few years ago; tights by Snag; boots as before and polo neck by Primarni. All jewellery pre-loved.




Monday was freezing. It was 4 degrees according to the car temperature gauge and as well as several hailstone showers we also had a short shower of snow in the afternoon. The big chill had returned. On my way back from Barnardo's in the afternoon I spotted a Sparrowhawk in a tree. One of the advantages of some trees losing their foliage in winter is that it make it easier to spot the birds...


I was a bit disorganised on Monday morning; I'd got my outfit ready the night before as I always do; once I was dressed I didn't like it on. Then it was trying to think of what to wear -  which is much harder when you have too many lots of clothes. In the end I discarded the skirt and jumper and opted for jeans, this peplum top and a jacket by LB for extra warmth. Everything pre-loved. Jeans by M&Co; top by M&S; boots bought online retail; all jewellery pre-loved. Trying to decide what to wear took ages and I was running late by the time I got to Barnardo's. 


 Again donations had been stopped on Monday to allow us to catch up with the huge influx of donations that came in over the weekend. We got a lot done and I always feel very satisfied to see a clear space on the floor; where before the space was filled with donations! It helps of course to have 2 volunteers on Monday mornings. Monday night was very cold and in line with my disorganised morning; bedtime was a disaster. I'd made up a hot water bottle (or a 'hottie bottie'; as  my brother Julian calls it) and put it in the bed while I was taking off my make-up and brushing my teeth. When I got into bed the hot water bottle had leaked. I tried drying the hot wet patch with the hair dryer which then stopped working; in the end I got the iron out and ironed it as dry as I could... it was still a bit damp when I got back into bed but I'd had enough by then. I can't really complain about the leaking hot water bottle; it was a Christmas gift from my colleague Mandy, whom I worked with in a further education college in Luton, between 2002 -2004. That hot water bottle was almost 20 years old!




It was -3 degrees when I got into my car on Tuesday morning to go to the food bank. I wore lots of layers. Everything was pre-loved. The cardigan by Next; was a Barnardo's find about three years ago. The pinafore dress by Nutmeg was a find on Monday; again from Barnardo's; as was the Uniqlo polo neck. Underneath that I wore a camisole. Tights as before. I have a grey pair identical to these but couldn't lay my hands on them.  The boots by Kickers; were a recent Daycare Hospice find when I dropped off a bag of donations. I was looking for a small side/occasional table and came out with boots instead! Necklace and earrings both pre-loved.

On Wednesday I'm walking with my group to a place called Deepdale; I've not walked this walk before so I am looking forward to it. On Saturday I'm going to London with my daughter for the day and we'll hopefully see my eldest grandson while we are there. I tell you all about it in my next post and as you may have realised I'm back to posting on a Tuesday. Until then stay warm!








19 comments:

  1. Gah! I'm not liking this weather!
    Oh dear, what a shame about your phone being robbed. That thieving ratbag, I hope karma comes along and bites him on the bum.
    Happy Birthday to Isaiah! He sounds a clever young man.
    I remember that Desigual dress, it looks fab on you as does everything else. I'm particularly loving the black and white mixture of prints in the last outfit.
    The close-up photos on your new phone are lovely, I'm sure you'll get the hang of the settings before too long.
    Loved Mystery Road and am patiently waiting for Happy Valley to finish so I can binge watch it. I've just watched Rogue Agent on Netflix, a film based on the real-life story of the man who claimed to be M15, James Norton plays a wrong 'un so well. I've made a note of the German series. Thanks for the recommendation and stay warm! xxx

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    Replies
    1. You will love 'Happy Valley'.

      I forgot to mention the Great British Pottery Throwdown which is as good as it always is. I thought that disgusting pig of a human being; the ex-police officer rapist and abuser of 12 women; David Carrick bore a close resemblance to Keith Brymer-Jones - it may just have been the hair...

      Hope you're staying warm; it's even colder where you are!
      xxx

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    2. Hi Vronni! Just reporting back to say that we're already halfway through Woman of the Dead - great stuff! Cheers for the recommendation.
      We watched the last two series of Happy Valley when they were first on but I wanted to watch series 3 in one go - I'm so greedy!
      That's so funny, I said exactly the same about that evil man to Jon, he is a dead ringer for lovely Keith (probably the kindest and most gentle man on the telly!) xxx

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  2. I'm also loving the black and white print mix - warm AND stylin', Vronni! Sorry about the phone - that really sucks that someone would do that. I dread the day (it will come) when I have to get a phone...
    Ha, welcome to my world of the 10-second timer! It's why I have set poses.
    Sorry to hear about the hottie bottie (hee) - mine is only 5 years old, so I hope I get that long out of it, but yes, that would be frazzling! Stay cozy!

