Monday, 29 November 2021

The Aardvark

 

Picking the right gift for someone is fraught with difficulty.
I once realised that a relationship was going south when a boyfriend bought me a microwave oven for Christmas 
I was right, that relationship failed 
Not because of the Microwave, 
But because he was a knob.

I’m usually pretty good a buying the right gift for the right person.
This year I’ve concentrated on slightly alternative gifts
For friends I have bought tickets to the Royal Ballet, The Liverpool Philharmonic and to the famous Folk Festival here in Trelawnyd. Of course I’m going as well which means that I have in effect bought myself a whole set of Christmas Gifts too ( there’s method in my madness) 
Other gifts have been more eclectic . My sisters always the pragmatists make a Christmas list each, so I’ve gone in quick sticks and ticked off all of their nicest wants before anyone else can get to them. 
Other recipients will get a whole plethora of alternative presents. A toboggan ride on a mountain, a simulated sky dive, trees planted by the National Trust and an “adoption”of the most beautiful of aardvarks in Chester Zoo.

I finish nights at 8am this morning and have been rostered back on day shift tomorrow.
So today will be a rest day.
I will have to pop round to see Mrs R sometime today. She left me a somewhat tearful message on my land line in the middle of my night shifts which I only picked up yesterday. 
Her husband had died suddenly and over the years I had given her practical advice about his health matters
On a brighter note Rachel over at the riding stables has just had a healthy baby boy and Affable despot Jason’s older girl Eve has just celebrated her 16th birthday

Ebb and flow 

I may cancel my landline. I never use it

83 comments:

  1. Oh, condolences to Mrs R. And congratulations to Rachel and Eve. The circle of life in your village, indeed. Clever you, to include yourself in some of the gifts - genius idea! xx

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    1. Lol there’s no show without punch x

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    2. One of my late Dad's sayings! Thanks for the reminder. xx

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  2. We have now stopped giving Christmas gifts to adults in our family. It just all became too hard. And like the kids need anything! So it will probably be clothes for them.
    Our landline is included with our internet, otherwise I would get rid of it too.

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    1. I think because the last two Xmases have been so sad and isolating,, I wanted to make a bit of an effort

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  3. The golden rule with giving gifts is never to buy things which involve personal taste. That red spotted tie might be your dream come true, but for Fred it's possibly his worst nightmare.

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  4. I dont comment but i look forward to reading your blog but re getting rid of your landline we have just emerged from a 27 hour power cut, north east scotland, everyones mobiles went out of charge, cordless phones didnt work so families of my neighbours were phoning me to ask if they were ok, just a thought x

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    1. Thank you Marlene
      I guess as a back up , it would be useful to keep it

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  5. Funnily enough I tried to cancel my land line today as the only person I rang on it was my dear old Dad. He passed away last Wednesday in the UK so my reason for having a land line is null and void. Ironically it will only save me $5.00 per month so I told them I would keep it. Someone somewhere might call me on it.

    Jo in Auckland

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    1. The only calls I get are spam calls for my ex husband

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  6. The Chinese went from no phones to mobiles with nothing in between. China's up take of mobile phones is the largest percentage wise in the world.

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    1. I don’t miss those days of sitting in a frozen porch in my parents home using the phone ( but only after 6 pm when it was cheaper)

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  7. I liked my hall phone with fixed cord-I used to sit on the stairs-if it was private I whispered so neighbour couldn't hear-the replacement is cordless which to me is modern-I love it because it lets me chat for an hour then pop it down redial and continue for another hour free-can't find the volume but one of the dogs usually tells me its ringing x

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    1. Ps-a few years ago a lady I know knitted an aardvark for her baby grandaughter-she contacted the knitting pattern instructions lady to clarify some finer details x

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    2. Cool! I was just thinking it would be wonderful to five a toy/stuffed aardvark to an animal lover.

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    3. sillygirl-The friend also made unusual curtains for her baby granddaughters nursery-I think she told me-aardvark again-she also knitted her a very long animal-she did show me but I'm unsure now-shes a retired teacher and likes a challenge x

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  8. I think I read somewhere that landlines are being phased out by BT anyway. Not sure if that is true but unsure what that means for those of us with BT broadband. It is worrying what happens when mobiles don't work though as another poster has described.
    Congratulations to Rachel and a happy birthday to Eve.
    I wish I could choose interesting presents like the aardvark!

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    1. Yes my home phone will become a digital one

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  9. Interesting choices. Since you are "good at buying the right gift" what would you buy me? Don't say a one way ticket to Timbuktu (there are others considering the same). Come to think of it: What would you buy Rachel? Now there is a tricky one.

    And keep the landline. How else would someone from the long distant past (friend/foe/family) be able to track you down?

    U

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    1. To avoid confusion: By Rachel I don't mean the freshly baked mum. The other one.

      U

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    2. I would love to buy my dear friend Rachel a selection of books to compliment the courses she will undoubtedly do in 2022
      I would also buy her some cheerful cyclamen for her kitchen window

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  10. The Aardvark's greatest contribution to Western society has been to get quite a few taxi companies to the top of the list.

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  11. When I was in the military, I used to tell folks that I was going to change my name to Aardvark. There is nothing worse than standing in line.

    My husband once bought me a can opener for Christmas. Not even an electric one. Just a hand operated can opener. Another year it was tupperware. He simply doesn't have much of an imagination.

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    1. I’d of brained him with it

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    2. He's a likeable sort except for the whole gift giving thing. He built me an awfully nice greenhouse this year.

