Tuesday 16 May 2023

Not the Coronation

 Hello again!

I finally finished sorting out the wardrobe swap over on Wednesday morning as soon as I got up. Of course the weather was most unsummer like; in fact it was quite chilly and I resorted to a cardigan indoors. I wore this Apricot pre-loved dress; pre-loved tights by M&S and long black boots. All jewellery pre-loved. Once again I wasn't able to walk with the Wednesday group; not because of my knee but because Thursday 4th May was election day and I was on  poll clerk duty. That meant I would have to do the weekly food shopping on Wednesday, plus I needed to top up bird food supplies.

I bought this trench coat in an Irish charity shop in Co. Donegal. I tied the belt at the back; when it's tied at the front I look like a sack of spuds tied in the middle. It's a thin coat so not much warmth but it was better than none on that chilly Wednesday. I dropped off two black sacks and a carrier bag full of donations to the Daycare Hospice which is close to me. They have a charity shop in their grounds and I always used to go for a rummage but it hasn't been open for months now. I don't know why but expect its a shortage of volunteers. They have 3 other charity shops  in the area and were happy to take my donations.

I went to Lidl and Aldi and stopped at Home Bargains on the way home buying fat balls; some meal worms and suet blocks for the birds. I also bought a pot of mixed petunias for a flower pot on the front steps. Once the shopping was unpacked and put away I caught up with blogs and blog land in general. I decided not to cook but to have fish and chips instead as at 6.30 pm I'd arranged with the presiding officer at the polling station to help set up on Wednesday evening; ready for 7 am start on Thursday.

We had finally finished watching the last episode of series 2 of 'The Blood Pact' on Tuesday evening and decided to watch Series 3 on Wednesday evening. I've really enjoyed this drama.

I had an early start and a very late finish on Thursday; at the polling station door by 6.30 am and home at 11 pm. The stations are open from 7 am to 10 pm. The polling station was based in 'The Religious Society of Friend's' meeting house' (otherwise known as the Quakers) just across the road from where I live. I was raised a Catholic but stopped going to mass aged 14; having become extremely disenchanted with the Catholic Church and organised religion in general. Nothing has changed my view since then. I was reading through some of the Quaker literature during the course of the day and felt that if I were to declare myself anything in the spiritual sense; I felt very sympathetic to the Quakers. Who knew? Least of all, me! 

I was surprised at how quickly the time passed on Thursday as although we weren't very busy we had a constant trickle of people throughout the day. The results of our Mayoral election came through on Friday evening; there was a recount as it was so close and we now have a Tory mayor. The previous incumbent was a Liberal Democrat.

In contrast, on Friday I didn't get up until 9 am. I had errands to run in town so got a bit of exercise having skipped the unofficial bus walk which would have meant another early start. It was a day of showers and sunshine. Everything I wore was pre-loved; skirt with no label; top by Monki; denim jacket by Susshi and shoes by Clarks. All jewellery pre-loved; dragonfly brooch; gift from OH.

It felt good to be wearing some of my summer clothes even if the weather didn't feel particularly summery...

My daughter and I went out for a walk on Saturday morning. We got two thirds of the way round the route and the rain became so heavy we rang OH and asked to be rescued! Neither of us had checked the forecast before we started and we hoped the drizzle that accompanied us at the start of the walk would ease off; it didn't, it just got heavier and heavier; in fact it rained all day.

I bought these trousers in the end of summer sale at Sainsbury's; they were less than a fiver. The top by Whistles was a pre-loved find from Barnardo's; denim jacket as before and boots from New Look; retail. All jewellery pre-loved. When I went to bed on Friday evening I decided to sort my earrings out; remove all the lever backed earrings and put them in a separate place. In the end I had thorough jewellery sort out (it won't surprise you to know I have far too much jewellery) and I filled a small carrier bag ready to donate. Going back to the outfit above; anyone would think I was a West Ham supporter! I'm not by the way. For those readers who aren't in the UK; West Ham are an English football team and their colours are claret and blue...

