Thursday, 22 September 2016

Three brooches and some walking

I'm echoing Miss Magpie (here) again this week. She's been buying brooches and so have I!

I had a lovely walk at the weekend. I went out on Sunday for the last of the Bedfordshire Walking Festival walks to explore Mowsbury Hill Fort and then on for an 8 mile walk. I rarely get out for organised walks at the weekend because of family commitments so it made a nice change.


This was Saturday's outfit. 
I bought these green cuffed cotton trousers in Donegal for one euro.


I I thought I'd better wear them on Saturday as it looked like the summer was on its way out. It was chilly and wet and I was tempted to put the heating on - but I resisted it. Just as well, Sunday was a lovely day - warm and sunny.

That box you can see in the photo above is full of Lego. All three grandsons loved Lego and my middle grandson was completely obsessed with it for years. What's in this box is some of his old collection and now the youngest has got the Lego bug. 

It's great until you tread on a tiny bit in your bare feet  - ouch! I'm also, once again, constantly rescuing tiny bits of Lego from the floors and placing them carefully to one side. Oh, the hours I've spent in the past searching high and low for a Lego person's head/weapon/foot or a vehicle's wheel/light/gun...


Everything charity shopped. By this photo I finally realised my beads had fallen into my cleavage in the previous photos - oh well...

On Monday we went out for a meal to celebrate my daughter's 38th birthday. We had a lovely evening and two of my brothers came. It was Caribbean food and everyone agreed that the curry goat was not as good as OH's. A compliment indeed.  I had a shrimp curry, rice and peas and Guinness bread and butter pudding. I couldn't eat all of the pudding so brought it home and ate it for breakfast the next day!

Once again we forgot to take photos but I didn't mind. What I'd planned to wear didn't happen as after washing and ironing the harem pants I bought last week; I realised the elasticated waist had gone completely and there wasn't time to repair it or even iron anything else. I had to grab stuff that didn't need ironing - patterned leggings and a pink Ossie Clark top I bought in Save the Children last week for £4.50.

This is what I bought at Save the Children this week:


Three brooches at £1.00 each. I love them all and have vowed to wear more brooches. I've built up quite a collection now.


A marcasite pendant and chain £1.00. I also bought a bottle of Tuberose perfume by Zara which smells rather nice, for £1.50...


Wednesday's outfit.


Everything charity shopped. Next top; Next navy patent and suede loafers. Denim skirt; make unknown.


Silver pendant and chain - charity shop in Donegal two euros. Earrings; Sainsburys.

On Tuesday I was at the food bank and on Wednesday I walked 8.25 miles with the group, from the village of Everton via Sutton to Potton and back again to Everton. It was a lovely day; warm and sunny with a little breeze. Perfect walking weather.

On the way back home I stopped in the nearby town of Sandy and checked out the charity shops. I bought a BNWT M&S dress that originally sold for £39.99 - for 49p! I also bought a pinafore dress in a wool type material for 49p; a new rucksack to wear over one shoulder for £2.49 and a cute little box with drawer for £1.99. All these were bought at the Wood Green Animal Shelter shop. In Sue Ryder I bought a John Rocha top in the sale for £1.50.


I washed and ironed the top and wore it on Thursday with a maxi skirt from Phase Eight bought in a Donegal charity shop for two euros.


Shoes local retail outlet


Earrings Sainsburys, bangles and necklace charity shopped.

I had to go to the doctor's on Thursday to have my blood pressure checked. According to the nurse I have the blood pressure of a "young girl". I couldn't think of anything "young" I'd like more!

On Friday I'm doing a bus walk. We'll catch the bus to Cople from Bedford then walk back to Bedford which is about 7 miles. I hope the weather's good!

I hope your week has been to good to you.

Friday, 16 September 2016

The week of missed walks and some charity shopping


Just a few bargains to show you...below one of the 50p tops I bought last week. I've gone from zero orange items in my wardrobe to six - four tops; one pair of trousers and one skirt. I don't know why I've suddenly started to like orange. Old age is a funny thing.


The earrings are, on the right, the brown spotted ones bought last week in Royston and the blue spotted ones I bought on Monday in Save the Children for £1.00.


This is a not very good photo of me wearing the blue ones today



These pyjamas are not the ones mentioned below but another charity shop find in Donegal for 4 euros. I shall keep them for when I go away somewhere for the weekend and stay in an hotel. They have a matching camisole which is why I call them my posh pyjamas.


