Friday 6 April 2012

Dotty old woman goes shopping

I have been in and out of clothes shops today and caught sight of myself in one or two mirrors, my goodness what a frump I look. My usual casual attire makes me look like a scruffy old tramp, as most of what I wear is second hand. I tend to dress for comfort and that means clothes which keep me warm. As these are mainly dark colours, I could easily be mistaken for a navvy off a building site, without the flourescent vest, ha ha.  
I am in desperate need of a haircut as well which doesn't help, so I popped into a hairdressers shop which I have used before. I begrudge paying more than a fiver, but my hair is looking a bit shaggy due to me chopping at it with a pair of dressmaking scissors. The young girls working there looked as if they have just come out of school, I tried to describe how I wanted it cutting. They looked at me in bewilderment when I said I wanted the sides cut to the bottom of my ears, and some length leaving in the neck, and layers put in to get rid of the afghan hound look. It was suggested a bob style would be nice, as it wouldn't look right with the sides and back two different lengths. I said no, I wanted it shorter on top. I was given some books to peruse to choose a style. Something told me this was not going to work, so I made my excuses and left. I went in Savers and bought a colour for it instead, I will lighten it a shade, that will perk it up. 
I really would prefer not to see myself when I am out, it just reminds me that I look older than I feel. In my head I am still twenty something, but in truth I am becoming a dotty old woman. Mind you, a lot of the younger generation expect you to be a bit doolally, so it's ok to have a bit of banter with them. I find myself talking to complete strangers sometimes. Today I spoke to two women when I was in Primark, and asked them if stick insects shopped in the store, because some of the leggins were very skinny. They looked at me in a sad sympathetic way and hurried off. I was in the queue for the tills, and waited for my turn. I couldn't make out what the voice over the tannoy was saying, then the young lad from the other end shouted, 'can you come down please'. They don't think of people wearing hearing aids when they record the announcements for those things. I can't hear it with all the background noise going on.
Anyway, what was I doing in clothes shops. I should say that my priority is to search the charity shops first. If I can't find what I want then I will go to a normal shop, and look for a reduction in a sale. I wanted a pair of shorts, some loose fitting leggins, a pair of ultra lightweight sandals, and a pair of cottony shell type black jog bottoms. What I did get is this pretty bag from the Hospice shop for £1. Seems daft to buy one when I know I can make a bag for virtually nothing, but this really caught my eye. As well as using it I can copy the design and make some more.  
I got a pair of grey shorts for £2, almost new. My waist is 29 but I can sew some darts into it and wear a belt with it. The Hospice shop is the best one in town. They keep their prices reasonable and are always busy, and they have some good stuff in there, no tat.  
Now this is a bit strange. I bought the jog bottoms from Sports Direct and it says size 8 on the label. I am usually a size 10 or 12. Anyway they fit perfect so a good buy. I had a chuckle when the girl on the till asked if I wanted to buy a bag for life, only 75p. I said no thanks, and proudly showed her my two bags which I made for nothing, and they will outlive me, ha ha.
Then I looked in Primark for the loose fitting leggins, I want to wear them underneath the jog bottoms as an extra layer. I held up all the sizes and they looked ever so small. I know I am a bit on the thin side but I am not a stick insect. This is ridiculous, I ended up buying a size 18, eeeek, and they fit, so work that out, crazy.  
I love these fluffy socks, reduced to £1. Just the job for walking, roll them up when cold, and down when warm, and nice and soft on the feet.
I called in at Skippingdale Shopping Centre on the way home, I was looking for some new cat litter trays, as mine are getting a bit past their best now. They are stained on the bottom even though I scrub them out regularly. They were too expensive in The Range, and there was only one in Poundstretcher, and I want four. So I gave up. While I was there I popped into Poundland, and guess what I found? The same cat litter which was £1.29 a few weeks ago in Home Bargains, but then they ran out. Here it was £1 for a 10kg bag, Amazing. They didn't have any trolleys so I had to borrow one from Iceland to transfer the ten bags back to my car. I'm pleased, that was a good saving, the young lady assistant said I bought all they had. Shame, I would have got more if they had some. 

