Hello everyone!

Apologies for not posting for nearly two weeks, I should have said in my last post that I was going away, staying at my daughter’s in the small and very beautiful town of Lewes,

This is a typical street in Lewes just off the main High Street.

And then something cropped up and we went early. For the first 3 days my daughter and 15-yr-old grandson were around and then we have 7 days on our own in my daughter’s house.  It does count as a holiday as we are away from our flat in Brighton for the first time since November 2019. And it really is a break from the same old, same old. I am hoping to take some more photographs of the local area to show you some of the delights of this small town, but for the first few days I have spent a lot of my time just chilling in the garden. June is definitely the month of holidays as we are also off to Suffolk in the middle of the month. It is so lovely to get away. More about all of that in the next review.

So back to May, what did I do, well, it wasn’t all that different to the month of April. I continued to go to the opticians for tweaks to my new glasses. I’m having some problems in getting a made-to-measure sun visor for the pair and they’re back with the manufacturer at the moment. I went to the beauticians for more electrolysis – so essential! And I began to visit and see more of my friends, went to a dear friend for a delightful lunch one Sunday, and one friend came round not so long ago. It is a big change to how we’ve all been behaving over the last 12 months and I’ve already said I find it difficult to adjust but I’m getting there. We continue to visit our children though, and as they regularly take those Covid tests you can get from the local chemist, often before we visit, I have actually hugged both my daughter and son and their partners and our 15yr-old grandson. Oh how I’ve missed that close physical contact with my family.

The month of May has been unseasonably cold and wet here in the UK, which meant the idea of wearing summer clothes remained an idea, and I packed for our Lewes vacation when it was cold which seemed appropriate at the time. But it’s warmed up – huzzah and three cheers! Thankfully we had to nip back to the flat for an appointment with a plumber who is doing some work on our hot water supply and I picked up a few items to wear in the warmer weather. But I shall also go to the local Lewes charity shops to see what I can find. The Lewes charity shops are excellent.

And here is a typical Lewes charity shop. You might gather that I’m rather looking forward to doing some chazza shopping  as I haven’t frequented many charity shops this month and in fact I created a huge pile of items that I have weeded out. That was because I was doing a fair amount of decluttering in case we moved – again! But as you know I got rid of that itch to move, and am content to do some reconfiguration of our rooms which I find very satisfying. Thank you so much for your informative comments about eBay and other selling platforms.  Lewes has several excellent ‘nearly new’ shops, they’re quite picky and in the past I’ve even had a few of my items rejected. Anyway, I have decided I simply don’t have the time to sell on eBay so I have picked a few of my very best clothes (mainly the size 10 and small size 12 items that I cannot get into anymore) and will see if they take them. That I think is the way forward for me and I’ll let you know how I get on.

Films, television and books

We watched several films this month most of which were not the best. At my grandson’s request and my backing, we saw Godzilla v Kong (Amazon) and what a disappointment it was. Great CGI but the story-line was simply stupid. I mean I know the whole concept is but, even so, the previous Kong was far superior. My grandson liked it so that was good and really the whole point of watching it. However, we did watch one really excellent film this month, Clemency (Amazon), which I would give 5*+++ to. The lead, Alfe Woodard, is someone I haven’t come across before but my word, did she shine as the efficient stoic warden of a maximum security prison beginning to have doubts about the death penalty. And truly you watch and ask yourself, what barbarism is this to take a life even when it is sanctioned by the state? It is a breath-taking, sobering, superb watch.

We watched all three episodes of The Pursuit of Love (BBC iPlayer) and loved every minute of it. In fact, I was so taken by it, I immediately got hold of Nancy Mitford’s book that the TV series was based on and then read the follow-up, Love in a Cold Climate, which is another story of Fanny’s life. I’m taking a break from that genre of mad and very likeable toffs for the moment and currently reading two books in tandem, The Plague by Albert Camus, which is interesting of course but not exactly light reading and then because I’m on holiday, I bought The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Hmm, well, the thing is it’s very popular, and I don’t want to offend, but I’d only read it on holiday, not really my kind of book, and it’s too slow. I’m bored, tbh.

Having wasted our time watching some very bad films, television watching has been quite worthwhile, what with The Pursuit of Love which we adored, and then there was/is Mare of Eastwood (Nowtv) which, as I write, we haven’t watched the last episode. What a great series though. Kate Winslet has been amazingly good and the whole story so well written and acted.  It’s superb.

