Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Good bye....for now

All jewellery charity shopped.
Our heatwave finally departed last Thursday. On Wednesday it was 31 degrees and by Thursday it was much cooler at around 20 -21 degrees, cloudier and with a slight breeze. Thank God, I said.

This was last Tuesday's outfit. I just wore the jacket to and from my volunteering and stayed sleeveless the rest of the time - bingo wings and all!


Everything charity shopped except the watch (present) and sandals which I bought in the Clark's sale about six or even seven summers ago. Note I'm not wearing any bangles in these photos but see below...


The cotton trousers are by F&F, the jacket is by M&S and charity shopped in Kettering just before Christmas 2016. I've had this sleeveless navy top for donkey's years...

On Monday and Tuesday I volunteered as usual at the Red Cross and the Food Bank. When I was at the Red Cross on Tuesday afternoon I finally began my training on the till. Whilst the manager was training me, my colleague; who had been previously been on the till went out to the sorting area and took over from me. I'd been sorting the jewellery. 

When I got home from the shop I realised I wasn't wearing my bangles. The last time I'd seen them they were on the sorting table at the shop; I always take them off as they get in the way when I'm writing the price labels. Yes, you've guessed it - my colleague had priced them up and put them out on display! Luckily, they weren't sold and I picked them up the next day.

I had my hair cut and eyebrows done on Wednesday and ran a few errands in town which included a visit to the 3:16 shop. I bought a tunic and a couple of winter items for 1.00 each. When I finished I came home and stayed in the coolest room in the house reading.  I didn't do the Weds evening Summer Solstice walk as it was still too hot at 8.30 pm.

 I've relegated these trousers to the charity shop bag. They always wrinkle around my calves
I don't know why...




I managed to get out for a walk on Thursday and walked almost 6 miles in a much cooler temperature. 

This was Thursday's outfit - everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from local retailer PJ shoes. Trousers; H & M; t shirt; 1.00 rail somewhere; green kimono jacket from a 50 p bin in a charity shop. What a bugger it was to iron - I can see why someone donated it! I've donated it too...



All jewellery charity shopped.


I passed this colourful front garden on my walk and had to take a picture of it.

On Friday the weather was cool again so I went for another walk after the school run. I started out from Great Denham; having had a look in Barnardo's first, then walked to Kempston Mill: along the river Great Ouse to the Queen's Park area of Bedford. From there I walked back to Great Denham along the the other side of the river; 6.42 miles in total. Queens Park has a beautiful Hindu temple:



And on the return journey I saw these magnificent, huge willow trees:




Everything charity shopped. The yellow tunic is from the 3:16 shop on Wednesday and I bought the beads in Barnardo's. Jeans from Red Cross charity shop.


I can't remember where I got the white lace top but I bought earlier this year somewhere. Sandals also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped.


On Saturday OH wanted to go for a rummage. We had thought of going to London where we could fit in a visit to his mum but we ended up going to Luton and Dunstable instead!

Everything I'm wearing above is charity shopped except the sandals - my comfortable Clarks. The kimono is from Primarni; the top is a M&S one and white jeans are from Matalan.


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


My jacket was much admired by total strangers. They were very surprised when I told them where it came from. When I was last in Devon visiting Hilary I found another similar one - also by Primarni;  it had a beautiful print on it and Hilary bought it.

Of course you want to know if I bought anything. I did. I bought some interesting mustard colour cotton trousers in the Red Cross for 1.99; a blue kimono jacket from the 1.00 rail in Keech Hospice and some padded hangers; a pair of earrings and a yellow sleeveless top for 2.00 in Age Concern. (The earrings seem to have disappeared. I remember taking them out of the bag at home but haven't found them since - they'll turn up somewhere). There were only six charity shops in Luton town centre which I found surprising. Bedford is a smaller town and has twelve. Dunstable had about five charity shops and I din't buy anything in them. I don't think I will be rushing back to Luton or Dunstable for some rummaging any time soon...


On Monday I stayed at the Red Cross until it was time to pick the grandchildren up from school. Two of the volunteers were off to celebrate Eid and the manager had a day off leaving just myself and the assistant manager. There were so many donations to sort and I served at the till, too.

This is what I wore. Everything is charity shopped except my underwear - and you're not seeing that! Jacket; Next, 1.00 Red Cross, zebra print trousers from Barnardo's last week: 2.49. Next top; charity shopped last summer.


Sandals; charity shopped.


All jewellery; charity shopped.

This is going to be my last post for a while. On Saturday I'm going to drive to Holyhead and catch the ferry to Ireland on Sunday morning. I should reach the van about 4 pm having stopped off at Lidl to do some shopping. As I've said before the internet connection at the site is both weak and intermittent so I doubt that I'll be able to post more than once every couple of weeks and then only when I'm somewhere with free wifi.

