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Donkin's World: Happy Box

...I wish I hadn't opened it. Unopened boxes are far more interesting. But as I removed the cardboard outer my excitement increased because inside the box was....

So what was inside the box which arrived at Richard Donkin's home? And did it really bring happiness?

Do please visit Richard's well-stocked Web site

Details of his book Blood, Sweat and Tears which is acclaimed world-wide can be found here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Sweat-Tears-Evolution-Work/dp/1587990768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214554429&sr=1-2

Today I received a parcel by courier. It was about eight inches square, so reasonably substantial and well taped together. There was a label on the side saying "This way up."

I shook it and there was something fairly solid inside. But I didn't open the package. I like to spend time contemplating a good box. Besides, I know that most things I get like this are from PR companies and the thing that's rattling turns out to be a branded paperweight or a stress ball. The only clue was something on the outside that said "happy box."

Gill came back from the gym and wanted to know what was inside the box. I told her I didn't want to open it. She was not amused. In fact she was so not amused she sulked the whole day. The more she sulked the greater my malevolent delight at her frustration. Oh, the power of the Happy Box!

She would have to wait, I told her, because our youngest son George - who just loves parcels - would soon be home from school and I wanted to see whether the happy box would also work its magic on his curiosity. Unfortunately Gill primed him about the pathetic way his father was behaving over the box so George told me he couldn't care less about it.

By this time, the only one of us who had any great desire to know the content was me. But I left it there a little bit longer, all through dinner in fact.

I wish I hadn't opened it. Unopened boxes are far more interesting. But as I removed the cardboard outer my excitement increased because inside the box was.....another box. This one was smart and yellow. On the outside it said "Happy Box." I lifted the lid and inside was a satin ribbon tied over a card on top of some navy blue raffia.

Instead of reading the card, I put the lid back on and waited a little bit longer. But the magic was fading, so I lifted the lid again, undid the ribbon, and read the card that told me the box had been sent by The Work Foundation as a thank you for judging its media awards.

Underneath the raffia was - oh yes - another box! This contained real drinking chocolate. In addition to the drinking chocolate, wrapped in tissue paper was a pair of grey cashmere gloves. Even the dog was jumping up to see what was inside the paper-wrapping. There was also a card all about the Happy Box company. One of the boxes in their range, "the gold standard" box, contains a hundred chocolate coins! A hundred! That's treasure trove!

If you happened to see that nauseating Argos TV advertisement just before Christmas you will know that Argos thoroughly disapproves of such packaging. Sod Argos, I love it.

I gave the gloves to Gill - can't eat them. But that sounds ungrateful. On the contrary, the happy box brightened this dull day no end. In fact it made me quite happy.


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