Saturday, 1 April 2017

Donegal is calling me...

Saturday was such a beautiful day. Warm, sunny but there was a chilly breeze at times. Spring is most definitely here with warmer weather forecast for this week.

OH and I had a rummage in Rushden and we also visited Emmaeus in Carlton on Saturday. Emmaeus is a charity for homeless people and is international in its scope. At Emmaeus they do furniture; household goods, electrical items, antiques and vintage items, bikes, garden equipment, clothes, shoes, bags. jewellery, craft materials, toys, books, DVDs, CDs and LPs. I bought a bangle and a ring, a small terrarium for plants, 2 succulent plants and a cafetiere for my daughter who's been after a small one for ages. I spent 6.50 in total.

This is how I started out. I soon discarded the scarf and gloves - too warm!

Everything except the handbag is charity shopped. Trousers from Monsoon; felted wool jacket by Paraphase; bought in the Donkey Sanctuary Charity shop in Ballyboffey in Donegal. Apart from the lovely embroidery on the jacket; it has golden bugle beads up near the neckline. It cost 10 euros, but I love this jacket and need to wear it more often. Boots from Red Cross shop winter 2015; for 1.99.


I was getting a bit of practice in with my selfie stick. I'm off to Donegal on the 4th April for two weeks and OH won't be out for the first 8 days I'm there, so I'll have to take my own OOTD photos!

The floral top is from the Red Cross 1.00 rail and the cardigan was bought in Barnardo's in Golders Green for 1.99.


Both scarves charity shopped; watch, necklace, ring and bangles charity shopped. Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie in Cambridge. See my nice, clean, shiny kitchen? 4.5 hours it took me on Friday; my arms were aching on Saturday.

In Rushden I bought a grey dress by East for 4.00 in the Salvation Army. I may not get any wear out of it now but it will be useful for next autumn and winter. East clothing is very expensive so I had to snap it up. I also bought a small wool picnic/lap blanket for 1.00; this will be taken to the caravan as it can be very chilly in the evenings. I also bought a lovely velvet patterned top in Cancer Research for 3.00. All in all a good day's rummaging. OH did well, too.


I got up early on Sunday and walked 6.8 miles. With Wednesday's 6.7 miles my total for this week was 13.5 miles - 6.5 miles short of my target of 20 miles.

Sunday afternoon was tea at the Swan Hotel in Bedford courtesy of my wonderful daughter. It was delicious and I was so stuffed at the end of it.



This is the African print skirt I bought at the 3:16 charity shop last week for 3.50. The top is by Cotton Traders and the jacket is by Country Casuals; both charity shopped at he Red Cross for 1.99.


Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. Boots; Christmas 2016 present from daughter.

On Monday there was no Red Cross volunteering. The manager had rung me on Friday to say there was a flood in the shop from a leak upstairs and that the shop would be closed until Wednesday. It felt really strange not going into the shop but I had errands to run in town so walked past the shop anyway. There were buckets everywhere catching the drips! There was also what looked like a 1970s maxi dress on the model in the window! I decided to go back on Wednesday and see if it was my size.

 I had plans to go for a walk in the afternoon but the weather was so horrible I didn't bother. Cold and windy and grey...


On Tuesday I was at the Food Bank and in the afternoon I walked 8.25 miles. It was a good day; sunny and warm but with a cold breeze and eventually the clouds got darker and it rained a little.


Everything charity shopped except the loafers bought on sale at Tesco's outlet shop about 3 years ago.


Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie. All other jewellery charity shopped.

On Wednesday afternoon I went back to the Red Cross; wouldn't you flipping know it they had sold the dress from the window! I bought a brown patterned tunic and a Planet summer jacket in bright orange as a consolation prize; both 1.99 each. In the morning I walked with the group from Great Denham; we walked 7 miles and it was a a very pleasant walk. As we finished back in Great Denham I had a quick browse in Barnardo's and bought a white linen shift dress and a pair of navy blue leather loafers - both 99p each.

It was such a gorgeous day on Thursday! It registered 21.5 degrees centigrade on my car barometer.  It felt like a summer's day so I dug a summer dress out of the chest where I store my summer clothes. I bought this dress which is by Studio from a 1.00/99p sale rail somewhere at the end of last summer when it was too late wear it, so this is its first outing.

The jacket was one of the first things I bought at the Guildhouse when I started there; it's linen and made by an Italian company. I paid 3.50 for it. I wore tights and a long slip underneath the dress and the boots were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter.


Headscarf, bangles, necklace and watch all charity shopped. Earrings are from Jamaica and are made of copper in the shape of steel pans...present from OH.

On Friday I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers from Kempston via Wootton and Bromham. We walked 8.75 miles culminating with tea and cake at Bromham Mill. The best way to finish any walk I think!  The weather was fine. By the time I got home I had to go straight to collect the grandchildren from school so stayed in my walking gear. My walking total this week was 24 miles over 3 walks.

