Friday, 5 August 2011

Midsummer Madness

You know what? I’m getting a wee bit excited. No, not because England won the cricket and the football season is about to start (or has it already?), but because on Monday, my dear friends, I jet off to Turkey. With the added bonus is that my friend had the foresight to book it through Thomas Cook.
Of course, the excitement is accompanied with frantic preparation – finding my passport, de-fuzzing, sorting travel insurance and the like have kept me on my toes for weeks. My mate texted me yesterday and asked if I had sorted out my currency - a helpful reminder as it had completely slipped my mind.
So, last weekend the preparations started in earnest. First, I needed a haircut. A couple of weeks earlier I bought a Groupon voucher to get a haircut, blow dry and deep conditioning treatment for under £20 – bargain. Only problem was, when I called the salon they informed me that they were booked up until the day I was due to fly from East Midlands airport. Oh dear. The last two salons I have been to failed to impress me, which when you are paying close to £50 does tend to put one off. So, I decided to try somewhere new.
Whilst training for my run I had jogged past a little place called Chaps and Dames on Tollington Park. A small place with retro barber decor and vintage clothing in the window, I decided to investigate. I wasn’t disappointed – haircuts were a mere £25 with the added bonus that they have beer on their list of refreshments, and a piano in case the owner feels the need to perform as you wait for your highlights to take.
So last Friday I trotted along. The manager did my hair, and after some deliberation we decided to cut my fringe back in. I was very pleased with the results, and had a thoroughly nice chat with her whilst she did my hair. Needless to say I shall be going back, and have already recommended the place to friends in the Finsbury Park area. And, if you fancy a funky new dress to match your haircut, they have a selection of vintage clothing for sale too. Bonus.
On Saturday, my task was a little less pleasurable. It was the shopping trip. This meant one thing: Oxford Street. I needed sun cream, sun tops and a cover up top – and was in the market for a new tankini and sarong to boot. Unfortunately a lot of shops were a bit thin on the ground when it came to summer clothes (apparently it is autumn already) and although I found a lovely dress for the office, holiday essentials were proving a bit trickier to find. So I ended up in the retail version of Hell: Primark.
You have to go to the flagship store near Marble Arch to believe it; the word Bedlam springs to mind. I managed to elbow my way through the crowds to a couple of tables stacked precariously with t-shirts, cropped trousers and sun tops. I grabbed a selection and headed over to the changing room. My heart sank. The queue was nearly the length of the shop and moving very slowly. I took the matter into my own hands and set up a changing area in the nightwear section. Luckily I was wearing a sun top and mini skirt with leggings, so I was able to slip the tops on and wiggle into the trousers under my skirt without flashing my underwear. Mission accomplished, I joined the (slightly more reasonable) queue for the till. Two sun tops, two t-shirts and a belt for £12.50. Result.
Happily, buying sun cream was a breeze – I had already researched my best options for factor 50 protection and decided to opt for “super light” rather than all day protection – I’d rather have to re-apply every couple of hours than feel like a greasy chip all day. And, of course, all sun cream was BOGOF – and Soltan aftersun half price. Super.
At this point, I decided to give up on finding a sarong and tankini and put all my efforts into finding a nice cover up – an essential for my fair skin. I had already found one in Accessorise in the sale, but at £20 I wanted to see if Debenhams had a cheaper option. They did, but in true typical woman style, I decided that the one in Accessorise was worth the extra £5. I popped into the store opposite the department store and found the one that I wanted. Except it looked like a different colour. Convinced that the one in the other store was a paler shade of cream, I fought my way back up the street and bought the first one I had laid my eyes on. Him Indoors would have been proud.
By the time I got home I was exhausted. Luckily I had the foresight to pick up something quick and easy from Marks and Sparks and was soon slumped in front of the telly with a plateful of nosh.
The next day I was up early doors to catch a train to West Sussex. My parents were holidaying on the south coast and invited me down for the day. It was the perfect opportunity to get some sunbathing practice in – not to mention R and R. I returned to London covered in sand and a bit pink around the top of my arms – apparently I had missed a bit – but decidedly content in the knowledge that I would soon be leaving the madness behind and sat by a pool under a parasol with nothing to worry about other than whether to read my book for flick though a glossy first.
Oh, decisions, decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment