Oh, hey! I turned 28 yesterday, by the way.
I was working, unfortunately -- or fortunately, as the case may be. Had a lovely day anyway. A buffet breakfast-come-lunch with my parents and my partner, an afternoon and evening of easy teaching, then last but not least a night of sleepy gift-giving.
So I thought the thing to do was blog a bit about what all everyone thought I'd enjoy. It's actually unspeakably illuminating. You can group all but a few of the gifts into three categories. The first is of course coffee, that best friend of bloggers since time immemorial.
Alongside a bottle of Tia Maria that I immediately "tested," the day also saw fit to deliver into my clutches some delicious Illy espresso, which I gather is the best ground coffee to be had without grinding the beans yourself. Truth be told, I wouldn't know; I've always balked at the cost.
Meanwhile, tying into the second category too, this thing, and I'll be filling it with a vast amount of the steaming stuff later today:
It's a thermos, Captain... but not as we know it! :)
The second of our three categories, then, involves a miscellany of things to take on holiday, because we're jetting off to the States shortly, the other half and I, and why not get ahead of the game? Speaking of which, another excellent gift: Carcassonne.
I've loved Catan for years, playing online and off. Also Ticket to Ride. And Risk. I'm certainly no expert at any or all of the above, but sitting down to a good strategy game always makes me inordinately happy. Carcassonne is a German-style, tile-based board game that I've been hugely curious about for ages, so this will definitely be coming to America with me.
Last but not least... books! That is to say two review copies and one Amazon Marketplace purchase that just so happened to pop through the letterbox yesterday, thus in a weird way I think of them as gifts:
The Lions of Al-Rassan is a very timely reissue from Voyager, and I imagine it'll be excellent company on my international mission. The Steve Rasnic Tem - new from Solaris and very intriguing too - I aim to have read and reviewed in advance of my departure in a few short weeks. Meanwhile A Different Kingdom by Paul Kearney came highly recommended during last week's shenanigans with the Macht, and you may or may not ever hear me mention it again. It really depends.
That isn't everything either, but this post has already taken longer to put together than I'd imagined, so it'll have to do for today.
Obviously, I am a very happy camper, and incredibly grateful to everyone who cared. In part because of the goodies and the games and the gadgets, yes, but at this (late) stage in my life, it really is the thought that counts, more than any individual gift. And what thoughtful thoughts they were this year!