Hello everyone

Hope you all had a reasonable Christmas. We did but having opted out of a big gathering last year I will never do that again. although as you know it was just as well as Christmas Day 2019 was when my cold appeared, which led on to – see below.  From next year onwards I want the busiest Christmases ever. Even so we had a great time just the two of us, and here we are on our usual walk, dressed up to the nines as they say with warm coats as the day was freezing but lovely with a blue sky  and sun.

First of all, it’s Mr F wearing a very fine charity shop Harris tweed coat bought some years ago.  And here I am wearing my faux fur coat not to make a statement but to keep warm! This was bought several years ago from a vintage fair and I don’t wear it all that often but it was really toasty, and as it’s going to be cold (for the UK) over the next few days it might well have more outings. Warmth also conquered any ideas I had about wearing something glam for Christmas, as under the coat is a black pleated woollen skirt topped by a very thick red sweater both bought from charity shops, the hat and gloves came from Norway and are wonderfully warm as are the fur lined boots.

Having cooked our Christmas dinner (roast beef and Yorkshire pudding) on Christmas Eve, we had very little to do on the day, which was just fab, instead we lazed around, opened presents, read our Christmas present books, and later that day watched the incomprehensible Tenet (Amazon and still expensive at the moment as you have to buy it, but I thought why not, it’s Christmas!) But despite the reviews and its reputation as being difficult to follow I thought it well made and watchable, as long as you don’t fuss about understanding any of it! And having ‘bought’ it we shall look at it again in a couple of months time to see if we can make sense of it all. Not sure that we will, but it was entertaining and worth watching.

Anyway what a year!  Oh. My. Word. What a year!  But one has to put everything into context. This pandemic is exceedingly nasty, not to everyone, but to those who get it and those who get the worst variation of it, it is not a good prospect. And of course, the year began with me coming bang up against my own mortality with myocarditis from the ‘flu which followed the cold, which was horrible. Anyone who thinks flu is a minor illness like the common cold, think again. But putting all that aside, let us think of all those who are refugees, who are fleeing war and violence and still receive violence and disdain when they reach comparative safety, if they do at all as there are many who lose their lives on the way to safety. And then there are all of those who are in need and are hungry, around the world and, indeed, in first world countries like our own. I could go on but what I am saying is that suffering is always with us and when this blasted pandemic is over, it will continue.

But if I sound somewhat pessimistic, I am not, it’s just that I like to keep my eyes open and be aware. And if you do this, then you can also catch a glimpse of the other side of suffering – hope and the sheer wonder of how the human spirit prevails.

So, let us celebrate everyone and everything that has made life bearable this past year. So I take my hat off to first of all the nurses and medics, not just working for the NHS but around the world. They are so challenged by this second wave and so very very tired but they carry on. Respect. And much respect to all front-line workers too numerous to mention, but hats off to lab workers dealing with all the Covid tests; the men and women who deliver food from the supermarket to our door; the posties who deliver our mail and the people who deliver the parcels we order online; and let us think of bus drivers; and the cleaners of our trains and buses; and not forgetting teachers and teaching assistants going in day after day into classrooms full of school children who may or may not have symptom-free Covid; then there are the volunteers running the food banks that are so necessary these days. There are so many people to thank keeping these taken-for-granted services going. If we didn’t before we realise now how essential they are.

So glad also for the technology that allows us to stay in contact with our friends and family. Here’s to Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, I’ve used them all, and have so enjoyed chatting with my friends, doing a Pilates class and telling family members how much we miss them.

And then thank you scientists for delivering us a vaccine – many vaccines, in fact. So it’s hurrah and a very big cheer as there is now hope and a way out of this very unusual life we are all living.

There’s so much to be thankful for but lastly to keep ourselves entertained and in the absence of our regular visit to cinemas we have watched a lot of stuff on our television. Thanks Netflix, Amazon, Appletv, Nowtv and not forgetting our own free-to-view BBC iPlayer for providing us with endless entertainment throughout the year.

