Hi everyone

How are you all? I hope the events in Europe are not impacting on your mental health too much. I say that from the privilege of not being in Ukraine or any country embroiled in war.

I find I have to ration my news watching and I don’t doom scroll any more. I read certain journalists, and anything in The London Review of Books, but I’ve banned myself from looking constantly at the papers on my phone. Instead I try to immerse myself in cultural writing and watching. Actually writing the two blogs helps, even on My Other Blog, and I will be researching and writing more for My Other Blog and have ideas for two posts based around the subject of Ukraine, but as yet I haven’t added to the two I’ve written so far – see below for my time constraints!

In the meantime, how did my not buying any clothes at all in February go?  Well, it was fine in some respects, as I bought nothing from charity shops in February, and in fact I did a lot of weeding out of my wardrobe, which was necessary because I’d made some mistakes this winter whilst charity shop shopping, but there was another reason – again, see below!  However, I failed that challenge to myself as not only did I buy that amazing ruffled skirt, I also bought (in a sale I hasten to add) a raincoat from another good ethical brand, Thought.

It’s actually not quite warm enough to wear at the moment, as we’ve just had quite a cold spell with a freezing wind coming from the north. But I’ve been looking for a good raincoat for some time and I think I shall wear it a lot through Spring, Summer and the Autumn.  You’ll understand why I haven’t taken a photo when you read on! But you will, you will!

Those were the only two purchases I made that month and it’s made me think that maybe charity shops do encourage me to buy rather too much.  Should I change my habits for the sake of our planet and not buy so many clothes? I mean, even though the majority of what I buy and wear is second hand, I still seem to be caught up in the consumption that is encouraged to feed the need for everlasting growth. Not sure where I shall go with this, but it  has made me think and it was good to take a break from constantly looking for clothes.

Now for the reveal. Where to start? OK. Deep breath. We’re moving again – on Friday!  Did any of you guess? Posts were often late and I was always talking about ‘life got in the way’, and doing lots of ‘this and that’. Well, ‘this and that’ was looking for a property, selling our current property and doing the admin, which I have to say has increased exponentially from buying with a nod and a wink (true) and almost no paperwork, to a horrendous amount of questions, which have to be answered with certificates and proof for everything especially the electrics. But we’re nearly there, we move in two days time.

If any of you have known me for long, the fact that we’re moving won’t be a surprise as we have behaved over recent years like serial movers. It’s been two and a half years in our current flat, as it was for the last one, so are we bordering on being a bit dysfunctional with these moves? You could say that, and I daresay if you’ve never moved (and I do know people who have remained in their home ever since I’ve known them, some for over 40 years) you might say, what??? Another move?! But for every move there was a reason and this one is no exception.

I have no doubt that if Covid hadn’t happened we would still be happy in this little flat, which is in a great part of Brighton – Kemptown. I love Kemptown and its village atmosphere, and I shall miss it. But, but, that is not enough for me. Instead of living an out and about city life, and going into the centre of the city for all sorts of activities, and especially going to the two wonderful independent cinemas I do nothing at all in the centre of Brighton, I never go to the cinema and as for London, I never go up to London. Maybe I should be doing more, but there’s something about the number of cases in this city that puts me off, it’s a hotspot for Covid.

But that’s not the only reason, there are many. Did you notice I said my ‘little’ flat. It is small, this little flat, and I really noticed that going through our lockdowns, especially the last one. And I missed gardening, note I say gardening. Yes, there is a large patio at the back this block but I missed doing stuff in my own little patch.

However, I’m not continuing on a stream of negativity because, people, we are moving to Lewes! Yay and three cheers for that! Because one of the main things I’ve missed over these two years is a cultural community and Lewes is filled with cultural activities.

Tbh, after these two years, I think I’ve got pretty near being a bit agoraphobic what with this avoidance of contact with people and activities. I really need to shake up my life and start over. Well, I’m half way there and have every intention of doing so much more. This is helped by the fact that Lewes is so much smaller than Brighton and everything can pretty much be reached by walking (I shall up my steps big time). Furthermore, I’ve already joined two societies, attended Zoomed meetings, and signed up for a history walk later this month.

