Hello everyone

How are you all?  Tired but happy, OK, or a bit down from all the news of ‘you know what’? Well, apparently, we should be happy that this variant is less serious, and that’s good, and yes we should feel encouraged, yet I think that won’t be the sentiment amongst ambulance staff and those front-line workers in our A&E departments and those over-crowded Covid wards. May I say to anybody who works on the front-line a huge thank you, and that comes from the bottom of my heart. We cannot thank you enough. May Christmas give you some joy and peace and here’s to a slightly better 2022!

Not saying any more about our great leader as the papers and social media are saying it all, well, the social media I’m in touch with is! Apparently he’s on his way out. Really? I’ve heard that before! Instead, this blog is a short end-of-the-month review with some film and television reviews as the last December post will be a review of the year – mostly of charity shop fashion, you’ll be glad to know!

Anyway, how are you preparing for Christmas on the fashion front?  As you know I have 3 opportunities to dress up, and here’s where I give a big thunderous round of applause to those of you who dress up every day – yay!

This was my look for a Sunday lunch with our dear friends who live in Newhaven.

It’s a bit black, that long velvet coat, but I needed it, as in the UK you can’t wear something with no sleeves to speak of in the winter!  But see, under the coat, that is the most glamorous dress I possess. I believe we simply have to get those dresses out of our closets and wear them! The dress, btw, was bought in a charity shop, the coat was a gift. Thank you Diana!

Look at that cosy fire.

I now include a photo of Mr F.

If you think he’s looking remarkably slim, you’d be right as a few months ago his blood sugars went up into the Diabetic Type-2 range, so he put himself on a strict diet and has lost 5 kilos. The diet by the way, is simple, no sugars or as much as you can eliminate as possible, but he is not restricting fats. Also it’s portion size, which we’ve both reduced, plus no snacks whatsoever, and very little alcohol as well. There have been no mince pies in this household and we don’t miss them at all! Furthermore, I have a small Christmas cake bought from a well-known store, which was to be all for myself. But I ate one slice and that was enough, felt almost nauseated, there was far too much sugar in it. It was appallingly sweet so it will be given away.

Any way, well done, partner! And what’s more I think he’s looking good on it, plus his blood sugars are down to a low pre-Diabetic level, with more to lower as he’s continuing to be careful to get the bloods to below that crucial point. His linen jacket, btw, is a charity shop buy.

Films and TV

I’ve been disappointed with the second series of The Morning Show (Apple tv) although it’s been better in the latter part of the series, only two more episodes to go. Won’t miss it all that much as it’s a bit glossy and empty and yet very talky, which can be irritating. Finished Invasion (Apple tv) – it is what it is, about an invasive alien species and it sort of worked. As for Foundation (Apple tv) I find it incomprehensible, but I’m watching it as Mr F likes it. I’m not even minded to re-read the Foundation books and that is such a contrast to the wonderful Dune, the film that is, that came out in the Autumn, and is so very very good, so good that I couldn’t wait to read the book, which I loved.

And something wonderful has happened as we’ve found a replacement for Schitts Creek (Netflix) which touched my heart so, it’s Ted Lasso (Apple tv). In this series there is no need to say you might need a couple of episodes to warm to the characters (true with Schitts Creek) because Ted Lasso is heart-warming from the start. When I described it as a bouncy, over-positive American coming to coach and manage a British football team to our friends they were almost put off it and said, no to both the idea of anything to do with footie or an American coming over, you get the drift, but it’s actually a ‘fish-out-of-water’ story and lovely with it. Love some of his encounters with British stuff including tea!  A real must-watch!

Also watching a good Nordic Noir, Baltic Murders (All4). And there’s a Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special (BBCiPlayer) which is delightful.

Anyway so far we’ve only watched three films but see below for my Christmas list. The first was just plain silly, but quite good at the same time, Free Guy (Amazon) with Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer. It’s about a guy (yes) who thinks he’s real but he’s actually the first sentient player living in an online game (I said it’s silly) but it was fun and passed the time. Also within the film there were many references to other films and having seen them all we quite liked recognising them. Three* from me.