I'm so looking forward to the next couple of months where I will just be chilling out; reading, crocheting, walking; visiting family, sight seeing and a bit of charity shopping of course! I'm looking forward to having a few visitors to stay. I shall miss my children and grandchildren and OH but I will see them in Ireland. Whatever transpires I'll be back in September so I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Phewww what a scorcher it's been!


Yes, a whole week of a sunshine and high temperatures...


As well as the heat something else happened. My poor little donated laptop died on Tuesday. I had to go out first thing on Wednesday and replace it. Just what I didn't want to have to do as I'm going on holiday in two weeks time..


Anyway I have a new one now and I'm very lucky to be able to get another one.

Everything above is charity shopped. Trousers and white top both from assorted 1.00 rails; trousers are by George and the top is by F & F at Tesco. The sandals were charity shopped in Donegal last summer for 2 euros.


All jewellery charity shopped.


On Thursday Ann and I went out for the day. We went to Uxbridge as I had something to do in a little town near there called West Drayton. We had lunch out and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

 I'm wearing white trousers from F&F; a no label green tunic and my lace top/waistcoat/vest - all charity shopped. I think the green top came from the 1.00 or 99p rail in Barnardo's in Ampthill; the other two items  came from the 1.00 rail in the Red Cross and the 3:16 charity shop. Red Mary Jane's from local shoe store; PJ Shoes.


Scarf charity shopped (1.00) from Stevenage charity shop.


Earrings; Christmas present from Ann years ago - I had a matching bracelet but it broke...necklace from local shop Simi and Lola. Only the bangles are charity shopped.

 Of course we looked in some chazzas and yes, I did buy a couple of things. I spent 3.50. I bought a brightly coloured and patterned pleated skirt for 1.50 in the Harlington Hospice shop in West Drayton and a new spotted cup (I had two and one broke) which cost 1.00. I also bought a pink Principles cardigan for 1.00 in the Thames Hospice shop in Uxbridge. The piece de resistance though was the 'Everything 5.00' shop where I bought this oversized striped linen tunic and wore it on Friday.


Being linen it creases like anything but I find it so cool in the sweltering temperatures we've been having lately. I'm not good in the heat; I wilt and my energy seeps away. Mind you, that could be old age!


Same trousers as yesterday and charity shopped Mary Jane's.


All jewellery charity shopped. The necklace has gone a little off centre...

I did the school run on Friday, did the food shopping, fitted in a 4 mile walk and went for my induction at the library. I'm taking on another volunteering activity at our local library. I start the week I come back from Ireland and will be doing a few hours on a Tuesday afternoon. Apparently, our main library, which is my local one, is becoming digitised from September. It will be staffed from 11 am to 4 pm and will be self service only outside of these hours. I'm really looking forward to starting but wonder how many people will have lost their jobs through the new changes. We are lucky to retain our library; there have been several attempts to close it but public protest has intervened.

You may be thinking I've been very muted in colour choices this week but never fear; I went for colour in a big way on Saturday when I went to see my son -  in temperatures of 28 degrees I might add!


Skirt; 1.50 West Drayton charity shop; M & S jacket from the Guild House in Bedford and the white top by Monsoon from a 1.00 rail somewhere...


Black sandals charity shopped two years ago but can't remember where or how much. I also got round to painting my toe nails at last!


All jewellery charity shopped.

On Sunday my youngest grandson was seven. We went to Milton Keynes to one of those 'eat all you can' places to celebrate. It was unbearably hot all day and I did very little. I am afraid I do not like high temperatures; about 23 or 24 degrees is what I can cope with. The flowers in the garden seem to like it though!


As I type this OH is in the garden watering the plants and talking to them...


Everything charity shopped except shoes and watch.


I've had this cardigan for years. The skirt is from the Red Cross shop last week; 1.99 and the white top is Land's End from a 1.00 rail somewhere.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Have you been enjoying our heatwave? Or is it cooler where you are?

I hope you have a fab week wherever you are!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Normal system resumes...


I'm always very pleased to be able to earn a little extra money but I'm also so grateful to return to my lovely 'retired' life.  Because of being a poll clerk at the general election I had to do the food shopping on Friday instead of last Thursday. There were several errands to run in town and of course there was the school run. I still found time to visit the 3:16 charity shop though, and picked up this little lacy cardigan in the 1.00 basket. The last time I had a rummage in the 1.00 box here I found a Ted Baker skirt and top for my daughter!


