Friday, 22 July 2016

Heat, skip diving and swollen ankles...

Saturday's outfit.
Oh boy, it was hot and humid.

Dress, ASOS bought at Save the Children for £3.00. Leggings (only because I went walking and didn't want my legs scratched by nettles, thistles and rampaging wild grasses!) M&S. Flip flops, £2.00 in the Salvation Army, bought when I popped into town to the library to return the books I've read - and they're real leather!

This is taken with my new selfie stick.  Bangles, earrings and beads charity shopped. I look hot and bothered. You should have seen how I looked when I finished my walk of 6.5 miles; the sweat was rolling off my face and on to my clothes!

It was so hot my lipstick disappeared...

I helped out at the Rambler's stall on Sunday and it was very busy. After 2 hours of standing around in the heat as well as walking there and back; my ankles and feet swelled and I was shattered. My middle grandson came with me and managed to win a Brazil football shirt on one of the stalls so he was well pleased!

I was too tired to bother with photos on Sunday but I wore my new navy check Capri trousers and a navy top with orange and yellow accessories.

In case you're wondering what a group of Rambler's look like (!), here we are in front of the Albert Memorial in Kensington Park Gardens, London June 2016. As we were walking in London I didn't need to wear my regular walking gear. I've got a waterproof jacket (tied round my waist) and a rucksack but no water proof trousers or walking boots. Luckily, neither were needed.

Before volunteering on the stall o n Sunday, I was up and about at 7 am - thanks to the youngest grandson who had stayed over night - he's an early riser. By 9 am I had baked this honey cake and decorated it with lavender flowers from my garden. It was delicious.

For the first time ever, since I started there last October, I managed to leave Save the Children shop on Monday without a single item of clothing!

Nothing, nada, zilch. I'm very proud of myself!

Once again it was a scorching day and I wore all cotton garments to keep cool...

I look very dumpy in this picture but then I am dumpy, anyway! OH was focusing camera down on me which, I think, is not the most flattering angle. Must mention it to him. I'm still playing around with the selfie stick.

Everything charity shopped except the white cotton trousers from Lidl a few weeks ago. Shoes bought in Cancer Research in Ely, top from British Red Cross £1.99, last week.

There weren't many of us at the food bank on Tuesday. On holiday, I expect. I'll be joining them next Thursday!

 I'm playing about with the selfie stick here and yes, that's a pink clicker and the stick is pink, too, but what do I care when it was less than a fiver?

Trousers recent buy at British Red Cross as is the top, both £1.99 each. Not much jewellery, it was too hot!

I'm chuffed with these leather flip flops - £2.00 at the Salvation Army.

My right foot had begun to swell in the heat...

I'm really enjoying myself here! Necklace was my mum's. Earrings 50 p at Keech Hospice shop.

Gladioli were my mum's favourite flowers. I bought 2 bunches in Lidl for 1.79 each on Saturday.
The jug they're in is my oldest charity shop find. It dates to 1878 and I really like it. I bought it in the Keech Hospice shop in Kempston for £1.50 last year. Flowers always look good in it.

Next to the food bank where I volunteer on Tuesdays, there is a company that does house clearances. They always have a skip outside and items just sitting beside it. Last week I helped my self to a leather football, which, since it has been pumped up, (with a brand new football pump - essential if you have football mad grandsons) is absolutely fine.  I also 'rescued' a metal watering can. It turned out to have a teeny tiny leak but it's perfectly usable and could even be turned into another plant pot, if needed. This week they had a wooden steamer chair - very weathered; the wood had gone that silvery colour, but perfectly serviceable. It's sitting in my garden now!

I had a brilliant idea on Tuesday evening. Because it's been so hot I haven't been able to go walking much - but then I had a brainwave. Why not get up extra early, while it's cool and go walking? So by 6.55 on Wednesday morning off I set and I walked 7.5 miles. It was lovely; it was hot but not too hot. I got back home with plenty of time to do other things.

