Category Archives: Christmas shopping

All I want for Christmas is?

Well, a good number of book sales would be nice, but I wont hold out great expectations for that. But if anyone needs a reminder of that address to go to, a good one is

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks

Thanks, in advance. Oh, and fine, I’d still like to do some post book research for the most recent one lol!

Sorry to disappoint some, but I’m not going to post some of the ‘more interesting’ suggestions I made over on the other blog, I think they might be a little too different for some of the people on here. But yes, if you’re open minded, let me know, and I can give you a few suggestions, from the pretty cheap, to the improbable, and a few things in between.

In truth, beyond the unoriginal things like chocolates, booze, and bath stuff, I havent much idea on the sensible options. I could do with some new underwear, nightwear, and a new pair of shoes, but none are things people can readily buy, without knowing me, I guess, even if they wanted to!

The one resolution I have for the New Year, is to get myself back in shape. No, not the obvious way, there isnt that much of me, anyway. No, I mean in the sense that I havent had anywhere waxed in over a year, and though most areas could do with some TLC, in that sense, the obvious ones are the eye brows, and underarms. But yes, all over would be good! I could also do with massages, facials and the like, so if anyone wants details of my favourite beauty treatment place, to get me vouchers, let me know?

More wealthy benefactors might want to spend a bit more, which would be handy, as I should be getting my semi-permanent make up treatment needs its top up session this spring. And yes, Paula, I know the eyebrows need sorting before I visit!

People even more crazy with money to blow? Well, I’m planning to go to LA in May, and if anyone wants to make it even slightly more of a movie star moment, then feel free to help!

Wishful thinking? Well, an offer of a theater run, or movie part from the US might be nice! I know, stop laughing! Oh, I’d need a Green Card/Visa for that, so give me plenty of warning! New name, new approval needed! Old one would have expired by now, regardless!

I know, you might love to know the more interesting items this ‘old lady’ would love, but hey, I dont want to shock the children, and fellow workers! šŸ˜‰

Video? Well, I used the original video for this on the other blog, so for the few that know both, I’ll provide a different live one, from Mariah Carey, and one of my favourite entertainers, Jimmy Fallon.

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No snow this Christmas

Well, not here in Yorkshire, at least. Wind, and rain most definitely, but snow, no chance! How much of that is just the way the weather is at present, or whether its down to climate change, who knows? A bit of each, I suspect?

Thats it, any shopping not done, is now not going to get done, though ironically, the local express Supermarket (Tesco) is open until 10.00 tonight, even on Christmas Eve! Poor staff, I say. Yes, I went down early this afternoon, thinking I needed to get in, before they shut early, and lo and behold…!

Tomorrow, I wont be opening any presents. No, not because I havent got any, I will have a very small number, but for a good reason. The others here are away until Sunday, and we’ve decided we’re going to leave everything until they get back, and then do it as a group. Yes, I could have done mine tomorrow regardless, but lets face it, at my age, I’m in no rush in such matters.

Well, put it this way, unless someone has sneaked a brainwashing, or mind control helmet into my gifts, or a full robot suit that actually would change my body, I’m in no rush. And no, I’ve seen nothing like that, so I’ll wait! Yes, before anyone shows concern, I’ve got a roast dinner for tomorrow, and enough Christmas pudding to keep me well and truly filled too! Fine, if there’s a voucher for a full Jean Harlow makeover (preferably of the permanent kind), I would love that too, but again… Beyond that, I wouldnt mind waking up, and finding something missing, that would be the best present of all. šŸ˜‰

And so to close, by wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas, and hoping you get all you hope for tomorrow.

Lastly, the video. One of my favourite Christmas songs of all time, a live version. Oh, and the blog title is a line in the song…almost!

An unplanned trip into town

I’ll be honest with you. When I went into town on Friday, to get the last couple of small presents, I planned on that being it, until after Christmas Day, at least. Well, in all honesty, until after Boxing Day, though this year, there is a half hourly service into town on Boxing Day, but very much doubt I will use it.

