It’s that time again….

Happy 2013 everyone!

Well, what with it being a new year and all that, I thought I’d make a few resolutions – one of them is to start writing this blog again regularly (tied into that is not shopping for a whole year, but I’ll get to that shortly). If I’m not writing enough for your liking, or there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, you can follow me on Twitter @fashionfarewell and mention it there!

So, the no clothes shopping rule…it didn’t work out exactly as planned last year (allowing myself to buy one thing a month just opened the floodgates and ended badly – I should have seen it coming), so this year, I’m reinstating the ban. Except for tights. As mentioned in previous blog posts, I have what I like to call a ‘signature look’, which is essentially a dress, a cardigan, a pair of tights and flats (in the summer) or boots (in the winter). I am very clumsy and manage to put my fingers through most pairs, sometimes before I’ve even worn them, so I’ve made an executive decision to allow myself to buy tights. I’ll be honest, I can’t see myself spending £300 a month on them(just as an aside, in case The Boy and/or my lovely Mum are reading this, I do NOT spend £300 on clothes a month, it’s just a random figure), so it should work out just fine. Accessories are also banned, which includes shoes, bags, and belts. But not earrings – I have 14 piercings, 13 of those in my ears, and I lose earrings  a LOT.

Apart from my wardrobe being full to bursting, The Boy and I are  (almost) in the process of buying our first house. So, you know, I need to save money. Or, alternatively, redirect it to sellers of candles, heart-shaped ornaments and waffle throws.

But they’re not my only resolutions, oh no! Over the Christmas period, a couple of helpful souls (let’s call them ‘friends’), brought a couple of things to my attention.

One made a point of telling me how dry my hair’s been looking recently. Which was nice. I personally enjoy being able to impersonate various country-singing personalities (my rendition of ‘Stand by Your Man’ is particularly heart-rending), but if others don’t see the appeal, who am I to disagree? The second told me I’m getting fat (this particular friend mentioned it to me not once, but twice over the Christmas break, just in case I hadn’t heard their soul-crushing pronouncement on my chubbiness the first time).

I was always taught that if you can’t say anything nice, you should say nothing at all, no matter how offensive a person’s halitosis, how dreadful their greasy roots, or their resemblence to a chipolata in that salmon-pink cocktail dress they just ‘had to have’.  But I digress. 

Now, this could easily have gone one of two ways. I’m very stubborn, and have a tendency towards ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ defiance. But instead of blowdrying my hair upside down whilst simultaneously tucking into a family-size bag of Doritos, I’ve decided to take what they said, mentally picture myself punching them in the face, and incorporate their ‘suggestions’ into my new year’s resolutions. So I will be aiming to get healthy (going to the gym at least once a week – let’s not get carried away), and will do a hot-oil treatment on my hair once a week.

If you’re a betting sort of person, I can offer you excellent odds on the hot-oil treatment being the first to go.

…And I’m back (again).

This post is dedicated to a lovely old friend who took me to my first dance lesson (and my first pub, but I digress), and wrote me a lovely message on Facebook (other social networks are available) to tell me that she likes my blog, and that I should start writing it again.

So, I haven’t written a post in a while, and I’ve fallen off the ‘not shopping’ wagon quite spectacularly. I feel that these separate lifestyle choices may be linked, so thought I’d better start writing again (I also fear that The Boy will leave me if I don’t stop shopping. He’s very patient, but doesn’t particularly want to live in a house made of shoe boxes – no, I don’t understand it either).

In the background while writing, I have a BBC4 show on (because I’m cultured and that) and just heard a dinosaur described as ‘not shaped like a people carrier’. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really thought about dinosaurs in terms of the car shapes they resemble (or not, as the case may be). For example, I’ve never looked at a Triceratops and thought ‘Well, it’s no convertible…’

But I digress.

