Sunday, 6 November 2016

Woman in Red and some 50p bargains

First of all I would like to thank all of you who commented on my last post - my blog anniversary. Thank you for your lovely comments.

I managed to complete that elusive walk this week on the third attempt and a very nice walk it was too, but only 6 miles. However I've now added it to my repertoire of walks AND I found two books of Bedfordshire walks on my bookshelves in the study that I had completely forgotten about. Neither of them are recently published but between these and a good OS map I probably have another 20+ walks to try out...

Thursdays outfit..The red skirt in the photo above has been consigned to the charity shop bag as it was slightly too big on the hips. My ex mum in law gave it to me when we visited her in half term. Apart from the skirt everything else is charity shopped. Those are the navy blue boots bought in St.Ives.

I walked the elusive walk on Thursday and I saw a bull finch for the first time in my life - beautiful. I also saw a sparrowhawk fly up from the ground with its prey in its claws but I couldn't see exactly what it was. I must remember to wear my glasses when I go walking.

I'm  currently reading a book about birdwatchers; it seems to be a very male dominated world and I have discovered the difference between a bird watcher and a twitcher. I belong to neither category. Apparently, I'm a 'robin-stroker'... although I don't belong to the RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds). I would classify myself as a bird lover but that's not one of the birding tribes. All these parallel worlds that exist side by side is fascinating.

The female has the same patterning but no rosy front.
Bullfinch image courtesy of Yahoo
How has my charity shop spending gone this week? Much, much better. I spent 2.25 on Monday at Save the Children on grandson's clothes; £8.50 on Tuesday on my boots and coatigan. On Thursday whilst at Lidl  I looked in the Salvation Army charity shop and spent £1.98 on a pair of earrings and a two egg cups! If I don't spend anything at the weekend - and I'm not planning to - my total spend for this week will have been £12.73. NB - I did spend - I popped into the Bedford Guild House charity shop on Saturday and bought a pair of earrings for £2.00; so spend this week is £14.73!

Friday's outfit

I've been to the hairdressers...

I've been wearing quite a lot of red this week... this top was 50p; one of the three 50p bargains I got some weeks ago on a charity shopping trip to Royston. Pesky bra straps just won't stay out of sight...

This time I've got a hanger loop hanging out! I've sacked the photographer - middle grandson. No, not really.

Talking of red tops; I bought a rather nice one with huge pleated sleeves from Save the Children some months back. I've had to put it in the charity shop bag as it didn't fit properly; not too big or small, it just didn't lay right at the back where there was a keyhole. It's such a shame because I was looking forward to wearing it for a blog post. I'm down to three red tops now two of which I've worn this week. The third one has a V neck.

Everything is charity shopped. Coatigan from Red Cross this week. Red desert boots bought online last year.

Saturday's outfit. Earrings E bay 99p. Necklace charity shopped recently but can't remember where...

Everything charity shopped except leggings which are from M&S. Boots bought this week from St. John's Hospice shop £6.50. Kimono from Peacocks; bought in charity shop about a year ago.

Black tunic/dress one of a pair of 50p bargain dresses I bought in Sandy some months ago. The other was a brand new with tags M&S dress. I've yet to wear as it would be good worn with long boots and this week is the first time this autumn/winter I've worn long boots.

I went out for a short walk on Sunday morning (5 miles) and saw one pigling! Don't know where the rest of them were. In fact, this one was sleeping but I woke him up sneaking up to him to take a photo. There was a strong wind and my ears were cold so I wore my woolly hat - 50p charity shop.

This beautiful object was found on the garden table. It's clearly a bird's nest and beautifully constructed out of feathers and some type of grass. I think it blew out of the wisteria which grows above where the table is. Not only are birds beautiful they are brilliant builders too!

This is my other 50p dress mentioned above from M&S. Yellow cardigan online retail. Boots bought this week in St.John's Hospice shop.

Can you see my 3 and a half foot nothing photographer in the mirror?

All jewellery charity shopped although the earrings are from Sainsburys.

I've had a lovely week and I hope you have too.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

It's my anniversary!

Yes, folks I have been blogging for one year today - I posted my first blog on 2nd November 2015. 

