Tuesday, 29 December 2020

The Distancing Diaries - 28th & 29th December, 2020


On Monday I looked outside and saw that the garden was blanketed with a thick layer of snow. The lads weren't happy, Frank hissed, took one step outside and ran back upstairs to bed while Stephen did a quick lap of the garden before retreating inside. 

I did my Wii Fit workout and discovered I'd lost 2 lbs since Xmas Day. I wrapped the latest eBay sales and joined Jon in the kitchen for our fruit & yogurt breakfast. Jon did a grocery top-up shop but failed with the Post Office run as neither of us had realised it was a bank holiday. Shopping sanitised & put away, we headed down to the clearance chazza for a rummage. It was so quiet in there that at one point Jon and I were the only customers.

With BoJo set to announce further restrictions on Wednesday we stocked up on books just in case we get locked down again and I snaffled a few other things, too. 

This 100% alpaca wool jumper stood out a mile from the bobbly acrylic dominating the rest of the rail. Spirit of the Andes knitwear is mega pricey (this one originally retailed at £259) and judging by the pristine label, hasn't seen any wear.  Alpaca wool is as warm and soft as cashmere and, unless you buy your cashmere secondhand, is more environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

I love a well worn leather cross-body bag and if I was going to India I'd be taking this beauty with me. I'd mistakenly assumed that Radley bags always had dogs emblazoned across them. I'm happy with a discrete logo on the back and a label on the inside. Not bad for £2.

Terrible photo, great price!

MONDAY: Vintage Afghan coat (eBay, 2018), patent leather Doc Martens and 1960s Crimplene maxi dress (both charity shop finds), Aran rainbow wool pom pom hat and wrist warmers (yarn from a charity shop, handmade by me!)

With the temperature hovering at zero °C I was so glad that 2020 was the year I'd finally taught myself to crochet hats and wrist-warmers. 


Lunch was roasted red pepper soup with a slice of bread. Jon noticed Morrisons had the cans on offer for 20p each before Xmas and thought they'd make a good cupboard staple. 


The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with blog reading. We had a curry for tea accompanied by a beer, sweet potato wedges and half a nan.


Later we watched a couple more episodes of Wasteland before I retired to bed with my hot water bottle to crack on with my latest read which has nothing to do with that chess series on Netflix the world and his wife keep banging on about.


Tuesday got off to another bitterly cold start with The Lads quickly doing their business and scuttling back indoors. After my Wii Fit workout I wrapped more parcels thanks to some eBay overnight sales and joined Jon for breakfast. Amazingly the weather forecast was spot on, with the snow arriving at just after 9am, exactly as predicted. A friend recently mentioned that Lush had good sales so I thought I'd have a look at their website and timed it perfectly, as they'd just slashed some of their goodies by 50% so bagged enough treats to see us through the dark days of Winter.

TUESDAY: 1970s Mongolian lamb jacket (inherited from Mum), vintage satin paisley print maxi skirt (gift from Helga back in 2010), Alpaca jumper, vintage knitted turban, 1960s vinyl & nylon gloves (all charity shopped), Doc Martens (Facebook selling page)

Another cold day! What good timing it was finding that Spirit of the Andes jumper yesterday. 

Eager for a trip out I joined Jon on the Post office run. Running low on logs we headed off to B&M Bargains which often has good deals on hardwood logs and were in luck, snaffling the last few they had in stock. Next stop was B&Q, the DIY superstore, as Jon needed some electrical bits for a rewiring project. Needless to say I couldn't resist scouring the clearance shelf for houseplants and was in luck, scoring a couple of Leopard Lillies for £2, perfect for shady rooms, ideal for our bathroom. I also bought some fertilising sticks which had been reduced by 50%.

Back at home I immersed the lillies in water in the utility room sink before repotting them. We had noodles for lunch and then I cut up the plant food sticks, stuck them in my pots and left them to slowly feed my plants over the next three months.`


Introducing new houseplants means moving stuff around to make space. I needed room on the hearth in the lounge so I photographed my Xmas presents before putting them away.


Liz and Al gave me this amazing vintage Indian block printed waistcoat, a wild bird feeder and some rather interesting looking toothpaste. There were also some cans of real ale for Jon and a packet of retro sweets (which have all gone).


Tony bought me the potted Bonsai tree, The Spice Sultan pack and the Green & Black's chocolate. Jon got a swanky torch, some cat socks and a fancy glass tumbler for his rum. Marcus bought us the box of craft ales (half of which we've already drunk) and some posh pretzels (now eaten). 


