On Saturday 3rd January 2015 we held a UK Gathering for people interested in Personal Finance, Financial Independence and Early Retirement.
I received a lot of comments and personal emails from people expressing interest in attending such an event, but for several reasons the one I proposed didn't work for them. I think this was down to people having other Christmas/New Year engagements and the isolated location. The weather didn't help either!
I met a great couple from Warwickshire - Darren and Karen. They were poets and they didn't realise. We ended up spending the next 2+ hours in the Saracens Head, sat next to the wood-burning fire. As we drank our tea and coffee we discussed our views on frugal living, self-sufficiency, early retirement, investing, ongoing projects, Blogging and goals whilst getting to know each other.
It was fantastic!
Darren and I mentioned how refreshing it was to talk to someone about all of this stuff. We are a rare bunch of people (Darren, Karen, me, and all of you other readers and bloggers). We sit in the minority. I don't work with anyone or have any friends that are as passionate about this subject as I am. They understand why I do what I do, but they'd prefer to talk about other things. It was so nice to be able to talk to people who were equally as passionate as I was.
They both share a great love for living this way which is embodied by their VW Camper Van, impressive self sufficient living, side projects and over 80% saving rate! Darren has built a jet engine, he services his own car (and others), he's building a motorised bike (like what was featured on MMM), and he eats noodles every lunch at work. He's planning on creating a Blog this year, which I think would be extremely interesting. When he launches it I'll be sure to let you all know.
Karen has a blog which is based around her passion of letterpress design and printing. She creates beautiful greetings cards, limited edition posters, wedding and personalised stationery. I've linked in her Website and I would suggest checking it out if you like Scandinavian design. She also has a great eye for photography and gets a lot of interest in her Instagram, which you can access on the Website link.
After we shared stories, knowledge and experiences we went for a nice walk next to the river all the way to the rope bridge I pictured in Life On A Bike. After returning from the walk we chatted a little more and then we headed our separate ways.
They traveled all the way down to meet up with me and spend some time with a like-minded person, and I'd like to publicly thank them for doing so!
The gathering was low on numbers, and the weather was pretty poor, but it didn't dampen our spirits. I'm really happy with the experience as a whole and I'm looking forward to meeting them again, and more people, in the upcoming Spring.
Spring 2015 Gathering
There seems to be a lot of interest in the Spring 2015 meet up so far which is really encouraging. We're going to host it in Stratford upon Avon, which will hopefully be a much shorter commute for people around the UK. I'm hoping this will increase the turn out for it.
The date is yet to be confirmed, but I'll be confirming it in the next week once I know what Miss FFBF's plans are at work. I'm aiming for a Saturday in March. I want to give plenty of notice for you all so you can reserve it.
I plan on stopping overnight, which isn't necessary for everyone, but I don't want to feel I have to leave to get back home. If no-one else is stopping over then me and Miss FFBF will amuse ourselves. I'll also suggest a slightly earlier meet up time like 10am to maximise the day too. Not that you have to arrive at that time, but as a guide to kick things off.
I want to keep things relaxed and informal for now. My intention is to get people together so we can meet face to face, talk about our interests and get to know each other more. That's it!
The location is yet to be confirmed, but fortunately Darren was brought up in Stratford and he offered to help me find a suitable spot for us. My plan is to be slightly outside the town centre in a quiet spot, where we can talk and relax. Sound good?
I will continue to update you all when I know more.
Have a great 2015 everyone, and I look forward to meeting you in the Spring!
Labels: UK Gathering