Social Spooktackular

Blog Life At Data Intellect 7 Nov 2023

Mollie Brown

Let me set the tone.

An ominous breeze that throws up orange leaves. Long shadows. Dark clouds. A kitchen covered in carved pumpkin guts. A dank, damp cave full of vampire bats. A toffee apple, but it’s all gone rotten and there’s a slimy worm inside. Unattended candles. The vampire bat cave probably has guano that you’ll step in. A really evil clown. An old grandfather clock that only chimes at dramatic moments. Cthulhu.

You get the idea.

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the spookiest blog of the year.

Yes, I’m aware that I am publishing this in November, and all the pumpkins are probably in the bin or made into soup by this point. But stay with me in Halloweentown for a few minutes as we recap October. I don’t care that the Christmas stuff is already out in the shops. You are safe from Mariah Carey here. You may hear her jingling ominously in the distance, but she will not breach this blog. Not on my watch.


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Of course, there were some non-Halloween things that happened this month too.

In London, the team had a night out at Bunker 51, an underground paintball center close to Canary Wharf.

There was a great turnout, and the team painted the town red (and probably lots of other colours).

World Mental Health Day

We celebrated World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October. World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness and driving positive change for everyone’s mental health. It’s also a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to get help if you are struggling. The theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, was ‘Mental health is a universal human right’. 

Click here for more details on World Mental Health Day

As part of the day, we held a lunchtime boxing session at Sloan's Gym in Belfast. Physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, or as I like to call it, "skeletonin".
Boxing was new to most of us but instructor Curtis kept it at a level everyone was comfortable with and we had an amazing time! It was also a lovely, sunny day so the class was on the roof top, which was very cool!


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It's the most important meal of the day! The Belfast HQ had a selection of baps, pastries and fruit in the social area.

Online Daily Move

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A 10 minute online session including light stretching and meditation, to get you in the right headspace and recenter yourself.

Tea & Talk

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Both online and in the office, we got together for a chat over some tasty treats and a cuppa! The chats didn't have to be about mental health, as talking about anything and building relationships is good for your mental health.

Benenden talk - Mental Health in the workplace

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An online talk held by our healthcare provider, Benenden. The session, "The elephant that never left the room". covered dealing with mental health in the workplace. 

Painting with a Pumpkin Twist

To end the day, there was the much anticipated return of paint and prosecco, with a Halloween theme! We got our creative juices flowing, using either pumpkins or canvases as our medium. Painting has proven to help with mental health by providing a creative escape, and it was a great opportunity to hang out and have a laugh after the workday.

Craft Club!

The first crafting club meetup was this month!

Appropriately, we learned how to make crochet pumpkins. It was great fun and as you can see from the results, very successful! Even those amongst us who had never held a crochet hook before, had managed to stuff our pumpkins by Halloween!

Thanks to Sophie Loca for leading, and imparting your crochet wisdom. Our pumpkins would not exist (or at least be a lot more lumpy) without you.

Free Friday (the 13th) Drinks

Our monthly free drinks just happened to fall on Friday 13th this month, and what better way to celebrate such a spooky day than with some free boOoOze?

We gathered in The National's beer garden, under the red-eyed gaze of a particularly unsettling garden gnome.

A few costumes were even donned for the occasion, although disappointingly no Jason masks.


Be not afear'd, the dogs (and also some people) in costumes are here!
Spooks and crawly things! Vamps and beasts with flapping wings!
She's everything but he's just Ken. Who will win the contest with a ten out of ten?

From batdogs to unicorns, our Halloween costume contest had some choice entries this year.

Take a look at the photos and see if you can tell what everyone is meant to be!

Congratulations to Heather and her hotdog Happy for winning the competition!

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Ace and Maisie

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Cara (and Bear)

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Calum (and his plumber)

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Heather (and Happy)

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Polly and Penny

We're on a roll

The Q4 team challenge is bowling!

The software engineering stream in Belfast were quick off the mark, with three separate teams taking the first spots on the leaderboard. Inkeeping with October's theme, their scores were pretty horrifying. You may rightly assume that you'll need to keep watching this space to see who the DI Bowling champions will end up being.

Scores aside, it was a really fun night out filled with competitive spirit, laughs and cocktails!

SE Team 3 (Patrick Farren, Cliona Logue, James O'Brien, Harry Brankin, Tin-Pui Chan) - 390
SE Team 1 (Mark Friel, Mark Salters, Dom Reynolds, Andrew Martin, Jack Lundy) - 364
SE Team 2 (Anna Andrews, Brien Gillen, Fearghall Kelly, Mollie Brown, Germans Zaharovs) - 355

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