The hand poured candle and Snag tights in Beach Bum & Suffragette were from Liz & Adrian, the glass peacock feather coasters from Hazel and the fizz and catnip mouse from Rob, Morgan and Carlo, our nearest neighbours.


It's amazing how much time pottering around the house takes up. I had high hopes for some more crochet this afternoon but by the time I'd finished with my plants it was almost teatime, just long enough to squeeze in some blog reading.


Talking of food, this is what we ate,  Jon's nan bread pizza, topped with spiced butter beans, homemade pizza sauce, gherkins, homegrown basil, diced shallots, cheese and fresh tomatoes. This was accompanied by a half a can of Peanut Riot from Marcus's gift box, a delectable salted chocolate and nut porter.

Stay safe, happy and healthy and see you soon!

70 comments:

  1. It's pretty chilly here too although no snow - I'm next to the sea. The frost finally carried off most of my nasturtium plants that have been doing so well. I met a friend for drinks yesterday in her garden and was somewhat delicate today! A day of non-achievement which felt luxurious despite the headache! You look so lovely in your hats, I especially like your cosy cloche. Excellent chazza finds. Val McDermid is a very good writer - don't know the other authors. I have read Retribution and thought it was excellent. I enjoyed the Tony Hill series. Val McDermid bought a stand for Raith Rovers - the local football team - and often attends the games. She is very supportive of her home town, Kirkcaldy, which is the nearest town to me. She and Gordon Brown both attended Kirkcaldy High School. Only supermarkets are open at the moment so no bargain hunting yet. The strangest festive season I've known.

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    1. We don't get snow very often and this is our third lot this month with apparently more on the way! The cats aren't happy!
      I'm glad you had a lovely time with your friend. I reckon we'll all have lost our capacity for booze by the time we're back to having normal life, can you imagine the carnage when they say we can we can meet friends in pubs?
      I like Val McDermid, she comes across as being great fun when she's interviewed. She's in a band with a few other crime writers called The Fun Lovin' Crime Writers which I missed seeing at Glastonbury last year. I read my first Tony Hill book after a chap passed it on to us in Goa a couple of years ago, came back and tracked down the boxed set of Wire In the Blood, wonderfully bleak and gory stuff!
      We're back to only essential shops being open and travel not allowed. Looks like a wander in the churchyard later- what a strange NYE! xxx

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  2. My parents bought me my first pair of Snag tights for Christmas. I think I'll buy some more as they're last a long time. Arilx

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    1. Your parents are excellent gift givers, what a great present! The ones I had for my birthday last year are still as good as new! x

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  3. this is what you call a "thick layer of snow"? :-D
    we still wait for some - but our strong icy winds come from the south eastern continental plains, without any moist in tow.....
    love the icebear coat you inherited from your mom! and what a great deal with the alpaka sweater.
    the politics here gives hints that the lockdown will stay longer than the 10.january - which i knewed right from the start. the hospitals are still at the limits. and it will be even worst when the x-mas infections break out.
    thanx to the BW for stocking up on foods and toiletries - and thanx for living in a house in the woods.
    stay warm and safe!!! xxxxx

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    1. We don't get much snow here in the Midlands, we;re not hardcore like you wood dwellers! Those winds sound harsh.
      The icebear (love that!) is wonderfully warm and I'm wearing the alpaca right now. never have I embraced cosy clothing so much, I must be becoming a softie in my old age!
      We've just been moved into tier 4 which now means we can't travel and all non-essential shops closed yesterday for the foreseeable future. Like you, I'm grateful for a man who drives & doesn't mind shopping!
      Stay safe! xxx

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  4. Your friends are god gift givers. I love specialty foods as gifts-my hubs got some good pretzels and we got a jar of my SIL's grandmas recipe apple butter. Poor lads not liking the snow My little critter loves to wander in the drifts, even with his hair cut.

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    1. Specialty foods are a real treat, things you wouldn't buy yourself but would love to try. I'm looking forward to trying out one of those Spice Sultan recipe kits later!
      Your little one is braver than our pampered cats! xxx

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  5. I'm enjoying snag tights here in St Louis in the states...they are a quality product that fits me better than any other tights ever have. I enjoy their adverts as well, they are a brave and quality company.

