Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Sunday in November

When I was single, I really didn't like Sundays.

There. I said it. When I was single, I was determined to prove to myself that every aspect of life could be just as fun and rewarding as it was when I had a boyfriend and, with a few small exceptions, I was successful. However, on a regular basis I found myself feeling lonely and depressed on Sundays, and sometimes I couldn't even blame it on a hangover. It's easy to entertain yourself on a Friday night (wine to celebrate the end of the week, good tv, looking forward to two days of freedom) and on Saturday (productivity during the day, food shopping, cleaning etc and then more wine and cheesy telly) but by Sunday after a weekend alone the shine has gone from life ever so slightly and it's hard to think of interesting ways to pass the time. At one particularly low point I even found myself looking forward to going back to work because it would mean having people to talk to, which I hope is something that will never be repeated!

So yes, despite my usual optimism, I just didn't like Sundays, and at about 4pm on another day of sitting at home, I would find myself wishing for a boyfriend - someone to share my lazy day with and transform it into time off to be treasured rather than frittered away. And today, I got my wish. MGL and I woke up at 9.30 and spent an hour and a half in bed, savouring the lack of alarm calls and reasons to get up. When we did finally drag ourselves out of the horizontal, we ambled to Starbucks for a coffee and a chat, and then strolled round town looking at market stalls, popping into shops and laughing at little children in Jephson Gardens. After we'd had enough of the cold we walked back to his for chips, dips and a cheesy film, before heading to Raquel and Mark's for a lovely dinner to round off the day. It was a long, lazy day filled with nothing to do - and I loved every second of it.

Single life was fantastic and I know that I can live a full life on my own. But at the moment, being in a couple is pretty damn special. Big happy grins all round.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The price is right

I have always been good at shopping. I am the person who finds amazing bargains in the sales, or who takes an item to the till to discover that it's suddenly half price and no-one's got round to re-labelling it yet. I am also the person who blags a 20% discount for some barely visible makeup marks on the inside of a shirt. However, yesterday I impressed even myself with my ability to bag a bargain.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I went into Debenhams to browse through their Christmas party dresses. I was immediately confronted with a wealth of beautiful creations, all of which I could have bought instantly given the money and all of which cost £100. Depressed by my inability to afford them, I trudged back to work and lamented being poor. Ever since then I've been doing sums in my head to work out how I could afford to treat myself in time for the work Winter Ball, and had just about become convinced that with a 20% off voucher from a colleague and a bit of extra saving here and there, I might be able to not entirely bankrupt myself.

Yesterday, having returned to work feeling bunged up, snuffly and not at all disposed to go outside for the rest of the day, a colleague casually mentioned in passing that Debenhams were holding a Christmas Spectacular with at least 20% off all clothes. Ignoring the pleas from my pounding head that I remain seated and stay calm, I legged it into town at lunchtime, grabbed the five most beautiful dresses and had a trying on spree which left me hot, sweaty and feeling a lot more ill. The effort was worth it however, as I narrowed down my choices to two. Now I only needed to find these two in different sizes to work out which fitted best, and I was away.

Returning to the shop at 5pm, I settled upon my favourite dress: a gorgeous black number covered in huge purple circles, with quite an unusual shape and netting in the skirt (I love netting in the skirt!). Proceeding to the till in the knowledge that I was buying a £100 item for £80 which I still couldn't really afford, I had the first of my sudden brainwaves. "I know", I thought, "I have a Nectar card in my purse with lots of unused points on". At the till, a second brainwave hit. I could open a store card for this one purchase only, and save 10%! Discounts galore later, I left the shop with a beautiful £100 dress that had cost me precisely £60.21. Bargain.

And, to top it off, I've saved £15 already this week through being ill and not going out or catching any buses for three days. Total amount I have to find from December's budget for my £100 dress? £45. Plus, as a new storecard holder, I have just finished the rather wonderful mini box of Lily O'Briens chocolates that I received free with my purchase. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why girls love shopping.

Now I just need to decide what jewellery to wear with it...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things that have happened recently

I have been ill. This has caused me to miss a wedding and take two days off work. As of tomorrow I will no longer be ill but will still be snotty, coughy and disgusting.

I have finished re-reading the whole Harry Potter series. I completed the final book yesterday and the tears mixed with general snottiness and unstraightened hair were, I must assure you, an extremely attractive sight.

I have cooked a kick-arse spaghetti bolognaise.

I have had a lovely short haircut.

I have completely failed to blog.

I have been to Barcelona. I have seen the sights, walked for miles, eaten wonderful food, drunk delicious wine and had a lovely, relaxed, happy time which promised many more joyful holidays to come.

I have fallen in love.