Saturday, 22 December 2012

High heels, dinner, toilet hunting and lights

It was a busy day in this household yesterday. It started with me going to our local Sainsburys and picking up some clothes for S and N.  They both had money given to them for their birthdays and Christmas and they needed (and love) clothes so I went and bought some pretty tops and trousers.  Two delighted little girls when I got home.

Then the teen and I headed off into our local town centre to do some Christmas shopping.

Being a person who does not mind walking (remember all the geocaching?) I am happy to park for free and walk 20 minutes into town. I'm not one of these idiots people who need to park on the doorstep of a shop by their sliding doors.  So, off we both trotted.  

We had a few plans of where we wanted to go and so started by heading into Debenhams.  Fortunately they have a sale on already (yippee) and I needed some clothes from hubby for Christmas (well, it's easier to buy it yourself isn't it) so I picked up a number of items to try on.  

We got to the boots and shoes section and I noticed that they all had 30% off.  I need some ankle boots.  Unfortunately there was only one pair in my size but I tried them anyway.  They were quite lose. Odd.  I tried on a size smaller which were too tight.  Typical.  I then decided to try some varying heels and styles in sizes up and down from mine, finally settling on a lovely pair with a couple of inch heel (I'll rue the day I bought them when I first walk in them - I'm used to flats now) which were a size bigger but a very comfortable fit.  Yay me.

While I was looking around teen had spotted some gorgeous 3 inch (don't forget the 1/2 inch platform too though) black shoes with a little bow on the front. Telling me that her dad had agreed to a pair very similar to this before (somehow I doubt that), she tried them on and loved them.  Fell in love is more accurate.  Anyway, she went and checked the price to find they also had 30% off.  A quick negotiation about no pocket money next month and me putting a bit to them and they were hers.  Yay her.

"Dad said I could have something like these before Mum"
A try on of the clothes I had weeded out the things that looked far better on a hanger than me and we were at the till.  Oddly, my card was declined. What? I know I have enough money in my account - I only put it in there this morning for this very trip.  Assistant was not phased and said sometimes if they didn't press the button quickly enough for the amount to go from the till to the little machine (or some such thing), it did this.  She pressed the button again and everything went through. Phew.  I knew we would not have gotten out of the shop without tears (probably mine) if we hadn't managed to buy everything.

We then went into H&M to have a nose around as I had a 20% off voucher for teen. Nothing she wanted there at the moment so we'll look again after Christmas.

Back to Next where I found a little denim skirt and jeans for S which I wanted to get.  It was the only one for her age group that didn't try and make her look like some demented child beauty pageant reject.  Why would anyone want a denim skirt full of holes and looking like it's been beaten on a stone in a running stream for 3 weeks?  Come on, they are little girls and pretty is the order of the day.  Happy with my finds, I went to the till. Card declined. Oh come on this is getting tedious. Please try again.  Card declined. I phoned my bank while at the till. It turns out that Debenhams had made an error and had 3 transactions (what?) processing - all for the same amount within seconds of each other.  With my huge Sainsburys shop that had also just gone out, those extra transactions had left me precisely £7 in my account. I asked if they could cancel the two, clearly erroneous ones but until one had cleared (the proper one), they could not. They suggested I go back to Debenhams and see if they can clear it from their system.  Back we trottted. Of course they couldn't, I'd have to wait.  Shopping trip prematurely over :(

Home we came and I called the bank again who had seen the proper transaction clear and now cancelled the others.  A sit down and refresh while hubby went and bought a few bits for his parents having been terrorised by S and N for nearly 3 hours ;-)

Guildford High Street Clock
In the afternoon we headed off to another local town to eat and see the lights.  Now, we don't tend to go out for food very often.  This is not due to us being unduly tight (although we can be) but mostly as hubby is working so much.  However, he's now on holiday until Boxing Day so we decided to see some Christmas lights and treat the family to dinner out.

Again, we parked up away from the town in some free parking area. Teen was wearing her new heels - hope she could cope with the walk!  I was a little unsure about the area we were parked in and time limits (they aren't all written on boards and posts around the area except for some streets) so I decided in the spirit of not getting a ticket/clamped, I would move the car to an area I knew was 4 hour limited.  The rest of the family headed off slowly into the town and I moved the car, catching up with them just up the road (me in flat boots is faster than teen in new stilettos).


We got to TGI Friday's and sat down to eat. The plan was to have food, wait for it to get dark and then see the Christmas lights in Guildford. We had thought about going to London then decided the girls wouldn't know much difference with the lights, the train would cost a fortune and the food would be busy so we opted for local.  We had a lovely meal and I have to say their peppercorn sauce was the best I have ever tasted.  N loved the Jack Daniels dip (oops!) and kept putting her chips into it when daddy wasn't looking.  She'll sleep well.  


Desserts eaten, balloons given and off we went to see the lights.  Not quite as exciting as I had hoped but still pretty and the girls were enjoying being out in the dark and the Christmas music playing in the shops.  

Naturally as we went into Gap Kids, S wanted the toilet, despite us asking and checking about 3 times before we left TGI.  No toilet for them to use there.  Hubby ran over to Boots with her and no, sorry they had none. Spotted a coffee shop and went in. Disgusting toilet and no toilet paper but at least that was sorted. Wouldn't want a coffee in there *shudder* (no, I don't mean the toilet, the actual shop if that's the level of cleanliness).

Into M&S we went and I found an equally nice denim skirt and jeans for S and a new warm coat for N which I bought.  Poor hubby had been trying to look at jumpers for Christmas with the youngest two when teen and I had wandered off to find things for S and, typically, they had wanted to follow mummy so he got a bit forgotten about. He's off to get some clothes he needs tomorrow for me to wrap ;-)

Back up the High Street and at the top teen swapped her heels for her flat boots. She did really well for a first time wear and even managed the odd cobble!

Back home we came with two very tired little girls who didn't hesitate to go to bed and were both straight to sleep.  What a cracking day

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