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Monday 30 November 2020

A Touch of Sparkle: Style Not Age Challenge

All we want for Christmas in pandemic year is a bit of sparkle and here it is provided by the over-40s bloggers of the Style Not Age challenge. Here Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton wears a deep pink sequinned tunic from Monsoon with a midi pleated silver skirt and silver boots
With Christmas less than three weeks away it was a great choice by Anna to have "A Touch of Sparkle" as our November challenge. Have you gone early with your Christmas decorations? I can understand why everyone wants to brighten up this gloomy time.  Our sparkly outfits should help!

I didn't have much in my wardrobe in the way of sparkle - I have a couple of sequin tops but I wear them throughout the year being a big fan of sequins for daytime. I treated myself to this Gemma top from Monsoon at John Lewis - it's sold out except in size 18. The rest of my outfit is old, the pleated skirt was from Warehouse via eBay;  the silver belt came from Topshop, and I can't remember where the silver boots or bag came from  (the bag is from my big collection of evening bags - see it here).
Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in a sparkly sequin top for Christmas with a silver pleated skirt and silver boots

Sequins for Christmas with style blogger Is This Mutton in pink Gemma top from Monsoon and silver pleated skirt
Now let's see what the rest of the Style Not Age collective chose to sparkle in. 
Emma from Stylesplash is fantastic at mixing colours and here we see green looking wonderful with damson/burgundy. Like me, Emma sourced her Warehouse skirt from eBay. That bang up to the minute blouse is from PrettyLittleThing, boots from Office and her bag from an independent shop. 
Jacqui from Mummabstylish has plenty of sparkle with a gorgeous Oasis long sleeve black tunic covered in gorgeous sequins.  She has paired it with simple black wide leg trousers and black boots.
Hilda from Over the Hilda is looking fabulous in her Baum und Pferdgarten lurex jumper from The Bias Cut, which brought back happy memories of the day she and I joined Laurie from Vanity and Me in a Bias Cut shoot. I later bought the same jumper, but it suits Hilda's colouring much more than mine.  Her skirt is this year's Florence and Fred and the boots, which go so well with the top, are over 20 years at least.
Anna from Anna's Island Style, whose challenge this is, is brightening December not only with sparkles but with colour as well. Her jacket is from Anothereight, sweater is by The Cashmere Specialist, satin trousers from the Conscious Collection at H&M and boots are from Office. 

Sharing this post with Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge  at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile and Stylish Monday at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Beauty by Miss L Link Up#iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  Ask Suzanne Bell and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire

You can see more of the girls' fabulous outfits at their blogs and on Instagram. Anyone planning to sparkle over Christmas?  Do let us know what you're planning to wear in the comments. 


There's a fashion or beauty post every Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter and Instagram


Friday 27 November 2020

Friday Favourites: Podcasts, Books, TV - November Edition

Is This Mutton? owner Gail Hanlon with headphones on to consume another podcast for her November reviews
Welcome to the monthly edition of Friday Favourites.  There's a feast of podcasts as the top providers launch new seasons and new variations. I promise a very eclectic line-up today with some books and TV choices too. 

Podcast Heaven

Late autumn is when the established podcast providers bring out their new series.  Unlike the TV world, podcasting is largely unaffected by Covid, so standards and quality remain high.

The new seasons I'm feasting on: 

Dr Death from Wondery:  this is an excellent documentary series with season 2 focused on the medical malpractice of one Dr Farid Fata.  This seemingly highly respected haematologist masterminded one of the biggest health care frauds in American history.  Jaw dropping.

If you missed season 1, start with the story of former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, whose gross malpractice resulted in the death and maiming of 33 patients while working at hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

Dr Joan and Jericha: the redoubtable duo have reached season 3, and I'm a little disappointed so far. Long adverts and not so much of their hilarious "advice". Outrageous and not for the faint hearted.

Postcards from Midlife:  Trish Halpin and Lorraine Candy are back with season 3 and a sparkling start with the wonderful Trinny Woodall and her guide to everyday glamour. They've still got the same cheesy music unfortunately.

New Podcasts

You take your baby to hospital after he suffers a shock fall in the garden and suddenly your life is turned upside down with both of your children taken from you. This is a true story and it's frightening because even a second expert opinion wouldn't change the minds of a social services team determined to protect two children from their parents, even having secret court hearings which the parents knew nothing about.  Do No Harm from Wondery.

