In autumn, my office mate Juan seems to feel the need to party. Is it the upcoming changing of the clock that he wishes to distract himself from? Is it the two months of term that have worn him down so much he needs something to replenish? I don't know. Either way; last year he threw a mustache party. I showed up early and left when everybody else arrived. I had teaching to see to! I needed to stay fresh that weekend to get lecture prep done.
This year he chose to inspire people to change their appearance by throwing a hat party. I thought I'd do the same as the previous year; arrive early, leave early. And I went for an easy hat solution; I'd just wear my caving helmet. Not the one I regularly use, but the spare one. Just in case! And wearing a caving helmet saves one a bicycle helmet and a light.
It was a nice party! As most people there never see me in a helmet they didn't think it was a particularly lazy solution. I got to catch up with some old friends and get to know some new people. And Juan kicked off some dexterity games; limbo dancing (mainly for those who had come hatless, but others were encouraged too), and pickin-up-a-cardboard-box-with-your-teeth without having knees or hands touch the ground. I'm shit at limbo dancing, but I stood my ground with the (regularly decreased in size) box. Until it was so low to the ground my headlight got in the way. And then I popped my knee. Ouch! Game over.
In between the frivolities I also had a chat with Cai, one of our PhD students, and a proud Welshman. I came out as a Welsh learner to him, and we then had a lovely chat in Welsh! That was nice. I am slowly increasing the number of people to speak Welsh with.
The evening ended on the dance floor, where I'm sure my Dutch skills stood out a bit (not in a very positive way) between the South Americans and an Italian. Oh well. My intentions are good! And I left a lot later than initially intended (there we go again). But still early (and sober) enough to do a full day's work the day after! And the party might even count as practice for the pub crawl that was planned for the week after. I don't like pub crawls but this one is Jess' goodbye. And that's important!