Winning and losing

Set off yesterday in search of Sale Bargains in effort to extend summer wardrobe (existing three pieces proving no match for surprisingly extended period of properly hot weather). Soon discover that everyone else has already had exactly the same idea, and spend some time rifling through sparse and untempting clothes rails in shop after shop with increasing despondency until finally arrive, hot, red and flustered, in small boutique down side street, where I ask kind owner if she has anything which will make me look like a carefree and effortlessly stylish Italian signora out on an evening stroll. Am so delighted by the outfit which she eventually manages to create that I decide to overlook fact that it does not actually  contain a single Sale item.

Wear new outfit to cricket field in evening. Hopes that village under-15s might repeat their unexpected (and quite possibly unprecedented) victory last week soon fade at sight of opposing team, all uniformly twice the height of Our Boys and accompanied by very expensive equipment and serious-looking fathers. After scoring more runs than seems quite decent, they proceed to bowl with a determined ruthlessness that quickly reduces home team to its final two batsmen. Support from the pavilion now becomes increasingly vociferous, and when batsman number 10 (previous career best 1) somehow manages to hit a four, home supporters erupt in a frenzy of applause and cheering that clearly leaves opposition completely bemused; even though the inevitable defeat follows shortly afterwards, and we hear one opposition father remarking to his friend that Well, That Wasn’t Too Difficult, boys walk home with their Heads Held High and a happy sense of Team Spirit.

Catch end of Wimbledon highlights at home, and are soon completely gripped by match between Serena Williams and Heather Watson; disappointment at final result softened by noticeable graciousness of victor. Agree that That is how real winners behave.


Unfinished business

Weather and own mood not yet remotely Christmassy, but decide that should at least Make A Start on preparations, and head yesterday to local cathedral city in hope of finding Festive Inspiration. German Markets being assembled in almost every street, and shops clearly moving into full-blown Christmas mode; come home with three items for children’s stockings and determination to do better next time.

Rare family outing, to see latest Hunger Games  film, last night; despite much-vaunted recent Refurbishment, local cinema reassuringly unchanged (cash only, photos of Vivien Leigh and Charlton Heston on walls, and reservations sellotaped to seats), and packed with enthusiastic audience; dare to hope that it will still be there for Part 2.

Winter wardrobe practically non-existent, and am currently yearning for The Perfect Party Dress – something a) glamorous b)  comfortable and c) suitable for all possible social occasions from now until next spring. Doubt very much that it exists, but feel moved to buy December Vogue at village shop this morning (wearing dog-walking clothes and trying as usual to ignore shopkeeper’s look of polite surprise) – just in case.



Careless rapture

Convince myself that son’s request for Linseed Oil necessitates a proper Shopping Expedition, and set off for cathedral city through countryside suddenly bursting with lush greenness; reflect on all the joys of May (horse chestnuts, wedding anniversary, general elections).

Dash in and out of Sports Direct as quickly as possible, then wander along ancient streets through milling crowds of students and tourists. Decide that Really Do Need some new trousers, and venture into Jigsaw. Find friendly assistant and emerge Some Time Later with rather more than trousers, and an undeniable feeling of Pure Happiness.

Clothing of delight

Read yesterday’s Guardian and find that sons both apparently have fashionable hairstyle. Show this to them in great excitement, and spend next half hour poring together over Bumper 112-Page Men’s Fashion Issue. Can’t decide whether boys’ increasing interest in appearance is a) worrying sign of Popular Culture Fixated On Celebrities And Unrealistic Body Images or b) really quite endearing.

Have to admit that own love of fashion not really reflected in daily wardrobe (village shopkeeper always looks slightly puzzled when I buy Vogue). Suddenly overcome by longing for New Clothes and scour calendar for future event which might justify them. Under-14s End-of-Season Football Presentation it is.