Hello again

If you thought that the last post I put up was a little thin, apologies, I have been quite distracted these past few weeks. First of all, I took a couple of weeks to write a 3000+ word piece for My Other Blog. New followers I need to explain something.  My Other Blog is full of my Guardian-reader type opinions, and yet many long-standing followers know how I write these pieces and support me in my endeavours. I absolutely don’t want to offend, but don’t look at it if you are a fan of this government! Just saying   😉

Actually before I get into the other thing that has been distracting me, honestly, I think I have something that apparently a lot of us are suffering from – brain fog – and all due, I believe, from being stuck indoors throughout our three lockdowns and the consequent lack of stimulation so necessary for our brains. I used to be able to dash the Other Blog pieces off in a matter of days and, if you look back, to when I first started I wrote one every two weeks. I now seem to do one every two months!

The thing is despite many of us adapting well to the lockdowns it was dull without all the hustle and bustle, and the meeting and greeting we’d do just going about our daily lives. There isn’t anything wrong with us if we do feel this foggy sense of having slowed down, as it’s obviously a completely normal reaction to this really odd experience we’ve all been through over the last few months. And it should go once we pick up on our more normal routines. Thank you btw, for last week’s thoughtful comments on my slight reluctance to do exactly that – I’m working on it!

Now the other thing. I thought I was the epitome of a sensible person who looked ageing straight in the face and consequently thought through what ageing was all about, including where one ought to live. So, for nearly 4 years we have lived in an over-55 block of flats managed by a Housing Association.  We are possibly the youngest of the owners (no-one rents in this block, although that is more common) but if this is so, it won’t stay like that now that I am nearly 75.

I’ve written about our reasons for moving a couple of times on this blog, but in a nutshell there are 3 key reasons why we live where we do: i) I carry a lot of baggage. My mother did not choose her final resting place and put a huge burden on me and my sister, particularly with regard to her accommodation, with her resisting and hating every moment of the way out of her home even though she patently could not manage. It was a very challenging time and I decided I would never, not ever do that to my kids.  ii) It’s sensible and the thing one ought to do. In my career as a researcher and development officer specialising in older people’s services, I saw so many people regretting that they hadn’t made that decision to down-size, and having to move when it was a crisis, from their too large houses and large gardens that they could no longer manage, rather than taking control and moving to just another place to live. And iii) we wanted to return to Brighton and living in this type of accommodation was a cheap option (for Brighton) as long as you can afford the service charge.

And what have I been doing the past two months?  Mrs ‘Sensible Personified’ has only been thinking about putting this ‘sensible’ flat on the market and moving again! We had the Estate Agents round to value the flat, and looked at a few places as well. We’re not, btw. As in, we’re not moving. A key meeting with our Financial Adviser made us realise it was financial folly so my moving madness has been binned and we have a couple of projects that are keeping me happy. More about those in a min.

It’s the pandemic wot’s done it.  I just got fed up, not with where we live, as the Kemptown area is divine and saved our sanity through these past month with its proximity to the sea and its sweet little independent shops that are all open now. No, actually, I longed for an outside space of my own and, and, another room for me to shut the door and write away to my heart’s content.

We bought the flat as a base for an out-and-about lifestyle with visits to art galleries and exhibitions in London and us participating in everything Brighton has to offer including many visits to the cinema, all of which are in walkable distance. Instead like the rest of the population we’ve been stuck indoors for months, and well, I just got fed up.  I acknowledge that I am a serial mover and I have had a quite a cool hard look at why we have moved so often.  But we have been very happy with each and every one of those moves. However, a move now is out of the question for so many reasons, not just our finances, including one or two I’m not going into now that you’ll hear about soon.

Anyway, Mr F and myself have had lots of chats about how we feel about living where we do and, and, there is one solution/ project that has delighted me. We have two bedrooms and Mr F has the second bedroom as his office, while I write on a table in the sitting-room, which means I have to clear up my scattered papers every time we eat and every time we have a Zoom Pilates class. But oh joy, Mr F has conceded that what would make me really happy is to have a room of my own, soooo, I am to have the second bedroom as my office and Mr F will do all that he does (and he does a lot of very interesting family history plus he designs printed books of our old photographs which are given to our kids) and all of that will be done in our sitting-room. Now that will take some doing as we have to change our furniture and redesign the room to get Mr F happy with where he works, plus not ruining our sitting-room with (I have to say it) his clutter! This switch-round of offices is not going to happen immediately, but as I absolutely love rearranging furniture in a room, I’m feeling very energised having to deal with it all.

