Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The dress challenge continues...

Day 3

This is one of two Desigual dresses I own. This is a summer weight dress which I wear with a big cardigan around the house. I can't remember where I got it from but it may have been in Ireland.

Long sleeved tee - Primarni, years ago. Tights charity shopped. Boots by River Island from my Barnardo's.

All jewellery charity shopped.

A bit of good news! I've got a place at the Christmas lunch. I received a phone call telling me the good news. I will get to sing Christmas carols after all...

I went walking by myself on Wednesday. The weather was lovely; chilly but sunny. My group was walking quite far away in Hertfordshire and I don't like spending an hour in the car driving to a walk and an hour back. It also takes up the best part of the day. Anyway, I set off to walk by the river and en route decided to walk on to Sandy and stop and look in the charity shops; then catch a bus back. I thought it would be about a 7 mile walk; but in fact it was 9.25 miles by the time I got to Sandy town centre! I had to stop for a cup of tea and a sit down... I found a nice pair of matching trousers and jacket in a lightweight material (for summer, really) in the Wood Green Animal shelter shop for 7.00. I was quite stiff the next day and put off any further walking as I didn't want my knee to flare up. It also rained a lot on Thursday.

Day 4

This is my 20p M&Co jacket from my Barnardo's. The pinafore dress is by Red Herring and I think was a 99p bargain from Barnardo's a while back.

I had to go back to the doctor's on Thursday morning to get my BP checked as it was a bit high when I had a health check a few weeks ago. I had planned to walk there but the rain put that off. It was still a bit high when the nurse measured it, so I got a blood pressure monitor to take home to check my BP three times a day for a week. I'm hoping my BP will be alright and that I won't need medication. Unfortunately, high BP runs in my family and it also happens as you age... I had errands to run in town when I got back; including the overdue visit to the library and I did the weekly shopping. I did manage to squeeze in a visit to the Cat's Protection League charity shop where I bought a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume and a bottle of Valentino perfume for under 7.00 (I am a lover of perfume and wear it every day). I checked the perfumes out online and the Estee Lauder perfume retails at 129.00 and the Valentino one at 69.00, so that was a great find. They both smell really good. I also bought a woollen wrap around coat for 8.00 - no label, but roomy and practical. A plain black coat I've never worn went into the charity shop bag to make room for the new one.

Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

 The top is a vintage patterned one which was a 1.00 rail bargain from, I think, the Salvation Army shop. It has a German label and I've had it for quite a few years. It's brown, cream, orange and turquoise and I thought it went well this dress. The tights were a present and the boots are from Primarni. I wanted a pair of animal print ones in a Chelsea boot style; but couldn't find any in the charity shops. You wait, I bet I'll start finding lots now I've stopped looking! Still looking for that animal print, knitted dress - with no success so far.

I picked up my reservation from the library and am reading it now. It's called 'Reckless Daughter' by David Yaffe; a biography of Joni Mitchell. I played the albums; 'Blue' and 'For the Roses' so often when I was 17, that I wore both vinyl copies out and had to replace them! The book is a fascinating read and gives a lot of information and detail about her songs; many of which are autobiographical - as I always suspected. For example, 'Little Green' is about the child she gave up for adoption in the 1960s; 'A Case of You' is a compilation of her relationships with Leonard Cohen and Graham Nash (of Crossby, Stills, Nash and Young). This is the first biography of a musical artist I've ever read. I nearly always read biographies and autobiographies of authors. Actually, let me correct that  - I did read Morrissey's autobiography back in 2013. Facebook provided me with that information when it asked me if I wanted to repost a memory from 6 years ago!

Day 5

I went for a swim on Friday and did 30 laps - 2k. My eyes and sinuses were fine.. I'm wearing my other Desigual dress which was a gift from Vix of Vintage Vixen
 blog HERE.

Beads and earrings charity shopped. I don't bother with bangles and rings when I go swimming. It makes getting dressed longer!

