Tuesday 5 October 2021

Autumn is most definitely here

I forgot to include some holiday photos in my previous post. 

In the mobile home. 
Everything charity shopped except the shoes bought online. Skirt bought in a West Drayton charity shop a few years back; the denim jacket was bought in a Sligo charity shop for 5 euros. Tee shirt part of my caravan wardrobe.

Earrings bought 2 years ago in Donegal and made by a local artisan. Necklace charity shopped on a recent UK rummage.

Here we are at cousin Linda's in Co. Kerry. OH and I had just got back from Tralee where we went rummaging. I only bought a couple of books...

Everything I'm wearing was charity shopped.

Back to the UK now; holiday just a distant memory! I was very lucky on my walk with the walking group on Wednesday. The weather was lovely. I drove 34 miles to Harpenden where we walked 6.5 miles; much of it through the Rothampstead Estate which is an agricultural research institution and one of the oldest in the world; established in 1843.

This is Rothamstead Manor house first recorded in 1212 and extensively re- built in the 16th century.

Some of the lovely houses and cottages on the estate.

I had never seen one of these before - a huge bird feeder containing seeds in a large field .

There were only 5 of us on the walk including the walk leader. We both thought the very large group walks of 50+ people at times pre-Covid; would not return. There were a number of reasons for this. During the lockdown people formed small walking groups or pairs and continue to walk with them rather than the Ramblers group walks; some people don't want to book by email or text and some people are still avoiding groups and group activities. The last  Wednesday walk I attended before going to Ireland had 30+ people on it. As a walk leader myself  I find it much easier with 30+ people than 50+ people! I suppose only time will tell if we ever get back to the exact way we used to be.

Thursday was another beautiful day. We seemed to be having an Indian Summer and I for one was very grateful. There'd be enough of long, dark cold days to come but at least we can light the fire in the evenings!

We brought back some bags of turf from Ireland. Ireland is stopping commercial peat/turf production as it's a fossil fuel and we found it very hard to buy turf. Eventually a friend of a relative gave us some bags. He had just collected his supplies for the winter from the bog. In Ireland many houses came with 'turbary rights'. This allowed people to have their own plot in the bog where they cut and dried turf for their fuel supplies. As a child I helped my maternal grandad in the bog; driving the ass and cart full of turf home; where it was stored in the turf shed. Both sets of grandparents had turbary rights. I assume that those who still have turbary rights and want to use them will remain able to do so. 

Trousers bought in a Matalan sale many. many years ago. Top by F&F; charity shopped from my Barnardo's and faux clogs bought from Sainsbury's. All jewellery charity shopped.

My new tripod arrived and I experimented taking photos around the house. The kitchen has the best light and I shall continue experimenting. I went for a swim in the morning and set a new personal record; swimming 46 laps (1.5km) in 60 minutes. It was pretty busy at the pool so it must have been down to me swimming lots of laps of breaststroke. After getting ready I set off to Aldi and Lidl and did the weekly food shopping. Once it was unpacked and put away and I'd hung a wash out to dry in the breeze that had developed; I took middle grandson for his Covid-19 vaccination. Luckily, he only needs one jab. 

Since we've been back we've been catching up with programmes we missed whilst on holiday. We watched all the episodes of 'A House in Time' and were up to date.  The same with the Danish BBC4 Saturday night thriller 'Hunt for A Killer' and starting on Thursday evening we caught up with 'Vigil'.

Another lovely day on Friday. I had a free day with no commitments so I went into town in the morning to return the first tripod that wasn't suitable. These photos were taken with the second tripod and I was very pleased with it. I was also happy to be able to continue wearing my summer wardrobe. Skirt by Rapp; tee shirt by Dunnes Stores and denim jacket by Tussi; all charity shopped. Yellow shoes charity shopped in Ireland a few years ago; one of the straps was not sticking to the Velcro very well and I feared I might soon have to relinquish them to the bin...