Although I’ve bought some clothes (and shoes) that I shouldn’t have, I have discovered some fantastic websites in the last couple of months. One is funkydivaa, who have really cute clothes (especially the printed maxi dresses and playsuits – I love them so much that I want them all!) and amazing customer service. Customer service is a big thing for me, and I’ve stopped shopping at some well-known shops/websites on the strength (or, to be more accurate, the weakness) of their customer service, so it’s great to find a site where I actually want to be friends with their agents, they’re that nice! I ordered a gorgeous daisy print maxi dress, which is just lovely. It’s really flattering and fits really well. The only thing I would say is don’t wear it when it’s raining – I wore it yesterday and managed to suck up most of the puddles on the pavement – not a good look! (Disclaimer – not paid to promote this site in any way, I just think they’re fab.)

Another is Chockers Shoes – I’ve ordered the shoes that I’m wearing to my cousin’s wedding from here, and they’re so pretty that I want to cry a bit (I have an intense emotional attachment to my clothes). They are so high that I’m nearly the same height as Darling Sister in them (and she’s 7 inches taller than me). They got delivered to work, and we had an enjoyable afternoon where I wore them and tried to break them in – it was a bit like that scene in Bambi, where I tripped around the office and stepped very, very gingerly around my desk. Totally worth it.

In other news, I auditioned for a well-known game show recently (I didn’t get through. I’m not bitter.) and we had to speak for a minute about something we were passionate about. Other people knew about this in advance, and had prepared something. I didn’t, so I spoke about my love of clothes, writing, this blog, and the perils of saving for a house deposit. If I could do it again, I’d definitely share my love of Philip Glenister (he was appearing at a fan thing on the same Sunday as I auditioned, and I now wish I’d gone to that instead. Which either makes me a) worryingly obsessed, b) a bit of a geek or c) actually a bit bitter) – The Boy and I had a conversation about how I’m one step away from thinking Phil is sending me messages through the TV – or maybe Doctor Who. Not because I think it would get me further in the audition process, but just because I think it’s time more people knew that I have an inappropriate crush on Gene Hunt (for those of you that haven’t watched Life on Mars, or Ashes to Ashes, please do it. You need it in your life.) and that I am properly emotionally attached to a proper sci-fi show. I cry watching it and everything (usually only at the sad bits), and I still miss (and complain about missing) some of the characters that have left the show, like they’re actual people.

So, the shopping ban is almost back – I’ve decided to give myself until my birthday (17 June) and that’s it. As I clearly can’t be trusted to buy one emergency item a month, I will go back to buying nothing at all. It’s the only way. (I’m using the same argument with The Boy as to why I should go on The Cambridge Diet – I just can’t be trusted with food…I eat a carrot, then a yoghurt, and it segues seamlessly into family-size bars of Galaxy caramel. I can’t explain it.)

Next week – the week my lovely friends got married, and I went blonde.

You can follow me on Twitter (for musings and random updates) at FashionFarewell – see you there!

Second time around….

So, here we are again, and I owe you all a couple of observational apologies. The first one is that I suggested that I would continue to write, even after my self-imposed clothes ban ended, and I spent all of my time shopping at BooHoo.com, and neglected you. The second is  that I failed. There was no enlightenment regarding clothes shopping, and smug outings where I only bought what I needed. Instead, I bought dresses. Lots of them. Although I do now have a ‘signature style’. Well, that’s what I like to think – it’s essentially a dress, black tights and boots (or, for fancy occasions, pretty shoes).

I would LOVE to blame my failure on the fact that I moved jobs, and I no longer have Jiminy (remember her? She used to act as my shopping conscience) to guide me/give me disapproving looks/remind me that I want a house, and everyone knows that you can’t live in a shoe unless you’re in a nursery rhyme.

I thought that my new job might encourage me to spend less – after all, I’ve moved to a place where there are no shops of any note. Except Tesco, and a BP garage. (Although there is a Harvester, which is nice.) Unfortunately, the nice IT people at my new company trust the staff to have access to the internet, unlike my old company (who used to greet every site you tried to get on as ‘denied access – what on Earth do you think you’re doing?!’, even those ones necessary to do my job. It was fun), and this freedom  means that my lunchtimes can be spent on various clothing websites – the girls who sit on the desk behind me actually monitor how many I go on, it’s that bad (although one of them also gave up shopping last year and did a much better job than me – I may suggest that we set up a support group).

So, I need to reinstate the ban.

This year, I’ve decided to change it slightly, to stop myself (and this quote is directly from a friend who will be known only as Bakerloo) ‘going absolutely mental with clothes shopping at the end of it, just because you can buy things again.’