Fine, best laid plans of mice and men…and no, not for a job interview, or a romantic dinner date either, lol. I have had a little battery alarm clock for years, serving me faithfully. And when I say years, I mean I used this little alarm clock when I went to the US in 2003, you get my drift? So its served me well. Fine, a few years ago, the second hand stopped working, but while the other 2 hands continued to work just fine, and most importantly, the alarm did, why change it?

Yes, you guessed it, yesterday morning, the minute hand decided it was time to die, and of course, if that doesnt move, the hour one isnt going to! Yes, I could hear it was still ticking, so not the battery. I checked, taking the battery out, ticking noise died! So…I need a new one. The crazy thing is, I can get a similar one, from Argos, for Ā£3.99! Probably less than I paid for that one about 12 years ago!

Fine, any other week, but Christmas week, when Huddersfield is likely to be crowd crazy, I didnt need it. Strictly, I dont need a clock at present, in the sense of an alarm, but its always handy to know the time, so… Yes, I’ll brave the crowds tomorrow, I guess?

I do need to draw money for rent, and given no one has yet won the jackpot, I guess I need a lottery ticket too, but I could have done those locally. I do also have a cheque to pay in (first in my new name!) for travel money from Covance, but that would have waited until next week, except for…groan! Why couldnt it have lasted one more, or one less week? Ah well…

OK, the video. A play on what I need, an 80’s group.

Start of the holiday, and all that

Yes, that week has come, when I dont have to go to work, started today. I need the break to recharge the batteries, and hopefully I will. Not literally, well, unless you’re offering lol, but…a few days of sanity will be nice. I promise, not all the blogs this week will be as ‘quiet’ as this one.

Judging by the weather forecasts, I could have picked a better week, but as the choice is influenced by a birthday on Sunday, its not truly my call. Hopefully they will be proved wrong, or at least, not quite so bad around here, at least.

The week started in traditional fashion, the Christmas shopping trip to Manchester. Well, that’s Dave, and Eric sorted at least, and no, I’m not telling you what, as its possible that at least one of them might read this blog, so…Oh, and given that Eric has his birthday on Sunday, I got that present too, but a similar lack of details on that, for the same reason. Normally I would have got Nicole’s too, but due to a lack of guidance as to what I should be buying, it will be done later in the week…I hope!

Me, mixed results. Unlike last year, I wasnt heading to Manchester looking for a dress for the Christmas dinner at work, as you know, that was sorted out a couple of months ago. But there is still one item that I’d love to get for the big night, just so I can complete the Brooks, flapper look. Yes, the black bob wig, with that ‘helmet’ fringe, because even if I coloured my hair accordingly, I still couldnt do the fringe, without help! I know, I’m awkward. I have no desire to spend a fortune on a good quality, human hair wig, as I’m not convinced it will get worn more than the once. Maybe it will, maybe it wont, but…Equally, I want something decent enough that it wont look too awful at the Dinner. Ooh, lets see, just like the ones the ‘display models’ in BHS in Leeds are wearing, funnily enough! No, I havent plucked up the courage to go and ask if I can borrow one yet. I might have to, if I cant find anything suitable, but for now, I’m hoping to find my own.

Found a few places doing hair extensions in Manchester, but beyond a pretty cheap (and therefore I expect, not great quality one) wig, I found nothing there today. I do know of one place in Wakefield, that I will try later in the week, but in the meantime, any Leeds reader, who knows someone working at BHS, feel free to ask on my behalf, and get my eternal gratitude.

Oh, a couple of silly buys for me, from Primark. I’ve always been a sucker for leather, and leather look, even if perhaps I shouldn’t at my age! They must have known I was coming! There were a number of dresses reduced, with pleather sleeves. Some short, some long, some with short sleeves (barely anything), and some with much longer ones. All reduced to Ā£5! Yes, I got one of the longer ones, with longer arms, in green, no way could I resist that! They also had bra/bustier things, in a black leather look, reduced to the same silly price. Yes, I got one of them too, though I have no idea when I might wear it? Ah well…

The video, well, its a band from Manchester, one of my favourite videos of all time. Yes, I know the song is about drugs, something I’ve never taken, nor am I likely to, as I really cant see the point. But the video, its truly something special, though I do wonder if it was dreamt up by someone influenced by drugs!

Reviewing the situation

Well, they think its all over, the holiday pretty much is now! Back to work tomorrow morning and all that, hopefully the trains are running better than the week before this, not that it would be hard for them to do so lol!