Hunting Ghislaine: (LBC) -  the fall from grace of  pampered princess and Daddy's girl Ghislaine Maxwell, who's in the news this week for complaining about being treated badly at the detention centre where she awaits trial. She is woken every 15 minutes by a flashlight in her face to check she is still breathing.Suicide was allegedly the fate which befell her best friend, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

Ghislaine Maxwell. Image: Reuters

It's a documentary with episode 1 going into Ghislaine's background and her father's misdemeanours,  I did question some of the unattributed statements. We're told Ghislaine was largely ignored as a child and told her mother, age three, "I exist."  She apparently became anorectic at a very young age.  Who said? How do we know? But it's an interesting tale for our times and I'll keep tuning in. 

Tracks: Abyss:  Tracks is an award-winning conspiracy thriller from BBC Radio 4  by Matthew Broughton. It first started in 2016. I loved the first series which started with a plane crash and the death of an eminent surgeon who was the long lost father of the series's heroine, Helen Ash. 

I've become less enthusiastic with each new series because the story has got so hugely convoluted.  I wouldn't know where to start to try to describe the plot. I started the latest, and final, series with sore misgivings.  Helen has nine months to live, has split from her (very irritating) husband, and has suddenly had a vision of a shipwreck after being sent a mysterious email from her dead father. 

Before long she is reunited with the highly irritating husband and they're off exploring the origins of a YouTube video showing said shipwreck,  and talking to people who never seem to spit out their story before something happens to them. I will persevere because I want to understand if there's any ultimate outcome to the whole thing.

My Year in Mensa: Jamie Loftus (not sure who she is but US readers will know - probably an influencer or comedian) takes the Mensa IQ test and passes, which gives her access to a whole new strange world. She takes us to the Mensa convention where she's threatened and humiliated by angry Mensans, most of whom seem to be slightly unhinged (and Republican). And let's not get into the Facebook community, endorsed by Mensa, where comments are unmoderated and death threats are common. 

A podcast leads me to a book 

Medical Murders (Parcast) is a true crime podcast dedicated to doctors who broke the Hippocratic oath and did harm to their patients. I was fascinated by the two episodes dedicated to Walter Freeman, the "ice pick lobotomist." Freeman was a neurologist who, in the 1930s, became excited by the emerging technique of lobotomy. To get round the tricky problem of not being able to perform the operations himself, he invented a technique where he used a small pair of kitchen ice picks to gain access to patients' brains through their eye sockets.  The procedure took 10 minutes or less and he toured America, conducting hundreds of operations - including one on Rosemary Kennedy, aged 23. 

Rosemary was the eldest daughter of Francis and Rose Kennedy, parents of assassinated President John F Kennedy.  I am haunted by this photo of the young Rosemary on the cover of an excellent book, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson.  

The young Rosemary Kennedy, elder sister of former US President JF Kennedy, who was lobomized and sent to an institution no visits for 20 years

Rosemary,  the most attractive of the Kennedy sisters, was described as "mentally retarded" from a young age. We see examples of her letters and child-like handwriting, but while she had learning and behavioral difficulties, it's hard to justify the lobotomy and then banishment to an institution in Arizona, where Rosemary wasn't visited by any of her family for 20 years. The Kennedys were keen to keep her out of the public gaze, and after the failed lobotomy, it became even more important to hide her away. 

Rosemary was highly functioning enough to have been presented at court in England as a debutante.  Here she is on the right with her sisters Kathleen and Eunice.

Rosemary Kennedy with her sisters Eunice and Kathleen before Rosemary was lobotomized and sent to an institution with no visits for 20 years

But as she matured, she became erratic in mood and angry at being wrapped in cotton wool while her sisters were carving out successful lives. Her parents were concerned that she might be "taken advantage of" and her father spoke to Walter Freeman about his pioneering surgery. 

Rosemary's sister Kathleen (who tragically died in a plane crash aged 28) had already researched the procedure and told her mother it wasn't for Rosemary, but Joseph Kennedy went ahead anyway. His wife always denied all knowledge of it. Sadly the operation was a disaster and Rosemary was left physically handicapped. She died in the institution which had been her home for more than 40 years, aged 85.  It's a very sad story.  Her sister Eunice became an advocate for children's health and disability issues, creating the Special Olympics, although she always denied her inspiration was Rosemary.

