Hello everyone

Well, yesterday in the south of England it was a cold, cold day, brrr, and it’s May! Hmm! Fortunately I hadn’t put away all my cold weather clothes so I wore leggings plus a mid-length charity shop skirt and a yellow wooly jumper with a long sleeved, roll-neck top underneath. It was not the weather to wear summer clothes!

This is obviously taken in our bedroom and you can see we’ve practically finished the unpacking as we’ve already put up some pictures on the walls. Btw, the bathroom is 90% finished and from Sunday we could actually take a shower in our own home! Phew, what a relief!  It was lovely!

Living in Lewes continues to be delightful and as well as going to our first in-person meeting of the local history group, I had my nails done again, today we’re off to the cinema and next week London! Also last week I managed to find a really cool (but not literally) mid-season outfit in a charity shop.  I found both in the same charity shop, which is always pleasing.

The first find was the skirt.

It has really interesting material depicting mythical creatures.

Here I am in the bedroom again.

And in our sitting-room.

With these last two moves I down-sized big-time and got rid of so many books, but after staying at Dungeness where there were books just about everywhere I am definitely not reading on my Kindle any more, but reading real books and if I think they’re good, they’ll be added to the bookshelves of which there are more below.

That’s on the other side of the room, mind you I do rather like the artefacts on the shelves, so I think books will start accumulating in the bedroom. I do, btw, have many non-fiction books on a large set of shelves in the second bedroom, which is Mr F’s office. My office space is in our large bedroom and it’s a really good space to work in.

I do like a minimalist desk. And finally did you notice the top, bought at the same time as the skirt? Here is a close up.

I rather like it as the material is soft and quite warm to wear and then there’s little bit of bling to it with the lace and sparkles around the neck. And the price? £3.99 for each item. Quite a bargain I think as both are in very good condition and feel unworn to me.

That’s all for now, but I hope the weather is good where you are and the world is treating you well. You all take care now.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


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31 thoughts on “Mid-season wear for cool days

  • 11th May 2022 at 8:48 am

    Helloooo, Penny! It is always so good to hear from you. Period.
    I am so glad to see the photos of you more settled in your new home. It looks so fresh and spacious! Your mid-century pieces are so colorful and, yes, your arrangements on the shelves are perfect. I especially like the use of vases and pitchers. They add an architectural element to the book shelves. Funny that I seek out pitchers, too. Mine are more white ironstone (English Meakin labels) and tarnished silver plate from 2nd hand sources. I don’t have an exhaustive collection but ones that are useable and a few that catch my eye.
    Your outfit is just so spot on!! Love the geometric top with the more free flow print of the skirt! The greens are beautiful and the pattern is sublime! Absolutely love this!
    We’ve got our four grandkids here spending four wonderful days with us. Their parents will be landing in Madrid, Spain, for a church conference in a few hours, then spending some needed vacation time in Venice. I am thrilled for their ten day stay in Europe! From us, the grandkids go to the co-grandparents, and then onto their closest family friends. There are school days in there but while with us, we are playing!! “They” include twin boys (11 yrs), a 9 year old boy, and a six year old girl. We love them to bits and they are so good to us. We’ve got plans for a local hike, a visit to a beautiful natural history museum, and a visit to another antique, second hand store! They are experts at 2nd hand shopping! Today, they took me quickly through another 2nd hand shop to see if there were any of their beloved Legos. A quick look through the aisles and, “No, Grandma, none here!” They’ve asked for their Grandma-cooking favorites so we are quite stocked up plus plans for a stop at a favorite beach hamburger joint! Fun (and exhausting) days for husband and I but so, so worth it!! So thankful to be near by to do this, too!
    Can’t wait to hear about your local history group and your London trip! May you find new and engaging friends in your new locale! Take care and stay healthy and safe…Charlene.

    • 12th May 2022 at 11:26 am

      Hello Charlene!
      It’s great to hear about your family life and having your grandchildren with you. And such lovely ages. My eldest grandchild is 16 and very grown up too so doesn’t do much with his grandma now, but we see each other often as we live in the same town. The other grandchild is 18 months old and I have to admit I find it very tiring to be with him, so he’s not quite old enough to stay with us or have an outing – but he will and I can’t wait for that.

      I shall take lots of pix on Sunday as it’s the re-enactment of the Battle of Lewes and apparently a lot is happening throughout the town. I shall tell everybody about it probably in the next blog.