These are what might called 'bastard massive' trousers. A phrase coined by Vix of 'Vintage Vixen, here ! The trousers were charity shopped about 2 years ago. Top from F & F sale, (Tesco) last summer; sandals from Clarks 6 years ago. All jewellery charity shopped. I don't often do bare arms but it was so hot I didn't care.

What other things did I do? Well, I haven't been to Ampthill for a while, so off I set. I bought my daughter an electric rice cooker for £2.50; picked up some shorts and t shirts for middle grandson, bought my brother a glass tankard with 'Happy 60th Birthday' on it - he's 60 on Saturday. I also bought myself 2 tops; one from the £1.00 rail - a Lipsy top and it's coming to Spain with me. The other top is a denim shirt which I'll take to  Donegal. I have another wardrobe there...not much summer stuff though, because so far I haven't experienced much of the Irish summer. I always seem to miss it!

I have now packed away all my outfits for Spain, so for the next week I'll have to rely on what's left in the wardrobe. That shouldn't be too difficult; I've got loads of clothes...

I did the same thing on Thursday morning got up early and set off walking. I tried a different route today but went wrong somewhere in an enormous field - either that or the map is wrong; highly unlikely. Anyway, I saw this sign en route:

How sweet!

Strangely enough, I didn't see many bees but in the 'bastard massive' field, I have never seen so many butterflies/moths. It was a hay field and the hay had been cut and left to dry in rows.  The perimeter of the field was alive with a variety of moths and butterflies. It was wonderful. On this walk, I also saw a sparrowhawk resting on a pole, a crying buzzard, two beautiful hares and a lot of rabbits!

After I dropped the grandchildren at school on Friday morning, I set off for a walk. It was much cooler today and I had a great walk. This week I've walked 20 miles in total; 2 x 7 miles and 1 x 6 miles. I plan to do the same, get up early and walk, next Monday and Tuesday.

I was a bit pissed off today because of this. This is a 'kissing gate' designed so that only one person can go through at a time - but you could lean over the gate and kiss the person coming through behind you. No, I haven't done it yet! Anyway, it's at the entrance/exit to a field and a public footpath; the sign saying 'Public Footpath' is directly opposite it. But wait a minute - have you noticed it's been padlocked? This means it can't be opened, so access to the footpath is denied. Not to me, I climbed over the gate beside it. I shall find out who the landowner is and report them.  To whom I don't yet know but I'll find out! The footpath is a public right of way and the land owner cannot deny access to the public without a very good reason.

Despite this sort of thing occasionally happening, I absolutely love walking. I love walking on my own and  in a group. I love exploring the countryside and towns and villages. I love the sounds of the birds singing, love to watch the changing seasons and I love the high I get from simply getting out in the fresh air and experiencing the elements. It's a great way to clear your head or think a tricky situation through. Whatever it is with walking, I always feel better for it.

Everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from a local shoe outlet.

I'm off to visit my son tomorrow and then in the evening we're going out for a 60th birthday meal with my two younger brothers. My older brother has a gig in Trowbridge tomorrow night so can't make it. I plan to chill out on Sunday and enjoy the weather; if it's not too hot I might squeeze in another walk. I'm on the last of the library books, too, so I have just managed to squeeze them all in.

We are in for a lovely weekend so I hope yours is fabulous!

Friday, 15 July 2016

On selfies and technology...

I'm getting better at these selfie photos. It's useful when OH is not around. In fact, I'm thinking of buying myself a selfie stick if I can find a cheap one somewhere! I have tried using my camera which my daughter bought me about 7 years ago but unfortunately my Chrome book and it can't talk to each other. I've also downloaded an MP3 album which I paid for and can't get it to play on my Chrome book either. It will just have to wait until the eldest grandson comes to visit and I'll get him to sort it out!

This was Fridays' outfit.

