Tuesday 14 March 2023

Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.


This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put my walking boots on when I got to the start point - well, at least that was the plan for Wednesday 1st March. The start point for the group walk was the village of Silsoe. I set off in good time but as I travelled along the A6 the rain came down quite heavily which was very off putting. Then, in the village of Clophill; the village before Silsoe, there was a long tail back of traffic. That was unusual for the time of the day but ten minutes later I discovered why; roadworks and temporary traffic lights. The ten minute delay meant that when I got the Silsoe turn off it was already ten o clock and as I've said before the Ramblers are nothing if not punctual; starting off at ten on the dot. I wasn't too bothered as I had planned to go to Luton after the walk to pick something up for my son - and have a rummage. I did it in the morning instead!

I was saddened to see how very run down the town centre in Luton looked. When I was based at the university there; I was forever popping out in my lunch break to have a rummage in the charity shops. There are now only four left; three national charities and one independent shop. I found a book and a knitted dress in the Sally Army which was marked down in the sale items. After collecting my son's item; I stopped at Aldi in Luton on the way back and picked up Earl Grey teabags and some night cream; neither of which I'd been able to get in my local Aldi. A successful trip I'd say. Once home I had to go out into to town to pick up a parcel for OH at the sorting office; I'd left the card to claim the parcel at home in my handbag and only took my rucksack with me in the morning...

The dress hangs very nicely but the photos don't show it very well.

Swimming on Thursday was very busy in contrast to Tuesday. I did have the pool to myself for the last 10 minutes and in total manged to swim 48 laps - 1 mile. I used to strive to swim 48 laps every time, but I was often absolutely knackered when I got out, now I just swim what I can in the 60 minute slot. It usually works out at about 45 to 46 laps. I changed into this outfit when I got home and had something to eat before embarking on a trip to the farm shop and to Lidl. Everything pre-loved except the boots. The dress which had the label removed was the one I picked up on Wednesday's trip to Luton. Polo neck underneath by M&S; tights made of bamboo were so warm and bought in Brixton charity shop; jacket by Moto and all jewellery pre-loved, too. The polo neck is off to the donations bag; the neck is floppy. I like a polo neck to fit me snugly around the neck and this one doesn't.

I was horrified to see at the farm shop in Sharnbrook the coal had increased yet again by 1.00 per bag; making the three bags (60kg) I buy on a monthly basis now 39.00; instead of the 30.00 it was when I first started buying it. Hopefully, once the warmer weather arrives we will no longer need to light the fire every evening and therefore save some money. I worked out that between buying fuel (coal; logs; kindling) for the stove and paying the gas and electric for the month; OH and I spent 390.00 in total for February 2022. Once upon a time that would have equated to a quarter's bill i.e. 3 months. I'm just lucky we can afford it but I can't bear to think of the amount of people who can't and go cold as a result. 

I collected youngest grandson from school made dinner and then dropped same grandson off to basket ball practice. In the evening we finished watching the last in the series of 'Unforgotten' which was excellent.

On Friday 8 of us met at Langford garden centre and walked 6 miles from Langford to Henlow to Clifton and back. We stopped for tea and cake at the garden centre. The weather was chilly; a bit drizzly and very cloudy.

Henlow Grange. Now a luxury spa resort and wedding venue; you can read about the original inhabitants (Edwards, Raynsfords and Addingtons) HERE.

Talk about a carpet of snow drops!

When I arrived home the postman had delivered 2 books I'd ordered online and I spent the rest of the day reading the second book in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. Now to hunt down the third in the series...

This was Saturday's outfit. OH and I went to Emmaeus to drop off a bag of donations and then onto Olney to have a quick rummage in their 3 charity shops. I bought nothing except a brooch and a ring but OH found 2 pairs of work jeans. Dress by Kaleidoscope; jacket by New Look and all jewellery pre-loved. Boots as before; present from my daughter. It was another chilly grey day. Our temperatures stayed at between 6 and 8 degrees this week but were set to drop next week; just in time for my birthday!

Olney is a quaint little town with lots of beautiful old houses; these are the front windows of one of the houses: I just had to stop and have a nose and take a photo.

Once home I chilled out for the rest of the day. OH cooked and we started watching another 'Walter Presents' series called 'The Wall; Cover Your Tracks'; set in French speaking part of Canada.

