My best and worst Christmas presents by Bella Osbourne

19 Nov

Please join me in welcoming Bella Osbourne to the blog today on the latest stop of her Willow Cottage: Christmas Cheer blog tour. This is the second part of the seasonal Willow Cottage series and Bella joins me today to talk about her best and worst Christmas presents! Welcome Bella!

High-res-Bella-Osborne-218x247Hi One More Page, Thank you for having me on your blog today. Isn’t this a delicious subject with a huge opportunity to offend my family and friends!

So let’s start with the easy ones here’s my top three Christmas presents of all time:

1. An Adidas tracksuit

Now you may be surprised at this but perhaps less so when I tell you that I was eleven years old, very allergic to nylon and virtually the only person in my class that didn’t have a tracksuit. So the fact that my Grandma managed to track down one that was made of cotton (even if it was forest green with yellow stripes) made for the best present that Christmas.

2. A sign

It’s a very simple sign and it hangs above my writing desk. It reads:

‘Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.’

It makes me smile every time I read it and for a short spell when I had a particularly unpleasant boss I hung it over my desk in the office but unfortunately it didn’t have the desired effect

3. A sealed box

I know this sounds very dull but that all changes when you read the poem that was attached to it. It was given to me by my father who I didn’t reconnect with until I was in my twenties. Here’s the poem:

This is a very special gift

That you can never see

The reason that it’s special

It’s just for you from me

Whenever you are lonely

Or when you’re feeling blue

You only have to hold this

gift and know I think of you

You never can unwrap it

Please leave the ribbon tied

Just hold this box close to your heart

It’s filled with love inside

It’s something I will always treasure.

Now for the really fun bit (insert villainous laugh here). Here are my top three worst Christmas presents received ever:

1. An Insulated Gravy Boat

Yes, readers, such a thing actually exists – I too was amazed. Why? I asked, would you need to keep gravy hot for longer than it is passed around a table and poured onto food? It was also quite an unattractive looking thing – try to imagine a kettle sized plastic jug in hearing-aid beige with a screw top lid. Hopefully now you see why this had to be on this list.

2. A used lipstick

Surprisingly you did read that correctly, yes, I was given a used lipstick for Christmas. It was packaged in a lovely make up bag (with labels attached) and I think the giver thought I needed an example of what it was for. This is in itself quite worrying that she felt I was that stupid, but let’s not dwell on that point. Anyway, when I pulled out the lipstick, in an interesting shade of bright pink, I could see that it’s surface was no longer pristine, shall we say. It could be that the giver recycled it or it could be that they purchased a tester product by mistake, which is something I have almost done in the past and I like to think that was what happened here.

3. A jumper

I know this sounds like an innocent item, however, there was more to it than met the eye. Firstly, this jumper was purchased from a shop that I believe you have to be over 65 to enter – I am not ageist but let’s say this shop caters for a target market that I am not currently part of. Secondly, it had a large sequined tree on the front, which was possibly one of the most unattractive things I’ve ever seen (and that includes Donald Trump). Thirdly, it was in a particularly generous size 16 – my issue here is that I am a size 10 and very boringly have been so since the age of sixteen. Seriously, you could have easily fitted three of me inside it! This oversight could be overlooked unless of course you factor in that the person who bought it was my mother*. I rest my case.

There you have it, I hope I haven’t upset too many insulated gravy boat owners in this process and that you all have a fantastic Christmas with lots of wonderful presents!

Love you Mum – but really what were you thinking?

Willow Cottage: Christmas Cheer is out now in ebook formats from Avon.

image001Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green

in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

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