Feast Your Mince Pies on this…

Tis is the season and all that.

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Thought I’d end the year with a festive title at least, even if the content isn’t necessarily Christmassy. Bear with caller…

So, I recently went for some ‘spiritual healing’ and without going too deeply into it, I felt ‘blocked’. Emotionally, physically. And no, I didn’t just need a big poo and a cry. (I had already tried that.)

 

 

 

I had never been to a healer, so had no level of expectation, but after just one session, I knew I would be back. I got so much out of it – lots of questions answered, chakras aligned (they were a mess and I don’t ‘do’ untidy) plus an incredible feeling of lightness, more than any massage could give.

We discussed the different findings of my session, one of them being something that the healer couldn’t put her finger on (pardon the pun) with regards to my eyes. I said that it may have been my ‘lens implants’, as when I was 16 and had cataract surgery. I wrote about it once before. (There’s a marvellous dessert recipe featuring waffles, white chocolate and raspberries.)

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Just to entice you to click

The other explanation was that I had been procrastinating about having an eye test. And I really had. Was my vision worsening or was I just going to bed far too late each night and spending too much time on my phone/computer/current book?

I left the session and immediately booked an appointment with my optician for the following day.

Because I am really cautious about my eyes, there is only one person for the job – an independent optician called ‘Ben Mirkin’ in Brent Cross where I see ‘Rod’.

I had brought my glasses with, giving them a thorough clean before heading in. (Same as when I brush my teeth for about five minutes, swilling mouthwash and then some rigorous gum-bleeding-inducing flossing right before seeing the hygienist. The shame of it.)

From my many visits over the years dealing with my ‘mince pies’ (come on, cockney rhyming for eyes!), I should be well used to the opticians by now, but I think I’d rather have a filling at the dentist. Okay, a bit dramatic, but I really don’t like going.

First off,  the ‘chair of doom’. I hate that high chair.

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*shudders*

It reminds me of the bit in Superman 3,  with the Vera, the highly strung sister. I just feel trapped and suffocated behind all that machinery put in front of me.

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Sis…?

I can’t deal with all the questions. My brain goes into overload and I need more time than the allocated appointment slot to decide whether ‘red or green’ is clearer.

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It’s bad enough with the letters…

Then they bring out the crop circles…

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All I see in my head is the snake from ‘The Jungle Book’.

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“…Trussssst in meeeeee…”

The only bit I don’t mind, is reading the letters out line by line.

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Past that, it’s all downhill. When they start shifting dials and adjusting the machinery – ‘better like this? or like this?’

I can’t cope.

I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!!!

Can you just do it again once more?

The bit where they make you wear those weird lenseless specs where they slot in the lenses that you’ve just agreed to as your ‘perfect vision’? Then they come at you with the swivelling lollipop stick and do alot more ‘one?.. or two?’

If I think about it though, all that stuff is the easy part.

It’s what comes next…

The bit they get you with right at the end…

With the ‘Tenometer’.

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I said ‘tenometer’, but he’s definitely had it done and even he’s scared shitless

This thing…

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The ‘puffy air’ machine

This machine has the capacity to render me useless for about 20 attempts. Per eye.

“Tonometry is the procedure eye care professionals perform to determine the intraocular pressure (IOP), the fluid pressure inside the eye. It is an important test in the evaluation of patients at risk from glaucoma. Most tonometers are calibrated to measure pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).”

Translation: “I shall now puff air right onto your eyeball.”

I believe this to be the worst form of torture known to mankind.

I do not like it one bit.

I would actually rather eat a mince pie.

But would prefer one of these:

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Krispmas Puddings

I made them a couple of years ago for the school Christmas fair and blogged about here.

Am reposting the recipe, because, you know, it’s Christmas, and you might not click the link.

Rice Krispmas Puds

Ingredients:

100g Rice Krispies

5 or 6 full-size Mars bars

3oz unsalted butter

Red, green and white ready-to-roll icing

Method:

Chop the Mars bars up and melt with the butter in a microwave for 3-4 mins on medium.

Stir melted Mars bars into bowl of Rice Krispies and mix.

Roll into golf-sized balls. Add a Malteaser in the middle of a few of them (yassssssss!) – finders wins prizes! (Ensure you actually have prizes.)

Top with a white circle of icing (snow), red balls (berries) and green sprigs (holly).