Everything is charity shopped except the shoes - local retail outlet.  The patterned tunic is from Debenhams and is a stalwart of my summer wardrobe since I bought it about four years ago.
Photos courtesy of youngest grandson.
I  recently bought the blue necklace in the Red Cross shop and the white jeans. I've had the earrings for many years; the silver and turquoise cuff was bought for 2.50 in the RSPCA shop in Bedford.

In the 3:16 shop I also bought 3 colourful (pink, blue and yellow) painted bangles for 50p each and a nice Marcasite brooch for 1.00. I wore it on this jacket when I was running my errands but it was too warm on Friday really for a jacket.



Saturday was a lovely day with a clear blue sky, very warm and a good breeze. I had a leisurely stroll around town to do more errands and spent the afternoon in the garden reading and sewing the ends of the blanket in.


All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing two of the bangles I bought on Friday.


Everything charity shopped. The tunic is by H&M and was a 1.00 rail bargain somewhere; the white lace top the same and I can't remember where I bought the harem pants from but it was a charity shop. I have a similar pair I bought from Bedford market years ago for £5.00 but with a different pattern and set of colours.


The  gold sequinned shoes were brand new and picked up at Barnardo's in Great Denham for 99p!

I spent the rest of the afternoon at my best friend Ann's house. We hadn't seen each other since the 60th birthday party in March and it was good to catch up. We're going to have a day out together next Thursday. Ann is a carer for her husband who had a stroke 18 months ago and it will be a good break for her.

I had just washed my hair and it wasn't quite dry. When it is dry I use Argan oil on it which gives it a shine...

On Sunday I went out early for a walk and walked 7 miles. I came back and did the usual Sunday housework and cooked Sunday dinner.

Necklace present from OH; earrings, Bedford market and all other jewellery charity shopped.


Everything is charity shopped. The top was from a 1.00 rail at the Red Cross; the grey embroidered skirt from Barnardo's in Ampthill - it's by The White Stuff and was 2.99; the gold slip on shoes were 99p at Barnardo's in Great Denham.


On Monday I volunteered at the Red Cross. I rescued a Monsoon pleated skirt from the rag bag...

On Tuesday I was at the Guild House in the morning and did an extra shift in the afternoon at the Red Cross. I'm going to be in Ireland for two months so felt I should offer to do extra to make up for my long absence...


I was on my feet from ten in the morning until nearly five so I was in need of a good sit down when I got home! I wore my floral trousers bought from Age UK in Stevenage; blue t shirt charity shopped somewhere a few years ago; cardigan from La Redoute sale about six years ago. It was the very first thing I ever bought at La Redoute.
I must have been looking at a bird...

Pink Mary Jane's charity shopped.

Friday, 9 June 2017

A trip to London and down memory lane...

Last Wednesday, I walked with the Ramblers after a break of two weeks;  I was invigilating on the two previous Wednesdays. There are some evening walks coming up which I am looking forward to. I love evening walking. There's a special evening walk on the 21st June which will be the longest day of the year and it's starting at 8.30 pm - in the pub!


I changed into this outfit after walking 7.5 miles. I bought the scarf with pearls in a charity for 1.00; the top and trousers are also charity shopped. The scarf is to compensate for a low neckline; it was too warm to put a camisole under this top. All jewellery charity shopped.


The trousers from M&S have gone to the charity shop bag. They're too long and too big and do nothing for me even though they are cool and comfortable in the hotter weather. My new pink floral trousers  bought on a recent rummage in Stevenage and Hitchin are their replacement; one in and one out wherever possible...


These are my new (retail) shoes. They have a t strap which you can't see in this photo.

I walked again on Thursday - another 7 miles. It was a very warm day; 25 degrees by the time I finished.  I was trying to recce a new walk for the Ramblers Winter Programme. I tried a footpath I hadn't tried before but it took me nowhere. Not because it didn't lead anywhere but because the footpath was so overgrown I couldn't see where it was meant to take me. I walked around the perimeter of a huge field; climbed over a gate in a farmyard (naughty Veronica!) and found myself a few feet away from where I started!


Everything is charity shopped. The linen top is a French label but I can't remember where I found it; likewise the three quarter leggings.


Mary Jane's bought in a charity shop in Ely in May 2016.


Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of  the three for a 1.00 I bought on last Saturday's rummage in Hitchin.


On Friday, I took my middle grandson to London for a day out. He wanted to go to the Houses of Parliament so we had a guided tour. This was taken on the tube to Westminster.


The  House of Commons terrace where you can take tea...


I look very rotund in this photo taken outside Westminster Abbey!

Tunic; charity shopped; trousers; Lidl last summer; Mary Jane's charity shopped; all jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought online. I bough the African print bag at a car boot sale a couple of weeks back.

