Tag Archives: shopping

Oops! I did

Well apparently I really did blog about a ‘brothel clock’. Thanks to Kerensa for reminding me where.

Today has been entirely domestic and boring, consisting of moving clothes around and doing the food shopping. GB still home from school with Not Swine Flu, but improving all the time. With any luck he’ll go back tomorrow and I’ll be able to go to the Pilates class again (great improvement on the Aqua Aerobics from Hell).

Small successes

Nothing much to report other than ongoing Christmas preparations, and the fact that yesterday I wrote a sermon in an hour, and had an unexpected Indian head massage in the evening (owing to son not wanting to go to the Asperger’s youth club party in the evening, which meant I could go to the carers’ relaxation evening instead).

Today I saw the therapist again – I really am feeling some benefit from CBT, and am hoping she’ll let me have the extra six sessions after I’ve completed the initial ten (today was number eight). I don’t quite know how she’s done it, as she seems extremely vague and makes only the most hesitant suggestions, but I have begun to believe I have some control over my moods, and that a life with less ambitious goals could actually be better than a life in which I have such aspirations that I constantly set myself up for failure.

I then went to Tesco and did my good deed of the day by ‘looking after’ a lad with high functioning autism whom I know, and who had lost track of his mother. I don’t think he really needed all that much looking after but the staff were clearly worried by him sitting crosslegged on the floor and staring at the toothpastes for a long time. I was able to say I knew him, and to look out for his mother, and eventually they found each other again. It felt good to be somewhat instrumental in this little drama.

Tomorrow night I’ll be singing carols in aid of Christian Aid at a local tube station, and then going to meet a Shipmate I haven’t seen for years, who is over from the US for Christmas. I may spend the morning baking mince pies for the carol singers to have with their mulled wine (which I also need to make). Domestic goddesshood here I come.

Glory in the High St

No, this isn’t one of those clever Christmas slogans. I wish to announce that as of today I have a new Hat of Glory. Not quite as glorious as the one I left on the Tube, since it’s only one colour and that had several woven together, but this one is red and sparkly with a cheeky peak, and looks rather good with my purple sparkly scarf and gloves. Not only that but it was the last one left in the shop, and it was 20% off.

Today has been another good day. Finally made it to the sleep clinic to try on my jaw splint – the bottom halff was fine but the top half goes back too far in my mouth and makes me gag. The doc is going to get the ends cut off and I will try again in two weeks. Feels like progress. I then explored the new shops in St Pancras station, bought a new electric toothbrush, went partway home, got off the bus and bought some lovely organic bread, a pickle fork and aforesaid hat. I do love ‘the run-up to Christmas’! (Advent is quite good too…)


Woo hoo! While I was out shopping for exciting stuff like boys’ vests, my dear Grouch set up my new iMac which he had bought me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I now have a wonderful wide flat screen which, unlike the old one, can actually be made bright enough to read without peering, and doesn’t have a mushy green area all down one side. I have suddenly discovered the true colours of this blog – it isn’t black and grey at all, it’s purple and blue!

I also have a DVD drive, a built in camera, a remote control for watching media, and all sorts of nice stuff. Using it is such a joy that I shall be blogging several times a day just for the pleasure of typing text I can actually read.

I do have a good husband. In spite of the grouchiness..

Shopping with Mother

Yes, I went shopping in Enfield Town with my mother today. It is one of the few places other than Oxford Street that still has an old fashioned department store. Arrived with six wine glasses I didn’t want (she gave me them for Christmas) and left with a new red handbag which cheers me much more than wine glasses. She got a very nice charcoal grey skirt, though we couldn’t find a top to go with it. Also we had scampi for lunch, in a pub. All very pleasant. It’s a long time since I went shopping with my mother, and as her ability to stand around shops is now much more limited, it is a relatively brief and thus far more bearable experience. And she didn’t persuade me into making any purchases I would later regret. In fact it was probably the other way around – I persuaded her to buy the skirt. I have only realized in the last week that my mother actually takes some notice of my opinion. This is a new and strange realization.

