I do hope you are enjoying the summer and not finding the heat and the drought too trying. I have spent a lot of time inside with the curtains drawn with a fan directed onto me. It was such bliss when it became a bit cooler.
The other night my daughter and I did a cookery course together. She’d given me the course as a present and it was one of the nicest things I’ve ever been given.
Presents are tricky when you get older (I added the ‘er’ although probably, I should have just said ‘old.’) Of course ,it very much depends on your income but personally, I have everything I need and if my toaster breaks, I can afford to buy a new one.
I’ve also inherited the household goods of several relatives, so I’ve got all the pretty dishes I would ever need. In fact, I’m anxious to reduce my possessions. I have too much Stuff!
When my daughter gave me a mysterious piece of paper for my birthday I was initially confused. When I realised what it was, I was delighted. She and I both enjoy cooking. She is better at it than I am but I’ve been doing it longer. She will happily make a complicated recipe involving 20 different ingredients (you may be able to guess which famous chef I’m referring to!)
The best part of this present was, without doubt, spending time with my daughter. She has three children and a demanding job and is very busy. We see each other so often, but either we’re surrounded by young things, or she’s in and out of the house like a ninja. Spending an evening with her, doing something we both enjoyed was a real gift.
I think we all need to think about presents more carefully and be more imaginative. The presents that take time and not money are always more special. I still remember the first of these I had. My son was about 12 when he gave me a small tub of Haagen Daas ice cream for Christmas. With the ice cream came a slip of paper promising to buy me three more tubs. The only place you could get this particular brand back then was the video shop. It meant he had undertaken to go and get a film – and ice cream – three times. I actually paid for the films and the ice cream, but he had the long walk up the hill on the way back.
Very many years later he gave me a cookery book. Inside the cover were three squares. He promised to cook me three dishes. Again, a gift of time (and skill!). Nowadays he sharpens my knives to razors.
Mary Wilson says...
I am so enjoying your book, Living Dangerously. I had to stop reading and immediately find a way ( I did!) to contact you to let you know! I stopped reading as Polly exits the charity event she supervised and the last line of the paragraph that ends “she wondered if these hasty escapes could possibly be habit forming “ had me chuckling…. Remembering how she left the party in chapter 1😄. I can already tell I don’t want this book to be over…. But alas , it will be! I’ll just have to get more of your books!!!
Many thanks and best wishes,
Waynesboro, VIRGINIA (in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley
August 14, 2023