The kitchen.


Boyfriend: “Hmmmm.”


“So, you’ve made… four. Four jars of chutney.”


Me: “Yes.


My confident vow to hand-make all our Christmas presents by the start of December is starting to look a little unlikely.


“I got the measurements a bit muddled.”


Boyfriend: “Just 25 out of 29 Christmas presents to go then…”


Me: “Yes.”


Boyfriend: “Well I say 25 to go, but is there actually anyone we can only give one very small jar of beetroot chutney to?”


Me: “Spiced beetroot and orange, actually.”


“And I… ummm. Hmm.”


Boyfriend: “So maybe, we still have 29 to go?”


Me: “I… yes maybe.”


“Kim’s making most of hers!”


Boyfriend: “Yes. But Kim can cook.”


Me: “I… yes.”


Boyfriend: “And sew.”


Me: “… yes.”


Boyfriend: “And is very organised.”


Me: “I have a spread she… oh ok yes I get your point.”


Stare back at the jars of chutney. One of them has a weird black bit floating in it. Will give that one to my brother.


Boyfriend: “Are you sure it’s not just better for all concerned if we just buy some already made presents… from a shop?”


Me: “Look it’ll be fine! Anyway, Christmas presents is a Pink Job.”


Boyfriend (smugly): “Well, yes.”


A few months ago, after dinner with far-more-domestically-organised friends, Boyfriend declared that we should split up house-related jobs to play to our strengths.


My jobs – Pink Jobs – include Misplaced Object Location, General Toddler Maintenance and All Present Purchasing.


His jobs – Blue Jobs – include Spider Extermination, Pot Plant Keeping Alive, and one that I’m always a little unsure we really need but it makes him so happy I daren’t say anything: the Bulk Purchasing of Unbelievably Good Value Food Offers. (After a recent impulse nip to Tesco he gleefully came home with 13 boxes of half-price cereal and 75 loo rolls.)


It had all seemed such a brilliant idea – especially when he manfully exclaimed “a Blue Job!” after next door’s cat shat on our artificial grass.


Boyfriend: “Out of interest, what else were you planning to make?


“For example… for my brother?”


*consult Homemade Christmas Presents 2014 spreadsheet*


Me: “Soap.”


Boyfriend looks less than convinced


Me: “What?! Everyone needs to be clean!”


Boyfriend: “You’re going to make soap?”


Me: “Yes – I found an article online.”


Boyfriend (now looking more amused than concerned): “Aaaand… my dad?!”


Me, confidently: “A scarf.”


Boyfriend: “Ok. But, you can’t knit.”


Me: “Yet.”


“There’s a YouTube tutorial…”


Boyfriend: “And… oh I don’t know – my sister?”


Me, a little less confidently: “Slippers?”


Boyfriend: “How??!”


Me: “This woman online made some out of wool… and… cardboard.”


“Honestly, they looked really warm!”


Boyfriend (more and more delighted): “Who else… er… your Mum?!”


Me: “Well…”


*ok here goes*


“I saw this programme…


Boyfriend: “Go on…”


“…where this lady collected little tiny pieces of drift wood from the beach…”


Boyfriend, grinning: “The beach… I see, do continue…”


Me: “…dried them out in her airing cupboard, dyed them using beetroot juice, and then made a matching necklace and bracelet out of them!”


*Loud snorts of laughter now emanating from Boyfriend*




“She also made earrings out of curtain tassels.”


*Boyfriend now unable to speak due to snorting* 


Boyfriend (composing himself): “And when were you planning on doing all this?”


Me: “…ummm… evenings?”


*Look down at list* There really are a lot of presents. And admittedly maybe didn’t think the beach bit through…


Me: “Maybe I could buy some things?”


After a short discussion agree to buy presents for all my family, all his family, and give chutney to neighbours – apart from the one with the black bit in. Both agree that can still go to my brother.


A tad disappointed but a lot more relaxed, settle down to watch True Detective  (Box Set Choosing = Blue Job)


A few minutes into episode… 


Boyfriend: “Just out of curiosity, what were you going to make me?”


Me: “You? Oh, I hadn’t got that far yet.”


*nonchalantly reach across to laptop and close article on How To Make a Revolving Drinks Cabinet Out Of 8 Plastic Bottles And a Bike Wheel*