Saturday, 27 June 2009

Fraud Fury!

Kevin is off doing ‘bloke stuff’ with his brothers today, which means I have a free rein to get up to any amount of nonsense I wish.

However, anytime Kevin leaves me alone for more than an hour, he feels the need to say two things;

“Don’t dye your hair” and “Don’t go shopping”.

These are both ridiculous things to say for the following reasons;

1. I have an allergy to hair dye that means I haven’t been able to change the colour of my locks for the last 15 years. Although I admit that perhaps his anxiety is due to me terrifying him in the early stages of our relationship with several spectacular hues.

2. After my year of not shopping and subsequent (mostly) good behaviour, I was rather hoping he might trust me not to go on a crazy, buying bender whenever his back was turned.

3. You can’t shop anyway, when some turd (and I really am being very polite here) steals your bank details!!

So, instead of Kevin’s vision of me tripping round the town with armfuls of bags stuffed to the brim with all the glorious goodies that I’ve been powerless to resist, I’ve spent most of the day cancelling my cards, changing all my bank details, swearing rather a lot and going through the lists of debits made to my account by some blighter in Birmingham.

Yes, that’s right, I know where you live...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Transport Trauma

Transport is a touchy subject with me...

In an ideal world I see myself stepping out of a plush vehicle in my car-to-bar heels and tottering a few feet to my destination (or better still, being carried by Ewan McGregor).

In reality, we own a battered VW Golf that earned its latest dent courtesy of one of the poles that hold up the pet awning at the House of Bruar and a little reckless reversing on Kevin’s part.

But working in the City Centre means huge daily parking charges, which is why the car rarely ventures into the office with me and why I ditched our second car and invested in a scooter at the start of my year of not shopping.

There is nothing like free parking to turn you into a smug commuter, but when your little scooter hasn’t turned a wheel since last September and appears to have fallen into some kind of scooter coma, there is nothing for it but to take public transport.

I’m a big fan of the train, but the station is a little too far for me to walk to right now, so I’ve opted for the bus, which practically delivers me door to door.

I’m not a big fan of the bus.

Yes, it enables me to wear my car-to-bar heels, but in Glasgow where inclement weather means permanently steamed up windows, I am constantly panicking that I’ve gone past my destination and will end up at the other side of the country, walking miles in shoes that were only ever destined to travel a few feet.

Also, it’s incredibly expensive! I’ve worked out that it’s costing me nearly £100 a month to take the bus in and out of work, whereas the same amount of journeys on the scooter costs around £40. Needless to say, the mechanic has been called and the scooter will be getting kick-started back to life at the earliest opportunity.

My recovering lung might be a little alarmed about returning to two wheeled travel but my wallet is breathing a big sigh of relief!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Hippy Hoppy Goes Global

Many moons ago, Mother thought it would be hilarious to send me postcards from a small, stuffed toy rabbit that she had called Hippy Hoppy.

Hippy Hoppy travelled far and wide, regaling me with tales of his tours, while Mother phoned me allegedly frantic with worry about where he might be. On each occasion I would have to calm her down, assure her that he was safe and well, and then read her his latest card, which although disguised as tiny rabbit writing (whatever that may actually look like), was always in a style rather suspiciously like her own.

After several months of humouring her, my cousins and I decided that it was time to turn the tables. A highly successful covert operation resulted in Hippy Hoppy being snatched from under her nose and sent on a real adventure across Europe and Canada.

Last week, when we were clearing out the bookshelves, Kevin found the photo album of Hippy Hoppy’s trip and thinking it might give my colleagues a laugh, I took it into work.

What I hadn’t expected was that the album would provoke such a reaction and due to the creative genius of my colleague Anya, Hippy Hoppy now has his own blog site and film of his trip.

Please check it out for the soundtrack if nothing else - it perfectly reflects Hippy Hoppy’s radical Jazz rabbit phase.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Hair Raising Recession

An article in the The Times magazine this week made me flick my fringe from my eyes and focus.

