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Madam… madam… sir

Had a rather odd day today.

I needed to go up to London for a Voice Coaching session today, but there was an Art Deco & Art Nouveau fair in Woking this morning and my appointment was in the afternoon, so I detoured via Woking on my way up to London. It’s sort of on the way.

The fair was a little disappointing, although I think that was more down to my mood than anything, plus the realisation that I don’t think I am as “into” Art Deco as I initially thought I was. I didn’t stay long; after 45 mins I was done and back on the road to London.

Westfield Shopping Centre

Westfield Shopping Centre

I got into London in good time and, instead of parking up in Hammersmith as usual I decided to drive a little further to Shepherd’s Bush and park up at the Westfield Shopping Centre for a little shopping. Also it’s a flat £5 for the whole day to park.

Whilst there I grabbed this sneaky selfie.

After a little shopping I hopped onto the Circle line to get myself round to the Voice Coach’s office. As we passed Notting Hill, there were announcements that stations were closed due to the Carnival and as we passed you could hear the music thumping and look down at how crowded and busy it was.
When I arrived, I was a good 25 mins early so I popped into a local wine bar and had a cheeky glass of white wine. £4.40 for a small glass is par for the course in London but still galled a little as it tasted little better than plonk you could buy for the same price per bottle. Still, it was nice enough.

So, suitably refreshed, 2pm came around and I went up to my Voice Coach’s office. Knocked on the door, and no answer. I checked my emails, checked my texts, sent a text to her checking the time was correct, then availed myself of the loo to freshen up, then checked back. Nothing. By now I guessed something was up, and also realised that my gmail account was no longer linked to my phone as I recently switched to 2-Factor authentication on that account, so laboriously started to reconnect it on a 2G+ data connection and finally, after 20 mins, had it. And there was an email sent at 12.30pm cancelling the appointment due to ill health. Crap. Or, rather, vomit apparently. Ewww.

So I decided to go to the Science Museum. Don’t ask me why, I just wanted to. Now, first mistake was to go to Baker Street (since it was close) and try to head West. Heaving. Absolutely packed with Carnvival-goers. There were police everywhere and the train that arrived as I did was stuck for ages trying to leave because it was unable to close its doors due to people messing around. I got on the next one but felt really uncomfortable with the pissed-up people on board, plus a group of guys near me were blowing up balloons from capsules and inhaling them. I’m guessing that was Nitrous Oxide (aka Laughing Gas)?
So at the next stop switched trains to a different line, not least because the train I was on wasn’t going to where I wanted to go. LOL.

Eventually I made it to South Kensington and started to walk the underpass to the Science Museum. Now, if you have never walked this route in heels my advice would be “don’t”. By the time I got there my feet really hurt. And after wandering round the Science Museum for about 40 mins they REALLY hurt, despite several rests at convenient seats. But I bravely carried on, and then went next door to the Natural History Museum. However, after about 20 mins of that I felt I wasn’t going to make it. Hobbling outside I jumped in a cab and asked to be taken back to Westfield. The helpful cabbie informed me that it was pretty busy due to the Carnival and we could be delayed. Yeah, ok, whatever; this seat seems pretty comfy right now.

We eventually got there, and I decided that shopping was very much in order but that shoes were a must. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything I liked at a sensible price, but each step was getting more and more painful and I was getting more and more desperate. I was also taking more and more frequent breaks. Basically I was hobbling from one seating area to another at this point. I was in agony.

At some stage in this fog of pain, I swung near a shop and some girls in the doorway of one started to try to get my attention, calling “madam… madam… madam…. ” in that ‘can we just have a moment of your time to try and sell you something’ way that people do and then when I ignored them and swung away from them, switched to “sir”. Then laughed uproariously in an “OMFG!” way when I finally looked round (I did so in case they were trying to tell me I had dropped something). These were members of staff, remember! WTaF?
Sadly I didn’t note the shop and I was in too much pain to do much, otherwise I would have gone back to enquire what was so funny and whether a P45 was equally funny. Great way of winning customers, eh?

Finally I went into yet another shoe shop (I think it was Barratts) and told myself I was buying something no matter what. I found some Rocket Dog shoes I really liked but they didn’t have them in an 8, only a 7. There were also some Hush Puppies that I didn’t really like but were in an 8, so I got them to bring me the other one for those. I then went through pair after pair of shoes until I got sick of asking “do you have these in an 8?” and started asking “so what DO you have in an 8?”. Eventually, I though “f*ck it, I’ll get the Hush Puppies”. So took them to the till and they rang up £50 which did not seem at all right as I had been looking at shoes in the £30-£40 range. But that was the price. However I was close to tears now and couldn’t bear the thought of having to put my heels back on. So I just paid. So, basically, I paid more than I wanted to pay for a pair of shoes that I didn’t like. FML. That totally undoes the bargains of my last post too.
[Update: I managed to subsequently get a full refund on them at my local branch of Barratts a week later]

Still, at least I could now walk so I considered going to Yo! Sushi but realised I couldn’t really spend £30 on sushi when I’d just overspent on these shoes. So I went to the food hall and had Singapore Noodles at Bamboo Basket for £7.50

After that, and a little more shop wandering, it was now 7.30pm and I really had had enough. So I wandered back to the car and hit the road to come home.

 

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Deeper Underground

Notting Hill Gate

Yesterday I went up to London for another Voice Therapy lesson. As usual, I drove to Hammersmith and parked up, then jumped on the tube from there to continue the journey. It works well for me as I know the Hammersmith area and also the street parking is free on the weekend.

I got to my appointment with  plenty of time to spare, and the lesson itself went very well indeed. I can really feel and hear the beginnings of a change in my voice. We still have a way to go, of course, but there are encouraging signs. Having said that, when she recorded me and played it back I totally cringed and thought I sounded awful and camp, but she reassured me that this is normal and just part of the transition.

