Monday 22 October 2018

Our Indian Summer..and no more shine!

All jewellery charity shopped. Red earrings picked up in the Salvation Army for 1.00 on a recent visit.

I still can't believe our wonderful Indian Summer!  As I write this it's the end of the second week in October and we've been having sunny, warm days with temperatures between 20 - 23 degrees. I just don't remember this happening before but I'm sure the experts would disagree with me.

At the food bank on Tuesday I was so pleased to see the Harvest donations are once again refilling our depleted shelves. People are so generous. Thank you!
 I wore this:

Everything charity shopped except red boots - online retail.

I bought this jacket/cardigan in the Cat's Protection League when I went for a rummage there a few weeks back. It was 3.99.

The trousers are by Laura Ashley and the white top is by La Redoute. I can't remember which charity shops I bought them from but both are from a couple of years  ago.

It was a beautiful day on Tuesday: 23 degrees....

 I went walking with the Ramblers on Wednesday. Another glorious day, 22 degrees. I rely on the gadget in the car to give me temperature readings but it was hot and sunny. We walked from the village of Broom (!) to Langford to Biggleswade and back -  7 miles. This is the village green at Broom and I thought these trees were magnificent in their autumn finery.

As I wasn't far from Biggleswade which has three charity shops; I stopped off for a look. I didn't intend to buy anything but I am looking for tunic type jumpers so I can wear shirts or blouses underneath them. I didn't find any in Biggleswade but I did buy a Desigual fine knit long tunic in colourful stripes for 2.95. I couldn't resist it -  I can wear a thick cardigan over it as well as wearing it with a long sleeved top and leggings underneath - see below. I also bought some bangles; 3 for 1.00. And I bought two bunches of lovely flowers for 1.00 each, from outside a florist. I guess they must have been near their sell by date; I didn't care!

Roses, freesias and some fancy filler plants. Jug charity shopped about ten years ago. You can just make out two very pretty tins which originally contained loose tea from Harrods. They were part of the Harvest donations at the food bank, but both were more than three months out of date. When goods are this much out of date they are sent to Twinwoods in Claphaml where there is an anaerobic digester. This consumes all the waste  food and turns it into bio fuel. Naturally, it wouldn't digest the tins only the contents, so I rescued them in exchange for a donation and brought them home. I may use them as vases. I store all my baking stuff in pretty tins but I have no more room on the baking shelf for more tins but I'll think of something to use them for.

Thursday's outfit.

I bought the tunic for 2.00 at the 3:16 charity shop and the shirt underneath from the 1.00 rail in the same shop. The chinos are from Next and are from a 1.00 rail somewhere.

Boots; on line retail. Scarf charity shopped.

 All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace was 2.00 from the Sue Ryder shop where I bought the grey spotted tunic the week before.

I should have gone out walking on Thursday but had so many errands to run in town plus the grocery shopping I couldn't be bothered. It also turned out to be another hot day -  21 degrees!

At the weekend I had cousin Eamon and his wife Anne coming to stay. Eamon is my mum's first cousin but I  also remember Eamon's mum, Aunty Katy, as she was my mum's favourite aunt. I met Eamon for the first time at my uncle's funeral in Ireland this year. They had a wedding to go to in Bedfordshire on Sunday so they stayed with us for the weekend. As they were flying into Luton and we were picking them up from the airport, OH and I decided to make a day of it and have a rummage in Luton and possibly Dunstable as their flight was due in after 5 pm. 

Everything charity shopped except the boots - as above. I didn't need this jacket which is by Fenn, Wright Mason, bought for 7.00 in the RSPCA in Newport Pagnell. It was so warm outside 23 degrees again!

Amongst my errands in town in the week I called into the independent charity shop where I bought a (another!) floral cardigan. We have a new charity shop too in the High Street called 'Autism Bedford'. I bought a fine knit silver jumper from there for 2.00 I bought this Desigual striped tunic in Biggleswade on Wednesday for 2.95. Underneath is a navy top by Cotton Traders and leggings by M&S.

I have so many scarves that I had completely forgotten about this one. Charity shopped of course but can't remember where; unsurprisingly. Scarves are so useful especially as I wear them as head wraps as well as around my neck!

All jewellery charity shopped.

I am sad to say that Luton charity shops are not very good. I bought a brooch and a spotted miniature vase for Hilary and in the Sally Army I found an East waistcoat on the sale rail for 2.00. That's all that took my eye in 6 charity shops...even the books weren't very good. We didn't have time to go on to Dunstable because Luton were playing at home and the traffic was building up.

We went out to eat in a local restaurant on Saturday evening with Eamon and Anne and they left on Monday morning. It was lovely to see them and we all had a very enjoyable time. Next time they come we'll be able to show them around our local area and beyond. We'll visit them next Easter on our way up to the caravan as they live not too far from Dublin.

