OK, so I'll own up. I still have no idea what I'm doing with this thing. It's easy enough to say I'll use it for whatever I want, but getting into that mindset is trickier than you'd think. Especially when you take into account the fact that this little pony show was originally meant to be a functional political thing, and still is in part. I mean, do I stick to constructive posts, or can I relent and waffle on about my life, name-dropping my friends and sticking inside jokes in left, right and centre? I keep telling myself 'bit of both, bit of both', but... really? Could that even work?
Let's find out... at long bloody last.
I've decided I don't like it.
I only went in because I needed hot weather oddments for Spain, I'd left it too long to order from catalogues, and Primark was dirt cheap. Pick up a couple of pairs of trousers for a tenner, doesn't matter if you never wear them again, right? So I thought, as I trundled through Woolston on the 8A, armed with 50 quid and surreptitiously eating a doughnut, which for some reason tasted of fish. "Maybe get some trainers, sunglasses... how hard can it be?"
I held that thought as I crossed the Itchen Bridge for the first time ever. I like the view from up there, but it doesn't change the fact that in the past, when I've heard the Itchen Bridge get mentioned, it was usually because somebody was trying to throw themselves off it. If I ever manage to break the resulting association, I'll be amazed.
Now, it isn't that I have any weird objection to big mainstream shops in general. I comb them end from end every Christmas, I've wandered around M&S many a time, and Peacocks has served me well many a time. It's just... Primark. I don't know what it is, but the second I went in this afternoon I felt like a duck wandering around the surface of the moon, or a caretaker barging into an important board meeting. It wasn't particularly pleasant, and as I descended the esculator, a slight feeling of unease crept over me. I became painfully aware that I didn't really know where I was going or what I was doing. I was tackling shoes. Shoes were downstairs. Didn't want pumps... or heels... damn, is there anything in here that isn't pumps or heels? Yes- over there. No, no... maybe, I'll have a look. Perhaps over there- no, that's the children's section...
After about ten minutes, I made a hasty retreat, deciding I'd just wear my old converses. Instead I went to look at sunglasses, eventually managing to pick up a pair for a quid. This was only part of the trip that might be called successful, and even then I almost managed to walk out without paying for them, and probably looked plain ridiculous selecting them. In fact, I daresay I looked plain ridiculous full stop: a lone Goth wandering around in a haze of bewilderment, picking clothes up and putting them back two minutes later, poking things about as though they'd attack if I wasn't careful.
Eventually, I made my way to the changing rooms, armed with a pair of shorts, a skirt, and some trousers. After two brief encounters with staff members who spoke to me as though I was something dodgy they'd trodden in (OK, so I was being a bit of a ditz, but still...), I eventually managed to locate the one set of cublicles that wasn't closed and made my way in. It was here that I discovered something else about Primark: Their sizing's a bit weird. In most shops, I'm an 8, and had picked up 8s accordingly, but after two minutes in the changing room I realised that there was no way I was getting into a Primark 8 without ending up looking like a cross between a vacuum-packed Simon Cowell and a Christmas Turkey. Doubtful, but wanting to be sure, I tried on the last item- the trousers- and watched as they almost fell down. They were size 12, and had been put back on the wrong hanger.
I shamefacedly handed everything back, apart from the sunglasses (which I remembered to pay for in the nick of time), and ran for my fucking life.
After an interim period involving more successful excursions into Peacocks, delayed buses, traffic lights with a grudge against humanity and a mad dash through Eastleigh, I arrived, 15 minutes late, for the counselling appointment I sort of need and sort of don't. Sort of need because I do still have problems I want to work through, sort of don't because... well, I'm generally OK these days. Nonetheless, I turned up, and talked, and listened, and at one point attempted to argue with my counsellor about the nature of anxiety in Aspergers individuals...
He was pretty awesome about that. I felt a bit guilty, considering I'd just tried to undermine what I'm sure are many years of experience, and started apologising over and over again. Peter just brushed the whole thing off, said it was OK, and offered me a cup of tea.
I walked back from Eastleigh. My legs still hate me for it.
Anyway, that's my experimental personal post, and this is me signing off. Which I probably should have done ages ago, since I'm spending tomorrow morning sitting in a hall writing about Nazis for an hour and a half. Oh well, at least I'll be coming out to a big break, unlike Monday, when my exam and double English were separated by a ten minute gap, which I spent failing at finding people.