Tuesday 3 October 2023

Get together with my 'new' sister, walking and rummaging.

Hello again! 

I forgot to post an outfit photo when I left you a fortnight ago so I'll show the jewellery I wore instead. Pre-loved, of course and the earrings are real silver. I don't know about the stone which is amethyst in colour. I also have a real silver ring I found in a charity shop aeons ago and it's one of my favourites. The tunic I wore in this outfit (above) was put into the charity shop bag; I'd had it for about 7 years and no longer liked it that much. I was trying to wear as much of my summer clothing before the inevitable change in the weather forced me into warmer clothing.

 I didn't walk with the group on Wednesday but planned to walk on my own in the afternoon. Big mistake. It began to rain heavily about 12.30 ish (when we would have been almost at the end of a group walk) and continued to do so for the rest of the day. It was also a very, very windy day; lots of tree debris around but luckily no big branches or tree trunks!

I had a pottering about sort of morning. I had a lie-in; getting up at 8 am after OH had left for work. I decided to remove all the very lightweight summer clothing from the wardrobe and bag it up for the loft. I filled one bag which made a bit more room in the wardrobe; I bagged up mostly summer dresses with short sleeves but also my summer PJs; the night are much cooler now. I removed all the cushion covers from the sofas in the living room and washed them. I should have taken advantage of the recent wave of hot weather and washed my curtains but that will have to wait until Spring now...

Everything I wore on Wednesday was pre-loved. Jacket; by Viyella; cropped trousers by White Stuff; top by Next; shoes by Hotter and all jewellery pre-loved. The beads were a recent find on a rummage in one of the Bedford charity shops. I know, I gave away a bag filled with beads and necklaces but I liked this one so much I had to buy it; at 1.50 it was cheaper than a cup of coffee...

I then ventured out into the rain to go to the cash point and realised I'd forgotten my keys and was locked out! That meant a walk in the pouring rain to middle grandson's house to borrow his key and then back again to let myself in. I needed some stuff from Aldi for the get together on Sunday so after picking up some groceries there; I decided to go to Kempston to the library to pick up the last in Elly Griffith's Brighton series; I'd managed to find the rest in charity shops. I've now completed that series in full. Whilst I was in Kempston I popped into Barnardo's and found a pair of trousers in the sale. Home to catch up with blogging and blog land.

Started Thursday morning with a swim. It was quite cool in the morning so I wore a long cardigan over my pre-loved Wallis trousers and Fenn, Wright and Manson tunic with retail sandals. Later on when it became sunny and warm I wore my multi-coloured denim jacket.

All jewellery pre-loved.

Thursdays are still manic. Once I had eaten breakfast and got ready; I went to Lidl for the food shopping and stopped at Sainsbury's to collect some new boots I'd ordered. Once the shopping was unpacked and put away I collected middle grandson; made dinner for us all and then took grandson to basket ball practice. My daughter has new job and is now free on Thursdays so in future she is going to bring grandson to my house for dinner and all I'll have to do is to drop him at basketball. He has basket ball practice 4 times a week so I'm glad to help out when I can...

Look what had popped up on my morning walk round our garden!

Buds on my magnolia plant. They're about 7 months too early...

Roy offered to lead an unofficial bus walk on Friday to Olney. It's a very small town in Buckinghamshire but only about 11 miles from Bedford. Famous for 'Amazing Grace' (the hymn) written by John Newton. Also famous for William Cowper; the English poet and there is a museum in the town called the Cowper Museum dedicated to the two men and to the history of Olney. I must take time to visit it next time. You can find out more about it HERE. Olney is also famous for its annual pancake race on Shrove Tuesday.

We walked for 5.7 miles in total with a coffee and cake stop in the middle and at the end, but I went for a quick rummage instead to the three charity shops and the Oxfam bookshop. I found the Elly Griffiths book that I had just borrowed and read from the library, but I bought it anyway so I have the complete collection. I shall pass them on to Margaret; a fellow walker and Elly Griffiths fan and then onto Hilary.

