Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Shopping Fairy

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t go shopping much. I go out most Fridays because it’s my day off and I don’t want to spend it washing, cleaning, etc. But I don’t always go shopping. I sometimes go to garden centres, I sometimes go for walks. I don’t actually enjoy clothes shopping. I quite like buying handbags – because they always fit. And you can never have too many, as someone once said.

But, I had birthday money to spend, and I really needed some summer style clothes (a lot of my old stuff is too big or just plain awful so I need a bit of an overhaul in the wardrobe department. I live in jeans and desperately needed to find some that fir properly. They are either too big on the waist, but too tight in the thigh. Or fit on the waist but too short in the leg. I’m an odd shape apparently as no standard size jeans appear to fit me. I wonder who this woman is that can wear anything from any shop. Does she even exist? I hate her whoever she is.

So, my lovely friend Mrs F and I headed off to Milton Keynes – because if I can’t find something to wear from the countless outlets available there then I am without hope. I wasn’t expecting miracles. If I’m honest I was more concerned with getting a bacon roll for breakfast and making sure we had time to fit in the “cream tea for two” offer that I had snapped up on my Sparks card. It’s always all about the food for me. Perhaps that explains the “nothing fits” issue? Anyway, I digress. I had a list – of course – of what I would like to lay my mitts on. It was very non-specific: a jacket; jeans; tops; sandals. I had no real idea of what these would look like. Not helpful.

However, I am blessed with having my very own, much less camp and much less bossy, version of Gok Wan in the form of Mrs F and so I was in safe hands. She knows me well. She knows my limitations on clothes, i.e not tight, not form fitting, not revealing, not trendy; the list goes on. And she knows what I will be fidgety in and what I will end up never wearing. She’s basically a god(dess). So, in the first half hour of shopping (bacon roll on board) I had the jeans sorted. I had done some research on these (the only thing that I had bothered to look at beforehand) and had decided that the half price Levis that I had seen online might be worth investigating. The only sticking point was the size as they only had limited sizes in the sale and I was therefore convinced that I would be unlucky. But I was wrong. I tried the smaller pair on (the ones that were in the sale) and they fitted. All over. They were fitted on the waist (no gaping waistband at the back that makes me look deformed); they were long enough in the leg (which was lucky as they were a 34″ and I doubt they go any longer than that!); and they were tight on the legs but not skinny jean, painted on tight, just tight enough. Result. Elated I immediately went online (yes, there and then) and ordered the ones in the sale.

We were on a roll now (not a bacon one) and in the next hour I was up by two more tops and had an idea of the sort of jacket I wanted. Another hour in and I had the jacket. This was fate. We went into White Stuff after I muttered about it being pricey and somewhere that I only ever buy from when it’s got a sale on. However, and call me a sentimental old fool, but when I heard the song “Electrical Storm” by U2 playing as we entered the store I knew magic was going to happen. And it did. How could it not? One of my all time favourite songs was playing. I was singing (sorry all other shoppers in the White Stuff store in Milton Keynes at around midday yesterday) and I was relaxed. And Mrs F found the jacket.  As I said a few seconds ago, White Stuff is a sale only option as far as I am concerned so when I found that my jacket (because it was now mine even though I hadn’t handed over any money yet) was more than just a bit expensive I felt a bit sick. It was going to be snatched away from under my very nose. What was I going to do? So, I did a “sod it”. I don’t do these often, so one was due. Sod it all. I am going to buy my jacket and I am going to feel lovely in it and it will be worth every penny. Imagine my pure joy when the sales assistant told me that because I had spent a certain amount I was going to receive £20 off! £20 off my jacket!!! Which basically meant that it was actually a reasonable price all along and I didn’t need to use my “sod it”. I told you magic was going to happen.

Sandals were sorted in short sharp time and then we were off to M&S for our cream tea. It was the tastiest cream tea I have had in a long time. And all because I had a list with every item ticked off. I had bags with lovely things in. And the shopping trip was over.

And all thanks to my lovely Shopping Fairy. She’s magic.


P.S. The fact that my fairy also managed to buy herself a pair of jeans in a teeny tiny size was the icing on a bit fat shopping cake or the clotted cream on a big fat shopping scone.She is not allowed to utter the words “they are on the big size though as they are from Next”. Ever. Are you listening Mrs F?