Its been a good week, the batteries definitely feel a lot more charged, due to a number of decent nights of sleep in a row. How long that good feeling lasts now is another matter entirely though. Starting with tomorrow morning, but ah well…

Its funny, I’d already been ‘convinced’ that I should wear a dress to the works Christmas Dinner, I just wasnt sure I had anything that fitted the bill, but apparently I did. Though funnily enough, none of them will be worn on the night. Well alright, one of them will be taken with me, just because “the dress” is a size 12, and though I got into it once, I want cover, just in case. But given allĀ my accessories are now gold coloured, fingers are crossed lol! Well, apart from shoes at least, but apart from that…cant see that happening now unless I find a pair by sheer luck. The main question now is to bob, or not bob my hair, not sure on that, but it wont be too short if I do, dont want to look “too much” like a boy, do I? šŸ˜‰ The helmetĀ fringe needs more of a miracle, than a decision all the same lol!

Christmas shopping, as far as I know, all I have to get, is got. Well, unless we do a ‘secret santa’ at work, and I get talked into it. I usually do, if we have one, so…I might have one small one to get yet!

The biggest bonus of the week was trying the Aqua Massager in Manchester. Even now, nearly a week on, my back seems great, and my knees are much better too, really amazed just how effective that has proved, with just a 10 minute session. Alright, I also had a normal massage the next day, but even so…

Which leads us to yesterday. A birthday in the house, a visit to the theatre, and I wore a skirt and heels in public, and the world survived lol! Yes, it was a long skirt, and the heels were of a wedge variety, but…it went well. No, I wont be wearing one to work tomorrow, back to trousers, especially in this weather! Oh, and flats, or boots, for sure too!

Next week, I get to wear a dress in front of workmates, that should be something, especially the ones from departments who dont normally see me much! Cant deny it though, the idea has got to me, it should be fun…I hope!

Oh, the musical I went to see. Well those who know these things may have got a hint from the blog title. For those who dont, it was Oliver, with Neil Morrisey as Fagan. And yes, there was 1 Bob the Builder reference slipped in lol! The video though, is the finale of the film version,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BGWJ8s82Y&feature=related

Gold!

Well, in case anyone was wondering, the shopping trip to Manchester was fruitful, in more senses than one. As Meatloaf would have said, two out of three aint bad when it came to present buying, the third, I need to keep looking lol, and hope for inspiration. If not, nothing original I suspect! No, I’m not saying what, they might read this!

Oh, and the Aqua Massager thing comes highly recommended, its been a long time since my back has been as totally pain free as it is at present, and thats after just 10 minutes. Even the knees, and shoulder were aided as well, just a shame there isnt one of these more local. Mind, I should be fine for a few days anyway, had a more standard massage as well today, the body doesnt know whats hit it, I suspect!

No, I didnt find one of those fabulous flouncy ballgowns over Manchester, not that I was terribly surprised by that, but anyway…What I did find was the most perfect flapper dress in TK Maxx in the Arndale Centre, but I didnt get it. Two reasons, the main one it never went further than just off the rail, thats the price, it was Ā£99! Probably good value for what it was, but for a one off for me, nope! Also it was a size below mine, so I probably wouldnt have fitted into it anyway. But before we say too much about sizing… I had spotted a lovely gold dress in River Island, distinctly 20’s style, but not in a 14 (UK, for foreign readers), only 12, or 16. Ā£45 full price, so not really in my priceĀ range for a one off itemĀ anyway. But, there was a 12 there, half price because the gold waistband was twisted (I wouldnt have known if they hadnt told me), but me get into a 12, especially one with a waistband, couldnt see it. But yes, I went and tried it on, and it fitted, just about. Now I knew I’d lost a bit of weight, but… šŸ™‚

And yes, readers, I bought it. Alright, because the bottom half is a bit transparent, I’ve had to buy a cheap pair of gold leggings, but…still a good deal. So now it looks like Stevie Lou, the flapper will be going to the Christmas Dinner. Hey, I even got my toenails painted today to match, though as I will be wearing shoes on the big day, most wont know lol! Now I’m pondering bobbing my hair, but not too short a look, dont want to look too much like a guy, do I lol? Shame I cant do theĀ BrooksieĀ helmet style fringe, that I’d love, but…my hair has its limitations. Someone did suggest a cloche hat, but you can hardly wear that at the dinner table, can you? And I will stay blonde too, think I might be in trouble if I dont somehow lol! I might look out for a hat anyway, just in case. šŸ˜‰ Unless someone has one laying around I can borrow for the night?

