So this weekend just past, was my youngest brother’s thirtieth birthday and invitations went out to all and sundry to come and join him in a celebration of thirty years of this unique brand.
Under the banner of ‘Think Nick’ we were informed that the theme was ‘Gentlemen Explorers – Be Dashing’ and so the challenge was set. Private online groups were abuzz with plans for ballgowns for the ladies and a variety of hats, canes, monocles and periods of dress examined with the express purpose of defining whether they were dashing enough. Eccentricity has always been a hallmark of our family at the best of times, and a somewhat theatrical flair was expected from all.
In general the most accepted time periods to reflect seemed to gel between the Victorian Era and the Roaring Twenties. As we assembled we had military surplus jungle adventurers, Lara Croft, mystical fortune shouters in fezzes, slightly gothic Edwardian seers, and stout English Gentlemen with panama hats and righteous tweed suits.
Its fair to say, that we attracted a lot of attention. People took photographs. A lot of photographs, come to think of it.
People didn’t quite know whether to stare, giggle or run away. A few brave souls did all three, while the police took one look and ignored us – correctly noticing that we were utterly harmless and not causing any offense or dismay to anyone. Given the number of sword-hilted umbrellas on display, this was something of a relief.
Some of the people that we encountered as we wandered through the streets thought that we were a form of street theatre, so we ended up singing with buskers and posing with small groups of lost tourists. It seemed only polite really when there were so many cameras being brandished. Cambridge as a city seemed to be quite unsure of what to make of it all, and that was before we began the scavenger hunt.
Of course, being the event that it was, there was no way that this was going to be an ordinary scavenger hunt. Of course not; this was a conceptual scavenger hunt.
Concepts such as Happiness, Fun and Something Spectacular all had to be presented in some way, shape or form to our host as we settled to eat. All of this therefore required even more photography of our exploits as we found ways to express them. In the event it all came down to a tie-breaker – which ended up being a beat-boxing competition.
Suffice to say, dear reader, we won…