Apr. 8th, 2014

chris: (puzzle)
I've mentioned Dan in the past, haven't I? Over the course of the past year, Dan has become family-by-choice to both Meg and me. Dan was part of our DASH 5 puzzle team, then we hunted together remotely on some online hunts, then he came up for ChrisCon and played our Puzzled Pint recast, then he has started (co-)running Puzzled Pint in London. Five months in, and to his great credit it has proved a hit, to the point where I'm not worried that "a bad month" or two will put the event in danger of fizzling out. (April's event happens on Tuesday 8th; the location puzzle is out now!) Dan is very dear to us both.

So this story starts nearly six months ago when Dan tweeted "It's my birthday in November. Please make me a treasure hunt around London. Thanks.", as you do. Remarkably, Scott took up the request. In December, the day after the second London Puzzled Pint, Meg accompanied Dan around London on this hunt. A great day was had by them both. Accordingly, they purchased a commercial self-guided London hunt for a trip to London for New Year's Day and enjoyed that as well. In February, Meg and I went down for PP, and the day after, the three of us played and enjoyed HintHunt, as discussed. Meg was very specific about wanting me to come down for the March Puzzled Pint, but also mysterious about the reason.

It wasn't hard to guess. The March Puzzled Pint was excellent and happened ten years to the day from the day Meg and I first met, but the main event of the trip was on 12th March, ten years to the day from the day Meg and I first... told each other that we loved each other. (I wrote about the day only a couple of months after the event - nothing changes there, then - back at the time as a Friends-locked post on my steam-powered LiveJournal.) We tend to have a lot of anniversaries (legal marriage date, real marriage date...) and there's the small matter of Valentine's Day as well, but 12/03/04 was always a memorable date, thus 12/03/14 was quite a milestone to celebrate.

Meg and I both busily prepared for the event in our own way, in the days up to the event. I stayed up late the night before Puzzled Pint, making her an anniversary 'zine with 100 (almost entirely happy) memories from the first ten years, which raised some hand-squishes, a few laughs and lots of happy reminiscence while we were waiting for a train. Meg had been working long and hard on her particular project and managed to give nothing away before the day, even when I did rather rudely attempt to discern what was on her screen once or twice.

In practice, on the 12th of March 2014, we first travelled out to Heathrow in order to see [livejournal.com profile] gwendolyngrace and [livejournal.com profile] etakyma for the first time in years (since our real wedding and since a HPEF event, respectively) sharing lunch with them at the airport; happily, theirs was a friendship where it was very quick and easy to get back up to speed. Meg had told me that she wanted to spend the afternoon with me, but hadn't said why.

After waving them off to airside, Meg handed me an envelope. Opening it, it contained a puzzle. *grin* Over time, it transpired that she had written me my own hunt, even more special and personalised than the ones that she had been on. To do this is a great labour of love and the finest gift that one puzzle fan can receive from another (or, if they're very lucky, from a whole community - see also the slideshow and the podcast with a fuller description). It turned out to be the case that the hunt retraced our first day together. Could there be a sweeter or more perfect anniversary celebration?

Puzzles within! )


chris: A birthday cake in the shape of a slightly cartoon-like panda (Default)

November 2016


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