Hi everyone

How’s life treating you?  It was really cold (for the UK) last week and I wrapped up and layered with thick woollen tops, thick leggings plus a woollen skirt and socks, and I wore my outdoor furry boots indoors as our flat is hard to keep warm. The thing is it has many windows plus large glass balcony doors, which is good, as even on a grey day, I love the views onto the street but we may have to replace the balcony doors. When I sit and write I cope with the cold by getting up and moving around the flat. For those of you stuck indoors (that’s most of the UK) you know it’s a good idea to get up and walk around every 20 minutes – works for me, anyway.

Yes, most mornings I sit and write for a couple of hours. It could be writing for the blogs, or simply emails to my friends as I love writing to people, a phone call is not my first choice of communication, it’s an email or text every time. And I acknowledge I will never write a novel as I accept I am more of an essayist, and that’s fine. I had plans to write some funny but true stories of my time as a nurse back in the 60s, which is so long ago the nursing done now bears no relation to the nursing done then. But I never get round to it, and last week when I was tidying up my filing I looked back at some papers and found that I’d been trying to write a memoir of my family life for over 10 years!!!

The person who did write a memoir was my father. He wrote in a tiny backward-sloping hand eight foolscap books of his time as an officer in the Indian Army. Not being content with what he’d done he repeated the exercise and then, unbelievably wrote the whole thing out a third time on another eight foolscap books this time with annotated photographs, maps and other material. These last 8 books are now in the National Army Museum’s archives in London, and I might write about that in My Other Blog, ‘that’ being the context of how and why British officers had a place in the Indian Army.  Here he is at about the time he was in India.

Yes, for that piece I would need to look at Empire and the role of those officers in those long ago days. But to me his memoir was a jewel beyond price as reading his papers after he died (in 1993) I learnt so much about my father (he never let me see his writing before he died) and furthermore, I finally understood why he was the way he was.  Let’s say, for now, that I found the young man he was before he became my father. And I also understood why my parent’s marriage was the way it was, too!

That photo was taken in Bedford, and by my mother’s side, on the right of the photo, is an aunt, not a blood relative aunt but my mother’s best friend, and oh my word when my mother died, I visited this aunt many times and got to know another side of my mother’s life before she married! Oh mother! But of course, we don’t know our parents as young people, so why wouldn’t they have a life before their marriage. Mind you, not a word of it came out while she was alive, but it was similar to the experience I had reading my father’s memoir, I got to know the young woman she had been before marriage.

Anyway I edited my father’s memoir and published the book (in 2010) in both paperback and hardback, and sold quite a few copies. A few of them were sold, amazingly, to contemporaries of my father, but most of the memoirs went to historians and to children of Indian Army officers. But if you know anyone who is at all interested in the Indian Army, and you think you might want a copy for an uncle or a parent, unfortunately the memoir is completely out of stock, I’d have to get my skates on and order some more books and knowing that we are all in lockdown I wonder if the printing company is actually working, probably not. But there appear to be a few copies available on Amazon, at ridiculous prices I have to say.  In the meantime, if interested here’s a link to a website about my father, which I actually built myself in the days before WordPress and blogging. That was so difficult. I used the software Dreamweaver – anyone used it?  Those of you who have, you’ll know what an effort it was to do this!

And there’s quite a writing gene on my paternal side as my father’s brother, Richard Hislop, published a novel – it’s quite racy by the way, read the reviews! Here’s the link to it on Amazon. And my grandfather wrote a very good unpublished account of his time in the Boer War.

Gosh, how did I get to telling you all this! I had planned to look at the blog and my most-read blogs of 2020.  Maybe I’ll do that another time!  And having written the above I won’t delete it (my finger did hover momentarily over that delete button) instead I’ll add some photos for you.

In the meantime, I had a fit of tidying (I often do this after Christmas, and seriously what else is there to do) and going through my coat cupboard, I found this coat. Charity shopped, of course! I remember it was new, still with the label hanging on.

Oh wow, it’s a London coat, as I wouldn’t wear it on my walks on the seafront, it’s not quite warm enough. It’s just right though for going on the train (sigh), waiting for a bus to take me to the Tate or the V&A, and mooching around their latest exhibitions (bigger sigh). One day… yes, look, one day there will be happier days, full of culture and fun times, yes, there will!

Here is the coat with a hat, yes, this is far more the image I have of the me I’d like to be!

