I’m sure there used to be Christmas’s where at least half the shops were closed on Boxing Day as well as Christmas Day… but not any more it would seem and as Boxing Day could possibly have been the last time in 2014 that I would be able to get out and present as Andrea then that is what I did; of course, the prospect of clothing sales was a big magnetic draw too! I spent several hours of the afternoon at the Banbridge Outlet near home, browsing in numerous shops – I bought a lovely dress for £6 instead of £24 at Next (as well as a nice top) using the e-gift voucher that my brother kindly gave me for Christmas, in Fat Face I eventually got a jumper after much trying-on (where I was assisted by a lovely lady in her 50s who helped me out with sizes, showed me the changing rooms, and got one colour in a different size for me), in Peacocks I bought a beautiful very-me dress (for work or for evenings out) and used the e-gift voucher that my lovely parents gave me (and had to tell the till staff how to process it), then paused for refreshment at Starbucks (instead of Costa, who were once again were out of hot chocolate); as usual, they deliberately got my name largely wrong, today I was Angeline to them… but at least the girl at the till said “What would you like, Madam?” and so I perked up and had a nice bit of chat. Then onto several other shops, including Clarks (where I bought some dead-comfortable wedges) and M&S. Time was soldiering on and I was due to pick up my daughter, so I headed onto Tesco for a grocery shop, where I found a meter-long tube of Smarties for her, and also a lovely smart pair of boots that were the last pair in the whole shop and were sized perfectly for me – they were just meant to be! The guy at the till was nice, we chatted away, and I wished him a Happy New Year as I left, hurrying home to wipe away the face I am so happy with in order to collect my daughter from my ex-… possibly for the last time ever.
Once home with daughter she opened her presents and, to my amazement, said she loved every single one; this was a pleasing contrast to the lack of enthusiasm I got when asking her what she received from my ex-… and apart from a pair of nice pyjamas, I still don’t know what she got! On television we watched the BBC dramatisation of David Walliams story “The boy in the dress” – daughter read the book some time ago, and thankfully it was not hard to persuade her to watch with me. If anyone doesn’t know, it is about a boy who likes to wear dresses, and goes so to school in one, disguised with a wig so that nobody can tell it is him… until a scuffle reveals all, to much laughter from surrounding pupils; it has a happy ending though – I did not surprise myself by shedding tears at a number of points, generally where he received acceptance. A few days later I asked my daughter what she thought to it and, in typical near-teenage fashion, an apathetic response resulted; a couple of times I have also asked her whether she thought she would be more likely to be one of the pupils that would have laughed at him, or more like one of the central characters who helped him – the first time I got an “I don’t know” response, and the second time she thought she might have laughed… which does not give me any confidence over coming out to her on Friday.
One thing I forget to mention in my previous post is that on Christmas Day I had a short email from my parents with Christmas wishes… and it was my first ever email from them addressed “Dear Andrea”! I have had another email since then, a continuation of the question/answer ping-pong, also addressed to me/Andrea. That made me very happy.
Saturday 27th I took daughter to Belfast to do some girlie shopping, we spent much time in Hollister, which is her favourite brand; as we browsed around I pointed out a few things to suss out her opinions on my style; some things she didn’t like at all and some she did. Later I dropped her at an aunt for a Christmas get together… and the rest of the day I spent being miserable, with my alleged friend terminating the ‘friendship’ we had via brief emails.
Monday 29th December Kirsty and Michelle were due to go shopping together and then have a meal as well, and I have to admit to being a little jealous of them. So when my daughter announced that she wanted to meet up with friends in Newry that day my heart leaped for joy that I might be able to join my friends for a little bit of their day after all! As usual, I shaved before dropping daughter off and painted my nails with 60-seconds polish before returning home to get ready as quick as I could… which alas is never very quick; my daughter’s friends also messed about with arrangements a bit, so my schedule was over an hour late and I feared that I would miss my friends. But my BF had very considerately engineered the afternoon so that the two of them would be at the Banbridge Outlet. Firstly though I went to Banbridge town, where I walked up and down the street, trying five cash machines before I found one working, then into the post office to mail six letters with name-change letters in them. At the Outlet after a loo stop I met up with Michelle and Kirsty at Costa… where YET AGAIN they were out of hot chocolate, so as it was cold outside I opted for a tea and my favourite cherry and almond muffin and settled down for a good 50+ minutes of chat with my friends; oh, how lovely it was to see them and catch up. The last time I was at the Outlet I had spied some lovely shoes, and so we headed over to that shop for me to try them on with fine tights… but still the shoes were alas too tight. The three of us umm-ed and ah-ed as to where to eat as time was getting on, and we settled for the café at M&S – once there, Kirsty popped to the loo while I rushed to Boots to stock up on foundation, then we went for sandwiches, cakes, drinks… and more fun chat. My daughter had rung to ask if she could stay out with a couple of friends until 8.00pm… and I agreed, within certain parameters, but alas after the café visit I had to bid my two lovely friends a hurried farewell and rush past some lovely sale clothes home, carefully navigating very icy roads, wiping Andrea away again (big sigh) before picking up daughter.
I hope you all enjoy the last days of the holidays; best wishes for 2015 to you all, and thanks for reading.