I haven’t had a rant against Vogue for some time. In fact, I cancelled my subscription as I thought what is the point of reading articles that are way beyond parody, and looking at clothes you’d need to take out a loan for. It’s a ridiculous magazine.

But I’ve just checked out US Vogue online for the series where they ask celebs a variety of questions – up to 73 (nope, no idea why). I see that these questions are different with every celebrity, but it seems to have hit a nerve amongst US fashion bloggers as they’re tagging each other to answer 73 questions.   My favourite blogger, Catherine of Atypical 60 fame did just that and then challenged her blogosphere friends to do the same. So here goes!!!

Actually I only managed 25 questions (and why would I inflict more of this on you anyway!)

  1. What’s your favourite film?

It has to be the Japanese film ‘Departures’. Such an amazingly beautiful film about death – yes really! But perhaps the most life-affirming film I’ve watched ever.


  1. Favourite film in the past 5 years?

Good grief, that’s so difficult. I watch a lot of films, and I mean a lot – at least two to three a week. This is all for the sake of the Film Society I help run as we learnt the hard way that you have to see the films before you let them loose on the audience, mainly because you cannot rely on the trailer – so many films are just such crap.   And what’s more I write every single film down in a little black book (seriously I do) and give it a rating (one to 5 stars). Looking through my book not many get a 5* rating, and actually I watch a lot of quite dubious films, as for me there’s nothing better than a dumb action film when you’re feeling tired. And gosh I’ve watched a few of those!

So I’m going to say that the funniest and probably my most favourite film in the last 5 years has to be ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window And Disappeared’. It’s Swedish, and you’ll laugh and laugh.


  1. Favourite Hitchcock film?



  1. The book you’re reading now?

War & Peace.   And this is because the BBC has just shown a 6-part version of this book (but see 6 below).


  1. Favourite TV show that’s currently on

I don’t watch TV in the conventional sense, as in, turn it on and view what is currently showing at that moment. That’s done and dusted in our household as we record things we might want to watch. And nowadays we don’t record much of anything from the conventional channels apart from the occasional things like War & Peace or the Nordic Noir crime series that keep appearing on a Saturday night on BBC4. Actually, one of my favourite Saturday series was Borgen, which was not about crime but a political drama that ran over 3 series, and very good it was too.

Mostly, we stream something from Netflix, Apple or Amazon Prime, and currently we’re watching the second series of the wonderful Better Call Saul’, which is a spin off from Breaking Bad, which is perhaps my second best TV show ever, but see below for,


  1. Favourite and best TV show ever?

I know British TV is supposed to have a good reputation and American TV’s supposedly not so good, but I’m not sure about this, as when American TV gets it right, it really gets it right. You see, The Wire is, for me, perhaps the best television series ever. It’s both Shakespearean in its approach and story arc, and Dickensian in its depiction of the many characters that appeared in it over its five series. As an ensemble piece it made the reputation of several actors (Dominic West and Idris Elba for starters). And were you surprised when you discovered that Stringer Bell was a Brit with an Essex accent? I know I was.

What gets me with these American TV series is the number of episodes that are shot for each series, at least 10 and often more. Here in the UK, unless it’s a soap, we have 3 episodes for Sherlock and 6, ffs, for War and Peace. Oh, give me strength, please. Six episodes for War and Peace? This version was Ok (Paul Dano was just wonderful as Pierre) but the last time a War and Peace was made here (in 1972 with Anthony Hopkins as Pierre and I can just about remember it) there were 20 episodes. OK times are different, but there could be a compromise, War and Peace could’ve had 12 episodes, could it not?


  1. Mac or PC?



  1. iPhone or tablet?



  1. Favourite food?

Fish. I could eat fish every day. But Mr Frugalfashionshopper would have to have said fish curried for that, as for him fish is OK if it doesn’t taste of fish!


  1. Least favourite food?

Hate fatty food: cream yuk; cheese, in very small doses; butter, Ok


  1. Tea or coffee?

Tea, but not a weak cup, or some perfumed nonsense sold as tea. A proper cup of builder’s tea, please, with no sugar and just a little milk – think strong and very dark brown.


  1. Dogs or cats

Dogs – here’s a pic of mine.


Feel quite teary looking at her.  She passed away about 5 years ago – very much missed.


  1. Favourite country to visit?

Has to be Norway – I love the north!


  1. What country do you wish to visit?

I’d love to do another train ride in the States.   In 1999 we caught a train in Florida and travelled up to Philadelphia stopping off at Charleston and Washington. Best thing we ever did, as you get talking to people in a way you never would on a plane, and you see far more of the country. I mean 8 hours after we left Miami we were still in orange groves – amazing. You really get the scale of the country and see why some people in the States could become isolationist.

What I’d like to do is go across the States or down the left-hand side, or both. Or what about a trip to New York – yay!


  1. Jogging or swimming?

Neither. Swimming is out, as not only do I not want to get my hair wet – look I spend a fortune on that hair – but also, if I swim I have to take my contact lenses out, and then I’m half blind so I can’t see where I’m swimming.  And jogging – no way. It’s yoga for me and a gym class for seniors – I know my place.


  1. Who is my girl crush?

I nearly agreed with Catherine (Atypical 60) and said Angelina Jolie, but actually Joan Collins is amazing for her age. Long may I put on the makeup as she does. My kind of woman!