Which brings me neatly on to my 2020 Top 10 things I enjoyed watching on television.

#10 Parasite (Amazon) Yes, I know that to many critics it is Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece, and is their best film of the year, but although I appreciate it and think it an excellent film these are my favourites and Parasite is up there but not the absolute best of the bunch. Set in South Korea it is a meticulous account of a poor family targeting and inveigling their way into a rich family’s home and world. A mesmerising watch.

#9 Better Call Saul (Netflix) Could anything be better than Breaking Bad for its story arc and the development of the characters within it? Well Better Call Saul is getting close. This is a spin-off and prequel to Breaking Bad and over 5 series we watch the transformation of Jimmy McGill (who is flawed yet struggling to become a decent lawyer) into the wayward and flamboyant criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Doesn’t sound good or worth watching?  But it is and it is the combination of the writing and the acting that makes this a first-class series that has so much more to give as we are still on that journey and I reckon there are at least two more series to come!

#8 A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (Amazon) Well, I knew nothing of the main character Mr Rogers, who was a children’s television show host for many decades, as I think you have to live in the USA to know anything about him. And what’s more I resisted seeing the film as I thought it would be too treacly and sugary sweet. On the contrary it is a delightful film about a very unusually good man and I simply loved the shots in the film of the real episodes of his show.  Altogether a very cheery watch.

#7 A House Through Time (BBC iPlayer)  This television’s series is hosted by David Olusoga, a charismatic historian and broadcaster. There are several series of his available on iPlayer and really anything by him is seriously good and very watchable. This tells the story of one house in Bristol, and it is a richly rewarding delve into British history and our very deep connections to the slave trade. Fascinating.

#6 Dark Waters (Netflix) Based on a true story this is an engrossing film of the devastation that Du Pont wreaked on the environment of West Virginia and one man’s fight (played very well by Mark Ruffalo) against the corporation.  Excellent film.

#5 Staged BBC iPlayer (BBC iPlayer) This stars David Tennant (Dr Who, Broadchurch) and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon and numerous other films). Do you remember the first lockdown when no-one stirred out of their house, everything was eerily quiet and no-one had worked out how to produce television programmes or films?  There were a few one or two-handers and the god-awful Archer’s monologues. Well, this was a two-hander that worked. And so very very funny, because, basically both of them are barking mad. OK, I guess they are playing themselves in an exaggerated way, but really the writing and the personas (personae) they portray as themselves are just so funny.  Another cheery laugh-out-loud watch and yay, a second series is coming soon!

#4 I May Destroy You (BBC iPlayer) What can I say! Astonishing and ground-breaking and the writing… so good. Starring the beautiful Michaela Cole it is predominantly about consent but there is so much more to it as well, so many layers.  I loved the characters. What a final episode – yesssss! Tbh, this will not suit everyone’s taste but if you haven’t seen it, why not give it a go.

#3 Once Upon A Time in Iraq (BBC iPlayer) This is a devastating series to watch and both me and Mr F have to be in the right mood to watch an episode, but it should be essential viewing for all politicians and indeed, anyone who thinks bringing democracy, and righting what politicians think are wrongs, with military intervention works.  Well this intervention certainly didn’t. Interviews are with the people on the ground; both American soldiers, their officers, and more importantly ordinary Iraqis caught up in the fighting. This is a hard watch.

#2 This House is Full of Music (BBC iPlayer or YouTube) If you want to be uplifted watch this. It is a simply wonderful depiction of a very unusual family of 7 children who are all musicians of the highest order.  One of them played the cello at Megan and Harry’s wedding.  Just fascinating, beautiful, delightful, enthralling, and spellbinding, I’ll stop there, but it is just the best thing to watch ever.

