Up to London again, this time to the Mole Clinic for my annual skin check.  Link here for details.  I like the thoroughness of the examination and the time given to looking at every part of your body except your scalp. And a big hooray as nothing found, which is unusual. I’ve had several Bowens and one Basal Cell found and zapped well before they get dangerous. I never ever sun bathe now, but, as some of you know, that wasn’t the case when I was young.  All I wanted to do was put on blue eye shadow, wear a bikini and go a dark brown colour, so me and my friends used to dowse ourselves in that wonderful Ambre Solaire oil and lie out in the sun whenever we could, which was a bit daft considering I inherited my mother’s Scottish skin, which is so white it’s almost blue! Every year, I went bright red first, and then actually got fairly brown. Now, I live with the consequences of my youthful folly as I have many sun damaged skin things that you develop as you age.  But I am vigilant, as I hope all of you are who have pale skin that burns in the sun.

Here’s a pic of me getting ready. The hat is from Mad Hatters, Brighton and I have one charity shop item, the necklace at £1.

And was it hot in London?  Yes, it was, but thankfully there was also a cool breeze – phew – but it was still unusually warm for the UK so no tights just bare legs, which is rare thing for me to do, but it was too hot to care about my purple veined legs!

Here’s the dress worn with a jacket, which I needed because it was just a bit cool on the platform. This light viscose H&M jacket cost all of £8 and was small enough to stuff in my bag when I got up to London.

Another shot shows you that the dress flares out slightly as it catches the breeze, which was just great as I walked along the hot streets of London.

Note my Roka bag bought new (gulp) from Wickle in Lewes where you can also get a nice cup of tea. Please note I have given myself a good talking to and I am going to be frugal from now on.

Love the colour and the contrast with my phone!

Here’s a pic of me in the John Lewis coffee shop still with my hat on.  Out and about I saw absolutely no one else wearing a hat – well there you go – perhaps I’ll start a trend! Or more likely not!

There’s a Guardian journalist seated at the table behind me – do you know who he is?

As per usual we popped in to an art gallery in the afternoon (Tate Britain) but, tbh, I think I enjoyed the cake more than the art.  And I’ll just show you one pic I took from the bus. Can you see, what I saw?

Only at the last moment did I take a photo, as most of the time I just sat on the bus with my mouth open in wonder at this absolutely enormous metal horses head – it was quite a jaw-dropping experience.

That’s all for now

With love Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

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20 thoughts on “Is this the best of the three dresses?

  • 21st July 2018 at 9:22 am

    I’ve been wearing a hat too in this hot weather – one with a shady brim and an adjustable Velcro tab at the back so that it fits even my biggish head. I bought it in a National Trust shop. I think that when I sweat it is mostly through my head, so by keeping my head cool, I keep the rest of my body cool too. The hat is the usual safari sand colour, but it is a darker colour under the brim so that it casts darker shadows across my face for extra cooling.

    Wow! That horse’s head! It looks like it is part of the tree. I shall have to go to London to see for myself.

    I know who that Guardian journalist is too. He caught my eye even before you did. I love the way you can come across interesting people in London by chance.

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:08 am

      Hats are so good and I find that in this weather they keep the sun out of my eyes as well, so will always wear a hat for that reason alone! The horse’s head was just amazing.

      And yes, it is Simon Jenkins!

  • 21st July 2018 at 9:49 am

    Hi Penny, I am so glad you brought up the “Mole Clinic” I have wanted to know about it as I am like yourself, very pale Irish skin with moles and blemishes which I am not sure about. I have had a Basel cell removed on my forehead so susceptible to problems. Could you please tell me service you go for as I don’t know which plan to go for. Thank you, Jo

    • 21st July 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Jo. I always have the Mole Check which now costs £145. This takes around 45 minutes and you have a nurse look at every bit of your body which is the advantage over the NHS where you have to point to the one mole you’re worried about. I see they say that the Mole Map would suit someone with many moles and freckles, but I have what I think are a fair number of moles plus many sun spots and freckles, but the check is sufficient and very thorough. Now, my husband has so many moles and blemishes that I’d say he would need both the Check and the Mapping thing. But he’s not yet been to the Mole Clinic, but he never sun bathes either and just lives with his skin as it is. Me, I’d rather have my moles checked! Hope that helps – I think us very pale skinned Celtic types have to be vigilant. All the best with this x

  • 21st July 2018 at 10:16 am

    London is amazing isn’t it, and I feel quite envious!!
    I have a yearly mole check too. Like you, when I was young I wanted my white skin to be tanned, but I often ended up looking like a tomato!
    I think you look lovely in your outfit, and I think the dress looks good on you because you have chosen the right accessories, so important, because otherwise I think the dress could look a bit dull, so….. Ten out of ten from me!

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:11 am

      Hello Pauline and good that you too have an annual mole check – it’s the peace of mind, I like. The dress is definitely one that you can ‘dress’ up. But it’s also so cool to wear – it’ll be one I keep for a long time I think. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • 21st July 2018 at 10:17 am

    London is amazing isn’t it, and I feel quite envious!!
    I have a yearly mole check too. Like you, when I was young I wanted my white skin to be tanned, but I often ended up looking like a tomato!
    I think you look lovely in your outfit, and I think the dress looks good on you because you have chosen the right accessories, so important, because otherwise I think the dress could look a bit dull, so….. Ten out of ten from me!

