Hello everyone

We continue to unpack and things look a little better. It’s getting there as Mr F often likes to say.

And that’s the view from our bedroom window, which is quite a contrast to the urban view we had in the last place of a block of flats that were lit up throughout the night.

This view is leafy and green and quiet and dark – I sleep so much better now.

You will get more pix when a set of shelves goes up in the sitting room and my ‘art’ is up on the walls. In the meantime I’m still nursing a sore back as there are still things to organise and unpack and it’s all the bending, ouch! But it’s only temporary and we feel so happy and at home here.

Some observations. Our kitchen is larger than the last place and we have an extra side wall of units, and at the moment I’m not used to the extra space and I keep turning to the wrong wall!

But hey, and huge joy, that means there’s room for a  dishwasher and a washing machine. Dishwasher is great, but the washing machine, oh blooming heck! I bought a model that I’d used 4 years ago in the last flat but one. I was very satisfied with it so why wouldn’t I want the same. But it’s not the same, as one of the markers on the machine says ‘downloadable programmes’. As you probably realise both me and Mr F are quite tech savvy, especially Mr F, but can we download these programmes onto the app? No we can’t! So I ring the manufacturer who will get an engineer to contact us in the next 24 hours. Have they done that, no they haven’t! Honestly I am not against progress and no way am I a Luddite, but I think all washing machine programmes should jolly well be there to be seen, not hidden somewhere on a very unintuitive app!!  Actually have any of you encountered this? I would never have bought the blooming machine if I’d know the bother it’s caused trying to download the programmes. End of rant! And yes, what a first world problem!

On a more positive note, this new flat is lovely and warm and we don’t seem to need the heating on all that much, even through this cold frosty spell we’re having in the UK, which is great, all things considering. We believe this is due to the insulation that this flat has, which was very much lacking in our last place. We had great views on our 3rd floor, but there was practically no insulation above us and minimal insulation in the walls so our heating was always on full blast and on any slightly cold day the flat was freezing. I see Johnson’s new energy policy fails to take up the idea that in the UK all our mainly old and drafty housing stock needs insulating. No, it’s nuclear power stations (not particularly good) and wind farms (yay!), but not a word about insulation. Hmmm!

For those of you outside the UK we have a climate change activist group called Insulate Britain who indulge in some pretty annoying tactics, but really from just my experience alone this group really does have a point, that the UK housing stock is in dire need of insulation and, wow, the money that would save hard up householders. I’ll stop there as all political comments should really be in My Other Blog!  And there’s nothing new there – yet!

Another very positive thing coming out of this move is that my step count has practically doubled as there are so many great walks around this lovely little town, and we’re always out and about – yay!  The town itself is very old and has some lovely quirky aspects including the ‘twittens’, which are narrow little lanes behind the main High Street. Here are a couple of pix to show you what I mean.

Fashionwise, March and the first weeks of April have been a crazy couple of months. I packed in early March on a cold day and then not one week later, when all my clothes were in storage, I had no summer clothes to wear when it became very warm. That was when I bought 3 charity shop summer dresses, which are now hanging up in the wardrobe and not one bit suitable for this changeable, mixed and mostly cold weather we’re getting. We are having some warm moments along with blue skies and if you can manage to sit or walk in the sun – fab.  But as soon as the sun goes in or you’re in the shadows – brrr! So it’s near enough back to winter clothing.

Of course, I’ve been hunting through the Lewes charity shops and was so pleased to have found a waterproof mac with a lining, which I pounced on as these are not cheap when bought new. The charity shop price was £15.50 and the coat is hardly worn at all.

This will be worn now during the many short showers that are forecast this week.

In contrast I do have a long elegant mac bought new from Thought in a sale recently, but it is unlined so won’t be wearing it until it gets that little bit warmer.

The gel nail varnish has managed to protect my nails through all the unwrapping of pots and pans and ornaments.  I see I managed to get a shade which matches this gifted woolly originally from Toast. The jeans are a favourite charity shop buy from two years ago.

That’s all for now, but thank you for staying with me through that long gap with no posts, and apologies if I’m boring you with move news, but gosh you do become a bit obsessed. We’re nearly back to normal though!