      Thanks Charlene and have a great rest of the week 😄

  • 11th May 2022 at 9:02 am

    The skirt and top go well together, green is obviously a favoured colour with you. I used to have some lovely two-tone green shoes years ago, wish I had a photo, they were so unusual. We don’t keep many books now but I still read ‘real’ ones. HI uses the library’s down load facility so we don’t get to share books as much as we used to. I’ve only read one on a screen when I could not find part of a series. I see you have some Poole Pottery pieces, very much back in fashion now when before you could hardly give it away! My daughter took me to see the Flower Festival in Salisbury Cathedral yesterday which was lovely. The nave was full of suspended hearts which I think had been done by local school children. Beneath them the flowers were all in pinks, peaches, blue and cream including an unusual mauve coloured rose. There was a ‘coronation robe’ made from dried materials draped over the altar steps, very impressive. I would like to go back and have a guided tour of the Cathedral, there is a great deal to see and understand. In the centre of the nave is wide shallow ‘basin’ with water than spills over the four elongated corners , a phot would show it better but I never take any because I like to be in the moment. Most people seemed to be looking at everything through a lens. My daughter took photos because she is floral art demonstrator and it always looking for ideas. It was quite chilly in the morning but the sun came out later. I’m weighing up whether to have my nails ‘done’ for the first time or to continue with my home manicure. I can get a gel-like effect but of course it does not last as long. How often do you get yours filled in at the cuticle? My nails grown noticeably in a week. I’m also concerned about the chemicals so I would wear a good mask if I do it.

    • 12th May 2022 at 11:39 am

      Hi Lynda, my other half reads almost exclusively on his Kindle and also gets eBooks from the library, but I’ve gone right off reading on the Kindle and have gone back to loving real books.

      I inherited those Poole Pottery pieces from my mother. They were, I think, bought in the 50s, and in antique shops I very rarely see items of a similar quality. I do love them mainly for their sentimental value as they were always there in my parent’s sitting-room.

      I must go to Chichester Cathedral again – there’s a great similarity to Reims Cathedral. I once went round the Reims cathedral with an English guide (who lived there) who read the stained glass windows to us and explained they were equivalent to Bible texts for those who could not read. That was an unforgettable tour as it was years and years ago.

      RE: the nails. I’ve only just started having my nails done using gel. I go to a highly professional salon, not a nail bar, which uses high-quality products. I found that the varnish was still there 3 weeks later without any chips just the gap at the cuticles. So I had the gap filled in and I was charged virtually nothing for that. I have since had the gel taken off and applied again but next time will have a proper manicure to nourish the nails and go without for a month to give the nails a rest.

      Thanks Lynda – have a good rest of the week

  • 11th May 2022 at 9:43 am

    What great finds I love the colours in the top. Your new home is really taking shape. We should have been moving but there has been no sign from the buyers. You may been interested to know that here, in France, if they don’t complete a large amount of their deposit passes to us. However by law we are obliged to sell to them. We have decided to stay put if they don’t buy and avoid anymore stress. We are sorry we got rid of so many books too, as you know they do ‘furnish a room’. We buy 99% of our books second hand so no Kindles for us for the time being. Hope the weather heats up a bit for you.

    • 12th May 2022 at 11:49 am

      The French system sounds as challenging as ours. I’ve never forgotten buying a house from a couple who were moving to France. The morning of the ‘completion’ I was harangued and shouted at over the phone by one of them as they had to have the money in the French bank before midday or they would be seen as defaulting. “I’ll sue you in the courts if you don’t get the money to us pronto” were the sentiments with plenty of swear words. But it was a long chain – anyway phoned the solicitor who actually moved the money over to France BEFORE we got our money – what a ghastly situation. It kind of coloured my feelings about the place we were buying – took a long time to get over it!!! We moved after 6 years – that was a reasonable time spent in one place I think!

      Yes, I’m sorry I got rid of so many books, particularly those I bought for uni. That was in the 80s (went as a mature student and graduated at 40) and I know it was a long time ago, but I did love them. They went several moves ago, and there are a couple I really regret losing.

      Weather is expected to warmup shortly for a little heatwave! I do hope your sale and move sorts itself out – must be quite stressful.

      All the best

  • 11th May 2022 at 12:41 pm

    I love all of the clothes and especially the ‘mythical creatures’ print. And I also love your bookshelves and the beautiful yellow chair.