  • 21st July 2018 at 1:33 pm

    thanks Penny. I have been meaning to have this done for some time so will now book. Did you have the MoleMap done in addition to the whole, body Screen?

    • 21st July 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Stephanie, no I didn’t have the Map, just the Mole Check and I do have a good number of moles, freckles and sun spots. If they’re the slightest bit worried about something they take a photo of the mole or blemish (another smaller cost) and then say you need to see their consultant. At that point I reply that I’ll take the report and the photos to my GP, which has worked very well. When they thought I had a melanoma I saw my GP on the Thursday and was seen by an NHS consultant the following Monday – fortunately it wasn’t a melanoma – phew!

      The whole body Mole Check is very thorough and every time, no matter the result, I’m glad I do it.

  • 21st July 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I knew that dress would look perfect Penny! I’m planning to add one in that style to my summer wardrobe -I actually like the colour as you can wear beautiful colours with it. Glad to hear there were no nasties lurking on your skin check. Cheers, Doreen

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:12 am

      Thanks Doreen, we’re all so careful now in the sun, aren’t we? But it wasn’t always like that and definitely not 50 years ago!!!!

  • 22nd July 2018 at 8:06 am

    I think the hat looks very chic! Isn t the weather just great! I love it! I hope it will be this sunny in September too!

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:13 am

      I think we’re in for a long hot summer, Nancy!

  • 22nd July 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Penny, I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I’m loving it. I don’t normally post on blogs but felt compelled to today because of your mention of the Mole Clinic. I’d like to start by saying that I think it’s great to get your moles checked out regularly and the Mole Clinic do indeed do a very thorough job. I used to go there once a year too until a couple of years ago. On my last visit two years ago I had four moles which were deemed to be ‘dodgy’ – sorry can’t remember the technical name – one particularly so. I was recommended to see the clinic’s doctor urgently but instead like you, I took the report and photos to my GP. My GP was not able to see anything wrong but because the report recommended urgent attention, he rather reluctantly referred me to a specialist dermatologist at the hospital. She looked at the moles and said that three of them were non existent and the fourth was nothing to worry about but she gave me some cream to apply to it twice a day. When I went back three months later, the mole had disappeared. She told me that she had had a number of referrals over the past few years from the Mole Clinic which had turned out to be false alarms. I hope you don’t think I’m being disrespectful, Penny but felt I wanted to let people know about my experience.

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:04 am

      Hi Gill and great to know you’re liking the blog. The thing is I’ve been going to the clinic for over 10 years now and yes, last year I got 3 false positives. They thought they’d found something but like you I went straight to the GP and was referred quite quickly as one was a possible melanoma – it turned out to be quite an unusual sun spot which was on my back which I can’t see anyway. But about 5 years back they did find a Basal Cell that I would have ignored for a long time as I thought it was just a freckle.

      So in nutshell, I didn’t mind the false positives as I feel I’d rather have my skin getting that close look. I have so many blemishes on my body, I think it’s all part of me being vigilant about my ageing skin!!!

      But thanks so much for your comment – because we should all know about the positive and negative side of this. I do like that peace of mind though and will keep going, but next time will leave it 18 months I think – thanks again 🙂

  • 23rd July 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Hooray for a clear skin check, Penny. My appointment is for this afternoon, and I’m also hoping for the all clear. Your youthful sunbathing habits sound precisely like mine! You’re looking cool and chic on the platform, xo


  • 24th July 2018 at 4:14 am

    The folly of youth- that we pay for down the tracks. I was the same as you and baked in the sun with oil- why did we think it was a good idea- and now have several sun spots and last year had sun damage from my nose removed. I am curious as to why they don’t check the scalp, it was checked when I had my check with a specialist last year here and have a friend with melanoma on her scalp.
    On another note that dress looks so good on you and will be a great addition to your wardrobe and can be dressed up or down. Your hat is lovely and I was surprised that in your heatwave others were not following suit.

  • 24th July 2018 at 10:58 am

    You’ve got me thinking on the mole front as I also spent too much of my youth in Ambre Solaire oil on Plymouth Hoe.

    You look very chic in your hat in John Lewis. Hats are so stylish. I always think that anyone in a hat has made more of an effort.

    Smiled at the stern ticking off of yourself for needing to be more frugal. Likewise. I have been buying too much lately.

  • 25th July 2018 at 9:01 pm

    You look so cool and chic! What a lovely outfit!

    So glad you got the all clear. That horse’s head sculpture is stunning. My cousin and I saw it from the top of a double decker bus when I was showing her the sights of London last year. Id never seen it before.

  • 29th July 2018 at 2:35 pm

    I remember lying in the garden (and on holiday) smothered in Ambre Solaire too, and like you I have very fair skin. I never got that berry-brown look that I hoped for. We didn’t know any better though.
    The mole check sounds like a brilliant idea – what a shame all the clinics are in London.

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