Hello everyone

I do hope you had a good Christmas and New Year and a bit of a break from work, although, if you’re a woman, and the majority of my readers are, I bet you did a lot of cooking 🙂

Throughout these ‘holidays’ or Twixmas, as some media types are calling it, Mr F and me, we had that streaming head cold (which for me started on Christmas day followed by Mr F two days later) so consequently we’ve stayed in and watched lots of television including (and after all I’d said about musicals, but we were feeling bit ill) Oklahoma.

Here’s what I thought of the film: the songs are lovely and I could almost sing-along with them (!) so over the decades, they’ve sunk into my consciousness; second the colours, oh, my word! The producers of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel must have been influenced by Oklahoma’s technicolour clothing and scenery, as Mrs M is definitely on the same neon-hued spectrum; and finally, Oklahoma is a very long film. Having complained about The Irishman and its 3 and half hours (which I’ll never get back) at 145 minutes Oklahoma has its longueurs, including a weird dream sequence that seemed to go on for ever. All I can say is, it was quite an experience, but probably one I won’t repeat!

And so to 2020 and a look back at last year’s projects and aims, and a positive look forward, definitely positive, to the new decade. And how far forward do you want to go, as in 2030 I’ll be 83!  Can you beat that! So consequently one of the first three things I’m going to talk about, and work on, in this new decade is fitness, fitness and fitness once again.

Yes, there’s no getting away from  it, getting older (there I’ve said it) is hard work. If any of you are worried about ageing I say this: 50-60 is young, really, it is; 60-70, well for me was absolutely no different to being in my 40s, I was fit as a fiddle, but once you reach your 70s?  Hmmmmmmmm. My view is that this is the time to put the work in. This is when issues and other things begin to crop up. So what am I going to do about the issues I have? Well, I’m going to pop into my GP and get myself checked out, and then I’m going to take up another fitness class, so that’ll be 3 classes per week. Plus I shall get together with my PT for a clarification of what exercises I do at home. Then in the Spring, I shall once again re-start the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ programme. Don’t laugh, I know, I know. I never get beyond the 2nd week (and I take 3 weeks to do each week) but at least I try it. I’ll be running on the prom (the last two attempts were in a park, which got boring) and as I never get tired of seeing the sea – maybe this time!  And in the summer, of course, I’ll swim in that sea. So just because I feel a bit below par, which I do because of this dratted head cold, it is not the time to be down, instead I look forward to new possibilities and new classes and new exercises. Use it people (that’s your body I’m talking about) work on it, because you are not going to lose it, are you! Well, we all do in the end, but in the meantime, you know it makes sense to just push yourself that little bit.

And looking back at last year’s projects: oh yes, there was one that I discarded and that’s the YouTube videos. I know that some of you liked the few that I did, but actually it felt like an alien environment. I am first and foremost a writer plus I’m an extroverted introvert, with an emphasis on the introvert, so it was actually quite challenging to talk to the camera and act out stuff. Also, I realised that a lot of the videos out there are about selling products. People, as well as too many clothes being bought, there’s too much makeup out there. We have to consume less and anyway, I couldn’t afford to continue to buy new products, so, not doing any more makeup videos.  But on the positive side: I tried it and I could do it, and some of you liked what I did, but then, there you are, won’t do any more.

And now: the blogs. Yes, I have two blogs and one of them is My Other Blog where I like to write about more challenging issues. For the moment, I have decided to ration my writing there, and no I haven’t turned away from politics, on the contrary, I am hyper-aware of the state of the world, but I am keen to not be a Victor Meldrew type who constantly says, ‘I cannot believe it’, because of course, I cannot believe it. And at this precise moment I am neither happy with our political leaders nor am I happy with what, apparently, the majority in this country wants. Instead I’m very out-of-step with events that will now happen in 2020. And yet, I feel that we shouldn’t be led down a path of constant negativity – it’s a real thing – and for a greater analysis of this go watch anything by Adam Curtis. So, rather than be a moaning minnie and/or myrtle I shall pause this blog. It’s still there of course and never say never, but I have plans….

Yes, my latest project is to make people laugh a bit more. What a thing to say, and who do I think I am to possess that aptitude, but hey, I have an idea. I’m going to write down some of my memories of life, the universe and nursing (and boy do I have some stories to tell) plus other stuff, and unlike the YouTube videos, which did seem a really huge project, this is what I do all the time, it’s just writing, it’s just a development of this blog.

