Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The best birthday present ever!...

Some considerable events have occurred recently -  most significantly being my passage into a seventh decade of existence. I did my best to remain anonymous in the face of such a startling proposition and yet to no avail - those 'in-the-know' about such things made sure it would be an indelible and memorable occasion.

I did my best to avoid any temptation for organised celebration - much preferring to let the 'event' pass with a quiet whisper. When Gary suggested meeting up for a birthday ride at 9.00am followed by a beer at his house - at 10.00am I suspected a rat! - Beer at 10.00???

In the end though, after much cajoling in the pub on Friday with Gary and John both piling on the pressure, I caved in and agreed to the plan - then Gaz decided to change his mind and said something along the lines of "we'll leave it" - by now I'm confused? Although we did agree to an evening meet-up in June for a night out with the girls.

So, I drive back from the pub, I get home whereupon I follow my usual routine: A trip to the loo. Then ask the blonde if she'd like a drink, I walk through to the kitchen to prepare a G&T or glass of wine, or both. I switch on the light, standing in front of me, leaning against the kitchen units is the most beautiful surprise.....

Regular readers of this blog will know that our latest cycling craze centres on classic vintage steel bicycles. The cycling 'gang' here in the Midlands have been building a formidable collection these past six months - so much so that our supplier and most excellent craftsman, Mike Spratt of Vintage Cycle Sport has probably the fastest growing and most successful cycle business in the South-East. For my own part I have purchased a classic Colnago and Bianchi - Gary has a MacLean and a Sun. Last time I saw Mike I talked to him about my desire to find a Holdsworth, an English classic which, once acquired, would complete my 'holy trinity' set.

.... there it is, in front of me! - a Holdsworth Professional - 1971, lustrous orange and kingfisher blue paintwork, Campagnolo gears, brakes and hubs, beautifully restored, gleaming, luscious - I'm speechless, can't take it in, what?, how?, when?... The blonde sneaks in behind me - "Happy Birthday"

Then there's the explanation - she overheard me talking about the Holdsworth - she contacted Mike and arranged for him to sort it out - Gary picked it up a few weeks back and had it stored in his garden house. The idea to meet up for a birthday ride was a plan to get me to his house for the reveal - then because I seemed reluctant they changed it; the blonde went over to Gary's in the car and picked up the bike while we were in the pub! I'm listening to the story, still gazing at the bike trying to piece it all together - wow! - what an unbelievable surprise - the best birthday present I've ever had. The bike is magnificent - thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you - to all involved.

I wheel the bike into the lounge so that I can look at it while sitting on the sofa with my glass of wine - the blonde tells me she's organised a meal at our local gastro-pub. Blimey, another surprise I say - is it just us going I ask - yes she says - I tell her I've planned a night out with Gary and John as well - but that won't be until June, after we've been on holiday.

Next evening we drive up to Sutton Cheney to The Hercules Revisited, a nicely presented country dining-pub, we've been before so we know it to be good. We get a drink and are shown to our table - I follow the waitress, up the stairs and round the corner to an alcove table - there are people at the table - at first I don't realise - but it's Gary, Val, John and Jane - ha! - they've got me again! - didn't see it coming at all! - to round off my birthday 'surprise' a night out for the six of us - perfect!

Thanks again to a great gang of friends for their part in such a memorable and exciting weekend - and especially to my darling wife - known in these pages as 'the blonde' - whose astounding sculduggery has bowled me over, left me speechless, astounded, euphoric and overwhelmed all at the same time!

1 comment:

  1. Paul, you missed out the bit where you tried to take the bike to bed with you.