I also look forward to being part of a more radical town. Lewes is quite right-on and I shall join others interested in climate change. As for refugees, I shall become active in some way and do something for the world’s refugees. All things considering I feel compelled, and I know I shall find a like-minded community in Lewes.  Yes, it’s all there for me to experience – yay!

So people, I think my thought for the day is, ‘don’t get stuck in a rut. Dissatisfied? Do something about it!’ I’m not saying you have to move every two years!! But I repeat, I don’t get stuck!

Furthermore, this place we’re moving to is not only larger than our current (soon to be not) flat it has a small patch immediately outside my front door that is to be gardened by me. Oh joy! You can’t imagine how happy I am about that. Yes, it’s a small area but it’s big enough to satisfy me – three cheers to that!

And finally, my daughter and her family are in Lewes and that will be so lovely. They don’t have a car (a political decision, they are very climate aware) and visiting Brighton is not easily done by bus. We are now in walking distance.

That’s all for now, I’m sure you’ll understand that I’ll be off blogging for a week or so and I shall answer any comments slowly. Thanks though for reading my blog. You are all so appreciated 😊

With love, Penny, the FrugalFashionshopper





38 thoughts on “More about last month’s no-buy effort and a reveal!

  • 9th March 2022 at 12:22 pm

    What a lovely place to move to, I live over on the Sussex/Kent border so know Lewes well both for work and leisure. I’m a tad jealous, much as I love living in my little village there are times when I yearn for something a little (lot) more upbeat. Very good point about not getting stuck in a rut. Covid agrophobia has hit me too, determined to fight it off and you will be my role model. Hope you don’t mind!
    Very Best Wishes for the move
    Paulette x

    • 9th March 2022 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Penny, Congratulations and many good wishes on your move to lovely Lewes. I had always hoped to bump into you in one of Brighton’s charity shops, but that didn’t happen, as I am in Hove , the opposite end from Kemptown . I shall look out for you in Lewes as my daughter and I spend many happy hours in the wonderful antique and bric a brac shops there. Hope the move goes smoothly Best wishes Judy

    • 10th March 2022 at 10:20 am

      Yes, Lewes is great and I know ‘the grass is always greener…..’ but even so there are so many options and things I can get involved in which will be so good. I just couldn’t find a community in Brighton, but I know I will in Lewes.

      Thanks for the good wishes and here’s to us getting out of our comfort zones 😄

  • 9th March 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Cheers to the change! It sounds like it will be lovely!

    • 10th March 2022 at 10:22 am

      Thank you so much Arlene 😀

  • 9th March 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Yes the logistics of moving. We are moving from Nice to Dublin so more complications than normal. We are moving to be near family too. I love Brighton by I know Lewes will be just as nice and you can still get to London for museums etc. The big clear out is the one benefit of moving, where does the stuff come from? Hope your moving day goes smoothly.

  • 9th March 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Best wishes for a smooth transition as you move to your new home. I hope your new abode will offer opportunities for you to get more enjoyment out of life. Like you, I don’t think I could be happy living in a place where I didn’t have at least a small patch of earth to plant and tend. It’s fortunate that you’re moving in time for spring planting. Enjoy!

  • 9th March 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Good luck with your move. Lewes is a lovely place, and so nice to be close to your daughter. My own daughter lives over one and a half hours away from me, and I don’t see her as much as I would like, so I am quite envious!

  • 9th March 2022 at 1:19 pm

    Great decision Penny and I’m not at all surprised. You’ve written very expressively about house sitting for your daughter in Lewes, with photographs and descriptions of their lovely garden and the town. Some years ago when my husband was working in the Brighton and Sussex hospitals, we house-hunted in the area and Lewes was the town I fell in love with. Regretfully, at the time we couldn’t find anything suitable and so the move didn’t happen and we stayed living in the SW, with husband weekly commuting for another 2 years. However, I know I would have been happy in Lewes and we would now have been in good travel distance for my son, wife and baby in Crystal Palace (currently 3 hours drive away). I hope your move goes well – just in time to get your patch of garden prepared for the summer!

