The one with (or without) the wine

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Last night I was invited out for food by a friend whose birthday it was this week. As usual I had left it until the last possible moment to buy them a card and a gift. (I should add here that it’s not that I’m not thoughtful, I spend lots of time thinking about what people would like but I never give myself enough time to order/buy it!)

Anyway, this particular friend really likes his wine so I went to the supermarket to purchase a bottle that had been recommended to me. I decided to pick up a few others things whilst I was there (despite the fact I really didn’t have time) and rushed to the till. I grabbed my bags and left pretty quickly. Halfway to the restaurant I realised that I had left the bag with the wine and card in on the self-service check out. GRRR!

Cue a sharp U-turn, a rushed text message to another friend saying i was on my way but was going to be a bit late and I raced back to the shop (not breaking the speed limit once, of course.)

I arrived back at the shop, there was no bag with wine or a card left on the checkout so I asked the assistant for help and explained what had happened. I literally cannot believe what happened next – the shop would not give me my wine. They asked me for ID – of course this particular day I had left my driving licence at home and because I was unable to provide any proof of age (despite the fact that the wine already belonged to me as I had purchased it less than 10 minutes earlier) I had to leave empty handed and come back tomorrow with ID and they would then check the CCTV.

I did try arguing with the assistant, stating quite clearly that if they checked their CCTV now they would see I had bought it – but apparently with no ID there is no sale. Of course, I argued that there had already been a sale and I thought I was getting somewhere until the assistant politely (but very firmly now) said: Well, I can appreciated you might have bought it, but you don’t have a receipt. I know, I replied, because the receipt is the bloody bag that you’re withholding from me!!!

I had no choice but to admit defeat and head to the restaurant without the wine. Once I had finally arrived and told everyone what had happened it was agreed that at least my lateness came with some lols and therefore it was rendered acceptable!

I mean, it could only happen to me…

The moral of the story here is, don’t buy a bottle of wine from the supermarket…. buy a crate – that way you are 6 times more likely to actually get out of the store with it!)


The one with the *slight detour

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When we first decided to go to New York, I organised every little detail – I researched which company was best to fly with, flight prices from various locations –all with the aim of  figuring out which was more economical and would give me the most money to invest in schools and handbags whilst we were there. In the end I made the decision to fly from London as the flights were with Virgin and I’d heard good things about them, and of course it worked out much cheaper.

It was Steve’s 30th Birthday the day we landed, so like any loving girlfriend I decided to plan a surprise 30th with his friend Brodie and his dad. Now this would have all been perfectly timed, had I not factored in the time difference, and the fact that by the time we landed at 8am that morning, we would have been up for almost 24 hours and still had to drive back to London. Fearful of Steve being grumpy, and less than impressed to return home to Wales, tired and sleep deprived to a house full of people, I decided that I would drive back most of the way so he could sleep, I’d arranged the party so I should be the one to suffer. I couldn’t tell him this as the whole point was that it was a surprise, so I just offered out of the goodness of my heart, claiming id caught a good few hours on the plane so I’ll be ok.

Steve drove us out of the airport; we stopped for a quick bite to eat at the Services and set on our way. I have never driven to or from London before, so I had clear instructions from him, follow the M4 signs towards the South/South-West, and then follow the signs for the M6 or the North.

Ok, I can do totally do this, M4, Southward bound, M6 Northwards, then I knew the way back to the M56 – what could go wrong?

Well, what went wrong was this… I followed the signs for the South and South-West as instructed, then signs for the M5 started to appear and the Midlands, but no signs for the North, so I continued going South/South West. The alarm bells started to ring when I saw signs for the Severn Bridge. I literally muttered to myself, could have sworn that bridge was near Cardiff. I kept on going, the slowly I realised I had definitely gone wrong somewhere; I was 20 miles from Cardiff.

I had no choice; I had to wake Steve up. He was actually going to kill me. To be honest, his reaction, although I would say it was the greatest, it could have been worse. I mean, he only yelled for like 3 minutes.

I managed to get us back on route, and we headed back up towards the midlands. I had to stop for coffee and also because I needed to inform the impending party that we may be a little later than anticipated (by 3 hours) due to the slight detour that we have taken.

Needless to say, it was not the best start to our engagement (Steve had proposed a couple of days before) or to his birthday. In fact, it was extremely difficult to provide a sensible argument against stopping overnight in the Travelodge in Birmingham as by that point we were both shattered.