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    1. That's wonderful that Snag tights have reached St Louis, Theresa! They are so comfortable and look fab, the colour selection is fabulous. Their website is a joy, their choice of models is inspired. xxx

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  6. How gorgeous everything looks with a dusting of snow.You will be glad of that wooly pully. What a bargain and such lovely colours. No chazzas open here. Dutch government has us on lockdown until the 19th Jan so only food shop ping and I am stocked up in case of Apocalypse. It feels strange not travelling as much but am happy to hide indoors all things considered.

    Wonderful crochet and you have great presents too. I love the sound of your fancy porter and will look out for it. Bonus is going for my favourite Belgian cherry beer for Hogmanay. Stay safe. Xx

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    1. Hello Kelly! It was so good to hear from you again. I'm wearing the jumper over my exercise leggings as I type, not a great look but warm!
      I wasn't sure where you were at the moment, now I know. We're not far behind you, the Midlands is now in tier 4 so no more charity shopping or travel. Like you, it's not unbearable as we have supplies and the weather isn't conducive to spending much time outside anyway.
      I can recommend that peanut porter, I haven't had Belgian cherry beer in ages but I do like it. Happy New Year! xxx

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  7. So glam, Vix - and you've reminded me to retrieve my vintage Alpaca coat from the loft - it weighs an absolute ton, but it's the warmest thing I own! That Alpaca sweater is glorious - has a bit of a 30s moquette vibe too! Your Christmas swag was so well-selected for you - I keep looking at those Snag tights - they look fab.

    I need to go out and check on our garden bulbs - they were shooting up like mad before Christmas - but I think the wintery weather has probably put them in reverse now lol Great score on your B+Q houseplants - I only have a few dotted about - but I do love them.

    We had snow that turned to slush and then froze solid overnight - I needed my hiking boots this morning (not glam) and flapped about in an old Laura Ashley riding mac looking like a discarded broken umbrella lol.

    I've been catching up with mends and alterations - I'm intending a big wardrobe swap-out. I have far too much stuff out and it leaves me overwhelmed - some of it needs to be stored where I can find it - labelled and put back up in the attic.

    I think we just had our last food shop for a while. For the first time since this Covid thing started, I didn't feel safe. We've got a supermarket delivery booked for early Jan and my Brexit box to dip into. We still get a milk delivery so we should be OK. Also, bless my crammed freezer!

    Hey, Maryland! I hope you're reading today and feeling a little better, lovely. Waving to you in my mittens! Big love xx

    Right, I'm off to make toast. Stay safe all xx

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    1. Bobbing back in to share this recipe book link - don't be put off by the vegan title if vegan isn't your thing. Lots of FAB things here. Just arrived in my inbox https://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/easy-vegan-dinners/ mmmmmmmm

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    2. Hello Elaine!
      Thanks so much for those kind words you gave Ms Maryland, I'm so glad she commented and hope she can feel our love and concern.
      That recipe link is FABULOUS!
      Those vintage alpaca coats are wonderful, Jon's got one somewhere.
      I don't wear tights very often but the Snag ones are brilliant, a great choice of colour and perfectly sized, no annoying dropped crotch so you're waddling around like a penguin.
      You've done brilliant with your sorting. It is easy to get overwhelmed. I go through my wardrobe every few weeks and reassess, there's a few more garments I shall pack away as I don't think they'll be much call for marabou feather trimmed capes, velvet opera coats and gold crochet wedding dresses over the coming weeks!
      I don't know about you but looking at those dreadful infection rates (and deaths) on the news I'm quite relieved we're in almost lockdown. When I sat in the car when Jon went to the Post Office this week the ladies who run it were being really strict, only allowing six in at a time and chucking out anyone without a mask - why can't all shops do that?
      Stay warm and have a lovely day! xxx

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  8. That pizza takes the prize! Spiced butter beans? Sounds like one of Jon's more amazing innovations! (I used to sneak veg into the littles on a pizza. Shall try this on the next batch to hatch.) I'm also coveting his scoring of red pepper soup for the staples shelf: my packs of low-sodium V-8 pale in comparison.
    We're well into the frigid weather here in the Midwest, and the vintage woolies have been pulled into service. Never, ever have I found alpaca sweaters in a charity shop. What a serendipitous find is your Spirit of the Andes rarity! Good to know, 'tho, that you consider second-hand cashmere acceptable alternatives: those, I find, usually in sets and smelling of Elizabeth Arden.

