January 1 2019
Well I have officially seen in the New Year with fun, laughter, food and drink and as with most New Years I wonder what this one has in store for me. To be honest I already know. I will start off the year full of get up and go and ‘to do’ lists and end the year with maybe I will complete my list next year…
January 2 2019
Everyone was back in the office today looking slightly the worse for wear. Having not had much to drink myself I felt quite perky and ready for a day of admin. As per usual I arrived in the office wearing my ‘power suit’ (short, tight, black skirt, a fitted white blouse and flat shoes – who really can comfortably wear heels?!), hair tied up in a pony tail and a handbag full of new stationary. I did the usual morning routine, kitchen, tea, gossip then straight onto the computer and answering the phones.
It got to about lunchtime and christmas chocolates and films were all I could think about. To cheer myself up I decided that I needed a holiday to look forward to. I got up a map of the UK, closed my eyes and pointed my mouse to a random spot. North Wales here I come! I am so excited.
January 14 2019
Annual leave has finally arrived, and I am ready with my large suitcase for my 2 night stay. Whilst I am fairly low maintenance in the make up department, I have decided that I need to pack a lot of layers as, let’s be honest, Wales is not the warmest or indeed the driest place in the UK.
Door to door it took me 4 hours and 45 minutes in the car. It should have been 4 hours and 30 minutes, but I needed a toilet break and trying to find the toilets was a challenge. I am surprised that people actually make it to the toilet without any accidents on the way. It was like a labyrinth with the toilets in sight the whole time tormenting you, getting closer all the time, but still just out of reach until you had earnt your right to go. You earnt this right by completing the weaving challenge, which consisted of weaving through all the shops and arcades (arcades – who actually thinks “I know what, I will just stop here and have a quick go on the old penny machines”?!). Anyway I made it to the toilets and subsequently to my hotel without too much hassle.
The hotel. Well, I made an excellent choice. I drove up a long gravel pathway and there before me was a beautiful stone structure. Like something out of a fairytale. The entrance hall was a beautiful wooden affair and very oldy worldy. Very me. I took a sneaky look around and found a library – I made a mental note to go and visit that later!
I decided to splash out and go for a grand room. The super king size bed is something else! And there is a roll top bath just sitting there – a roll top bath! I will be trying that out later but I am very nervous about turning the whole room into a wet room (I have previous with flooding bathrooms). Anyway, I have done the obligatory taking of photos and will be uploading to Facebook and Instagram shortly.
Dinner was amazing. Very tasty and elegant looking. The sort of food that you are intimidated by. I very quickly got over that as I was hungry, plus it would look weird sitting there photographing your food then not eating it.
Now I’m off to try that bath before bed. I have high hopes for a good night’s sleep and the breakfast!
January 15 2019
I awoke to the sound of rain hammering on the windows. It was quite a comforting sound really, knowing that I was snug in my massive bed. The bed was excellent, very soft and large and the roll top bath was…erm…interesting. It was quite small and once I had run it and had a wash I didn’t know what else to do so got out. It was an experience anyway.
Breakfast was interesting, not the food especially but the company. I don’t really know where to start. I was just tucking into my full English (or full Welsh I should say!) when an old man just sat down opposite me. He said in very hushed tones that his cover had been blown and would I mind awfully taking his notebook and carrying on his work. Well I didn’t know what to say so I just nodded and took the book. He then just got up and walked out of the room. After finishing my mouthful I had a flick through and found that he had been tasked with finding a number of objects from all over the world. Why he needed a cover I do not know. Apparently all I had to do was call a number and it would all be explained to me.
Back in my room panic set in. What on earth was I getting myself into? Why was I chosen to carry on this work? Am I going to die before my time (or was this my time so actually there is no before? Sometimes you have got to wonder at that question) and more importantly was this the last holiday I will ever have?
Eventually I calmed down. If worse comes to the worst I will end my life on a high in a beautiful hotel. I think the next thing I will do is call that number and then call work. They will be thrilled that I have finally managed to land a story worthy of note.
