Last month, local criminal and commercial litigation specialists, Astraea Legal, organised a ‘Zoom fun night’, welcoming new team members from the recent acquisition of long-established law firm, Linskills. Little did they know, their welcome would stretch to Fosdalen, a valley next to the Skaala glacier in Norway.
Astraea, who have offices in Liverpool and London, were unable to have the usual welcome celebratory drinks with new team members, owing to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Instead, they decided on a virtual get-together with a twist and arranged a team quiz night for Friday 6th November.
They arranged for each member of the team to receive an ‘Astraea Legal Party Box’, made by local Christmas installation company The Festive Group, made up of a large branded helium balloon, bottles of wine and beers, sweet treats and fun props.
The balloon and props were a creative way to decorate their home space and add to the fun of the evening. Their night was deemed a huge team building success, despite a few sore heads the next day!
The following morning, Rebecca Mackenzie, who had taken part in the quiz, noticed that her 3-year-old son, Cory, had taken her balloon and was enjoying playing with it so much that he did not want to let go of it.
Later, he went to give his dad a hug goodbye as he was leaving for work, but suddenly lost his grip on the balloon – through tears, he watched it drift skyward. Rebecca said: “it took me an hour to console him as he was so upset that his balloon had gone”.
The balloon then began an epic 700-mile, 8-day journey across the North Sea before landing in Fosdalen, a valley next to the Skaala glacier in north west Norway!
Astrid Sandvik, who lives close by in Fosnes, was out for a Sunday stroll in the valley next to the glacier on Sunday 15th November, a trip she has done many times before, when she saw “something shiny” coming down from the glacier. Astrid said, “At first I thought it was a drone and thought it was strange as the place is far from people. The shiny object disappeared out of sight, but a little further up the valley I saw it stuck in a tree, so I went and picked it [out of the tree]”.
Astrid, armed with the branded balloon, began to wonder with it had come from. When she got back home, she Googled the name on the balloon and saw that Astraea Legal were based in Liverpool. Astounded at the distance it had travelled, Astrid got in touch with her local newspaper, Fjordingen, who then contacted Astraea Legal, confirming that it was in fact a balloon from one of their ‘party boxes’ and had indeed travelled all the way from Liverpool.
Astrid said, with a smile, “It really is amazing! It does not have much air left in it now, but I am happy to send it back to Corey if he would like it back”.
Nama Zarroug, Founder and Director of Astraea Legal, said, “The whole team is relieved the balloon has been found and can be safely disposed of. We are also so excited to have been contacted by our new friends in Norway and we can’t thank them enough for getting in touch, and to Astrid for letting us know about this amazing journey.”
And what a journey it was!