That’s all for now, there’ll be a lot of looking at the clothes I’ve already got in my wardrobe, and maybe a few more reminiscences? Let’s see what the next few weeks bring 🙂

Take care and stay safe. I’ve taken to wearing a mask at all times outside, which is something I believe many countries insist on. Keep well and warm, people 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper





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45 thoughts on “This and that and a coat that reminds me of happy days to come!

  • 12th January 2021 at 10:05 am

    Morning Penny
    Great coat and fabulous with the hat. I’m glad you didn’t delete the first half of the post. I found it very interesting.
    Best wishes, Mary

    • 13th January 2021 at 8:23 am

      Thank you Mary, oh to wear that coat again! But I will – probably in the Autumn! Have a good week x

  • 12th January 2021 at 10:23 am

    Love the colour of that coat. Are they new glasses? Thanks for the interesting blog. It’s always a surprise finding out things about your parents before they were! Going through some of my dads things I found more photos and news clippings of his national service days. He also had postcards of virtually every cross channel ferry on the Newhaven Dieppe service!

    • 13th January 2021 at 8:32 am

      Hi Alison, no, they’re not new at all, but the ones I bought a couple of years ago! Three weeks after I get a vaccine I shall go to the opticians and look for some more of the Prue Leith type glasses that I think I’ll be wearing from now on.

      I see that the Newhaven GP practices are part of the Brighton Racecourse Vaccine Hub which starts vaccinating tomorrow. All we have to do is walk/drive up the road to it, I have wondered how everyone from Newhaven is going to manage to get to the racecourse? If anyone goes by bus it will be two buses, the no. 12 and then walk up to Eastern Road and get the no. 2. Bit much for the 90+ yr-olds!

  • 12th January 2021 at 10:38 am

    Hi Penny. Love the purple coat. I really enjoyed reading about your parents, and seeing their phtographs. So glad you didnt delete it. Isnt it funny how, as childre, we seem to think our Mum and Dad just came into existence when we were born. I find as I am getting older I now appreciate so many things my parents did for me. Maturity gives you a different outlook on life. Over lockdown I have been getting in touch with relatives who moved away in the 70’s, and have heard so many nice things about my family that I didnt know. so that was definitely a plus side in these difficult times.

    • 13th January 2021 at 8:35 am

      Hi Katrina
      Yes, I do agree with you, and like you it has been very life-affirming to get to know my parents better – although sadly that is after their passing. I expect this is because one never really stops being a parent, and that’s how we see them. But there’s always a plus and a positive somewhere even in these challenging times.

      Thanks for your interesting comment 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 11:05 am

    That coat is a fabulous colour Penny. I have a shower coat in a similar shade. I really ought to be doing some tidying too, especially the study drawers but I hate doing it. I clear them and start out again but return to my sloppy habits of just shoving things in them only too quickly.
    It was really interesting to hear about your parents and see the photos. Love your Mum’s wedding hat! My parents were married in 1951 and my Mother wore a brown ‘costume’ with a pink jabot fronted blouse and a pink orchid on her lapel. She was always a very elegant woman and I hope I am too despite my lack of height!
    I’ve done a bit of writing too – sketches, funny poems, short stories and once a pantomime for an amateur group. I’m supposed to be writing about my grandmothers but seem to find it difficult to get started although once I do it’s OK. My (much older) brother-in-law has written a lot about his life after starting with audio tapes. I remember playing one to my children many years ago and they were astonished to hear how he cycled from London to Devon aged 14, having left school, to take up a job on a farm then joined the Royal Navy at 16.
    I’m having a quiet day today as did a lot yesterday. I shall get up and do the ironing soon to keep me on my feet ; as Miranda would say ‘what fun’! Then back to my very slowly growing knitting and the television. I like to watch Dickinson’s Real Deal as it’s always a laugh – I record it so I can skip the ads and boring bits. Need to finish my novel too as it’s not that good. I’ve also been reading ‘What Doctors Really Think’ by Phil Hammond. Rather old now but often very amusing.

    • 13th January 2021 at 8:53 am

      Hi Lynda, I find tidying drawers quite cathartic and satisfying. Also bookshelves. Thing is it’s quite important to be tidy in a small place or things get out of hand, so that’s really why I tidy up a lot, and especially after Christmas.

      It’s so good to hear you are writing about this and that and your relatives. And your brother as well. However much you do, even the smallest amount, will be of such use and of such huge value to your descendants. I don’t think people realise or if they do they are reluctant to start because, ‘I just can’t’, or ‘I can’t write’, but that doesn’t really matter, it’s the hearing of the voice of the person long gone that is so lovely and so rewarding for the recently bereaved. Even now all those years later – I am so very, very glad my dad got it all down on paper.