#1 Schitts Creek (Netflix) I know, I know, to those of you who don’t watch Schitts Creek it must sound so unappetising. A very rich family find themselves penniless and move into a motel in the town that they happen to own and is their only asset.  Then there is the mayor – so irritating.  But it is the writing, it is always the writing, it is so good, and again there is an enormous amount of character development. Honestly you fall in love with them all, even the mayor improves – a bit!  As for Moira Rose and her outfits and her jewellery, I laugh and then I think hmmm, I must get a piece of jewellery like that! The episodes are short and each one is a complete story, and if you want to watch something to uplift and cheer you up, well this is our go-to programme.

This is my list of which you’ll say, what no Strictly or Bake-Off, nope, not interested, or what about The Crown?  Look this latter programme has had a lot of money thrown at it, it’s OK and worth watching, but it’s not that brilliant. However, a special mention goes to The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC iPlayer) which is enchanting. There’s a Christmas series currently on now, which we are watching. And it is not purely a women’s programme as men always take part, and Mr F loves it for the technical challenge it imposes on the participants.

And finally would you like to see my oldest item of clothing once again (as I have featured this before). It’s like this, before I met my husband, on a holiday in Italy, probably in 1971 but can’t be sure, I bought one of those long cardigans that were so very popular in that era.

And I wore it for my first Christmas with Mr F in 1973.

Don’t you love that one bauble! We seem to have acquired some more but at that time we weren’t even engaged.  Across the road from where we lived was the Maudsley hospital and I was a staff nurse there. I remember I worked that Christmas morning and came home to a lunch of roast duck cooked by Mr F.

Now the thing is that cardi has lasted and lasted and when I stopped wearing it as a fashion piece it became my nighttime bed-jacket/dressing gown, which I wear to this day, as in every single day during the winter, and slung over my shoulders in the summer and what’s more there’s not a sign of any wear. There’s a joke in my family that I have to be buried in this item and if it was ever dug up, say in 100 years time, that cardigan is sure to be there intact and pristine!

That’s all for now, but do let me know how your Christmas went, and also whether you have a very old, yet immaculate item of clothing that you wear and wear.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year and, please, let it be a much better year than this one!

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


47 thoughts on “Lockdown diaries – December 2020!

  • 30th December 2020 at 9:09 am

    Gosh Penny, it’s not just the cardi that has worn well. If you retook that first picture you would look the same.
    Great list of things, some I’ve seen, others not but I will have a look at now.
    Best wishes for 2021,

    • 31st December 2020 at 8:57 am

      Thank you so much Caroline for those kind words but this past year has had quite an impact. Can’t wait to get to the beauticians for some treatments!

      Best wishes to you too 🙂

  • 30th December 2020 at 9:17 am

    I have a black and purple (not as bad as it sounds) knitted coat which I have had for 32 years, as good as new, worn from October to April, so much so the women at work say Oh it’s the first day of Winter, Jo’s got “the” coat on. It’s soooooo warm and because wool drizzle proof but so light. It’s been in the charity bag many times but pulled out at the last minute. I have three waterproof stylish, if there is such a thing, padded jackets, in excess of £100 pound purchases! but they are as good as new because rarely worn🙊

    • 31st December 2020 at 8:59 am

      It’s so interesting to hear what people have hung on to – that knitted coat sounds great!

  • 30th December 2020 at 9:20 am

    Hi Penny, What a great list of favourites! Schitt’s Creek is a fabulous watch. I wasn’t a convert at first, but persevered on my daughter’s insistence and boy am I glad! I loved all the characters who actually evolved as the show progressed and I am missing it madly! Happy 2021 to you and your family. Cheers Doreen

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:02 am

      Yes, I know, we dithered over whether we should watch Schitts Creek and of course, it’s a revelation. We’re rationing ourselves and going slowly through the episodes – we’re not quite half way through. Here’s hoping the entire series will see us through to the other side of the pandemic, or to at least the first vaccine!

      Happy 2021 to you too Doreen!