We came across Motherland some time ago but for some reason started on the 2nd series, so we’ve found the 1st series on BBCiPlayer and are watching that with the knowledge that there is the 3rd series to watch as well. Oh wow, what a series of excruciating episodes of excruciating mummies (and one daddy) at the school-gate. It’s so funny and just half an hour of great script-writing and laughs. We watch Motherland after we’ve watched The Underground Railroad (Amazon) which is quite a grim watch, to be honest, but I’d read the book by Colson Whitehead and it was definitely my kind of book. You know, of course, there wasn’t an actual underground railway to save escaping slaves but a series of safe houses and people who helped escaped slaves move on to where they could be free. But here in the book and the television series Whitehead shows us a fantasy world of an underground railroad that takes our protagonists onwards although, they are not exactly taken to safety. As I can’t remember how the book ended, I shall watch the whole series and hope they become free.

We still watch Schitts Creek (Netflix) and love it. We know we’ve got another series of Call My Agent (Netflix) to watch but are keeping it for the right moment!  But we have started to watch Halston (Netflix) which tells the story of the American designer who launched a luxury brand and was incredibly successful in the 70s and 80s. I’d actually not heard of Halston before, so it’s a learning curve for me to watch as well as being a joy to immerse oneself in the colour, the designs, the furniture, and the excellent acting from Ewan MacGregor. For a rather sweet and gentle watch, I do recommend Carry on Glamping (All4) which is a bonkers four-episodes of the stand-up comedian Johnny Vegas following his dream to open a glamping site made up from old buses. A business man he is not and there are many disasters. We have one more episode to watch and rather wonder if it all comes together or not.  But it is nice thing to watch after watching something grim, like our latest noir, which we have just finished, Blinded: Those Who Kill (BBCiPLayer) which is good but well, definitely noirish and no need to give you a plot, it’s can we catch this serial killer?  Eventually yes we can.

That’s all for now, but as I said apologies for the delay in posting and the lack of fashion shots, but more of those next post 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



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22 thoughts on “May review – 2021

  • 1st June 2021 at 10:08 am

    Oh you know I love Lewes, can’t wait to shop there! I love that antique market in that church too, found a coupe of gorgeous rings there. Motherland is one of the funest series I watched the past years! I just love it! Enjoy the sun in beautiful Brighton Penny!

    • 3rd June 2021 at 3:56 pm

      My Lewes shopping has been so successful – I have a lot to tell people!!! And at last we have some sun. Back to Brighton tomorrow, Nancy, it’s been good to get away but it’ll be good to get back as well 🙂

  • 1st June 2021 at 11:10 am

    I so agree with you Penny that Richard Osman’s book was a disappointment and like you I’d been led by all the hype about it. The best book I’ve read this year so far has been ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens: it is beautifully descriptive and the storyline moves along nicely.
    I can’t wait to see what treasures you find in the Lewis charity shops. Enjoy your break away in this lovely sunshine.

    • 3rd June 2021 at 4:00 pm

      I too loved ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ and thought it beautiful and a great read. Just finished Richard Osman’s book. I don’t know why I persevered but I wanted to know whodunnit, but, really, the clunky plot twists were abysmal!

      The shopping in Lewes has been amazing – I have a lot to show you 🙂

      Back to Brighton tomorrow.

  • 1st June 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Totally agree with Lynda, Where the Crawdad’s Sing was my favourite book this year. I do so envy you being able to have some time away. We are still in Lockdown in Toronto. We are having crazy weather, last week was very hot indeed, over 30 degrees, then it snowed last Friday. It’s impossible to know what to wear.
    Can’t wait to see the pictures of what you find in the Lewis shops. I shall live vicariously through you Penny, as I think we will be flopping around our own gardens in baggy T-shirts for some time. I am grateful everyday for my large perennial English garden, it has been a life saver for me, and I think because of less traffic around, the birds are in abundance this year. I am seeing amazing bird life everyday, which is lovely to watch.
    Have a safe and lovely week.

    • 3rd June 2021 at 4:05 pm

      So sorry about your lockdown – but good to hear about the birdlife around you in your wonderful garden. Mind you, I’m rather wondering where this new variant will lead the UK. So far cases are rising but people are not being hospitalised so the vaccinations seem to be working. Fingers crossed!

      My shopping in Lewes was amazingly successful – I have a lot to show you!

      Back to Brighton tomorrow 🙂

  • 1st June 2021 at 4:39 pm

    It is a lot of work to sell our things on eBay, which is why I haven’t tried it either. We need to find a company that will come by our house and take the things off our hands for a little money. And then they could have a traveling bus that goes from place to place selling them!! Wouldn’t that be fun??