Other books I've been reading

House of Correction by Nicci French

I used to enjoy the psychological thrillers written by this husband and wife team but found this one sorely lacking. A very unlikeable heroine returns to her childhood village and, in a story of prejudice and conspiracy, ends up being accused of murder.  She decides to conduct her own defence in court. We are kept in the dark until the very end about what her defence will actually be, because she can't remember what she was doing around the time the unpopular victim was murdered. I was annoyed I'd wasted a few hours reading this one.

Fifty-Fifty by  Steve Cavanagh 

A crime thriller about two sisters who accuse each other of murdering their father.  We follow their defence lawyers to trial and try to second guess which sister was responsible.  It kept me engrossed although I fully expected the ending.

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers 

A delight. Set in the genteel English 1950s, it exposes a couple of things which, as teenagers, we were always led to believe never happened in the 50s, lesbianism and adultery. But in a touching and gentle way. The ending will take your breath away.

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

A book with very high aspirations. It's a story as old as time, a wife betrayed by her husband.  But this woman is obsessed with the notion of harpies - women from distant history.  There are a lot of very important quotes on Amazon about how important this book is.  They're all a bit pretentious but let me share this one from Elle magazine:  "In elegiac lines, Hunter tells a love story through the eyes of a new mother, who witnesses the death of an old life and the start of a new one...a perfect portrait of rebirth the final testament that time, and life, do go on, despite our best efforts."  I admired the book's aspirations but I found the conclusion and the woman's transformation a step too far. Feathers are involved. 

What I've been watching

I don't have any new or surprising recommendations so I've kept this section light.  We greatly enjoyed The Queen's Gambit as I'm sure you did  (Netflix).  It was a solid narrative, beautifully performed, compelling and visually stunning.  I loved how the Russians came across at the end.  Too often the media show us the negative side of Russia under Putin and we think it's all about novochok and cold wars. In the programme we saw the sheer joy of ordinary Russians in chess.

The Queen's Gambit

We watched two dramas which aren't new, but hadn't crossed our radar:  COBRA  (Sky) is a British thriller starring Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton. It's about the government and the committee that's convened when there's a national crisis  (as there is now with Covid).  It was a thriller that promised more but came across as a bit cheap and hollow. It seemed to finish very abruptly with lots of loose ends.  The Newsroom (Sky) is a US drama with Jeff Daniels from aaeons ago, but still a very good watch, although I couldn't shake off the feeling that the cable TV channel seemed to be a tiny shoestring operation, when I think they were supposed to be a behemoth. Jane Fonda rocks as a publishing titan. Still watching The Undoing (Sky) and my prediction is that Grace's father (Donald Sutherland, wonderful) is behind it.  J is going for Grace  as the murdering fiend. Nicole Kidman may have a problem registering shock if she is convicted as her face is entirely immobile.

I couldn't not mention The Crown (Netflix)  although I'm not enjoying the latest series as much as its predecessors. I'm old enough to remember all the shenanigans so I'm constantly tutting and sighing about the untruths, which millennials will take as Gospel. I was never a Princess Diana fan and this series is highly sympathetic of her while portraying the royal family as cruel. Things were not as they seem - and the show's creator, Peter Morgan, is an arch Republican #justsayin

That's it for this month. We're woefully light on boxed sets to binge on, so any recommendations gratefully received!

Sharing this post with Not Dressed as LambMy Random Musings, Shelbee on the Edge and Lucy Bertoldi. 

I'm back on Monday with the Style Not Age collective and our latest challenge. 


There's a fashion or beauty post every Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter and Instagram


Wednesday 25 November 2020

You Say Vest, I Say Gilet

 Garments have different names in the UK and the US.  Is This Mutton explores the differences starting with gilet which is called a vest in the US.  She wears a lollipop pink faux fur gilet from Kettlewell.

Dear friends.  It's amusing how we have different names for garments here in the UK and in the US.  What I'm wearing above is a gilet in the UK, but a vest in the US  (and in the Middle East, a vest is a long over garment for men). 


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Styling Long Cardigans - and Link Up

Two ways of styling long cardigans: Is This Mutton

I often wonder how I lived without long cardigans.  I got my first one about two years ago and wear it all the time.  They can be styled many different ways and are perfect for working and lounging at home.

