Hello again

I have some new outfits to show you, some thoughts on the situation, plus the mask-making that I haven’t quite got right.

Earlier in the year February, when we weren’t in lockdown, and the numbers getting the virus were low, I went through a spate of buying from the online retailer, Warehouse. I thought their prices, especially their sale prices, were excellent as was the quality of the clothes. But I’m not putting up a link as the firm has gone into administration (although it is still selling online) so I’m not sure how secure your money would be if you put in an order. And since lockdown I’ve stopped buying from Warehouse as I get quite anxious about stuff coming into our flat and I’m not sure about those plastic sacks within which the clothes are packed.

The majority of my wardrobe has always been about being out and about and being seen. I have a lot of tight pencil skirts for town wear and frivolous frilly and edgy skirts for London and socialising. I have very little for sitting around in. I always wore my jeans for gardening (when I had one) and for housework, but now seem to be in them all the time and, gosh, am I bored with that! Hats off to those of you who dress up.  And see Is This Mutton’s latest post where she manages to make her jeans and t-shirt look amazing. But rather like the jokes that are going around about trouser-less execs sitting through their Zoom meetings I ring the changes with my tops and wear the same old jeans over and over. Anyway to be different I bought this from Warehouse.

What do you think?  It’s made from a heavy cotton and feels very relaxed to wear.

My posture seems a bit off, but I hope to rectify this by starting a gentle Pilates class quite soon. I have to get my GP’s permission first though, but don’t see why I shouldn’t do the class, it will be gentle after all! The only disadvantage to this item, btw, is that you have to completely undress to go to the loo!

Earlier this month when it was colder I also bought this bright yellow top and a really great pair of wide-leg black jeans.

The jeans are also made from good quality heavy cotton with pockets to the side, front and back. On the table behind me are some scarves from which I tried to make some masks.

Before I show you what I attempted to make I know there is some controversy as to whether we should or shouldn’t wear masks. It is not the advice to so do in the UK, but on the other hand as the UK government has got it so wrong from the very beginnings of the pandemic I wouldn’t go by anything it says. The scientific evidence is that the front-line workers must wear proper PPE including very specifically designed masks, the population meanwhile shouldn’t wear medical masks as it takes away precious resources from our wonderful health workers. But there is the beginnings of a consensus that the general population should wear home-made masks to prevent spraying, unintentionally of course, any droplets out into the ether. We won’t, however, prevent ourselves catching it through wearing home-made masks. So by wearing your home-made mask you are being kind to others.  On balance, therefore, I think we should wear masks when we go out.

Having said all that I’ve been hopeless at making masks, and yes, I have looked on YouTube, and the paper towel one was a complete failure as it was far too small and the elastic bands hurt my ears.  Mind you have you seen the photos in the media of nurses with those red welts on their face from wearing their masks? I cannot say how much I respect these wonderful people.

And this below is my YouTube version of the t-shirt mask.

It was very hot, and I know heat is what the nursing staff are suffering every minute of their long 12-hour shifts. So this is what I have been doing over the last few days.

It’s hot but workable and I pull it up whenever I pass someone. Gosh, apologies again for my posture, but it was the one pic that showed the mask/scarf at its best. As you can see no-one was around so this is how I go about most of the time.

I never get tired of the sea and the sea breezes are life-giving.

Here are some more random thoughts on the situation:

I write in the morning but that energy and focus fades away by the afternoon. From what I see from social media (Twitter mainly), this lack of concentration is being felt by a large number of people. It is the age of anxiety and we are concentrating on survival and that is where our efforts are being put. It is quite reassuring, don’t you think, to know that you are not the only one 🙂

How is your sleep these days? Mine is pretty poor. I know all the techniques. You name it I’ve done it, but still I can’t get to sleep about one night in every four, I’d say. Do have a look at The Age-Well Project, which has an excellent post with links on Sleep In The Time of Corona. And I haven’t tried a kiwi-fruit in the evening. Has anyone….?