And here is where I’m going to say a very big, humungous thank you to you all. You have come with me on such an adventure, because when I started this blog, over 6 years ago now, I really wondered whether I could  manage 3-500 words every week. But I have managed it. And you have helped me with this through your comments and the knowledge that you read me. Thank you so, so much, I really do appreciate you.

The thing is you won’t see that writing, it will be done elsewhere, but I will continue the frugalfashion blog, absolutely I will, I love writing this blog, although note it’s going to be every 7-10 days. Also interestingly, my last post with the rant on The Irishman proved very popular, so the blog might continue as more of an opinion piece rather than ‘here’s this skirt I bought, what do you think?‘ However, I’m always keen to encourage you to push the boundaries and another aim of mine for 2020 is to wear slightly more outrageous clothes – I really would like to be more goth and wacky in 2020.

So, a few old pix here. Here’s what I aspire to wear in 2020 – my tulle skirt with leather jacket.

Haven’t worn  this skirt yet either – but I will.

The outfit below is not particularly goth, but it’s jolly and slightly pushing the boundary with that hat.

Don’t you hate the ubiquitous gnarled  hands that are used  in the media to depict older women – here are mine at age 73.

Here’s a hat I haven’t worn a lot – I must!

It goes well with my yellow coat.

Here’s another shot of that skirt bought at the-Bias-Cut.com pop-up shop a couple of years ago.

And here below, I aspire to get back to looking like this! The point is, yes, it was taken over a year ago but I want to feel fit and well again, but I will, it’s just a head cold. Interesting to see the way I did the eye makeup – must try the darker brown on the lid again 🙂

I am btw, making lots of healthy meals and just now breathed in the oniony smell of leak and potato soup! Ooof, that cleared a few tubes!!!

So, anyway, thank you once again you lovely people for reading this blog, and here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



46 thoughts on “Some New Year’s resolutions plus thoughts about this and that including the blog(s)

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Happy New Year, Penny! Looking forward to 2020 and following your blog. After a mid-year move from Los Angeles to a smaller beach town, I have fallen off my exercise routine. January 4th is signups for the local YMCA program. I plan to be there and re-engage with physical fitness!
    Here’s to 2020! Charlene H

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:03 am

      That’s great Charlene – here’s to a fitter and healthy 2020 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Penny ,Happy New Year and hope the cold has nearly gone. Just to say how much I enjoy your blog. I am MUCH older than you 80 last June but still dress to the nines every day nearly all second-hand and hair is a gorgeous red ,courtesy of Swartzkof Mango colour! I have collected costume jewellery since I was sixteen so now have a LOT. Hope to see you sometime in one of our lovely charity shops, I guess you are Kemptown end of Brighton I am in Hove, Best wishes Judy S.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:05 am

      Your red hair sounds amazing – and costume jewellery is such fun! The green hat and scarf came from a George Street charity shop.

      Best wishes to you Judy 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Wishing you both a speedy recovery. That sniffing of the leeks remark made me laugh out loud. I have enjoyed all your fashion and all things girly along with the books and entertainment ideas that you put out there, and will certainly follow you wherever you go. I may live on a different continent, but have such a love of all things British and you do take me along when you travel. Keep up the great work Penny. Best of the new year from Canada.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:07 am

      We are getting better, thank you, and another thank you for the feedback re: the blog. Wishing you all the very best over there in Canada 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Will really much miss your political comments Penny. They usually reflect my own view but expressed so much more clearly.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:12 am

      Well, thing is I got half way through a diatribe on Labour’s performance and thought, I really do have to stop this negativity. I will comment on our leaving, and then I think the key thing to concentrate on is climate change. That really is the only thing that matters.

