When travelling, I don't usually buy gifts or souvenirs for people.
It's not because I'm heartless, tight or don't have friends to buy for. I could actually go all modest and say it's actually because of the opposite of these three reasons that I don't buy gifts for friends or family because, frankly, I couldn't afford to spend that much money on that many people every time I travel. Instead, I keep my fingers crossed that postcards will do.
However, when we were in South Africa back in December last year I did buy a souvenir for someone. (Or rather my partner NewMan did because I had left my purse in our apartment. I am really good at this.)
We were enjoying a quick stroll around the V&A Waterfront and popped into the brilliant Water Shed, a light and bright space filling an old shipping warehouse which is now packed full of stands selling artisanal and hand crafted goods from local creatives and organisations.
We were just browsing and admiring what was on offer when I saw it. Up on a shelf surrounded by other animals, I saw this handmade soft toy lion, and I knew exactly who I wanted to give it to.
I pointed to it and NewMan smiled and agreed. A few minutes later we had bought that floppy-limbed lion with a gentle smile hand-sewn onto a moon-like big round face.
We bought that little lion for our baby.
Our baby who, all being well, will be born in July this year.
Our baby who is currently stretching out the skin of my belly and the limits of my heart.
Our baby who will be British, Australian and Dutch.
Our baby who will be loved by so many people, from all corners of the globe.
Our baby who will turn our routines, our lives and our world upside down.
I hope you'll stick around for stories from this next journey.
Frances M. Thompson
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