Lights and knives

As well as wrapping paper, we went to have a look at lights and knives.  Now, I can see the appeal of a nice light – it makes your room look better (and sometimes bigger).  The problem is that I rather hate shopping in person – and you do need to see lights in person, otherwise it becomes a bit of a farce.

We didn't buy this
We didn’t buy this

The reason we were also looking at knives is that we’ve lost one of our sharp kitchen knives in the IoW.  I have looked and looked but can’t find it.  It’s a bit of a bugger because it was made by AGA (and was a real bargain because they discontinued their knife range so sold it half price).  You know when a knife is just about the right size for your hand, not so fancy that you’re afraid to use it nor so cheap that it isn’t useful?  That was this one.

We also ended up going to look at knives in Selfridge’s, which is a shop I hate.  There’s something about it that makes me incredibly angry and impatient.  Perhaps it’s the lighting.  Plus, the doors kept giving me static shocks.  Although my husband helpfully pointed out that it was almost certainly me who was generating static, rather than the shop.  This improved my mood no end.

It isn’t even half term yet…

… and John Lewis have opened their Christmas section.  I went in there yesterday to buy some wrapping paper (I buy the plain, shiny paper and use it year round) and it was strange.  My husband found it particularly unpleasant but at least it wasn’t rammed with people – it will be in a month’s time.

Yep, this can be used for birthday presents
Yep, this can be used for birthday presents
Christmas?  It's still very warm
Christmas? It’s still very warm

Pyjamas etc for the children – and a couple of things for me

Ages ago, I ordered a few things from Boden for the children (and for me) for Autumn.  Anyway, they’ve just arrived.

Planck and velour dress for the girl - for when it gets colder
Planck and velour dress for the girl – for when it gets colder
Tunic for me - I loved this out the packet but it made me look like a pig going to market on - it's going back
Tunic for me – I loved this out the packet but it made me look like a pig going to market on – it’s going back
Dress - this looked TERRIBLE out the packet but looked terrific on. I'm keeping this
Dress – this looked TERRIBLE out the packet but looked terrific on. I’m keeping this

I also bought some pyjamas for the children from John Lewis.  They have quite a few pairs of pyjamas but will need some long sleeved ones when it gets colder.  I bought them big (age 7 for the boy, age 3 for the girl) so they should last a while.

Space pyjamas for the boy
Space pyjamas for the boy
Rabbit pyjamas for the girl
Rabbit pyjamas for the girl

John Lewis had a sale

As this happened before the referendum, it was not related to Brexit – merely a summer sale before they bring in all their Autumn stock.  It’s a funny thing about shops in the UK (or perhaps everywhere).  When it is roasting, all you can buy in the shops is sweaters and ski jackets.  When it is a chilly March day, you can buy bikinis and kaftans.

Anyway, I had some vouchers so I bought some things in the sale for the children.

Summer dress for my daughter - I bought this in age 3-4 so she can get some wear out of it next year
Summer dress for my daughter – I bought this in age 3-4 so she can get some wear out of it next year
Autumn T shirt for my son
Autumn T shirt for my son
Rugby shirt
Rugby shirt

The children’s clothes in John Lewis tend to be fairly gender specific but still nice. The boys’ stuff all looked quite small – I bought these in age 7 for my son (who is 5 this Autumn).

Go and do some shopping – boost the UK economy.

Manky jewellery

I have a new toy – a machine for cleaning jewellery (can also clean CDs, glasses etc).  Now, I do clean my jewellery – with some stuff in a pot from John Lewis – but it is rather a fiddle and I’m never convinced that I’ve managed to get into all the cracks all that well.

My watch and jewellery
My watch and jewellery

As far as I can tell, this creates vibrations in the water which get the dirt off.  It runs for 180 seconds (default) but you can do it for longer or shorter if you want.  My son LOVES it; when it is running, he stands on a chair to stare at it and every now and then lifts the lid to have a nose.

Afterwards, everything looked super – properly sparkly (although it wasn’t all that dirty in the first place).  The water looked clear enough although I could see a few flakes of skin (gross, sorry).

Here it is
Here it is

I had a go with my glasses but didn’t let it run for so long – I really, really need my glasses and if they got buggered up, I don’t know how I would get by (by wearing my other pair, I suppose).  The results weren’t so good – next time I’ll let it do its thing for the set time and I’ll put in a dap of washing up liquid (as it says to for glasses).

My sister-in-law (author of Succumb to the Crumb) came round and had a go with her jewellery as well.

Some caution is needed – you can’t use this for pearls or emeralds (as they are porous).  However, you CAN use it for silver, I think.  I’ll go through my jewellery box and have a go at cleaning a few things, I’m sure most of it is filthy.

John Lewis at Christmas

So after meeting A, I went to John Lewis.  This is really my default shop for anything I need to be nice quality – like furniture and wrapping paper.  They have a high budget Christmas advert, which I haven’t watched yet as, since Downton Abbey has finished, I don’t really watch ITV.

Meet my friend John Lewis
Meet my friend John Lewis

The thing you need to know about John Lewis is that it is boiling inside.  I ended up putting my coat inside my shopping basket.  It is also completely rammed just before Christmas.

Christmas department
Christmas department

So far I have bought each of my children two presents, plus Father Christmas has some things to put in their stockings.  Speaking of stockings, my husband has looked and looked and couldn’t find them.  So I bought a couple more, just in case they don’t turn up before Christmas Eve.

Stockings!
Stockings!

The trick with choosing stockings for two children is that they mustn’t be exactly the same but they do have to be the same size and equally as nice.

I do like the staff in John Lewis – they always make the effort to be helpful, even when the shop is really busy.

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

I ended up with four bags which made the bus home rather hard work.  I’ll live, I’m lucky to be able to buy my children presents at Christmas.