The Husband and Uncle Mark are cooing over a torch, the latest in a long line of illumination tools to clutter my kitchen shelves.
With living room lights dimmed, the boys are wonderstruck by the intense blue beam streaming from the slender cylinder. It’s not hard to imagine them as children, mucking about in the ‘boys room’ at Stafford, playing with a torch or a pocket knife, the very same toys The Husband likes to collect now he’s grown up.
The torch was a gift to The Husband from a colleague, a gas man, who had some plumbing work done. The gas man could have said thank you with a bottle of wine, like most people do, but these two work together closely and he knew how to make the gesture more personal.
A gift for gifts
Some people have a great knack for buying gifts, finding the right blend of practical, whimsical, unique and beautiful. Others keep a constant supply of gift cards on hand to pop into a birthday card at a moment’s notice.
I fall somewhere in between these two extremes. (And I generally forget to buy the card.)
I made a special trip into the city fringe this afternoon on a gift-buying quest. It’s The Bestie’s birthday and we’re catching up tomorrow for a yoga playdate, so the timeline was pressing.
The Bestie and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We’ve lived together and travelled together. When she moved into her current home I helped her unpack. So I know her style and preferred aesthetic; I know her stuff.
Still, I struggled. Even in the hip part of town where the stores sell shiny gimcracks and glossy bowls and clothes made from natural fibres, nothing jumped out at me. Perhaps, silent scream, it’s an age thing. How many bangles does a girl of a certain age need? In the end I found a single-serve thermos, blue, with an intensely satisfying shape, and an ivory silk pillow case. A little bit practical, a little bit silly and cupboard-stuffers she’s unlikely to buy for herself.
I hope she likes them.