Friday 13 November 2020

Friday Fizz: A Beauty Box Winner and the Return of Epicure Piccalilli


Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton tries out the My John Lewis x Hannah Martin beauty box - and likes it

Welcome to a new monthly post, Fizzing on Friday, where I'll feature a beauty update and other news and updates. In this first post, I'm praising a beauty box - after saying I wasn't going to buy any more - and the return of an old favourite, Epicure Piccalilli. Plus some other random thoughts.

The contents of the My John Lewis x Hannah Martin beauty box

My John Lewis x Hannah Martin Beauty Box

I was buying something online in beauty at JLP and I noticed this beauty box, a collaboration with makeup artist Hannah Martin. I pledged a few weeks ago I wasn't going to buy any more beauty boxes or beauty Advent calendars or Easter eggs because once you've done it a few times, you get the same products, some of which haven't been selling well. But this box intrigued me because the products looked carefully chosen, and some of them are very well rated.

The box retails for £95 but is worth £160. The products are:  Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, 50ml; MAC Mascara in Extreme Dimension Waterproof, black; By Terry Terrybly  Eye Pencil, black; Charlotte Tilbury The Queen of Glow Luxury Palette;  Clarins Natural Lip Perfector, Candy Shimmer and Rose Shimmer, 5ml; NARS Blush in Deep Throat (I hate the names of those NARS blushers - cringe city).

There's a card in the box where Hannah Martin explains why she chose each item.  This box really delighted me because the items are so good. The mascara doesn't budge, and is noticeable on my puny eyelashes. The blush is a soft pink with a gold undertone, which imparts a pretty, soft flush.  I have a few Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palettes and the high pigmentation and dazzling colors always impress me. I'd forgotten about Clarins Natural Lip Perfectors, but used to love them - and I rememer why; they make the most lined and wrinkled lips look smooth and luscious with just a hint of colour. 

I had to be convinced about the eye pencil because I've tried a few By Terry products and never rated them, but the kohl is very soft and glides on easily. It did transfer to the lower lash after about 30 minutes, which was irritating, but I dabbed it off.

The products create a soft pretty look with emphasis on the eyes.  I didn't use the eyeshadow palette for this picture, or indeed the Bobbi Brown enriched face base, because I'm using other products right now. But my "Bobbette" friends on Instagram rate the face product very highly so I'm looking forward to trying it.

Graham Norton Leaving BBC Radio 2

I've always enjoyed Graham Norton's Saturday morning show;  it's relaxed with interesting guests (he attracts a higher calibre than the usual Z listers) and I enjoy the "Grill Graham" slot and his banter with co-presenter Maria McErlane.  Unfortunately it was announced this week that after 10- years, Graham is giving up his show.

The BBC said it was his own choice, but we later learned that the BBC wants its presenters to talk less and to play more music. 

Back in the day when I worked in BBC local radio,  there was a high cost for royalties called "needle time", so they would substitute free-of-charge music called "radioplay"  (I would describe it as muzak or not by the original artists).  

I had hoped the BBC was going to regain some common sense now it has a new Director General who overturned a couple of daft decisions. But no.  They pay Graham Norton a lot of money to be Graham, which means a lot of chat and laughter.  I can't understand why they'd want to play more music, unless it's another futile attempt to make Radio 2 attractive to younger listeners, who already have Radios 1 and 6. 

A welcome return for Epicure Piccalilli 

A jar of Epicure Piccalilli which is back on the shelves after a very long absence

Back in 2008 on my old blog, I wrote a post "It's thick and yellow" about my passion for piccalilli and my search for a replacement to Epicure's distinguished product, which had been discontinued a long time before 2008.

I was recently contacted by Jason Beaumont, managing director of a company which has revived the Epicure brand. Epicure Piccalilli is back on the market! 

I was quick to purchase a jar of piccalilli from Ocado.  The verdict?  The color is a deep gold, perhaps a little more lurid than I remembered, and there were fewer silverskin onions. But the balance is exactly right. 

Jason told me: "We researched brand archives in a bid to find out what set Epicure Piccalilli apart from the rest.  With piccalilli it’s all about getting the right balance of the key ingredients - chunky and crunchy veg and gherkin - not too much, but then again absolutely not too little and thin.  Pack a tangy punch with the mustard dressing - again not overpowering and definitely not too acidic to strip the back of your throat."

The piccalilli is a harmonious blend which will be perfect with the Christmas cold meats, pork pie and cheese board. 

