Last Saturday we went to the University Garden Party, celebrating the 800th anniversary. There had been much ado about the tickets, since there were "only" ten thousand of these, and it wasn't on first-come-first-served basis, neither professors first, but completely random choice on application, no more than four tickets per employee, and only immediate family. (I did hear later that there were merely 8,000 tickets applied for). The venue was Botanic Garden. You were supposed to inform the organisers about your transportation - clever, just imagine ten thousand people trying to park by the Botanic Garden. You were also supposed to bring you id. The instructions further included prohibition to climb trees, but encouragement to bring alcoholic beverages "in reasonable amounts".
This sounds absurd, but I wouldn't miss a party that is only given every 800 years!
On arrival - after id control - we were given a blue picnic backpack with university logo, containing, as promised, sandwiches, fruit, cake, crisps and some fishy power drinks. We had our own alcohol in reasonable amounts. We managed to find a picnic table and chewed our crisps for a while, surrounded by people of all ages and nationalities, with whom Staffan tried to make conversations in their languages, to their dismay. On consulting the program, we stated that there would be a choir perfomance and a brass band performance, but we could do without face painting or plant pressing. During the brass concert, small flags were distributed, featuring all college crests. The audience, sitting in small groups on the lawn around their picnics, waved the flags frantically. Some people were genuinely worried that there wouldn't be enough flags for them.
We never used our free coffee vouchers. (Frankly, we never ate the sandwiches nor drank the drinks. We brought them home for the kids).
In the bus queue on the way home, there were many blue backpacks. I bet we'll be seeing them everywhere for a while.