Work was indeed thrilled with the situation. I was to keep them posted on all my goings on in the form of a report (forms to be emailed to me shortly). Next I called the number given to me by the undercover man and was told that everything I need to know was in the book I was given and all expenses would be paid. When I asked them whether I was now a secret agent and whether I would need a new identity they hung up on me. The cheek of it! I thought that it was a very valid question.
I spent the rest of the day thinking and walking around the Hotel’s grounds. Once I had walked the grounds two, or possibly even three, times I decided that I needed to venture further afield, this was after all supposed to be a holiday! I found a couple of nearby lakes which I diligently photographed and posted on social media (after all I needed to keep up the pretence of being a normal tourist!).
After another excellent meal I retired to my room with my head still spinning at the thought of the tasks ahead of me. I again tried the roll top bath and still found it to be a disappointment, so I quickly got out and sat on the bed to write the day’s events. Hopefully sleep will come soon as it appears that I will have a busy few months ahead of me!
January 16 2019
Today was the day that I started to plan my big adventure! I packed my bags and travelled the 4 and a half hours home (I decided to stop at a different motorway service station because I couldn’t face the trauma of one way systems and shops just to go to the toilet). The views of North Wales really were stunning, the beautiful valleys, hills and streams. Of course the constant drizzle that kept hitting my windscreen and blurring the sights was a bit unfortunate.
Once home I quickly unpacked my stuff and set about looking up flights to Zakynthos! Next on the list Hotels. I found a beautiful 5 star Hotel located in the centre of Zakynthos, with a buffet breakfast included! I have to say that I wouldn’t usually be this extravagant, but I was told that all expenses would be paid and it’s not as if I chose to be going round hunting for legendary, mystical objects for an unknown company. I decided that I would book a week and then take it from there. All that is left for me to do now is to research my first artifact. The old man’s book says Pirate’s Earring…
January 18 2019
So, it has taken a few days of research, and I won’t bore myself by detailing the nitty gritty of it all here, but suffice it to say that whilst the artist Howard Pyle was commissioned to hide the real truth behind Pirate’s earrings (by saying that actually he was the one who ‘invented’ the Pirate look), the company I am now “working with” has discovered that true Pirate’s earrings had magical healing powers. I know! The particular set of earrings they wish me to recover are to be found in the shipwreck on Navagio Beach (also conveniently known as Shipwreck Beach), hence the trip to Zakynthos. Apparently I need to find where the Captain’s Cabin used to be and then search that area. I am not convinced that I will be able to find anything but who am I to argue? Only 5 days to go until my trip then we shall see.
January 23 2019
Hooray! The day of my trip finally arrived! My suitcases were fit to bursting as it is a whole week that I will be away for, and who knows what events may turn up or what the weather will be doing? I have never worked as a secret agent before so I wasn’t quite sure what to wear. I decided in the end on dressing as ‘the common tourist’.
It took a little over an hour to get to Gatwick Airport which I did not think was too bad a run. I had a few problems at checking in (I had forgotten to pack my wash kit in my case so carried in my hand luggage and, you’ve guessed it, the liquids exceeded the weight, and the metal nail file was apparently a no no), but eventually made it through and waited to board. There was no way that I was going to wander off and do a bit of shopping. I couldn’t trust myself not to get lost and miss my flight. What sort of a secret agent misses their flight?!
The flight itself was uneventful. 3 and a half hours of reading, eating and dozing. The food was very average and expensive, but I decided to treat myself to the full flight experience.
Eventually I arrived at the Hotel. First impressions, I was very pleased with the huge white building and my room is amazing. It is plain yet cosy, with a balcony that looks out onto one of the pools (it has an indoor and an outdoor pool!). My bed is super soft, so I look forward to getting into that tonight. I unpacked all the necessary bits (I don’t like to unpack everything as it takes too long, and you only have to repack it all when it’s time to go home) then set to work booking my boat ticket to Navagio Beach.
