I've had this sitting here for about 2 weeks now. My lovely friend, Tara, sent it to me and she's been expecting me to keep my hands off. Actually, believe it or not, Tara, I actually have! No peeking, whatsoever. No little rips at the edges. No shaking and rattling. The only reason for this self control is that I've been so goddamn busy, I've almost forgotten it's there! Every now and then I catch a glimpse of it and all the excitement rushes to the surface again.
I know I've always been useless at surprises. When I was little I had to hunt around in my parents hiding places weeks before my birthday (sorry, Mum). And I'm no better now. Fortunately people are finding better hiding places and I'm proving far too busy to rummage.
You have to understand that, unlike most of you out there, I don't get too many presents at this time of year. We don't do Christmas. We do Chanukah, which is traditionally a children's festival. And since I am no longer officially a child - apparently - my present pile is severely diminished. So when the likes of Tara send me something, let alone being so gorgeously wrapped, is it any wonder that my resilience is tested. But hey, Tara, I did promise.
(Roll on Sunday, first night of Chanukah...)