Can you believe my six year old grandson took the three following photos? Kids today are so technically competent  - or is it just that phone cameras are so easy to use? Or a combination of these two things?

I bought this top in an Ampthill charity shop back in the Spring, I think. It was intended for the holiday in Spain, being very light.  It's such a lovely, soft green. But I forgot to pack it so thought I'd get a wear out of it whilst the weather is still so hot.


Everything is charity shopped. The trousers came from Barnardo's in Ampthill. Can't remember where the sandals came from but they were charity shopped. Earrings and necklace charity shopped.


This week is Bedfordshire's Walking Festival. There is a walk of some description everyday; from ambles, to middle distance walks, classes on map reading and opportunities to try Nordic walking. On Wednesday, I had planned to walk with the Ramblers, but the start time was earlier than usual and would have entailed leaving home during the morning rush hour.

One of the biggest pleasures about being retired, apart from not actually having to go to work, is that there is less need to rush. In fact, the older I get the more I dislike rushing. So, if anything involves a rush, unless it is absolutely necessary; I simply don't do it! This walk would have been one such thing; a rush to get ready on time and leave the house on time - no thanks; I did that for 45 years. 

I went walking by myself instead, did just over 8 miles and had a lovely time. I saw rabbits, pheasants, rooks, blackbirds, skylarks - although I didn't hear them singing. I also didn't see any birds of prey and I usually do on this route. I saw and heard the usual countryside wild birds. That reminds me, I'm getting long tailed tits on my bird feeders now. (Stop sniggering at the back, there!) That makes three types of tit that come to the bird feeders; blue tit, great tit and now long tailed tits.

John Bunyan - author of Pilgrim's Progress
On Thursday I planned to walk with the group again. We were to meet at the statue in town at 10 am. I set off early, called into a charity shop nearby to have a browse, then went along to the statue to find no one there! I hung about puzzled at the lack of turn out -  and no walk leader and then the penny dropped. It was the other statue at the other end of the High Street. I'd been standing by the John Bunyan statue (Pilgrim's Progress) when I should have been at the statue of John Howard! (Prison Reform -The  Howard League of Penal Reform take their name from him). I raced down (or up?) the High Street but I was too late - they'd left.

John Howard - Prison reformer and philanthropist
So once again I set off on my own. As I was near to the river I decided to do a river walk and walked along the river for a few miles. I then decided to walk back via a 'new' village, Great Denham. (Since I've lived in Bedford there have been three new villages constructed to my knowledge). It makes one wonder if there will be any land left that isn't occupied by housing in the future but people have to live somewhere, don't they? I had walked just over seven miles by the time I got home.

I was clearly meant to go this way back because I found a new to me charity shop in the village! A Barnardo's. Luckily,  I had brought my purse with me. I bought a BNWT pair of pyjamas for £3.49; a pair of linen harem pants £1.99; a pair of checked leggings for winter £1.99; and a sweet little shopping bag for 99p.


When I go to town I usually bring a shopping bag and not a handbag - in case I get lucky in the charity shops!


I thought I might wear these harem pants with the soft green top, above, for my daughter's birthday meal on Monday evening. We're going to a Caribbean restaurant in Wellingborough. She is having a weekend away in London with some friends and I'm child sitting. I thought I'd take him blackberrying on Saturday.  The elder of the two grandsons is going to let me know if he wants to come or not. I think he's probably grown out it by now and wants to let me down gently!

I saw lots  of blackberries when out walking and they're looking fat and luscious. I can feel the making of pies/ tarts/crumbles coming on. I won't make jam because nobody likes the pips in blackberry jam.

My final missed walk happened today (Friday) because it began to rain extremely heavily at 9 am this morning and continued to do so for the rest of the day. I love walking - but not in the rain.  It was also a lot cooler today and is forecast to remain so. I guess the summer is finally over. If Sunday is dry I shall try and drag the OH out for a nice long walk and if not I'll go on my own or I might even make one of the walks from the Walking Festival on its final day.

How are you spending your weekend?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

How old are my bags? Second try......








I've slipped back into the usual routine as easy as anything. I've been doing the school run, volunteering, walking AND of course charity shopping...

I finally bought a pair of red skinny jeans - £1.99 in British Red Cross shop and they are mid waisted so not slouching round my hips. Result. Good things come to those who wait.  The shirt came from the 3:16 charity shop which is selling all their summer clothes at 50% off. This shirt was £1.75. I bought the beads for two euros in a Donegal charity shop. 


I think I was checking out a bird flying over even though I might look as if I'm talking to the man upstairs!


