Tuesday 20 February 2024

Weird weather...

 Hello there! 

My calculations were a bit out in my last post and it's this week (Thursday) OH has his MRI scan at Papworth Hospital. He is doing well, however, and remains positive about the future.

Two photos because one was taken in portrait mode and you can't see my earrings; portrait mode blurs the background. The earrings were picked up in Sainsbury's a couple of weeks ago and this was their first wear. They're quite blingy..

The scarf is a bit too much, I think. I kept it on after we finished our 5.5 mile walk last Wednesday morning; which was bright for a while then cloudy; quite cool at 8 degrees but no rain. We walked to Clapham and through the golf course where we stopped for a coffee at 'The Cabin' and the owner informed me there were toilets at the back. I didn't know about the toilets which are always a bonus when you're out walking. Although  there are plenty of bushes and hedges around as cover, if you need to answer a call of nature. OH is on diuretics currently and is a frequent user of what cover nature provides when we're out walking. I'm lucky, I can usually hang on until we get home...

Sorry, I didn't intend to start the post with a discussion of toilets and urination but there you go! I had started the day in black jeans but they were covered in mud after our walk so I changed into these cropped black pre-loved trousers, no label;  pre-loved jumper by Gap; boots as before and this pre-loved kimono is going into the donations bag as I don't love it. All jewellery other than the earrings pre-loved.

On our walk from Clapham I took OH down a private path to this Grade II listed country house (Park House) built in 1873 in the French Gothic style by John Usher. It was built for the Howard family who owned the Britannia Iron Works in Bedford and who were obviously a wealthy family. It has quite an interesting history;  I found this estate agents information with interior photos; HERE. It's definitely worth a look...it has a 'manege' in the grounds which is 'an enclosed area in which horses and riders are trained'. Who knew?

Once we were home there was washing to do, the fire to clean out and laid ready to be lit in the evening. I paid a visit to Aldi for some of the weekly food shop items and popped into the Castle Road charity shops where I found a book; a deep blue tank top; and a tunic in deep red. We finished watching Series 1 of 'Undercover' and very good it was, too.

I woke up to rain on Thursday morning and it poured down all day. I had hoped to go on an amble from the village of Thurleigh which I don't know very well to walk in, but the rain made it a no no. The ground would be water logged and extremely muddy and slippery.

I had a leisurely morning before I ventured out to Lidl and Sainsbury's for the weekly food shop. It was quite a cold day at 5-6 degrees so I wore these pre-loved warm plaid trousers by M&S; green Zara shirt also pre-loved and the Tu tank top found BNWT in King's Lynn back in November 2023 on our Norfolk weekend away.

Green boots by Zara a recent Vinted buy. They replaced my green suede boots which were added to the donations bag. I needed to drop the bag off which was sitting in my car just waiting for a better day...

All jewellery pre-loved.

I was delighted to see that 'KIN - Series 2' was to start week beginning 12th February! Meanwhile we started to watch the series of 'True Detective' starring Jodie Foster.

I joined the group for the unofficial bus walk on Friday morning from Stewartby; originally a brickwork town built around clay pits. What a soggy day it was. It rained throughout the walk and both the fields and foot paths were flooded. My feet were soaked as was my rain mac by the end, but nevertheless it was an enjoyable walk even though most of my mascara got washed away. After 5.5 miles we stopped for coffee and cake in the Forest Centre in Marston Moretaine. The flooded car park meant there was only one other customer and us 8 walkers. I had a slice of coffee cake which was delicious.

My walking trousers were muddy up to the knee so I had to change when I got home. Everything pre-loved except the knee boots which are about 6 years old and bought in a Sainsbury's sale. Skirt by Next; tank top by Zara and striped top found on a 1.00 rail last week end in Huntingdon Community charity shop. All jewellery pre-loved.

I had to collect the youngest grandson from school and take him to  get his locks re-twisted at the hairdresser's. Once I'd done that I was free to chill out at home; no cooking required as fish and chips from the local chippy was on Friday's menu.

OH and I were hoping for a dry day on Saturday as we wanted to start tidying up and cutting back the garden at the front. OH spotted this flowering plant in the back garden and asked what it was. It took me a while to recognise it, but it was a plumbago plant I bought on a walk in the summer to Risely; where the village was having a village wide plant sale to raise funds for church repair. I bought it from somebody's front garden and this was its first flowering and our first flower in 2024. None of our bulbs have yet come up.

