Love Chunks has been my main squeeze since 1993 so buying gifts is getting more and more difficult each year.
He usually ends up with a DVD or a book that is more my taste than his because anything else he wants or likes is sorted/found/purchased at the time of need. His electronic piano is a good example - he knew what type he needed in order to still keep playing without antagonising the neighbours; did his research on features, costs and availability and made the necessary arrangements. The end result sees him happy, our bank balance lighter and a reasonable excuse to 'only get me a card' for his birthday and Christmas this year.
However, when it was his birthday, I didn't want to just write a card (that in itself gets more difficult after eighteen years of togetherness. It isn't acceptable to take the Hollywood executive approach and remake old classics or borrow lines from my twenty four year old self 'I look forward to seeing you come back from prac teaching in Port Pirie in your brown cortina'). Love Chunks deserved something quirky and unique: something that would remind him of our time here in Geneva.
Considering that he's a meteorologist, talented home chef, pianist, runner, AFL-watcher and IKEA Allen key conquerer, he clearly needed:
Opera glasses from 1806. Made in Geneva at a spot by the river that now seems to be frequented by alcoholics and drug dealers. Yeah, I'm nothing if not considerate of his interests and concerned with practicalities.
Of course he has no interest in attending an opera and I've only been to one (suffered through Pagliacci with my mother in 1994) but the weathered style of these little guys and the date and the fact that there are antiques and old bits and bobs at flea markets for cheapish prices if you're prepared to rummage and haggle and take your time is addictive. And very enjoyable.
But was that enough - ocular devices long past their relevance? Of course not, so he also got this:
A nineteenth century copper bed warmer. More than one person commented that it could be used to quell any arguments if the gift wasn't appreciated - CLANG!
Thankfully, he loved them both.