In my family, August is the birthday month. My mum, my two brothers and I all have our birthdays in August. This means I’ve recently been trying to figure out presents that aren’t a waste of money or resources. I used to buy “gift shop” presents for my friends and family. Fortunately I realised a present that just sits there and doesn’t get used is a waste of money and resources.
These days I’m more careful with my present choices. I make sure I think about what the person would like, and more importantly, make use of. Often I resort to chocolate or plants (or variations on these). I grow a lot of succulents in my garden and they easily strike roots from broken off parts. Sometimes a nicely potted succulent makes a very pretty (and long lasting – no watering needed) present.
I like baking cakes and a birthday cake always goes down well. Most people I know like cake, even if only one slice. Last year I baked a birthday cake for my friend Geoff. I hadn’t known him very long and just assumed it would make a good present. He was very happy that I’d baked him a cake, even though he didn’t like eating cake. His housemate does like cake and was also very pleased I’d baked it. This made me happy because his housemate was Michael, my boyfriend. The real reason I baked Geoff a cake was so I could see Mike, who wasn’t my boyfriend back then.
The most recent August birthday was mine and I got a couple of very useful presents. The first, a camera, was so useful because I told my dad I would like one. I used to borrow his camera and now he’ll be able to use his whenever he wants. In a couple of weeks we’re both going on holiday, to different places. Now we’ll both be able to take photos. I’ve also been borrowing my dad’s hoe, so he thought that would make a good present too. Although the label said it’s a garden cultivator, it’s already been getting a workout.
For a previous birthday my dad gave me a compost aerator, a metal pole with a spiral at the end. You twist it into a pile of compost and then pull it out. This mixes up the compost and adds air to the pile. It sat in the shed for ages, not doing much, but in the last few weeks I’ve been using it. The other day I did a bit of compost aerating and I was pulling up huge clumps of earthworms. I had to get out my new camera and take some photos. I’ve never seen so many earthworms in my compost bin. There’s more than in my newly set up worm farm. The first writhing mass of earthworms was a bit disgusting to look at, but they wriggled back into the compost as soon as they could, so I didn’t need to be disgusted for long. Unfortunately they wriggled away too fast for me to take a photo of this first mass.
PS. I’m wondering if wiggly worms are going to crop up in every post I write – they’re taking over my life!