Nope. I wrote a little about it here:
Because I think it is best to confront your inabilities sometimes, especially at this time of year when it feels that polished, seasonally-appropriate, lovingly and beautifully decorated homes that smell of baking and mittens and washed dogs and pine, with nice mantlepieces and remote-controlled Christmas tree lights that don’t get stuck on the Pulsate Setting giving the geckos tiny little lizard seizures, should be the norm. Because that’s a MARKETING LIE! Some of us can barely manage showering, AmIRight?
[And all that preface, my virtual buddies, is a perfect metaphor for this whole parenting, adulating gig. Let’s have fun with it, but don’t be sad if you find you’re a bit rubbish in bits. Perfection is a bore, chaos is exciting, and mediocrity is entirely underrated.]
On that note, yesterday I bravely acknowledged my crafty skill-less-ness and yet forged on like a mighty Garden Centre Warrior all the way to Richmond to a succulent wreath-making session with the kind and patient people at NotOnTheHighStreet HQ. To make, on my own (with quite a lot of help) an actual wreath with little repotted succulent plants that would embed into the sphagnum moss and start to grow, living on as a reminder of the time I made something that was good and partly Christmassy, partly New Mexican.
My wreath started out well, a tightly bound very pink sphagnum moss base which turned out to be making the other ladies *quite* jelly, because their sphagnum moss was more green and browny. Then we shoved in the succulents and it looked like this:
There was superfood hot chocolates on constant supply and tiny sphagnum moss-covered squares of brownie for us to break our fast over (I just flicked those little muddy planty bits off like nobodies’ business because I’m no slouch when it comes to free brownie) and – GET THIS – personalised presents rooted out by kind NotOnTheHighStreet staffers who had insta-stalked our accounts to find out what kind of things we liked. That level of loving and personal attention has never been applied to me, I tell ya.
Here it is, all filtered and nice-looking – I would go so far as to call it a seasonal crafting success:
But It Wasn’t All Green-Fingered Christmas Joy
There was a little bit of social awkwardness when a quite famous-ish mother blogger turn up and I got a bit swoony and tried to make her be my friend by sitting next to her and dazzling her with my witty conversation but it just didn’t work at all. She looked a little bit jaded, and also a bit tired, and you could see she really probably had enough friends and she just wanted to make her wreath and then get home to brush the stray sphagnum moss strands from her jumpsuit and hair without having to chat to me, the excitable newby who didn’t quite know what the rules were. Did I stop trying to make her be my new friend at these quite clear contraventions of friendship/blogger-event etiquette signs?
No. I DID NOT.
I tried again. I went back to try to save her from her table of wreath-making blogger ladies, because I felt I was clearly a Very Interesting New Person Who Would Be So Fun To Talk To, but her polite-yet-not-really-interested small talk made me lose my nerve and then I just kind of stalled and got shy and averted her gaze and started out into middle distance and eventual silence, hovering over her in a conspiratorial hunch while she breastfed her baby and probably willed me to piss off back to my own wreath-making posse. She was kind, but I really needed to leave her alone.
I realised an urge to tell her I had five sons, as though that might impress her or interest her or even just give us something to talk about, but I later discovered that the blogger next to me also had five sons, two of which were baby twins (which clearly – if this was a competition – would beat me hands down) and so my usual USP was not even a USP in this little alternate universe of blogger eventing. It was a social fail of epic proportions. I skulked out of there quite fast but not before I hung my wreath up on this charming fake mantlepiece:
where it hung for just long enough to photograph before crashing to the ground and squashing a lot of pert succulent leaves and making a mess on the NOTHS shop reception floor.
My wreath and I thanked everyone, and took our many, many gifts, and left our broken bits for someone else to sweep up (I’ll include a little piece of my dignity in that mental imagery) and on the way home, I realised that my wreath was lying succulent-plant-face-down on the tube floor and so further nubbly bits broke off. A little like my self-respect, TBH.