Tuesday 25 January 2011

Jesmond Dene the mud-free way

How to give a friend a birthday present, and overdose on coffee, in the nicest way.

Drive to very lovely hotel just at the end of the walk through Jesmond Dene that I often make with the dogs. (But driving means no mud-encrusted shoes.)

Feel guilty about not taking the dogs with me. (But leaving them at home means no mud encrustation anywhere at all.)

Meet very lovely friends, who have just ordered coffee for three.

Hand over presents, except for the one I bought before Christmas and put away in a safe place. Forget the hours of turning the house upside down trying to find it, and how I had to order something else instead, as a matter of some urgency.

Sit back, sip coffee, and watch as friend and husband browse.

Success! Happy 54th Birthday, A!

Drive home, change clothes and shoes, and go out to get very muddy with dogs in the Dene.

(And if you really want to know, they're looking at Molly Wizenberg's 'A Homemade Life' and Ros Byam Shaw's 'Perfect English Cottage'.)


flwrjane said...

I hope you got a copy of A Homemade Life for yourself?

xo Jane

Susan said...

I adored A Homemade Life, one of the best books I read last year and Molly as you know is also author of les famous food blog Orangette


bet you couldn't wait to get les chiens and have your muddy version ;-)

xoxoxo les Gang

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Mud-free coffee definitely has a lot to recommend it .
Those books look lovely and , if you ever manage to unearth your previous purchase , you've already got one Christmas present for 2011.

Anonymous said...

Now that's the best of both worlds!! (and you will have a mud-free lunch with us next week!)

molly said...

You have just identified one of the greatest drawbacks to being organized and buying gifts earlier than the eleventh hour.....I'll know I bought something special; I'll know I squirreled it away in a "safe" place; so safe that when I need it there's no chance in hell I'll be able to find it! The substitutes sound lovely though!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Looks like a lovely place to have coffee with friends. Glad the dogs got their walk in the mud.

Val said...

I recommend a "present box" kept in a highly obvious place...all purchases are stashed straight away in said box.
This method was initiated after a very muddled Christmas past ..when I even lost the Christmas tree (the price and difficulty of obtaining a replacement late on Christmas eve and the consequent mood of my OH has seared that experience into my brain ..never alas to be forgotten..but I do try, I really truly do)
It is not however infallible... hence loss of Large Christmas present that was too big to go inside and that I hope may appear before the kids grow out of it....So if you try it choose a large box!

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