Hello everyone

I haven’t bought any clothes these last couple of weeks and, what with the drop in temperatures here in the UK, haven’t worn much other than my two new pairs of jeans with a variety of tops, so I thought that this post might look at what this blog stands for and what I aim to write about in the future.

But first here’s some nice pix of my little balcony.

The French Beans, which you can just see on the right, and the nasturtiums on the left of the table were grown from seed.

The balcony is west facing so gets the sun from midday onwards, but it can get very hot (for the UK!) so I choose not to sit on it but use it as a space to grow plants. Actually I have a vision of more permanent planting with larger/longer permanent tubs and pots with just the occasional annual to add as and when. I’d also like to use colours more subtly (there’ll be a lot of colour soon) and have plants mainly in the white and green range.

Back to the blog. It was so interesting to see your comments after my last but one post, where I castigated the UK government for its incompetence. Most of you agreed with my views but not all, and note I allowed every comment be published. However, one commenter said I should keep my opinions to myself. Well, no, this is a blog and blogs are all about the personal opinions of the blogger. But most of the people who disagreed with the post felt that my political views were not what they signed up for. So let me be absolutely clear what this blog is about.

As you must have noticed I am 74 years old now and retired, so the blog is not about getting you to buy clothes direct from the blog and/or creating a new career, it is about writing. But about what?  First of all, I truly am passionate about older women wearing what they damn well please, albeit, I admit, with boundaries. And what do I mean by that?  Actually I think that there is a certain snobbery around the notion of style. We’re meant to revere ‘style and ‘find our style’ and ‘wear our style’, meanwhile we are meant to abhor fashion for being fast and frivolous and for the young. Well, I don’t believe that. What I believe is that we should be aware of fashion and then adapt it to our purse, our shape and our needs. I really like to know what the fashion of the day is so I can search out similar items in charity shops. I admit, I know the style I aim for – it’s quirky and, when I get it right, a bit biker chic, so I also search for those items as well. Here’s an aside. What am I searching online for now? Items with elasticated waists. Oh my word, what have I come to!!!

So yes, the blog is about clothes and fashion, but it is also definitely a bit political. Yes, political, in that I believe that everything is political from the air we breathe (we have EU regulations for that, oh…), the water we drink (see anything about Flint, Michigan) and the food we eat (look at what the UK government is doing now, chlorinated chicken here we come). Every. Single. Thing. Is. Political.

Consequently this blog has tackled issues such as fashion and ethics. One reason to buy from Marks & Spencers is that it is trying to reduce the environmental impact of cotton production and states it uses less water to produce its cotton and denim. Good, as shed loads of water is needed just for one pair of jeans. I shall tackle this subject again, I’m sure.

And ageism, I am also a passionate anti-ageist, and if ever there was a virus that is ageist it is Covid-19 in that the highest number deaths occur in the over-70s. But there is also a sense that policies to combat Covid have been ageist, so one day I will definitely tackle the scandal of how it was policy to discharge older patients from hospital back to nursing homes without a clear indication that they were Covid free. And maybe that post will be on My Other Blog but maybe it won’t. Because do fashionistas have views above and beyond fashion?  Yes they do!

They also read books, eat food, watch films, take note of the news and current affairs here and around the world, and generally feel some angst that life is not normal at all. I am working on my mental health, but I think it is entirely rational to feel a little anxious one day and a bit low another. The world is in the grip of a very serious situation. It is therefore OK to admit that this pandemic is a life-changing and frightening event. Do, if you feel like this, give yourself a hug and take time out to treat yourself with whatever. Personally, I find that taking a walk, Zoom Pilates classes, reading and watching television (2 hours only in the evening) are good distractions.

I also look outside from my window a lot.  Here’s a pic of the sky.

You may think, oh, no, she hasn’t got a garden and/or isn’t that rather too urban to be ‘nice’?  People, I don’t want a garden and I simply love that view from our balcony. Our dining table is positioned right by the balcony doors and it is where I write my blogs, emails, texts, and so I turn my head and what do I see?

A view that is full of life and buses, and people and incidents, it’s a never ending saga of distraction and interest. A rural view is lovely once in a while. ‘That’s nice’ I say, but my view of the road, the bingo sign and a bus is the one for me!

And finally, if you’ve read down to this point, I’d like to emphasise that the whole point of this blog is to communicate with you.  I write not in a vacuum as this blog feels to me like a chat with you all, which is why I respond to nearly every comment.  So thank you so much for reading the blog, you are all very much appreciated.

That’s all for now, but do tell me how you’re getting on, it’s interesting to hear how people are coping with the ‘situation’.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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69 thoughts on “What is this blog for?

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 8:16 am
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    Hello Penny, I don’t usually comment to blogs, but felt you needed the feedback this time.

    I always used to look forward to your “other blog” (yes, quite contraversial but thought provoking nonetheless, nothing wrong with that) – so I can see where some other people are coming from !

    As an aside – I hope you have taken advice on the strength of your balcony for all your lovely heavy pots. I am sure you wouldn’t like it crashing down !!!

