Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. I think that’s what they say, whoever “they” are. Or maybe I just saw it on a motivational cat poster or something, it’s largely inconsequential. We weren’t going to fall into this trap and so I gathered my team together in mid March for a “top level planning meeting”. At least that’s what I told my wife. If you are envisaging a big map table, and people with headsets pushing things around on it like the ops room in a Second World War movie, perhaps speaking in received pronunciation and maybe actually existing only in black and white, then you would be wrong.
I mean, that’s how I saw it in my head too, but the reality was much more mundane, if more useful, and involved middle aged men humorously insulting each other, beer, a takeaway curry and the Six Nations Rugby. It did, I concede also involve a couple of maps and a laptop or two.
At the end of the session though a “Grand Plan” had emerged. Not just any plan mind; A “Grand Plan”. If it had taken place like in my imagination on a large map table, then pieces representing me and my four schoolfriends who make up the rest of my team would move thus:
Chris: codename Wattsy/Mega/other nicknames too rude to mention would infiltrate the Lake District a day early from the North having been on a mission in Scotland (or on holiday with his parents as his cover story will say). He would find provisions, set up base camp and ready sustenance in preparation for the arrival of Bravo Team.
Alex: codename Baker would arrive by train on Thursday Evening in Penrith having pretended to work on the train whilst actually probably sleeping.
Neil: codename Street-Talker is such an international man of mystery he won’t reveal even to his oldest friends and fellow team mates where he will be on the Thursday, but he might be organising a global sports day in Birmingham, in which case he would also arrive by train.
Leaving Lee: codename LPMcE and me Glorious Team "Leader" to drive up from the London area. This is just as well as Lee and I have the best taste in music so in the absence of the others it will be tune central on the way up.
Once we had rendezvoused at the safe house cottage we would carbo load then lie low possibly in a hot tub with a beer, but I’m not sure how you represent that on a map table.
We’d also planned our route and discussed whether we should take physics text books for a repeat game of “physics book cricket” that we engaged in once or twice at school (much to the detriment of our text books, and probably our A level physics grades for that matter) but decided against it.
And what of that route I hear you ask?..........No? Nobody was going to ask? Well like all military style operations, I’m afraid that’s classified, but if you come back another time, I might leak that info. If somebody asks nicely whilst sponsoring us all at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lakeland20 I’ll definitely leak that info and more 😉