It was the MOST amazing persons 30th Birthday on the 21st of March 2014. I have mentioned a few times that (very) sadly I was not in the country for it. (Who could say no to Europe) So I played with a few ideas on how to make it pretty awesome even though I would not be there.
Before I tell you more about this, I need to tell you about Oscar (in a nutshell. I could write books about this man). He is simply amazing. Patient, even-though he doesn’t think it. He has a heart of gold and will go great lengths to help those he loves. He CAN NOT sit still. Not even to watch a tv show. He can make anything you can think of with his hands and is Mr intellectual at work. (Banker, kinda, risk, kinda, ask him what he does, works in the city) He saw’s better than me. He cooks (just as good as me 😉 ) He is that guy that annoys you so much you can’t help but love him. He deserves the best birthday ever.
SO back to my planning. About 2 months before the planning started I got the BEST message from his best friend & best friends girlfriend( Charlotte &Victor) that they would be be coming to SA to surprise Oscar for his birthday. Oscar hasn’t seen them since the last time we had been over to the UK. They are like two naughty kids together. Those kinds of friendships lasts lifetimes. I instantly loved them and we get on like a house on fire. Them coming to SA was PERFECT.
Now I just needed to round it off and plan it out. I decided 30 wasn’t to old to play games and started planning a 15 point scavenger hunt. 15 points simply because 30 was too many. These points included finding his friends in our house, which of course had to be coordinated some how. The help of all his cousins was recruited to help. (Thank you Jardim boys <3 )
In order for them to sneak in the guests I needed Oscar out of the house for most of the day. So the my first instruction was actually given on the day before his birthday. The day I left to Germany. I handed him an envelope. It had a little puzzle birthday card inside and my instruction was simple. “phone the number you find on the back” Of course he spent the first 15 minutes guessing who he would be phoning and why. I kissed him good bye and now my planning was over to everyone who had a hand in it.
He woke the next morning (earlier than expected) completed the puzzle and phoned the number. The number was Johnny’s. Johnny was assigned to spend the day with Oscar doing all the activities together. He also had all the answers to all the questions in case Os didn’t get anything. He phoned Johnny and was told “go see if the laundry fairies left anything in your Adidas pants. I had hidden a Spur slip in his pocket the before I left. He found it, it read “Go have breakfast here, you will be picked up in 20 minutes”
*Spur is the only restaurant in our town. LOL.
Johnny picked him up and off they went to Spur. During breakfast Johnny handed him the next envelope. This one had a Salty Crack (the biscuit) inside, paired with a note saying “phone her”. Oscar’s nickname for one of his oldest friends from school, is Salty Crack. I’m not even sure Jeanine knows why. But she was in on the hunt and was ready to give him the next clue as soon as he phoned. (I had coordinated this with her and sent her the clue she had to supply him with.) He immediately knew to phone her so thus far my plan is working perfectly. Jeanine gave Oscar a sum he had to solve with the instruction ; ” Solve the problem and phone her” Ok so I have to make a confession here. I suck at maths. Like a lot. Like I am completely USELESS at maths. I have a mathematically inclined fiance for a reason.
A couple weeks before his birthday, while I was setting everything up I had asked friends and family to send me a really complicated equation that would add up/equate to 66. Why 66? Hang on, I am getting there. A friend sent me a sum it looked pretty intense and right in the middle there was a “x 0”. Now if you are me, that means you go back to 0 and start over. Turns out there are rules about brackets and things and the answer was actually 5482 or something. My bad. Luckily Oscar is trained to think like me (after 8 years) and he assumed I would have gotten it wrong and got to 66…somehow. Guy’s I really suck at maths.
*66 – My mums house number. The number of the house I grew up in. We often refer to visiting her as “going to 66”. Pretty much every person in our family, cousins in tow, have lived in that house in some point in their lives.
Oscar phoned my mum & she gave him a riddle; “Go home and feed your comedians”.
*Our Cats names are Charlie and Chaplin.
Johnny and Oscar mossied on home and searched the cat food shelf in the pantry. And there they were. Two tickets to a private tour of Joburg CBD.
*Oscar & I have a special dusty spot in our hearts for the city. I love visiting his office in the CBD and sneaking up to the 28th floor to have coffee and Instagram the view. I knew this would be an experience he could use as many a conversation starter.
The tickets had the address of where to meet the tour guide and off they were.
*I had explained to the tour company that it was a scavenger hunt and they were all in to play along.
Here are some of the questions they asked him;
“Possible Questions, you could possibly then come up with a few rhymes/riddles around these to make the questions more exciting. He would get a letter for each one and this would spell Guildhall”
1) When was Gold Discovered- 1886
2) Why is the Gandhi statue in the Gandhi Square Unique- he is young and wearing western clothes
3) Oppenheimer Park is now home to the “Bokkies”, which animal used to leap in the square? Impala
4) Why is the Barbican Building so special? it was Joburg’s first Skyscraper
5) Who designed the Joburg Library? (John Perry-plaque on front of building)
6) Go to Kohinoor Record Shop and find the most ridiculous record cover possible? Take a photo (they have the silliest record/vinyl covers)
7) Where would you be if you were shadowboxing in the city? Chancellor House
8) Venture down to Hollard Street and find the following “Chappie, Scissors and a mine dump)- a whole lot of mosaics in area that if he studies, he will see the pics.
9) Find the Best Coffee in the World and high five “Kat or Lee” (a local coffee shop Cramers that claims to have best coffee outside”, their Barristers are friends of ours called Cat and Lee and will be happy to be high 5d
10) Why is the old Standard Bank Building (1966) special? It was built from the top downBelow are a few of the photos he took.
Below are some of the snaps Oscar & Johnny took of the city.
While this was happening the other brothers (Nelly & Jose) were waiting at our house to let the guests in (From UK, the ones who came to surprise him)
* I had told Oscar I forgot my house keys in my purse. Actually gave it to Johnny the night before.
This is where my pretty little plan developed a few kinks. Victor and Charlotte landed at 4pm and needed to be at our place by 6pm to make the dinner reservations made for 7pm. 6pm came … and went. Nelly sent me a text (I had limited access to wifi in Germany and tried to contact anyone and everyone to find our missing guests.) They were MIA. Johnny had stall before taking Oscar home and I managed to contact our friends at the restaurant to get everyone nice and liquored up by the time Oscar arrived.
2 hours later our poor guests finally found our house (they got slightly lost and had no way to contact us) Johnny brought Oscar home and SURPRISE! His best friend was right there is our house. I wish I was there to see his face.
Charlotte handed gave Oscar his next task. “Tie the perfect Windsor knot in 10 seconds”
*Oscar prides himself in his perfect ties.
Once she was happy with his tie she told him to go put on a suit.
*All 30 year olds should wear suits everyday.
In the jacket pocket there was one last note. With the address of the restaurant and one final happy birthday from me.
All our friends were invited to a fab little restaurant in Melville called The Leopard. Roughly 20 people. Big enough for lots of noise, small enough to mingle with everyone.
A big thank you to EVERYONE who helped make this day as special as possible for him.