The best film of the year for me was The Power of the Dog (Netflix).And I mean that, it really is good. First of all, it’s a Jane Campion film, need I say more?  And it is the best thing that Benedict Cumberbatch has ever done, imho. It’s set in mid-America in the 1920’s, and what is it all about you wonder? Is it a cowboy, as it’s set on a ranch, no, is it…? Ah ha, and the tension builds as two brothers (Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons) are parted from their years of routine with the Plemons character marrying a woman (Kirsten Dunst) who comes to the ranch as the lady of the house. But the Cumberbatch character resents this, and oh wait a minute there’s the beautiful son belonging to the Dunst character.  And then there is this subtle psychological duel and the film does not turn out as you might expect. I don’t want to say any more as it’s a must-watch and the less you know the better. I thought about it for days afterwards so the film gets a 5*****+ from me.

Last night we watched Cruella (Amazon) which is an origin story of Cruella DeVille.  It’s a fun, well crafted watch which you would expect when it stars Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. And there are some lovely clothes in it! Four* for this film.

I’ve a list of films to watch over Christmas, because we don’t watch live television, and having looked at what’s on over Christmas on BBC1 and all the other channels I think we have the right idea!

So on Christmas Day we will watch:

No Time to Die (Amazon) I read a spoiler, so I know, Mr F doesn’t!

Thereafter I aim to choose from the following:

Passing(Netflix), Little Women(Amazon), The Farewell(Netflix), French Toast,(Netflix) Encounter(Amazon), Venom2 (Amazon and yes, I know I have awful taste) and finally we really must watch The Joker(Amazon) Anyone else seen the last film? We didn’t watch it when it came out as I don’t like depressing films – should we watch it?  We keep hearing it’s good.

Anyway, that’s all for now, do have a lovely Christmas and enjoy it as best as you can in the circumstances. I know I will.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper




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17 thoughts on “Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  • 24th December 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you for your posts which I really enjoy (even if I never wear dresses/skirts!) and it’s good to hear that your Christmas festivities are going ahead. I just want to tell you about a fantastic series we’re watching on Netflix called “Designated Survivor”. It’s absolutely gripping, right from the start, and stars Kiefer Sutherland (hero of a series called “24” which was on some years back).
    Happy Christmas and all the best for 2022.

  • 24th December 2021 at 1:33 pm

    A very Merry Christmas to you both and wishes for a much better 2022 to come. I will be looking forward to your charity shop round up for the end of the year. We are tucking in for a little holiday season with just the two of us for now as our numbers are the worst of the last 2 years. I want to be able to get out and about as soon as it is possible so will behave, as usual, for now.You look fantastic in your pretty dress and I wholeheartedly agree that dressing up does lift the spirits and why not make the effort. Best wishes to all who enjoy this wonderful blog as well.

  • 24th December 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for your posts this year Penny. And you look so elegant in that black velvet coat.
    Speaking of Benedict Cumberbatch, we recently watched ‘The Courier’ (Netflix) based on a true story set in the Cold War. It was fantastic. Definitely recommend it.
    Happy Christmas and an evening happier 2022.

  • 24th December 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Well done to Mr.F! I wish a very happy Christmas for the both of you and to your family! And a good healthy 2022! And hopefully we can organise a meet up in coming year!

  • 24th December 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Well, well, don’t you both look the part! A grand start to what we all hope will be a better year than this one.
    Your blog is greatly appreciated, Penny, despite your and my views not always pointing in the same direction! Thank you for the time you put into it.
    Enjoy your Christmas and New Year, and best wishes to you both and also to absolutely everyone who reads your page.

  • 24th December 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Merry Christmas to you both.
    I loved The Joker. Joaquin Phoenix is sensational and very entertaining indeed.
    My daughter in law loves super hero type films, therefore she hated The Joker as there wasn’t any of the usual super hero type action stuff, if you understand what I mean.
    Wishing you both a happy new year.

  • 24th December 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Merry Christmas Penny. Enjoy all your dressing up! My Christmas isn’t so merry this year as we’ve had to cancel meeting up with my Northern family, but hopefully train crowding in the New Year will be less and we can make up for it. All the best. Trish S

  • 24th December 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Well done to Mr. F!

    You look very elegant, Penny, in the beautiful black coat and dress! What an interesting room the photos were taken in, too.

    Hope you have a joyful Christmas and festivities!