Thinking about a friend whose birthday is today (I got her a present on my trip) and whose mother died on the day after Boxing Day. I know I should be grateful I still have a mother to go shopping with. And I am… I just don’t want to do it too often.

I’m not there

No, not the film about Dylan which I hear is very good. Just me, not blogging. Sorry about that folks. Life has been full of Christmas preparation, writing, and driving. Especially the driving. Drove for 3 1/2 hours last Wednesday without ever going further south than Tottenham or further north than High Barnet (or further east than Woodford Green, while I didn’t go west at all, not being a young man).

Too long and complicated to explain, but essentially it was all about picking up church friend to go to cancer support group, encountering huge Christmas traffic jams so that what is normally a half hour journey was an hour and a quarter, then taking her mostly home (all of her went but she didn’t go all the way home), then picking up son from friend’s house, having an hour at my home to recover and get changed, then taking other church friend out east to see a Riding Lights play about Bethlehem – which I highly recommend.

Then Friday I tried to go shopping at the hallowed retail shrine of Brent Cross. Only they’d closed the entire North Circular west of the A1 because of an accident. What is normally 20 mins journey took 1 3/4 hours. Then I still had to do the shopping.

I slept a lot at the weekend. So did Genius Brat, who is certainly a real teenager now – he didn’t wake up till 2.00 pm.

The writing, by the way, was four pieces for Prayer for the Week in the Church Times. Plus a sermon which in the end I didn’t write at all as I decided to read the congregation a very long Austrian story. They seemed to like it.


Today I appear to be living backwards. First of all I went to Tesco in the morning, which I would normally do in the afternoon if it hadn’t been that my cleaner is off sick. As is my wont, I started at the café, but to my chagrin found that the coffee machine had broken down. I settled for tea, and only noticed after I had filled the pot at the hot water machine, that there were in fact coffee sachets available which I could have used.

After an hour or so doing the shopping, I was starving, so I returned to the café and got myself a sandwich. Then to compensate for the lack of coffee earlier, I took a coffee sachet and made myself a coffee, which I drank after I’d eaten the sandwich. So my day, which would normally go: work-coffee-work-lunch-work-tea (or more often lunch-sleep-tea), has been exactly the other way around. This is confusing.

Following an article I read in a magazine at the hairdresser’s on Tuesday, I had also decided that I would attempt a complaint-free day today. This was made more difficult by the breakdown of the coffee machine, and the fact that organic thick-cut ham, for the return of which I have been waiting literally years, was at last on the shelves last week and has totally disappeared from them again this week. How can I sing the Lord’s song in the midst of Tesco’s uncaringness?

Not to mention the vagaries of the bus stop electronic display last night which told me 1) that a 134 (which I didn’t want) was coming, 2) that in fact the next bus was a 43, 3) that two 43s were on their way – whereupon they both came in quick succession and drove straight past the stop; then the display told me that in fact the next bus would be a 134 – then a 43 came, at which point I lost it completely and stood in the middle of the road waving both arms to make sure it stopped. How embarrassing…

There are few things more satisfying..

…than finding the last but one packet of age 12-13 underpants in Woolworths, just when you’ve discovered all the pants your son possesses are in the wash. Yes folks, that’s how to be a slummy mummy!

PS 1 down, 3 to go – I now have only three weeks left of ‘notice to work out’ with my therapist. I am sorely tempted just to pay and not turn up…

How to get to a psychiatric clinic

First, fall out of bed with difficulty, eat up porridge son left when he went to school, bath and dress as fast as you can manage. Look at watch and conclude you have 45 minutes to get to the hospital, which should be enough. Check A-Z one last time to make sure route is in your head, then forget to take it to car.