And so, after the good news, the music video. The dress colour, and the title to this piece might be a giveaway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntG50eXbBtc

Holiday, celebrate

Yes, I know what video you’re thinking is coming, and you’re wrong lol! šŸ˜› No, the title is purely because I’m officially on holiday for a week from now. Well, strictly I was off today too, but according to the records, that was just a day off for the week. But now… šŸ™‚

No, I’m not doing anything special, well not unless you count Christmas shopping as something special? Is it really that time of year again already? Yes, I know it is, works dinner has already been mentioned, but where has the year gone? Some might think that when you havent got many presents to buy, that Christmas shopping would be easy? Wrong, it might be if people knew what they wanted, or were easy to buy for, but…you get my drift lol!

As usual, Manchester is my choice of destination for doing my shopping, principally because one target is a shop selling railway videos, and there is an excellent one there, near to Piccadilly station. Should be more fun tomorrow, I can see if all the fuss about Stalybridge station lives up to hype. Sadly I dont know of a bargain ‘posh frocks’ shop there, but I might look for one, just in case. Have actually found some potential dresses in my wardrobe (one I didnt even know I had, pink!), so its at least partly solved, though certainly none are those with the big flowing skirt types, that some seem to want me to wear, the sort of Cinderella look, I guess? There are some nice ones on Ebay, but delivery from China, and delivery dates are either close to, or after the dinner date, so cant go down that road.

Yes, I will do some window shopping for myself too, though beyond said dress (and thats not a serious hunt now), I dont have any major needs in clothing at present. TheĀ only other way I will get something is if I see the perfect 20’s style dress, at a sensible price.Ā If that Aqua Massager thing is working, I will probably give it a try, even if I am booked in for a standard massage on Tuesday, I’m just a sucker for new ideas.

I will do other trips out during the week, just not sure what at present. Well, I know one on Friday, got a briefing at work, even if on holiday. Hey, I’m getting paid for it (and travel time), so I’ll survive lol! I’d hoped that Northern Rail might have started their special offer price for journeys on the scenic Settle & Carlisle line, but…they are, the week after my holiday lol! So yes, if anyone has some good ideas, or wants to treat me to a coffee, or more… No, not expecting lol!

Ah, the video. An oldie, and you could say, something I’ll be doing tomorrow, though travelling with Trans Pennine is rarely a sentimental experience. And yes, that is a clue!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAaSdvTdkYg

Looking good, feeling good

I cant believe its been 4 days since I wrote anything here, apologies to all those twiddling their thumbs in the interim, if any have been lol! Had a slight delay with the trains on Monday going to Manchester, but not that much! Also the back is a lot better after a good massage yesterday, I’m pleased to say.

One other thingĀ I was shopping for on Monday was a nice topĀ for the works christmas dinner, 2 weeks tomorrow, if I’ve got the date right? Black and pink the suggested colour scheme this year, fineĀ for us ladies, but I’m not so sure what some of the men will make of it lol! No, I wont be wearing a pink dress, I’m not that much of a rebel that I want to cause a fuss with some, especially if some of the ‘big bosses’ might be there. Some might say I’m too moderate, but anyway…found a nice pink top over there, which will show off my curvesĀ (for what they are worth!), and willĀ wear that with my black ladiesĀ suit, and leave it at that. But agreed, the top is definitely femme, so not overly moderate about who I am, all the same. I’m not a wildĀ social animal anyway, so will disappear shortly after the meal back to the hotel where I will stay for the night. No, its not because I will be dressed very ‘en femme’ that I wont travel home afterwards, its just more hassle than its worth as public transport will be less than wonderful by that time of night. Theres a nice budget hotel just around the corner where I will be staying, suits me all round as I can get changed easily that way too. And yes, flat shoes, not high heels lol!