Tough but fair, I thought.

I’m going to give up (ish – you’ll see where I’m going with this) shopping for a whole year, instead of last year’s 6 months.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I have a new job. It’s the epitome of awesomeness, and I love it a lot. But it does mean that I occasionally have to go to events, and clothes are required for this. I also have several weddings coming up this year, and although I have my outfit sorted for one (I’m a bridesmaid, not incredibly organised), I’m not entirely sure that the outfit I had planned for the others will work (a coral dress bought in the sales that I’m ‘going to slim into’. Which I have done approximately 0 times with other sales purchases). There may also be hen night t-shirt related purchases that have to be made – I haven’t forgotten the horror of cobbling together that Lady Gaga outfit last year, and have no intention of doing something similar this year. I have also previously mentioned my signature style, which involves tights. I even wear them in Summer, because my legs are horribly pale (so pale that when I tried on dresses with Lovely Sister, she actually recoiled and shrieked ‘Oh my GOD, you’re really pale aren’t you – ugh!’ – she models herself on the girls from The Only Way Is Essex, so I shouldn’t be offended. It’s just that she’s not the first person to say it….) and I’m rather clumsy, so it’s fairly certain that I’ll ladder my entire stock by the middle of March. If I’m careful.

So, to encompass these factors, I will be allowing myself an ’emergency fund’ for 1 item of clothing each month. If I don’t buy anything in one month, it cannot be carried over to the next. If I need a vest top to go under something that I’ve already bought, that counts as my one thing (although a pack of 5 pairs of tights also counts as one thing, otherwise I’m going to spend my life rinsing them out in the sink and sticking them on the radiator. Which would be Grim with a capital G, I think you’ll agree). Accessories such as shoes, belts, bags, headscarves (headscarves? Where did that come from? I’ve never worn a headscarf) are included. Even if something breaks, I’m not allowed to replace it, unless it counts as my one thing that I buy each month. And there’s a maximum spending limit of £50.00. Even if I really, really want it.

Are there any other rules or stipulations that I should add to this? What are your thoughts on exchanging things – if something is faulty, can I send it back for an exchange, or do I have to ask for a refund? This is going to be interesting…

Second Time Lucky…

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but this isn’t actually the first time that I’ve attempted to go from New Year’s Day until my birthday without buying clothes.  Whilst I was in my second year at Uni, my boyfriend at the time bet me £100 that I couldn’t go the 6 and a half months between those dates without purchasing any clothing whatsoever.  Those of you that know me will be aware that I’m rather stubborn, so his telling me that I couldn’t do it just made me all the more determined.  I did the whole ‘buying lots of new things before the cut off date’ thing, saving them up for best, so that although they’d been bought months in advance, it still felt like I was weating something new.  Mainly because I was.

Soon enough, it was time to go back home for the Easter holidays.  So, feeling very organised, I packed my laptop, TV/Video combi thing (yep, I was at Uni that long ago) my DVD player and 6 entire trees worth of revision notes into the boot of my car the night before I was due to leave.  I then shoved 2 suitcases full of clothes onto one of the backseats, my dirty laundry on the front seat, ready for Lovely Mum to work her way through (she loved it. Honest.) and Timothy, hamster and friend, strapped in to the backseat not taken up with luggage, and drove over to The Ex’s (I didn’t call him that at the time.  Maybe I should have done).  Clambering out, Timothy under my arm, I looked up at his resigned face.  (The Ex’s, not Timothy’s.  Timothy never looked resigned – more inquisitive.)

‘Does the hamster have to come in?’

Yes, actually. 

Then, in bed later on, half asleep, I drowsily muttered something about taking my suitcases out of my car.  What I really meant was, would HE go and get my suitcases out of my car.  He declined, on the basis that the car was parked right outside his house, and we were already in bed.  

I’m fairly certain that you can guess where I’m going with this (and had probably worked it out by the second sentence of this entry).  All of my clothes got stolen.

Now, let me make it clear – I’m not blaming The Ex for what happened (God knows, I blame him for enough stuff, it’s hardly fair to blame him for something that wasn’t actually his fault).  The next morning, he went outside, whilst I busied myself watching daytime TV wrapped in a duvet, when there was a hammering at the front door.  There stood The Ex, shouting about how ‘they’ had broken into my car, and taken my suitcases.