  • 30th December 2020 at 10:23 am

    i think i can top you all! i have, and wear on occasion, the jacket from the first suit my father bought when he returned from fighting in world war 2.

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:03 am

      Oh wow! That is an old item and much loved by the sound of it. You’ve won!!!

  • 30th December 2020 at 10:26 am

    Hi Penny. Glad you had a good Christmas. As you say, hurrah for Zoom, etc. We zoomed our children twice on Christmas Day and so it felt a bit like we were all together.
    And hurrah for Netflix, etc. Have you watched The Queens Gambit? Although based on chess, it has much more going for it. We also watched Unorthodox, a rather dour story, but nevertheless a good watch. We recently watched Midnight Sky (George Clooney) – I personally would not recommend it – quite a depressing film. And we watched Puss in Boots which was on TVs the other day and absolutely loved it!
    It’s good to read your thoughts and I love your blogs. Let’s hope 2021 proves to be a better year for us all. Here’s wishing you the most important thing of all – good health.
    Regards, Julie

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:07 am

      Yes, hurrah for Zoom and WhatsApp which my family seem to prefer. And yes, I had The Queens Gambit on my list and somehow it got left out – maybe it’s joint 9th – because we did enjoy it and thought it unusual and so very stylish. Thanks for the tip about Midnight Sky as I had thought we might watch it but absolutely don’t want to be depressed at this moment in time!

      Thanks so much and here’s to a much better 2021!

  • 30th December 2020 at 11:37 am

    Hi Penny
    I really look forward to your posts! This Christmas 2020 one is such a valuable reminder of everything that those of us [me!]who are fortunate in many ways should remind ourselves of.
    So wishing you both and everyone the opportunity to stay well and healthy – and here’s to early vaccinations in 2021!
    ps nearly forgot to add that your film and tv recommendations are great!

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:09 am

      I agree here’s to early vaccinations and a more normal life – although it looks like mask wearing will have to continue for some time. Glad you like the film and tv recommendations – take care

  • 30th December 2020 at 11:41 am

    Hi Penny,
    I had a bit of a sort out of clothes prior to moving but kept all my real favourites including a cashmere poncho which I bought in a sale a while back. It’s my “go to” on waking as it’s so easy to use. I sit up in bed on these cold mornings with it on and think a while before getting up!!
    We had a good Xmas in our new home, it’s so much warmer than our Victorian semi!! We feel so thankful to have survived the move and closer now to the family.
    I too was a nurse and worked many christmases either on a ward or hospice then on the district. One Xmas my husband put the turkey in the oven but mistakenly programmed the oven above rather than the one the turkey was in!!!
    Happy healthy 2021 Penny

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:12 am

      Oh yes, we have the same routine and wake early but stay in bed with a cup of tea with me wearing that cardi.

      I expect like me you found working on Christmas Day rather fun and certainly not as bad as people think, but it was always good to get back to a nice hot meal but, oh no, re: the turkey and the programming of the wrong oven!

      Here’s to a much better 2021!

  • 30th December 2020 at 12:12 pm

    What a lovely end of Year post and your photo looks so similar to you today! You must be doing something right! I have really enjoyed your posts in recent months and especially the TV/box set recommendations as I recovered from Covid. More to view now thanks to this latest post! Now thankfully recovering and feeling hopeful for 2021. Your posts have a wonderful positive energy about them and about how you have managed throughout these strange months. I have really enjoyed seeing your walks on the seafront too. Will start to re-appraise my wardrobe when I have more energy…. I think more colour in 2021!
    Happy New Year!

    • 31st December 2020 at 9:17 am

      That’s so good to hear Stephanie, I was so worried about you, it’s great to know you’re recovering – but listen to your body as it will take time, these viruses and their after-effects can be so nasty and this one….

