Today I have been mostly...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Irritated by adverts on TV...

… specifically those that feature kids. Oh how I despise kids at the moment. Especially those in adverts. Number one irritating ad. is the one where the kid says he is going to “do a poo” at his friend’s house. It’s not the use of the word “poo” that is irritating – it’s the kids tone of voice. I just want to slap him. The ad. is a failure as far as I am concerned as I can’t tell you what is being advertised. Obviously something toilet related – at least I hope so. I think it might be for some sort of air freshener – or perhaps toilet cleaner – or maybe toilet paper. Perhaps it’s simply for toilets. The fact is, I haven’t rushed out to buy whatever the product is, and to be honest, even if I find out what it is, I would be more inclined to purchase a rival product – just because of that boy’s irritating voice. It’s worrying, too, that (assuming it is an ad. for air freshener) the kid seems obsessed with the stench of his own excrement. What the hell has he been eating? And if it really is THAT bad, surely the mother would already be using an air freshener. Also, why is toilet paper called toilet paper – we don’t wipe the toilet with it do we?

Then there’s that series of revolting adverts for bum-paper featuring that annoying toddler dressed in a suit. I just can’t bear it.

The other one that gets me all worked up, is the one where the kid’s party dress is on the washing line, and the mother notices a hideous stain (red wine, probably) and because of this the kid can’t go to the party. So – she only has the one dress? She has no other clothes? Does it actually matter what a kid wears to a party when they are going to come home covered in blackcurrant Fruit Shoot and vomit? And why is the mother washing the dress on the morning of the party? Does the kid go to a party every day? If so, then she should really have more than one dress – and if she hasn’t worn it for a while, why the hell hasn’t it been washed yet? No wonder the stain won’t come out. And what if it had rained? How would she have got the dress dry? Anyway – the random magical washing woman who knows how to get stuff clean (by using some magical product – again lost on me as I can’t remember what it is) is, for some reason, in the garden while the woman is examining the stain - where the hell was she when the dress was first washed? I reckon that if the dress has already been washed, the stain has been pretty much set anyway and there’s no chance of it coming out.

But no, after the demo where a greying garment is clearly dipped in neat Domestos, the dress is rewashed, and hung out to dry (yet again) and the kid is told she can go to the party after all. Every time it comes on I scream “Buy her another dress you bitch” – especially as that dress looks too small anyway. And white is not a practical colour for a child of that age. Also – why does the mother wait until she is hanging it on the line to examine it? I’d have checked as it came out of the washing machine.

Possibly worse than adverts are the sponsorship ones that come on before the start of a programme and annoy me for the duration of that show. The DFS ones on are quite bad, but the ones for online bingo are just hideous, especially the one where an annoying woman says “cheeky cheeky cheeky” – I could slap her and she’s only a bloody cartoon..

There are not many ads that I enjoy just now, although I quite like the one for a car where people keep pulling covers off the car and revealing another one underneath. Couldn’t tell you what the make of car is, but I like the way the car morphs into the cover. Very clever. And going back to blackcurrant Fruit Shoots, I like the ad for things that are £1, or perhaps it’s 99p, at Aldi where one of the items is a pack of “Fruity Shots”. A “Fruity Shot” is probably about as much like a “Fruit Shoot” as supermarket own-brand economy cola (6p a gallon) is like Coke. I’m guessing they also sell “Special J”, “Wanker’s Crisps” and “I can’t believe it! S’not butter”.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Buying shoes....

