The Second Job

After finally recovering from our BBQ it was time to get back to work, not just to our day jobs but to what is fast becoming a part time job for us… organising this bloody adventure. We don’t like planning, that’s why we’re Plan F, but it seems that if you want to raise any money whatsoever you have to put some serious hard yards in… that involves planning and organisation, not normally our forte!

Although it may be something we try to avoid like the plague we’ve discovered in the last few months that we’re actually pretty good at planning. We managed to pull off our all-you-can-eat BBQ without losing money, design and made this fantasmical website and we wrote to a whole heap of businesses in hope of sponsorship. Even though all that had been done and was a big success, we still seem to have an ever increasing ‘To Do’ list. We still had to try to get more sponsorship, get all our injections sorted out, buy more kit, speak to Robert at the Tithe Barn about arranging a Race Night, write more letters, sort out team t-shirts… the list goes on.

The good news is that this list is finally starting to get shorter, both Al and I have had most of our injections. The Race Night is set for the 18th August at the Tithe, we’ve got our ‘Sausage Fest’ on the 13th, been into the local paper the Garstang Courier and the team t-shirts have been ordered.

The last week has seen the charity pot get a big boost, in the last week, two local businesses, Mobility Smart and Graham Heathcoate Hair Studio in Garstang have stumped up some serious cash to support us in this ridiculous quest to cross Peru in a Mototaxi. The Plan F Pub Quiz Challenge is still going strong and having not won anything last week we’ve come back stronger than ever with two wins, bagging ourselves £20 and 3 bottles of wine! Today I went down to the local Galloways Blind Club to give a talk on our adventures in India and the kind folk down there donated a further £20 to the cause on the proviso that we went back in November to talk about the Junket.

We’ve still got quite a lot of important stuff on our list though like; buy maps, learn how to fix a motorbike, oh and learn some Spanish! So, yes, there is a lot of important stuff to do yet, but we’ve still got 4 weeks to do all that in which is plenty of time, isn’t it?

All You Can Eat Meat!

The day had arrived it was time to test our business skills out, would we make a profit or would the BBQ be an epic failure and end up costing us money? We’d woken up to sunshine, it was 25 degrees the sun was shining, it seemed like the big man had listened to our requests. We spent the day converting Al’s garage into a bar, knocking up a small shelter and prepping the food. The garden looked great, the garage looked even better, we had somehow managed to turn a completely standard garage into a bar come cinema come dance floor. We had a projector showing photos from previous Plan F Adventures, music, fridges full of beer and wine and had cleared enough room for some dancing should it get a little crazy later on.

Pleased with all our hard work Al, Will, Brenda and I sat back and enjoyed a cold beer in the sunshine and waited for 5pm. We’d been checking the weather forecast and the MET Office were now reliably informing us that we were likely to have a heavy rain shower at 9pm and that it would then rain for a week, great! As 5pm drew ever closer, so did the big black rain clouds and at almost 5 o’clock on the dot the cloud burst right over the Plan F BBQ. Marvellous, just as we were expecting people to finish work and come down it started hammering it down. Everything was promptly moved into the garage and there stood myself, Al and Will waiting for some customers. Not put off by rain, like true Brits, amazingly a few people arrived in raincoats and under umbrellas and we lit the BBQ and thought, balls to it… party on!

A few gentle reminders on Facebook and Twitter and we were pushing 15 guests, not bad considering the rain, but nowhere near the 40 we’d hoped for and budgeted for. It wasn’t looking great. Deciding that we’d obviously have enough wine, Al and I hit the beers and it wasn’t long before the party really got going. We exited the garage and huddled in an old tent before Chappers and myself dug out a ridiculously large tarp from my car and from a few bits of rope and a couple of garden canes constructed what is now known as the Plan F-stival Tent. Chappers and I, extremely satisfied with our handy work posted a photo on Facebook and within the hour we had 35 guests all huddled under the Plan F-stival Tent filling their faces for charity. Whilst everyone was having a good time keeping dry Chief Meat Tosser Will was putting in a sterling performance barbequing in the pouring rain and keeping people happy. Al even started doing table service for drinks so no one had to get wet and I was working on the bar, seemingly keeping the crumblie’s VERY happy as they were the first ones to crank up the tunes and start throwing some shapes!

Not ones to miss out on some shape throwing it wasn’t long before Al and I joined in and from that point onwards it was all a bit of a blur. As we approached the small hours people started to leave, some people even came back, didn’t they Chappers? The last thing I remember was being sat around the fire pit at 4:30am singing songs and drinking cocktails that Brenda had knocked up having called them Machu Picchu and Aunt Lucy! Needless to say we had a good night. Despite the rain we had a fantastic turn out and Al and I cannot thank the people that came enough. At one point we really thought it could turn into an epic failure, but you guys made it a great night and better still after taking all the costs into consideration we made over £200 profit for Marie Curie… Alan Sugar would have hired the pair of us!
Better still we have 60 sausages and 60 buns and a boat load of booze left and so have decided to host another BBQ event, ‘Plan F’s Sausage Fest’. There are too many possible innuendos to write them all on here so I shall leave that up to you…


The Apprentice

This past few weeks has been like an episode of The Apprentice for us, only without Alan Sugar peering over our shoulder. We’ve been talking about products, staffing, overheads, advertising, sales and most importantly profit margins!

