Friday, 13 January 2017

A week of spots, stripes and checks...


This could probably be called Day 6 of the pattern challenge! I wore this on Saturday.


Everything is charity shopped except the floral boots which were bought on line and the earrings; bought by OH in an Oxford street market.
The cardigan is by Next; the jeans by Laura Ashley and the top is by a Spanish company; I can't remember where I bought any of them but all have been bought since I started blogging in  November, 2015.

I do love these boots but the heel is a little higher than usual so I can't wear them for too long. I went out on Saturday afternoon to look for a chest of drawers for my spare bedroom and after a couple of hours my feet were killing me!

Necklace charity shopped in Donegal, I think.

I had a look around a couple of charity shops whilst looking for a chest of drawers and I bought a sleeveless green knitted top by Great Plains for £3.00 in Keech as it was green and will be useful to wear over shirts/blouses.  A checked man's shirt for £1.00. I also bought some more padded hangers for £1.00; a leather brooch for 25p; a chinese looking purse type thing which I've used to put all my crochet hooks in for 49p; and a couple of brandy glasses. Total spend £5.94.

I had both grandchildren on Saturday evening and on Sunday we went to visit my son.

Day 1 - Spots, stripes and checks challenge

 I wanted to try yellow with red - yes, I like it!
Everything is charity shopped except the boots - Christmas 2016 gift from OH.

Plaid skirt, Topshop; bought from Save the Children; jumper by Mc and Co and camisole; charity shopped but can't remember where. Tights: on line. All jewellery except watch charity shopped.

Day 2 - Spots, stripes and checks challenge

Youngest grandson took the photos so they're not as good as OHs. Spotted shirt; Phase Eight. Skirt M&S; jumper, unknown - all charity shopped.


Boots; Sainsburys. Christmas 2016 present from OH. All jewellery charity shopped, including the spotted bangle.


Watch, New Look bought with Christmas money.
I started at the Red Cross shop on Monday. It's very busy and there are more staff and volunteers. I think I'm going to really enjoy myself.  I bought a pair of claret coloured cord trousers as I gave my claret coloured leather and ponte knit leggings away. I got staff discount (20%) and they cost me 80p!

On Tuesday, I thought I'd be starting at the Guildhouse. I arrived at 1pm as agreed but only had an hour's induction as they have yet to send off for references. All being well I'll be starting on the 24th...

Day 3 - Spots, Checks and Stripes Challenge
It may not be immediately apparent but this green top is very finely striped. It's by Tu at Sainsbury's and bought in the 3:16 Charity shop for £1.00. Necklace bought in the Salvation Army for 99p last week while doing the Lidl shopping.

The cardigan is from Barnardo's in Ampthill and was 99p. Total cost of outfit £2.99!



Green cords £1.00 Red Cross shop. All jewellery charity shopped except watch. Boots - DDB.

Day 4 - Spots, Checks and Stripes Challenge
On Wednesday I went walking with the group. We walked in Biggleswade and did 6.5 miles. The wind was very cold and stung my cheeks; I wore a hat which kept me nice and warm. I put on a striped shirt with a black V neck jumper and black pleated skirt when I got home - and  forgot to get photos done - dohh! I'm blaming the crocheting; once I start I'm like a woman possessed and forget everything else!

So, as I missed yesterday's outfit post I've done two for the price of one - stripes and checks!
All jewellery charity shopped.
Linen striped shirt, crumpled as linen does, M & S, charity shopped, check cardigan (F & F at Tesco); charity shopped. Black jeans; Lidl.
Black boots; Christmas 2014 present from my daughter.

Day 5 - Spots, Stripes and Checks Challenge

I bought these earrings on Thursday on a rummage in the village of Olney. They're real silver and were £3.00 in Age Concern. The necklace was charity shopped as were the bangles. I also bought a rather nice ginger coloured top with lace insets at Mercy in Action in Olney. It was £4.50 which is a bit pricey for me but I liked it so much. I hope it looks good on.

