Shopping for clothes. ūüė® Oh dear, I may be¬† viewed as a disgrace to womanhood, but I detest it. It’s not that I don’t like to look nice, but it’s so time consuming and irritating. The older I get the more I try to avoid¬† the whole business.

Anyway, I set off on a two day, clothes buying¬† trip to Sydney recently, staying the night on the North Shore¬† at Mosman.¬† The city is¬† always a shock after my quiet Blue Mountains nest. In fact, I’ve been known to change my mind¬† on these city trips, choosing to spend the day¬† at the State Library instead. However, there are times when I just have to grit my teeth and go forth.

As I walked through Martin Place damn me if there wasn’t a busker playing Silent Night… in mid September! Life slips by too fast for me already, so I only gave him two dollars. And do you know what? There was an ibis listening to him. I swear they’re taking over the city.¬† I took the following photo outside a shop¬† in George Street.

Ibis in Sydney City

On I went, nearly colliding with a life size hippo in  Pitt St mall. Something to do with Taronga Zoo I think. I skirted around it, because sometimes the staff have live snakes they  encourage  people to pat. There are enough snakes in my own garden, thanks.

I prefer department stores to boutiques, because I don’t like to be pounced upon and pressured. Cynicism comes with¬† age you know, and¬† when someone says, ‘You look fabulous in that, Sweetheart,’ ¬†I don’t believe a bloody¬† word of it.¬† And then there are the shops that play VERY loud, thumping music. Is that really necessary?¬† As my mother used to say, ‘I can’t hear myself think!’¬†

I avoided George Street and the light rail construction work. Just hurry and finish it please is all I’ll say. I want to be agile enough to get on the new trains…. or are they trams?

There always seems to be a sale on these  days . Am I right to be suspicious, or is this  just another indication of my advancing age?


Early bird sale in Sydney

Early bird bargains? I wonder!

Mind you, the big stores¬† do have their own hazards. Even though Meyers¬† has multiple¬† exits on different levels I am sometimes completely unable to find my way out. I wonder if this is all a deliberate ploy by marketing¬† psychologists? If so it doesn’t work; a panic stricken woman hardly has¬† more shopping on her mind.

I will gloss over the horror of finding the¬† fitting rooms and endlessly struggling in and out of clothes.¬† Sizing is all up the creek these days. I know I’ve lost a bit of weight, but it’s crazy that I now fit into size 8 pants instead of 10.¬† I suspect the manufacturers just want to make us feel thinner¬† and more inclined to buy. At least I found¬† a few things eventually. Oh joy! Might have to take the hems of the pants up though. Why do they make them so incredibly long?

Thankfully hat buying was¬† less stressful.¬† A fellow shopper¬† joined the search. We had so much fun that she even¬† took my photo.¬† At least she was honest in her comments, and¬† actually very helpful. She said she was supposed to be looking for a dress to wear to her granddaughter’s wedding. To my shame I didn’t offer to help her in return, though I wished her well.


Hat shopping is relatively painless..

Hat shopping.

Bought some shoes next; flat soled, soft leather. Soon I’ll be buying Hush Puppies.

Shopping for senior style footwear.

Comfort rules,


Clearly the¬† store staff had been instructed¬† to ‘engage and chat’ with their customers. As¬† I handed over my credit card the middle aged assistant said;

‘You are very energetic!’

What a peculiar thing to say, I hadn’t exactly been leaping about the store…or swinging from the racks. I was unable to respond, apart from a quizzical smile. Her English was not fluent, but¬† I took it as a compliment until she added;

¬†‘Some people are¬† in a really bad way’.¬† It’s terrible…. they can hardly walk. Even people younger than you. So don’t be sad dear!’

Oh good grief! And I’d been feeling relatively chirpy¬† after my ‘finds’. I thought the¬† sixties were¬† supposed to be the new forties.¬† Pity she couldn’t have seen me on a trampoline a while¬† back. Naturally I headed for the nearest mirror for reassurance. I didn’t think I looked¬†too bad. Mind you, I do have the beginnings of cataracts; OMG, I probably can’t see myself as I really am.

