Christmas Shopping

30 10 2013

Christmas Shopping

In these times of austerity I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join so many of my family, friends and acquaintances who have already started their Christmas Shopping.

I know, I know, it’s October and Halloween has not yet passed us by.

However in a bid to spread the cost and avoid the last minute panic of packing and sending presents to my family in Northern Ireland, it makes sense to get a head start this year, especially as there are other things for which we need to be saving our pennies right now.

I managed to buy presents for 4 family members and have them wrapped in colourful paper ready to go under my tree when it goes up on 1st December.

Lumpy and I also managed to buy some Daddy presents – this was very exciting 🙂

I love Christmas anyway so provided I don’t go into overdrive, thinking about it a little bit earlier than usual can only enhance my experience.

However my productive trip was sullied by the necessity to make one painful purchase – flat shoes for work. Apparently stilettos are not suitable attire for pregnant ladies and whist I am sure I could continue to waddle in them successfully for a few months yet, it seemed sensible to retire my glamorous footwear for the next year, at least, and start getting used to flats.

The great news is that as it is pay day tomorrow, my credit card will not be groaning from the strain of today’s exertions for too long.



Walking beautifully in high heels

7 02 2013


Despite never having a particular passion for fashionable footwear as I was growing up, I have developed a bit of a reputation over the last few years for being the girl with the great shoes.

I have recently been wearing my fuzzy boots to work. They hurt my feet because I have naturally short Achilles tendons and high arches and the boots are flat, ( they apparently also make me walk like a penguin – see earlier post). But as I work in extremely cold temperatures right now my boots are warm and cozy and I don’t end the day with numb toes.

I miss my high heels so much in the winter months. I walk much better in them than I do in flats and they alter how I feel about myself. In heels I feel empowered and – dare I say: ‘sexy’. Due to my Achilles I naturally walk on my toes anyway. My Mum always hated this when I was growing up and an operation on my legs to stretch the tendon was discussed with my GP when I was a pre-teen.

However until recent years I only ever owned a modest selection of practical footwear – trainers, court shoes office flats and jazz shoes. This changed spectacularly a few years ago.

My Mum has always prioritised her family and only when I was older did she start indulging herself in impulse purchases – fortuitously she has same size feet as I do but I wear a narrower fit and my Mum has excellent taste. The net result is when she finds a fabulous pair that she cannot walk away from, if they are too narrow for her they often make their way to me. Then a few years ago my Mother-in-law looking for inspiration for Christmas presents, started to buy me designer brands of the most stunning stilettos.

I think I am a little hooked and my footwear is often a sorce of discussion in school and some of my students feel extremely let down if I arrive at lessons wearing anything they consider being dull and uninspiring (although this did make the sponsored walk last year extremely challenging!)

My beloved colleague bought me a book called “Walking backwards in heels”. It is a book listing the trials and tribulations of the modern woman. If the ability to walk backwards in heels is the means of navigating ones way through life then I am no doubt on my way to being crowned as Queen.

FYI: an unfortunate side affect of my search for an online image of my favourite and most treasured pair of Kurt Geiger shoes (above) is that I have identified at least 6 more pairs of extremely impractical stilettos that I now MUST have.

I'm part of Post A Day 2013

The quest for eternal youth

12 10 2012

Over the summer months I try to catch up with the many things I simply do not have time to attend to during the rest of the year.

This summer one of the tasks I assigned myself was to restock my dwindling make-up selection. I do not wear make-up every day – life is simply too short to worry about such things as ones personal appearance!

When I do wear make-up I go really dramatic. I love that my going out persona is different from my day to day persona and it makes dressing up for a special occasion that little bit more special.

As I threw out make-up products – some dating back to the mid 80’s – I realised that it has been a long time since I considered my daily skin care routine or treated myself to any new products. If you don’t wear it every day surely it is worth splashing out on good quality products that will look fantastic when I do go out, but also, given my tendency to hang onto make-up for a long time it needs to last.

For me this meant a trip to Debenhams and a consultation with the Estée Lauder girl.

She greeted me with a cool expression – no doubt confused by my extremely NOT orange complexion which appears to be the aspirational look for professionals in this industry. She warmed considerably after I used the ill considered phrase “No seriously, I need EVERYTHING”.

After a full deconstruction of the need to follow a rigorous skin routine involving products I have never heard of and a lengthy step by step demonstration of how I could achieve the perfect day AND evening look (apparently one is simply not sufficient for today’s “modern woman”) she looked at me with trepidation. Trembling she summarised all the products that had by now been applied to my face and reminded me of the steps involved in achieving my now “perfect” look and asked “So what will you be taking today?”

My reply may haunt me over the next month when I am unable to pay my rent or eat.

“I would like to take everything that we have just used”

My shopping basket contained the items below.

I will never reveal the actual number that appeared at the bottom of my receipt – I am too embarrassed. However I looked at a website for a charity group who claim that for £14 a month you can sponsor a child in Uganda and the money will cover school fees, medical costs and also development of their education e.g. going towards building a new classroom – I feel that my money could have been put to better use.

I didnt take all these products with me on my recent holiday (my travel insurance simply wouldn’t cover it) but I have brought the basics and intend to look fabulous – with what I spent I would need to.

Impulse Shopping

5 08 2012

Girls love shopping!

At least we are supposed to love shopping.  Shoes, handbags and the seasons latest fashion trends gracing the glossy pages of all the trendy celebrity magazines are supposed to be a high priority for the modern woman.

I must admit I am not a fan. I cannot think of anything worse than dragging myself through endless stores on a Saturday afternoon, trying on items I cannot afford , fighting through crowds of people, (who btw move at an improbably slow pace and stop at irregular and inconvenient intervals causing me to walk into them resulting in a humble if ill-considered apology on my part even though I am not at fault); and desperately wondering why I didn’t wait until the sales or why my day job does not enable me to take these trips during less busy periods of time.

However back in May I finished my weekend job at 1:00pm on a ridiculously sunny Saturday afternoon and felt the urge to “go out”. I decided to go shopping and maybe even, if the mood took me to treat myself to a little something.

Some hours later I returned home feeling suitably invigorated after my day out on the high street. As is always the case on these occasions I felt I would round the day up with a phone call home to my Mum in Northern Ireland. After walking me step by step through the events of her day and updating me on the goings on of my family back home she eventually asked how I had spent my day.

The remainder of the conversation was as follows:

Me:        I went shopping.

Mum:    Oh! Did you buy anything?

Me:        Yes.

Mum:    What did you come home with?

Me:        A Peugeot 107.

Mum:    *Shocked Silence*

So shopping enthusiast or not – I challenge anyone to carry off impulse shopping on such a large scale, commiting to not just a large credit card bill at the end of the month but a long term financial commitment (despite a modest income and other regular and high maintaince financial responsibilities such as, I dont know, RENTING IN SURREY!) with such a laid back and cavalier attitude. On a side note the most commonly asked question after buying a car is not about its make, model or price but, “What colour is it?” …. I had to check the paperwork before I was able to anwer!

Please share with me your own experiences of Impulse Shopping I am looking for anyone who can top this neglegent and poorly justified purchase – even though I REALLY love my new car Buttercup ;P