Tuesday, 30 May 2023

A trip to Leeds and other things


A photo heavy post - you have been warned!

These are the hangars at Cardington, Bedford. Originally built to house the R100 and R101 airships; they are now used for filming. They're large enough to fly a helicopter in and I've heard houses were built and demolished inside as part of a film set. One of the Batman movies was filmed here. You might wonder why I'm showing you a photo of these rather ugly but magnificent buildings? 

Well, we walked here last Wednesday as part of the usual Wednesday Ivel Valley Ramblers walk. It was an interesting walk in two ways. Firstly, when stopped midway for a coffee break in a field, we realised that about 5 people were missing. The walk leader went off to find them and we set off again without them; eventually meeting up with them about a mile further on. They had taken a wrong turning. That's the first time I've known that to happen on a Rambler's walk! We joke and say we're allowed to 'lose' 10% of walkers on a walk but we lost 25% in this instance.

Then, when I was driving home I realised I'd lost my phone - again. I had used it to take the photo above at the start of the walk. When I got home I called Jan, who was on the walk with me, and she suggested trying 'Find my phone' (an app that tries to locate missing devices). So I did, using my laptop (phone and laptop are connected) and guess what? It located the phone for me! I got back into the car and found my way to the nearest address it gave me; which happened to be directly across from the hangars. I walked across the road towards the hangars and there was my phone lying on the ground. How lucky was that? It must have fallen out of my pocket after I'd taken the photo.  How brilliant is modern technology? I wished I'd thought to use it when my phone was taken before...

This was Thursday's outfit. I stayed in my walking gear on Wednesday as I tend to stay in my walking gear all day if I walked with my group in the morning. In warmer weather I tend to wear jeans and tops plus walking boots when walking; in winter I wear waterproof or shower proof trousers, jumpers or fleeces.

Everything pre-loved. Trousers by M&S; tee shirt by Religion both via Barnardo's. Jacket/kimono top 1.00 rail somewhere no label; pumps also pre-loved but can't remember where I bought them. All jewellery pre-loved. I started Thursday off as usual with a 45 lap swim. Once I was ready I went to buy birthday presents for OH and do the Aldi shopping.  I then walked  into town for another present for OH and a card. Collected grandson from school; made dinner and took youngest to basket ball practice. 

Middle grandson liked the Levi black denim jacket and wore it so I could see him wearing it. It fitted him perfectly. It was a warm sunny day all day which was lovely. I forgot to say in my previous post that I saw swifts over the house last week. The sound of screaming swifts is the sound of summer to me and I look forward to seeing and hearing them every year.

Since 'The Blood Pact' finished we haven't found anything suitable to watch on TV. We tried to watch a Danish series; I can't remember the name but I'm sick of programmes where women are constantly violently killed and mutilated. We tried a couple of episodes of a German series but it was a bit too teen for us. Thank goodness 'Sewing Bee' returns next week!

Everything pre-loved. Clogs by Seasalt found in a Devon charity shop. Black suedette jacket found last year in Barnardo's. All jewellery pre-loved.

It was cooler and overcast for much of Friday; the jacket was needed. I spent the morning running errands; there was no unofficial bus walk. I went to Sainsbury's; Home Bargains for more bird food; the library, the post office and had a rummage in the Castle Rd charity shops where I hadn't been for a few weeks. I found a velvet jump suit; BNWT for 6.00 and a pendant necklace in green. I went to the post office to return the replicated Fitbit; only to find I needed to take it to a DHL office. The nearest was in Queen's Park so I took it there. Errands completed I went home and caught up with blogging and blog land. No cooking on Fridays, hurrah!

Everyone came round in the evening for some of OH's birthday cake and a drink. Happy birthday to my wonderful OH!

There are developments in the garden:

I love the intense cobalt blue of this senetti so much we have 2 pots of it.

The verbena is blooming.

The verbascum is blooming, too.