    I am like yourself – “isolating” but in a village with a garden and trees – that’s our decision. If we were all the same (!) the world would be very dull. I really love hearing about your world and Brighton. I personally thought you were very brave making the move – but it suits you and that IS what matters.

    I look forward to your musings greatly – though I don’t seem to be able to put my thoughts down on paper at all, I am sure you must have thought about writing a book – but don’t leave it to long though!!!

    Take care of yourself and Mr. F – Regards Angela, from Kent.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      11th June 2020 at 8:48 am
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      Hi Angela and thank you so much for commenting – really appreciate it. Am replying quickly to reassure you that my balcony rests on top of another flat so all is quite safe! On the west and north side of the block the top floor only has balconies and these are not the suspended type but are part of the structure of the block. The south side at the back of the building has suspended balconies and if I had one of those all my pots would be plastic.

      Yes, the thing is I will one day return to writing on My Other Blog, but the energy is still a bit low. It’s probably the beta blockers as low energy is a known side-effect.

      Good to hear that you are isolating too with a garden – I bet it’s lovely 🙂 I was such an avid gardener, but am fine not gardening now, although I will improve on the balcony next year. Btw, re: writing a book. Before my January illness I had put together the structure of a memoir – not touched it since. That’s definitely a project-in-waiting. I think if you wanted to write something one way to do this is to write a timeline of your life. And then very very slowly tell a story of what happened around those dates. Not in any order, but whatever takes you fancy. My structure was a lot of funny stories about my nursing days. I will return to this, I promise.

      You take care too 🙂

      • Avatar
        14th June 2020 at 6:02 am
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        I think its very interesting to hear your views on the politics in the UK and Covid19. I suffer from Primw Minister envy when I compare our current incumbent in Australia with our near neighbor New Zealand. I so think that more women expressing their views on the way government operates is definitely better for our society. Love your blog, keep it up. Marie-claire

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:00 am
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    Well said, Penny! It’s your blog and you should write about whatever you want, that said, I’m sure the vast majority of your readers are completely in tune with your thoughts, and if they aren’t why are they following you anyway! We too, live in a first floor flat, and are more than happy not to have a garden to worry about any more, we only have a Juliet balcony, a real one for pots would be lovely, however, as we moved to be closer to our sons and their grandchildren, it’s not something I miss greatly. Keep up the great blogs, I love reading everything you post. Take care, keep safe and healthy.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:18 am
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      Thank you so much Lin, and good to hear how similar your experience is with gardening. I used to love gardening but certainly at this moment don’t have the energy. The little balcony is sufficient. How nice it must be to be near your sons and grandchildren. You take care too 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 9:02 am
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    Hi Penny. I love your blogs. I don’t necessarily agree with all you say, but it’s interesting to hear other people’s opinions. At the moment we are having big discussions in our family regarding the dismantling of statues that offend. (I bet you could write pages on that subject!)
    I enjoy seeing what you have bought and how you put outfits together, but just now its a strange and scary time, and most people have other things on their mind. I’m sure your skyline gives you much pleasure – the world goes on around us. We have a garden and for me it is salvation. I lose myself and spend many hours tending plants (and weeds) and forget that we are all in danger. Keep writing Penny, one day those charity shops will be open and we can enjoy the photos of your finds!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:27 am
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      Hello Julie and thank you so much for continuing to read the blog even when you disagree! Like me you find it interesting to see different opinions – how I wish it was so for everyone.

      Re: the statues – well the focus on statutes is now in danger of taking precedence over real change. Some should never be there and should have been removed far earlier, but what is really needed is structural change plus, of course, an emphasis on educating our take on Empire and the slave trade. I guess the argument there is ‘it was of the time’, which I do and then again definitely don’t accept, but to begin with people just need to know and then know the consequences of both. Yes, you’re so right, I could go on!!!!

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:18 am
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    Dear Penny, I hope you will not give up on your blogs, because I love reading every word you write, and we all need and deserve to be listened to. Those of us who can express ourselves in writing are lucky people because without communication with others we just fade away and, once past seventy, we are more vulnerable than ever. I tend to be a lurker on this site – and my other favourite – Gransnet – because I come across as such a prig – I really do the things that other people say that they are going to do. This has meant that I am often dropped by old friends, but there are always interesting new ones coming along, who seem to like me. I care very much about other people. For myself, I like solitude and think it would be best if I were to die unnoticed under a bush, but I do know that there are a lot of people who would weep for me if I were gone. How can this be when I know how many times I have failed! But the bottom line is that I just need to be myself, however flawed I may think I am, and that is what I am loved for.

