Sunday, 21 December 2008

Concert, coats and brussels sprouts

The last few days have been very, very enjoyable. I've been having a great time.

I went to London on Thursday to see Lola II in concert, and at the same time was able to see all the rest of my London-based family (except nephews and nieces), plus a few other friends too. Lola II's concerts are a termly event, and there's usually something to enjoy and something to smile at even if the musical quality isn't up there with the professionals.

Last time I was at one of her concerts, one of the solo pianists was playing from memory rather than from the music, and got stuck in an awful circuit where for some time she couldn't find the way to the end of the piece. This time, one of the ensemble actually started playing from the wrong music, and one of the clarinettists of a trio was so nervous he could hardly play. But no matter, it was lovely.

Lola II and I stayed up talking much too late, then on Friday we went to the new Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush to see a Personal Shopper at Debenhams. I have such a problem with shopping for clothes that I can barely manage it, and much of my wardrobe dates back to the early 1980's. The Personal Shopper service lets you talk to a human about your size and tastes and what you'd like to buy, then they let you sit in a room with a nice hot drink and clothes are brought from the store for you to try on. The service is free and there's no compulsion to buy, and Connie was really good. Despite being a fashionista herself, she clearly understood what sort of person I am. A 'natural', apparently - someone who cares more about comfort and practicality than fashion or looks.

I was looking for an outdoor jacket and coat, and I ended up buying a wonderful bright red jacket for everyday wear, to replace my previous one that is comfortable and practical but universally disliked - apparently it makes me look even older than I am. Anyway, I was hoping to find a smart long woollen coat and a light raincoat as well, but nothing worked for me.

The trouble is that my horizontal size doesn't match my vertical size - if the shoulder seams sit on my shoulders and the sleeves are the right length, it doesn't do up round the front. If I can do the buttons up, then the shoulder seams are halfway down my arms and I can't find my hands in the sleeves. I require something from the 'petite' range, which is often very limited. The best bit of the day was when I tried on one coat with poppers instead of buttons at the front. Connie and Lola II thought it looked pretty good, but I took a deep breath and the front flew open.

Luckily, one of the loveliest coats that didn't fit me fitted Lola II, even though officially she wasn't the one doing the shopping. So she bought a coat as well. Both of our purchases were significantly reduced from original prices, and there was even an additional 20% discount going on. What a bargain.

At home on Saturday, I set up the computer network again - although I still haven't tried sorting out the printer. At least I'm back in my own room rather than sharing Mr A's office, which is good for both of us. I've done some revision, which has been really interesting and doesn't feel like revision at all, and we watched a great film (Eastern Promises). I watched one dance on 'Strictly' as they call it now, and that was plenty. I haven't watched any other programmes of the series, or any of the spin-off daily shows, or any of X Factor at all. I'm glad we're being surveyed for audience figures, to offset the rest of you.

Andy holding a stalk of Brussels sprouts in the kitchenThis morning, we went into town because I was pretty sure that there was an extra Farmer's Market alongside the Christmas Market, and there was. So now we have Brussels sprouts in their native form and carrots with dirt on, plus two partridges for tonight (I don't think I've ever tried partridge), a guinea fowl for Christmas dinner, and a brace of pheasant for the freezer, all for not very much money at all.

Last of all, I should be able to upgrade to a new mobile phone plan with more minutes and texts costing about half of what I'm paying at the moment, including a new phone. So it's been a good few days.


Anonymous said...

Oh what's really lovely is some chicken breast and brussel sprouts mixed with risotto rice and cream. It's my favourite comfort food.

travelling, but not in love said...

Lola, look at you and you personal shopper fanciness! I always suspected you had fancy ways, and now here's the proof!

Happy holidays...

Lola said...

Marjolein, that's an unusual combination! I might try it.

Travelling - is it fancy if you need help with something that most people can do on their own?

Brett said...

personal shopper, i had always thought it was the preserve of the rich

Lola said...

It's free at Debenhams. If you need help in other stores, I expect you do have to be a bit well off. Check out this link.

Sally said...

Lola your shopping escapades always make me laugh, I remember from when we used to work together what a nightmare you used to have.
I think I will be over your house with all those wonderful traditional game birds yum yum!