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♥Mar. 8th, 2017 // 06:05 pm
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We're still rather up in the air about the new living room floor. In fact, I've just booked another quotation: wood-flooring guy replied to a request to quote for vinyl with cheaper wood options, vinyl-flooring guy a) still hasn't actually produced a quote and b) lost a lot of brownie points when he looked at our upstairs bathroom flooring and pronounced it to be cheap B&Q stuff. That didn't quite ring true with what we know of previous-owner's decorating habits, so we checked the box and it's actually the brand he's pushing us towards, admittedly their cheapest range....

On the plus side, we do have a new sofa. On the minus side, we don't have two new sofas: one of them didn't make it onto the delivery lorry and is in the wrong warehouse somewhere, although we're assured that it does actually exist. At least it's only Jo's one that's missing, not ours!

My mother has panicked me slightly by revealing that she's got her outfit for my sister's wedding all sorted. I did have a look in the shops in Canterbury this afternoon, but the only thing I was ever slightly taken by was a £200 (in the Hobbs discount shop) beige linen trouser-and-tunic combination. Given that I have at least one much nicer beige linen trouser-and-tunic-and-jacket combo in the wardrobe upstairs, my next mission is to rearrange enough of the living room furniture currently in the spare room to actually get into the wardrobe and see what I have that might be suitable. As my parents are coming to visit in a couple of weeks, I may enlist mother's help. (Father is tasted with putting up the new living room lights, which should do to keep him happy for a few hours.)

I think I have found some suitable shoes, though: some lacy Skechers, which look vastly nicer in the quick snap I took in the shop than they do in that official website photo.

We were supposed to be going to look at a horse this morning, but then the owner sent me a message to say that they'd decided they couldn't bring themselves to sell him. This, I suspect, will be the down side of trying to buy someone's beloved but no longer needed middle-aged horse.
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Updatey, and Xanth, and clothes

♥May. 6th, 2016 // 08:36 pm
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This morning, I rode GB, taking it quite gently: both of us seemed to be fine with our bad legs!

Later, the vet came back to see Bugs. She sedated him and had one go at the injection he got worked up about last time then, when he got worked up again, went on to try the next part of the sequence. He wasn't having that, either, so she doped him up even more* and just gave him the medication, after a bit of woozy complaining on his part. Now we wait another couple of weeks and see how he is: if the medication works, we have a diagnosis.

* She couldn't just do that for the first two tries because he would have needed to be able to trot around afterwards so couldn't be too heavily sedated. He was very doped, and kept drooling on my shoes....

In the mean time, GB was hanging around the stableyard stuffing himself: when I just went out to give them their evening hay, his dinner haynet was still conspicuously full. On the plus side, the field looks better just for having a day off, so we're going to keep them on other bits of grass again tomorrow, so that hopefully the grass can grow a bit more and get enough of a head start to stay ahead of them! (On the minus side, the flies have woken up and started pestering them. It really does seem to have gone from winter to summer in a week.)

When I got my new phone, the one thing that didn't transfer over was my local ebook library. It's not a great hardship, as they're all stored elsewhere, but is slightly annoying because I couldn't just scroll through it and go 'oh, I'll re-read that next'. Mike suggested that I start at A and work my way through and, indeed, I re-read HHGG for the first time in years, as well as trying Watership Down (which I'd never read). I got to Anthony, P, and started on the Xanth books: I know that they're tosh, but I did love them when I first read them, and knew I hadn't actually read all of them. I got into the low teens, and then ploughed through Isle of View, aka the-one-where-he-wrote-in-a-kid-who'd-been-in-an-accident. I don't think I'd read Question Quest before, and found it rather odd: a re-cap of the history of Xanth, that added in a few background details about Magician Humphrey's life / take on events (with a bit of random retconning), and I was sure I must have read The Color of Her Panties but didn't really remember (or enjoy) it and whoa mega retconning going on there.

I've skipped on ahead to Asimov, now, but has anyone actually read all the Xanth books? Is he just having a tedious and sexually charged patch that coincided with the realisation he was running out of ideas so needed to put some more back-story in, or is it just not worth bothering to carry on (given that I did quite like the early ones: I know there are those who would tell me that it wasn't worth carrying on after page two of the first book if I even got that far!)?

I went into Canterbury this afternoon and, amongst other things, popped into Primark and got half a dozen lightweight tops (to replace the ones that I took out of winter storage yesterday and went 'hmm, that's a bit manky'). Then I did the obligatory walk around M&S without seeing anything much that I liked other than a single lightweight top, almost identical to one of the Primark ones and the same price as the total for the ones I'd already bought. I'd like to say that I'm sure the M&S one would last longer, but the ones I threw away were a pretty even mix of the two brands so I'm not sure it's true.

What I really want is a nice, longish, snuggly-but-lightweight sweater, but I didn't find anything that fit the bill. Bah.
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Am boggled

♥Jun. 17th, 2015 // 05:31 pm
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This afternoon, I popped into M&S to look for some very light t-shirts and leggings: I'm pretty hard on both, as the former tend to be pale and acquire mysterious stains while the latter usually suffer crotch failure after a few months of hot-weather riding and Pilates. I did get a couple of t-shirts (one in the sale), and a pair of linen trousers (20% off), but was very unimpressed with the leggings: either much too thick and snuggly or in what I suspect could be called 'good for jogging and cycling' colour combinations.

As I had a few minutes to spare, I girded my loins and went inside Primark. When I left five minutes later, I had three pairs of leggings and five t-shirts, all 95% cotton, for less than a quarter of the amount I'd just spent in M&S. I presume that I have some starving Bangladeshi orphans to thank, but I'm really astonished that they're so cheap.