    But I would like to know how you manage a minimal desk! Today I have been trying to sort out my books (hundreds of them) and my desk, which is a disaster area. My husband’s desk never has anything on it except his keyboard, but I always seem to need so many bits of paper, notes, etc. I will tidy it up this afternoon but I know in a week’s time it’ll be back to the usual chaos.

    My younger daughter buys almost all of her clothes from charity shops and always looks great. She is an artist (though currently works in a cafe) and seems to have the knack of looking different and cool. She moved from Dundee to Glasgow last autumn and says Glasgow charity shops are excellent.

    Isn’t it interesting how charity shops all have different characters? Our local Chest, Heart & Stroke one is very smart and upmarket – always has good books too – but I also love the British Heart Foundation one in Aberdeen city, which is far less smart but full of good things. And I used to frequent a Shelter shop near Edinburgh university where I found some really different stuff. I think as well as providing us with such great bargains, local charity shops are also taking over as meeting places. When funding is cut and cut for community centres, drop-in centres, libraries, etc charity shops can, to a certain extent, fill the gap – I’ve notice how many people pop in most days for a chat, and the volunteers are always there for them.

    Your new home looks fantastic. It’s such hard work moving, but it looks like you are there now. One of my friends is about to move from a huge country house to a new build. They have been in their current house for 20 years plus, and the amount of turning out required is quite something, she is exhausted. They are also having to rent in between, so lots has to go into storage. I’ve been in that situation myself and it is so stressful – though it’s funny how, after you’ve lived in a rented flat for a few months, you open all the storage boxes and wonder why on earth you kept most of it!

    I hope you enjoy your trip to London. I haven’t lived there for 30 years now and don’t miss it at all, but I’m sure it’s good for a visit!

    • 12th May 2022 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Rosemary – and thank you for your interesting comment. The minimal desk? Well I wasn’t always like that but this time my office space is in the bedroom and I don’t want a ‘work’ feel to this room. In the evening I cover the laptop and anything else I might have on the desk with a cloth. My filing system is that if I’m writing something that needs research it all goes into a big shopping bag which I hide away in a cupboard. But actually looking at the photo I can see that what would be better is to use that little suitcase that’s under the desk. That suitcase belonged to my mother and I have all her sewing kit plus mine in it. If I could find another receptacle for the sewing gear then I will use the little suitcase.

      Yes, indeed, charity shops are all different and have a different feel to them, one in Lewes has surprisingly good items and yet it is in the smallest of small shops, while a larger charity shop sells new items but has very little good quality second-hand clothes. I think the small shop goes for quality rather than quantity.

      Moving home is exhausting as there is so much physical effort that goes into it. But there’s also the psychological stress going through the system of conveyancing. Solicitors! Actually we had a very good one, it’s always the buyer’s solicitor that causes the angst!

      Thanks re: the trip to London – I couldn’t agree more – it’s a good place to visit, but to live there, no thanks!

  • 11th May 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Lovely to see some of your new home, Penny. It looks great. We have loads of books despite giving heaps away to a local charity, but I love my kindle best! Because my eyesight is not so good, I can adjust the font size and the brightness and it is so light and easy to read. Now when I have to read a ‘real’ book for book group I often think it’s not so convenient as kindle reading, though I know many people will disagree. Love the new clothes, green is also one of my colours. It really suits you. It’s cool and gloomy here today, but should be going back to warm and sunny in the next few days. I’m so looking forward to summer clothes again. All the best.

    • 11th May 2022 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Kathy – yes, after showing you the boxes and the upside down chair I thought I ought to show people that we have unpacked!

      Yes, I used to read a Kindle version on my iPad also because of my eyesight, but lately as I do a lot of reading in bed I’ve changed to real books (anything to knock the insomnia on the head) and with the light shining directly on the book I am managing it well.

      Thanks re: the outfit and the colour of the top – when I saw them I absolutely pounced on both those items!

      And all the very best to you too

  • 11th May 2022 at 2:00 pm

    I have a super minimalistic interior, I don’t even place my books in the living area. But I always love to see it with others. I wished I had a library….. great outfit Penny! That’s a bargain!

    • 11th May 2022 at 3:53 pm

      I became more and more minimalist as I got older, but for many years I inherited stuff including furniture from my relatives and also collected and hunted down antiques, and I used to have a house stuffed with brown furniture and old things – but I’ve really changed and now I just want everything to be bright and colourful and modern.

