End of the month review – October 2022

Hello everyone

It’s the end of the month review, a month, which was a calamitous time for the Conservative party but that’s all I will say on the matter, apart from if you pop over to My Other Blog you won’t find any new pieces after the one on the total bemusement we all felt when that narcissistic buffoon put himself up again to become our leader. If you have been out of touch and/ off grid Johnson is not our leader as he withdrew himself – phew. Not that I think we are in a much better place, considering what is coming with Hunt’s budget. However, I’m not immediately commenting on our new PM, just hanging in there and waiting and watching.  But I will no doubt be commenting on Sunak shortly.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of October I went on holiday to Dungeness, a place I find blissful, but others might not – it really is a marmite thing as it is so very bleak, but hey I love it, so there it is. We continue to entertain friends to lunch and tea, and on one occasion, I had a blissful afternoon when a young friend of mine came round and we went through my 40+ hats.

This is a hat I bought new, years ago, and is, sad to say, the one I wear at funerals.

It’s not often I meet someone as besotted with hats as I am. This hat below is interesting as it has a firm brim that will never wobble like the one above, and is covered in velvet. It was bought in a charity shop for next to nothing but I have never worn it. I must find an occasion!

This was bought new this year for £5 from a charity shop

I think you might agree that Lisa really ought to be a model. This green beauty of a hat is another charity shop find and I will definitely be wearing it in Lewes if it could just stop raining!

We continue to pop over to see our grandson Oscar who lives nearby, I went up to London with my daughter, and we also went three times to The Depot, our independent cinema, see below for my reviews.

Blogging wise, I have made some great friends though blogging and one of them is Gail at Is This Mutton who has organised the #7dayskirtchallenge in which I am participating on Instagram – you shall see all of them soon, but here is one of the skirts I bought a couple of months ago.

It’s a really cheery little skirt and I wear it with my favourite yellow jumper and yellow shoes. Here’s a close up of the print.

The weather is cooler now and wet, wet, wet. That new yellow raincoat of mine is being tested to the full, and I can happily say it is well and truly waterproof. The constant rain we’re having seem is definitely making up for the drought we had in the summer. Btw, skirts are now my preferred wear when I go out and about and I am on the lookout for these items in my local charity shops.

What we watched – films

We watched three films at The Depot and the first one was just the loveliest film you could imagine, it was Mrs Harris Goes to Paris with the indomitable Lesley Manville as Mrs Harris, a humble cleaner who saves up enough money to go to Paris to buy a designer frock. With some wonderful casting it was just the right side of sentimentality (as in not sentimental) but gosh, was it the sweetest thing. And the frocks!  I sighed and practically fainted with delight at them. A totally lovely film so 5***** from me plus one or two, I’d say!

Then there was Queen of Glory, which was an indie comedy set mostly in the Bronx, although it included many short clips of Ghana as this was the tale of a second-generation Ghanaian-American finding her feet and maybe her destiny after her mother dies. It was a low-budget film and it kind of showed at times including the slight plotting, nevertheless it was a heart-warming film and I learnt a lot about Ghanaian culture, which interestingly tied in with my trip to the V&A and seeing for myself many Ghanaian fabrics which I recognised and felt a slight affinity to because of watching the film. However, I can’t make up my mind whether it was a 3 or 4**** film. Go see if you can or watch on television via Amazon Prime.

And my third film at The Depot was The Banshees of Inisherin, a glorious tale of men and their friendships in a remote island off the coast of Ireland. It was written and directed by Martin McDonegh, who also directed In Bruges and Three Billboards, and the film reunited Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. With that kind of writing, acting and directing, my word what a film, what quality, what beauty, it was above and beyond good, so it is another 5***** plus one or two!

Whilst at home we also watched Catherine Called Birdy (Netflix) which was a no from me,  don’t bother, The Farewell (Netflix & Amazon), a Chinese/American film, which was OK but not as good as I expected. And Elvis (Amazon), with which I was disappointed.

Elvis was interesting though, as both Tom Hanks who played Colonel Parker and Austin Butler as Elvis were excellent, but the story? No. Because, of course, Elvis’ end is sad, as was the ending of the film. The thing is the film was directed by Baz Luhrmann, and so the film began in typical Luhrmann style with colour and glitter galore, but slowly the ghastly influence of Colonel Parker picked away at the glorious talent of Elvis and it all went downhill. Hence, I began the film in awe of the Luhrmann influence and the Mrs Maisel type of colouring given to all the characters, but by the end I was just depressed. I ended up not liking the film, and yet, it deserves at least 3***. Try it and see what you think.