The skin on my hands is getting red, fragile and sore. Last night we watched the latest Star Wars film and I rather thought my hands were like the Emperor Palatine! You’ll have to watch the film to see what I mean! Hand creams seem to acerbate the skin rather than helping but I’ve found salvation in the form of some aloe vera gel I had tucked away in a drawer. I shall have to find an alternative to soap.

I am putting on weight! Not a lot, a couple of pounds, but even so. This, I think, is due more to my lack of exercise rather than over-eating.

I’m wearing more makeup, not as much as I used to but I’ve begun to put on a line under my eyes with eye-liner and a little eye shadow. Also putting on a bit of lippy, which is quite unusual for me, but I’ve always said it’s either a lot of eye makeup or lips, not both, and as I can’t plaster on the eye makeup the lips are getting some attention.

You can’t really see much of the makeup but I feel better putting on the slap. it is such a morale booster.

The situation is very challenging and I think the economic and social consequences will be huge, so many deaths of loved ones, so many firms going to the wall, so many jobs lost.  But lockdown must not be eased too quickly. And why the UK is even contemplating a reduction of social-isolating with our stats, I don’t know. My disgust for the people in charge of our destiny is beyond words, but I shall keep my ire for My Other Blog, which I will resurrect soon(ish). Needless to say when this is over we will all be suffering a certain amount of PTSD, some more than others.

There is so much good out there – we have to remember this. I still bang my pots and pans on a Thursday as it’s a communal community thing. We need to do something to just tell the NHS how much we love it and the staff. The UK is not as religious as it once was, but if it has a religion, it is the NHS! I know, I know, in actuality, if the medics and nurses could just have the equipment they need…..

But what about the lovely care staff who are staying in the care homes with their residents? Yesterday I heard of a 17-year-old who had sequestered herself in a care home with a lovely old chap. Both of them were interviewed by Piers Morgan, who I refused to watch during the time of Brexit (do you remember that era?) but he’s become the nation’s darling in calling out those incompetent people who are meant to be in charge of the situation. And don’t forget all the people volunteering, and the grocery store staff and those who deliver our food. There are so many good people – we have to remember this 🙂

That’s all for now

With much love to you all, take care and stay safe

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



Tagged on:                 

39 thoughts on “New outfits and an attempt at mask making

  • 22nd April 2020 at 7:38 am

    Really enjoyed your post today and I love the jumpsuit. I looked for an age appropriate one all last summer without success, (74, 5ft 2 ish with ghastly wrinkled arms that appeared overnight some years ago). Will resume the search.

    • 23rd April 2020 at 7:34 am

      Hello Maureen. Yes do resume your search for a jumpsuit because in my view there is no such thing as age appropriate clothing – always wear what you want 🙂

      Good luck with your search and take care 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 8:05 am

    I love the boiler suit, but it is the loo problem which prevents me from wearing one.It looks super though.
    I have just bought some LauRie jeans.They are a super cut and fit.

    I do not bang pots and pans for the NHS.Two members of the family are nurses and would far rather their work was recognised through a decent rate if pay .

    Stay safe.

    • 23rd April 2020 at 7:40 am

      Hi Ro, I shall have to look at LauRie, thanks for the tip.

      And I am with you totally about proper pay for the NHS. When I was a nurse (early 1960s) we weren’t far off the days when nursing was a ‘calling’. Seriously, it was said. Those days are long gone but I think it lingers with the gross underpayment of nursing staff. After this is over, if this low pay isn’t recognised and rectified by the government I think the population will be amazed and angry. Thing is the main Brighton hospital is not far from where I live and apparently they can hear the cheers and noise – at the moment I’ll do anything to support them and boost their morale. So I’ll continue for the time being 🙂

      You stay safe too 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for your post..as always entertaining and interesting.
    I’m just picking up on the difficulty of getting to sleep and sharing my experience of this with your readers.
    I’ve had sleep apnea for years and now use a mask attached to a CPAP machine which supplies warm humidified air at pressure into my nose to prevent snoring. (Apologies if this is too much information!) It sounds awful but is in fact very comfortable and efficient.
    The sound of my own breathing disturbs me so I go off to sleep listening through my earbuds to Radio 4. I start with the Coronovirus podcast which amongst other things simplifies the days briefing from 10 Downing Street. I usually manage to doze off before it finishes. If I’m still awake I tune in to Radio 4 World Service which is on through the night until the shipping forecast at 5am. All that would send anyone asleep!