January 24 2019
I had an excellent sleep and I enjoyed breakfast (I tried Kagiana which was surprisingly delicious). I felt ready for the day ahead. I travelled to Porto Vromi Maries where the boats take people to and from Navagio Beach. I was quite excited yet nervous at the same time. I was completely fine with the boat travel to the shipwreck itself, but what if I couldn’t find the earring (I needn’t have worried but it was a valid concern at the time!)? The boat journey was really smooth, with a light breeze gently wafting in my face. The water was the most incredible blue and the view of the cliffs was magical. I reached the beautiful sandy beach almost too soon. I was in luck that a cruise ship had just dropped off a load of passengers, so I was easily hidden in the wreck. No one noticed me as I went through a crumbling doorway and found myself in what I presumed used to be a cabin. I thoroughly searched the room and there underneath a lose floorboard (I had been reading up on the tricks of the trade for a secret agent) there was a box containing two hooped earrings! I looked on the inside of both earrings and on one there was the image of a snake coiled around a staff (for healing) and on the other the rune Algiz (for protection). I quickly wrapped the box up in my shoulder bag and came out of the room, again undetected! I must be a natural at this secret agent stuff! As the trips to the shipwreck are timed I had to rush to catch the boat. With my hair all tousled like a mad woman I just about managed to board the boat before it left. Object Number 1 mission accomplished.
January 29 2019
The rest of the week has been amazing. I have had some wonderful meals and seen some beautiful sights. The beaches are so clean and the water is so clear. I saw a few turtles just randomly swimming around which was an experience!
I am now home and ready to research my next item. I am particularly worried about this one as it involves the myths surrounding Vampires. I know that these days we are less fearful about such creatures and are quite hesitant to believe in their existence, but once upon a time we did believe in them and in my view there must have been something to trigger this belief. The object that I have been tasked with retrieving is the White Oak Stake, something that is powerful enough to kill the oldest of Vampires. I wondered what the company could possibly want with such a piece of wood, but I wasn’t about to phone them up and ask (I tried with the previous object but they have changed their number so I can no longer get through to them. Unacceptable. What if I needed help or advice?). I had a look into it and the wood that this stake is made out of is extremely rare. It is said that a family of Vampires went round destroying any White Oak trees to avoid any more stakes being made. It seems that the stake I am after is a rare survivor and therefore this will be a dangerous mission. I will now do some more research on the stake and Romania itself and see what I can come up with. Apparently I have a week to sort myself out ie complete the research and sort out travel and accommodation (somehow the company can send me emails but I can’t reply to them. Technology could literally be the death of me).
February 4 2019
I have arrived in Romania! It took just over 3 hours from London so that wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed my sandwich and hot chocolate on board and the rest of the time was spent wondering whether I would actually get to see a Vampire (unlikely I know, and it’s not like I can go round asking people if they are a Vampire or if they have seen one. The main problem being that I don’t speak Romanian). I love all things to do with Vampires and this is the place where it all started. I must make sure that I get to do a tour of Dracula’s Castle (this will not appear in my report to the company as I am on a serious business trip and there is no time for larking around).
The 5 star hotel that I have booked myself into has interesting decor. The room is mainly white with a blue light tucked into the ceiling to give it a ‘floating effect’. There are some blue panels behind the bed and underneath the bed is a red set of lights (again to give the floaty effect). The curtains are a mustard yellow, and the furniture is very ornate. It is like a white modern twist on centuries old style furniture. I’m not sure that it is worth £600 a night, but we shall see tomorrow morning.
Business wise now the White Oak Stake is rumoured to be at Pelisor Castle. This is a Castle held by royalty and isn’t particularly old, but who better to look after a stake than a royal family in order to keep the vampires in line? I’m looking forward to having a poke around the Castle and this time the company have phoned ahead and have organised for me to have a private tour. I have no idea how they have done it and I am not going to ask. All I have been told by the company is that I am a VIP and therefore I must dress and act like one. The company clearly have not bothered to spy on me to get to know me because I am the last person that anyone would believe was a VIP. Anyway, off to my expensive bed. Let’s hope it is worth its money and if it isn’t I am hoping the breakfast will be worthy!
February 5 2019
An excellent sleep was had and breakfast was a bacon and onion omelette. Whilst there was nothing to complain about, I was still not happy about the price tag, however as the company would be picking up the bill I decided not to worry about it (and quite right too sending me off all over the place).
