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30 May 2009 @ 10:19 pm
Shopping success and failure  
For the first time in many years, it is actually cold enough for a proper winter coat in Sydney. Alas, the last time it was this cold I was slender, now I am stout, and so it was off to find a new one.

You might think this would be easy, but I was determined that it not be black, and I look horrible in orangey-reds. Alas, Sydney retailers believe that everyone should wear only black or orangey-red on the rare cold days in this city.

A few of my friends will now be saying: 'But weren't you in Italy, home of the fine coat, only six months ago?' To which the answer is yes, but it was very toasty and I had every reason to believe that global warming would keep it so. Or, I am very vague and was conscious only that my luggage allowance was already used up in books, which may be a little closer to the truth.

So you can imagine that I was prepared to spend many hours combing through racks looking for something that would suit the stumpy, be not black, and have some aspect of style that appealed to me.

The third coat I picked up was a brown and cream herringbone twill, in wool, a hip-length 1960-style swing coat with a shawl collar and three-quarter sleeves. It fit perfectly and was 30% off.

My easy success filled me with glee and I proceeded on the second part of my shopping mission, which I had thought would be hugely simple. All I wanted was a copy of The Demon's Lexicon, either in my hands today, or pre-ordered in case they really were holding on to them until Tuesday. Five bookshops later, August appears to be the earliest I can buy it locally. August!

I have one possible source left, but even Better Read than Dead has let me down. How is it that the clothing fairies, who never work in my favour, should have been so kind, when my lifelong book-buying genie has taken himself off on a little holiday?

In cat news, Monster the cat has taken to human surfing. This is very amusing when we are dressed and bend down near the cat tower to pick up a book or bag. When we are in the bathroom and bending over to dry our feet, it is only hilarious to the one observing.

ETA 2: Leochi has a scarily accurate depiction of the situation here. And yes, it is funny even when one has the puncture marks ...

ETA: ARGH! and OOPS! Thank you very much to adores_draco  for my lovely pink pony. Now I have the entire Live Action My Little Pony trailer running through my head again, which I am not going to link to for those of you who missed it, because I value your sanity even if you don't.
boodiedharawal on May 30th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Nyx one of my grumpy old lady cats does that, she will gleefully leap onto peoples backs the instant they soi much as bend over.

with claws!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 30th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
OUCH! Naughty Nyx! Mon is very good about keeping her claws retracted, until she starts to lose balance. This can make removing her very difficult. Hence the sight of me carefully and nakedly moving through the house until I was beside the cat tower and able to reach out for one of her brushes and tempt her over onto the tower.

She is so very proud of herself, I suppose she believes we should be her transport ...
Leochileochi on May 30th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Ahahahahaha - Sorry, but the Human Surfing Cat is just too hilarious for words!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 30th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
That was hysterical! And oh so wrong, and yet genius ... thank you!
Leochileochi on May 31st, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
*g* Anytime. ;DDD
It's that Bucket woman!curia_regis on May 30th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Orangey-red? *blink* I already have far too many coats (and other items of clothing) so I haven't poked around clothing racks this season, but ick. I prefer my coats to be a dark grey which goes well with most things. Pure black coats look kind of bad unless you can match them with other items that are the exact same shade of black.

I think most things this season look terrible, to be honest. I can't wait until shapeless dresses and leggings go out of fashion.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
I was looking in the wrong city, really. If you want a good winter coat, you need to go to Melbourne or Canberra. Sydney is rubbish! And yes, Charcoal is always more flattering and adaptable and shapeless dresses are a bit bleagh, but I must say, I adore leggings, even though I rarely wear them.
SlytherinBrandBabyOilsbbo on May 30th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Perhaps the clothing faeries cannot come near you when your book genie is around. Their powers are mutually exclusive? They are natural enemies? One acts as a poison to the other? I don't know. BUT, if your genie was, in fact, on vacation, this aversion would no longer be a problem. The clothing faeries showed up, did their work, and you'll soon be back in book genie land.

You should really talk to them about working out a schedule. First half of the week the genie hangs, second half the clothing faeries. You could see if they could work out a deal with the hot, luscious, not-awkward one night stand faerie for some weekends. If you wish.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 30th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh sbbo, that was my FAVE faerie for years! We got on so well, she did her best work for me, I left her plates of cream, I introduced her to a few of my friends, she had fun hanging with them, and then I met Mr Brammers. And she came round a few weekends later, and I had to break the news, being sure to leave a bowl of cream for old times' sake. Every now and then she pops by and says 'What about this one?' and I have to shake my head sadly and point out Mr B. Woe!