Just a thought, if you are thinking of down-sizing to a place that is more suited to you in later life make sure that you do have sufficient room for all your hobbies and pastimes. And if the garden means a great deal to you, then get a ground-floor flat with an outside space or an apartment with a large balcony, ours is quite small and not really suitable for sitting out on. I’m fine about that now and I’m currently working on the balcony’s summer display. (What summer!!!) It was just the pandemic that put me in that frame of mind, that what we had wasn’t sufficient for our needs.

And here’s another project that I’m thinking about. During the interview I had with Tricia Cusden I told her that I have quite a high-turnover of clothes, although I hasten to add I have many charity shop clothes I’ve kept for years. But what I usually do is return charity shop clothes to charity shops. Well, since I said that, I’ve had a think about this, and some of these clothes are lovely and really, could I be selling them?  This might sound a bit mean, after all, I am always saying that it’s good to give back to charities, although I suppose I have already by buying the item in the first place!  Anyway, this is my latest project. I have a lot of UK size 12 clothes that I simply cannot get into anymore. I am going to experiment and start by selling one or two items on eBay first. I have also wondered whether I could create my own little shop on the blog?  But that would be up to Mr F and he has a lot of his own projects to deal with let along a mammoth task like that – so that’s very much on the back burner.

What do you think about this, as tbh, it’s a bit scary as I will be going outside this lovely community of women here on Frugal Fashion and encountering the real world!  I know some of you have bought on eBay (and there are other platforms like Vinted and DeePop) but have any of you sold on these platforms?  Do let me know if you have and if you had any problems with selling items.

So there you are, you now know what has been distracting me over the past few weeks! However, I think, having a tricky project is actually energising and such a positive thing to do.  I’m loving the first one with the redesign of the sitting room but finding the other project a bit terrifying, but it’s good to be challenged.  And it sure keeps you on your toes!

And here are my latest buys. Two days ago, I had a very successful visit to my local charity shop and found 4 items. Here are 3 of them.

The first buy is a really great pair of Zara pants – I do think they’re fun!

They’re sort of sporty, and I love that stripe down the side, which is quite slimming. Then I bought two jackets, both for £9 each. Here’s the first one.

Yes, it is big, but who was telling me big jackets are back?  Well, it’s definitely a big jacket, with a Betty Barclay label no less.

I think despite it being one size too large, it’ll do.  Then here’s another that is the right size (UK14) but still gives that big jacket  vibe.

Does the colour clash – not sure!

The colour is really in-your-face, and Mr F says he’ll have to wear sun-glasses to look at it. But it’s a fun jacket and I like it!

I spoke too soon as it is absolutely not summer yet here, and there’s more cool weather on the way with high winds too. Brr! Still, the jackets and the pants are waiting to be worn and all I want is the right sort of weather to wear these items – can’t wait for this unseasonable cold to end and the warmth to begin!

That’s all for now but do tell me if you have sold items on eBay or elsewhere, as it’s good to hear your experiences.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. If you’ve read down to these last few words, and still want to read the piece I wrote on My Other Blog, go to the icon to the right of this post if reading on a Mac or PC, or scroll to the very end of the post and beyond if reading on a phone 🙂

Tagged on:                         

49 thoughts on “Distractions, brain fog and ways to be positive

  • 20th May 2021 at 2:48 pm

    What a lovely, timely read which resonated in so many ways. We are moving home, from a beautiful place with amazing views but it is a maisonette so long flight of stairs to do anything outdoors even having a cuppa. It is really hard as I love it but it won’t suit for much longer. So, I have got rid of lots and lots of clothes, most barely if worn, I tried market place which was an awful faff, people can be so rude and I got tired of the post office queue! Last week I took bags and bags to the local hospice charity shop again and just felt incredible relief, so my advice would be think long and hard about trying to sell your clothes. Please keep writing through the fog?

    • 21st May 2021 at 7:51 am

      Thanks Sharon, yes, you’re right, it is quite an effort to sell clothes online so I am thinking about it a lot, and still haven’t decided what to do. And good for you making that decision to move. I know we made the right decision and it was just the pandemic that’s made me feel fed up – like most of the population, I guess!

      Thanks and I will keep writing 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Penny

    I have never had much luck in selling clothes on eBay. My experience is that for what you get for them, the time spent listing the item and then packing up and postage I would rather just take to a charity shop. However, if your items are pretty unique, good labels etc it might be worth having a go. Btw with a smart phone it is much easier to list items. I’m afraid I don’t have any experience of the shop side of things.