    • 24th April 2020 at 9:59 am

      Thanks so much for your comment as I’ve often wondered how comfortable those devices are. I occasionally snore when I go into a deep sleep but not all the time. I have never tried listening to the radio as I wonder if it would disturb Mr F. Next time I have a sleepless night I shall try a podcast or something like that. I have tried the ‘go into another room and do something like a jigsaw or whatever’ and two hours later I’m still doing it and not the least bit sleepy! Thanks again 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 9:32 am

    Thank you for taking the trouble to post – I love seeing bright colours and blue skies! The jumpsuit looks good on you as you are tall and slim. I rarely wear trousers unless for practical purposes. I’ve been taking my country walks in a dress, with trainers of course. If Victorian ladies climbed mountains in skirts I think I can do a couple of miles of gentle gradients!
    I’ve slept badly for over 20 years and mornings are not my best time. Having said that, I don’t really have a best time- I just pace myself over the day. Although no strict routine there is still a pattern to the week. Today is PT by Skype and I do 2 other sessions and walks on the other days. I’m still buying on e-bay, mostly second-hand and items for my vintage jewellery collection & a couple of new perfumes for the spring/summer. Parcels delight me so much, especially when I’ve forgotten what they might contain! I’m wearing what I would to go out and I’m with LFF’s Tricia on having a balanced face with lips and eyes at about the same level of prominence.
    I would not worry about putting on a bit of weight as you are so slim and probably lost some while you were so ill. I need to take some action on that front but perhaps not just yet. I think a scarf over your mouth will be just as effective, or do I mean ineffective as making something out of ordinary cloth. I heard today – radio 4 not social media – that we are probably past both peak infection and death rates, but we can’t afford to be complacent.
    I have always appreciated the work of the NHS, care services, refuse collectors etc. It is quite wrong that those who do the crucial work that keeps society functioning are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to pay and status. While I applaud those who are raising money for them it can’t suddenly buy more staff which is what they really need. I hope that at the end of all this the public will never again allow the running down of public services to pay back national debts caused by the actions of the rich, reckless and unaccountable people. Sadly few have ever voted to increase taxes and most of us have very short memories………………………….

    • 22nd April 2020 at 10:53 am

      Yes, raising money for these essential workers is to be applauded, but sweets, biscuits ,cushions and soft toys, do not replicate a decent salary.
      The very senior nurse works 30 years for a 50k salary. Other have to be grateful for much less than that.
      Allowing government to run down services , a few % each year for 15 years empties the pot .Who votes governments in ? We do one way or another.
      Sorry Penny, for ranting .

      • 23rd April 2020 at 7:58 am

        Hi again, Ro, I’m currently watching Good Morning on ITV and Piers Morgan ripping into Brandon Lewis – it is just wonderful how he is getting to the heart of the incompetence of this government.

        Before that there was a long tribute to Major Tom. He is a lovely man and, god bless him for what he’d done, but there is a huge amount of sentimentality there as well, and I don’t think everyone realises that this amount of money is not going to the NHS but to their charities and is not the same as the funding needed for the NHS – the NHS is not a charity, it is a state run facility and should be properly funded by the state. The additional monies promised by this government has brought spending up to a 3% increase rather than the 1% increase year on year we’ve had. Before austerity and the Tory government it was 6% and that is still lower than it should be. We need to realise that who we vote for is key to the survival of the NHS.

        Rant on Ro! I’m totally with you there!!!!

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:10 am

      Oh I am so with you about the funding of the NHS which should have priority over aircraft carriers without planes. I mean that’s just about the navy winning the argument. Maybe this dreadful situation will change some minds in the government and the NHS gets the funding it deserves.