However, we did make a start on the garden on Saturday morning and after clearing away the huge geranium at the front; there were, what I think, were narcissi bulbs in the same pot; already throwing up green shoots. We pruned and tidied up at the front and ended up with two empty window boxes. We went to B&M to buy some cheap and cheerful polyanthus to fill the boxes with a splash of colour. I also bought a couple of shrubs for the front garden.

Everything pre-loved bar the boots. Dress/tunic bought  in Castle Rd Children's Society charity shop in the week; animal print kimono and leggings can't remember, but both pre-loved. All jewellery pre-loved. I wore my Whistle jumper under the dress as it was almost the exact same colour and it's very warm.

From B&M we decided to go to Newport Pagnell for a quick rummage. We were looking for a kitchen clock as ours had died (it was ancient) and a replacement bread bin and biscuit tin in cream.  All our grey kitchen canisters and bread bin were to be put up in the loft for when my son moves in May. Household possession move around in our family and if they're not wanted we donate them to charity shops. We didn't find what we were looking for, but iwas clearly my lucky day as I found a vintage paisley pattern dress by this label in Age UK in blues and soft greens.

I couldn't find anything about the label which is French, I believe, on the Vintage Fashion Guild but there are lots of dresses for sale on eBay and I also found these two rather nice posters on line for the same company. I think  my dress is from the 1970s.

The rain came down heavily on the way to Newport Pagnall There was a lot of flooding by Newport Pagnell bridge and at Bromham bridge. The river had broken its banks and flooded fields again; it was a very wet and  overcast afternoon. Once we were home we lit the fire and chilled out watching more episodes of 'True Detective: Night Country' and I finished the last book on my TBR pile. One of the novels I'd tried to read from the previous TBR pile I didn't like so didn't persist with it. Life's too short to be wasted on books you're not enjoying...

This is the latest TBR pile. Interestingly, the top book by Percival Everett has been on my shelf for years and having read the blurb; I realised it's the book of the current movie 'American Fiction'. We saw the trailer for it when we went to the cinema a fortnight ago. Updated to say I started reading the Hakan Nesser book and realised I'd already read it. I replaced it with the first book in the historical 1930s detective series by Nicola Upson 'An Expert in Murder'. It features the real life (long dead) author Josephine Tey as an amateur detective. I've been trying to find the books in the series on my rummages and to date I have 6 out the 11. The ones I don't have I'll find copies from the library.

We had a peaceful Sunday. I went for a swim and swam 46 laps. The hiccoughs surrounding swiping cards and apps to enter the pool seems to have passed as I managed to get through the barriers with no trouble. The grandsons came for dinner and I made pancakes for pudding as I won't see them on Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday.

Monday's outfit; all pre-loved except the tights which were a Christmas present last year. The dress is by Kettlewell and was a Castle Rd charity shop find about a fortnight ago. It has an asymmetric hem but only dips down each side at the front which I can cope with. The jumper underneath is by Simon Jefferies; also pre-loved. All jewellery pre-loved except the silver cuff; a Christmas present ages ago from my friend, Ann. It was cold but bright and sunny on Monday - what a pleasure it was to see the sun.

No cleaning at Barnardo's this week for me; I processed a pile of donations from Sunday and managed to clear the lot by the time my shift finished. I found a cream bread bin and a new kitchen clock while I was there;  both items I'd been looking for and now finally found. I dropped off a big bag of donations to the Keech Hospice shop which is across the road from the Barnardo's shop. I spent the afternoon and most of the evening catching up with blog land and reading my book. Reading the entry on Irene Handl; a British character actor and author; see HERE; I was astonished to see she lived in the same block of mansion flats my friend Hilary lived in when we were at school. We never knew!

Sorry for the gauzy quality of the photos above and below. Camera was in selfie mode which I only use for close ups...

Another wet day on Tuesday. Everything pre-loved except the trousers bought in the Asda sale and boots as before. Blazer by John Rocha; no label floral top worn over a pink Next jumper. All jewellery charity shopped; the diamond studs being my most recent find.

At the food bank I made up Kettle packs and then had time to put away the toiletries of which there weren't many. Apparently. we're starting a 'baby bank' as well at the warehouse; but I don't know yet how it will work. We have a room in the warehouse currently dedicated to baby food; baby milk, nappies and baby toiletries and it's full to bursting.

Swimming was very pleasant; no problems getting in and I asked the reception staff to book me in for next Sunday's swim. I swam 45 laps and felt fabulous afterwards. In the evening we started watching the new series of 'Kin'. We'd tried to watch the final episode of 'True Detective' but as we were watching it on catch up we have to wait until next Monday which was quite frustrating!

