1. The Silver Spoon For Children: Favourite Italian Recipes, £10.36
2. A.P.C Wool Shirt, £180.00
3. M&S Pure Wool Fedora, £29.50
4. John Varvatos Fine Knit Scarf, £87.00
5. Telegraph Avenue, £7.19
6. Illy Ground Expresso Coffee, £5.89
OK, more than a little on the self indulgent side: all gifts relate to, shall we say, strong interests of mine, such as: Sarah of course (I’m guessing she may be reading this); music (the books); and most things Italian. There comes a time, when Sarah’s on a work trip and the twins are asleep, when sardines and anchovies and sultanas and pine nuts and pasta combine to create a Sicilian conspiracy that no one else in the family will touch. This is the wine to go with it and the coffee’s for afterwards. The recipe’s simplified from the classic ‘The Silver Spoon’ cookbook and I hope someone tracks down this kids’ version for me. In my minds eye, I’d really enjoy looking like a mid-sixties Marcello Mastroianni as I lift pasta to mouth, but since that’s never gonna happen, the capotto (coat), sciarpa (scarf), cappello (hat) and camicia (shirt) might get me into a crowd scene at least.
Soulful Christmas and Happy New Year,
1. A Personalised Book A Month Gift Service, from £29.99
2. Uniqlo Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater, £79.90
3. Uniqlo Cashmere Beanie, £29.90
4. Vera Wang For Men Eau De Toilette, £36.00-£46.80
5. Chambers & Beau Personalised Identity Bracelet, £40.00
6. Apple iPad Air 2, £399.00
Being a creature of habit (if it ain’t broke…), my Christmas list this year is mainly made up of things I’ve received before and really really liked. So, here goes. The Willoughby Book Club is fantastic – a gift that keeps on giving. If your husband/boyfriend likes reading, just tell them his preferences and they will carefully choose and deliver a book for him every month. There is something exciting about knowing you have a really good book coming your way each month, one that will probably broaden your reading horizons but still be your kind of page turner. The cashmere beanie hat and jumper are more about the snuggle effect they seem to encourage (no daddy ever tires of that right?) but the practical side of me appreciates the extra warmth and style too. The Vera Wang aftershave – well, Nicky thinks it smells really nice which is the only point of it, so that works for me. The only gift that isn’t a repeat is the bracelet, or ‘man band’ as I like to call it. Not one for wearing jewellery normally, the inscription of Bailey’s name on one side and ‘Papa’ on the other got me right in the … you know, that place where emotion comes from. Finally, no daddy Christmas list would be complete without a gadget and for me it’s the new iPad Air 2 – so much quicker and lighter than our current very old version. Even better, as you can partly fund the upgrade by selling your old iPad to one of many gadget recyclers (assuming your little one hasn’t laid claim to it already…).