ChutneyFinal.jpg

 

 

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*

 

Me: “IT LOOKED NICE”

 

“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*

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