Thursday, 28 April 2016

This week's finds...

I've had a good week's rummaging this week...I'm trying to focus my charity shopping to add to my summer wardrobe and buy things for our week in Spain in July. On Monday I bought brand new with tags, navy blue, cotton trousers at Save the Children where I volunteer. I also got two summer t shirts for middle grandson.

On my way home I went into the British Red Cross shop and bought a pair of leather gloves for £1.00.  These won't be for Spain of course, but for next winter. I always buy leather gloves if I see them for sale at bargain prices. They also had a lovely fur coat in for £8.99; which I tried on, but it didn't fit me! I've been after a nice fur coat for ages now, but I shall just have to keep on looking...

I wore this on Tuesday. Black skinny jeans from Lidl, loafers from local shoe shop last year. This is my only concession to Spring so far; no boots or socks, but I've still got my camisole/vest on underneath my top!
On Tuesday I went into town to check out a couple of the charity shops. Marie Curie has been closed every time I passed it over the past couple of weeks and Age UK was being refurbished. We have a new charity shop opening up on 29th April, Friday, called the 'Wood Green Animal Shelter,' so I'll make sure I visit it on my way back from the hairdressers. I didn't get anything in Marie Curie - it was open though and they've had a change around with more books than before. Age UK is refurbished but empty. I don't know if it will reopen or not. Fingers crossed it does because I like it.

Necklace charity shopped in Donegal and earrings bought last week in the Willen Hospice shop in Newport Pagnell.

So what did I get?

 I bought buff coloured cotton skinny trousers for £3.49; a red, black, white and camel coloured, short sleeved, summer top £2.99; and a white short sleeved long top; £1.99 in the Salvation Army; plus a rather fab pair of green earrings for £1.99. I bought a blue sleeveless top in Oxfam for £2.50, and a black chunky necklace for 99p. Finally, I called in at the 3:16 shop where all clothes are £1.00 at the moment. I bought a Next wrap dress in black, a grey speckled tunic and a warm black long cardigan. The dress and cardigan will be packed away for next Autumn/Winter, but I can wear the speckled top with white or black skinny jeans or over a range of leggings in the summer. I bought the middle grandson a new dressing gown here as well and a new make up bag for 50p!  I also bought a brown fedora for £2.00. My hat collection is growing! I have 6 hats and 3 berets in total,

Top, charity shopped in Donegal, and kimono Christmas present from daughter 2 years ago. Bangles charity shopped.

This top has long sleeves not short - hurrah!
This is the black necklace and green earrings I bought but I'd completely forgotten about the orange, pear shaped earrings which I bought in the Cancer Research shop for 99p!

Postscript - the navy blue cotton trousers are too small despite being my size! I couldn't get them past my knees! I'll have to return them on Monday and see what else I could have in exchange....

As I've said before I always try  to get rid of things as I bring home 'new'. Into the bag for the charity shop this week,  I put - 2 pairs of camel/buff/beige coloured cotton trousers that I bought in a La Redoute sale about 6 years ago. There's nothing wrong with them except they are not high rise and I have vowed never to wear low rise trousers again - no good for my fat belly!! I also put in two boyfriend cardigans; I grey and 1 black; 4 or 5 vests; I pair of trackie bottoms (sweat pants) I haven't worn for over a year;  and a couple of tops I no longer liked. By doing this every time (almost every time!) I just about manage to store all my clothes. If I didn't give stuff away and held on to everything, I'd have to climb over piles of clothing as I come in through the front door!

 I'm very pleased with all my bargains but that's it for the week now.  I'll just visit the new one on Friday and I won't go rummaging after walking on Wednesday but come straight home - so I'm not tempted...

Here's a closer look at the earrings on. I tried for 10 minutes to do a selfie of the earrings but I just couldn't - I don't know how Goody manages....

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Yellow, navy and a long walk...

I wore this outfit on Friday after I finished my bus walk. We caught the bus from Bedford to the village of Milton Ernest and walked back, which is 7 miles. We ended up  in Bedford Park and had tea and cake in the cafe. The best way to finish any walk, I think!

It was such a cheerless, grey cloudy day, I wanted to wear something bright - and yellow always obliges.
Grey trousers from Primarni 2 years ago; top charity shopped; cardigan Christmas present from OH, yellow loafers from Tesco outlet store about 4 years ago. Necklace charity shopped and earrings from e bay, 99p.

Beads bought recently at Cancer Research and orange earrings from Sainsburys

On Saturday both OH and I went walking in London for the 'Unlock London' walk.  It was the 33rd walk and was called 'Around the Orbit'.  The Orbit is the horrible twisty construction in the Olympic Park and to give it is full name the Arcelormittal  Orbit. We did the 'Unlock London' walk last year, too, where we started in Southwark and walked to Bermondsey and then Deptford. 

