A Word In Your Ear - June 5, 2014

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Ladies, what does the man in your life want? Well, when younger, the answer was probably, ‘Just one thing’!

But a mature man’s needs are more sophisticated and varied.

This question cropped up recently at Edmonds Towers, as my birthday approached.

“Well,” I answered She Who Knows, “people usually give me red wine – preferably, more expensive bottles than I’d buy.”

“Hmm,” she replied, rather doubtful about the efficacy of such gifts.

“Then, if people ask, socks are welcome – particularly finer woollen ones that let feet breathe. Handkerchiefs, too, are always acceptable.”

“And need laundering,” she reminded me.

There was a time I asked for books, but now I mostly use a Kindle.

As ever, when the big day arrived, she surprised me.

First out of the wrapping paper, as we lay in bed amid breakfast trays at Great Marton, was aftershave moisturising balm. I’m now getting fresher-faced every day.

“The next present is a bit different,” she warned me, “close your eyes.”

I did, then felt into a bag to find something hard, shaped like a brick, though lighter.

It turned out to be one small loaf of gluten-free sliced bread for toasting.

“You’ve been complaining about indigestion,” She Who Knows pointed out.

How very thoughtful! However, when she told me it cost £6, my stomach fluttered.

Any rumblings inside of late were, I suspected, owing to pre-birthday celebrations with that cheaper wine from bargain basements.

“You can also choose a superior bottle – and there are other gifts,” She Who added to calm me.

All is now quiet and as it should be. That bread was OK, I told her, but too expensive to buy again.

“Just two pints of beer less a week,” She Who pointed out, “and it’s paid for.”

Next year I know another present I’ll ask for... the final word.

l Visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for books and more.