On a side note – in these situations, why do people always refer to criminals as ‘they’?  I mean, do they actually know the people that have screwed them over?  And if so, why the heck are they talking about ‘them’ instead of kicking them in the shins?

Not only had the little buggers stolen my suitcases, my coat lying on the floor of the car, and The Ex’s coat (with MP3 player thoughtfully left in the right hand pocket), but they’d smashed one of the back windows, and gone through all of my dirty laundry.  Honestly, just writing about it now makes my skin crawl as much as it did when it first happened – thinking about people I don’t know, and will (hopefully) never meet, having seen more of my greying pants (it had been 4 months since I’d bought new ones at that point) than almost anyone I know is a pretty disturbing thought.  Bleurgh.

The weird thing is that they hadn’t even bothered going into my boot.  If they’re reading this;

1.  I hope that you fell over and one of my suitcases landed on your face

2. I hope that you’re gutted that whilst YOU may have my favourite H&M jumper, and whilst YOU may have made me cry for 2 months on and off (as I remembered more things that were stolen), YOU also missed out on at least an extra £1oo worth of stuff. Yeah.

When I say that I cried on and off for 2 months, I’m not even exaggerating.  I had a beautiful pink jumper from New Look that had been worn once, the red H&M jumper (that I was so upset about, Lovely Mum called H&M and begged them to find one, even though it was in stores 8 months before.  They couldn’t), the Ipswich shirt with Cooper 11 on the back from where my Dad played a charity match at Ipswich and bought me a replica shirt – for months, whenever I walked around Canterbury, I looked for someone wearing it, making up what I’d say to them before I stole the shirt back, but I never found them.  It’s probably for the best.

By the time I got home that day (with black bin bags artfully placed around the hole in my window and attached with masking tape), I was exhausted, and just wanted a hug from my Lovely Parents and Darling Sister, before going to bed.  But I had to go shopping, as I really, literally just had the clothes I came home in (and, you know, the dirty washing).  And I hated every second of it – I couldn’t find anything that I liked, and I remember Lovely Mum saying to Darling Sister,

‘No, she’s probably thinking about all the things that she’s lost instead of enjoying being able to shop again.’ 

Yes, yes I was.

And I didn’t get the £100, because technically I’d been shopping.  But The Ex did give me a £20 New Look voucher.  There’s a chance that he may have been feeling guilty. 

I could lay the blame for my shopping addiction solely at the door of the horrible, mean people that stole all my clothes, on the basis that I never want to be in that situation again – I always want to have SOMETHING to wear.  But I’m fairly sure that I’d be like this anyway.  Also, I have it on good authority that The Boy would always get up to get my suitcases out of the car.  He’s nice like that.

And that, my friends, is why you should always listen to the police/signs in car parks/your mother, when you’re told not to leave personal possessions on show.  It really is worth the extra 39 seconds of your time to move the stuff.  If nothing else, you’ll get more from your insurance company if the stuff’s in a locked boot.

4 days to go…

So, That’s Another Two Careers off the ‘Potentials’ List….

I fear that I may have turned into one of ‘those’ people.  You know, one of The Boy’s type of people.  Walkers.  I needed to pop into town yesterday (for various beautifying bits and pieces – don’t tell anyone that I’m still spending money on these things.  Especially not Jiminy – remember her?  She’s my work colleague who acts as my conscience, as I clearly don’t have one), and after much thought, I decided to park in the carpark furthest away from town (ok, so it’s not quite on a par with ‘let’s just march for the next 7 miles, then take it easy for the last 14, but considering I used to whinge at Uni if I had to walk to the shop 2 seconds down our very road, just to pick up some chocolate buttons, this is progress).  Except that my cunning plan didn’t work, as the carpark was full (well, it wasn’t, the free spaces were.  But the local council’s ridiculous idea to charge for parking is a rant for another day).  So I had to drive around for 10 minutes, finding somewhere far enough out for me to walk in.  I’ll be honest, it wasn’t exactly my best effort at reducing my personal carbon footprint.  But I did manage to walk into town (with a full bag of library books, might I add), so my smug face was firmly in place for at least…oh, 12 minutes.