I stopped at Barnardo's, Great Denham on the way home from Olney; I sort of wish I hadn't because I spent £6.99 on a beautiful grey linen coat. It will be lovely for the summer...


These cords were £1.00 from Red Cross shop on Monday. I bought them because I thought I had given away my similar coloured leather and ponte knit leggings - I hadn't - I found them in my cupboard where I'd recently decanted all my trousers...


It was really cold on Friday; hence the fur gilet from M & S; charity shopped in Donegal in the summer. We had snowfall but it was washed away by the rain. It felt too cold to go out for a walk so I'm hoping to go walking at the weekend instead. No grandchildren until Sunday night!

The checked shirt was bought last Saturday in Keech, Kempston for £1.00. It's by Red Herring. The boots were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter. They have a gold trim at the toe and heel and were from New Look.

Not sure what the weekend has in store weather wise only that it's going to be cold. I've got my crocheting to get on with; I've started a new Persephone book 'The Godwits Fly' by Robin Hyde and the heating will be on so I don't care!

Wrap up warm wherever you are!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy New Year and a week of pattern...


Happy to New Year to all of you. Thank you so much for  reading my blog and for all your lovely comments throughout the year. I so enjoy reading them and appreciate every single one.
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I've started a new page for books read in 2017.
I left 2016 still reading Alan Bennett's 'Keeping On, Keeping On' (a Christmas present from OH). I'm almost at the end of it now - 700 odd pages!

The total number of books read in 2016 was 98. When I worked, I used to read on average between 120 and 150 books a year. I don't really understand how, if I'm not working three days a week, I manage to read less now. Could I possibly be busier now than I was when I worked? I have been keeping a record of books I've read since 2007 but it still doesn't stop me occasionally buying a book I already have...

Day 1 - Pattern Challenge
Everything charity shopped except boots - DDB

I bought this patterned shirt in Save the Children a few weeks back. It's by Punt Roma. The jeans are from Next and were 99p in the Barnardo's sale in Ampthill last week. The cardigan is from the Red Cross shop.
The earrings are little pansies and I bought them from Save the Children for 25p. Bangles and watch charity shopped.  Necklace present from OH Christmas 2015.

I went for 7.5 mile walk on Monday. It was chilly but sunny and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk around and through Bedford. It was also an opportunity to break in a pair of trainers my daughter donated to me. When you're pounding pavements; trainers can be a better option than walking boots

Day 2 - Pattern Challenge
Bangles, necklace and velvet flower brooch; charity shopped.

Another purple day on Tuesday - it was freezing!
 Purple patterned tunic by Nomads, charity shopped. Leggings, on line retail.


Purple velvet cardigan; one of the very few purchases I've ever made at TK Maxx and my favourite. Boots, Christmas present from OH and earrings were also a present from him bought in a street market in Oxford.

I've got my crocheting mojo kick going again in 2017. I started by sorting out my wool stash. I had quite a few odds and ends of chunky knitting wool, so I made an infinity scarf on Sunday night and on Monday night a head/ear warmer. The rest of the wool got donated to a charity shop. I should have taken a photo of the infinity scarf but I've given it away and can't. There's a picture below of me wearing the ear warmer...

I'm going to start on a blanket in browns, creams and beiges as I seem to have accumulated quite a lot of these colours. I buy almost all my wool at charity shops so you don't get to decide the colours available! I'm going to donate this blanket and any others that I do to 'Knit for Peace' here. I got this idea from Mim of the lovely blog; 'Crinoline Robot' here.

I have no idea why, when I take selfies on my phone camera, they're always fuzzy as if they've been taken with gauze over the camera lens. Apparently, they used to do this with ageing actresses back in the day... when OH takes photos using the same camera phone they don't have the fuzzy effect.

Before I forget I must show you a close up of my floral boots bought not long before Christmas. I've only worn them once so far, but am looking forward to wearing them more frequently:


Aren't they fab!