      Have got lots of ‘good’ books to read and I am dipping into them, but I’m actually enjoying the first book in a trilogy around magic and witches. The first book is A Discovery of Witches, and it’s by Deborah Harkness, it’s a kind of a Harry Potter for grown-ups! It’s also televised on Now tv – and quite good.

      I shall have to read the Phil Hammond book as I do like that kind of book too. Have a good week Lynda and thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Penny, Gorgeous colour coat! I can see the resemblance between your beautiful mother and you. Do you have South African ties? Rgds, Lise

    • 13th January 2021 at 8:39 am

      Hi Lise, thank you re: the coat and the lovely reference you made to my mother, but no I don’t think on my father’s paternal line there is any connection to South Africa, but my great-grandfather’s brother also has a large line of descendants – they might. Don’t know of any connections either on my mother’s side – but you never know!

  • 12th January 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Where can I get a copy of your father’s life in India? My father was a forester working for a company called Dingha Singh in Lahore and spent 3 years in a tent on NWFP. His life was different to army life as he lived and worked with Indians – now Pakistanis. He ate what he shot – so that would also be different to army life? But what he did pass onto me was a love of nature, and frugality! So mend your clothes, don’t buy whats not wanted (as where he lived all possessions came by horse/mule). He learnt to ski, and with wood from the forest built a ski chalet for anyone to use.

    • 12th January 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Sarah – how fascinating! The thing is we set up Newhaven Publishing and published the memoir in both hardback and paperback, so I am the source of the book. And wow, don’t look at Amazon for it, well you could for a laugh. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soldiers-Story-Jungles-British-1933-1947/dp/095658151X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+Soliders+story+-+John+Hislop&qid=1610454286&s=books&sr=1-1-spell

      So what I’m going to do is I think I should always have 5 copies of the paperback by my side. So, I shall ring the printing company today and get back to you. Don’t know if it’s operating though,

      Btw, I do have 2 copies of the hardback. We took the Paypal page off the Newhaven Publishing website for this blog, so if you want one of those hardbacks at £20 (that’s £5 off) plus postage – get back to me and we’ll restore the PayPal page and I’ll reply with the link.

      To summarise: i) If possible (as in, are they operating) I shall order more paperbacks. ii) You could have a hardback – let me know. And honestly, did not expect this – really nice to know about your father.

      • 12th January 2021 at 1:34 pm

        I looked! AHHHHH! I would like to read your father’s memoire – even if only online. But it is expensive. I was given a self published book from soemone whose life was so interesting but the book was so boring it was unreadable. I remember my early life and it was really exciting – although by then my father had moved to Malaya. There is a book site called World of Books and its all secondhand – so will look and see if they have your fathers book.

        • 13th January 2021 at 9:00 am

          Absolutely in agreement with you about being sure about a book like this, it’s very niche and sold well to people who had connections to the Indian Army. He spent some of his time on the Frontier but not his whole career, and the memoir includes a description of the ‘Road open’ days in Waziristan, a really really dangerous place then and now, which I found fascinating. You think the Brits were in charge of that area? Oh no they weren’t, the Tribes were!

          I’m organising some more paperbacks as really I should have at least 5 to hand as there are still some orders coming through although actually there were none last year. I still don’t know the unit cost, but will sell those as cheaply as possible. I aim to write about this in more detail in My Other Blog when I’ve got some paperbacks to hand.

      • 12th January 2021 at 3:46 pm

        Thats quite a story. My grandfather went to the Indonesian war and I wished he had kept his memoires. Those stores are treasures aren’t they. Oh got to go, farmers something on the BBC.

        • 13th January 2021 at 10:31 am

          Thank you Nancy, yes, I’m lucky in that way. The thing is my father used to talk all the time about India and being a teenager in the 60s I used to either argue or not listen to him, we were often at loggerheads . At least I matured enough to begin to listen. And then I kept saying you must write this all down, dad. And he did – phew!

  • 12th January 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I’m glad you didn’t press the delete button.
    Would it be possible to publish your father’s memoirs on Amazon kindle?