I love Wednesdays and Thursdays as I can have a lie-in. I don't need to be anywhere by a certain time so I relish getting up when I wake up and just pottering about. After breakfast on Wednesday morning I got ready and set off for a walk. The large Ramblers group were walking in Bow Brickhill near Milton Keynes but I would have to have left the house by 9 am to get there on time. I will have to recce my walk by next week, as I lead it the week after but I'm praying for a few dry days so the ground dries out a bit. I walked along the river from Queens Park to Great Denham and into Biddenham and back again -  5.7 miles in total.

The river was high in places but the footpath wasn't flooded anywhere I walked. On my approach to Queen's Park I heard the muezzin calling people to midday prayer. Such a beautiful sound. The mosque is diagonally opposite the Hindu temple in Queen's Park.

It was a very mild day and I soon discarded my scarf and opened my rain mac up to cool down. There were several short spitty showers but my mac had a hood. Everything I wore was pre-loved except the boots as before. I added walking socks and boots to walk in. Dress by Izabel; jumper by Whistles; all jewellery pre-loved.

OH went out for a walk yesterday whilst I was swimming and didn't want to walk again even though his walk was cut short by heavy rain.

It was Valentine's Day on Wednesday and my lovely OH bought me a bouquet of beautiful flowers delivered bright and early...

There were also some chocolates but they had disappeared by Thursday. I bought OH a tee-shirt and a chocolate orange.

I had to be at the hairdressers by 10.30 am on Thursday and after that I went home, had breakfast and got ready to to the weekly food shop. I also went to the farm shop in Sharnbrook to stock up on coal and kindling.

I found these cropped boucle trousers by Shein in the Keech Hospice shop near my hairdressers last week. Zara green shirt; no label tank top and green Zara boots via Vinted. Everything pre-loved including all jewellery.

It was incredibly warm for the time of year. The car said 18 degrees on my way back from shopping. No jacket required! Once the shopping was put away I walked into town to the International supermarket for some seasoning and some Masal Chai tea bags. My two boxes from Lidl had run out and as it's not a regular line of theirs it could be months before they have them again. Sainsbury's stock Pukka Masal Chai teabags but at 4.75 for 20 tea bags it was too much. The ones I bought in the International supermarket were 2.79 for 50 tea bags. They were very pleasant; not quite as spicy as the Lidl ones but with a nice smoky flavour.

Fresh hair cut!

On Friday I met up with the unofficial bus walk group at Keysoe International Equestrian Centre where we walked for 6 miles; some of it very muddy indeed. It was a lovely bright day which made up for the muddy bits and we stopped at the Equestrian centre at the end of the walk for tea and cake. Keysoe is 9.5 miles from Bedford.

Thought we might have rain at this point - look at those clouds below. It came to nothing, thankfully.

In the distance you can see the church (above) and this is Keysoe church in close up.

This plaque in the church wall commemorates William Dickins who aged 71 was pointing the steeple in April 1757 and fell to the ground. His injuries weren't fatal but is it a coincidence he died 2.5 years later?

We passed several pretty thatched cottages...

I saw my first wild primroses.

This is the entrance to the cafe area and one of the exercise rings for the horses at the Equestrian centre. Perhaps this company sponsors the centre? Anyway there were two ginormous bottles of champagne flanking the entrance. Thanks to Sandra (a fellow walker) for some of the photos...

Once I was home and had eaten dinner cooked by OH; I booked our flights and car hire for next month when we go to Ireland. We decided to fly and drive rather than use our own car and use the ferry which entails overnight stops; both on the way there and the way back. As for cost it works out slightly cheaper doing it this way. In the evening we began watching Series 2 of 'Undercover' - the Belgian crime drama about undercover cops.

A gloomy day on Saturday but mild. I can't recall wearing this patchwork patterned skirt before; I'm guessing it was an end of summer find and it didn't get put away with my summer clothes. It's pre-loved with a label in a language I don't recognise. Pre-loved jumper by Gap and black knee boots found in my Barnardo's a few years back.

All jewellery pre-loved.

I wore this red corduroy, pre-loved Moto (old Topshop label) jacket when we went to Ampthill on Saturday afternoon to have a quick rummage in their 4 charity shops.  I found 2 items on the 2.00 rail at the Willen Hospice shop; a pair of summer trousers and a black and white Wallis tunic BNWT. We also bought yet another wall clock in Barnardo's in Ampthill; this time for the study and a wrought iron magazine rack which will be repurposed into a planter for the garden. 