Top charity shopped some months back; from £1.00 rail somewhere. Loose trousers; a recent  charity shop purchase but can't remember where -  they are black with greeney blue, lime green, white and tan splodges; sandals are the T strap Clarks I mentioned in my previous post and this is the sixth year I'm wearing them. They'll probably outlive me at this rate! Bangles charity shopped.

Necklace bought from local shop 'Simi and Lola' and the earrings are from Sainsbury's, I think, They're pretty old now at least five years or thereabouts...

I had a relatively lazy day on Friday, did the school run and some chores around the house then got stuck into another book. I got an email from the library telling me a recent reservation (the latest Anne Tyler) had arrived so that's another one to cram in before I go away. I still have two reservations outstanding (the latest from Annie Proulx and Sarah Moss) so I think I had better cancel them and re reserve when I get back.

This is what I wore on Saturday. I went out walking by myself to recce another walk (nearly 8 miles) and I just put my walking boots and socks on. The top is made of cotton so it is quite cool - just as well as it was very humid.

More Sainsbury's earrings and necklace bought in Oxfam in Newport Pagnell last year.

Skinny jeans; Cat's Protection League last week £2.99, Cotton tunic; Wallis bought from independent charity shop in town. £3.00. Slip on shoes; Primarni. Bangles charity shopped.

I think I'm fairly good at using new technology and I've just downloaded and discovered 2 new things. The first came via a letter asking if I had heard about something called 'Streetlife'. Some of you here in the UK maybe familiar with it already, but it was new to me. I signed up to the website and its remit is wider than one street; it covers the whole of Bedford and some of the surrounding villages. It's very useful; people asking for recommendations of tried and tested tradesmen, buying and selling objects, requests to join a book club etc.

The second thing is an app for the phone called Schpock - the boot sale app. It lists items for sale in your area. I have already bought something - a lovely rug for my landing. This isn't my landing but the landing in the upstairs of the pub where I collected it from. The floor actually sloped to the right but as the pub goes back to the 17th century this shouldn't be too surprising.

The pub had this amazing dresser -  the publican told me it was constructed by his friend from floorboards taken from a terraced house in Staffordshire.  I love the collection of Staffordshire blue and white pottery.

And these rather unusual individual seats like church pews were also part of the pub's lovely interior.

This was Sunday's outfit.

We went to the 'Black Tom Street Jumble'. The area of Bedford where I live is called 'Black Tom' after a highwayman who operated in the area in the 18th century.

I bought a lovely pair of sunglasses, new with tags on; originally from Allders Dept store and marked £69.00 - for £1.00! I also bought quite a few body creams, some cherry scones and a blue jug. Oh, I nearly forgot -  a pair of colourful striped tights!

I bought this top last Monday at Save the Children where I volunteer. It was £2.50.

White jeggings bought last summer and white lace pumps; Primarni.

Earrings, bangles and watch all charity shopped.

I wore this on Monday. I bought the trousers in the independent charity shop in town. The top was also charity shopped last year at the end of last summer and I hadn't yet worn it. It's by Monsoon and a deep and glorious purple.

I bought these sandals at a local shoe outlet for £8.00. Very comfortable, and as I left my other pair of red shoes at our mobile home in Donegal I wanted a pair of red summer shoes to wear here. All jewellery is charity shopped as well.

On Tuesday I went to see my friend in Cambridge. Her son's ashes had come home that day so I went to see how she was and I brought her a posy of flowers from my garden. We went out for a meal and then I drove back in very heavy rain.

I didn't remember to take photos until bedtime on Tuesday evening, hence the selfies. This cotton dress is Italian and charity shopped earlier this year but I can't remember where. It's linen, creases like buggery, but very comfortable and cool.

Mary Jane's charity shopped in Ely and all jewellery is charity shopped as well.

On Wednesday I walked with the Ramblers and we walked in Milton Keynes along the Grand Union Canal doing almost 8 miles. It was a lovely walk and although I dislike Milton Keynes, the city, the countryside is beautiful. It was also a really nice day; not too hot and with a cool breeze at times.