    • 12th January 2021 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Holly. Well, the thing is the last time I looked at this there were many rules and regulations to get over. It was really complicated and the complications are that it’s not just text, there are many photographs in the book and Amazon has very strict regulations on copyright, and I’d say over half of the photographs in the book whilst belonging to my father at the time of his death, were not taken by him. Copyright law is very clear that it’s the photographer that has the copyright. The photographer is now dead and has no living relatives, but even so it’s not simple thing to publish on Amazon Kindle so for the moment, it’s not possible. And there are other complications that I won’t go into at the moment. There you have it!

      But I am going to rustle up some paperbacks 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 1:52 pm

    There’s that super luxurious coat again, I love the colour on you it’s very regal. I hope you’re staying safe Penny. Great blog post to read, many thanks. Jacqui x

    • 13th January 2021 at 10:34 am

      It’s an amazing colour and I’m so glad I pounced and bought it! But it’s definitely a London coat – but I will wear it again one day! Also so glad you’re better!

      Thank you Jacqui x

  • 12th January 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Lovely coat Penny.
    Interesting to read about your family, thank you for sharing.
    Keep warm and safe
    Viv xx

    • 13th January 2021 at 10:35 am

      Thank you Vivien, I might do a regular once a month reminiscence spot.

      You keep well and warm too xx

  • 12th January 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you Penny, for sharing the fascinating photos and stories of a bygone era. Due to the pandemic and current events, I find myself retreating into the past, watching old black and white movies and marveling at glamorous clothes. Life seemed simpler then, but certainly that was not the case. You are very lucky to have an account of your parent’s life, as so many of that generation kept their feelings fairly hidden. I know my parents, growing up in poverty in the tenements of Glasgow during WWII, never wanted to speak of their upbringing.
    Love the coat, the glasses, your hair! It’s a wonderful look. I wear a mask as well, outside, it’s easier in the winter as it keeps the wind out! Stay safe, Lorraine

    • 13th January 2021 at 10:43 am

      Yes, I know what you mean, I’m certainly dependent on watching good drama on the TV and am so glad there are some good things to watch. The Great currently on Channel 4 (or All4) is very good.

      I know I’m lucky to have all the material left by my father. The thing is I also know what you mean about them not talking about the war. My dad talked about India all the time, but never ever talked about the war, and when I read his memoir I understood why, it’s complicated but it wasn’t a good war for him as he clashed with his superiors a few times – didn’t do his career any good. Nevertheless, I think the pre-war years were the happiest years of his life. And it’s a life gone for ever, so it’s very much a historical tale. Yes, I am lucky.

      Thanks Lorraine – let’s keep wearing the masks. Vaccines are nearing – phew!

  • 12th January 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Lovely post today. These memories are so great to have as once they are gone there is no one left to ask. I was to get my mother’s history book, a scrapbook type with her stories from as early as she could remember. When we cleaned out her room at the home when she passed, it was missing, we were all told where it was and it was gone. Of course no one knew where it could have gone, so I never did get to see it. She had such a great memory, she could remember all her school teachers names and she travelled all over the country when in her teens, and all those memories and stories are gone…someone else is enjoying them and that is what makes me so furious. Anyway, that coat and hat look on you is perfect and so cheerful. Someday we will be able to have a fun outing to wear all the great clothes in the closets. By the way, don’t ever feel you should delete your musings as you are such a wonderful writer.

    • 13th January 2021 at 10:59 am

      Oh how frustrating not to have your mother’s history book, I had a similar experience when my sister passed away and all her writing? No idea where it went. But she wrote short stories and it all disappeared somewhere. At least I have my father’s material and that was a great relief as I think he understood that his life in India was of historical value and to me it was so richly rewarding to have some insight into the person he became – he was a bit tetchy and angry at life. I can see why now.

      Thanks re: the coat – we will all be able to wear our best clothes out somewhere and it could be soon(ish). We just have to be patient!

      And thank you re: the compliment about my writing – that’s such a nice thing say and makes me think I really must write some more about my family and nursing days. Maybe a once-a-month slot – which could then be collected together to make a ‘memoir’. Thanks Diane – take care 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Lovely wedding picture of your parents. My parents were married in 1943. It was a double wedding my mother’s brother married my mother’s best friend and as she had only one brother and a guardian and my mother and father both had big families they pooled the reception guests. My mother and aunt were married in suits with corsages the men in uniform.

    Great coat too I love purple hope you get a chance to wear it soon.

    • 13th January 2021 at 11:14 am

      Thank you Flora – my parents married in 1945. I think white dresses were hard to get in those days, but the suits, little hats and corsages were so stylish.

      Thanks re: the coat, it was such a good buy and demonstrates how one can find quality items. And oh yes, won’t it be great to wear it in London!