      Yes, bringing colour and also some laughter is always a good boost to the immune system. Take care and loads of love and Happy New Year x

  • 30th December 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you so much for writing your blog all through this terrible year. Loved hearing what you were doing and wearing. Hope is on the horizon and we can perhaps look forward to 2021 and the vaccine being rolled out throughout the country.

    • 31st December 2020 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Karin, yes I’m with you on this one that hope is on the horizon and we can look forward to 2021. Of course, we’re not quite there yet and at the moment it’s a bit more like ‘batten down the hatches’ and ‘hold on to your hats’. But this time next year should be different and maybe by the summer we’ll able to relax – hurrah for that thought! Thank you for reading the blog!

  • 30th December 2020 at 1:01 pm

    A great piece of writing, Penny. As you say, so much to be thankful for. You and Mr F look tremendous for your Christmas Day walk. I’ve watched many of the programmes in your list and agree, they’re excellent and I’ll look forward to some of the rest. Favourite old clothes – I have a 1930’s bias-cut black with a cream pattern crepe dress, bought in a charity shop in Nottingham (I think Oxfam) when I was 19 (now 68). It’s a flattering, forgiving dress that’s come out over the years for many different occasions, and I’m always complimented and asked where I bought it. Another keeper is a jumper that was knitted for me as a gift when I was 19 from my father (not by him). It’s cashmere, navy and camel, diagonal fine stripes with a border of roses round the bottom. It became a bit too small for me over the years but I couldn’t bear to part with it. My son ‘borrowed’ it for a few years in his teens/twenties and my daughter wears it now. My son instead wears a black/off white Norwegian style jumper made for my father at the same time as mine! Oh, so many wonderful memories stirred up by your writing.

    • 31st December 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you Jane for those kind words. And wow, you certainly do have some good older clothes, the cashmere jumper sounds so nice. Yes, thinking about these items does make one look back. Take care and thank you again 🙂

  • 30th December 2020 at 1:25 pm

    We had a nice time with our close family members that we have visited with during this past year. We are enjoying the time of from school schedules and enjoying taking it easy for the most part. Have a wonderful new year!

    • 31st December 2020 at 3:26 pm

      Thank you Mireille – you know whenever I write your name I think how beautiful it is! The new year will be a little challenging for us in the UK but there is much to look forward to. You take care and my very best wishes for this coming year 🙂

  • 30th December 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for your viewing favourites, we are in complete lockdown in Ontario now, so lots of viewing going on. Just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit, it’s really good, I had no idea chess was such a game of strategy. A lot was filmed in Toronto, but episode 5 was filmed on the Campus of my son’s old school in the small town north of TO where I live, so that was exciting to watch.
    I am absolutely horrified that people who I talk to who have watched the Crown are so ignorant of history, they are accepting it as complete fact, which is driving me crazy, as it doesn’t show the Royal Family, especially Charles in a good light. It has put me off Netflix, so now we are watching Britbox, which I’m loving.
    It’s freezing here, lots of snow over Christmas, which was so pretty. I had a fox coat gifted me nearly forty years ago, and I had it cut down into a vest, with a hat and muff, it’s my ‘going everywhere’ vest, as it’s so convenient to just put on when I’m going anywhere in the car.
    Wishing you and Mr F. a Very Happy and safe New Year. Hoping that 2021 will be one of hope and a return to normalcy.

    • 31st December 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Oh wow, such close proximity to a really good television series. I really liked The Queens Gambit and it was on my list but it kind of fell off it somehow!

      And The Crown, honestly it is such hokum with perhaps an element of truth here and there, but a documentary it is not. Mind you I’ve just finished reading Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner, who was Princess Margaret’s Lady-in-Waiting, who disputes the tone of The Crown and the depiction of several of the royals including Charles. Nevertheless, it’s jaw-dropping reading and so revealing as to how very dysfunctional the upper classes and aristocracy are.

      Wishing you a very Happy and much better 2021 and some normalcy please!!

