Hello everyone

I’m half-way through my holiday in France and I’m reporting that we’re having a great time doing nothing much at all.  We were determined to regain our energies after our move, and you don’t get that from dashing hither and thither to look at this and visit that. The sight-seeing kind of holiday can be wonderful but what we wanted to avoid was the kind of holiday that’s just as busy as the life you leave behind. That was a complete no-no and I’m happy to tell you that rather than rushing around seeing a lot of stuff, we’ve pretty much kept to our plan of just ‘being’.  So, in the lovely little town of Moissac we’ve spent a lot of time walking around the canal, sitting in cafes people watching, mooching around the local market and I’ve even (very much) enjoyed visiting the nearby supermarket, which is not quite a hypermarket, but big enough.  Don’t you just love the different food you can get in these markets?

As you know, I’m absolutely not an expert in packing the right clothes for a holiday.  Over and over again I either pack too much or the wrong clothes for the weather.  This time, did I bring the right clothes?  Well yes, I think I have.  Half my case had been packed for the cold weather and the other half for the hot weather. And exactly as I thought the first two weeks has been quite cold, with a lot of rain and not a lot of sun.

Here I am in my very ordinary blue jeans, plus jacket.

This is outside the beautiful Moissac Abbey, parts of which were built in the 11th century.   It’s got an incredibly lovely cloister.  See last year’s pic taken on a very hot day.

But gosh, this year I really need that jacket as it was quite a cold day with a very cool wind.

And here, unlike the last year when I walked round the canal in a floaty skirt in the throbbing heat, this year I’m quite covered up.

This was taken well into the second week and the weather was just beginning to warm up – just look at the beautiful sun and the blue sky against the yellowing leaves of the trees.

And here’s a pic of me and my good friend Chris on a tourist bus in Toulouse.

The weather is apparently going to warm up a bit (actually it’s raining again today). But, hopefully, I’ll be wearing my warm weather clothes soon.

And you can see, I’ve worn my wonderful tie-dye hat a lot (bought in Norway, btw).  I’ve packed other hats, but this one is a great success as it can be bundled into my bag and taken out at moment’s notice when the sun comes out from behind the clouds.  So, this hat gets the prize for being my best holiday hat!

When I have time (and definitely when I get back from this long break) I’ll tell you more about my great finds in that very rare thing, a French charity shop.

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. With all this rain combined with the hot sun the mozzies are out in force.  I’m covered in bites! But hey, it’s still France!

Sharing with:

Judith of Style Crone and her monthly #hatattack session

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb and her weekly #iwillwearlwhatilike share

Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and Visible Monday

Nicole of High Latitude Style

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style and Fancy Friday

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38 thoughts on “My holiday hat – plus the importance of doing nothing

  • 25th September 2017 at 8:28 am

    Super I am there with you.
    Am in damp, cool Cornwall.

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:12 pm

      When you wrote that comment it was raining and quite cool! Weather continues to be very varied – from today there are going to be 3 hot days and then the rest of our holiday is cooler and rainier. But, it’s France so it’s all lovely!

  • 25th September 2017 at 10:27 am

    Sounds lovely,very relaxing.
    Looking forward to seeing the warm weather wardrobe 😉
    Love the hat !!

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:21 pm

      It is sooo relaxing! Unfortunately the hot weather gear might not be worn much, mainly because we haven’t had much hot weather, but also because the one hot day we had early on brought out the mozzies. I sat around in a long floaty dress and the next day I had 35 bites around my ankles and calves. Most bites have faded now but on every hot day since I’ve covered up and worn socks! The French are suffering with bites as well – apparently it’s a bad year for them.

  • 25th September 2017 at 10:32 am

    Have you tried Avon skin so soft jojoba oil spray to prevent Lizzie bites?
    I live in Scotland and they do seem to deter the midges. Usually, I am on the menu 24/7 but this year on holiday on Skye the only bites I got were in my hair when not wearing my hat!

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:29 pm

      I bought some citronella spray and cream which smells nice and seemed to deter most mozzies, until that is we went to Toulouse for a long weekend. The Toulouse mozzies were a vicious bunch, took no notice of the citronella and I got bitten a lot again. A friend who is a hardy traveller says Deet is the one thing that works so I bought some but can’t quite bring myself to use it. It’s a pain, but the weather (rain and sun) has brought them on this year. Will look out for your recommendation, thanks.

    • 28th September 2017 at 8:19 am

      Lesley, hi again, and thanks for the recommendation. From what I’ve read (on the net) it’s the go-to cream for me from now on, albeit I haven’t got any at the moment. Actually in Toulouse we had aggressive midges more than mozzies – so the next time I’ll spray myself all over with the Avon cream. Quite a relief to know there is a solution other than Deet – thanks so much.

  • 25th September 2017 at 10:33 am

    Predictive text strikes again! I meant to say mozzie bites!

    • 25th September 2017 at 4:55 pm

      ‘Lizzie bites’ sounds so much nicer!!

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:29 pm


  • 25th September 2017 at 11:47 am

    Penny,glad you packed for the seasons,you look great,also glad you enjoyed yourselves.

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Anne. We are enjoying ourselves x

  • 25th September 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Love the hat! I haven’t been much of a hat person, but that one could do it. Wish I could have been in your shoes too! Taking that lovely relaxing vacation, that is. I live in the U.S. and we have having unusually warm temperatures, upper 80’s to 90’s F. After having a very pleasant summer, this is unusual for Michigan. I despise packing for vacations, never knowing what to pack, or how to prepare, so I appreciated hearing that you share the same dilemma yet got it right this time. There’s hope for all of us!