I wore my Nike camouflage leggings underneath for warmth; charity shopped from my Barnardo's and charity shopped black Chelsea boots. Can you see my new jewellery display above my head? Bought from the Dog's Trust charity shop, when Hilary was here last weekend and OH kindly secured it to the door for me. It's just occurred to me how well my black and red corduroy jacket would go with this dress; they're very similar in colour and have lots of detail  on both of them.  A closer look at the jewellery display:

I have 2 other racks with necklaces on them and 8 hooks full of necklaces! I need to stop buying necklaces...

On my walk back from town on one of the days I went, I spotted this new to me plaque next to our Sainsbury's Local, just around the corner from where I live. When I led a Blue Plaque Walk around Bedford a couple of years ago I included 16 blue plaques. The number has now risen to 21 in and around Bedford!

Saturday was a bit grey and gloomy but I set off for a walk hoping to beat the forecasted rain. I walked to the village of Bromham and back which was 6.65 miles. I didn't wear a dress as it wasn't practical for walking to wear one so I had a day off from dresses!

This is Bromham Church - St. Owens seen from across the common. When I lived in this village 28 years ago I used to bring our dog, Ben for walks here.

All from Barnardo's; either mine in Great Denham or from the 1.00 rail in the Ampthill branch except the cardigan which was from the 1.00 rail in the RSPCA in Ampthill. Boden top and trousers and no label blue cardigan. Boots online retail.

I like these shorter flared style of trousers but I don't like the draughty gap between top of boots and bottom of trousers!

All jewellery charity shopped.

Day 6

I wore this to volunteer at Barnardo's on Monday. The dress is by Boden and was bought from my Barnardo's earlier this year when all the dresses were reduced to 2.00. The top underneath is by M&S and was from a 1.00 rail.

Charity shopped leggings and boots online retail. My knees look enormous!

Look, pockets!

All jewellery charity shopped. Scarf present from grandson.

Day 7
I wore this to the Food bank on Tuesday.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Everything charity shopped. Boiled wool jacket; Daycare Hospice shop in Kempston. The dress is from an Irish charity shop but I can't remember which one; boots can't remember either! Tights: online retail.

Just after I took these photos I stupidly reached over a naked to flame to a cupboard and singed the bottom of this jacket. I'm going to sew the brooch  on the lapel above, which is made from similar felted wool, to the bottom where it's singed...

Day 7

Green dress from my Barnardo's. Jacket: Barnardo's in Ampthill. Boots my Barnardo's. Plaid tights also charity shopped but can't remember where.

This dress has pockets! I love pockets.

All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped except the earrings which OH bought as a present for me on Oxford Market many years ago.

Again last Wednesday my group were walking quite far away so I went out for a walk by myself around the town and did 6.65 miles. In the afternoon I paid a visit to one of the 4 Daycare Hospice shops  in Bedford and bought a few items from the 1.00 rail; a Whistles t shirt, an orange M&S cotton tunic; a cotton over shirt by Red Herring; and a pair of New Look plaid leggings. The tops will be put away for summer and I'll make use of the leggings under dresses and tunics. I also bought a necklace for 1.00 which I'm wearing below and a black fluffy beret adorned with buttons by Coast.

Day 8

Jacket by 100 Idees bought in a Donegal charity shop for 5 euros.

I'm now very bored with wearing dresses! The weather has turned very cold and even leggings under the dresses isn't always warm enough.  I also miss wearing skirts and trousers! I still intend to wear all 22 dresses and complete the challenge; but I am going to include a few I've already worn recently on my last post and I won't wear a dress every single day. It might take a few weeks to get through the 22 but it doesn't matter...

I bought this dress, which isn't by Desigual, in a Mullingar charity shop for 5 euros.  I wore it with my red Nike camouflage leggings; charity shopped in my Barnardo's and black Chelsea boots charity shopped in Oxfam for 5.00.

I bought the earrings in Bedford market and the necklace was bought on Wednesday's rummage for 1.00.

Thursday was a very busy day. I went to the dentist and hairdresser in the morning and in the afternoon it was back to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with the youngest grandson. His operation is next week. When I got back I had to do the food shopping and that was it the day had gone!