Here's our visitors just off to their wedding on Sunday. Don't they look smart! Unfortunately it was cold and wet all day on Sunday. The reception was being held on a farm in a barn - they were frozen!

Tuesday's outfit.

Everything charity shopped. Jacket from Next and I've had it for about 7 years now. Leggings bought for 79 p in Barnardo's; Great Denham. Zara tunic bought last year but can't remember where. Boots from Donegal charity shop for 1.00 euro - they were with the children's shoes...

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were donated by my daughter. Brooch bought in Luton charity shop for 1.50 on Saturday.

Wednesdays outfit. Everything charity shopped. Tunic top bought in Ireland at Easter. Cardigan I've had for years. Trousers with sparkly bits in them by Phase Eight bought in the Sally Army in Rushden.

Scarf present from my friend Natalie in Cambridge; Chelsea boots bought earlier this year in Barnardo's, I think in Great Denham.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I went out for a walk by myself on Wednesday and did 5.3 miles. The group were walking to Ivinghoe Beacon but that was 37 miles away and too far to travel. I walked from Great Denham to Kempston Mill; through Kempston town then back down by the river to Queen's Park and on to Great Denham.

Weeping willows in Queen's Park the river is to the left.

On Thursday I also walked by myself. I'm trying to recce a walk I will be leading in January. I walked 8.6 miles but it's too long for a Wednesday walk. I'll have to try and shorten it or do another one...
It was a bright and dry day with a bit of a breeze; good for walking but the summery weather has gone for good now. I'm not complaining -  it was beautiful while it lasted! I decided to pay a visit to the Barnardo's in Great Denham on Wednesday afternoon. It's a very good shop; I was hoping they would still have their sale rail and I was still looking for books for Hilary. I'm glad I went. The sale rail yielded - guess what? An orange cardigan from Wallis! Reduced to 2.00; into the basket it went.  Remember what I said about the 'Sod's Law' of charity shopping? It's true.

What else did I find? A pair of Topman jeans for middle grandson, 79 p; black and white leggings for me (BNWT); 79 p and then I spotted a really nice tunic for 4.99 by Lily and Me.  Never heard of them but I wouldn't be surprised if it's maternity wear! I also bought several books for Hilary and a cute sugar sifter for 79 p. So, that's my haul for this week making up for Saturday's disappointment!

I've finished my giant granny square blanket and have gone from a medium sized basket of green and blue stash wool to a smallish carrier bag size of stash wool.

I am aiming to make a 'Sunburst Granny' blanket next - lots and lots of little squares sewn together. This way I can use up the blue and green stash and start on using the pink and purple stash. I won't be edging mine in white though like the photo below. It will be a blanket of multi-coloured squares. If I feel like doing more of my Willow blanket squares I will. So far, I haven't felt any enthusiasm to get on with it so the Sunburst Granny will be my next project or work in progress.

Thursday's outfit.

It's that cardigan again! I would have worn the one I bought in Barnardo's but it was still drying...

Everything charity shopped except grey leggings; Sainsbury's retail.  Black slip on trainers from Next; 2.99 in the Children's Society earlier this year. Tunic charity shopped last year - can't remember where or how much. Orange top H&M; also charity shopped.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped. 
I am always so shiny in my photos - you can tell I don't use filters or Photoshop! I think I'm going to have to invest in some translucent face powder to reduce the shine.  The next photos I take I will try it and I'll be able to see if it makes a difference...

Here I am wearing face powder - no more shine!  What do you think?
Youngest grandson took the photos.
All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought from Etsy about three years ago.

Everything charity shopped. Jeans from Mercy in Action 2.00. Waistcoat from East bought in the Sally Army in Luton for 2.00. Tunic from Primarni bought from a 1.00 rail somewhere, Boots; Red Cross 1.99.

It was so chilly on Friday evening we lit our fire for the first time since May; it was lovely and so cosy.

Then both Saturday and Sunday were lovely bright days. On Saturday it was 17 degrees. I went to see my son. On Sunday it was 16 degrees.

Everything charity shopped except blouse and boots - both on line retail.
This coat by Monsoon has had its last wear. It has begun to split at  the armhole. It's not repairable, the fabric has begun to fray. It was always a little too tight across the shoulders and back. I have a broad back and biggish breasts and sometimes things get strained...anyway, I think I've had my money's worth out of it.

The tunic was bought in Barnardo's for 5.00 in the week. Leggings by M&S; charity shopped. Scarf charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped and look- no more shine!

It's half term this coming week. We have a trip to London to visit my ex- mum -in law and we are going to East Sussex for an overnight stay. I want to visit Rye which I've heard  is a very pretty place, plus it's the home of one of my favourite painters; Edward Burra. We are going to stay in Eastbourne so I'll tell you all we got up to in my next post.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Choosing outfits and other things...