      Actually I think I need some more summery clothes to sit around in. As I said I have very few winter items for that and now I’ve got out all my summer clothes and Lynda I think I got rid of too many to the charity shop bag! I need more summery mid-length skirts and a few t-shirts to go with them. So it’ll be back to Warehouse which is still selling online.

      I had my first Pilates class yesterday. Oh my word I am stiff, but it was good. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 10:27 am

    Great ideas! A friend of mine has been making some and giving them away – I might have to take her up on it. Love that boiler suit. x Jacqui

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:12 am

      Thank you Jacqui re: the boiler suit. It is great but the undressing to go to the loo – what a faff!

  • 22nd April 2020 at 10:40 am

    Hi Penny
    I have a jumpsuit which I purchased in the 80’s and thought I was very Bananarama. It is bright green, quite thick cotton. I kept it and still wear it for painting and decorating. The loo problem though…
    We live in the middle of nowhere so I think clapping and banging pans would frighten the wildlife! We do salute all those who are still working through this for our benefit. We have signs on our bins thanking the bin men and one on the gate to thank the Postie and delivery people (not that we have many of those these days). I’m heartened but saddened at the same time that this is what it takes to bring our country together, mobilising communities to help themselves in the face of woefully inadequate leadership (except a few honourable examples). We’re in it for the long haul by the look of things and I hope that when we do come out of it we will be a kinder, more respectful and less materialistic and the planet will (hopefully) benefit from the measures we’ve been forced to take.

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:15 am

      I too hope also that we change our ways and are kinder and more considerate of the environment. Amazing you’ve still got your boiler suit – agree with you on that loo problem…..

  • 22nd April 2020 at 11:09 am

    It isn’t cheap but Margaret Dabbs do a fabulous hand serum and cream – really surprised at how effective they are and they smell wonderful!

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:15 am

      I shall look out for the hand cream – thanks so much for the tip 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I think you look totally fabulous in your jumpsuit/boiler suit! I’m tempted to get one myself except that I’m aiming not to buy any more clothes. I do have a birthday next month… I can remember wearing similar outfits in the 70s & 80s. The only possible issue could be going to the loo!
    The first week of clapping for the NHS bought me to tears but it appears to have almost got ‘competitive’ where I live. I won’t get political on this blog but I do have very strong feelings about our NHS and why it’s in the situation it is. Looking forward to reading your other blog when you’re up to writing it. Take care.

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:18 am

      Thank you so much for the compliment re: the boiler suit. It is fun to wear until that is you need the loo……

      I am in two minds about the ‘clapping’ but around here we see people in other flats high up in the sky clapping and banging pots and it’s really uplifting when we wave and shout at each other. It’s a communal thing and I shall keep it up for the time being 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Love the jumpsuit, your smooth hair, and photos of the sea. I live near the Atlantic, too ( I think it’s the Atlantic Ocean that’s near Brighton, right?), and share your feeling “I never get tired of the sea.” It gives me such peace and smooths the rough feelings to stand by flowing water. I live one street away from a place where the river comes to shore in a small cove. Not as majestic as the ocean (several miles away), but so restoring. I stand and watch the sky, light on the rippling water, occasional herons and ducks. That is, for me, peace and beauty. I agree and I’m also disgusted about how our US leaders are talking and acting. There are plans to reopen some tourist areas in North Carolina, south of us. Virginia Beach, closer to my home, is a tourist area, so I wonder if hotel-owners will pressure for reopening soon. Has that been suggested for Brighton? I understand they need the income (and sympathize), but it should be done carefully, looking ahead, I think. Best wishes to you, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos.

    • 24th April 2020 at 10:28 am

      Hello Evie and how lovely to know we are not that far apart with both of us living near the Atlantic Ocean! Yes there’s something about water that gets to me.

      Honestly our leaders – both our countries are suffering from inadequate leadership resulting in so many more deaths than say Germany and others who have tested and locked down from a very early start. Go in Hard and Early said the New Zealand leader. Do you notice that both countries have women as their leaders – is there some kind of pattern there?!

