Friday, 30 December 2016

Looking Forward to 2017

I would like to wish all my blogging friends a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

I hope to be able to continue to post on my charity shop finds in 2017. Everyone knows that I am a charity shop addict and cannot resist touring the local shops each lunchtime! For my readers in the USA charity shops are rather like your thrift shops. People donate their unwanted items and the shops sell them with the proceeds going to support the charity.

I have had the opportunity to go through my wardrobe during the break from work and will donate a bag of my clothes and another bag of Hannah and Henry's clothes which they have outgrown. My husband never likes to throw anything away and wears clothes until they are well beyond the end of their life and therefore not suitable for resale! Are other men like that? 

We all return to work/school on Tuesday. We have enjoyed the break and, as the weather has been really bright and sunny, we have managed a number of good healthy walks in the countryside. My husband has also booked a family break to Scotland at Easter. We love Scotland with its wonderful scenery and as Easter is much later this year (mid April) the weather should be warmer and days a little longer.

My charity shop find in this post was actually purchased in November. I have a number of tunic tops and liked the colour of this one. It cost about £3.00 - £3.50. I would have preferred it to be a little longer to cover my rear when I wear trousers in public to increase modesty but I am gradually becoming less self conscious of that issue. It is now over three years since I started to wear trousers which does not seem possible!

I added the belt to add interest and as without it I felt that the tunic made me look rather large!

What do you think?

Saturday, 17 December 2016


It was my office Christmas Party last night and we had a worst Christmas Jumper Competition. I wore this jumper which I bought in Peacocks. It has a robin skiing and wearing a red woollen hat.
I didn't win but it was great fun and my husband and I really enjoyed the evening. 

I don't have a charity shop find this week as I have been really busy with Christmas preparations and not had too much spare time to tour the shops. Don't worry normal service will be resumed in the new year.

We went as a family to Henry's Nativity Play on Tuesday. Now that Henry is a little older he is not so keen on a major part and was happy to be a shepherd in the background. On Thursday it was Hannah's Carol Service and we joined a packed school hall and sang about 12 traditional carols - it was wonderful!

On Sunday we are going to another Carol Service - this time in our local Church where we will have the Christmas Story told from the Bible with our favourite carols.

I firmly believe that we should celebrate the true meaning of Christmas rather than the commercialism we experience today. We will, of course, exchange presents - but nothing too expensive. We will attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and enjoy the Church Bells announcing the coming of our Lord as we walk home.

I would like to wish all my blogger friends a very Blessed and Happy Christmas!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

White Jacket

I bought this jacket for £4.50 in a charity shop this week. It is light-weight but water proof and will be ideal when the weather is unpredictable during milder conditions. Although the weather has turned mild again here in the UK at the moment (11 C) it is likely to get colder again soon and this jacket will not be warm enough for icy conditions.
I attended a course for work in Bristol a few days ago and visited this German Christmas Market during the lunch break. There were a lot of little wooden huts displaying Christmas decorations and other goods. Some other huts were selling speciality foods from different countries. There was a great atmosphere and it made me feel really festive. I took home some continental chocolates for the family and they were delicious!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Warm Woolly

Sorry about a lack of a post last week - a combination of internet problems and being busy with family events. We had a visit from relatives and then attended a lovely Advent Service at Church which I always feel is the beginning of Christmas.

It has been unusually cold here in the last few weeks and I was pleased to find this woolly in a charity shop for only £2.00. It is a different colour for me but is lovely and warm for wearing around the house and it has two very useful pockets. I would have preferred it to be slightly longer to cover my rear when I wear trousers but it was too much of a bargain to resist!

We love to go for a brisk walk around our local lake when it is a crisp dry winter afternoon and we are always greeted by the occupants of the lake waddling towards us looking for food. We are always careful to feed them the correct bird food and not bread crusts which are not healthy for them.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A Work Outfit

I bought this shirt yesterday in a charity shop for £3.50. It is really good quality with a sort of tie detail and fits well. I bought to wear in the office (we have a black/white corporate colour scheme for work which you get used to) but I am wondering if it is a bit over the top and would be more suited to evening wear.

I am now wearing trousers most days instead of skirts as it is getting chilly walking to the office in early mornings and these were bought new last year in Marks and Spencer.