Those who remember Epicure will be pleased to know that a wide range of products is now available and you can see them on the Epicure website, including a Christmas pudding and mince pies, honey, tinned vegetables (artichokes, asparagus spears and so on), ingredients and home baking.  Buy the products at Ocado and in farm shops, delis, and supermarkets, not just in the UK but also in Ireland. 

More good news: Cummings is leaving

We'e been spoiled this week with good news: the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines for Covid are on their way;  we're getting a bank holiday in 2022 for the Queen's Platinum anniversary, and now the loathsome Dominic Cummings, Machiavellian advisor to Johnson, is said to be quitting after Christmas.

You may remember he ruined lockdown by flouting the rules, "testing his eyesight" in a trip to a castle, and then lying about it on TV.  Johnson should have sacked him but was too cowardly and selfish. 

Instead, the government did everything it could to "move the debate on", ie, close it down. Historians will remember that period as the moment the public saw this government for what it is - contemptuous of us, with different rules for them - and a turning point in the public's good will in upholding lockdown situations. 

Ironically Cummings is quitting now after some petty spat involving the firing of the PR chief.  Shows their priorities doesn't it?

Prince Harry got it right this time 

More stick in the papers for Harry and Meghan for their lone photo call in a US war graves cemetery to mark Remembrance Day. Apparently Harry had wanted a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph in London on his behalf, but the royal family refused. How long is this boring feud going to drag on?  Harry and Meghan have made their bed but surely there's a bit of room for compromise every now and then. 

I applaud their Remembrance Day effort because young people need to be educated about remembrance and why we do it, and the younger (trendier) royals will do a better job in conveying this than Charles and the Queen. 

I would caution William and Kate to remember what happened to the  Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII, who abdicated for the love of (another) American divorcee. Bored and idle, spurned by his family, he was a Nazi sympathizer who was apparently involved in a failed plot to overthrow the British crown during World War II.

Hope you enjoyed this first Friday Fizz. Nothing was gifted for this post. I'm back on Wednesday with #WowOnWednesday and a long cardigans style up.

Sharing this post with Not Dresssed as LambMy Random Musings, Fancy Friday at Nancys Fashion Style, Fabulous Friday at Lucy Bertoldi, Beauty by Miss L,  and Shelbee on the Edge 


There's a fashion or beauty post every Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter and Instagram


Wednesday 11 November 2020

Sixty Favourite Things - and Link-Up

 Style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton on reaching the age of 60 and her ambitions for the next few years
I reached a  milestone at the weekend, my 60th birthday.  Until yesterday, this post was about my feelings on being 60 and how ageism is the only prejudice that is still roaming untamed. But thinking about it, I thought it was all a bit dark; and having cried for joy today at hearing about the Pfizer vaccine, and how we might be back to normal by spring, I thought I'd create something a little more light hearted.

So here are my 60 Things:   60 things I love. I should explain first that some of these are informed by my younger self, nostalgia and memories ----there were certain films and TV shows we adored in my family, and I knew all the words and songs.  There are a couple of books in the list which I loved as a child / teen, but wouldn't want to read now.

10 Favourite Books

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

1984 - George Orwell 

Never No More - Maura Laverty

The Long Walk - Slavomir Rawicz

Papillon - Henri Charriere

Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

The Skin Chairs - Barbara Comyns

The Women's Room - Marilyn French

The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing

Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy 

A red plaid dress with red and black boots worn by Is This Mutton style blogger Gail Hanlon

10 Favourite Films

Oliver!  (musical starring Mark Lester, Ron Moody)

Far From the Madding Crowd  (Julie Christie, Terence Stamp version)

Jean de Florette

Manon des Sources

Frankie and Johnny

Carry On Camping

The Great St Trinians Bank Robbery

The Passion of the Christ

The Sound of Music

The Railway Children

10 Favourite TV Shows 

Game of Thrones

I Claudius

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Father Ted

Fawlty Towers

Line of Duty

Top of the Pops

Jesus of Nazareth

All Creatures Great and Small (1970s version)

Das Boot  (original version)

Celebrating a big birthday in a Fabienne Chapot red plaid dress

10 Miscellaneous Likes



Cheese, most types except goat's


Rain after weeks of dry weather (yes it happens once in a blue moon!)

Waking up on the first day of a holiday abroad

Waking up on Christmas Day 

Walking on a beach in winter 

Seeing the first bulbs pop their heads above ground: the harbingers of spring

After a long and steep walk in the Lake District, seeing the car (!) 