On Friday I did the school run, went into town to run some errands and then I had a doctors appointment. Unfortunately, I do have high blood pressure and have to take daily medication for it. I was so upset; I've managed so far without any medication so this really was a blow. However, I am very lucky that this is the only heath issue I have so I won't moan anymore! I missed swimming on Friday afternoon as I got back from the doctor appointment/prescription collection too late to have enough time left for a swim and pick up the grandchildren from school. I may try to go next Tuesday after the food bank as well as next Friday to make up for it.

I finished the Hydrangea Stripe blanket#2.

Here it is washed and hanging over the bannisters to dry.

 I don't think the photograph does justice to the colours. They are lovely blues with a few greens thrown in;  they remind  of the colours of the sea. I have christened it; the Sea Hydrangea Stripe blanket. It will be wrapped up and given to middle grandson's little brother as part of his Christmas present. I've made blankets for all my grandchildren; my daughter has had two; OH has had one;  Hilary has had two; eldest grandson's girlfriend got one I made for her last Christmas and I've made one for one my cousin Liam's (RIP) daughter, Roisin, when she was born 7 years ago. I need to think about the next project...

I don't know what is up with my phone camera. The photos are not as good as it used to take although the spec on the new phone is higher . The close ups seem crisper and clearer but not the distance photos. The other issue is the sizing; but that's a Blogger thing - all my photos are selected as X-large, but just look at the variation in sizes! It's very frustrating.

I have a collection of harbour pictures on my stairs and landing. I am always attracted to the sea and its surroundings. If you believe in signs I am a Pisces!

Days 9 -12

All dresses charity shopped. This is the cheat bit... dresses I've worn recently on the blog. From top left: dress by Oliver Bonas; top right; dress by H&M; bottom left dress by Mudd and Water 50p at car boot sale; bottom right BNWT Joe Brown dress.

Day 13

This is the dress I bought in a Northampton charity shop a few weeks ago. It's by Sweewee which seems to be a cheap French label. The label on the dress does say Paris. It's not as short as I thought, so I could wear it as a dress with tights; but decided to wear it with trousers as I would be in and out all day and the weather is chilly. I thought afterwards I could have worn it with my grey cable knit tights  and over the knee boots - next time! I am wearing minimal make up; highlighter, blusher, lipstick and just pencil and Vaseline on my eyes as I was expecting to go swimming...

I've had these flared Next cords for ever, but can't remember which charity shop they came from. Boots also charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings from New Look's sale earlier this year.

Blue plaques keep popping up in Bedford:

I spotted this one in the High Street on my trip to town. There is another plaque to John Usher on a different street and it was not one I knew about on my Blue Plaque walk. He designed this building which has mythical beasts on pillars and the initials AH or HA above the top middle window. I must try and find out more about the building but I am guessing it was a shop or company building. The tally is now standing at 23 plaques that I know of and I expect there are some new ones I've missed...

Day 14

It was my brother's actual birthday on Sunday and both he and Mark came over for  a home cooked birthday dinner. I walked on both Saturday and Sunday 5 miles each walk. On Sunday I recce'd the walk I'll be leading on Thursday. Sunday's weather was damp and grey.

Hot and flushed on Sunday...

Country Casuals charity shopped jacket; Daycare Hospice shop, I think. Psychedelic print dress by New Look charity shopped about 5 years ago. OTK boots; my Barnardo's for 5.00. All jewellery charity shopped.

My outfit kept malfunctioning! The buttonholes on the sleeves of the dress kept coming undone; they have stretched, I think, so this dress will be re-donated. This was the first wearing of the boots and the heels crumbled throughout the day leaving deposits on the floor! OH thought at first it was chocolate. By the end of the day there were no heels on the boots at all. How very weird.

Day 15

I wore this to volunteer on Monday. Monday's are such busy days for me; I spend the evening with my feet up usually catching up with everyone's blogs.

Dress  by White Stuff and from my Barnardo's. All jewellery charity shopped. The brooch is my most recent acquisition from the 3:16 charity shop for 1.00.

Jacket; Barnardo's boiled wool jacket 1.00 rail.

Tan suede OTK boots online retail 3 years ago.