I repurposed my old vegetable rack into a plant stand for the garden. Begonias in the bottom tier; then wandering minstrel in the middle and campanula on the top tier. OH bought the campanula; I think he'd forgotten it grows wild all over the back wall...

Saturday was warm and sunny and with a breeze. Perfect walking weather and I set off for a walk on Saturday afternoon with the North Beds group. We had a brilliant walk of 7.5 miles from the village of Riseley to the village of Swineshead and return. Riseley had several houses with plant sales so I bought some ajuga for my hanging basket at the front; some nasturtiums because I don't know what happened to the ones I planted last year - they may still surface yet; plumbago; the first I've ever had, and another sedum.

Thank you to Sandra for this photo. Yes, that's me from behind...

Thanks to Paul for this one.

I wore this to walk; all pre-loved except the Doc Martens sandals which were a recent retail buy. I bought a children's pair in size 3 so they were a lot cheaper than the adult ones. Shirt by Falmers; jeans by M & Co. All jewellery pre-loved. I ditched the necklace and the sandals for walking sandals. It was the first time I'd worn the walking sandals for a substantial walk and they were great, pre-loved of course, but I might need to wear socks with them next time.

View from Riseley. 
To the right of the photo are hawthorn (May) blossom hedges; the countryside is awash with it at the moment.

Oil seed rape field (thanks to Paul again).

Some houses in Swineshead.

Wildflower meadow.

I wasn't home long before brother Julian arrived from London and we made our way to Kettering to pick up my other two brothers and go for a Thai birthday meal for OH. I changed into a green pleated skirt with a green vintage jacket but forgot to take photos and at the meal. Too busy enjoying the moment...

Sunday was the usual; swimming, house cleaning and cooking a Sunday roast.

There was stocktaking at Barnardo's on Monday. Barnardo's sells a large range of artificial flowers and they had to be counted. Luckily, the manager had almost completed the count by the time I got in. I processed donations and served customers all morning; we were quite busy. I won't go in next week; its a bank holiday weekend and OH and I are off to Leeds to visit OH's army buddy and his wife. We haven't seen them since before the pandemic in 2020...

Everything pre-loved except the shoes from Sainsbury's bought a few years ago. Trousers by Papaya via Barnardo's and the Laura Ashley top was a 1.00 rail find somewhere. All jewellery pre-loved; the pendant was found last Friday in the Children's Society. Jacket by Primarni (it's quite an old label) also from Barnardo's.

I'd had a letter from the GP practice asking me to go for a blood test as part of an annual check up; I was able to book a test for Monday afternoon; stopping at the library on my way to pick up an Ellie Griffith's book; number 8 in the Ruth Galloway series. I've only one more book to find/borrow as I have all the others waiting on my book shelves to be read...

I was very  impressed with the efficiency of the blood test process. I got there 5 minutes early and by the time of my official appointment I had been booked in and had the samples taken! The last time I went for a blood test I waited about 40 minutes to be seen.

Monday was the first day of 'A' level exams for middle grandson. He's staying over the night before each exam as we are just around the corner from his 6th Form college. I was more nervous than him about the first exam but he seemed quietly confident he'd been able to answer all the questions, so fingers crossed...

Food bank on Tuesday. I put the accumulated toiletries away and made up crates of toiletries for 3 of the distribution centres. I went to the library and got my eyebrows done in the afternoon then home to catch up with blog land and my next Ellie Griffiths book; tenth in the series. On Monday evening we started watching a new BBC series called 'Annika' featuring Nicola Walker; a favourite actress of ours. It's a grower, I think, but I'm still not sure about it...

Everything pre-loved. Trousers by Joules, jacket very old now by M&S; shoes by Clarks. All jewellery also pre-loved except the earrings, old, from Sainsbury's.

 Middle grandson came to stay over; he had a History 'A' level exam on Wednesday morning. He said it went well...