      Best wishes to you too 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Hello Penny, it’s good to see you back and making such good progress!

    I absolutely loved what you bought before the lockdown and I think the jumpsuit is fabulous and looks great on you. I didn’t realise Warehouse was selling online but as I rarely buy new I won’t be tempted.

    I don’t bother with a mask. I keep far enough away from people so even if they coughed or sneezed directly at me it wouldn’t hit me; and of course droplets have to obey the laws of gravity like everything else. I know wearing a mask is said to be a way of protecting others is you have the virus but I’m not prepared to wear one unless it’s made compulsory. I wear gloves to do my weekly shop and wash my hands every time I come in the house from being out for a walk. I refuse to be made paranoid by this virus. I’m volunteering for our local council by being a telephone befriender to a vulnerable person and have established have a good relationship with him. He suffers from asthma and has mental health problems.

    The government were clearly too late in starting restrictions and are not managing the crisis well. I wouldn’t have expected anymore from that lot. Interesting though how huge state intervention has become the norm – an anathema to most Conservatives. I hope it shows the public that Socialism isn’t a dirty word! I wish the government would stop bleating about about our wonderful NHS staff and give them a well deserved pay rise instead!

    I do hope you’ll be able to resume your Pilates class soon.

    How lovely you can go for a stroll along the beach front; you must be so glad you moved!
    Take care,

    • 22nd April 2020 at 4:44 pm

      I agree with you about masks Veronica. I’ve never been afraid of catching this virus , which is easy for me to say as I’m not particularly vulnerable. I can well understand that people with serious health conditions are very concerned and you Penny have had an awful shock with your heart problems and do need to be very careful.

      • 26th April 2020 at 8:10 am

        Hi again Lynda – yes, I won’t be happy until there is a vaccine, and I am being careful 🙂

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:04 am

      Hi Veronica – it’s lovely to hear from you! Warehouse is no longer selling anything unfortunately as their sale prices were amazing. I’m afraid I am paranoid about the virus – that’s partly due to my age and partly the illness I had in January which has left me still not 100%. I won’t be happy and come out of my strict lockdown until there is a vaccine. And if there isn’t one…..

      I shall count my blessings though. I am very au fait with technology and can do Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime and have started Pilates classes via Zoom. We are busy and never bored. But it would be so good to go back to normal. And then I do reflect how privileged I am. The people who’s business have closed and those with very little money coming in – it must be awful.

      I never get tired of seeing the sea!!!

      You take care too 🙂

  • 22nd April 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Really like the jumpsuit, and the pink headband with it. Pity about Warehouse – hope they get rescued.

    I find, perversely, I’m sleeping very well – the Fitbit congratulates me every day! But I do have disturbing dreams occasionally and woke up coughing and thinking I had Covid-19.

    You’re looking great in the photos, glad to hear Pilates will be coming back, don’rt stress about two pounds – that’s the tip of the iceberg from what other people are saying! And thanks so much for the shout out! x

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:13 am

      Reading the Sunday paper this morning (online) it sounds as though BooHoo might be interested in Warehouse. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of Warehouse’s clothes.

      I’ve started the Pilates but was so out of practice! It showed me how crucial Pilates is to my physical state. Have organised a 1-2-1 with the Pilates teacher courtesy of Zoom. Thank goodness for all this technology. Have a great Sunday x

  • 22nd April 2020 at 4:46 pm

    oh your jumpsuit is so cozy!!
    and i LOVE the mustard color!
    good look sewing the masks..i’ve made a bunch myself–but now sewing for myself and Refashion Blog
    xo eva

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:21 am

      Thank you eva! I shall look at your blog as I haven’t so far sewn any masks – the scarf is Ok but a proper homemade mask is, I’m sure, better 🙂

  • 23rd April 2020 at 10:40 am

    I don’t think I have ever seen Brighton so empty. You neither I guess! Because I sit a lot reading in my garden the past weeks, I am wearing shorts a lot! And my work out gear as I work out four times a week. Stay safe my friend!

