Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I love parcels

Only a few more days and we go on holiday! Am so excited I can barely type. We’re going up to Northumberland and will be staying at THE most magical place. Then we come back, I launch into a flurry of washing and then, ye gods, term starts.

I am feeling rather smug actually as, for once, I am pretty much on top of the uniform thing. James is moving up to senior school (AAAGHHHH) and I was terrified that the uniform list would be crucifying but actually it wasn’t too bad. I think schools are beginning to realise that parents have enough on their plates without having to take out a mortgage for blazers and boaters.

I can clearly remember the look on my poor mother’s face when my uniform list came in. I was only going to the local girls’ grammar but by heck there were three pages of it. Actually (I kid you not) there was even a boater. The skirt was a kilt - rather a nice tartan actually. The shirts were a particular shade of sky blue and came from a particular shop in Twickenham. No wonder she turned white.

Actually I think there is some kind of bias against girls because, as we pitched up at James’ school shop to buy our gear, I noticed that the girls still had to get special skirts and, yup, particular blouses while the boys were let off with any old grey trousers and white shirts. And halleluyah for that. I usually top up our kit at M&S but a few days ago I got an email from Tesco asking if I’d like a big bag of school uniform.

Naturally I said, ‘Nah, that’s okay, mate, I’d rather buy it. Give it to someone more deserving.’

Okay, so how many of you believed that? Even for a moment? Yeah, thought not. Suffice to say, I bit off its arm (if an email can have an arm).

Anyhow, at this point (biting the arm of the email) I had to walk away from my PC (okay, lunge) to extract my bra from the Soul Puppy’s piranha sharp teeth. Naturally this would be the precise moment that the delivery man chose to arrive (trying not to laugh as the SP and I had a tug-of-war with my industrial strength underwear) and handed me THE most enormous parcel, all tied up with a big black bow.

Oh god I LOVE parcels. Even parcels with, ahem, boys school clothes in them. But still – one gets that little frisson that accompanies any parcel (along with the random yet hopeful thought that maybe there might be a bar of chocolate stuck in there somewhere). Alas no (as Dumbledore would have said) but there were pens and pads alongside the clothes and (serious smile) a voucher for me to buy something online at Tesco who (who’d of thought) actually have a whole bunch of designer stuff now. Mind you what’s the betting I end up buying stuff for James? Adrian can’t understand why I no longer buy myself clothes but get armloads for the boy but really it’s simple. I can buy something knowing it will a) fit and b) look good. *sigh*).

Meanwhile, back at the parcel, I’m pretty impressed. The shirts, in particular, are good quality and the jumper is ace. Must add that this is the F&F Signature range. Anyhow, have a butcher’s.....

They’ve also asked if I’d like to nominate another blogger who might like to receive their largesse. Didn’t take me long to think of Milla – partly because her younger son, F11, is also off to big school but also because if anyone can make buying school uniform hilarious, it’s Milla and I rather yearn to read what she’ll make of it. So, Fairy TescoToes – please send a parcel to dear Milla (tip: if you want to make her REALLY happy, sneak in a few bottles of wine – she’s rather partial to Tesco Finest pinot if I recall).

Now all I have to do is sew on a few more labels. A monumental task as the school demands (for some inexplicable reason) that kit be labelled in HUGE type. It’s at this point that I wish I hadn’t married a bloke with a stupidly long double-barrelled name. James’ name tags are about six inches long (honestly, no exaggeration).

As I stab the needle in yet again, I narrow my eyes and feel a flash of unsisterly loathing for the mothers of Tom Hunt and Ann Green.

btw, of course it was only a question of time before this happened......


rachel said...

Oh yes, the 'particular shop' that stocks the 'particular' uniform... My mother nearly died too - a panama hat for summer, and a velour one for winter? And a beret for every day? Blazers and coats? Indoor shoes, outdoor shoes? Sunday uniform ( I boarded) as well as weekday? A hideous summer dress with gathers in the bodice? Sets of bullet-proof knickers and stockings? The 11-plus scholarship began to look more like a bankruptcy. It did, however, cover my stationery; the rest of the family could eat, knowing that they didn't have to sacrifice their mouldy crusts to keep me in erasers and jotters....

Alison Cross said...

I bought Sonshine's stuff from Asda this year. So far so good....but wait until there has been a vigorous game of tig and THEN we'll see whether the seams hold out!

Soul Puppy is GORGEOUS!

Ali x

Posie said...

Jane have a fab holiday, beautiful Northumberland, and great neighbours too!! Lucky you with the uniform, alas I wasn't quite so organised and my kids are back at school and some of this terms uniform is still to arrive...hey ho..

Fran Hill said...

One of my scarred-me-for-life experiences was having to wear a blue beret with a gold tassel on my first day at secondary school. I remember begging my mum to let me take it off before I boarded the school bus, and she wouldn't let me.