(In Pilates news, I tried the other possible class today and much preferred it to the Monday one I tried last week, and then afterwards had a chat with a woman who's in both and who used to be in my studio class, who was of the same opinion. I'm not sure how I can square doing it with Mike's monthly trips to London, though: either I'll have to do the Monday class those weeks or I'll have to drive him to the station on my way there and then pick him up again in the evening, which will be tricky with the horses at some times of the year. Hmm.)

Joyous news: today, we killed our first horse flies. Sigh. Poor boys.
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How does that work?

♥May. 19th, 2013 // 06:43 pm
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Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri has freckles and a ginger 'tash. Is that common in Iraq...?

This morning, Mike and I did a dressage competition. GB was utterly terrified of the judges, which was somewhat irritating. Jonny did very well, and wasn't phased by it all, which was very good. (Jonny has also progressed to the stage where Mike can rest a set of running clippers on his neck without him freaking out, although we've not yet managed to tidy up is mane and get it out of the way of his saddle. On the minus side, it took Mike five minutes to get on him the other day, and that would have been longer if I'd not gone over and glared at him....) As it happens, there's another dressage comp, doing the same tests, at the other end of the lane next Sunday: I'm considering doing it in the regular saddle to see how much of a difference it makes.

That top I was muttering about sizing on arrived: I bought a size 10 in the end and it's not a bad fit. It's certainly not inches too small. I might even get something else from the same designer.

Does anyone have any experience of M&S furniture? Specifically, are the drawers nice and smooth or do they stick in an annoying way? There appears to be something of a gap in the market: lots of places do cheap fake wood stuff with drawers on tracks (eg, Ikea) and lots of places do cheap-ish actual wood stuff with drawers not on tracks, but actual wood and drawers on tracks suddenly becomes fiendishly expensive.

We went to see Travels With My Aunt at the Mernier, earlier in the week. It's really quite good, I do recommend it. Very silly, but rather fun.

We're now even more likely to having the new house from 31 July: the Scottish paperwork the next step up the chain has been signed with that date, so all we have to do now is get a structural engineer in to say "Nah, your surveyor was just worrying about nothing" and we're sorted.

I'm looking forward to that: at the moment, I'm not allowed to buy anything bigger than a duck*, but Mike says that once we've got that bit out of the way then I can start buying things as big as a greyhound**, which is very exciting. The bit where I get to start working out the optimal dates to order furniture so that the delivery times mean it arrives when we're moving in is even more exciting, but that's a little way off yet.

Next Friday is my work summer fun day. I can hardly contain my excitement. I'm not sure how they will top the fun-packed wonder that was the Christmas outing, but I'm sure that they'll manage. (It's all a big secret, I think: the gels keep asking me if I've paid any invoices that might give them clues. I haven't. Well, not unless we're going to a printing factory, or doing a bit of redecorating.)

* But not an actual duck. I have a mean husband.
** Ditto. I have pointed out that *he* bought something that was in fact as big as a horse, but he says that it doesn't count because it doesn't have to be stored in the flat. Hmph.
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Bloody clothes sizes

♥May. 7th, 2013 // 03:56 pm
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Women's clothes sizes make no bloody sense, even when you look at them in inches.

There's a top I want to buy, which the designer-maker says is:
- size 12 bust 36/38" waist 26/28" hips 38/40" ("so quite big")
- size 10 bust 34/36" waist 24/26" hips 36/38"

I just measured myself, and my measurements are 38/30/37. I wouldn't say I'm currently bigger than a "quite big" size 12 (the size 10 trousers I bought in M&S the other week are somewhat worryingly baggy about the waist, although they are casual), but I thought she might be basing the size numbers on an old pattern, so I had a look at the M&S website:
- size 10 = 34/27/37
- size 12 = 36/29/39
- size 14 = 38/31/41

So, do I assume that the designer is lying as much as M&S does, and in the same direction, or that her sizes are accurate...?

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Shopping list

♥Jan. 26th, 2012 // 05:52 pm
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- buy new work trousers: got a couple of pairs, and a couple of pairs of non-work ones. Work-style trousers apparently pocket-free this season, bah. Forgot to buy new work shoes.
- look for pirate-themed cufflinks: managed to find the little shop I remembered, and got photos of half a dozen pairs for later consideration.
- buy a shirt that a) fits me and b) looks roughly like a men's shirt: went to all the shops on Jermyn Street, tried on the 'slim fit' shirts everywhere that offered them, sighed over gaping busts and flapping waists. Plaintively asked those places that do bespoke shirts if they'd make me one, got one place that (with some sucking of teeth) said they'd put darts in the waist of a men's shirt and charge me £200 for it. Sigh. (What I really need is a men's shirt made with Bravissimo styling, but all their shirts are too casual / girly this year and - from memory - every year.) I suspect I may have to just buy the best bust-fitting one I can and then get it taken in at the waist, but no idea how I go about finding someone to do that.
- get a new fitting for the (incredibly practical and nailvarnish-friendly) Tiffany keyring that X and Y gave me as a present for helping out at their wedding: went into the store and spoke to the nice lady at customer service, who knew exactly what I needed and then got increasingly bemused as none of the variations she brought out fitted onto my keyring. Then she weighed the keyring, and inspected the Tiffany tag, and rather apologetically informed me that it was a fake. Given that X and Y are no longer together, this is somewhat ironic. Now I need to get myself a new keyring; not sure I want to spring £100+ish for a genuine copy of the one I had, though.

I got half way home and realised that I probably should (on account of having just replaced all my bras with a Quite Different Size) have gone and bought a new bikini for upcoming holiday. Got home and tried the old ones on: indeed, the tankini and swimsuit are still ok, but the bikini's a bit dubious.

Not terribly successful, then.
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