Once home we dried off (we'd walked just over 3 miles and the knee was fine - hooray) and walked in to town to the vegan cafe. My daughter had lunch; I had a chai latte with coffee and walnut cake. I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with blogging and reading; OH made dinner. We had planned to get on with the garden but the rain put paid to that plan.

 There was an event on that you may have heard about happening on that Saturday in London; something to do with a King being crowned? As you know I am not a supporter of the monarchy so wasn't interested in at all. However, several people in my walking group were going to London for the day; one was even going to camp out overnight so they got a good spot to watch it all. I felt so sorry for them and all the people standing out in the constant rain; and for all those who'd organised street parties. One of the advantages of living on a main road is that we can't have street parties...

It was overcast on Sunday morning when I went for a swim but brightened up gradually so that by the afternoon it was warm and sunny. OH and I did the housework and OH made dinner; chicken curry for the meat eaters; roast chicken for the grandson who won't eat 'wet' food and tofu curry for my daughter and I. Very good it was, too.

Everything pre-loved. Trousers by F&F; top by Papaya; vintage kimono from Vinted; clogs by Lotta of Stockholm. All jewellery pre-loved. I found this lipstick at Primarni of all places; at the magnificent sum of 90 pence. It goes on well and lasts. I went back and bought 2 more. No colour name on the lipstick tube.

Oh, look! Big pants... 

I haven't a clue where I bought these big pants from other than it was a charity shop. They had no label; were hand sewn with a block print design so probably from Barnardo's who won't sell clothes without a label or a care label. The pants had a very high waist and were very comfortable. Top by Pepperberry via Barnardo's; pumps by Vans; pre-loved. All jewellery pre-loved. I should have worn a shorter top; I have one (a very fine knit) and in navy, too. Don't know why I didn't.

After Sunday's lovely weather it was back to overcast skies and drizzle on Monday which was a bank holiday. The light was so poor I had to use the bathroom for a close up of my earrings. I was up quite early and didn't go to Barnardo's although it was open; I'd volunteered the previous bank holiday Monday. After having breakfast and getting ready, I went to Argos to buy printer ink. The printer ink had run out; middle grandson was staying and doing revision and needed the printer. I'd put on a whites wash as soon as I'd got up and when I got back from Argos debated whether to hang it out on the washing line or not. I hung it indoors in the end. 

I then made breakfast for grandson and OH and baked a Victoria Sponge sandwich cake.

The cake was delicious. It's the easiest cake to make and the recipe is from BBC Radio 4 'Women's Hour' many years ago. I call it the 'fool proof Victoria Sponge'. 8 oz of SR (all purpose) flour; 8 oz butter; 8 oz caster sugar; 2 tsp baking soda and 4 eggs. I used blueberry jam for the filling. The recipe is HERE.

I read that next weekend is going to be a scorcher. Hallelujah. I want some heat for a change. I was cold all day on Monday even though I added a cardigan to my outfit. OH worked in the garden most of the afternoon potting up plants he bought and tidying up. There's been no further sign of the blue tit at the nesting box I'm sad to say. We lit the fire in the evening whilst watching more episodes of 'The Blood Pact'. We should have completed the series in its entirety by next weekend...

The two tiered plant stands (or theatres) used to be together against the back wall but we've split them up and put one against the wall by the dining room window; the less colourful of the two below. The wisteria is growing well but no sign of a flower. Ten years old and we've had one bloom, once!

No food bank on Tuesday as I was travelling up to Burton-on Trent in readiness for Aunty Joan's funeral on Wednesday morning.

Everything pre-loved. Dress by M&S; my Barnardo's; yellow jacket by New Look ditto as was the polo neck underneath by F&F. OTK boots retail; bag from Barnardo's. Jewellery all pre-loved.