Eventually we made it home, and once again Steve wanted to kill me when he walked through our door expecting peace and quiet, but in fact was greeted by shouts of ‘surprise’ and ‘happy birthday you old fart’.

With couple of glasses of diet coke and some cake down him; we filled our guests in on our adventure and engagement and celebrated his birthday (or what was left of it by this time). Come 7pm, we were both ready for bed, and Steve could almost, laugh about our *slight detour!


The one where it all began

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This coming weekend my husband and I will be celebrating our very first wedding anniversary (how fast has that flown?) and it got me thinking about where it all began…

First I need to take you right back in time to a day in my sixth form when we were sent to the library to work on our personal statement and start filling in our UCAS forms.

At the time (though recently this has been queried as to whether it was a scam – but that’s a whole other story for another time) you had to pay to apply through UCAS – it was £5 for one University and £15 for 2 or more, up to a maximum of 6. Me, being the savvy spender that I am (ha!) decided that I wanted value for money – so although I only wanted to apply for 5 University’s, out of principle I was going to apply for 6 – to get my money’s worth of course! I spent the next 30 minutes scrolling through the UCAS list at the other University’s that offered the course that I wanted to study. Pretty far up the list I came to Aberystwyth but due to my lack of ability at the time to pronounce it I moved swiftly on. The next interesting place I came across was Bangor. I had no idea where Bangor was, if it was a town or a city or that it was actually in Wales – but trusted google filled me in on the fact that it was a small city in north wales, close to Anglesey. That’ll do, University number 6 – application sent.

And that was that. Who would have thought that I would end up picking Bangor as my first choice later down the application stage, or that I would end up loving the place so much I decided to stay, get married and have 3 ducks!

Now, I am known to leave things to the very last minute – but I very rarely miss a deadline. So when I read that anyone who applies to halls before the end of June is guaranteed a place, I didn’t really see what the rush was. I spent hours looking over all the halls I could stay in and picking my top three. As you know, I have a bit of a fear of public toilets so that last thing I wanted was a shared bathroom and of course I needed a hall of residence with internet – I mean who doesn’t just love a cosy night in on msn messenger. (We are going back a fair few years remember; when myspace was the Facebook!)

Anyways, as it turns out there was a rush, as rooms are allocated on a first come, first preference basis – so to say I was devastated when I discovered that my halls not only did not have an en-suite, they also had no internet was the biggest understatement of the century. I literally cried for days and at one point, may have even refused to go to University full stop. Hindsight however it a wonderful thing – as actually applying late (but within the deadline might I add!) was the best thing that ever could have happened…not only did I meet some of my very best friends (even now) in those halls – I also met the man who would become my husband and best friend.

Skipping forward to the first day on University – I literally cried when I arrived and realised that my halls of residence was at the top of the biggest hill you have ever seen – it was literally vertical. Then I saw the halls and they were not the modern ones that they show you in the prospectus at all…it was a real life nightmare.

My family quickly moved into gear and transformed my dull box room into something that resembled comfort and we left to explore the place. When we returned I met Steve – the guy who would live down the hall from me and he was drinking out of a large Winnie the Pooh mug. Of course, that was the first thing that we conversed about – Me: I like your cup, it’s awesome. Him: I got it from Matalan earlier – they had loads of different ones. Me: cool, I’ll have to get one!* It was the dumbest conversation i’d ever had!

Later on after waving goodbye to my tribe I wandered down the corridor and asked Steve what course he was on and he said marine biology – I was like ‘woah that’s cool, ive always wanted to learn how to dive.’ Or words to that affect.

Now, I have absolutely no idea why I said this, as if truth be told – I had never, ever in my life had a desire to learn how to dive – I wasn’t much of a fan of water, like i even hated getting my face wet in the shower. But as fate would have it, of course the next thing he said was ‘well, you’re in luck, I’m actually a dive instructor – here’s my card, I can teach you if you want?’

Well, shit a brick – there was definitely no getting out of this now. So I did what any respectable 18 year old girl who had said something in order to impress someone that was completely untrue, would do… I ran to my window and yelled to my mum, “I’m going to learn how to dive!!”

And there you have it, the one where it all began!

*I should add that 2 days later I opened my kitchen cupboard door and Steve had in fact gone to Matalan and bought me my own Winnie the Pooh mug – he bought me piglet as that was who he thought I was most like (such a sweetie eh!!)