Anyway, I've been rambling on long enough, I'm falling asleep. I'm not going anywhere over Easter, would rather stop at home on bank holidays, too much traffic on the roads. I hope you all have a nice Easter. Hello to my new fan, Leslie from New Orleans, thank you for your email, and welcome. Toodle pip.


  1. Happy Easter to you too Ilona
    Jille xx

  2. waist 29"? I have not had a waist of 29" since I was 12 years old! :-O

  3. Great post today - shows all the problems lots of us have when shopping on the cheap lol

  4. Who figures out clothes sizes? You have to try stuff on as they are all different, I think it's a ploy to keep people in stores longer instead of being able to grab your size, pay for them and get on with life.
    Jane x

  5. The size thing drives me crazy too. I prefer thrift shopping for that reason - I just look at the item rather than the size to figure out if I can wear it then go try it on. I think twenty year olds think anyone who is older than they are are dotty (I am 43 - very dotty)

  6. You had to go all the way to Iceland to get a shopping cart? That would be like me going all the way to Mexico. Please explain! Thanks for all the wonderful posts, Ilona. I learn so much and get a kick out of it too. I also hate seeing myself in shop windows. It scares me to death!

  7. Ilona,
    When I had 29" waist, shortly after birth of third child, I did not wear an 18. There is no rhyme or reason to sizing. However, cheap stuff means I have to hae a larger size and expensive clothing means I can wear a smaller size. Wash and dry hard the shorts before putting in darts.

    We have all seen you next to naked and I cannot imagine you wearing and 18.
    The "Iceland" remark messed with my

    I am apparently dotty, too. It is so annoying. When I was young, I talked to strangers! What did you say about hearing aids? You wear them? Need them? I could not hear what you

    That sinking feeling with the new hairdresser? I know the feeling. But, you really don't want them to give you the haircut you said. It's a mullet. People will talk for sure. Just have it layered all over, even at the front. Your hair looks like it would handle that well and look great. Go to an older hairdresser, and please don't get a mullet.

    While I hate to look dowdy and rundown in public, I hate investing in clothing.

    Oh, try not to be considered dotty, when you are limping and riding electric carts in stores!

  8. Ilona, you are gorgeous so don't worry. Besides, nobody looks good in the mirror with shop flourescent light glaring down on them!

  9. first of all MQ - you are in no way 'dotty' - you are a real person in an unreal world !
    hairdressers - oh my - I think they all have some sort of hearing impedement, when you say 'just a trim please' what they hear is ' chop off great chunks please' !
    I haven't used a hairdresser for years because of tht, they just 'can't do what you ask so forget it. I have extra long hair 'waist length' that I wear scooped up on top, and trim the fringe myself, my 'birdsnest' hair is my trademark and no one would recognise me if I had a modern style. (and I don't care either, it's clean, that's all that matters)
    So what does the inside of a 'normal' shop look like these days ?
    I never use them, why don't you try boot sales for the things you can't pick up at charity shops, I get some great bargains.
    Having said that, I 'lurve' those socks, surely they will save on electricity too ? you won't need any lights on, they will light your way as you walk !
    Don't change MQ - it's the rest of the world that's crazy - not you !


  10. Ha ha, sorry to confuse you with Iceland, no it's not the place, but a frozen food store. It was three stores down from Poundland, so I sneakily pinched a trolley while they weren't looking. I had to take it back though, to release my £1 coin from the lock.

    Hi Wean, I sometimes visit a car boot sale at the football ground about five miles away, if I can be bothered to get up at 6am on a Sunday morning. Why do they have to start so early. I only go if the weather is nice though, not so much a fanatic as some people, more a leisure browser. If there are things I need it would take several visits before I found what I wanted, ok if I didn't need them quickly. I am looking for a whistling kettle for the gas stove at the moment, and have priced them up from about £6 to £20. Too expensive.

  11. Hi Ilona,

    Primark sizes are bonkers aren't they. I'm a size 10 but my primarni PJ's are 16, jeans 14 and and shirts 14-16 (they make shirts like women don't have busts). Good find on the socks. I bought some thick boot socks from there years ago and they are still good to go. The thin ones I bought didn't last long though, they weren't worth the money. Love your spotty heart bag, that will certainly perk up a dark outfit.

