Fashion and fun for the over-50s.

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Friday, 26 February 2021

Friday Favourites: TV, Books, Podcasts - February Edition

It's the monthly round-up of TV, book and podcast reviews.  I didn't necessarily like all of them - but you can always count on me for being honest and objective!  Without further ado....


Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Look More Radiant Over 50 - and Link-Up

 Over 50s style blogger Gail Hanlon with some of the new make-up she has bought recently to tackle pigmentation, dark under eye circles and lack of radiance

I've been experimenting with a few new beauty products.  It helps pass the time when we're in lockdown.  None were gifted, so I will give you a completely honest opinion on what's working for me, and what didn't. 

I have particular requirements for beauty products. For age-related issues like lines, pigmentation, dark shadows under the eyes, dull skin and dryness -we need specialist products to hide imperfections and help us look radiant. 


Monday, 22 February 2021

Faux Leather: Style Not Age Challenge

 Faced with the challenge Faux Leather, Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon remembered she has a pair of Spanx faux leather leggings. These she styled with a green coat, boots and belt, and black Peter Pan collar top with pink bag
When Jacqui set "faux leather" as this month's  Style Not Age Challenge, I was a little flummoxed.  I don't have any faux leather, I thought. Then I remembered the Spanx leggings I bought a few weeks ago. Relief!

I've styled my leggings differently to when I first showed you a mint jumper and beret look. 

Older women nervous about wearing faux leather leggings on their own can wear them with a long cardigan or coat as Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon demonstrates

I've added a green coat  (old, M&S), my new green velvet boots, a green metallic belt from Kettlewell, and a new top from Damsel in Distress, (affiliate link) which I leapt on because of the cute collar detail.  My pink bag from Amazon and pink lipstick adds another colour contrast for interest.

Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in Spanx faux leather leggings, green coat, boots and belt, and black and white top

Now let's see what the other girls came up with.  Hilda from Over the Hilda was originally going to wear her Spanx leggings too, but she then found an old faux leather jacket to use instead.  She's created a wonderfully stylish casual look. The jeans are no less than 17 years old  (and, Hilda notes happily, back in fashion again). Her top is an old Zara one. 

Irish blogger Hilda from Over the Hilda in faux leather jacket and flared jeans

Jacqui from Mummabstylish has a wonderful new pair of chocolate brown culottes which she's wearing with a sunflower top old one from Bonmarche, new off white coat from New Look sale,  and old faithful ivory ankle boots from Next.

Emma from Stylesplash has a faux double, with a top with faux leather sleeves from New Look, Warehouse check mini skirt from eBay, Lotus faux leather boots from a charity shop and LaBante vegan leather red bag from eBay.

Anna from Anna's Island Style has a summery, jaunty look with pre-loved top and pleather leggings.  Her necklace is a lovely vintage find, sunglasses are Quay Australia and boots are from Topshop.

I hope you enjoyed our faux leather looks.  More on the individual blogs. I'm back on Wednesday with #WowOnWednesday - hope to see you then.

Sharing this post with #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge 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 StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Print Skirt 2 Ways - and Link Up

 How to style a patterned knee length skirt:  this colourway on over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon is burgundy and navy with a splash of acid yellow
Originally I was going to call this post "Treasures from the Attic." I had long known there was a missing bag of clothes up in the loft, but my husband kept insisting he'd looked everywhere and there wasn't.

You may be asking, well why didn't I go and look myself?  Unfortunately I have a fear of heights, and also ladders, so I can't bring myself to go up.

But after insisting, when he was looking for a duvet, that he have another look, he found a box.  A box! Full of treasures, including this Boden burgundy and navy print skirt.

When midi length came back into fashion, about two or three years ago, I stopped wearing all my knee length skirts. But as someone who's fairly petite  (5'4) this length is better for my proportions.

Acid yellow lends a refreshing splash of colour to a burgundy and navy print skirt as worn by over-50s style blogger Is This Mutton

I styled the skirt two different ways.  First with a new acid yellow v-neck top from Kettlewell and a burgundy cashmere cardigan (old, Pure Collection), matching tights and white boots. The necklaces are from Claudia Bradby. Bag from Coach. I've never liked this cropped cardigan for some reason.  It replaced another one which wore out, but the colour is less berry toned than its predecessor.  But here it has a new lease of life. 

