With it being ANZAC Day in Australia last week, my thoughts turned to home and the family and friends that I miss there on a daily basis.
I have a regular weekly Skype call with my parents so they can see Gammon and Chips growing up before their very eyes (albeit through a webcam lens). I absolutely love Skype. I can’t believe that it’s free. It’s such a brilliant improvement on the contact I used to have with my parents only about 4 or 5 years ago, which was a weekly phone call. Now, not only can they see as well as hear me, but they can see and hear our whole family at once, and we can all see and hear them at once too. The only downfall that I can see, is that I now have to brush the Worzel Gummidge out of my hair and at least change my pyjama top (thanks to the positioning of my laptop, I can still get away with keeping my PJ bottoms on, newsreader-like – phew!)
I’m a great advocate of technology and I love the medium of emails, although I do really miss the good old fashioned romance of sending and receiving letters and postcards. In this world of easy and instant messaging and communications, it’s so easy to favour quantity over quality. So, with that in mind, and an upcoming birthday for my Mum (and a belated one for my Dad, *slaps own wrist in show of disgusted self-chastisement*), I thought I’d send them a lovely little package to remind them that we are thinking of them and miss them from the other side of the world.
And what better present to give them, than a framed A5 print of the illustration that Ashley from Nye Portraits did of Gammon and Chips earlier on this year. I love this pic, as I really feel that it captures the personalities of both Gammon and Chips, and I hope my parents will love a copy of their own too. So I wrapped it up nicely, with Gammon being my Chief Sellotape Stickeronerer, popped in a card, and walked it down to the Post Office, ready for Parcelforce to work their special brand of international postage magic.
It got me thinking about the best parcel surprise I’ve ever received, and it has got to be the absolutely brilliant homemade wedding gift we received from my Aussie friend Jane and her parents when we got married.
Doug and I had a fancy dress wedding and the theme was ‘Best of British/All Things Aussie’. Keeping with the theme, our evening meal for our guests was a BBQ, and feeling upset that they weren’t able to fly over from Australia for our wedding, Jane and her metalwork teacher Dad designed and made this BBQ set for us which consisted of a giant pancake ring in the shape of the map of Australia, and a series of 5 smaller egg rings in the shape of the Australian States (minus Tasmania and the Territories). It was presented in a lovely wooden gift box, with an explanation of their present in the lid.
Doug and I were both blown away by the thoughtfulness of our present – the time they had taken to think the idea up and fit it in with our wedding theme, the effort they had made in actually making it for us, and the organisation of the whole process in order to get it done, dusted and posted across to us in time for our wedding day.
In today’s world of expensive wedding gift registers and fancy cutlery sets where no one seems to balk at paying £10.50 for a teaspoon, it just goes to show that you really can’t put a price on creativity, thoughtfulness and a good old serving of humour.
We loved our quirky personalised present, and I hope Nan Nan and Bampop like theirs too!
Disclosure: I received financial compensation for this post