Reasons Why I’m Not Missing LRP – #3+#4… Travelling and Cost
It’s a twofer!
I deliberated about these two reasons for a while and whilst both of them have very distinct points of their own, I decided they should be blogged about together. One bleeds into the other. It’s all cool.
Anyway. Back to it.
As some of you may be aware, if Great Britain was taken as the shape of a human body standing sideways (where northern Scotland is the head and Land’s End is the tippy toes), I’m roughly in its armpit. (I pity East Anglia, quite frankly). I live in a former coal mining village in County Durham which whilst it has many salient points is also poorly placed for most LRP events.
Given that I’m really used to the one system, I will focus on their choices – and as a caveat… I am well aware that there are certain requirements and restrictions that necessitate such choices, and I know that may not necessarily be the company’s fault. But for this year certainly it’s factored heavily into my decision to take a year out.
The system I’ve been playing for the past ten years has traditionally had four main events. The first of these was always in Wigan, the second in Staffordshire, the third in Bristol and the fourth was, up until very recently, in Hertfordshire. Then it shifted to Bristol for a year, then went to a different site Down South.
Let me calculate for you the sum of mileage it would be for me to have attended all events this year. The first one was down south, the second one was in Staffordshire, the third in Bristol and the fourth down south.
That comes to a staggering 1,800 miles. Just to go to LRP and back. That is a metric fucktonne (recognised unit of LRP measurement) of petrol costs. I only have a 1.2L Ford Fiesta. It will do approximately 350 miles to a full tank, which at the current petrol price is £60. That’s £300 worth of petrol (approximately). Add to that the actual cost of the events for two of us (for 2011, this would be £420), and we’re veering into the Lots of Money arena. That’s before food and kit is taken into account. So for the two of us to attend LRP – for FOUR events – in 2011 would have set us back over £1,000. OK – so you don’t have to up-front all this cash in one lump sum, I hear you cry. It’s only £83 a month to save!
Jesus Christ on a motorbike, I wish I hadn’t actually worked that out. £10k I’ve spent on this hobby – probably more – in the last ten years!!! *swoon*
Sorry, but I actually don’t HAVE a spare £83 a month. I don’t earn great money and neither does the Chimp. We have Small Son, a mortgage, bills and increasing transport costs to pay. We don’t get to do ‘luxuries’ outside of Sky TV and the internet at the moment. Now, I know that there are people who come from much further north than I do – one fella I know goes to EVERY event and he lives in Fort William. It also appears that he’s either not short of a penny or two or he doesn’t spend his money on anything else. All credit to him. Perhaps he has one of these in his garden.
(Just as an additional point of note… given that the three events down south are approximately 5 hours each way and Staffs is 3 hours, that’s also 36 hours of driving time that I don’t get to share with anybody as the Chimp doesn’t drive).
Wigan used to be brilliant for us. It was about a two hour drive. Leek is closer. But they are no longer using the Wigan. Now three out of four events are Down South and the appeal of driving (for Bristol, which is the furthest away) for nearly six hours for what equates to a day and a half of time in? No. Not appealling. If they were longer events, then perhaps the appeal might be greater. But for a Friday to Sunday event? I spend more time in the car or putting up the fething tent (see Reason #1 – Camping) than I do enjoying myself.
And oh. The cost of LRP gear. Swords, armour, Random Item That The Chimp Really Must Have Because It Adds Authenticity To His Character… neither of us can make our own gear. We don’t have the expertise, space or patience to do it. So we have to pay for the honour. And it doesn’t come cheap. Not at all.
In a recession, which apparently we’re in the grip of, something has to give. We haven’t had a holiday since we had our honeymoon weekend in Rome in 2007. Because we’re spending that money on four weekends, only two of which are even LONG weekends. I’ve noticed that we also haven’t seen our old friend Mr. Overdraft since we stopped going. This is also superb.
This major gripe and what I consider pretty solid reason for Not Missing LRP has been brought to you today by the letters ‘F’ and ‘U’ and the number ’69’.