Update 23/04/19 with an outfit I didn’t wear!

I hope all of you lovely visitors to the blog have had a wonderful Easter. It has been amazing weather in most of the UK; very sunny and so warm for the time of year. In the end, I did manage to sit and read in the garden on one afternoon and also walked around the block on two days – so that helped to improve my mood. Unfortunately, I have had a relapse, with severe coughing attacks, for the last two days and have been in bed.

I had picked out a nice outfit this morning as Lovely Husband and I had planned to go out this afternoon, but, instead, I have been in bed wearing pyjamas! I am hoping that I will feel stronger tomorrow as I really need to visit the Library and we also have a parcel to pick up in town. Apparently, it is going to rain for the next few days – just my luck! I avoid wearing silk scarves in bad weather as I don’t want to ruin the fabric, so I am not sure what I will put on tomorrow. I suppose it depends on the temperature.

This morning I had thought of wearing something like this from last year:

Outfit of the day 15/05/18 with China Tree kimono jacket by One Hundred Stars

Outfit of the day 15/05/18 with China Tree kimono jacket by One Hundred Stars

It is probably about time that I did my twice-yearly wardrobe changeover. All of my tops stay in place, but I move my summer skirts and dresses from the big wardrobe in Younger Son’s room into the one in my bedroom and vice versa with my winter items. I think that I need to have quite a drastic sort out as I haven’t worn some of these clothes for a few years and so will probably donate them to the charity shops. If that is the case, I will also need to update all of my wardrobe records on Evernote.

Anyway, let’s hope that tomorrow is a better day!

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 19/04/19

I might as well be honest when writing this blog. After all, it is a kind of journal and record for me. So here is the truth: despite the lovely sunshine I am feeling really miserable today. Perhaps it is partly because of the sunshine. I am unhappy, very low and cross with myself and my situation.

Today I should have had a counselling session, but I felt too ill to go this morning. When I had sent the text to my counsellor, I could not stop myself bursting into tears. I felt really wretched. It all got too much. It is quite simple: I am utterly fed up with my limited life and I hate myself for the envy I feel towards my friends and family members who are able to do the things I cannot, such as travel and have social interactions. I hate my thoughts and I hate my body, which is letting me down. I am trapped indoors just waiting for….what? To get steadily worse?

On Wednesday, I actually managed to go for a walk around the block and felt so pleased with myself. Then, on Thursday, and today, I have felt really lousy. What an earth can I do?

(Takes a deep shaky breath…)

Right, now that I have had a grump, I will show you the nice outfit that I put on this morning, then took off again about twenty minutes later!

Outfit of the day 19/04/19 with Ferragamo’s Peacocks in Tropical Garden scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Cerise silk and cotton round neck top – WoolOvers.
  • Cerise silk and cotton round neck cardigan – WoolOvers.
  • Indigo cotton jeans – Cotton Traders.
  • Cream enamel, crystal and gold Agama earrings – Halcyon Days.
  • Cream enamel and gold Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Cream and eau de nil enamel, and gold Agama bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in aqua, cream, purple, pink and green – Peacocks in Tropical Garden – Ferragamo. Tied in a cowboy cowl knot. This is my favourite Ferragamo scarf and the colours are so cheerful (probably why I felt so sad when I had to take it off).

Anyway, it is Easter weekend and I will try to pull myself together, for my chaps’ sake as well as my own. It is going to be very warm, apparently, so even if I don’t feel well enough to go out, I may be able to sit and read in the garden instead of in bed.

I hope that you all have a good weekend.

Best wishes,


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Update 18/04/19

I have been feeling very ill and weak today, so I am unable to write a post.

Back to normal tomorrow, I hope.

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 17/04/19

Like last week, I finished one massive tome. In fact, it was even longer than last week’s book. I have really enjoyed reading books 7 and 8 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but will now have to wait until she publishes the next book.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #08) has the following blurb:

It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated.Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John’s son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him.

And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past . . .

It was difficult to write a review of this book without spoilers, so this was my attempt on Goodreads (and I gave it four stars):

Oh, I did enjoy this book. Yes, I know it was very long and complex with a huge amount of detail and often preposterous plot devices, but I find these books so absorbing to read. It is quite amusing how Gabaldon forces Jamie and Claire into just about every major event of the time, but she is a great writer of settings and atmosphere. Unlike other readers, I also like reading about Claire’s incredible and inventive surgical skills.

My only negatives are that some of the to-ing and fro-ing in the early parts of the book were almost farcical. The intimate details of some lesser characters’ sex lives made me cringe a bit too. Yes, to Jamie and Claire, no to some of the others!

For once, I enjoyed the sections about Brianna and Roger – these were well done and their characters were not as annoying as in other books.

All in all, I hope we don’t have to wait too much longer for the next book!

Once again, this book had a mixed reception, so it is worth reading other reviews on Goodreads and other sites. I can’t wait until the next episode, but Diana Gabaldon takes such care with her research into the period and so you can sympathise with how long it takes her to write each book.

Astra by Naomi Foyle

I still have Jamie and Claire in my head, but have started my next book, Astra by Naomi Foyle, which is totally different. My verdict will be given next week!

Until then, Happy Reading to you all!

Best wishes,


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Update 16/04/19 with thoughts about my Mum

I am sitting here in bed with shivers going down my spine. Why? Well, I have a voice singing in my head, my Mother’s voice. Singing the same song, so beautifully, over and over. Her high notes make the hairs on my head stand up – so crystal clear despite the background crackles on the recording.