I got my hair cut - it had been almost 6 weeks since I last had it cut. I usually have it cut every 4 weeks.

Of course I've been food shopping and that necessitated a trip to Lidl and Sainsbury's where I bought these lovely earrings for £5.00. I usually wait for the 25 or 20% off offers, but I missed out earlier this year on a pair I had my eyes on - they sold out - so I thought I'd better snap these up!


I also bought this maxi dress in the 3:16 shop for £2.50. I wore it to go and see my son on Saturday, Cardigan charity shopped, sandals Clarks, six years old this year!


My son hates having his photo taken; this is an old one of him when Isaiah was about four or or five and Amari was about a year old .





The beads were bought for two euros in Donegal and the earrings were a treat to myself on my 50th birthday when we stayed in Bath for a weekend. I like to buy a souvenir pair of earrings from different places if I can. These are known as my Bath earrings!

Something I have got out of the habit of is taking photos of my outfits for the blog so I got the selfie stick out  today as I forgot to take a photo of Monday's outfit. It is a favourite at the moment as it's mostly green and yesterday I accessorised it with yellow...oh well at least the weather is staying summery so I might get the chance to wear it again.


I'm wearing a French linen navy dress/tunic bought in 3:16 charity shop summer sale for £2.50. It's a little short for me to wear as a dress so I put it over white jeans (charity shopped) and a white camisole. I don't know why the photos have a sort of gauzy effect. I've no technical knowledge or expertise when taking photos I just point and click and hope for the best!

I went on a little expedition on Tuesday to Royston and Baldock in Hertfordshire. I wanted to check out the charity shops. I was very restrained and didn't buy very much.


The earrings are charity shopped; the necklace a present from my brother. The watch is charity shopped and on the arm you can't see properly, as it's holding the selfie stick, I wore lots of thin silver bracelets; some were presents and some charity shopped.


It looks like I've got a quiff!

Royston and Baldock are both small market towns and both were very pleasant. Royston had five charity shops and Baldock only two - that I could find anyway. I bought 3 tops off the 50p rail; one plain black tunic  for the winter from the £1.00 rail; a pair of earrings for a £1.00 and this lovely bag:



It's by Leko of London and was £3.00. I couldn't resist it. It's got beads and embroidery on it and it now brings my collection of evening bags to 2!  I like the wee metal handle and the snap lock which has glittery stones on it. 

Here's my other evening bag:


I've had this bag forever. Mum used to work, until 1972, as a home help for the London Borough of Westminster. Her clients were mostly elderly ladies and they were always giving her things; home baked biscuits, ornaments, costume jewellery, bags etc. Mum was given this bag before she left the service and she gave it to me about 25 years ago. She used it over the years she had it and I've used it on several occasions too.  I just love it.  It doesn't have any label in it but it's very flexible and made of silver mesh. No idea how old it is; 1950s or 1960s I'd guess.

 Any ideas?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

In answer to Gisela's post - 40 make up questions

1. How many times do you wash your face daily?
Once.
2. What skin type do you have?
Dry
3. What is your current facial wash?
Superdrug Vit E  Facial Wash Cream - cleanses and exfoliates.
4. Do you exfoliate?
See above.
5. What brand do you use?
See above
6. What moisturizer do you use?
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Moisturiser. I bought in the duty free and on special offer on the ferry to Ireland in 2014 and fell in love with it. I buy it on the net or sometimes my local Savers shop has it on special offer. This year I bought two for £22.00 on the ferry again.

7. Do you have freckles?
I wish!
8. Do you use eye cream?
No, but I do use a face serum near my eyes - does that count?
9.Do you, or did you previously have, acne prone skin?
No - but the day I got married I came up in a crop of pimples on my forehead that I’ve never seen the like of since! It must have been an omen of things to come….
10. Have you ever needed to use Pro-activ?
Don’t know what it is.
11. What foundation do you
I don’t use foundation and never have,

12. How about concealer?
I have a Rimmel concealer stick but only use it about once or twice a year.
13. Do you know your skin's colour tone?
Not really, but I am very pale usually -  although I also get very flushed cheeks easily and I still have hot flushes at 62 that turn my face beetroot red.
14. What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I love them but can’t be arsed. Last wore them aged about 15….
15. Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?
3 months? when did it become 3 months?? I thought it was 6 months?
I tend to use them until they either
a. dry up
b. run out
In total accord with Gisela here hence I’ve pinched her answers!
16. What brand of mascara do you use?
Anything on special offer except Rimmel mascara which I don’t like. Currently, I’m using a L’Oreal one which I bought at the duty free and I’ve never seen it before. It’s called ‘Miss Manga - Mega Volume’. Prior to that I had some Benefit mascara bought on a special offer in the duty free, but was not impressed with it. I think the best mascara I’ve ever used, but it’s too expensive to buy on a regular basis is, Dior’s  ‘Diorshow’.