  • 9th March 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Good luck with the move. I moved almost 2 years ago and I’m already looking at a different area. Too “villagey “ for my liking. Thinks it’s very posh and really, it isn’t!
    Lovely to be within walking distance of your daughter too.

  • 9th March 2022 at 2:09 pm

    WOW! Double WOW! Smiling as I type…you are such an inspiration, Penny! And your husband must be a wonderful partner in your full life! I am delighted, excited, and happy to read this!
    I’m re-living our own move, two and a half years ago, out of our home of thirty-four years to this beach town where we now live. So thankful!!! Not only is it beautiful here but the weather is amazing and we did move closer to our younger son and his family w/four grandkids! And “closer” does not begin to describe the blessing (through a couple of challenges) to have that son purchase a home, last year, within three blocks of us! When their dog recently escaped from their backyard, she hightailed it over here!!
    May your move go smoothly! May your energy, health, and strength arise to the move! I am looking forward to reading all about it and your new surroundings! Thanks for sharing this exciting news…Charlene.

  • 9th March 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Oh my word Penny you don’t hang around making decisions!!
    Lewes sounds a great place and near your family. Do you think we feel as we get older the desire to be nearer family increases? We recently moved for that reason.
    Good luck with the move Penny.You also have the lighter evenings to look forward to xx

  • 9th March 2022 at 2:58 pm

    I knew that when you said you were going to move, you were going to Lewes! Congratulations! That’s fabulous. We will be in Rye by the end of the month and perhaps visit Lewes, I will let you know! Good luck with the move!

  • 9th March 2022 at 3:15 pm

    Hello Penny, thanks for the update. I’m not surprised you are moving and I hope this time it’s for the foreseeable! Having family there will make such a difference. Some friends of ours have spent nearly 50 years in Kent but have moved to Dundee with their son and family. That’s what I call brave!
    We decided to move to a flat last year but HI kept raising objections to places I liked and a serious conversation was needed. Fact is that, unlike me, he is not a ‘joiner’ and could not give me an account of how he would spend his time without the garden and outdoor work. I envisaged my life going on much as before with more opportunities to do stuff. We then decided to leave the issue until the new year but that’s when I got my skin cancer diagnosis so not able to make any plans yet. We have a very bright sunny bungalow with a manageable garden – not that I like gardening ! – in a quiet cul-de-sac with countryside on the doorstep. Only problem is outside steps and terrible bus service. At the moment I feel disinclined to spend the time and money on moving when we could upgrade here (after 18 years work is needed) and spend on taxis if we have to, but we shall see. My surgery is tomorrow but it will be 4 weeks before I know if it’s done the trick. Best of luck with the move!

    • 9th March 2022 at 5:22 pm

      Wishing you all the luck in the world with your surgery, onwards and upwards. X

    • 9th March 2022 at 7:50 pm

      Sending you positive thoughts Lynda for a complete and speedy recovery.

    • 9th March 2022 at 8:04 pm

      Oh Lynda, I’m answering today as I wish you all the very, very best and hope the op goes well. Will be thinking of you and hope you recover quickly and get the good results you need. Keep us in the loop and I look forward to another comment, when I write another blog.

      I agree with Paulette – onwards and upwards X

    • 10th March 2022 at 9:27 am

      Praying for doctor’s wisdom and skilled hands. And peace for you, Lynda. Please keep us posted.

    • 10th March 2022 at 10:05 am

      My thoughts are with you Lynda and the next 4 weeks will bring Spring and, I hope, good news for you. Very best wishes, Jane

    • 10th March 2022 at 10:23 pm

      Warmest best wishes for a speedy recovery, Lynda.