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    1. Thank you, Sheila. I quite enjoy the 10 second timer. Hope your hottie bottie lasts as long as mine did!
      xxx

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  3. you should chain your phone to your handbag :-D
    fabulous outfits - dear vronni!
    especially the black&white with the pinafore dress - very mod. genius how you "elongated" the pattern of the des***** dress with tights and boots in the matching colour!
    i use a cherry pit pillow to warm up the bed or me - it gets nice warm on the oven tiles until i need it and it saves the warm for a long time.....
    xxxxx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beate! I love the idea of a cherry pit pillow. Did you make it yourself? Of course you did. I imagine it to be something like the fleece covered items I've seen which are filled with rice grains or something synthetic that you can pop into the microwave and heat up?
      xxx

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    2. i actually bought it in the drugstore! the fabric is a light cotton with cute print.... (i hate fleece). the instructions say one can heat it up in a microwave (don´t have one), in a kitchen stove/oven (to dangerous because mine works with a gas fire) or on a radiator (have´t that either) - so i use the top of the tiled oven - its the safest way imho.
      xx

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  4. So sorry about the phone - it feels awful when one loses stuff but to have it stolen.....! Love, love that Disgual dress.We're watching Mystery Road and really enjoying it. I shall have to look out for the Netflix series. Really interesting post as ever :)

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    1. Apologies, should have said who I am! I'ts Penny from https://frugalfashionshopper.co.uk

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    2. Hi Penny and thank you! Where have you been?

      I hate the anonymous blog replies when people don't say who they are - I want to know!

      Hope you're managing to stay warm and cosy,
      xxx

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  5. Sorry to hear about your phone being stolen, rotten devil. I had my purse stolen one Christmas Eve, apart from some cash and my credit cards I also lost private things, notes etc and some old pics of people that I treasured. I was most upset about the personal items. I did lose my handbag many years ago and I had been saving my child benefit up for six months (remember the books we used to get). Luckily it was found by a passer by who took it to the police station, so I got it back.
    Love your outfits and your many pairs of boots!
    Happy birthday to your grandson.
    Carole x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carole.

      Oh, I remember the Child Benefit books - they were frequently a lifeline for me and enabled me to buy food for the forthcoming week. I'm so glad you got yours back.
      xxx

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  6. Sorry to hear your mobile phone was stolen, so annoying!, but glad that all been sorted now and that you're taking photos again!. As Sheila, I'm also a '10 seconds timer' kind of photographer when necessary!.
    So lovely that you met family to celebrate your grandson's birthday, and such a significative birthday it is!, he's probably enthusiastic and feeling very adult!.
    Lovely outfits, lots of inspiration for these rainy cold days! and lots of fabulous jewellery and accessorizing to admire too!. You rock it!.
    I love your monochromatic outfits being the last one a favourite of mine, so fabulous layering and textures. Also love particularly your cool Desigual dress with red boots!.
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica! I get my layering inspiration from you...
      xxx

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  7. What a pain about the phone! Pity there are dishonest people about.
    Happy birthday to Isaiah.
    We're enjoying Woman of the Dead too. One episode to go! My husband is watching Happy Valley with me but he didn't watch the 2 previous series's.
    The Desigual skirt outfit is my favourite, looks very funky with the red tights and boots xx

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    1. Thank you, Gail. My OH has never watched Happy Valley but says he doesn't like it....men!!!!
      xxx

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  8. I'm sorry to hear your phone was stolen, what a terrible thing to have happened. I would be lost without mine, particularly for the photos. I'm still using my proper camera but it's on its last legs.
    I too have an extensive collection of tights and keeping picking them up whenever I see them in the charity shops or on sale. As for having too many clothes, I am hearing you!
    Lots of fabulous outfits as usual, my particular favourites being the first one, with the pleated skirt and purple tights, and the final one with its symphony of black and white. xxx P.S. Seconding Beate's suggestion of a cherry pit pillow. I've been using mine for years and heat it up in the microwave.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ann!

      I wonder if it's possible to buy a cherry pit pillow here? I'm just off to Google it...
      xxx

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