Went gift shopping today. Found just what was needed.
These were in the irresistible, revamped stationery department at Waterstones in Colchester:
Penguin pencils. Aren't they delicious?
You can see the whole range of Penguin gifts here - including Penguin deckchair covers and Penguin mugs .
And then I noticed this:
It's not what it seems. It's a notebook! I'm giving this to my mother, since she was responsible for introducing me to Peter and Jane (about whom I recently and not very lovingly blogged).
You can see the whole range of Ladybird notebooks here and matching greetings cards here.
And finally, for good measure, I popped into Guntons, one of Colchester's best beloved emporia, and bought:
some Mersea Island Honey
and one of Guntons' scrumptious own-label panettone.
Together with all the other goodies I've assembled, including a copy of this, some choice pieces of Mersea Sea Glass Jewellery and plenty of flowers, I now feel well primed for my visit to Berkshire to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday (she won't thank me for mentioning her age but luckily her home is completely Internet-free!)
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