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Ideas for birthday please

(16 Posts)
grannyactivist Sun 22-Apr-12 17:36:12

Just had a visit from a friend who lives locally. He has a severe mental illness, diagnosed 26 years ago and will be fifty in October. He doesn't have much in the way of treats in life and my husband and I would like to do something special for his birthday. He often finds it difficult to settle to any one thing for a long time. His parents are taking him out for a meal - any ideas Gransnetters?

Anne58 Sun 22-Apr-12 17:50:02

Without knowing of any interests he might have, it is difficult to suggest something, but with thought to the comment re settling to any one thing for a long time, what about a visit to a historic house, art gallery or museum, with a really nice afternoon tea?

grannyactivist Sun 22-Apr-12 18:01:24

He has no sustained interests, but enjoys playing the guitar, has a phenomenal memory for trivia, has some hygiene issues and talks very quickly and loudly - laughing loudly when nervous. He's very conscious that he might be a bit 'strange' to some people - but actually although he can look and sound intimidating he's really quite a thoughtful person in his own way.

gracesmum Sun 22-Apr-12 18:08:07

I was thinking maybe a garden/garden centre or, again depending on his interests - something like a steam railway or boat trip? Sorry these sound pathetic, but SIL loved taking the family to Severn Valley Railway recently (he pretended it was for the boys but we know better.....)

Mishap Sun 22-Apr-12 18:22:21

Guitar concert? - although it sounds as though public events may not be up his street maybe.
Guitar DVD/CD?
One of the QI books full of trivia from Stephen Fry?

Mishap Sun 22-Apr-12 18:23:17

There is also another book full of trivia that was a huge hit a couple of years ago - I am sure that you could search it out on amazon - by someone called Roger I think.

Anne58 Sun 22-Apr-12 18:37:50

In 2003 I bought Mr Phoenix the Daily Telegraph A to Z of (almost) Everthing, compiled by Trevor Montague. (Not sure if more recent versions are available?)

It is often brought out for general knowledge crosswords, but we often get sidetracked and end up looking up all sorts of stuff!

Hunt Mon 23-Apr-12 09:56:37

The garden centre sounds a good idea. You could choose one that does fabulous teas and you could let him choose a rose or a tree to go in his garden- or yours . I love to have things in my garden that remind me of my friends.

grannyactivist Mon 23-Apr-12 12:22:57

Thanks for suggestions. Maybe boat or steam train trip would suit; I'll investigate. He has no garden to speak of, but I like the idea of planting something in mine that he could see every time he walks up the path. Lots of food for thought -please keep ideas coming.

POGS Mon 23-Apr-12 22:47:25

How about a garden centre as mentioned, buy two cheap terracotta pots, compost and plants of his choosing to keep at his home. If you look in your garage or buy paint sample pots he could decorate the pots himself, nice and cheerful and it might help to concentrate his mind having to water them.
Good luck, you are obviously good friends and I am sure that is all he wants.

glassortwo Mon 23-Apr-12 23:02:13

How about a propagator and all the bits needed to start up, he could bring the seeds on at home and then when they are ready he could plant them out in your garden, maybe veg and then he could eat the rewards of all his hard work.

grannyactivist Tue 24-Apr-12 14:16:50

Sadly, glass, my friend lives a very chaotic life and his ability to look after himself is sometimes severely strained - I wouldn't give anything in his care much chance of surviving. hmm

POGS Tue 24-Apr-12 19:42:43

grannyactivist. That's blown my suggestion!. How about a disposable camera for him to use when he is taken out by his mum and dad for a meal. Doesn't cost a lot if he hates it and he might enjoy using it.

Grannylin Tue 24-Apr-12 20:34:11

This may seem a strange idea...a carboot sale, but your friend sounds very similar to someone I know and he just loves rifling through stalls looking for odd treasures. It wouldn't matter if he was loud and maybe you could get him to choose his own treat.

Hunt Thu 26-Apr-12 09:51:34

GA , please let us know what you decide and the reaction of your friend to his birthday gift. It's really nice to know the outcome to these discussions.

Hunt Wed 16-May-12 09:50:38

Grannyactivist, what did you choose for your friend's birthday and did he like it?