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Yes, I hear it’s been very hot in the States. The packing for all weathers seemed to make sense at the time, but actually I’ve not worn my hot weather dresses much because of the mixed cool and rainy weather. We’ve got 3 days of hot weather now, but I’m wary of exposing my legs now after getting bitten. Never mind the holiday is relaxing, which was the point of it anyway!

  • 25th September 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I’m off to Paris next week do you know of any good charity shops there?

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:48 pm

      I’m not sure there are any charity shops in Paris. Charity shops are very rare in France as they just don’t have that ethos that we have in the UK of raising money in that way. The charity shop where I found some great bargains is in Lauzerte – see their website for more information http://www.les-amis-des-chats.com/en/

      Have a great time!

  • 25th September 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Pretty hat and pretty lady! Is that handsome gentleman next to you (John Peel lookalike..) your husband?

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:49 pm

      No, not my husband! Actually, our friend Chris was best man at our wedding 43 years ago!

  • 25th September 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Well if you drive a 1000km to the North you can stop by my place for a cuppa! Enjoy!

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Ahh, one day Nancy!

  • 25th September 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Bliss, utter bliss. I am full of the deadly sin…envy. Good outfits.
    I was going to recomend Skin so Soft by Avon to ward off midges – as everyone else put on DEET I had my Skin So Soft and also a citronella/lavender /rosemary spray, and guess who did not get bitten…me! The guide also asked me for my spray as it was the most effective.

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:52 pm

      You’re the second person to recommend that Avon spray so actually I will look it up and get some – I’ve got a citronella cream which worked in one area (our rented garden flat) but not in another (Toulouse).

    • 28th September 2017 at 8:22 am

      Hi again, Sarah. After looking this up on the net the Avon cream is going to be the one I go for. Quite a relief to know there is a solution as the mozzies have been a bit of a pain this year and rather put us off being outside – which is ridiculous. Both of us got very bitten in Toulouse but now we know there is a remedy, which is great – thanks again!

  • 25th September 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Love that hat. Looks like a lovely place. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Polly! I will enjoy 🙂

  • 25th September 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Penny, I am very new to your lovely website. Came across it from Tricia Cusdens LFF make up site. And I love your charity shop finds!!!!

    I am really enjoying your blogs. You are such an inspiration!!

    Thank you.

    • 27th September 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you so much Linda, it’s great to meet you!

  • 27th September 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Bonjour Penny!
    I, too, am back in France. We are forty-five minutes south of Toulouse. Perhaps we’ll get that coffee one day, be it in Hove or Toulouse… Love the photos. I’m also suffering from bites, even on my neck. Two things that work for me are Tea Tree Oil or Synthol. The latter you can buy in pharmacies.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay.

    • 28th September 2017 at 8:27 am

      Hi June – two people commenting have recommended Avon’s Skin So Soft as the one thing that keeps the mozzies away and if you google it you can see that the Marines use it. I’ll definitely have the cream in my bag next year! I’m off to your site now as I think a comment I made went awol. I have lots of views on French chic!

    • 28th September 2017 at 8:35 am

      Hi again, June. Just been on your site and my comment is waiting moderation so it is there and I did comment! Yes, I think in a way there is a simplicity to the way French women dress but it is absolutely not in the way that fashion journalist make it out to be. However, I have not seen any wide flappy black trousers which is a way of dressing I absolutely hate – none of that here in France. And yes, let’s meet up next year in France – or sooner! xxx

  • 28th September 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Love those sunnies Penny – you look like a film star . . .
    As for the mozzies, nothing much works for me (they just love me) but once bitten, I recommend toothpaste.

    • 5th October 2017 at 7:08 am

      Now that’s one I haven’t come across – toothpaste! Would have been willing to try anything earlier on in the holiday but now I just don’t expose my skin – at all. Learnt the hard way!!!

  • 28th September 2017 at 11:54 pm

    I love this post! Beautiful photos and a great philosophy on how vacations should be done…I’m a firm believer that when you vacation, you should DO as little as possible! Loving you style!

    • 5th October 2017 at 7:09 am

      Thank you Julie – we have had a very restful and peaceful holiday. I wouldn’t do this for every holiday but we did want the rest and we made sure we didn’t do too much. A sightseeing holiday is probably on the cards for the next one though!

  • 29th September 2017 at 4:08 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Great photos. Cute hat.

    • 5th October 2017 at 7:10 am

      Thank you for hosting Nicole, it’s always a pleasure to link up – thanks again x

  • 3rd October 2017 at 8:06 am

    So glad you’re having a relaxing holiday. I wish I could persuade Mr Mutton to do the same, but holidays for him equal racing up hills and clocking up miles on foot. Merde. Looking forward to hearing about the French charity shop finds!

    • 5th October 2017 at 7:15 am

      Well the thing is we were both exhausted (yes, including Mr Frugal) from the move so we deliberately set out to do absolutely nothing. I think it kind of shocked our friend (who rented out her garden flat to us) as she was always a bit concerned that we were not going on any ‘outings’. Nope we didn’t want to do anything like that. But we have had great walks round the canal and nearly most days have been well over 5000 steps and often done the 10,000. So that’s all good and the very next week we’re back in Blighty and back to our hectic schedules. But kind of looking forward to that!!

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