    And in this spirit, I hope you will persevere, Penny. I think that many of us have become more thoughtful since lockdown, and of course this site is not just about charity shops or biker chic or even ethics, but about the vulnerabilities of us all as we age. With your ability to write well, you speak for so many of us, some less articulate perhaps, and in doing so, help to maintain the mental health and well-being of so many women you can never expect to meet.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:45 am
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      Thank you so much Christine for your thoughts about me and the blog, and yourself. So interesting. We are all flawed and human, and hope you don’t mind me saying, but actually give yourself a hug, because you’re being quite hard on yourself, and I bet you’re far less flawed than you think you are 🙂

      Never tried Gransnet – might have a peep! And thank you again I will persevere with the blog communicating with you and others how things are as we age in this very challenging world. You take care 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:26 am
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    Morning Penny.

    ‘What is this blog for?’ Easy! This is your blog so it is whatever you want it to be, surely.

    Yes, you write about the clothes your wear and your style (edgy, biker – got it!) and the bargains you find in charity shops/elsewhere. To my mind the very fact that you shop in charity shops could be construed as ‘political’ – recycling, contributing much-needed cash to hard-pressed charities, accessing unusual/good quality items, affordable prices. And, oh, the thrill of a bargain!

    To my mind choosing to wear whatever you like is very political. And if we (I’m also 74) can’t wear what we want now – when? And who decides whether something is appropriate? or in/out of fashion? Or if it’s ‘stylish’… What is style? BTW -elasticated waists: seem a good idea to me = comfortable.

    I am also political. We’re on the same political page, but I don’t agree with everything you write – so what? There’s plenty here to enjoy including today’s pics of the day/evening view from your window and the plants on your balcony. Thank you.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:51 am
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      Thank you so much Mary, we are practically on the same page re: politics big and small, but not quite and that is just fine, how dull life would be if we all agreed.

      How I long to shop in charity shop again, the one nearby opens on Monday but I won’t go in, can’t risk it yet. We’ll see how things pan out over the next few weeks and months, both with my health and the virus R-factor. Funnily enough I am quite reconciled to not shopping and think that instead I will look into a regular donation to Oxfam. Will write about this shortly in a post.

      All very best Mary, take care 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:32 am
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    Dear Penny, Every time I see “Frugal Fashion Shopper” in my e mail inbox I have a moment of joy! I put off reading it until I have a half hour of peace and a cup of coffee. I am never disappointed, and your thoughts and pics are especially welcome in this difficult time.
    I do so agree that every aspect of life is political and I enjoy your political views as much as your views on fashion, art, ageing etc.

    Thanks for letting us share a corner of your life.

    • Avatar
      11th June 2020 at 10:39 am
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      Couldn’t agree with you more Maureen, that’s exactly what I do and please keep up the political views Penny, so important at the moment I think
      All the best from another Penny!

      • the frugal fashion shopper
        12th June 2020 at 7:54 am
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        Hi Penny! Thank you so much. I will keep writing and one day (maybe soon) I’ll write a piece in My Other Blog. All the best to you too 🙂

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:53 am
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      Oh wow, Val, thank you so much. I shall carry on as before. Take care 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:33 am
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    Penny I just don’t get it. If people don’t like what you’re writing then they should get lost and stop reading. It’s not as if you aren’t open about your political views. Keep doing what you’re doing. Your political views are what I read your blogs for as I wish I could’ve written them myself.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 7:57 am
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      Thank you so much Maureen, I will keep on doing what I do, especially after all this encouragement.

      Take care, Maureen, thanks again, and stay safe 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 9:56 am
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    Hi! Penny. Love your Blog and please keep expressing your opinions. If other people dont like it they can go elsewhere. It is so good to hear someone being so honest about the UK government. As a Scot it is our devolved government that is controlling our virus lockdown and our FM has been on everyweek day and been clear and precise in telling us how to keep safe. Keep safe and healthy and keep writing.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 8:01 am
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      Oh, how lucky you are to have a sensible woman in charge. One of the criticisms I have is that the Cabinet seems to very lacking in good people, but overall the absence of women is quite disturbing. I can’t help seeing the ones surrounding Johnson as a really bad boy-band all singing from the same song-sheet, saluting and shouting ‘yes sir’ in a Benny Hill kind of way. Gosh that was good to get off my chest!

      You take care too 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 10:16 am
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    The fact that you live in Brighton is enough for me, garden or no garden, you have the most fantastic promenade( yeah yeah, I never say boulevard again) at your doorstep. I agree on writing what you want to write, it’s your blog! And you are a fabulous woman!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 8:03 am
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      Ah Nancy, thank you and we will meet again one day for an ice-cream on that very promenade. Until then, you take care xxxx

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 10:42 am
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    Dear Penny…how I appreciate your writing for you cause/allow me to think, agree, disagree, broaden my view, etc.. You bring together such a wonderful community of thoughtful and still-curious women and, thus, the comment section is also interesting. (Thank you, Christine McDonald, for your words that could be mine) For a moment, my heart dropped thinking you were saying goodbye but I am thankful that I will continue to see life from your balcony, your window, your mirror, your flat, your town, and, most importantly, from your lively mind. We couldn’t be more different…on different continents, have different ethnic backgrounds, different beliefs, and retired from different professions. Yet, I find a feeling of kindred spirits here as we navigate this aging process and witness these turbulent days. Thank you for writing and for sharing yourself with us.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 8:10 am
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      Thank you so much Charlene for your kind words. Actually how wonderful is this group of women who write here under this post. I love you all, and the differences are so good and to be expected because we are such a diverse world. We should challenge views sometimes and listen other times, and, above all, learn from each other. I know I have and I know that this blog develops alongside you and others who comment. I appreciate you all and will continue to write about how we can live and age well through these turbulent and challenging times.

      Thank you again Charlene, take care and stay safe 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 10:47 am
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    It’s your blog Penny, you can write what you want and if someone doesn’t like it, then they don’t have to continue reading do they? I find that the blogs I follow most are the ones which cover a variety of issues so I personally enjoy seeing a mix of subjects in your posts! (And also nodding along with your political opinions …)
    I can understand the enjoyment of watching the world go by rather than just seeing rolling countryside, each has their own merits but when you are inside and unable to get out, it’s always interesting to do some people watching.
    I think lockdown has affected us all in the way we dress, and I am looking forward to more opportunities to dress up as things relax a little more. I also need to stop wearing such comfy clothes, their kindness around the waistband has led me to believe that all this cooking and eating is having no effect whereas the scales tell me something quite different!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 8:14 am
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      Oh gosh yes, my waist has expanded as I’ve put on 4lbs all around my middle! But like you I long to wear my dressy items including my party skirts – one day I will for sure.

      And thank you for your kind words about my blog. I shall continue to mix it up! You take care 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 11:21 am
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    Thank you for continuing with your blog Penny which I very much enjoy although – or perhaps because?-we don’t have the same views on everything. I’m with you on this egregiously incompetent government however. I heard a description of Matt Hancock as someone you would not trust with a stepladder! As you say, everything is political at least with a small ‘p’. My daughter, an academic, told me some time ago that ‘the personal is the political’. In response to some of the criticism I replied that charity/2nd hand shopping is in itself a political act when you could choose not to.
    I’m not so interested in fashion as such because I find it largely irrelevant to me. Every style/shape gets repeated eventually & currently I recognise a 70’s/80’s look which I wore when I was young in those decades. Now I think I have my own style which involves colourful printed dresses with cardigans and quite a lot of jewellery, much of which is vintage. I had a complement on a train once saying I looked beautiful in the (purple) colours I was wearing. She did not appear to have a white stick with her! I don’t wear trousers much because they don’t suit my short legs and jeans are just boring to me. I don’t want to be told that if I wear certain things I will look older/younger which I know you agree with wholeheartedly. How patronising some of these ‘experts’ are to older women; we are treated as if we know nothing.
    On a different topic, I watch ‘Location. Location’ mostly because I enjoy the presenters’ interaction but I’ve noticed how often the word ‘dated’ is used to described what is actually a different style of decor/furnishings. We don’t call homes full of antiques ‘dated’ do we? Just another example of the way in which contemporary or retro design is elevated because it is ‘fashionable’ which often means just a way of undermining individuals confidence and getting them to spend spend spend! I’m hoping we’re moving on from that;in fact I know we are.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 10:27 am
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      Thank you Lynda I really appreciate the fact that you don’t always agree with me, yet we continue to talk. How I wish that was so for everyone, through listening we learn all the time and it is so important to think of other perspectives. Take Brexit, you know I was profoundly shocked at the result of the vote, but gosh, I knew nothing, apart from it felt right that we should be in the EU. Well that’s no way to go, bumbling along, feeling that things are right!!! Or so I told myself. Hence loads of reading around the subject and consequent writing in My Other Blog. Thanks so much for staying with the blog 🙂

      I bet you look good and the style you describe sounds so right. I have so few dresses – have decided to look on eBay – that would be a first! And, yes, I know what you mean about the word ‘dated’ as it’s used a lot on Homes Under the Hammer for similar reasons. That’s my secret indulgence as I often watch that programme – I find it kind of relaxing and like you, it’s the interaction of the presenters which is nice as well. You take care and thank you again for your kind words 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 12:03 pm
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    It’s your blog Penny, so write what you want.
    If folk don’t like it they can leave. There is a difference between politics with a ‘p’ and with the ‘P’, but I don’t mind either. I agree that politics with a ‘p’ is all around us. And the govt’s response in this country has been appalling and it looks like the real death rate is well above the official one.

    Good to see your plants and live where you want to be and have the view you want to have. It would not be my preference but that is irrelevant. We all have different preferences for what works for us.

    I have found my own garden a great source of solace and pleasure as the lockdown coincided with all the flowers coming out. I think I have probably noticed and enjoyed my garden much more this year as a result and the good weather has meant I could sit out and read a book.

