Tags: Christmas gifts, Eagle of the Ninth, Hadrian's Wall, Old Town, Persephone Books
Here are this year’s suggestions for Christmas gifts for members of the Kirrin Family, or your own equivalent George, Aunt Fanny etc.
Julian is interested in archaeology and the Romans, as we know from Five on a Secret Trail. He also prides himself on his map-reading and path-finding skills. So how about this English Heritage Hadrian’s Wall Archaeological map? It details the whole length of the famous Roman frontier, built by the Emperor Hadrian from AD122, and points out temples, bath houses, kilns etc in addition to the wall and its fortifications. To complement this, Rosemary Sutcliff’s 1954 novel, The Eagle of the Ninth. A proper boy’s own adventure story (but so much more than this too) in which a young centurion sets out to discover what happened to his father’s legion when it marched into the mists of Caledonia in AD117 and never returned…
“Who’s this from? I say who gave this to me? Where’s the label? Oh – from Mr Roland, how decent of him! Look Julian, a pocket knife with three blades!” A classic Swiss Army knife for Dick would be an infinitely useful gift. For Dick’s modern equivalent, perhaps a version that includes a memory stick?
A stylish bicycle bell for George. She might also like a sturdy basket for her bicycle as she always has to carry a heavy, smelly bone for Timmy whenever the Five go off somewhere.
Anne has expressed her desire to learn to paint and draw. As the Five take in some truly stunning scenery on their numerous adventures, a portable pencil and watercolour paint set might come in handy.
Present choices for canines are somewhat limited. As Timmy got a sexy studded collar last year, perhaps his passion for rabbits could be indulged this Christmas? He’s strictly forbidden to chase real bunnies so this running rabbit toy could be a suitable substitute. It squeaks and is double stitched for extra strength.
I have previously mused on Aunt Fanny’s hypothetical reading tastes, so what could be nicer for her than a beautiful Persephone book? There are some suggestions for books to match every taste on the Persephone website and you can even buy someone a book a month for a whole year. NB On the 14th and 15th December there will be a Christmas open house at Perspephone’s Lamb’s Conduit Street shop. All books will be gift-wrapped free of charge and there will be mulled wine and mince pies all round. Wizard!
Like many Uncles and other random male relatives, Quentin can be tricky to buy for. There’s a lot to be said for the classic gift of a good pair of socks or a tie. Quentin is usually quite scruffy – his work is more important than sartorial elegance. But when he finally presents his scientific gift to mankind he’s going to need a decent tie to wear for meeting the Prime Minister, receiving the Nobel Prize etc etc. This one from Old Town is quite nice.
Joan the Cook. After working flat out to produce a massive Christmas lunch, plus numerous puddings and cakes, Joan deserves to put her feet up for a while. As we know from Five Fall into Adventure, she has a bit of a soft spot for a man in uniform. When the police visit Kirrin Cottage to investigate a burglary they manage to eat up all of Joan’s home-made buns during the course of their preliminary investigation.
‘”You’d better stay in and give the policemen a good tea,” said Julian. “They’re coming back with a photographer.”
“Then I’d better do another baking,” said Joan, pleased.
“Yes, make one of your chocolate cakes,” said Anne.
“Oh, do you think they’d like one?” said Joan.
“Not for them Joan – for us, of course!” said George.’
That night Joan ‘dream[s] of policemen eating her chocolate cakes’. So, some classic British cinema in the form of the Ealing Studios production The Blue Lamp could tickle her pink.
Tags: Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, Christmas gifts, Hovis tin, Pedlars, V&A knits
Stuck for some last minute gift ideas? Take inspiration from the Kirrin family! Well, possibly…
Presents for Julian and Dick Knitted gifts from Aunt Fanny to keep them warm and stylish(?) during adventures
For George ‘”Who gave you that book about dogs, George?’ asked Julian, seeing a rather nice dog-book lying on George’s pile. “Mr Roland,” said George rather shortly.’
For Anne The Princess Doll’s House, a model of the Welsh cottage-style playhouse given to Princess Elizabeth on her 6th birthday in 1932. Read more here
For Aunt Fanny
As a keen baker and gardener, Aunt Fanny might like this vintage Hovis tin for making bread or for using as a planter. Pedlars sell lots of great vintage items including this and Uncle Quentin’s calendar (below).
For Uncle Quentin Absent minded Uncle Quentin might benefit from a desk calendar like this (although Aunt Fanny might have to update it whenever she goes into his study)