Day 3 - Pattern Challenge

The orange splattered patterned trousers came from the Barnardo's  sale rail in Ampthill last week - 49p! Crochet cardigan bought from the same place a few weeks previously for 99p.


Orange top charity shopped but can't remember where from. Boots DDB - daughter donated boots!


Rings, beads, earrings and bangles all charity shopped.

I went for my induction at the Red Cross shop on Wednesday afternoon. I had a great time and the team were very pleasant and welcoming. I bought a jumper and some bed linen - both £1.99 - while I was there. It's a much busier shop than Save the Children and I know I'll suffer from what I always do on Mondays and Tuesdays when I do my volunteering, and that is an aching back from standing for so long; on Wednesday I was on my feet for three and a half hours.

Day 4 - Pattern Challenge
Earrings bought in one of those shops that sell everything...mousetraps, sink unblocker, mats, pots and pans, coffee jugs, earrings...

I bought this jumper from the Red Cross shop on Wednesday. It's by Kaliko and of course it was £1.99.


Shirt by Next, charity shopped, black cords, Red Cross shop £1.00. Boots, Next - Christmas 2013; present from my daughter. You can just see my new grey watch bought with Christmas money from my brothers.


Bangles; charity shopped.

When I went to do the food shopping on Thursday afternoon I popped into the Salvation Army charity shop which is next door to Lidl. I bought a lovely bright green necklace, 99p; which I hope to wear with Friday's outfit. On the way back from Sainsbury's I went to the Barnardo's in Great Denham. I picked the wrong time to go because: a) the sale was over b) they were having a reorganisation of the shop floor and had loads of donations piled everywhere making much of the shop inaccessible. Not being the sort who gives up easily I found a purple cushion for my bed for 99p; a beret - brand new with tags from New Look for 49p; a mini hair fascinator for 49p and an ornamental tin heart for 49p - total spend £2.47 + 99p in the Salvation Army = £3.46.

It was my middle grandson's 12th birthday on Thursday. He loved his presents from me and enjoyed his birthday cake - chocolate with milk and white chocolate shavings on the top - from Lidl. It was lovely and light and not too sickly. It would have been too much of a rush to make him a cake as the chocolate cake I usually make for birthday cakes is always better if eaten on the same day. Here he is at home posing with his cake...


Happy birthday, Isaiah!

Day 5 - Pattern Challenge
On Friday I went walking with the group for the first time since the 14th December. It was a 6 mile walk and although it was a very cold morning we soon warmed up. Luckily, it was mostly road walking so no muddy boots. As we finished up in the town centre, I had some errands to run in town and of course I looked in a couple of charity shops. With my new 'highly selective' charity shopping hat on, I bought a bracelet for 49p in the Wood Green Animal Shelter shop; a striped linen top from Tu for £1.00 in the 3:16 shop and two colourful table runners for £1.50 - total spend today £2.99.


Had my hair cut on Friday.
This is probably one of my most favourite patterned items of clothing.  Patterned tunic by Pussycat, London bought from Cats Protection League charity shop. Yellow jumper worn underneath; charity shopped. Green leggings; Sainsburys retail as were the brown boots.


All jewellery except watch; charity shopped. This is the 99p necklace bought on Thursday. Youngest grandson took the photos today and didn't quite get the concept of a head and shoulders shot...


So here's a dodgy selfie instead!

Next week is my final challenge - spots, checks and stripes...

Friday, 30 December 2016

A week of maxis...


We had a lovely Christmas. Why wouldn't we? Lots of nice food, drink and presents, but most of all family.
We always have fun at Christmas especially when we play charades after dinner. This year even the youngest grandson joined in - and loved playing it - he wasn't half bad either!


My daughter made a delicious salmon in pastry dish. She usually makes us a Beef Wellington but wanted to do something different this year. We also had turkey and all the trimmings. It was all very good.