I drove over to Kettering to pick up brother Tony. He asked me if there was a hook in my car to hang up his just ironed black shirt. It was then I realised I had left my funeral outfit hanging up in my bedroom - disaster! However, I wasn't prepared to drive back to Bedford and thought when we got to Burton I'd have a quick look in the chazzas to see if I could find something suitable. Luckily, I had brown boots and tights packed in my overnight bag. I found a blue and grey patterned jacket/kimono which I wore over the the same dress above; minus the polo neck but with pearl necklace and earrings. It was a quiet but lovely funeral. My aunt's coffin was absolutely beautiful; made of wicker with flowers woven through it and a beautiful floral display on the top. My cousins did their mum proud.

This the Marina in Burton. We went to the restaurant above on Tuesday evening for dinner and again first thing on Wednesday morning for breakfast and a short walk around the lake.

We arrived  in Burton in heavy rain and hail, thunder and lightning and left in similar weather on Wednesday minus the hailstones...

It was a nice day on Thursday; warm and sunny until the late afternoon. I reckoned it was time for a summer frock. This dress was bought pre-loved  by Next from Barnardo's. It wasn't warm enough to go bare legged so I wore tights and boots.

Pre-loved jacket found in a Co. Derry charity shop.

All jewellery pre-loved.

I went swimming on Thursday; did the weekly food shopping and collected grandson from school and dropped him to basket ball practice after cooking dinner. We watched the final episode of 'The Blood Pact' in the evening. The series left a big hole in our TV viewing having kept us going for almost 6 weeks...

Friday was cold, overcast, 12 degrees with a cold wind. I wore one of my summer coats; pre-loved many years ago, by M&S. It wasn't warm enough. 

Jacket as before; green trousers by White Stuff and lace top by Next; shoes by Hotter. All pre-loved, as was all jewellery. I was off to London to meet up with cousin Marian and visit the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow.

Here we are on the staircase. Photo kindly taken by a member of staff but who cut our legs off!

Tributes to William Morris were seen all over Walthamstow; from the tube station tiles to this mural on the side of a house. Walthamstow was my home when I was first married; I lived there from 1973 to 1975, but had never visited the gallery before. Walthamstow, like a lot of places in London had become gentrified. Much of what I saw was unrecognisable; the tube station was simply known back then as 'Walthamstow' but it was 50 years ago! 

Water House, now home to the William Morris Gallery, is dedicated to William Morris and his works. Morris was a British textile designer, poet, artist, fantasy writer; architectural and environmental conservationist, publisher and Socialist activist associated with the Arts and Crafts movement.

These armchairs covered in William Morris prints seemed very low to the ground. I'd have trouble getting out of them...the tiles above the armchair on the right are by William De Morgan.

Detail of an exquisite wood block.

Sorry about the reflection on the glass. 
Morris set up Kelmscott Press; a private press in his latter years.

These beautifully decorated Icelandic drinking horns were a souvenir from Morris's only trip abroad to Iceland in 1871.

There was also an exhibition taking place in the gallery featuring a fashion designer called Anish Gupta.

We watched a short documentary about the designer who trained under Esme Young (The Great British Sewing Bee). She continues their association today and works closely with him. His designs were a feast for the eyes:

Jump suit made out of tinsel!

True to William Morris's belief in the execution of beautiful, handmade artefacts; Anish Gupta's designs are all hand embroidered with every sequin and bead being sewn on by hand.

It was a great day out with Marian and our next trip we hope will be to 'The Red House' William Morris's home in Bexleyheath.

I was so disappointed to wake up on Saturday morning to the same sort of weather we'd had on Friday; the only difference being it was less windy! I had read of warm and sunny weather for the weekend but it was not to be. We'd lit the fire on Friday evening and would do the same on Saturday.

Everything pre-loved. Trousers bought on a recent rip to Ireland; top by Oasis. All jewellery pre-loved. I added a scarf and gloves when we went to Hitchin for a rummage and a look around the market.

We bought 8 reduced plants in the market and I found a cotton maxi dress and a necklace as well as 2 books on our rummage. A good day, I'd say.