These are the trousers I picked up at Kempston Barnardo's on Tuesday afternoon in the sale. I love black and white clothing but this is only the second pair of black and white trousers I have. The top is also pre-loved by Laura Ashley; pre-loved jacket by F&F; sandals from Vinted. All jewellery pre-loved. I wore the same earrings as yesterday; they're a recent find from a rummage and I like them.

Once I was home again I set out on some more errands; I had something to return via the post office; and a couple of more things for Sunday's get together and a flu jab at the chemist. While I was in town I noticed Poundland had everything 50% off so I went in. They're not closing down but moving to a different street. Most of the shelves were empty but I found two metal decorative balls for the garden and some small notepads; useful for writing shopping lists. Sum total spent £1.25!

A lot of our walk on Friday was close to the river Great Ouse:

Olney has lots of buildings made of Blissworth Limestone which is a warm honey coloured stone.

This looks like a church steeple but is in fact the War Memorial.

St. Peter and Paul Church, Olney. For once we didn't go inside. The stained glass window looks interesting...

Olney was on the side of the Round Heads (Parliament) in the English civil war and routed the Cavaliers (King) at the battle of Olney Bridge in 1643.

Saturday was bright and sunny so I got up and went for a 5.6 mile walk along the river to Great Denham but started from Biddenham village; doing this frequent walk in reverse. Then it was home for breakfast and housework as we wouldn't have time on Sunday. I had to go to Sainsbury's for some last minute items then came home and chilled out reading and blogging.

I hadn't worn this pre-loved Nomads dress in the summer so grabbed the chance to wear with a pre-loved denim jacket; this dress has short sleeves and I wear jackets like cardigans - probably because I have so many! Sandals from Sainsbury's. Beads and earrings pre-loved.

Sunday was the big get together. There were 17 of us in total and we were so lucky that it didn't rain. Here we are:

Middle grandson, his mum and his brother had left by the time we got round to taking photos; daughter's partner took this photo. 

My outfit was all pre-loved except the sandals from Monsoon. Dress from Asos; jacket by Betty Barclay both via my Barnardo's. All jewellery pre-loved.

We had a lovely day. Luckily there was enough food and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We had goat curry; rice and peas; barbecued chicken; burgers; sausages;  a chickpea and aubergine dish for the vegans courtesy of my daughter; salad, potato salad and coleslaw. For dessert I made a lemon drizzle tray bake (I've made 2 cakes in one week not having baked any cakes for ages) a vegan rice pudding; and we also had a chocolate gateau and a salted caramel cheesecake. 

It was a very warm (21 degrees) sunny day on Monday. The donations at Barnardo's were stopped again as we had no floor space left at the back and half the shop floor was full. I did the banking and then processed donations all morning. In the afternoon I went for my Covid booster jab; did 2 whites washes and hung them out and generally tidied up. No need for cooking; we had left-overs to eat up...

Everything pre-loved. Wide legged trousers; Phase Eight, Next tunic top; shirt by Isle; sandals by Dune. I took these photos at the end of the day; no wonder I look knackered! In the evening we started watching the latest BBC 4 Saturday international crime drama series 'Black Snow' set in Australia.

I woke up to what looked like imminent rain on Tuesday morning and rushed downstairs to rescue the washing. It did rain but later on in the morning. My colleague still wasn't in when I got the food bank. She had come down with Covid which was why she wasn't in last week either. Lynne and I packed up dozens of food parcel crates and managed to get everything done before it was time to go. 

 I had a hairdresser's appointment and after that I had quick look in the hospice shop near the hairdresser's house; followed by a quick look round the Castle Road charity shops. I found nothing that took my fancy...home to make dinner and put the washing away.

Tuesday's outfit all pre-loved. Next jeans; Joules striped tee shirt; kimono; Paul Costelloe. It's too tight across the shoulders and has been put into the donations bag. Shoes by Clarks and are the sensible option for working in the warehouse. Although it was warm enough at 20 degrees on Tuesday to wear sandals.

I swapped the earrings for smaller ones after I  took this photo.

