Wednesday, 29 December 2010


So hello.  Hope everyone is enjoying the festive season.  Tis the season to be jolly, apparently, but I'll settle for "relaxed and cheerful".  Jolly sounds far too much like hard work, and I am too idle for that right now.

Today we went to Salisbury, ready to hit the big city and check out the sales.  In the big city shops, the ones with more than two styles of shoe, or a wider variety of goods than rat poison, ash buckets and mole traps.  It's not like round here, you know.

As we had got up early*, we arrived in town without having eaten breakfast, so we found a cafe and had eggs Benedict.  And it was GOOD.  Not quite as fab as some of the eggs Benedicts we had in America. but not bad at all for a foggy Wiltshire Wednesday morning.

I picked up a couple of pretty tops in the M&S sale, one of which I had looked at when it was full price, so that was satisfying.  Mr WithaY wanted some new jeans, and also possibly a new tweed jacket.  He can't help it.  He's just naturally tweedy.

We made our way across town to the splendid old-fashioned gents outfitters, and I took a seat in one of the big leather chairs while Mr WithaY rummaged through the racks of tweed jackets.  His rummaging soon took him out of sight.  Another couple wandered into view, him looking at clothes with enthusiasm, her distracted and grumpy.

Him:  (Holding up a vibrant green and yellow tweed jacket) What about this one?
Her:  Ugh.  No.  Put it back.
Him:  *sigh*

He made his slow way along the rack, searching, searching, humming a happy tune.

Him:  (Holding a more muted tweed jacket aloft, swinging it about)  Aha!  I like this one!
Her:  GOD no.

He wandered a bit further, looking hard for the perfect jacket, clearly slightly deflated by her dislike of everything he was choosing.

Him:  (Pulling a brown corduroy jacket out of the rack with glee) ....
Her: (Before he even spoke and without turning round to look) NO!

They wandered out of earshot, her still looking furious, him with the crumbling remains of a spring in his step.  Not for long, I'll be bound.

We left without finding anything either, but at least we weren't looking like we were going to be murdering one another with axes before the New Year**.

I bought a new teapot to replace the one that got smashed to smithereens. 

Today I have emailed more photos of the carnage to the insurance people.  It hadn't occurred to me to call the insurance company until Z mentioned it in a comment, and then I thought I'd see how much it would cost to replace everything. 

Yes, I know.  Muppetry. 

And guess what...the total came to over £500.  Gah! 

So, I photographed as much as I could identify, and have sent the pictures to the insurance people, along with the approximate replacement costs where I could find them.

It wasn't easy, a lot of the glass stuff was literally smashed to dust. 

That's all that was left of a very large glass plate my Mum gave me.  I loved that plate.  Fucking stupid fucking shelf fucking collapse.


We also went to Waitrose this afternoon, part of the Big Day Out.  As we walked into the store, an elderly couple were being reunited, surrounded by smiling staff.  It looked a bit like one of those allegorical paintings with Eighteenth Century European royalty posing heroically, surrounded by fawning cherubim and seruphim. 

Her:  They've made three announcements for you!  I've been so worried!

Him:  What?

Her:  Over the speakers...three times they announced that I was looking for you.

Him:  Well I was outside.  By the car.

Her:  Three announcements.  Three!

Him:  I heard NOTHING.

The smiling staff melted away, and the elderly couple left, her still asserting that he had been lost, him insisting that he hadn't. 

Other news:  I have been making sausage rolls.  And readers, they are damn fine.  Father in law WithaY has been much impressed, something that takes quite a lot of doing.

Christmas Day was quiet, we went over to the care home to visit F-in-L, then home for a big roast dinner.  Oh, and The man Who Would Be King on TV. I love that film. 

There was a slight misunderstanding about Christmas gifts.  On our return from F-in-L, I said to Mr WithaY "So...would you like to open your presents now?"

Mr W:  What?  I didn't think I had any presents.

Me:  Of course you have!  Silly!

Mr W:  But we agreed...we weren't going to get presents for each other this year.

Me:  No we didn't!

Mr W:  Yes...we said we were going to buy a new TV instead.

Me:  But we didn't do that.  So you've got presents.

There was a rather awkward silence.

Mr W:  Well, now I feel terrible.

Me:  (Cheerfully, whilst inside I am screaming like a flayed banshee) Oh, never mind...come and open yours.

Good job it's my birthday soon.   Next Christmas I think we will have a written agreement about whether or not we are Doing Presents.  Just to save any arguments. 

Oh, as a cheeful footnote, we went down to my lovely Mum's on Boxing Day and I had lovely, lovely presents from the family.  So yay for families! 

It was great, albeit a bit squashed.  I think there were 16 of us there, at one point we were ALL in the sitting room.  I love Christmas.

*Before 0930.  Fuck knows how I am going to cope when I have to get up before 0600 for work again. 

**Probably.  I'll keep you posted



Z said...

Well, it's worth finding out and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

The Sage and I never go clothes shopping together. His choice will be safe and his job is to approve mine and to say "good, well done," however much I have spent.

This year, we each bought our own presents and exchanged cheques discreetly before the day. Mine was three pairs of shoes (two of them on sale) and a pair of boots (half price) and his was a cracked mug dated 1795. Ugly, but he's thrilled with it.

Mr W should have thought a bit quicker and at least pretended he was going to buy you an iPad but wanted to check before ordering it. In fact, it's not too late. If you don't want one, that's £500 you're authorised to spend on what you do want. Go for it!

BTW, you probably don't know how you know me. Badgerdaddy mentioned you once, so I visited and stayed.

livesbythewoods said...

Z, your Christmas shopping idea sounds very sensible and I may well suggest it to Mr WithaY for next year.

And yes, I remember you from Badgerdaddy's blog. Gosh, doesn't that seem like a long time ago?

Isabella Golightly said...

I know this is a bit behind the post, so to speak, but I would be delighted to make a froggie for you for your birthday - I promise not to come & stalk you if you email me your address so I can post it... email is "myname"[at] If you would like. No strings. No, really.