This was Thursday's outfit.

Every thing is charity shopped. Dress is from Store 21, cardigan from M & S, sandals from Leeds charity shop.

All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings are a recent purchase from Keech Hospice shop, necklace from the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell. Bangles from a range of charity shops - too many to mention. I mixed red and green bangles to echo the colour in my outfit.

I bought a couple of more items this week - despite my vow not to! A pair of Hobbs navy checked Capri trousers (£3.99) from British Red Cross; one of  the few things that weren't £1.99! A floral dress from ASOS (£3.00) from Save the Children. I hummed and hawed over the dress on Monday and then on Thursday went back to buy it. It won't be useful for the holiday because of the material, but it will be useful for the cooler months worn over jeans or leggings and cardigan or a jacket. You can't pass up a bargain now, can you?

I also bought myself a selfie stick with a clicker and need to get practising. It's not always a good idea to rely on other people to take your photos and hopefully this will help when I haven't got anyone to hand.

This was what I wore on Friday. I don't usually wear leggings much in the summer but I had started out in skinny jeans but then dropped a can of coke which sprayed me all over, so I had to change out of them.

Leggings M&S; shoes local shoe outlet. Green top British Red Cross £1.99. Kimono same place, same price.

Earrings - independent charity shop 50p.

Bangles - charity shopped.

The reading has been going well. I'm on the last novel but I still have two more non fiction books to read and I should manage this before the 28th when we go away.

I'm planning on walking on Saturday, I have youngest grandson to stay on Saturday evening and middle grandson to stay on Sunday night. It will be the last week of the school run run next week. Hurray!!

It's the River Festival here in Bedford this weekend. I will be there on Sunday on the Rambler's stall trying to persuade the public of the benefits of walking for pleasure. I hope the weather stays fine.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Counting down to the holidays...

On Friday I went walking with the Ramblers. We did 9 miles in total; starting out from the village of Wilden, walking to Ravensden and Renhold and back to Wilden. It rained lightly a couple of times but it wasn't cold at all, and near the end the sun came out. I have new walking boots and they're great; the downside is, of course, they have to be cleaned - one of the most horrible jobs I know, along with cleaning the cooker, unblocking the sink or toilet, and ironing.

Sunday was a lovely day. Unfortunately the housework needed to be done as it hadn't been done the week before when were away  in Leeds.  Where are the housework fairies when you need them? I hate housework but it has to be done and I couldn't leave it for another week. The relief when it's finished and I think - that's it for another week - thank the Lord and pass the gravy!

 Trousers; Lidl. Most trousers are usually too long for me, with some honourable exceptions (Next regular, M &S regular), so I either fold up the hem or I have to resort to scissors and sewing. As I hate sewing this doesn't happen that often. It's a curse, you know, having short legs!

The green sandals are from Clarks and this is their 4th or 5th summer. I have an identical brown pair and I bought both pairs in the Clarks summer sale. The brown ones went down to 17.50 but these ones only went down to 22.50. I expect they'll last for ever; Clarks shoes/sandals usually do. I have a t strap, light blue pair of Clark sandals, again bought in the sale, and they're 6 years old!

Top, camisole, bag, earrings, cuff, watch and beads - all charity shopped.

 I have bought some a lot of clothes over the past two weeks. A  Zara winter coatigan in black and white for £6.00; a brand new with tags, beige (yes - that is the dreaded 'B' word) raincoat by Lorraine (Kelly, I think) at J.D. Williams - £4.00! A pair of trousers from Lidl.  2 pairs of trousers at the Cats Protection League and 4 tops in Newport Pagnell, sandals in Leeds, another pair of trousers and a tunic top from the independent charity shop in town; a skirt from Save the Children - I'm back there on Monday; I have never yet managed to leave the shop without something! And, I haven't mentioned the jewellery I've bought...oh dear, I have a really bad addiction to charity shops and the buying of their contents. On the plus side I have got rid of some trousers, tops and my old navy raincoat so my wardrobe hasn't got any fuller. And I have a complete holiday wardrobe ready for Spain. 

