Just because I haven't been on here for a bit doesn't mean I haven't thought about it. I still can't use this particular Google account on Safari for a myriad of reasons, even though I'm running the most current software on my Mac and there shouldn't be a security issue. So can I be bothered to open another browser - Chrome - to update my blog? Not often.
One of the things I'd considered posting about earlier this year was last Christmas. We received a rather hilarious present from The Whingies. It was a fleece throw, which is a good thought as our house gets quite chilly in winter. But it wasn't a throw that in any way matched our decor. It was a throw from Guide Dogs of Australia, and featured a chocolate labrador, much larger than life, as the main element. Our living room is not neutral-coloured where the throw, which is chocolate dog on pale blue background, would look good. It's bright late 1950s pale greens and teals with orange/tangerine accents. Sounds loud but it works. But not with blue and chocolate.
OK, so we have dogs. Two, now, as it turns out, as we brought a beautiful toy Poodle girl into our lives last October. So The Whingies clearly know we love dogs as well as cats.
We pondered about why they would buy us that particular throw. If they donate to a charity it's usually a cancer one, not Guide Dogs.
Then it hit us. They didn't buy it at all. They won it as a prize in a cat show, where a non-dog person must have donated it, presumably as an unwanted gift.
We sat on the floor in the living room on Christmas morning, sipping Champagne and contemplating this thought while peering into the giant-sized eyes of the chocolate lab, and both of us burst out laughing.
Now I'm pretty good at rehoming gifts too, and if I don't have a suitable recipient for something I've been given but don't want, I give it to charity or sell it online. I take into account the person's taste and decor before deciding what to give them. I can't keep things people give me that I don't like or don't work in my house, not any more. I have too much STUFF. Too much clutter. I need to move things on if they're not suitable, rather than, as Mum encouraged me to do, keep This gift or That gift because That person gave it to you, even if you hate it.
We have a tacit agreement with the Whingies that while we give gifts to each other, they will be under $30. It's the thought that counts, it's a token thing, and I usually rack my brains to find something they'll appreciate as they consider themselves persons of high taste. Often it's a plant cutting I've been cultivating (this is acceptable as I receive plant cuttings in return) and this year I gave them a beautiful candle from the stock I sell and a bottle of wine.
So what to do with the throw? We opened it, as we didn't know what the design was, and having opened it and damaged the packaging in the process, can't rehome it as a brand new gift to a dog person. We may be able to use it on our bed as the dogs are - now the Poodle puppy is 7 months old and can hang on all night - sleeping on our bed, to the delight of our Spaniel, who I think has missed it. We certainly didn't miss the heat of them in summer!
It must have been the Christmas for throws. Another couple gave us a throw (clearly these friends all visit in winter where their teeth chatter if they move more then three metres away from the log fire) and the colours are pretty wrong in that one too. White background with orange (nice) and sky blue (doesn't work). That one is still in its packaging. It has gift potential. Not for the Whingies though as it wouldn't match their decor.
In the meantime I found a very cool orange and sage green 60s-inspired throw at ALDI for $16, which I've put on the sofa for the dogs to sleep on should they wish.