We have finished watching For all Mankind (Apple), an alternative tale of the space race. I found it surprisingly good and very well acted – we loved it. Also finished The Capture (BBCiPlayer), actually we watched two seasons of this as we’d missed the first and then I heard Alistair Campbell say something on his blog (The Rest is Politics) about season two. All I can say is it is a very gripping account of the manipulation of CCTV to purportedly convict criminals and terrorists.  However the state corruption involved to support this deep fake technology is the nub of the story. Honestly it was implausible (you hope) and slightly silly, but wow, were we gripped by every episode – eminently watchable. And Bad Sisters (Apple) also kind of ridiculous but so very watchable, although I say this every time, the Flemish version, Clan, was far superior. I do not know why people remake excellent television and films that are in a foreign language. For goodness sake, watch the original, I always shout when I see reviews of remakes. But this one was good, although as I said, totally unfeasible and yet addictive!

Currently we are watching, the second season of The White Lotus (Now tv) which is all about rich people having an unhappy time in a hideously expensive hotel. It should be awful but it’s actually very funny and again very addictive. Also watching Wisting (BBC iPlayer) which is in its original language, thank goodness. It’s a typical Nordic Noir detective series, need I say more except, how I love these series set in cold climes! Also watching the fourth season of Stranger Things (Netflix). This is not for the faint-hearted so don’t watch if you have the slightest worry about violence and gore. For something more lighthearted we always watch GoggleBox (All4) which is not only delightful and funny, I also watch the participants (who are watching telly you don’t want to watch) for their political views which are often to the point and very blunt – but above all it is funny and don’t we need some humour these days! And finally for something nice and gentle we do love Celebrity Masterchef (BBC iPlayer) which we watch sparingly over the weeks. It is just a lovely programme to watch after a serious and doom laden documentary, or the news which is often just as dysfunctional as any of the tv drama mentioned above.

P.S.I shall not be watching The Crown as it is too near our time now and doesn’t seem to me to be the same as it was in the earlier seasons, when you felt you were watching ‘history’ (I do know its fictional) nor shall I be watching I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. They’ve gone too far by paying that Matt Hancock a fortune to appear when he should working in his role as a backbench MP. For those of you not in the know, he was the Secretary of State for Health during the pandemic but was sacked when he didn’t follow the distancing rules – ha! There’s more to him than just his dismissal – haha, but I’ll leave that for the moment.  He’s a gonner now but I won’t help that show by watching his downfall.


I do try to buy my books from charity shops now but I am finding them quite hit and miss. For instance, I bought two books and got half way through and thought, my time should not be spent on you, and back they went to the charity shop. But on holiday I picked up Ice Road by Gillian Slovo, oh what a good book. Set in Leningrad it rather reminded me of Helen Dunmore’s The Siege but this is just as good but different. Possibly Helen Dunmore’s book is better but don’t let me stop you reading this wonderful book.

Also read After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell. Look it’s great, I love all Maggie O’Farrell’s writing but I just wanted to take the main protagonist by the scruff of her neck (so to speak) and say, ‘get a grip, woman’! You’ll know what I mean when you read it. And Rose Tremain’s Islands of Mercy was a good old saga set in both Bath and Borneo. I loved it.

That’s all for now, we are still working on the IT situation and Mr F might be able to sort it over next weekend. As he will be working on the actual blog it won’t be available over the coming weekend. I do hope that will be the end of our IT problems!  Thank you for bearing with 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



End of the month review – October 2022
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19 thoughts on “End of the month review – October 2022

  • 7th November 2022 at 2:48 pm

    Lisa sure had a fabulous face for wearing hats. Especially the green one. We are going to Rye Saturday and we might visit Dungeness!

    • 7th November 2022 at 4:12 pm

      I also loved Mrs Harris goes to Paris, Lesley Manville is excellent as always. Bravo on the skirts…I’m wedded to trousers, being a +size, tall-ish woman and finding tights that fit properly almost impossible. Loving the hats too, do you have a picture on the outside of your hat boxes so you know what is in each one?! I’m also watching Wisting and enjoyed House of the Dragon – Matt Smith is magnetic in it. Just finished watching the Devils hour, which was different, but compelling to watch. Perhaps I’ll have to try Stranger things, lots of people rate it. Also watching series 5 of the Handmaids tale, but not enjoying it much…its very much about revenge now.

      • 8th November 2022 at 8:47 am

        Loved Mrs Harris and beautifully acted by all and sundry. I have several hats in each of my hat boxes and know exactly where all my hats are housed, so to speak!