    • 3rd June 2021 at 4:07 pm

      Yes, I just can’t get my act together to sell on eBay, I really did think long and hard about it, but I do find it scary as well so until I sell at least one thing I’m taking my clothes to a nearly new shop that buys the clothes of you and gives you 50%.

      Your idea would be amazing – you’ll have to start it off, Jodie 😉

  • 1st June 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Richard Osmon’s book is one of the worst books I have read in recent years, in fact I had to abandon it after struggling to about a third of the way through. It was a stereotypical portrayal of our older generation, which was also very patronising and very stupid. Not well written at all. Richard should stick to presenting TV programs. Just about to start Where the Crawdad’s Sing. Like your blog very much Penny.

    • 4th June 2021 at 7:43 am

      Oh Geraldine, thanks for saying that about the book. Absolutely agree that it is the worst book I’ve read in years – simply awful. And as for the depictions of the older people in the book – he really doesn’t get older age and I didn’t find any of it funny. He’s so nice in Pointless, which I admit to watching every day, but a writer he is not! I feel annoyed that I persevered to the end, but never mind I’ve had a recent birthday and have 4 really good books to read, which I’ll write about at the end of the month.

      Thanks again 🙂

  • 1st June 2021 at 7:28 pm

    Hope you’re enjoying the fab weather and doesn’t Lewes look spiffing! The charity shops look really posh. One day I’ll get to see them, I hope.

    I’m just about to start reading the Nancy Mitford books; I have both and watching ‘The Pursuit of Love’ reminded me I had them and hadn’t read them yet. I read 15 books in May; no crocheting at all.

    I’m enjoying the journey back to ‘normal’.

    • 4th June 2021 at 7:47 am

      The weather has just broken in Lewes, and it’s raining now and quite cool, but we’ve had days and days of glorious warm to hot weather, it felt as though summer had truly arrived. Actually I believe that the good weather should return soon – three cheers!

      Wow, that’s a huge number of books! You will love the Nancy Mitford books. I too am beginning to enjoy the more normal life – long may that continue, but it’s fingers crossed, I think, as cases are rising once more even in Brighton, for example. Take care xxx

  • 2nd June 2021 at 7:50 am

    Hi Penny, I love Lewes. We even thought of living there at one time when our daughter was in Brighton ( but so expensive now). Is the Pin Factory? open….I used to love the little antique bric a brac shops downstairs and the Polish China shop upstairs. The charity shops in Lewes are indeed excellent. It’s also got a quite otherworldly feel about it, and lovely light too. And bookshops of course! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday there and a break from the mundane. We went to see our daughter too, only for 2 nights, but it was so nice to be away. All the best, Trish

    • 4th June 2021 at 7:53 am

      It’s been lovely to get away, although I’m looking forward to being in my own bathroom and kitchen once more! But the weather has been sublime until today that is when we woke to rain.

      Lewes is beautiful, and even though I have returned to wonderful Brighton I often visit it, and not just to see my daughter, the character of the place and the small independent shops are delightful but it’s fast catching up with Brighton house prices – it’s very expensive. But like everywhere a lot of shops are empty – btw do you mean the Needlemakers? That’s open and full of lovely stalls.

      All the best to you too Trish 🙂

      • 8th June 2021 at 8:58 am

        Sorry I forgot to click the notification thing and missed your reply. Yes it was the Needlemakers. I used to love that place and took my late Mother and Dad there too. They really liked it as well. There was a wonderful antique/bric-à-brac place downstairs that I could have spent hours in. The food was nice too. Such a good selection of little shops though they did dwindle a bit. We were hoping to visit our daughter’s flat but the tenant is now staying on so our potential easy break plans are put on the back burner for now. I think staying there would have felt safer. I’m a bit risk averse at the moment.

  • 2nd June 2021 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve just spent 3 days with my sister in Barton-on-Sea. I went by train -it’s only 40 mins- but was horrified to find that there was no social distancing! people were wearing masks but no seats were cordoned off. The website for booking said to keep to your designated carriage and seat but these were not allocated on the ticket. Thanks goodness it was not a longer trip but the train had come from London. Had nice weather and a good catch up; I really needed a change of scene. Him Indoors came to collect me by car and the traffic was so bad it took him 2 hrs!
    On books, I was not keen on ‘Crawdads’ as I found the descriptions overlong and I guessed the twist. I’ve found a new crime writer Cara Hunter who I’m enjoying a lot and Lucy Atkins ‘The Night Visitor’ which is a very well written modern, but slightly gothic, story. I’ve also discovered Australian writer Liane Moriarty recently.

