Around this time every year, my mother and I have the following conversation:
Mum: Have you thought of anything you want for your birthday yet?
Me: Ummmm.... no... haven't really thought about it....
Mum: But your birthday was a fortnight ago! There must be something you want...
Me: Ummmm... can't think of anything... maybe something for the garden?
Mum: What about clothes? You could do with clothes.
Me: Ummmmmmmm....... yeah, I'll have a look some day when I'm in town.
This goes on for most of the summer.
So I was delighted when, flicking through a magazine in the doctor's surgery a couple of weeks ago, I saw an advert for Next, showing a girl wearing jeans which I just thought were lovely. AH HA! I thought... I have my birthday present from my parents sorted! At last! She was also wearing sandals, which I thought my sister could buy for me. Double score! (I hate shopping; about twice a year I decide that I need new clothes, so I look at magazines and catalogues until I decide what I want, then go and buy it - this saves me from browsing, which is pure tedium in anywhere but a bookshop).
These jeans were a nice colour, kinda baggy, and with funky turn-up bits at the bottom. I even checked them on the internet to get a bigger picture, and see them from different angles and things, such was my liking for the jeans. You can see a picture of them here if you like (note: I think I will not get the hat or the bikini top; the hat would look ridiculous in Belfast, and bikini tops and me - not friends).
So at the weekend, I went to the local shopping centre, to Next, to buy the jeans. But they didn't have them. So I thought, never mind, I'll go into the city centre some evening. Today came my evening of choice, so I duly walked (walked, mind) to town, went to Next, and they still didn't have them!!!!
I ask you: what is the point of advertising something and then not having it in your shops?! Tsk. So now what to do about my birthday present? I'm in two minds as to whether or not I should order them online, but then they might not fit, and they might not be as nice in real life plus I'd have to pay postage and packing; on the other hand, though, I do really like them and I do need new jeans quite urgently.
So I'm a bit miffed that the birthday present problem carries on.
Anyway, this was more than made up for by the discovery that Australian police (or government or someone - doesn't matter) have launched a new advert to try to stop motorists from speeding. The advert shows a guy speeding past a couple of girls who then turn to each other and exchange 'knowing glances' while holding up a little finger, bent over limply.... the implication being that the guy in the car is...you know... errrr... not so... well... manly...
Needless to say, I have decided that we (meaning me and my loyal viewers, that's you) are going to adopt this gesture in Belfast. We shall extend it to include those who drive 4x4s (I really dislike 4x4s, you may have noticed).
Right, my tea's ready (I wish I'd put more than a third of a quiche in the oven).