It was a bit of a gloomy day on Wednesday. I was out and recce'ing my walk by 10.30 am. I now have a route for the November walk of 6.6. miles but in the last third of the walk there are 2 other options I could take. I'm going to check both of those out before I make a final decision; it would be good if I could make the walk 7 miles. The weather brightened up and was quite warm; I had to remove my jacket in the end. I sat on a stone bridge to eat my breakfast and drink my coffee with the sun on my face which was lovely. I saw and heard several buzzards; a couple of jays and a skylark. The birds are pretty quiet at the moment; it's moulting season and they don't draw attention to themselves.

I wore the same Next pre-loved jeans again as I was walking; pre-loved tunic by Izabel; jacket by Primarni (old) and sandals retail; J. D. Williams.
The sandals were swapped for walking boots and socks.

All jewellery pre-loved.

After my walk I walked into town to run some errands. I returned a parcel for my daughter; returned my library book and bought some household stuff in Savers. I popped into the newly refurbished Keech charity shop in town and found a bangle. It began to rain in the afternoon and I managed to rescue the washing just in time. I had pre-ordered a book; 'The Running Grave' by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K.Rowling author of the 'Harry Potter ' books among others) which was delivered in the late afternoon and began reading it. I'd forgotten that I'd ordered it so it was a bit of serendipity as I had just finished a book. This one is the seventh in the Comoran Strike series. I also discovered that there is seventh book out in the 'Brighton series' by Elly Griffiths - something else to look out for!

Thursday was busy as usual. I went for a swim and then after breakfast and getting ready went to do the Lidl food shopping and popped into Sainsbury's. On the way to Lidl I dropped off a small bag of donations at the Keech Hospice shop and picked up a green floral jumpsuit for 3.00.

This was Thursday's outfit. All pre-loved. Skirt by Tu from Barnardo's; t shirt by M&S; denim jacket by Sussi; sandals by Timberland via Vinted.

All jewellery pre-loved.

Once I was home and had put away the shopping I made dinner for the grandsons and dropped youngest grandson to basket ball practice. I actually had time to put my feet up for about an hour and read my book - bliss!

I'd thought about going to London on Friday and recce'ing a walk. I had 2 books of walks in London I'd picked up at various charity shops and was going to try and combine 2 short walks to make 1 longer one. I'd asked Bernie if she was up for recce'ing it with me but unfortunately she was dog sitting for her daughter and couldn't make it. I decided to recce my Rambler's November walk instead; the second of the three options. It turned out to be too short at 5.8 miles although I know how to add at least another 0.75 miles to it. I had one option left to try which I would do the following week. Before I went for the recce I took my daughter out for lunch at the vegan cafe in town; we both had a couple of errands in town to run as well. After the lunch and the walk; I weeded out more summery items from my wardrobe and brought down some warmer pyjamas and a couple of cardigans and jackets from the winter clothes I had stored in the loft. The evenings were definitely getting chillier although the month of September had been mostly warm and dry.

I wore my floral denim jacket with this pre-loved outfit on Friday but forgot to take a photo. Jumpsuit secondhand from Bedford market; top by M&S; belt by River Island; retail sandals by Monsoon.

I needed a wee whilst I was out walking and had to virtually strip off thanks to the jumpsuit; not a clever choice of walking gear, really. I spent the evening reading and finishing my Cormoran Strike book; 900+ pages. The last book in the series was just over 1,000 pages so I should have been grateful... it ended on a cliff hanger, too, so can't wait for the next one in the series. We lit the fire for the first time on Friday evening; OH had ordered some peat online and it had been delivered.

On Saturday we went to visit OH's family and also had a rummage in Kilburn and then walked to West Hampstead for a rummage there. This jumpsuit was a mistake; it had a zip at the back from the neck almost to the waist and it was impossible for me to either do it up fully or undo it sufficiently by myself. I think you'd have to be a contortionist to manage it unaided and had to keep asking asking OH to do it for me. Very poorly designed garment despite the pretty floral print and lovely deep green colour; off to the donations bag it went. Shame on you New Look for such a poorly designed product - was it ever modelled by a human being I wonder?