        Wisting is good, but you know Stranger Things is very strange. Watch a couple of episodes from the first series and see what you think. It is a very acquired and niche taste to ‘enjoy’ Stranger Things!

        Do you know, and this is something I found hard to admit as everyone raves about it, but I couldn’t really get into the Handmaids Tale on television and stopped watching very early on. However, I re-read The Handmaids Tale and then got the follow-up The Testaments and both are brilliant with The Testaments giving a very satisfactory resolution. So I always think of the books as being the best out of the two.

    • 8th November 2022 at 8:37 am
    • 8th November 2022 at 8:39 am

      Isn’t she beautiful! Lisa is the sister of my son-in-law, so she’s my grandson Jesse’s aunt and that means we are friends and related – sort of!

      Oh wow, Nancy, whatever you think of Dungeness you will find it unique. As you’re going on a Saturday I think the Fish Shack will be open. This is a cafe that serves cooked fresh fish caught on the day. There are many items to choose from but we had two small fish fried in a roll with coleslaw. DE-licious! It is all in the open air so you hope it isn’t raining! Going towards the lighthouse from the Fish Shack and on the right you will see several ‘cottages’ back from the road. We had the one with the signpost that says ‘Wi-wurri’. It is much bigger than it looks from the road. Going back from the Fish Shack is the famous garden and house once owned by Derek Jarman. I’ve just looked at the weather – seems Ok. Have a lovely time!

  • 7th November 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Mrs Harris was recommended in The Lady,so is already on my list,but you have provided loads of ideas .Thank you Penny.

    • 8th November 2022 at 8:39 am

      Mrs Harris is just the loveliest of films, Rosemary, enjoy!

  • 8th November 2022 at 1:30 am

    I’m curious…did Lisa end up with any of those hats? They are lovely…I think I like the green one best! The only film I’ve seen that you listed was Elvis. I loved it, but I also know what you mean. I knew it was a Luhrmann film so expected the glitter and glory. I just thought Austin Butler was amazing in his portrayal of the King! I do want to see Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. On to Stranger Things…did you think it was just really way out there this season? I still really enjoyed it, but gosh, it seemed like they threw everything, including the kitchen sink, into it!

    I have been reading on my iPad as my library has ebooks available. But, I haven’t read anything that really comes to mind…so nothing amazing, I guess!


    • 8th November 2022 at 9:05 am

      I gave Lisa the dark purple one, she has about 20 hats which is more than most but not quite as many as I have 🤣

      Elvis began so beautifully and I thought I would love it, but just couldn’t as I felt so sad for Elvis. He was ruined by that man and wasn’t strong enough to break free. I felt so downhearted by the end of the film and that really is not why I watch a film!!! But yes the actors were brilliant, especially Austin Butler who was just wonderful.

      You will totally adore Mrs Harris. Now, as for Stranger Things, it really is very strange isn’t it. We’re half way through the last season and it is so dysfunctional I have to watch something like Celebrity Masterchef to recover. We have started so we will finish it, but not sure whether I’m totally liking it. Btw, I rather worry about the thinness of one of the young male actors – you know what I mean. I don’t think they, the producers and directors, are taking sufficient care of him.

      Yes, know what you mean. I didn’t mention the two books that I sent back to the charity shop – in fact I’ve forgotten their titles!! Thanks Marsha x

    • 9th November 2022 at 3:47 pm

      I definitely want to see Mrs Harris, and the Banshees of Inisherin. Tomorrow Mr M and I am going to the cinema – first time together! – to see Living with Bill Nighy. It’s a fairly local cinema so hoping it might become a habit!
      I enjoyed Wisting. Have 2 noires on the go, Black Sand (Alibi) and new series of Deadwind (Netflix). I wasn’t sure if I could bear to watch The Crown because it’s loosely based on recent history. I’ll probably watch the first episode. I’m afraid I remember everything that happened, so if, as I suspect, the series has an unfair and incorrect prejudice, I won’t watch again.
      Thanks for taking part in the skirt challenge! x

  • 8th November 2022 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Penny, another interesting – and full – blog.

    It sounds as though you’ve really settled in to Lewes and it’s great that you’re having visitors again and spending time with Oscar. I also love the hats and totally agree, Lisa makes a great model. Your print skirt, yellow shoes and jumper make a jolly combo.

    You certainlywere busy during October! It’s interesting to read your comments and scores on films. I’ve also seen a several films and agree with you on The Banshees of Inisherin – fabulous! Then on Saturday we enjoyed Living with Bill Nighy. Set in London in the 50s, it’s about a man in his 70s given a short time to live who starts reflecting his time as a bureaucrat (working in County Hall) – and his values. I highly recommend it.

