Looking back, looking forward

Hello again

I wonder if you’re like me, and find yourself saying, ‘when we can, we’ll go out to…….’ (fill in assorted details of different places and experiences). More about that wish in the next post as we might indeed be able to go to a restaurant in the UK to celebrate events. Won’t that be nice!

Mind you, I don’t need much in the way of fancy restaurants or foreign holidays to make me happy. Our honeymoon is a good example of that. Here’s a photo of us on our honeymoon, which I think you might have seen before. In those days we were content with very little. We honeymooned in Newquay, Cornwall going there by train and staying in a caravan park not far from the beach. It was lovely and this was the beach hut we rented for the week we stayed there.

Look at those jeans, though!  Do you remember that you’d buy a fairly wide-legged pair of jeans and then you’d unstitch the seam and insert more denim, plus patches (don’t forget those) to make them as wide and as flowing as possible – and they were called ‘loons’. I read an article recently saying that with influencers like Harry Styles wearing very wide-legged jeans, loons were coming back. Not sure what I feel about that because, as you know, I like skinny jeans best of all. Mind you, having read the article I fished out the wide black jeans from the charity shop bag that I’d discarded because they attracted dust and looked a bit scuzzy quite quickly after washing. I’ll attempt to find a conditioner that will rectify that problem.

Here’s us on the actual wedding day in 1973, I still have that dress somewhere and can just about get into it, despite putting on 6lbs during lockdown.

And what about this photo?

That’s a little bit John Travolta in Grease, don’t you think!  I made that dress myself and am rather sorry that I havn’t got it now. We were there with the children and this was Paris, where we stopped for a break before driving down to the campsite for our fortnight’s holiday by the Atlantic coast. I don’t think we ever stayed in a hotel for our holidays while the children were young, did I deprive the children?? They seem to have survived!

Here’s Mr F and me last year.

This was taken on our walk yesterday.

And what about this one?  I’m a little bit slumped, but we were sitting with our faces tilted towards the sun because, wow, it was so very sunny and warm – yay, and three cheers to that! In fact, we sat on the bench for some time and then Mr F got up to take this.

Yes, in August of this year it’ll be 48 years we’ve been married.  Here’s to many more years together!

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. I’ve written another piece for My Other Blog on the successful roll-out of the UK vaccination programme. If you’d like to read it click on the icon at the side if reading on a PC or Mac, or at the bottom of this if reading on a phone    🙂





Looking back, looking forward

46 thoughts on “Looking back, looking forward

  • 24th February 2021 at 9:03 am

    Absolutely beautiful photos of a beautiful couple. How lovely to see them. I hada turquoise suit – very (very!!) wide bell bottoms and the top was a floral design with turquoise in (of course). My kids never stayed in hotels either and they too are well adjusted.

    • 25th February 2021 at 8:27 am

      Oh those wide bell bottoms – they were great. Thank you so much – have a lovely rest of the week 🙂

  • 24th February 2021 at 9:21 am

    Loved the photos! Mr B. Looks very handsome with his long curly locks and you with your lo g thick hair reminds me of my cascading, high lit locks, with the help of my electric curlers!!!! Your clothes are fine for now too for us 70 + girls. Keep trending please.

    • 25th February 2021 at 8:28 am

      Oh those curlers. I had ones that you boiled! I’ll do my best with the trends 🙂

      Thank you so much!

  • 24th February 2021 at 10:26 am

    Interesting that you are talking about happiness when I’ve just been listening to Mo Gawdat talking about the Happiness Equation which is that your happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the events of your life and your expectations of how life should behave. Those expectations need to be realistic of course. When we were young our expectations were mostly very low but we were mostly happy and that is still the way many people in the world are now. I have always been able to find pleasure in small things, especially in nature, which seems to be something people have only discovered in this past year. Of course it is impossible to be happy when your livelihood has been taken away through no fault of your own, your health has been undermined or your partner lost.
    What fab hair you had back in the day and how you have stayed slim! We had our honeymoon on the IOW in October and 30 years later my daughter-in-law thought going to Paris for a honeymoon was a boring. Him Indoors has still not been there although we have been to much more far-flung places. I’m as much looking forward to more UK trips as I am to Iceland in July -fingers crossed!