  • 30th December 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Good to see Mr F looking warm in his Harris tweed coat! And the photos of you in your oldest garment. I’m with you on Bake Off, Strictly and the Crown. We watched The Crown but didn’t enjoy it so much as the earlier series. We realised we hardly watch any terrestrial TV now, it’s all Netflix and Sky. Quite a few of your favourites I haven’t seen so will make a note.
    Big thanks, yes, to the NHS and the scientists. So thrilled to hear about approval of the Oxford vaccine today. On the subject of vaccines, I was offered a flu jab but that was before the Covid rates shot up, so not surprisingly haven’t had an appointment yet. (And since I turned 60, have heard more from the NHS than I ever heard before – an over 60s health check, bowel cancer kit, mammogram….imagine what all this would cost privately!).
    Hope you have a happy, safe and healthy New Year!

    • 1st January 2021 at 8:53 am

      Yes, that Harris tweed coat is great and very necessary on the breezy seafront. And yes, we’re exactly the same as you in that we hardly watch any terrestrial TV apart that is from Pointless which is a regular every day event with us shouting out the answers at the screen! Not volunteering to go on the actual show as I’d just freeze and get 100 points every time!

      And that’s great re: the tests – take advantage of every test offered!

      Here’s to a much better, healthier, and safer year x

  • 30th December 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Ha ha what a story about the cardigan. I’m glad you had a good Christmas. We had too. And I’m glad you mention the people who suffer the most, my heart always go out to the homeless. It is cold here too, and grey and rainy. Just the perfect weather for those down months January and February. Ha ha, eventually it will be spring one day! Have a fabulous New Years Eve!

    • 1st January 2021 at 8:56 am

      I was fast asleep by 10.0pm and then woken by fireworks at midnight! Apparently it’s going to be grey over the whole of next week – boo! Cold too. Ah well, it’s winter and yes, eventually it will be Spring and then the summer – hurrah!

      You take care and maybe see you in the summer!!!!!

  • 30th December 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Great read Penny and I share your sentiments, so many people to be thankful for. I enjoyed the Queens Gambit and found Unorthodox very compelling. As a result I read both her autobiographies. Looking forward a more optimistic 2021

    • 1st January 2021 at 9:08 am

      Hi Bridget – thank you and actually I’ve remembered a couple more thank-yous which I’ll put in my next post. We also enjoyed The Queens Gambit and I did have it up there for the list but it seems to have fallen off it. It’s definitely worth watching for both the intriguing plot and the stylishness of it all. It was altogether a cool watch. Thanks for the tip – I shall try the autobiographies.

      Oh for a more normal life – here’s to a better year this year. Take care x

  • 30th December 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I have fond memories of our two young boys snuggled up on the sofa with me. Watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on Public Television in the 1980’s Alaska, his words would be a warming, soothing balm to us all.

    Today, I also love Moira’s jewelry, wigs and outfits.

    Happy New Year Penny!

    • 1st January 2021 at 9:10 am

      It was such a delightful film to watch and the character Mr Rogers was a revelation – how lovely to have those memories.

      Moira Rose and her jewellery – such a role model!!!

      Happy New Year to you Judy, and here’s to it being much better than the last one!

  • 30th December 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Lovely post, Penny!

    I am in love with your fur coat and will keep on looking for one in the charity shops when they reopen….

    I also enjoyed your list and really fancy watching ‘Schitt’s Creek’ (such an unfortunate name) and ‘Staged;’ which coincidentally I saw advertised for the first time, yesterday!

    Wishing you the very best for 2021!

    • 1st January 2021 at 9:28 am

      You will love Staged and give Schitts Creek a go, but be warned the first couple of episodes you do wonder, and yet, and yet, it cheers you up, and what’s more it’s not that it just grows on you, it’s the writing which is so outstanding. It’s altogether a sweet watch, and has an innocence to it that is just delightful.