      But thanks for saying you’ll miss the comments on our situation – I think we have to stay alert. And then over the New year I saw a clip from an Adam Curtis doc about the way negativity is being promulgated and I thought yeh, I’ve fallen into that trap, hence the pause. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      • 8th January 2020 at 7:58 am

        Happy New Year Penny. Hope you’re on the mend now. Look forward to reading your blof in 2020. Look after yourself xx

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Wishing you and Mr F a very happy and healthy 2020.
    From the not so sunny today SW coast of England.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:14 am

      It’s been really grey here too, ah well, the days can only get longer – best wishes for 2020 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Happy new year Penny! And I hope it will be a good one for you and your husband. I’m,, talking,, with a few other UK bloggers to arrange a small blogger meet up in September in Brighton! Who knows!!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:53 am

      Ohh lovely, Nancy, keep me posted about that one 🙂

      And here’s wishing you and me a happy and healthy New Year

  • 2nd January 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Penny
    Glad that I am not the only one feeling out of step with events- it almost hit me like a bereavement for all of the things I have held dear since my teenage years. However, your post was uplifting and inspiring. Who knows how long we have left to enjoy life? So I am going to concentrate most on the things that I love – family, friends, visiting France, reading, cooking, line dancing Tai Chi and fashion! Happy 2020 to you and yours and hope that you feel better soon.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:56 am

      We absolutely have to keep ourselves healthy and that includes our mental health – I think I was beginning to go down a very negative route, hence the pause on My Other Blog.

      Happy New Year to you too – we think alike 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Happy New Year Penny. Love reading your blog.
    Re: swimming in the sea may I suggest you invest in a shortie wet suit, they are very reasonably priced and, in my experience, make sea swimming a more pleasurable activity. Second hand ones are generally available. Don’t buy one of the cheap supermarket ones, they’re not well made, a bit stiff and chafe.
    Wishing you all the best with your exercise regime.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 11:59 am

      Thanks so much for that tip – swimming in the sea will commence in the early summer, I think. In the meantime I’m not even doing my Pilates class today but that will start as soon as I recover. Taking it easy now and reading a lot.

      Thanks again 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Bonne Année from the other side of the channel ! I’m French and I enjoy a lot your “allure”, your “chic à l’anglaise”. Keep on going like that !!! Many thanks.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Bonne Année to you too – and thanks for your lovely comment. Here’s to friendship across the channel 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I’m your age too and for the first time since I was 3 years old I was in bed before midnight on Hogmanay. Not only that but I fell asleep reading and wasn’t even aware while being horizontal that we’d passed into 2020. I never thought I’d do that. Talk about one foot in the grave. We are doing the dry January as we do like our daily wine and also upping the activities. Good luck with your efforts. I tried to give up newspapers too but I’ve already broken that resolution.

    By the way we got O K L A H O M A from the library recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially ‘I’m just a girl who cain’t say no’ :).

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Honestly same here! First time for like decades we didn’t stay up for New Year.

      Oklahoma was a good film and fascinating to see the 50s production values. Altogether an experience and, actually, I’ve loved all the more recent films that have had music and songs in them like Rocketman, Yesterday, Blinded by the Light and Bohemian Rhapsody but still would never go to the theatre for a show; it’s film for me every time.

      All very best to you too 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Happy New Year Penny and Mr F! We’ve just come in from a glorious walk in the Scottish Borders, cleared a few cobwebs and feeling invigorated. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal next week and back into my exercise routine. Thanks for inspiring and entertaining, for your positive vibes (and gosh how we need them) and for dragging me out of my comfort zone. You look fab in all your outfits so go for it and we will follow – digging out my ra-ra skirt as we speak…no wait, maybe not.

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:15 pm

      What a giggle – a ra-ra skirt. Oh go on!!! Thing is always feel comfortable physically and also in your own mind that what you’re wearing is OK, but on the other hand don’t, and this is what I say to myself, be boring. I really want to be a bit more outrageous this year and there are too many skirts in my wardrobe that don’t see the light of day – that has to change.

      Well done you re: the walk – there are some great walks awaiting when we get just a bit better.

      All very best to you 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Happy New Year Penny. We’ve been ill all over the holiday and the cough and fatigue is taking it’s time to go – just fell asleep again! You are quite right about the exercise of course. I made a start last year by getting a PT but I know it’s not enough. Need to get back to swimming but not in the sea for me. Looking back at last year I has several ‘firsts’ and expect to continue that this year. I’m doing a second ‘You the Jury’ course this month and will be going on singing weekends as well. If I get things booked up I’ll be less likely to spend on clothes and jewellery I don’t need! Need to sell more and buy less this year! I’ve got some new books reserved at the Library to look forward to so feeling reasonably upbeat. The Xmas tree is now boxed up and I’m getting everything else ready to put up in the loft today; another festive season well and truly over!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Mr F is still a bit poorly and needs to see the GP today as the cold has traveled to his tubes 🙁

      I didn’t say but all our Xmas decs and cards get put away on 1st January – it’s nice to get back to normal.

