The Greatest And Grandest Gifts

Lake, Sunset, Abendstimmung, Romance, Nature, Landscape

We will feast on pretty sunset skies and the magical frost upon the lake. We will drink in the crisp clean air and be thankful as we feel our lungs fill up and warm our hearts. We will relish in the knowledge that soon this entire earth will be cleared of corruption and we will live in harmony with our home planet.

As forever stretches out ahead of us – will we remember the moments of hardship that plagued us in the past? When all of the damage has been undone, all the sadness forgotten, when we are reunited with our loved ones, will we recall the dark days when we thought our future was doomed?

We are the recipients of the most extraordinary and beautiful gifts. Life is a gift. We have senses that heighten our enjoyment of life. Our home planet is the most extraordinary planet that has been discovered in the universe because it is teaming with life, abundant in colour and colossal variety. We ought not to throw away these precious gifts.

But there is more to come. The Grand Giver has promised to undo all the damage that has been done to this gift. He has also vowed to perform the gift that beats all others – the resurrection is ahead of us. The greatest celebration in all human history as our hearts are healed of grief and pain.

So if you open a gift bag and find cheap perfume and scary socks, do not forget, somebody has given you the greatest of gifts and will continue to do so. How often do we say “THANK YOU”?

Frisky Fifty And Fabulous!

I have wanted to find ways to give to Goldfinch recently…for being wonderful. I feel so helpless from 10,100 miles away. So I have been racking my brain to think of little ways I can show him I think of him all the time.

I sent him a very sweet Australian gift – a large dark chocolate connoisseurs collection box from Australian chocolatiers Haigh’s. He probably did not want a big box of chocolates. But I sometimes don’t know how to light up his day from so far away. It is a big box. I hope he will share it with his friends and family and think of me.

How do you give someone a hug from 10,100 miles away? It is so frustrating!

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Nothing says “WE LOVE YOU” quite like a pair of wellington boots.


When friends who want to cheer you up know just how to make your smile. When they decide that it is is not satisfactory that your old wellington boots spring leaks. When they conclude that your old wellies would make perfect flower pots and you need wellies with a firmer sole to get you through the muddy months in the English woods.

Aaaaah! Sigh! There are so many different ways to show love…and wellington boots are definitely a great way to do so.

Sacrificing Yourself

I was thinking about love the other day. I think about love and it’s many flavours and expression a considerable amount of the time.

Portrait, People, Darkness, ArtLast week in the CARAMEL CRUNCH, I asked a question that touched on how having very different beliefs can affect two people who are romantically in love and want to spend their lives together. I was absolutely fascinated by the replies to this question.

A lot of other bloggers expressed wisdom – one way or the other. I was thinking afterwards about the decisions I have made. I would not claim they were the right decisions necessarily, but I was thinking about why I chose to love someone with whom I could not share some of the most cherished parts of me.

Chocolate, Dark, Coffee, ConfiserieMany years ago, someone asked me – if you are going to buy some chocolates for someone you love, do you buy their favourite chocolates, or do you buy the ones that you like to eat?

I love dark chocolate, love it! But I have realized that I seem to be the only one amongst my colleagues who likes dark chocolate, so if I buy chocolates as a thank you to my work mates, what kind of chocolates do you think I should buy?

Meat, Food, Beef, Steak, Enjoy, BarbecueThen they asked me – if you were going to cook a special meal for a loved one, would you cook their favourite dish, or would you prepare a meal with the ingredients you enjoy?

I am vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was six years old. I have never once had the desire to eat meat. But for people I love, I have many many times cooked meat.

I am not saying my decisions were necessarily the right ones when it came to sacrificing my preferences for the sake of the man I love, but I will say this – self-sacrificing love has brought me a deeper joy than easy love where you love someone because they are exactly what you are looking for.

I think there is a line…if the man who I loved asked me to commit a crime or harm someone – well that would be a NO!!! But in other matters it is up to you to decide the sacrifices, compromises and gifts you are prepared to give up, give in or just give…because of love. You will be happy or unhappy with your decision. In some ways…a decision is proved right by the happiness it results in.

