Downtown

This morning I took a walk into town, which I had originally planned to do Sunday. However on Sunday I was completely knackered – so much so that I slept through several alarms and my mum coming in to check that I hadn’t died. I am determined at the moment to do what I need to do to stay on plan (and sane). Sometimes that might be giving myself a kick up the butt and pushing through the tiredness, but it’s important to recognise that sometimes the best thing for you is a 12-hour catch-up. After all you can’t go off plan if you’re unconscious!

I didn’t need 12 hours on this occasion and woke up early feeling refreshed. I was out the door at 10am and ready to face the delights of my local town centre. It’s really not a great place! I took my ‘personal attack alarm’ with me as I walked past the place where a lady was sexually attacked in broad daylight. It’s scarily common to see the police dogs over there hunting through the bushes for god-knows-what. Evidence? Criminals? I don’t know. After passing this point (which is still on a busy main road I might add) I had the choice of going through the park or sticking to the main roads. I went for the latter as the local newspaper recently discouraged people from walking alone around the park area. Someone was mugged just a couple of months ago, again in broad daylight.

As I got closer to town I was suddenly transported down memory lane when I came across this sculpture. It’s actually in the middle of a roundabout that my dad drove around hundreds, probably thousands of times when I was little, and I always wondered if you could get down there. And if so how? That answer came many years ago but I only just remembered the question. It’s weird how these memories suddenly re-emerge without warning.

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Miraculously I made it to town alive where I was relatively safe but had to endure people spitting on the floor and the pervasive stench of Lynx body spray. Despite that, it was an excellent trip! First stop was M&S to try on some extra high-impact sports bras. I tried the biggest size on a couple of months ago and it wasn’t even close, so I thought I’d have another go and see how I’m getting on. I was very pleased to find that I needed the next size down, but I didn’t end up purchasing one in the end. The label claimed it had ‘excellent bounce control’ but I tested it out by jumping up and down a few times and it is a lie. While I was there I took the opportunity to take a changing-room selfie, and I was pleasantly surprised! I was already feeling good wearing my size 20 jeans and Paddington coat, but I had no idea what I currently looked like as I don’t have a full-length mirror. When I got home I compared it to a picture taken in June or July. It was really hot that day but I was wearing what can only be described as a knitted smock- it hid me the most out of all of my clothes.

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Next on the list was Primark. One of my goals is to be able to buy cheap clothes in ‘normal’ shops, so I thought I’d pop in and see what sort of stuff is available. I haven’t been able to buy anything from Primark for years so I was stunned to find three things that actually fit me, including a pair of skinny jeans. I didn’t manage to find much in my size though, so I don’t see this goal as complete just yet.

I had a stroll around a few other shops but nothing caught my interest so I went into Evans to pick up some jeans which I’d ordered online. They do a pretty good selection of jeans for women who are too tall for their own good (in the picture above I’m wearing a standard-length pair as a cropped jean), and I managed to get a pair of 33 inchers in their sale for £15.

Finally I popped into Iceland (someone was stabbed outside of it just last year) for a couple of Slimming World bits. It was quite sunny but still very cold so I thought I’d be safe carrying the frozen bits back on a 30 minute walk. Annoyingly I bought the onion gravy but didn’t realise it had beef stock in it until I got home. I mean, beef stock is obviously tasty but there are very few vegetarian options in Iceland. Couldn’t they just let us have that one? I also bought the sweetcorn chowder and a couple of the potato salads to try. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the potato salad but I thought it was lovely. Some people complained there was too much mint, but I love mint and potatoes together so I was in heaven. I scoffed a packet with salad and a bowl of the ‘Heinz’ tomato soup (Free) for lunch as soon as I got in.

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Speaking of the fake Heinz soup, I heard about it years ago but never tried it as I assumed it couldn’t be as good as people said. I’m distrustful by nature. But when I cooked it for myself I actually said ‘holy sh*t!’ out loud because it really does taste like cream of tomato soup! It’s mental! The only ingredients are two tins of beans, two tins of chopped tomatoes, a tin of carrots (including the water) and a few pickled onions. That’s it!’

Yesterday was clearly a day for cooking as I also made one of the lentil recipes I’d bookmarked earlier in the week – Curried Lentils with Ginger. It’s so rare nowadays that I cook a proper recipe from scratch, but I’m so glad I did. From the beginning the kitchen was filled with the most amazing aromas as I toasted off and ground the herbs in my pestle and mortar. And very conveniently each stage of the recipe allows time to tidy away all of the previous spices and whatnot. I am a very messy cook and it’s good to keep on top of these things.

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It was delicious, and I’m looking forward to having the leftovers for dinner tonight. I used less lentils than the recipe suggested as it seemed like an awful lot, and switched full fat coconut milk for light. The whole lot was 4 syns in total and definitely worth it. I also increased the quantity of the lime pickle as I love the stuff, and decided against skinning the tomatoes. Mostly because I couldn’t be bothered, but it’s also extra fibre. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway…

Hayley x

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