Happy British Birthday

My lovely wife is, despite her disagreement with this statement, extremely hard to buy presents for. Christmas, anniversaries and Birthdays are a source of continued torment for me, because I really struggle to find appropriate gifts her. It is fair to say that our project to buy only British stuff has not made these occasions any easier for me.

Emily’s most recent birthday was further complicated by the fact that it took place on the same day that we hosted close to 400o revealers at our British Family Fayre event on 31st August 2013. After much research, and calls to Twitter for inspiration, I made my choice. They were as follows:

zat154_barrel_bag_green_front1. Zatchel Barrel bag

Emily has been after a Cambridge Satchel Company satchel for a while but after some tactical questioning, in the weeks preceding the big day,  I worked out that this purchase would not be without risk. She was not sure about what style, colour or design she wanted and suggested that she would need to see a couple in a shop before buying one. I was not going to take the risk of buying the wrong one so decided on the smaller Zatchel barrel bag which she could use on the day of the fayre but also leave her free to buy a Cambridge Satchel of her own choosing at a later date.


plant_prunus_avium___compact_stella___1_612. Dwarf Fruiting Cherry Tree

I originally started looking for a British grown olive tree, as I know she would love one. I rang a few UK based companies and quickly worked out that what I was looking for was an olive tree grafted and matured here in the UK. After speaking to a number of companies I also worked out that this was not going to be possible. All of the trees  I found where grafted and grown, even in their early stages, abroad.

Moving away from finding an olive tree, I contacted Frank P Matthews who were fabulously knowledgeable and guided me towards various fruit trees grown entirely in the UK. I opted for a late fruiting cherry, of a variety appropriately called Sweet Heart, which stands about 6 feet tall and will never get much bigger.


This was arguably the most successful present I got for the missus this year. The Breffo is a flexible holder for phones and other devices. MrsB has used her phone as her sat-nav for years and resorted to resting it precariously within a holder that was too small and so would often fall out as she was driving. We were introduced to Breffo through Twitter and one was instantly on the shopping list. I bough her a pink one and she loves it. The great thing about these handly little bits of kit is that they are only £20… so I bought one for my self at the same time (not in pink though).

I hope that she is happy with her eclectic mix of gifts this year, or if she isn’t I hope she never tells me so.

– James



  1. Margaret says

    congratulaions on success of your fayre,unfortuanately it was too far for me to attend as I live in NW

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