After that, I walked down to Oxford Street as I needed a replacement MAC eyebrow pencil, and I know there is a MAC outlet in Selfridges. Gosh it was busy in there! You could barely move for people. I managed to snag an assistant to find the correct pencil (as I’d forgotten to bring the old one with me), and then queued for ages to have it fetched for me and to pay. I have to say they were a little disorganised and had only one girl on the tills with loads of other assistants seemingly milling around at random. I realise that the tills aren’t very interesting, but in order to get customers’ money you have to give them the opportunity to pay. Certainly I seriously considered just leaving it as the wait got longer and longer, but I stuck with it and got my eyebrow pencil and also a white eyeliner pencil. Total cost of £27. Ouchies.

After that I wandered round Selfridges for a little more, ending up in the food hall because I knew there is a branch of Yo! Sushi there. Another long wait in a queue, made all the more frustrating by the fact I was on my own and could see at least two single seats at the bar. Eventually a member of staff realised the same thing and called me out of the queue to one of them.

Following the sushi, I looked for the loos in Selfridges and eventually found them in the basement (I thought that it was a requirement to have toilets near to eating facilities? Evidently I’m wrong on that), took one look at the enormous queue and thought “I’ve just about bloody had enough of queueing in this bloody shop” and decided to hold on.

Emerging onto Oxford Street into light rain and full pavements, I decided I had had enough of all this and just wanted to go home. So I hopped onto the tube at Bond Street to make my way back to Hammersmith. This was a poor choice of tube station as it put me on the Central line. But I figured that I could hop onto a District, Circle or Picadilly train and get across that way. So I changed at Notting Hill Gate (which was where I took the photo) but once on the train realised it wasn’t going to Hammersmith and I had to change again at Earl’s Court. But finally I got myself to Hammersmith.

By now I was completely fed up, so made my way to the car, tired and footsore, and drove home.

 

Posted by on 18th August 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Shopping

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Making a meal of it

My friend Jo took this pic of me when we grabbed a nice meal together last Saturday. It came out better than I expected!

The frozen caramel yoghurt dessert was yummy, BTW!

 

Posted by on 18th July 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos

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A great day

I had such a brilliant day today.

I had a nice lie-in, and a nice lazy bath before I got ready for my trip up to London for my first meeting with the Voice Coach. It took me longer to get there than I thought it would, and I was beginning to panic that I was going to be late, but as it turned out I rang the doorbell precisely at 4pm which was when my appointment was.

It went really well and I came away feeling very positive. The Coach told me what my friends already keep telling me; I don’t have an especially unfeminine voice. She thinks that I should respond pretty quickly to the training and thinks it’s going to be pretty easy for me. What great news! Also my goals and expectations aren’t that high either; I’m not looking to pass on the phone, just be “good enough” for being out & about, when shopping or meeting friends and the like. She thinks this is very achievable, so that’s good.

After that, I called in on a good friend who lives in London and we went out for a nice meal. We ate in a Brazilian restaurant (not something I’ve done before) and both ended up having what was, basically, chicken and chips. But it was very nice chicken and very nice chips. The waiter was rather yummy too. ha ha.

Then it was off home, driving across London in the cool of the evening and then onto the M3 for the journey home.

It was very, very hot in London today. I was concerned my make-up might slide (a friend warned me it might and to take powder with me) but actually my MAC makeup lasted all day without any signs of giving up, and didn’t even need touching up. I was wearing MAC’s liquid foundation with their translucent loose powder on top, and that really did the trick.

Only two downers on the day were my shoes rubbing the backs of my feet raw until they started bleeding (ewwww) and getting up to London so late that I didn’t have any time to go shopping. On my next visit I will make sure that neither of these things happen again!

 

Posted by on 13th July 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Social

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Phoenix dactylifera

I spent an absolutely wonderful 8 hours today with a very lovely man (and I’m not just saying he’s very lovely because he’ll be reading this!)

We met up at lunchtime and went to La Tasca for lunch. Due to a slight miscalculation on my part, we ordered rather too much food so were, um, ‘somewhat replete’ when we were done (or, if you prefer, ‘absolutely podged’). Bang goes the diet for today, I think. ha ha

Then after that we popped into the cinema and watched Iron Man 3. What an absolute romp of a film! I really enjoyed it, although I felt it got a little silly in the climactic battle. Still loved it though!

Had one little scare as we got up to leave, though. As I was walking down the steep steps, I caught my heel and pitched forwards into a full-on fall. Life flashing before your eyes type stuff. My left arm shot out and I grabbed a random guy round his right upper arm and saved myself. I don’t know how I did that, because it happened faster than conscious thought. Poor guy was skinny and in his late teens / early 20’s, and I basically wrapped my hand round his skinny forearm above his elbow, and his elbow joint stopped me slipping down him. How he managed to hold me up, rather than us both going down I do not know. I was really apologetic and he genuinely saved me from a very nasty fall (albeit involuntarily). I really hope I didn’t hurt him and that he’s ok.

After that my date and I went to a pub and had a drink and a nice long chat & natter for ages before it was time to head off in our different directions.

Butterfly necklace

Dragonfly necklace

I’m afraid I didn’t get any pics. Well, none that I am happy with anyway, so they’ll have to come another time. But I did wear a really lovely necklace that I got for an absolute barrrrgain on eBay recently. I was the only bidder and managed to get it for 99p + £1.99 postage. Don’t tell the seller but I had a maximum bid of £20 on it because I wanted it so much! So yay me I think. 🙂

So, anyway, that was my day today. Hope yours was every bit as good!

 

Posted by on 11th May 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Shopping, Social

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