*On a totally unrelated tangeant, I just tried to serenade The Boy with my own, adapted version of ‘She’s So Lovely’, changing the words to ‘He’s So Lovely’.  Sadly, I can’t sing, so I don’t think it was as endearing as I’d originally hoped.*

Where was I?  Oh yes, my smug face.  Well, as well as walking into town (from a residential street at least 4 minutes from the town centre no less, and a full 6 and a half minutes from the library), I also made my bed yesterday.  Yes, made made.  As in put up (I realised that it sounded like I was boasting about being able to change a pillowcase when I was talking to Lovely Mum yesterday and she looked a bit confused).  But I feel that I’ve left a suitable amount of time between Darling Sister moving out and my moving into her old room (when we ALL know, that if I’d had the choice, she would barely have left the driveway after a heartfelt and tearful goodbye before I was measuring her alcove and working out if that Ikea dressing table would fit in the gap where her ottoman used to be), and, as luck would have it, The Boy was in LA this week (he has the best job in the world.  Except for, you know, Kate Middleton), so there was plenty of time for me to move things.  Except, and I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this, but making stuff is HARD.  You have to insert Screw C into Slot B, then attach Bolt G and use wrenches and Hex Keys and things (side note – I’m fairly certain that Hex Keys are, in fact, Allen/Allan/Alan Keys, but with a fancy alternative name).  And it hurt my fingers.  So I had a little rest.  An hour and a half later when I woke up, with my things still very much not moved, my smug look slid off my face.  On the plus side, half of my stuff is now in my new room, the matress is on my new bed, and I slept on it last night without it collapsing through the floor – hurrah!  And Ruby (my diva cat, who thinks that my room is actually her room, and she just lets me stay) has already found herself a spot, curled up at the bottom of the curtains.  So everyone’s happy.  And I have a new thing to spend money on – bedroom furniture, hurrah!  I wonder if I can convince The Boy to fund some of the purchases, as they’ll probably be moving with us when we get a house?  No, you’re right, it’s unlikely.

The other exciting thing that I did this weekend was driving all the way to Heathrow (Terminal 3, in case you were interested), to collect The Boy. All by my very self.  I managed to get all the way there without a problem, then got myself in a muddle in the carpark.  Amazing. People will park literally anywhere, expecting you to change the entire configuration of your car in order to get past (whilst I can twist myself into awkward positions to move around people, Sally is peculiarly unwilling to bend at the middle, just because some impatient so and so has decided to park in the middle of the through lane).  Then, some delightful soul (whom I heartily hope suffers a 10 hour delay, and then turbulence and an uncomfortable seat) left their trolley on a slope.  So it did what all wheeled things will do down a slope.  It slid.  Straight into the side of my car.  Luckily, I was driving, and only got a glancing blow, but I was still heartily hacked off.  Whilst waiting for The Boy to emerge from Arrivals (which, I was certain at one point, was going to be on Tuesday, they kept putting the expected arrival time back so much), a man who was standing right next to me (I really can’t stress how close he was standing to me – if I’m honest, he was invading my personal space a bit) turned to who I assume is his wife, and said ‘Wow, she’s even shorter than you!’.  I was tempted to pinch him (I was that close) but instead, maintained a dignified silence.  And bitched about him on Facebook.  After what seemed like a million years, The Boy’s plane landed, and we got lost on the way out.  I don’t want to say that it was his fault (because it wasn’t – I was the one who forgot which floor I’d parked my car on), but, you know, I’d gotten all the way there by myself with no problems…but he’s home now, and I can do my special Happy Dance (not when he’s looking though, that would be even worse than my singing). 

The Happy Dance will also be employed at intervals throughout the week, as I have only 5 days to go until I can shop for pretty clothes again!  And I have seen so very many, that it’s likely I’ll max out my credit and store cards, and the last 6 months will have been a waste of time.  Or, you never know – I might have learned something.  So, in honour of this being my last week of a recessionista (actually, that’s totally the wrong word.  It doesn’t even mean what I meant.  Let’s start again…) 

To commemorate the last week of my spending ban, I will be writing 1 blog post each and every single day.  To paraphrase (actually, to just repeat word for word) Tyres from ‘Spaced’ – You lucky, lucky people.  (Just for God’s sake don’t ask me to do the accent.  It will end in tears.  Mine of shame, yours from scornful laughter.) (If you don’t know who or what I’m talking about, Google it.  He’s brilliant.)

