I got a bit carried away with some online retail therapy earlier following a conversation with myr s about needing to clean their chain maille collar, so could they swap to their lighter leather one for a while.
This was of course not a problem, and is a normal item of conversation in our dynamic, but it did put me in mind of getting something else as a lighter alternate collar. In part this would be a morale-booster for holding up so well under lockdown; and a lighter and looser token for hot summer days to come. A more gender-neutral appearing collar would also be a kindness with a regard to dysphoria.
And so I placed an order for a little something via Etsy, and was in short order contacted by the seller. A very sweet brief conversation then took place around some of the detailing of the piece. As a result, a slightly customised item will now be made in the next couple of days to ship by the end of the week. The maker was delighted to hear some of the whys and wherefores of the piece, and that extra element of love will no doubt be manifested in the final item.
Its been a long day, but it feels like its been productive. I spent this morning with some colleagues putting together a risk assessment for reopening one of the libraries. Lots to consider but the writeups didn’t take too long to complete.
The bonus for the day however was getting home to find a care package from one of the DDC – specifically Mre B – full of hand crafted items, and tactile delights. It absolutely raised my spirits and I’ll post photos when everyone who has had one sent has received their parcel.
Lady B has been secretly assembling a range of gifts to distribute among the DDC – literally, as she has a 3D printer. Today a care package arrived.
Both Lady M and I received a prison for misbehaving dice, a pedestal for favoured dice, and a nameplate. The vox also contained a dice-rolling tray, an Eberron DM shield, a card game, and a glass bottle with four red dice in it, representing a potion of healing. Our geekery levels just jumped significantly.
We really are very lucky, and its been a lovely bonus as we head into the weekend.
Its been our turn to receive little somethings from the DDC – not as part of any schedule or expectation, but simply as nice things to do. Its always nice to get things in the post, but thoughtful things from loved ones rather than Amazon orders do put a bigger smile on the face.
In this instance, across two deliveries, it was things picked out by myr s and the cub as “just because” morale boosters for both myself and Lady M. The first was a hamper of cheese and chutneys – they know our foodie nature so well – that the cub had spotted and picked out
While the second delivery contained a new Groot Funko for Lady M, and a really well stocked art roll of pencils, charcoal, and chalks for me to get lost in my artwork with.
The notes and letters that came with them are a wonderful boon and reassurance – just whats needed as lockdown continues.
We’ve all been looking in the DDC for ways to brighten each other up during the lockdown. I mean, we’ve been looking at ways of making life easier as much as possible for as many people as possible too, but in particular we’ve been rallying round to help each other. I think it was brewing anyway, but as Lady B had her birthday recently it prompted a move to send presents that has since expanded across the whole group.
For the most part its sporadic – little things like postcards or small gifts made on a whimsy – but it is a wonderful little spike of pleasure when there’s something unexpected in the mailbox. While this is a thing that could happen at any time, I think the enforced isolation has made the effort more appreciated and more meaningful for both sender and receiver. If so, then I take it as an example of people rising to support each other in adversity – through a series of acts that you could be forgiven for thinking had been a thing long in the past. Now all our various communications channels are sprinkled with little remarks like “Oh I showed x what I’ve made for you”, or “Oh, reminds me I must get to the post office” – and each time I get a little glow in my chest that is almost certainly not heartburn.
It doesn’t make us any better or worse than anyone else just because we’re choosing to reach out to support our friends and partners at this time rather than engaging in some grand gesture to help the world at large. Instead, I hope that it is a trend of rediscovering contact that has been denatured by the immediacy of social media. There is no immediate gratification of a notification on a phone or laptop – its merely something that appears at some point in the letterbox, and is all the more precious for it. I hope its something that catches on among friend and family circles as a rediscovery of a slower way of showing you care. Its less ephemeral that social media, and goes alongside the other ways of showing we care that we already use on a daily basis. I feel incredibly lucky.
Oh, yeah, by the way, today’s been the eighth wedding anniversary of myself and Lady M – eight years since we all gathered at Rowton Castle and had a massive party that also happened to have a wedding attached to it.
In typically disjointed fashion I’ve been back at work trying to remember passwords and catch up on all the many weird and wonderful things to have happened during my week away, while Lady M stayed home, ran things to the tip, and spent half the day chatting with the ex-Lady M about how proud we all are of the Charleesi.
By contrast, myr s has been struggling to find a way to style their new haircut in a way compatible with a favourite character in the Final Fantasy series – so I’ve been vaguely trying to remember what I used to spike my hair many moons ago when I had some.
The eighth anniversary is known as a Bronze anniversary, so as we always try to incorporate something of the relevant material in our gifts, I gave among other things a bronze knotwork pendant and a bronze keyring with the date on it – and Lady M gave me a miniature bronze armillary replica, and a set of bronze gaming dice from The Grinning Gargoyle
And then being soppy romantic buggers we sat on the sofa and caught up on some episodes of Altered Carbon before pottering around a bit more while I tinkered with laptops and desktop patching because we both have work again in the morning and celebratory silliness will have to be reserved until the weekend – where we’ll be catching up with Lord and Lady P for the first time in ages.
Part of our love language in our geeky polycule is to buy little things relating to our favourite fandoms. This may be Funko figures, or badges and other memorabilia – but especially it manifests in the purchasing of books. It is a common part of any of our wanderings in town to go into bookshops and keenly observe what we each are drawn to as a clue for birthday and other celebrations.
Lady M has this week been studying for a Foundation ITIL course as part of her work development – and has of course been finding her common sense and experience rewarded in how she has flown through the lessons and excelled at the practice papers.
This is, however, still a stressful week, and so at lunchtime I checked in via text to see how she was doing. Her mock exam had gone well, but a migraine was threatening to develop. Where others may have offered flowers or chocolates, I immediately offered to whisk her away at the weekend for a trip to the bookshop to buy her some books.
This is very much a type of romantic language that I love and appreciate, and a mode of gift-giving I wish to promote. You’re welcome.
We dropped in to see Lord B, my brother, and his family today to exchange Christmas gifts and catch up for the first time in ages. Given the general perception of antipathy from various relatives of late it was therefore very touching to see gifts addressed to all three of us, but also an active expectation that Lady S would be with us for the visit.
Sadly that wasn’t the case as she had family business of her own to attend to, but we did take photos to send to her.
Such an acceptance means a huge amount, and was genuinely moving. Thanks guys.
My parents are from South Wales, born and bred; and occasionally that background slips past their facade of retired professional couple in unexpected ways.
Between Christmas and New Year, we made a lightning visit up to see them and drop off presents. Before we left, my mother presented us with these spoons:
and it knocked loose a memory of the old carved wooden spoons we’d see at their parents’ homes and that are now tucked in display cabinets.
These Welsh lovespoons were a symbol of affection, made as part of the courting process.
A young man would carve one and give it to someone he was interested in. If she was interested, she would accept it, and some believe this is the origin of the word ‘spooning’ to mark a couple who were together.
An interesting site to check out with more information can be found at http://www.Welsh-lovespoons.co.uk and they also sell examples. (Note: I’ve no links with them and only found them as a Web search so I can’t speak from personal recommendation.)
Seeing the wire-bound spoons with their decorations certainly speaks to me of their being inspired from somewhere along the same tradition, even if that wasn’t foremost in the mind of whoever made them. I am sure though that it was in my parents’ minds when they bought them for us as a gift, and as such I’ll be finding somewhere safe for them to live.