Hello again

I expect most of you know that this is a month where we are supposed to not buy anything new. Despite it being London Fashion Week influencers and models have asked us to only buy second-hand clothes throughout September. One of those influencers, Stella Tennant (grand-daughter of one of the Mitfords) urges us to do that just that, although at the same time, after reading an article in the Financial Times (sorry, paywall) and hearing what she has in her wardrobe, personally, I think that not buying anything for 30 days wouldn’t be too hard. It’s a shame that this kind of article (don’t forget I read them so you don’t have to) is not about an ordinary person as it makes the whole attempt to get us to do more thrifting and charity shop hunting seem slightly ridiculous.

But this is a good idea, as the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on this earth impacting on the air we breathe and depleting rivers and lakes beyond our comprehension. Anyone seen Stacy Dooley’s doc on the cotton trade? Here’s a clip from YouTube which shows the shed loads of water used for the production of cotton. She visits the Aral Sea and reveals how it has shrunk – it is truly shocking to see what our love for clothes has done.

As you would imagine I don’t find it difficult to buy second-hand but I’ve even stopped that type of clothes buying this month. I’m being very frugal after the move and our Saga cruise. I also have a dentist to visit, so that’s where my pension is going this month!

With the cooler north winds I’d put away all my summer clothes, but we had some lovely warm weather this weekend so I brought out an old charity shop blouse (with an M&S label) bought in 2011. We had a Heritage Weekend where loads of places of interest are open for free. And here I am in the Secret Garden where I shared a cafetière of coffee with Mr F and my friend Yok, who had said it was a good place to visit.

The Secret Garden is not far from our flat and was once the kitchen garden of a very large villa in Sussex Square now gone, of course.

It hosts sculptures that are changed from time to time and is open at the Brighton Festival and on the Heritage weekends.

Here’s Mr F. Afterwards off we went to Lidl – very excited to have one nearby. Little things please little….., you know!

Then in the afternoonI I did a recce of the beach and the sea.

Yup, there I am striding off to the sea. Now, actually, I didn’t swim in the sea and feel a bit of a wimp after hearing the news this morning of a woman who has just swum our English Channel 4 ways back-to-back. Me, I kind of paddled around and sat in it as, at that point, the sea was a murky brown (probably the sand, which is there at low tide) and I couldn’t see where my feet were. There was no one else swimming in that area, and as my core (more about this in the next post) is not 100% and my back is still sore I didn’t go fully in.  Still, I consider it was a recce, and pleased I did it. And confession time, see those swimming shoes? I bought those on Friday, they are so necessary.

I should have had my swimming togs on the next day as we went down to the beach and met up with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

This time the water was crystal clear. Never mind, I said to myself, we’re here for the duration, so there’ll be plenty of time to get used to the sea and become more confidant.

By this time next year, I’ll be a fish!

It was lovely to sit and chat with my daughter 🙂

That’s all for now – have a good week.

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


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34 thoughts on “Second-hand September and an out-of-doors Brighton weekend

  • 17th September 2019 at 7:14 am

    Yep. The shoes were an essential buy: those stones are lethal. Lovely little read to start my day, Thank you.

  • 17th September 2019 at 7:21 am

    Looks fabulous, well done for going in! I would definitely have needed the shoes. Thanks for sharing Penny. Jacqui mummabstylish

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:33 am

      Thank you Jacqui! I remember when I used to take the kids to the beach to swim in the sea we used to limp over those stones squealing all the way as those shoes did not exist then. They are such a boon.

  • 17th September 2019 at 9:00 am

    Love your posts Penny! I too have just started sea ‘bathing’ a bit like an old Victorian! I find it so beneficial to my aches and pains but I do wear a wetsuit. Couldn’t agree more regarding the fashion industry and its impact on the earth. I found a brand new denim shirt still with tags from New Look at my local charity shop last month for £1!

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:36 am

      Do you know, same here! The ‘bathing’ is why I’m taking up the swimming in the sea. I too now have aches and pains especially in my feet (no diagnosis yet) and I found even that paddle beneficial. When people shudder and say, but the sea is so cold, that’s exactly what I want!!!

  • 17th September 2019 at 10:03 am

    I had no idea the Secret Garden existed! I guess that’s why it’s secret – haha. That’s somewhere else for me to visit when I’m in the area and it’s open.
    Some more very joyful photos, too.
    When we’re in France, I never seem to buy any clothes. I bring over items that I wouldn’t necessarily wear at home any more but that I can remodel here.

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:38 am

      Take note of the garden’s website as it’s not open all that much – Brighton Festival mainly. It’s lovely to visit though. Such a great area. Are you tempted by it??????

  • 17th September 2019 at 11:51 am

    We are very lucky where we live, beautiful sandy beaches so don’t need shoes to wear, in fact all the beaches in Northumberland are wonderful and usually pretty empty.

