Thursday, 12 June 2008
Greetings from showery Brighton.
I don't know about you, but I always have trouble finding cards and gifts for my Dad. He's not a great one for presents, period, so for years it alternated between socks, hankies and whisky. Since then, I've branched out into books (strictly non-fiction), which provide a more easily varied solution: anything on local history, maps or transport usually does the trick. But cards, well: cards are another matter altogether, and Father's Day is the worst occasion.
For a start, many Father's Day cards seem to be aimed at Dads in their 40s or sons in their 20s, which are hardly suitable given that I'm in my 40s. I don't like the current trend for really rude cards, or unkind ones - modern humour can have something of a vicious streak, I find. Then there are the surreal ones, with or without odd rhymes: the ones that say, 'May the happy purple fish of life always seek your light bulb'. Or something like that. Maybe I'm going to the wrong shops, but I can't for the life of me see who they're aimed at, unless you Dad is a Dali aficionado. (Mine quite definitely isn't). In the past I've just sent generic 'blank' cards depicting a steam loco or something similar, but that seems such a cop-out.
So, in this year's desperate search, thank heavens for Sussex Stationers. This wonderful South Coast institution now has shops in London, but essentially it focuses on good but cheap stationery, greeting cards and discount books. It sounds a slightly disparate range, but believe me, it works. And wandering around today in Hove, the Sussex Stationers branch there had the perfect card: one focusing on the difficult choice for Dads between mowing the lawn, or watching football.
Given that its still perfect grass growing weather, and the European Cup is on the telly, it's spot on.