Saturday, 17 January 2009

A day out...

Today we went to Canterbury for three reasons 1) we had some Pizza Express vouchers which were due to expire in 2 weeks so needed eating up 2) I had some M&S vouchers given to me for Christmas and I wanted to use them up because I am paranoid that M&S may go to the financial wall as a lot of retailers seem to be doing these days and 3) Maidstone is becoming more pants by the day due to all the shops closing and the Borough Council's complete inability to see that what the town really needs is a decent theatre and NOT MORE B****Y RIVERSIDE APARTMENTS.

Ever hopeful, I went into M&S in Maidstone yesterday following a trip to the Post Office to post Ginnungagaps, the novel, off to five more agents. Everything in there( the shop not the Post Office) was grey or black or brown or sludgy green and I wanted something BRIGHT and CHEERFUL. I knew Canterbury M&S would come up trumps and they did. In fact, there is only one M&S that I consider superior and that is the one in Stratford -upon -Avon and I didn't think Andy would countenance a trip there and back in a day just so I could buy myself a bright pink jumper. After my M&S vouchers had been spent in a satisfactory manner (do not worry, I did not make Andy follow me around whilst I assessed the goods on offer. He took himself off to the Oxfam bookshop and returned with a Harrods bag full of all sorts of sci-fi rubbish, I mean, intelligent fiction), we went to Pizza Express and had a leisurely, delicious and extremely cheap three course lunch whilst reading our book purchases from Waterstones.

On the way back to the Park and Ride we passed by the Edinburgh Wool Mill and this is how I know I have become middle-aged. Ten years ago I wouldn't have given its tweedy, shortbread- in-a-tin exterior a second glance, but now I find I am unable to pass by without having a 'quick visit to see if they've got anything nice in wool.' Plus there is the added frisson in the Canterbury branch of the whole shop being on a steep tilt with surprise steps here and there.

So in I pop whilst Andy zips up the street to Curry's to assess printers. Our printer is starting to play up but then I have worked it hard since I began my year as a writer. It's starting to eat the pages half way through printing which means I can't leave it to get on with a job now - I have to stand and supervise to make sure it behaves itself and be on hand for immediate chastisement if it doesn't.

Before Andy leaves me to my EWM thrill he gives me a warning look as if to say 'Please don't buy me anything from this shop. Remember I am a quite bit younger than you.' Inside, I find there is a sale. 'How marvellous!' I think. And then I make a purchase of an item that I never thought I would be seen dead in. A hoodie! A bright red, fleece hoodie! It has been reduced by 50% and I think, 'This will be perfect for wearing when I go swimming on cold, dark, windy mornings. It will fit into the wholly inadequate locker space and I can wear the hood over my wet hair for the walk back home. Then maybe I shall avoid catching pneumonia.' I toyed with buying the navy blue one but decided on red because if I were to be set upon by a fellow hoodie at least they wouldn't steal my conspicuous top.

You see! I have finally become my grandmother! Or maybe my son?? Because back home I demonstrate wearing my new hoodie purchase to Andy. This includes hoodie 'wicked' poses and slouching around the house like a dysfunctional teenage. Although I drew the line at wearing the crotch of my jeans half way down my knees and exposing my pants. Andy is highly amused. But then he is also highly amused by my Ronnie Corbett/Colin Jackson/Ricky Gervais impressions.

A most satisfactory and highly contented day all round.

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