    I have coped with the lockdown with a lot of walking, especially in local woods and discovered some lovely new walks. As I spend my day doing online meetings, doing more in the evening has no attraction.
    Probably eaten too much and acquired an additional spare tyre to keep the existing spare tyre company. 🙂

    Keep on trucking Penny, xxx

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 10:36 am
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      Yup that view from the balcony isn’t to everyone’s taste and my writing obviously isn’t either, but really amazed at the support, thank you for yours, much appreciated 🙂

      One day we’ll see your garden again, as wow it really has changed so much since you first lived there. Maybe this Autumn but let’s watch that R-factor over the next few weeks. You take care and enjoy your walks this weekend 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 12:38 pm
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    It is your blog Penny, your opinions ,your experiences, your advice ,your world.
    I love reading your blog and have been writing one for a local art gallery, which I so love doing.
    You carry on.You clearly have quite a following .
    Best wishes to all.
    Ro

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      12th June 2020 at 10:37 am
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      Thank you so much Ro, I really appreciate your kind words 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 1:08 pm
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    Hello Penny
    always happy to see a new post. I somehow stumbled on your blog several months ago and was so pleasantly surprised. as a woman in my now late 70’s I found almost no representation of my age group online. there are many who claim to be about fashion and lifestyle for the older woman but they are 40’s, 50’s and perhaps 60’s . Most seem to have have money to spend and want to encourage you to do the same. I used to do most of my shopping a resale stores, or as you call them charity shops but they have mostly closed now.
    I do agree that everything ultimately is political. I live in the US and am daily outraged by what is happening in the country under this administration. I am so frightened that now the upcoming elections will be hijacked and we will continue to descend into autocracy or worse. thinking about sometimes makes everything else seem unimportant but you have to go on and make the best of it, have your moments of joy and pleasure.
    and I too have a small garden, my patio where I grow a variety of herbs in pots and odd containers, and a variety of flowers for color. I like to sit out there in the early mornings or evenings and listen to the birds and whatever nature presents itself. It is fairly private, even more so this year as the clubhouse for my small development is closed and the pool probably wont reopen. I don’t consider myself a writer though I do journal almost daily and occasionally write a poem. before the lockdown I even got brave enough to read a couple at the open mics sponsored by our library, now also closed. thank you for this opportunity to communicate with you and others who come here. stay well, Darby

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:27 am
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      Oh I think you are a writer. Embrace the word, it’s yours, especially if you’ve read your poems at an open mic.

      Your patio sounds great. While we do have a very large patio in our development with lots of pots the people don’t really self-distance so, as I’m being hyper-cautious, we don’t go there. Hence the balcony is a blessing.

      I’m so glad I’ve connected with the community of women who are the followers of this blog. When I started the blog (at the age of 67) I was so keen to reach out to the over 70s but don’t think I managed it, mainly because the age group I was aiming for were not into looking at blogs on the ‘net. However, as I’ve aged and moved into my 70s many blog followers who are also in their 70s, are now all reasonably tech savvy because at work many must have used IT and consequently have smart phones, laptops, PCs and/or Macs. So we’re all in this ageing lark together. I mean I hope I’m still attracting followers under 70! Because it’s so good to reach out to like minded women of every age.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Darby, and have a good weekend 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 1:31 pm
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    Keep blogging on Penny! I love your photos and your zest for fashion inspires me (once in a while!) to get out of the yoga pants and teeshirts I usually wear around the house. As to politics, I find it so interesting to hear what our friends across the pond are saying. It just brings home the notion that all of humanity has the same problems, no matter where you live, and the same basic hopes and desires for themselves and their families. Some may choose a disagreeable route to the solution, however! Then talking it out and listening is good. That’s what a blog enhances.
    As a flight attendant I used to have layovers in the 1980’s in Brighton after the Gatwick flight, in one of those grand hotels facing the ocean. I loved staying there, walking the beach, shopping the antiques-so I enjoy seeing your photos of today’s Brighton. It gives a lovely sense of nostalgia. I am wondering what you think of the 14 day quarantine for travelers to Britain? I live in a small town in New England that relies on tourism as well, and it’s rather a mixed blessing-to have a break from “outsiders” yet so much of our economy relies on them.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:43 am
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      Thank you so much Lorraine, and yes, I agree, it is so interesting to hear from people around the world and realise how much we all have in common. I’m so glad you have a picture of Brighton in your head. Speaking to a friend yesterday, who’d visited the centre of Brighton last week, I heard that like most of England’s shopping areas the ‘Laines’ are locked down, and deathly quiet with not a soul walking around them apart that is for my friend and her husband. She felt it was really spooky.

      However, all non-essential shops will be allowed to open soon. Note that in comparison to the rest of Europe, although the UK’s cases and deaths are falling we still have a large number of these, and the retail openings are for the economy and not in the interests of our health. Not happy therefore about this easing of lockdown. Also the quarantining at airports. Oh my word, do I have some views. Words come to mind, like – too little, too late, stable-door, shutting and bolted! It should have been done in early March, February even. Then it would have made a huge, huge difference. Now? What is it doing, I wonder, apart from annoying people, as the infection is here, and it is here that it needs to be sorted. Must stop spluttering!!!! You take care and a big thank you for your interest and support 🙂

  • Avatar
    11th June 2020 at 1:55 pm
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    Hi Penny. I have been reading your blog for a good while and love your views which I think are well thought out and honest. People who disagree are entitled, but not entitled to put your thoughts down. We don’t want to live in a secret society and the government have got so many things wrong that we all should tell them so – that is why we elected them – that are there to serve us NOT themselves. Rant over, just keep doing the same PLEASE!!!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:48 am
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      Thank you so much Barbara. Yes, definitely people are free to think whatever. However, it would be really good to have a discussion with someone who thinks the the government has done well. Would be so interesting to know how they reached that conclusion. Continue ranting Barbara, we need to remember what has been done and trust that there will be a reckoning.