 Have I enjoyed this blogging lark? Yes I have and most of all, I enjoy the comments I receive.  I appreciate every comment and it's what makes blogging worthwhile. I have also made some lovely and supportive blogging friends and enjoy reading their blogs as much as I enjoy writing mine.

 I look upon blogging as keeping a diary minus the really personal bits. I  had always wanted to keep a diary but was never self disciplined enough. For some reason I find blogging easier to do  - plus there's pictures!

 I don't care about how many page views I get; I'm not interested in selling other people's products for them and I'm not here to give anyone fashion or style advice. My whole point was/is to show women of my age group (60+) that you can dress in a fun and stylish way on a budget.

Here's a good example of dressing on  on the cheap  a budget 
Cardigan from Zara bought at the Red Cross shop a couple of weeks back for £1.99.

Brown flared trousers; Mexx, £1.00 Red Cross shop last week. The trousers are on special offer at the moment for for £1.00. I also bought a pair of green flared cords for a pound and they're featured in last week's post . The top was from the £1.00 rail in Barnardo's in Ampthill when I went rummaging with Hilary two weekend ago. The brown suede boots were bought with a Christmas voucher gift from OH so the total cost of this outfit minus the boots was £3.99!

All my jewellery was charity shopped, too.

On Saturday OH and I went to Huntingdon and St. Ives for a bit of charity shop rummaging. We were last there in December 2015.  I bought this skirt at Save the Children for £3.00 a couple of months back - it's from Top Shop. The jacket and the boots were Christmas presents from my daughter. This is the third year I've been wearing these boots. The scarf was charity shopped.

The top was bought in the La Redoute sale as a pack of two; black and red, a couple of years ago.

All the jewellery is charity shopped. The necklace came from the RSPCA shop in Newport Pagnell and cost £4.00. The patterned bangle I'm wearing was also bought in Newport Pagnell for 99p just recently when rummaging with Hilary.

I was very good and only bought a navy blue pair of ankle boots in the Heart Foundation charity shop  in St. Ives for £4.00. I bought a small thermos flask for 99p in Age UK as it's nice to have a hot drink when out walking. In Huntingdon I bought the middle grandson some jeans and three tops for £5.50.

My total spend in the charity shops this week is £25.48.  It's far too much but I did spend £8.50 of it at the 3:16 charity shop on household linens -  two towels and a white bedspread. I could probably buy one decent towel in the shops for £8.50; what I bought was a bargain.

This month (including Monday's spend below) I have spent £65.25 in total in the charity shops. Mostly on clothes and jewellery for me but some for grandsons, some on books and some household items. I am actually a bit shocked at what I've spent and it will help me rein in my spending for next month - I hope.

I got up early on Sunday morning and went walking. I did over 9 miles but two miles of that was me checking to see where a path went - nowhere -  and having to retrace my steps but I didn't mind. It was a good walking day.

 At Save the Children on Monday I spent £2.25 on clothes for one of the grandsons - three items at 75p each; such good bargains cannot be missed! I didn't find any evening type dresses at our shop and I did look very hard on Saturday but nothing except dreary old black things. I will keep looking and trying to resist the temptation to buy things I don't need whilst looking!

I bought these boots for £6.50 at the new St.John's Hospice shop in town on Tuesday. They are absolutely plain dark brown and just what I like in boots  - simplicity. It was the start of a new month so I didn't feel guilty...

On Tuesday I had a free day. I'm volunteering at the food bank on alternate weeks now and will be starting as a volunteer at the Bedford Guildhall on the other Tuesday.  It's an organisation for the over 50s in Bedford. They provide daily hot meals, classes, a charity shop (!) only open on Saturdays, social events, outings etc. Not sure exactly what I'll be doing there; covering reception was mentioned but I'm easy, I'll do anything required. I should be starting my first day on the 22nd.

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped. The blouse was bought from the British Red Cross shop a few week s back for £1.99. The cardigan is from Hobbs and was bought some months ago. Jeans are M&S but can't remember where from.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I also bought a coatigan (cross between a cardigan and a coat) for £1.99 in the Red Cross shop  - I can't resist this shop - everything is £1.99! I really like coatigans; sometimes it's not quite cold enough to wear a coat. I now have 5 coatigans in my collection. I also have a very long, (ankle length) camel coloured, hairy wool cardigan which is from the 1990s, I think.  It did have shoulder pads so it could even be the 1980s. I bought it at a car boot sale years ago for £1.00. I recently took it out of the loft whilst I was up there one day looking for something I thought I had for Vix (I didn't). The hairy wool tends to get up my nose (literally) so I didn't wear it often, but I've held on to it - I don't know why.

