So let's put all that aside for a little while and talk about knitting.
I was delighted with the first sock. Look at it! What fun!
I had a brief moment of do-I-really-have-to-knit-another-one-the-same sock tedium, and then embarked on the second. Which went well - until I realised that my 'almost a complete ball of wall' wasn't quite 'almost complete' enough, and that I didn't have enough wool to finish the second sock...
I'm not one for matching the stripes on my socks anyway. I'm lazy, and prefer an element of chance when it comes to sock colours. Next time I'll definitely be wary of using charity shop wool though (unless it's definitely a full ball) - and I might even weigh these ones before I send them just to make sure I know how much wool they use.
Still, whatever they look like, they are cheerful and cosy and will hopefully get a good reception. I'll post pictures if I ever finish the second one (and don't start unravelling the first again).