I would welcome opinions on whether or not the shirt is suitable for day to day work wear. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Carnival Time

Something different this week - a jacket! It is in dark grey and cost me £4.50 on a half price rail in a charity shop. It will be a good alternative to woollen jumpers in cold weather. It is also in excellent condition and suitable for wearing to the office. In the picture I am wearing it over a black dress and I think it tones quite well with it. 

The weather is still being kind to us in the UK and Hannah is still able to take pictures outside.
A few days ago we went to see our local Guy Fawkes Carnival Parade. Each year over 100 illuminated entries parade through the town, each with a theme. Some of the carts are huge - about 100' long and towed by tractors which themselves form part of display.
My favourite was this cart depicting Grease, complete with Olivia Newton-John and John Trevolta.
You can feel the warmth of the thousands of bulbs as the carts pass by.
This picture shows the length of the cart. They are articulated so that they can turn corners. Thousands of visitors flock into the town to see the parade and we were lucky this year to have such fine weather. It is entirely free but collections take place to raise money for local charities.

I am not sure if similar carnivals take place elsewhere but I am sure someone will let me know.

Saturday, 5 November 2016


Back to charity shop finds in my post this week.

My most recent purchase is this tunic. It is not a colour I normally wear but it only cost £3.00 and is in a fairly thick woollen mix material which will help to keep me warm this winter. Its length will also cover my rear when I wear trousers to give a more modest appearance.
We live quite close to this lake and enjoy watching all the wading birds. We have numerous ducks, geese and swans and have regular visits from cormorants and herons. We also get some winter visitors from Scandinavia and Russia but they have not arrived yet - probably waiting for the colder weather.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Living Museum - Part 2

Our afternoon was spent in the town which is set in about 1910. There are a series of shops which you can go into and in many cases buy items over the counter from shop assistants in period costume.

This wonderful old open top bus was running a shuttle service to other parts of the museum, free of charge, with the trams.
This was inside the chemist shop - many strange remedies that I wouldn't like prescribed for me!
You could actually buy bread and cakes in the bakery - and watch the baker preparing them and baking them in a coal fired oven in the shop. Here a local girl is buying her lunch!
The policeman on duty outside the pub. Further along was a sweet shop where you could buy loose sweets in pounds and ounces from large jars and in the bank you could sign your name for the bank clerk using an old fashioned pen where you dipped the nib into an ink pot. Hannah and Henry loved it - plus the sweets!
The menfolk loved exploring the garage and especially this steam engine.
Henry loved this First World War gun in the town's park.
and finally, we ended our day with a trip on a steam train!
You may be asking, what did I wear - the answer is this blue dress. It was so mild, we could leave our coats in the car. I am sure we shall get some cold weather soon but in the meantime I am making the most of it.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Living Museum - Part 1

As promised I am posting some pictures taken during our mini-break to Durham to visit the living museum. It was a wonderful place and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely and learnt a lot. We were met at the entrance by this vintage tram which we could ride on for free and it dropped you off at the various attractions.
We first visited the mining community and were actually taken down a coal mine for a demonstration.
It was really cramped and wet down the mine and the miners worked in some terrible conditions.
The car was from the 1940s but the miners' cottages all had coal fires giving that smell of smoke that you used to get in towns and each cottage was set in the early 1900s with the occupants giving demonstrations of crafts such as embroidery.
Near the mine was the village school. Here are the children waiting to go in. Henry and Hannah saw the classrooms set in about 1900 with the wooden desks, ink wells, blackboard and chalk and even a cane! Numerical times tables were around the wall - not a computer in sight - I think they preferred their modern classroom.
After the mining community we went to the farm - set in 1940 with land girls helping the farmer.
The farmer's wife was in the kitchen cooking an actual stew - there was a wonderful smell of leeks. Sadly the photo is not very good due to problems with the light but you can see everything had to be done by hand - there were modern electrical devices to assist her.

Henry and Hannah loved seeing the privy or earth closet. They were not so amused at being told how it had to be cleaned out regularly by hand and the contents spread on the vegetable garden. Thank goodness for modern flush toilets!
There were a lot of old items of farm machinery in the barns.
...and a large (fairly) friendly pig!

We then caught a tram to the town - our experiences will be in part 2.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Casual Trousers

I have been wearing skirts and dresses almost full time during the last 5 months or so while the weather has been warm and it still is very mild for late October here in the UK. I am sure it will get colder soon and my trousers will come out of the closet.

