Ben and I aren't the best at doing "Date Nights" - to be honest, we'd probably rather stay in with one of the Finest meal deals from Tesco or cook something ourselves like steak and chips. There's also the fact that Ben doesn't like films, so the cinema is out of the question - he just can't sit still for that long, if we watch a film at home, he'll wander off to clean the kitchen or start brewing some beer or something half way through. Occasionally though, usually when I decide that I no longer want to eat what we've decided to have for tea because I'm fussy like that, we'll go out for a meal. And sometimes, it's your 6 year anniversary and you decide that since you haven't got each other presents, you should probably do something to mark the occasion and go out for a meal.
So a couple of weeks ago, it was our 6 year anniversary, as Facebook so kindly reminded me with a veritable feast of photos of us together in various places, and we decided to go out for tea, and of course, I had to dress up. Strangely enough though, you may notice in these photos that the background looks a bit different in Ben's photos to mine, despite the outfits being what we wore that night - it's like Spot the Difference, have fun! That's actually due to the fact that my outfit was, ahem, reworn but with these heeled sandals about a week later, actually for another night at the same pub (#oops). As you might remember, my last "real time" outfit post (as opposed to one I'd forgotten to post for weeks) explained about my sprained ankles - hence the lack of heels the first time, and the fact that we were running late so we didn't bother to do pictures of my outfit. But anyway, onto the outfits before I go into a little more detail about why I disappeared again for a couple of weeks, and Ben is up first...
Chinos: Clothing at Tesco
Canvas Shoes: Clothing at Tesco
Ben likes nothing better than to make fun of the amount of parcels I receive and turn up from work hauling - sometimes these are things that I've ordered, sometimes they're things I've been sent to review here and there, sometimes they're even for him, but he thinks it's hilarious. But recently, a box shaped parcel arrived and, as usual, I wondered what I'd managed to order and forget about. In fact, this one turned out to be for him! A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Hawes & Curtis who offered me a shirt to review on the blog. At first I scrolled through the women's section, having a look at whatever caught my eye. But then I realised, I don't exactly wear shirts, and I haven't done since the traumatic experience of having to wear button up shirts every day at school and having to deal with either huge gaping gaps in between buttons over the bust or a ginormous shirt draping the rest of my body to keep everything else covered (okay, not quite "traumatic", but it wasn't nice). Generally, I don't wear shirts because, well, I have a pretty awkward bra size and body shape (which I think is pretty normal actually, but apparently clothes designers don't!), so squeezing these ever expanding 28Gs into shirts doesn't usually go down well with me.
Right, enough about my body shape, and onto the rest of the story. So I decided that with the range of fabulous men's shirts Hawes & Curtis stocked, surely I'd be able to find something Ben liked instead, and the lovely people at the company agreed that they'd like to see him in one of their shirts too. So that's how Ben ended up with a very smart shirt for free and was very pleased with himself.
As I said, it arrived in a fancy box looking very expensive, and Ben thought I was amazing, being able to get him such an awesome shirt. The quality of the shirt is really outstanding too, being a nice soft cotton but at the same time is pretty sturdy. We were also impressed with the little thingies that go in the collar (what are these called?!) to keep it stiff. I picked him a short sleeved one as it was slightly more casual, but it can also be worn with a tie (not that Ben would...) to smarten it up a little. And as it turned out, the shirt wasn't anywhere near as expensive as the quality suggested, only priced at £25 at the moment! He's now deciding which one he should buy next off the site!
So, onto my outfit! As I said, these were taken on a separate day to Ben's photos but the only difference was the shoes I wore - I'd worn flats the time before because of the sprained ankles. So, a little more on that is below the last set of photos, because I ramble, and you might not be bothered to read it all!
I'm so pleased with this dress - I saw Modcloth had one of their sales on, so decided to take a look and came across this dress, which I discovered is by Hell Bunny even though it's not clear on the site. In the sale, it was reduced to the same price in $ as you can buy it in £, as in, it was $43.99 but is still £43.99 on all the UK sites (which is nearly $75 for reference), so I decided to go for it! Then I remembered that I had a $50 from last time I'd shopped with Modcloth - they'd had an issue, taken my money, then realised the order hadn't gone through and everything was out of stock. As an apology I'd got the voucher, so I basically got the dress for free, since I had to pay shipping. I'm so pleased because it's gorgeous. I've even gone a bit over the top and worn it to work, and got told by two people, Ben and a guy at work, that I looked Spanish in it - definitely can't be a bad thing!