Oh, and the 2 careers in the title?  Chauffeur, and Furniture Maker/Putter Upper.  Or, ‘Carpenter’ if you will.

Courier Condundrum…

Indulging in some weekend television, I decided to watch ‘Nine Months’ this afternoon.  An advert popped up (they tend to fairly regularly) about short term loans.  This one was implying that it was better than the others, as you can take 6 months to pay the loan back, which is nice.  Except that, when you read the bottom of the screen (yep, I’m one of THOSE people), the APR is over 3000%.  Yes, that’s right, OVER 3000%!  Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is totally ridiculous.  The smallest amount that you can borrow is £80.00, and if you took the 6 month option, that could cost you £1280 (I think.  I’m not that great at maths.  Even if that’s only close to being right, that is shagging well ridiculous!), and that is why loan companies are evil.

But I’ve already done a blog about the ridiculousness of store cards, so there’s really no need for me to rant all over again.  (Believe me, I need no encouragement to behave like a broken record and complain about the same things over and over again.  Just ask my Lovely Friends, to whom I still whinge about various injustices that happened at around the same time as our GCSEs.  Ten years ago.) (Ooo, I’ve just made myself go a bit funny.  Was that really ten years ago?  I’m still trying to decide what to do when I finish school.  Which may explain my career path…)

So, clothes ban wise, it’s not been a bad week.  As Darling Sister’s birthday is the day before mine (I know, not great timing on my parent’s behalf, it makes for a rather expensive week), I’ve been looking at birthday presents for her.  Even though she’s picked up the keys for her very first flat this week, and would probably prefer gifts such as kettles, toilet brushes or duvet covers, I think it’s safe to say that at least one of her presents will be clothing related.  Because it cuts down on the guilt – I’ve spent many happy hours this week perusing various online retailers, finding some lovely things (and even Lovely Mum pointing out in gentle tones ‘buying that in your size isn’t really going to impress Darling Sister is it’, (she’s 7 inches taller and several dress sizes smaller than me.  And thinks nothing of voicing her disgust if people buy her things in a size 12, until she sees me giving her a ridiculously Mean Stare, and then backtracks furiously. It makes me chuckle every time.) and ‘is that really something that she’d like?  Really?!’ haven’t put me off.  Although my experience with a ridiculously inept courier company nearly did put me off buying anything.  Ever.  (Maybe I should buy things from companies that I know use awful couriers, so that it puts me off shopping forever?  It’s a thought…)

Anyway, back to reminiscing – I’d found something that I thought Darling Sister would really like (even though it wasn’t cushion related).  So I ordered it, cunningly asking for it to be delivered on a day that she was working.  Except that it never turned up.  I spoke to the couriers (whose name I won’t reveal.  Although I don’t know why I’m bothering, they were so ridiculously rubbish that they deserve to be shamed) who said that the driver had run out of time (poor planning in my opinion, he should have used his accelarator more, and his brakes less) and asked them whether I could collect the…ahem…item from the depot, as Darling Sister was on a night flight, and would have brutally beaten me had she been woken up to answer the door (also, it’s her present.  I don’t really want her to see where it’s from).  They agreed that this was absolutely fine, so I prepared to beg my (very understanding and nice) manager to let me take a slightly longer lunch, in order to get to the depot, several million miles away (ok, half an hour away).  Then, I decided to double check that I could collect the item without a card.  Apparently not – even though I’m willing to bet that the driver didn’t even make it to my village, never mind my road, he’d put in the notes that he’d left a card.  I don’t wish to cast aspersions on his character, but he’s a liar.  Anyway, after repeating this argument several times, it became clear that I was getting nowhere, and not only could I not collect the parcel, but after the nice man on the phone had confirmed that there were notes on the system stating that the order should not be sent out for delivery on that day, he reliably informed me that it had been sent anyway.  So I asked whether I could have the parcel delivered to my work address.  No, apparently,  Then I asked that the driver be contacted and told not to deliver the parcel, he ummed, ahhed and muttered, then said that the systems were down, so he’d have to call the driver.  As if this was a ridiculously unreasonable thing for me to ask him to do.  So I asked him again. 