Coatigan Red Cross Shop £1.99

So today, Wednesday 2nd November, on the one year anniversary of my blog I got up and went walking - just for a change! I'm leading another Rambler's walk in the Winter programme in January so today I did a recce of the walk I plan to lead. Just over 7.5 miles. I managed to fall over; I got tangled up in a briar but I wasn't hurt, only my pride. I wish the land owners would keep their public footpaths clear of debris.

Tomorrow I plan to retrace the walk that has eluded me on the two occasions I tried it. I spoke to the person who lead the walk last week and she said she avoided going across the field that I did because the farmer whose land it is doesn't keep the footpath clear. That may may make all the difference and I'll report back whether or not I have managed to crack this elusive walk.

Enjoy your week and keep commenting - I do love to hear from you!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Weekend visitor and a busy half term

I had a brilliant weekend but just to go back briefly to last week. My daughter made these delicious flapjack/granola things with slices of apple and they were delicious. She brought me more at the weekend so I was very happy. Lovely with a cup of tea.

I tried to retrace the same walk again last Thursday but although I got a bit further than I did last week I still can't fathom out the last bit and ended up walking by the roadside for the last mile and a half. I like a challenge so I'll be trying it for the third time next week. Wish me luck!

I wore this last Friday. The  navy paisley top is the one I bought last week - it wasn't too small.

Everything is charity shopped except the boots - donated by my daughter.

All jewellery charity shopped.

A bit of pattern mixing....
(Photos courtesy of middle grandson!)

One grandson was poorly last Friday and didn't go to school and the other one had a teacher training day so no school run for me. I had both boys all day so they were both here when Hilary arrived around 3 pm. It was lovely to see her.  We had so much to catch up on. I can't believe I didn't take any photos of us - what was I thinking?

We went out to eat on Friday night and had a delicious curry. It was a new Indian restaurant recommended by my next door neighbour - cheers Dave!

On Saturday we went on charity shop tour to Newport Pagnell, Ampthill and Kempston. We visited thirteen charity shops in total.   We stopped only for tea and cake. Hilary managed to buy each of her six grandchildren a little present each. I got a couple of books;  (£1.50), a pair of H & M trousers (£2.50) for next summer and a black, brown and white top (£1.00 rail). I also bought 3 bangles (£2.00) and a large wicker storage basket for £2.50. I thought it would go under my bed but it's too tall - damn it. That is a total of £9.50 and an overall total spend this week (my week runs from Sunday to Saturday) of £15.47 (12.97 on clothes) including Monday's spend of £5.97.

By the way, I said in my last post I'd never seen skinny cords - I take it back - I saw a pair in the Willen Hospice shop in Newport Pagnell. Too small for me, unfortunately.

We chilled out on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning did a 6 mile walk. Hilary left at lunch time as she dislikes driving in the dark. It was a lovely visit. She retires in December so we'll be able to spend more time together next year.

A bit more pattern mixing on Monday - Prince of Wales check and spots! I went to visit my son and was child minding so no Save the Children. Apart from Easter and summer holidays it's the first Monday I've missed.

Earrings charity shopped ages ago - it's the first time I've worn them.

Black kimono present from daughter a few Christmases ago. Boots from Next and a Christmas present from
daughter, as is the watch - also from Next about six years ago.

Everything else charity shopped. Hilary bought me a lovely silver bangle (below) in the RSPCA charity shop in Newport Pagnell; I'm wearing it in this photo along with the white disc bangle I bought a few weeks back.

I'm on a mission in the charity shops at the moment. My OH's company have allowed for the first time ever, employees' OHs to join in their Christmas jolly. We will be staying overnight at Luton Hoo, having a three course dinner and drinks all evening; followed by a full English breakfast the next day.