Oh and final thing, I've changed my hair a bit, can you tell?! I ombred the ends again; last time I was at uni! Last time I had darker and shorter hair - I guess I must have had some dye on it to get it that colour as it's mostly about it's natural colour (aside from the ombre) now. I used a L'Oreal Preference Ombre Kit which seemed a lot better. It came with a little brush for spreading the bleach evenly through my hair, and this time I left it on solidly for the maximum recommended time of 45 minutes rather than washing it out to see the colour then reapplying a bazillion times every 20 minutes. You can still tell my hair is impervious to bleach as it hasn't made a huge amount of difference, even though it was on the max recommended time, but I think it looks a lot more natural and I really like it. I'd also curled my hair this evening, but the curls had already dropped out mostly at this point, but it looks nicer than my usual scruffy but straight hair (it's just scruffy but slightly wavy/curled instead!)
So Ben and I went down after he got back from work one evening, and turned up to an empty waiting room. Considering the amount of hours I've spent sat in A&E before (for a variety of sprained ankles, broken bones and stomach pains - hi, Gallbladder!), we were pretty pleased. It took a while for the lady behind the desk to pay any attention to us, while I attempted to balance on my poorly ankles, but she finally signed us in and we sat down. We waited about half an hour before we were taken into the triage room where a rather sour faced nurse asked what I'd done. When I explained that I knew I'd hurt myself while running then my feet had gone numb, she demanded: "But what did you do? Was there an incident?", to which I responded no, but I'd stumbled several times then continued running, clearly not realising there was an injury. She gave a shrug and told me to take my shoes off. She then felt down my leg over the lesser injured ankle, I pointed out where it hurt (pretty badly) when she pressed, then moved to the other leg, the more injured one, where she felt below my knee then touched my toes, asking if that hurt. I tried to explain that, no, it didn't, because it's my ankle that hurts. But she again shrugged and sent me out of the room. I had a quick X ray, oddly enough on the wrong side of both ankles (but then again, I'm not sure whether this is a normal thing), then was called back into the triage nurse's office. I was surprised because in the past I've always been seen by a doctor or actual nurse rather than just the initial one. She literally waited for me to hobble in and sit in the chair before saying, "They're not broken, must be a sprain, you can go now." Ben even noticed that she had this awfully smug look on her face, and since I was so shocked with her manner, he had to ask a few questions for me including, "Can she drive then?" to which we got "No, of course she can't", "So should she put ice on them?", "Yes, that's what you do with a sprain", "Elevate them?", impatiently: "Yes, of course." So we ended up having to draw any relevant information out of her before I was sent out of the room.
There were a few things that really bothered me about this hospital visit. I was only seen by a triage nurse who did nothing more than touch my leg, not even at the site of the injury, or even ask me to rotate the ankle (I've sprained my ankles several times, and have always had to do this for the diagnosis and to tell how bad they are - this time I was in far worse pain in one ankle than I ever had been with previous sprains and had pain in a different area, so wanted to know why). When I was led by her to the X ray room, she disappeared down the corridor, not waiting for me despite the fact I could barely walk. On this hobble, I passed a group of three doctors (nurses maybe? They were male and wearing medical uniforms at least) who turned to watch me walk by in silence - definitely felt very uncomfortable, and possibly felt some leering stares on my chest. Not being seen by a doctor or nurse after the X ray was also very strange, and I wasn't even given any medical advice until we drew it out of her. And finally, not related to me, but the waiting room filled up as we waited, and I observed one poor woman come in sobbing having been bitten by dog, with blood dripping down her leg, who was left to wait while others were seen, not even offered any consolation for the traumatic experience - I think she should have been pushed to the front of the list, I wouldn't have been bothered had she been seen before me as I wasn't an emergency and she was. We also saw a girl waiting at the reception desk for more than 25 minutes to be signed in, literally just stood there in the doorway when the woman was inside, even though she'd rung the bell. It turned out she had hit her head badly and had concussion, but was left standing there all that time.
So, overall, not impressed. The NHS can be fantastic, and we'd actually had a positive experience at that hospital before, but this was a disaster. The woman who dealt with me was pretty rude and extremely smug, and I felt ridiculous for having gone. She did at one point question why I was there, despite the fact I'd been referred by my GP. None of my questions were answered about why this injury was different - I wanted to know about whether it was the way I'd run to do something to my ankles, but all I got was an uncaring woman who didn't explain anything to me or even examine me correctly. I got better answers from my GP over the phone than I did from her, so ended up leaving very upset, and in pain at being rushed out without any consideration for the injuries I had. So, rant over, but sometimes the NHS can be so disappointing.