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    1. Sometimes those weird concoctions made using up the contents of the fridge are a roaring success - the spiced butter bean nan bread pizza being one of them!
      The red pepper soup was gorgeous. With Brexit we've been told to get used to our favourite imported fruit and veg not being readily available for a while so he's had to be creative with the pantry shelf stocking - it's bad enough living under restrictions without resorting to a diet of turnips!
      I was amazed to find that jumper, pure wool seems to be a rarity in these parts! xxx

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  9. Ugh, we've had snow as well and I don't have a beautiful alpaca jumper to keep warm. What a prize that was.
    My houseplants are angry at having been moved to a cold but sunny window and I'm going to need to figure something else out. I didn't know I was supposed to feed them (oops!). Maybe that's the problem. I should look into getting some of those sticks.

    I hope the weather warms up for you and that you don't start out the new year on lockdown. I saw in the news that the UK variant has made it to the US proving once again that it is nearly impossible to contain unless going the route that New Zealand has. Eventually, shit slips through.
    Stay safe and well.

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    1. It's unusual for us to share weather, although I bet your snow is far deeper than our few inches!
      I keep moving my houseplants around almost weekly so they all get their fair share of light. Like you, I didn't think of feeding them in the winter (bad plant parent) so I'm glad I spotted those sticks.
      It really is impossible to contain this virus unless they close the borders, isn't it? I wonder if the Orange One will start calling it The English Virus? xxxx

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  10. I love the alpaca sweater! Looks cozy and warm. You got many wonderful gifts!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  11. Wonderful bargains, wonderful books, wonderful clothes... and the lipstick shade with your beautiful flowery dress is perfect, Vix. Looks like they were made to go together. ~Andrea xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! The bright lipstick seems to come into it's own in the dark days of winter! xxx

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  12. I am glad to see one of my book recommendations made it to your reading pile, you will love our house, I was gripped from the start I am reading one at the moment called the life of Lilly Aphrodite it’s so cool. Some she gave me were meh this time. But I’m getting into Kathy reichs as well . Love the jumper as well. I love a bargain.
    I am getting some cuttings off my florist friend as plants are a rip off here and I am setting up a propagation station. Which is quite exciting.
    I think less is more for Xmas. I totally loved what I got for Xmas and a lot of love and thought was put into my gifts this year. Take care and keep safe. That new strain has hit japan and mr Arbe is not a happy man.

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    1. Yes! I knew one of my friends had mentioned that book! Wait long enough and it'll always turn up in the chazza! I did see that Eleanor Oliphant book a few people had been raving about but the blurb on the back made it sound a bit navel-gazing and chick lit like so I left it behind. Kathy Reichs is good, I've read a few of hers.
      Growing plants from cuttings is really exciting, there's a few roots appearing on mine, won't be long till I can pot them up.
      A few well chosen presents are far better than mountains of cheap tat, I'll be wearing those socks for years!
      Stay safe and healthy! xxx

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    2. No seriously get it. It’s great, the back put me off, but I am really enjoying it. Are you in tier 4?? My mum was in tears yesterday. She blames Hartlepool. As their rate was steady. Sis is still in 3. God knows how Leeds is in tier 3 !!! I will never understand

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    3. We're in tier 4 so no chazzas for a while! I'm sure that book will still be there when they reopen.
      I'm sorry your mum's upset about it. I can't see much difference between the two other than non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers being upon. Tony's really happy, no ignorant customers refusing the wear facemasks and being paid to stay at home! xxx

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  13. Morning there Vix! Just caught up reading your last few posts, sorry got sucked into the rabbit warren of Christmas and now enjoying what I call the "funny"week between Christmas an New Year. So glad you got to enjoy dinner with your friend Tony and the NT outing pics were special as always. I loved all the gifts you got. Such thoughtful one. I say you look so glam in the 60s turban. I apologise for not dropping in before this but here's to a brighter New Year and thanks for your lovely reply the other day. I meant every word you have brought so much colour to this dull year. Shazxx great finds at the chazza by the way!