I got washed and dressed and set off for my VIP tour of Pelisor Castle. The Castle was terrifying to look at. Very dark and gothic. The inside didn’t make me feel any better and the room that was rumoured to contain the White Oak Stake had floral decor literally coming off the wallpaper and engulfing part of the chimney breast. Whilst the illusion was incredible, I did not get to appreciate it as I had to sneakily look inside the chimney breast for this stake. Luckily the guide had to take a phone call and I was left alone to search the room. I know for a fact that the company would have orchestrated this, but how did they know that I was in that room at that time? Also I am sure that I am being watched. You know when you just have that sense of someone being behind you, but when you look there is no one there. Even writing this I can feel eyes on me. Maybe my cover is blown? Do I even really have cover to blow? Anyway, the call for the guide took place and I was able to rummage around the fireplace. I actually had success and found the hidden box with the stake inside. I quicky put it in my back pack and waited for the guide to return. He came back suspiciously soon after I had secreted the box in my bag.
My guilty deed done I was able to enjoy the rest of the tour. There was a lot of wood panelling and ornate furniture which was interesting, and the guide was very knowledgeable. At the end of the tour I gave him a generous tip and was on my way. I swear as I left the Castle grounds I saw movement out the corner of my eye. It seemed too large to be wildlife. Anyway, like any sane person I decided to ignore it and hurry back to the safety of the Hotel.
Dinner was amazing. I had Salata De Boeuf (Beef Salad) as a main and Cozonac (Sweet Bread) for pudding. I still couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I was being watched so I ate up quickly and returned to my room. I will be putting this suspicion in my report as it is getting too much. I don’t care if I am seen as being a drama queen, I would prefer that they sort it out. Maybe hire a hitman or something to get rid of them? I am just about to get into bed, but I am not convinced that I will have a good night’s sleep.
February 6 2019
As I predicted I had a poor night’s sleep. I kept waking up thinking that the wallpaper behind my bed had hands coming out of it and wanting to grab me. I do not know where my mind gets this stuff from, but the hands were very similar to the floral decoration coming out from the walls and onto the fireplace at the Castle. I obviously have a guilty conscience. It should be the company not sleeping through guilt not me. Having mentally passed all the blame onto the company I decided to go down to breakfast. I had a delicious plăcintă macedoneană (a type of pie). Although I had managed to get rid of the guilty feeling, I still had that feeling of being watched. I looked at all the other patrons in the breakfast room, but not one of them seemed to be interested in anything other than their breakfast. I will contact the company later on today after my visit to Letea Forest to see if they know of anyone who might be following me.
The Letea Forest was amazing! I have posted some wonderful pictures on my social media pages. Whilst I was enjoying my time in the Forest, I didn’t feel that I was being watched, so maybe it was all in my imagination, or maybe they are going to strike when I least expect it? Everyone would be suspicious if I went missing in a forest. So cliche. With that cheerful thought I went back to the Hotel to start packing my bags and get ready to have dinner. I think that the Hotel staff think me a bit strange as I asked the waiter if he would sample all of my food before giving it to me so that I knew that it hadn’t been poisoned. I don’t really care though as I will never see those people again. So far I do not feel as if I have been poisoned so we shall see if I wake up in the morning. Night.
February 7 2019
I woke up! I am thrilled! That does not mean that I am completely confident that there aren’t people out there wanting me gone, however for the moment I am content. I had a lovely shower and an excellent omelette for breakfast. I decided to sneak a bread roll into my bag so that I could eat it on the plane journey home. I am not forking out for plane snacks when there is a perfectly good roll I can sneak out.
The plane journey was ok. Nothing untoward happened. Apart from that feeling that I was being watched again. I am sure though, that as there were a number of passengers on the plane, the chances of someone looking at me at some point throughout the journey was inevitable. I am just being silly. I have still not heard anything from the company regarding my observation on this matter, so I decided to choose to believe that they were sorting it out. After all, it was in their best interests to keep me safe, otherwise they would have to email someone different, and we all know what a hassle that would be to change a saved email address. With that comforting thought I decided to think ahead to what my next object retrieval would be.