It was still chilly on Sunday at 4 degrees but bright. I went for a 4.3 mile urban walk then back home to do the weekly house cleaning and cooked roast lamb for us all. Everything I wore was pre-loved; skirt by M&S; jumper by Gap and shirt underneath by Next; boots as before. Jewellery also pre-loved; I didn't bother with beads for a change.

I had a busy week ahead of me. On the day of my birthday I had a dental hygienist appointment; brilliant planning there Veronica - not! In the evening everyone would come around for birthday cake. On Friday, I was at long last taking sister-in-law out for the day to the West End and hopefully to eat at grandson's restaurant. Priscilla flies back to the USA the week after, so Friday was best day to go and it's the only day of week where I am free from commitments. On Sunday we'd be going out for my birthday dinner with my three brothers...

I took out my black broiderie anglaise maxi dress (pre-loved) to wear on Monday with this Tu (retail) polo neck underneath and this jacket (also pre-loved). I wore the dress belted and my New Look burgundy boots but I didn't really like the outfit; unfortunately I had no time to change so I wore it to Barnardo's on Monday. I'd worn the dress with a belt which was a mistake. It's the sort of dress that looks best on its own with out anything else. I decided to hang onto it and wear it when the weather gets warmer. I'd worn it before when I went out for a Mother's Day afternoon tea with my daughter a year or so ago. At Barnardo's we weren't very busy and I processed donations all morning. It seemed our paid member of staff who works two days a week had left; having found herself a full time job. I'll miss her; she was very young and lots of fun. It'll be months before she's replaced. When I got home I changed into jeans as I had to go to the building society and the bank. It was a grey miserable day but the temperature was 9 degrees so it was warmer than it had been for days.

When I set out for the food bank on Tuesday morning it was 3 degrees but no frost or ice to be seen. Apparently it had snowed in Oxfordshire and Suffolk overnight but we had escaped it. I wore Next jeans worn yesterday after Barnardo's; H&M polo neck underneath an H&M tunic; all pre-loved and boots from Tu; a Christmas present in 2021 from my daughter. All jewellery pre-loved. I'm wearing tiny diamond studs for earrings; I don't wear stud earrings that often. On the way back from the food bank I stopped at Sainsbury's as we needed bread and milk and I needed to get some cash out. I prefer to use cash to do my weekly food and fuel shopping.

I went for the usual Tuesday afternoon swim;  managing to lose my stud earrings at the pool; I think they fell out of my swimming goggles case when I put them back in after my swim. I then came home and cooked dinner. The daily routine of cleaning out the fire continued and of course the inevitable washing. I have hardly used the heated clothes airer since Christmas but it may yet come into its own; if nothing else it will get used as an airer in the summer months when the washing line is full. The afternoon was cold at 5 degrees but sunny. Now the trees here are blossoming and on Friday's walk we saw lots of blackthorn in bloom; frothy white blossom and later there will be sloes...

The snow got to us eventually. I woke up to snow falling on Wednesday morning. Light but persistent. The ground was wet so it wouldn't settle but that scuttled my group walk plan. Instead I decided to have a lazy day. A lazy day is one where I don't have to be somewhere by a certain time and I love a lazy day! After having breakfast and getting ready I went into town to return a library book. Someone else had reserved it and the library had sent me a reminder to return it on time. I then had a quick mooch around picking up some essential items; then home again to do the weekly Aldi shop. From Aldi I had planned to go to a different farm shop as we had run out of coal and the Sharnbrook farm shop didn't open on Wednesdays. Would you believe the road to Pell's Farm Shop and Nursery was closed for road repairs (bloody potholes everywhere) however, so I asked OH to pick up a small bag on his way home from work. By the time OH got in from work the snow had settled on roof tops, walls and trees.

I wore M&S wool trousers; H&M polo neck and M&S kimono with red boots as before; all pre-loved as was all jewellery. The series we had been watching (The Wall: Cover Your Tracks) had stopped at episode 5 and would resume on Friday. It was very frustrating to find this out but I'd look forward to seeing what happened next on Friday evening...there were 8 episodes in total to watch so it maybe another 3 weeks before we get to find out whodunnit!

I woke up to heavy snow on my birthday and temperatures of 1 degree. In 1954 the year I was born in London; the temperature was 10 degrees with wind and rain...