Next Friday, my Barnardo's is having a 'Everything 99p' day, so I shall be going back to see if I can get any bargains!

Day 15

I wore this to the food bank on Tuesday. It was milder but still damp and we had rain in the afternoon. The pinafore dress is by Tu retail in their sale a couple of years ago, shirt and kimono charity shopped.

Boots present from daughter.

All jewellery charity shopped.

And I'm going to finish with yet another dress which I've previously worn on the blog so I'm up to Day 16 of dresses worn...only 6 to go!

Day 16

Joe Brown dress bought in Co. Derry charity shop for 5 euros.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Weekend visitor and some rummaging...

Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a present from my daughter.

Can't remember where any of the garments came from but the trousers from Next actually have a plaid pattern; Prince of Wales . The top is by Wallis and the jacket is quite Chanel like which is why I like it. It's also one of those really useful items that goes with a lot of my clothes.

All jewellery charity shopped.

That's the bag of shame behind me waiting to be put in the car.

Well, my walk last Wednesday was a great success! I had 56 participants and the weather was lovely; bright, sunny but cold.  56 walkers is an awful lot and it's quite difficult to manage such a large group; they get strung out  and when it comes to stiles it can take a good 10 minutes or longer for everyone to get over! By which time the first over the stile people are 10 minutes walk away! How I manage it is to stop along the walk every so often and let the rear catch up. It's wonderful so many people want to join the Rambler walks but we need to find a solution; parking for walks is a major issue.

In the afternoon I visited my local Daycare Hospice shop which is in the grounds of the Hospice. They had a special offer on books so I bought the entire collection (bar the latest one which I have on reserve from the library) of Elizabeth Strout books for 50p each. I also bought a near as dammit, denim look dress for 4.00 and a black and white maxi dress for 5.00. I tried on a 1980s pleated, belted dress in a lovely geometric print but I looked like a sack of potatoes tied in the middle so it went back on the rail!

I've started the Hydrangea Stripe blanket #2. Seaside colours. If I get this one finished in time I might give this one to Hilary instead. Her living room is decorated in seaside colours...

This was Thursday's outfit. The dress is by Mudd and Water and was 50p at the final car boot sale in Milton Ernest. I have a tunic by Mudd and Water that I use as walking gear in the summer. The boiled wool jacket was 2.00 in the Willen Hospice shop in Newport Pagnell last year. Boots bought online last year. I think I bought this brooch when I used to volunteer at the Red Cross charity shop. The shape is very reminiscent of the 1950s/1960s, I think.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I went swimming on Friday and swam 26 lengths. The pool was quite crowded but the chlorine in the water made my eyes so red and sore. That's not happened since I was a kid and would stay in the pool for hours and hours! I hope it will be okay the next time I swim. Otherwise I will have to invest in a pair of goggles and I don't fancy wearing goggles...

On Saturday I got up early and went for a walk but it lashed down and I only managed 4 miles. OH and I decided to go for a rummage to Northampton in the afternoon, as it's been about a year since we last were there. On the way we stopped at my Barnardos and the Keech Hospice shop in Great Denham as OH hadn't been to either for ages.

I wore this Oliver Bonas dress that I bought  in the Daycare Hospice in Kempston some weeks back for 6.50. The leggings are by M&S and were charity shopped; boots online retail.

The jacket was bought  in a Donegal charity shop for 3 euros. I bought it last year but haven't worn it before.

Head scarf and all jewellery charity shopped, The necklace was bought in Huntingdon on our last trip there. The earrings are the ones I customised and wrote about in my last post HERE.

I bought a lot of stuff on our rummage. On the 50p rail in my Barnardo's I bought a jacket, a tunic and a pair of 'cropped'  striped trousers. In Northampton, I bought an animal print woollen dress (hurray, I've been looking for one as I left the one I have in the caravan; along with two of my berets and two of my watches...) for 4.50; a pair of Hotter t bar shoes for summer in green, for 3.50; a necklace and a pair of earrings for 1.00 each;  what I thought was a long, striped cardigan from Gap for 2.95, but which I now think is a dressing gown!  It is! And finally, a geometric print dress from H&M for 2.00. Since writing this I've tried the animal print dress on and it's actually a tunic - too short (for me) to be a dress - damn!