On Saturday I went to see my son and wore this:


Everything is charity shopped except the loafers which were bought from the Tesco outlet sale about three years ago.



Necklace was a present from my youngest Grandson's dad some years ago. All other jewellery charity shopped.

I shall spend Sunday packing for Ireland; I've had the car checked, got my euros and the ferry's been booked for ages. I shall be taking a break from blogging and when I get back my lovely cousin, Linda is coming to stay with me. It will be her first visit to England and guess what she wants to do? She wants to come charity shopping! That can be arranged with no difficulty...

I hope you all have a lovely Easter and if you don't celebrate Easter that you at least get a nice break. Take care everyone and see you on the other side!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Just another week

It t was forecast to rain on Saturday so I got up early and walked 7 miles. It was quite warm, cloudy but with lots of patches of blue sky; although there was quite a strong breeze. It was a lovely walk; I saw a Kestrel again and this time I saw some yellow hammers/corn buntings as well. Every time I walked last week I saw the Kestrel. I think it's the same one because twice it flew out of the same copse. I'm so used to seeing Kestrels hovering over the roadside it's a bit of shock to see them in trees and flying over fields!


Everything charity shopped. The jeans are the ones from the 3:16 charity shop last week; 1.50 (half price sale),  top from Tu at Sainsbury's;  the necklace is from Mercy in Action outlet shop, 1.00. The boots are from Lidl last winter and the earrings are about 20 years old. If you think I'm looking a little different in this photo it's because I'm wearing a nude lipstick instead of my usual red lippy! I was saving that for Saturday evening as I was going out for a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton.

Cushion bought in the Oxfam shop about 18 months ago.
I had errands to run in town on Saturday and I struck it lucky. I walked past the 'Reuse Shop' and they had a rather nice small chair in the window. It was perfect for my study so I bought it. The chair which used to be in the study was rather too large and it went on Freegle.  Last week I missed out on one on e bay because I forgot to check on it -  and it sold for £20 including delivery. My chair was £30 and it had just been reupholstered. Reuse is a charity shop and they have someone at this shop who reupholsters chairs and sofas and someone else who up cycles furniture. I have a floral covered footstool that I can put my feet up on (charity shopped, of course). I now have no excuse not to start my next crochet blanket!

All jewellery charity shopped.
This is what I wore on Saturday evening to my friend Cecilia's 60th birthday meal.  She and my best friend Ann went to school together in Luton and I got to know C when we used to go raving together in the early to mid 1990s. We had some brilliant times!

We had a lovely time on Saturday night although there was no music and no dancing. I saw a couple of people I hadn't seen for years, so it was great to catch up. It was such a shock for my friend as she was only expecting her immediate family...


These photos were taken when I returned from the birthday meal past midnight. I'm wearing my 99p Jaeger jacket; the skirt is from M&S but is very steam punkish (I thought) with the bustle at the back, it came from a charity shop in Kettering for 2.99. The black cross over top is one of the most  frequently worn and useful items in my wardrobe and is also M&S; charity shopped years ago.


This is Monday's outfit.  The top is for the charity shop bag as it doesn't fit properly around the bust. It says large but it's clearly not large enough! It's a shame because it's an Ossie Clark top; charity shopped but can't remember where. Everything is charity shopped except the leggings bought in a Store 21 sale.


Necklace gift from next door neighbour; earrings Sainsbury's.

The Red Cross shop was so full of bags of clothes waiting to be steamed and hung up that we didn't do much sorting on Monday - there was just no room! I did have a good sort of the jewellery and put new stuff out. I bought my daughter a lovely summer top off the pound rail - she liked it; thank goodness. I bought a green dress for myself for 1.99, and a a red  checked headscarf which I wore with Tuesday's outfit (below).

I was at the Guild House on Tuesday and was quite busy sorting stuff and pricing it and as usual I did a bit of a ironing. It's funny I hate ironing at home but I don't mind it at the Guild House; it's probably the fancy steam iron they have.

Asleep on my feet, here!
Everything is charity shopped except my daughter donated boots.


The waistcoat is the one I bought at the newest charity shop in town last Wednesday for 1.50; it was lovely and warm. The top is from Barnardo's 1.00 rail; trousers M&S, can't remember which charity shop; scarf; Red Cross on Monday.


All jewellery charity shopped except red ring; Sainsbury's and watch which was a Christmas present from my daughter about 6 years ago. I've had these earrings for about 20 years.

