When modern technology works I just love it*.
One of the things I miss about living here is my friends back in England. We've been here 3+ years now and there are some people who have slipped down to just being FB contacts and some have dropped off my radar altogether**. My friend Al is a different matter though, whereas in England we would meet up probably once a week for lunch or minor (sometimes major) shopping and gossip incessantly, this has now been distilled into a weekly chat. I always make sure that that particular evening has no other plans or possible interruptions because we can and do chat for an hour or so, without necessarily discussing world peace or the latest political scandal, indeed if Si were to ask 'what did you talk about?' ( an unlikely scenario) I'd probably have to think hard to find something concrete to offer. Children and schooling inevitably get a look in, the whereabouts of our husbands always crops up (hers travels as much as mine) and Al's work but other than that...
Our last chat followed a day where I'd been Xmas present shopping while keeping an eye open for some 'nice' shoes, a silly notion really seeing as Germany does 'sensible' shoes usually and then when you factor in the season (winter approaching) that can only mean doubly sensible and therefore not a cat in hells chance of finding something I might want to put on my feet. My search was then compounded by the fact that I have a funny foot (that's right I have a cloven hoof!) my big toe joint takes objection to anything too high or anything pressing on it (I think it's an age thing, gradually my body is decaying around me) consequently, despite trying on 3 pairs I came home empty handed (that's a lie, I had too many bags for my hands, I really needed another arm (Zaphod Beeblebrox got that right) or a pack donkey, but none of the shopping was for me)
While I was chatting to Al, I was surfing the web, looking at pictures of shoes, I mentioned my quest to Al and before you could say 'Manolo or Louboutin?' she was also online and we were shopping together.
It really was the next best thing to being in a mall together, except there were no bothersome shop assistants and we weren't weighed down with lots of other bags, on the downside we couldn't go off for a sneaky grande vanilla latte or a large pinot grigio either and nor could I take my chosen shoes home, but hey, a girl can't have everything at the same time, not always, sometimes you have to be prepared to have your cake and wait a day before eating it...
I found these and emailed Al the link asking her opinion, 'gorgeous' she said, so I ordered them and went to bed - by this time it was almost midnight & we'd been 'shopping' for maybe 2 hours...and 2 days later the boots turned up. Of course they came when Si was here, rather than on a different continent, so I was unable to whisk the evidence (shopping bag/boxes/receipt) away so that the item could emerge weeks later from the bowels of my wardrobe to be worn, and then when asked 'is that new?' I could honestly respond 'no'***. Simon was distracted by the box the boots came in,
'Mirapodo? What's that?' he asked, imagine my surprise when Ben answers 'only the biggest online shoe retailer in Europe' damn, no getting around the fact that I've bought new shoes then...
* I have commented on previous occasions how I wouldn't describe myself as a technophobe it's more a case of technology being Verenaphobic.
** not, necessarily through any fault of mine, but a long distance friendship takes work & if I'm always the one making the contact then that sends a certain message - don't you think?
*** I have a few variations on this response, I quite like the 'don't worry, it's been paid for' (not that I'm light fingered, merely implying that the item has been mine for long enough to have had its visa bill paid) or there's also 'new to you maybe, I've worn it before, but you're never here' (try hard not to sound too accusatory) the age old 'this old thing?' ceased to work many years ago.