Yesterday, I had to go out to complete a few errands, the main one being to get some passport photos taken as I have an appointment at the Passport Office in Victoria tomorrow to get a new passport. I've had to arrange an appointment as we go in away in a few weeks and need to get a visa beforehand, so I had to have the passport as soon as possible. It's costing me an extra £20 or so but it will mean the application will be safely delivered to the Passport Office by me and the passport itself will be delivered to me at home in 7 days. As my partner's last passport went astray in the post and he had to do a last minute dash to Peterborough to get a new one the day before travelling abroad, I didn't want to take any chances. In any case this should leave plenty of time to make the rest of our travel arrangements. It is an expense I didn't count on this month as I had completely forgotten that it was running out this year, so I will probably have to put it on my credit card and pay it off next month as it isn't something I can choose not to do for now.
Anyway, I racked my brains to think of where there is a passport photo machine, where I could also tie the visit in with other errands I had to do. It meant a 5 or 6 mile drive out of London, but it is one I'd have to do at some point anyway and it did cross a few things off my to do list this week so I didn't mind. The only problem was it was close to a large TK Maxx store which is always a temptation and this instance was no exception. I just couldn't resist taking a look.
I don't know about anyone else, but I can spend hours in TK Maxx and I literally did. I always like to have a good look around all the clearance items as you can often get some great bargains if you look hard enough and I must admit that I did.
I started by having a good look around the ground floor and the handbags and toiletries and then I wandered over to the shoe department and I saw these lovely K-Swiss trainers. At £22 they were a great price for new branded trainers.
I didn't intend to look for some trainers, honestly, but as I was in the shoe department I thought I'd have a look and saw these and a couple of other pairs. I tried the various pairs on, but these just felt the most comfortable and the red clearance label did just tip me in their direction. I've never actually had any of this brand before so I hope they perform well as I need them to last at least a year. In mitigation for this indulgence, I do desperately need a new pair as my current ones have taken a real battering in the last year and aren't as supportive on my ankles as they used to be. I'll probably keep the old ones for out and about on the bike, but for down the gym the new ones will be adorning my feet from now on. I'm really pleased with them and can't wait to start wearing them.
After finding the trainers, I moved on upstairs where the home wares and books, etc. are located. I was initially looking for storage solutions for the bedroom, but didn't really find any. However, in the stationery/book clearance aisle I found a few lovely things, the first of which were these beautiful note cards. They were reduced to £2 as the box was damaged, and there were supposed to be 40 of them in the box of various really pretty designs as you can see from the photo. I counted them when I got home (sad I know) and there were actually 48 cards and 70 envelopes so I think that a couple of boxes had been merged. I'm really not complaining though. They will be great for thank you notes, birthday invites for my daughter or other craft projects even.
In addition, I saw this pack of 24 lovely craft strings in 12 different colours for £4. I have a few uses in mind for them so was happy to pay less than half the original price of £10. It works out at approximately 40 pence per roll which for 5 yards is pretty good. They will look great tied to buff tags for gift wrapping and I may even make some small scale bunting with them.
I also bought this book by Delia Smith. I don't often buy cook books or even get them as presents for Christmas, but this one just really appealed to me. Perhaps it was the word 'Frugal' in the title or maybe it was because it was one of Delia's.
I've already got one Delia cook book, namely her Complete Cookery Course and it has been a real treasure over the years and is definitely the most used cook book I own. I do like her no-nonsense approach to the subject. This is a re-issue with illustrations, of a book she wrote in the 1970's and it is still very relevant today. I loved the sound of some of the recipes such as Sausages Boulangere, Navarin of Lamb and Poor Man's Cassoulet. I also like the fact that she has used lots of cheaper cuts of meat that I wouldn't traditionally use, and I'm hoping it might encourage me to explore these types of meat in the future. It's a lovely book and cost the princely sum of £3. How could I not buy it?
So, they were my main indulgences, but I did buy a couple of other presents that I needed to get for a friend of my daughter's and some bras for me, but a girl needs to retain a bit of mystery so I won't show them here. I think I was quite restrained and stuck to mainly things I needed, although I could very easily have spent a few hundred pounds in there. In another life perhaps. Gone are the days when I was working full time and I used to fill a trolley with all manner of things I liked and not worry about the cost. Probably a good thing really. How much stuff do we really need.