Thursday, 31 May 2012

The wrong sex

I'm not very good at being a girl. I mentioned before that the DDs are bridesmaids for their godfather's daughter and I needed 'an outfit'. Just the words sent a shudder up my spine and not in a good way. Firstly, I hate shopping. Secondly, I only like spending money on books and stationery. Thirdly, I don't do heels. Fourthly, I live in jeans. But I adore the gorgeous girl (and boy) who are getting married so an expedition was required.

I'd left it until quite close to the date to allow me to drop the four dress sizes I vowed eighteen months ago. With a month til the wedding and no movement on the scales, I realised it was safe to shop. I planned it with military precision, setting out early and farming the kids out after school, declaring I'd not be home until I found something. I liked the first thing I tried - a knee length fifties style creation with giant poppies - then spent the rest of the day trying to find a coral fascinator that didn't cost more than the dress. A compromise was reached and I let myself off the hook. Then the trouble started. I began panicking about the whole fake tan V tights thing etc. My legs are not my best assets (ahem, they were covered up, unusually) and on the rare occasion I wear a dress, it's ankle length. Plus I had the Princess Di-lemma - in sunlight it became transparent. I even bought a slip, for god's sake. (I muttered as I paid.) But it still wasn't right.

After fretting for weeks, I gritted my teeth and ventured out again this morning. I returned, bewildered, with 8 carrier bags containing the following:

2 dresses (maxi)
5 shrugs (assorted colours)
3 pairs of wedged heels
2 fascinators
3 handbags
1 Garfield t-shirt

And like a sartorial pick and mix, one of each (except Garfield) made an outfit that sort of worked: a navy floral-print maxi dress, with all turquoise 'stuff'. The other items and the original dress will be returned hastily before they hit my bank account. Then I just have to decide on nail colour and jewellery. Oh, and break my shoes in. I have no idea how other women do this stuff every day - seriously, the bride's outfit wasn't this stressful and everyone will be looking at her.

I definitely should have been a boy. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Uneventful is good

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged. This is a good thing. It means life has just been pottering along in a fairly even manner - something which I badly needed after all that other stuff.

Last weekend DD1 did her practise Duke of Edinburgh expedition. This involved camping out and walking 20 miles with a ruck sack the size of her sister on her back. It was the hardest thing she'd ever done, she said. Still, she brought enough horse manure home on her boots and trousers to keep my roses blooming. While she was away I spent most of the weekend worrying, and yelling at the sky to stop raining. Turned out they had no rain all weekend - 20 miles up the road. But I appreciated her cracking out the emergency phone to text me she was safe at 4.30am. The father of a child sleeping over at mine was equally appreciative that I hit last number redial in my haste to get to the phone. 

Far more civilised was the lovely time I had at my first hen weekend for 25 years, though surrounded by a bunch of gorgeous 20-somethings I felt like a cross between a wizened old crone and Shrek. The DDs are bridesmaids so there's been much excitement and dress, shoe and hair planning. I bought my dress this week. That almost deserves a blog in itself as my last one had shoulder pads and brass buttons.


DP2 (the remaining cat) is missing DP1 and talks to us constantly - I swear she cries 'mummy'. She follows me everywhere. As I move from room to room, I am aware of an ambling presence in my peripheral vision. Or she'll sit on the book I'm reading, or my lap whilst I type. One evening last week she sat behind my feet while I cooked. As I turned from the hob with a pan of boiling pasta my full repertoire got an airing, plus a couple of new words. She gets lots of attention from us all and has a whole house to explore (other than my room), but it's never enough. I try to go to bed without her following me - no mean feat when her nose is pressed against the door - so she hides outside ready to pounce. It's like living with Cato. When I woke the other night for a bathroom visit I peered out into the darkness. She was fast asleep by the airing cupboard so I slid along the landing wall past her. Feeling pleased with myself, I sleepily did what I needed to, only to open my eyes with a start as a set of fully dilated black saucers bored into me from my feet.

I promise, if it's ok with the cat, I'll blog again soon.