But I think you are onto something with the one fairy at a time rule. I have enough clothes now, though. The book genie can come back! *mwah!*
AMY 凛☆ラブ☆アタックtomatoe18 on May 30th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
A few of my friends will now be saying: 'But weren't you in Italy, home of the fine coat, only six months ago?'

Exactly what I thought when I read the first two paragraphs in this entry. That said, I understand your reasons. Good luck finding the right coat. (If only my country has four seasons... I love coats.)

There should be a way to let the cats know that human surfing is NOT A GOOD ACTIVITY. My cat body surfed me (eh, what's the correct expression for this?) last week. I still have paw marks, punctures and two long scratches. There's a reason Zara keeps getting money from me for sale of their cardigans... they're the only way I can cover up my battle scars and look stylish.

Edited at 2009-05-30 02:44 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 30th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
There were SO MANY GOOD BOOKS!!!

Yes, I love coats, too. I still have my old favourites, even if they are tiny and I am not. When I finally move back to Europe I will take them with me and not eat until they fit again!

And you poor thing! I have been mostly claw free due to removing Monster with great care, but they are surprisingly painful little buggers!
Tansy Rayner Robertscassiphone on May 30th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I ordered my copy from www.fishpond.com.au and apparently it's on it's way!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 30th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am going to try Galaxy tomorrow, but if they are not stocking it, I will go to fishpond. You're a peace of mind saver!
Sarah Rees Brennansarahtales on May 30th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I was about to profusely apologise because I know that S&S Australia pushed back its date to August (I think because of changing warehouses? Or something? I may be wrong) and I am so glad there is an alternative!

(Also, hey, thanks. :))
Meredythmeredyth_13 on May 30th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Hey sweetie, are you definitely you again? I unfriended during the mad journal stealing phase, just because my lj is entirely flocked and I wanted to keep it private.

I am ridiculously excited for you this week - I hope it's a blast! Remember to breathe, love.

Sarah Rees Brennansarahtales on May 31st, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
I was always me, aside from the two hours when there was malware.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
Oh Sarah ... that was the PERFECT excuse to disavow anything you've always wished you could ;-)

In good news, at least one Sydney stockist, Galaxy Bookshop, has some hardback copies of TDL that will be in this week. blindmouse is looking for importers in Melbourne. And the Galaxy staff told me that I was not their first inquiry, which I hope brings a smile to your face.

Sarah Rees Brennansarahtales on May 31st, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
Oh yay, Galaxy! Galaxy is my favourite type of chocolate, so clearly it's a lucky word for me. ;) Thank you for telling me!
lyraslyras on June 3rd, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Oh, yay! Will head down to Galaxy later this week. Thanks for the update - I came mooching back through the comments to see whether you'd had any luck. Glad to see that you did!
Tansy Rayner Roberts: book addictcassiphone on May 31st, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Hee, no problem. As if I could wait until August! I un-pre-ordered from Amazon when I heard it would be out early in Aus and then by the time I heard August I was into my 'attempt all options other than Amazon' phase, so it's all good.

Good luck with the launch week/month/year, it's an exciting time to have your first book out!
Meredythmeredyth_13 on May 30th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, that coat sounds divine! You should definitely test it out in better weather ... maybe something further south?

I was hoping to pick up a copy of DL this week too - wtf with the no supply? That's bogus! *is cranky* If I see any around I will definitely let you know.

Could you please make sure Monster does not have access to a phone or the internet? I don't need him sharing this trick with the boys, kthnx.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
Melbourne was definitely one of the places I had in mind! The coat's lovely, and made all with unionised labour, so I can wear it without any concerns.

As to TDL, blindmouse is looking for stockists down your way, otherwise I can see about grabbing an extra if the local supply I have finally tracked down.

Monster would like you to know that she is a girl and has shelved her plans for a YouTube station until she has lost her wobbly kibble tummy.

*hugs back*
Dedicated Escape Artist: Figgyjadzialove on May 30th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Oh! The coat sounds wonderful. I have no use for a wool coat, but if I did, I'd very much like one of those.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:24 am (UTC)
I love it! Even J loves it! And on special, hurrah!

