As a blogger with a reasonable following, I often get contacted by companies and agencies wanting to send me all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Sometimes I say, 'ooh, yes please', sometimes I say, 'ooh, no thank you' (and sometimes I say 'ooh, no thank you', when really I mean, 'OH HELL NO'). Sometimes I say nothing at all because I am pretty rubbish at replying to emails. Sorry, anyone who ever emails me.
Sometimes the companies are cryptic about what they want to send me. Usually this makes me say, 'ooh, no thank you' (and not with the latter's additional thought... who doesn't love surprises), not because I am not curious but because usually the things they send are things I cannot use, or don't like, or which don't suit me. Or, the problem I suffer from most in my undersized British flatted life, which I don't have room for.
So when fancy pants social media agency 1000heads got in touch to ask me if they could send me a package that was something to do with Royal Mail's (then) upcoming British Auto Legends stamp collection and guaranteed to contain cool stuff, I was intrigued. They also wanted to deliver it to me in person, in 'serious style'. How exciting.
Sadly, it was not to be. On the two days they gave me, I was doing extra work on a new Marvel film that comes out next year. As you no doubt know, film shoots have seriously early call times. The conversation went something like this:
Them: 'Can we deliver it to your house'?
Me: 'Unfortunately I'll be at work from super early to super late :('
Them: 'Perhaps we can pick you up and drive you to work in a classic car?'
Me: 'Awesome! I need to be there at 6.30am, so you'll have to pick me up at 5.30am! Oh and collect me later otherwise I'll be stuck in the boonies without transportation... ;)'
Them: 'Erm... can we post it to you instead?'
An enormous parcel duly arrived. In it was an enormous but indeed very cool, old-fashioned toolbox.
Forgive the unorthodox setting. My house is 3/4 full of boxes and my bed is the only clear space.
Now I will confess at this point that I have been, on this occasion, one of 'those' bloggers. One that the PRs moan about in their office. The one who goes to a press event or a review dinner and eat EVERYTHING and drink EVERYTHING, racking up a huge bill. I have not done this, I promise. Real journos can be quite notorious for doing this too. Then there's the one who gets a cool thing and doesn't write about it for months and months and months. And another month. This is me. I actually owe another blog post on something else cool, but luckily that was more recent than this... ANYWAY!
The irony is that although a tool box was quite a topical thing in my life, since I had recently sold my flat and was doing all sorts of odd DIY to fix the neglected problems accumulated over eight years of living here, my tools are the kind of tools lots of rubbish 21st century adults have. Crap ones that we bought for 2.99 from Ikea, or acquired somewhere as a student, mostly rusty, paintbrushes never cleaned etc. I don't want to put these horrible tools in my lovely toolbox. And plus, that's not really relevant to my blog! 2003 isn't vintage for a tool. The months ticked on. And still the long-suffering chap was emailing me, politely asking whether I had had a chance to post something about it, when he had obviously been on my blog and seen I clearly hadn't.
A new twist in the tale came when a video was released of a man winning a weekend in the classic car of his choice. It being a Royal Mail campaign, the car was delivered in a huge parcel. Through the post. Here's the video - it's beautifully shot and the winner is so cute and shy, bless 'im! And it explains the actual campaign, which I have completely neglected to do thus far.
I shall use it for my REAL tools.
Forgive the messy bed. My whole life is messy, currently.
Tadaaa! PErfect makeup storage. Please note, I have only put nice, clean, photo-friendly makeup in here. The real stuff is pretty unphotogenic.
And here are the rather nifty vintage car stamps that I shall definitely not be using for the only post I do, sending off bill payments!
Thank you Royal Mail and 1000heads for sending me this very useful, huge makeup storage box. It even has my name on it!
Sorry, sorry, sorry, it has taken me so long to write this post.
What's the most unusual surprise gift you've ever been sent?