Things I've found which make no sense

On my bricks and clicks travels (in shops and online) I come across things which really make me wonder. Why? Who? How? 

I'm fine with being proved wrong. If these items are things you've purchased and love, do let me know. 

Joyful Jammies

laughing heart gifts

Until recently, my mum still used the maternity nightdresses she wore when my brother and I were in-utero.

Earlier this year she cleared out of her wardrobe and offered my dad the nightdresses as rags with which to polish his car. He refused.

Shortly after her clear out, I bought this for her when I was on holiday in Tulum, Mexico. This is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. I've seen people wear them as day dresses in summer but I think it's a great nightie. 

I love the colours. It’s such a happy dress; I think she won’t be able to feel anything other than joy when she wears it.

JOY-INDUCING PYJAMAS:

October gift ideas

I've literally never heard of anyone who gave a gift in the name of Halloween so I didn't want to curate anything obviously Halloween-y.  Here are some gifts which sort of evoke the Hugo Boss Deep Red advertising campaign circa 2002. I'm aware that reference is obscure. 

Without further ado:

Dior Poison Eau de Toilette £44.00 - £58.00

 

L.K. Bennett Sevina Block Heeled Platform Court Shoes £325.00

Yves Saint Laurent Luxurious Mascara Gift Set £25

Tom Dixon Large Bone Bowl £200

Charlotte Tilbury The Vintage Vamp Set £165

Alexander McQueen Patent-leather pumps £545

Should you give teachers gifts?

This question might also take the form:

Q. Why give someone a gift for doing their job when they’re already being paid?

A.  Because giving a gift shouldn’t be an exchange! It shouldn’t go: you do something for me, I’ll give you a gift. That’s a transaction. A gift should exist outside a transaction.  

Let me tell you a story, specific to the teaching profession. When I was at primary school, a boy called Lee was dared to eat a pencil and he accepted the challenge. He also ate stinging nettles, banana skins and paper, but the pencil was the real coup de théâtre.

And who had to fish the pencil shards out of Lee’s mouth? A teacher. And who had to intervene when other children offered Lee bits of tree bark to eat? A teacher. And who sat with Lee next to them in the dining hall to ensure he actually ate his (far less interesting) school meal? Yup, a teacher. And that was just one week. 

They’re the people your kids spend most of their day with. They are the only other people in the world who will be as interested in your child’s development as you. A good teacher will spot and encourage that hidden talent that you might overlook, they have to be on the lookout for signs that things might not be alright in your home.

Their job doesn’t stop when the kids leave at the last school bell. They have to mark and prepare lessons and work out how to manage twenty individuals with their own unique needs.  

I’m not sure it’s a cost-effective thing idea to gift every teacher in your child’s life a gift, but if there’s one who has gone further than they needed to help your child, give thanks.

What should you give?

You can’t go wrong with a thank you note.

 My mum cherishes everything that her pupils give her: lollypop sticks covered in glitter, pebbles. But that’s my mum. At the other end of the spectrum, my friend who works at an international school in north London was given a Longchamp bag and vouchers for spa treatments.

Seneca, my spiritual gift-giving guide relates the following story which might help or it might not:

Alexander, who was of unsound mind, and always full of magnificent ideas, presented somebody with a city. When the man to whom he gave it had reflected upon the scope of his own powers, he wished to avoid the jealousy which so great a present would excite, saying that the gift did not suit a man of his position. “I do not ask,” replied Alexander, “what is becoming for you to receive, but what is becoming for me to give.” This seems a spirited and kingly speech, yet really it is a most foolish one. Nothing is by itself a becoming gift for any one: all depends upon who gives it, to whom he gives it, when, for what reason, where, and so forth, without which details it is impossible to argue about it.

Vases

Someone gave me a really awful vase and every time I see it, I want to cry. Disclaimer: I know there are more serious issues going on in the world, but this blog is not the place where serious world issues will be addressed.

BACK TO THE VASE. I'm being really rough handed with it but it's basically bullet proof. 

I'm waiting for someone to come over, spot the vase and say 'that's a nice vase' and then I'll slip it into their bag. 

I love flowers. I buy fresh flowers every week. This vase is just something else.

Here are ten vases which are nicer than the vase I have.

Sparking Joy (what I got for my birthday)

I am now in the latest of my late twenties and I just really don’t even want to talk about it. But I have realised:

1. You only start saying ‘age is just a number’ or ‘you’re only as old as you feel' when you turn 29.

2. When you see anyone younger, you feel like this:

Inspired by Marie Kondo, I spent the day tidying. I used to identify as a minimalist and I suppose I do have less stuff than the average person, but after reading Kondo's The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up', I realised I had a long way to go.

Calling myself a minimalist was really just an aspirational claim - like when I was 16 and used to buy bras in the size I wanted to be, not the size I was. A roomy bra, just like having too much stuff, is a lie and enhances nothing.

So I got rid of a lot of stuff and was happy to find that the gifts I got this year allowed me to only let in what I found useful or sparked joy. 

Behold

JOHN LEWIS GIFT CARD 

My in-laws gave me a John Lewis gift card and with it I bought A DYSON. I'm so excited. Finger cyclone technology, I am ready for you.

HARRODS GIFT CARD

From my husband. He did actually buy me a necklace but it was so so so delicate that I knew it would break when caught up in my hair (which happens all the time, I need a sturdy chain). So we transferred it into a gift card, I haven't spent it yet, still deciding. Here are my thoughts so far...

MARA HOFFMAN SWIMSUIT

I love this designer so much. So this was a birthday treat to myself. I actually bought it after my birthday and after our last hot holiday but I will treasure it until next year for its debut. 

M&S gift card

My mum always gets me something M&S related. I haven't spent it yet, but here are  my ideas