There is a Waitrose in Ampthill and I checked out their tea shelves. I found another packet of Masala Chai teabags at the same price as the teabags I bought at the International supermarket in Bedford. I am now well stocked up with all the teas we drink; Masala Chai, Earl Gray and English Breakfast tea for visitors. I'd read there was a tea shortage in some supermarkets but having visited Aldi; Lidl; Sainsbury's and Waitrose in the last few days I saw no signs of it.


Sunday was a day of leisure after my morning swim. We went out for a late lunch with my 3 brothers and my sister and her husband to celebrate Julian's 71st birthday.  The house cleaning could wait until Monday. We went to the Japanese restaurant in town and enjoyed our meal although the service could have been better. The dishes were brought to the table by a robot called Belle but unloaded and served by a human being. We left a tip anyway as the staff were lovely; we always leave a cash tip for waiting staff for unless the restaurant operates a Tronc system the staff don't always receive the tips - one thing I've learned having a grandson in the trade...

This is the Marcelle Griffon vintage dress I found in Newport Pagnell last week. It has a matching fabric belt but I substituted it for this belt donated by daughter some years ago. I wore it with my OTK boots which were a retail buy about 5 years ago. For outer wear I wore my South leather jacket from Vinted and a mustard cross body bag found in my Barnardo's. 

All jewellery pre-loved. The pendant is made from a spoon and I found it in an Irish charity shop - I think!

Julian and I.

Here we all are; Paul, Mandy; me; Julian; Mark; Tony and OH. Excluding my OH and Mandy's OH; 4 of us share a mother and 3 of us share a father. We only met Julian in 2013; see HERE and HERE and Mandy in 2023; see HERE!

After the meal everyone came back to our house for dessert - cheesecake and chocolate eclairs. It was a lovely day and so good to see everyone. Mandy and Paul are off for a 3 week trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in March so they won't be here for my 70th birthday get together in March.

This week is the start of half term here in Bedford and I expected Barnardo's to be much busier for that reason. It wasn't. I worked with a member of staff I hadn't worked with for quite a long time and between us we processed all the donations. We had a problem with the printer so couldn't print out any Gift Aid labels.

This was my outfit on Monday. Everything pre-loved. Trousers by Zara and go back to the days when I volunteered at the Red Cross charity shop in 2017. Tunic by Wallis found on Saturday's mini rummage. Being black and white it will be a very useful wardrobe item. All jewellery pre-loved.

I forgot to tell you I received yet another parking ticket for parking in the same place and exceeding the parking time again - I parked there 2 Wednesday's in a row for OH and I to walk in Renhold and didn't receive the first parking ticket until after that. I could have cried.

I wore this outfit on Tuesday to the food bank. Everything pre-loved except the boots. Jacket by Fenn, Wright and Manson; trousers are very old and have no label; top by Pepperberry. The top is plain and the necklace you can see was found in Ireland last year.

I lost 3 different earrings last week; one of which was one of the pair below. Luckily I found this missing earring under the sofa. One of the other earrings I lost was from a pair of enamelled, hand painted ones made by local crafts people that I'd bought in Ireland. I shall look for a replacement pair when I go back; who knows they may even still have the same pair...

Less make up than usual as I usually go for a swim after the food bank and take it all off again;  only this week I didn't. We had a new volunteer start at the food bank and I was asked to train her on making up the kettle packs. I finished later than I usually do and didn't want to rush to the swimming pool.  I swapped the session for one on Thursday morning instead and ran some errands in the afternoon. I also did some of the weekly food shopping as I'm going to Papworth Hospital on with OH on Thursday  for his MRI scan. On Friday I'm off to the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London with cousin Marian. She's recovered from her fall and we're both looking forward to catching up and visiting the museum. OH will do what's left of the food shopping on Friday while I'm off gallivanting! See you in a fortnight...


  1. Kathy in Maryland21 February 2024 at 02:30

    Lovely outfits as usual! Glad that OH is feeling well enough to go on walks with you and sure hope he has good results with his MRI. Enjoy every minute together! My husband’s Parkinson’s is advancing fast and I ‘m trying to mentally hang on to every day-it’s bittersweet!
    Has anyone heard from Goody of “Eat The Blog”? I hope she & her family are OK.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's Parkinson's. It must be so difficult for you.

      Regarding Goody; for some reason (I don't know why or what) she decided to stop blogging but she is on Instagram and posts regularly.