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper




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37 thoughts on “Two new raincoats and more news of the move!

  • 12th April 2022 at 8:54 am

    Lovely to see the photos – especially the view from your new bedroom window: now just to change that one little detail in your bio, and you’re (really) there! 🙂 x

    • 13th April 2022 at 8:05 am

      Oops yes, I have to say I live in Lewes. So happy to be here Lorna! 😄 x

  • 12th April 2022 at 9:41 am

    Morning Penny

    Great to see you settling in to your new home, and great view from your bedroom. I seem to remember you had sleep problems a few years ago – perhaps related to your location? Much as I love city life, I certainly sleep better without bright lights all night.

    I hope you get the ruddy washing machine sorted soon – so annoying. Which brings me to hanging out washing: will you be able to? Great that the flat is warm. Good for the environment, your comfort and your bank account.) We had to wait for four months for a new gas boiler. Finally arrived in time for the recent cold spell and we really noticed the difference.

    Of course, I’ve not been there, so this sounds silly – but, I like the feel of your new place. Perhaps I should say I like the sound of it. Anyway, I’m delighted you are both so happy.

    Your nails look great – can’t beat red – says the woman wearing ‘amulet’ at the moment. I like your rain coats and look forward to seeing the dresses in due course.

    All the very best to you both, Mary

    • 12th April 2022 at 11:02 am

      Helloooo, Penny! Thank you for keeping us in the loop while still settling in your new location. I am so happy for you! We both have a lovely view from our master bedroom! I have an orange tree which yielded yummy sweet fruit this year! And, I did the same “wrong turn”in my new larger kitchen for about the first six months! Overall, we downsized two and a half years ago and moved to a new-to-us home, forty years newer than our previous one where we spent thirty-four years. We love this new sunlit home!
      Lewes looks absolutely charming! I love the brick and stone work that adds such character…such a no-no in our earthquake-prone area. I look forward to reading more about your explorations! And the raincoats!!! That green is lovely on you!
      I’m thrilled for you, Penny. So thankful for the both of us, moving closer to our children, having a new town to explore, and a lovely new-to-us home to live in. Cheers!!! Saying a prayer for your back…Charlene

      • 13th April 2022 at 9:52 am

        I think I’ll be doing that ‘wrong turn’ for some time! It’s quite disorienting! But so nice to have he extra space, which I have everywhere including the main bedroom where I did my daily exercises this morning – that was instead of doing it in the main sitting room in the last place. It’s lovely to have the space.

        Lewes is charming, with a lot of history, and there is so much to do here. It feels as though there is more to do than in Brighton which was always very much about a young student type social life. Here there are lots of cultural events which we will participate in – so good to know it’s all there.

        The raincoats are so essential where we live! Thanks Charlene for the prayer and yes, it is lovely to be so near my daughter 😊

    • 13th April 2022 at 8:17 am

      hi Mary, I have had insomnia for many years but recently it was quite bad and I was sleeping every other night for weeks on end. But now? I have had one bad night in 7 nights which I consider a miracle! Probably due to the lessening of tension around the move but also greatly helped by the dark and the quiet of the night where we live.

      Bill took a phone call from the washing machine engineer while I was at Pilates and seems to think it’ll be OK. And we can hang out our washing, While everyone seems to have washing machines of their own perhaps a few don’t and there is a one small communal laundry with a great industrial sized dryer which is used a lot, and out the back is a rotary washing line in the sun. A few people do have their own rotary lines but always at the back and my back bit is north facing so wouldn’t get the sun so instead I could put my washing on the communal laundry one and have done so once.

      The nails were done because they were getting in such a state before the move and one nail has a tear a bit too far down, so the gel is to stick that tear down and protect them through the unpacking and I’m delighted to say that after 9 days there isn’t a single chip and the tear is still safely stuck down – phew!