It seems that despite the recession, the last thing we want to neglect are our luscious locks. Hair salons say they’re bucking the trend for our desire to downsize and clients continue to pour through their doors, and I can totally see why.

During my year of not shopping, my hair became one of my biggest obsessions. I changed my hairdresser three times before settling for the skillful scissors of Liam at JDH. And why did I do that?

Well, because I had cut everything else in my life to the bare minimum and the only way I felt I could change the way I looked, or feel groomed without spending on new products and clothes, was to keep my hair in check.

The credit crunch might mean we can’t step out in this season’s sky high stilettos, but most of us can – and do - look like we’ve just stepped out of a salon.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Weddings, Wine & Wonderful News!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting more tests for another suspected tumour and while 90% of me was fairly certain that there couldn’t possibly be another, that little 10% was constantly doubting; waking me up in the night and invading all my happy thoughts.

So, who was I to argue when on Friday evening my consultant called to tell me that all was well, no secondary tumour had sneaked in there when we weren’t looking and that I should enjoy my weekend with a few celebratory drinks?

And what better way to do that than at the wedding of two people who the term ‘soul mates’ could have been dreamt up for. Having exchanged vows in a castle in Italy, Gillian and Jonathan returned home for a second celebration in Glasgow University and we were lucky enough to join them.
I know they say all brides are stunning, but when I saw Gillian (and the way that Jonathan was gazing at her), I almost burst into tears. And trust me when I say that it wasn’t with jealousy over her strappy, silver Jimmy Choos!

For once, I was even quite happy with my own outfit. Weddings usually see me more hysterical than your typical Bride-zilla (and with more dress fittings) but with so many previous purchases guiltily stored away, I was able to find something quite fitting. Actually it was very fitting and one of the few outfits I could fasten, having put on a stone in weight since the op.

I might not have been able to breathe in it without bursting the seams, but I did manage a few celebratory drinks. Doctors orders...

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hot Off The Press!

My blog and book have had a couple of media mentions this month.

The blog got in there first with a starring role in an article in the Evening Times, but the book was following hot on its heels with a feature in the i-on Glasgow magazine.

Both are now basking in their fifteen minutes of fame and fighting over who got the most column inches...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

'Take That' or take them...

Given the choice of spending the afternoon in the presence of one of the UK’s biggest and best boy bands or in the presence of a bunch of boys on bicycles, what would you do? You can see my dilemma here...

Last year, when my daily dilemma was whether or not I could muster up enough energy to dry my hair after my shower, Kevin sought out little things that I could look forward to each month. Little things that would challenge me to not only dry my hair, but to straighten it and slap on some make up too.

So when tickets for Take That came up for sale, he snapped them up and waved them under my nose until I was powerless to resist their allure. But now with just a couple of weeks until the big gig, their force is fading.

This is despite the fact that me and Take That have a ‘history’ as they say. Anyone who has read my book knows that Hobbs and Mark Owen have shared hugs and kisses; and I’m quite sure there are very few girls who can lay claim to that honour, never mind small dogs. Secretly, I was hoping that Mark and Hobbs could rekindle their friendship through me and I could just pick up the hugs and kisses at the concert, then pass them on to my furry offspring.

The old me - the Before Shopping Ban me - would have spent the last few months tracking down the perfect outfit for the event. No expense would have been spared. On the day, I’d have grappled my way to the front in my Gucci, screamed my lungs out (okay, maybe that’s no longer appropriate under the circumstances) and considered whether to throw my three figure sum be-ribboned Damaris knickers onto the stage.

But the new me - the one that values people over purchases - has been asked by a friend if Kevin would like to join him and his cycling club for a round Arran trip, with me acting as refreshment and first aid supremo.

This is a friend who supported me through my year of not shopping, and who supported both Kevin and I during the last few months by just quietly being in the background and stepping up to help without ever needing to be asked.

So, where’s the dilemma? There isn’t one really. The tickets have been passed on to someone else who can’t wait to stand at the front of the stage and scream. And, as for me...

Well, whatever choice I made, I was going to be spending a few hours in the company of lycra clad men...