I’d love to do make up for the night, but I do it so rarely that I’m probably better off not bothering, especially given my ‘pass rate’ nowadays, its probably not all that needed,Ā but might be fun all the same. So, if anyone in Leeds wants to help on the 8th December…No, wont hold my breath lol!

The other thing that annoys me is my hair. In a sense I’m lucky, I’ve still got a reasonable head of hair, if not perfect, at least I’ve got enough to look decent, if it is a bit thin. Sadly I cant convince the front to get long enough for a Louise Brooks type bob, nor has it really got the thickness for it either.

One thing I’ve contemplated is hair extensions. Not because I want to look like Rapunzel, with hair flowing down my back, but because with a bit more volume on top, I could do more with it style wise. Yes, alright, if I could get it done so I could style it into said bob…

Anyway, decided to be a little devil, what with the company dinner, and us here going out for Christmas day dinner too, and asked someone at work who does it, if she thinks it could be done for me, in such a way as to give me more depth, and she reckons it can be done, so I plan to give it a try. I cant honestly see me doing it for anything other than special occasions, even at her price, compared to the ridiculous sums charged at hairdressers, its not that cheap! But as they say, Christmas comes but once a year, and I dont do much socialising at other times of the year, so….might get eyelashes added too, but dont quote me on that one yet, so watch this space!

Staying blonde, though with ash blonde highlights. You never know, you might get a photo at some point, if I can get one done!

Right, the video. One or two might even spot an irony here, I once wrote a story by this name in a December writing contest on a forum, at least loosely based around the song. You can have the link for the video, not the story though lol! This comes from the good old days when proper Christmas records were released at this time of year, some absolute classics from the 70’s are still out there. The artist, you might have heard of him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fjik78LapA

At this time of year…

thoughts might turn towards what should be a religious festival in just over a months time, but I suspect that for many, the more immediate priority is buying all those Christmas presents for various people! I do hope that on the big day, thoughts do turn to the more important anniversary celebrated on the 25th December, even as if history seems to suggest, its highly unlikely Jesus Christ was actually born on that day, and equally certainly not in the year 1, either BC, or AD lol!

Why now, simple, I’m on holiday next week, and thats when I plan to do the little bit of Christmas shopping that I need to do. No, I’m not saying what I will be buying as I know at least one recipient who reads this, and there may be more!

The habit I’ve got into, is to go over to Manchester and do my shopping. Why, well there is one person who its easer to buy for from there, though I suspect a trip to York could probably yield the same product. The rest is so generic that I could almost buy it anywhere. So why Manchester?

Part of its convenience, the city centre is nicely set out, theres a good shopping centre there, and its not too far to either railway station, a critical ingredient for me. Also, its partly the fact that its a trip in a different direction to the one I make each day to work lol! And alright, it gives me a chance to go shopping on my own, and just stroll round, even if I dont actually tend to buy much in the end!

Thankfully for me at least, Christmas shopping isnt a major challenge. No family, just a few special friends to buy for, so its not that painful an experience. Of course, it does mean I dont get many presents either, but that I can happily live with, not a big one for fuss in the first place. Thats not to say that if anyone reading this wants to request a present list that I wont send you one lol! Just tell me the budget, I’m sure I can suggest something lol! So if the wealthy owner of a football team is reading this (rolls over laughing at the thought!), I can think of something more in your bracket as well! šŸ˜‰ But no, I wont be holding my breath for offers lol!

Given this is a posting about Christmas, I’ll haul out a Christmas video (or two, my gift to you), but given that its still (just about) Armistice week, I’ll make them ones that relate to both. Both come from that glorious era when we had proper Christmas records.

The first is by an artist some might not know, especially non UK readers, and I know I have some. Jona Lewie didnt have many hits, either as this persona, or his previous one, Terry Dactyl. But this super song, with suitably cynical lyrics given this time just seems so apt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNEi3qA6me4

The other artist, I hope everyone knows, an absolute pop legend! This song reflects on one of those events that was supposed to have happened on Christmas Day 1914, I have no verification as to the absolute truth, but anyway…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVK_mJrLbmY&feature=fvwp&NR=1

PS, these certainly wont be the last Christmas music videos over the next month or so!