For the second look, which is my default with this colourway, I added pink and silver.  The cropped cashmere cardigan is an old one from Boden;  the infinity scarf in silver is a new from Kettlewell, and the silver bag was a Christmas present in 2019 from Anthropologie.  I love metallics as neutrals. 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton is reunited with an old Boden patterned knee length skirt and styles it two ways
The infinity scarves are less fuss than a normal scarf: you simply loop them once or twice, and it's a great way to add a pop of a colour that suits you, so that it's near the face. 

Silver and pink with a burgundy and navy patterned skirt, as worn by over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon
Other treasures which came down included two pairs of jeans in my favourite style from M&S  (long discontinued!), two more Boden skirts I thought I'd given away, and a couple of pieces of faux fur which are fun. But there's still more searching to be done, because my only pair of navy boots are AWOL, and no doubt in the loft somewhere. I will wait until Mr Mutton is in a good mood before I make him search again. (I have since refined my process so that when he takes bags into the loft at the change of seasons, I make long Samsung notes on what's gone up and what's on the label!). 

How do you deal with the change of seasons? Do your clothes go into storage for a few months? Or do you have enough wardrobe and cupboard space to have everything around you at all times?

Nothing was gifted for this post. 

I'm back on Monday with the Style Not Age Challenge. Hope to seer you then. 

Sharing this post with #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge 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 StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi

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

Last week's favourites were: 

Katie from Preppy Empty Nester and her post "Rules and Tools of my Weight Loss Journey" struck a chord. An amusing post full of great pictures, recipes and know-how.  Congrats to Katie for losing 20 pounds over nine months.

Carrie from A Stylish Fit with her post "Create28 winter edition – week 1 looks."  Responding to various prompts, including chambray, neutrals and shacket,  Carrie created different looks for seven days. 

My favourite was from Hilda at Over The Hilda and her post "Love is Not Just for Valentine's Day."
Hilda and husband Graham are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. They met on Valentine's Day and got engaged on the same date a year later.  It's a lovely story with some great photos. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Our Lives in Colour Part 2 and Link-Up

 Amanda Devaure-Croft from Herts, UK, shows off some of her outfits in autumn colours after having her colours analysed in 2020

In part two of Our Lives in Colour, we meet our lovely Autumn, Amanda Devaure-Croft, above, who tells her colour analysis story, and I get to grips with being a Sprinter Winter (!). 


Monday, 8 February 2021

Beauty Treatments at Home During Lockdown


Is This Mutton tries some salon treatments at home including ice globes for facial massage and a home gel manicure kit

We're in lockdown in the UK and not likely to see hair or beauty salons opening for several weeks.  While I'm quite high maintenance with my hair, having a cut, regrowth and highlights every seven weeks - I've realised I'm low maintenance when it comes to beauty routines.


Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Our Lives in Colour Part 1


Today's post is a big two-part extravaganza about colour  (using the UK spelling). Two reasons. I've been enthralled for the last few weeks by what I've seen in the Kettlewell Colour Club on Facebook, and I'm personally keen to experiment with colour contrasts.


Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Sentence a Day: January 2021: Welcome Lockdown #3

 Connaught Water in Epping Forest at sun rise, winter, 2021. Is This Mutton

Friday 1 Jan

New Year's Day. Cold no frost. My stats for 2020 showed I did a total of 1,070.90 miles walking.  Put the Christmas decorations away. Had roast beef, which we don't have very often. 

Saturday 2 Jan

Not quite so cold. Did trails walk, 4.5 miles. Then some cleaning. Early night. 

Sunday 3 Jan

Did home workout.  Went to Epping for a few bits. Lovely sunny day. Roast chicken. 

Monday 4 Jan

Last day of holiday.  Did walk with J just over 5 miles. Cold wind. New seersucker duvet set arrived.  Govt announced another national lockdown. 

