Tag Archives: shopping

May, be better


April felt like a mush of busy/ tired/ sore. Grumpy McGrump ruled. My weight loss got scared by the approach of the target, and reverted to ‘on a bit, off a bit, on a bit’- pah. That wasn’t the only self imposed target I missed. April felt full of ‘failure’.

I’m done with all that. (Yes, of course I can just will myself to be healthy, thin and successful…)

May will have sunshine, peonies, visits to the caravan, and many beaches.

Fintra, Donegal

I will be better at planning. I will stop putting my hand up for extra tasks. I will do what I can, when I can. That is good enough.

My birthday is at the end of May, so there will be cake. Lots and lots of cake.


My inbox today has greeetings from shops, offering birthday ‘rewards’ for shopping with them.

Cake, beaches, shopping and sunshine.

Bring it on.

a challenge overcome

With my 30% discount voucher crumpled up in the bag, I headed off to explore.

I needed new jeans.

Traditionally, this is a tortuous process. I trek round shops and trawl websites in despair. Where are the jeans for sturdy, pear shaped, short legged people? Nowhere. I wonder if I should get the dressmaker to be creative, based on the worn through, wide jeans of many years ago. Maybe I should wear heels rather than sneakers? Heels? Nah, that’ll never work.

And so it goes. The last jeans I bought came in the post, so I could deal with the horror at home. They’re smaller in size than I’ve bought for many years, and my excitement at that caused me to overlook an unlikely detail. They are the only jeans ever to be too short for me. More daylight hours have revealed that I look like a policeman, circa 1984, with my trousers flapping round my ankles. All that’s needed is a bullet proof vest and some heavy weaponry.


The discount voucher didn’t apply to the luxury department store where I like to browse, but I looked at their jeans with my normal ‘aaargh’ angst. I was almost relieved to see a price label of £220- too expensive for me to expend brain power on.

After coffee and cake, I made it to the right shop. I braved bundles of denim. I didn’t blanche at the array of mysterious shapes- ‘Boyfriend’, ‘sexy Boyfriend’, ‘slim’, ‘super skinny’, ‘always skinny’, ‘don’t you wish you were skinny like me’, ‘curvy’, ‘bootcut’, ‘perfect bootcut’, ‘legging style’, ‘skinny ankle skimmer’ * – my rule of thumb was that anything including ‘skinny’ in the description was to be avoided.

Sizing is no more clear- some garments were in regular UK sizing-10, 12, 14, 16 etc- some in American sizing- similar numbers, but are they bigger or smaller? Is a US 12 a UK 8 or a UK16? Others were S, M or L. Most of the jeans were defined in inches- 26, 28, 30, 32 etc. I eventually worked out that wasn’t leg length, but most of the jeans don’t come as high as the waist, so why would it be a waist measurement? Being my shape, the biggest area the jeans need to cover is going to be more than 32 inches round. Where to start?

I was brave enough (thanks to that cake) to lift two styles and two sizes and just try them on. No other way to work it out, just get on with it. (So easily said, so rarely done.)

I did it. I walked into a shop, tried on several pairs of jeans and bought a pair I like. I didn’t feel like a fraud, or a fatty or a fake. I’m not any of those things, and I’m beginning to believe it. There seems to be a connection between losing a bit of weight and gaining a little confidence.

I’m quite enjoying this discovery.



*some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent

the light

I was on the hunt for extra glasses. There was no need to go shopping- Herself’s house is laden with such things, so I poked about a high cupboard. In a corner was a teeny chap, with black eyes. I didn’t call the exterminator, I brought him home. I washed him and set him on the kitchen window sill, right beside the used tea bags. He may not have been made for such mundane spots, but he was created to catch the light. He makes me smile every day.


Solstice, advent candles, tree lights, shiny baubles. So much of our celebration at this time of year in the northern hemisphere is about the return of the light (or the Light).



Last week I forgot to bring a bag when I went shopping, so bought one of the cloth bags there. It’s a good shape and size, and will get plenty of use. Two days later, Spurs Fan noticed that it has an on/ off switch. It’s a shopping bag. Why on earth does it have a switch? Ah. Of course.


What would christmas be without a flashing bag?

I’m all done with the high life

Can you hold off with those invitations for a little while? Two events in subsequent weekends was a first in a very long time for the woman who spends most evenings in pjs, cosy beside the fire, and I’m struggling a bit.

My long lasting nail varnish is still doing its job.The long dress went back to the fantastic frock lady; the summer shopping dress is back in the wardrobe for many more months. It was a super buy (at over 70% reduced) and perfect for the weekend, so it will come out again, when I have enough energy to respond to your kind requests for my company.

The McSpecs arrived at the hotel about 4.30- plenty of time for swimming or sleeping. Once dressed in party clothes, the girls headed off to investigate the Ballroom/ explore the hotel/ get lost. In due course, they were able to bring Spurs fan and I along to show what they’d discovered. A room full of balloons, many tables laid with colouring pens and glitter glue amongst the cutlery and linen. Goodie bags with sweets and chocolates and colouring pencils and magazines and a book and a coaster and oh, what do you think this is? Folded up car window screens, as it turned out. I may have a bruise on my nose from the energy with which they unfolded.

A highlight for the girls was being recognised. Before he saw me, Tinman had identified my family. They were very impressed. Luckily my lot headed off for food before Spurs Fan and Tinman got talking about football: they could be there yet.

Awards, soup. Awards, chicken. Awards, very wonderful ice cream. Music. It was a lovely evening. Having a dinner and tables was a great way to get people to relax and socialise- the other finalists at the table were Business Bloomer, This is Knit and Cigar Loving Doorman. Unfortunately, no one amongst us won. I’m sure it wasn’t the weight of disappointment which caused the table to almost collapse at one stage.

There were a few multiple winners. Headrambles won Best Humour blog and Best Blog post, Molly Moo won Best Craft blog, Best Personal blog and Best Designed blog.

Then there was Móna. Yes, that Móna who visits here sometimes. Wise Words won Best Food and Drink blog, Best Photography, Best Blog by a Journalist and the biggie, Best Blog. I was delighted. I felt I knew Móna- she has incredible energy and style and produces fabulous posts and I’m a little in awe. I may have told her all that at the point in the evening when I got to exuberant and huggy. She was gracious enough to not call security.

The next morning there was an enormous breakfast, some swimming, and sleeping all the way home. Bed when I got home. Bed early last night. Back to bed after Jake’s walk this morning. Rushing now to be washed and dressed before Girl2 comes home from school.

I’m not meant to live in a social whirlwind, but it was great to visit. Many thanks to Beatrice, Amanda and Lorna for all their hardwork, enthusiasm and attention to detail. See here for proper photos and a full list of winners.