I am quite excited about this one (although let’s be honest, I am quite excited about all of the objects). This one will take me to Egypt and it is called The Book of Thoth. This one is interesting as there are many texts that could be The Book of Thoth. Basically it is any text written by the Egyptian God of Knowledge and Writing. I am not sure how the company have chosen the bit that I need to retrieve, however I am merely the collections person, or as I like to think of myself, a secret agent. Tonight I will receive an email telling me the location of the said object and I will book my travel and accommodation accordingly. I await with bated breath.
The email arrived and I have to say that I am not disappointed. Apparently I need to hunt around Luxor, previously the City of Thebes. I love old buildings and this place will be full of them, alongside statues and temples. My only concern is how to narrow down this search. I am only one person after all (not counting the people I swear are following me). I started to look on Google until I remembered the book that I was ‘gifted’ from the old man in Wales. That seems like a lifetime ago now… I digress. So, the book states that I must find a stone pillar which has hidden directions in plain sight. Even as I write this I know that it sounds ridiculous, however that is what I am working with. The man has very helpfully sketched the sort of things I should be looking out for so that’s something. Whilst trying to decipher sketches of an ancient language is fun, I decide to take a break and look out for fancy hotels to stay in. I have whittled it down to a couple of hotels and after all that hard work I have decided to sleep on it and book them first thing in the morning. There is no real rush, except that I have to book them tomorrow and be on a flight at the earliest 11 February. No rest for the wicked or secret agents, or people pretending to be secret agents.
February 11 2019
I am in Egypt! My bedroom is plain but functional. There is a large desk taking up most of the wall opposite my bed, so that is handy for my reports. I have a beautiful view out of the window of the pool and the gardens. Fingers crossed that I get this mission over and done with quickly so that I can take advantage of the pool and gardens! This afternoon I am off to Luxor. Deciding what to wear has been an issue. The weather is so hot and the sun, it just constantly beats down on you, horrendous. I need to be well covered yet not bundled up. Such a nightmare. I decided to go to a local market and buy an outfit. The market was amazing. Full of stalls and people and smells. It was an experience I will never forget. Especially the haggling. Who knew I had no talent for haggling? I am convinced that I paid double what a highly skilled haggler would have paid for an outfit. Anyway, I am going on. The outfit was fine and I am now on my way out to visit Luxor.
Luxor was amazing! The buildings and statues were huge! I had trouble taking photos of the whole building/statue so my social media posts won’t look how I want them to, but there is nothing that I can do about that. How people managed to build and sculpt these things is beyond me. Anyway, I managed to find the pillars with the ‘secret’ code on and once I had worked out where I was supposed to go (a secret cupboard behind one of the statues) I decided to integrate myself with a tour that was going on. I figured that with more people around I would be able to sneak off without attracting too much attention.
I eventually peeled off from the tour when we entered the pavilion. I hid behind a pillar then turned around and started poking the wall until I found the lose brick. I very carefully started to dislodge it. I am very aware of the age of this building complex so I was a bit uncomfortable, however I was here to do a job and I would complete it. I closed my eyes and wiggled the brick until a sensible sized hole appeared. I put my hand in the hole and felt a bit of cloth. Confident that this was what I had come for, I pulled and out came an ancient package. I carefully opened it up and inside there was a load of old documents. The Book of Thoth. I was speechless. Was I really the first person in hundreds/thousands of years to have touched this? Maybe not thousands, but still. As I was looking at it I felt someone watching, but as I turned around there was no one there. This is getting ridiculous and once I have finished this report, I will be sending another strongly worded email to the company. That will show them. Anyway back to the ancient package. I had what I had come for so went back to the rest of the tour and enjoyed myself. This secret agent stuff really isn’t all that hard when someone else has done all the ground work. Except the whole being watched and followed thing. That I am not comfortable with.