This time we started at Hackney Wick and walked via 9 churches through the streets, by the River Lea through the Olympic Park in Stratford and back to Hackney Wick again.  I liked the Aqua Centre in the Oympic Park and it's lovely to have such a nice open space filled with different sport venues (velodrome, hockey and tennis centre and a stadium, to name just some) but much of the modern architecture leaves me cold. All in all we walked about 10 miles.

Yes, I'm wearing trainers! The only pair I've ever bought (Marie Curie £2.00). Very good for pounding the London streets!

Jeans bought from Lidl some weeks ago and top from Store 21 £5.00 in the sale. Orange bangle from Oxfam, £1.00.

This was a stained glass window from one of the churches.

This was the last of the 9 churches we visited.

One of the many narrow boats on the River Lea.

On Sunday I went to visit my son. It started out as s sunny day but got colder and cloudier as the day went on. I needed this warm red jacket from Fenn Wright Mason bought at the RSPCA shop in Newport Pagnell on Tuesday.

Warm and cozy.

Trousers, top and spotted shirt all charity shopped.

Shoes and pearl necklace charity shopped. Earrings bought from Debenhams about 3 years ago.

I hope everyone has a great week. I'm just doing the usual this week - charity shop volunteering and school run on Monday, Food bank volunteering on Tuesday and may have a rummage in the afternoon - possibly in Rushden. On Wednesday I will be walking with the Ramblers and on Thursday as well. On Friday I'll go walking by myself and do the school run.


Thursday, 21 April 2016


When I started this blog I struggled to find a title. I wanted the blog to reflect my interest in fashion/style for mature women on a tight budget and my love of walking, so the 'meanderings' seemed an apt choice. Today I looked up in the Cambridge On Line Dictionary the definition of 'meandering':

moving ​slowly in no ​particular ​direction or with no ​clearpurpose:

Not exactly what I thought but hey it will have to do! My walks are rarely meandering as I usually know where I'm going and roughly how to get there. I'm doing a lot of walking this week...

I went walking on Wednesday on my own own. I walked the route I'll be taking when I lead the walk on 15th June. The woods were full of bluebells. I walked this same route last week on Wednesday, but had to start from a different place as my car was out of action to get to the actual starting point.

In just one week the oil seed rape has flowered leaving bright yellow fields everywhere.

I spotted some cowslips. 

I also saw: 2 Muntjac deer, 1 green woodpecker, I pheasant
2 buzzards; as well as the usual sparrows; dunnocks,  meadow pipits, blackbirds, robins, wood pigeons, starlings, magpies, crows, rooks, jackdaws and I heard, but didn't see, blue tits and great tits.
I also heard lots of skylarks and saw a couple performing low aerobatics over a field. 

The sun shone and it was a glorious day. The walk is exactly 7 miles and I think I have finally found how to enter and exit the woods in the same place. I've tried on at least six or seven previous occasions and each time I enter or leave at different places - a bit like Milton Keynes! I'm going to re walk it on Thursday and then I can be sure I have the right route finally nailed. 

On Friday I'm doing a bus walk of 7 miles and on Saturday OH and I are doing the 29th 'Unlock London' walk. This is a walk (see here) organised by a Christian charity and each year features walks between different churches in different areas of London - nearly all of whom offer tea and cake for refreshments! 

We are not religious, in fact both of us are agnostic, but we did this walk last year from Southwark, Bermondsey to Deptford and enjoyed it so much we're doing it again this year in Stratford and Hackney.

I walked the route again on Thursday  - another 7 miles!

I'm wearing the necklace I bought on Saturday at the Bedford Guild Hall for £1.50. Earrings charity shopped.

Wearing a tunic charity shopped in Sue Ryder in Northampton £1.00;  leggings charity shopped this week in Newport Pagnell. I went there on Tuesday afternoon and got these leggings, (M & S, £2.00) in Keech Cottage Hospice shop; a beautiful red jacket, (£5.00, RSPCA), an over the bath airer for 50p (!), 2 brooches 50p each and some turquoise beads for £1.50. On Monday I bought a green cotton tunic for £5.00 from my charity shop, Save the Children and a long sleeved printed t shirt for £1.00.

I wore this fur gilet for warmth as it was cooler on Thursday.  Gilet from charity shop in Donegal, 2015. The shoes are from Next and I bought them a few months back from the Oxfam shop for £5.00 - BNWT!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

My 60th Post

Today is my 60th post! I started blogging back in November 2015 having been inspired by (and continue to be) by other fashion and style bloggers. I do find, though,  that blogging is a time consuming activity. First of all there are all the blogs to read -  and as I discover more all the time the blog reading  list gets longer... then there is the writing and the photo taking for my own blog. I think life would be a lot easier if I took my own photos, so I'm working on that, but in the meantime will have to prevail on the OH and whichever grandson might be handy to take the photos. In summary I have enjoyed it all immensely and will be carrying on regardless!

