Random Nothings.. Post 5

You know what I missed most when I took a blogging break. It was the inability to jot down random stuff that happens to or around me. For some reason, I could not just start a post and hit publish.

And now with the NaBloPoMo, it is a pleasure to write everyday, and just because I do, it somehow seems easier to blog. I had never thought that I could blog on schedule. Well, I still don’t but I seem to be able to do it on a daily basis at the very least. Which to me, is good enough. The only thing I wish I could do was reply to all the comments, and read everybody else’s posts – that would have been perfect!

I went shopping this morning, and everywhere I turned I saw people dressed totally weird. I mean, there were goths, girls with hot pink eyeliner, my eyes hurt just looking at them. It felt like some kind of fancy dress parade was on. Shops full of beachwear in bright colours! Summer/Spring just brings out the excitement in the air. I get the feeling that it makes people enthusiastic and adventurous in general… Or maybe it is just me 🙂

There were men standing outside the entrance of shops or just inside the entrance, holding on to buggies, looking bored, and then out comes the wife/partner, ‘Love, which of these looks better’. ‘Both love, both, just choose, and lets get going’. That is so what happens when I go shopping for clothes with husband 🙂 I am sure husband would have wholeheartedly sympathized with these men 🙂

I think I did far more looking around and window shopping than actual shopping. Not that I am complaining. I only wished I had a camera on me to click some pics. There were some amazing flowers in bloom and shops with ‘Sale – 70% off’  looked just as good. It is another thing that all the items in the 70% off section have only sizes like 6 and 18 😦

One thing that really upset me was, when I was waiting for the bus. An Indian( or should I say, someone from the Indian Sub-continent), spat while walking by and the spit landed a cm away from an elderly British gentleman. I was so appalled. How can people do stuff like this? Spitting and that too almost on somebody. It was gross. The gentleman just moved away. I couldnot see the look on his face, but I was so so embarrassed that somebody who could be classified in the same ethnic group as us behaved so badly.. I have so much to say on this but I guess that is fodder for another post.

So how is everybody enjoying your weekend? We have a birthday party every weekend. Sigh!  Did I tell you that I am so tired of socializing that I feel like locking myself in a cave?

This is what happens…Post 3

.. when we shop on an empty stomach..

And we refuse to learn. Despite our theory having been proven right umpteen times!

So much so, that I go shopping only at times when I am not hungry. I run to the supermarket, first thing after dropping off daughter at school, so that I don’t end up stacking up food that I don’t need. Husband, however, is a different story. I think he ends up hungry, whenever he lands in the shops. He is totally disinterested in grocery shopping until he reaches the aisles of his interest – Junk, in our words. Then there is no stopping him. He piles on everything he remotely likes. If the supermarket has a ‘world foods’ section, then there is no end to it.

Have I told you about our Junk cupboard? In every house we have lived in, husband has just one demand, he wants a ‘junk cupboard’ for all his ‘junk’ aka snacks of all sorts. Every time we go shopping, he adds to his collection, only to open the cupboard and realize that he has picked enough snacks to last us years.

He managed to buy this when we stopped at a rest stop on our way back from holiday. This pack of doughnuts though, did not last as long as I thought it would. I was aghast when I saw husband proudly carrying this, but I have to say, we managed to wolf it down, despite all my reservations 😦

I so need a workout now.

‘Tis the season of giving.

There is something about Christmas time that I really like. The whole atmosphere changes. The bleak winter evenings light up with Christmas trees peeping out of every house.The malls and shopping centres buzzing with activity. There is a feeling of anticipation, excitement in the air.

Every year, this time is spent shopping. Shopping to go to India. Most of our India trips used to be around this time, Christmas  being one of the less busy times of the year, when it came to work. Hours are spent in selecting the right gifts for people. I just love that bit. I love finding the right gift for all my near and dear ones. It gives one so much joy, doesn’t it? When one chances across the perfect gift for a person. Sometimes,  I end up shopping for far too many things. Sometimes, I would not get that elusive gift until one day before we travel. I love the whole gifting process. Selecting the gift, wrapping it up – I actually love gift wrapping – some people think that I need my head examined, but I really do like it 🙂 Daughter, seems to have caught the bug too – she loves wrapping gifts as much as I do 🙂 Although, I have to say, that her ‘help’  does  rather hampers my wrapping style 🙂

This year, since our yearly trip has been postponed to July-August, I miss that shopping bit. Even the chocolate shopping used to be so much fun. There are so many varieties of chocolates and sweets that you get only around Christmas time.  Just as I was taking it easy and missing shopping for gifts, I was reminded that I needed to buy Christmas cards and gifts for Poohi’s classmates and friends in the nursery and teachers! Poohi had not been well for the last 2 weeks and it had completely slipped my mind. So on a week, when I had loads of work pending, I had to go and do some Christmas shopping too.  Writing out cards and wrapping up gifts, express speed, so that they are ready for school tomorrow – not my cup of tea, but the joy that it gave my daughter, made it all worth it.

Today’s experience just reminded me of how the gift shopping might actually be stressful for a lot of people. Especially when there are expectations tagged to the gifts. When the expectations might exceed a person’s capabilities. Or when people are disappointed by the gifts given by a person and do not even try to mask it. Or when the person receiving it, feels overwhelmed by the gifts he receives. A joyous time could just be marred by undercurrents of unhappiness, resentment and disappointment.

Which is probably why, the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.

Will the twain ever meet?

What is it about men and shopping? I can never understand why my husband hates shopping with such a vengeance.