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:39 am

      Ah yes, Northumberland beaches and the vast stretches of sand with no-one other than you walking along them. Must go again as we’ve visited a couple of times – lovely place.

  • 17th September 2019 at 3:39 pm

    What a fabulous time Penny!!
    You know I love preloved pieces….don’t get me wrong, I still shop at retail stores occasionally. Especially the small boutiques that are individually owned because I love supporting them.
    In fact, you should join us on Instagram next week (from Sept. 23-25) for our #thriftedchicstylechallenge. All you have to do is follow the hosts and sponsor, post daily telling us what is thrifted and use the hashtag #thriftedchicstylechallenge!! We would love to see your posts!!

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:43 am

      Oh gosh I will look out for it – thanks for reminding me, Jodie! Not bought anything this month though – I’ve been really good and taken a month out from buying anything at all!!!! Apart from those swimming shoes that is!!

      Have a lovely rest of the week 🙂

  • 17th September 2019 at 4:31 pm

    It looks lovely on the beach! We were brought up by the sea and my sister now lives near it again but if I have to choose it’s the countryside for me.
    I’ve only just heard that I should not be buying new this month but I really need some leggings. I’ve never had them before and they won’t be on show, just an extra layer for the winter. I haven’t sorted my summer/winter clothes yet because I’m going singing in Spain in early October. I bet it will be chilly in the evenings as we will be up in the hills!
    Winchester is currently in a 2 week Heritage Festival with loads of free stuff going on. I’ve been to 4 very interesting talks but some were badly attended which was a shame. One was about a project called 1st Hundred years of women in the law. There’s an also a related exhibition which I’m going to see this week & more talks on Saturday. One of these is about the Girls Friendly Society which my grandmother belonged to in the early years of last century & seems to have been forgotten about.
    Incidentally I now have a personal trainer who comes to me at home and I’m actually improving slowly. So body and mind are being attended to!

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:49 am

      Shame about the lack of an audience for those talks – they sound so interesting. I love leggings, btw, and wear them a lot in the winter and as they’re practically underwear they’re OK to buy.

      And so very pleased to hear about you having a personal trainer. This is very good news. I took a long time to find mine but it was worth the wait to get the right type of person. We all need that extra help to just get us into doing the right type of exercises for our body. I know I do. So pleased for you.

      Have a great rest of the week 🙂

    • 18th September 2019 at 7:33 am

      Hi Lynda, are you coming to Spain with a choir? And where will you be singing? I sing in a choir in a small town near Madrid.

      • 18th September 2019 at 9:46 am

        I’m flying to Malaga and we are going to a retreat close to the mountains. I know the organisers of the trip but the rest of the participants will be strangers – but not for long!

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:50 am

      It is just lovely being so near the sea 🙂

  • 18th September 2019 at 2:45 am

    Penny, I missed the post about your decision to move, I thought you were very happy in your last flat?
    I haven’t heard anything at all here in Toronto about only buying pre loved clothing this month, I am making a commitment to myself that I will not buy anything new at all in 2019. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to it. You are so brilliantly disciplined about decluttering, I find it so hard, as I have a lot of lovely clothes that I have had for ages, that still fit, I pack things away in those bags that you shrink with your vacuum cleaner, I then don’t wear them for a couple of years, and they feel like new when I pull them out, and I switch around accessories so everything feels and looks really new. My shoes last forever, because at the end of each season, I drop them off with my lovely shoe mender, Boris, who keeps them a couple of weeks and then returns them looking brand new. It’s worth the money, to make my footwear last a really long time.
    Love your posts, they brighten my day.

    • 18th September 2019 at 6:29 am

      Hello Geri – we were happy in the old flat especially after we’d finished the improvements. It was the right flat in the wrong area as it was too far out – we were always on a bus that dragged through the outskirts of Brighton. Now we’re very near in the centre in a vibrant area with it’s own little village type shops, and in turn we can walk to the centre in 10 minutes, and that’s instead of a bus that takes over half an hour. Also because it’s right in Brighton the whole block of flats feels different – people visiting say, oh yes, this is the right flat for you!

      Second-hand September originates from the charity Oxfam – link below. But all the articles about it referred to a very elite type of person doing this. Not really something that would attract everyone to this project – think they missed a trick there. Yes, it’s the fast fashion types that need to change their ways. I think the fact that you keep clothes for a very long time is just as good as buying second-hand.

      Have a lovely rest of the week 🙂


  • 18th September 2019 at 7:35 am

    We’ll let you off the swimming shoes Penny. Love the idea of a Secret Garden, particularly one with statues. And I like Yok’s patterned trousers. I was hankering after mine, a pair bought two years ago which are a little too tight now. I must have been on a different planet because I didn’t realise we weren’t supposed to buy things in September. I’m hoping to nip into a charity shop to see if they have things in brown – it’s such an on-trend colour for autumn but doesn’t really suit me, but would be great if I could find a skirt or trousers. Does that count?!