I got my car back fully functioning and was able to drive it to Surrey late on Thursday night in readiness for the funeral on Friday morning. I stayed in a Travelodge for the first time in my life. The room was pleasant and clean but the people who had the room above me sounded like they were stamping on the floor and moving furniture around until about 2  in the morning. I didn't sleep well despite a very comfortable bed.

The funeral went well. It was lovely to see my best friend of 50 years again and her daughters and 6 grandchildren.  I'm going to down to Devon in a few weeks to stay with her for the weekend. The funeral service was lovely as was the church it was held in, and where her parents are buried is the most beautiful village. Interestingly, she had no idea why her parents are buried there, neither of them are from there or lived there so it's a bit of a mystery. 

Unfortunately, it rained the whole day so I didn't get to explore the village and take some photos. Neither did I remember to ask anyone to take photos of my funeral outfit! I opted for the black and white chevron striped maxi skirt with a black cross over top, black Moto jacket, black suede ankle boots and a black straw hat. I think it looked good and my friend certainly liked the outfit.

Green skinnies charity shopped, as are boots, cardigan and earrings. I bought the green top earlier this week when I went rummaging but forgot to mention it in the previous post - £1.99 at the Red Cross shop.

On  Wednesday I went out walking by myself and did 9.35 miles. I was pretty knackered when I got back. On Thursday I went to a couple of charity shops a short way from the town centre and bought a red and black patterned pair of loose trousers and a white lace top, both in the Children's Society for £5.49 in total.

On Saturday I managed to visit the Bedford Guild House for the very first time. It has a charity shop attached to it but it only opens on Saturdays. As well as picking up some bargains; I picked up a list of activities that are available at the Guild House and they include beauty treatments; cooked meals, Pilates, Art classes, Creative Writing etc. Whilst this is all good to know and great for the over 50s to have this specialist resource,  everything has a cost. Meals are £3.50 and puddings £1.50. Classes are between £5 and £6.00 each. Now, I'm not complaining about the cost, but once again here's an example of if you have enough money in your retirement/old age there is much out there for you. If you are living on a state pension it's a different story. I'm not reliant on a state pension, luckily, but neither could I afford to do much at the Guild House. Maybe if I spent less in the charity shops I could! To be honest the only thing I would be interested in would be the Creative Writing course and there was a waiting list for that....

Here's what I bought:

This lovely canvas for £2.50. Maybe somebody at the Guild House painted it! I thought it was very tranquil and I could almost feel the's going in my son's old room now the spare room. There's a wall crying out for some art, in there!

This is a mock Victorian night dress from dear old M & S  for £2.50. I've always wanted one and I'm hoping this will fit me - if it doesn't my best friend may`like it. If it does fit me I'll be taking it to Spain - lots of cotton clothes to cope with the heat....

This was too pretty to pass up and only £1.50.

On Sunday the weather is going to be fine and I'm going to a car boot sale - my first this year. Let's hope there are some good things to be had!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Of cars, cookers and funerals....

Well, the problems with the car continue since I've got back.  When I went to do the Lidl shop on Thursday the engine light was flashing and it didn't drive in the usual way. The problem has been diagnosed - the head gasket has gone and will cost a pretty penny to repair. It can't be done until Saturday so I'm car less until then.  The car hasn't really been right since we came back from Ireland last September, despite new coolant unit caps, new water pump and most recently a new radiator. According to my mechanic the new head gasket should fix it once and for all. Therefore, no Rambler's walks this week as I can't get to the start points but no matter I can walk on my own!

Lately, my daughter has developed an interest in walking as part of her exercise regime. She is super fit. She's a PE teacher, goes to the gym 4 times a week and plays netball weekly for a local team.  My son, too, visits the gym several times a week. Going to the gym is my idea of hell! Whereas, walking for me is both a pleasure and a good form of exercise.

Last Saturday my daughter and I went walking and did 10 miles. That's a personal best for me. My legs felt it the next day...

This is about the only other photo of me taken in Ireland. I'm inside Ruby Super (our mobile home) and it's a cold day; I've got several layers on plus an infinity scarf! Everything I'm wearing has been worn in blog posts before except possibly the necklace and silver bangles - both charity shopped.

This is a a fishing lake quite close to the mobile home park. We have the sea close by and 2 lakes.

This photo was taken by my cousin's wife. It's of Cassiebawn Castle at sunset (home of Lord Mountbatten) in Mullaghmore, Co.Sligo. Isn't it a brilliant photo? Well done, Martina!