We leave for Spain on 28th July; my daughter, middle and youngest grandson and me. We are back on 4th  August and I shall leave for Ireland a few days later. I will be booking the ferry later this week when I get my pension. I'd like to stay until the end of September but as I help out with childcare I will need to be back for the start of the new term.

I went to a very poor church jumble sale on Saturday morning and bought a top for £1.00 - I couldn't believe it. When I was last at a jumble sale everything was 20 or 30p. I guessed it might be 50p now, but I was flabbergasted at a quid per item. I was too shocked to say I'd leave it, so that's yet another top to add to my collection! I am not going to go round the charity shops at all now -  I need to keep any spare money I have to spend in Ireland.

 I checked out the exchange rate for sterling to euros on Monday and it is very poor...

Monday's outfit.
Trousers; Tescos - bought with voucher. Everything else charity shopped including bangles, earrings, beads and watch.

I took a leaf out of Goody's book at 'Eat the Blog' here  to mix and match the colour of the bangles. I've mixed orange with green here.

I wore this outfit to the funeral on Tuesday. The jumpsuit is from M&S and I've had it for about 4 years but  never worn it before. I bought it with OH's annual Christmas voucher. He always used to give it to me and I'd spend it in the sale. He now gets an Amazon voucher and keeps it!

The jacket is charity shopped as is the hat, (both are from Next) and all the jewellery. is charity shopped. The wedge sandals are also charity shopped but although they were bought recently, I can't remember where.

The funeral service was beautiful and very moving. It was a very sad day but my friend was very brave and dignified throughout.

Wednesday's outfit - everything charity shopped.

I walked with the Rambler's on Wednesday. We walked 7.5 miles and it was a glorious day. Much of the walk was by the River Great Ouse and is called the Kingfisher Way.  We walked from Blunham Village to Tempsford Village to Great Barford Village and back. We didn't see any kingfishers, unfortunately.

I went on a Rambler's Amble on Thursday and we walked 5 miles. I had quite a lazy day and didn't even go for a rummage.

However, on Monday I rescued a black linen Next dress from the ragbag at Save the Children, and I bought a Kanga Collection, London (i.e.vintage 1980s, I think) loose kimono type top in 100% polyester, but brilliant colours, for £2.99 in the YMCA in Cambridge, on Tuesday.

 I also popped in to the British Red Cross on Wednesday and bought a floral pouffe which I'll use as a footstool in my study; I can then read in there with my feet up; as I do downstairs. And the other thing I bought was this bag which I'm going to use for a holiday handbag:

Because it's made of material it will fold up flat into my suitcase. We're flying to Spain with Easy Jet and they don't allow handbags and hand luggage in flight. It still has it's price tag of £1.99 on. I love the colours and the different floral patterns.

Thursday's outfit.

Everything charity shopped except shoes which were bought from the Very sale online a few years ago.
Dress - car boot sale in Ireland in 2014; cardigan Salvation Army charity shop about 4 years ago.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I'm on a reading mission at the moment. I keep a small notepad and write down all the titles of books I'd like to read. I usually get the recommendations from a range of book reviews. Every so often I'll go through the list and see what the library has. I did this recently and with a couple of reservations coming in as well, I've 8 books to read before I go away on holiday. I don't want to take any with me as they'll take up room in my luggage; I have a Kindle for holiday reading. I can't see me achieving all 8 before I go away, but I'm doing my best - it  originally started out as 12 but I've managed to read 4 already. Update, I finished another one on Thursday evening so only 7 to go before the 28th!

I have no plans for the weekend other than a bit of walking and on Sunday there is a big street jumble sale which I'm looking forward to. This will be the second one of these I've attended and I really enjoyed the last one.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

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 ...