Lots of my recent blogs seem to be shopping related. This week I decided I needed some black shoes, suitable for work, to replace the pair I usually wear which I have had for absolutely ages, which have completely worn out – well, one of them has worn out, leading me to suspect that I must walk really unevenly.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted the perfect pair in M&S. this was in the “Footglove, extra bloody wide, suitable for people with ducks flippers” range. I should have bought them then really, but I’d gone for brown shoes – and come away with brown boots. In the two short weeks since my last visit, everything had been moved. Always a bad sign. Wintery type shoes had been banished to a couple of racks, and you couldn’t move for sandals. I actually managed to find one shoe that looked suitable (although it was brown) – it was size 6 but it was way to big and fally-offy. (Suddenly remembering the advert from the 70s where the shoe-shop bloke says “You don’t want it all sloppy, do you?”…. suddenly remembering the trifle the husband made last year. I digress.) OK, I thought, the size below should be perfect. Wrong – I couldn’t even get it near to my foot. On closer examination I realised there was a slight difference between the two shoes, the 6 was the wide fit and the five and a half wasn’t. They didn’t have a wide five and a half and they didn’t have a narrow 6 – and anyway, they were brown. I started to panic. I tried on some sandals which were really rather nice and comfortable. I will go back in three weeks to buy these when they have none left.

I tried on all the totally inappropriate shoes, but nothing fitted. I went round the racks again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Bitterly disappointed, I decided to try the Clarks shop, knowing I’d end up paying double. I found a shoe I liked within seconds of entering the shop and after ten minutes I managed to attract the attention of the “assistant” who was idly examining the ceiling. She brought me the other one and buggered off and hid behind a sale rack. Within seconds I decided that they would do – they looked OK and I am sure they will be fine once I have broken them in. I walked nearer to the door and instantly attracted the assistant’s attention – that usually works. I braced myself for the usual hard sell on cleaning stuff.

First she told me that the shoes were not “weatherproof”. Now, call me old fashioned, but the one thing I usually look for in a shoe is its weatherproof quality. Had I not been concerned about having dry feet in the rain I could have had the bloody M&S sandals. Apparently, if I wanted them to be “weatherproof” then I needed a weatherproofing spray which I would need use every week. This is a blatant con. I have never needed to weatherproof my shoes before. I wondered what sort of weather they were crap in. Rain, I suppose. Snow – goes without saying. What else? Will my feet will get badly sunburnt in the summer? Maybe the shoes will blow away on a particularly gusty day. If not, then just be honest and say: “By the way, these £50 shoes leak to buggery.”

I declined her generous offer without even asking how much the spray cost. By the size of the can I was guessing £6 or £7, which means it would definitely be £9.99. I told her I already had some. She gave me a scathing look of disbelief, and I thought she was going to argue that it had only been invented this week so I couldn’t possibly have any. Instead she pointed out that because they were two coloured (black with a little bit of purple) I would need a special neutral shoe cleaning cream. I resented the implication that I was so stupid I’d clean the purple bits with black shoe polish. I can tell you now that is never going to happen. I’ve had my last pair for 8 years and never cleaned them. You see, if you don’t clean them all the dust and crap they pick up from the street waterproofs them naturally – and that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

After a bit more shopping and lunch in BHS I waited for my lift home and spotted the husband leaving the office at 2:20 pm, complete with bag so obviously finished for the day. However, he didn’t walk to the bus-stop the way I thought he would, he went a very convoluted route which involved passing a nearby pub. This may explain (a) why he took 2 hours to get his sorry ass home, (b) why he feels sick, and (c) why I am up here writing this blog and not downstairs cooking his tea. I think I should do more “spying” – I might follow him next time, and see where he really goes – when I’ve broken-in the new shoes, of course.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tearing my hair out at the roots....

Oh where do I start? It’s exactly the same “shopping problem” that I have had with the husband before. He is SO infuriating. I really don’t know why he just doesn’t leave it to someone else – like me? This time it’s an anorak. He needs a new one because (he says) the one he wears to go to Job 1 is old and tatty now. This is very true, but it must be at least 25 years old, and was originally from somewhere like M&S. In fact if I bought it, or if he had it as an Xmas present from my mum, then yes – it will have been bought from there. And that’s why it has lasted so long. The anorak he wears when he goes to Job 2 is revolting. This wasn’t really helped by him putting it down on a hotplate on the cooker the other week. He had actually been warned they were still hot. And anyway – who puts their coat down on a cooker?