Drive along route as memorised – first bit fine. Manage unfamiliar left turn at familiar junction, start looking out for major right turn to hospital area, with snail-shaped junction (as portrayed on map). See no snail-shaped junction or right turn, eventually arrive at perfectly normal, non-snail-shaped junction with lights, right turn and sign indicating correct area but wrong road number. Decide to go straight on in case junction you want is further on.

Rapidly realize that you are in a shopping street you shouldn’t be in, and if you don’t turn off soon you will be up over a flyover and on the way to central London in completely the wrong direction. Take a left, discover it takes you back to the road you started your journey on, but heading back home. Start to cry and curse. It is now (apparently) 11.00 am which is your appointment time.

Calm down sufficiently to locate other A-Z in car, manage to find correct page while in queue, annoy other drivers by trying to consult it while edging forwards. Decide to take next left, then find the turning left lane is blocked by roadworks till the last 10 yards. Manage to turn left at last minute, consult map again.

Successfully find next left turn which promises to take you to a road which will take you to another road which will eventually take you to the hospital. Amazingly, it does. Come to end of this road without realizing it is the end, where you should have turned right and right again, instead of which you have got caught in a left lane. It is now well past your appointment time.

Manage to turn round in a side road, head in the right direction and up the road where the hospital is supposed to be. Go a long way up this road, over a roundabout which shouldn’t be there, and end up almost in an army base. Turn round again and head back the other way. It is now 25 minutes after your appointment time. Eventually find turning to hospital, next to the Tube station you failed to spot on the way up. There is no hospital name sign and no ‘H’ signs anywhere.

At some point in this whole farrago, switch from CD (which you have now heard all the way through) and to the radio. Hey – something’s wrong here – why is Woman’s Hour on after 11.00? Realise that the clock in your car has not been turned back, and that you are in fact *half an hour early* for your appointment! Must have looked at watch wrong on way out. D’oh!

At least the psychiatrist is sure you don’t have bipolar. Inability to read clocks disorder, now that’s a different matter…

Decide to take rest of day off, go to Brent Cross shopping centre and get new ‘best’ shoes and a new coat. Both very satisfactory. New brains unfortunately not available in M&S (it’ll come: ‘this is not just any high-quality brain, this is an M&S brain…’)

Confessions of an M&S shareholder

Therapist phoned me earlier this week and said she wouldn’t be seeing me today because she’s got the therapist flu (well, that’s my term actually). I was going to use the time to get to to a Pilates class I can’t normally get to, but somehow it wasn’t as easy to get out of bed as it is when I have someone waiting for me. So I got up late and elected for retail therapy instead.

I have shopped, yea verily I have shopped, and now I am dropping. I didn’t need the clothes, but I had these M & S vouchers… anyway, one new outfit for the autumn is not unreasonable (I’ll just forget about the mail order fairtrade clothes I was going to order as well – for a few days). I did need the kitchen stuff (one always needs kitchen stuff) and the vests and slippers for son, and anyway, shopping for others doesn’t have any carbon footprint, does it? (er…). Unfortunately the slippers didn’t fit, and neither, he now tells me, do his trainers for PE which were brand new a year ago but have never been worn since he wasn’t at school. Which means the football boots, also brand new, won’t fit either. Bum. Now I have to do shopping with him to get the right sizes, and that’s not half as much fun as shopping alone.

At least the absence of therapist has given me more time to think about whether I want to give up on therapy with her; and the answer is looking increasingly likely to be Yes. I just don’t get on with the psychodynamic approach, it’s so doctrinaire, and actually I don’t think I need therapy at all (who needs therapy when you’ve got shopping?), I just need someone to talk to regularly. And that’s what friends are for, aren’t they? Besides which, saving money on therapy means I have more for lovely lovely clothes.. Am I addicted? Probably.

Yes, m’lord, I know I need to cultivate a simpler lifestyle and get rid of loads of unnecessary clutter. That’s next month’s project – honestly.