      The faux fur was a vintage fair buy and quite pricey but I think it is such a keeper and lovely with it, good luck with your search. And wishing you too a far better 2021, here’s to being more normal and sociable once again xxx

  • 31st December 2020 at 12:54 am

    Always enjoy your posts Penny. Mr. F. looks very spiffy in that coat indeed, you make a stylish couple. I have to admit I dressed more for keeping warm today than for looking chic. It was rather cold and windy . Christmas here was so much more low key than usual, as expected. I was able to spend a brief time with my son and his family, I had not seen my granddaughter or grandson since the end of the Summer. then it was on to Daughter and son-in-law’s for Christmas dinner . I plan to spend some time with them as well on New Year’s Eve. Although no doubt I will be home well before midnight. I believe I have an item of clothing that is even older than your cardigan. I have a Winter coat my parents purchased for me when I was in high school. I remember shopping with them. I admit this was in the late 1950’s! It is dark charcoal gray, wool, it has a red velvet collar, and a red satin lining. it has the label of the store B. Altman, and the department, called the “hi shop” for teens. It seems to be in perfect condition and it still fits. I probably might wear it more but the style is rather fitted and so it makes it hard to layer, so it really won’t work in really cold weather. I am surprised it has come with me through a number of moves and two marriages! Not much else to report. hoping the new administration here in the States can transition peacefully.
    wishing you a joyful new year.

    • 31st December 2020 at 11:31 am

      Wow, that coat sounds fab – what a lucky girl you were! Why wear a thermal vest and throw a wool shawl over the coat so you can wear it more often?

    • 1st January 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Darby, that coat sounds so stylish and yes, amazing that you have managed to keep it with you all these years.

      There’s this new variant of Covid wreaking havoc in the UK so we kept away from being inside with any of our family. Meeting up with them will have to wait for when we are all vaccinated which of course will take some time. Have just taken all our decorations down and think I’m ready for the New Year. We have to hold on to the fact that things will be better eventually. Take care and yes, looking forward to seeing your new President in place and the old one gone!

    • 1st January 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you Jodie, wearing the cardi every day (actually every night) is ridiculous really, but it is a much loved item and Mr F would be surprised if I didn’t wear it!

      The faux-fur is glorious.

      Thanks Jodie – stay safe xxx

  • 31st December 2020 at 9:28 am

    Hello Penny, sad to say I can’t follow you any longer: that coat – unforgiveable, even if it is secondhand. Good luck in all your endeavours and I hope your health continues to improve.


    • 31st December 2020 at 10:18 am

      Gosh Jeanette – it’s totally faux, as in manufactured, as in not real. Do not presume too hastily…….

      • 3rd January 2021 at 11:42 am

        How could anyone accuse you of all people, of wearing a real fur coat. Honestly, some people.

  • 31st December 2020 at 11:57 am

    Great post as usual, Penny! I’m in the clutches of the green-eyed monster over your fabulous -fake- fur coat. It would hit the floor on me but I’m determined to have something like it next year. Mr FF looks very smart too, just missing a trilby (!), I don’t think Harris tweed ever wears out!
    Really cold today so may do a dancing session instead of a walk. Tomorrow the decorations are coming down so that will be a tiring day. I have a tall revolving tree which took me 3hrs to put up and decorate but it is lovely.
    Our best TV experiences this year were catching up on The Bridge and Line of Duty which somehow we had never seen. Starting on Spiral now. Him Indoors has given me the first 2 series of The Crown on DVD but have not started on it yet. Strictly is too noisy and frantic for me but I did quite enjoy the skating one by recording it and skipping the irritating bits. Skating really is challenging to novices and is something I wish I’d done when I was younger. It’s that speed over the ice that attracts me – I’m a bit of a speed freak at heart! I saw the ‘Neighbourhood’ film in the cinema (Oh happy days!) and cried all the way through. I felt I was in the presence of true ‘goodness’ like I do with Archbishop Sentamu, even though I’m an atheist.
    Your cardigan story, and others’ on their oldest garment, was fascinating. I think my herringbone long coat is about 25 years old, I’d love another the same shape but in bright blue. I bought a long pink Shetland wool cardigan in about 1968 which I had until it went into holes. It had cost a lot by my standards and I loved it.
    We has a great Christmas Eve, well, one hour outside with a bonfire in a bin, toasting our neighbour’s 80th in champagne & watching the golden sparks fly upwards like fireworks. Remined me of that quote in the book of Job ‘ for man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward…’ On a more cheerful note I insisted we demonstrate the hokey cokey to our Dutch neighbours as the song of 2020 ; in out, in out….! I wore 3 Christmas hats although 1 was sparkly holly deli boppers. Cold but great fun. Christmas lunch at daughter’s lovely too.
    Happy New Year to all & once we can get the mass vaccinations underway we will start to get our lives back – hooray!