I don’t have all of the details about this story, but am writing what I do know. When my Mum was young, she had singing lessons to help develop her wonderful voice. She also entered a number of competitions and once came second to the now famous Dame Janet Baker. When I was a child, and as I grew up, her singing was a background to my life. She sang all day at home and in the chapel that we went to each Sunday. When we moved house, I remember people looking over their shoulder in amazement as her voice soared over the congregation in our new church. She carried on singing in choirs and at events well into old age.

Anyway, I can vaguely remember her telling me that she had been able to have a recording done when she was young, with her father, my grandfather, playing the accompaniment. She was given a vinyl 78 record of this. I am not sure how old she was, but think she must have been in her late teens or early twenties (I will correct this if any family members tell me the right age).

When my Mother died, in 2012, we found the old record and tried to play it, but it was very damaged and virtually unlistenable due to the loud crackles. Now, my nephew has been able to mostly clean up the digital version and kindly sent me copies of both sides of the record on Saturday.

I was shaking as I played each file. It was as if I had been transported to my early childhood as I listened to my Mother’s young voice again and my Grandfather’s piano playing. It is quite indescribable and I am really struggling to express my feelings. Perhaps the poem below, will give you an idea of what this means to me – I wrote it to read out at her funeral:

Without Your Song

Your glorious voice that threaded through my childhood is silenced forever.
But I can still hear you in my head
singing those old songs,
which I will never forget.

When you sang somewhere new your voice soared above all others.
People would turn to look,
shivers running down spines
at the sweet beauty of your gift.

Memories of childhood flicker like a filmstrip through my mind:
Soapy Joe, crisp new dresses,
shrimping nets and rockpool days,
floating on crystal notes.

Holding your hand in the last days and listening to your breathing,
I thought about happy times,
how you had loved us all,
and smiled through grateful tears.

The last thing you said to me was “I love you, don’t be sad”.
Well I am sad, but also joyful
to think how fortunate I have been
with you as my mother.

Written by me and read out at Mum’s Funeral in Peterborough and Service in Clevedon, November 2012.

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 15/04/19

It is such a lovely day again and so I wore my most “Spring-like” scarf: Hermès’ Dans un Jardin Anglais, designed by Alice Shirley. It depicts a beautiful English garden in full bloom with flowers, trees in blossom, fresh grass and a wealth of animals, insects and birds. It is a wonderful, happy scarf and always lifts my mood.

The background colour is the most exquisite shade of purple and so it goes very well with my clothes and accessories in that colour.

Outfit of the day 15/04/19 with Hermès’ Dans un Jardin Anglais scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Purple cotton mix short-sleeved top – Lands’ End.
  • Purple cotton mix round neck cardigan – Lands’ End.
  • Indigo cotton jeans – Cotton Traders.
  • Amethyst and gold botanical style earrings – craft centre near Torquay. I also wore the matching ring, which has leaves and berries in gold but no amethysts.
  • Purple leather and pale gold wrap Gancia bracelet – Ferragamo.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in lilac, purple, aqua, green and orange – Dans un Jardin Anglais – Hermès. Tied using a MaiTai purple lacquered horn scarf ring.

I had a couple of library books to pick up and drop off today, so Lovely Husband kindly drove me into town. Whilst I was in the Library, I also sorted out my access to the new “Smart Library” system, which enables members to go into the Library when it is unstaffed. As a retired professional Librarian, I cannot say that I am enamoured of this idea as it severely cuts staff hours and pay. It does, however, help to keep our libraries open during these terrible times with huge cuts to public services’ budgets.

Elder Son has been away for a few days and is coming back home tonight, so I had better prepare myself for all of the tales about his adventures!

Best wishes,


PS. If you are particularly interested in the Dans un Jardin Anglais scarf, you could look at my Scarf of the Moment post here.

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Outfit of the day 12/04/19

Hooray! I actually managed to leave the house today! Ok, it was only to travel to my counselling appointment and back again, but it feels like a real achievement. It has been my only opportunity to wear something nice out of the house for quite a while.

For some reason, my purple clothes and accessories don’t seem to photograph true to colour, so please believe me when I tell you that these items in the collage below blended beautifully. Even Lovely Husband noticed! I also carried my gorgeous amethyst pebbled leather Victoria handbag by Marco Massaccesi – in real life it is almost exactly the same colour as my cashmere jumper. I adore this scarf, mainly for the tiny images of vases in the corners (one of my Masters degrees involved studying Ancient Greek vases!).

Outfit of the day 12/04/19 with Hermès’ Escales Mediterranéenes scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Lilac cashmere v-neck jumper – Marks and Spencer.
  • Pale grey stretch cotton cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Amethyst and silver stud earrings – Blue Nile.
  • Purple enamel and gold Chain bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in lilac, purple, green, and white – Escales Mediterranéenes – Hermès. Tied using a MaiTai purple lacquered horn scarf ring.

I feel that counselling is still doing me a lot of good, so am expecting to carry on with these sessions for quite a while longer. It helps me to clarify issues and future actions in my mind and has certainly enabled me to handle some of the more “challenging” events brought by living in a family with ill health and disability.

Here’s hoping that the pleasant weather continues over the weekend and into next week. We have just had the lawn cut and I am planning on wandering down the garden tomorrow – it looks really lovely from the back bedroom window.

Happy weekend to you all!

Best wishes,


PS. If you are particularly interested in the Escales Mediterranéenes scarf, you could look at my Scarf of the Moment post here.

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