I went to the 3:16 charity shop to drop off some books and bought a maxi skirt with an African print for 3.50. It will be lovely for the summer but I may wear it this Sunday. My daughter is taking me out somewhere - to eat presumably. She sent me a message - ' Mum, on Sunday don't have any lunch and don't let Wes make you any dinner either; can you guess what we're doing? Lol'. It's Mother's Day on Sunday, of course. That's three weekends in a row I will have gone out somewhere - oh, the excitement!


On Wednesday morning I walked  6.6 miles with the group and I wished I hadn't! It was wet, cold and windy. I got soaked and was so cold that when I got in I put my PJs and dressing gown on. The afternoon was windy but sunny and dry -  wish it had been in the morning - it's called 'Sod's Law...'

The wind continued on Thursday but at least it was dry. I had lots of errands to run; I had my eyebrows done; I did the food shopping in Lidl and Sainsbury's; I also went to Aldi, two banks, the card shop, a gift shop and the dry cleaners. It was my best friend, Ann's, 60th birthday so I took her card and gift round to her. She was off to London to go out for a meal and see a show with her two daughters. I was glad to get home and put my feet up for a bit!


Everything charity shopped. The cords are by Primarni; the waistcoat is by Bench; bought it at Age UK in Bedford - which is no more. The top is by M&S. Everything is grey today - I just fancied some grey.


The earrings are from Sainsburys; the necklace is also a Primarni one but I bought it in a charity shop quite a few years ago. Bangles, watch and red ring charity shopped.


I bet you won't believe what I did on Friday. Walking - no. Charity shopping - no. Visited friends - no. I started at 9.30 am and finished at 3 pm (when I leave to pick the grandchildren up from school); cleaning my kitchen was what I did. It needed doing; I cleaned the cooker and the cooker hood, all the surfaces, tiles, appliances and the floor. It's time I begrudge but it has to be done. Oh well, that was Friday!


This is the green dress I bought at the Red Cross on Monday for 1.99. The kimono is also from there. Daughter donated boots; the green tights are also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's.

Oh and I are going out for a rummage tomorrow - haven't decided where yet but I'll let you know how we got on...

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Birthday celebrations and a swap


Our birthday celebration trip to London was brilliant. It was a really pleasant day; warm with the occasional bit of sun.


Here is the wonderful bloggers scarf - birthday present from my daughter, and the leather jacket was a Christmas 2015 present from her; boots, Christmas present 2016 from OH; hat, Christmas present 2014 from eldest grandson;  black leggings M & S retail; dress from New Look, charity shopped in Cancer Research for 3.75 last week.


Silver necklace bought in Age UK, Sandy two Saturdays back.


Earrings and bangles charity shopped. Watch; Christmas 2102 present from daughter.


We started with a cup of tea in West Hampstead and a rummage, of course! It got warmer as the day went on and I discarded the hat and then the scarf...I had some birthday money from my brothers to spend but I was quite restrained. I bought a bottle of Orla Kiely perfume for £15.00 (retails between 35.00 - 47.00 on line; a bargain in my eyes) and a pair of sparkly tights for 2.75 in the West Hampstead charity shops. We then hopped on a bus and went to Golders Green. They had quite a few charity shops and I bought a yellow cardigan for 1.99 in Barnardo's. We didn't have time to check them all out as a couple were closed for the Sabbath, but we were also running out of time. We had to get back to Chelsea and meet up with brothers and nephews.


Should have taken more pictures but here's the West Hampstead fire station. (LCC stands for London County Council).

 I have a soft spot for West Hampstead, although I grew up in Paddington, as it's where my favourite and regular disco was ('The Purple Pussycat' - I kid you not!) and it was a favourite destination for me and my mum on our rummaging excursions until she moved to Kettering in 1999.

After leaving Golders Green we headed off for Sloane Square where I was able to go to the eldest grandson's restaurant - he works there - and say a brief hello. He was rushed off his feet the poor lad.


Two brothers, one daughter, two nephews; OH and me in Battersea waiting for our meal.


The return journey. Missing  - one nephew and one daughter who had things to do, places to go, people to see...

It was a lovely day and although we all had sore feet (the oldies) we're going to do it again before too long.

Sunday was housework and cooking dinner for the family. On Monday I was volunteering as usual in the Red Cross shop. Busy, busy, busy. I bought a bracelet and a short kimono top (see Tuesday's OOTD). I still had birthday money to spend so no guilt feelings about buying stuff...


Everything charity shopped except boots which I'm sure you recognise by now. The tunic was bought in a Donegal charity shop. All jewellery charity shopped. It was another nice day like Saturday; with a slightly chilly wind but at least it didn't rain.


I wasn't needed at the Food Bank on Tuesday. When there are too many volunteers in we can't get much done as we are in each other's way and have to queue at the weighing scales for ages. Everything is weighed in and out at the Food Bank. If you donated a single tin of beans it would be weighed in and recorded!

Top; Red Cross, 1.99, red top; 50p rail in a charity shop in Royston; jeans, charity shopped and red boots bought on line.