      It does have a lovely feel this place – so happy to be here! Thanks Mary and all the very best to you too 😊

  • 12th April 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for spending the time to keep us up to date on your life. Moving can be such an exhausting ordeal and seems to take a bigger toll as we get older. I hope your back gets better soon. I love the view from your bedroom window as well as all the shots of your town, and look forward to more of those. The idea of getting out for more walking sounds wonderful, and as much as I enjoyed the gorgeous sea views previously, this is a whole new experience. Thanks for taking us along with you. I am pleased that you got those great raincoats. It seems like when you go searching for them, there is nothing just right, and when you happen on them at a charity shop, ta da, perfect and you must get them. Take your time getting the final touches arranged in your new home and thoroughly enjoy the results. Our weather is up and down now as well, so one never knows what to wear for a whole day out, but the snowdrops are up and the hellebores are sending up new flowers so there is hope for actual spring here.

    • 14th April 2022 at 7:47 am

      Yes, moving is exhausting and we really should not be doing this at our age! But this is the very last time! Lewes is lovely and small enough to navigate so that one can join in the many cultural activities and it is large enough to have its very own independent cinema – just wow!

      There are many more places to go to and I shall take lots of pix.

      Thanks Diane and hope the weather improves – actually it’s a little warmer here now 😄

  • 12th April 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Penny, Lovely to read your blog again and many congratulations on your move to lovely Lewes,I know it well! I,m sure you both will be very happy there.The raincoats look very nice on you, I think they are the most useful garments in our wardrobes .I have about five , lined and warm for wintry days ,lighter colours for spring days and light foldable to fit into pockets for our changeable British summers. Re your new washing machine, could you tell me the make please? We are just about to buy anew one and I don’t want all the faff with apps etc. Really want one with on/off knobs and hot/cold knobs but that’s probably too simple for these complicated digital days ! Best Wishes Judy Sparks.

    • 13th April 2022 at 8:27 am

      I think the green raincoat will be in use a lot over the next few days! And aren’t they essential in this country!!!

      The washing machine make is a Blomberg – it’s very trustworthy and solid and I really liked my last one. But I’m sure the cottons programme has increased in length – the amount of time these programmes are meant to run is ridiculous. My other half took a phone call from the engineer while I was doing Pilates and seem to think he’s got it sussed – fingers crossed. But I agree – machines should have decent on/off buttons and programmes that are all present and correct!

      Very best to you too Judy

  • 12th April 2022 at 2:21 pm

    Lovely to read of your new abode, it looks lovely. The view from the bedroom window is delightful.
    Hope you find yourself settled very soon and everything is unpacked and units new place.
    I still have one unopened box from 2004 in the loft!
    Lewes looks like a very interesting place to live, happy days ahead.
    Look after your poor back and good luck with the washing machine app!

    • 13th April 2022 at 10:00 am

      The view is so very different to our last place and so much quieter, I know I shall sleep better.

      We downsized so much that we don’t have much to store, but two large (cruise) suitcases have gone into our daughter’s loft. Not sure when I will need them again as I have other mid-size suitcases for our 1-week holidays we take in the UK. And daughter storing stuff makes up for the many things we stored for our children over the years!

      Back is better – thanks

  • 12th April 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Glad to hear you are getting settled in the new flat, and good to hear about the heating – that increase will sting a lot of people. Nice to see your new coats too – I hope you get plenty of wear from them. Jacqui x

    • 14th April 2022 at 7:49 am

      We are getting settled although there are still some issues to resolve! The flat is delightfully warm which is such contrast to the other place. Thanks Jacqui x

  • 12th April 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Glad to see you are settling in. Did you have time to read the article in the Guardian about Coastal Grandmothers? I thought about you. I’m sure you keep a bowl of lemons on hand.

    • 14th April 2022 at 8:05 am

      Oh I did read it! Ha ha! But I’m a country bumpkin now! Lewes is quite a contrast to Brighton and I’m loving it.

  • 12th April 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Penny,
    Congrats to you on finding your new home. And, what a calming and serene view from the bedroom, which is how it should be. Great find. The town looks lovely as well. Happy landing!

    So sorry the new washing machine is causing you woe. There are always glitches when moving, but it will be resolved with 2 great technology wizards at hand!

    You have such luck with charity shop shopping. Love both raincoats.