This is the latest TBR pile. 'Free Love' by Tessa Hadley is a library book. I found the 'Ragtime to Wartime' book in a charity shop about a year ago and more recently found the companion piece; 'The Home Front' in another charity shop. I dip in and out of them as the mood takes me.

It was such a relief to wake up to warm, sunny weather on Sunday but it doesn't look as if it's lasting into next week, unfortunately. I went swimming first thing; did the house cleaning and cooked dinner for us all. It was great to hang a towels wash on the line and have them dry by the evening. OH spent most of the day planting up our buys from the market yesterday. I have a short wander in the garden every morning; I want to see what's growing, blooming or what has popped up unexpectedly. An example of this was a Weigela plant (above) that burst into bloom a few days ago; yet I couldn't recollect buying it last year and it's not in my gardening book where I try to keep track of what we buy, plant and what didn't work. I had to google lens the plant to see what it was! I was also delighted to see that on one of the honesty plants there are small, green, oval shaped pennies with clearly visible seeds inside. There was a flea market in Bedford on Sunday from 10 - 3 pm and I forgot all about it until the evening!

Woke up to sun again on Monday. It wasn't as warm as Sunday but I didn't complain.

Monday's outfit worn to volunteer at Barnardo's. Dress by Masai via Barnardo's; leggings retail by Lidl (!) boots pre-loved and all jewellery pre-loved. I bought the silver necklace on Saturday in Hitchin.

I spent the morning processing donations at Barnardo's and bought myself a Levi's black jacket. If middle grandson likes it, he can have it; I have lots of jackets so wouldn't miss it.

 More sunshine on Tuesday! I wore this to the food bank. Everything pre-loved except the shoes which were an online retail buy some years ago. And talking of shoes I finally took my sandals out from their storage box under my bed and put some of my winter boots away.

Dress by Seasalt and it's reversible; tights were a present and the little knitted waistcoat was found on a rummage last year. All jewellery pre-loved.

One of my food bank colleagues was on holiday so I made up food parcels in her place; 22 single people packs and 4 couple packs.

Grandson came round to revise in the afternoon. His first exam is next Monday; he is working so hard. I never did '0' and 'A' levels at school; leaving as I did aged 15 but I did do 'O' levels x 3 in my first job on a day release scheme (it was 1969/1970 and pre GCSEs). Those 'O' levels enabled me to start my nurse training in 1972 when you only needed 3 'O' levels.  I did an 'A' level in between finishing my second nurse teaching course and starting my part-time degree in the late 1980s. Today's children are in full-time education from age 5 to 18 - 13 years; which seems a lot to me. Then some go on for further study at university. I think if I had to live my life over again I would still study as a mature student as I found my life experience stood me in good stead for academic study.

It's OH's birthday in the week and we're out for a birthday meal with all 3 brothers on Saturday evening. See you on the other side!



  1. I went back to university as a mature student (I was 29) - we do Kindergarten (I started age 4) to Grade 12 here (I was 17 when I graduated), and it is a lot. I had no motivation to do well at university and slacked off in my classes until I dropped out after 1.5 years.

    I enjoyed reading your whirlwind life, Vronni! You do so much in your community. I hope you get some nicer weather soon - we've been having a heat wave with temps around 25-27 each day. It feels weird for this time of year, when it's usually 10 degrees lower.

    Awesome outfits as always. I have a big jewelry collection, but I'm able to rein myself in by only buying what goes in my "sets" (matching groupings). I watched the coronation (did an all-nighter), but eh, I also don't care about it, although the King is supposedly the head of Canada. Hmmm. I didn't vote for him!

    1. Thank you, Sheila.
      I wish I was more restrained with the jewellery then I wouldn't have so much but slowly,slowly I am weeding items out and may end with exactly what I need and no more.

      We have had warmer and brighter weather the last few days and it's lovely!

  2. Great outfits as usual and I love Gupts's clothes, just gorgeous. You inspired me to cull a lot of my black stuff from my wardrobe. I have lots of jewelry and scarves I use to change around my modest wardrobe. Today I found two silk scarves at the thrift for the total cost of $1 US. I live in Canada but there is a 50 cent thrift shop I have to check out at least twice a month.