It is the school half term holiday this week and we are planning a short break to Durham to see a living museum set in the early 1900s. We all love museums and Hannah is doing a project on this period at school so it will be really useful for her to see the displays. I will do a post on our experiences when we return.

I have been looking out for some more casual trousers for some time. The majority of my trousers are formal and black - for wearing to the office during the winter. I don't like the image of denim jeans, especially distressed ones, so I was pleased when I came across these trousers in royal blue, a week or so ago, in a charity shop. The material is a thick polyester/wool mix and they have wide straight legs and a generous cut. They cost £4.00.  I don't normally publish pictures of my rear, without a tunic or long top, but will on this occasion as I think these trousers give quite a modest appearance and I feel quite comfortable with them. I am sure a few skirts only ladies won't agree with me though!

They are really warm and comfortable and wonderful to relax in. I plan to wear them during our mini break next week.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


This dress was on a bargain rail in a charity shop for £1.00. I think the shop was having a final clearance of summer stock. However it was in my size and I was looking for a dress to wear to a presentation evening which I have to attend with my husband in a few weeks.

I don't have many polkadot dresses so this black/white dress is a little different for me. I am not sure if it looks a little large but the belt, which is more of a decorative feature, helps to give it a little shape. I shall wear a cardigan with it to the event as bare arms would not be wise at this time of the year, even in a no doubt well heated hall, and a cardigan would increase the modesty of the overall look of the outfit. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Autumn is Starting to Appear

Apologies for a lack of a post last week. My husband's cousin and his wife were visiting the UK from the USA for the first time in over 10 years so we entertained them when they visited the west country last weekend and showed them around some places of interest in Bristol, Bath and Wells.

Hannah and Henry had never met them before and they were very intrigued at the slight difference in language they used - candy for sweets, cookies for biscuits, fall for autumn etc.

We are lucky in this part of the country to have so many beautiful and historic places within a short driving distance of each other - they loved seeing the really old buildings such as the cathedrals, abbey and Roman Baths - they don't have anything like that over there.

I think we are now moving into autumn at last. The early mornings are now getting slightly chilly and it is now dark by 7.00 p.m. The leaves on the trees are showing signs of turning golden brown and dropping off (some good compost to be made for the garden!)

I am still wearing dresses and skirts virtually full time and the photo shows my latest charity shop buy. I thought the colour was appropriate for the autumn in the shop but when I saw it in natural light it is more of a maroon shade than brown. It is a thicker material than most of my summer dresses with a wool mix so ideal for the cooler temperatures. I would have preferred it to be slightly longer but at £3.00 I just had to buy it,

What do you think?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Bonus from the Sun

It is still lovely and warm and sunny in the UK. We are nearing the end of September and there is no need to switch the heating on yet. I have been busy in the garden clearing away some of the bedding plants which have now finished flowering and clearing my runner beans and courgette plants which have come to an end.

I can still work outside without a jumper during the day and wore this top yesterday when I went grocery shopping. I paid £2.50 for it a few weeks ago and it has a Next label. I can never resist a top or dress in turquoise when I spot one in my size in a charity shop.
I teamed the top with one of my black pencil skirts which I wear to the office. This skirt reaches to just below my knees - a length that I like. Black and turquoise goes together quite well. Apologies for the strange lean in the photo - for some reason Hannah didn't get this one quite right when she was experimenting with a new camera and we didn't have enough time to retake it!

I wonder if I will still be wearing summer clothes in my next post?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

White Skirt

I have not owned a white skirt for many years. White skirts are not ideal for people that are keen gardeners because they will not stay white for very long!!! However, my favourite charity shop is currently reducing their remaining stock of summer clothes and this skirt, in my size, was reduced to £1. I couldn't resist buying it - even if I rarely wear it. It could make an occasional appearance on holidays or days out.

It is knee length with a detail in the material along the bottom which gives it a slight flare.

I am wearing it with a blue pattern short sleeved top which has been in my wardrobe for about a year.

We are still enjoying summer temperatures here in the UK although part of the country received severe thunderstorms yesterday. No doubt we will experience the start of autumn soon.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

It's Still Summer

Although it is the 11th of September we are still enjoying warm sunny weather and I am able to keep wearing my summer outfits.