    From across the pond, Take care,

  • 12th April 2022 at 6:42 pm

    What a joy to be living in Lewes! We were in the UK 2 weeks ago but didn’t visit Lewes. Next time I will, and we can go charity shopping then!

    • 13th April 2022 at 9:55 am

      I was so busy 2 weeks ago though without all my clothes too! Yes, do let’s meet up next time. And there are a lots of charity shops to visit.

  • 12th April 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Lewes looks like a charming and beautiful place, love the view out your bedroom window. May you have much happiness here. I know what you mean about how things are so overly complicated. I still have not figured things out on my car and I have had it five years. I own three vacuum cleaners, you call them Hoovers. and which one do I use, the one that is 30 years old. It still works, thank you very much. one was a quite expensive one given as a gift, the other I purchased two years ago and of course cannot figure out how to use it. periodically I make an attempt then place it back in the closet and and take out old reliable. I do like your raincoats. I was actually in a department store today thinking I might like to upgrade my rain gear. What they had looked a lot like what I already owned. There was one rather expensive coat , by the designer whos initials are RL which I liked. the style was classic and it was a lovely shade of blue, dark but not navy. the fabric was very light, it did not seem all that practical and it would undoubtedly overwhelm my petite frame. perhaps if had had been offered in a petite size I might have considered. sometimes I just check out the stores to see that there is nothing I really want. There also seemed to be a lot of frilly, flowery dresses, pretty but better suited to much younger women.
    I look forward to more updates on the new home and what you will be wearing this Spring
    Love, Darby

    • 14th April 2022 at 8:13 am

      Yes, I remember it was always Hoover but increasingly as I reach for my vacuum cleaner I’ll say I’ll just get the Dyson out, as I have a lightweight cordless Dyson. It should just about do in this flat as it doesn’t have a long battery charge time, but I do love the lightweight feel. Dyson as a person is not much admired here as he hightailed out of the UK soon after Brexit and manufactures elsewhere.

      Yes, lots of frilly dresses are around which I don’t like either, although you’ll have to judge whether I suit one of those 3 summer dresses I bought in March as one was rather ‘milkmaidy’. That’ll the basis of a post I think.

      And like you I like checking the stores and the latest fashions – useful to then see whether you can adapt and find cheaper versions. Hmm, that RL coat sounds lovely, but you’ve got to get the right size and look, so you did well to avoid. But RL…. wow!

      You take care Darby 😊

  • 13th April 2022 at 3:45 am

    What a fabulous place to live, Penny! I always love those little streets that twist and wind here and there. They are such a joy to tramp along…not that we’ve done much of that for many years. I am really hoping your back recovers soon and you can get to making your new home truly your home! I remember, during our last move, I’d packed away the clothes I soon needed. Oops! The raincoats look swell, too! Love the look out your window at all of the greenery…makes my heart happy.


    • 14th April 2022 at 8:03 am

      The flat already feels homely and we are so pleased to be here in Lewes which has so much history and looks amazingly historically quaint in parts of the town that are very old.

      That raincoat was a lucky find as it’s hardly been worn.

      And the greenery is lovely to look at 😊

  • 13th April 2022 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for this post Penny, good to see that you are settling in. The green raincoat looks like one my sister has for dog walking in all weathers. She got it in a sale but even then it was expensive so your seems a bargain. Ensuring raincoats are waterproof , rather than showerproof which means useles,s is so important. I have a heavier weight Regatta jacket that I bought ‘pre-loved’ years ago and a lightweight one from Joules that I bought in a sale which has proved it’s worth. Lewes does look like a lovely place which I’d like to visit when I can. there’s still a huge amount of the UK I haven’t been to yet. Having my CT scan on Sunday ( yes, Easter Sunday!) so once HI is back from sailing trip on 25th I shall be able to start getting out again!

    • 14th April 2022 at 8:01 am

      I was amazed to see that raincoat and it’s hardly been worn – a lucky find! Lewes is a lovely place to visit with a lot of history. If you ever do come, I think have a guided tour if possible as there’s history everywhere you look. A lot of it is to do with the burning of Protestant martyrs by ‘Bloody Mary’ and that culminates in the famous November 5th fireworks and parade through the town.

