Have you ever eaten garlic sweets at a picnic? Or worn pretend rotten teeth, just for a laugh? Was that a no? Oh dear readers, you’ve never lived!
Actually, neither have I, but my friend Caron has. Well it was her hen day, it wasn’t any old ordinary day. During one's hen day, one is entitled to eat garlic sweets and wear pretend rotten teeth, it’s all part of the process.
Henfold Lakes was the chosen location. Twelve giggling girls met at the nearest train station, with food and drink, and all intentions to have a ruddy good day.
We arrived at the venue a little apprehensive when we heard the gun shots, noted the muddy pathway, and spied men running around in army type clothing. Arr, we were next to the paint balling, apparently popular with stag days.
We sighed in relief when we were shown our picnic spot, away from the guns and mud, next to the lake, with fields and trees in the background. Picnic blankets were placed on the grass, and cheese and pickle sandwiches, quiches, sausages, crisps, cakes, etc, etc, were placed on the picnic blankets. We definitely had enough food. Pink and black name badges were handed out (as arranged by me, the future bridesmaid) as a little memento and so we were all familiar with each other. Crackers were pulled, with wedding jokes and wedding facts inside, and bottles of wine were opened. All to the merry sound of laughter. It was a lovely start to the day. So lovely that we forgot we were meant to head back to the reception area at a certain time, to begin our treasure hunt. We had to be telephoned and reminded the treasure hunt was over due.
The treasure hunt was part two of the hen day. We spilt into two teams, where maps, clues and compasses were circulated. We had exactly two hours to seek as many letters as possible, from the clues and the maps. Each letter equalled cheese or wine. Personally I think cheese or wine are pretty good treasure!
Before the two hour deadline ended, we had to race back to camp with our letters. If one person (or more) from a team was one minute (or longer) late, their team would be disqualified. The team who’d collected the most letters were the winners. The team who’d collected the least letters were the losers.
The losers had to participate in a bush tucker trial. The trial was titled I’m a hen got me out of here! Don’t worry, the trial did not involve munching on crocodile eye balls, or bathing in a tub of stinking maggots. We were lead to believe it would be something quite horrid, but in reality it wasn’t too bad. The losers had to eat some very strange chocolates, strange chocolates which contained fillings such as curry. Huh, they were lucky there were no eyeballs or maggots inside the chocolates.
It was then back to the picnic spot, with the winning teams cheese and wine (I was on the winning team I hasten to add). We spread out on our blankets, nibbling and sipping, and I asked the bride-to-be to play two little games – What’s the deal with Mr H? Followed by Haven’t I seen this before?
The first game involved asking Caron ten questions regarding her future husband. Each correct answer was awarded with a present, and each incorrect answer resulted in a forfeit. Hence the garlic sweets and the pretend rotten teeth – they were the forfeits! (Plus something else on a stick, but this is a family blog, and I couldn’t possibly talk about it without blushing.)
The second game involved photographs of parts of the body. Caron had to guess which parts of the body were her future husbands. This was called Haven’t I seen this before? But this game had a twist. The twist was, none of the pictures were her husbands body parts, as I couldn’t get his darn photographs to print out. Worryingly, she was convinced a mutual friends husbands bottom was her future husbands rear!
Moving swiftly on, after the games I presented Caron with a photograph album, with contributions from her family and friends, and aptly named Before I was married. There were baby pictures of the bride-to-be and pictures of school trips, friends dressed as a pumpkin and a werewolf, us dancing on tables and posing at weddings and restaurants, etc, etc. Happy memories of many happy times. All in a pink and silver photo album.
And the fun did not finish there. After our cheese and wine and games, we boarded taxis to Caron's house to glam ourselves up for the hen evening.
The evening began with food and drink at a lively Chinese/Indian/Italian restaurant (basically if you didn’t like the food you were quite fussy) with gorgeous party bags expertly made by our friend Helen. Masks and feather boas were worn, more games were played, and chocolates gobbled. It was great.
The evening ended with dancing at a near by bar, followed by karaoke at Caron's house. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the neighbours as we screeched the lyrics to our favourite songs, all eager to grab the microphone and pretend we were pop stars. Until the very small hours of the next morning.
And that dear readers, was the hen do.
I think you'll agree, it's a far happier story compared to The tale of the severed finger.
Coming next, put your posh frock on and join the party! In other words, the wedding.
This field held the key to our cheese and wine.
Let's have a look at the map.
I've found a letter!
You expect us to eat these?
The masked meal.
Caron and her pole.
You make me feel like dancing, I'm gonna dance the night away.
Tonight everyone, I shall be your DJ.