Eventually, before I took my phone, put it on my passenger seat, drove to the depot and battered him with it, I said goodbye and spoke to the company directly.  They were brilliant, helpful and arranged for the parcel to be delivered to work the following day.  It was there when I arrived at work, and the girls were all very excited.  We opened the package up, and Darling Sister is going to hate it.  So now I have to return it.  Unless I can get down to a size 8 in the next 5 weeks.  That’s fairly unlikely, and would probably count as cheating on the shopping ban.  I’m thrilled, as you can imagine, and Ireally, really hope that UKMail have absolutely nothing to do with the returns process.  Oops, I may have just given away the name of the rubbishly rubbish courier.  I feel bad about it.

Chocolate for Breakfast – Right or Wrong? Discuss.

I don’t want to be one of those people who constantly bore on about diet and exercise (you know, the sort of people whose every Facebook or Twitter update is something about how many bites of grape they’ve allowed themselves in the last hour, how many triathlons they’ve managed to complete of an evening or exactly how many tenths of a second they’ve shaved from their 6 mile sprint), but today I’ve decided that I need to give up chocolate again.  My diet had been going really rather well, but this week I have eaten chocolate for breakfast on no less than 3 occasions.  I had thought that this nasty habit was one that I’d broken after giving the bad stuff up for Lent, but apparently I have less willpower than I thought.  So, until my birthday, I will be Cadbury free.  During Lent it was a bit difficult, but at least there was some sort of support network with the other poor souls who had given it up.  This time I think it will just be me.  You can imagine my excitement.

The Boy has been travelling the world this week for work (he has the actual Best Job in the World), so I’ve had lots of time to surf the internet, and online window shop.  It’s become much harder to restrain myself recently, and I’m constantly adding things to my basket, before sitting on my hands to stop myself hitting ‘Checkout’.  I think that it’s becoming harder because when I first started this (ridiculous) challenge, I knew that all of the things I saw in magazines and online would be long gone before I could shop again, and besides, even if I did buy them and secretly hide them in my bedroom (no-one would notice, I still have enough clothes in my room to stock a medium sized retailer for a good couple of months – provided that the clientele is sized 12-14), there was no way that I could pretend that a Fair Isle print jumper was purchased after my birthday, once the challenge was over.  Now though, there are gorgeous playsuits, pretty dresses and beautiful sandals to salivate over, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stop that persistent bugger of a voice that keeps insisting, ‘if you bought it now, no-one would know and you could hide it until 18th June’.  I don’t mind admitting (well, actually, I do mind this – I know that you’re all going to judge), but on Wednesday night, I was actually at the point of inputting my credit card details before I realised what I was doing, and threw the laptop across the room (*Disclaimer – the part about throwing the laptop across the room is blatant overexaggeration*).  The only thing that stopped me was thinking about the look on Jiminy’s face (for those of you that don’t know, one of my Work Chums has taken on the role of my conscience, much like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, hence the name), and the disappointment of literally everyone else.  She keeps telling me how proud she is of me (when she’s not berating me for the amount of cash that I spend on make up – it’s really not that much.  And she should know, she keeps all of my receipts), which is lovely.  Other people tell me that they’re proud of me too, which is also great, but people like The Boy, Lovely Mum and Lovely Stepdad are always telling me that they’re proud of me.  Even when I don’t do anything – I think it’s partly because they’re nice, and partly because it stops me from whinging about my lack of bestselling novel.  However, it still helps.  So, I’d really, really like it if people could keep telling me how well I’m doing.  It’s always nice to be praised, and it’s you never know – if you don’t, I may begin to descend into addiction madness and buy the entire stock of Boohoo.com.  And it will be all your fault…

Also, I completed 3 triathlons in half an hour at the gym earlier this week, along with one of my Lovely Chums.  I promised her that I’d mention it.  (*Disclaimer – actual, proper lie*)

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