    I haven’t seen Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, but have just looked it up and see that it is available on Prime, so I’ll put it on the list. Incidentally, I noticed there was an earlier version – made in 1992 starring Angela Lansbury and Omar Sharif (didn’t see that either).

    Now, Elvis. I thought it thrilling; fast paced and the actors were terrific. I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was 12 so, of course, I loved the music. But I didn’t know much of his background or about Parker or his father. I see the film as a tribute (rather than a bio) so was pleased it didn’t dwell on his later years. We all know how it ended. The film inspired me to organise a Zoom Elvis night with my daughter in SF and cousins in Canada. Doubtless I’ll see the film again when it goes to Prime/Netflix etc.

    We’ve been re-watching Our Friends in the North. Shot in the 90s sstarring a young Daniel Craig and Christopher Eccleston, it’s about politics and corruption in the north of England in the 1970s. I believe it was based losely on the Poulson scandal. I enjoyed it first time round and it holds up very well; unfortunately, the issues it covers are as relevant today.

    We’ve just ‘discovered’ Simon Reeve. His travel programmes are excellent – interesting places, shown with an interested eye and covering climate change, sustainability, indigenous people, poverty, logging etc as well as landscape. Not your usual travel prog.

    We were also gripped by Capture – scary stuff! – and are enjoying Master Chef – the professionals but have never seen Goggle Box, I’m a Celebrity or Strictly Come Dancing. If I’m ironing (which I do sparingly) I watch the Food Network… sometimes interesting, sometimes inspiring, sometimes totally bonkers.

    On Sunday we enjoyed a 90 minute play on Radio 3 – ‘Churchill v Reith’… which also has relevance to today. John Reith trying to retain for the BBC a more or less impartial stance during the general strike of 1926, bringing him into conflict with Winston Churchill, who wanted to take it over in order to prevent what he saw as a potential Bolshevik revolution. Highly recommend.

    Now, over to the Other Blog. Good luck with the tech probs!
    All the very best to you both.
    Mary x
    PS – let’s ‘go for it’ on the hat front at the end of the month!

    • 9th November 2022 at 10:10 am

      Ah yes, I really want to see the Bill Nighy film but Bill has a dreadful cold which I am fighting off so I’m a bit under par, so no cinema this week. Hoping it will be on next week. And yes, you loved Elvis, I just can’t say the same as I was so sad about his relationship with that dreadful Parker.

      We adore Simon Reeves and he kept us going during the lockdowns with his travels. I actually think he’s a second David Attenborough in the making what with that lovely innocence and eagerness in his demeanour. I think he will age very well. Oh wow, Capture was good, wasn’t it. Now actually do have a peep at Gogglebox as it’s not as dim or as dumb as it sounds. The participants are chosen well, and we’ve watched them over the years so you kind of develop a relationship with them (I know that’s ridiculous but even so!) And some of their thoughts about programmes are so funny but many are very astute, and interestingly the sharp witted brother and sister are related to the Chuckle Brothers so yes, they are funny too.

      I shall wear a big hat when we meet up – yay! Can’t wait!

  • 8th November 2022 at 4:51 pm

    Love the colours in your ‘new’ skirt Penny and the yellow jumper is great with it. Although not an Elvis fan i enjoyed the film for the social history aspect as much as anything else. The overt racial discrimination in 1950’s USA and the archive footage of his funeral were so illuminating ; the latter made me think of the tributes left for Diana. Elvis really was a phenomenon , incredibly talented and, as you say, horribly abused. I went to see Mrs Harris with my daughter last month ; I was so glad they did not fall into the cliche of having her take up with the rich gentleman.
    We have been watching some more ‘gentle’ TV programmes like ‘Glorious Gardens from Above’, Villages by the Sea & the rail journeys narrated by Bill Nighy. I like a good crime drama (Capture was riveting & London Kills is good) but something less confrontational appeals as well.
    I’ve been reading a lot of books by Elizabeth Buchan – family and relationship stories with older, well 40+ !, women at the centre. She really is quite a good writer but not in the league of Michael Frayn. His Spies is a wonderful book. I tend to find a new-to-me author and read through their catalogue. I’ve found a new ‘cosy crime’ writer in Julia Chapman’s dales Detective Series. Pretty lightweight but some nice pieces of writing nonetheless. I loved Rose Tremain’s Merivel so I may try the one you mention.

    • 9th November 2022 at 11:15 am

      Do try the Rose Tremain book I’ve recommended. Also Music and Silence and her memoir of a dysfunctional childhood, Rosie, is very good. But not Lily which I think is her latest.

