Spark Summer Day Out

Dom By Dom

We aren’t a ‘fun by decree’ company, but we are a pretty social bunch and always look forward to our summer day out and Christmas dinner. Although a booze-up is inevitable at the end of the day we make sure there is something on offer for everyone. In that spirit here is the (not-quite) Live Blog for our recent Spark Summer Day Out.

8:30AM: It’s here, the greatest day in the year’s social calendar – Glyndebourne, Glastonbury, the Henley Regatta and Notting Hill Carnival rolled into one, the Spark Summer Day Out! In the grand tradition of making sure that no year is a repeat of the last (except for the part where everyone inevitably ends up at a pub and orders cheesy chips), the theme for 2017 is a dim sum cookery class, followed by lawn bowls. You know, that classic combination. Cue inspirational background music.

8:45AM: Some of the team – especially the home workers – are heading straight to the cooking school on Holloway Lane. For the rest, an hour or so at the office to tie things off for the week, agree on the winner of the ever-important Coverage Cup, and remember to set the out of office.

8:46AM: Or, to hijack the news that the ICO has imposed an £80,000 penalty on for sending unsolicited marketing messages for two of our customer communications-focused clients. To the phones!

11:00AM: Everybody is at the cooking school. Hands are washed, drinks are poured, and dietary needs are catered for: it’s time to make a combination of Har Gow, Chiu Chow Fun Gwor and Sui Mai.

11:30AM: We’ve had the full instructions, mixed our ingredients, and been carefully told how to make and fold the dough in order to make the dumpling skins themselves. Confidence is high. At this stage, there is no chance whatsoever that making and folding the dough will go wrong in some cases.

12:15PM: Making and folding the dough went wrong in some cases.

1:00PM: Dumplings are being steamed, and despite any early misgivings none look like they were dropped on the floor at any point. Turns out that we’re all actually natural cooks and this whole making delicious food thing is a doddle.

2:00PM: Time to leave for the bucolic tranquillity of Finsbury Park and lawn bowls. Before we go, just time for the cookery school to hand out prizes for the three students who showed the best skills, the best attitude and the most improvement over the course of the…well…course. Congratulations to Andy, David and Pia and your big old bags of swag.

3:00PM: Fascinating scientific experiment / fierce competition to see whether walking or taking the tube is the fastest way to Finsbury Park ends in pretty much a dead heat. Independent adjudicators might wonder whether the fact that one team stopped off to re-stock on refreshments for spectators and players contributed to the result, but the final positions are all that matters.

3:15PM: A quick crash-course in bowling, and the importance of picking two balls of the same weight, and it’s time to go. Players are quickly split between those who want to make the perfect throw to get their ball as close as possible to the jack, and those who just want to really knock the other team’s balls out of the way.

3:20PM: Turns out you’re not supposed to yell “STRIKE!”

5:00PM: Important lessons learned:

  • Lawn bowls is really fun.
  • Balls will pull to the left. Unless you turn them round, then they’ll pull to the right.
  • The little hoopy cart thing that picks up the balls is awesome.
  • The longer you hold your pose after rolling your ball, the better your throw will be. That’s just science.

5:30PM: Time for the final destination for the day, the Brownswood pub, for food, a couple of drinks, and to work out who actually won at bowls.

7:30PM: Day has wound down into a combination of lazing in the sunshine (although looks like rain later), burgers, cheesy chips, nachos and discussing all the really important subjects under the sun: like how much coverage we got for the morning’s news hijack, what’s the correct size for an engagement ring, Premier League vs. Evo-Stick League, how to cook the perfect roast, North vs. South of the river, and which is better out of The Rock (1996) and Face/Off (1997).

8:00PM: Dom orders a tequila and tonic. Seems a sensible point to stop the blogging.