Those difficult presents

Isn’t it awful when it’s your Auntie’s or your Grandma’s birthday and you don’t know what to buy them? Worse if you’re buying for the Queen.

The list of gifts received by the Royal Family in 2013 has just been released, and some of them were definitely bought the evening before the visit.

One week previously, you thought you had loads of time. “The Royal Visit isn’t until next Friday, I’ll get something over the weekend.” But you had a lie-in on Saturday morning after a hard week, and then there was football, a few drinks and the curry. Another lie-in on Sunday, and your friends had invited you round for Sunday dinner. And a few bottles of wine. “Never mind, I can pick something up during the week.”

But the days at work were busy, planning for the visit. Lots to be organised.

“Have you sorted the official gift?”
“Yes, it’s all in hand,” you lie, glibly.

You don’t know what to buy, but you’re confident that a quick browse around Debenhams in your lunch hour will come up trumps. Then, all of a sudden, it’s Thursday, and nothing in the store inspired you
at lunchtime, and now it’s after work and all the shops are closing. What can you buy her? Some chocolates from the supermarket? Not even the ambassador’s are special enough. A plant from the petrol station? Too cheap. Where else is open at this time? The local DIY store.

So off you race. A quick look around rules out a barbecue, a gazebo, a new saw and the unattractive bedside lamps. You want something a little bit quirky. Something the Queen will look at with a smile, and think fondly of her visit to your lovely town. Your eyes fall on the perfect gift. You snatch it up, pay at the till and return home triumphant.

The next day, you proudly step forward at the given signal and present Her Majesty with…
a garden gnome.

Yes – the list of gifts for the Royal Family last year includes a garden gnome. “Well, I can’t remember for sure, but I think we bought her a scarf last time, and gloves the time before. And it wasn’t the worst gift on the list.” True. It’s a good job you didn’t look in the local garden centre gift shop, or you might have been the person that gave them the book called “Your Arms Remind Me of Pork Luncheon Meat”.

Do they still put heads on spikes at Traitors’ Gate?

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