Hello my lovely bloggy friends!

Transitional dressing; (old photo)  light weight dress with cardigan and leggings underneath with ankle boots. Everything charity shopped including jewellery/

Most of these are reservations from the library so I've been on a reading mission to get through them all.  Two are non fiction and the rest are novels. You can only have reservations out for 3 weeks...since first writing this I've read 6 and picked up two more reservations...
Well, to continue from where I left off in my last post; I did get all my winter coats and jackets out the Monday before last. In the afternoon I went to Newport Pagnell for a rummage and picked up two books and a waistcoat by Country Casuals for 50p. The last of the big spenders that's me!

On  Tuesday, I had to wait in for somebody in the morning and couldn't go to the food bank; so I decided to do the rest of the actual swap over of summer to autumn/winter wear. I don't swap everything over. Most of my shirts, for example, hang in the wardrobe all year round. Nevertheless, it took up most of the morning. The weather had been staying quite warm and sunny at around 16 - 17 degrees but the evenings and mornings were chilly. I even thought we might light our fire but then on Wednesday and Thursday it was 21 degrees plus and very sunny - summer returned! Of course it would as soon as I put the summer stuff away....

Thursday's outfit. Dress bought in Ireland for 3.00 euros ; navy leggings charity shopped; navy ankle boots on line retail. Had my hair cut, too.

Necklace bought in Donegal charity shop for 2 euros. Earrings from Salvation Army bought last week: 1.00.

 I had a black plastic bag full of unwanted clothes and a large shopping bag full of odds and ends  by the end of the swap over so I took them to the Keech charity shop in Great Denham. I'm glad I did as the Barnardo's there had a sale on. I bought two pairs of trousers for 79p each, a pair of cream leggings for the same price and I also bought a lovely pair of Next pyjamas in a very soft material for 3.79 in the same charity shop.  And there I was complaining they had raised their prices recently! One of the first  items I swapped over was my nightwear. Out came the warm and fleecy pyjamas and away went the cotton ones; the short sleeved ones and the short night shirts. The nights are officially cold!

On Friday, I went with a walking colleague to recce the next walk I'm going to lead. It ended up being a mile longer than planned, but it was a very pleasant walk along the river.  Although the temperature was cooler than the previous two days it was still bright and dry. Total distance walked including to and from the bus station (the start and end point of the walk) was 9 miles. So, 8.3 miles for the group as whole; as we'll meet at the bus station.

There was total traffic mayhem on that Friday morning as much of the area in Bedford around the town bridge and the high street was closed off by the police investigating a fatal stabbing. I found out later that day both my daughter and OH got to work pretty late because of the traffic chaos. This unfortunate incident followed another fatal stabbing two weeks ago in Bedford of a 16 year old young man. Thank goodness these are rare occurrences in our town.

Everything charity shopped. Tunic by Tu; leggings unknown no label; boots found in St. Neot's charity shop a couple of years back 2.99. Cardigan; Primarni 9.00. I've wanted a long orange cardigan  for ages but couldn't find one in the charity shops. I'll wear this one a lot, I know.

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Saturday I walked with a different walking group. It was such a lovely day and a fantastic walk. We walked from the village of Great Barford to Blunham to Tempsford to Roxton and back to Great Barford; 8.5 miles. The only thing that spoiled it for me was I tripped over a tree stump and fell flat on my face! I skinned my knee and my hand and on Sunday I had big black and blue bruise on my knee cap. It was okay though I could still walk on it.

Believe it or not this a church - with a thatched roof! It's the Congregational Church in Roxton.

 A beautiful original wattle and daub thatched cottage in Tempsford.

Now to the point of the title of this blog: on my last blog post I got this interesting comment from Karen who lives in Vancouver:

K - "Is part of the ability to put together something more unusual or eclectic taking the time when you're not getting dressed for something to check out what goes with what? I always think I'll do that but then don't. I'd like to know if you take time behind the scenes to put things together or if it just happens for you?"

I did have to think about my reply because I thought I just do it and don't really think about it, but of course there is a lot of thinking involved in choosing outfits! This was my reply below and I'm very glad Karen asked me the question because I now have pictures of the outfit choices I like and want to wear again (or something similar) and have stored the pictures in  'Winter' and 'Summer' albums. I will, of course be adding to them.

V - With regards to outfits I sometimes get inspiration for 'looks' from other bloggers, magazines, the internet, Pinterest, people I see in the street. I want to try wearing tunics over long skirts - a look I saw on 'Advanced Style' so I'll be experimenting with that over the next few months...

Sometimes, an outfit idea will pop into my head and I'll go and hang the garments up together and see if they work. For example, the orange print trousers and blue jacket combo above was one of these. But once it was on and I saw the photo I didn't think it worked. 