It was such a beautiful day on Wednesday. I walked with my group; a 7 mile walk from Woburn Sands taking in the Greensand Ridge:  The Greensand Ridge is one of the few places in Central England where thin, sandy soils support lowland heathland and acid grassland - distinctive landscapes which support specific wildlife and vegetation and need to be protected to thrive. SOURCE 

We walked in woods for a lot of the walk where it was cool and shaded; this not very good photo shows some of the plentiful rhododendrons we spotted and there were still bluebells around. Of course rhododendrons like the acidic soil...

Both Woburn Sands and the nearby village of Aspley Guise were very pretty with lots of thatched cottages.

Near the start of the walk...thanks to Clicky Camera for this one!

There were 2 charity shops in Woburn Sands I visited both. I found a kaftan reduced to 2.00 (it was too small so I'll see if Hilary would like it) and a bangle with a Wassily Kandinski theme in reds, yellows and oranges. I stopped off at Aldi on the way home for the weekly shop. I hung out a wash when I got in, read my latest library book and made dinner. The Great British Sewing Bee had returned for a new series and we watched it in the evening.

Thursday was busy as always. It was yet another lovely day and after my swim I went to the hairdressers; to Lidl to do the food shopping; collected youngest grandson from school; unpacked the shopping; made dinner and took youngest grandson to basket ball practice. OH and I watched the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on TV in the evening. I particularly like Carol Klein and always look out to see what she's wearing. She always looks so stylish.

Everything pre-loved; except the sandals bought last year from Sainsbury's. Dress by Next; jacket as above. Talking of sandals I've accepted I can no longer wear flat sandals because of the PF and I can't put orthotics into open shoes. I reluctantly put the four pairs of sandals I had, one new to me but never yet worn, into the donations bag. I replaced them with 3 pairs of retail sandals; 1 pair black Doc Martens; 1 animal print pair from JD Williams sale and 1 navy blue pair from Sainsbury's sale. If I spot any good ones (i.e. with a thick supportive sole) in the chazzas I will buy them. I'd like a white pair and a green pair...

Jewellery all pre-loved. I forgot to put on rings and bangle.

Friday was unofficial bus walk day. It was beautifully warm with a cool breeze so perfect walking weather. We walked 6.5 miles from the village of Waresley in Cambridgeshire to Little and Great Gransden. We met at the garden centre in Waresley and returned there for coffee and cake after the walk. I might have bought a couple of plants, too...

This was my walking outfit. I swapped the sandals (J.D. Williams sale) for walking boots and socks.
Trousers by Wallis, shirt by Lipsy and tee shirt by Next.

All jewellery pre-loved.

This is one of our oldest walkers; I seem to recall he had an 80th birthday a few years back. He will be leading a wonderful walk in Kent in a few weeks time which OH and I are really looking forward to.

All three villages we visited had lovely churches and I'd never seen so many thatched houses - or chickens!

There were several fields we passed full of chickens and the noise they made was wonderful. It wasn't a clucking sound surprisingly, but very musical;  a burbling, rippling sound that was very soothing to the ear. I wished I'd thought to record it. I think it was the sound of contentment...

Three churches.
Top;  St. James the Great, Waresley (19th C) ; bottom left St. Bartholomew's (15th C), Great Gransden; bottom left St. Peter and St. Paul (13th C); Little Gransden. We didn't go into all 3 churches but the two we visited in the Gransdens had some lovely hassocks/kneelers.
Not all churches are left open because this sort of thing happens all too frequently:

Some amazing stained glass windows.
This one for readers from Canada. The bottom right window was dedicated to the 405 Pathfinder Squadron (Royal Canadian Airforce) as follows:
Canadian Armed Forces: Stained glass window dedicated in 1989 to the memory of 405 Pathfinder Squadron who were based at Gransden airfield in WW2. Designed by Glen Carter. Three light stained glass window depicts seven crewmen looking up at Lancaster bombers caught in searchlights. Maple leaves fall from the sky representing the dead. Squadron crest below.  SOURCE

Angels holding up the roof at St. Peter and St.Paul.

