Pumpkin’s birthday approaches……it’s that time of year that to be honest, I just dread shopping for. I know I am not alone in despairing hopelessly about what to buy the man who seems to want nothing and need nothing. In the early days, it was a bit easier, it was the honeymoon period and there were a few basic areas I could venture into….he likes DIY so I bought him a fancy multi-purpose mini screwdriver from the Danish design museum in Copenhagen….for Christmas, I put together a box of trinkets that reminded me of him. One year, I decided to buy him sporting tickets and managed to book the wrong event…. What I thought we would be seeing was Federer, Nadal and the world’s tennis greats playing at the 02 – what we ended up seeing was Tim Henman and the tennis cronies at Royal Albert Hall. It was still an entertaining watch (made all the more amusing by my utter obliviousness to my error right until the last minute) and the staff at the venue upgraded us to a box so we weren’t complaining. But lessons were learnt and I’m done with booking sporting events.
This year, I decided on something a bit different. I’ve lived in this vibrant, amazing city for 12 years now and for any other like-minded Londoners , just when you think you’ve done it all…..you discover the London Underground Treasure Hunt
A brilliantly fun-filled 2 hours that saw us rushing around the underground like lunatics and brought out all the childish joy that you felt when doing treasure hunts as a child. I won’t give too much away because it would spoil it for anyone who plans to go but suffice to say, there are a whole variety of different tasks to complete, clues to guess and something for everyone, whether your forte is embarrassing yourself silly, cryptic thinking or rapid photography. You need a bit of lateral thinking, an oyster card and most importantly, you need to leave your polite British reservedness at home. We were seen running up escalators, sweating as we tried to make it back to base on time and a last minute glitch by Pumpkin when he got us penalty points by getting caught out by Agent Orange at the finish line led to a near-domestic in the middle of Leicester Square.
They usually run twice a week on weekday evenings and given how many participants are involved, it is extremely well organised. We ranked in 7th out of 22 teams – a respectable result. Winners get some fancy London Underground Merchandise (mugs and shot glasses) and the rest of us get some consolation prizes. You also learn a bit about history and the city at the end of the hunt. I was very impressed by how efficient and exciting they managed to make 2 hours on the underground but I imagine that it would definitely appeal most to existing Londoners, as was reflected by the majority of the group.