So as well as being revolting, there is a big melted hole in the lining. There are still remnants of melted coat on the hotplate that won’t come off. So, he has decided, he wants a new coat to wear to Job 1. I am assuming, then that the old frayed current Job 1 coat will be demoted to taking him to Job 2. I should add, as well, that current holey Job 2 coat isn’t anywhere near as old as Job 1 coat – it’s one he bought, cheap.

Last week when we were in town, he decided to look in Millets. Goodness knows why! He needs to go somewhere like BHS, M&S or TJ Hughes. They sell the type of coat he is looking for. He tried one on, but it made him look like a prat. He didn’t buy it, not because of the ‘prat’ issue, but because he thought it’s waterproof quality would mean that rain would run off it and make his trousers wet. It was at this point that I suggested the type of place he needs to go. He actually agreed, but as he had tried on one coat already and because (he says) it’s too hot in shops to be trying on coats, we didn’t pursue the matter further.

So, yesterday he decided the best thing to do was go into town to the new camping shop to look for a new anorak. I decided NOT to go. I just can’t bear shopping with him. He doesn’t listen to any advise I have to offer, so there is little point. Naturally he came home empty handed. Why am I not surprised?

Apparently the ones in the camping shop were “a ridiculous price”. I did suggest (again) that he was looking in the wrong type of shop. I even offered to get him one for his birthday which is looming up rather quickly. I’d rather get him one that looks reasonable and will last. I don’t think spending something like £50 or so on a coat is a ridiculous price. The problem is, he likes a bargain. It would be worth it to get one from M&S, cut the label off and say it was £10 from the market. He’d love it then. (Mind you, if I did that, you can guarantee he would want another as a spare.)

So anyway – apparently he came to the same conclusion as me. He was looking in the wrong place. So he went back to Millets and was disappointed that prat coat from last week had been sold. He then went to TJ Hughes and found a perfect anorak – except the collar was grey. This was no use, as he said “it would get dirty really quickly”. Personally I don’t think grey gets dirty any more quickly than any other colour, it would get dirty at the same rate. If anything I would have thought grey would LOOK less dirty than, say, a white collar. But then, there is such a things as WASHING. I know he finds this a difficult concept to comprehend.

So the anorak saga continues. I can’t get into town to get one for him because he doesn’t like being left behind on his own anymore. The other thing he did yesterday was tell me exactly why he was unable to cut the lawns at the moment. Mainly it was because there was no room in the green bin this week. He then went out to cut the lawns. The reason why there is no room in the green bin is because I used to have a bamboo plant…..

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I seem to have somehow acquired a totally unjustified (in my opinion) bad shopping reputation. There are certain items which if I say I need, I can be sure of a lone shopping trip. The kids (and my mother) exchange a few knowing glances, and they adopt looks of panic in case I insist they come with me. These dreaded items are shoes, bags and purses. Yet (in my defence) the last two bags I bought were instant buys, especially the last one where I didn’t even get to touch it, or stroke it, or unzip it, and feel inside, and count the number of internal pockets, and test the strap before the purchase was made, because it was hanging up behind the till. And, to be fair, I hadn’t gone out to buy a bag. It was an impulsive purchase. The bag before that was a Christmas present I was choosing for myself – and that didn’t take long either. Shoes… well yes – they perhaps do have a point with shoes. Even I get no enjoyment out of looking for shoes.

The trouble is I pretty much know exactly what I want before I go shopping. The problem is tracking down what may or may not exist – and it usually doesn’t. For “ultimate handbag” it has to satisfy a very long list of requirements. Not too big or heavy, but with the capacity of the one in which Mary Poppins carried a standard lamp. It has to smell nice. The strap has to be non-slip - there are few things in life more exasperating than a strap that continually slips off your shoulder. It has to be easy access – no annoying flappy bits. Big enough to get my essentials inside – but not so big that everything I need hides down at the bottom with long forgotten half eaten packets of Polo’s, spare camera batteries and USB memory doo-dahs.