    • 18th September 2019 at 9:42 am

      Dear Gail, don’t buy brown if you don’t like it/suit it! I made the mistake of buying brown boots which went to the charity shop hardly worn & a new (price reduced) dark camel coat is still in the cupboard unworn! I really don’t suit autumn colours although teal is OK and sometimes a bit of camel or copper makes a change.

  • 18th September 2019 at 7:48 am

    Hi Penny, I had never heard about second-hand September, but I did hear about the 3 month slow fashion this summer; that is to pledge not to buy any new clothes between 27th June-27th Sept. I decided to make do with what I have and almost made it to the end but I went on holiday in the second week in September and succumbed – a pair of badly needed chinos and a greatly reduced cotton top. So I am not feeling too guilty!! It is lovely to spend a day with ones daughter isn’t it? I did so just yesterday, she was here in Madrid (she lives in Oxford) doing a courier job for her museum. What a wonderful day we had, I really treasure these times as I’m sure you do too.!!

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:44 am

      Yes, this Second-hand September has had rather poor publicity as I’ve only read about it in my rather niche newspapers and that’s about it. Hope they had a big push in Instagram which is all about fast fashion.

      My daughter lives near yet it’s her working hours that keeps us apart – I agree, it is lovely to see our daughters 🙂

  • 18th September 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Oh we spend a day at the Brighton beach but didn’t really get into the water. My goodness, it is so cold! You are so brave!

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:00 am

      I actually want the cold – helps the aching feet 🙂

      Actually by the end of the summer (like now) the sea has had several months of warming up – it’ll get cold from end of October onwards.

  • 18th September 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Yes, get into that sea Penny! I need your swimming shoes and of course absolutely crucial in Brighton with all those darn pebbles.

    How nice it is to spend time with family…

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:02 am

      Those darn pebbles! Actually when I regularly took the kids to the beach we did not have those shoes and it was ouch all the way to the sea! We just accepted it though. Have a lovely weekend xxx

  • 18th September 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Yes, get into that sea Penny! I need your swimming shoes and of course they’re absolutely crucial in Brighton with all those darn pebbles.

    How nice it is to spend time with family…

  • 19th September 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I know what you mean about being lectured on not buying anything for a month I get the impression they mean us not them. We’ve just come back from a trip to Italy (by train) and we’re exposed to those awful World news and Euronews channels which we never watch at home, in France. What struck me was the amount of coverage of Greta Thurnberg’s trip to the UN on the one hand and the number of ads for tourism and airline companies on the other. Like everyone else we like to travel have family in Dublin and Seattle and so we have no choice if we want to see them but I can’t really see any real desire by our elected representatives to tackle or curtail travel and so many countries rely on tourism for the economy, notably France and Ireland. At least we can take our worn out clothes to the recycling or donate the better stuff to charity.

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:11 am

      Yes, I read several articles about this ‘month’ but they were all in the Guardian, Observer and the Financial Times and all about the elite person I mentioned who is a model and a ‘name’ who thought it a good idea. I don’t think Oxfam was advised all that well as it really hasn’t permeated through to the High Street. Perhaps they should sign up the High Street – how I have no idea. But see below about taxes on fashion.

      RE: climate change and travel. Oh well done you for going to Italy by train. In future for holidays in Europe we aim to go by train too. But long distance flights? If politicians were really serious they’d treble the air fares and treble petrol for car trips and put huge taxes on fast fashion. I must sound either off my head for saying this or extremely radical. But really – what else is there if we want a bearable Earth for my grandson. We need to act. And I am sick of politicians who do little tiddly fiddly things at the edge of the issue. And fly to meetings across the world ffs. We all have to change and so do politicians. But am I hopeful about politicians – not really. So we, the people, have to wake them up. Good for the young who are on the streets already – I applaud them.

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:19 am

      I am just listening to a politician on the BBC right now and it’s all wiffle waffle about zero carbon emissions which we are ‘on the road for’. Eh? And he’s hopeful and we could do things faster. That’s. Not. Enough.

      All cars, btw, need to be electric – and he’s talking about that now. Good. But all a long way off. 2050. But we need to act within 10 years. Geez. He’s being asked if the government has electric cars – no he can’t say they have but they will work with the government to change this – when? Wouldn’t say.

  • 19th September 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Brighton beach is famed for it’s pebbles so I don’t blame you at all for buying the beach shoes – nor do I blame you for not braving the sea on that occasion! I’m sure that in a few months you’ll be one of the locals who enjoy a daily swim!

    • 20th September 2019 at 7:21 am

      I’ll let you all know whenI have my first swim 🙂

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