I always struggle to buy presents for Simon. Back in the days when we had no cash it was a struggle to match the gift to the available funds, now the problem is that if Si desperately wants something he is unlikely to wait for his birthday or Christmas but will go out* and buy it - around the beginning of December we have to declare a moratorium on DVD and CD purchases, just in case.
Last year I had a great idea for Simon's birthday present and then we booked to go to New York at Easter and that idea got shelved in favour of something in New York (Easter was late and we were acutally in New York for Simon's birthday) - I sent him and Ben** up in a helicopter on a tour of New York. They had a great time, Ben even got to sit up front next to the pilot because he was the lightest. When I'd been booking the flight I read a lot of reviews online of the different helicopter companies and then chose the one that had the lowest accident rate (I know Simon's well insured, but better safe than sorry eh?) It was quite unpleasant to read the news today about a helicopter crashing into the river at New York, I'm glad that trip's behind us now rather than ahead - I think I'd be far more hesitant about risking the lives of two of my favourite men with any helicopter company!
This year's present was another flight, but this time in a Zeppelin - there's a little airport ten minutes away from us that sends a Zeppelin up over the area all through the summer, the tickets aren't cheap but it looks like such fun. Simon went on his birthday flight a couple of weekends ago and so I can now mention the fact that there was a Zeppelin accident earlier this year, June to be precise, and although the passengers escaped the airship itself and the pilot went up in flames. This happened after the planning and giving of the gift, but before the taking of it. I don't know if Si knew about the accident, I certainly didn't tell him, it would have kind of ruined the event don't you think? It's not like I was trying to get rid of him, it's just that the gifts I buy him seem to have a certain element of danger attached to them...the year before last I sent him to the Nürburgring for a ride in a BMW driven by one of the pro drivers there, another adrenaline fuelled gift - maybe I should consider a nice pair of argyle socks for next year?
* more likely to Google it and get it shipped straight from the internet actually.
** I'd have loved to have gone too, but someone had to stay on the ground with Jasmine.
Word of the day; um die Ecke bringen - to bump somebody off.