  • 12th January 2021 at 5:18 pm

    How interesting you seem to have inherited the paternal writing gene! It’s also lovely that you got you father’s book published even though it must have been very hard work. I’m currently trying to piece together my family ancestry based largely on what my DNA test results showed up last year. My family on both sides for at least five generations (the furthest I can go back)seem to have been labourers; mostly agricultural ones and few of them could read and write, so I won’t be finding any memoirs any day soon – unfortunately.

    Your purple? blue? coat is beautiful and I agree it’s definitely a London coat. I can see you in it at an exhibition somewhere in London very soon!

    Stay safe and I hope the weather’s warmed up a bit where you are,

    • 13th January 2021 at 11:36 am

      It was hard work to edit my father’s memoir. First, it had to be typed up, then put in some order as he kept remembering things and saying, oh this happened some time before! Then a friend who teaches at the OU had a look at it, and said, oh my word, what is he talking about (!) and we agreed that I had to do a lot of research to make notes to explain terms and the context. And then a friend who has published a lot of illustrated coffee-table books and was an editor at The Times tore it all to shreds and I rearranged everything. And I do mean everything. Then she proof read it – phew that was another 3 months work to correct it all, but we only had one typo when it was published, which I think was amazing really. And yes, finally it was published. It took 3-4 years but it was a labour of love..

      Good luck with your family history – it’s very addictive I found! But worth it.

      Thanks re: the London coat – oh to wear it! Maybe I’ll do that this Spring but definitely in the Autumn.

      Take care and stay warm xxx

      Won’t it be great! Love your blog post and the red coat – not sure if my comment has got through. But it’s lovely to see all your outfits.

  • 12th January 2021 at 6:25 pm

    That lovely purple coat is just the note of cheer needed in these strange times. So interesting about your father. I wish I knew more about my own parents. There seemed to be some secrecy about our family’s history. Apparently my grandparents were not in favor of the match. My father’s family were from Ireland, my mother’s from Italy. I grew up with little contact with my Irish relatives as they lived at a distance. It wouldn’t be so much these days but people did not travel as much years ago. I only met my paternal grandmother on perhaps three occasions, and my grandfather was so elderly he probably did not know who I was. My children gave me a subscription to Ancestry so I am trying to get some additional information about my roots.
    So this past week. What can I say, disturbing, shocking, heartbreaking. And there is still the threat of continued violence. The one bright spot was that two Democrats won their elections in the state of Georgia. What this means is that Mitch McConnel will no longer be in charge of the US Senate, which is huge, actually. Sorry to be in what I suppose is the political weeds here but I know you follow this. I am hoping I can get my vaccine soon. I did check with my pharmacy but they have no plans as of yet to when they might distribute them. My daughter and I were discussing plans for where we might want to travel once this is over, She wants to go to Scotland, which I traveled to in 2011. I was thinking of going back to France, maybe Provence this time. Certainly something to look forward to. Keep enjoying your walks and your writing Penny.

    • 13th January 2021 at 11:53 am

      Ancestry is very addictive – but it is so good to try and piece things together. I was on it for years but stopped and haven’t done much for some time now. I remember that I found out that my Scottish maternal grandmother had 8 siblings – not once was that ever mentioned, ever! I wonder if that was because of a big disparity in class. My grandfather came back from India, set up home in Inverness, Scotland and at the age of 44 married my grandmother, the maid of the house. And she was 22 – hmm. Not once was this talked about while my mother was alive!

      And the events of last week. Well, we all watched it here with our mouths just dropping to the floor. Astonishing and very distressing for you all in the States. Indeed I kept thinking of you and how you’d be feeling. I kept saying to MOH what will Darby be thinking! But it is indeed good news re: the two Senate wins in Georgia.

      I am fascinated by the situation you have as it’s a very heightened version of how our ‘left behind’ voted for Brexit. There’s a failure on the left to deal with the loss of manufacturing to lower paid workers in China and so on. Who does the left stand for is a question that our Labour Party can’t really get to grips with, and equally does the Democratic party look out for these angry demonstrators who want ‘a revolution’. Well, easy for me to be fascinated it’s quite disturbing for you at the moment. And I really hope the inauguration goes well.

      In the meantime, it’s so good to have plans for the future, particularly travel. Stay safe and well Darby 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Love the coat and hat combination – very stylish.

    I wish I’d kept track of my Grandad’s recorded memories and written down more of what my Mother shared with me. My Mum and Dad were both WWII evacuees.