5 Celebrities I Adored (clue: I was not the type to fall for Brad Pitt or anyone too obvious)

Mark Lester  (I was 8)

James Drury "The Virginian"

Jeff Thomson (Australian fast bowler)

David Bowie (always)

Colin Farrell

5 Girls I'd Like As Best Friends 

Marian Keyes

Nigella Lawson

Jane Garvey

Claudia Winkleman

Liza Tarbuck

A red plaid midi shirt dress worn by Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon

10 Favourite David Bowie Songs

John I'm Only Dancing
Life on Mars
Wild is the Wind
Word on a Wing
Hello Spaceboy
The Dreamers
Slow Burn
We are the Dead 
Absolute Beginners 

In the pictures I'm wearing the red plaid Fabienne Chapot dress that I bought for my birthday, from The Bias Cut. Originally I was going to wear it for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants in London, the Gilbert Scott. Hopefully it will happen in a month's time - we rescheduled for early December when England should be out of lockdown again. 

I won't forget my 60th birthday in lockdown - it was the day that Joe Biden won the US election, and a few days later, a vaccine was announced for Covid, so it looks as if we are finally turning the corner and good things are starting to happen. 

I'm back on Friday with a bonus post to tell you about a beauty box that was really worth the money, and the return of an old favourite - it might surprise you to know what this is but you can read the preamble in my post from 2008

Sharing this post with Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge  at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile and Stylish Monday at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Beauty by Miss L Link Up#iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  Ask Suzanne Bell and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire

#WowOnWednesday was replaced last week by the one-off #7DaySkirtChallenge, where a group of Instagrammers and bloggers showed off their skirts for a week. The two readers' favourites were Lucy Bertoldi and Michelle from Fifty and Fab.

Lucy's post 7Day Skirt Challenge Linkup! Who Wears Short Skirts? We Wear… showcased an enviable skirt wardrobe and Lucy's love of bright colors and eclectic prints. 

Michelle also showed off a gorgeous animal print skirt in a outfit which ticks all the trends for autumn:  Autumn outfits and black chunky boots!  I envy Michelle's ability to pull off this amazing look - midi skirt, leather jacket, chunky boots. It looks so contemporary, I love it.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday 3 November 2020

The 7 Day Skirt Challenge


Dear friends. Had a bit of fun on Instagram over the last week with my #7DaySkirtChallenge. Every day a group of us posted a different skirt outfit, or one skirt that featured all week, with a different look each day.

I thought it would also make a good blog post to show the versatility of skirts, so most of the girls involved will be sharing their skirts today and joining the link up. Hopefully we'll see some new skirts from those who didn't take part on Instagram.


Monday 2 November 2020

Sentence a Day: October 2020: Covid test, trip to office, strange contraption in forest


Thursday Oct 1

Got print copy of Yours magazine - I was featured as a fashion blogger to follow!  

Friday October 2

Raining.  Went to gym. Did an online Bobbi Brown make-up webinar.  Watched first episode Emily in Paris.

Saturday Oct 3

Raining.  Put wet weather gear on and did urban walk 5 miles. Did some cleaning after lunch.

Sunday Oct 4

Raining.  Did food shopping. Family came for lunch including step granddaughter. Roast chicken. Watched last episode season two Borgen. Really enjoyed it.

Monday Oct 5

Raining and cloudy. New passport came, black cover - not the burgundy EU cover for obvious reasons (which make me sad - I am foremost a European).  

Tuesday October 6

John's birthday.  We did my favourite walk - started raining when we got back. My company's major event for developers started, virtually. This time last year I was at the event in California.  J had his favourite dinner, sausages and jacket potato.  He didn't want to go out. 

Weds Oct 7 

Frustrating day. Busy so no walk or gym. Lipstick and eye colour ordered from Byredo came. J got his bike trainer out.  Similar concept to Peloton, he uses one of his own bikes with it and can choose routes with virtual friends.

Thurs Oct 8

Emotional to see last two 747s leaving Heathrow, shown live in breakfast TV.  Went to gym and did shopping. 

Fri Oct 9

Ordered new fridge.

Sat Oct 10

Walked to gym (4 miles).  It was a lovely morning.  Watched last episode Emily in Paris.