A village pump in Waresley.

A WW2 Nissen hut spotted in a garden...
And of course there were flowers: top right; flower display (alliums, lupins and gypsophilia) in St. Bartholomew's church, Great Gransden. The purple rose I spotted in someone's front garden. The scent was glorious.

Saturday's outfit.

Everything pre-loved. Dress by Et Vous via Barnardo's. I think the jacket was also found at Barnardo's. Shoes by Hotter and all jewellery pre-loved. I thought the beads were such a good match to the dress but bought months apart.

We were up early to set off for Leeds where we were staying for the weekend. We went via the A1 and returned on the M1; both journeys were straightforward. OH drove us there and we shared the driving on the the way back. It was lovely to see Lenny and Beate after so long and OH had a great time catching up with news of lots of ex-army buddies. Beate had baked two delicious cakes for us and I was able to take some home.  Soon after we arrived I went out for a walk of just under 3 miles to stretch my legs. I walked around their neighbourhood in Gledhow Valley and visited the local woods. I loved that the junction boxes on all the streets were all gaily decorated:

We went out to eat at a Caribbean restaurant called 'Jamrock' in the city centre in the evening. The food was delicious as were the rum punches! Highly recommended.

The owner took this not very good photo of us...

On Sunday we got to visit York which is somewhere I've long wanted to go. We drove to the Park and Ride in York and then used our bus passes to get a bus into York city centre. We'd used the bus passes on Saturday evening to ride into Leeds city centre, too. We need to use them as much as we can while we still have them as they may be discontinued in the future.

Our visit started at the Clifford Tower:

I'm sorry to say but there's been a long history of racism in this country.

It wasn't the warmest of days and I hadn't even bothered to bring a jacket or coat with me from home plus it was extremely busy in York. In fact, Lenny and Beate said they had never seen it so busy but of course it was a bank holiday weekend. OH and I would love to come back and spend longer and we will, soon. Plans are afoot! From the tower we walked to York Minster which was a simply magnificent building. Restoration works were going on.

York Minster is described as one of the world's most beautiful cathedrals and at the heart of Christianity in the north since the 7th century. You can read more about it HERE. We didn't even contemplate going inside; the queues were horrendous.

I loved this Green Man; a pagan symbol so close to the cathedral.

This too caught my eye; it said Lady Peckett's Yard above the entrance to the alley way on the left...

Part of the city walls which we walked for a bit. You can't walk around the entire walls but there are several sections and we only managed one. We'll do the lot when we return.

Some other things that caught my eye in York:

Looking down on this hotel from the city walls; it had a beautiful garden but very hard to photograph from the narrow walkway on the city walls...

The world famous 'Betty's Tea Rooms' are in Harrogate; but there's a branch in York, too, and if the queues here weren't so awful I would loved to have gone in for tea and cake.

Here we are waiting for the park and ride bus to return to Leeds...
I wore a pre-loved H&M trouser suit and top by Oasis. Pre-loved shoes by Hotter as before and bag. The trouser suit was via Barnardo's but trousers and jacket were found on two separate occasions. 

We had a lovely weekend and when we were leaving were given some cuttings from their garden of cosmos, hot lips and some lavatera. Lenny and Beate's house was built in 1933 and this summer house came with it. It used to swivel round a full 360 degrees but they removed the mechanism when their children were small.

After days of warm weather, Tuesday was much cooler with a chilly breeze. I wore thermal leggings under my skirt. Everything pre-loved including Clarks shoes - too cold for sandals - and all jewellery.
I did the usual packing away of toiletries, making up crates of toiletries for several distribution centres and then put away about 6 crates of mostly cat food. Did you know they make soup for cats? Me neither.

On that thought I'll leave you and see you in a fortnight!


