28 Nov

Around this time every year I’m asked what I want by various family members for Chrismtas. Months later I’ve usually forgotten what I’ve been bought or the present has broken or is lost. Some are truly memorable though:


Who cares about good taste?

‘Speak and Spell’ – 1984 from my parents. It taught me how to say ‘water’ and ‘orange’ in an American accent. Very useful when I was playing Barbie and Ken with my friends.

Rabbit– 1998. Before I bought this I’d only had one orgasm from a boy in Bristol and I couldn’t travel there every time I wanted to come. The vibrator was a present to myself so I could teach my fingers how to do what the bunny ears did so well. I loved it so much I recommended it to my sister who I was living with at the time. She was smitten too, but left it on the side of her sink one day and forgot to move it when our shy male cousin visited and used her loo. She discovered it later and apologised to him. “Oh god, sorry for that thing on the side of the sink. I think it must belong to Grace.”

An Agent Provocateur corset – 2003, from a lover. There’s something about the image of somebody else’s knee in the small of my back when this is being pulled in and tied up that sets my heart racing. In reality I’ve only had it laced by the shop assistant and my daughter. Doesn’t matter though, because the result is all about the breasts: they are no longer half filled piping bags, but full and creamy round choux buns again.

‘Young Hearts Crying’ by Richard Yates – 2008, from my aunt. About love, marriage, despair and disappointment. I don’t tend to like stories with happy endings and this is no exception.

A big box of Lindt milk chocolate truffles from my husband – 2010. Sod expensive 70% cocoa. These are on a par with Ferrero Rocher in terms of naffness, but unlike the latter they taste delicious.  The week’s supply saved me from having to nip to the garage at midnight.


A ‘Febreeze’ candle. I told somebody I didn’t know very well I liked scented candles and they gave me one of these. Smelt like I imagine ‘Vagisil’ to smell – furniture polish with a hint of peach.

A suedette fringed waistcoat with matching baker boy leatherette studded hat. OK, I lie. This was a present my sister was given by her mother-in-law, but it was so funny we all tried the ensemble on, saying things like “I’m married to Jonny Holliday.”

A red and black bra and knickers set from Knickerbox.  This was my first boyfriend’s idea of what racy girls wore in the bedroom. Even at 17, it was my idea of lingerie hell.

An all-in-one short romper suit, much like toddlers wear in summer. After getting it wrong with the red and black, first boyfriend thought I wanted to look like a baby boy and bought me this: it cut me up the crotch and went baggy around my large bottom. Also, like a playsuit I had to get naked to pee.

A Tiffany watch when I was 16. It wasn’t Cartier. I told you I used to be a spoilt cow.


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