The Sweetest Memories

Oh goodness, so many lovely people have done very sweet things for me! I could spend all month telling you about the gorgeous people I have been privileged to meet, work with and become close friends of. That is what lovely people do…they do sweet things.

But I will be honest with you, some of the sweet things they did…though I greatly appreciated the thought behind the deed or gift, they were things I did not necessarily want. Too many chocolates have come my way. I have had to give them away. I couldn’t eat them, I would have put so much weight on!

I have been spoilt! I think people have appreciated the sacrifices I had made to be an international volunteer, and when they realized I had not had any wages (for five years in total) they did some very sweet things – I was invited to the theatre and concerts, people paid for me to go to lovely restaurants with them, or to have a holiday with them – really really wonderful kindness.

hope1People have bought candles for me – candles creep me out. All I see is a fire hazard. I give them straight to someone else, who I know does like candles, or a charity shop. I have been given clothes I would never dream of wearing (again I give them to friends). Also lots of bubblies – bath gels, salts, hand creams. perfumed soaps. And then there are all the teddies and cuddly toys. I am just not a cuddly toy kind of a person. (Except for the little teddy Goldfinch gave me – but that is different!)

But when someone has done something or given me something that I really really loved, I am just blown away by it. I can think of several examples, but here is one that is special to me. I had done something sweet. I won’t say what it is. So as a way of thanking me, someone did something extraordinary sweet for me. He built me a desk!

deskI had always wanted a wooden desk. When I was a teenager I saved my pocket money carefully so that I could buy one. We went to the nearest Ikea to buy the pine desk that I had set my heart on. It was around £350. Anyway, the local Ikea in Warrington did not have it in stock, but they said there was one in stock up in Leeds. So we drove all the way to Leeds to buy it. My pocket money was cash of course, so we handed over the money and in return we left the store with a very heavy flatpack wrapped up in cardboard. Dad tied it to the roof rack of the car.

journey home.gifWell the weather deteriorated rapidly. The wind was howling, the rain was lashing down. There is a stretch of motorway (I think it is the M62, but I should check that) which is very exposed and the wind was so strong it seemed to be pushing the car right over towards the hard shoulder. Suddenly, there was this horrific noise, and we saw panels of wood go flying all over the road. Dad had to pull over. My Ikea flat-packed desk was all over the place. Some of it had flown right over the motorway bridge. Other pieces were in the road and cars were driving over and I could see pieces were breaking.

annie teen1When Dad rang Ikea later on, they said that if he had paid with a credit card there would have been some insurance, but because we paid with my pocket money (cash) there was nothing they could do. Can you imagine my tears!

I was so disheartened. I remember the disappointment vividly even now. I carried on studying curled up on the sofa or on my bed, which was ok, but not like having a desk. Some time later Dad bought me a desk as a surprise. But it wasn’t the one I really wanted. It was one of those computer stations really – no personality. Still, I was glad of it. I spent many hours working at that desk.

Well…when I moved down south I ended up living in a beautiful renovated barn on a country estate (for four months of the year, while the owners were away, I had to live in the actual mansion house). I spent a huge amount of time working for local charities, including doing the accounts for local charities.

gift.jpgWell, as I mentioned earlier, I did something sweet to help someone. Around two weeks later they drove up outside my pretty abode. I went out to see them and they said they had something for me in the car, but they needed to assemble it. I could not believe my eyes when I saw it. They had built a beautiful wooden desk. It was large. It had two cabinets either side, one with three drawers and one with a cupboard with a mid-shelf inside it. It was so perfect.

It was the perfect present, the most glorious gift! Gorgeous people have done some very sweet things for me, and I am so glad because it is always touching. But when someone finds out what you would really really love to have, and takes the time to make a beautiful gift which is just what you need and looks stunning…well, you never ever can forget sweet deeds like that – can you?!!!


