Eunomians from the Bristol office jumped onto bikes and into vans to gather with colleagues from the London office, who all magically crammed themselves and their tents into just one car, for the annual weekend away at Jamie’s Farm in Wiltshire.
With an itinerary full of outdoor activities, live music, flowing drinks and delicious food from food redistribution charity FoodCycle, this was the perfect welcome for seven new recruits to get to know their new colleagues. After two whole weeks with the company, I almost felt like an old hand – several hadn’t even had their first day in the office yet.
Once the tents were up and the sweaty cyclists had successfully located the showers, Friday evening saw a collective basil picking effort as nineteen impressively large plants, lovingly tended to for months by Maxine, were stripped to make pesto for the evening’s pasta feast. Dinner was enjoyed around the campfire, followed by a champagne toast to a newly engaged Camilla and her partner Tom, before everyone headed into the barn for a night of bonding over local ales and cider.
Saturday was an early start for most, especially the cyclists who had agreed to make the trip to the paddle boarding site by bike for 10am. Paddle boarding and kayaking down the Kennet and Avon canal saw on board acrobatics from some of the younger participants, who were also relentless in their desire to see Eunomia’s chairman join them for a swim in the (rather murky) canal.
Others stayed at the farm to brush up on their knife and axe throwing skills, although only one safety-conscious soul was clad head to foot in a fluorescent boiler suit. Meanwhile, a handful of dedicated ale enthusiasts made a crucial beer run to restock after the previous night’s merriment.
When everyone had regrouped at the farm, a much needed yoga session (or for others, a nap) preceded the annual Waste Olympics. This year teams Carrot, Leek, Cucumber and Courgette were tasked with engineering a way to protect an egg being dropped from a height, before a slew of high adrenaline competitions including egg and spoon races, waste sorting relays and a skateboard powered life sized version of Hungry Hippos.
Everyone was given a chance to catch their breath during the picture round, which tested the teams’ knowledge of the hits of Eunomia’s in-house musical ensemble, proving especially challenging for newcomers. That conveniently coincided with the band’s scheduled practice in preparation for their evening set. The Olympics closed with the eggs being dropped (all survived!) – and thanks to some controversial surprise additional criteria, Team Leek was propelled to victory.Saturday night was pizza and party night, with the London office expertly manning the cocktail bar. Suddenly the answers to the picture round made a lot more sense, as Dirty Murph and the Kerbside Sorters put on a special acoustic set, debuting some new songs and proving a hit with all those for whom it was their first time seeing them, as well as their long standing fans.
After a hearty breakfast the next morning of eggs and roasted veg, crumpets and homemade jam, everyone packed up their tents, shared out Tupperware boxes full of leftovers, and said their goodbyes.
The weekend away pixies, company directors, and everyone who attended certainly succeeded at making it a brilliant weekend – what better welcome to Eunomia could a new starter ask for?