For me, retail therapy is one of the most relaxing and fun experiences. It rests – right on the top – right after a spa experience 🙂 For my husband, it is probably as relaxing as getting his legs waxed 😉

I can spend hours window shopping… I can even do that in grocery supermarkets.. I am known to stand and admire all the pretty cakes in the bakery section, while my husband mutters behind me,’ Just select whatever you like and let’s get going! People are going to think that you have never seen cakes before!’ Which is why, whenever I am shopping alone, I make it a point to go to the food hall in places like Marks and Spencer and drool away 🙂 It used to me more fun in London – I used to love the Selfridges food hall.. Yummy yummy yummy looking food!  Now I make do with boring old M&S – but even that is better than nothing 🙂

Shopping for me is pure bliss.. Looking at all the clothes on sale, trying on a few and then deciding not to pick it unless totally satisfied.. For husband it is more functional – enter a shop only if he has no other option. Buy new clothes only when he has run out of decent clothes to wear. Spend 2 seconds to decide and bill it – all done in under 10 minutes.. 10 minutes! Can you believe that? How can somebody do that! It’s just not done! He despairs when I reject clothes and move on to the next shop.. I am sure he sends up silent prayers that I get what I am looking for in the next shop.

There is so much to browse, after all, we should make an informed decision – so what if it is just a pair of skirt? Or jeans or accessories or shoes.. How can we decide without knowing what is on sale next door? By the end of a shopping trip – I glow with happiness and he is totally exhausted!

For him it is a list that can be reduced where possible.. For me, there is nothing like a list when it comes to shopping.. I believe in picking up if I like it – am sure we can find a use for it , for him it is, picking up only it we are in dire need of it.

A couple of weekends back, we went to York. It is a beautiful little town with a lot of historic places.. As it happens, it started raining when we reached there. So naturally, I suggested, why don’t we shop, it will be nice and dry inside a shop – only to get it back from husband – ‘We come all the way to York and all you can think of is shopping??’ Can you believe it? What’s wrong with shopping if it is raining outside? Surely it is better than getting wet in the rain?

The one place that makes him want to shop is when he sees some electronic shop. Once, I left him at a Bose shop and went about , did all my shopping(read browsing, trying on, rejecting/buying) in all possible shops only to find that husband was still engrossed in the magic of Bose.. Never seen him so excited in a shopping trip 🙂

Next time, I want happy, fuss free shopping, with no questions like, ‘Aur bhi kuch lena hai kya?’ or ‘Aur kitna time lagega’ every 2 minutes( as if shopping is such a precise science that I should be able to predict!) , I am leaving my husband with the staff in the Bose outlet to ‘hubby-sit’ while I enjoy shopping to the fullest 🙂

Or better still go shopping with a girl friend. So much better!

Drive, Drive , Drive….

…. that’s what we did last weekend. Drive and eat, that is. I did some side seat driving(slow down,slow down!,  slow down now!) , as I am still to get my driving licence.

We had a Merc for a test drive last weekend as we are in the process of finalising our second car – so that it arrives by the time I get my license, which by the number of times I have had to cancel classes – not happenning any time soon 😦

Anyways, I digress. Husband was super, super excited and all he wanted to do was drive. He did not care where – as far as he got to drive atleast a 100 miles a day! So after millions of arguments, we settled on a zoo + theme park just under 50 miles away from here. Husband confirmed that the weather was good – 22 degrees – Brilliant –  according to the weather conditions here.

So off we set at around 11:30 on saturday morning – delayed thanks to all the fuss about ‘where’ to go.  We were supposed to reach there by 12:09 – the ETA as per the sat nav – which by the way was an integrated feature in the Merc, which we were very impressed by – in the beginning only to get disillusioned very soon as our Sat Nav had more features.

Husband, made the most of the drive by touching insane speeds. I was chanting ‘slow down’ as a constant prayer. Apparently it is necessary to touch these speeds and drive more than 100 miles a day to properly ‘test drive’ a car!

Just as we were nearing our destination, we noticed drizzling! Oh no! How are we going to enjoy the adventure park if it rains!!! Finally, when we did reach, the rains had stopped and out we stepped all excited – only to realise that it was not raining  – but it was very very cold!! Where was the 22 deg??? I did not even get daughter’s and my coats – 22 degrees – who needs coats! Husband had got his – he always has his coat – they are like his second skin. Then it turned out that husband had checked the weather at source – not at destination! Now, there was no way we could go out there and have fun while shivering and getting wet(possibly), so we decided to find something else to do.

Earlier that day, while we had been researching our options, we had seen a steam railway, which is a picturesque ride, almost like a hop on/hop off train through the Yorkshire moors and it had been somewhere close to this place. So we quickly googled and found that it was just 4.5 miles away.

Off we went to find the steam railway. By the time we reached here, it was already 1:30 – and we had had no lunch, so before we did any sightseeing, we went in search of lunch. We found a quaint little Italian restaurant and had the most delicious lunch there. Daughter and I had yummy pasta and husband opted for his boring pizza and then ate my pasta 😡 ! Anyways, after stuffing ourselves, we slowly made our way to Toursist information, only to find that we were too late 😦 Apparenlty the whole round trip takes atleast 3 hours!

So finally, we decided to go in for some retail therapy and spend some money to help resolve the credit crunch and drive home.  So we drove all the way, to eat and shop 🙂 The bright side was that husband got to drive, and I got to eat and shop. Daughter was a little disappointed as she wanted to see animals and the only animals she got to see were some crystal animals in the mall. She did get to play on a bouncy castle which had a dinosaur painted on it 🙂