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  12. You have allocated a considerable amount of money to the buying of Xmas gifts John. They must be paying you handsomely at the hospice - unless you have recently made a fraudulent but successful insurance claim.

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    1. Widen your horizons, YP. For all we know, John might have had a windfall, maybe a lottery win, maybe an inheritance or, maybe, he just squirreled away a little bit here, a little bit there - over time. As they say in the motherland, loosely translated: "Poultry droppings too eventually amount to a sizeable dung heap".

      U

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    2. John thoughtfully works many extra shifts to treat his loved ones even though he is tired x

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    3. Lol the interest in my financial abilities alway intrigues me.
      Many of these gifts have already been purchased throughout the year.
      Black Friday was a godsend with the stranger gifts as multiple discounts were had.
      I’m also very good at buying theatre tickets as soon as the tickets are released , so I make use of the few discounted tickets available

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  13. Those gifts all sound very creative. We haven’t done the gift thing for a very long time, except for the kids we know.

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    1. It was fun buying some different ones…over twenty years ago, I once hand made all of my gifts one Christmas

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  14. Do you not need a landline contract for your broadband service? I discovered that I do, unfortunately, when I considered cancelling my landline. As for seasonal gifts, I do not indulge in that practice any more with anyone other than my son and daughter, and even with them only in a very minor way - it makes celebration of the Winter Solstice more meaningful, pleasant and much less stressful (oh, and cheaper).

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    1. I don’t, I have a specified line put in for extra fast broadband

      With the last two Christmases so isolated and sad , I wanted to make the effort this year as my entire family will be catching up ( god willing)

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  16. Hell fire old lad, you most certainly have a talent for picking gifts...unfortunately this is not a trait that I share, though I did buy my ex a fishing rod for Christmas one eventful but perhaps not so festive season!

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    1. Lol , did it go down like a pork pie at a synagogue

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    2. Indeed it did my good man

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  17. Only the elderly pay for land lines these days. Everyone else just uses their cellphones. Save yourself some money and cancel yours! I assume you have wifi for your laptop.

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    1. Anonymous1:39 pm

      Home wifi is generally delivered through the landline cable, at least for many customers - not if you have satellite TV though, presumably.

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    2. I have a dedicated line for my broadband

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  18. I can imagine you walking an aardvark on a lead, along the promenade.

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    1. I could too…they make lovely friendly pets I’ve read

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  19. We keep ours for power outages and as unlikely as it may be, if something happens healthwise, and we can't speak clearly, but can still dial 911, our emergency 911 can find exactly where the call is coming from quickly. That is not the case with our cellphones.

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  20. I got rid of my landline years ago. It was a waste of money.

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  21. Barbara Anne2:56 pm

    What a wonderful variety of gifts you've purchased for your wonderful variety of family and friends! It has been decades since I saw an aardvark.
    We just got smart phones yesterday (surely the last on the planet to do so) and are considering getting rid of our landline, too.
    Sweet dreams!

    Hugs!

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    1. Barbara Anne3:00 pm

      Oh, and sympathy to Mrs R and congratulations to Rachel (and family) and to Eve!

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  22. Interesting Aardvark trivia, I was watching a TV show about zoos and learned that aardvarks are closely related to elephants! Who'd have guesses? :)

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  23. You do pick wonderful gifts! I am terrible at gift giving and I wish for a good Christmas list. Is that really a picture of one of those aardvarks from the zoo? It's the perfect combination of ugly and cute. -Jenn

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    1. They are quite delightful looking
      Like the platypusi I saw in Sydney zoo

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  24. That Aardvark is the nicest present I have heard of this Christmas.

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  25. You are a good gift giver. I am envious of your inspiration

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  26. I love that many of your gifts are experiences rather than things. That makes so much sense! One of my cousins said that she only gives older adults food gifts because they eat it up and then don't have to find a place for it in the house.

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    1. Thoughtful gifts give something important of yourself
      Time and effort

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  27. Yes, you were just mentioning your budget. A landline is an expense you can remove.

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  28. It is smart to start working on Christmas gifts already. I have a few but want to get it all done early so I am not rushing around at the last minute. I like your idea of events as gifts so you get to share time with your family and friends too! Clever, John!

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  29. Your gift selections are superb and sharing experiences with many gift recipients is brilliant. I like buying customized, good quality gifts that are beautifully boxed and presented. Generally, I do not go wrong with this criteria.

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    1. Oh yes I love nicely wrapped gifts . I often buy bespoke Christmas decorations to adorn them , something my sisters do

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  30. I would not like to be without my hall phone-I nearly always find it in position-But my mobile could be anywhere as the house is in disarray unfortunately-if I find my number written somewhere I can then use the hall phone to locate the mobile-I wouldn't have time for all this if I needed it immediately x

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  31. We have a landline just for our internet. We don't even have a phone plugged into it.

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  32. Aardvarks always make me smile to see and say the word.

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    1. There is something quite innocent about them

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  33. You are spot on with your gift choices. Land lines...we don't use ours either.

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  34. Got rid of landline. My incoming phone calls take place now only if I want them to!

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  35. Is that why you never have a microwave?

    Landlines usually continue to function in emergencies such as storms and power failures [cell towers may be destroyed by high wind], so you are not entirely cut off. I live in a hurricane and flood zone, so I have kept mine despite the expense. Prob you do not need one tho.

    lizzy

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    1. Strange I do have one. But I didn’t buy it

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  36. My ex gave me a George Forman indoor grill for Christmas. [Roomba too, Dustbuster---sending a message I guess]. Oh and a Tiffany box---filled with condoms.

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