    I really enjoy your blog and it is always a pleasure to see it in my Inbox. By the way, I loved your piece about your father. My father was in the Indian Army before and during WWII and some of the place names were familiar from his personal history. He was in the Gurkhas and survived the retreat from Burma.

    Good luck if you eBay. I shall look forward to hearing how things go.

    • 21st May 2021 at 8:05 am

      Hi Jane, I’ve been weighing up trying Vinted or eBay – think I must have at least one attempt.

      Thanks so much about the blog and the kind words about the piece on my father. Thank goodness he wrote his experiences down, even when I was older a lot of what he said was meaningless as he used quite a lot of army jargon when he talked about India. Btw, he never spoke about the war, it was always about the pre-war life on the North West Frontier, which I thought after I read his memoir were the happiest days of his life. I learnt so much about him through reading about his early life.

      Thanks Jane 🙂

    • 21st May 2021 at 9:55 am

      Hello Jane
      I was really interested to read about your father in the retreat from Burma. My mother’s first husband worked for the Burmah Oil Company and was killed during the Japanese invasion. My mother managed to get out via South Africa and came back to the UK, where she met up again with my father who had been her childhood sweetheart. She wouldn’t talk much about it and I think had PTSD, long before it was diagnosed.

      Best wishes

      • 21st May 2021 at 6:01 pm

        Hi Gena
        Thank you for sharing your family history. I found it particularly interesting because my mother in law who was much younger than my parents escaped to South Africa from Singapore with her siblings. They were more or less abandoned by their mother until they were reunited in England. Her mother had a child while her father was in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Amazingly when he came back he totally accepted that child as his own. My mother in law rarely talked about any of this but had fragile mental health most of her life in the most part preferring the company of animals to people. I think this was possibly the result of childhood trauma or PTSD. How lovely that your mother found her childhood sweetheart.

  • 20th May 2021 at 2:49 pm

    What a lovely, timely read which resonated in so many ways. We are moving home, from a beautiful place with amazing views but it is a maisonette so long flight of stairs to do anything outdoors even having a cuppa. It is really hard as I love it but it won’t suit for much longer. So, I have got rid of lots and lots of clothes, most barely if worn, I tried market place which was an awful faff, people can be so rude and I got tired of the post office queue! Last week I took bags and bags to the local hospice charity shop again and just felt incredible relief, so my advice would be think long and hard about trying to sell your clothes. Please keep writing through the fog?

  • 20th May 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I had to laugh I want to move too. We downsized 8 years ago from a small village in West France, large house, two gardens and potager for all our veg, to a city centre flat in Nice. The flat is great but the building is getting run down, when we bought it we were told to expect to be asked to contribute to the exterior renovation ‘in the near future’ we like the flat so we were prepared for that. Since then many people have died or moved out and rent their flats we need 50% of the owners to agree to renovation and as fewer owners live here now they are not motivated. My husband says it’s mad we have nice neighbours and a comfortable home and we don’t know what we would be getting into if we move.

    By all means sell your clothes I have friends who are happy using Vinted maybe you’ll make enough to cover your move 😉

    • 21st May 2021 at 8:12 am

      Oh Flora, you too! I have mostly got the moving bug out of my system, and am happy with our recent decision to swap writing areas. My other half has a tendency to fill any space he has with a lot of, I have to say, clutter.He has drawers full of wires, leads and plugs! Which might be useful someday! Whatever happens it’s good he’s clearing out stuff, meanwhile I have a huge collection of London Review of Books which has to be cleared as I never go back to read any of it!

      I hear what you say about buildings. Our Housing Association is quite well run and we have sufficient monies to renovate but it is slow, we don’t think the old-fashioned doubled glazed windows will be done for years. At the moment they’re relaying a huge patio, which is costing a fortune. Ah well, we’re here and the area is as I said divine, as Nice must be.

      Am thinking of trying Vinted as Deepop is for the youth I think.

      Thanks Flora – great to hear your views.

  • 20th May 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Penny,
    Thanks for your insight and experience of downsizing!
    It’s so true about hobbies and having some space to accommodate all the gear!! I think it’s not always possible to find something that fulfils all the criteria in terms of thinking about our ageing and what is manageable.

    I think it’s a great idea to try and get some money for your lovely items of clothing. I tried to sell some really nice items of furniture but in the end gave them to charity, simply because it was quite time consuming and we were in a bit of a hurry to get sorted and move.
    I love your recent purchases Penny xx

    • 21st May 2021 at 8:16 am

      You’re absolutely right, Vivien, no accommodation is absolutely right, there’s always some issue, and really we shouldn’t move, so we’re not! And the area is so nice, couldn’t be better really.