February 12 2019
I decided that I would treat myself on this trip, and so after a breakfast of Falafel I decided to head out to the Valley of the Kings. I have always been interested in Egyptian culture and so I did not want to waste this opportunity to see some sights. I was still a bit wary of the mysterious people following me, but I thought that they would assume that I would go straight home after collection, not be foolish enough to wander round sight seeing…
Egypt is hot. Really hot. I put on my market bought clothes and headed towards The Tomb of Tutankhamun. The sky was blue, and the sun was beating down. The tomb itself was like a giant sand hill and much less pyramid shaped than I thought it would be. I descended the 16 steps and into a passage before entering the Anti-Chamber. All around me I could feel the history and could imagine the people working in here to create the beautiful artworks. I was a little afraid of the supposed Curse of the Pharaohs, but it wasn’t as if I was disturbing any mummy, just merely looking around the tomb. A curse doesn’t seem as far fetched as it used to be. I decided then to end my tour and head back to the hotel.
Upon entering my room I found a note had been left. I was to meet someone down in the dining room this evening to talk. I wasn’t sure about this but what choice did I have. The note didn’t say whether they were from my ’employers’ or if they were the mysterious fellows following me. I thought back to the man who had originally handed me this task. Had my cover also been blown? I will send an email to the company and then await further instruction.
February 18 2019
You might notice that a week has gone by. Well, I will fill you in on the details. As you may have guessed, meeting someone who managed to get a note into your room while you were away was not a smart move. I just may have got it into my head that I was a smart, intelligent secret agent, and therefore whoever this person was, I was sure to be able to handle it. Wrong. My evening went like this…
I entered the dining room and found that it was empty of people except a lone, suited man sitting at a table for two. I went up to him and asked if he was waiting for someone and he said that he was waiting for me. This, I must admit, should have been enough for me to pretend that I was not in fact me and that I was hotel staff, however I sat down and had a rather nice meal with this strange man. He chatted about the objects that I had so far collected and seemed to know a fair amount of detail about each of my collections. Just as I was starting to get comfortable I realised to my horror that this was in fact someone who had been watching and following me, rather than the mysterious company I was working for. I tried to get up and leave, but the man told me that there were spies everywhere and that they would hunt me down. I decided therefore that I would stay for the rest of the meal. Afterwards he took me out of the hotel and into a waiting car. I have to say that when you are in these situations your mind goes blank and it is just easier to go along with it. The car took me to some sort of abandoned warehouse where I was roughly thrown in to a chair and handcuffed to a table. The suited man then left. I was frightened and outraged all at the same time. The next man to come into the warehouse started asking me questions, but there was something different about this one. He kept looking at me funny, like he was saying one thing, but his eyes were saying something different. Before leaving the room he leaned down under the table and tied up his shoelace that had inexplicably come undone. He then hit my leg and I felt something go into my shoe. I realised that it was the key to the handcuffs. I will not admit how long it took me to work out that it was a key as it is embarrassing and certainly not at the level that a secret agent should be at. Long story short, I asked for some water and whilst I was left alone I reached down with my free hand and got the key out of my shoe. I then ran for the exit whereupon the man who gave me the key was waiting, and I was bundled into another car. I arrived at an office where I was told that they were the company who had employed me and that they were sorry for any inconvenience caused. Apparently they had taken my emails seriously and they had infiltrated the group of people who were following me. They decided not to tell me this as they wanted my fear to be real. I was not impressed and felt very inconvenienced.
After my harrowing ordeal I took a few days off, where I changed my identity and got ready for my next trip. Finland, to find the Sampo.
February 19 2019
I booked my flight using my new name and this time I felt ready for anything. Well almost anything. The company said that they will be keeping a closer eye on me from now on so that’s nice. I tried not to think about how they let me roam around random places blundering my way through to collect priceless artifacts. Anyway, that is all behind me and I am now sitting in a log cabin hotel in Finland.
It is beautiful. I am surrounded by forests and snow. My log cabin is very cosy, with all the necessary facilities. The bathroom is very modern and I hope that I will be able to work the shower. That is always a concern. Cleanliness is a top priority for me and if I can’t have a decent shower then I just don’t know what I will do (probably ask someone to sort it, but I would rather not show off my incompetence). I feel very calm here and hopefully that will help me in my next task. I will need all the help I can get as there are numerous theories as to what the true Sampo is. I have been asked to find a contraption that is hidden in a mill. I have been given a map of the forest and I am to start trekking into the forest as soon as possible. Apparently there is a hidden mill and all I have to do is find it and the Sampo will be obvious. I am rather sceptical about this (as will all my tasks it would seem!), however I will buy the necessary trekking outfit and make a start tomorrow.