      Good luck with your move, Penny. Moving house, with all that entails, is something I dread ever needing to do, but you seem to thrive on it, so good for you! Don’t forget to take that lovely skirt with you!

      All the best
      Zepherine x

  • 9th March 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Great news about your move, it sounds a very positive step. The garden will be wonderful, I couldn’t be without mine. Good luck & have lots of fun in your new home.

  • 9th March 2022 at 5:14 pm

    I do admire you for recognising you were in a rut and then doing something about it! Lewes sounds perfect with all the cultural activities. Hope the move goes very smoothly!

  • 9th March 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Extraordinary Penny I am moving on Friday also! A 17 year relationship I was in failed last June and after a lot of hassle my ex bought me out my beloved house and garden. But I am fortunate because I have managed to buy a very small house with a tiny garden just over the road from where my daughter and two grandchildren live. It’s been an extremely stressful few months but finally I will have my own little house. Like you I was desperate to have a little patch to do some gardening. Also I know Lewes really well as I have a sister in law living there and we often used to visit. I love Lewes and I’m sure you’ll be very happy there. Good luck with the move I shall think of you on Friday!

    • 10th March 2022 at 10:15 am

      Oh Jo, what an amazing coincidence, but I am so sorry about the circumstances – it must be so painful. But it sounds as though you’ve bought the ideal place and so near your daughter and grandchildren – that will be such a blessing.

      The little patch I have is not really a garden as such as it’s just outside my downstairs flat but you are able to garden and do as you please with it, which is great and probably enough. I can also sit outside while I drink a coffee, it really is very different from where I live now and the move is just what I need to shake me up and get me out of my slightly agoraphobic attitude.

      I too will think of you tomorrow! Packers are here today and it all feels very off-kilter. But for both of us the move will be over in a couple of days – yay and three cheers. Onwards and upwards Jo, things will get better X

  • 9th March 2022 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve never been to Lewes, but your previous posts and photos make/made it look very appealing. Good luck with the actual move, and good wishes for your new life in Lewes.
    I know what you mean about being a bit agoraphobic, I did make an effort last week, went to see The Duke, starring the wonderful Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. It’s not a five star film, but is easy to watch and JB was born to play his role. I really liked that there was no attempt to beautify HM in her role.

  • 9th March 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Congratulations on your move. It sounds ideal. I know and like Lewes (indeed we thought of moving there when my daughter was in Brighton). It’s a lovely place to be and has the Downs on the doorstep and plenty of fresh air. Also the shops there are lovely. ( I wish my daughter was still in Brighton as I would now be giving it even more serious consideration). I hope you have an easy move, and look forward to the garden photos. Please don’t give up charity shop buying entirely though as you find such interesting clothes. After all the clothes would still be here whether you buy them or not, and more likely to go into landfill. All the best. Trish S.

  • 9th March 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Bravo, Penny! Sending hearty congratulations to you both.

    Life’s too short to be living where we’re not happy/content. I remember you tried to adapt your flat to meet your needs.

    So many older people say “Oh, it’s not worth moving now… or it’s too late to do … etc. etc.”
    Bugger that! If we don’t give ourselves what we want/need now – when?

    Hope it goes smoothly on Friday and look forward to hearing all about it.

    Onwards! Mary x

    • 9th March 2022 at 10:08 pm

      Well said Mary!

  • 9th March 2022 at 9:12 pm

    How exciting Penny! a surprise but I think I can understand that Lewes is a better fit for you the posts you had about it were very inviting. and why not do it now while you have the energy and you have found a place you like. I look forward to seeing it in upcoming posts. About 15 years ago , after had lived in my current home for a few years I was all set to move to another community. I was looking forward to it and was in the process of selling my present place. Well. I got cold feet, all kinds of negative scenarios popped into my head, and here I am. I do like my place but of course I wonder what might have been. I have also dreamed of moving to Chincoteague island. that would have been a real change! lately I have toyed with the idea of moving to an apartment in a nearby town which has many cultural offerings within the downtown area where I would have settled. And close to my daughter.
    Anyway, best of luck to you an Mr.FFS, love, Darby

  • 10th March 2022 at 12:38 am

    That’s so exciting about your move, and I believe you have the right attitude. Besides, why is it bad to move often? I think it’s good because it causes us to evaluate our “thing”. (Which I struggle with the accumulation of clothing too. But I LOVE them, haha)
    Anyways, the idea is that we have more control over our lives than we think sometimes. Things have changed so why not move to a different area??
    Good luck and I hope you’ll share when you are settled in.