      I am thinking of Vinted and will have a try and report back. Yes, this last haul of charity shop items was a really good one 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Penny,
    I think the pink jacket is stunning on you (sunglasses definitely not required!). I decided to sell an item on Vestiare Collective (a very expensive and desirable Hermes bag, it’s purchase was always a bone of contention between me and my hubby). Whilst the site was professionally managed (so it should be as they charge a whopping commission fee) all I can say is that the experience of selling was horrendous: lots of ridiculous offers (people wanting something for nothing), a sale being made only to find the “buyer” didn’t have the funds, snipey comments probably in an attempt to put others off buying and much more. I think you have to be really hard headed to deal with selling on line. Would I do it again? Not on your life! Hope this doesn’t put you off having a go, just be careful.

    • 21st May 2021 at 8:20 am

      Thanks Anne, so glad I bought it. I looked at it for 5 minutes and thought will that bright colour suit me? And wasn’t at all sure, but it does! Really must have my colours done one day!

      Your experience is so similar to the many negative views I’ve read. I think I have to try and see and then report back.

      Thanks again, I will be careful 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Hello Penny, loving the new jackets especially the fuchsia one! I don’t think it clashes with the pants at all. Being too matchy matchy is boring anyway so I say good for you!

    With regard to eBay I’ve bought quite a bit of stuff there and have overall been very happy with the experience. I haven’t done much in the way of selling things because it always seems a bit of a faff having to take photos at lots of different angles and describe it in quite a lot of detail. There are two main things I would say with regard to selling. The first is you must be honest for example if there’s a slight teat or stain or a button is missing that’s ok as long as you’re upfront about it and show photos of any imperfections. The second point which I think is very important is don’t make the starting price too high. If for example you hope to get £20 for an item, don’t put it on at that price, start the bidding at say £2.99 and if enough people like it they will bid the price up and you may get more than you hoped. Similarly don’t overcharge for the postage – I think it puts people off. You can always put a reserve price on something and you can also do a ‘buy it now’ which means there is no bidding and somebody can just buy it straight off. People tend to put ‘buy it now’ items on for a higher price than auction prices.

    Hope that helps, Penny and happy eBaying!

    Gill xx

    • 21st May 2021 at 10:16 am

      Thanks so much for those kind words about the jacket and pants – loved the pants, the instance, I saw them but wasn’t sure about the jacket and I dithered but so glad I bought it.

      I will be very careful and try eBay &/or Vinted a couple of times.

      Thanks 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Rather than eBay, Depop, etc., is there not a “good as new” shop/business in your area? You’d give them your clothes, then once they were sold, you’d get your share. Obviously, you wouldn’t make as much money as selling the clothes yourself, but it would be a whole lot easier.
    I know someone who does this, the “shop” is in her house (old huge farmhouse, so lots of space and no overheads), she posts on Fc’bk, she’s been doing it for a few years and has a lot of regular customers, both buyers and sellers. She also buys/sells accessories, and you’d love some of the jewellery I’ve seen there 😊

    • 21st May 2021 at 10:21 am

      I have tried those shops in Lewes (there were two) and was successful in selling in them, I believe there is one in Hove. But the one I went to in Lewes has definitely closed down. So, that spurred me into thinking about eBay, it’s tricky as there seem to be many negatives about selling there. I think I have to try it, but not sure whether it will work.

      But you’re right – those nearly new shops are an easier option.

      Thanks 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry you got “cabin fever”. Which is what I would call the feeling of dissatisfaction you have had with your abode. The steps you are taking sound like they will take care of it. Plus, you should be able to get back to enjoying activities soon. ( I hope.) Haved enjoyed your blog for quite awhile. Yes, sell your lovelies on Ebay, Poshmark – if you have that – or some local platform like Facebook Marketplace. You won’t make oodles, but when someone buys, they will give it a whole new life. Quite often, when donated, they end up in the landfill. I do this & enjoy it…plus make a little money. I have and gave it to my Mom, so she wouln’t feel that she didn’t have any extra. She’s sitting on land & doesn’t feel ready to sell. Anyway, love following you. Keep blogging away.