Mad-mum moment

Yesterday I had a bit of a moment. A had been invited to a friends birthday treat straight from school and I needed to go into Harpenden to collect something from Boots so asked T if he would like me to pick him up from school “and we could go and get a milkshake or something together”. His face was a mix of “god how do I tell her I don’t want to” and disbelief that I had put him in this awkward position. He mumbled, “er….thanks but er…”.                                                                                                                                                 “You’d rather get the bus?” I choked out in a strangled cat voice.                           “Er….yeah.”                                                                                                                                                  “Oh ok….well I’ll see you later then.” And off I wandered, dejectedly, to get in the shower. Behind the firmly closed bathroom door I have to confess to a small whimper and a little tear. My boy would rather get the bus than go into town with me to get a milkshake. And then it dawned…of COURSE he bloody would! He’s nearly 14! He’s hyper-aware of how embarrassing that would be. Imagine being seen by school friends going into Nice (or wherever; other milkshake bars DO exist) with his…his…. MUM…! The horror. I wiped away my tear and pulled myself together and just as I was about to poke my head out the door and say sorry for being a numpty and for putting you in that awkward position my lovely lad, I heard the front door close behind him. Too late.

As it turned out I was leaving Harpenden just as he was leaving school, so I texted him to call me before getting on the bus. The nervous reply “why?” came back and then the phone rang. I explained my location and that I would just pick him up, don’t worry, no embarrassing trips to that place, just home. And so he agreed. Not massively reluctantly, lets face it, who would really rather get on a smelly, hot, crowded bus than sit in a cool air conditioned car with your ear buds in. Even if it meant you had a complete nutter sitting next to you smiling at you every few minutes because she was happy to have you there. 


Sort outs/out of sorts

Something has got into my husband over the last week. He’s taken it upon himself to rid the house of rubbish. (Don’t worry,  I’m still living there; it’s not that drastic a clear out.) He’s been in the loft, the garage, the shed. And anything that we are not likely to use ever again have been piled up ready to dump or attempt to flog to some poor unsuspecting punter. Needless to say, yours truly hasn’t been able to just sit idly by while this was all going on. I have been in charge of final decisions, photographing and listing. He does all the ladder climbing, spider avoiding and heavy lifting. I shouldn’t complain (I know I haven’t as yet, but I know that you can sense my tone) but it really bugs the hell out of me that the majority of this crap stuff is crap stuff that he has brought home or that he has refused on numerous other occasions to part with.

Whether it’s the weather that has done this to him (and, consequently, me) I don’t know. I suspect there is an element of the weather being OK enough to enable it all to be dragged out onto the patio to sort through. I suspect that the brighter days and longer evenings have sparked a desire to have everywhere feeling less cluttered. Whatever it is that has sparked it, he’s been a busy bee on his week off and everywhere does feel better.

I have definitely benefited from this in one way – I now have a dedicated work-space again. The powers that be at work have declared an office embargo for the summer as it gets so bloody hot in there. So, from now until September I am officially working from home every day. Having got rid of my desk in the dining room overhaul last year, I have been sitting at the dining table. This is generally fine for a couple of days a week but my new-found space in the games room/den/summer room/extension-bit is much better. I can tuck myself out of everyone’s way and we don’t have to eat around my computer every night. Not sure how it will work in the actual summer when A will no doubt want to reclaim the room as her own, but that is a bridge to cross nearer the time. It’s looking likely that the office will be let go of in October when the lease is due for renewal so a more permanent home work space will be needed; assuming the business itself continues. I hope it does, but am not ruling out the need to find alternative employment in the not too distant future. Nothing has been said, it’s just a feeling I have got. Hopefully, I don’t have my Nan’s “abilities” and I am totally barking up the wrong tree.

Maybe that “feeling” has had something to do with it but, I’ve been really out of sorts this last week or so. Admittedly, I always find this time of year a bit of a pain in the butt. We’re in the in-between part of the year where the weather can be nicer, where we have to start shedding layers and revealing the pasty white skin. I hate this. In a month when I have managed to get my tshirt tan I won’t feel so bothered, but this initial shift from spring layers to full on summer clothes is never an easy transition for me. I hate digging out the vest tops and cropped trousers. Urgh. This, added to the sorting out and changing around has all got too much. I may just need to lay down in a darkened room until it’s all over….. Or perhaps I just need to get a grip and stop being daft.