Image result for images of Luton Hoo

I'm looking for an evening dress as it is a 'White tie' function. I have some lovely Mary Portas trousers I was planning to wear (charity shopped £5.00) but feel an evening dress would be more appropriate. I have one suitable one in my wardrobe, but it's knee length, black lace and I really fancy a long dress. If I could find one with long sleeves that would be amazing but if not I have a bolero/shrug I can wear with a short sleeved or sleeveless one. So far, I haven't seen any long, desirable evening dresses in the chazzas but it's a bit early for the party wear to be on display. I definitely don't want a black dress but so far that's all I've come across...

Tuesday's outfit

Everything charity shopped - and yes it's another kimono!  It's from New Look and I bought it a few weeks back in the Red Cross £1.99.

There were only a few of us at the food bank on Tuesday so I stayed on a bit later. In the afternoon I went into town and bought some green skinny jeans for 50p from the Reuse Centre.  When I went to the British Red Cross I bought a pair of green cords (I've now got two pairs of cords!) for a £1.00 and fitted shirt for £1.99. Total spend £3.49. I wonder if I can stay under a fiver this week?

The navy blue top was from Store 21 sale last year and was £4.99.

I went walking with the Ramblers  on Wednesday to Tempsford and did 7 miles.  We walked along two rivers; the Ouse and the Ivel. The trees are particularly beautiful at this time of the year:

Everything charity shopped except the desert boots - online retail.

I love the neck on this waistcoat  - so simple but effective.

I bought this red jacket last winter at the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell for £5.00.

Middle grandson experimenting with different effects!

I went into town again on Wednesday afternoon and bought a pair of brown flared trousers for £1.00. I bought a checked jacket for a£1.00 in the 3:16 shop. £5.99 spent on clothes so far this week. Whilst doing the food shop on Friday I went into the Salvation Army charity shop and bought a cotton nightie with matching dressing gown for £2.99. I'll put it away for the summer but that's £8.98 in total so far.

On Thursday we went to London to see my ex mum-in-law. It was lovely to see her and we spent a pleasant few hours. My niece was also there and it was lovely to see her as well.

Green cords Red Cross £1.00, floral jacket pound rail somewhere last year. White top Next Red Cross £1.99. Boots Lidl.

All jewellery charity shopped.

OH and I are off for a rummage on Saturday  - we haven't decided where we are going yet Huntingdon or Cambridge but we'll have to decide soon. I'll be looking for an evening dress and will try to be restrained - I've already spent nearly a tenner already this week!

Have a lovely weekend everyone.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Of pigs and pheasants...

I went walking on my own on Friday morning after dropping the grandchildren to school. I tried to retrace the route of the walk we did on Wednesday. I got lost (as usual!) but ended up walking 7 miles in total. I know where I went wrong - I walked the wrong way round the woods.  I disturbed lots of pheasants and patridges whilst I was out - they were flying out of the undergrowth by the dozen and the pheasants ran like crazy. Next time I'll have the route perfected and can add it to my list of local walks.

This is the Irish Blarney Mills woollen cardigan I bought from the Save the Children last week. It's dark grey with brown speckles and lovely and warm. I didn't need to wear a jacket with this on Friday. The trousers are also the ones I bought last week.

In fact everything is charity shopped and that's the bangle I bought last week, too. It's very simple; two white discs on a silver bangle. I bought the necklace from Marie Curie in Bedford.

I went for another walk on Saturday; only 4.5 miles but I had some interesting company!

I wished I'd put some apples in my rucksack to feed this beauty. Part of the walk I did takes me through the estate of Howbury Hall; home of the Polhill family. They have a herd of these lovely black pigs who are very curious and friendly.

 Howbury Hall, Bedford

Howbury House during the second world war when it was used as a hospital.

Saturday's outfit

Once again everything is charity shopped except the boots donated by my daughter and the earrings were part of a set -  a present from OH. Can you see I pinned a silver leaf brooch to my scarf to keep the knot in place? Unfortunately it didn't last as the scarf was made of slippery chiffon...

The red skinny jeans are from Laura Ashley, the top from River Island and the waistcoat from Gap.

 My Monbretia (Crocosomia) plant is dying off...

Here's mummy pig and three (possibly four - see the extreme left) of her babies. 

There's another walk we've done in the past to Ickwell (in Hertfordshire) where there are some lovely pink porkers and Vietnamese pot bellied pigs to see. I've also seen Llama's in a field on one of our walks but can't remember where it was now.

I bought these lovely Alstromerias in Lidl.