      Although like you, I do love a good drama like Capture, I also like a less confrontational and less dysfunctional television programme just before bedtime! I do highly recommend The Great British Sewing Bee which has many series and they must all be on iPlayer and is very sweet. Celebrity Masterchef is good too and when we have finished that, we will move on to just Masterchef.

      Ah Elvis, he was brilliant, but he was ruined by that man Parker, although to be absolutely honest I went to a lot of those films of his as a teenager! Yes, that overt racism in the film was awful, and still around as when we went on a cruise that was 98% full of Americans (which was fascinating) there were several people who when they spoke of the coming election (in 2016) said some awful things about Obama – metaphorically our jaws used to drop! I was so fascinated by this, I kind of interviewed them – one technique is to be a little stupid, so people correct you. It was very revealing!

  • 9th November 2022 at 3:35 am

    What a beautiful young woman. the hats look great on her, and on you as well. I really think hats add a lot to an outfit. I wish I had the knack of wearing them. the ones I have are pretty utilitarian, for cold weather mostly, although I have been wearing more sun hats in recent years.
    I am writing this as the votes are being counted for the mid term elections. Usually I am glued to the TV but I am trying to not watch much this year as I am so anxious. there is nothing I can do at this point, I voted this past week, even sent modest contributions to some of the candidates . now the waiting begins, and we may not know even until tomorrow, maybe even later. Today it felt like Fall. It has been unseasonably warm, in the mid 70’s this past week, more like June than November. I have to admit I rather enjoy the summery temps but it isn’t normal. I am also a fan of Lesley Manville. I remember seeing her in a series called Mum or maybe Mom about a recently widowed woman and her disfunctional family. No one else seems to have seen this show but I thought she was brilliant. She is now in Magpie Murders . I read the book months ago and really liked it so was quite pleased that it was made into a series. I am also a fan of Nicola Walker. I loved last Tango in Halifax and Unforgotten in which she stared. I was upset when they killed her character off in Unforgotten. I think it was so she could do this new show Annika. worth watching but not, to me, on a par with the other two. I have not been to the movies except for the film that was shown recently in the group I belong to. It was Central Station, a film from Brazil. excellent and it won many awards when it came out in the late 90’s, still relevant. actually Brazil is the country we are concentrating on this semester, with films and lectures. very timely.
    This past Saturday the family got together to see, hear, my grandson play in a band of selected musicians selected from various high schools in the region. It was very moving, a wonderful experience. We all all very proud of him! Well that is it for now. sending love from New York, Darby

    • 9th November 2022 at 11:32 am

      Hi Darby, I have my fingers and toes crossed and understand it’s pretty tight and that the House might be lost but not the Senate?????? Our media has been paying a lot of attention and all the podcasts have had much to say about it. What I would say almost upsets me and I can barely stand to listen to it, is when people who believe in Trump’s false loss of the election are interviewed. They are so convinced there is a conspiracy out there. The things they come out with, it’s mind-blowing! Democracy is at stake as they don’t seem to believe in any result unless it is a victory for their candidates – which is crazy. And what’s more if elected some will actively work to derail the voting system. Or so it seems from what I can glean from the media.

      We have a small sense of that as we now have to provide ID to vote (so unnecessary) and astonishingly if you haven’t got a passport or a driving licence (the poor) most of the ID they want is for older people like bus passes and so on??? Eh! What?! It is all part of the rigging of the vote so that the poorer classes who tend to vote for Labour won’t be able to.

      I am aiming to wear more outrageous clothes including hats as I age. It is one way to hold on to my sanity! Another is to surround oneself with family and friends and culture, and beautiful things. You must be so proud of your grandson – such a lovely occasion to go to.

      I will be listening to the news with bated breath – you take care and thank you, Darby, as ever 🙂

  • 10th November 2022 at 5:58 am

    Firstly , I loved seeing all your skirts in the challenge .
    Your friend looks so very good in all the hats , I loved the green felted one and also the veiled hat.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed Mrs Harris goes to Paris , I am a great fan of Lesley Mannville . The film has finally come here so hopefully next week.
    I always like hearing about your viewing highlights as we get many of them but a little later. I hope your cold gets better soon.

  • 10th November 2022 at 1:44 pm

    I’m dying to watch Mrs Harris Goes to Paris but I’m saving it for when the hubby is away! I think it’ll be one to watch in the evening on my own with a nice glass of wine! I LOVE Stranger Things…it is very gory though lol!
    Suzy x

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