Tuesday 5 Jan

Lockdown #3 officially started today, although as London had been in tier 4 since before Christmas, we didn't notice much difference.  Back at work. Fairly quiet. Easing in gently. Had flu jab at local surgery.

Wednesday 6 Jan 

Walk of forest trails, usual mud fest on Plains.

Thurs 7 Jan 

Good day at work, met a couple more members of the AI team I'm now working with.  J not very well, seems to have respiratory infection.

Fri 8 Jan 

J had choking fit over breakfast. Worried about deterioration in his respiratory situation.  I did an urban walk. J went for a Covid test.

Sat Jan 9

J in bad way when he woke up. Improved over day. Blue sky so we did short walk around the nearby golf course.  Saw (and heard) parakeets.  There are lots of them in some of the London parks and woodlands. Legend has it they escaped during the filming of The African Queen. J's Covid test was negative. 

Sun Jan 10

Did walk Holly/willow tails, avoided water jump. Roast chicken.  J still poorly, not sleeping well.

Mon Jan 11

V cold. Forced myself to do a weights workout.  Long day. Finished at 6.30. J slept better but still coughing a lot. 

Tues Jan 12

Walked to big Tesco, 4.4 miles.  J improved my home office set-up so that I now use a large monitor, external keyboard and mouse with my work laptop, and have a switch to select between the laptop and my personal PC. Have a new webcam and halo ring light. Takes 10 years off on Zoom! Here's Molly waiting for her close-up.

Weds Jan 13

Drizzly and cold. Only did short walk. J had phone consultation with doctor.

Ready for bad weather walking: Gail Hanlon from blog Is This Mutton wearing Rab waterproof anorak

Thurs Jan 14

Awful day weather-wise so did online yoga workout with Adriene. Difficult to angle myself on the floor so that I could see her on the PC screen. V busy at work. J started antibiotics.

Friday Jan 15

Not raining so did an urban walk. Finally watched last 2 episodes of The Killing.  J v keen to try something new. Made chilli and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's winter salad. Yummy.

Sat Jan 16

Excited to see snow but it only lasted about 2 mins and then it rained. Boo. Did 2 of my least favourite cleaning jobs, fridge and cutlery drawer.  Watched The Great. 

Sun Jan 17

Early walk Yates Meadow mud revels.  Sun came out. By end of day had walked 9 miles and burned 2,402 calories. Roast chicken. Snowdrops starting to emerge. Started Pembrokeshire Murders. 

Monday Jan 18

"Blue Monday" when we are all supposed to be depressed. I was cheerful. J is a lot better. Urban walk. Overcast.  Quiet day at work. Tried Finding Alice and The Mallorca Files but not v impressed with either.

Tues Jan 19

Busy day. Did home workout.  J well enough to do a program on his bike trainer. Changed bed, J wanted less toggage. 

Weds Jan 20

Did short walk 3.7 miles, it was too grey and showery to walk for longer.  Forest is saturated. Busy day again, twice yearly planning session every afternoon this week. Normally this would be held in Cambridge or the US. Watched final episode Pembrokeshire Murders. Started Informer. 

Thurs Jan 21

Blue sky walk. J's 360 degree camera arrived.  I was invited to go on Newsnight to talk about Covid in light of the Is This Mutton survey.  It's a very robust and serious news program so I said no.  If blogging was my career, I would have done it. But I was afraid they would trivialise my beloved blog and me as "an influencer," although I don't consider myself one as the blog is a hobby. Call My Agent back, yippee.

Blue sky day in Epping Forest, winter 2021

Fri Jan 22

J and I went for early walk 7 40 so he could try out new camera.  Lovely day. Walked around Connaught Water (top picture).  Had good meeting where new team told me they were thrilled with the start I'd made. Started watching The Bay series 1. 

Saturday Jan 23

Did mud walk 5.7 miles. 2 degrees, hands freezing. Did indoors blog shoot, 3 outfits. M&S Burns Night hamper arrived. Did a Zoom call for a Waitrose cookery class where they made caponata to demonstrate batch cooking.  Watched film Close, 5 out of 10

Waitrose online cookery class in action

Sunday Jan 24

Did workout. Ironing. Sorted out some eBay listings. Wrote a blog post. Roast lamb for lunch.  Started snowing but soon disappeared in garden. 