  • 24th December 2021 at 9:13 pm

    A very happy Christmas to you Penny and Mr F! Thank you for all your posts throughout the year – they are always a good read and spur me on to go for a rummage though our local 2nd hand stores. Cheers Doreen

  • 25th December 2021 at 12:09 am

    Dear Penny, Merry Christmas to you and Mr. F¡ From Mexico with love and gratitud for keeping us entetained during these past two difficult years¡

  • 25th December 2021 at 12:10 am

    You both look wonderful! this has been a quiet week here socially, tonight I did dress up to attend Christmas Eve services. black maxi skirt with roses which seems holiday but not traditional Christmas, black cashmere sweater, black riding type boots. a little sparkle on my ears and neck. tomorrow I will have dinner at my daughter’s with all the immediate family. still deciding what to wear. I have been cooking two dishes to bring, a soup and some cookies. both are recipes I have made for the holidays for years and years. it seems unbelievable that after all this time we are still coping with covid. I have been invited to a wedding in Boston next month but so far am undecided as to whether or not to go given the situation. I have not been watching much TV or screens of any kind, except perhaps for the cable news. even then I do not watch as much as I used to as everything seems to be all covid all the time. Mostly this past week I have been coming home from walking the shelter dogs , in the cold, and making a nice cup of tea and curling up with a good book.
    So Merry Christmas from New York, Darby

  • 25th December 2021 at 8:28 am

    Merry Christmas Penny. Thank you for all your hard work during the year. I so enjoy both your blogs and am always happy to see a new one in my inbox. I’ve been really enjoying your TV and book recommendations. Have a lovely day xx

    • 27th December 2021 at 2:15 pm

      Happy Christmas Penny.
      Love your outfit, I have a velvet coat but I had forgotten about it so thank you.
      Thank you for sharing your husbands success in losing weight,
      I think I might show my husband!!
      All the best
      Viv x

  • 25th December 2021 at 9:56 am

    Merry Christmas Penny, and the same to your husband. Thanks for all the work that goes into both your blogs throughout the year, they’re always very enjoyable.
    I usually spend both the 25/26th with my daughter and oldest g’son but they both tested +ve for COVID this past week. My g’son (19) went off his food for a few days and had symptoms like that of a cold but he’s basically fine again. His ten days are up on Tuesday. He’s not had his booster vaccination yet.
    My daughter (48), three days behind him in testing +ve, is feeling rather rough. Chills, aching all over, not sleeping. She had her booster vaccination three weeks ago.
    I could have invited myself to a few different houses but have chosen to be “Home Alone”. I’m going to have a very lazy day, aside from cooking a meal for myself late afternoon. The plan is for the three of us to exchange gifts and have a nice meal on the 2nd of the New Year, so fingers crossed for that.
    iPlayer has quite a good selection of films on offer just now, although I must say it’s all the older ones I fancy watching. I’m still working my way through my thousands of books, re-reading lots of them before donating/giving them away.
    Well done your husband on his change of diet and weight loss, he looks great. I’ve been eating far too much sugary/fatty foods recently. I used to only buy ice-cream and chocolate once in awhile when I really fancied them, but I’ve started getting Tesco deliveries every second week, and it’s too easy to order ‘a wee treat” each time. But the “wee treats” have been increasing in number with each delivery. So that will have to stop.
    Hoping the two of you have a lovely day x

  • 26th December 2021 at 9:24 am

    Beautiful outfits Penny hope you and your family have a wonderful time. Thank you for the recommendation of “Designated Survivor “ we are hooked it’s brilliant. Have a wonderful new year look forward to your lovely posts in 2022.
    Take care from another Sussex gal.

  • 26th December 2021 at 9:54 am

    Lovely cheery photos Penny, hope you are having a lovely time. We had a video call yesterday with daughter and partner who should have been here but we all decided not to take the risk as they travel by train. Going over to our other daughter today as she lives just 30 mins drive away, which will be nice. I must admit I’m feeling very discouraged & tired at the moment. It’s such hard work constantly ‘working’ on yourself to keep negative feelings at bay and to remember how lucky I really am in the grand scheme of things. No-one in our close family has been ill, let alone seriously so & while there have been some worrying difficulties this year the outlook is optimistic now. We have to believe that 2022 will be a better year for everyone, fingers crossed!

  • 29th December 2021 at 8:39 am

    Hope you had a great Christmas, you looked spectacular! I have pinned your outfit. So did Mr F. I didn’t dress up for Christmas at all except for wearing lipstick.

    Our thoughts were v similar on Invasion, Foundation and The Morning Show. We watched a few episodes of the first series of Ted Lasso but I kept cringing because people were so awful to him. I’ll definitely be watching The Power of the Dog, have heard so many good things about it. I’m waiting to watch No Time to Die but Mr M is determined to wait until the rental price comes down!

    Hope you can join the last link-up of the year…..and a Happy New Year to you and your family. I am convinced Covid is on the run now. Fingers crossed. xx

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