By the time I'd walked to the swimming pool my umbrella was caked in snow. Once I'd had my swim and left the pool to walk home the rain came down and before too long it was if it had never snowed. I had a dental hygienist appointment at 12 and came home to have something to eat first before walking to the dentist. Then it was off again to the farm shop and to do the weekly Lidl shopping. Whilst I was in Lidl; my cousin Susan rang to say that my Aunty Rosie had passed away at 12 noon. It was quite a shock as I knew she hadn't  been well for a while but she was still in the nursing home where she lived with my other aunt and not in hospital. Susan was with her when she died holding her hand. In a way she's the last of my mother's family as my other aunt has dementia and doesn't know us anymore. It's all very sad and I'll miss her. She had a mischievous sense of humour. RIP Auntie Rosie. The funeral would be held on Saturday. I tried to find flights but they were very expensive plus I would have needed to hire a car and find accommodation so I made the decision not to go to the funeral. I would be able to watch the funeral mass online on Saturday and when we go to Ireland in April we'd be able to visit her grave.

I wore this outfit on Thursday. Kilt skirt by M&S; top by Tu; boots as before and everything including the jewellery was pre-loved. I lost one of my earrings on the way to the dentist and this pair were the replacement.

 My beautiful birthday cake. I was thoroughly spoiled with lots of lovely presents and cards. OH bought me new summer walking boots; perfume; a bottle of Canadian Club (my favourite tipple) and some African print earrings. My son bought me a gift card for a world wide retail outlet; my daughter bought me some perfume; some chocolates and a scented candle. My middle grandson bought me an Oodie (a very warm indoors hooded top - it will be perfect for the caravan); his little brother bought me a Stegosauras pot (!) containing a succulent and my daughter in law bought me some tulips and a bar of Ferrero Rocher chocolate which at the time of writing had been scoffed. OH started on it on Thursday night...

No snow on Friday but it started out very windy and chilly. My sister-in-law had cancelled our trip to the West End as she had to wait in on Friday for a special delivery letter to do with her state pension. She flies back to the USA on Thursday. So I had a free day ahead of me - two in one week! Skirt by M&S; polo neck by Uniqlo; tank top by Mandolin; boots from Sainsbury's children's range; everything pre-loved and all jewellery also pre-loved.

After a morning of pottering about at home; I went for a rummage in the afternoon once I'd posted off a parcel to my son. I went to the Castle Road charity shops and the Cat's Protection League in Kempston. I was on a hunt for Elly Griffith's books and tank tops. I found a tank top and a ring but no Elly Griffith's books, unfortunately. The sun came out in the afternoon and it was lovely to have some brightness after 2 grey days. The temperature peaked at 5 degrees. Middle grandson stayed over night and after sorting him out some dinner I spent the rest of the evening reading.

The bright but cold weather continued on Saturday. I seem to have had a short skirt/tank top phase going on. Skirt by Laura Ashley; polo neck by Zara; tank top by Amaranto (picked up on Friday at the Cat's Protection League), boots as before. Everything and all jewellery pre-loved. First airing of this copper toned necklace.

My auntie Rosie's funeral mass was being live streamed from Ireland at 12 noon and OH and I sat down to watch it. It was a lovely service and a lot of people attended. After that I walked into town to collect a couple of reservations from the library and then walked along the river from the library to Great Denham and Biddenham to home; 5 miles in total. I chilled out for the rest of the day finishing my R.F. Delderfield book and starting the third in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series. In the evening we caught up with Episode 6 of 'The Wall'; we'd tried to watch it live on Friday evening but couldn't get it to start at the beginning as we tuned in half way through.

I went for another walk on Sunday morning in bright sunshine and it was actually warm at about 13 degrees. I was sweating when I got back home after walking 4 miles. OH and I did the usual house cleaning when I got back and then I had a leisurely day with no cooking required; we went out for my birthday meal at a Nepalese restaurant with my 3 brothers. My daughter wasn't very well so didn't come with us. The food was delicious and we all wanted to go back for a return visit soon.

Started reading this on Monday evening and until we can carry on watching 'The Wall' we started watching this Dutch crime drama:

With 3 series and 10 episodes per series it should keep us going for a while!