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:22 am

      Actually the sea-front often has more people on it and you have to keep zig-zagging to get out of the way of the joggers and runners. Weekends are the worst.

      Four times a week working out is excellent. I’ve just re-started a gentle Pilates and was so stiff I shall have a 1-2-1 with my teacher – thank goodness for Zoom!

      You stay safe too, Nancy, have a lovely Sunday 🙂

  • 23rd April 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Really liking that jumpsuit on you Penny. I had one which I wore ages ago, the 80’s probably which I wore all the time. Right now I am not buying clothing, since there is so much uncertainty about when we can freely go out again. Unfortunately, I am getting into bad habits of wearing sloppy clothing around the house since no one sees me. this is not like me since I don’t like to leave the house without being dressed nicely if casually, makeup, earrings and even light perfume. Keep telling myself I must make the effort. Also, the weather here in New York remains chilly so I can just put a coat on over the old sweat pants to take my walks. In spite of the cooler temps everything is blooming, so that is nice to see. My biggest splurge in on ordering books since the libraries are closed. be well and be happy

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:31 am

      I am ordering a lot of books but all online for my Kindle, which astonishingly I was reading on my iPhone, which was fine before, as mostly I bought and read real books and only occasionally read books on the iPhone. But I have updated to one of those smaller iPads which is a huge improvement. Mr F’s latest passion is drawing on an iPad so he’s bought a much bigger iPad and I’ve got his smaller one. He loves his technology even more than I do! I do long for a real book though, but just think, no. And of course, I do have some unread real books on shelves including the one I was longing for – the latest Hilary Mantel. But can’t get into it. I’m currently reading Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance, which I’m loving. Take care 🙂

  • 23rd April 2020 at 5:59 pm

    I had to laugh when you compared your hands to Emperor Palentine! My mom’s hands sometimes look like that. Over here where I live you see some people wearing masks when grocery shopping but I would say it is about 50% of the population. That is really the only time I am in close contact to other. We spend a lot of time outdoors as a family and whenever talking to our neighbors we keep our distance.

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:34 am

      My hands are awful and I have to be very careful from now onwards. Good to hear that 50% are wearing masks in a crowded place like a supermarket or grocery store – I’m sure it’s needed to stop the spread. Here it’s around 25% I’d say, and really the government ought to say it’s compulsory – but I bet you anything they won’t. Let’s see what Boris says when he comes back on Monday!

      You take care and best wishes to your family 🙂

  • 25th April 2020 at 7:03 pm

    I just have to say I think you look fabulous wearing glasses. Like you I wear contact lens, but the last year have gravitated towards wearing glasses after picking some modern frames. Glasses can actually be quite youthful if you get good frames ( like you ) …..whereas when I was younger they seemed to age folk ! I did read somewhere they give some protection to the eyes from the virus, so I won’t rush back to wearing my lens !!! Love the boiler suit on you, remember having a bright pink one in the 80’s, it’s funny how fashion comes round again !

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:38 am

      Oh thank you so much as I’m not all that keen on wearing them. They’re the same make as the ones that the broadcaster Prue Leith wears and are rather amazing. But like you I think they must give some protection from droplets so I’ll restart wearing the contacts once there’s a vaccine (but when….)

      The boiler suit is fun and I love it until that is I go to the loo!!!! You take care 🙂

    • 26th April 2020 at 8:38 am

      Thank you so much Nicole – have a lovely Sunday 🙂

  • 26th April 2020 at 4:30 pm

    We need more nurses and we need more doctors. However, having worked for a short while in 2013 in HR management within the NHS, I firmly believe that until the NHS gets its procurement, administrative and management systems streamlined and efficient, no amount of money will solve its problems. It is also ridiculous that many able and willing people cannot become nurses because since 2,000, they now need a degree. No-one has ever provided a good reason for this.
    Love the jumpsuit …..it really suits.
    Oh yes, make up your on and hair done. I simply feel better for it. Without it I feel sluggish!

Comments are closed.