Here we all are mid dinner. Some of us have finished; I've only just sat down. Just can't get everything on the table at the same time... OH is missing because he's putting his dinner in the microwave; he likes everything at nuclear temperature! Daughter is taking the photo. All three grandsons and two of my three brothers. My third brother in London was having a bachelor's 'open house' Christmas!

I got such lovely presents. A new Paperwhite kindle, new ankle boots, perfume and a Persephone book from my daughter. New long black boots; two 'Furrowed Middlebrow' books and 2 CDs from OH. Eldest grandson bought me another Persephone book and my brothers gave me money. Didn't I do well?

I drank Sherry, Prosecco, Canadian Club and Ginger Ale and sampled an Amaretto Sour ; courtesy of eldest grandson who mixes a mean cocktail - very moreish...


This is what I wore on Christmas Day. Dress from the Hospice shop in Kempston; waistcoat from Zara also charity shopped. Boots; Christmas present from OH.



All jewellery charity shopped.

Day 1 - Maxi Challenge


This is the skirt I bought in Barnardo's, Great Denham for £1.00.


Cardigan and boots charity shopped.


Green top Primarni; headscarf present from my friend in Cambridge.


All jewellery charity shopped.

By Tuesday I was going stir crazy. I hadn't been out of the house on Christmas Day or Boxing Day; only to drop middle grandson home so I took youngest grandson to Sainsbury's. One of the Great Uncles had given the youngest grandsons a bag of coins; when we changed it up in the coin machine it gave them £15.00 each to spend! Another Christmas present and Christmas is already over. Lucky kids!

Day 2 - Maxi Challenge



 I tried wearing a belt with this maxi.


Everything is charity shopped except the boots which are light brown with metal bits round the toe; a Christmas present from my daughter this year. The skirt is by Country Casuals; t shirt M&S 50p in a Donegal charity shop;  cable pattern cardigan; Red Cross shop probably, but really can't remember. Belt charity shopped about 10 years ago.


Necklace charity shopped in the Oxfam shop; Bedford. The earrings are 99p from e bay.

Day 3 - Maxi Challenge

On Wednesday OH and I went rummaging. I hoped the charity shops would all be open but I guessed some wouldn't reopen until after the New Year.  We went to Hitchin, Hertfordshire, a market town, and also to Ampthill; a small market town in Bedfordshire.

My goodness wasn't it cold! I woke up to frost everywhere and the water in the bird's' bowl had frozen. I feed the birds everyday. I'm even more vigilant during the cold weather months and always leave out drinking water. I really should have worn trousers! The temperature was -05 degrees when we set off for a rummage around the charity shops. It warmed up to 2 degrees and then dropped again by the time we got home. Out of seven charity shops in Hitchin only two were closed.

It's hard to put outerwear over maxi skirts. I'd planned to wear my brown leather jacket but it was too cold. I wish I still  had my brown corduroy maxi coat that I bought in 1970 from Bus Stop. It would have been perfect to wear over this skirt!


Jacket, River Island from Red Cross, £1.99; scarf, Save the Children; £1.00, beret; can't remember where.



I've had this navy jersey type M&S skirt for about 9 or 10 years. I used to have a bottle green one, too, but ruined it by getting it caught in the wheel of my bike when I used to ride my bike to work. I also have a similar black skirt, but from BHS. All were charity shopped.

Top by Canda - an old C & A brand; charity shopped in Save the Children, recently. Wool jacket by Gilbert; from Barnardo's, Great Denham. Boots - DDB (daughter donated boots).


All jewellery charity shopped.


About two weeks ago I bought yet another strand of orange beads for £1.00;  now I like to wear the three strands together!