    • 21st May 2021 at 11:45 am

      Hi, I think the cabin fever has gone – mostly – although there will always be a little part of me that will want to move! I am an itchy feet kind of person 🙂

      Yes actually you’re right about donations going to landfill, or in our case in the UK, huge bundles of 2nd hand clothes go to Africa ruining the local industry. So yes I will consider eBay and the other platforms – thanks so much Jean 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Great to hear that the brain fog is a universal thing. Of course a 3000 word blog is not what I would call a brain fog. Looking forward to reading that next. We had a brief period of wanting to move and downsize but thank goodness that did not last long enough to follow through. I am not ready to get rid of this lifestyle yet and the whole pandemic has made me realize this is my sanity space.
    As for the jackets, I really like the bright pink for the fun aspect and the lighter one, I would personally roll the sleeves to just below the elbow and toss on a group of pins across the high chest area and go. The pink pants are terrific with both of them and look like you will get a lot of wear from them. Good luck with whatever means you choose to get rid of the clothes you no longer wear. I have not had any experience with buying or selling on line so am of no help there.

    • 21st May 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Yes, the thing about down-sizing is that one mustn’t down-size too much. I think our flat is fine if you’re not in all day, which we have been with this pandemic apart from the hour-long walks. That’s changing now we can be out and about more. Also I love rearranging furniture, so am quite happy with the switching of the offices 🙂

      You’re so right about the pale pink jacket, I rolled the sleeves up as soon as I saw the pix. Am quite apprehensive about selling online, but I think I have to try. Will let everyone know how it goes.

      Take care 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Hello Penny. This is a very pertinent discussion for me as we are thinking of moving closer into town where the bus service is much better and some things will be in walking distance. We’ve decided against a retirement community because Mr’s only just going to be 70 this summer and I’m a year younger and paying those service charges for maybe 15 years (he has very long -lived family!) is too much. The one who lives longest will go for that option – I think it’s great if you’re on your own. The other problem is that we don’t want to go so small. We have 3 bedrooms and a study now and are only willing to lose one of those rooms. I don’t want an ‘all in one’ living space either. We need green stuff around us but I’m no longer bothered about a garden – a balcony would be nice but it would be silly to go somewhere without a lift as it’s all about future proofing. So far so good BUT without outside work to do how will Mr stay fit?? He’s not sporty or a joiner & won’t have the PT I use. We are in a bungalow but there are steps to get in so not ideal. Ponder, ponder!
    As to selling on e-bay, I have done so quite successfully in the past but there are just so many sellers now it’s getting harder. I have sold clothes but it’s just been costume jewellery more recently and I’m now wondering if I can be bothered to continue. I’ve tried BIN and auctions and if stuff is cheap enough it will sell eventually. Problem is that I don’t particularly enjoy the photography and listing and then you have to wrap and post. If you gave your time even a minimal £1 an hour value it would not be worth it unless you enjoy it. If you have stuff from fashionable/sought after brands then you can do well & the system works well most of the time. I’ve only had one person who failed to pay but who bid again when I relisted and still didn’t pay so I had to report him. My buying is almost always a very good experience & I get great bargains. It’s the first place I go to buy anything

    • 21st May 2021 at 1:57 pm

      I quite understand the path you’re taking and it sounds right for you. The thing with your other half is tricky – he needs lots of errands to do and maybe some work indoors? My other half isn’t sporty at all, but fortunately about a third of our Pilates classes are taken by men, so it was easy to persuade him to join a class. Mr F also likes walking and will walk on his own if I’m not going out, I know a couple of husbands who won’t go out without their partner???

      I think if I go ahead with the selling online I would enjoy the photography – my iPhone has a wonderful camera – and I would also enjoy the wrapping of the items in tissue paper etc. But you hear so many negative stories it’s good to hear you’ve mainly had good experiences – that’s really positive, so thanks for that Lynda. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 4:51 pm

    I have successfully sold on eBay for years and had no trouble at all. If I have an article to sell I check on the site to see if there is a similar on and put a cheaper price on it. I have sold my granddaughter’s clothes for my daughter and as they were mostly Mini Boden they sold well. This.week I put on a GR Nature dress which I bought from a car boot sale a couple of years ago. It’s too big for me now. I put it on at £6 and it sold for £22.
    I enjoy the whole procedure of photographing, parceling it up and posting it and take care to make the item look good with tissue paper and careful wrapping.
    I recently bought a beautiful Cos dress in fuchsia which I love and is now my best dress.
    I have bought things which didn’t fit me or I didn’t like and I just put them straight back on eBay and explained the reason.

    • 20th May 2021 at 5:04 pm

      As I said Catherine it works best if you have things to sell which have fashionable labels . I always package nicely – tissue, ribbons ‘thank you’ stickers etc. and get great feedback but the profit is so small it doesn’t make it worthwhile to me. each to their own of course…………………!

