On a rather grey half-term break from work, we were travelling along in my brother’s jet-blue Rover Streetwise on the way back from the climbing centre, he often frequents, when the subject of conversation turned to my nine-year old son’s birthday in April. You see my son is less than 1.4m in height which causes some consternation at nine years old. Too small for the thrill rides at bigger theme parks resorts and just too short for swinging through the trees at a bigger obstacle course at a well known outdoor activity centre. It wasn’t long, before my kid-brother (he’s 22 in March) loudly reminded us that it is indeed his birthday first. He has casually dropped into the conversation that he is in desperate need of a new bike, as the pounds have piled on around the middle!
Now my brother is what you might call awkward to buy for at the best of times. His taste is quirky and high-end. He enjoys the rare and the sublime. So I turned once again to my old friend the Internet for support. After scouring the endless pages of bike shops, I was bored rigid. None of the bikes I had seen screamed “buy me” so in desperation I typed in, “unusual birthday gifts”. Up came an array of links, including one site where I could buy according to the nature of the person I was buying the gift for. I selected ‘sporty’ and there it was – a sleek, attractive and albeit, quirky bike with different customisation options and a designer label. Perfect! Excitedly, I rang around the various family members, all asking for them to chip in. With their say so, I dutifully paid the item cost with my credit card. Birthday conundrum solved!
But alack and alas, my brother is not the only March birthday. I have my two brother in laws to buy for. So again, I typed in “unusual gifts for men” and to my joy once again I was quickly provided with a list of websites, including the one I had ordered from. Now the eldest of the brother in laws loves a beer. He is quite the connoisseur with a good sense of humour – perfect for him was a novelty chocolate bottle opener! Teamed with a world beers pack, I was surely on to a winner! For brother in law number two, I decided to use a different search engine tack and typed in “unusual present ideas”, again finding a quirky little number in a gift of a chocolate golf iron and ball, which amused me greatly. All I needed to complete the gift? His favourite tipple – a fine single malt. All sorted at the click of a button. Thank goodness for suppliers of these unusual birthday gifts!