    • 13th January 2021 at 11:59 am

      Thank you Nicola! Can’t wait to wear the coat and hat combination!

      Yes, I think we all wish we’d asked more about our parents’ memories. Even with the material I have there’s much that’s missing – especially that of my mother’s memories and her life before she married. I think the thing we can do is write about our own lives. Even if we think our lives are very normal and ordinary what we write will be important for future generations.

      Take care 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Hearing about your parents is so interesting. I learnt so much about my mother, her blood line, sad things I hadn’t known, decades after she passed over. Same with my step father. It seems that those of your and my parents’ times, lived such interesting lives. Wars, Depressions, Empires, International travel of places which have changed beyond recognition. I love hearing stories from those bygone days. There are lessons to be learnt in them. My Nanna came to New Zealand from Britain, from a very upper crust home, to a life which would have been so different, in 1910, by sea voyage. No class system, no mansion, fewer societial rules that applied from her home country. I often wonder how it was for her.

    • 13th January 2021 at 12:13 pm

      How interesting to hear that about your Nanna’s life – so intriguing as to why she left that upper crust life and came to New Zealand. Mind you, lucky you now, I’d like to be living somewhere like New Zealand, somewhere that tackled the pandemic properly – I better stop there!!!

      Thanks and take care 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Penny, Thanks for sharing your interesting family history. Last night, we watched Ava Gardner in Bhowani Junction (1954) about an Anglo-Indian woman working with the British Army in India 1946/1947 before their independence. Does anyone have favorite Indian films from that period? I am on an Ava Gardner kick at the moment. Barefoot Contessa might be her next film for me. Having access to home entertainment is this movie buff’s dream come true.

    Your purple coat is striking. Don’t hats keep you warm? I feel practically naked with one. (exaggeration warning)

    Keep safe everyone. Judy

    • 13th January 2021 at 12:18 pm

      Ah yes, I’ve seen that film. The author John Masters was a contemporary of my father and he met Masters a couple of times. I have Masters’ memoir on my bookshelves and his life was similar and yet different to my father’s army life. While my father’s memoirs are very readable (see the reviews on the Newhaven Publishing link) Master’s writing is, as you would expect, wonderfully evocative of the time and the place.

      And yes, I never ever go out without a hat.

      Stay safe too 🙂

  • 12th January 2021 at 11:06 pm

    This coat reminds me of the one Nancy was wearing recently:: https://nancysfashionstyle.com/winter-coats-on-stylish-monday/

    I just love it how it’s such a gorgeous color. But I have a couple that aren’t really warm enough (for our weather before we moved) and I used to layer them just so I could still wear them. Silly, right?
    PS…I loved seeing the old photo of your mom and it’s true…they did have a life before us, LOL

    • 13th January 2021 at 12:20 pm

      I know, I’ve told Nancy that she inspired me to get my coat out – don’t you just love the colour!

      And yes, I know, I know, parents, they did have a life before their marriage!!!

      Take care and have a great week xxx

  • 13th January 2021 at 10:25 am

    Glad you didn’t press delete Penny , interesting to hear a little of your families history. Writing talent certainly runs in your family. Maybe you could do a series of short stories, you write so well. Your purple coat looks wonderful on you, so perfect for a London gallery trip, hopefully sooner than later. Take care. xx

    • 13th January 2021 at 12:24 pm

      Yes, the coat is just perfect for an exhibition or two, as long as it’s not too warm, so it’ll be the Autumn, I guess when I wear it up to London.

      And thank you Jill, I’ve decided to write more of these family history stories on the blog – maybe a once-a-month slot.

      You take care too xx

  • 13th January 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Now we can see where your writing talent comes from – your father and his brother! Lovely story. I asked my grandma to write her memoirs and I was so glad she did. The last entries, all in her own writing, were made not long before she died, in the early 90s. I typed out the whole thing and was fastidious about making sure I had it on every new PC, but over time that version of Word has become so out of date that it cannot be read by a PC now. Very annoying. I have my own “memoir” as well which I add to every now and then. Like yours, it’s an account of working life, starting with my life as a trainee journalist.
    I love your London coat. I have one too, it’s lilac! Did you wear that coat to the V&A? I’m sure I would have remembered it.

  • 13th January 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Your father’s memoirs sound really interesting! I wish my grandfather had written some of this stories down. He died when I was a teen and had many stories of times he spent on the reservations (he was not native american but grew up there some I guess). I love the purple coat with the hat!

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