    • 21st May 2021 at 1:59 pm

      It’s so good, Catherine, to hear of people who’ve had good experiences on eBay – reading about yours and Lynda’s views makes me think perhaps I will use eBay – so many thanks, it was good to hear this.

  • 20th May 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Penny, I came to you via Tricia, quite recently, and am loving both blogs. Your approach to wardrobe and political matters resonate entirely with mine!! As regards selling, I belong to several Facebook groups, some restricted to House of Colour ‘graduates’ but others with wider membership. Have a look at WXYZ and Used To Be Yours and see what you think. There’s also a fab page called Green Is The New Black which will resonate loudly with you; each Friday is #freebieFriday where members advertise unwanted items for free, postage normally being paid by the recipient though a lot of ‘paying it forward’ goes on.

    • 21st May 2021 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Gill, thank you for those recommendations, actually I have joined (or is it been allowed into!) Green is the New Black and it looks really interesting, but as I haven’t had my colours done, I’m just watching at the moment as I have no idea what the colours for the season are (not accurately anyway – I can guess). Might treat myself to having colours done, though. And will look at Used to be Yours and WXYZ. It’s nice to find like-minded people – thanks for that 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 6:31 pm

    About selling clothes on Ebay….I had a large sized women’s suede fringed jacket in a sort of natural creamy coffee shade. I put it into their auction with a £1 starting price (it cost me £70) and no movement over the selling period but just before the end time there was a flurry with a magnificent bid of £1:50 winning the jacket. The postal address was the Museum of Nottingham and I was convinced it had been bought as a jacket for one of Robin Hood’s merry men in the Museum display!!!

    • 21st May 2021 at 3:48 pm

      Oh my word, that reinforces all the things I’ve heard about the negatives of selling. Might try it but the thought of doing it is a bit terrifying for me at the moment – ridiculous really, but I feel I must try.

      I wonder about the Museum! You could be right!

  • 20th May 2021 at 6:49 pm

    It’s funny you say you are a serial mover…because I never thought I would like moving until we’ve done it a couple of times in the last couple of years, haha!!
    As for selling things, I have yet to do it. But I keep thinking I should too. I want to hear more about what you decide.

    • 21st May 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Jodie, well, the thing is you hear so many negative reports about selling online, but I think I’d like to try it.

      As for moving, ah ha, we’ve done it far too often. I’ve got it out of my system for the moment but there’ll always be little part of me that will want to move – can’t help it, I have itchy feet!!!

      Take care xxx

  • 20th May 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Like others have commented my favorite is the bright pink jacket. And I do like it with the new pants, something different from denim and black. I have never sold anything on the internet. Probably both because I really do not have anything worth posting and mostly because my technological skills are almost non existent.
    I really do like where I live now, but that never stops me from imagining moving . Often it to the island village where the family vacations in the Summer. I even look at real estate while I am there, and a real estate company sends my available properties regularly. More seriously, I do wonder if I can remain here for the rest of my life. I am currently quite mobile, but you never know when that might change. My current place has more than one flight of stairs, which I can do just fine now but what of the future. I also remember how difficult my Mother was to care for. I realize this may sound cruel but her dementia made her paranoid and very difficult. It was especially hard on my brother who lived with her. Finally when there was no other choice and she needed round the clock care she fought us so hard. she hated the home she had to be placed in and hated me as well. recently, and I might have already posted this here, I saw an apartment I liked. for one thing it was in the same building as my daughter, completely renovated. I was in town, with lots of interesting shops and restaurants, across from a library which also contains a performing arts venue, a proposed movie theater on the next block, close to a train to take one into Manhattan in less than an hour. no stairs, an elevator. however, I couldn’t imagine giving up my “things” the artwork I have collected over a lifetime, not precious but important to me, the furniture I love but would not fit in a smaller space. I am certainly not a hoarder but my stuff still has too much meaning to me. I am just not ready. but of course when you are ready it might be too late to make the choice, as with my mother.
    On the bright side, I met with 4 friends today outside. we caught up, and are making plans to have lunch together in a week or so, outside as well. And there is my birthday dinner this weekend with all the family at the fancy French restaurant. I am in the process of reading your other blog, Wow! hopefully I will comment when I have digested it all.
    Wishing you the best Penny, Darby in New York

    • 22nd May 2021 at 8:56 am

      Thanks re: the pants and the fuchsia jacket, I dithered over that jacket and wondered if it was too bright, so glad I bought it!

      It’s an interesting thing that there are always issues with every place you live in. At the moment yours is perfect but will it be for ever, one can’t know, maybe it is your path to stay, although the apartment sounds interesting.