      You take care and thanks again for your support 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 2:22 pm
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    Hi Penny,
    Always a great read. Thank you for your energy and clarity as a writer…Politics is fundamentally about how we live: as such, we all have a responsibility to keep informed, open minded and question what is being done in the name of “theBritish People.”

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:50 am
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      Thank you Jill, I shall continue to stay ‘alert’ but perhaps not in the way the government imagined! You take care 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 2:38 pm
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    Hello Penny
    I enjoy your blog. You give me such positive vibes about everything. Grateful for your book and film suggestions. Loved your well thought out comments about the government’s handling of the virus situation. Keep going you are appreciated an well loved.
    We are in Liverpool in a bit Victorian terraced house and private walked garden
    I am shielded and have stayed at home since before lockdown. I have painful arthritis in both knees and need steroid injections but Dr says too risky at the moment. Apparently an older person with steroids on board is less likely to survive the virus.
    Best wishes
    Lyndsay

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:54 am
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      Oh, your poor knees, my sympathies. Thanks for your support re: my comments. Take care and stay safe and well as you can 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 3:16 pm
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    My local charity shop will not be re-opening until September. I buy very few clothes but books by the ton. Stay alert 🙂

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 7:56 am
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      The charity shop nearby is opening next Tuesday – sorry to say I shall not be going in to it. There’s probably very little risk, but even so there has to be some risk so I won’t. Instead will look carefully at the R-factor over the next few weeks, and if cases continue to go down then maybe I’ll drop by in the Autumn.

      I shall stay alert, you take care too 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 3:39 pm
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    Dear Penny, Just keep your blog as it is. A lovely mixture of fun and clothes and an occasional serious political bit . I don’t always agree with you but surely that’s what friends are for, to sometimes have lively discussions with different points of view .How boring life would be if
    everyone had the same ideas about everything! Love your view from the balcony , buzzy and interesting. We can always go for a bus ride into the country if we want greenery but for day to day life give me the city-by-the-sea ! Best wishes Judy

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 9:44 am
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      Thank you Judy. Yes, we know the merits of the city-by-the-sea! And the balcony is a joy as I didn’t have one in the previous flat. Take care and best wishes to you too 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 3:54 pm
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    Bravo Penny! Your blog, your views, and if people don’t like them they have the choice to leave. For me, we’re on the same page. I rant in emails to friends about what has been happening in this country. I was incensed by the herd immunity theory, which was clearly going to sacrifice the older generation, those of us who have had long working lives and paid our taxes, and thereby throughout that time supported public services, those in retirement, those who are for whatever reason unable to support themselves, those of us in need of medical or social care. It felt as though we were considered disposable. I really enjoy reading your blog, whether you talk about clothes or political issues. Oh, and elasticated waists, they’ve been a feature of my life for years due to me having an apple shape. I have a wider waist and slim hips and legs so don’t fit standard size. Even now I’ve lost a lot of weight through illness and have dropped two or three sizes, my waist is not in proportion. There’s no shame in wearing elasticated waisted skirts and trousers! Please keep your posts coming. They’re always an enjoyable thought provoking read whether about fashion, thrift, hair, Brighton or whatever you choose to write.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 9:49 am
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      Thank you Jane, and yes, I too was incensed by the idea of a ‘herd’ with the ‘many of our loved ones dying’ mentality from our government when other countries had an entirely different attitude.

      Oh my word, my waistline! Where is it going to end! Obviously it’s due to eating more because I’ve regained my appetite alongside the drop in my ability to exercise and actually to be on my feet all day. I hope to eventually recover my energy and drop a size. Hope you continue with good health too. Take care 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 5:51 pm
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    When I saw your post in my in box this morning, I waited to read it after I got back from the horrid grocery shop. Something to look forward to. It has always been like a chat with a friend across the pond, I enjoy the fashion, makeup, travel, books and on and on that you write about. Our politics may not be in the same country, but I like to know what is going on there as well. Anyone who is offended by your words can opt out without making a scene, their choice. The blog is YOURS, and your opinions are relevant. I too like the fact that you are not going out to the stores to find stuff to try to get us to buy. I have the same love of thrift and as you said, look at the fashion and if it is something I like, will go scouting to see if I can make an outfit for me at a much better price as well.
    I am glad you like your view and location, it has a great shot of the greenery across the street and the sunsets visible from your balcony. I would be a bit claustrophobic if I did not have my gardens to go out to play in so am very grateful for that. I had one physical distancing get together in the park with a few of my coffee friends and wore my jewellery etc. and one shouted “hey, she is back, dressed up for the group.” We will get through this with patience and ‘grit’. Our county just announced this morning that we must all wear face coverings to go out…..see how that works. Thanks for being you.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 9:54 am
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      Yes, if our self-distancing is reduced to 1-metre to help with shops, pubs and restaurants easing their lockdown we will all have to wear masks – good. But any reduction in that distancing brings more of a risk. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

