Outfit of the day 21/02/20

I have been getting very lazy during the past few weeks.  Because I haven’t been leaving the house very often, I haven’t been bothering to wear proper clothes most days, just slinging on a jumper over my pyjamas. Sometimes I have tied a scarf very casually around my neck for extra warmth. Basically, I have been rather low and depressed and I felt too tired to get dressed.

Probably, I will continue to have days like that when it all feels too much trouble, but I am going to try to make the most of my nicely coordinated wardrobe and accessories, even if I don’t go out! Anyway, today I am wearing a pretty jumper from Sainsbury’s Tu – it looks nice with my grey hair as the colours are white, pale blue and several shades of grey; grey Lands’ End jeans and the lovely silver earrings that my sister kindly gave me for my birthday back in November (by RR Designs on Etsy). Even my slippers work with these items as they are grey too!

Outfit of the day 21/02/20

I was going to make a collage but I don’t think I have an image of the jumper – never mind.

Next week should be peaceful (fingers crossed) as Elder Son will be away. Lovely Husband and I will enjoy the time on our own and try to come up with some kind of plan for how we are going to tackle all of the issues on our list. The list is very long! We are also going to attempt to go out for lunch a couple of times, which would be lovely.

I do hope that you all have a great weekend!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 19/02/20

Well, I can actually write a proper post this week. OK, I only finished one ebook, but it was a very long one – more like two, or more, book lengths in one. In fact it was very satisfying to be able to read a complete story without having to wait for the next book!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

You can already tell that I enjoyed The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Here is the blurb:

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

This appears to be a stand-alone book, although there are hints that the author might return to this world in the future. I must say that I hope she does as it was very well-realised with good characters. Anyway, before I say any more about the book, here is my review on Goodreads:

The Priory of the Orange TreeThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book – let me say that at the start. Yes, there were flaws, but the book held my attention from start to finish. The plot was exciting and moved along swiftly, the characters were mostly well-depicted and the setting was also interesting. There was also plenty of action. It’s so lovely to have strong female characters too.

Fantasy fiction has always been one of my favourite genres and this book, with its dragons, kings, queens, sorcery and intrigue is well worth consideration. If I were to find fault it would be with the rather short climax to the tale. It all happened far too quickly! Also, and this my be my own fault, I did find the switching between different points of view and the huge number of characters and place names hard to follow at first. This may be due to the impairment I still suffer with from my stroke. As the book progressed, I did find it much easier to make sense of it all.

Final comment: Samantha Shannon appears to have a love for unusual words, so I am glad that I read this as an ebook because it was so easy to look them up! I am grateful that she doesn’t overdo this, though or I might have to buy a larger dictionary!

View all my reviews

One last comment: whilst reading other reviews about the book on Goodreads, it seems that, once again, I seem to have missed a lot of hype about this book! I think that is quite a good thing as I started reading it without any preconceived ideas!

The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald

Today, I started reading my next book: The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald, which I will write about next week, assuming that I finish it! Until then…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 17/02/20 with a different kind of review!

I haven’t been well since Friday afternoon, really, so I will only manage a short post today about a new scarf app by MaiTai.

I have been following MaiTai’s wonderful blog, MaiTai’s Picture Book, for some years – it happened like this…

As I was finishing my working life and moving into retirement, I returned to one of my former loves: scarves. I started to purchase more and, after wandering around the web, came across MaiTai’s site. At first, I was only interested in her posts about scarf ties and I started to try them out with my small collection of cheap and cheerful scarves and stoles. I couldn’t help seeing her gorgeous Hermès scarves and was awe struck by their beauty. And, of course, MaiTai herself looks amazing wearing them. The fact that she uses them with mostly fairly casual outfits really inspired me and I saved up for my first ever Hermès scarf: La Promenade du Platon. It was only going to be the one!

Apart from her lovely blog, MaiTai also runs a small online shop and I have also purchased scarf rings and have admired her other wares: jewellery, handbag liners and so on.

Anyway, she has now taken her scarf knot tutorials to another level. For a small fee, you can download an app (iPhones and iPads only) to help you make a range of beautiful scarf knots. Some are very simple, others are more intricate, but all have clear instructions with videos, photos and tips. I am going to enjoy trying out and perfecting some new knots as they really lift scarf wearing above the ordinary.

The articles about each knot have lots of detailed instructions and alternative versions of the knot. MaiTai also helps you to work out how the knot would work with different scarf sizes. There is video and photographic support to really help both novices and those more expert at scarf tying. I think that there is something for everyone who is a scarf lover!

Well, I think that I need to finish writing now and go have a play. Once again, I will put a link to MaiTai’s blog post which gives you much more information about the app: Scarf Art App with ten new knots and 44 tutorials!