Sun Oct 11

Kept day free so I could do a big blog shoot, 3 outfits . Watched film The Secret: Dare to Dream.  6 out of 10. Secured click and collect slot for Christmas turkey crown in Dec.

Mon Oct 12

John and sister Kate set off to the Lake District for a week's holiday.  Rain. No exercise, busy st work. Watched first episode of new series Adult Material. Bit of an eye opener! 

Tues Oct 13

J and Kate did Helm Crag (J is pictured below on one of their walks). Cloudy. Gym and shopping.  Gym.  Laughed at a survey where the top Google questions asked about the UK from different countries were examined.  Top of the list was "why do the British have bad teeth?"

Weds Oct 14

Sunny start. After meetings left at 11. 30 to drive to the office in Cambridge,  first time since Feb! We were given individual slots to go in to collect personal items from our office, which is to be renovated. Very strange atmosphere - deserted. A plate of nuts still on a desk. Quick stop off at Tesco, like old times.  Went home. Started Inhuman Resources,  serial with Eric Cantona  (enjoyed it). 

Thursday Oct 15

Covid news: London moving into tier 2, high risk. Households can only socialise outdoors. Went to gym. Still a bit tired after Tuesday's session.  Finished Inhuman Resources. Started book about  Barbara Amiel (read my review here). Watched extraordinary documentary My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. 

Friday Oct 16

Had long sleep as I fell asleep at 8.30pm and woke up at normal time 6am. Must have been tired. Haven't had any walks this week. Just too busy with work. John came back today, a day earlier than planned. Fridge was delivered.

Sat Oct 17

Did my fave walk then Epping and shopping. 

Sun Oct 18

Walked to PP. Sorted out bulb containers  in front garden.   Gammon for lunch but couldn't understand why it was still pink after being cooked for a long time. Then remembered that gammon stays pink, unlike pork!  Watched two episodes of Wanted.

Mon Oct 19

Did walk 4 miles, Connaught water in Epping forest (top picture). Weather quite mild. Quiet day. During night woke up v hot. Radiator was on, although heating had switched off on timer hours earlier. Had to open windows as I couldn't switch radiator off.

Tues Oct 20

Cloudy, mild. Gym.  Covid test came. Have been invited to take part in a research project where I take the test at home. It's to see how many people have Covid without symptoms.  

Weds Oct 21

Raining. Did 4 mile walk in new waterproof trousers, which worked perfectly. J ordered a new TV. 

Thursday Oct 22

Did Covid test. Sunny. Courier supposed to collect test before 6pm but didn't come. Falafels and salad

Friday Oct 23

Rearranged collection. The sample is OK in a fridge for 7 days. Walked to gym. Warm. Usual fish and chips. Sample was unexpectedly collected at 6.45 (had been rebooked for Mon). Started Barbarians, Netflix. 

Sat Oct 24

Did favourite walk of Yates meadow.  Feeling tired. Did shopping in Epping.  New TV delivered.  Watched Bill Murray film On the Rocks. 7 out of 10. Sausages and jacket potato.

Sun Oct 25

Kept the day free for household chores. Managed to plant some bulbs and prepare a bed for a bare root rose I'm expecting. Roast chicken.  

Mon Oct 26

Short walk although weather lovely. Heart wasn't in it. 

Tues Oct 27

My #7DaySkirtChallenge started on Instagram. Look out for a blog post featuring all the skirts tomorrow, 3 Nov.  Negative Covid result. Rained. Gym. 

Weds 28 Oct 

Did 4 mile walk, Yates. A strange contraption has appeared, like an old rusty motor bike. Has label saying forest police are aware.  Entire meadow now mown. Sunny. Got very wet later.

Thurs Oct 29

Had an amusing email about a post I wrote in 2004 on my old blog about Epicure piccalilli, which had been discontinued years before.  The new owners of the brand would like me to try it.  No exercise. today. Got v windy.

Friday Oct 30

Walked to gym. Rest of day was working. Bare root rose, Gabriel Oak, came.  I couldn't resist a rose named after the hero in one of my favourite books.

Sat 31 Oct 

Halloween but no kids called. Govt announced whole of UK going back into lockdown on Thursday for a month. That's my birthday dinner (Sat) up the spout. Rained so didn't do the shopping as usual.

I hope your month was more exciting than mine! And things won't be any better for November with the lockdown for a month (at least). 

Sharing this post with Not Dresssed as LambMy Random Musings and Shelbee on the Edge 


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