The Bloke: A present befitting of the occasion

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Right then, time to get the thinking cap on.

The Missus celebrates a big birthday this month (when I say ‘celebrate’, I actually mean she’s liable to slope off to the corner of the room, curl herself into a ball and sob uncontrollably) and I desperately need to come up with a present befitting of the occasion.

This can’t be any old gift either. For other, regular birthdays some new clothes, a bottle of her favourite perfume or vouchers to get her hair done might pass muster.

But given that this is something of a milestone birthday, it has to be a bit special.

I’ve come up with a few ideas (which unfortunately I can’t divulge here in case she’s reading), but I still need something that she can look back in years to come and remember fondly.

If you have any ideas, be sure to let me know.

There are other pressing issues to be taken into account here too though.

Given that her birthday falls on a Saturday, I need to find somewhere brilliant where we can spend the actual day.

The first factor to be taken into account was whether or not we would involve the twins. Realising that getting this wrong could make or break the celebrations, I decided to ask her outright.

The answer came back loud and clear – yes, they should be involved.

This led me to my next question: where would she like to spend this special day?

I braced myself for a slightly leftfield response (the Missus is something of a master at those) but I still wasn’t quite prepared for the one I got.

“Halifax,” she said. “At that science museum.”

Now I’m not being snobby when I say this, but Halifax (great town though I’m sure it is), wasn’t on my list of potential locations for these landmark festivities.

The “science museum” in question is of course Eureka!, the national children’s museum.

I’ve been on the website and it looks great. Yet I’m not convinced that it would be many people’s choice of setting for such a big birthday as this.

The Missus didn’t see this though. So I decided to put it to the test.

Round at our friends’ house the other day, I asked them where they would want to go to toast a milestone like this.

“Las Vegas,” they both said in stereo. “Definitely Las Vegas.”

“Not Halifax then?” I enquired.

At this point they both burst out laughing and the Missus, bless her, went a little bit red.

It means she’s now having second thoughts. Although now high on the list is a picnic at Kirkstall Abbey.

Which would be lovely, except for the fact it’s January, not July.

Still, at least it gives me a few ideas as to the sort of thing she’s after.

And sadly for me it’s still not Las Vegas.


Spectators at Edgewater Park in Cleveland watch the sun set as the planet Venus crosses the upper right portion of the star, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The next transit of Venus won't be for another 105 years. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

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