Exmoorjane said...

Rachel: so you had THREE hats? OMG. And indoor and outdoor shoes? Sheesh. We had thick cotton knickers for athletics (how cruel was that?) coupled with Aertex shirts. Envy these modern girls with their skorts.

Ali: Yup, that's the problem. If it's too cheap, there's usually a reason. Isn't he scrummy? *in lurve*

Posie: thank you, thank you! Do so love Northumberland....wish we had time to venture further northwards your way!

Fran: that is plain wrong. Cruel. Sadistic. You poor, poor sausage.

Lara said...

We got off really lightly with the boys uniforms, just logo-ed sweatshirts and t-shirts, everything else was bog-standard
The school I work in has the same type of uniform, and is in a semi-deprived urban area. The parents were very vocal about not wanting blazers when our new Head did a survey.

I love parcels too and am waiting for a lovely one from Boden at the moment *sigh*

Caroljs said...

Thankfully I don't have to worry about uniform for a few years yet.

I had to wear a blazer to school and to save money my mum bought one three sizes to big so it would last a while its was huge and I had to tuck the sleeves up. I had it three years and every time my arms grew longer my mum would roll down the sleeves and you could see the line where it had been folded for the past 6 months and it would be different colour to the rest of the blazer it was so embarrassing. It then got passed down to my sister

Lara said...

My own uniform was always always home made. Hand knitted jumpers and handmade skirts and dresses. I was always made to wear the green tights from September to April, regardless of the weather!

Yvonne Johnston said...

Biggest problem I've found with Tesco school uniform is that it seems to assume that kids have been eating too much of their food. My somewhat slim-waisted son always needs a belt to avoid trousers round ankles embarrassment Not what you want at the age of 14.
I remember my school uniform specified regulation school everything even down to the thick cotton bottle-green knickers. We used to have to do PE wearing these and a blue aertex shirt. Oh those were the days.

Exmoorjane said...

GG: Boden? You scrummy mummy! Was actually quite impressed to see that Tesco are doing blazers... I actually really like seeing school children in blazers (if not at exorbitant cost). Slightly put out that no blazer for first two years of J's new school.

NM: LOL! I had one of those. I fact pretty sure I had the same blazer for five years at school.

GG: Oh heck yes, my nan used to knit all my sweaters...until I went to senior school and BEGGED to buy some horrid acrylic number.

spudballoo said...

Giggle...my posh secondary school kit list was about 6 pages long and included A CLOAK! A grey wool cloak, lined with pale yellow satin. Of course it could only be bought at the school outfitters at the cost of £5,000,000.

And our labels HAD to be from Cash's and HAD to have our school numbers (apparently our names weren't enough to ID us) and QC afterwards (initials of school). Stupidly long labels natch.

Even our socks and underwear had to be named. FFS.

Mary Poppins said...

Ohooo we got one too for my ickles, was very impressed, and lovely that I can nominate somone else too to recieve a bundle :0) My DS's first year at big school, so quite a biggy for me, many a tear shall be shed. Have a lovely holiday.


Exmoorjane said...

Yvonne: know exactly what you mean. My son is slim of build too and I do love an elasticated waist - GAP are good for those... And Oh YES to the knicker trauma...

Spud: Okay - you and Fran win joint honours for Most Ridiculous Item of School Clothing. A CAPE???? FFS indeed.
Yup, we have to have the house initials after the name - hence the VAST expanse of name tag. *snarl*

Mary: ah, great you got one too. :) Seriously, we CANNOT wait!

Rob-bear said...

Here, in the very egalitarian colony across the pond, very few of us have ever had encounters with school uniforms. Certainly neither I, nor my beloved, nor our offspring. So what does that make us; "new school"?

The one saving grace is that Soul Puppy knows exactly the best use for school uniform.

Hope you have a grand holiday in Northumberland.

Milla said...

thank you thank you thank you!!! Have the buggers, er, I mean lovely people at Tesco read it yet ... or do you think they disapprove of me because I've been known to swear???
And it's the Vieille Fontaine, truly the most delicious white wine available, and dead cheap - literally not 5 mins before I'd been recommending it to the school PTA for the Quiz Night. See, Tesco, that's how gorgeous a customer I am.

Wally B said...

On a recent trip back to my native Northumberland, I was lucky enough to have been involved in a Northumbrian music session at the old pub in Low Newton, just a few miles south of Enbleton. Monday nights if I recall. Great food and locally made beer. Have a great holiday. Oh, and uniform comment to follow. My first day at Grammar School in Morpeth resulted in me being thrown through a large Holly bush by the seniors. I ripped the arse out of the pants and elbows out of the blazer and spent the rest of my first year "patched up"

Milla said...

the lovely people have been in touch! swoon. Soon free stuff will be MINE.