Friday, 18 November 2016

A week of skirts...

I had a lovely time with my son last Saturday and a chill out day on Sunday.

Bought this necklace a few weeks months ago in a charity shop, of course!

Everything is charity shopped except boots bought online last year.

Sunday's outfit.
Everything above is charity shopped except boots donated by my daughter. She's given me another pair - black suede with gold doo dahs. I must try and wear them soon! The beads are the ones I bought for £1.49 last week.

 I didn't go walking on Sunday although it was a beautiful day and just right for walking. I'd had a busy week and I find I don't have the same energy levels that I used to so I decided to potter about at home and I didn't even bother with make up. 

 I've also decided that I will stick to just volunteering on Monday and Tuesday and walk Weds, Thurs, and Friday mornings and only do weekend walks if I really want to or if the weather is especially good. This means that I have Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday afternoons free. I do the weekly shop on a Thursday afternoon. Monday and Friday afternoons are limited by the school run and childminding. I'm as busy now I'm retired as I was when I worked - and for the last five years of my working life I only worked three days a week!

Monday's outfit. Day 1 of skirts.

 Goody of  'Eat the Blog' here is doing a week of jumpsuits so I thought I'd see if I could manage a whole week of wearing skirts instead of wearing trousers/jeans/leggings which are my usual go to clothing items. I also thought that I'd concentrate on short (ish) skirts and exclude maxis - which I wear quite often.

Everything charity shopped except the cardigan which was bought online as a present from OH.

I bought this skirt last week in Barnardo's, Great Denham. It's one of those skirts that I'll struggle to find things to go with. I have a yellow blouse, but it's too long; if I tucked it in and wore a jumper, preferably short sleeved, over it it might work. I suppose white would work as well. The thing is I tend to like and buy tops that are hip length to cover the troublesome middle area -  and they just don't go with this length skirt.

I had a free day on Tuesday. I haven't heard back from the Bedford Guildhouse although I had hoped to start there today.

Tuesday's outfit - Day 2 of skirts. I felt like wearing some orange...

These are my orange beads x 2 - again!

Everything charity shopped except the boots and earrings which are from Sainsburys.
The skirt is from the Red Cross shop and I bought it months ago. I bought the blue watch on my charity shopping trip on Tuesday.

I seem to have changed my charity shopping modus operandi. I'm going less frequently but spending more. I should think it will all balance out over the year but spending up to and over £20.00 on a trip is hard to get used to. I usually have a maximum limit of £5.00 for a charity shop item - only to be exceeded if it's especially good/different/unusual/ irresistible! I spent £19.24 in total on Tuesday in two charity shops. I went to Rushden which is about 12 miles away from Bedford. This is what I bought:

  •  A deep blue lace maxi party dress - with short sleeves - £3.75
  • A tunic in an oyster colour £5.00. 
  • A Next scarf - 99p
  • Towel and pillow case - £1.50
  • A watch - £1.00
  • A necklace - 50p
  • Earrings - £1.00
  • A  small notebook and a knitting pattern - 50p
  • 5 books £3.95
  • 4 place mats - 99p

I now have a dilemma. The deep blue maxi dress I bought on Tuesday would be fine for OH's work do but it has short sleeves. I'd need a bolero or a stole to wear over it. I could probably find one or the other in a charity shop but I'd need to get my skates on as the do is 4 weeks away. I could (hopefully) return the cranberry bought on line  dress and get a refund. I am unlikely to wear this dress again whereas I am likely to wear the deep blue dress again. I wouldn't have to have the cranberry dress altered....decisions, decisions!

I went walking on Wednesday by myself and did 7 miles. I walked the route I'll take when I lead another Rambler's walk in January 2017. It's amazing how different the same route looks in different seasons and it's also a good idea to check that the footpaths are kept clear and passable. Sometimes walks have to be changed or cancelled because formerly passable footpaths have become so overgrown. It's usually the landowner's responsibility to keep the footpaths clear as many receive a payment from the local council to do so. The Ramblers, too, take responsibility for keeping footpaths, signs etc clear and organise path clearing teams on a regular basis.

Wednesday's outfit - Day 3 of skirts

Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped. I had taken my watch off as the strap had begun to irritate me.