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    1. Great to hear from you, Shaz! Never worry that you have to visit, life comes first! Hope you had a lovely festive few days and are enjoying this "funny" few days, I have to keep reminding myself what day it is every morning. xxx

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  14. Great chazza scores there. I wonder what you'll make of Our House? I read it during lockdown 1. I bet that alpaca woolly is toasty. Well done on the crocheted hat, looks brilliant! Happy New Year love. let's hope we can get back to our travels. Xx

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    1. I'll let you know when I've finished Our House, the blurb on the cover certainly had me intrigued!
      Happy New Year to you, Fi! longing to get on a plane and out of Brexit Britain! xxx

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  15. Oooh, you did well on the alpaca sweater! I have two alpaca sweaters, both given to me by Ellie, my lovely 76year old flute friend who JUST gave me a lovely phone call! It was SO nice to chat to her. She is so positive and inspiring! One them seems to have bern chopped by moths since last Christmas though, which is annoying!
    Your pressies look great! The waistcoat is right up your street!
    House plant envy!!!! They look great!
    That pizza looks scrummy!

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    1. Ellie sounds like a real treasure, what a wonderful friend to have! I'm glad you've managed to have a catch up, I hope she won't have to wait too long for the vaccine and can get back to a bit of normality really soon. xxx

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  16. No snow here, jealous - love your white fluffy jacket, I had one like it in the 70s and my school friends all borrowed it continuously so it was a fight to wear it myself it was so popular! You had some great pressies and your Radley bag was a great find (I thought they all had dog logos too). You must be the only person in the country who lost weight over Christmas!

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    1. It's unusual for us to have much and it shows no signs of going just yet. Mind you, it's not like we need to be anywhere, we've joined you in the top tier!
      I loved that bag and was amazed it didn't have a daft dog on it! xxx

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  17. Love your alpaca jumper and the leather cross-body bag, both looks like really quality items to enjoy for a long time!. Glad that you wore your new jumper to keep you cosy and fab!, love your inherited coat and how lovely you look in this outfit!
    And love your afghan coats and DrMartens boots, and all those blue shades in your hat and wrist warmers, you are rocking your crochet!.
    Loving to see your gorgeous presents (so great when friends know your tastes so well), and loving that you had more snag tights. I'm a huge fan of this Beach Bum colour, even its name is Cool!.
    Wish you have a fab time!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! It's always a joy to find some posh stuff amongst the clapped out high street tat!
      It's definitely been furry coat and Doc Marten weather here, I'm quite enjoying the cold weather, too. 2020 has changed me!
      I remember seeing you rocking the Beach Bum tights, they're a fabulous colour! xxx

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  18. You had snow! We haven't had any down here, I've been most envious of everyone showing their photos of it. Though, like the cats, I don't like being out in it. That jumper was definitely a fortunate find. You look lovely and cosy in it, despite the freezing cold.

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    1. We've had loads, most unusual for the Midlands. I normally hate it but as we can't go anywhere I'm learning to like it! xxx

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  19. Your charity shop books would suit my tastes.
    I always have a crime thriller on the go. I have just finished a Nicci French and am reading Raven Black by Ann Cleeves at the moment.
    What a find that jumper is.
    No snow here but we rarely get it by the coast.
    Wishing you and Jon and the boys a very Happy New Year.
    I am so glad I got back to blogging again.
    Your posts in particular have been a real highlight. XX

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    1. Sending you and your lovely family (and Frankie) loads of love for a Happy New Year!
      I'm so glad you've come back to blogging! xxx

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    2. Ah thank you Vix. IT feels like coming home. X

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  20. I love your mum's coat jacket and the alpaca jumper, I really like Spirit of the Andes stuff.
    Its bitterly cold here too, I've just got back from a long dog walk, lots of people were out, it's just good to see people!
    Wishing you a very happy albeit quiet new year's eve tomorrow. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I can't understand why anyone would donate that jumper to a charity shop but I'm delighted that they did!
      Wishing you, Philip and Ziggy a much happier and improved New Year! xxx

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  21. Hi Vix, we had two blizzards yesterday but it didn't stay for long, it was just right for me as I snuggled down, went back into childhood and watched the film Frozen!! Loved it. What fantastic Chazza bargains, love them all just my kind of buys. Went into a local Chazza this morning looked at a Cath Kidson bag, good condition but a no from me as they wanted £12 to top it all I saw a jumper that I donated weeks ago that they wanted £3 50 for, had the urge to tell them that I got it at a jumble sale years ago! I did go bargain hunting in Poundland! nothing Xmas related but some good foodie bits, plus my new diary from The Works at half its proper price. Have had long chats with both Apple and my broadband provider but still limping along with my Ipad and no further forward, perhaps its just giving up the ghost and time for a new one? Very fortunate in 'not my hubby' as can use his Ipad which is working perfectly he was worried about me not being able to comment on your blog and said have you sent your friend in Walsall a message? So Carry on and Keep Cheerful, Bab, we might be in tier four soon! Brummie Sue Xx.

