The Family says I have to tell them what I want for my birthday. With four days to go, they are still waiting.
I honestly can't think of anything I want
but we have a time-honoured tradition of sending and receiving Birthday Lists and I know that if I fail to accede to their request, then none of them will co-operate next time it's their birthday and I will be in trouble, big time.
In search of inspiration, I check back in my computer files and open up "Mum's Christmas List 2012". I delete everything I received for Christmas (what a lucky gal I was!) and view what's left. I have listed a
number of books which I must have wanted back in December - presumably I had read excellent reviews and decided that they were "must reads" but I can't remember anything about them. I decide to leave them on "Mum's Birthday List 2013" so that I can be surprised
if and when anyone is kind enough to buy one of them for me.
Under the heading "DVDs" there is a gaping blank. We have just bought ourselves "Les Miserables" and "The Quartet" or they could have gone
on the list and Mr B was given "Skyfall" on his birthday. I type (as I do every birthday and Christmas): "Any DVDs you have seen and loved and think I would too." The last bit is important as if my son-in-law (the one married to the Youngest of the Darling
Daughters) thinks I have given him free rein to choose a film for me there is no telling what it will be.
This Son-In-Law (let's call him Dave) always provides us with Birthday and Christmas Lists.
Many of the books and films which make it onto his lists could best be described as "alternative". I swear he compiles a special list of the weird and wonderful just for us, while everyone else has the sane version.
Two episodes spring to mind: the first, a trip to W.H.Smith to enquire if they stocked a particular book he had requested . "Oh dear me, no," said the shop assistant, looking ever so slightly scandalised, "There's not that much call for that kind of
book..." Then there was the trip to HMV where we were delighted to find not one, but two, of the titles on "The List". As we exclaimed over the success of our shopping mission, a strange looking man in a mackintosh
wandered over and thrust another DVD into our shrinking hands: "If you like those," he told us, licking his lips, "then you'll LOVE this!" These days, when shopping for Dave, we just go straight to Amazon...
I think about my new hobbies and whether any of them might present a glimmer of an idea. Take scrap-booking, for example. I haven't been getting on very well with this new hobby, mostly because I lack the wherewithal to create the wonderfully
evocative pages I have in my head. Lots of potential gifts to be found in Hobbycraft...
Then there's the garden, of course. Plants for the garden would be an excellent gift as I've turned into a right
little Monty Don. Well, actually, that's a bit of an exaggeration but you should see my Vegetable Section! OK, it's just a couple of grow bags containing tomato plants and a large pot planted up with runner beans. I have even concocted a wigwam type edifice
with bean poles which the runner beans will be able to grow up, always provided Mr B and I remember to water them regularly. The beans, not the poles. Everyone has to start somewhere, even Monty.
Middle of the Darling Daughters will not pay any attention anyway - she always goes "off list." I know I will love whatever she gives me.
In fact, I will love whatever anyone gives me. I have pressed
"send" on the Birthday List and they will doubtless already be arguing over who will buy what. All I really, really want for my birthday is a hug from those I will see and a 'phone call from those I will not. Two or three renditions of "Happy Birthday" over
the phone and I'll be as happy as Larry.
Whoever Larry was...