The evening of our surprise party came around quickly. I made a last minute purchase rush during the day, and a shopping trip to Hamilton with my good friend and hunting buddy turned chauffeur for the day Toby. He took the wheel and we attacked Hamilton’s retail streets, as I wasn’t feeling all that crash hot. (I was slowly coming down with some strange flu I caught somewhere between London, Shanghai and a rave cave in Auckland cbd.) I just cruised in Toby’s off road beast while I did my best not to die. The morning consisted of bag shopping for my trip home and purchasing almost $250 of biscuits and snacks from Pack And Save (a large discount supermarket chain in NZ.) With a late lunch at around 2, we met my younger sister Brianny, mother Julie, aunt Helen and cousin Naomi for a nice meal and family catch up. After lunch it was off to my older sister Hannah’s place for a quick shower and brief of the time frame and line up for the event planned.
So the plan was at this time simple;
Thus far Dad knew something was going on as he’s not a stupid man, I had flown across the world to be with him the week before his birthday, in his mind something was up. But he definitely did not know who was coming or what was going to happen. In hindsight, he did work out where and when, but no harm done. My job in this was simple, get to venue early take some photos, make people in said photos look good, say small speech and not to die trying… By this time I was feeling decidedly shit.. Not quite dead to the world oh woe is me I’m going to die, (that would come in the next few days) but definitely not feeling on point nonetheless.
People arrived, and all was well, then I got a phone call from my aunt, Dad was missing… After a bit of fretting and rushing around he was eventually found safe and well (if feeling a little sheepish….) The star of the evening as it turns out had got his truck stuck in soft ground or that was the story anyway…… In the end he arrived and was greeted by lots of friends and family. Some of which he had not seen in a few years while others where new neighbours that he saw regularly.
Dad was very pleasantly surprised and very quickly seemed to relax and enjoy himself. Seeing him surrounded by friends and family that loved him dearly and watching him interact with his peers made me very happy. The evening progressed, dinner was served and eaten, I jumped around like a blue arsed fly trying to get some good pictures of all the people. In my amateurishness I took a lot longer than a pro would have, and needed lots more pictures to get any good ones. After dinner it was time for the main event… CAKE!!
At this point I need to say a little about The venue . Fahrenheit restaurant and bar, Located in Te Awamutu town centre, a small town in the centre of the north island of New Zealand is beautiful second story open plan restaurant with large open deck overlooking the main street looking into the setting sun. The staff where very helpful and obliging with our large group (well over 30) and the food was great and well portioned. I would definitely recommend them to anyone , whether that be casual dinner and drinks or a group gathering they are well worth a visit. Check out their website. http://www.fahrenheitrestaurant.co.nz/
Me being somehow nominated to speak first, I got up and said a couple of very un-articulate words about family and friends ect, my younger brother then said a few more greatly more articulate words at the end of which we he led us in happy birthday. And so came the candles!!! With his second grand-daughter on his knee Dad and Georgia together blew out the candles. Slowly but with rapid growth and vigour and volume, a rendition of He’s A Jolly Good Fellow rang out from his knew friends. These people being of a similar generation to Dad, this song was dear to their hearts at times like this.
After a rousing rendition the cake candles where blown out and the cake cut. Many more drinks and a few joy filled hours later people started to wander home. Goodbyes were said and farewells made, a very good night was had by all with many a drink and food and cake.
I would like to thank all who came from near and far to attend my fathers birthday and wish him many more years ahead.
Last few days of my trip where spent chilling with my mate Toby and hanging out with my father as well as trying not to die, my flu had worsened. Unfortunately I managed to pass my flu off to both of them…. Your welcome 😉 after many fun filled days it was time to leave as Dad was coming down with my flu my aunt took me to the bus stop and I bussed to Auckland for the next stage of my trip. MORE FLIGHTS!!!!
One 4 hour bus ride, a 12 hour flight, 9 hour stop over, another 11 hour flight then a 2 hour uber ride. And i was still 2 hours from home….. On my way up to the northern hemisphere something made the long hours much more tolerable and in some instances thoroughly enjoyable. Genuine conversation! I’m not talking chit chat or the pleasantries, I am talking about deep and stimulating conversation that grinds you mental gears. The lost art I believe of talking to people, we are so worried about interrupting people’s bubble yet craving for someone to do so to us. We are desperately lonely as a generation and I want to try and do something about this.. I am going to write a post more about this at a later date and some opinions on this.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip home, I feel it is important to do trips like this to see the people in your life the mean the most to you, while you are still able.
That is all for now, stay safe be well , and remember to get out that gate and get adventuring!