  1. What a relief you were able to find your phone through that app, and also that your fellow walkers had only taken a wrong turning :-)
    Gorgeous outfits, as per usual, my favourites being the first Friday's, particularly the trousers and clogs, the green Papaya trousers, the Joules trousers, the Next dress, the Et Vous one and - my particular favourite - the maxi skirt with the Breton striped top!
    I loved seeing your garden update, and re-purposing your old vegetable rack was a brilliant idea. I also loved joining you on your walks and, of course, on your trip to Leeds and York, where Jos and I spent a couple of days the Winter after we met. It's a lovely town and I'd love to return one day. Preferably off-season like we did in 1995.
    Oh, and Happy Birthday to your OH! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.
      Yes, I imagine York is a different place off season!

  2. Soup for cats? That's hilarious! Okay, I have to ask, but I don't think I've ever seen your explain - what does OH stand for? I always assumed "Original Husband", lol. I've seen DH (I guess Dear Husband?) on some others' blogs, so wondered.

    I love your outfits, Vronni! The yellow trousers, the pastel long dress (with the perfectly coordinating necklace), and all your fun bits and pieces. I love that you found your suit pieces separately (ah, the life of a thrifter!).

    Thank you for taking us along on your walks and for sharing all your pics (that was a reasonable number, thanks for the warning, though).I appreciate the Canadian stained glass window! So lovely.

    Glad you found your phone!!

    1. OH = Other Half
      Thank you Sheila, see the comments below by Gail about the cat soup and also Marjorie's comment's on the Canadian Air Force stained glass window.

      'Cat soup' still makes me laugh, though!

  3. You've had a brilliant couple of weeks, love all the pics of your walks. Finding your phone in the hangar was amazing. I need to set up Find my Phone. I love that cobalt senetti. Must get some for Shed Corner. We haven't found much of interest lately on TV but Mobile 101 from Walter Presents is good, it's the story of Nokia. Oh - and I used to get cat soup for Molly. It's good for cats without much appetite x

  4. Morning, Vronni! Fabulous outfits as usual especially the co-ord you wore on your trip up north, the green wide legged trousers for your meet-up with Julian and the snazzy trousers with clogs. Aren't you lucky to be able to fit into kids' shoes?!
    Thank goodness you found your phone. Modern tech, eh?
    You've been on some good walks and spotted some lovely things. I do love an industrustrial building (it must be the Black Country girl in me!) so that hangar is right up my street. Great to see York again, I spent many a lairy weekend there in my youth as one of my friends was at university there.
    The garden is looking fab - I must be on the same wavelength as I've just planted up an old colander!
    The house I grew up in had a swivelling summerhouse like Lenny and Beate's! I've never come across another before.
    We've just binge watched Annika, it's offbeat and entertaining and it's got Nicola Walker in, say no more! We've also enjoyed Ten Pound Poms and The Steeltown Murders (both on the i-player) and watched an incredible film (also on the i-player) called Mr Jones, based on a true story of a journalist (the amazing James Norton) discovering the famine in Ukraine imposed by Stalin - it's very dark.
    All of our cats have loved soup! William's just had some over his breakfast as he's got a habit of licking all the gravy off his meat! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix,
      I was enchanted by the idea of a swivelling summerhouse. I guess the child in me is still alive and kicking!

      So far we've watched 2 episodes of Annika (RHS Chelsea interrupted) and will watch the rest; I love Nicola Walker. What I'm finding off putting is the talking to camera bit; Julian told me it's called talking to the 'fourth wall'....

    2. I read a Guardian review that mentioned the "fourth wall", too! It's a bit like going to the theatre and the characters address the audience, isn't it? xxx

  5. Happy Birthday to OH!
    I would be the person getting lost on a walk. There's so much to see, and before you know it, the group has moved on. My apple watch has a find the phone feature which has been great when I set it down doing laundry and wonder where I've left it. The chiming leads me to it like a beacon. I'm glad you were able to find yours.
    Beautiful outfits. The green trousers were my favourite this time. Good luck to your grandsons. Such exciting times in the lives of young people. I can *almost* remember sitting exams.