Everything pre-loved. Pleather jacket; can't remember where I got it from. Top by F&F; shoes by Clarks plus I wore my orthotics in them as I knew we'd be doing a lot of walking on hard pavements. I'd also gone out first thing in the morning for a short 3 mile urban walk while I waited for OH to get up. He has a well deserved lie-in at the weekend.

All jewellery pre-loved.

London was horribly busy and the charity shops didn't yield much; at least what I was prepared to pay for. I found a pair of winter trousers by Zara for 4.00 in Kilburn Cancer Research and an ethnic type dress for 2.00 in Kilburn Oxfam. I bought a couple of small bowls in the Crisis charity shop also in Kilburn and nothing at all in West Hampstead, but we had a coffee and cake stop whilst we were there. We were home by 8.30 pm and watched more of 'Black Snow'. 

We finished the series on Sunday evening after a day of morning swimming; afternoon housework and cooking a roast dinner. I also used up a courgette and some beetroot making a delicious (well I thought it was) chocolate courgette cake; recipe HERE. Neither of the grandsons liked it; even though I didn't tell them what the ingredients were...I also put more of my summer clothing away for the loft and almost filled a black plastic bag. I wasn't quite ready to swap everything over yet, as I believed there were still some warm days to come.

All jewellery pre-loved. Yes, it's those earrings again...

I started out with a black and white long shirt pre-loved, naturally, but it didn't look right so the suedette jacket was a late substitution. Everything pre-loved; top by Karen Millen, trousers by Waikiki; metallic sandals by Dune.

It was overcast but warm on Monday and the jacket was a bit too warm for the day. Busy morning as always at Barnardo's; lots of customers and lots of donations. I fancied chicken soup so made some when I got home and did 2 lots of whites washing and caught up with blogging and blogs. It rained in the afternoon and later on in the evening there was a thunder and lightening storm.

There was no one in at the food bank on Tuesday except me. I made up 25 crates of food parcels, put toiletries away and then went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. It was cooler with a brisk breeze but it was bright and for that I was grateful. I hate the gloomy overcast days. I had a rummage in the high street charity shops on my way home and bought this book:

That's tonight's reading sorted!

For a change I wore this pre-loved two-piece (skirt and long shirt) by Adini with the shirt tucked in so it looked like a dress. Pre-loved shoes bought in a Co. Donegal charity shop and pre-loved leather belt.

All jewellery pre-loved.

I have planned a walk for Wednesday to recce the third option for my Rambler's walk in November; an unofficial bus walk on Friday with the group; and a walk in London with my daughter on Saturday so lots to do and to look forward to. I'll see you in a fortnight...


  1. Oh dear, it seems that Wednesday wasn't your day, what with the rain and being locked out! I'm loving that fabulous necklace though, and would definitely not be able to resist it either.
    I too have made a start with removing my lightest Summer dresses Etc., but I've decided to take it easy and do it all in stages instead.
    I loved tagging along on your Olney walk, and your big family get-together sounds like great fun.
    I unexpectedly got my Covid booster last Friday. Jos went for his, as initially they're only for those over 65, but when he asked they said I could come too if I could make it within the hour.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your outfits in this post and I'm having a hard time choosing a favourite. The Asos dress you wore for your get-together is a strong contender, but I'm a big fan of that pleated Tu skirt as well! xxx

    1. Thank, you, Ann. Yes I'm doing the same; doing the swap over in stages - apparently temperatures in London at the week are predicted to reach the high 20s...!!

  2. Fabulous outfits as usual. Thanks, always love your blog.

    1. Thank you, Marjorie. Hope you're still making a good recovery...

  3. totally love the butterfly wings "dress" - its fabulous and perfect colours on you! perfect too was the look you wore for the family gathering - and what lovely photos of all of you <3
    sorry to hear you locked yourself out - in the pooring rain! oh dear.
    @curtains: actually i wash mine in winter, when he house is heated - hanging them up just damp out if the washing maschine...
    sitting on a bridge with picnic and watching the birds sounds wonderful....