We had a lovely day; we went to Canary Wharf (his choice); the Monument and then I took him on a tour of the area where I grew up and went to school i.e. Maida Vale/Paddington.


This is the first house I ever lived in; 144 Elgin Avenue, London W.9.  I was born in 1954. Mum and Dad rented one room in this rather posh house. I checked today's house prices on this street; a one bedroom flat for 785.000; three bedroom flat 999,900; a four bedroom flat over a million. These are flats not houses! It is absolutely incredible and to my mind, obscene.

When my brother Mark was due, Mum, Dad and I moved here:



I spent the next 13 years of my life in this 3 roomed basement flat with my parents and two brothers. We had no bathroom, an outside toilet; no central heating or hot water. I shared a room with my brothers until I was almost 15 years old; my parents slept on a sofa that converted to a bed all the years we lived here. Relatives from Ireland came and stayed - sometimes for months at a time until they got established and moved out.

Again, I checked the prices of properties in this street; a three bedroom maisonette; 1,395.000. A four bedroom house 1,800,000. My parents privately rented throughout the 1950s and 1960s; in the early 1960s Mum and Dad got the opportunity to buy the entire house above for a little over 700.00! My Dad didn't want a mortgage - he was a strictly cash up front person - so they declined the landlord's offer...

In 1969 having been on the housing list since I was born; Mum and Dad moved to a council maisonette in this house in Portnall Road, W9.


The top left hand window was my bedroom - the box room! We had a bathroom and indoor toilet; a separate living and dining room; Mum and Dad had their own bedroom and my brothers shared a bedroom. It was heaven to us.

I checked the prices on this street, too. A one bedroom flat; 500,000. Two bedroom maisonette; 699.000. Not as pricey as the other two streets but a whole house must sell for over 1,000,000. Astonishing - and still obscene. How on earth are ordinary working people ever going to afford to buy anywhere to live in London? The rents are also ridiculous; eldest grandson spends 70% of his earnings on rent.


This was my old school - Paddington and Maida Vale High School for Girls (PMVHS). It was situated in Elgin Ave near to the first house I ever lived in and it took me less than 10 minutes to walk to school.

I asked my grandson what he thought of where I grew up and his reply was - 'all the house you lived in are the same'. This was very true; all Victorian terraced houses. There was a huge house building boom in the Victorian era and many of us continue to live in and love these old houses.


On Saturday I went to see my son. Everything charity shopped except the shoes. Dress by Mantaray; jacket by M & S bought in Kettering for 4.00.


All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


Necklace bought in Derry for 2.50.


Woke up on Sunday to more terrible news.


Top; Store 21 sale; trousers; Primark, charity shopped 99p rail at Barnardo's, Great Denham. Orange shoes also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought at Oxfam in Newport Pagnell last summer for 2.50.

On Monday, I volunteered at the Red Cross shop. I do so enjoy working there. I have a laugh with colleagues; we sort a mountain of stuff and sometimes I find wonderful things. My special area of responsibility is the jewellery. I found a rather 'good' piece on Monday in some stock from another Red Cross shop - a gold bracelet with purple stones. I showed it to my colleague, as I could see it looked special. He has a jeweller's eye glass and it was marked 18 carat gold. He took it to a a local jeweller who buys gold and silver; who then confirmed it was gold -  and the purple stones were real amethysts. He gave us (Red Cross)  95.00 for it!


This was Monday's outfit. The green harem pants are from Next and I bought them on my first visit to the new Barnardo's in Great Denham last year. When I got them home the elastic in the waist was gone, so I never wore them at all last year. This year I had the idea of wearing a large elasticated belt I have around the waist of the trousers to hold them up - unfortunately you can see the belt outline  under my yellow patterned M & S charity shopped top! The jacket came from the Guild House and the Mary Jane's were charity shopped in Ely last year.


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were donated by my daughter.

On Tuesday I went to volunteer at the Food Bank and in the evening I had Poll Clerk Training for the election on Thursday.


Jewellery and tunic charity shopped. The tunic is from Red Cross 1.99. The earrings were bought in a shop in Bath on my 50th birthday with birthday money I was given by my family.


Navy trousers, Primarni; cardigan, Studio catalogue about four years ago and shoes local retail.


I invigilated for the Open University on Wednesday all day in Luton and on Thursday I poll clerked. My day started at the polling station at 6.15 am and I finished at 10.50 pm. There was a steady stream of people coming in to vote all day and it went surprisingly quickly, but I was really tired when I got home. Luckily the polling station is only across the road from my house!

The Chrome Book is holding up although there are more distractions on the screen in the form of coloured lines but hopefully it will last until I can afford to buy a new one.

I plan to chill out all weekend to compensate for my extremely busy week. I hope you all have a great weekend; the forecast is looking good...