Dear friends, gift-hunters, blog-followers and Elf-lovers,
It’s been an amazing year. We started with an old account of Mel’s, hoping that someone would see it and have a go at hunting for the gift. Things ran along slowly for the first little while, then we had the radio interview, the newspaper article, the Awesome contribution and a lot of retweeting from a lot of wonderful people. We even had a mention on Joy FM’s Lost Dogs Home show.
But after 52 weeks, 60 gifts, a bundle of amazing Guest Elves and a pile of wonderful Gift Hunters, we’re hanging up our Elvish boots, and leaving the stage.
It’s been a lot of fun. We never thought we’d go this long. We worried we’d fall into a river, into a garden or over a fence line. We also thought we’d get found out.
When we started, Mel was an office worker and Dot was looking for work. They were both feeling rather miserable about the way some people were treating each other, and the gloomy Melbourne weather wasn’t helping either. They needed to do something to cheer themselves up, and they hoped they’d cheer up a few other people as well.
Now, Mel’s been moved to field work and is away from Melbourne much of the time. While she gets home on the weekends, she has a lot of muddy overalls to wash, a cat to feed and she needs her sleep. Dot is working for the same company, and is the Assistant to a senior manager, who needs her at odd hours. They’ve managed to keep things going the last few weeks, but it’s just a bit too difficult.
So it is with incredibly heavy hearts that we say goodbye.
Thank you to all of you. The people who followed us. The people who retweeted us, told their friends, and spread the word. The Guest Elves who found new and wonderful hiding places. The radio and newspaper people who talked about us.
Most of all, thank you to all the people who followed the clues, asked the questions, and headed out on wet or cold or steamy or windy or spider-laden (or combinations of these) hunts to find the gifts. Without you, we never would have gone on.
If anyone else would like to take this over, please contact us on our email address of email@example.com. We’d be delighted to hand over the email and twitter accounts, and explain how we did it. We’d guide you and hold your hand, and cheer you on as only the Elves can.
Keep spreading the joy. Keep the joy alive by helping each other and by acts of love, and please keep safe.
Your very special friends,
Mel, Dot and the team.
Cheers once more to @Zteve1, who asked a friend about local large turtles, and found the Gift tucked in the back of a sign in the Yarra Valley Parklands, just down the path from the Bulleen Art and Garden Shop.
We’d like to point out that the maps we checked showed that Zones 1&2 finished just to the south side of Manningham Road West. Some other maps show that it finished at the Yarra. Our apologies – we thought it was such a cool hiding place that we couldn’t let it go.
Another set of cheering and clapping for @Cefiar, who found the gift tucked into a grille at the back of a restaurant, in Caledonia Lane near the loading dock for the Emporium. The building is number 237 Swanston Street. Caledonia Lane is named for a pub that used to be nearby, which was named after the old word for Scotland.
We hope Cefiar didn’t find the place as smelly as we did. We’re also amazed that, despite the large numbers of smokers in the lane, not one person paid any attention to our prowling and gift-hiding. Dot must have learned how to become invisible!
(The following solutions post was written by @Reynardo_Red, who hid the gift. She insisted!)
Huge hoorays go to @fpvs, who deciphered the clues and discovered the gift inside a repurposed downpipe in Duckboard Place, which connects to AC/DC lane and both run off Flinders Lane. And for those sceptics among you (you know who you are)1, you can see from the picture on the left that the drainpipe itself has no connection to gutters, so the only rain that would get into it was that driven by the wind into the tiny hole at the top. I was confident that it would be fine, even with our downpour on the weekend.2
This week’s Zone 1 gift was hidden by @Crennsmind, who persuaded Dot by the amazingness of his hiding place that perhaps trees aren’t that bad. He tucked the gift inside the metal anti-possum ring on a tree near the Melbourne Museum, in Carlton just north of the CBD. And @Zteve1 tracked down the gift, checking many trees in the process.
Dot is giving cheering happily but damply for @Camachri, who found this week’s gift under a rock at the small garden at the top of Exhibition Street, next to the Royal Society of Victoria. The fountain there is called Grant’s Fountain, and while it isn’t running now, the Google Street View shows a plastic fountain that was present during the summer.
With the last two gifts being found before the hunt started, we thought we’d better check the location (we hid it a couple of weeks ago, before our big work offsite). When we approached the little garden where it was hidden, we were worried to see that the Melbourne City Staff had landscaped the park. Luckily, though, we had hidden this gift under a very large rock, and the staff’s landscaping efforts had only covered it more securely.
And now, the clues. Read More…