Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Shopping in style - the vintage way

I'm fairly new to the whole vintage craze (I know, I know) but recently I've taken to having a good old rummage around Rokit - a vintage shop close to my office. It's a great way to spend the lunch hour - I don't have huge amounts of spare cash at the moment but an hour of window shopping sans Junior makes me feel human again, without depressing myself that I can't buy the latest Farhi offering.

Today saw my first vintage purchase - a Gucci belt bag. It was a snip at £10 and I've been looking for a bag that will be practical while I'm pushing the buggy round, so it's a double winner. Brand new, these bags retail for £320. So, it's official. I'm a vintage convert. It's my first vintage purchase, but it definitely won't be my last!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

London Fashion Week is a-coming

The countdown is well and truly on. London Fashion Week will soon be upon us - and if the previews are anything to go by, we're in for some rocking fashion. Christopher Kane's preview in particular looks fantastic. This is my favourite:

Roll on September.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Alliance no more

What is it with banks in this country? Useless doesn't even begin to cover it. I've been using Alliance & Leicester for about seven years now (it feels like a lot longer, believe me) and without doubt, they've got worse, not better over time.

The final straw came when I misplaced / had stolen my debit card. I immediately phoned the bank. It took them about five minutes to answer the phone, and I was then on hold for a good 20 minutes. Hmmm. If my card had been stolen, I'm sure the perpetrator was having a high old time at my expense. A less than ideal situation. Finally, just before I die of old age, a chirpy call centre representative answers the phone. She's a helpful lady, providing she doesn't have to deviate from the obvious script she is following. We go through the rigmarole of cancelling my card. I then ask (and it's my own fault for not checking sooner) when I can expect my new debit card. "Seven to ten working days," is the response. SEVEN TO TEN WORKING DAYS - are you having a laugh? How am I supposed to get any cash in the meantime? Apparently, head down to my local A&L branch. Which is miles away. Brilliant. The only response from the now less than happy call centre lady is that it's in my terms and conditions and there's nothing else they are obliged to do.

This, combined with hefty fees for no apparent reason, an inability to link my accounts and the fact that it takes at least 15 minutes to get through on the phone (and then you have to deal with the automated droning rather than actually talk to another human being), has resulted in only one possible outcome - I am leaving the bank. I'm fairly sure that this will not single-handedly bring A&L (or Santander for that matter) to their knees, but enough is enough. I have reached my limit and can't take any more. Which then brings me to the next question. Which bank should I now opt for? That's still up for debate, but one thing's for sure: it won't be a hard act to follow.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Eating, sleeping, eating...

It's been a hell of a week. On Monday, H rolled over for the first time - a milestone in development, apparently. It's amazing. I really didn't think I'd be so bothered, but after weeks of watching him desperately trying to turn over, it's fantastic to finally see him achieve it. He looked so pleased with himself he reminded me of his dad - until his neck muscles gave way and he proceeded to bury his head in his baby gym. Now I long for the day he can roll himself back over. He has done it once (yesterday, actually) but he hasn't done it again, so I fear that might have been a fluke. It's a strange thing - you spend so long waiting for something to happen and then when it does, you almost wish it hadn't, because now he needs constant monitoring.

As well as the rolling over, this has been the week of introducing solid food. I use that term loosely, because a mush of baby rice and carrot puree really does not constitute solid food in my humble opinion. However, it's yet another milestone, and there is something satisfying about feeding Junior - even if the offering doesn't actually look that appealing to me. Perhaps this is because I know that solid food ultimately = no dream feed. He loves it. As you'd expect, I've bought all the gear - weaning pots, weaning spoons, some starter bowls, bibs - but it was messy and there's no getting away from it. I really hope carrot doesn't stain in a puree form, because I ended up wearing quite a bit of it.

I'm working a full week next week. Whilst the money will be nice, I'm slightly traumatised about a full five days before having a day to tidy / do washing / sterilise multiple bottles etc. This makes me more concerned about my full time return in September. I hoping that by some miracle I'll have developed a skill (that currently eludes me) that enables me to maintain my usual life and look after the little guy. But I'm not convinced that will happen...

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

To feed or not to feed?

Introducing Junior to food is an interesting one. You can't wait to do it, but apparently, once you start, it's a total nightmare. There seems to be a growing trend towards Baby Led Weaning (or BLW for those in the know) but personally, I'm all for the spoonfed choice. H will be 17 weeks next Monday and I've already bought the baby rice in preparation. Yes, I know, the recommendation is to wait until six months. But I started eating solid foods at 17 weeks and it hasn't done me any harm. And, fingers crossed, it will encourage him to drop the 10.30pm feed - my latest holy grail. Who knows what will happen when we have our evenings totally back to ourselves - restaurants, theatre trips?? Goodness, the world will be our oyster. But, more likely, we'll go to bed at 10pm and get some sleep. Ah, the glamourous life of new parents.

I, on the other hand, will not be eating at all for the next week. This is mainly due to the new pair of shoes I've just bought - simply too good to miss in the sales. A fantastic pair of Georgina Goodman heels reduced from £302 to just £75. Bargain. Plus, the lack of food will help me slim down for those skinny jeans. I hope.