Pa Blonde has a very different approach to TW when it comes to presents. Whilst TW is inordinately fussy, he does at least recognise that presents should have a sort of luxurious element – not necessarily that they need to cost a lot of money, but be something that you have a hankering for, and feel a bit naughty or decadent if you buy them for yourself.
Pa Blonde fundamentally disagrees with this principle, instead requiring immense practicality to run through all gifts like lettering on Brighton Rock. After all, we are talking about the man who, in 2003, bought my mother a Dyson for Christmas, and followed it up in 2005 with a vegetable steamer. Romantic, no? Both years I had to convince him he might as well have gift-wrapped divorce papers, and took him on emergency Christmas Eve trips to buy sparkly things and handbags.
And so, rather than splashing out on interesting spirits, or a nice cashmere jumper that would sit in the wardrobe earmarked as “too expensive for everyday wear” and would thus be never worn, I did what I thought would be most productive, and asked Ma Blonde if he’d mentioned anything that he was after.
A few days later, an email arrived.
You asked your mother for suggestions for birthday presents. Well, I need some new drill bits which you can get from Wickes online. I need 3mm, 4mm and 5mm. Each pack contains two drill bits.
I also need a new claw hammer.
Which, devoid of charm and soulless as the request may be, rather solves the problem of what to buy him. Whether these are any steps up from the Father’s Day wellingtons, I’m yet to work out. Darned sight easier to wrap, though.