I don't know where I bought this skirt from but it was bought recently. The top is from the Red Cross shop. The boots are the weirdest colour, a sort of greyish brown - taupe maybe? They're Italian leather boots and bought for £2.50 from the Re Use centre last winter.

I bought this necklace on Tuesday for 50p at the Salvation Army charity shop in Rushden.

On Thursday the weather conspired against walking. It was cold, wet and very windy! I will walk on Sunday morning instead - weather permitting.

Thursday's skirt - Day 4

Earrings bought last week in the Salvation Army, Bedford.

Grey patterned skirt from Age UK - now sadly gone from Bedford. Everything is charity shopped except the jumper which was donated by my daughter - a gift which was too big for her.

Friday's skirt - Day 5

I went walking by myself today. It was cold and sunny. I tried to walk the route I walked on Wednesday but in reverse. Of course, I got lost and so I walked 8 miles as I had to retrace my steps.  I'm very good at getting lost! I didn't see this  tree in its lovely colours on my walk but near my grandson's school. It's slowly losing its leaves...

Everything is charity shopped except the boots and earrings which are from Sainsburys. I don't think I've posted a photo of me wearing this plaid skirt before. It's from Principles and I bought it last winter. I'm not mad about it so I think it will be off to the charity shop bag...I might try it on with my navy blue ankle boots and see if it looks any better. I don't think I'd ever wear it with shoes.

This jumper/sweater is 100% cashmere which might explain why it's so creased. My jumpers don't normally crease. I paid about £3.00 for this but can't remember where. I also have a navy blue v neck cashmere jumper  (also charity shopped) which I haven't yet worn. I wonder if that will crease, too? I hope not.

I've enjoyed the challenge of wearing a skirt everyday. I've still got about three or four other (shortish) skirts that I could have worn but I have featured them on the blog before.  As I like a challenge I've decided to have a week of wearing dresses next week and I'm quite looking forward to it.

I've got to Friday with only one charity shop trip but OH has just informed me we are going to Kettering charity shopping on Saturday! I'll try to be good. I can look for a bolero or shrug to go with my charity shopped party dress.

I'm just coming to the end of Jonathan Franzen's, 'Freedom' and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It's quite a tome  at 706 pages, and my next read is equally weighty; Annie Proulx's latest novel:
 'Barkskins,'  at 713 pages. It's a reservation from the library so I need to get started on it soon...

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and wrap up warm!

Friday, 11 November 2016


Since I published this post the lovely Spy Girl aka Anne Bray here sent me this surprise sketch!
Thank you so much, Anne.

There have been rumours but it was finally confirmed on Monday that our lease at Save the Children will not be renewed in July 2017. The shop will cease to exist as they won't be looking for any other premises.

It's a real shame. Save the Children was one of the first charity shops in Bedford. I think it opened in the 1980s; there is a photo in the stock room of the charity's patron; Princess Anne, at the grand opening of the shop and the shop staff were all wearing 1980s style clothes. As our shop is in the town centre, like many other town centre businesses, the charity can't afford to renew the lease. Or to put it another way our shop doesn't generate enough income to make it worth their while renewing the lease. The high cost of town centre leases means the town  centre itself is about to lose a baker's and our outdoor clothing store has shut for the same reason, as did a dry cleaners, a pie shop, a cafe and a newsagent - to mention just a few.

I don't know how old this photo is. The shop to the left has opened as a hairdressers since.
Being in the town centre has another disadvantage and that is there is no where to park and drop off donations. I don't know about you but I do tend to accumulate one or two black bin bags of charity shop donations and then donate them, but of course it then needs to be a charity shop with parking nearby. The other nail in the coffin for my charity shop is the sheer competition from the other charity shops in the town centre; 10 others in total!

Monday's outfit
As you know I'm a regular visitor to the Red Cross shop (everything £1.99!) which is very close by and I'm friendly with the manager there. I've been asked previously if I'd volunteer there, so now I can say yes, but it will  probably be next year before I start.

 I fancied some purple on Monday; the cardigan is the top of a skirt suit that I bought in Ireland for 8 euros; I've yet to wear it as a suit and Monday's cold weather deterred me once again. Everything charity shopped except the boots which are from Lidl.

