So, it’s been a while, I thought maybe I should explain myself, not that I need to justify anything, rather as a document or memory to why there is such a gap.
Mostly it’s because I’m in the local pantomime, something had to go to allow for rehearsals and line learning
I’ve also been tired, lacklustre maybe. There is a point when I’m tired when I am highly creative, this is a different tiredness and so creativity hid itself away.
I think I underestimated the power of working two jobs, of learning new ropes and on top of that gaining new roles and responsibilities elsewhere and organising three large events. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rush… just something had to give.- the quiver needed to rest for a while before it became a burden and my aim misaligned.
Over these last two months, I’ve also seen the power and comfort of friendships. I have seldom been able to just hang with my friends as normal and so times together have been precious to me. An extrovert at heart but with an intuitive-feeling core, I am energised by people but mainly when we invest time (my love language btw). I am the extrovert at the party, not in the middle of the room but probably chatting to the introvert and networking them to someone else. I loke deep conversations over coffee, or wine. I feel connected to people by understanding them and them understanding me Feeling like someone really knows me is something that boosts me and energises me.
Friends are for a reason, season or lifetime – that’s what I often tell the teenagers I work with. Each type of friend is important, each is beneficial and all should be celebrated. Back in October, I had the privilege of putting together an event to celebrate a lifetime friend. B and I met at uni, I don’t know if we ever thought our friendship would go much further than uni – in that I don’t think we thought about much past graduation day. Yet here I was summer 2017 planning her Hen Party! A few people have asked for this so here is my (semi-perfect) plan for a
Murder Mystery Hen Party Pub Crawl!
1.Start with cocktails (aka Do the expensive part first)
Venue: The Falstaff Hotel, Canterbury
We wanted the most expensive part of the day to be at the beginning, so no one felt they had to miss out. It’s much easier I think to say you will come a bit later (especially on a pub crawl) than half way though needing to entertain yourself for a while! 1pm and ten hens found themselves under the teaching of the Falstaff Bar Manager, for our Cocktail Masterclass. Over the years I have done many of these, safe to say none have particularly impressed me – they’ve been fun but often the same jokes and even games have been used. This was completely different! It is very worth checking out for any kind of event.
2. Hire a Photographer
We were very fortunate to have been able to get Karen from loveyourcamera.co.uk to come over to the Hotel and document some of the day. This meant we were less needing to reach for phones/cameras knowing that we would have some beautifully curated memories. The photos came back about a fortnight later in a box with a magnet that reminds the bride of us wonderful bridesmaids everytime she reaches for the prosecco! The rest of the photos are credited to Karen George at LoveYourCamera.
3. Have a flexible plan
At 3pm all the hens had gathered in the conservatory at The Hotel for Afternoon Tea. We based the Murder Mystery on a Cluedo Board Game with all the hens dressing in one dominant colour. We sat down for tea with the bride having no idea what was about to happen, John Jenkins (Falstaff Bar Manager) delivered the letter from an Inspector A. Kneehook. The letter informed B of a murder. A Miss ______ (our bridesmaid dress name) had been murdered.
There are clues to the murder hidden around Canterbury, B must find out “who dun it” by the time the clock strikes midnight or she herself will be arrested! B could win clues by winning games and finding the correct rooms (pubs) on the pub crawl. Each hen either had a weapon or a clue to given B and the groom with a few of our uni boys had even joined in having pre-planned some written and filmed clues!
Everyone is a suspect so B must gather their fingerprints! We found this beautiful fingerprint poster by LillyPeaDesigns and everyone took a turn.
4. Play Nicely
I heard a horror story the day before our Hen Party of someone whose hens pushed her way past her comfort zones when it came to playing games! Thankfully I think we know B well enough. Whilst having afternoon tea, we allowed B to win clues. We had three games: Prosecco Pong where each glass contained a question about the bride to see who knew her (and maybe to embarrass her…) Bridal Blankety Blank and Bridal Souvenirs (everyone bought a ‘souvenir’ from a story involving B and them! As seen here
Once completing these games we concluded that she had found the conservatory, games room and study and so could receive her first clue. She managed to get all the pubs right for the first three rooms (kitchen, library and hall) and the dining room and found three weapons (spanner, gun, candlestick)
If you would like to pay for a copy of the Canterbury Pub Crawl or to write a similar storyline for your hometown/hen party then get in touch! I’d love to!
5. Eat where they love to eat
Our Dining Room where the dagger/knife is found was GBK. There was mass confusion by the Canterbury branch when we came to book this. However, it all worked out in the end. B loves a burger so we knew that it would be exactly what she wanted. It also works out easier when it comes to paying as you pay when you order. No leftover charges when you come to split the bill!
6. Finish Well
I can’t tell you how it ended – the bride only just worked it out in time before we hit the last venue! Which aptly for the theme was The Pound in Canterbury.
A great way to celebrate someone who shares my love for cocktails, books, music (though we may disagree on some) and Cheesy Mexican Bean Dip; who have laughed with me till it hurts, cried with me through heartache and dragged me countless times to munchies for chips! I hope these days we are more refined, but when we are old and grey we can be eccentric and do it all again!
Thanks also to D & L for helping set it all up and especially to The Falstaff Hotel for accommodating us for the first half!