In Hitchin, I bought 4 pairs of earrings for £3.50 in the Hospice shop and Cancer Research; three balls of wool at 50p each; also in the Hospice shop and an animal print top for £1.50 and a knitted angel boiled egg cosy for 30p - everyone needs a boiled egg cosy, don't you know!  In Age UK, I bought a ring for £1.99. In an antique/curio shop I bought some black beads for £1.50.  Total  spend in Hitchin, £10.29 . In Ampthill; the sale was still on at Barnardo's. In fact, they had reduced quite a lot of the stuff to 49p! I bought two double sized duvet sets with matching pillowcases, each for 49p. One set was brand new - it still had the stiffening product in it that they use in new bed linen. I also bought a pair of orange and black loose trousers for 49p; a pale grey Next top for 99p; a black Next jacket - never worn, 49p; a black and white striped blouse for 99p and a pair of bootcut jeans for 49p. Total spend here £4.45. Then I spent another £1.50 in the RSPCA on two books and a new make up bag. Total day's spend £16.24.


Go on - you know you want one!

Day 4 - Maxi Challenge

On Thursday I finally got out for a walk and did 6.3 miles. I hadn't walked for two weeks and was feeling both lazy and guilty. Once I started walking I was fine and realised how much I'd missed my regular walks. On Friday, there is a nine mile bus walk; I'm up for it but it is an earlyish start, and one of the things I enjoy about the holidays is there is no need to get up early. I'll just have to see how I feel on Friday morning...


This black Next corduroy skirt is about 5 or 6 years old and was charity shopped. The striped blouse by Peepers was bought in Wednesday's rummage at Barnardo's (99p) as was the light grey Next top (99p). Boots, old; Christmas present from my daughter. Middle grandson is on the sofa with his trusty laptop - hence the trailing flex.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the usual food shopping on Thursday and the bargain of the day was a £4.00 box of Christmas crackers for 40p in Sainsbury's! They're going up  in the loft ready for next year. Sainsbury's also had lots of packs of Christmas gift tags for 10p a packet, but we still have two large unopened packs of gift tags bought in the sales last year. I also bought  a reduced tin of shortbread biscuits (£1.50) and mince pies (40p) per packet.

Day 5 - Maxi challenge

Friday was such a miserable, cold and foggy day. I didn't go walking but am determined to go on Saturday afternoon as there is a 6.5 mile walk in Houghton Conquest which is about 6 miles outside of Bedford.

What I did do was to go to Bedford and spend my Christmas money. I'd already spent some of it on a fur coat on line. It's not my perfect coat; I am still looking for that one, but I needed a warm short coat. I have a Parka coat but that is a bit too casual sometimes. In Bedford I bought some perfume and soap in TK Maxx - I do love scented soap and prefer to use soap rather than shower gel. I also bought myself a new watch from New Look. Christmas money spent; I returned home to make soup and read one of my Christmas books.


In today's maxi and long cape I felt like a Victorian governess! The pure wool cape is from Ist Avenue bought for £1.99 in the Red Cross shop. Leather gloves charity shopped.


Maxi skirt; part of a cardigan suit charity shopped in Carrick on Shannon, Ireland. I've worn the matching cardigan separately, last seen here. Shirt and cardigan both from Red Cross shop. Boots, Christmas present from OH this year.


All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were bought on Wednesday in Hitchin in the Cancer Research shop.

I'm glad the week of maxi's is finished; I can't wait to wear a pair of trousers.
So far with these challenges, I have worn a week each of; skirts, cardigans, shirts, dresses, trousers and maxis. I don't have enough maxi dresses to do a week of those so I think I might go for a week of stripes, spots and checks for next week. In fact, I've edited this to say that I'll do a week of patterns next week and the stripes, spots and checks for the week after.

 The challenges keep me thinking of different outfits to create and helps give little worn items a wear. That in turn, helps me assess whether or not, I want to keep it and if I don't means more space in my wardrobe. I have also got rid of several clothing items this week so I'm not feeling too guilty about those I've purchased.

What are you all doing for New Year's Eve? I've got both grandsons New Year's Eve so we'll see the New Year in with them. I'll see you all in 2017!


I'll leave you with a look at all my lovely Christmas book presents...