So, I had a free day to do exactly what I wanted - sort of. I had a hairdresser's appointment to keep, I was cooking dinner and I was picking up middle grandson from a football match, but in between I was free. I went to Barnardo's at Great Denham for a rummage (birthday money burning a hole in my pocket) and they still had their 99p rail. I bought a Jaeger checked jacket for 99p. I washed it and it came up fine. I might wear it on Saturday to a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton - yes, I'm off gallivanting again at the weekend!


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought with 50th birthday money in Bath - my 'Bath earrings.' I've just realised that was 13 years ago but it feels like it was yesterday...

I also paid a visit to the 3:16 charity shop in town as I haven't been there for a bit. I bought a pair of jeans; a necklace and a ring. I had planned to start my next crochet blanket but got engrossed reading a play by Kate Atkinson called 'Abandonment'. Before I knew it it was time to pick the grandson up...

On both Wednesday and Thursday I went walking by myself. I walked 7 miles on Wednesday and 6 miles on Thursday. Wednesday was the most amazing day; 16 degrees, sunny and a beautiful blue sky.


This was at the beginning of the walk. I'm at the top of a field and the housing estate in the distance is where my daughter lives. Look at the sky!


I met Mr and Mrs. Mallard out for a stroll...

In fact, I met lots of people and as one elderly lady, astride her mobility scooter, said; "the sun brings everyone out".

 Over the two days of walking I saw and heard quite a lot of birds. It's one of the pleasures of walking for me - what birds and plants can I spot? I saw:

  • A Kestrel
  • A Red Kite
  • A Buzzard
  • Magpies
  • Rooks
  • Crows
  • Jackdaws
  • Wood Pigeons
  • Dunnocks
  • Sparrows
  • Great Tits
  • Blue Tits
  • Coal Tits
  • Pied Wagtails
  • Meadow Pipits
  • Blackbirds
  • Starlings
  • Goldfinch
  • Mallard
  • Moorhen
I also heard but didn't see:
  • Skylarks
  • A Woodpecker



Near the end of the walk. I was going to the left and across some fields but the path to the right leads down to my youngest grandson's school.

I babysat on Wednesday evening for my daughter who was playing in a netball match and just remembered to take a selfie:

Everything is charity shopped including the jewellery. The striped top is one of the 99p sale rail bargains from Barnardo's last week. It didn't fit as I expected; it was a bit baggy at the bottom but it will look alright over trousers or jeans. I wore it over a denim skirt.

I also paid a visit to Barnardo's and the RSPCA in Ampthill  on Wednesday afternoon as I hadn't been for a while. They still had their 99p rail, too - I wonder if it will be a permanent feature? I bought a brown cardigan - I don't have a short brown one, and a green tunic; in the RSPCA I bought a tunic off their 1.00 rail. I also bought four books for 1.00, two of which were books by Iain Sinclair that I haven't read, so I was well chuffed. I've spent all my birthday money so no more charity shopping until I get to Ireland!


The weather on Thursday was such a contrast to Wednesday. It was cold, grey and there was a sharp wind. I took this photo of Ravensden Church on my walk as it is so small but beautifully proportioned.


Everything charity shopped except boots; Christmas 2013 present from daughter, and leggings bought in a sale ages ago - can't remember where. The dress is from Next; I bought it in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p in the summer but it will be going in the charity shop bag. I don't like it. The waistcoat looks better over trousers or over a longer dress or skirt - see below.


I last wore this waistcoat in November 2015!



I had a clothing dilemma on Friday; I wanted to wear black and white again - why? I really don't know. Some days I think I want to wear purple today or black and white...I usually plan my outfit the night before and hang it up ready for the morning. I started out with leggings; realised the top was too short, so added the skirt instead. I had to wear a cardigan as it was a chilly day. I think the top is too long for the skirt so may have to try the top with trousers and if it's still not right back in the charity bag it goes. I shan't be wearing this outfit again at any rate!


Everything is charity shopped even the boots. The tunic is the one I bought in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p on Wednesday.

This week I've put in the charity shop bag: 3 tops, a pair of jeans; a skirt and a dress. At the weekend I've decided to go through my scarves to try and reduce them.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Finally, the post title says " and a swap". As you will already know I am a great fan of Persephone books see here and ask for them for birthday and Christmas presents. A few weeks back, Rosemary of  'Rosie's Ramblings' here was giving away some Persephone books and sent me 4. Unfortunately, I already had 3 of the 4, and although I've managed to pass on one of the duplicates I still have 2 left. Does anyone have some Persephone books they would like to get rid of or swap with me? The 2 duplicates (both highly recommended) are:

'Few Eggs and No Oranges' - Vere Hodgson
'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' - Winifred Watson.

I hope you all have a great weekend!