    Good for you for walking out of the hairdressers when they weren't going to give you what you asked for. I wish I had had that confidence 3 years ago when my hair was cut really too short because I was told I was too old to have it below my shoulders (grrrr) I now know I'm not TOO anything for anything. I'll do it myself. How did the colour go? Debs x

  12. If you can find someone to take your photo just after you next get your hair cut the way you really want it, you can take the photos into the hairdressers and they have something to go by, they cant say it wont suit either because you are the 'model'(although some trainees are not very tactful LOL).
    OH does his with clippers and was astonished to see £9 for a mans haircut in town.
    I told him I remember paying that much in the 1980's. I dread to think what a ladies haircut and blow-dry is now.

  13. Funny, I cut my hair with my dressmaking scissors too! I haven't been to a hairdresser for 2 years now. I lighten my hair myself too. Got a great compliment the other day after a bout with the scissors; the daughter of a friend wanted to know if I'd had my hair done!! After admitting who my hairdresser was my friend then wanted me to cut her hair too!

    Don't go by Primark sizes, those cheap stores always have their clothes cut without any wriggle room. They are never 'true' sizes.

    We're staying put at Easter too, living on the south coast the traffic and crowds are pretty horrendous here as well.

    Happy Easter to you Ilona and all your followers here

    Linda xx

  14. I use a wonderful hairdresser who actually works in the barber section of our local salon I always go when there are no men in. i have dead straight hair and like it short (no washing blowdrying for me, i only live within walking distance so go home and wash it myself) 9 pounds for a cut. Hubby gets his done for a fiver due to being 60.
    Midlands Annie

  15. Hi Ilona

    I bought Twiglet some 6 - 7 year old jogging bottoms from SportsDirect and he is a tall boy, but they are huge!! will save them for a couple of years I think.
    Have a nice peaceful Easter weekend.
    Twiggy x

  16. A local barber does my hair, old guy must be at or past retirement age, dunno how many decades ago he set up, but still with the original imitation leather seats, one chair, mirror, oilcloth on the floor with a path worn round the chair, and probably the his clippers. You get the feeling the shop hasn't changed in at least 40 years, possily longer.
    Never speeds up or slows down, a standard cut (he only does two, short back & sides on all-over crop, takes about 2 minutes.
    Costs £4.

    Clothes sizes, I bought a pack of 2 shirts from George at Asda, size 17, one wouldn't fasten, the other went round me twice. So why don't I trust sizes?

  17. Ilona - try the North Lindsey College for a haircut - go for a Year 3 student as they are most experienced/qualified. If you can, call in and pick up a price list as a guide - I had a restyle, full head colour with top quality, branded colour and blowdry for £10 at Christmas :)

  18. "How much is it for a haircut?" I asked the barber.

    "Ten pounds." he said.

    "Blimey!" say I, "How much is a shave?"

    "Five pounds." he said.

    "OK then," I said, "Shave my head."

  19. Practically all of my clothes are from charity shops or ebay as I like to look a little unconventional. I find that if I ever buy leggings I need to buy a much larger size as they are Lycra and I hate them to feel too tight around the waist. I can see why you chose a size 18 but I think they would be a little large and 16 would give you that extra feeling of room. There is no shape in leggings so they pull and then wear out. I saw a pretty girl crossing the road in front of me, then walked in front. She had black leggings with a top not long enough to cover her bottom. She was quite a big girl and I am sure she didn't look at herself from behind. Shame, as she had a lovely face.

    Haircuts! Hmm, I used to cut the ends of my long hair myself then found a lovely young lady in the market who cuts it for £7.00 I can cope with that about 3 times a year. She only cuts off what I ask but will say if she thinks some of the ends need a little more, which isn't often.

  20. I reaaaaally need a hair cut. I haven't had one for about a year now and I'm looking a bit scruffy too! Last time I made my housemate cut my hair (she had no experience but did really well, haha!). I've been trying to get Mum to cut my hair but she's reluctant. Getting to the point where I will have to pay for one. :(

    I agree that the haircut you described sounds like a mullet. Maybe that's why the girls were a bit dubious! I think it looks nice in your profile photo, why not get it cut like that again? Take the photo to show them how you want it!


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