Shopping and Trains in England

20 03 2012

Arriving in England was a bloody big shock to the system weather wise (although they have had the mildest winter in fifty years!) but it was nice to be back in a relatively clean and normal country.

A little different to South East Asia huh?

Since I have been here before, don’t expect a whole lot of posts about my first impressions of England – those little ditties from when I DID live in England have been stored on my computer for a while, and maybe it’s time I pulled them out again for your reading pleasure. *wiggles eyebrows*

Instead this post is about two things I noticed while in England this time. The fashion and the trains. Of course the first thing we did when we arrived was hit the shops! England has the best and cheapest clothes ever – long live Primark!

So what’s the shizzle in fashion in England at the moment? Well, super skinny jeans are definitely “in” and I’m devo (that’s devastated for anyone over the age of 25). I do not suit super skinny jeans. In fact, I’m pretty sure the majority of the female population don’t suit super skinny jeans, yet they seemed to be on every shelf in every shop. When they were only skinny jeans they were bad enough. Were they called stove-pipes in New Zealand? But super skinny. I wonder how many women just fall down in shopping malls due to the absence of blood flow to their lower limbs.  And these jeans aren’t just for the girls, they even have super skinny jeans for the blokes!  (See link at bottom of post)

The men’s jeans were just as awful. The style of the moment has the legs shaped so that they bend outwards in a banana fashion, causing the jeans to have the I-just-got-off-my-horse-after-100-days-of-riding look. But wait, there’s more. They are nicely finished off round the ankle with a tight elastic cuff – just like you’d find on a pair of old school trackie pants. Blurk! I tried to coerce Roger into modelling a pair so I could take a photo but he blatantly refused. Oh but just you wait you lucky, lucky Kiwi blokes. This little hum-dinger piece of fashion should be hitting shops near you soon!

This photo actually makes them look half decent. They're not!

The other thing that shrieked at me from shop windows were the clothing neologisms that my Year 12 students from last year would lap up! The first was “Jeggings.” These were not just a pair of leggings, but leggings that looked like a pair of jeans. Hence, jeggings! Eek, clever!

The second was a little trickier to figure out. “Treggings – two pairs for 10 quid.” Hmmm. On closer examination, I discovered they were leggings that looked like a pair of work trousers. Hence, treggings!

Ahh the British. Always leading the trends in fashion. If you feel you need to know more, check it out here.

So while in England we spent a few days down South and a few days up North, two parts of the country that are totally different worlds. I don’t think I’m identifying anything that someone living in England doesn’t already know, but for those of you who haven’t been there let me try to explain it. And I’m going to do it using trains.

Down south in the county of Surrey, the trains glide soundlessly up to the platform, silently easing to a halt. Their glossy colourfully painted carriages appear sleek and sexy as they warm in the winter sun. The tinted windows suggest a magical mystery tour awaits you inside. You enter into a warm and cosy interior with clean, newly covered velour seats and brightly carpeted carriages. The easy rocking motion and hum of the train makes you feel like you are cradled in the bosom of a loving mother as you glide carefree towards your destination.

Up north in the county of Cleveland, the trains are considerably different. They squeal and groan as they pull up to the platform, screeching to a shuddering halt. Their dull blue flaky carriages are a sorry sight, and the engine revs loudly while they try to muster up the strength to leave the platform, jerking reluctantly into some forward momentum. The faded hard seats offer no comfort, and glum cold Northerners, mouths pulled down at the corners, sit looking at the bleakness through their scratched and graffittied windows. The train click-clacks loudly over the worn joins in the tracks, rocking sideways violently as you jerk uncomfortably towards your destination.

*sigh* “It’s grim up North.”

After a brief consideration whether or not to stay and put some roots down in England, we decided against it. Preferring instead to head to the land of sun, sand and surf. Perth, here we come…again.

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