  • 10th March 2022 at 1:50 am

    How wonderful for you, Penny! We are in the middle of house hunting ourselves, but the housing market here is completely wonky! We looked at a home with our realtor who said the seller wasn’t taking offers for at least two days. And, then as she was texting with the seller’s realtor, she gasped! The seller was thinking about accepting an offer already! Needless to say, it wasn’t our offer! I, too, miss having more of a garden area even though I’ve got quite a bit. We are in a holding pattern right now. As for the agoraphobia, I’ve told Nigel I think I may have a touch as I just prefer to stay home rather than even go for a bit of a drive. We live near Indianapolis which has a bit of a cultural scene but have yet to experience much of it. We’ve only lived here for seven years, but we should have gotten out and about before the virus hit.

    I hope you have a wonderful time trying things out in your new space! I look forward to reading all about it!


  • 10th March 2022 at 6:11 am

    Congratulations Penny, wishing you all the best for your move to Lewes. I so admire both you and your husband for recognising that your present flat is no longer suiting your needs and making the decision to move. It will be lovely being closer to family as well as having your own garden to potter in, maybe plant those foxgloves.
    Hopefully in your new town you will feel comfortable being out and about again and joining the community, you have so much to give. All the best Penny.

  • 10th March 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Every best wish for the move, Penny. It sounds wonderful, especially being so near your family. I know exactly what you mean about needing a cultural community. We are so fortunate to live where we do in a small town on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Our little town has an annual 2 week literary festival, annual 2 week music and performance festival, and there are numerous other opportunities to act, sing, dance, read, etc. It makes such a difference if you can walk to events. We also of course have all the facilities of Milton Keynes, including theatre, a fabulous art gallery, cinemas and lots of sports facilities. Choosing the right place to live is so important and it sounds like you’ve chosen perfectly. Happy move!

  • 10th March 2022 at 8:20 pm

    That’s wonderful news, Penny! I don’t envy you all the work involved in the packing up etc but it sounds as if you’re extremely organised and moving for all the right reasons. I hope you will be very happy in Lewes. Also, well done you on not charity clothes shopping for a month. I need to do something similar as I do not need anymore clothes. It’s too late to do this month; next month we’ll be in Ireland so I think I’ll make May my no shop month…

  • 12th March 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Welcome to Lewes, Penny – from someone who lives here.
    We do know each other – from ACES.
    I sometimes work in one of the charity shops, so may see you in there on some occasion.
    All the best,

  • 16th March 2022 at 9:40 am

    Sending all good wishes to you for a smooth transition to your new home.
    You are amazingly decisive, I hither and dither too much and don’t make decisions. I would love to move but, well, financially it’s too much. Good luck Penny.

  • 4th April 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Penny…just checking to see how you are doing. Hope you, hubby, and move went well.

    • 4th April 2022 at 2:42 pm

      How lovely to hear from you Charlene. We moved out on March 11th but it is only today that we move in to our new flat. Yes today all our furniture came out of storage and we start living in the new abode! It’s had a new kitchen put in which took longer than we thought it would – there are still some issues to be sorted. Very happy to be in situ so to speak and very soon I’ll have my desk ready and my laptop our and be back to normal writing most mornings. Blog will come out probably next week – possibly end of this week. At this precise moment I’m drinking a cup of tea and nursing a sore back -it is such hard work moving! Thank you so much for thinking about me – very best Pennyx

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