Necklace present from daughter and earrings from - where else? Sainsburys, about 6 years ago.

Was I good at Save the Children on Monday and not spend any money? No, I wasn't. In fact, I spent £8.75 in total - pension day on Tuesday so I felt a bit reckless - I bought 4 books at £1.00 each; a short sleeved chunky cardigan for £4.00 and jeans, 75p, for one of the grandsons.

It was such a cold day on Tuesday. At one point it went up to 10 degrees but for most of the day it stayed at 5 degrees.

Everything is charity shopped. Jeans from Primarni, shirt from M&S, tunic/dress is French but charity shopped. I also wore my new (to me) short sleeved cardigan over this lot but forgot to take a photo with it on. Boots bought in St.Ives/Huntingdon charity shop trawl.

Beads - why wear one necklace when you can wear two - charity shopped; as are the bangles and watch.

Earrings from Sainsburys

I have finally found something to wear to OHs Christmas work do. I didn't find it in a charity shop, unfortunately. I saw it online and bought it with very low expectations as it was pretty cheap for an evening dress. I thought it might look cheap and nasty or not fit properly. I was wrong on both counts; it fits well and I think it looks fine on. It's a rich cranberry red.

It is way too long for me, but my other best friend, who lives locally, is a professional dressmaker and is going to shorten it for me. I just have to take the shoes I'll be wearing to her house and try the dress and shoes on together. I shall look forward to posting photos of me all dressed up. I get about one or two occasions a year to get dressed up so I'm going to make the most of it!

On Wednesday I had a sick grandson to care for so I didn't go walking. It was a cold, wet and miserable day so I didn't really mind. I took advantage  of an extra person in the house to get some photos taken.

Everything charity shopped except the boots - Tesco outlet store two years ago.

I'm wearing the navy blue cardigan I bought at Save the Children on Monday, here. Including my camisole/vest, I have 4 top layers on! Bangles, necklace, turquoise ring and watch charity shopped.

Earrings 99p from E bay.

I managed to visit the new Barnardo's charity shop in Great Denham on Wednesday. I went a bit mad and could have gone even madder and bought another coat and a lovely spotted linen jacket.  I don't need another long coat and the jacket was so nice... but in the summer, I find, a jacket isn't necessary so it probably wouldn't have got worn. I hope I don't regret not buying the jacket...

I spent £20  in the end and this is what I got: 2 bath towels (brand new for 99p each - (I will be giving them to someone I know) and 2 tea towels; £3.00 in total. I  navy pea coat (River Island) £5.00, to replace a grey one I have and don't love -  from BHS - say no more! A green knitted dress/tunic from Dorothy Perkins £4.00; an Italian purple cardigan with gathered bell sleeves £3.00; a yellow patterned knee length skirt £3.00. Then as I had to go into town quickly, I went into the Red Cross shop to see if they wanted me as a volunteer in the future - yes! I celebrated by buying a black knitted dress from Wallis for £1.99. Now, I already have a dress similar to this but I noticed it had a little hole in the front. Whether it was there when I bought it or whether something has nibbled a hole in it I don't know.  I have worn it but didn't notice the hole!

Anyway, that was 5 items bought but I managed to get rid of 4 other items from my wardrobes into the charity shop bag; meaning only one extra item in my wardrobe. Total spend so far this week £28.75.

I had a flying visit from the eldest grandson. He arrived in the early hours of Wednesday. I did 4 machine loads of his washing (the washing machine where he lives is broken) fed and watered him and took him to the station on Thursday evening. It was lovely to see him even if it was a short visit!

This is the green knitted tunic dress I bought in Wednesday. I wore it with green leggings from Sainsburys, and a striped Primarni top underneath.

Boots, scarf, bangles and earrings charity shopped. These photos were taken in my daughter's kitchen.

I had to go to town on Friday and popped into a couple of charity shops. I ended up buying a necklace, a pair of earrings and some ear warmers (always useful when out walking) at a cost of £3.48. Total weekly spend £32.23

I walked 6 miles on Thursday and 6.5 on Friday and I hope to do a longer walk on Sunday. I'm off to see my son on Saturday and won't be anywhere near a charity shop so that's it for this week...

Enjoy your weekend everyone.


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!

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 ...