Love and best wishes,



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Outfit of the day 14/02/20 with a haircut!

Yes, you read that correctly. I actually went to the hairdresser’s today and had my hair done. It is about six months since I last went and my hair had grown quite a lot and was very messy. She gave it a good trim, but I decided to keep some of the length and not have it cut really short again. I might change my mind next time, but I like my curls. They seem to disappear when my hair is cut too short. So, she curled it up like mad! It will settle down a lot when I wash it as I don’t bother to use a hairdryer these days.

Before and after the hairdresser 14/02/20

Afterwards, I walked across the road to Sainsbury’s, through the store into the café and joined the queue. Elder Son was working at the counter and didn’t see me until I was almost in front of him. It was lovely to watch him “in action” as he had no idea that I was observing him working. I was really impressed at his manner with customers and his speed and efficiency! When he served me, he offered to take my food to the table as I was feeling very wobbly and, when he had returned to his work station, some of the customers around me spoke of how polite and well-spoken he was. I am so proud of him!

It was actually his birthday yesterday – 30!!! I can’t believe that we have reached that number. Yesterday I spent much of the day reminiscing about his younger days and when he came home he spent some time with me chatting about his boyhood and how far he has come since then. Ahhhh!

Today’s outfit was a blend of blues with grey:

Outfit of the day 14/02/20 with Hermès’ Sweet Dreams scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Grey v-neck cashmere jumper – Marks and Spencer.
  • Navy stretch cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Navy suede ankle boots – Duo Boots.
  • Navy, blue, black and white enamel with rose gold hinged bangle – Ianthe – Liberty of London.
  • Wool and silk scarf, 100cm, in blue, grey and white – Sweet Dreams – Hermès. Tied very casually using a mother-of-pearl scarf ring by MaiTai.

I also wore my new grey leopard print coat by Masai Clothing and carried my lovely dark blue Africa Selene handbag by Massaccesi. This wardrobe planning lark certainly makes it easy to dress in a nice coordinating outfit!

Right, I am now very tired, but also pleased with the day so far, so I will settle down with tea and a treat. I do hope that you all have a lovely weekend.

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 12/02/20

Oh, I am reading such a good book this week! So enjoyable!

Erm, the present tense in the first sentence is a big giveaway – I haven’t finished the book. In fact I am only about half way through. It is a very long book and I have been rather distracted by other matters, so any reviews/ratings/conclusions will have to wait until next week.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Sorry about that!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 10/02/20

This is a very quick update. I have been very unwell with lots of coughing and dizzy spells over the weekend. I’m not sure about this, but perhaps the gales stirred up dust that somehow got into our house despite the double glazing? Anyway, it has been very tough.

Then, yesterday, we had one of the recurring incidents caused by Elder Son’s ASD. He is becoming extremely strong minded at the moment, not always a bad thing, but it can become too much to manage calmly. I won’t go into the details except to say that Lovely Husband and I are left feeling shattered and exhausted. Many thanks to friends who continue to give me support via Facebook 💗💗💗.

So, let’s hope that tomorrow is a better day and that the rest of the week improves.

Love and best wishes,



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Outfit of the day 07/02/20

The sunny weather has really cheered me up today after more than a week of daily severe coughing attacks. I suppose that I have to live with them and try not to be fearful of the next one. Anyway, I have tried not to let them get me down and I was pleased that Lovely Husband and I were able to go out together. He is well enough to go out on his own and I encourage him to do so daily. I don’t want to limit his life.

Yet again, we went to a garden centre. Not very exciting for you, my readers, but at least I am able to sit, have a cup of tea and chat with LH followed by a little bit of exercise. Even if I just potter around, I am walking!

Today was the first outing for my new coat and I went to town with toning greys and purples, with a small rectangular silk scarf in Spring colours – pink, orange and green against pearly white. I also carried my gorgeous grey and silver Massaccesi Diane handbag. My hair still needs a rather drastic cut, but I have now made an appointment for next Friday – hooray!

Outfit of the day 07/02/20 with small white silk scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Lilac cashmere v-neck jumper – Marks and Spencer.
  • Harbour grey silk blend t-shirt – Lands’ End.
  • Mid grey cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Bright purple suede ankle boots – Duo Boots.
  • Cream and gold Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Bronze Art Nouveau earrings. I think that my pearl earrings would have been a better choice!
  • Small rectangular silk scarf in pink, orange, green and white. Tied loosely around the neck and finished with a bow.

I am now back in bed, eating bread with strawberry jam and with a large pot of tea – yum 😋.

Hoping that you all have a wonderful weekend,

Love and best wishes,



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