On Sunday OH took photos using my camera rather than the camera on my phone. I can't make them any larger as they spill over the margins but I can't see any difference in the quality - can you?

I went for the monochrome look to do the house work, cook dinner  and make a plum crumble. Everything is charity shopped except the brogues from Tesco sale.

I love the sleeves on this top but they do tend to soak up water when I'm washing up!

Although I have mastered the technology of taking photos on my camera; downloading them to my Chromebook and then on to my blog; it's easier and just as effective to use the phone camera. Who knew?

Monday's outfit

Top ; Save the Children some weeks ago £4.00 - it's by the White Stuff; wool cardigan/jacket Barnardo's last week £3.99 and leggings M&S but can't remember which charity shop...

Everything charity shopped except the boots - from Lidl a few weeks ago. Very comfortable...

I remembered to wear a brooch - bought from Save the Children some months ago for £1.00.
(Six year old grandson took the photos).

I had to go into the Red Cross charity shop to say hello to the Manageress - I do this every week - and ended up spending £5.97 on: three tops for me and I also bought a sweatshirt for my middle grandson in Save the Children for 75p. I think one of the tops might be a bit tight - but it's navy with a coloured paisley pattern so I hope not, but if it is my friend might like it.  Another top is long sleeved too but made of very light material; probably more suited to summer; the third item was a ginger coloured Zara cardigan. Total spend this week is £6.72. I have donated two 'going out' or dressy type dresses; one worn once and the other twice; plus a shrug that was too tight on the arms (again). So 3 items in and 3 items out...

I had quite a lazy day on Tuesday partly because I've got this bug that everyone seems to have. Middle grandson and his mum have had it; blocked and snotty nose with a cough that is particularly troublesome at night. I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday as I didn't want to share my germs with everyone.

Everything charity shopped except the cardigan which I bough in a La Redoute sale about 7 years ago so I've had my money's worth!

I went to the library; ran a few errands in town; did some household chores and then got stuck into my latest book. It's by Dodie Smith (author of 'I Capture the Castle', 1001 Dalmations; among others) and I'm enjoying it. I do enjoy reading women authors of the 1930s and 1940s; many of whom have now been forgotten. I don't think Dodie Smith is one such author but she is really only known for the two books mentioned above.

I don't have many pairs of boot cut trousers left, maybe two or three pairs and this is the only cord pair I possess. I used to always wear cord trousers in the winter in all sorts of colours and I can't think why I stopped wearing them; maybe with the advent of skinny trousers. I've never seen skinny cords - have you?

These cords are from Primarni, the top is an unknown label but bought in the British Red Cross shop earlier this year for £1.99. Boots charity shopped.

Necklace charity shopped; earrings from Sainsburys.

I had my first cough free night on Tuesday night; slept really well and woke up too late to walk with the group  - so I set out on my own  on Wednesday morning and walked just over 7 miles. It was a bright, clear with a chilly wind and I had a brilliant walk. Saw more pheasants, a sparrowhawk and a buzzard as well as skylarks, meadow pipits, rooks, wood pigeons, blackbirds, blue tits, dunnocks, robins, great tits and gulls. I'm sure there  were even more species but the little buggers don't stay still long enough for me to get a good look at them!

This knitted dress is from Autograph at M&S and yet another £1.99 bargain from the Red Cross shop back in the Spring. Today is the first day I've worn it. I could have done with a warm cardigan over it as it got very cold later in the day.

All jewellery is charity shopped. I particularly like long silver necklaces because they go with everything! The watch is from Next and was a Christmas present about five years ago from my daughter.

Both tights and brothel creepers/beetle crushers were bought online.

On Thursday I'm going walking on my own and do the weekly food shopping. On Friday I'll go walking again and do the school run. My friend, Hilary, hopes to arrive about two in the afternoon, so we'll catch up, go out for a meal on Friday evening; some chazza shopping on Saturday and a walk on Sunday morning before Hilary departs for Devon. She is retiring at the end of December so we hope to see more of each other next year and she is definitely coming to stay with me in Ireland.

I've got both grandsons on Sunday night as it's half term next week - thank goodness -  a break from the school run and maybe a visit to London to see the ex mum-in-law...

Hope your week is going well and your weekend does, too.


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 ...