I’ll admit, I am much better at buying big things. Washing machines, fridges, cameras, computers, three piece suites – usually a five minute job. I walk up to the first one that takes my fancy – and that’s it. But clothes are a nightmare – and I suppose shoes fit into that category. I hate trying on shoes. My feet were not made for shoes. They hate being enclosed. They want to be naked and free. But the problem with naked feet, other than dog poo and drawing pins, is they do tend to elicit funny looks from passers-by. I can happily walk round the house and garden in my bare feet all day – but if I went down the road to post a letter – well, you can imagine – and sadly I do mind what people think.

I’ve been trying to buy a pair of trousers suitable for work since September. The ones I have – which are great but are beginning to wear out – were from Tesco and are size 18. I went back to Tesco and tried on (or at least tried to try on) 5 pairs of size 18 trousers. I couldn’t get them on. I then chose about 4 pairs of size 20, but they looked just awful. Yesterday, in desperation, I had a look in BHS. I suppose I knew I would come out empty handed. It’s annoying because I found some I really liked, the right colour, size and style, but they were “standard”. I’m not “standard” – I’m “short”. There was one miniscule section devoted to “short” but the material of the trousers there was different. It was cheap and nasty and felt all slimy and horrible. I just knew if I bought them they’d be all hot and sweaty within seconds – especially in a room heated by 16 computers and 25 kids. Do they think that only “standard” people are worth the nicer, cooler fabric? Do they think “short” people don’t sweat? I also wasted some time in the “petite” section. This is supposedly for people 5’ 3” and under. Well, I was 5’ 3” last time I looked, so in theory there should have been something there for me. What the sign doesn’t say, and should, is “Petite – for short THIN people” – because they really don’t cater for people like me - short and addicted to chocolate. Where is the “wide” section? They do “wide” shoes for people with duck’s feet (like myself).

I gave up on trousers and went off to the shop I refer to as Fat Pat’s – and every one else calls Evans, (think Eastenders). I wanted some tee shirts that are longer than normal length. Not because I am longer than normal, but I hate tee shirts that end at the waist. I like them to come down and cover my arse. It’s been impossible to get any longer ones for a couple of years, but they have made a very welcome comeback. However, I was out of luck again as the only longer length ones I could find were over size 30, apart from one size 14 lurking about on the rack. No surprise that it hadn’t sold, really – and it surely never will. If I was size 14 I’d be in Per Una, not bloody Fat Pats.

A bit fed up, I decided to go and look for some brown shoes in M&S. Something wide, preferably in their ‘Footglove’ range. I should have looked back in January, but the post-Christmas bout of pleurisy meant missing out on the sales. I must have tried on every bloody shoe in M&S, even at one point a pair of cream sandals which I really didn’t want.

The shoes that I could force onto my feet were hard and uncomfortable. The soft nice ones were black, or looked ridiculous. I should add that I can’t walk in anything other than completely flat shoes, which is also quite limiting. I was about to console myself in the sock and knicker department (I was determined to spend SOME money) when I spotted some boots I rather fancied. They were brown, and rather wonderful. I imagined that either I wouldn’t be able to get them on (or off again) and that they would be bloody uncomfortable. There was only one pair in my size and it took a while to find the left one. But they did fit, and they felt OK, and they even have a slight heel. I loved them. I thought they would probably cost a fortune, so I did brace myself somewhat when I turned them over to look at the price label. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see that they were only £30. Excited with my find, I bought them quickly before I could talk myself out of them, knowing that I’ll probably never wear them. I did buy some socks and knickers as well, because I never seem to have any socks these days, and it’s always nice to have new knickers, especially as I have so many that refuse to stay up – clearly knicker-elastic is not what it was. I have no idea why I am still in size 16 knickers, when I can’t squeeze myself into size 20 trousers. It makes no sense at all.