    • 1st January 2021 at 1:05 pm

      The coat’s label is Astraka of London, and I googled it yesterday. It’s no longer trading but there are plenty of these faux-fur items on eBay and Etsy – maybe look there?

      Spiral starts its last series this Saturday, can’t wait as over the years I have become thoroughly gripped by the characters stories and wonder what the story arc will be this time. We’ve watched both Line of Duty (wonderful intricate plotting throughout the several series) and The Bridge, the original one, the latter is good but violent – hope you like it – the characters though are interesting. The Crown, well that’s good, and very watchable, and I’m sure you’ll see it as a drama and not ‘the truth’ but I so did not like the changeover of actors after the first two series. Just about got used to Olivia Coleman in this last series, but apparently it’s all change again for the final series. Hmm!

      Glad you had a good Christmas and the outdoor Christmas Eve party sounds lovely. Oh I agree for some normality, being sociable and a party or two. Sigh. Next year….

      Thanks Lynda

  • 31st December 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Penny,
    Enjoyed and loved this post, and all others of yours. It was upbeat and lovely to see how you both spent Christmas. We, too, spent the day together and zoomed with family. What fun! Nothing special on our table. Cookies abound though! I am not sure I go along with “what to wear for holiday zooming.” Our family seems to look the same, even though some of them are stepchildren! I remember solemn Christmases spent with a manic depressive mom, but, thankfully, a very upbeat father. Our Christmases are very jolly now!

    Thx for the list of flicks. Have seen a few and will put the rest on my list. Currently watching “Imposters.” Crazy but fun! Next on my list is Brigerton. Cranford is good too. Started watching it strictly for Judy Dench, and now am hooked.

    Back in the 70s, I knitted a very heavy dark brown coat with large handmade dried sweet potato buttons. I wore it a lot then. I seldom pull it out now, but cannot seem to get rid of it.

    Love your fur. It looks spot on gorgeous. Last year I bought a fake fur long coat from our senior center second hand gift shop, and am waiting to wear it. I think we used to call them “Timmy tufts.” While binging in front of the TV, I am currently making hats from recycled felted wool sweaters, and long scarves from harvested patches of old cashmere sweaters. Come on January and February weather!

    Thx for taking the time to write this blog. I look forward to each and every one. Happy New Year to you and your family. Best, Claire

    • 1st January 2021 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Claire, so nice to hear from you over the pond and good to hear that you too Zoomed the family. It’s the way of the world at the moment, and we have to be so careful now in the UK with the new variant. Still, there’s much to look forward to.

      I believe Bridgerton is great fun – we shall try it soon. The recycled felted wool hats sound amazing. and the scarves – really clever.

      Thanks again for your comment – it’s really nice to get the feedback that you enjoy the blog – take care 🙂

  • 1st January 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Not only the cardigan that’s worn well, Penny. You’re looking fab too.
    A Happy New Year to you. I think for most of us, the words will equate with ‘A safe year’ and I wish that for you too. X

Comments are closed.