  2. I don't think I've ever seen a plumbago. Must look it up. Re wild wees: the walking group I'm in always meets at a coffee shop with loos and then lunch is provided with loos....doesn't always go to plan, quite often they're closed. Love the Zara vest (or tanktop as we used to say). And the Fenn Wright & Manson jacket. Can't believe you are coming up to 70. Easily look a decade younger xx

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      The 'wild' version of Plumbago is 'Lungwort'. I think you'd like it as it's purple!

  3. The weather has been acting weird here as well. Mostly grey and rainy but warm for the time of year!
    Had a look at the details of Park House and it looks absolutely splendid. We do use the word "manege" here in Belgium for a riding school.
    Love the Marcelle Griffon dress. I believe I've got one from that brand too. Those posters are fabulous!
    Another stand-out from your outfits is the patchwork patterned skirt. What a beauty that is!
    Keeping my fingers crossed from OH's MRI scan tomorrow! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      Yes, we've had the same type of weather here but apparently turning colder over the next few days. We saw so many flooded fields today on a trip out.

      Aren't those Marcelle Griffon poster fab?

  4. Good luck for OH's scan - hope all goes well. Gutting news about the second parking ticket. We are going to Ireland in May and have decided to fly and hire a car. They ferry is very expensive and it is a long drive otherwise. I can't believe you are nearly 70!

    1. Thank you, Maeve. I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the car hire was but it doubles with a second driver and we like to share the driving...I'll be in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day; can't wait!

  5. I hope everything turns out well on the health front for you two.
    I have just watched the final of True Detective, I sure didn't pick that finish. It may be just me but there seemed to be a gratuitous amount of swearing. Geez I am getting old !!!!!!
    I loved all your outfits, but could very easily steal the orange jacket while no one was looking.
    Take care, Megan

    1. Thank you, Megan. I have no health issues so far. I agree with you about 'True Detective' - I'm still a bit puzzled and I agree about the language. It seemed unnecessary a lot of the time...and I say that as a person who swears a lot!

  6. fabulous outfits - dear vronni!
    the marcelle griffon dress is a beauty - and i love the ads! thanx for finding them.....
    sorry for the muddy walks - we had lots of rain too.....
    fingers crossed for OH!!!

    1. Thank Beate,
      I am sick, sick, sick of the rain and gloom and flooded landscapes...

  7. Hi Vronni, I often visit your blog as I love to see how you put your vintage finds together, I love your final outfit this week, those fabulous flowing trousers with that gorgeous orange jacket - you look fabulous! Betty

    1. Thank you, Betty! The orange jacket was a great find a few years ago. Unfortunately when I was ironing it one day I scorched it and that's why I have felt corsage pinned to it!

  8. Gosh, you have such a varied collection of clothes, Vronni! I love the short floral skirt, the long swooshy skirt, and that new vintage dress - I love that you styled it with the leather jacket to toughen it up! Thank you so much for all the scenery pics - what a gorgeous place. We're drenched in cold rain right now...

    1. Thank you, Sheila - this from the woman whose wardrobe appears unlimited to me! Our weather has become milder and drier but I don't think it;s going to last; sighs...

  9. Always lovely to read about your walks and daily life, lots of interesting details that caught your eye, lots of fabulous outfits and charity shop finds!.
    Lovely that you found that vintage paisley dress, totally in love with it, fab colours!, and also lovely posters , so beautiful!
    Totally agree about not finishing books that you're not enjoying: that's my opinion too, there are better things to do than reading a book you don't like!.
    Lovely outfits, all of them!. Can't pick a favourite one, but I think you rock in red and also in raspberry colour (love that floral dress you wore on Wednesday). Also lovely in trousers, some of those cropped ones are particularly fabulous with boots!.
    And that patchwork patterned skirt is so colourful and lovely!
    Hope everything goes well and sending hugs to OH and you!

    1. Thank you, Monica! Hoping Spring comes soon - I'm getting very bored with my wardrobe now...

  10. Hasn't this incessant rain been grim? I'll be glad to escape it. Glad to hear that OH is doing well and remaining positive, Vronni. Lovely to see you out with Julian, too - do send him our love!
    A cracking array of outfits, those Marcelle Griffon illustrations are so much like the fashion books Marks & Spencer used to publish back in the 1980s. The dress is fabulous especially worn with the boots and cross body bag.
    We binge watched the entire four seasons of True Detective, I loved all of them. I'm mesmerised by Kali Reis who plays Navarro, what a stunning woman she is.
    Liking the sound of the fashion and textile museum, hope you enjoyed your trip. xxx

    1. Glad to hear from you Vix and thank you! I believe the forthcoming week which will be mostly dry - thank the Lord and pass the gravy, I say!


Very proud mummy.

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