This post is my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore

Writing Prompt #38


I’m So Gin Love


I am not very good at thinking of gifts. All the time I am with Goldfinch I am listening out, hoping to pick up on his likes and preferences, in the hopes I can use that information to surprise him with a gift.

I had no idea until he was leaving England that he likes gin. He never touched a drop of  alcohol in all the time I was with him. Probably because he was usually driving.

Always looking out for opportunities and new ways to show love.

The Gift Of Love

gifts.jpgI remember hearing someone (I cannot remember who) say something that had a big effect on me. It made me think about how I expressed my appreciation and regard for friends, family and my Creator. It was about gifts. Well, actually it was about worship. But, the principle can be applied to many areas. They developed their point with the following questions?

  • If you love someone and you want to buy them a gift – what do you buy? Something that you would want to receive yourself as a gift, or something that you know they would want?
  • If you were to buy the chocolates for the person you love, would you buy your own favourite chocolates, or the chocolates they like best?
  • If you were to cook a special meal for the person that you love, would you cook your own favourite dish, or would you prepare their favourite flavours and ingredients?

My point on this occasion is, I bought a gift for Goldfinch. It’s not something I would choose for myself. It’s not my cup of tea, but I suspect it is something he is going to be delighted with. I am hoping, he is going to be  very happy Goldfinch and I am going to be in the good books and regarded as a fabulous girlfriend. A girlfriend who is always trying to find ways to show her love for the man who makes her so happy.

I am so excited about the gift I found for Goldfinch. It’s not the kind of gift I would want, but I love him, and love is about getting to know a person and finding out what they love. You can probably see why the person who made the point was using it in regard to worship.


You Really Shouldn’t Have

I feel like such a spoilt brat!

I received some gifts today. Any other day I don’t think I would have felt so rotten. But I didn’t want to receive gifts from the wrong men today.

I have sent some polite thank you text messages. But that is all. I sent a long message to Goldfinch though! And I received a lovely e-mail from him that made my heart flutter.

The chocolates I can take into work I guess. The flowers can stay. Then there is another gift I don’t know what to do with yet. I don’t like the scent. I have to find a friend who I think will like it. But I have to do so discreetly.

Normally, I would be more grateful. But none of it is from the man I am in love with.

Plus – it’s all just on a day that celebrates pagan sex worship to false gods which retailers make a packet out of. It does not mean anything to me. If I want to show love…well, I will do it everyday, to the man I do actually love, and not with silly tokens that he might not even like, but showing love in a way that really means something to him.

No other man is going to be able to give me gifts for a long time without me reacting like a spoilt brat. Errrr…. “Thanks, that is very kind of you. You really shouldn’t have.”

There is only one man that matters to me right now.

I Borrowed Another Credit Card

I have been the recipient of another wave of generosity this week and so I realize it is incumbent on me to continue the giving craze that Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith began. So as well as the latest gift that I have received, I have three more gifts for three other bloggers below.

This week, Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! gave me a very thoughtful gift as you can see below:

“With Goldfinch currently not there to make her day a sparkle, l got her these. a Complete set of carefully disguised as decoration baubles, but they are actually a set of ‘Everyday is a Glitter Shower Day!’ Yep, you can programme to explode when you need them the mostest and they will cover you from head to foot in a special glittery pixie dust and they ensure happiness!”


Well, so far so good Rory…I think… although next time I think I ought to wear goggles to protect my eyes in the shower.


So, as I never go into debt and refuse to have a credit card of my own, I have had to borrow another credit card (don’t tell Fandango!!! – I took it from the clothes he abandoned last time he went skiing) and so, I thought I would carry on with my generous streak.

The first gift today goes to Sandmanjazz, who I have only been following recently (I have not seen that picture by the way), but whom I believe likes a bit of jazz. So I am giving to him his own jazz club:

Then my next gift goes to My Dusty Flip-Flops, who is a fantastic travel blogger. So I have decided to buy the Lady Moura yacht along with it’s helicopter and smaller speedboat (kept within the hull) so that Dusty can set sail to various locations and write up super posts for us all to enjoy:

My last gift is for Jay-lyn Doerksen, the creator of The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom.