17. MAC or Sephora?
Neither
18. What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Currently I’m using eyelash curlers. I’ve one set of eyelashes that are straighter than the other so I curl my left eye eyelashes only!
19. Do you think you look good even when you’re not wearing makeup?
No!
20. Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
No
21. For the face?
No, but I do use an illuminator stick.
22. What is your favourite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
Don’t use eyeshadow very often but green or grey or gold are my preferred colours.
23. Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Pencil, one of the best was an Elizabeth Arden one which came as a free gift with something.
24. How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Have never done so but frequently get miniscule bits of pencil shavings in my eyes from when I’ve just freshly sharpened my eye pencil.
25. What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
I’ve never tried one as I wear eyeshadow so rarely.
26. Do you use mineral makeup?
Have never tried it.
27. What is your favourite lipstick?
I am forever seeking the perfect red. So far, it’s a L’Oreal matte one - Collection Exclusive by J Lo. I’ve heard very good things about Revlon lipsticks and will be buying one soon when they come back with the buy one get one half price offer….
28. How about lip gloss?
No, I use vaseline as a lip gloss.
29. What is your favourite blush to use?
Collection 2000 blush stick. I used to use a Body Shop cream one but they discontinued the colour.
30. Do you buy makeup on eBay?
Yes, I’ve bought mascaras but brand name ones and I’ve also bought 6 red lipsticks in the quest for the perfect one. 2 out of 6 were good but not great. I donated the other 4!
31. Do you like drugstore makeup?
It’s the one I use 99% of the time.
32. Do you go to CCOs (Cosmetic company outlets)?
No.
33. Have you ever considered taking make-up classes?
No. No need when there are so many make up tutorials on You Tube etc.
34. Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I hope not after 47 years of practice!
35. Name a "makeup crime" that you hate?
Bright blue eyeshadow plastered ALL OVER eyelids.

36. Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow, etc) or neutral ones?
I like both.
37. Which celebrity do you think always has great makeup?
Oh Lord, too many to name. I like Cheryl Cole that was, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Taylor in her youth, Audrey Hepburn. Judi Dench.
38. If you had to leave the house having used just ONE make up item, what would you pick?
Lipstick.
39. Are you able to leave the house without any makeup on?
Yes, but it has taken me many years to feel comfortable doing so. Strange since now I’m grey and wrinkled it doesn’t bother me but would have hated to do it in my youth. I expect it’s because older women are mostly ‘invisible’.
40. In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
I’ve no idea. I would have to have tried every single brand and item to answer this question and clearly I haven’t.

Posted by Miss Magpie at 11:11

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Emerald Isle 2016


This is my daughter and I, taken when out walking in Donegal. That's our local lake in the background. My floral top was 50 cents in the local charity shop and I'm wearing my Bedford market earrings. Daughter and two grandsons came out for 6 days. The boys still argued but not as much as in Spain...


I managed to read 10 books whilst I was in Ireland. Eight of them were about Ireland or the Irish people; or set in Ireland; or written by an Irish author. I like a bit of themed reading!

Last year, quite by chance I picked up a book in the local charity shop in Donegal to read whilst I was there. and it was set in the very area where I was staying and featured the local 'big' house and the family of that same 'big' house. That was a lovely coincidence and it was a very good read.


This is my beach collection at the caravan. It's called a caravan but it is actually a static mobile home. 

I'm always looking for sea glass when I go to a beach and this year managed to find a green and a brown piece. I also found the interesting turquoise blue thing at the front of the picture, but haven't a clue what it is. It could be a piece of plastic for all I know, but I liked it. Of course the thing I really want to find while beach combing is a big lump of ambergris...a greyish brown mass from the whale's digestive system; a sort of whale poo but very valuable!


This is at St. John's Point in Donegal -   it was a pretty breezy day...


I bought this yellow top in a charity shop in Sligo when I went to visit some of my (many) cousins. I also bought this in the a different charity shop for 20 euros and it has pride of place in my living room now; it's 'The Flower Seller' by Diego Rivera.



