Well here we are in a new year. It’s 2022 and no, I am not doing a post on New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that these resolutions are so last year (ha!) it’s just I don’t think they help. Because we all want to improve and be the best version of ourselves but, really, we should be thinking about this throughout the year and not just in January. So I will write about improving one’s health and welfare but not today!
Instead I want to look back and say what am I grateful for and then what I am looking forward to in this coming year. And I’m taking this positive stance as it would be so easy to fall back into, ‘2021? That was a bit of a s..t year, wasn’t it?’ which it was to a certain extent, but not all of the time, no way, soooo……
Well, I was really grateful that the lockdown we had in the UK ended when it did. It wasn’t a good beginning to the year, those months were dismal and dull, but I found that the enforced staying-at-home made me think through ideas about life, the universe and everything. I made plans and you will hear about these soon, I hope.
I was also so happy to see my two grandchildren growing up: one will be 16 this year and talk about growing – he’s over 6 foot tall! While the other grandchild, Oscar is now 14 months and delightful. I was so grateful to visit them throughout the year and in Oscar’s case, to see a little baby become a toddler as he began walking just before Christmas.
Both me and F managed to stay healthy and Covid free, and I owe a lot of my current health status to my Personal Trainer. I never thought I could afford a PT but seriously I would rather go without than miss a session now. The reason I stand up straight is because we work on my scoliosis, and one day I might take a photo of my muscles as I have quite muscly arms, which I think are an absolute necessity once one gets into one’s mid-70s. You need to build muscle up and work on that body, which I do with the help of my PT – so thank you, Sarah.
Despite my feeling that I’m missing out on a variety of cultural experiences in London (and that would be true) I read lots of books, and watched lots of television and films. My best book of the year was Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead – what an adventure the chief protagonist had, and for a short-listed Booker very readable and almost a page-turner. My best film of the year was one we watched late in the year, The Power of the Dog, possibly the best thing Benedict Cumberbatch has done ever. However, I’ve looked back at all the films I’ve watched over the year (I’ve just started recording what books I read as well, should have done that a long time ago) and The Mauritanian is a close second, tying with The Father starring Anthony Hopkins who really, really, deserved his Oscar 2021 for Best Actor. And the best television series has to be Mare of Easttown starring Kate Winslet, also one of the best things she’s done.
I must say something about all the front-line workers in the UK and I include all delivery drivers, rubbish collectors and other public sector workers, plus all food preparation workers, as well as all the health and medical staff and carers out there, and don’t forget our teachers facing another school term many of them teaching in badly-ventilated classrooms. There are many others. They’ve all gone above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for everything you’ve done through these challenging two years, and not helped by the ghastly government we have – sorry couldn’t resist that, but one really has to say how it is.
And finally, I am so grateful for you, dear readers, as the discipline of having to write the blog kept me sane throughout 2020 and 2021! Thank you for reading this blog. The blog is for you, but the blog is also for me, as I love writing, and this has been such a good experience communicating with you and writing about so many subjects, not just fashion.
I’ve just booked a week in Autumn in Dungeness in the same lovely fisherman’s cottage that we stayed in before. Some people would question why return to a place you’ve already been to, thinking you should always go to different places, but the sameness can be reassuring and I adore Dungeness, which is not everyone’s cup of tea! Have you heard the expression, ‘it’s a bit marmite’? For those of you who haven’t come across this, marmite is a black treacle-like spread that is as salty as the ocean. The shock on the face of a French student when I gave her some marmite on a slice of bread! Well I love marmite and I love the haunting bleakness of Dungeness.
We also plan to get to France, hopefully in the early summer when there are lower numbers of that dratted Covid. And get up to London, hurrah and three cheers when I do.
We’re also planning to go to parts of the UK we haven’t been to for some time, Yorkshire hopefully, and, to the Kent coast again, so that Mr F can visit parts of the country where his ancestors lived. While I have sat at my desk writing the blog, Mr F has done a huge amount of family history tracing the his German Kocher forebears back to the 18th Century.
There are many things I’m grateful for and it’s good to have some aims and goals and holidays to look forward to.
And in the meantime don’t forget there’s always the charity shops to keep oneself occupied and in my case, happy! So, today, I thought I’d show you three of my favourite jackets, which I don’t wear as often as I should.
The first is a boxy, boiled wool jacket. The label is Kaliko, which was a good make although it is no longer operating (so ?vintage) and yet it cost all of £9. It’ll be useful tomorrow as I shall wear it over my woollen jumper and under my woollen coat when I attempt to eat outside in the freezing weather!
I do like the shape of this jacket with its nipped in waist.
I’ve lightened it so you can see the shape and the detail.
The second jacket is a classic tweed jacket with the label Basler. This is a German fashion brand that is no longer trading.
I think Basler clothes were quite pricy, but I got this for £12. It’s 100% wool which I think is great.
And finally there is this darling little jacket that I got from a brocante shop in a small village in France for 5 Euros.
I do love it so and it reminds me of my visits to France.
That’s all for now, but as I said many thanks for reading this through 2021. Here’s to a new year and a better one!
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper