My previous post ended where I was just about to leave for what I hoped would be a lovely day out… and I was certainly not disappointed! My BF Kirsty has her own blog, where she has beaten me to it to describe the activities we did together, so I will perhaps abbreviate some of that (especially as my dinner is nearly ready)… especially the bits about cyclist history!
So off I went, driving to Lisburn to visit the Bow Street Mall until it would be time to meet Kirsty. Firstly I went to get my eyebrows threaded by a very pleasant Indian lady; I had been there a couple of times, and even have a loyalty card. As usual, she light-heartedly told me off for leaving it too long since the last time, and as usual it also took a few sets of instructions for me to hold my eye shut properly with the skin properly tight. Other than that it was fine, I sat there reclined with my eyes closed, feeling pampered… and the end result was FAB. Much better… although her efforts rather dislodged some of my make-up and I retreated to the ladies toilet in M&S to repair it… as well as go to the toilet. Then onto BHS where my friend Michelle had recommended ladies skirt suits… except that they had pretty much EVERY size except for mine. I found a couple of tops in the sale though, one of which I had seen in another shop and LOVED. So, I went into the changing rooms, where a very pleasant lady showed me to a cubicle… and alas the top that I really liked was massive; the other one was a good fit though, and I found a lovely pair of shoes too. At the till the girl was really nice, there was a problem with the shoes though as there was no bar-code, so I went and got another pair and eventually it was sorted. Kirsty texted me to say she was running late, so I went onto New Look where I have bought a few things in the past, though there was nothing that excited me this time. Eventually it was time to go, so back to the car, and onto the support group building…
…where Kirsty looked rather different with a new hairstyle which, as usual, my face transparently showed my displeasure at – it just wasn’t right, the colour was just too dark, with stand-out blonde streaks in it. She reverted to the usual hair, much better, and we headed off to Belfast for our second shopping expedition. We started off shopping in the mall where we parked, firstly in Superdrug where we spent ages make-up shopping, I bought a general mixture of items (including my favourite nail polish colour) while my BF Kirsty bought some secret make up items for a forthcoming event we are going to. Then we popped into New Look, where I tried on a pair of trousers which I liked, with a nice girl looking after me in the changing rooms… except the legs were so skinny I think I ripped the seam at the ankles! Oops – hasty exit! Then downstairs to Blue Inc for some lovely flowery trousers that I had seen in Newry… except that it was a guys Blue Inc. What!?! What a disappointment. Then we wandered outside into Belfast’s busy streets, thronged with Saturday afternoon shoppers, into BHS (where I bought a lovely top), then onto Victoria Square Mall with a serious amount of designer shops. We went into one, and I saw a top very similar to one I saw in BHS – in BHS it was about £18, in this shop it was REDUCED to £69!!! Gulp. After a bit of giggling, it was time for us to make a swift exit! And into Ted Baker, where we had a browse, soon approached by a nice petite girl who said “Can I help you ladies?” (Always love that acknowledgement). We carried on looking, and I saw this GORGEOUS pink winter coat… for ONLY £299! Uh, gulp again, I really don’t earn enough to afford that… but that didn’t stop me trying it on, at which point the sizing really stumped me, and so I did ask for assistance from the sales girl. I tried it on and I REALLY liked it… but I really can’t justify spending that amount of money… especially as I am not even full-time Andrea yet. So I reluctantly put it back and we exited the shop… and then I saw the coat in the window! So Kirsty, with her super-spec new phone took a picture of me (see right) and I took one of her.
Time was marching on, alas… oh I so wish it was possible for Kirsty to spend more time doing this kind of thing with me, I so enjoy shopping with her, but such is life. We went into House Of Fraser and up to the ladies floor for a look around; I was especially interested in Mango, and there was some quite nice stuff there, but nothing that shouted “BUY ME”. I wandered into other sections, and a girl said “If you need any help just ask”… which I didn’t, as we were seriously running out of time, and at close to 6.00 we returned to the car park, the streets still very busy with shoppers, some queueing for buses to go home.
Back at our support group we met up with Michelle, and Kirsty and I took turns to get ready. It’s great to have friends to give honest opinions, and I wasn’t sure whether my chosen dress (which I had bought ages ago and LOVE the flowery design) was age-correct… but positive affirmations from the two of them were enough to confirm all was okay. This time the Lisburn Fining Dining Club had chosen Il Pirata for their meal out, sister restaurant to Coppi that Kirsty and I had dined out at previously. For some reason Michelle was not at all happy with the area, and as I am not from NI originally I had no idea what the issue was – admittedly I could see why the start of the road from the city centre might be slightly unnerving to some, with elaborate murals depicting pictures relating to the troubles of the 1970-80s, although I have driven along this road before to get to my hairdresser. Once away from the centre the area looked fine to me, a bit like a London suburb full of restaurants and takeaways as our venue appears on the right. We parked, walked in, and sat at our table, discretely positioned in the corner.
The meal was just WONDERFUL. True bliss. I really gave it no thought that I was there as a girl… because the girl really is me and I have done this a number of times before, it’s just SO right for me… though as I write I then have to tell myself that I have been out doing real-time activities as a girl less than a year and this time last year if someone had suggested I might be doing anything that I have written on my blog then I would have wondered if they were out of their head. Our waitress was really nice and friendly, and as usual I was a chatty-me (so NOT previous-me) and questioned her on what courses consisted of for both starters and, later, dessert. My meal was absolutely delicious – starter was a seafood arancini, main course a stunning pork dish in a beautiful sauce with lovely potatoes and vegetables, followed by a refreshing strawberry sorbet served with whipped cream. While waiting for desert I went off to the ladies, in rather high heels, careful not to slip on the wooden floors. In addition to the food, the company was wonderful too, good to see Michelle a bit more relaxed, SO enjoyable… so much so that I laughed and laughed (hopefully girly-enough), so much at times that tears were in my eyes. There were a number of drug-related comments floating around too, as I was dosed yet again with a cold and a Vics inhaler (which makes a guest appearance in the bottom of the photo to the right, taken by Kirsty in the restaurant) was the only thing to save me as I was getting rather blocked up. After tea and coffee, to prolong the outing as much as we could, we returned once again to support group… where another hour passed by with lovely chat before it was alas time to go.
The whole day was just bliss! SO natural and right to just spend all that time as it now seems as though it always should have been, as the girl I feel I should have been all along… and not one bit of negativity from anyone the whole time on such a busy afternoon and evening. FAB!
I am writing this the day after, as is often the case… and after another wonderful day (which I will detail soon) I am still in such a wonderful mood; I wonder how my next post will sound… because alas it will not be written during an Andrea-presentation day.