LAURA CARTLEDGE: It’s the thought that counts with presents, but can you over-think?

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THE MALE of our species is jolly difficult to buy for.

Yes, I am generalising, but it is hard to talk about this and not.

I just know every man in my life, that’s not meant how it might sound, I mean my dad, granddad, manfriend and friends are impossible.

To the point I find myself getting excited if a pair of slippers are looking sorry for themselves.

And spend ages convincing myself they do NEED another mug.

While you can never have enough ties, right?

If asked, and asked again, the older generations will always say whisky or a bag of nuts would be great.

In fact I am starting to wonder if I should have taken shares out at Grants or KP’s original salted from an early age.

Which is fine, but I don’t like fine.

I like thoughtful, I like predicting what people want before they even know it and I like making unique gifts.

So I suppose it is partly my fault.

Then there is my manfriend who, by complete coincidence, is turning ‘older’ today..

The fact he refuses, on principle, to give me any hints, has nothing to do with me moaning about this.

‘If you had been paying attention,’ he’ll say, ‘you would know’.

Making it a task and a test all in one.

I do pay attention. I know he would like a Pompey football shirt, from the home kit, from 1992.

Joy.

And I also know ebay, Facebook, gumtree and making ‘help me’ pleas to this paper’s sports editor can’t help me.

You see, both the two I have found for sale are extra large and the only way that would fit would be for me to start feeding my partner in what can only be described as ‘Hansel and Gretel proportions’ – more current references are available.

Maybe a few years, and a few million mugs will tempt them to start dropping ‘breadcrumb’-like clues.