    1. Thank you, Beate. The curtains can wait till the Spring now; I'm not too bothered if they don't get washed regularly. I'd much rather go for a walk anyway!

  4. Hello Vronni! Olney looks stunning, that photo of the bench beside the river looks like a greetings card and that honey coloured Georgian house looks like my dream home!
    I've only been back home four days and I'm already sick of the rain. When ill it ever stop?
    17 for a family gathering! I don't think Jon and I could muster more than 5 members between us! I'm glad it didn't rain on your parade.
    Fab outfits especially the ASOS dress with the red jacket. I had a similar pair of earrings to those in your first photo, they were Mexican silver, I've no idea what happened to them.
    We started watching Black Snow last night, Aussie thrillers never disappoint, do they? xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix.
      Olney is a lovely little town; I bought my sideboard from the Willen Hospice shop there. I'm glad you're enjoying 'Black Snow'. I do find it takes my ear a while to tune in to the Aussie accents...

  5. You looked spectacular at the get together, the cardigan and dress really suit you. Your magnolia! Amazing, but shows what a mess we're in with global warming. I've been looking for a new series so will start Black Snow xx

    1. Thank you, Gail. Hope you're enjoying 'Black Snow'. We've just started watching 'For Life' which is a Norwegian crime drama from Walter Presents.

  6. Lots of interesting pattern and colour combo in your outfits, I like the black and white set best. Our charity shops are limited and very rarely yield anything lovely apart from a pair of dangly earrings recently which I can blog to death after my blogging break. It must be fun to get a whole big family group together like that, I love to have a full house. Betty

    1. Hello Betty and thank you! Yes, I love a houseful but I'm just as happy when they've all gone!

  7. K and the Ancients10 October 2023 at 01:45

    Everyone here is gasping over that black and white long dress with the red jacket that you wore to meet family. What a gorgeous dress on you! You really wear all those longer dresses so very well. You have lovely legs so those short skirts are super-cute as well, but you look SO glamorous in the longer pieces. The Ancients are all agog! (So am I!)

    We are finally having some cooler weather here so the gang (inspired by you) do go on some (mini)walks at their Senior Center, thoroughly confusing the aide as they all pile out for a "Vronni Walk"! I got a call from the center asking me what a Vronni was! (To the gang that simply means a walk with the group where EVERYONE dresses up nicely!)

    The supervisor was afraid it was some kind of mega-walk, that they were trying to sneak in (and get lost, as some have done), so I drove over and showed her some of your blogs showing how you plan out your walks and always look so put-together. You are famous!

    All members of the Ancients send their best wishes to you. We all enjoy sharing your active days...you are a real superheroine to them all!

    Happy Fall! Love from Kathryn and All the Ancients

    1. Hello Kathryn and the Ancients! How honoured am I to be the inspiration for a 'Vronni' walk! It doesn't matter how far or where you walk as long as you keep moving and if you want to dress up and walk - even better!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. They are greatly appreciated Our weather continues to be unseasonably warm but may change tomorrow...

  8. So lovely post, lots of interesting activities and lots of fab outfits!.
    It's totally that time of the year when everybody tries to make the most of last summery days!
    Lovely beads and necklaces (totally understand that you have to let go some of them to make room for more fab pieces!), I have a weakness for your brilliant accessorizing. Also loving your multicoloured denim jacket (actually, I love all your denim jackets!) and that fab Nomads dress, so joyful piece.
    Love particularly the outfit you wore for the party!: you rock monochromatics and rock Red too, so that's doubled fabulousness!. Gorgeous! And such a lovely gathering!
    Lovely jumpsuits too, even if I'm not either a huge fan of them being too complicated. Sorry that the floral jumpsuit was so unwearable, its print is fab!.
    Really interesting recipe of that courgette chocolate cake, I'd try it but halve the ingredients, as it looks massive for two persons.
    Love your monochromatic ensemble, elegant and cool!. Also loving the multicoloured 'butterflies' Adini dress, really amazing!


Blogoversary and some other stuff

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