When I first met my husband Steve, he impressed me with presents. Not that they always hit the spot, and they were often random, like the cocktail dress he fondly imagined I’d look glamorous in, bought at a jumble sale, or the set of shot glasses that as a virtual teetotaler, I’ve still never quite found a use for other than measuring fruit cordial in… yet one way or another, they still managed to feel quite special. That musty smelling dress? I like to think of as a vote of confidence!
Next came the kilt. Specially ordered from a kilt maker on the Royal Mile. He went all the way to Edinburgh on the early morning train for that and was back in time to start his working day. Had I mentioned I liked kilts? I can’t quite remember. But it was a mammoth effort and fitted the bill nicely for the country dancing class he’d also enrolled us both on.
Then there was the antique pine rocking chair supposedly for me to knit in. It had no arms… but hey, he’d chased off to Nottingham for it and somehow attached it to the back of his motorbike. Wouldn’t be allowed these days, would it!
Finally let me not forget the bicycle in the bedroom – there at the bottom of the bed, ready for when I opened my eyes… he even got the colour right, green! It lasted many years, transported many things, not least our children enjoying the view from their specially fitted back seat, on the way to playgroup, picnics, a thousand mini adventures. May it last in my memory and the memories of the transported for ever and a day.
Amazingly though some of these things still live with us… the, kilt, with its’ beyond tiny waist, that I could no more get rid of than chop off an arm. Unless… as an heirloom for my Granddaughter perhaps?
The pine chair? Ah yes, that rather suspiciously quickly became his fiddle chair… I report them both as being slightly the worse for wear, gently off their rockers one might even say…
There is a distinct lack of rockability, at back extension!
And so the years go by and the birthdays keep rolling round and nothing much changes. Apart from, he says, me having grown a little more extreme, as I say things like put money in a charity box, and don't get me a card, think of the trees, the petrol pollution going to get it! Not that this foxes Steve you understand. For Steve if nothing else, remains ingenious. And one way or another still manages to delight me.
Today, for my birthday I received his music stand, wrapped up as new to me, which means it can now live in my room and not his! I can even take it into the garden if I please and it makes me smile in a way no other present could. And so for a man I have often said ‘wrong’ too, today I say right, you got it, right… naturally he will gradually sneak it back but that is beside the point, for it is always the thought that counts I find.