The Humpty Jock has been opened, checked for injuries (there were none) and is currently sitting in my kitchen full of chicken and carrots and leeks and squash and thyme from my garden (which survived the snow surprisingly well) and bubbling gently. A full report on the first experiment in slow cooking will follow tomorrow.
In the meantime, I have a confession to make. The slow cooker is not the only Christmas present I already have. I bought myself a present too. You see, Husband and I allow ourselves a little "fun money" each month, cash set aside to buy non-essential fripperies. I have not spent any of that money for absolutely ages because the only thing I tend to buy is books, and since joining www.readitswapit.co.uk I have not had to buy books at all. So I had a little cash to play with and I took the plunge and bought a Kindle.
I know that a certain proportion of those reading this will be appalled. And bizarrely, I sort of understand that. I don't think Kindles and their like will ever replace real books, nor would I want them to. I would miss the tottering piles of dusty books lying around our house and I would miss the excitement of going to a real bookshop when someone is kind enough to give me a book token. I would miss just reading a real book. Indeed, despite having the Kindle, I just finished reading the genuine paper version of Audrey Niffeneger's new book (which I rather liked, despite the fact that it was decidedly odd).
Where the Kindle comes in handy is that it is small and slim and fits in my handbag very snugly. I do a lot of reading on the bus and in the car waiting for the boys to come out of school and the Kindle is handy for that as I don't have to lug the actual books about in my bag along with my other junk.
Also, as it is 3G, I can download books anytime I want so I will never, NEVER run out of things to read. At the moment, all the books on my Kindle are free ones - things like G.K. Chesterton, Mary Shelley and Polidori. Stuff I want to read but have never got round to buying and which is available free from the Kindle shop and from websites like Project Guttenberg. Gotta love free books!
And I know someone will point out that I can get free stuff from the library too, and that is true, I could. Except the nearest library to me is a car drive away with very poor parking around it and whilst I could make the effort, I am honestly unlikely to find the time given the mounds of other things I have to do in an average day. I love libraries in principle (I virtually lived in our local one as I grew up) but I don't frequent them in reality. Sad but true. Happily the boys have access to great libraries at their school and our house is constantly littered with books they have scanned out (which is what they do in libraries now - gone are the days of those little slips of card stuck inside the cover and transferred by hand to your brown library ticket when you took the book out!)
Of course, having bought the Kindle, I have also had to buy myself a Kindle cover to make sure that the aforesaid junk in my handbag does not scratch my new toy. It's at times like this that I wish I was handy like K and could knit my own Kindle Skin!