I have worn swing coats before, and always find them very adaptable to various looks. Though I realised today that they are not so good with shoulder straps, which means I may not be able to wear it on days I have my laptop with me!

When I have enough cash to move all of us to Estonia, I'll share it with you :-)
Blindmouse: street survivorsblindmouse on May 30th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
I've been confused and distressed by the Demon's Lexicon thing. Seriously, we have parallel importation laws! They say a distributor has to make a book available within 30 days of the book being available somewhere else! August is not 30 days from June :/
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
It IS outrageous. I am going to send a cranky word to their marketing department when I get into work tomorrow. Still, at least they are planning to bring her books out here, which is more than anyone does for lovely Frances Hardinge.
shadowclubshadowclub on May 31st, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
I am looking forward to Demons Lexicon!!

HAHA, your cats sound like characters:)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
The cats are terrible and evil, and saved from being made into gloves only by the fact they are also adorable and hilarious. Monster things she is actually a person, while Cookie keeps watching her and every now and then giving her looks and miaows that seem to say 'What are you doing? You're a CAT!'
It's a Deensedeensey on May 31st, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Didn't we do the GREAT COAT HUNT last year, and you SWORE you would buy one in Italy?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yes! We did! But the books, they called to me! (And let's be honest, you're happy I chose the books, too ;-)
It's a Deensedeensey on May 31st, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
I am happy you chose the books too :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
See you on Wednesday? I plan to steal your Merlin ;-)
It's a Deensedeensey on May 31st, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
You should have gone over and grabbed it from J!

If I am awake, INDEED
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 31st, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
he's not as much fun to hang out with as you are! And I've not had a free minute to watch anyway ...
It's a Deensedeensey on June 1st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Very very true. And you need to be less busy.
pingridpingrid on May 31st, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Now I have the entire Live Action My Little Pony trailer running through my head again, which I am not going to link to for those of you who missed it, because I value your sanity even if you don't.

Thank you for that. In return I won't go on at length about the live-action Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs porn flick I have here somewhere.

Given that the clothing fairy is FAR more fickle than the book genie it's a bit of luck that you were able to snag one when you were actually in need of it. Yay for lovely herringbone twill coat! :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 1st, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
I wore it to work today to great acclaim. It's very Hepburn, either one, with a touch of the Romanovs about the bulky collar. And it goes beautifully with my Italian gloves (not to mention the new secondhand Gucci bag). And I can wait a few days for the book. Just.

It should surprise me that you have that porno, and yet, it doesn't. I just want to ask if it follows the same basic structure as the Grimm original.

pingridpingrid on June 1st, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I just want to ask if it follows the same basic structure as the Grimm original.

No, it's far, FAR scarier.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 1st, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
EEEEK! That's enough information without alcohol ;-)

And yay for Pin on the internet!
pingridpingrid on June 1st, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yay indeed, it's a lucky day. *sighs* They've said they'll send someone to look at things at my end, but of course they can only come between eight and four, and since the upcoming week is my first week in a new job ... I don't think I'll be telling them I have to stay home to wait for Internet Man. So it's likely to stay patchy a while yet. :/

But the weather is GORGEOUS and it's a holiday here, so I'm going back and forth between baking on the sunny balcony and watching Sharpe's Regiment. And talking to you, which is always a plus! :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 1st, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I had a bath! Which has delayed me saying SHARPE! SEAN! BABY!

Actually, I should probably have dressed before typing this ... it's so much pervier than I meant it to be.
pingridpingrid on June 1st, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
But that's perfect - you know what a fan I am of things being pervier than you mean them to be. ;)

Unfortunately this was the one where he gets together with the nice girl; most boring of Sharpe shags!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 1st, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Boo, hiss! Bring back Theresa! Or Lady Hamilton ...

I am about to go to bed, where I fear I will dream of priapic midgets, for which I will blame YOU.
pingridpingrid on June 1st, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Sleep well, and try to dream of Sean Bean in his mid-30s instead! :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 1st, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's good at any age. That jaw may sag a little, but his bottom is still v pert!
pingridpingrid on June 1st, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
trichinopoly ash: art: subtext buttsexaldehyde on June 1st, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
the description of your new coat is making me drool. i demand photographs! :D
&helena;uminohikari on June 2nd, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
But black winter coats are so pretty!