    • 25th February 2021 at 8:48 am

      Hi Lynda, how interesting, because yes, expectations play an important part in the happiness equation – sounds very logical. Some very small things will make me supremely happy – hugs and kisses from family and indeed friends being top of the list. Just an ordinary Sunday with one of the kids plus grandchild. Then ordinary visits to cinema, art galleries and beauticians. I could go on.

      Oh Lynda fingers crossed re: your July cruise. I shall be so interested to hear how it goes.

  • 24th February 2021 at 10:55 am

    Love your photos Penny. What a good looking couple you were , and still are. We had a week in Jersey for our honeymoon. The weather was fantastic, and we had a great time.
    Young and in love, who cared where we were!

    • 25th February 2021 at 8:52 am

      Thank you so much Katie, yes, how little we cared as to where we were – you are so right! We’re on the same page there! But actually Newquay was great and the caravan was as well, but that’s all we needed.

      Thanks again 🙂

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:00 am

      I know I have the wedding dress somewhere – I will now have to find it and try it on!

  • 24th February 2021 at 11:40 am

    We married in August 1970 and went camping with the gang in Cornwall. We had the bridal tent. I think it rained most of the time, a pub in St Ives wouldn’t serve my husband as his hair was too long!

    • 24th February 2021 at 11:44 am

      Loving the photos, Penny! You really took me back with your mention of loons. I had a couple of pairs of cotton loons but my absolute favourites were in burgundy velvet worn with a cheesecloth smock – remember them?
      Gill x

      • 25th February 2021 at 8:56 am

        Oh my word, burgundy velvet – wow! And cheesecloth smocks – oh yes! What a combination – sounds fab 🙂

    • 25th February 2021 at 8:59 am

      Apparently before I met him my other half went to the north of Scotland with a couple of friends- they were also shown the door in a pub in one town – hair too long!

      Right throughout our children’s childhood we camped for our holidays, upgrading to those tents already onsite with all the gear in France – we loved those.

  • 24th February 2021 at 11:41 am

    Lovely photos . When my other half and I got wed, we had struggled to find a deposit to buy our first little house, so we couldn’t afford a honeymoon. We took a day off work and went to the Ideal Home Exhibition! Last year was our 50th anniversary, but we weren’t able to have a family celebration – maybe this year!

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:05 am

      I have no idea how we managed our deposit and it was in the days when mortgages were rationed, but somehow we got on the housing ladder – phew!

      Congratulations on your 50th last year. I’ve got a friend in the same position who was unable to celebrate her 50th last summer – she might do it this year.

  • 24th February 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Hello, Penny!
    Love these photos and the style you two carry on through the years! I love your hairstyles as well! Your children must have inherited the “great hair” gene! And…a hearty congratulations to you and Mr. F!!! Forty-eight years in August! We will be celebrating forty-three years this July.
    I do remember that jeans style but did not own any. I did have a pair of “elephant” pants with ultra-wide bells at the bottom. I remember loving the fit of the hip-hugging then wide flare leg style of those brown gabardine pants. 😀
    Yes, we are a bit more cautious then others and have declined open-air visits, meals, and drop-ins in the last few months of California’s hot bed of CoVid new cases. We wonder when will we feel comfortable gathering again with others? Especially those who are not quite sheltered as us?
    Well, wonder no longer. Our scheduled 2nd vaccine has emboldened us to say yes to a March/April visit by our elder son, wife, and toddler granddaughter. It will be their Spring Break. They have been teaching livestream and work so hard at their academics. They will fly in from cold, overcast Seattle, Washington to California sunshine. Yes! We are looking forward to this family visit and to seeing our newest grandchild! They are taking proper precautions, isolating, and testing prior to their visit. We’ve heard that it’s not so much the airplane as it is the airports that bring about exposure. We are thankful at this end, that the airport is small. Our common goals are to be outside in the sun, cook and eat delicious food, and play with that grandchild!
    We are preparing for another High Wind event here. I believe intentional power outages will become routine as we face these climate changes. We have a few more emergency lights this time. I will also pack in some simple, non-refrigerated food items. Peanut butter and jelly, anyone?
    And, so, we are making future plans. Looking forward with anticipation to the months ahead yet holding it loosely. If it is one thing we’ve witnessed in this past year, it is the unexpected. Witness Texas. That’s another long story.
    My best regards…