      Good to hear all your plans – all very best for 2020

  • 2nd January 2020 at 4:31 pm

    i love your style! i just made a note to myself to make the chartruesse colored hat you have on in the last picture! it will be an easy up-cycle for me from a velvet sweatshirt i have!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you so much Eva – that’s a lovely name 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Dear Penny,
    I will be 77 in 2020 and like you, I love a goth & slighty wacky style which I will strive for this year. This will be difficult because the charity shops in Limerick are not remotely inspiring & even normal retailers only do quite conservative clothes. I hate conservative. You mention that you are thinking of changing your blog slightly. Do you think you could incorporate into the change some of your recipes for the healthy meals you are making? I would be so delighted as I love trying out new recipes that others have cooked successfully. Recipes from magazines can quite often turn out to be disappointing & not a bit like their photographs!!
    I love your blog & hearing about your doings. You are a most interesting writer & I love hearing about Brighton, which was mentioned quite a lot in the novels of the favourite author of my youth, Georgette Heyer.
    Happy New Year to you Penny & Mr. F. I hope it is a healthy one for all of us Golden Oldies.
    Regards from Fran Whyte

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Fran, I could try to put a couple of recipes in the blog, but I’m not at all a gourmet cook, but I do make a good healthy soup, so might include a few of those recipes.

      As for the slightly wacky, I have too many conservative type clothes in my wardrobe. It really is time to get out the flouncy skirts because if we don’t wear them, when do we?

      Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2020

      • 3rd January 2020 at 8:03 pm

        Thank you for your prompt reply. I am amazed at the speed of it as I imagine that there is a huge amount of work involved in doing the blog, copy, photographs, replies etc. etc. I think you are marvellous to keep so many of us, your fans, amused, intrigued, entertained & informed so regularly. Apropos your reply, I am not remotely interested in gourmet cooking, just good, plain, honest-to-god, healthy eating. Any times you mention food, (not very often), you make it sound so interesting & that’s why I requested recipes. I particularly love soups & I think that practically every woman born is interested in new recipes & health eating. No pressure at all, just if you felt like sharing some of your tried & tested occasionally.
        Regards from Fran

  • 2nd January 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Happy New Year to you Penny and Mr F.
    Please continue your brilliant blog.I now write on for a our local art gallery,and love doing it.
    I have had the famously dreadful old fashioned cough and a cold ,and it has not yet gone,ugh.
    So ! The best thing is that I have not put a pound on,and have lost at least five,over the Christmas period.
    Best wishes to all of you,

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:28 pm

      This cold is a ferocious cold – I’m recovering but Mr F is still a bit poorly. And yes, it does put you off your food in the acute stage, but it is now at the stage of needing the fuel and needing to eat well. What a blooming bore it’s been!

      Very best to you too 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Your new intriguing skirt has given me new ideas – SEW thanks.
    JOY in all things (even exercise) is my 2020 mantra.
    Wishing everyone a prosperous, healthy and full of love spanking New Year!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:30 pm

      Joy in all things – you are so right, Judy. I love your blog and seeing all the things you do and the places you go to.

      Wishing you and Handsome a very excellent 2020 🙂

  • 2nd January 2020 at 8:30 pm

    You certainly know what you want, Penny, so good luck with it all!

    I just love that green hat; it’s gorgeous on you. Wear it more!

    Happy New Year!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:32 pm

      Well, not doing much today including my Pilates class! But I know I want to do the 3 classes.

      The green hat is amazing – I will wear it I promise. Wishing a very Happy New Year 🙂

  • 3rd January 2020 at 9:59 am

    Hello Penny,
    I love reading your blog and look forward to your new posts this year. Not bothered about makeup videos as I use very little these days Anything that could make me less old and tired looking would be welcome, it’s unfair as I don’t feel it ! You are right about 70 being a milestone, I think the 60’s were fine, but it’s probably a bit harder from now on. Must keep moving !
    I don’t keep my head in the sand about world events, and I try to do my best for the environment, but I’m not going to spend my however many years left getting too pessimistic. There really is no point.
    I do look forward to your ideas on how to up the goth, wacky etc in your wardrobe !
    A Happy New Year, and no more colds !

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:39 pm

      I feel the same as at the moment I look very tired. However, it will pass. And I will think about how we can look brighter and less tired even when we don’t feel tired – might write a post on that.