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    1. Hello Sue! We've certainly had our fair share of snow, haven't we? It shows no signs of going anywhere either, it's blinking freezing!
      I had to giggle at your observations in the charity shop. I laugh when I see things I've donated priced at more than I bought them for (often from the same shop!)
      Poundland is great for food, lots of interesting bits (Jon loves the sweets, big kid that he is!) I do love a Works diary, we always used to pop into the West Brom branch to pick one up after Xmas.
      I'm sorry your Wifi is still playing up and it's so lovely that you've been able to comment, you know I love reading your thoughts!
      Here's to a brighter, better and healthier 2021 and maybe a date in West Brom or Bilston! xxx

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  22. Is that snow I see? I don't know why I'm surprised, the first day of winter has passed. You look so lovely in the garden in your purple maxi dress and hand knitted beanie and hand warmers. That long coat is gorgeous. I also like your teddy bear coat and the outfit you wore with it. You look cozy and warm. I hope to go to one of the hills or mountains in vicinity soon and see the snow for myself. Your lads are not impressed. Isn't it funny how cats hate snow? Not that I cannot relate to it myself. I much prefer snow in the distance, where I can visit it only if I want. There is actually one novel by Robert A. Heinlein called The Doors to Summer and it was triggered by his wife's comment about their cat that refused to leave the house when it snowed- she said that the cat is looking for doors to summer and Heinlein wrote that novel in 13 days:) The alpaca jumper is lovely. The pizza looks yummy. So many reading options you've got there. I'm reading Solaris at the moment.

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    1. Yes, we have snow! We usually don't see much and when we do it's always in the New Year, i hope it's not a sign of a long, hard winter!
      I hope you get to the mountains for some snow, I'd love to see the photos.
      I like that Heinlein's cat is as anti-snow as Frank is! I've seen the Solaris film , I bet the book is a cracking read.
      Much love to you and your family and wishing you all a happy 2021! xxx

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    2. Yes, Solaris is a great read so far, I'm enjoying every minute. I haven't seen the original film version yet, just the new version (from 2000s, I think) with George Clooney.

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  23. Oh dear, it sounds like Frank is even less of a snow fan than Phoebe is. It snowed the first Winter she lived with us, and she loved it, but the next time we had snow she just stopped in her tracks and ran back inside. I admit it all looks very pretty for a while, though I hate it if I have to commute in it. Great idea to pick up reading matter at the clearance chazza, and both the alpaca wool jumper and the Radley bag were fabulous finds.
    You look stunning as well as ready to brave the coldest of weathers in both of your outfits. I'm loving your Mum's 1970s Mongolian lamb jacket, and I'll say it again, but you do suit a turban! Fab presents all around, especially that gorgeous waistcoat and those peacock feather coasters! xxx

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    1. I wonder what made phoebe go off the snow? Stephen is quite happy to dash about in it shouting but he's deranged at the best of times!
      I normally hate the stuff but now we're in Tier 4 and not allowed to go anywhere it can stick around as long as it wants to.
      You look fabulous in a turban, I'm not sure I look as good as you do in mine!
      Much love to you, Jos & Phoebe for 2021! xxx

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  24. My ex-boss used to buy Spirit of the Andes Alpaca cardies and paid full whack for them so you knabbed a bargain! Anne Tyler is one of my favourite authors. I loved 'Dinner at the...' when I read it years ago. I've not read any of Val McDermid's stuff but have heard her give talks on the radio and she knows what she's talking about! I have a black jacket similar to yours, only it makes me look like a rather rotund Clydesdale horse. Still, it keeps me warm in this frozen hinterland that is Scotland! Happy Christmas to you two and Happy New Year when it rolls around.xx

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    1. Your ex-boss must have been loaded! I can't believe someone paying so much money for one of those jumpers and giving it to a chazza unworn. Maybe it's the same person who donated the Victoria Beckham £1200 bag.
      Val McDermid comes across as a fabulous woman, I loved the Wire In The Blood series which I watched after reading one of her books, proper scary!
      Happy New Year to you! Let's hope it's happier and healthier than the old one! xxx

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    2. Yes, Vix, she was indeed loaded. In fact, a member of Scottish aristocracy and a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce, you might have heard of him. I might recount my time working there one of these fine days.xxx

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    3. I hope you do, I'd love to know more about your fascinating life! xxx

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  25. I absolutely love your Alpaca jumper and would have liked to see you in it! I spied a glimpse of it under the fab jacket...