These photos were taken in the Guildhall, Northampton where they feature well known Northampton/Northamptonshire people. To the left is John Clare known as the peasant poet. He was a member of the rural working class and spent a lot of time in an asylum. The woman on the right was the first ever female Cabinet minister; Margaret Bondfield, a Labour politician, Trade Union and Women's Rights activist.

It was a pretty chilly day so I wore long navy leather gloves - charity shopped of course! I took the boots I'm wearing to the Timpson's in our Sainsbury's store to be re-heeled whilst I did my food shopping, last Thursday. When I paid for them they cost 15.95! I shan't be going there again; the Timpson's in town charges about 12.00. I wouldn't mind, but the boots were only about 20.00 online!

The remote gadget for my tripod died so I missed taking photos for a few days until I found a replacement.

On Monday, I volunteered at the charity shop. Our 50p rail was reduced to 20p! I picked up a couple of items for OH and eldest grandson and a jacket (yes, really a jacket for 20p by M&Co) for me. On Tuesday, I took  my youngest Grandson back to Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge for an emergency appointment. His implant had become infected after he got hit in the head at basketball. It was bad news; the implant will have to be removed and the opening/scar will need several months to heal. My poor wee boy - another operation. He is a very brave child though and takes it all in his stride. Children can be so resilient sometimes; they put us adults to shame whinging about minor things....

On Wednesday, I walked with the group. We walked from Harrold Country Park via Santa Pod (racetrack for cars) to Odell Great Wood, through Odell village back to Harrold. It was a cold and sunny; the walk was lovely but very muddy in places. Above is Harrold Church and below one of the beautiful autumnal trees we passed on the walk of 6.5 miles. I keep seeing trees in the most glorious colours and want to stop and take photos as the colours are unbelievable. Unfortunately, I'm usually driving and can't always stop! Look blue sky!

I brought my cheque book with me to pay for my Christmas lunch next month only to discover that I was too late;  all the places were taken! 90 places were available but had all been taken. I was very disappointed as I've been for the past 5 years and we always have a good meal and sing a range of carols before we eat. I love carol singing and this was the only opportunity I got to do it. I need to get in there early next year. It's a new venue this year too; our old venue was a pub in village of Northill  which could only accommodate 70 places, but the new one can accommodate 90. We have lots of new members so I suppose they booked their places early. We are discussing having a Christmas meal with the Barnardo's staff and volunteers but haven't decided a venue as yet - we'd better get our skates on or there'll be no where left to book!

I went to town to run some errands and go to the library when I got back from the walk. I'd left my library card at home as I didn't bring my purse with me; just loose change in my bag so I couldn't take any books out. I'm wearing a maxi dress (no label) I bought in the Daycare Hospice shop last week for 5.00; with a 50p Next top underneath from the 50p rail at my Barnardo's. Boots charity shopped in Oxfam; also 5.00. The jacket was bought in a Donegal charity shop; it's by 100 Idees (?) and was 5 euros.

I've got charity shopped leggings on underneath!

All jewellery charity shopped. I took these photos in my study to see if the light is better. I think it is.

On Thursday I was back in Barnardo's doing an extra volunteering session as it was the Christmas launch. Lots of stuff that had been previously packed away especially for Christmas (gifts) was brought out and displayed; the Manager put the Christmas decorations up and dressed the window with - of course you've guessed it -  a Christmas theme!  I picked up a wrought iron fire screen for our fuel burner whilst I was there. Someone had donated two. It was a busy day and when I finished at 1.30. I then did the weekly food shop. I wore this:

Dress by H&M bought for 2.00 in the Keech Hospice shop last week with a Next charity shopped blouse and brown ankle boots; charity shopped in Newport Pagnell for 5.00.

Tights; online retail and all jewellery and scarf charity shopped. The earrings are ones I picked up on our Northampton rummage.

There was a laundry basket and a plastic tub filled with jewellery at the shop and I took it home with me to sort out and bag up. In total I spent 8.5 hours sorting it all out between Thursday evening and Sunday evening; I took it all back to the shop on Monday where I sold a couple of bags of necklaces almost immediately!

On Friday, I was very much looking forward to my weekend visitor; Hilary, my best friend of 53 years. It's always so good to catch up face to face rather than by phone and email and text. She loved the original Hydrangea Stripe blanket I made for her and preferred it to the Seaside colours one. I was glad as it took the pressure off me to finish the other one quickly so she could take it back with her! I managed to get a swim in before Hilary arrived and did 24 lengths and luckily; no red, sore eyes. I can only assume there was too much chlorine in the water last week...

We went for a rummage on Saturday to St. Neots and to Huntingdon. Hilary pops in and out of her local charity shops but hadn't spent a whole day rummaging since I last visited her in June! We stopped for tea and cake in St. Neots before we headed off to Huntingdon.

The quality of these photos is awful; apologies. the light in my bedroom is just not good enough but I couldn't access my study when I was taking these where the light is so much better.

I wore this Tu denim look dress; charity shopped in the Daycare Hospice shop for 4.00 with a M&S charity shopped kimono.

The tights which have birds on them (!) were a Christmas present from my lovely daughter and the boots were bought online. All jewellery charity shopped. You might just be able to make out above my head a rack with hooks on it. I bought this in St. Neot's in The Dog's Trust for 3.00 and it's for my ever growing collection of necklaces.  Here I had just balanced it on top of the existing one to see if it fitted the door width. It did and it will hold more than the existing one; because as as well as the hooks it has a bar on which I can hang even more necklaces!
My legs are short and stumpy but this is a (slightly) better view of the tights complete with flowers and birds. This was their first outing and I loved them, but it was actually very cold on Saturday and I wished I'd worn leggings or trousers instead! On the rummage I also bought a new duvet set for the spare bedroom; some salad servers for my daughter (special request from her) and I bought a red top from the 99p rail in the Salvation Army for myself and a couple of books. I bought NO jewellery! Wasn't I good? Hilary bought a kimono, a book and quite a few games and jigsaws for her grandchildren. We were both very satisfied with our haul and got home with a couple of hours to chill before we headed out  again...
....for an early birthday celebration for brother Tony (top left and right). I hadn't seen my brothers since before I went to Ireland and I missed them. They hadn't seen Hilary since my mum's funeral ten years ago and they were all delighted to see each other again. We had a lovely Thai meal and  a lovely evening. It was unfortunately a filthy night - weather wise. Heavy rain there and back; Kettering is 25 miles from Bedford. I drove there and OH drove back. Julian couldn't make it as he has started rehearsals for the bands 50th anniversary tour and was down in Hastings... if you want see a bit more about the band and to see if you can spot my brother visit here!

Day 1

Hilary went back to Devon on Sunday and among the many things I did on Sunday was to sort out my dresses and organise them a little better. The problem is I have too many and I haven't enough room left in the wardrobe where I store them. I have 22 dresses; not including maxi dresses; which I store in another place. Having so many dresses got me thinking; I could a wear a different dress every day for 3 weeks, so I thought I'd set myself a challenge to see if I could do it and share it with you all! On Monday, I started with dress No.1 which I wore on Saturday as well;  but as it was my most recent acquisition and because I like it I wore it  again to volunteer at Barnardo's, this time with a different jacket and accessories.

 Dress by Tu; charity shopped in the Daycare Hospice shop for 4.00. Floral tights charity shopped last year somewhere; boots as above. Jacket from Donegal charity shop; 3.00.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Just looking back at this post and the outfits; I've worn 5 different dresses already including 1 maxi dress. I will wear these again in my challenge as I'll make sure I wear different accessories with them.

Day 2

Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail.
 Woollen dress M&S; charity shopped in Barnardo's, Ampthill from the 99p rail.

Cardigan by Joseph A; can't remember. All jewellery, scarf and tights charity shopped.

I wore this charity shopped Susan Bristol knitted coat/jacket and kept it on in the Food Bank warehouse as it was freezing!

So, do you like a clothes challenge?

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 ...