I bought this dress for £3.50 a few weeks ago. It is sleeveless so I do need to wear a cardigan with it during the evenings when it gets cooler but I like the pattern of blue flowers on a green background. It also just below knee length with a high neck line so that I don't have to worry about modesty issues.

I will definitely keep this dress for next summer when it will get a lot of wear.

This look is an unusual one for me but I thought I would try it. I don't normally wear long skirts but I needed to attend a function with my husband last weekend (a sort of garden party) and most of the ladies would be wearing semi formal outfits. I never really enjoy these events and never know what to wear but when a came across this skirt for £3.00 in a charity shop I just knew it was meant to be mine!

It went well with a floral design top and I was pleased with the overall outfit.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Unusual Skirt

I had to go inside for this photo to be taken as we are experiencing the first really wet day for several months today.

I am not sure about this skirt  which is very unusual as it has a high waist. It was in a £1 bargain bin in a charity shop which probably shows it was not popular but I liked the length so I thought I would give it a go.

It is more comfortable than I thought and goes well with my grey striped long sleeved blouse. My husband likes it but I am still not convinced and it could well be donated back to a charity shop.

What do you think about this unusual skirt?

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Turquoise Again!

It is still warm and sunny at the moment so when I saw this cotton dress in my favourite colour, turquoise, I just couldn't stop myself from buying it. It is knee length and has a large belt mainly as decoration. You all know that I don't like shorter skirts/dresses on modesty grounds.

It was on a clearance rail in a charity shop and cost only £2.75.

It is our summer bank holiday weekend in the UK and I always feel that it starts to mark the end of our summer. We are off to a number of charity fetes and I hope to get some more gardening work completed over our long weekend.

I will soon need to buy some warmer clothes ready for the autumn/winter but for now will make the most of the sunshine and get some more wear out of my summer dresses.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bright Tops

My latest charity shop finds are two summery tops. Sadly the weather here in the UK is rather autumnal this weekend with temperatures dropping below 20 C, wind and showers. If I don't manage to wear them very often this year, I can always store them away until next spring!

The first top is in bright yellow, with a button front and mainly in cotton. It is sleeveless and will be cool in really hot spells. It only cost £2.00.
The second top has a floral design and short sleeves. It is fairly versatile and will go with most of my skirts and black trousers. It cost £2.25.

You will notice that I am wearing my trousers again - the first time since early June as it was rather windy today when Hannah took these pictures. For those of you who wondered, I still ensure my rear is covered when I wear trousers in public but I removed my jacket for the pictures so that you could see the tops!

I also had my hair coloured in a lighter shade during the week. I am not sure if I prefer this colour and may revert to the normal mid brown tones in due course.

We have all been watching the Olympics in its second week and we are very proud of Team GB with their medal tally - still in second place in the Medal Table

Are you still experiencing hot summer weather or is it starting to feel autumn is coming?

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Enjoying the Summer

I have been enjoying a few days holiday from work, looking after the Hannah and Henry and preparing some exhibits for a Horticultural Show. Most of the people who enter are almost up to professional standard but I did get a third place certificate for some of my roses. A lack of rain affected the quality of some of my flowers and vegetables but I was pleased with my certificate.

We have also been watching the Olympics on TV. It is amazing how well Team GB are doing - we are so proud of them.

I bought this top a few days ago in my favourite charity shop. It was £2.50 and I liked the shade of blue and the frontal feature. I hope that the good weather continues for a few more weeks so that I can wear it on our day trips which we have planned before the autumn school term starts in early September. The top goes well with most of my summer skirts.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

A £2.50 Dress!

Another summer dress to tell you about this week. Nothing that special about it but it only cost me £2.50 in a final reduction rail in my favourite charity shop as it hadn't sold previously.
It is a little shorter than I would have liked but at that price I couldn't resist it. I will probably wear it a few times during our warmer weather and then donate it back so that it doesn't take up room in my wardrobe. The charity will benefit twice if it sells again!

I have often said that I would never post a picture of a gardening outfit on my blog as the various garments would be either tatty or dirty. However Hannah recently took this photo of me having a rest after weeding a flower bed and the skirt and top look reasonably presentable so I thought I would share it with you. I am preparing a few exhibits for our local Flower and Produce Show and will let you know if I win any prizes!