  1. Scary film or happy endings?

Actually, I quite like the adrenaline rush of a scary film, as long as it totally is nothing to do with real life. I watch a lot of films, and that includes, sometimes, what others might deem violent, and/or scary films.  Because, above all, I do not like sentimental, happy-ending tosh. If you’ve read down this far, I so hope you’re not offended, but the type of film I hate most is the film aimed at the older market that has Marigold in its title (there are two of those – yuk). I rather die than be put in an Old People’s Home and be shown that type of film as entertainment – please no!!!!!


  1. Lipstick or gloss?

A thick lip balm for me.


  1. Who is my favourite film actor?

At the moment it has to be Paul Dano. He’s currently riding a wave of popularity in the UK after his depiction of Pierre in War and Peace. But I remember him in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, which was a sharply observant film about those awful child pageants and so much more, including a dysfunctional family with a silent goth teenager played by Paul Dano. It kind of made your day when, at the end, he smiled. He’s also been a brilliant Brian Wilson in Love and Mercy – so I saw him first!!!!


  1. Sweet or savoury?



  1. Where were you born?



  1. Where would you like to die?

In my own home or let’s put it this way, not somewhere were they do older people’s activities: bingo, whaaaat; sentimental films, I feel sick already!


  1. Favourite season?

I used to say it was winter, but after this one I’m going to say Spring!


  1. Favourite person?

Look – who else? My other half – here he is in a pic taken just before we met in 1973.


  1. Best holiday?

My honeymoon. This is us at our beach-hut.


No flights to Bali or the Caribbean. No, 42 years ago we spent a fortnight in a caravan in Newquay, and that was all we wanted or needed!

 That’s enough for now! Thank you so much for reading this all the way to the end.

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

 P.S. Note the volume of material in the jeans! I think these might be the jeans that scandalised the Swiss!




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9 thoughts on “Here’s 25 questions that gives an insight into how I think!

  • 19th February 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Penny! I’m reading your insightful answers and I’m amazed at how much we think alike-with the exception of cream, butter and cheese!!! I take my tea the way you take it as well, but never heard the term “builder’s tea”. Oona takes her tea the same way too and I can’t wait to tell her the new term for our tea!

    BTW. I LOVE the jeans that you and your husband are wearing. Brings back memories! XOXOXO! Cathe

    • 20th February 2016 at 9:41 am

      Hi Catherine and so glad you liked the 25 questions! First of all, “builder’s tea” is well-known to us Brits as any workman or builder coming into a British house is expected to be supplied with copious amounts of cups of tea usually strong and dark brown in colour with about 3-4 teaspoons of sugar. In fact any costings for any building project should factor in the tea, sugar and milk that goes into these builders!!!

      Also I wanted to say that I just love trains and went on several on that trip up the right-hand side of the US. But we’re currently watching (on BBC iplayer) the Michael Portillo series on American Railroad Journeys. Here’s a link below – makes me think I could still explore Manhattan and the East Coast before I even contemplate the West. Watched up to episode 5 but can’t wait for the Philadelphia and Washington area as we’ve been there!!


      And finally a big thank you for inspiring me with your 73 questions – loved doing them xxxxx

  • 19th February 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Penny, I would love to join the film society, please can you send me details if there is room for new people? Thank you so much.

    • 20th February 2016 at 9:45 am

      Hi Sue

      Here’s a link to our website – http://hillcrestfilm.bn9.co.uk

      We show one film a month and there’s no membership at all! Just the price of a ticket and a great atmosphere!

  • 20th February 2016 at 10:06 am

    Hi Penny,
    Loved your photos – thought your hubby looked like Scott Mackenzie of San Francisco fame! Brought back a lot of memories from that era. Have you still got the wide-bottomed jeans you’re sporting?

    • 21st February 2016 at 9:50 am

      Hi Chris and thanks so much for your comment. I’ll have to tell Bill that he was like Scott Mackenzie then – will have to look him up to remind myself! Actually there are a lot of men of his age who, if you saw photos of them when young, would be dead ringers for all sorts of pop stars. For instance we have a friend who was the spitting image of Mick Jagger when young!

      And no, I didn’t keep the jeans as, like a lot of things, you didn’t realise their value (in social history terms, really) and so they just got chucked. The worst example is that Bill had a pair of amazing hand-made, hand-stitched patchwork boots with cuban heels that cost a fortune at the time but he never wore because they were too tight. Went to the V&A exhibition on ‘Shoes – Pleasure and Pain’ and there under a spotlight was a similar pair, not half as good as Bill’s. Of course, Bill had thrown them out years ago!

  • 23rd February 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Penny! I’ve been reading your blog for some time & I love your attitude to fashion, aging & life. Fab photos, too. I’m also a massive fan of Catherine, http://atypical60.com. I think she loves France as much as I do! Anyway, you have both inspired me to have a go at the Vogue 73 questions. Thank you. June

    • 24th February 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi June! Good to meet you and thanks for reading my blog! Yes, isn’t Catherine great and so glad you’re doing the questions. Well done if you manage the 73 as obvs I got stuck into one or two of the questions, and it would’ve been far too long a post for all 73. But it was great fun to do.

      I’m following your blog now!

      • 3rd March 2016 at 5:37 pm

        Thanks for following my blog, Penny. I’m not sure that I’ll manage 73 questions, especially as I’m attempting to give each one a ‘French flavour’ where I can…

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