Mon Jan 25

Walk in forest, dusting snow quite pretty. Slippery.  J was out running with his 360 camera and raced over to me.  

Burns Night, had traditional haggis and wee dram of whisky. We're not Scottish but it broke the routine and the haggis was tasty. 
Haggis, neeps and tatties with a wee dram of whisky: Burns Night dinner

Tues Jan 26

No walk too busy. Dropped parcels off at post office.  Worked through to 6.30pm. 

Weds Jan 27

Long day working from 8am to till 7pm and no chance for a walk. Number of steps was terrible.  Lots ebay listings went live. Three sales right away so pleased with that. 

Thurs Jan 28

Urban walk, 4.4 miles.  Had online delivery from Ocado, first time I've been been able to book them for ages. Sold more on eBay. 

Fri Jan 29

Cut walk short because it looked like rain and I wasn't properly dressed.  Wear big noise reducing headphones so always a bit nervous about rain if I don't have a hat and hood.  Went to post office to despatch eBayers. Watched film The Dig,  7 out of 10. Pleasant little film, would never have had this amount of hype if it had been shown at the cinema in normal times.

January 30

Rained all morning so no walk. Did some indoor blog photography and lots housework.  Started Bridgerton. 

Sun January 31

Pleasant day blue sky. Did forest walk 4.4 miles, sticking to trails because I didn't want to get my boots filthy after J cleaned them so well. Then did the RSPB Birdwatch for an hour. Saw 2 blue tits, 2 great tits, 1 coal tit, 8 sparrows, 2 woodpigeons and a robin. Garden is quiet at this time of year, quite often we have blackbirds, finches, sparrow hawk, feral pigeons, thrushes, magpies and starlings.

Sharing this post with Not Dressed as LambMy Random Musings, Shelbee on the Edge Lucy Bertoldi, Traffic Jam Weekend Linky Party at My Bijou Life and Rena at Fine Whatever 

For More Mutton

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Working from Home? Dress to Impress

 Wearing your normal work clothes makes a huge difference to how you feel about working from home.  Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in black trousers, paisley blouse and cashmere cardigan with green snakeskin boots

For nearly a year I've been working from home and I've mostly been wearing sweatshirts and jeans, or sometimes sportswear.  And I've got bored of it. Two things happened to make me decide to dress differently.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Friday Favourites: TV, Podcasts, Books - January edition


I'm back with Is This Mutton's monthly round-up of reading, listening and viewing.  In the last few weeks it's been a bit of a desert on TV. There are hundreds of TV programmes to choose from, but very few are worth spending time on. Fortunately January has picked up considerably.

Without  further ado, let's look at my latest TV recommendations.


Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Wearing the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021- and Link-Up

Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow are Pantone's colors of the year for 2021. Blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton gives her fashion take with a yellow maribou-trimmed jumper and grey skirt with mustard bootsThe Pantone colors of the year are Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow. These shades were, said Pantone,  chosen for their warmth and dependability. It described Illuminating as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.”  Ultimate Grey, like pebbles, is emblematic of “solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.”

I don't think I have exactly the right shades for my take with these two colors. but it gives you a good idea.  My yellow jumper with feather trim is a cooler yellow, while the boots are a warm buttercup yellow.  The skirt is predominantly grey, and the tights are definitely grey.

I've noticed that the Pantone colors of the year don't usually make it into the mainstream for a year or two. They're like the fashion shows:  they give direction.  When Ultra Violet was color of the year in 2018 I was keen to snap up pieces in this color but there was very little available.  Now you can find quite a lot.  

I asked Melissa Nicholson from Kettlewell Colours, who specialise in colours that you don't often see, for her view.  "The Pantone colors of the year puts those colours into the consciousness of our customers who then request them. If we don’t already stock a color and the Pantone of the Year is something new, I'll certainly explore it and lab dip it. I’m forever on the lookout for new colors – not easy when you already have 300 in the collection." 

Blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in her take on the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 with a yellow maribou-trimmed jumper and grey skirt
Fashion commentators were not thrilled at the prospect of these two colors.  Individually I think they are great.  Grey is dependable and reliable, and goes with lots of colors.  It's exactly what we need in these troubled times.  Yellow meanwhile has been seen a lot lately in the fashion magazines, and many blogger have been wearing it.  It's a cheerful color that reminds us of spring, but not easy to wear for many of us.

The secret is to determine if you're cool or warm toned, and you can do this by looking at the veins  on your wrist.  Blue toned equals cool,  green equals warm.  It's not very precise however.  My color analysis showed that a bright warm yellow is actually best for me.  My coloring is neutral so I can wear a combination of certain cool and warm shades, as long as they are clear / bright.  More on color in next Wednesday's post.

Yellow is often thought of as a difficult color to wear but for most of us it's finding the right shade, cool or warm toned.  Here Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon wears her take on the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021

I have fond memories of grey and yellow together.  In the sixth form at school we were allowed to wear a grey skirt and a round neck jumper of any colour, with no tie.  The freedom! I had a midi length pencil skirt in grey - a lighter shade - and v neck jumpers in yellow, pink and a weird green, knitted by my mum, and a darker green that was prickly.  

V necks were more fashionable but it was a daring move because if the deputy headmistress, Miss Collins, saw you wearing the offending item, she would make you turn the jumper round and wear your blazer over the top. Fortunately it never happened to me. 

What do you think of the Pantone colors of the year?  Let me know in the comments.

Sharing this post with: #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge 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 and Stylish Monday at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine Whatever 

It's a busy week on Is This Mutton - I'm back on Friday with the Favourites - books, podcasts and TV, and on Tuesday with Sentence a Day for January. Hope to see you then.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, where bloggers find new readers, and readers find new blogs to read!
Last week's readers' favourites - most clicked - were:

Suzy Turner introducing her new fashion and beauty blog, "Welcome to the Grey Brunette." 

Pamela from Style Yourself Confident with her post "What's Autumn's Magical Color?"

My favourite fashion post was by Christine from Bon Chic Style, "Recovering from COVID-19 & French Chic Black Slip Dress." I love the different ways she styled the dress, and the b&w photography, with one color image, is a visual delight.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, 25 January 2021

Lounging At Home: Style Not Age Challenge

 For the Style Not Age Challenge Lounging at Home - very apt for lockdown - Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon is wearing a wool hoody and joggers in oatmeal from Mango with an infinity scarf in Chinese Blue for a dash of colour from Kettlewell

It was my turn this month to decide the theme for the Style Not Age Challenge, and I chose the most searched-for fashion term at the moment - Loungewear. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

What We Learnt from the First Wave of Covid - And Link Up

 The results of the 2021 annual Is This Mutton? Survey

Old-fashioned typwriter with Corona Update typed on a piece of paper. Picture by Markus Winkler for Pexels
Thanks to all of you who generously completed the annual Is This Mutton? survey. Last year was about how we feel about ageing. This year, the focus had to be about Covid-19 and how we coped with the shock of the first lockdown.

The majority of respondents was in the UK and Ireland followed by the US and Canada (20%).  Women took part from many other countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

2021 Off to a Less Than Flying Start: And Link-Up

Jumping for joy? Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in blue and green featuring a velvet midi skirt and snakeskin ankle boots
Have the first few days of 2021 had you jumping for joy?  I've seen quite a few amusing social media posts where people are saying that they had the free trial of the new year but didn't like the look of it. 

Friday, 8 January 2021

I Liked Regentiv So Much I Bought More Products!

Some of the UK skincare brand Regentiv's products created to solve problems such as lines, wrinkles and lax skin texture
I was intrigued when a UK beauty brand called Regentiv got in touch with me back in October.  I've seen their ads in magazines like Good Housekeeping for years. It's a real word-of-mouth range, as you can see from the testimonials on their Instagram feed.

