What’s a birthday bash without cake? Actually, pretty spectacular! We’ve had more than our fill of baked goods recently, since five of the Zeal clan turned a year older in March, so last Thursday we went all out for the agency’s activity-based 6th birthday party.
It’s been an incredible year here at Zeal. Not only have the likes of Benefit, Primula and Epson joined our books, but we’ve hired 7 members of staff, driven barges down the Leeds-Liverpool canal and spent Christmas skiing in Morzine, France. We’re very much looking forward to the year ahead!
The birthday celebrations began with a Dominoes feast to set us up for the day ahead. To our collective amazement, Carl found room for 10 slices! But he’d need them. They gave him the power he needed to run like a Duracell Bunny all afternoon. Having polished off the pizzas, we packed ourselves off to the mystery activity that Jane and Mike had kept under-wraps for weeks.
Before we knew it, we were rolling around Live for Today‘s sports hall, strapped inside giant inflatable balls. Some of us were on our feet, others on their heads, and everyone bounced off one another as if inside a mighty pinball machine.
We were split into teams for surprisingly competitive rounds of bulldogs charge, football and games made ten times harder (and funnier) by our new outfits. Ben’s rugby days came into play, as did the office’s footy skills, and we steamrolled each other until we could move no more.
But did we stop there? No. We made the short trip to the stunning Oulton Hall – a beloved Zeal haunt, that’s suitably splendid for an important occasion such as our 6th birthday! Rehydrating ourselves with drinks from the bar.
With a couple of hours to relax that meant a dip in the pool and hot tub, then a stint in the sauna and steam-room for some. While others took to the driving range to put Tiger Woods to shame. We bet he’s quaking in his boots, since Emil so masterfully smashed two golf clubs by accident. As luck would have it, we captured it on film and in super-slow mo, so he’ll never live it down.
By evening, we’d made quite the transformation – swapping our sweaty gym gear for James Bond-esque Black Tie. The boys looked dapper in their suits and bow ties, while the ladies dazzled in glamorous gowns. After a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to Zeal’ in the gardens, we nipped back inside for a scrumptious three course dinner. It was anything but ordinary.
We were nearly scared off our chairs before taking the first bite of our lovely pear and goat’s cheese starters. A man in an impressive white gallon hat burst into the room, smoking his large cigar. He dropped dead at our feet. The Murder Mystery night had started with a scream. Team Zeal worked hard to solve the crime with James Bond and his agents, in-between mouthfuls of melt-in-the-mouth beef, wine and lemon cheesecake.
As great as the actors were, and they were fantastic, our favourite performance of the night came from our very own winning team. They donned wigs, Hawaiian shirts, dresses and a fake belly to recreate their hypothesis of how, exactly, the victim was murdered.
That’s when Zeal’s 6th birthday party really started. We headed to the bar, were most of us stayed until the wee hours – drinks were drunk, laughs were had, games of ‘Chicken Goggles’, ‘How many elephants?’ and ‘Can I see the moon?’ were played.
After a sobering cooked breakfast, we were in the office hard at work on Friday. On behalf of the team, here’s a big thank you to Jane and Mike for making Zeal’s sixth birthday one to remember! And to our clients, we’ve really enjoyed working hard with you for so long – here’s to another successful year ahead!