Not long after I signed up to Instagram, I received a recommendation to follow Louise Shepherd, who is an avid reader of books, has M.E., and loves to play Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) on the Nintendo Switch. It seemed like a very good suggestion, and Louise sounded like just my kind of person; so I decided to go for it and I’m very glad I did. Louise and I got chatting and she became the very first person to visit my ACNH Island!
I was very excited to be given an invite to Louise’s ACNH Blue Sunday Tea Party to be held on Sunday 16th May 2021 on the wonderful Island of Hessa (Dream Code: DA-8596-8027-6312, in case you’d like to see it for yourself – and I would thoroughly recommend a visit as it’s a very beautiful place, with some lovely surprises!).
The ACNH Tea Party was organised to start at 2pm, so I decided to have an early Blue Sunday afternoon tea with my family (with real tea and cake!) and, after that, it was time to jump into ACNH and enjoy my second tea party there. If you would like to know more about Blue Sunday, The Tea Party for M.E. you can find out about it here.
I knew that Blue Sunday was going to be a lot of excitement and activity for one day, so I prepared for it by booking a day of annual leave from work on the Friday, so that I could rest. On the Saturday I baked a cake. On the Sunday, I rested in the morning and kept the afternoon tea as simple as possible – finger sandwiches, bought fairy cakes (sorry Grandma!), the cake I made – and tea all around.
I’d decided to bring gifts to the tea party for Louise and the other guests, so I ordered them in ACNH on the Friday. I chose to give everyone a Cinnamarol Tray from the Sanrio collaboration, complete with teapot and mugs (as it seemed to fit nicely with the Tea Party theme!).
On the Saturday I wrapped the gifts (in blue wrapping paper, of course), chose my blue outfit (after much deliberation – see images below!), and got my character dressed up and ready to go (complete with blue hair and blue eyes, of course!). In real life, this would have taken far too much effort and would not have happened, which is why I love playing ACNH so much; it enables me to have fun and enjoy experiences that my poorly body isn’t able to cope with.
On the day of the Tea Party I logged in to ACNH and paid a quick welcome visit to my newest resident, Chai (a peppy elephant from the Sanrio collaboration who, rather fittingly for Blue Sunday, wears a teacup on top of her head!).
Then I headed off to the airport, excited to fly over to Hessa. I love the experience of flying in ACNH. It’s wonderful to get a view of the destination island from the air before you arrive and Hessa looked amazing. I saw my host, Louise, waving excitedly down below – and wearing a fabulous blue outfit! When I got there, it turned out that I was wearing the very same outfit that Louise had worn the year before – so that made us laugh. And true to real life, I was the first of the guests to arrive. I was presented with a blue balloon to hold, and asked to follow the signs to the party area.
I marvelled at how thoughtfully everything had been organised. There was a series of Tea Party signs, guiding me over to the area where the party had been set up. It was fun following the trail and seeing where it led me…
The Tea Party area was amazing! There were stalls laden with tea and cakes, and tables with Blue Sunday tablecloths. There was a blue candy floss machine, an M.E. Awareness Ribbon standee for funny photos, an area for dancing, and a Blue Sunday photo spot on the beach.
I took a few pictures while I waited for the other guests to arrive… It was a weird feeling waiting as I haven’t been out or met anyone new in real life for so long! I felt a little bit nervous and excited, all at once. When the guests arrived I gave them their gifts. We posed for some pictures, had a dance, and ran around enjoying the area that Louise had set up.
Then it was time for the fabulous ‘Teacup Treasure Hunt’! Louise had wrapped eight Blue Sunday tea cups and hidden them around the Island – and we were invited to go and find them! We each set off to explore Hessa and find the hidden gifts, which was so much fun. It was lovely seeing the chat messages popping up to say ‘I’ve found one!’ and fun to bump into one another as we were running around. I found two gifts (each wrapped in blue paper!) and then I took some time out to have a little rest… on a gorgeous little Blue Sunday bed. (Another thoughtful touch, from Louise.)
Once the treasure hunt was finished (and each guest had a blue teacup and a blue mug to take home – perfect prizes!), we were all starting to flag a bit. Louise said we were welcome to wander around Hessa at our leisure but, sadly, I needed to stop, return home and rest.
I had a wonderful afternoon at the ACNH Blue Sunday Tea Party. Louise created such a perfect event. I’m really proud of her achievement (as I know how much work it must have taken to get it all set up and ready!) and I feel very lucky to have been given an invite! It felt so good to connect with other people who have M.E. and enjoy ACNH, and it helped to make my first Blue Sunday a perfect day. Thank you, Louise!