I then set off for B&M and Home Bargains to see if they had any plants but they didn't. Only cyclamens,  pansies and violas and we already had enough of those. I did pick up a pot of Nemesia for 1,00 on the reduced plants shelf and I replenished the bird food supplies. When I was crossing the road to my car a woman wound her window down and told me I looked stunning! What a lovely compliment.

Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Taking advantage of the weather I went for 6.8 mile walk in the afternoon. It's the one I'll be leading shortly and I wanted to remind my self of the route, as on the actual walk I'll be reversing the route. 

I'd been disappointed by the lack of car boot sales this summer (thank you Covid-19) but very pleased to see that on Sunday there were to be not one but two 'jumble trails' in Bedford. These are like car boot sales but the stalls would be outside people's houses; there'd be a number of streets involved and the money raised would go to a range of charities. A win, win all round I'd say! Roll on Sunday...

This was Saturday's outfit. I did a short walk to the sorting office in the morning and in the afternoon made a trip to Pells which is a farmshop and nursery in one.  There were queues everywhere outside petrol stations as the supply of petrol had been affected by the lack of HGV drivers across the country. Luckily, I had over half a tank full of petrol and wasn't in any need. At Pells I bought some wall flowers; some lavender to replace a pot that had died; some ferns; another sedum and a partridgebury plant which has bright pink balls on it!

Sedum Fosteranium Oracle

Everything I'd been wearing for the past few days had been blue and/or yellow for some reason. Cambric trousers by Be Beau; top by Wallis and blue baseball boots all charity shopped; the boots picked up on Monday along with the yellow Matthew Williamson bag. Jacket from Bedford market.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I spent the day doing not very much. I wrote some letters; sorted out my holiday photos into an album, caught up with blog reading and read my book. It was a cooler and cloudy day on Saturday and I had a break from walking; although the weather was fine for walking I just didn't fancy it. OH had gone to a family meeting in London so I had no one to cook for except myself which I enjoy;  I'm happy with simple meat free meals like baked potato with cheese and salad, or as I had on Friday; a sardine and boiled egg salad with a roll. I eat less and less meat. I've never liked lots of meat on my plate and it seems I like it less as I age. Vegetables on the other hand I could eat all day, everyday. It's the vegetables I enjoy with the Sunday roast and I'd be making one tomorrow after I'd been to the jumble trail.

I was up early on Sunday to walk round the first jumble trail. As it turned out I was too early; it was supposed to start at 11am but I thought it was 10am. I walked around the area and as I did a few stalls started setting up. There were 55 stalls in total and I probably only visited about 8. I bought home made cakes for the grandsons (they weren't very nice - made from a packet mix, I suspect). I also found a Sedum plant;  two tops; one green from Talbots and one yellow from Next; some body lotions for me and a chess set for middle grandson. 

It turned out to be a lovely sunny and warm day. I wore these green trousers from New Look; charity shopped in Ireland; top by PEP & Co (a Poundland label - who knew?) from a 1.00 rail somewhere. White pumps also by New Look and charity shopped.

 Scarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

I then visited our local jumble trail which had 40 stalls in total but confined my visit to two streets. I bought another plant, an Ajuga; a preserving pan to use as a planter;  a ceramic Buddha to add to my front garden and a cheese grater. Pleased with my purchases it was back home to do the housework and cook dinner. OH planted up all the newly bought plants and tidied up the garden whilst I  cooked.

Youngest grandson stayed over on Sunday night but wasn't feeling very well on Monday so didn't go to school. I went to the charity shop as usual where it was very quiet until about 11.30 then the donations and the customers streamed in until it was time for me to leave.

