My mum, whose birthday is on Christmas Day, and was named Carol for this very reason, was the obvious choice for December. So, last Christmas Day, my brother actually took 90 shots of her standing in front of her Christmas tree - yes, 90 - and only managed to get one good shot out of all of those. Pretty good advance planning, don't you think?*
This Christmas, I wanted to get a personalised photo gift for a friend. I had the vision for a classy, small hardback notebook, with creamy pages, something as nice as a Moleskin notebook.
Easy, I thought, but that so did not turn out to be the case. I trawled through the internet, checking all the obvious sources, but all the usual photo suspects - Snappy Snaps, Boots etc -seem to use the same supplier and only offer flimsy spiral bound notebooks.
It actually took me quite a while before I stumbled onto Bags of Love.
Theirs was the only UK-based company I could find who offered photo notebooks in hardback, with blank pages, printed on satin and bound with a matching spine. They also customise diaries - although I usually stick with Smythson, I would love one of these with my nephew Reuben's photograph.
*To be honest, I wasn't sure that they would pull it off. They needed to take one photograph each month, to illustrate the season properly, and I wasn't sure they had the follow-through. But the cousin-in-law intervened, and I have been assured that it is finished and is merrily flying off through the air to Pittsburgh.