When I arrived home and displayed my purchases, I noticed the look of relief in the resident daughter’s eyes. I’ll wait till next time she’s out shopping with me – I still need trousers and shoes…

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

I now have a degree!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I know I have written extensively on the husbands weird and illogical shopping habits, but I feel he has excelled himself this time. He decided it was time he bought himself a new sweatshirt. It would have been preferable had he just put ‘sweatshirt’ on his Christmas list and left the shopping to someone else. But no – this was a mission that ended up actually taking a week. The problem, I think, boils down to his semi-retirement boredom and not knowing how to fill the day. The first part of the process was going through all his old sweatshirts and looking at the labels to establish his size. Then the stupid questions started.
“What does this label say?”
“So, do you think I should buy a large one then?”
“You don’t think this is too large do you?”
I should add at this point, he was talking about a sweatshirt he was wearing on our son’s first birthday (I have photographic evidence) and it wasn’t new then. Our son is 25.
The next day he went into town and was gone for several hours.
He returned empty handed. Apparently he had seen one in Asda for about £4, but he wasn’t sure if the large was large enough, or if it would be too large.
(Apparently, men don’t try things on… )
He had also seen one in Primark for a similar price, but didn’t know how it would wash.
(Hardly his problem as he doesn’t do washing.)
The ones in BHS had collars, and the ones in M&S were £25.
“TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS?!” he exclaimed. As an example of his tone of voice, imagine if you had gone to buy a loaf of bread and they tried to charge you about £500 for an old mouldy loaf, that was riddled with maggots – you’d be almost there!
“TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS?!” (imagine a really over the top Victor Meldrew impersonation done by Joe Pasquale on speed)
It took him the weekend to get over this. In the mean time I went into M&S and saw some for £35 but chose not to tell him. However, there were some ordinary grey plain sweatshirts for £9.50. No collar, so exactly what he wanted. I told him about these, and said I’d get him one for Christmas.
The following Monday he had a second abortive trip into town, looking at some more “overpriced” sweatshirts in the wrong style that may not be the “right size of large” and may not wash very well, or last as long as his old one. (The one that carbon dating revealed to be pre-1980s)
“The trouble is,” he explained, “the nice ones are SO expensive - three times more than the cheap ones.”
I explained that they would last more than three times longer than the cheap ones, therefore – in the long run – were cheaper!
This was way beyond his ‘man logic’.
The next day he went back into town and purchased a cheap sweatshirt, in medium from a different shop. Not the cheapest, but cheaper than the £9.50 “outrageously priced” ones. When he got back home he tried it on. It was slightly tighter than skin tight.
“Do you think it’s big enough?”, he asked.
“Well no…”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it looks a bit tight…”
“It feels fine.”
“Well don’t blame me if men chat you up in it!”
The next day he took it back and changed it for a large. Of course, the style and pattern is revolting – but that is another matter entirely. He is pleased with his “cheap” sweatshirt, although he says it’s not as thick as the ones from M&S, so he may have to wear a jumper on top.
So – it cost £6 plus four trips into town and back. The bus fares alone came to £12. In my ‘female’ logic – I see this as costing £18 – and he has an inferior product, that won’t last as long.

The following week he decided he needed a new hat…

Saturday, September 20, 2008

...very happy but...

...there is always someone to bring me down to earth with a crash.

And it's the ratbag husband again. I've just had an essay back. All my kids are living elsewhere. The budgie is very self-centred and doesn't care, and I could say the same for the assorted rodents. It was too late to ring my mother, so there was no one else to tell...

"I've had my essay back." I told him. Surely after 5 years of this, he should know that this means he should ask what the mark is - just in case it's fantastic.
He said nothing...
"That was really quick!" I told him. This was his second chance to ask.
He said nothing...

I suppose I could have told him at this point - but why should I? I shouldn't have to. If I tell him it doesn't mean anything. I want him to be interested. Or at least pretend to be. It's not hard, for example, I asked him how his day was and he'd been train spotting. I even looked at his photos.

"Yes..." I continued, "it was really quick - the deadline was only last Thursday."
"Well" he said, "Perhaps no one else bothered to send theirs in."
Yes - of course - that MUST be it. I mean - why would they? It was only worth 35% of this tutor marked bit of the course. I'm clearly the foolish one for actually doing it!

Anyway - he has gone to bed now, so clearly he isn't going to ask. And I refuse to tell him. I will have to find some other way. Perhaps in 6 ft high red numbers on our white garage door. 88%

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