I was still trying to get some of my unworn summer clothing worn. It wasn't a cold day but on my way to the charity shop it absolutely lashed down for about an hour non-stop. Someone had left an empty glass out on the garden table on Sunday evening and when I got home the water level from the torrential downpour measured 2.5 inches! An hour later after the rain the sun came out and it remained dry and pleasant. Harem trousers; no label, top by Next and kimono by Myhailys; shoes by Clarks; everything charity shopped. I hung out the washing; took Grandson home after collecting his new bike from the shop on the way. Then I came home and cooked dinner. I spent the evening reading as it was nearly the end of the month and I hadn't got much reading done...

All jewellery charity shopped.

At the food bank on Monday I made up hygiene packs and put toiletries away. So far this year we have fed over 1,000 people. With the end of our National Furlough scheme and the removal of the 20.00 per week uplift during the lockdown for people on Universal Credit (a UK social benefit payment) the numbers of people using foodbanks will only rise.

Trousers bought from La Redoute; tunic by Tu, bought in a Cornish charity shop; top underneath  by Next, picked up at the jumble trail on Sunday; shoes charity shopped.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I went for a swim in the afternoon and swam 45 laps (1.5 km). I needed to go to town as I had errands to run but decided to go on Wednesday after my group walk instead. I read for a while and caught up with blogs before making a casserole for dinner. We started to watch 'When the Dust Settles' from Walter Presents; a Danish thriller and it was pretty thrilling. There were 10 episodes to watch in total.

Hydrangeas from the garden.

You may have noticed I haven't mentioned or posted photos of my weekly flower displays. That's because the food charity where I always stopped to pick up bunches of flowers was closed down suddenly overnight by Bedford Council; a few weeks before we went to Ireland. I don't know why and I miss them. The premises are shuttered and I've heard that it may reopen but at a location that is not on my route into town. It was good while it lasted.

On Wednesday the walk started at Paxton Pits near St. Neots. We walked 7 miles mostly along the river Great Ouse. In or two places the winds had blown branches, and in one section a tree down. We were able to get over the fallen tree and cut back (lots of us carry secateurs) smaller branches and obstacles. The weather was fine; breezy but bright and sunny and it was a most enjoyable walk.
River views.

The church at Offord D'Arcy.

A thatched cottage on the Thornhill Estate.

I wore this top with walking trousers and just added the leggings and cardigan when I went into town to do my errands. Everything charity shopped and I wore charity shopped black pumps with it. The weather this week required cardigans and layers and I need to start thinking about bringing my winter stuff down from the loft quite soon.

On Thursday I wore ankle boots for the first time! After a swim of 46 laps (1.5km) on Thursday morning I changed into this to do the food shopping. Everything charity shopped except the boots from Primarni. Top is by QED and skirt by Betty Jackson.

All jewellery charity shopped.

After putting the shopping away I had a dental appointment and had my teeth cleaned thoroughly. Oh, it did feel good. I had two dental check ups during the lockdown but as I didn't require any treatment they wouldn't clean them as they would normally do. I didn't need any treatment on Thursday but the teeth cleaning was back as routine - thank goodness.
Middle grandson came to dinner. From next week both grandsons will come for dinner on Wednesday and I'll drop the Thursday dinner slot. My daughter has started an MA at the university I used to work at and her day at uni is on Wednesday. So that she can stay on and study in the evening; I will be collecting the youngest grandson from his dad's house; making him dinner and taking him home after. It therefore made sense to have both grandsons to dinner or Wednesdays. They also come for dinner on Sundays but the youngest grandson won''t be staying overnight anymore. Thursday evening was pretty chilly; I think we'll be lighting the fire soon.

This was Friday's outfit. I bought the dress in a Belfast charity shop; the boots were bought online. They are getting a bit shabby now and I will put them in the charity shop bag. The zip at the side of the boots makes a noise when I walk which is very irritating so I probably won't miss them. My first wearing of tights for some months...

All jewellery charity shopped.

