Thursday, 28 April 2016

I blame Bill

So, I found myself on the 6.33 train to Leicester this morning to attend a seminar on Development Agreements and Urban Regeneration. Irritatingly, that train left me with over an hour to kill in Leicester before the seminar started but the later train arrived 15 minutes late which I thought would be a bit too rude!

On arriving in Leicester my previous usual option for killing an hour - heading to a cafe or a Wetherspoons for a hearty breakfast - was strangely not terribly attractive.  What to do??

I had been reading Bill Bryson's latest travel book about his recent travels around the UK, "The Road to Little Dribbling" (just finished it - very good despite the title). Now Bill, were he to find himself with a spare hour in a strange city, would head out there and see what he could see.  So that is what I did.  I was wearing comfy trainers and the sun was shining brilliantly - no excuse not to go for a walk.

I was curious as to whether  Leicester City's amazing season in the Premiership and possible victory would be visible in the city centre.  It was but not much.  This wedding hire shop had 2 window displays fully blue and whited up to the eyeballs - good show!

(I know this statue has nothing to do with this season but it does show some civic commitment to sport I suppose.)

And Footlocker managed a flag - well, they do sell trainers although not trainers often used for actual sporting endeavours!  In addition I noticed a solitary and probably unauthorised flag hanging from the window of the Council offices.  And that was it.  

I remember visiting Biarritz when Biarritz Olympique rugby club were in the European Cup semi-final (or possibly the final) and every window in the town centre bore a flag or banner in support - Allez B.O!! If you visit a sucessful  town or county in Ireland around cup final time there will be flags, bunting and banners along every road. When did cities stop caring about their local team?  What Leicester CFC is doing is a SERIOUSLY amazing thing and yet you would barely notice it in Leicester city centre.

Maybe it's because every city centre is virtually identical these days so the shops and businesses don't feel connected to where they are sited?  

While the prime zone of Granby Street was horrifically ugly (this building and the Boots took the joint prize for sheer nastiness) there were also loads of great buildings and a good looking market so not all bad.

Like this random clock tower plonked at a junction.  Smart and shiny.

And the Council offices were GORGEOUS! A lovely garden in front complete with ornate fountain just sparkling in the sunshine.  My spirits were lifted as I headed off to be instructed and improved in the ways of commercial development conscious that no British Council will ever again enrich their local area with civic buildings like these.

Before this latest diet I would not have used my hour as well.  I would have sat in a dark pub or cafe and eaten unwisely.  I must remember that this is a much better and more enjoyable use of my time.

As well as the walk, I popped into M&S and tried on some clothes to see where I am sizewise.  The answer is - puzzled.  I tried a selection of 18s - tops, jumpers and cropped trousers.  They all fitted in the sense that they went on and were not overly tight or baggy.  However, none fitted properly or flattered me in any way.  But, even stranger, they all failed to fit in a different way!  One top skimmed my waist and hips nicely but looked weird around the arms and bust.  Another fitted fine on the shoulders and bust but bagged out like a weird, un-guy-roped tent around the middle.  The jumper went on but just looked ridiculous like some sort of hemp sausage casing.  The trousers were probably the best, just about fitting around hips and bum, baggy on waist and tight around the thighs (sigh).

No purchases were made and that may be the end of any shopping trips for me for a while.  I don't care as I don't really give a damn about clothes etc but I seem to have a gap in my wardrobe coming up once my present clothes become tooo loose (which is imminent) so I'll have to do something or I'm going to look very scruffy until I'm into the next size down of which I have loads.


Stephbospoon said...

Even when I was a size 18 m&s trousers never fitted me and I have other size 10-12 friends who say the same. Who actually buys them???

Pam said...

Aren't you doing well? I'm filled with admiration.

Peridot said...

Clothes shopping is ridiculously difficult. I think you have to find a shop that works for your shape and stick to it. Not sure what shape that is for M&S from what you say! And no, I've never found the shop for me...