Before that though it was off to Barnardo's as usual. We have an inspection soon and so that everything was as it should be; me and another volunteer went through different sections ensuring all the labels were in date and had the correct size cube and price on the label. 

I also  did the shop banking in the nearby village of Bromham. It looks as if Great Denham has lost its post office along with many other places across the UK. My local post office at home was closed down about 7 years ago and to avoid the very crowded town centre one; I often drive to near where my daughter lives and use the post office there. In fact with all the retail outlets closing down; it's forcing people into their cars more and more as the retail parks are rarely in town centres anymore. The bus services aren't always very regular and sometimes you have heavy stuff to carry...

In the afternoon I should have run some errands but one of the Ivel Valley group came round to interview me for our forthcoming Summer walks programme. It's a new item in the programme and I was the third person to be interviewed in the new series of interviews. I decided to run the errands on Wednesday instead when I go to Aldi. I didn't take any outfit photos as I completely forgot as we did at my birthday meal, too.

On Tuesday, I wore this  pre-loved Next dress with a striped polo neck underneath picked up from the 1.00 basket at Barnardo's a few weeks ago. Boots had no label but were pre-loved as was all the jewellery. It was once again surprisingly warm and sunny.

We were busy at the food bank. I put away accumulated toiletries and cleaning products; then made up crates of toiletries for two of the distribution centres. After that I helped with the food parcels; weighing them out, labelling them and stacking them up. It's like a work out at the gym - not that I've ever been to the gym. I took advantage of the weather when I got home and hung the bed linen on the line; on Sunday I'd managed to get towels dry outside; that's not been possible for ages. It's another sign that Spring is upon us and thank goodness for that. I'm off for a swim now and later on I'm meeting up with my other best friend Ann, for a meal out and a long overdue catch up! I'll see you in a fortnight.


  1. First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your Aunty Rosie. What a blessing that you were able to follow her funeral mass online, though.
    Your birthday cake looks truly scrumptious - happy birthday, by the way - and it seems you were quite spoiled with presents.
    The carpet of snowdrops was a sight for sore eyes, as were your gorgeous outfits. I particularly love the one with the Kaleidoscope dress and the pre-loved Next dress, and haven't you got the most fabulous collection of necklaces? xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann, . Weren't the snowdrops beautiful?

  2. When I read your blog title I could hardly concentrate on what you'd written anxious to get to the sad news. RIP Auntie Rosie. What a comfort that Susan was with her at the end and you were able to attend the funeral virtually.
    I'm glad you had a fab birthday despite the dental appointment. You were spoiled and deservedly so!
    Blood Pact's brilliant, I loved the first two series. So many things to watch, so little time! I often see Elly Griffiths books in chazzas but the covers have never inspired me to pick them up, and they say never judge a book by its cover.
    Fab outfits as always, love the black and white outfit and Kaleidoscope maxi and mustard moto jacket especially.
    Have a fabulous fortnight, Vronni. Hopefully next time you write we'll have seen the back of this snow! xx

    1. Thank you, Vix. Yes, le'ts hope the snow disappears until next winter! We are really enjoying Blood Pact. The Elly Griffiths books are in 3 series; the Dr Ruth Galloway series; Harbinder Kaur series and another series set in Brighton in the 1950s (I think). I've only read some of the Dr. Ruth Galloway books so far...

  3. Aw, Vronni, I am so sorry to hear of your aunt's passing. I'm glad you got to watch the service online.

    Missing earrings, galore! That is a shame about your diamond ones! I hate it when I lose an earrings, but I remind myself, they are things and are meant to be used...and that means getting lost/broken.

    I love your outfits, as always! Such a stylish young thing you are! And a very Happy Birthday - although, OH, hands off the woman's chocolate! ;-P

    1. Thank you, Sheila. Don't worry the earrings weren't real diamonds! I would never wear expensive earrings giving my penchant for losing them. The most expensive earrings I've owned were bought from Etsy as a birthday present and I paid £35 for them. I lost one of them in Budleigh Salterton in Devon whilst visiting Hilary!

  4. a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    the cake looks cute and delicious, but celebrating with a dentist appointment sounds not like fun ;-D glad that you had a great time at the nepalese restaurant with your brothers!
    i´m sorry to hear your aunt rosie has passed..... thanks goodness for the internet for watching the service.
    fabulous looks with chic jewelry - should trace your tracks to find me some pretty earrings ;-D
    much love! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate. I do trace my tracks looking for the earrings but it's the reason why I never buy expensive earrings - I'd only lose them!