Jay-lyn has been very kind sending me very empathetic messages in recent months. She knows what it is like to have a long-distance relationship and I appreciate all of her lovely comments.

So to Jay-lyn I give a palace that she and her loved one can move into so that they can be together always and not separated by distance:

Well…before Fandango is back from the ski slopes and notices his credit card is missing, I better stop myself there.

Just Put It All On Teresa’s Credit Card

They do say that there is more happiness in giving than receiving. I am sure many of you are having just as much fun as I am at giving gifts to other bloggers who have cheered you up many a time this year. This was all started by Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith.

I have recently received a gift from Suze Suze, the creator of suziland too or obsolete childhood which was a very fitting contribution to my elongated goodbye homage to my beloved Goldfinch:

white elephant gifts are great!

“…To Mel over at CrushedCaramel…

 who is having a truly difficult time saying goodbye to her beloved canary…

or is it a GoldFinch?…”


Well my first gift this time round is going to the britchy one the britchy one, the creator of  Bitchin’ in the Kitchen. Not only does she make me laugh all the time, she has a very sweet caring side to her and has often taken the time to send me a very kind message to cheer me up. Recently she has exalted me, giving me the special epitaph “the Caramel goddess” – which is a clear promotion from “the Caramel Queen” another blogger labelled me as some time ago.

Well, since the secret is out about my high up connections, I might as well flaunt it by being generous in my gift-giving. So to lovely Britchy I thought I would give a holiday home in Tenerife. It is big enough to take her whole family, if she chooses, and cats. Although, I would not advise letting the cats wander too far from the villa.

During your stays there, every morning the bakery next door will deliver fresh churros for breakfast:



My second gift would be for HistorianRuby HistorianRuby, the creator of HistorianRuby: An Historian’s Miscellany. Ruby’s site is full of fascinating posts about historical people, places, and events that have all had a knock-on effect to life as we know it today. She clearly loves to research and publishes beautiful posts that are an absolute joy to read.

I thought of giving Ruby The Time Machine from H.G. Wells, but I believe another blogger has already gifted it. So I am going to go one better. You probably know that in the “Back To The Future” movies, most of the time travel is done in the DeLorean car. However, right at the end of the third movie after the DeLorean is destroyed, the future of time travel appears – a train that has been modified for time travel. I think Ruby would know just what to do with this gift and I am sure she would write amazing posts as a follow up to her adventures!

And to enjoy with her family, I also give to Ruby some vintage wine from Teresa’s wine-cellar (what you have never heard about Teresa’s wine cellar before?):


I also saw something I wanted to give to Melanie B Cee Melanie B Cee, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Melanie is also a blogger who frequently cheers me up with very lovely comments.

I saw something that made me think of Hunny Dog:

However, Hunny Dog is not a blogger, it is just a little extra thrown in as I am putting all of this on Teresa’s credit card. For Melanie, I wanted to make sure that she had a matching boudoir so that Hunny Dog does not have nicer digs than Melanie.

I was also thinking that you are often busy with various commitments and appointments and you have at times had to deal with incompetent drivers who park in the wrong places etc. So I thought one of these royal sedan chairs may help:


From now on whenever you need to go out, just click your fingers and a complimentary team of well built muscular young men will appear, and they will carry you anywhere you need to go. They do need feeding though Melanie – they eat a lot – but since you are so great at looking after Hunny Dog, I am sure you will be able to feed your new “wheels”. They would be extremely happy with your sandwiches or home-made pizza!

When you don’t need them to carry the sedan chair, the guys are very helpful around the house. I have personally trained all of them in all house-keeping duties.

From now on, you will be given respect from others on the public highways. Parking will never be an issue again, as the sedan chair can be taken inside most buildings. They can take you right inside the building you are going to. They are not great on the stairs though, this model does not fit inside an average sized elevator. (Although it does just about fit into a maintenance elevator – but why would you want to travel in a maintenance elevator?)


There we go…that’s enough giving for one day!

FOWC with Fandango — Special