I've often wondered about trying their flagship product, the Specialist Serum, and Regentiv kindly sent me a bottle to try, plus the Invigorating Exfoliant. Now that I've used them for a couple of months, I was suitably impressed to buy a couple more products - the Super Lifting Serum and Neck & Decollete Rejuvenation.


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

New Year Nuggets - and Link Up

Poring over her new organizers for 2021, Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon reminisces about time management systems and discusses her 2021 plans
You'll need a coffee to get through today's longish post - pity I've already drunk mine! I'm going to give you a few blog factoids from 2020 and a  look ahead to this year and what I'm planning. 

Monday, 4 January 2021

December 2020 - A Sentence a Day

 A spectacular sunrise over Connaught Water in Epping Forest, winter 2020

Tues 1 Dec

Spectacular sun rise today followed by blue sky weather. Did holly trail walk in Epping forest. Had NHS letter giving me the all-clear from recent mammogram - plus another letter about upcoming home bowel cancer screening test, which is next on the list. 

Weds 2 Dec

A good news day. The second month-long national lock down has ended and my gym has reopened!  Everyone so excited. Pfizer/Biontech vaccine now approved for the UK, first country in the world to give it the all-clear. 

Thursday 3 Dec

Raining all day. Did walk, Holly trail. Wore new Rab waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers. Booked for free make-up masterclass with Charlotte Tilbury. New Christmas lit garland delivered.

Wet weather walking outfit worn by Gail Hanlon of Is This Mutton featuring Rab waterproof trousers and jacket and Seal Skinz hat which protects headphones

Friday 4 Dec

Day off - everyone at my company was given this as a "care day." I went into London to see the Emin/Munch exhibition which I pre-booked a few weeks ago in the hope it would happen. Read my review here. Quiet in town. Later had hair colour/cut in Epping. Shorter style. 

Saturday 5 Dec

Did the Yates meadow and Holly trail walk, just under 5 miles. Lovely day. Afternoon dragged. Watched film Last Christmas, based on the George Michael song and starring Emilia Clarke. A bit lame, 6 out of 10. 

Sunday 6 Dec

Overcast, cold. Walked to gym.  Got the tree and decorations down but didn't put tree up. J has a cold. Roast chicken. 

Mon 7 Dec

V cold and foggy. Did 5 miles. 30 to go, by the end of December, to complete the #Walk1000Miles challenge.  Put Christmas tree up. Letter from NHS offering the flu jab. Since I hit 60, the NHS has been all over me. 

Tues 8 Dec

Foggy again. Walked 4.3 miles. First vaccine given in the UK. Yet another letter from NHS offering me the over 60 health check. Cold enough for winter duvet - 15 togs.

Weds 9 Dec

Walk, Willow trail.  No fog and a bit milder.

Thur 10 Dec

Walked to gym. Cold. Study by Office for Nat Statistics says lockdown life was antisocial, lazy and marked by heavy drinking. Not chez Mutton, I'm glad to say (except for the antiosocial bit, but you can't avoid that in lockdown!). Attended Charlotte Tilbury virtual masterclass. Well, waited for 21 mins but she still hadn't appeared so cut my losses. 

Fri 11 Dec

Too tired to walk, needed rest day. Only have 9.46 miles to go. Cloudy. Had my first meeting at work with the new team I'm working with. Like their enthusiasm. Fish n chips,  1st time for weeks. Barbara Windsor died. Watched film Happiest Season with Kristen Stewart. Patchy, not very funny: 6 out of 10. 

Sat 12 Dec

Walk, lots of mud via the Yates & Holly. The "river" is wider and a group of people had come to an abrupt stop. Eventually I did a run up and jumped. They all cheered. Fortunately I managed to clear it for the 1st time, thanks to having an audience! 

Sunday 13 Dec

Don't need to walk today as I only need to do 4 miles to get my 1000, and I plan to do that tomorrow with J on a day off work.  Drove to gym and then did some shopping at Epping. 

Monday 14 Dec

Day off. Sunny start. J and I did the Copped Hall and deer tunnel walk. Very muddy. Saw the deer. at a distance, not in the tunnel. J took photos of me wearing medal, but my nose was very red like that of a certain reindeer! My bowel cancer testing kit came - oh joy.

