Mrs Moneypenny (FT).... anything from H

  1. Know me, know my wishlist

    By Mrs Moneypenny

    Published: December 15 2007 00:40 | Last updated: December 15 2007 00:40

    Christmas is approaching fast and presents are starting to weigh heavily on my mind. It will come as no surprise to regular readers that it falls to me to oversee present administration in the Moneypenny household. Including, invariably, my own.

    Don’t you just hate it when your nearest and dearest says: “What do you want for Christmas?” I wonder how many of you smile sweetly and say: “Whatever you would like to get me, darling, just something small. Don’t go to any trouble,” when what you are dying to say (if you are me) is: “I can’t believe that you’ve asked me that – again. How can you have been married to me for 19 years and still have no idea what I would like as a present?” I mean, really.

    I like presents. I like giving them and I like receiving them. I put a lot of thought into the presents I give and I am invariably disappointed when people – well, let’s not beat about the bush – when Mr M either does everything at the last minute or forgets completely. The fact is that the best presents are unexpected – after a column in which I lamented the absence of ensuite bathrooms in stately homes I received no fewer than three dressing gowns in the post from readers. (I particularly liked the lime green micro-fibre one from Italy, by the way.)

    Being too busy (ie having too much golf to play) is no excuse for failure to come up with a present. I know very few people who are busier than me and I still manage to find the time to go shopping. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries – I mark them all with one glaring exception:

    I am notoriously bad at remembering the birthdays of my godchildren.

    I have five godchildren, by my reckoning. I had already reached an age at which taking on any more would have been a stretch (after all, you want to be around to see them grow up) when Single Girlfriend produced a baby. This, you understand, was not a unilateral act, though she has still to marry its father and they have just had another one. I found her invitation to take on godchild number five impossible to refuse. Two of my godchildren are adults and are fending for themselves. The other three are the offspring of Most Glamorous Girlfriend (Guy, aged nine), Longest Standing Girlfriend (Samuel, aged seven) and, as I mentioned, Single Girlfriend (Louis, aged one). I don’t know why I am so bad at remembering their birthdays, and it will be my resolution for 2008 to do better. I shall hand the task of ensuring my improvement to the Lovely Lucinda.

    We give Christmas presents at work, also. There are about 20 of us (depending on the alarmingly high pregnancy rates in the office) and we operate a “Secret Santa’’ scheme in which everyone draws the name of a colleague for whom they will buy a (small) present. When the recipient opens it, we all have to guess who the giver was.

    This ritual is one reason why our Christmas lunch necessitates spending a whole afternoon in a restaurant in Islington. Yes, Islington. We used to move venue each year and then a few years ago we found the perfect location, where we could take over the whole place and make as much noise as we like. And we like to make quite a lot of noise.

    I hope Helen Bailey, CEO of Islington Council, is reading this. A few weeks ago I gave an after-dinner speech in which I made clear my (wholly subjective) view of Islington as a place where everyone eats organic vegetables and reads The Guardian. She was in the audience, and came up afterwards to introduce herself and defend the good citizens of Islington. I was rather taken aback, not by her forthright defence but because she was so much more glamorous than I imagined your run-of-the mill local government CEO would be. I hope she will be pleased to read that I shall be eating organic vegetables and opening presents on her patch on December 19. Even if I won’t be reading The Guardian.

    I shouldn’t give Mr M too hard a time. He has been known to come up trumps. About two years ago I received a bicycle for my birthday – exactly the sort of bicycle I would have bought for myself. But I don’t need another one, so this year I hope that he walks down Bond Street, rather than Bike Street. Something made of white chocolate, a seriously upmarket black pashmina to use on the plane, jewellery of any kind, anything from Hermès…

    mrsmoneypenny@ft.com
     
  2. Oh, :woohoo: Archie....just head down to H!
     
  3. And meet Mr Handy there!

    You can even go for a pint after :drinks:
     
  4. And Mr Elise - I think your two DHs could give him a few pointers! He has just asked the classic question ...."What do you want for Christmas?" *sigh*.


    So right about Islington!
     
  5. OMG, how I miss London!
     
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  7. Rose, Handybags ... I didn't wait for MrSparkles to ask. I *told* him what I wanted for Xmas. I know, shameless.
     
  8. Mr Troika is rather clueless about all things H, much to my dismay....
     
  9. Mr Troika? Freudian slip, merika? :graucho:
     
  10. Er, no... Um, GF happened to see a picture of him one time...:shame:
     
  11. :roflmfao::roflmfao:

    :lol:
     
  12. :lol::lol::lol::heart:
     
  13. LOL! I thought so!