I have to plan my outfit for the next day before I get into bed and usually have it hanging up and ready to go for the following morning. If I don't, it can take me ages to sort an outfit out (too much choice!) and I don't usually have time to waste!

Sometimes, I look through my wardrobe for inspiration and other times I'll stick with some tried and tested ones. I did at one point write down my outfits but I didn't keep it up. Ideally, I should have a file with photographs of all my 'successful' outfits and just be able to flick through when inspiration is needed. This would be doable as most of my outfit photos are readily available on my laptop - I just need the time...

It's that cardigan again...I told you I'd wear it a lot. It was much cooler last Monday. I actually wore my winter coat and a scarf (around my neck) to do the school run. Boots - Christmas present from daughter; cardigan retail as above. Black trousers; Lidl. Tunic charity shopped.

Another thought struck me after writing the reply to Karen and that is when I pick an item to buy. I nearly always have a mental image of what I could wear it with in terms of cardigans/jackets/trousers/shoes building a whole outfit around the one item. I remember a piece of style/fashion advice some years ago I read, and whilst I usually ignore most of it this seemed to be so sensible and practical particularly for separates. It was when buying an item of clothing 'to think about 4 or five other items from your wardrobe that you could wear with it and if you can't  - DON'T BUY IT!' i wish I could say I always follow this advice - but I don't;  hence I have a couple of items that hardly ever get worn because I can't think what to wear with you have the same?

All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing hoop earrings for a change; I rarely wear hoops. Scarf charity shopped. Another book waiting to go back to the library on the hall table...

I decided I would not visit any charity shops last week or at least not buy anything. I had the walk to recce again as I was leading the bus walk on Friday; I had a walking date with my food bank friend, Lynne, as well as the usual group walk on Wednesday. Things that would stop me buying - I hoped!

Everything charity shopped except leggings;  online retail. Dress bought for 5 euros in Mullingar, Co. West Meath animal charity shop, whilst on holiday. Red brothel creepers (beetle crushers) bought from Wellingborough charity shop for 4.99 a few years back.

Scarf charity shopped; necklace bought in charity shop Co. Donegal for 2 euros; bangles and ring charity shopped.  Earrings bought in Bedford market. I'm so red and shiny as I just finished cooking in the kitchen...

I walked with the group on Wednesday - 7.2 miles. It was another pleasant day; lovely for walking. I had to go to the library to return and collect books (more reservations) in the afternoon; I had a quick look in Sue Ryder as it's near the library. I couldn't resist a grey spotted top for 5.00 (their average price for a top) and a necklace for 2.00.

Everything charity shopped except grey brogues - Primarni sale 5.00.
White jacket from Kettering charity shop 4.99.

Navy pleated skirt and top; charity shopped but can't remember where...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I recce'd my walk on Thursday with my friend from the food bank and then lead it for a small group on Friday. Both days were beautiful walking days; I took this photo on Thursday from the Butterfly Bridge. There are several main bridges across the river in Bedford  (lots of smaller on, too); the Butterfly Bridge, the Suspension Bridge (above) the Town Bridge, the New Bridge and the County Bridge (next to County Hall). Part of the walk route took us to Cardington Village and we stopped at the cemetery to see the memorial and burial place of  the 42 victims of the R101 Airship disaster in 1930. The airships were built and housed in Cardington Hangars. The interiors are also used for filming quite frequently as they are simply enormous. I believe the first Batman movie was filmed in here...

Source - Alamy stock photo. Cardington Hangars.

We stayed and had our break in the cemetery. A very peaceful place.

Thursday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except the boots; on line retail, velvet cardigan; TK Maxx - many moons ago.

Jeans from the Mercy in Action charity shop 2.00. Can't remember where I bought the top.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I have come to a standstill with my Willow square pattern blanket, so began a quickly worked up giant Granny Square blanket to use up my stash of green and blue wool. Every tenth row will be an alternate colour. It continues to grow day by day...

I went to spend the day with my son on Saturday. Everything charity shopped. The coat is by David Emmanuel and I bought it for 7.00 in the Red Cross about three or four years ago.

The spotted top was bought from Sue Ryder in the week for 5.00; the black bootleg cords 1.00 rail in the Red Cross shop. The shirt underneath was bought online in a sale. I had spent months looking for a smart white shirt in the charity shops but couldn't find one in my size. I bought one on line in the end and then began to see smart white shirts in my size in the charity shops every time I went to one! It's the 'Sod's Law' of charity shopping; look for something specific in your size and you won't find it; stop looking and there'll be loads!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

On Saturday evening my eldest grandson and his girlfriend came to stay. It was lovely to see them together and we all sat down for a nice traditional Sunday roast cooked by me. I forgot to take photos...

I believe we have some more lovely weather to come - bring it on, I say!

Very proud mummy.

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