Evening Chic On Celebrity: Fifty Plus Style

Some of my evening outfits from our cruise.


Dress: Phase Eight (charity shopped) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings Debenhams.


Dress: Phase Eight Cardigan: M&S (charity shopped) Watch: Debenhams Jade Earrings: Bought in Hong Kong a couple of years ago


Dress: M&S Shoes: Alexon (charity shopped) Earrings: Bought in Tenerife last year


Top: Phase Eight Skirt: Alexon (belonged to my mother) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings as before


Chiffon Blouse: charity shopped Trousers: charity shopped Shoes: Carvela Pearls: Bought in an antiques shop in Bridport this summer.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my cruise wardrobe.  Dressing up was such good fun!








Upcycling A Foot Stool

I saw this dress in a charity shop and fell in love with the embroidered pattern.  I bought it for £3.25 but when I tried it on it was too short (no-one needs to see my knees). Normally I would re-donate but this time I was desperate to hold onto it for the fabric.  Then I had this brainwave – I could cover this old footstool that was gathering dust in my office.


My dad was an upholsterer so luckily I have inherited a whole load of upholstery tacks.  All I needed to do was cut up the dress and tack it on to the foot stool pad.  Et voila! A pretty boho stool for my living room!


It really is worth charity shopping with an open mind as you never know what you might end up with.



A Summer Night: Fifty Plus Style


We’ve just spent a blissful few days in Bardolino on Lake Garda, Italy. No sightseeing, just getting away from it all.  On Tuesday night we went to the opera so I chose a pretty frock from Debenhams Collection and my trusty white linen jacket from M&S.  The weather was scorching, so the jacket was surplus to requirements really.

The dress is one of my charity shop buys – it cost me a fiver and no doubt after a couple of wears it will go back for someone else to stumble across it.  That’s the beauty of charity shops.  You can shop guilt free, have lots of different outfits, then give them all back at the end of it to make room for more!  I never tire of it and happily spend hours browsing.  I also don’t give a monkey’s about who owned it before, or any potential stigma attached to second hand.  To me, a charity shop is like a dressing up box: just full of sartorial opportunity! This dress actually came with matching green strappy shoes, but no way I was walking more than a mile in them, so they stayed at home for a more suitable occasion.



Developing A Thick Skin


There comes a time in your life when you just don’t care what other people think of you. At the grand age of 54 (and a half) I’ve reached it!

These are some of the things which have led me to this conclusion:

  •  I was in the gym today, having a cappuccino and reading a magazine; in other words, not actually exercising. Did I feel the need to offer an explanation? No.
  • I don’t care who sees me without make up
  • I buy what I like to wear – whether it be in fashion or not.  In fact I have a wardrobe full of what could be deemed as inappropriately fluffy items of clothing which make me look like a hamster, but so what!
  • I sing out in choir, whether I’m confident I know a piece or not, I don’t mind getting it wrong.  It’s not a crime, it’s a song.
  • I wear ugly shoes for walking.
  • You can’t make people like you, and if they are gossiping about you, then at least they are leaving someone else alone.
  • I buy loads of things from charity shops and don’t care who knows it.
  • I blog (gotta be thick skinned to do this!)
  • When I feel the need to wear sequins, I do, whether it’s Christmas or not.
  • When I feel the need to stay in my PJs, I do.
  • I don’t feel peer pressure to have an extra drink, stay up late, have the latest phone, run a marathon or whatever.
  • I don’t brush my hair very often and don’t care how wild it looks.

Why on earth it’s taken this long, I have no idea, but it’s a good place to be.




Giving Up. Anyone Looking For A Frock?

Having tried so hard to get to a healthy weight and achieved just a couple of pounds weight loss, today I’m wondering why I’m bothering, and thinking I should just give up.  I’ve been feeling like this for a few days and yesterday did a sweep of my wardrobe and piled a whole load of dresses (one never worn) ready to take to the charity shop, accepting that I’m never going to get into them again. I don’t know why my motivation wavers so much, as I have really good health reasons for needing to get the weight off, but I really cannot get my act together.  Why is it so blimmin’ hard? Answers on a postcard please……..

PS anyone looking for an evening dress in size 10 or 12 ask me now, before I take them to the charity shop!  The one pictured is from Coast, size 10.  You’re welcome to it!queen elizabeth 2012 014

Less Really Is More at Collingwood House

I’m not sure how exactly it’s happened but I seem to have managed to achieve a sense of calm.  We’ve been on holiday to Menorca, staying near Es Castell, in the 18th century Collingwood House.  There are strictly no mod cons at this place (no TV, no aircon, very basic food), although you can get wifi in the main reception.  We read books, played scrabble, went for walks and enjoyed the wildlife (lots of lizards and big bugs).  There are places to eat out within easy walking distance, but for the most part, we kicked back and relaxed.  At bedtime it was very dark and very quiet, great for a good night’s sleep.


It’s only a two star hotel, once the home of Admiral Collingwood, second in command to Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.  The interior has been lovingly restored by the current owner who has been adding to his collection of artefacts since 1961 and the style reflects how it would have looked in Collingwood’s day.


Although not far from Mahon, we heard that the owner had bought the surrounding land to prevent development, so you have the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.


Being in such a calming place has really made me think about stuff.  And I do mean literally ‘stuff’.  We were very happy with the simplicity.  Logging on once a day to check emails and happily ignoring social media.  I read a couple of great books and indulged in time frittered away.  There was no dressing up and no putting on make up.


It made me think about why we feel we need so much stuff in our lives.  In fact, the first thing I’ve done this morning is drop a load of clothes off at the charity shop. I also realised just how much time I spend on social media and have to ask myself, does it really benefit me, or is it just a drain on my internal resources?

So with a rethink on the cards, I’m re-energised and ready for the run up to the winter solstice.  Can’t say I’ve thought about giving up blogging though….I spent loads of time scribbling notes in my little yellow diary instead.  Can’t live without committing my thoughts to paper…it’s the habit of a lifetime.  Happy Days!

Totnes and Buckfastleigh

These two pretty Devon towns are linked by the South Devon railway which runs along the River Dart.

Totnes is a hippytastic heaven for a flowerpower child of the sixties and seventies like me, with its abundance of offbeat boutiques, charity shops and of course the wonderful Neals Yard.  I spent ages in here just looking at the essential oils and jars containing herbal remedies.  Please open a shop in Chester soon!  This time, I bought some juniper essential oil which I will be burning in September for that ‘new term’ vibe that autumn brings.


Totnes also has lots of teashops and it would be rude not to have a cream tea. I loved this mismatched china.


We went onto the little town of Buckfastleigh to visit relatives who own and run the Baker’s Oven – a lovely bistro on the main street.


The town was bedecked with bunting while we were there.  Not sure if this is all summer long, but it does give the place a summer holiday feel.


These two towns turned up my best charity shop buys of our road trip: a set of retro seventies jars and a jam making pan – just what I’d been looking for.  I can’t pass a charity shop without a mooch!