Saturday, 26 November 2011

Dinner dance distress

Tonight, we're going to the Cricket Club Dinner Dance.

We'd just arrived chez in-laws this afternoon when my heart stopped. I had forgotten my dress. ****. The most intense hour of my life had started.

Distraught and trying to fight back tears, I sped into town with one hope: the country's smallest Monsoon. It has, like, three dresses. The chance for failure was massive and hung over me like a huge black rain cloud about to dump.

In the car park, the ticket machine gobbled up my money and spat out the wrong ticket. The pressure increased; I only had one hour to get this mess sorted.

I dashed to Monsoon as fast as my legs would carry me, without drawing any attention to my panic. Heart pounding, I entered the shop.

Dress 1 was ugly. My blood pressure rose. Dress 2 I desperately wanted to think would look good, but realistically was always going to look awful. Dress 3 needed to be good. IT NEEDED TO BE GOOD.

Sitting at home drinking tea in front of the log fire, The Boyfriend was blissfully unaware that, in the cold and dark of the town centre, I was teetering on the edge of crumbling into a million pieces and he was going to have to pick me back up and put me back together again. A million pieces is a lot of pieces.

But back in the shop, divine intervention was about to happen. Out of the corner of my eye, amongst the granny-wear, I noticed sequins. Delicious sequins. Could it be that I was about to be saved?

Not taking my eyes off the sparkles in case they disappeared, I made a beeline for dress number 3. In the space of half an hour, I had turned into a crazed magpie.

They had my size and on the hanger it looked good. Very good. So I darted through the rails and ran to the changing rooms, nearly knocking over a small child in the process.

I ripped off my clothes and pulled the dress over my head as quickly as I could and BEHOLD, thank you God, it fitted and it looked good and I hadn't ripped off any sequins in my feverish haste. In fact, it looked better than good. It. Was. Friggin. Perfect!

It was so perfect that the blow of the price tag didn't make me fall over. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't filled with joy at the damage my bank balance was going to have to take, BUT, I didn't fall over. And desperate times do call for desperate measures and all that.

But THEN, I realised that buying Easy Living Magazine last week had happened for a reason. I grabbed my handbag and hurriedly started fishing around in amongst all the receipts (gulp) and other detritus to find - ta da! - my shiny £20 Monsoon Gift Card, smiling up at me.


So, I am about to get ready to go and, miraculously, I'm going to feel good. Phew!

Friday, 18 November 2011


Smiles from the past 48 hours:

  • Yesterday’s break-time presentation, from pupil to me, of a perfectly formed jam tart. It. Was. EPIC.
  • Reminiscing about Africa when I showed my class some of my photos this afternoon. They were so excited and interested and it was totally fab and I LOVED it.
  • Being asked by a kid in the cloakroom at the end of today if I like making men cry. (See next point.)
  • Sending the kids crazy by waxing our male teachers’ legs in assembly for Children in Need.
  • Stories from my literacy group which were based on African tales. Lots of them miraculously had a flavour of Africa; yam vines, millet plants and baobab trees featured in most and some even had cases of malaria!
  • One of the 'cool kids' referring to his drawing of a butterfly, created from plotting coordinates in four quadrants, as “Totally mint!”
  • Remembering that I only got through 2 glasses of the last bottle of wine on the wine rack last night, so there’s ample yum for tonight.
  • Gregg Wallace on The Great British Food Revival, referring to dauphinoise potatoes as “The closest you’ll get to a snog on a plate.” So true.
  • Realising that I’ve actually coped remarkably better than expected without The Boyfriend (once the first few days were out of the way), which isn’t to say that I can wait for him to come back, because I very much can’t, BUT, you know, I’ve not died or anything. And that’s probably down to my fab colleagues, who are just fab. And because I’ve not done much in the way of proper cooking this week, I don’t have the anticipated horrific piles of washing up to get through this weekend.
  • Being able to start the three day countdown to The Boyfriend’s return. At last!
  • Pure and unadulterated delight at realising that, not only are Saints playing tonight, but it’s also being broadcast on Sky friggin HD2. Thank you, Christian, for the heads up, and yes, I do predict an Ash-Splash!

Saturday, 12 November 2011


My worst magazine purchase ever was probably OK! Magazine when Katie Price was on the front cover, in her huge, horrific, Barbie pink, gypsy-wedding meringue (utter fail of a dress), under the headline “Katie Walks Down The Aisle Again!” She’d only very recently split from Peter Andre, and here she was, proclaiming her love for another man, when poor Pete was still mopping up his tears! What a bitch!

So I hastily bought it, swiftly realising that my £2.60 was wasted because actually her sick inducing ‘wedding dress’ was in fact a bridesmaid’s dress, which she wore for her friend’s nuptuals. I’d been had! 

Today, I made a similar error. At my petrol stop in the BP Garage on the way home, I opted for Easy Living Magazine. This decision took me by surprise, but there were three solid reasons for my choice.
  1. Cosmopolitan has lost its appeal. You wouldn’t believe it, but they recycle the same features from month to month!
  2. Kirstie Allsopp was on the front. I have no qualms in admitting that she is my heroine. I want to be her. 
  3. Most importantly, there was a shiny £20 Monsoon Gift Card attached to the glossy cover.
      I looked at it and thought that there might be a catch. I tried to give it a good inspection through the cellophane to see if there were any terms and conditions hiding anywhere; I didn’t want a repeat of the wasted OK! None were visible, so I bought it, thinking that it could be that they were being generous.

Turns out my naivety failed me and terms and conditions do very much apply. I’ve got to spend £80 before 10th December to be granted my £20 prize. 


Sunday, 6 November 2011

This weekend

This weekend, The Boyfriend went to Goa.

This weekend, I:

  • thought I'd broken the oven, thus rendering me in the shit for my dinners for the next two weeks.  Without The Boyfriend's culinary magic, I'm relying on frozen chilli, which he made me before going, and baked jacket potatoes. No oven = no jacket potatoes. (The panic was intense, but thankfully, short-lived. Turns out I'd been inept and set the oven to turn off automatically after fifteen minutes.)
  • thought I'd broken the washing machine. This requires little explanation; no washing machine = smelliness. (Turns out it wasn't broken. It was off.)
  • failed to work out how to connect the computer to the TV, thus rendering Black Swan (newly purchased DVD) completely useless and me royally hacked off. (It's still a mystery.)
  • got cold and had to turn the heating on for the first time, but didn't know how to do it. (Landlord's instructions now located and it's, thankfully, sorted.)
  • resorted to pesto mixed into pasta at the very first hurdle, when I should've been saving my 'minimal effort' dinners for mid week. (Fail.)
  • resorted to another glass of wine, giving me a final score of one out of seven nights off from alcohol this week. (Oops.)

  • would've been very distressed at The Boyfriend's absence had it not been for my three amazing siblings, who happened to be on hand, to sort me out. My fam is, quite frankly, fab. Thank you, kids! xxx