Monday, 12 May 2014

A weekend of clucking and growing feathers...

So this Saturday just gone was my soon to be Sister-In-Law's hen do. It's all very exciting. We're about 11 weeks away from the wedding now and it's safe to say that both family's are getting suitably excited about the whole thing.

Now, I don't have that much experience of hen dos. I've only been to one before this one, and that was about 8 years ago so I was fairly clueless as to what to expect. I knew that it wasn't going to be a messy one, but rather an intricate day of travelling around London. We started at 10:30am and finished around 10:30pm, and all I knew going into it was that it involved a treasure hunt based on the Monopoly board, and a barn dance.

New-To-The-Family-Amy didn't know anything at all about her day. She was simply told to turn up at Liverpool Street Station at 10:30am and her hens would do the rest.

So she turned up, we went for brunch at Giraffe and ate a large amount of food. There were about 13 of us for the majority of the day. We started off with a pass the parcel game in the restaurant, where at each layer, whoever had the parcel had to read out a fact about one of the hens and the rest of us had to guess who it was about. I sucked at this game, given that I knew about 3 people in the group, but never fear, my competitive nature got a bit of a win later in the day when other games came up.

After brunch, we all filed outside the restaurant and gave New-To-The-Family-Amy her first clue. This led her back to Liverpool Street Station, where she had to do her first task, involving masks of famous singer's faces, four hens picked by New-To-The-Family-Amy, and a very heartwarming (and loud) rendition of I Dreamed a Dream which managed to carry pretty much across the entire station. Seriously, the acoustics in that place were immense. I do have a video of this and will be attempting to formulate it into some form of montage video, so stay tuned on that one.

We next went to King's Cross Station (yes, the famous one) and the Hens all left New-To-The-Family-Amy on her own, to go and hide in particular locations, whilst we waited for her to find us (this station is massive and contains various shops and restaurants, as well as trains). New-To-The-Family-Amy then was given a clue and had to work out where we all were. My little team (waiting at starbucks) was first to be found. She reached us and we gave her Clue No.2 as well as a particularly well known scarf that, let's just say, isn't meant to be worn by muggles such as us. New-To-The-Family-Amy, being the rebel that she is, put the scarf on anyway and tried to decipher the next clue. Now, it's worth mentioning at this point that there were two of us waiting for New-To-The-Family-Amy at Starbucks, one of us (not me, but a lovely lady called Anna) knew the answer to the clue, the other one (me) didn't. Therefore, the hints and general help involved in her answering the next clue was varied between the two of us. Anna did an excellent job of steering her in the right direction. I, on the other hand, tried to help with coming up with the answer, but always seemed to be met by the similar comments in all of my suggestions, these comments were "stop helping Lisa" or "you're making it worse" or "nope, that's just going to confuse her" etc and so forth. I've never been very good at clues and general knowledge stuff, not my strong suit.

New-To-The-Family-Amy did eventually get it and we trotted off the the second location, where she was met with the next clue and another item that definitely shouldn't be carried around by anyone slightly muggle like; a wand. Thankfully New-To-The-Family-Amy managed to steer clear of blowing anything up with it, although did use it to channel her knowledge for the last two locations. Location No 3 revealed further Hens with some very fetching round glasses... if you guys haven't worked out the theme of this particular game, then I can't decide whether I'm disappointed that you have missed out on some amazing books, or incredibly impressed that you have managed to live such a sheltered life that these items mean nothing to you. I mean, I know I usually live in a hole, but your hole must be massive and I simply must come and sit in it for a while, so that I can gaze around me in wonder and awe.

The last clue took her to a very special place indeed. The entrance to Platform 9 3/4, AKA the most magical place in the world... Well, not really, because the place where they've labelled it as being 9 3/4 is actually nowhere near platforms 9 or 10, but apparently this is the safer option as it's also nowhere near a place where people are actually trying to board trains to get places. It clearly is the area that muggles go to, to get their fix. All proper witches and wizards however, use the real entrance by the actual platforms.

Anywho, there was a massive queuing area and a submerged trolley in the wall with an opportunity to have your picture taken, disappearing into the wall. Naturally, New-To-The-Family-Amy had her picture taken...

And then she disappeared into the wall... never to be seen again...

The end.


Nah, just kidding. As I said, she was in the wrong place to actually disappear. But you never know, maybe she and Older-Brother-Glyn will go to Hogwarts for their honeymoon... someone should totally create a place so that people can actually do that... immense.

So, after this we went to a few other places on the monopoly board, we did further things such as performing interpretive dance for New-To-The-Family-Amy and a Crystal Maze style competition which involved climbing and blindfolds and spelling of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. (I got one letter out... my competitive side was not happy with me at all).

We then had a brief break at a place in Leicester Square called Muriel's Kitchen. We had cake/scones and tea (because we're British and that's how we do) and I officially deemed the place as my new writing spot. My reasons for this? The food? Twas nice... The atmosphere? Quaint and fun... The layout of the restaurant? Quirky and enjoyable... although what had to tip the scales for me, however, was a particular rule the owners of this place seemed to have in their staff. Everywhere I looked, there was a new and jaw droppingly beautiful man. Seriously... the whole thing became very distracting after a while. With their ice blue eyes and breathtaking smiles... I mean, for me to notice? I'm not really that great at observing that kind of thing, but it was actually everywhere. There was not a bad looking waiter in that place. It got to a point where I really didn't know where to look anymore. Plus, I cannot count the amount of times I suddenly realised that I had been staring at a particular guy for about 5 minutes...

Now, you may think that if this was the case, then it might not be the best place to come to, to actually work. But let's just say this, up until this point, I had every intention of not starting in on my third book for another couple of months... I've now, however, found myself with the overwhelming need to take my lap top down there in a couple of weeks and start work then. And anyway, if I don't get anything done, I'll be ahead of schedule so that's fine... If you're ever in the area... seriously, check it out. I think the fact that the majority of the customers in there were female, speaks volumes about the point I am trying to make...

After that little treat, New-To-The-Family-Amy had just one more task to do before we finished our night with a barn dance. On the train to the evening venue, she was given a white t shirt, told to put it on, and then ask strangers to write marriage advice on there for her. It was awesome, and loads of people agreed to do it! The advice... varied. Some were gems of amazingness, such as "Never go to bed on an argument", other's were not quite as poetic but still equally important, such as "plenty of sex" and then there was my favourite of all. A piece of advice so awesome that I am making plans to cross stitch it and frame it for them to put above their bed as we speak. It was written by a man who we never got to speak to afterwards as we had to run off the train at our stop, so we never received an explanation for it... but in some ways, I think it makes it even more special for that... it was simply "Don't be late, always be the late."

... ahem. That was a talking topic for quite a while, let me tell you that. But I have a feeling that it's important somehow... I just need to figure out why.

We ended the night with a barn dance, lots of food, a couple of games and a lot of yawns. I can't remember the last time I felt that knackered. It was good though. It's also really exciting because as we all said goodbye, we got to utter the words "See you next time at the wedding!" and then there were squeals (mostly from me) and a general influx of dancing (again, mostly me).

And that was my weekend. Guys, Older-Brother-Glyn is actually getting married. It's ridiculously amazing and out of this world and it's happening so soon! July, here we come!!

Peace out my lovelies.

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