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.

Cycling Sindy and the Christmas of invisible tears


When I was a little girl the only item that I remember really yearning for was the Sindy doll which came with a little white walking dog, called Gogo.

When adverts for the Sindy and Gogo doll were shown on TV, my heart soared. It was the most brilliant and technically-advanced toy ever created.

I knew that if I brought Gogo into school, I would be, for at least one glorious day, the popular girl in the playground.

I'd been direct with my parents. I wrote them a note requesting this particular doll and nothing else. I wasn't really into dolls, but this was something special.

When Christmas Day came, I made a bee-line for the Cindy and Gogo-sized box. I unwrapped it and inside I found Cycling Sindy and 'Fun Bike'. For the first time, Sindy's perma-smile repulsed me. 

It was a terrible moment.

How could my parents get it so wrong? I had been so clear. 

I didn't dare show the torment that I felt. It was acute.

As I unwrapped the gift fully, I honestly remember thinking that I’d better make the best of it.

So I played with Sindy and her silly dangly broken-at-the-knee legs and the bicycle which was pointy and sharp. I played until I could bear it no longer. Such a martyr.

Tell me about your biggest gift disappointment and how you managed to stay strong.

Step-by-step guide to managing gift disappointment:

  • Receive the gift with both hands
  • Thank the giver. Even before you tear off the wrapping. It's nice that they thought to give you anything at all, so say that.
  • Think of one great thing to say about the gift. If I'd had a bit more wherewithal, I would have said 'Mum, Dad, thank you. This bicycle is so intricate.'
  •  Put the gift somewhere safe, or on display for the afternoon. Don't leave a gift on the floor (unless it's a table or a bed).

'I think this belonged to your ex...'

I went on a few dates with a Norwegian which happened to fall over the Christmas period. On the night before returning to his homeland, he called at my flat with red glitter all over his pale, chiselled, Scandinavian face.

On my doorstep in the cold and dark he presented a gift wrapped in red glittery wrapping paper. It was a very sweet scene. I welcomed him into my living room where my two flatmates sat, eager to find out what was in the package.

I was reluctant to open the gift with an audience, but he told me to open it, so I did. It was a copy of the collected plays of Henrik Ibsen.

ibsen

What’s wrong with that? I hear you ask. Nothing. But when I flicked through the book, there was something tucked between the pages: a photograph of the Norwegian. And his ex-girlfriend.

I thumbed further through the book, it felt as though there was something else. Yes, yes there was! The stub of a plane ticket which belonged to her.

It had once been her book.

My two flatmates and I looked down at the floor. The Norwegian looked away. I must say that he recovered it well. Early the next morning, he posted an Moleskine notepad through my letter box, with a card which read: “No nasty surprises in this book. Fill it with your poems.”

The Norwegian was a recycler of gifts sure, but he was also a good guy with a sense of humour. It wasn't meant to be between us but he wins the award for the best recovery.