BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Surprise Birthday bash for Suzanne - and a visit by a singing gorilla in a pink tutu...


Suzanne hates surprises, so what else could I do but organise a surprise for her?

For a few months before leaving Australia I spent some time sneaking around and secretly planning a surprise birthday bash in London for Suzanne. Her birthday is on the 8th, but I'll be at the Isle of Man and Paige will be at a Blink 182 concert that night, so we had to organise something on another date, hence the 5th. Lots of secret face book posts and messages later we had a bunch of people who were happy to come and have a drink with Suzanne and help celebrate her getting older. 

Without knowing it I had planned the get together on one of the busiest face painting weekends the UK has ever seen, and during the school holidays. Obviously this meant a lot of people who wanted to come couldn't because they had previous bookings. Sorry guys, my bad. We'll try and catch up with everyone sometime of another.

So this is how it went: As we walked toward the front door of the Green Man pub (our venue) Simon Smith was standing outside having a cigarette. Suzanne was very surprised that we shroud bump into Simon standing outside the very same pub we were going to for lunch. Once inside we found Brian, Julie, and Emma Oliver waiting for us. At this point Suzanne realised I'd actually planned for these people to be there. She had no clue about what was to follow...

Within the next few house we had a bunch of people walk through the door and wish Suzanne happy birthday. After about the third person Suzanne asked me "Is this for my birthday?" When the birthday cake complete with HAPPY BIRTHDAY" candles (Thank you Jo) came out she was left in no doubt.

Mid afternoon we had a visit from a special guest. Our friend Mike Jones at home arranged a gorilla in a pink tutu to come and sing happy birthday to Suzanne. It was quite funny because I'd wandered off to the toilet just before he arrived, so people thought it was me in the suit. When I came back I found a large gorilla in the pub singing to Suzanne. He did a stirring rendition of Advance Australia Fair, followed by Waltzing Matilda, and closed with Happy Birthday. 

Happy Birthday Suzanne, from Gorilla in a tutu, and Mike Jones.

Us singing our national anthem, and in fine tune I must say,
while Bibi checks to see if it's a boy or girl gorilla.

Once the cake was consumed it was a crowded and very noisy visit to the supermarket next door for some drinks and nibbles, then back to our apartment for a night of fun and frivolity. And what a night it was. We eventually called it quits at about midnight because people had to catch trains, and we didn't get to bed till about 3 am the previous morning after a big night out.

Bibi and Mona cheesing it up for the camera.

Girls just wanna have fun.

The Olivers and The Mykolajenkos

Of course the paint came out. Simon Smith painting Juliet Pomerance while Suzanne (obscured) talks to Bibi Freeman (back to camera, how rude).

 Carla and Tom being, who knows what?

Part of the crew.
Back: Me, Brian, Julie, Simon, Suzanne, Jo.
Front: Emma, Paige, Charisse, Bibi, Juliet.

 Is this really happening?

It was a great day and I want to say a huge THANK YOU TO everyone who went to a lot of trouble to make the effort and come along. Thanks guys.

It's a little quiet at the apartment this morning. I had to go and pick up a new sat nav for the bike and when I got back Suzanne was looking a little sorry for herself. I guess twelve hours of gin and tonics will do that to you. All in all a fantastic day.

Product review.

Speaking of sat navs, as some of you know I had a drama with my Tomtom back home and couldn't get my updated maps to load onto the unit, neither could the shop I took it to. Due to a severe lack of time I decided to leave it at home and buy a new updated unit here in the UK. I'm happy with my Rider 1 when it's working, so I'm happy to get another one. 

So here we go, I'm already about $100 out of pocket for the useless maps I have at home and I've just spent about $400 on a new Urban Rider Tomtom. Opening the box I find that the unit only comes with a dodgy and ugly U bolt mount, not the quality one that came with the Rider 1, and IT CAN ONLY BE CHARGED BY MAINS POWER. Unless of course I spend another $100 on a 12V hard-wired, powered, mount. I can't plug it into a cigarette lighter on the bike. You have to be joking! Tomtom, what the hell are you thinking? This is totally unacceptable. I believe the unit runs for about seven hours, then what? Pull over to the side of the road and find a friendly person who'll let me sit in their house for an hour while I charge my Tomtom. This is really, really poor.

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