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Thursday 2 June 2022

May in Review

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in Yates Meadow, Epping Forest

Dear friends. Amazing to think we are already nearly at the halfway point of the year. I've decided to change the format of this post, so instead of covering each day of the month and what I did, I'm summarizing and grouping the activities, and adding my fashion buys.  

Outings in May

Kettlewell Colour Club 

It was a fairly quiet month in terms of outings. The weather was very mixed, a few sunny days but also quite a few cloudy days with showers.

There were two meetings with Kettlewell Colour Club members:  the second gathering of the Colourful Croydon Coffee Club (below), and the first meeting of the Kent women, near Maidstone. As I discussed in this post, these meet-ups are a wonderful way for midlife women to meet and connect.

The Kettlewell Colour Club members in Croydon

And here are the shoes I wore with my jewel blue and teal outfit. They're from Embassy London and come in a rainbow of colours. Socks from Boden (old).

Walthamstow Wetlands

I went with Meet Up for a walk along the local canal, down to the Walthamstow Wetlands where some of us had lunch.  The plan was to visit the William Morris Gallery as well, but unfortunately it was closed, so that's been rearranged for later in June. 

A New Baby 

John's daughter and son-in-law had their first baby, Olive Ree.  I now have two step granddaughters.  We will see a lot of Olive because they live very close to us.  

Gardening in May 

April and May are my favourite times in the garden - the garden springs back to life and the bulbs shoot forth, while in May the roses are in their full glory, along with the other cottage garden plants.  I had a couple of sorties to the garden centre. I've now planted several containers and squeezed a few more plants into the border. 

Trying Auriculus

A few years ago I bought a plant theatre with a view to having auriculas, the wonderfully complex primulas. They look as if they are works of art.  I did once use the theatre for a display of purple polyanthus, but I've never had any auriculas until now. 

I bought four, and now think I've bitten off more than I can chew. They like very specific conditions and are ideally displayed in vintage terracotta pots.  I haven't yet got to grips with it. But I have started following auricula growers on Instagram for their tips and pictures. 

Primula Aricula bought by London blogger Is This Mutton

Below:  the roses at the front of our house in May. I got rid of three which were in the middle row because there was too much over crowding. It's much easier now for me to get into the bed and tackle the weeds.  There are two varieties of rose, Gertrude Jekyll and Scepter'd Isle.  They're both repeat flowerers.  I will feed them after the first flush and they'll give another display in September.

Walking and Exercise

I rediscovered Pilates, and thanks to an excellent teacher, am keen to start taking regular classes.  My legs are often a bit achey, and one of the knees "pops out" during the night, which is very uncomfortable. But after one class with this teacher, my aches and pains had gone, temporarily.

I probably did fewer walks in May because I was fed up with the weather. But I saw the longhorns a few times - a group of them stayed out all through winter, because the weather was fairly mild. 

Meanwhile Yates Meadow, which is a steep climb, now has a new bench at the top of the climb. 

This is Chingford Plain, occasional host to a funfair, and where the longhorns are frequently found. 

Chingford Plain in May with verdant greenery and cow parsley

John continued his cycle training. He's doing LEJOG  (Land's End to John O'Groats) for two weeks, and did Bike London (100 miles) as part of his training.  He's very fast for his age on a bike. 

Finisher in the Bike Essex ride 2022

Getting Well Armed

I'm on a mission to tone my arms and shoulders ready for a beach holiday in Greece. I've been doing several different exercises and following a YouTube workout by Caroline Girvan. 

One thing that has made a huge difference to my arms is retinol.  I've been using Lixirskin Universal Emulsion mixed with their Night Shot Retinol  (not gifted).  They recommend using it on your arms, hands and decolletage as well.  Well, the difference is amazing. The crepey skin that we older women get on the "bingo wings" has more or less disappeared. I buy Lixirskin directly from the brand because they usually include a few samples. 

New Clothes and Jewellery

I keep a record of all the clothes I buy, mainly because with my Kettlewell collection it's useful to have a list of what I've got and the exact colour names. 

I bought a skirt in the Kettlewell sale, the Millie in pink leopard. I don't normally "do" animal print but the shape and length of the skirt is perfect for a gamine, and the colour goes well with my other winter pinks, hot pink and fuchsia  (shown in a different print and colour).

I also bought a silver sequinned skirt from French Connection, reduced in price at Asos, (sold out)  and a beautiful hot pink dress with a roll collar from The Pretty Dress Company, which I'll wear on a couple of big occasions that are coming up. It needs taking up about four centimetres.

Anna Wintour Necklaces

In May I bought a few necklaces - Georgian collet style, for layering.  There are two shops on Etsy where I buy them:  Lynn's Gem Creations (UK) and Sacred Cake (US). They're quite pricey when bought to layer up, as Anna Wintour does, but they are heirloom pieces.

Georgian collet necklaces for layering from Etsy


If you've read this far, here's an update on something I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago. I have been planning to retire from work.  Well the news is, my last day is June 10.  It will feel strange not to be working after 43 years, but I'm also looking forward to the opportunities in front of me:  travel, hobbies, Meet Ups, voluntary work. More on this topic to follow! 

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  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, 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 Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Curated by Jennifer


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1 comment

  1. Gail, how wonderful you have decided to “retire” from your career. I always think there should be a better word to describe this new phase of life, as it conjures up images of people being “old and giving up on life” which you, and most retirees definitely won’t. Maybe you could do a question on a post as to what would be the replacement word for “retired”
    Wishing you every happiness for the new exciting phase of your life.


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