      Thanks Nancy – have a great week x

  • 11th May 2022 at 2:53 pm

    What great finds! That is a fun print for the skirt. I went thrifted with my mom and found 3 things to take home (I probably tried 10 items) and have worn 3 already. I also won a giveway and got 3 things so I am doing well with my shopping and not spending! The heat has arrived here but we did get one cool day last week where I needed my denim jacket. Glad you are loving your new home town.

    • 11th May 2022 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Mireille – and yes the print is amazingly different. Your thrifting trip was very successful and lovely to hear it’s so nice and warm where you are. It might heat up here a bit next week – hope so!

  • 11th May 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Love the skirt and green top. Your flat looks very civilised now! But please can you tell me where you got your lovely white desk?? I have been looking for a more compact desk for ages! Thanks x

  • 11th May 2022 at 10:16 pm

    I do wish I could have kept all the books that I have loved over the years. Those are the one thing that I don’t keep anymore, but I LOVE them so much.
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous new place Penny,

    • 13th May 2022 at 7:45 am

      I have absolutely decided to keep the best books I read but if they’re not brilliant then off to the charity shops they go!

      Our place is really getting to look good – took a bit of time though and things still aren’t finished. But hey we’re here for the long term so it will come together eventually.

      Thanks Jodie xxx

  • 12th May 2022 at 3:17 am

    We are in the midst of downsizing, too! Nigel suggesting I get rid of several of my books from my teaching days…I told him absolutely not! They are a part of me. After all, there is room for his motorcycle and Money Pit aka his truck! I do love your skirt…but, then I love a skirt almost always! They are so versatile and fun! The weather here has veered from flirting with spring (I wore a light winter jacket two weeks ago) to full on Central Indiana summer with highs this week in the 80s (31C). Add in humidity and it feels even hotter. I just do not like that kind of weather. I love these peeks into your home…so cozy and completely you!


    • 13th May 2022 at 7:50 am

      It is interesting how much one accumulates over the years and some of it is unnecessary but I do regret some of the books I’ve let go – so from now on I’m collecting books!!!

      Your weather appears to be very volatile but I guess that’s part of being in such a large country. But even here in this tiny country we can have great contrasts between the north and the south, generally we are warmer, but the warmth is a little sparse at the moment, hopefully it will really warm up soon – but not too much!!!

      Thanks re: our home – it is getting there 😊

  • 12th May 2022 at 6:53 am

    Morning Penny,

    Congratulations! Your first shower and I hope you’re enjoying your new kitchen.
    Good to see all the boxes gone and everything arranged – it all looks great.

    I agree, books can add ‘something’ to a room/home. Derek used to be a book dealer and when, 20 years ago, we moved from our large house to this bungalow he decided to sell most of his books at auction. A lorry took them away – and I sighed with relief – they added too much ‘something’ 😉

    For a few years we went minimalist and it was good not having ‘clutter’ to dust and move around. Then we stayed in a hotel decorated by Kit Kemp and were taken with her ‘colour and chaos’. Now, we’re somewhere in between and for several years I’ve collected cookery books (mostly from charity shops) which look great in our kitchen along side my Poole Pottery which, incidentially, I was surprised and pleased to hear from Lynda it is back in vogue.

    I quite like change and see our homes as a manifestation of ourselves. I reckon it’s good for it/them to evolve as our needs and lifestyles change – better than stuck in a groove. (Can’t see you being stuck in a groove, Penny!)

    Happy days! Mary xx

    • 13th May 2022 at 8:03 am

      Hi Mary

      I do regret letting go some of my books and, rather like you, after staying in the Dungeness cottage and being influenced by the sheer number of novels, good ones at that, I really want to get back to having more books around the place.

      Yes, we had so much old and what we now call ‘brown’ and antique (or simply old) furniture, so when we knew we were down-sizing and moving to a much smaller place, a flat, (nearly 5 years ago now) we thought we must be more minimalist and have more ‘white’ furniture. But I just love those bright Ikea chairs and love accents of colour supplied by the artefacts and pictures on the wall.

      I agree with you that designing a room is a great pleasure and usually we get it right, the kitchen was designed to the ‘nth degree’ and is a good fit, but even so I bought the wrong washing machine. It’s the same one I had in the first flat, but it’s now got irritating downloadable programmes. I’d rather have buttons to press and wish I’d bought a Bosch. As for the bathroom it is OK but we didn’t have time to design it as we were going to do all of that after the kitchen – it was booked to be done late summer. But no, after the failure of the shower, we had to go on the plumber’s recommendations and catalogues and really some things don’t work so well. But it’s OK and will have to do.