    1. Thank you, Marjorie. If there was a 50 cent thrift shop near me I'd be in there every week, so I admire your restraint. You are so right, scarves and jewellery can really dress up or add impact to outfits. Loving the sound of 2 silk scarves for a dollar!

  3. I forgot to say I have seen nothing of the Coronation and do not feel deprived or that I have missed anything.

  4. chic outfits!! i love the massive pants, the folky next dress and the black&white masai dress most.......
    and i´m green with envy ;-D that you went to the morris museum - what a wonderful place. a big thank you for taking so many pictures - especially of the ashish gupta collection! beautifully made clothes and always with a story to tell!
    did miss the coronation too - only have seen some pics in the local news paper (online reading)..... but the BW was glued to the internet. ts.
    your garden looks gorgeous - do pat OH on the shoulder :-D
    i studied later in my life too - was the oldest student at the fashion college ever - 24 at the start. this were some of the best years of my life......

    1. Thank you, Beate. I'm sorry I didn't take more at the William Morris gallery but the artefacts were often under glass and the camera doesn't like the reflection.

      I will pat OH on the back from you!

      24 still sounds very young to be a student but I know a mature student here is anyone aged 21 or over. I was 34 when I started my degree course and 38 when I finished...

  5. It was hard to avoid the coronation, even here in Belgium, but I can't for the life of me get why people would go to London for it or - god forbid - camp out overnight!
    Lots of outfits to love here! I'm rather envious of your leopard trench, and I've got a blouse which a match for your West Ham trousers. That's an amazing outfit by the way!
    The M&S dress with the yellow New Look jacket is another favourite, as is the Next dress and the green floral trousers/green top/red jacket outfit.
    I loved tagging along with you on your visit to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which is right up my street. Did you ever visit Kelmscott Manor?
    The Anish Gupta exhibition looks fantastic too. What a treat! xxx

    1. Thanks, Ann. We're hoping to visit the Red House which is just on the outskirts of London. Kelmscott is in Oxfordshire closer to me than my cousin in London but maybe one day!

  6. Well done on avoiding the Coronation....I wouldn’t describe myself as a monarchist, the royal family seems full of upset and intrigue, but I love the pageantry and ancient rituals.
    Some wonderful charity shop finds. I love the patterned trousers and the moto style jacket in abstract pink print.
    Walthamstow is just down the road from me! The MeetUp group were at the gallery recently. The exhibition looks interesting.

    1. Thank you, Gail. I could hardly recognise Walthamstow...

  7. Happy belated birthday to your lovely chap! I hope you had a fantastic time celebrating! I hope your Grandson's exams have gone well, too.
    Like you, we avoided the coronation entirely, I think the only royal occasion I've ever seen televised was Princess Anne's wedding.
    We used to trade in Walthamstow and I'd have loved to have seen the William Morris museum but we were always knackered after a 4am start. One day! Love the Gupta exhibit!
    Some fabulous outfits. If you were a Midlander you'd have described those trousers as being Aston Villa colours! Love the black and white outfit, that sweet little waistcoat in the first photo, the tiered maxi skirt and that lovely Next dress (they've really upped their game lately!)
    I was in education from the age of 2 till 23! That's nursery, infants, juniors, grammar school and technical college - in my defence I worked and supported myself from the age of 18 so I wasn't completely institutionalised! xxx

    1. Hello Vix, and thank you for your lovely comments.

      The gallery is worth a visit but oh how different Walthamstow looked; I was actually quire shocked. It's just that as a person you don't really change but the environments you know, do!

    2. Walthamstow was becoming very gentried, so many skips outside the houses and lots of indie coffee shops. Lots of our customers had moved from the hip parts of London as the prices were really good - that was 4 years ago, I bet it's changed loads since then! x


Blogoversary and some other stuff

Hello again!   When I left you last I showed you my latest TBR pile. What I realised later on that day was I had already read two of them. W...