    • 4th June 2021 at 8:04 am

      So far we haven’t been on a train, buses are OK with some distancing, everyone wearing masks and windows wide open. I always sit in the craftiest spot, so yes, I wonder what it’s like to go up to London and back which is what we want to do at some point, although we are watching the rise in cases and won’t go if they continue to increase.

      Thanks for the tips on authors – it’s always good to hear of writers one hasn’t come across.

  • 2nd June 2021 at 4:17 pm

    So nice you were able to visit your family Penny. I had a lovely birthday dinner last week with my daughter and husband, my son, daughter in law and granddaughter and grandson. So good to have my family together. I did not get to see my brother and his family as they live in Florida. However, we had a very long phone chat as we always do. especially this time of year as we have birthdays on adjoining days. Also we share similar political views and many in his area do not. Our parents, especially our dad ,were quite liberal minded. the weather has been crazy this past week. there were days of sun and warm temperatures and then over the weekend, Memorial Day here in the states and the start of Summer the skies opened up, torrential rain, temps that did not even reach 50! I was looking forward to a dinner on the patio of a local golf club with live musicians hosted by a senior singles group. I have belonged for a number of years but have not been able to go to any of their functions for probably 2 years. Anyway, it was cancelled. fortunately, Sunday was partly sunny if a bit chilly so spent time with some friends at a get together in her beautiful yard. My two book clubs remain active on Zoom. I have read” Miss Benson’s Beetle” by Rachel Joyce for our Global book club, which takes place on the island of New Caladonia, which I liked a lot. Now reading” Abagail” by Magda Szabo, a Hungarian author . We read the oldie” Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier for the Millenium book club. I also just finished reading” American Dirt” by Jennine Cummins, I could not put it down. The story of a women and her young son escaping a cartel in Mexico, trying desperately to get to the US.
    Seeing the photo of Lewes brought back memories of my trip to the UK in 2011, seeing not just London and the larger cities but the lovely smaller villages as well. Hoping to get back their someday. I always enjoy you posts Penny, with or without the fashions

    • 4th June 2021 at 8:11 am

      I have decided to put all the suggestions for authors and books on a list. It’s so good to be prompted to read things you might not have heard of before – thanks for your suggestions.

      It’s also been so good to hear of your meet-ups with your family, likewise it’s been great to see more of our kids and grand-kids. Long may that continue, but I do feel we have to continue to be cautious as we have a nasty variant in the north of the country and cases are rising in my neck of the woods too. Longing for it all to end, but we aren’t there yet.

      Our stay in Lewes has been delightful and I’ve done lots of books and clothes shopping – more about that in the next post. Take care Darby 🙂

  • 3rd June 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Penny ,Your posts are so nice and friendly, I love them. So glad you are getting to see family and friends now ,but it to me feels so strange for about an hour ,there is so much to catch up on one hardly knows where to start!
    I absolutely love charity shopping ( and antique/ bric-à-brac) in Lewes, but sadly when I went a couple of weeks ago our favourite “ Martlets” shop had closed down completely! Hope you find something there, I,m sure you will let us see it! Best Wishes Judy S.

    • 4th June 2021 at 8:00 am

      Thank you so much Judy for those kind words. Yes, it’s been great to see more of my family but until this pandemic is truly over (which won’t be for some time) there will always be a lingering anxiety and a ‘what if’ feeling with every encounter.

      I know, I too was shocked at the demise of the Martlets, one of the best charity shops in Lewes. I expect it’s because as a charity they didn’t want to continue paying the taxes and rent through lockdown. I hope they open again at some point.

      And my Lewes shopping experience was ace – more about that in the next post!

      Best wishes to you too 🙂

  • 4th June 2021 at 4:09 pm

    No need to apologise re: not posting, Penny!
    I have never visited Lewes but it certainly merits a trip. Hope you enjoyed the change of scene. We’re off to Penzance in a couple of weeks for a short break. We’re going with our eldest son and his girlfriend who organised the self-catering accommodation for us. Zeph will be coming too and I can’t wait.
    The Plague was one of the set books when I did French A level and I have reread it since. I’ve just finished ‘Hungry’ by Grace Dent. It was a book that surprised and enchanted me.
    I’m also a fan of the very brilliant ‘Motherland’.

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