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:27 am

      Hello Charlene and so happy for you that you’re having your 2nd vaccination at the designated time. You’ve probably heard that the gap in the UK is 12 weeks. Well fingers crossed it’s Ok and actually there is some evidence for the AstraZeneca vax that antibodies improve with a longer gap, but no such data exists for the Pfizer one which we had. Ah well, there will be evidence soon enough from us!!!! I’m reconciled as I agree that I want the largest number of people vaccinated as soon as possible.

      But on to the simply great news that you will be seeing your eldest son and newest grandchild – how wonderful for you. And good luck with the wind. We are reading about Texas and their extraordinary weather in our media – the worst thing seems to be the greed of those energy companies – their prices?! Unbelievable – how can they do that? I feel so sorry for the people caught up in it all. But back to your good fortune in seeing your family. We will be able to do that more often after Easter – it will be outside but that’s fine. However, roll on the summer – I think we’re all looking forward to that.

      Thank you Charlene and have a good rest of the week 🙂

  • 24th February 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Loved seeing your photos, Penny. You look fabulous! And yes, I do remember unstitching the seam on jeans to insert fabric. My favourites were those with a wine velvet insert and I made a shoulder bag to match. Can it really be so many years ago?

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:29 am

      Oh Eloise, you’re another one with a velvet insert. That sounds so fabulous and you made a shoulder bag – wow!

      It was a long time ago!

  • 24th February 2021 at 3:18 pm

    I love all of these pictures! Growing up we camped too and never stayed in hotel. I still remember our green tent we took to Barcelona for a week to camp near the ocean at a campground. We would also go camping in the Pyrennees. Lots of fun memories!

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:33 am

      We camped all the time, but the camping I loved best were the campsites in France that were set up with all the equipment and furniture. There were several companies that had sites pretty much everywhere in France – I loved the ones on the Atlantic coast as they had good but not incredibly hot weather with cool sea breezes and lovely sandy beaches.

      Sigh – yes, they’re fond memories!

  • 24th February 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Your hair in that second photo! Amazing! You definitely should try that dress in and show it us! I think we say every weekend to each other that we want to be in Roermond….

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:53 am

      I remember having a practice run with that style going to the hairdresser twice for it. I will now have to look for the dress, it is somewhere, but can I still get into it, that’s the thing! I looked up Roermond on Google.

      Have a lovely rest of the week 🙂

  • 24th February 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Hello Penny,

    Happy anniversary to you and Mr. F! I got married in 1973 too, but divorced in 1991. I loved your honeymoon photo and your wedding dress was gorgeous. I wore traditional white and the cost to get it dry cleaned after was 5.00; which I couldn’t afford so I never got it back.

    The news from Boris was good and roll on 12th April I say; I can rummage, swim and volunteer again in that week,

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:57 am

      That happened with another dress I had – never went back to collect it from the dry cleaners. But this wedding dress is somewhere, I’ll have to look for it!