      I see you’re still having tests? Do keep us in touch with everything – I have just booked my annual (not lately) mole body scan at the Mole Clinic in London. About time too!

    • 14th April 2022 at 7:51 am

      It is lovely here, Mireille, but a lot of work. Nevertheless I’m really glad to have moved 😊

  • 14th April 2022 at 11:54 am

    The view from your bedroom window looks delightful and the Lewes Twittens are charming but what really caught my eye was the first raincoat. I have serious raincoat envy, Penny! I have been wanting to buy a similar one for dog walking but they cost a small fortune, usually. I can’t believe the price you paid for your purchase and you look great in it, too.
    Hope the unpacking and selling in continue to go well.

    • 15th April 2022 at 8:03 am

      Yes, what a bargain and also it’s hardly been worn and feels like a new garment. I know, they’re really expensive bought new – a lucky find. We feel very at home and the unpacking is nearly finished. One or two issues still to be sorted but it is such a great place to live – thanks 😊

  • 14th April 2022 at 12:33 pm

    I was interested to read about the twittens. In our town and indeed throughout the northern part of Germany these little alleyways are called tweten or twieten. Surely the same word origin? Anyway congratulations from a so far silent reader on your successful move to this lovely place. I do admire your energy!

    • 1st May 2022 at 9:42 am

      Hello Ruth, I’ve just discovered your comment which like some others lately went astray and landed in pending so sorry as it’s such an interesting comment. Yes, tweten or twieten has to be the same origin as twitten – that’s absolutely fascinating.

      Thank you for those kind words and thank you for reading the blog – I do appreciate the silent readers so much and thank you for such an interesting comment.

  • 14th April 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Love both coats Penny. Just the job, I would choose the same!
    I wrote a comment last time but it disappeared! Anyway it said I wished you health and happiness in your new home.
    All the very best to you both
    Viv xx

    • 15th April 2022 at 8:05 am

      I’ve just found it – many apologies, for my late reply but I guess you know it’s been chaos! Thanks so much for the good wishes which I really appreciate so much.

      All the best to you too xx

  • 18th April 2022 at 7:39 am

    Your new home looks wonderful, particularly with that view, and I love what I see of Lewes (never been there). Glad to see you’re already finding treasure in the charity shops – I like the green hooded raincoat! I didn’t know washing machine apps were a thing, and I do wonder why we need to fire them up remotely. I can’t imagine setting off on a walk and thinking “I’ll just program the washing machine first” because I would have had to put washing in it, and detergent, so why not start it there and then?! Although I work in the tech industry I do think we try to invent new tech just for the sake of it…..
    Not happy about the nuclear power stations, where does all that waste go? And over how many centuries? You’re right about insulation – I read about a new build where they focused on energy efficiency, and it’s so well insulated they hardly to put the heating on at all, even in winter!

  • 18th April 2022 at 7:39 am

    Your new home looks wonderful, particularly with that view, and I love what I see of Lewes (never been there). Glad to see you’re already finding treasure in the charity shops – I like the green hooded raincoat! I didn’t know washing machine apps were a thing, and I do wonder why we need to fire them up remotely. I can’t imagine setting off on a walk and thinking “I’ll just program the washing machine first” because I would have had to put washing in it, and detergent, so why not start it there and then?! Although I work in the tech industry I do think we try to invent new tech just for the sake of it…..
    Not happy about the nuclear power stations, where does all that waste go? And over how many centuries? You’re right about insulation – I read about a new build where they focused on energy efficiency, and it’s so well insulated they hardly to put the heating on at all, even in winter!

  • 18th April 2022 at 7:46 am

    Hello Penny, glad to hear your move went well and you are nearly done with the unpacking . Hope your back will settle down soon. Sounds like you are very happy with both the new place and the town , it looks very quaint. All the best, Jill.

    • 1st May 2022 at 9:44 am

      Thank you Jill – the back has mostly improved and gone back to normal but if I do anything out of the ordinary I do go ouch!

      Lewes is full of history, for example in a couple of weeks there will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Lewes – I shall take lots of pix!

      Thanks x

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