  5. What a busy two weeks you had ! I think it’s lovely that you and your brothers get together to celebrate each sibling’s birthday. I recall pictures of all of you out at a restaurant celebrating one of your brothers. Very nice.
    I loved the long Kaleidoscope dress, something about the contrast of the light color fabric at the neckline above the bodice, interesting .
    Very sorry about your Aunt’s passing. It is hard to lose the generation that come before us.
    As always, thanks for taking us along with you on your two week adventures and showing us your pre-loved fashions.
    I don’t seem to know how to not be anonymous in replying to you, but I am Anne from Massachusetts, USA and we just got 22” of snow, making sting seem very far away. 😉 envious of your snowdrops.

    1. Thank you, Anne from Massachusetts! I'm not sure when the 'get together for a birthday meal celebration' began; possibly when my brother Julian discovered us in 2013. It was a good reason for us to meet regularly as we have 3 winter birthdays, (March, April and November) 1 spring (May), 1 summer (July).

      I can't imagine 22 inches of snow - and we moan about a couple of inches!

  6. P.S. that’s spring … not sting !

  7. Like Vix I was very anxious to read your sad news . Rest in peace Auntie Rosie - my mother
    and her siblings are all now dead , and I miss them
    so much - and the stories that they told, the lives they lived and the adventures they had . I am so sorry to hear about her death .

    Yet again your energy levels amaze me . We managed a few short walks around our garden this week, but Tony gets tired so swiftly - another
    reminder of what cancer takes from a person
    I am delighted to hear you are enjoying Dr R
    She is a woman after my own Radio 4 listening , wine drinking and over eating heart. I would love to send you one of the novels as a birthday gift, as a thank you for all the pleasure I receive from reading your blog
    Happy Birthday lovely one
    Siobhan x

    1. Thank you, Siobhan. You are so right about our mother's generation and indeed my Auntie Rosie was all the things you said - but also the keeper of the family history.

      I'm so sorry about your husband, Tony. Cancer is a wicked disease.

      How kind of you to want to send me a Dr. Ruth book. I appreciate the thought but half the fun is in tracking the books down in the right sequence, of course! Last week I charged off to one of the several libraries in Bedford we have, to track down No.4 in the series. According to the library catalogue they had it in stock. By the time I got there it been taken out!

      I'm just so delighted you enjoy my blog.

    2. Tony died on the 25/3/23
      My heart is broken
      Siobhan x

    3. Oh Siobhan, I am so devastated for you and your family..I hope he will be able to rest in peace now. It's going to be very hard for you to face a life without him. I'm guessing you'd been together for a long time. You will get through it; just keep believing you will. My thoughts are with you. xxx

  8. Kathryn and the Ancients20 March 2023 at 17:34

    Hello dear! We are at Miss K's house for a party and so we get to send a note on her machine [computer]. The machine at the Center won't let us send any notes out as they think we are all daft. So we do it while here at Kathryn's. Only have a minute...just want to tell you how very much we enjoy your fashion photos...you look wonderful in each one! Please remember that each time we come on here to look at your [bog] there are at least five to eight of us at once. We surely do not want you to think that only one person is reading each time! Miss K is typing this for us as we cannot take too long or Clyde will eat ALL of the cake! Happy Spring to you and thank you for your lovely writing and photos of England and of you! ~There are only six of us here right now but we are going to have such a fun party! Love from us!

    From K: We certainly do enjoy your postings! This bunch follows Sheila (although we cannot get a note to her to show up on her blog for some reason), Vix, and now you. You three are as special to them as if you lived just down the street! Happy Spring to you and yours, my dear!

    1. Hello Miss K and the ancients! I do hope you managed to get some birthday cake and had great fun at the party. Thank you so much for your comments I really appreciate them and love to think of you all gathered round Miss K's computer. I'm sorry you can't get to comment on Sheila's blog I'll let her know. It might have something to do with Blogger (the blog platform we use) wanting everyone to comment as Anonymous. I think you can change it once you do manage to get a comment to appear - as you yourselves did on my blog.

      Happy Spring to you all!

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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