Nottingham “Pirates Vs Robin Hood” Rally [not quite]

Not in Nottingham.

I should be just north of Nottingham right now on the Walesby Forest campsite, most likely prancing around with a bunch of Men in Tights for the Pirates of The Caribbean vs. Robin Hood Men in Tights SSAGO Rally.
But due to a automobile mechanical problem I have been unable to make it there. Don’t know exactly what it is yet but my best guess is that I’ve blown a gasket in the engine of my car.

Continue reading Nottingham “Pirates Vs Robin Hood” Rally [not quite]

Scout Network Gathering 2006

My 4th Network Gathering, despite knowing for months that I would be going in one form or another at the last minute I organised a lift with Jon saving myself and SSAGO some dosh by not having to be reimbursed for travel expenses.

The Milton Keynes vanguard managed to secure the spot we had last year, up the hill behind the Bield and left towards the pond. Gorgeous spot, its secluded enough that we can do what we want without judging eyes but easy enough to get to if you’re walking stumbling around the site.

Setting up site was interesting, being that last to arrive ( semi my fault, stupid job not paying me ) it wasn’t possible to decide how to arrange the site so I got stuck on a little mound overlooking the site, proved to be a bonus in the end! Getting the canapé up was a giggle as you can see from the photos, Kelly was up a tree! It was worth it though when the heavens splattered us the next day.

Despite travelling there with SSAGO I spent most of my day with Network:MK as they were feeding me, however there were times I wish I had been with the new Exec as I there are few opportunities that I can get in with their clique, I’m not the only one that find it like that and it certainly doesn’t help with teamwork!

First to get up in the morning so I broke out the ol’ frying pan and started on the sausages I think it was the smell that quickly rallied everyone else up, apart from Adam which completely through me since he was turning down food.

Spending the afternoon in Windermere was relaxing, getting some Fish’n’chips, playing some Frisbee getting accosted by little children with water pistols…all good. Evening was fantastic, same band was in as last year and they obviously got their set down for their intended audience. We even surprised them as they have never had a gig finish off ‘I’m a believer’. I managed to meet/get to know a few people a bit better ‘little Sarah’ I’ve met her before on a couple of SSAGO adventures but never really gotten to know her Gathering certainly helped, and having her around didn’t hurt as I got introduced to Jenny but thats a whole other story that I don’t see fit to mention on a public blog.

Saturday also saw the first SSAGO Exec 06-07 meeting, lasted about an hour. Mostly seemed a bit daft as it was all about us and what we were going to do, there are lots of things that I need to do but all I can do its sum it up in a few lines because none of them seem to care or even understand how much there is that I have to do.

Missed the ‘It’s a Knockout Rubber Duck Challenge Thingy’ again last year everyone slept in this year there just wasn’t any interest. Afternoon led quickly to evening and the Karaoke, Div and Kelly got their ‘Dead or Alive’ on, calming the mood of the night but not extinguishing it due to their reasonable rendition.

Stayed in late on Monday aswell, so much so that I was the last to rise ( although it wasn’t like I didn’t keep getting distracted ) my punishment was doing the washing up for everyone but I had only done it once at this point so I’d say that was fair.

There you have it some random points of Network Gathering 2006, be there next year!

Monopoly Run 2006

So I’ve just spent the weekend as a part of the ‘Fellowship of the Hat’ attending the GLNE Monopoly Run for 2006. This was, to put it mildly, a small adventure in the capital of our Glorious Country and a prelude to my Birthday this week.

We visited all the streets and stations on the board along with the Electricity Company, Water Works and Jail for a total of 29 places.

One assumes there would be a bonus for finding a Chance, Community Chest, Go! and the most Humorous Free Parking (its very hard to find such a place in London but with the Tupe [aka Subway to the USA] and the the infamous London buses who would want to drive?)

The contest was to visit all the locations and take a picture of your team with today’s newspaper, the chosen one was the ‘Daily Mail’ which isn’t my favourite but what you going to do?
The pictures had to be taken at specific location along each of the streets which makes it a little time consuming for those that know where all the streets are but they won’t know where an exact pub, cafe or shop is on the street.

The event is timed and you received time additions and reductions depending on the number of places you missed and the number of trivia questions you answered correctly, respectively.

The event was planed for 300 people but somewhere close to 1000 attended so the planed logistics couldn’t cope with the extra cooking and winning conditions so some cutbacks were made, mostly in the culinary department which is most frustrating considering the temps were at -1,0,+1 degrees C for the weekend.

Of the 29 locations we visited 23 in around 8 hours this included stopping for an hour for a proper sit down meal in a restaurant on Leicester Square, specifically it was Galdafy’s. I tell you it was interesting walking in wearing hiking boots and slightly mud dried trousers (from being on a muddy campsite).

So what really made it for me? I guess it was seeing so many people so soon after the last event even though I didn’t get to spend half as much time with them as I would’ve liked. I would’ve been more than happy to stay up late but when the temperature that low and campfires aren’t allowed I’d rather be in bed.

Thank You Hobbits for the Early Birthday Present, seriously its Ace. Probably be listening to it all week!

All in all it was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Birmingham “Chocolate” SSAGO Rally

Thursday 18th

Apart from a rather disheartening phone call I had a fantastic stay in Birmingham, Went up on Wednesday to visit my old school chum Div. After driving flawlessly for ±90 miles I counted up the road to Div’s house number and somehow it jumps from 60 to 125 right house number after 30 mins of searching I found the right number yet I kid you not I was still 100m off; I was on the wrong road!! So we then went to the pub for drinks.

Friday 19th

Friday was spent checking out the University of Birmingham Student Guild Newspaper, the Red Brick had me a lovely chat for about an hour with tea and coffee. Overall they were greatly impressed with our Business cards and Magazine, neither of which they have but I was impressed at how good their paper looked even when the majority of the page was text.

At night SSAGO Rally commenced the usual meet and greets was unusual to be there so early considering the last rally I arrived at around 3am on a Saturday morning.

Saturday 20th

A difficult wake-up and an uncomfortable get-up. I’ve been cold before but this was shiver city, seriously, last February Rally I camped on snow and that was warmer.

Greatly planed rally with the Reps Meeting beginning at a relaxing 10am. This I thought gave me enough time to get a shower in after flag break. I tell you these showers were my ultimate test of manhood; I had to first rout the water to my shower then when I did it was warm so I striped and jumped into ICE WATER! Considering I was now wet I thought I’d finish so I at least smelt better. Certainly interesting turning upto a Rep Meet with a towel and wet hair.

Then it was a quick rush to get myself sorted for CADBURY’S WORLD! It was great fun getting there, bobbing up and down in the minibus, chatting away, then touring the place with the ‘leaders’ picking up chocolate to share out at the end.

I didn’t really do much at the Ceilidh mostly spent my time in the chillin’ tent chatting to the current exec

Sunday 21st

Today was the culmination of a lot of work and preparation running for the SSAGO Publicity Officer 2006-7 position, it was myself versus RON and I won with only a small percentage wanting nominations reopened. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the result as there was some controversy surround one of the victorious parties and other is doing it for the fame and not because they want to or can do. I’ve just been elected into a year that in all likeliness will not be as productive as I want because I’m going to be frequently out voted by a minority before we get to the majority. Stupid maximum term limitations.

Trip home was easy, had along a passenger too, Colin, was good to be able to have someone to chat to but my throat decided to swell up but luckily I’d though ahead and had some paracetamol nearby.