    You did very well in your chazza visit. Seeing your jumper reminded me I've yet to wear my alpaca wool skirt and top and must wear it whilst we have this icy cold weather. I bought myself (and my friend, Ann) the same calendar from my Barnardo's; but at full price!

    Such lovely presents; didn't you both do well!

    Enjoy your New year's festivities - I wonder if they will involve rum?
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! It's not the sexiest looking thing on the planet but by god, is it warm!
      You do need to wear your Alpaca skirt and top, I'll probably be green with envy.
      Even at full price those calendars are worth every. I might have to use the pages as doll's house wallpaper in 2022.
      Happy New Year to you! We've celebrated New Year's Day rather than Eve for the last five years, this year we might do both! xxx

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  26. Ah, Frank is not a fan of weather, I see it now!

    I love these in-between days when there is so little structure. Popping into a thrift store, catching up with friends, this is the stuff that charges our batteries for months.

    Loving that fantastic coat! I have a baby alpaca/wool blend long coat and it's SO warm, just lovely. I would have picked up that jumper too!

    Raise a glass! Here's to 2021!

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    1. I think Frank takes after his parents!
      I like these days, too. We were both convinced that today was Friday, it came as a bit of a shock when we realised it was only Thursday!
      I'm so glad I rescued Mum's coat, it's a lifesaver on a cold day.
      Much love to you, L and Vizzini for 2021! xxx

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  27. Wonderful crochet works, Vix, you have chosen beautiful colors !! I like your new bag and the adorable little plants..We also found nice books in the vintage shop we usually go to..precious comfort !! Wishes for a Happy New Year !!
    Hugs, Carmela

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    1. Thank you so much, Carmela! I'm still learning with my crochet so your encouragement means a lot.
      Happy new year to you! xxx

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  28. We haven't had any snow yet, but we had a frost last night which still hasn't gone and it's almost 3pm. Snow may well be on it's way here.
    That Mongolian lamb jacket looks so warm! I have a wax jacket that is the warmest thing I've ever owned but it's not exactly stylish!
    I love pottering around the house, just doing this and that, it's such a nice way to pass time.
    Take care
    xx

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    1. I'd happily send you some of our snow but it seems rather keen on sticking around here!
      I can't believe how cold it's been, it's like the Beast from the East all over again.
      Jon says his waxed jacket is really warm, too - I think they look rather good, a bit of country chic.
      Much love to you, Andy and the cats for 2021! xxx

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  29. A very fruitful and delicious Christmas for you both.I remember another Christmas post where you remarked how you never put on weight over that period - wow. Amazing. (gives me slenderness envy.... ) Your chazza bag is gorgeous - I always look at bags in op-shops - I have occassionally found real bargains there. And, here's to a wonderful and less stressful 2021 for you both xxxx

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    1. Twixtmas greetings to you, Ratnamurti! I think the only different thing we do at Xmas diet-wise is eat a big meal in the middle of the day, I'm not one for sweets or eating between meals and that Xmas chocolate will stay unopened for a while!
      There's something about a well worn bag, isn't there? I find a secondhand leather bag way more appealing than a pristine one!
      Much love to you for 2021! xxx

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  30. I’ve read the ‘Our House’ book, it’s very good-I don’t get to read many books these days as I’ve got a 3 year old (who was in my belly when I bought something from your stall in Walthamstow)
    Happy New Year to you ✨

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  31. Over the past week or so we've had snow, rain, freezing rain - all the weather, and it's cold (average about -7 to -10 celsius. I usually make a trip to a thrift store over the Christmas break, but ours are all shut until the end of January, so I have to live vicariously through other people's finds. The alpaca sweater is an excellent score! You can spot a good quality knit quite easily amidst the pilly acrylic junk.

    How lovely to see the thoughtful gifts you received from your friends!

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  32. Vix, I am GAWKING at your fabulous inherited Mongolian lamb jacket. And your orange turban looks divine with it.

    Hope you're enjoying the new year. X

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  33. Gosh what a lot of brilliant bargains. Now I'm just jealous, lockdown in Wales has meant no shops open for any sale bargains unless you count Asda and Tesco ... and I don't !!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix