Tag Archives: shopping

reverting to routine

By the middle of September, we’re all back in the swing of things. Girl1 feels like she’s never been away from school, Girl2 is no longer concerned about getting lost. Spurs Fan is well into the anxiety mode in which he operates during the school year.

The activities are back in full swing- Gaelic football, soccer, Irish dancing, ballet, netball and goodness knows what else. In the middle of the Saturday morning runaround, something else happens. A little something that sustains the rest of it.

The visit to the discount supermarket. There’s always something new to try, something random but suddenly vital, and a sticky Saturday treat.

cheese and onion rolls, Lidl shop

cold compress

jam doughnut, donut, sticky bun

Now, I’m not saying that a trip to Lidl is the highlight of my week (well, not every week), but the jam donuts are worth the trip…

the one about the football

Ah, now.

The regular reader may not be surprised to find some mention of the World Cup here. Spurs Fan is defined by soccer. He’s been involved in clubs and teams his whole life. Apart from work clothes, he’s most often found wearing a garment that brands him, and has strangers strike up conversations about the fate of their respective teams. For the last two seasons he has coached the local girls’ team, who play in a boy’s league. That part of the weekend that isn’t given over to Irish dancing, Girl2 spends playing football with her mates and her dad. It’s unavoidable. I see a lot of football matches on TV, usually from behind a book.

Tonight, I put the book down. In our family draw, I’d got Brazil. I knew this team weren’t up to much, but still: Brazil. I had a t shirt and a loom band. I wouldn’t need to pay too much attention.

Girl2 had drawn Germany. After half an hour, even she was willing Brazil to score. Something, anything, one wee goal to take the edge off the mortification. A goal in the last minute was too little, too late. Tonight’s match was a little like watching the girls’ team play against a team of boys. Ah, go on, let them score. Maybe you could take a player off to give our ones a chance?  But no. Germany beat Brazil by 7 goals to 1- an unprecedented humiliation.

It really was a remarkable day, because I hadn’t imagined that anything could have topped the novelty value of the new football.


It’s teeny and cute and most unlike all the other footballs we have here.

’twas not I who bought it       #unexpectedfootballnews



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