Just when I thought it was a fantastic enough week with birthday gifts galore from Naomi, she went and organised a huge parade on the bay which concluded with a fireworks display over the water.
There were marching contingents, helicopters, speedboats and parachutists, and we saw all this from the comfort of a nice dining room overlooking the bay and the financial district. I don’t think anyone’s had a better thirty-, um, somethingth birthday.
If you, like us, were previously blasÃ© about the NDP, this year’s extravaganza on the world’s first and largest floating stage will really de-blasÃ© you. And this was just the rehearsal! The Ang Mohs in our midst (because we were in a hotel after all) were impressed, and said so themselves, even if they were a little taken aback by our Air Force’s F16s, which flew right at us, and then pulled up over our building.
“That’s usually the last thing you see when these things fly at you”, said the Ang Moh, who later told another Ang Moh that he was “from Belfast, so I’m used to seeing Orange Men marching”.
Another thing that made this the bestest birthday I’ve ever had was that we got here in time to watch the Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations Championships decider on the telly, and although it would’ve been better if the Wallabies didn’t implode in the second half and lose both pieces of silverware, I’m still perfectly happy.
I’m the luckiest man on the planet.
The only other thing that threatened to derail our celebrations was that we misplaced Naomi’s phone while moving rooms, but a big hurrah to the staff, and especially Ms Sarah Tan, of the Ritz-Carlton Millenia for doing everything possible – and we mean everything from contacting everyone on her walkie talkie to closing off the guest room we’d just vacated, so that we were reunited with the phone a few hours later. It had been safely lodged with the lost and found when it was discovered by the guy who checks your mini-bar to see if you’ve swiped anything from it after vacating your room.