Tag Archives: Shopping

Fashion forays . . .

Talons hauts

High heel heaven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in a very image-conscious town. If you’re not wearing the right fashion brands by the time you reach pre-school, the other kids notice. Give them a few years, and it’s not uncommon to see local youngsters teetering down the street on a Friday night with hair that could knock out an overpass, eyelash extensions that could maim the unwary and skirts that would make a mother blush.

Now this may come as a shock, but I’m not one to worry much about brands, trends or fashion in general. Skinny jeans were my one concession. Most of the time, comfort is my top priority. If I had a style, it would lean more toward casual chic, smart casual or snappy casual.

Let’s face it . . . my wardrobe is casual.

So, when the opportunity arose last week to glam-it-up for a night on the town with my husband, I responded with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

I headed to my usual shopping centre but soon realised that while it’s crammed with fashion outlets, not all of them want me wearing their clothes. It was evident from the moment I walked in the door. One shop keeper saw me arrive and instantly disappeared out of sight. Another just turned her back.

I’ll admit I wasn’t dressed to impress and I chose not to wear makeup because I didn’t want to mark the clothes I was trying on. I did, however, have plans to purchase an entire outfit including shoes and jewellery . . . but apparently they didn’t like my money either.

On the flip-side, one shop assistant was particularly lovely. She gave me loads of advice and, as a result, I spent the bulk of my budget there. She directed me to her favourite shoe shop and there I found a set of heels higher than I’ve ever worn before (but not as high as some of the princesses I saw later that night staggering and lurching atop their five inch perches of peril).

In the end, my foray into the world of fashion ended quite happily. I think I rocked my chosen outfit and, to top it off, we had a great night out.

Next time the bright lights of the city’s night life call, I will be ready.


Rush, rush . . . stop!


Beach (Photo credit: Craig Anderson)

It can’t be said that I rush into things. Most of the decisions in my life are made over the course of weeks, if not months. Take, for instance, the decision to have my wisdom teeth removed.

Back in 1993 a dentist advised me to have this done “soon”. I looked into it and decided there were more pressing things to do like . . . not doing it.

I revisited this decision in 2010 when another dentist looked at my x-rays, frowned at me then hastily wrote out a referral.

It’s 2013, my teeth are still in-situ and my wisdom remains (though my kids question this daily).

The fact is, I don’t like to commit too soon then find myself looking for ways to undo what’s been done. After all, that’s not always possible, (cue gnashing teeth).

So, when it comes to holidays, major purchases, social gatherings, even sports – I like to take my time. After all, who wants to end up sitting in a ski lodge, surrounded by snow bunnies watching snow fall when you could be at the beach, draped over a banana lounge, sipping cocktails and watching the kids leap frog over jelly fish. I know which option I’d prefer and it requires sun and quite a bit of surf.

Perhaps the only exception to this drawn out rule is clothes shopping. If I can buy it off the rack with just one look – excellent. If I can try it on once and still be happy – good. If I can buy it online and have it delivered to my door – even better. But don’t make me think about it.

After all, there are more important things to worry about, like – how exactly does all that wisdom fit inside four teeth? What do you do without it when all those teeth are taken out? And – importantly – does the tooth fairy still visit 30-something year olds?

When someone can answer those questions, then I might make a decision.

Return to sender . . .


The letterbox at our place is like a window into the lives of all the people who have lived here before us.

Almost every week, without fail, a letter arrives for someone who used to call our house ‘home’.

There’s the high end shopping catalogue that I forward with a sigh of regret. (If only I had the money to spare I’d treat myself to one of those ridiculously simple yet perfectly fitted outfits with a price tag to make you gasp.)

Then there’s the seniors ‘special offer’ guide. Every time this one appears in the box I am forced to gaze into the future and wonder what life will be like when I join the grey brigade. (That said, man, they get some good deals! There are perks to getting older.)

But my particular favourite is the regular Christmas letter from a girl we shall call Sue. Sue must suffer from a) very poor memory when it comes to sticking her envelopes closed; b) extreme laziness when it comes to sticking her envelopes closed; or c) dry mouth (this is a new one I just heard about on the telly).

Now, in defence of my own voyeurism, I opened the first letter without looking to see who it was addressed to . . . then nosiness got the better of me. It was so lovely to hear that Sue’s house hunting had gone well, the holiday in Fiji had gone off without a hitch and there was a new man in Sue’s life – she was as surprised as anyone!

Sadly for Sue, there was no return address so I hung onto her letter just in case the writer or intended recipient ever came knocking at our door.

When a second letter arrived some months later, I thought it might provide the information I was hoping for. As it turns out, it was a thank you note for a wedding gift. It seems Sue and her new man had tied the knot. But somehow, the addressee’s change of abode had still not registered with Sue.

So, what to do?

Firstly, to Sue, I say: ‘No trouble at all, I can’t think of a person more deserving of happiness and I just hope the salad servers come in handy’. And to all the others who have forgotten to change their addresses – I will continue to forward anything I can and return-to-sender all those I am sick of receiving. Cheers.

Footnote: Opening of any mail was unintentional or with the purest of motives. Please forgive 🙂

From Grandma’s cookbook . . .


I love a good book, but there’s one book I love above all others – my Grandma’s cookbook.

It’s a snapshot of her life through food, from the simplest of recipes to the most creative culinary concoctions, spanning 70 years of Grandma’s cooking life.

It’s a window into her world unlike any other.

The black leather cover is stained and smudged with decades of use. The pages are yellowed and worn. The binding is falling apart. And between every page there’s an added extra – a few centimetres snipped from the pages of a newspaper, a recipe scrawled on the back of a Dunlop proxy form and letters from her friends sharing their own cookery hints and kitchen successes.

It seems every member of the family has contributed in some way at some stage. Their names are included along with the date of their own offering. And even the recipes that have no name still bare the unique handwriting of their owner.

There might have been some order to it once, but these recipes have been referenced so often – probably in the thick of baking, bottling or brewing – that reading this book is now more of a journey than a destination.

Every page evokes strong memories of my Grandma’s kitchen from the wood fired stove where she could bake the perfect sponge to the linoleum covered kitchen table where preparation was done and every meal was shared.

As a child, I knew there was always something on the boil in Grandma’s kitchen and a magical, mystery tin on top of the cupboard protecting her latest sweet treat from hungry grandkids.

And while the cake tin is long gone, Grandma’s cookbook continues to serve up the treats.

The only question remaining is – has it made me a better cook? Ask my kids and they will tell you. I prefer to think the jury is out.