Saturday, August 01, 2009

Socks, Beer, Sales


Today I accidentally went to the Ballantynes sale and was scared out of my wits. Kate and I were wandering around town - I was helping her look for a new pair of boots, what a good sister I am - and we went into Ballantynes in the hopes that they'd have something cheap. This was unlikely because Ballantynes is a large, rather posh department store and usually everything costs enough to make you laugh hysterically and leave. But if I ever need a $200 ceramic elephant, or a crockpot made of solid gold, then I will know where to go.

Anyway, we went up the escalator to the shoe section, and were confronted with a heaving mass of middle-aged, upper-class women snorting and shoving and elbowing, and small children in danger of being trampled underfoot in the stampede. The entire second floor was full of sale merchandise, and it turns out that it was a one-day-only sale: Kate and I would reach for boots only to have them whipped out from under our noses by leathery, past-their-prime real-estate agents and private school mothers. There was an air of barely concealed savagery, and I was terrified that eventually the veneer of civilization would crack and I would be walloped around the head with a (very expensive) handbag. Everyone was very close to not being people any more, just reverting to primitive herd mentality. It was a very, um, unique experience. Luckily we got out alive - Kate even managed to buy some very nice boots, and I nabbed a handbag - just - after staring down a well-fed matron for it. The bag, for those of you who are interested (Baglady!) will be photographed and featured shortly...
...and now, to share my newest life-improving discovery with you all. Here it is. Beer and blue cheese. I know, it sounds disgusting, but stay with me and your life will be better. (The phrase that ended a thousand relationships, that is.) We had a family dinner last night, which was slightly less excruciating than expected, and after it my uncles gathered in the kitchen to talk about beer and manly things. They asked if I would be interested in trying this beer/cheese combination - I'm not quite sure why I was included, but I'm glad I was. It was a very dark English beer called, I think, Golden Pride, but it wasn't bitter at all, just very, um, hoppy. The blue cheese was quite strong and soft, and also a bit nutty (go figure.) You put the cheese in your mouth, then take a sip of beer, and it all mixes around very nicely - it sounds gross, but stay with me here! Try it! Go on. If you cannot trust in me, trust in my uncles.
There may not be a post tomorrow - I am entering in a one-day short story competition, where you turn up at the Art Gallery at 9.30am (9.30am! what are they trying to do, weed out the writers? real writers don't arise until at least 10!) and are given 'story cues' that you need to find around the Cultural Precinct (don't worry, it is quite small), then you need to incorporate at least 4 of these 'cues' into your 1500-word short story, which you have to hand in at 4.30. It is sort of like a literary treasure hunt, I suppose. I might post the story, or I might post something else, or I might not post anything at all - you will just have to wait and see.
Metaphor of the day goes to Kate - we were talking about an unpleasant acquaintance of mine, and she said, "You need to cut him out of your life. Like a cancer...a cancer of the heart. No, wait, something more embarrassing. Some kind of awful butt cancer." I plan to carry out this exorcism/surgery with the help of a few strategically placed Molotov cocktails (you didn't think I was going to say that, did you?) but I'm not sure how to make them, not sure if Googling 'Molotov cocktail instructions' gets you on a no-fly list, and not sure if I should still post this blog. Also if you should hear of some kind of industrial sabotage here in my fair city, we never had this conversation.

Finally, a huge thank you to Yvonne from Thames, who sent me some birthday socks, along with a lovely letter! I put my address at the bottom of this post but didn't really expect any socks to materialise, and then I got home today and they had! Thank you so much, Yvonne, I will write you a proper letter too, but thought a public thanks was in order. Excellent timing, too, I was in a bit of a grump and they removed me from it very efficiently.
Here is my favourite pair in action - that was them at the top of the page, too - and please do excuse my fat ankles, they are a family trait.*
*no, really. All three of my sisters/half-sisters have them, although Kate denies it (she totally has cankles too.) They come directly from my grandmother, who also passed a) mild racism and b) small-chestedness down through the generations. Apologies in advance, My Unborn Children.
The first time I mentioned to Andrea that I sported the family cankles she said, in a supportive friend manner, "Oh, no, I'm sure you don't!" "No," I said, "you know that bit at the back of your ankle, where it goes in? I don't have that." "Don't be silly," she said, "everyone has-" I remove my sock. "-wow. No, you really don't, do you?" No matter how thin I get, I am always going to have thick ankles, and this is something that I have come to terms with. Boots are my FRIENDS.
Other news: poker night = on, tour of the country = probably not on at this stage but you never know. Sorry about the long long post guys. Next time I will be less with the ramble, more with the funny. Maybe.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the socks cover more than just the heel - they looked a bit strange in the packet (like those shoes that don't have any back to them - which is OK for shoes but surely not for socks)...anyhow, I like pink with yellow so they had to be bought.
How do the rainbow stripes look? And Prosper? Prosper is my very best wish for you - long may you.

By the way, I loved the word you coined - battoos. (bat tattoos) Very clever.

Yvonne from Thames.

Charlie said...

The one day sale at Ballys is truly a sight to behold - it is scary, people get ugly, and in the recession it must be the worst it's ever been - good on you for braving it and coming out with something.

I had a friend with your unfortunate genetic problem, but you know what - no-one is ever really looking at your ankles and in fact I never noticed this about my friend until she pointed it out.

Hope the short story/treasure hunt was fun and your story was epic.

I love the socks by the way

Holly said...

LOL! Those sock are rather cute! I was wondering whether anyone would actually post you any!

Oh dear at the cankles. I think I have them too...*inspects feet critically*

Baglady said...

I love bargain shopping but I cannot be arsed to do that kind of aggressive jumble sale shopping, where it's every woman for herself. So good for you for getting stuck in (and actually getting something. Normally sales have stuff in them where you can pick out the item months before and say "that's gonna be in the sale").

Photo please!

And I can't believe I missed the post with your address on it. Have been a very remiss reader recently. Will endeavour to find some fabulous/hideous socks to pop in the post. Am not sure which quite yet.

IT IS ALLY said...

Yvonne - the rainbow ones are great, I used to have a pair exactly the same so it's like regaining an old friend! The Prosper ones - which I have named the Socks of Prosperity - are super-comfy and just the right height to wear with boots :)

Charlie - thank you! And yes, I know no-one's looking at ankles, but what about wrists? I have wrist cankles - wrankles - as well. OH NO

Holly - I understand the burden we bear.

Baglady - photo of bag forthcoming! If we'd known the sale was on we probably would've avoided it, but it was fun in a terrifying, human crush sort of a way. Oh no, not a remiss reader! I shall forgive you. Just this once.