      Thanks you for your support – I really appreciate it and I also love hearing how things are across the pond 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 8:45 pm
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    Hi Penny, I’m one of those people that probably drive bloggers mad as I read but rarely comment and I’m sure you love to have feedback. I read a few blogs and yours is one of my favourites. I enjoy the topics that you cover ie clothes, jewellery, makeup, charity shops, books, health, Brighton, your opinions (political or otherwise) etc. It’s your blog and you’re entitled to write whatever you want, no-one is forced to read it. My Covid-19 feeling at the moment is a bit depressing I suppose because I find it so difficult to imagine that things will ever get back to ‘normal’, perhaps we have a new ‘normal’? Also, when you look at the numbers still being infected worldwide it’s obvious that the virus is still raging. Keep writing, loads of us appreciate it!!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 9:57 am
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      I think it’s perfectly rational to feel a bit low about the Covid pandemic – it’s real and frightening and still around. It’s good to give the news a miss and distract oneself, so yes, clothes, jewellery, makeup, books and films, they all help to do that. You take care and thank you for your kind words 🙂

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    11th June 2020 at 10:00 pm
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    I love how you tell it like it is. First, it’s your blog, and you can write whatever the heck you want. Every person reading it has the choice to click out or continue reading it. Choices…that’s what our lives have always been about. At least where we live.
    Keep up the good work,
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 10:00 am
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      Thanks Jodie, it’s important to be real, I think, during these challenging times. You take care and have a lovely weekend 🙂

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    12th June 2020 at 2:26 am
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    When I see Frugal Fashion Shopper in my inbox, I always wait until I have some free time to relish your writing and your photos, don’t change anything Penny, I love your insight into the political system in the U.K. As a Brit who has lived in numerous countries around the world and am now settled in Canada, with a Canadian husband, I always consider England to be my home, so you are just another lovely connection.
    Your fashion sense is off the wall, I love it, you are an inspiration.
    I am now 68, but love playing around with different looks, I have set myself a challenge to NOT buy any clothes in 2020. I’m not even going to look, I have looked after the clothes I have, and am enjoying putting new looks together with what I have already in my closet. My husband keeps asking if ‘that’s new’. So my new looks are at least grabbing his attention.
    Lockdown has shown me that I need to get rid of some of my regular activities, I am enjoying not being crazily busy, I’m enjoying not feeling pressure to ‘get my garden done’ I’m pottering in it rather than frantically panicking about weeding under a time constraint. I’m trying out new interesting recipes, and I’m putting on makeup and jewelry everyday, to make me feel good, not for anyone else’s benefit. At 7p.m. every evening our whole street go outside and bang on pots in support of our hospital workers and first responders. It has been an awesome opportunity to really get to know and appreciate our neighbours. I feel I know everyone on our quiet street now, and there is a real sense of support and caring for one another. One of the good things to come our of Covid. I really hope that we won’t go back to the way we were before, but slow down and be kinder to each other. The present racial uprising has also been a wake up call, to read some deeper books on racism, and to make a difference in how we treat those who don’t all come from a white privileged background. Times are changing, and I want to change with it, not be stuck in the rut of my parents generation. That being said my Mom turned 100 last week, and is amazing.
    Thanks Penny for being so interesting and inspiring, take care of yourself and hubby.❤️

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 2:22 pm
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      Oh wow, fancy having a mother at 100, do give her belated happy Birthday wishes from me. I too was always busy and am finding the lockdown rather good in that it has made us slow down. My other half is doing a huge amount of family history tracing our rather interesting surname back to 1705 and Germany, another wow! And I’m concentrating on writing and twice weekly sessions of Pilates to get my muscle strength back.

      Yes, we live in challenging times and I trust that now the UK will all attempt to look at our history of Empire and slavery, and I so hope we become a kinder more thoughtful world. Our votes to get the right leaders for this are so important. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. You take care too 🙂

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    12th June 2020 at 9:09 am
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    I find that whole mine field of people not liking the blogger’s views, a bit of a minefield. The criticism I’ve had to deal with came from extended family …. holy hell I hadn’t known that some of them thought that I had to check in to write what they wanted and how they wanted it. It was so disturbing for me. And mean-ness. Gosh. You are allowed your own views and they are decent ones, so go for it, Penny. On another note: biker chic – I’ve been trying for ages to work out why I like a lot of your ensembles. I love biker chic too!!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      13th June 2020 at 2:46 pm
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      Hi there, and my word, on reading your comment I realised that you too had a blog! I don’t know why the penny never dropped (!) apologies, but found you by clicking on your name and have ‘followed’.