It was  clearly time for a big hit of caffeine and carbohydrate. I sat down after selecting what used to be a cream puff, but of course  is now profiterole. It was served on a giant plate and garnished with a strawberry and toffee lattice. It cost me so much I felt slightly sick.

I caught the bus home after that, still in a state of confused deflation. As usual, it was very crowded so I had to stand up. A man smiled¬† kindly at me when I nearly fell over as the driver braked suddenly on the harbour bridge.¬† He didn’t offer me his seat, but I smiled back because he must have thought I looked young and energetic….relatively speaking!

As evening fell back ‘home’ in Mosman a full moon rose over the heads. I like to think this explained a lot. Lunacy!


Full moon over Sydney Heads

Full moon over Sydney Heads. The answer to everything?

Have you had a shopping day similar to mine? Do leave a message in the comment box below. As always, scroll down and complete the simple anti-spam sum before pressing SUBMIT.


I  decided to revisit this article after a recent experience in my local shopping centre at Blackheath. It was an unsettling  revelation of how other people  must perceive me.

I was in our big antiques centre buying early birthday gifts for my partner when I thought I should check my phone messages.

Victory Antiques Centre at Blackheath

I sat down on the far side of a wide step, but before I could get very far an assistant came rushing over and said

Oh my goodness….are you alright?¬† ¬†

‘Yes, yes, I’m fine thanks’.¬† ¬†¬†

‘Just¬† having a little rest are you?

No, I was just checking my phone before I go downstairs.

‘Oh OK, well let me take those for you.

She picked up my shopping¬† (two, very small¬† items) and escorted me down. For goodness sake, did she think I might collapse?¬† And honestly, she wasn’t much younger than me.¬† ūüė鬆 After I’d paid for the gifts she even walked around the counter and put them in my bag!¬† OMG, I wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted or grateful.

The funny thing is that I still wear that Myers hat in the garden.


Gardening is far more pleasant than shopping.

Much heavier than my damn shopping!

Mind you, underneath it¬† my hair is now grey (Well it was before, but I’ve recently stopped dyeing it.) Perhaps it wasn’t wise to do that.











  1. The most wired shopping experience indeed, and what wonderful primary source material for this article. The Mitchell always a bit of heaven, but I seemed to remember every book I wanted had to ordered and would be brought to one from the stocks – or was it stacks!!!
    What a shame you couldn’t travel back by ferry.
    And I hope you were pleased with what you bought.

    • Pauline

      Yes, you still have to order books from the stacks or external storage Annabelle, but no different to any other major library. The wonderful thing these days is that you can do it all in advance on-line. The Mitchell is also battling funding cuts etc.

      I adore the ferry, but the bus drops me at the door of the apartment. Am happy with my purchases except for arguing with Rob about whether I need to take the new jeans up. Have washed them to see if they shrink!! xx

  2. I am laughing. It could only happen to you. It’s a conspiracy to keep you writing! May I just add that I didn’t see you actually BOUNCING on the trampoline; although the kneeling was very impressive, ‘cos you cannot do that after knee replacements ūüôā

    • Pauline

      Well I did bounce on that trampoline Marcia….albeit very cautiously and holding the hand of a caring little friend. My knees are still fine but my balance isn’t the best. xx

      • Well next time Pauline, I’d like to SEE the action shot! xx

        • Pauline

          I think I have one somewhere….oh yes it’s on my story about Churg Strauss Syndrome!

  3. Love your story Pauline. Now I know why I clicked with you in the first place. We are like minded. It has been many years for me since I have written about my every day experiences. Though so wonderful to provoke smiles, giggles and laughter.
    I empathise with you about the clothes and the shopping. I am aghast with the idea of walking into any library and having to order the books to be brought to me. Having been brought up a book lover and doing regular jaunts in the city from one second hand bookshop to another with my father, grandfather and then partner, I cannot imagine going to any place that has books available and not being about to simply choose that one that looks so interesting and browsing through to see if that is the one that wants to be read.
    All in all, I love your blog posts. Keep writing, they are wonderful to read.

    • Pauline

      Thanks Sandy. Fortunately there was such an outcry at the Mitchell that they stopped removing the books. The Reading Room is much more accessible though, so I guess that’s an improvement.

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