      I get what you say about the things and stuff, but it’s books I regret the most with regard to de-cluttering, as for me, furniture I can let go very easily as I am always excited by new furniture and currently I shall look in recycling stores to maybe up-cycle for the new look in our sitting-room and my new ‘office’. Our path was different to yours (as one would expect as everyone is different) and we had to make compromises, actually it was only the pandemic that made me think the flat was too small, and my views are changing as we do more outside and also, begin to take vacations. So looking forward to ours next month (the first since August 2019!) Hopefully this awful weather will improve. It’s been the wettest and coldest May for years.

      Enjoy the birthday dinner and here’s wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Derby, it’s always lovely to hear from you over the pond 🙂

  • 20th May 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Penny,

    Here in the states, many of us enjoy the eBay experience. I have purchased many items from the US and around the world (handmade jewelry from Italy, clothes from England, scarves from France) and have been pleased with all items. I agree with your previous responders, to dress up the purchase with tissue, ribbons, business cards, including info on how to return or not, any complaints, and so on.

    Luv your purchases. The cream jacket is luscious and goes well with your new pants. I am sure you will have fun coordinating other items with them as well.

    My husband and I have made plans to downsize and move to a returement village. Many of our friends have done the same for easier and stress-free living. Every time we discuss it, we move the date up sooner!

    Look forward to and enjoy your blog. What a refreshing outlook!

    • 22nd May 2021 at 10:36 am

      Thank you Claire, and I am so pleased I bought those 4 items from the charity shop – they are great finds!

      It’s also really good to hear that you’ve had good experiences with eBay, and if I use it I shall get tissue paper and ribbon and make the parcel and item look lovely.

      I do think it’s interesting that many Americans move to retirement villages. We do have a few of those but with our small island there are not that many. Most of the retirement accommodation for older folks in the UK is in apartments and run by what we call a Housing Association that specialises in this type of accommodation. Consequently there aren’t the same facilities that you would have in a ‘village’.

      The timing of the move is always interesting – we moved earlier than any of our friends but I have seen so many people not making that call and regretting it, so I’m pleased we moved when we did.

      Thanks again for your kind words about the blog 🙂

  • 21st May 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Dark pink jacket suits you well than the lighter one.

  • 21st May 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Afternoon Penny
    I know the frustration of needing to ‘clear the decks’ in the middle of a project – totally interrupting the thought process and creative flow. I’m pleased you’ve found a way round your space/layout problem. We ‘repurposed’ our rooms and it made a heck of a difference – both practically and to the feel of the place.

    I also know that itchy feet feeling and wanting change. As you know, we’ve been thinking of moving for a couple of years and resolved to start the process last spring. Then Covid arrivce and we appreciated our home and garden through the lockdown so thoughts of moving receded. Now, for health reasons the move is on hold for the moment.

    I haven’t been on here lately but I’ve caught up with your posts and want to say I love the COS skirt and the fuschia jacket. You ask if it clashes with the pants – yes for me – but who cares – if you like the combo? I’d wear it with black/white/cream/blue trousers or jeans.. [and yes, some of} your collection of brouches I’ve seen you wear before.

    Is that a little pink on your lips … ? Looks good.

    And now I’m heading over to your Other Blog to make a couple of comments.

    Thanks Penny. All the best, Mary

    • 22nd May 2021 at 10:46 am

      Ah yes, you get it Mary! I am so happy with the thought of having a ‘room of my own’ and it will be very different to the way it is now. But we have to be careful with how we position Bill in the sitting-room. We think it’s doable but it is a challenge and yet I do love this type of challenge – there’s nothing better than rearranging furniture in my view!!!

      I have adjusted and got that moving itch out of my system. And it was absolutely mad to think of moving as I too have a health issue that would have made a move a bit difficult (my hip) to say the least! More about that in another post.

      The recent visit to my local charity shop has given me the 4 best buys of the year so far I think!

      It was a bit of pink! Most lipsticks bleed all over my mouth and nothing prevents that, but this is a combined Dior lip scrub and stain, called Lip Sugar Scrub. I should wear it more often as it does work on me.

      Thanks Mary and take care 🙂

  • 21st May 2021 at 3:39 pm

    I’m so glad you have some projects on the go that give you energy and help to clear the brain fog. Having your own room is very important and I’m so glad you and Mr FFS were able to come to an agreement about it. I have my own study/craft room which is the box room that used to be my son’s bedroom when we first moved into this house 30 years ago. I don’t use it as often as I should, but it’s my bolt hole when I need peace and quiet and a place to store my craft stuff.