      Yes, sorry to hear you have had criticism – can’t think why from what I’ve seen. Indeed, I’m in solidarity with you. A blog is a blog and we really should be able to write as we please – within reason of course.

      Thanks so much for the comment and you take care x

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    12th June 2020 at 11:30 am
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    Love your blog Penny, your comments, your pics, and I look forward to seeing you every week. I may not agree with everything you say or like everything you wear, but as the old saying goes ‘variety is the spice of life’ ,and how true that is, and how boring life would be if we were all the same. It’s entertaining too just reading every body else’s comments!!
    After the first 6 weeks of lockdown where we could only go out to shop for groceries or medicines and only at a certain time, I coped by going on long country walks, and singing!! I belong to our local choir and we continued to meet vía Zoom, which has really held us all together. Now we practice in the park with masks and visors and standing apart, but we meet and sing together and this gives us a feeling of unity as well as the exhilaration one gets from singing in a choir. Take care, be alert!! And keep writing!!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      14th June 2020 at 9:08 am
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      Hi Pauline and thank you for your kind words, and so good that occasionally we disagree but you carry on with the blog, as indeed what a bland world it would be if everyone thought the same way. I truly wanted to know how the people who disagreed with me had arrived at their conclusions. We can all learn from each other and I really wanted to know.

      Carry on with the walks and singing and you take care too 🙂

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    12th June 2020 at 1:33 pm
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    This is YOUR HOUSE, Penny, and we should all free to say what we like in our own houses.

    And there’s that (annoying, ha) thing I hear all the time from the blogging experts, “If people leave based on something you said or find, then…They’re Not Your People!” (which I suppose is actually true in ALL life)

    I adore your balcony – and what a great view! I love a street view where you can see all the comings and goings and feel like you’re a part of things…even though you’re up in the sky. And that sunset! That is a gift.

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      14th June 2020 at 9:10 am
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      Thank you Bettye, and indeed blogging is about the personal stance and ideas of and from the blogger, within reason, of course, ha, ha!

      Thank you so much re: the balcony – your patio though is lovely. Have a nice Sunday 🙂

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    13th June 2020 at 8:46 am
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    Hello Penny
    I love your blog! I too am interested in the world, people, environment, politics, the arts, and almost everything. I also enjoy opening my mind to other viewpoints.
    I am 71 and like you I like clothes. I try not to look like a granny! I like lots of different things. I live in a very rural situation and love it. I had a really bad fall in December which nearly cost me my leg but I have made an amazing recovery and am now walking without crutches now. It has been a long haul a long hard road but having lots of interests helps.
    Please keep up your blog – I love it.
    Best wishes, Sandra.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      14th June 2020 at 9:13 am
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      Hi Sandra, oh you sound so connected and vibrant. And well done you for the excellent recovery you made – must have been frightening at the time. I will keep on with the blog. Thank you for your support 🙂

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    13th June 2020 at 2:19 pm
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    Hello Penny. I have just skimmed through the comments on the post of 31st May and I don’t really understand why anyone would not just unsubscribe if they aren’t interested in reading your posts any more – same with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc., no-one is making me read anything and when someone annoys me I stop following them!
    That doesn’t mean healthy discussion is not a good thing, but that is rather different from telling you to keep your opinions to yourself!
    I enjoy reading your blog, thank you!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      14th June 2020 at 9:15 am
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      Yes, I do think that there should be a lot more rational and reasonable discourse and debate around so many issues. I think we need one around the racism issue especially – here’s hoping 🙂

      Thank you so much for your support – take care

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    14th June 2020 at 4:58 am
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    As others have said it is your blog to express your opinion on matters of interest to you. If the reader doesn’t like that particular post skip it or if you are really offended because the ideas differ to your own move on . I always enjoy reading your take on the UK political scene , it gives me so much of an insight than what we see on our local news.
    Enjoy your balcony garden and that street scene , I am not at that stage of life yet , still enjoying our garden and Victorian home but a city scene is up my street.
    For me playing with clothing to create a style that is mine is a creative outlet that has nothing to do with current trends.
    I always enjoy your writing Penny, stay well and safe. Jill

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      14th June 2020 at 9:17 am
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      I love the style you’ve got Jill. The thing about fashion and style is that in articles and books they’re very separate. But we do all take note of fashion otherwise we’d be dressing like our grandmas. Mind you your style is very unique and totally amazing – you do look fab in every way 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words about the blog x

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      14th June 2020 at 10:39 am
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      That’s exactly my approach to fashion Jill – isn’t it fun to experiment?

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    17th June 2020 at 6:04 am
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    I love your blog content and for those of us not aiming to make money from our blogs or parachute into some sort of “influencers’ super orbit” (shudder) we can write about whatever we want, and who cares if it offends the Google SEO bots. You have a very important voice in representing the over 70s. I’m also passionate about ageism and planning to write about it next week because it’s so pervasive and damaging, I enjoy your combination of fashion done frugally, ethically and edgily, beauty and politics. And love to see your balcony!

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