      Maybe I should have been an interior designer though as there’s nothing better than re-arranging the furniture!

      Happy days for you Mary, so pleased for both of you. Take care now and have a lovely weekend.


    • 13th May 2022 at 8:05 am

      Thank you so much Mariann 😊

  • 13th May 2022 at 12:59 pm

    Your new home is looking lovely, Penny – you must be so happy to be settled in with all your lovely things around you. I am a firm believer in the saying ‘books do furnish a room’. I love books and to be surrounded by them I find a joy and a comfort. I have books in every room in my home except the kitchen and bathroom…

    Great charity shops finds. I thought at first the creatures on the skirt were porcupines but what strange looking creatures they were. The top is fab and goes really well with the skirt.

    How exciting that you’re out and about at last and even going to the big Smoke – have a great time!

    • 16th May 2022 at 8:46 am

      Ah yes, I really did get rid of too many books and especially regret the uni books I got rid of several moves away! I am building the books up once more!

      And Yay – London on Wednesday!

  • 13th May 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Your charity shop finds are marvelous! The wildlife skirt and top are perfect together. And your new place looks lovely! So snug and cozy. Fortunately, we have seemed to have made it past the return to chilly days.


  • 14th May 2022 at 5:42 am

    Good to see your new home looking cosy and uber stylish (a difficult combination to achieve). Really like the mythical creatures print. Interested in how you’ve abandoned the Kindle for real books. I find real books strange to hold. I still have a big bookcase though, it houses my favourite books and a lot of cookery, gardening and sports books. Thanks for linking.

    • 16th May 2022 at 8:48 am

      Thanks re: the furniture arrangements – there’s nothing like better than re-arranging the furniture! But I will have to curb that enthusiasm now as we are really happy here!

      I fell out of love with books and now am back in love with them once more – will build up my collection from now on!

  • 14th May 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Penny
    I really like the skirt and the top. you have a good eye for what suits you. I am enjoying seeing how your new home is coming along. So great the the bathroom is finally usable. I have a fair amount of books in my home. I still have not come around to reading books online, I like the feel of the actual object. I can see how having a Kindle or such might be good for traveling. I rarely purchase books now, I rely on my local library. actually the library has become a source of many things over the past few years, lectures, discussions, a yoga class. a few years ago I met a group of women at a book club discussion and we have become good friends. I think I have written about them before. They refer to us as the LOS’s which stands for ladies of the library
    This week the animal shelter where I volunteer had a a fund raiser dinner and auction. Of course we have not been able to do this for the past two years because of covid. I attended and now am wondering if this was wise. The next day I was hearing how cases are rising. these are indeed difficult time, here in the US it is sometimes overwhelming. I try to be thankful for all I have. which is a lot I know. Still, what I will call craziness is hard to tune out. Yesterday took a trip to another local landmark. an estate called Caramoor which is the site of many concerts. both outdoors in the Summer and also in the more intimate music room. I did go in my own in March to a piano recital. This time we had a tour of the house itself, built in the last century by a wealthy banker and his wife. And we had tea in the courtyard. I am glad for the opportunity to go on these excursions but I miss the days my partner and I could just hop in the car and go on our own, not having to contend with late busses or logistics of dealing with a group of people. I feels guilty just writing this, as I know how lucky I am to be able to do this at all, but still.
    And it finally has been feeling like Spring!. everything is in bloom and glorious.
    Sending live from New York, Darby

    • 16th May 2022 at 9:09 am

      Lovely to hear it’s Spring and everything is blooming in New York – I love getting the good news from over the pond like your cultural trips through the library, as often all we hear about is the craziness and the shootings (like the latest one). I also follow https://chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com/home/ to read not only about fashion but mainly about her trips to scenic areas way off any tourist trail. I think the more we can learn about the way ordinary people live around the world the more we can isolate the craziness that one constantly hears about in the media that begins to colour all our perceptions of certain countries like the US. So am not actually all that keen, for instance, on isolating Russia, as the people there are just like us, wanting decent lives for their children and themselves.

      Yesterday it was pouring with rain but I went out and saw a bit of the re-enactment of the Battle of Lewes, took some photos which I will share with you all on a future blog. Despite the craziness of our national politics ordinary people in Lewes appear very proud of the town’s history and seem to love dressing up in ‘old worlde’ costumes re-enacting the past! It was great fun despite the rain.

      And Wednesday London! Yay and hurrah! Thank you as ever for such an interesting comment, Darby, have a lovely week 😊


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