Tuesday 15 Dec

Had over 60s health check. J did too and we were seen together at a practice a few miles away. I seem to have lost an inch in height but otherwise everything was fine. My chances of having a heart attack, stroke or type 2 diabetes are mercifully very low. 

Weds 16 Dec

Sunny start. Did 4.5 forest trails walk. Winding down at work.

Thurs 17 Dec

Blue sky. Did urban walk to post office and dropped off a card further along. 

Friday 18 Dec

My last day at work and busy with meetings until 6. Then pleased to put my "out of office" on. Two weeks off! 

Sat 19 Dec

Showers.  Urban walk 4.2 miles.  Boris announced London now in tier 4 from midnight and Christmas  effectively cancelled.  Immediately amended online shopping order to remove canapes and various desserts for Boxing Day, but was unable to cancel a click and collect order for a huge gammon (ham).  

Sun 20 Dec 

London has gone into Tier 4 restrictions from midnight, effectively a lockdown, which has put an end to families gathering over Christmas. My gym is now closed again so did a virtual class with them for the first time. 45 mins and rather arduous!  Roast chicken

Mon 21 Dec

A rest day exercise-wise.  Lorries unable to leave Dover. Big log jam. More lorries than usual have been on the roads prior to Brexit, resulting in delays, and now Macron of France is demanding that all lorry drivers have a Covid test before crossing the Channel. Some of the drivers, from Poland and other countries, won't make it home for Christmas. 

Tues 22 Dec 

Walk, forest trails. "River" getting bigger. Went to Waitrose for click and collect of the gammon. Then Ocado delivery came. Christmas food sorted. Watched Love Actually as we always do at Christmas. 

Weds 23 Dec

Urban walk which took in the large Tesco, 4.5 miles. No shortages except run out of mince pies. Had been predictions of no lettuces or broccoli because of haulier problems. Near home there are long queues for walk in Covid tests at the town hall. My mum had her first vaccine. 

Xmas Eve

Sunny day. Did virtual gym class, wore antlers. Did a blog shoot for Style Not Age - "Out and About. 

Xmas Day, Friday 25 Dec 

Cold, sunny. Dropped presents off at R & S's new house, not far away. Peered in through window as we couldn't go in. Opened presents when we got back. Christmas lunch went well. I'm a nervous roaster of turkey in case it's tough and dry. Watched Home for Xmas - sweet Norwegian comedy drama - and The Night Manager episode 1. 

Boxing Day, Saturday 26 Dec 

V cold. Went for walk, Yates, muddy. Nipped into local Tesco for baguette and salad - yes they still had some. Watched George Clooney film The Midnight Sky. 5 out of 10. 

Sunday 27 Dec

Virtual gym class. Sunny. Gammon. John was watching Spurs and I watched a documentary about Bridget Jones. 

Mon 28 Dec

Walked to big Tesco, picked up too much and had to get bus back. Cold.

Tues 29 Dec

Forest walk. V cold. Started watching The Killing.

Weds Dec 30

Oxford vaccine was approved. Quiet day doing blog photos. Sunny but v cold. Took photos of a couple of sparkly New Year's Eve outfits for Instagram tomorrow. 

Gail Hanlon from style blog Is This Mutton in silver and blush halterneck sequin top

New Year's Eve, Thurs Dec 31

Cold. Walked to big Tesco to get a few bits for tonight, quiche and salad. Afternoon: watched original Far from Madding Crowd, one of my favourites of all time (nine out of 10). Evening: watched film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018), seven out of 10. In bed by 9 as usual and asleep by 9.30.  The loud fireworks at midnight woke me briefly. Welcome 2021, we've been awaiting you! 


If you're a woman over 45, I'd love you to participate in the annual Is This Mutton? survey. This year the questions are mainly around how we experienced lockdown life. No email addresses are being captured and you don't need a Google log-in to complete the survey. Responses are entirely anonymous. The results will be featured mid-January.  Take the survey. 

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