Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The greatest little Italian in the North ( East )



Yesterday was my birthday and to celebrate we took my folks to Catardi's, our favourite Italian cafe. It might be the only Italian cafe in town but even if there were many more, it would still be the best. In true birthday style, I got to eat anything I wanted which included a bowl of lovely tortellini and some tiramisu to follow. Not to mention the bruchetta, the olives, the garlic bread....

Recently we have started saying to friends and family that we don't need presents for birthdays and christmasses, and if people want to give things, to give items that will get used up, like food or wine or a meal out. This way we can reduce the amount of well meant but unwanted stuff in our home and cut down on the whole consumer shennanigans that takes over at certain times of year. It sounds a bit mean and unromantic but in fact it is such a relief. No more rushing around buying too much for too much. No awful sinking feeling when someone gives you a gift and you know it will be hidden in a cupboard or given away to charity. We stole the idea from our friends Grahame and Craig who successfully piloted it with their own family and friends. At first it felt weird but it is also liberating and makes everyone a bit more creative about what to give. So far, Archie got bottles of wine for his birthday from my family and when I woke up yesterday there was a daffodil on my pillow from the very man himself. Not giving seems to be as contagious as giving - both my parents have said they don't want presents either. My mum bent the rules slightly by getting me another fantastic bag of yarn from her charity shop the week before my birthday but I think it will come under the description of things that will get used - eventually!

Talking of knitting, I had to give up on the old Ramona sweater, even doing the largest size, it was too small to fit round my bricklayer's shoulders. I am now doing a pattern from an old Rowan hardback called Summer and Winter Knitting. It is a Martin Kidman design and I am completely ignoring the 80's intarsia design that smothers the original and just using the basic shape. Will keep you posted, by next week it could be a bath mat!

Photos are of my mum. Eleanor and her amazing yarn haul and also the lovely Archie sitting on our garden. He's probably planning another daffodil theft!

3 comments:

Miss Frugality said...

Glad you had a nice Birthday. Your mum is looking well...and what a great present she found you!

Mary Jane said...

Happy Birthday...daffodils...sigh!

HPNY Knits said...

sounds like a lovely day! happy birthday.