Happy holidays everyone. xxx

p.s. Thanks for all the blog love this year. It means loads to me because I love writing – it makes me happy. And if it makes someone smile, then that’s a bonus.

p.p.s. I actually detest mince pies. I don’t know if it’s the chopped fruit or the Christmassy spices, or the fact that for years I thought it was a actual beef mince meat inside. Either way, not for me.

p.p.p.s. Eyes are all good. Perfect in fact, as no change from last eye test.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes….

I would’ve liked to have called this post ‘Changing Rooms‘, but was worried you’d be hoping for home improvement tips from Handy Andy and Lawrence Lleweyn Bowen.

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Fixing and florals

I’m talking actual changing rooms, in a shop. For the most part, I try to do everything online as I just find it more efficient (and I’m all about efficiency), but from time to time I like to have a ‘shmy‘. Shmy is a wonderful word of yiddish origin (I think), which essentially means ‘to browse, have a looksie, without necessarily having something in mind that you’re looking to buy.’

I’m sure there have been a hundred blog posts about these horrific confined spaces that we voluntarily enter into, but here’s my observational two bobs worth…

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1. The Gathering

Once I’ve lacerated both arms and almost cut off my circulation from holding existing shopping bags, my handbag and potential purchases, I finally make it to the changing room.

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Serious arm damage

I long for the service you get in the States: “Hey, would you like me to go on and start a fitting room for you?” (Yes please, I just may need a reminder of where it is.)

 

2. How Many is Too Many?

Some shops’ changing rooms have a five items or less policy, some take you up to ten. I like the ones where they are completely unmanned and you just stroll right in armed with the entire store’s ‘nueva colección’. Basically stuff you like, stuff you know won’t suit you but someone was wandering around holding it and stuff you want to try because your favourite blogger said it was ‘the’ seasonal piece and it’s sold out everywhere.

The issue with the number tags they allocate against your item is when you start swapping stuff in and out. So, unless Carol Vorderman is manning the changing room, you’re leaving there holding six items, giving back a tag for ten items and there are three excess hangers on the floor, that may or may not have been there previously. (Either way, you’re made to feel like a shoplifter.)

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Scene of the crime

3. Curtain or door?

I must admit I like a door, preferably with a lock. Curtains don’t tend to close all the way and it plays havoc with my OCD, whilst I faff about trying to get it central enough to hide my modesty.

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The one on the right’s killing me

I also like to be positioned near enough to the rail of swap-in potentials. This means you have the ability to do the ‘peek-round-in-your-undies-with-the-curtain-wrapped-round-you’, politely asking staff if they’ll pass you the red top with the frilled sleeves. (And no, you’re not keeping the frayed hem jeans.)

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“Have you got this in a size 10?”

4. Added Extras

A stool, or even better, a chair is a nice touch. A shelf is always useful too. Big fan of the buzzer to alert staff that you need another size or just to ask their opinion without having to do the head poke.

A mirror is a given – preferably a flattering one. And shame on you Selfridges – some of your departments have changing rooms WITHOUT A MIRROR!! I don’t to share a mirror with a Russian model.

Plus, stepping outside is always a risk, especially when you need a particular item in a different size and the person right next to you has the only one left on the shop floor/in the entire country. *prays they abandon it upon exit*

Hooks, double hooks, rails… chuck it all in. The more hanging space the better.

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New Look hook situ, if you’re interested.

5. Order! Order!

The likelihood is, you’re shmying in your active wear and wearing the most unflattering sports bra. (And that’s just the men.) So, if you’ve got a variety of things to try on, strip off and do it properly – the floaty Vitakin dress is never going to look right with gym leggings and a battered pair of Asics poking out the bottom of it.

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Strong look

7. What’s That You Say?

You hear all sorts when you’re in a changing room:

…Crying baby and nappy definitely being changed (yuk) – Primark 

…Click of iPhone camera. Someone definitely taking multiple shots of themselves in different outfits and sending to a friend. I know this for sure as I heard them follow up with a phone call to said friend, demanding an immediate opinion – Topshop

…Teens discussing whether to get the black vest top for £2.99 one or the white one – New Look

…People taking calls and pretending they are at work/just not shopping in general – Zara (for the record I hate their changing rooms – they’re so tiny that your nose is almost against the mirror, so you’ve little choice but to swoosh back the curtain for a proper look in the big mirrors outside.

“I”m busy, Doll. Will call you back in a minute, I just need to finish something.” Me, today, Brent Cross, Fenwick changing room, on phone to husband dearest, taking photos of myself, Whatsapping to stylist friend. Standing, sitting and jumping up and inspecting from every angle. And if I like the item, I will of course take a ‘fresh one’ from the shop floor.

Oh come on, you know you do it too…