We’d set ourselves the task of organising and hosting the mother of all BBQ’s to raise us some serious cash for Marie Curie. Not being the ‘planning’ type we thought we’d just freestyle it, after all that is what the ‘F’ stands for! It didn’t take long for us to realise that this attitude was more than likely to lose us money and not raise any money for our charity. And so, the Plan F boys gathered in the Boardroom (pub) and had a brainstorming session on how best to tackle this challenge and to attempt to figure out some of the details. First things first, we needed a venue.. easy, Hempton Towers was plenty suitable and we have had many an impromptu BBQ there in the past. Next up was possibly the most important, produce.

We needed meat, lots of meat… a whole truck full of meat, because in our infinite wisdom we had decided that in order to make this successful we would have to offer All-You-Can-Eat for somewhere in the region of five of our friends hard earned English pounds! Having honed his skills in the markets of South East Asia and India Al went down to Scott’s Butchers in the Market House, Garstang and explained what we were doing whilst whipping out some grade A negotiating skills and low and behold walked away with a bloody good deal on said truck load of meat, and so Plan F’s All-You-Can-Eat BBQ was formed!

Having worked out our overheads on our booze and meat, we did the sums and worked out that if we could get 40 people to attend at a fiver ahead for the food and drink a couple of beers at a quid a can, then we would turn a small profit. The profit margin was slim, but it was a profit! I cracked on with the advertising and before we knew it we had about 20 confirmed guests on Facebook and a few more ‘crumblies’ who had confirmed by carrier pigeon. Things were looking good, Will had kindly offered to be ‘chief meat tosser’ and so we seemed to be all set, just had to pay a quick visit to the supermarket and then it was game on….
So, off to ASDA we went in search of all the bare essentials like plastic cups and paper plates, not forgetting the essential wine for the ladies. We’d been in ASDA half an hour and still couldn’t make a decision, Plan F were getting stressed… Al wanted to spend £40 on wine, I wanted to spend £20 neither of us knew how much to buy and we were conscious that if we spent more money we’d need to make more money and with the weather forecasting rain we were unsure who would still turn up if it was a wash out. In the end a decision was made and we decided to just spend £20 and see how we went on. We both took the very sensible decision that we wouldn’t drink at first in case we needed to go on a booze run… most unlike us, we know!

It had been warm and sunny all week with temperatures in the mid 20’s, the weather forecast was still changing hourly, would it hold out for us? We looked at the sky, told the big man upstairs that this was for charity and asked that he would sort us out with some sunshine for tomorrow then called it an night

Quizzy Rascals

Plan F have been working diligently under a number of different pseudonyms recently in their quest to win as many of the local pub quizzes top prizes as possible.

As most of Plan F’s stories start, we were in the pub one evening when we realised that between us we formed a pretty mean quiz team and that if we combined our knowledge with that of some of our friends and family, we could surely conquer the pub quiz circuit. That said, we had been attending the Tithe Barn pub quiz for weeks and as yet had not won it once!

Nevertheless we paid our entry fee and Al, Brenda (Al’s mum) and I set forth on the first of our ‘Pub Quiz Challenges’. Come the half way point when they read out the scores, we were losing… massively. However, it turned out that we weren’t in last place at all the Quizmaster had just not written our score down! Come the end of the quiz we were quietly confident… and rightly so, we won! Excellent that was £16 straight into the pot… time for the next one.

The following evening I went to the Shovels pub with Warren and Gill (my mum) we frequently form a pub quiz team and regularly win something… quietly confident again… and again, rightly so! Quiz number 2 won and 3 bottles of wine for a future raffle.

Like Take That, only with a shorter gap in-between, Plan F re-formed in the Tithe Barn on Tuesday to defend their title as pub quiz champions only this time without Brenda, but with Will, Joe and Sarah. Dropping only 5 marks in the whole quiz, we were back at the top and won yet again… another £18 in the pot.

The following evening Plan F returned with Warren and Gill to the Shovels to see if they could retain the crown there and win yet another prize. An extremely tough quiz got us thinking we hadn’t got a chance, but with some very intelligent guess work we reigned victorious once again, this time with a £10 food voucher.

Four out of four quizzes and we’re going strong, so we thought we’d turn our hand to a game of Play Your Cards Right. First ticket drawn out… one of Plan F’s, It seemed like lady luck was on our side. However having drawn the same cards 3 times and won two coin tosses we were down to the last card and it looked like the £110 jackpot was ours… heads or tails… tails, it never fails, right?… wrong, it does fail, we were out. Gutted!

Having had their ticket pulled out, another team said that if they won it they would donate the money to charity so we were naturally cheering them on. They got to the final card, they had a three… they went higher, as you would, what comes out? A bloody two! We missed out on it twice. Words cannot describe how gutted we were to have come so close to a £110 boost to the funds and yet miss out at the last moment… twice! C’est la vie I guess, we’re still on a 100% success rate with the quizzes so here’s hoping we can continue to keep winning those.

Total to date: £34, 3 bottles of wine and a £10 food voucher.

That’s all for now.