I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! I can barely remember a weekend I’ve looked forward to more than this one – having worked 11 days straight, including two conferences, I was more than ready to relax.
Being me, my relaxation centred around getting back to the gym after far too long; man, it felt good. As I’ve bored on about before, for me, exercising is as much about having fun and improving my mood, as it is about fighting fat, and I feel all the better for having had a good sweat.
I was also very happy to spend Saturday watching a netball tournament that showcased some of the our best homegrown players along with some exciting imports from South Africa and Jamaica. And best of all? In a room full of netball players, I begin to look almost normal height.
Otherwise this week:
I’m not sure exactly when we imported Black Friday to the UK, but I have a feeling that it was a few years ago and that it started with the big US-based online retailers like Amazon… Anyway, it’s a bit annoying isn’t it? I first heard of Black Friday about six years ago, when I spent Thanksgiving with a friend and her family. ‘Do you know what Black Friday is?’ her father asked me in a serious tone, giving me the impression it was the anniversary of something truly terrible. Of course, you all know that it’s just some crazy sales that take place on the day after Thanksgiving, so you will understand why I skipped it and went for a glorious walk in the Californian countryside instead.
Now, I’m not opposed to stores discounting things at this time of year – actually I think it’s a good thing, given how much people tend to spend in the run-up to Christmas – but haven’t we missed a trick by importing the consumer spectacle without the preceding day of over-eating with the ones we love? Seems like a poor deal to me.
Nevertheless, Black Friday came to the rescue when my hair straighteners broke last weekend. A well-worn pair that I purchased in 2007, finally died – and they did so at the worst possible moment, when I was away at a conference. OBVIOUSLY. So, I said my goodbyes and swiftly went online to find a replacement. It turns out that straighteners are either much more expensive than I remember or I got a crazily good deal when I bought my old ones and didn’t realise it. I admit that, being slightly more vain than the average person, I see straighteners as a necessity more than a luxury, and I know they last for years, but even my eyes popped when I saw that they cost more than £100 a pair. Enter M&S’s Black Friday sale: I bagged these straighteners for a little over £60 – half the regular price.
I also splurged on another treat this week – not because of Black Friday, but because I had accumulated £20 worth of points on my Jaeger loyalty card and that place seems to have permanently discounted stuff available. I took advantage and added this little black bag to my wardrobe. It’s leather, almost entirely plain AND has a little gold detailing – perfect.
Finally, although we don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, we do have the internet, so we still see US content around this time of year and I found myself clicking through to this article by Anne Lamott from a couple of years ago about saying grace before meals. Now, I’m not religious and I’ve never been a grace-sayer, but this piece did make it sound like a wonderful thing that maybe is worth doing even if you skip the God bit. ‘So now,’ she writes, ‘someone at our holiday tables always ends up saying grace. I think we’re in it for the pause, the quiet thanks for love and for our blessings, before the shoveling begins.’ Sounds good to me.
Here on the blog, Rachel shared her reflections on Mumsnet’s Blogfest, which she and Nicky attended last weekend (I was busy breaking my straighteners at a conference, remember?) and Nicky sampled a recipe kit delivery service and was pleasantly surprised.
How was your week? Did you go Black Friday crazy? Let me know by leaving a comment below.