February 20 2019
The bed was very comfy, and the breakfast of porridge followed by a rye bread sandwich was delicious. Yes, I decided to have two breakfasts as I was going on what I assumed to be, a long journey. I also very cheekily asked if I could have a spare rye bread sandwich made up to take with me on my trek. I then set off for the trekking outfit shop. The dream of being surrounded by snow and pretty log cabins was shattered as I entered an ordinary looking concrete town with ordinary looking concrete shops.
Once I found the correct shop (I had to stop and few times to ask for directions, which does not bode well for the rest of the day) I decided that I would buy a bright, luminous pink outfit as 1) I love pink and 2) I will be visible if anything happens. Now, you will remember that I was being more carefully monitored, and as a result I was allowed to book a random guide so that I didn’t get lost and/or hunted down by the men who tried to kidnap me. The fact that these men are still at large doesn’t help, but there is nothing that I, or apparently my employers, can do about it.
I get back to my hotel room and quickly get dressed into my outfit (remembering to stuff my rye sandwich into my backpack). I was glad to see that no notes or other communications had been left for me in my room, and went on my way to meet my guide. Little did I know the adventure that was waiting for me…
Apparently nothing is random and nothing is coincidental. Somehow my computer had been hacked and the hacker could see who I had looked up and asked to be my guide. Now, you may be wondering how they knew who I was considering that I had changed my name and appearance for this trip. It turns out that someone from the company employing me was tracked down and paid a large sum of money to tell them my new identity! Honestly, I was furious when I found out!
Anyway, I met my guide (who wasn’t actually my guide as he had been swapped out for someone else) and off we went into the wilderness. I should have been suspicious when the map reading and compass skills of my guide were not of an acceptable standard, but I decided to ignore this and together we managed to come across this mill. It was here that the “guide” told me that he wasn’t really a guide and that he was here to take the Sampo for himself. As you can imagine I wasn’t best pleased and was also quite fearful for my life.
Together we managed to find the Sampo hidden under a lose floorboard. I can confirm that it was indeed just a tablet and how anyone could believe it had powers was beyond me. As I was about to tell my “guide” this he grabbed the tablet off me and turned and ran out of the mill. As he had taken the map and the compass, I was a bit stuck with what to do. My phone was very low on signal and everywhere outside looked the same. I wondered why he hadn’t harmed me when it suddenly hit me that he didn’t need to. Nature would do the work for him. As I was mulling this over I suddenly remembered my rye bread sandwich. I decided that I would have a little something to eat to get over the horrendousness of my situation then I would wait to be rescued. After all the company said that they would be keeping an eye on me so we shall see how good they are at keeping their word.
Hours passed and I was getting quite cold before there was a knock at the mill door. I got up to open it and saw a guilty looking man staring back at me. He apologised for the everything and led me back to my beautiful log cabin. He explained that they had needed to retrieve the Sampo before finding me as the artifact was of great importance. Where do I even start with that explanation?! To make it up to me they have given me a week off and will pay me double for the rest of my time with them. As I had very little choice in the matter I agreed, but I did tell them that I was deeply unhappy with their treatment of me so far. I then told them to leave my cabin and let me rest. I would do a bit of sightseeing tomorrow before I go home. Calm my nerves a bit.
February 21 2019
I woke up feeling quite refreshed and excited for the day ahead. I knew exactly what I was going to do. What better way to see the sights than to go on a Husky Sleigh Ride?! I decided that I would do this in the afternoon as I did not want to rush out of bed this morning. I think I had earnt that much at least. I had a lovely relaxed breakfast consisting of porridge together with a nice big mug of hot chocolate. I even splashed out and had cream and marshmallows!
I got back to my log cabin and read a book in front of the log fire. I will tell you now that I did not know how to light the fire and after several failed attempts, I decided to ask someone to come and do it for me. Honestly, I was a bit worried that I would end up setting the whole place alight (although with my skills that was highly unlikely). Anyway, I had a lovely long read then decided to do a quick visit to the wooden town before embarking on my Husky Sleigh Ride.
