YORK - UK Gathering Summer 2015

3 weeks and 2 days to go until the York Gathering. Wow, that's come around quick!

So, what's happening?


So far, I've booked the hotel Lou and I are staying at for the Friday and Saturday night. We plan on driving up to York Friday morning to get there for around lunch time. 

The hotel is called Moorland House, the address is 1A Moorland Road, YorkYO10 4HF. It's not the cheapest option, but it ticked the boxes of it being a smaller hotel (less guests), off the main strip (bit quieter), but still 'walkable' into the City centre (30 mins walk). It's costing us £144 for a double room for 2 nights. There are a lot of options around the £160-£200 mark, and we found hotels/B&B's below £100, but we're happy with this option. 

I was looking into hotel options that were in the City and were bigger so a few of us could stop in the same location, but the cost of some of the hotels was more than I was expecting (although it's in the peak of summer!) and I'm not sure what people are looking for in a hotel or what your budget is. 

Have you booked your hotel or room at your friends/families house?

If you're still searching for Hotel options, be sure to check out Topcashback  or Quidco when you're searching. Some of the hotel options are offering up to 13% cashback if you buy via their website online (That's almost £19 on £144). If you haven't signed up to TCB already, I highly recommend doing so, as I've saved over £1,000 on making purchases like this over the years. 
Here's my referral link if you're interested Topcashback - (I'll receive £7.50 if you sign up via the link). You don't have to use my referral link to sign up. Just sign up to TCB!

Plan for the weekend

Currently I have a loose plan for the weekend. 

We'll arrive Friday lunchtime, and we currently have no plan for the Friday afternoon. I understand that a few people will be arriving on the Friday too. I would like to meet up with you on the Friday afternoon, if you're interested. We can also go out for a meal together in the evening. 

(No offense will be taken to people that want to be by themselves/family on Friday day or evening!)

This is the 'meat and potatoes' of the weekend, and some people might just be stopping by for the Saturday. In SOA in the Spring, we meet up at Carluccios, and ended up staying there for around 4 hours. We drank coffee, got to know each other, and had lunch there. I would like to replicate this portion of the weened, as I felt it went very well and was told the same thing by others.

Regular readers of my Blog will be aware of my now good friend, Richard. He somehow convinced his lovely wife Alison to drive from their home north of York down to SOA for the Spring Gathering. Alison had pre-booked a restaurant for an evening meal for the two of them, and 4 of us gate crashed their booking to join them on the Saturday evening. The food was excellent, and the price was very reasonable. 

Alison and Richard kindly volunteered to review suitable locations for York and Alison has helped us all out by booking a room on the Saturday for 20 people at the Stonegate Yard from noon to 4.15pmIt’s a separate room within a garden courtyard at the Stonegate Yard Bar and Brasserie and the food there comes recommended.

Website - www.stonegateyard.net

Address - 8-10 Stonegate Yard, York. North Yorkshire, YO1 8AX

Alison informs me that it’s a central location and somewhere to kick things off. We can then move on from there depending on who wants to do what before and after. There are loads of places for food, drinks and get together's in the city so I think we’ll be spoilt for choice.

I want to give a Big Thanks to Alison for selecting and booking this location for us. If it's anything like the last one, we'll be in for a treat!

Weenies 'Monkey Stock League Challenge'
If you haven't seen it yet, Weenie at Quietly Saving has announced her 'Monkey Stock League Challenge'. The basic premise is you select 5 stocks to make your portfolio and the person that makes the highest return on capital and dividends wins. 
You can play with real money or have a virtual portfolio (free), and you select 5 stocks blindfolded or you can carefully select them by choice. 

For those of us that are doing the blindfolded route, Weenie will be hosting a live draw for the stocks during the allotted time at the Stonegate Yard between noon and 4.15pm. Check out the link I've provided above to find out more details on it. It should be fun!

Saturday AM?
I haven't penciled anything in for the Saturday morning just yet. I'm not sure how late the Friday evening will be. I don't know what time people get up either. 

Lou and I (especially me) are early risers, so we're likely to be going somewhere on the Saturday morning prior to the meet up. Perhaps one of the parks or a general walk around. This might even be finalised on the Friday evening. If I change my mind and decide to do some specific at a certain time, I'll let you know. 

We're due to vacate our room Sunday morning, but we're planning on staying in York for the Sunday morning at least, perhaps even into the afternoon. Similarly to SOA in the Spring, we'll do some touristy things on the Sunday. We'd like you all to join us if you're interested, and we take no offense to you choosing to go home or do your on thing instead. We'll happily do that stuff on our own, and equally, we'll do it with a bunch of friends too. We don't mind either way! 

I don't want to plan too much right now as so much can change. As I remember in Spring, Saturday was a long, exciting day. As soon as we got back to out hotel room I was absolutely knackered, and it wasn't that late 10.30pm (ish). 

I don't know how Saturday evening will transpire just yet and how that will impact how people feel on the Sunday. You might all hate me when you get to know me! 

I'm going to leave the day nice and open for now and based on what people think on the Saturday, we can put some plans in place then. 

My outcome for the weekend

For those of you that didn't make the last one, I just want to let you know my intention on organising a weekend like this. 

I have found that living frugally, investing, having an interest in Personal Finance, Early Retirement, running side businesses and alike makes me a bit of a weirdo in day to day life. I find myself isolated from the opinion's of others and my interests are very different to most people I come into contact with. 

I wanted to organise these meet ups so I could meet some more weirdo's and I could speak to people about all the stuff I'm interested in (all of the above), and in turn hear someone else talk passionately about the same stuff. 

There won't be any 'pitching' or presentations going on. The key for me is getting like-minded people together in a room to chat, learn, have fun and perhaps make long term friends. 

I invite Bloggers, readers, and anyone else interested in this stuff to come along and meet up with us. 

I have some plans in place, but I don't want to make it too structured. I'm happy to have some structure, but I also want to 'play it by ear' and see how the weekend transpires naturally. 

FFBF40 on YouTube

I previously mentioned that I plan on making a YouTube channel based around my new life leaving my 9-5 job. I'd like it to be a visual representation of how I work my way towards FI. I'd like to link it with the Blog. 

I'm hoping that it will draw more people into what I do as some people just prefer watching something than reading about it. I also think it will make my interaction with my followers more interesting for both of us. It adds variety, and it's a little more personal when you can see and hear someone. 

I plan on bringing a camera with me to film some of the weekend. I'd like to film people having fun..... YOU'D BETTER HAVE FUN!!..... and give a a visual representation to others on what this weekend is about. It would be nice to look back on too (in my opinion). 

I'm considering doing mini-interviews with people on any investing/PF/ER tips, but I'm not sure how open people will be to this. 

I totally respect everyone's privacy, and I will not film or edit anyone on camera that doesn't want to be filmed. It's not that important to me and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. 

If no-one wants to be filmed, than I might just film myself in York, which will be ultra-dull, but I don't mind either way. 

If any of you want to film stuff too, so we can put together a 'Super film', I'm really happy to do that. 

Any thoughts on it being filmed?

Just two more things.... (Columbo didn't say that did he?)

Can I ask you to fill in the comments section the following:

Could I also ask you to email my personal email address - hrdavies82@gmail.com (brave!) - with your contact number and/or email address, and name. I'll email you back with my mobile number so you can contact me to meet up when you're in York. I can then rudely ignore everyone that's talking to me on the day because I obsessively watch my phone for incoming texts and phone calls (like last time!).

Thanks all. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!