I had another lazy day on Friday. I went to Barnardo's in the morning as I'd left my umbrella there on Monday;  I also had a couple of books for the deputy manager. She's a crime book lover and the two books I had just finished were pretty good. Whilst I was there I picked up a long denim dress which, with discount, came to 3.20! I am looking for a denim skirt with pockets and belt loops; I have a dark, plain, dark blue denim skirt but want a lighter blue one. Normally on a free day like today I would have got into the car and driven to a nearby town for a rummage but the petrol situation was still a bit tricky where I live. When OH came home from work he said he had tried to get diesel at Morrisons but they had run out although they had petrol and there were NO queues. I can't tell you how fast I ran to my car and when I got to Morrisons there was a queue but it didn't take long to get filled up. Phew! Ok for the next couple of weeks. We lit our fire for the first time in the evening but at least we waited until it was October - just!

Saturday was a day of torrential rain. We decided to go to Huntingdon for a rummage as it had been quite a while since we were last there. They had a total of 8 charity shops including a large British Heart Foundation furniture shop but two of the shops were closed. One; MIND, had shutters down so they may gave closed for good; whereas the Salvation Army was closed as they had no volunteers.

This is Huntingdon's Town Hall.
Left; the entrance to a one time inn; right Huntindon's War Memorial.

Despite the rain I was still trying to get a wear of some of my summer clothes. These African print trousers were homemade (not by me) but charity shopped; as were the Pepperberry top and the brown boots. I later added a brown glittery headscarf and wore my brown leather jacket for outerwear.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I found some wide legged, cropped denim trousers by Toast for 6.00 and a pair of grey ankle boots for 5.50. I also found some brand new towels for 2.00. I didn't find a denim skirt or a red cross-body bag; two things I need but I will keep looking. We finished watching 'When the Dust Settles' on Saturday evening and highly recommend the series; although I did wonder about the sheltered accommodation for the elderly  - anyone and everyone wandered in off the street willy nilly! Most places like this have security doors and codes etc so this part didn't ring true to me. Nevertheless, it was just a minor flaw in a great series.

Sundays are always a busy day for me. I nearly always go for a walk, I do the housework and I usually, but not always, cook dinner. I walked 5 miles in the morning  along the river to Great Denham which was bright and sunny but a bit cool.  Everything charity shopped. Jeans by Next, top by Papaya and Kimono by New Look. Boots donated by my daughter. They're a greeny gray colour. I just swapped these boots for walking boots and socks.

All jewllery charity shopped.

There was great excitement in the garden as all week I had been seeing a rat. It was after the bird feeders in the hibiscus tree outside the backdoor so I moved them up higher and out of reach. It still kept hanging around and on Sunday I showed the rat to my youngest grandson; who kept up a 'rat watch' for most of Sunday, whilst doing his homework. OH had baited some traps. The clever rat managed to remove the Mars bar bait but didn't trigger the trap! I do not like rats at all although I don't mind mice. At the time of writing this post I hadn't spotted the rat again...

This was what I wore to Barnardo's on Monday. This was the dress I picked up there last Friday. Worn with charity shopped striped tee; boots bought online last year.

Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped.

Barnardo's was quite busy and the time flew by.
 I didn't need to cook on Monday as OH and middle grandson were going to the cinema to see the new Bond film and were going to get a takeaway meal. I spent the evening finishing off a very gripping Swedish thriller called 'The Sandman' by Lars Keppler. Very gory!

Tuesday's outfit; everything from a charity shop except the white pumps from Primarni. Wide legged cropped trousers by Toast bought in Huntingdon last Saturday; top by Misguided and cardigan had no label but is many years old.

Scarf and all jewllery charity shopped.

We were a woman down at the foodbank so I spent my time there making up food parcels; lots of food parcels. The donations kept coming in thick and fast. That's because they were Harvest Festival donations and we get lots from schools and organisations at this time of year.

In the afternoon I went for a swim and swam 42 laps (1.4 km). I'm leading a walk on Wednesday and am praying for decent weather. Wish me luck!

Blogoversary and some other stuff

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