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Wednesday 22 December 2021

What's Happening and Link-Up


Dear friends. Good news - Christmas is saved! We were waiting anxiously to see if Christmas was going to be cancelled.  Cases of the new variant are rocketing - we are now #2 in the world for numbers of cases. But yesterday the government confirmed the festive break would go ahead, although there may be restrictions before the New Year. 

We were supposed to be a party of six at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday for Carols at Christmas, and John and I would have gone if things had not been worsened by a strike on the underground. When this happens, London is a nightmare.  Everyone is packed onto buses or trying to hail cabs. It means getting home can take a very long time.

Reluctantly we decided not to go, to ensure our family Boxing Day event could go ahead. We are testing regularly ahead of Boxing Day, where we will have six relatives round for lunch. If one of us is positive, we will have to cancel. 

Anyway, it is what it is.  We're sanguine, and wearily experienced enough, to know that Covid has no plans to go away right now. Once Christmas is over, I will go back to the gym and hopefully one day a week in the office - assuming there is no "circuit breaker," which looks unlikely. 

That's Enough of the Bad News

I loved the final of Strictly Come Dancing  (in the US you call it Dancing with the Stars - but it launched here first!). It was invigorating to see such a diverse final.  Actor Rose Aylin-Ellis, who's deaf, had been the likely winner in our minds since early on in the series. She was so ethereal, so graceful, and her "journey" with Italian partner Giovanni was a wonderful story. Giovanni always came across before as a bit arrogant and brusque, and off stage he was invariably cavorting with someone from Love Island.  Rose touched his heart, as she did everyone else's, and it was heart warming to see their close partnership. 

Car Joy

On Monday I became the owner of a car for the first time since the early 1990s. For the last six years I've leased a car, and before that, I always had a company car until they became a tax liability. I was due to hand back my white Golf GTI at the end of its lease, but as you know, the global semiconductor shortage has hit the automotive industry very badly, and second hand cars are rocketing in value.  So I decided to make the final payment so that it's now 100% mine. 

We have a new electric car ordered for next year which we will share, and until then the Golf will be available, John has an Audi A7 on lease which is due to go back in March.  

Here's my pride and joy:  Jeremy Clarkson says they are the best cars in the world. 

1500 Miles Nailed

Over the weekend I achieved my goal of walking 1500 miles in 2021.  Country Walking magazine runs an annual challenge, with a Facebook group.  You can choose what distance to go for, and download a certificate when completed, with the option to buy a medal.  I originally decided to go for 1000 miles, which I did last year, but achieved this by September and decided to go for 1500.

I bought myself a medal and John will "present" it to me sometime over the holiday when we go out for a walk together. 

And if you think 1500 miles is a long way - someone else on the FB group shared she had finished 3,000 miles! 

Walking is now such an ingrained habit that I will still carry on with my forest and urban walks.  I fret if the Fitbit doesn't show I've walked at least 10,000 steps - not to mention the 400 calories burned on a 4.5 mile walk.

Not All Christmas Jumpers are Ugly

I usually get a new Christmas sweater every year.  I know a lot of you think they're ugly, and I agree that the lairy ones with flashing antlers are likely to only be worn once.  I try to choose a more tasteful one. Not quite as tasteful as an Icelandic or Fairisle sweater, which I think are poor substitutes! 

The pink reindeer jumper at the top was last year's buy, from the children's department of M&S. You rarely see a Christmas sweater this colour.  They're usually black, navy, beige or pale pink.  Memo to Boden, M&S and John Lewis:  how about a Christmas jumper next year in Colour of the Year 2022 Very Peri? 

I thought I'd given the cream and gold deer jumper away, but found it in a lost bag of clothes in the attic. As a winter, I'm not good in cream - it washes me out - so I added a winter red, carmine, and my red/black boots.

This black jumper with sequin stars came from M&S a couple of years ago.  It's very innocuous. I've worn it at times other than Christmas. I'm wearing it with silver boots and black Spanx leggings. I must admit I have never worn those Spanx outside the house. If I wore them under a dress or tunic, they would be fine, but worn like this I would be too self conscious. 

And Just Like That

So what do you think of And Just Like That, the follow-up to Sex and the City? I probably won't be writing a December favourites post - instead there will be a 2022 favourites next Wednesday - but I couldn't not give my first impressions. 

I loved SATC first time around. It was quite provocative and challenging at the time.  Of course a lot of the early episodes now look dated, and inevitably politically incorrect.

I watched the first two episodes of AJLT as soon as they landed on Sky Comedy. I was overjoyed to see Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte chatting away in a cafe, like old times. Carrie and Miranda have hardly changed, and I suspect have had some very subtle tweaks here and there.  Charlotte has clearly had quite a lot of tweaks and none of them subtle I'm afraid. 

After the two episodes I started to mull it over, and I'm not happy with the way older women are being portrayed.

I thought this reboot would be a wonderful opportunity to show older women as they really are: vibrant, positive, holding the planet together. 

But the star of these three women has diminished since we last saw them. 

None of them seems to work.  Carrie is a presenter on a podcast, one that I wouldn't want to listen to in a million years, and that won't be paying much, so presumably she's been living off the proceeds of a rich husband.  

Charlotte doesn't work either, although her daughters seem to be grown-up. Miranda is dong some sort of post grad degree or course, which is commendable, but it's also cringeworthy to see this intelligent woman falling into minefields of political incorrectness.

I'm disappointed that three women who were successful 20 years ago are shown as so inept in keeping up with the times. 

The fact they all have reading glasses, and Miranda has gone grey, is not surprising;  that's what happens when you get older.  But you don't have to become a parody of your former selves. They have yet to mention the menopause and it will be a real miss if they don't. I read a theory that Carrie may soon prove to have early onset dementia. I do hope not.  It's as if the TV producers want to show that life for women over 50 is completely devoid of joy or any sort of future.

Oh - and Samantha, who's missing from this series, is the oldest but I'm glad to see she's still working - in London! I hope she's enjoying life here and wasn't too inconvenienced by the strike on the underground. It would be brilliant for Kim Cattrall to actually star in a follow-up series about her life in London. Without the other three! 

Love to hear what you think in the comments.

Don't Be a Stranger 

There will be a couple of Mutton posts if you get bored with repeats/and or relatives over the holiday period. On Monday it's the Style Not Age Challenge with me, Hilda, Jacqui, Anna and Emma.  On Wednesday I'm back with #WowOnWednesday and my favourites of 2021: TV, books, podcasts and beauty products.

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette #TheWednesdayLinkUp at Claire Justine, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleHappiness is Homemade at Life as a Leo Wife 

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link-up where readers find new blogs to read, and bloggers find new readers!

Last Week's Favourites

Liz from Howling at the Moon with her post Christmas Greens about a great afternoon with a friend making festive wreaths.  Great to see Liz in the linky! 

Laurie from Vanity and Me with her post "Andrea McLean collection for Bonmarche". Laurie shows us a stunning dress and this animal print top. 

And just to show that you can share more on #WowOnWednesday than blog posts,  Anna from @lookingfabfifty scored a hit with her Instagram post, showing her new sunglasses.   

Don't forget to come back next week and link up your posts.Until then, wishing you happy holidays, and hope you have a joyful and peaceful time. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Congratulations on the 1500 miles and your car! We are in lockdown already and we cancelled Christmas with my inlaws. To many people. We do celebrate with my family on boxing day, we can invite 4 people over the holidays. So we will be doing some tests before. We do that every time we see friends or family. I wish you a Merry Christmas !

  2. Thanks Nancy! Merry Christmas to you too


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