This is the interior of one of the cottages at Glencolmcille in Donegal. It's a folk village with representations of ordinary peoples' cottages in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. There is also a fisherman's cottage, a pub cum shop (they were often combined in the past and I remember them as a child)  and a schoolroom from the 1850s. It was very interesting and informative.


This representation of a 1800s cottage has great meaning for me. Until about 1969/1970 my Granny cooked on an open fire like this. Fuelled by turf (peat) cut from the bog by my Grandad and brought home by ass and cart to be stored in the barn for winter and beyond. 

The whole contraption over the fire is called a crane; it swings in and out of the fireplace recess and the pots and pans and griddle hang from it over the flames. The pot to the left in the hearth was what my granny baked her bread in - it was placed in the fire with hot coals on top of it. The bread was delicious. She also had a two burner kerosene stove but most of the cooking and baking was done over the open fire. When I went back in 1971 she had a range. She was delighted with it but I missed the open fire.

The little stools by the fire are called 'creepies' -  presumably so you could creep closer to the fire...


This is the same kitchen in the 1900s; still with the open fire for cooking.


1850s schoolroom. (The screen was for the tourists benefit)! Every pupil was expected to bring a sod of turf for the fire each day they attended...

The pub/shop.


You'll be waiting a long time for a pint here, mate!


Glencolmcille, Donegal.


That's enough of the cultural stuff!


I didn't take many OOTD photos. This one was taken on the decking and I had just finished washing up  - see the big wet patch on the front of my top? Everything charity shopped except the navy blue and grey loafers bought with a Christmas present Debenhams voucher.


Everything charity shopped except shoes from local (Bedford) retailer and earrings from Bedford market.


I bought the mac for 7 euros in the charity shop in Killybegs. It's from Mango and much needed in Ireland's wet climate!

I had an absolutely lovely time in Ireland. 4 weeks of reading, walking, sightseeing, visiting relatives, having relatives visit me, pottering about and a bit of charity shopping; I couldn't have asked for more except, perhaps, a few more sunny days...


Monday, 5 September 2016

I'm back...older and wiser!



I got back on Sunday night at midnight after 5 weeks away. I had to get up for the school run on Monday morning and to volunteer at Save the Children. I so wanted to stay in bed. I didn't get my unpacking done until Monday afternoon.


I wore this outfit before I went away and these photos are from then. I wore it again today but with a different pair of trousers - white linen ones with the legs rolled up. The top came from the Save the Children shop and was £4.00. The top was just right just right for the very humid day it was today.



On the plane to Malaga with my two younger grandsons; Isaiah aged 11 and Amari aged 6. They fought like cat and dog the entire week we were in Spain....


My lovely daughter, Jessica. This was taken in Comares our nearest town - it was beautiful, with lots of Moorish influences.

This was the first time I'd been to Spain. It was too hot for me. I thought, because we were staying in the mountains, it would be cooler. It wasn't. I melted. I wilted. I'm hopeless in the heat. My brain goes to mush; my eyes hurt and water; I burn...you get the picture. I spend all the time seeking shade and haven't got the energy to do much. Next time we'll go in May or June and probably without the kids!


This was the villa where we stayed. There were 3 apartments and ours was down the steps to the right of the pool. Amari learnt to swim underwater and pick up things from the bottom of the pool. We spent a lot of time in the water...


Daughter driving up the mountain to the villa. It was like a corkscrew with the amount of bends; there was no barrier and the drop was hundreds, if not thousands of feet...I hate heights and had to close my eyes or shield them each time we went up or down the mountain. My daughter had never driven on the right hand side of the road before and she was brilliant - if a bit stressed by it! I can't drive on the right hand side. I get my left and right muddled up in my daily life and wouldn't trust myself with driving.


Our final day in Malaga  was spent partly at the shopping centre by special request of daughter. I bought some perfume - Aqua Allegoria 'Herba Fresca' by Guerlain. At least it was cool in the centre. I wanted to see the Pablo Picasso museum but the kids would have been bored so that will have to wait for another time.


Everything charity shopped except the shoes (and the child!) which were bought online several years ago. I've had to dump the shoes as they got very dirty and discoloured after a trip to the beach, where there was gravel and dust but no sand! The sunglasses; which were originally £79.00 and got for £1.00 in the Black Tom Street Jumble; were left behind by mistake in Malaga airport. I was gutted.


Lovely mural of Malaga harbour - we went there but I forgot to take photos - the heat of course - luckily this was at Malaga airport.

We came back on Friday 5th August and on Monday 8th August I was at Holyhead to catch the 2.30 am crossing to Dublin -  more of which in the next post.

See you soon!