Treat yo self: this month’s gifts from me to me

I'm really reaping the financial rewards of my new 'spark joy' philosophy for shopping. I only bought things which I love or which sparked joy. So this month hasn't been crazy. 

Laurie Lee ‘As I walked out one midsummer morning’

I had to go to Wales for work last week and, a consequence of being averse to tardiness, I had a lot of time to kill in Paddington Station. This book jumped out at me in W.H. Smiths. I liked the title. I didn’t know much about Laurie Lee, apart from that he wrote Cider with Rosie which I read at school. This is a sequel to that. I decided that if I was still thinking about the book when I got back from Wales, I’d buy it, and so I did. It’s fantastic. It’s about how he leaves his home and travels first to London and then to Spain by foot. He makes leaving home and travelling with no money seem totally do-able. On our last holiday, we went to Spain and visited a tiny town where my husband spent his summers as a boy. The people we met were so kind and this book echoes that. 

Laurie Lee | Laughing Heart

Zara shirt

This was an attempt to inject some colour into my black, white and navy wardrobe. It actually looks quite nice on with my gold chain. I continue my experiments with colour. 

Reiss trousers

This was another attempt to inject colour into my wardrobe. I love the colour and the fit. My crumpled pair on the left (I had to take them off to photograph them, sorry) and the way God intended them on the right. 

Office flats

I googled ‘how to look more sophisticated’ and the first article I clicked on said ‘get rid of ballet flats and go for a pointy toe flats’ and so, after an intense period of loyalty to French Sole,  I did that. I love these shoes. they’re comfy and make me feel like a put-together gal about town. Although I wear them with opaque tights which looks a bit weird. I will reassess this next week and my well opt for a less intense denier.

Frames

My husband was sent some pictures of his grandparents on their wedding day and a picture of his great grandpa playing polo in the twenties which I thought would be nice to frame. I bought them in Zara Home. I also had a picture of my grandmother which found a home in a Zara frame and a cute picture of my dad and picked this up this silver plated frame in John Lewis for a bargain £6. 

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.

The tablecloth

This is an accurate retelling of two conversations I had with Riddle Woman (mum). 

Mum: Can you find me a Batik-style tablecloth?

Sarah: That's a very specific request.

Mum: I'd like it to go in the dining room.

Sarah: Ok, I'll have a look.

(One week later)

Sarah: I found a Batik-style tablecloth, here is a picture of it. 

Mum: It's amazing

Sarah: So shall I get it?

Mum: No. Don't bother. Goodbye.

(FIN) 

I could've spent a lot of time debating whether to buy the tablecloth based her conflicting messages.

Then I realised, in life, there are some things which are worth just doing. If you can afford to do something and there's a chance it'll bring someone even a bit of happiness, just do it. As I've said before, it's not like the world's biggest problem is that there's too much love. 

So I bought the tablecloth for her and put it in the post and she was delighted. She even sent me an email,  saying 'DEAR SARAH TABLECLOTH IS BEAUTIFUL'. 

It turned out that the reason why she didn't want me to bother buying it was because she thought I shouldn't waste money on her. I was put in mind of that famous story about a billionaire who died. 'How much did he leave?' Someone asked. 'I believe he left it all' was the reply. 

This is from Zara Home. 

This is from Zara Home. 

Treat yo self to...Getting organised!

When life gets stressful, nothing helps me more than tidying up.*

This little act of taking control lifts me up and sets me back on the right track. 

So here are a few things which can make the process even more enjoyable. 

*Other things include crying softly into a pillow and watching clips from Bridesmaids on YouTube.

 

 

Knives (and spoons) as gifts: investigating the superstition.

 

Giving a knife as a gift is supposed to be symbolic of cutting the ties of friendship.

People have been known to give a coin to the giver in return so that it technically isn’t a gift.

It occurred to me that I’ve been given three knives in my life which, after typing that, sounds like three too many.

I believe enough time has passed for me to conclusively state whether knives foretell the demise of a friendship.

1. Kukri

laughing heart gifts | knives

This Nepalese knife was a gift from my friend Ben (who also features here)

Ben lived in Kathmandu for a couple of years. I asked him why he bought it, expecting to hear some profound reasoning but he just said that it was one of the finer generic gifts from Nepal. He added: ‘I used one to cleave bubble wrap from a mattress and it was one of the most pleasurably visceral experiences of my life.’

State of our friendship: Solid.

2. Robert Welch steak knives

 These were a wedding gift from a school friend.

State of our friendship: Very poor. At the wedding, the individual got so drunk that the got caught up in my dress, tore it and photobombed pictures of me with my family. There are some actions that fall into the category of unforgivable. On reflection, perhaps there are only two:  treating a wedding reception like a night at the student union is one. Ripping someone’s wedding dress is another.

3. Cake knife

A wedding gift from friends of my husband’s parents.

State of our friendship: Unchanged. Our friendship level has remained completely constant because we rarely see the couple. Also, cake knives aren't designed to have the hewing strength, of say, a meat cleaver, so if knives are a symbol of cutting off a relationship then it would be a very soft friendship for a cake knife to do damage.

Conclusion

My findings are mixed. I conclude that you shouldn't worry about it. If you want to give a knife, give a knife.

Hopefully your friendship is stronger than superstition but if you want to ask for a penny in return, go for it but just make sure you do it in a safe environment where your intentions cannot be misconstrued (i.e. don’t brandish a knife and demand cash).

Before purchasing a knife, consider a spoon. An elderly couple (in their nineties) who live in the village where I grew up and have known me since I was a baby, gave me a Welsh love spoon when I got married. It’s lovely.

While typing this, I realise that our friendship has been the longest lasting of them all.