The shopping was uneventful. I can say that I didn’t feel as if I was being watched so that’s an improvement. I bought a few things then headed back. I did the obligatory check of the log cabin, but it was all clear. I changed into my luminous bright pink trekking outfit and was off.
It was incredible. I was a bit terrified of the Huskies at first (I mean who wouldn’t be a little bit afraid? They choose whether they lose you in the forests or tip you overboard etc etc) but the Guide assured me that we were all quite safe (I also had the Guide vetted so that I knew he was who he said he was). I am not making that mistake again! The views from the sleigh were amazing, all snowy scenes made up of spruce and pine trees with the odd log cabin dotted around. I felt really lucky to have been able to get a glimpse of it all. That and I felt cold. My face was a very unflattering red colour with the cold. It might have had something to do with the snowflakes that started hitting it and the wind thrashing its way past.
So, I survived the day and now feel more than ready for my next adventure, and a bigger pay packet! After the day I had today, maybe my temporary role as a secret agent wasn’t so bad after all.
February 23 2019
I made it home without too much trouble and have received my next assignment. This is an interesting one as it’s not the usual grab it and run job. It is more of an infiltration and run kind of thing.
I have been tasked with retrieving the Ring of Gyges. This ring is said to grant the power of invisibility. I do not believe that this is for real, and as I have been told that under no circumstances am I to try on the ring, I think that that is all the answer I need.
So, this afternoon I am off to a Theatre in London where I have been told that I will be accepted as a member of background theatre staff. Honestly this company has its fingers in so many pies! Despite the fact that I know that I will get the job, I am still quite nervous and will get out my best interview/first day of work clothes to make a good impression. I am told that no one knows why I am there, only that I need to be there. I am not too sure how they will take the theft of one of their props, but time will tell! That is correct. Somehow this Theatre has managed to get hold of the real Ring of Gyges. According to the company one of the prop organisers asked their suppliers to get them a ring that looks (and I quote) “like the ring from Lord of the Rings”. Apparently, the supplier was able to call someone who knew someone and behold the Ring of Gyges turns up.
I have been given information on the inner workings of the Theatre and a blue print of the building itself, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the ring and get out of there alive. Time to put on my game face and enter the world of theatre!
Ok so the Theatre was absolute chaos. There were people flying about everywhere. No one even noticed my nice suit. If anything they took one look at it and ran off. Maybe I should have worn more casual attire? Anyway, I decided to get stuck in and headed for a quieter area (a room with a circle of seats, mirrored walls and props everywhere) to see if I could put my knowledge to the test and fit in with the people around me. My revision of the notes from the company did not really help. There was just so much going on that I knew that I would stick out like a sore thumb. In the end I found someone to ask what they wanted me to do. I was pointed to a group of people who were sorting through props and it was here that my hopes were finally raised, maybe the ring would just be sitting in a box? They were soon dashed however when I was given a long list of props to get ready and not one of them was even a ring let alone a magical one that could turn you invisible. I decided that it was a bit early for me to start asking suspicious questions and so I set to work helping to put the props in the correct order that they would be needed in the play.
After many, many, hours I was allowed to go on a break and it was then that I decided that I would use my knowledge of the floor plan of the building and have a little snoop around. I found lots of hidden rooms and had a good old rummage. It wasn’t long though before I heard footsteps outside one of the rooms that I was guiltily searching through and I immediately knew that there was no escape. I had to stay in the room. Luckily there was a cupboard that I squeezed into just in time. Someone came striding into the room and was speaking rather loudly on the phone. I thought that I would just curl up and close my eyes and wait for this whole ordeal to be over. Then my ears pricked up. They were talking about the ring. Someone else knew its true identity and was planning on stealing it. I would have to up my game. They eventually finished their call and left the room. I crawled out of the cupboard and sat in the middle of the room wondering what I was going to do.
In the end I did the sensible thing and just ran out of the Theatre and back home. I needed to come up with a way to get to that ring first.