It's a damn nuisance about the car because on Friday I have to go to Surrey for my best friend's dad's funeral.  Her dad has been ill for years and hasn't wanted to be here for quite a while. He was in pain and it's a blessed release for all. Both daughter and OH need their cars for work so I've hired one for 2 days. It would have been almost impossible to travel by public transport to the church, interment and wake (all in different towns in Surrey) so a car was called for. I was surprised at how reasonable it was to hire a car for 2 days!

So, that's the car dealt with. Now the cooker. In fact, it was the fan oven. It stopped working last Friday. I'm just waiting for the third thing to go. They always seem to happen in threes, don't they?

I couldn't go to the food bank today (Tuesday) as I had to wait in for the repair man to come and fix the oven. Luckily I've insured the oven! Once that was done I set out for a good old rummage. I didn't get much opportunity to rummage in Ireland and was having withdrawal symptoms. I only  bought 5 things in Ireland in the charity shops. A pair of jeans that stayed in Ruby Super (I have another wardrobe there to save me carting clothes backwards and forwards - I keep adding to it!). A brown handbag for 4 euros, the brown leather jacket for 9 euros and a red, plastic bangle bought in Dublin on our last day there.

This is what I wore to go rummaging.

That's some of my jewellery collection in the background....

This red bangle is the one I bought in Dublin. Trousers, Red Cross charity shop (last seen here) as is the cardigan. Top from Save the Children charity shop.  Earrings from Sainsbury's. Necklace charity shopped, but can't remember which one...Boots, on line retail.

I bought this lampshade to replace the one in my bedroom which is a dust trap! It was £3.00 in the independent charity shop  in Bedford. It's for an African charity but calls itself: 'The Independent Charity Shop'.

I bought this (Phase 8) maxi skirt for £4.00 in the Cancer Research shop. I think I might wear it to the funeral, with a black top, my moto jacket, black boots and a hat. Alternatively, I was thinking of wearing a grey patterned, pencil skirt with a black top;  moto jacket and OTK boots but no hat. It's been a while since I've been to a funeral - thank God.

I bought these beads for £2.50 in the Cancer Research shop and the orange bangle in the Oxfam shop for 99p. I just need one or two more orange bangles then I don't need any more bangles - ever!

I'm going walking by myself on Wednesday and Thursday.  I didn't get much walking done in Ireland due to the weather and I've missed it. I'm going to join in with Anne's 52 Pick-me-up on her Spygirl blog. It's Indigo - and I think my top and cardigan might qualify me for it...

Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Back to dear old Blighty

Hello lovely people! Hope you've had a great Easter and a bit of break.

We got back very late in the early hours of Thursday morning and had a lovely time in Ireland, but it took us 3 days to get to Donegal! The bloody car started to play up when we got 
off the ferry and we had to stay in B and B just outside Dublin for 3 nights while we waited for the car to be repaired. None of this was helped by it being Easter weekend but we went with the flow and went into Dublin on Easter Monday to see the commemoration of the centenary of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The Easter Rising was an important event in Irish history as it paved the way for the Irish Republic and allowed the Irish nation to no longer be a colony of Britain. There's still the problem of the six counties after partition but that's a problem that will be around for a long time. Anyway, the laying of the wreath ceremony pictured above was for the relatives of those who lost their lives during the Easter Rising in 1916.

The ceremony took place inside the Four Courts.

File:Four Courts, Dublin (front view).jpg

This is the infamous GPO building where a lot of the fighting took place. You can still see the bullet holes today.

Trinity College, Dublin.

This is me on the Ha'penny bridge in Dublin. It was a chilly day!

This was taken in the local park in Lucan, Co. Dublin where we stayed in B and B.  It was a nice village where they had 2 charity shops and I bought a lovely, real leather jacket for 9 euros in one. I'll wear it in a future post.

On Monday last we went to Derry and did a bus tour.  Derry (Londonderry) is about 55 to 60 miles from Donegal. I'd done the tour before but there were some changes from 2005.

These are some of the murals from the Catholic side of the city. This is where the civil rights march took place and where the British army opened fire on the protesters.  It became known as Bloody Sunday. This young girl is one of those killed by a bullet.

When I was here in 2005, the Protestant side of the city had its own murals, too. Union Jacks abounded as did the Red Hand of Ulster and lots of slogans such as; "No surrender!" Now, this is all that's left. It's all about peace and harmony.  It makes me wonder if the other set of murals will also be revamped in due course.

The journey home was loooong!! The ferry disembarked 2 hours late and there was a junction closure and diversion through Birmingham on the M6. I have decided never to take my own car again but to fly and hire a car whilst I'm in Ireland. That way, if there are car problems someone else can take care of them.

It's good to be home.

Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...