    I loved your new charity shop finds. The pink trousers are fun and you have two pink jackets to go with them. I don’t think the pinks clashed at all.

    Regarding selling items I’m afraid I am simply too lazy; all that photographing; listing and checking and then wrapping up and posting off. No thanks!

    Have a great weekend.

    • 22nd May 2021 at 10:51 am

      The 4 charity shop items I found recently have been the best buys of the year so far, I think! You haven’t yet seen the lovely cotton dress I bought, that’ll be displayed in another post.

      I am so pleased we are refiguring our little flat, I think it’ll work! And with regard to using eBay, I’m still very much in two minds about it all. Maybe those ‘nearly new’ shops that sell your clothes and give you 50% might work better. I shall have to try and find one as the one I used has closed down.

      You too have a great weekend – hopefully without too much rain!


  • 21st May 2021 at 4:28 pm

    I am loving those pants! Your project of rearanging the furniture sounds like a fun project and it will make your flat feel like a different place. It really sounds like the location is perfect for you. Too bad your patio/balcony is too small to really use. We live in a really big house right now with the 4 boys and my mother in law and we hope to downsize when they start going to college. Then probably once again when we retire. My dream would be to move to the Republic of Georgia then.

    • 22nd May 2021 at 10:54 am

      Oh Mireille, the houses we’ve lived in, I think I counted 10! And some of them were indeed large, but we don’t need a lot of space now although a re-figuration of the furniture and use will be both interesting and a challenge! But I am looking forward to a ‘room of my own’.

      And wow, what an interesting dream you have – I hope your dream comes true 🙂

  • 21st May 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Penny ,What a lovely interesting blog today. Re the brain fog,I feel as if I am slowly waking up after a long hibernation , don’t rush too quickly into things but appreciate each unfolding day. We have just had our first lunch out what a treat. And as for the downsizing conversation, we are in our early eighties and moved from our big family house and large garden to a flat with a smallish balcony. I LOVE IT, it’s so easy to run and I just fill my balcony with pots of geraniums .done! I feel it’s also important to make sure you are fairly near to shops and buses. It does take a bit of getting used to, but the rewards are great. I feel so lucky to also live in this vibrant town of Brighton everything we could possibly want is here. Best wishes Judy S

    • 22nd May 2021 at 10:57 am

      Judy, hi, and you too understand the brain fog feeling! We shall the a meal out soon for my birthday in early June. I agree, the little flat is easy to run and the little balcony is easy to sort out. It w sonly the pandemic that made me want to move, I have adjusted and it’s out of my system now.

      It is so good to live where we do. Best wishes to you too Judy 🙂

  • 24th May 2021 at 11:52 am

    Very taken with the bright pink jacket and the oversized jacket look is very on trend. I’m lucky to have my own home office, the smallest bedroom which we converted. I don’t know how I would manage without it, particularly with Mr M retiring a couple of years ago. Sounds like you have found a good compromise.

    I’ve been selling on ebay on and off for a few years. I recently did a mammoth listing which took a long time, what with all the photos and descriptions. Some things sold immediately but others didn’t sell at all. I’ve found people are unwilling to pay reasonable prices, so they won’t pay more than £5 for a skirt and the p&p. So with all the faff, and trips to the post office, I decided I might as well just take it to charity shops. I also find Ebay’s charges incomprehensible. Sometimes they have a promotion which is supposed to give you free listings. But they have lots of other charges, and I usually get two invoices and I have no idea how it equates to what they say they charge. I’m thinking of creating another account on Instagram and selling on there, showing myself wearing the items for sale.

    • 26th May 2021 at 7:41 am

      Thanks re: the jacket, I’m hoping to wear the pants and the two jackets quite soon – as I think it might just warm up next week!

      You know, Gail, I’ve read so many negative things about selling online that I think I’e decided i) to try and find a good ‘nearly new’ shop that will give me 50% of the sale price – that’ll be in Lewes as I don’t think there’s one in Brighton, and ii) I will see if I can sort a little shop on my blog – but as that’s up to Mr F and as we have a lot going on at the moment with family that might take some months. At the momentI just don’t have the time to do all one has to do to sell items on eBay. However, I will look at the Instagram selling page and see what’s what there.

  • 27th May 2021 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed redesigning rooms and shows of that type are among my favorite TV programs to watch. While moving to a new home isn’t always practical, in the past I was able to scratch that itch a bit by going to open houses of homes for sale which I’ve missed this past year. Thanks for adding your post to my weekly link-up.


Comments are closed.