      I am so happy that the relaxation seems to be a slow one – maybe this time he’s learnt something. However, I’m not quite as happy about the schools all going back on the same day, you’d think they could stagger that return. Honestly that Gavin Williamson……

      But won’t it be great to start to do more normal things – phew. Have a lovely rest of the week xxx

    • 25th February 2021 at 9:57 am

      Thank you Mariann 🙂

  • 24th February 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Penny
    You and your Mr. looked so happy and stylish in those photos and you do now as well. You clearly must be doing something right. Then you do walk regularly and keep you mind sharp. I began to read your other blog but confess I need more time to digest it , well done you! and congratulations on your 48 years!
    I am still waiting for my first dose, called the hotline, again, this morning and was told there just isn’t enough vaccine for all who want it.
    I was recently looking of a photo of myself and some coworkers from the later 1970’s. I guess I was in my mid 30’s then, divorced. I was madly in love with the social worker on our unit where I was the psychologist. We were all at a conference. I wasn’t wearing anything especially interesting but my boots were awesome. They were Frye boots, very popular then and I fell in love with them when I saw them at our local shoe store. I remember they cost $75 then. A lot for me as a single mom but I had just had a raise. My dad, who was wonderful but shall we say very frugal asked him how much they cost. I actually lied and told him $55 and he thought they were expensive! I have no idea why I ever got rid of them. Recently I tried to find them on Ebay , I can find the same style, even new ones but they lack the lighter leather trim these boots had, they were tan with a cream trim just around the upper calf.
    Today was a bit warmer than it has been, didn’t have to bundle up as much for my walk around the park. Spring is coming.
    that’s all for now, Darby

    • 25th February 2021 at 11:21 am

      Hi Darby, and yes that post on My Other Blog is a long read, and because lockdown has been so onerous this time round, my concentration was shot so it took me ages to write, but I persevered! Longing to get back to some normality. Btw, our roll-out isn’t perfect and they’ve just announced that people with learning difficulties will be a priority now – good. Also supplies are tricky so things have slowed down a bit. But nevertheless we trust it to be done fairly. Honestly Derby do hope you get yours soon.

      Yes, boots were also pretty awesome, Mr F had some handmade patchwork leather ones that were amazing that he hardly wore and which he got rid of at some point. A couple of years ago I saw a similar pair in the V&A. The things we should have kept!

      Yes, indeed, Spring is coming – take care 🙂

  • 24th February 2021 at 9:27 pm

    The two of you were quite dazzling back in the day. In these photos you might be always on the verge of laughing uproariously. You are still lovely, stylish and tremendously vital, radiating intelligence and curiosity, an inspiration to so many.

    • 25th February 2021 at 11:22 am

      Oh what kind and lovely words, Sharon, thank you so much 🙂

    • 25th February 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Here! Here! These are perfect words to describe one of my favorite bloggers! 👏🏼

  • 25th February 2021 at 1:02 am

    Congrats on 48 years Penny…what a wonderful adventure you two have been on together!!!
    I just adore looking back at these old photos, and now we want to see you wearing that wedding dress!!!

    • 25th February 2021 at 11:22 am

      I shall have to find the dress now!!! But it is somewhere – thing is can I still get into it! Have a great rest of the week!


  • 25th February 2021 at 6:03 am

    Congratulations on nearly 48 years together , its 45 for us. Wonderful photos of young love . When you are young and in love all you need is each other.
    I do remember those jeans , although I can’t recall owning any.
    Isn’t it fun looking back but thinking forward.
    Jill xx

    • 25th February 2021 at 11:24 am

      Thank you Jill. Those jeans, I had several like that, and remember that a friend arrived back from the States with a pair of straight Levis and thought they were so plain and ugly! How styles change, but yes, it’s good to both look back and forward.

