When local criminal and commercial litigation specialists Astraea Legal organised a ‘Zoom fun night’ to welcome new team members from the recent acquisition of long-established law firm Linskills, little did they know that 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, so decided on a ‘virtual’ get-tother with a twist and arranged a team quiz night for Friday 6th November. They organised for each member of the team to receive an ‘Astraea Legal Party Box’, made by local Christmas installation company The Festive Group, which contained a large branded helium balloon to tie to their chair for the quiz, a bottle of wine/beers, some sweet treats and some fun props. The balloon and the props were to decorate the space and generally add to the fun of the evening. The evening 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 removed the balloon from the chair and was enjoying playing with it and would not let go of it. He went to give his dad a hug goodbye at the front door as he was leaving for work and lost his grip on the balloon and through tears 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 in Stryn 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 contacted Astraea Legal, who confirmed 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.’