      Yes, on reflection I was becoming so negative and almost angry, and therefore abandoned a rant about the Labour Party and decided to pause the writing on that blog for a short time. I will comment on our leaving, I’m sure. And we need to stay alert but on the other hand, our mental health is important. And therefore, if we can, we need to laugh more often and have fun. And hence I hope to develop a more comedic writing voice over this year.

      A Happy New Year to you too – and, yes, please no more colds!!!!

  • 3rd January 2020 at 12:23 pm

    I love your attitude to life Penny – your blog is such an interesting read. It’s too easy to become set in your ways and styles once you pass 60 and you are an inspiration to keep things a little bit quirky! Brighton must be the absolutely most perfect place for you to live and I envy you having all that literally on your doorstep. Can’t wait to see how early in the year you get to do the swimming in the sea!

    • 3rd January 2020 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you Deb, it’s so good to get that feedback. Brighton is amazing and where we live is particularly good as even when I had the cold at its worst I was able to just go round the block and see all the lovely little independent shops with their cheerful interiors. You’re right it is a great place to live.

      And swimming – it would be very brrrrr at the moment 🙂

  • 3rd January 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Happy New Year, Penny! I think that it’s so important to keep as mobile as one can, if possible. I still do Zumba and another dance based class because they make me happy, as well as being good for my physical well-being. I walk (nearly) every day and aim to do a seven mile plus walk a few times a month. I really need another dog! When we are walking round our village, I often say to my husband, imagine if we were walking along the prom in Brighton!! Some fabulous photos here – as always! More wacky and goth sounds brilliant to me, I’ve always enjoyed being a bit quirky! Who knows, may be we’ll be able to catch up for a coffee when I’m housesitting in Brighton?!

  • 3rd January 2020 at 5:50 pm

    I love the idea of more writing about your amusing experiences! I’m admiring your “use it or lose it” positivity about exercising. The yellow and green together is wonderful! All the best for 2020.

  • 4th January 2020 at 4:25 am

    Happy New Year to you and your loved one. Take it that way: Getting old is a privileg that so many are dnied. Thus, take one step at a time and be happy to be alive. Enjoy fashion and style. Love the hats and the tulle skirt look. It doesn’t look like over 70 at all. And you don’t look like it either. Stay in style and stay warm.

  • 4th January 2020 at 11:28 am

    Happy New Year Penny, hope you and your husband are on the mend. I fully agree that we need to be as fit as possible to enjoy the ageing process. I am determined to be more consistent on that front this year.
    The tulle skirt is fabulous , always love a goth look. Isn’t it good to play with different styles.
    All the best for 2020.

  • 6th January 2020 at 11:32 am

    Happy new year Penny. I’m late I know, so by now I hope you are both fully recovered. I’ve been unable to read or write much before as I had a bad reaction to a routine eye procedure for glaucoma on New Year’s Eve and ended up in a complete fog for several days! Anyway, thanks for both your blogs. I’m a dedicated follower and enjoy and agree with both so much. However I understand your reservations about your Other Blog. I’ve decided that in order to something positive I’ve rejoined the Labour Party – I was a member in my twenties(!). At least I want a vote on the new leader.
    Btw I love the skirt you havent worn yet , and look forward to seeing your photos when you do. Every best wish for 2020.

  • 10th January 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Happy New Year! I will turn 60 this year…one of my best friends just did last week and it was shocking. SHOCKING, I tell you. How are we 60?? It doesn’t seem possible. I don’t FEEL like 60. Other than some annoying memory loss and scatterbrainedness. But you’re saying I’ve got another 10 years and then at SEVENTY the you know what will hit the fan? Okay, I will keep that in mind and prepare.

    I love your black tulle skirt and lace-up boot look AND the skirt you said you haven’t worn, with the different colored panels? What are you waiting for? Wear that thing already!

    I understand about the difficulty and awkwardness of YouTube. I don’t have a hard time talking to camera, it’s certainly easier than talking to PEOPLE…and I talk to MYSELF all the time, so it’s really just like that for me, but I’m terrible with the whole filming/editing process. I’m always embarrassed with my final product and it took me many many hours to get there! Ugh. But I’m determined to not give up on that one, even though my videos are few and far between these days. I WILL PREVAIL! Ha.

    Anyway, all the best in the new year!


Comments are closed.