    1. Thank you, Goody. That's why I like our Friday walks so much there is time to stop and stare!

  6. Love the outfits as per usual. Always jealous on the country walks, here I just wander our fields if there is no cattle in them. The plants are beautiful. Wondering if I could use your photo of the RCAF stained glass in my War Dead exhibit at the big town museum. I will give you photo credit. It will NOT be reproduced. Thanks. I have found 304 men who were killed in the First, Second, Korean and Vietnam War and have attempted through research and pictures to bring them back to being people. So many here refer to them as a list of names and they were so much more. We have Vietnam as we share a border with the US in this area and though it was against the law for Canadians to serve, two from here did and gave all.

    1. Hello Marjorie. Thank you for your comments and of course you can use my photo in your exhibition; I'm just sorry it wasn't a better photograph. What a wonderful thing your research on the war dead is. I expect their families must be so pleased. Please don't worry about the photo being reproduced; the information and images are all out there on the internet, anyway. I would be so interested to know why you started this project, it sounds fascinating.

    2. Thank you so much. Alas many of these men have no family here, they came as immigrants. I will email you soon. Don't want to bore the others.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thank you, Beate. I've always thought Beate was a lovely name especially as the only two women I know with that name are lovely as well!

  9. K and the Ancients5 June 2023 at 08:02

    "Hello, dear! Miss K is typing this on her machine from our notes to her today on what to say. 1) We are truly enjoying your lovely photos of such beautiful places in your country! 2) We are also enjoying your gorgeous fashion shots! So stylish! 3) Thank you for posting such fun things. 4) We love you!"

    Kathryn here: it is almost 2AM here in St.Louis and I woke up with the terrifying realization that I did NOT send along the gang's comments this afternoon! Yikes! I would be getting hot calls all morning long from angry ancients if their comments were not sent. To say that we are all enjoying your blog would be a gross understatement! So..many thanks from us all!

    1. Hello Miss K and the ancients! Thank you for your comments and I have to say how much I look forward to receiving them. I'm so pleased you enjoy my blog and you encourage me to persevere with the blogging when sometimes I think it would be easier to give it up. I would miss you all terribly, so on I go!

  10. Well done on finding your phone, you must have been so relieved. I haven't been to Leeds for years, my best friend from school used to live there. I love York we used to go there on school trips.
    Fab outfits as ever and I love the walking pictures.

    1. Thank you, Gisela. I like Leeds from what I've seen of it.

  11. Lots of fabulous outfits and interesting activities!, lovely post!
    Lovely yellow trousers and yellow accessories enhancing it!, also love the terracotta colours with your geometric print trousers and suedette jacket.
    Totally agree about series where women are killed and mutilated, it's all morbidness and misogyny (probably masculine public don't even notice this or enjoy it!). Even police women who are supposedly skilled become victims. No reason for this except make women feel weak and afraid of living their lives. (Sorry if I sound too angry!)
    So beautiful photos of your walks, love the landscapes, the cute cottage, the churches and details, and so amazing to see you walking with your group!.
    Lovely trousers ensembles, but my favourite ones are the maxi dresses, both the animal print and the floral pastels one rock!. Sorry that you can't wear flat sandals anymore, that PF is so annoying: I hear you on this, as I only wear sporty sandals.
    Thanks for those pictures of York (the cathedral looks really magnificent) and all those details that caught your eye!.
    That last outfit is my favourite one!, love the brilliant colour combo, that skirt and cute jacket!

    1. Thank you, Monica. It makes me angry too all the misogyny.

  12. Fabulous outfits! I love the green trousers and cropped jacket, and Sunday's outfit is beautiful! How lucky that you found your phone! I'd be in a tailspin if I lost mine!

    Emma xxx

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