      Have a great rest of the week 🙂

  • 25th February 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Penny,
    Same year as us 1973!,
    We too had a honeymoon in Cornwall. A friends mother let us use her little place, it was lovely . There was a friendly horse in the field next to the accommodation, I remember it coming towards me each time I went in the garden!
    We are so looking forward to seeing the sea again when this is allowed!!
    All the best Penny
    Viv xx

    • 26th February 2021 at 11:55 am

      OOps, I’ve just been informed by Mr F that I’m a year out and 1973 was when we met and holidayed in Newquay and August 1974 was our wedding – oops again, honestly how could I? Anyway we did honeymoon in Newquay, so that pic was taken in 1974. But Cornwall is lovely isn’t it, over the next few years we shall try and revisit so many places in the UK as not sure about foreign travel.

      All the best to you too Vivien xx

  • 25th February 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, those photos! I swear I could look at blogs of JUST other people’s old family photos and be perfectly happy. A little context is nice, but (sorry, my brain is now rambling at the idea of yet another blog post series).

    Glad to hear you’ll be able to dine out (well, IN) soon. I braved one small cafe last week for the first time in…gosh, I can’t actually think of the last time I ate INSIDE a restaurant. I’ve always liked eating outside, anyway. My friends tend to get cold faster than I do so they prefer going indoors much earlier in the fall, so this time has been nice for me 🙂

    I was never cool enough for the super wide bell bottoms, ha ha. I was just never cool at all! I was too horsey and booky. It’s only now that I look back and sort of regret not living outside the box a bit more. Something I’ve been thinking of a bit lately.

    ANYWAY, enjoy that glorious sunshine!


    • 26th February 2021 at 12:01 pm

      It’s another lovely sunny day with not a cloud in the sky and kind of warm(ish) in the sun, as in it would be good enough to sit outside for food, but that won’t happen yet, although we are just beginning to relax our lockdown. Non-essential retail opens on 11th April and that’s when outside eating will be allowed. So, not inside for ages and yes it’s quite strict – but tbh, necessary.

      Thanks Bettye, take care x

  • 25th February 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Lovely photos of now and then. We got married in 1974, I wore cheesecloth, I still have the long skirt but I don’t know why I didn’t keep the blouse. I wish I had kept a lot of clothes from the 70’s.We actually had our honeymoon before the wedding ( !!!), a few days in Scotland. It was April , but gloriously warm, I remember.
    What I am looking forward to most is to be able to go out for a meal. It will be SUCH A TREAT !
    I am so tired of thinking what to cook every single day.

    • 26th February 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Ah cheesecloth, how lovely! And same here – I look back and think now why did I get rid of those clothes!

      I’m totally on the same page as you as far as cooking every single day with no respite, but we’ve got around this a bit, as we do sometimes have takeaways delivered to us. Tonight it’s fish and chips – three cheers at the thought of that!

  • 25th February 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Oh Penny what a beautiful piece, I love to read about you both and see the photos, what a marvellous adventure you have had. It’s actually made me quite teary to read. I recall how my hubby and I (who married at 22) had so little when we got married. A house, a bed! borrowed TV and sofa (in-laws) fitted kitchen and bathroom and a chest of drawers! We bought a fridge with wedding present money and had a hand-me-down washing machine! But we were happy and enjoyed building up our home for our 5 children that followed. Such a wonderful life and yes here’s to many more years to enjoy ourselves. THANK YOU for the memories Penny. xx Jacqui x

    • 26th February 2021 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much Jacqui for those kind words. I actually bumped my face (long story) so couldn’t do close-ups so that’s why I turned to (really) old photos! But it is good to remember how little we had and how our expectations were simple and yet we were happy!

      Thanks again, Jacqui 🙂


  • 28th February 2021 at 7:43 am

    Great to see those pictures Penny. You’ve always been a handsome couple. I remember loons. I used to read New Musical Express from cover to cover, and the small ads always had adverts for loons and kurtas! I had a pair of very wide bell bottom jeans from Brutus. Hasn’t the sunny weather been fantastic? Makes everything so much more bearable. I was thinking a lot about what I wanted to do this year, in December, but now that lockdown is dragging on I’m doing less of the dreaming. All I know is, I’ll be down to Plymouth in a flash as soon as I can go, to see Mum x

Comments are closed.