Archive for the 'Promise Auction' Category

Extravagant Almost-Seasonal Pizza

Last night we were scheduled to do our own version of Take on the Take-away (which we’ve done before) but decided that instead we’d drop the take-away bit, and just have a team pizza-making challenge.  Bases would be provided and each team was given a budget of £7 with which to buy toppings during a 40 minute visit to Tesco, before returning to the Church and having a further 30 minutes to produce their pizza and get it in the oven.

The shopping was competitive and secretive from the start as each team tried to keep their ingredients a secret from the other.  In my opinion the best part of the shopping was the interaction with the lady on the check-out when we tried to buy just three brussell sprouts with a total cost of 9p but with only 8p remaining in the budget, which led to to now immortal line: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford that – can I please put one back’.  It made the otherwise miserable Tesco employee smile a little.

On our return from Tesco we made our way to two separate areas for the pizza preparation, watched eagerly by Steph and Yolanda, the two judges.  There was much chopping, frying, spreading, tasting, and laughter, before the finished items were ready to go into the oven.  During the cooking we cracked on with eating the remaining ingredients, and tidying up, before heading into the kitchen for the big reveal.

JudgmentOne team had decided to complete their pizza in quarters, with a different theme of topping in each.  They included the ‘student special’ (spam and baked beans), ‘fuity meaty’ (kiwi on ham), ‘poulet et poivrons’ (chicken and peppers) and the extravagant and yet topical ‘credit crunch’ (caviar and sprouts).  The other team decided on an almost-seasonal pizza stacked high with Christmas lunch goodness, including: turkey, bacon, stuffing, sprouts, carrot and a ring of cranberry sauce around the crust.

JudgmentObviously those sound a little ‘out there’ but they were each delicious in their own way.  The Christmas meal was delicious in a comfortable, obvious kind of way (but delicious none the less), and the quatered pizza was (mostly) delicious in an adventurous kind of way.  We each tasted our own and the others’ pizza and made a few constructive criticisms on how it could be improved.  The judges judged that the Christmas pizza tasted best, but that the ‘quartet’ team scored higher on team-work and presentation, with the Christmas pizza winning overall.  Congratulations – and thanks for sharing the chocolate treat.

We must mention Steph’s adventure with the garlic bread tray, which burnt her hand and was subsequently thrown onto a plastic wrapper which promptly melted to the tray.  However, there are no life-threatening injuries, and the acrid smoke created by cooking the plastic with the garlic bread didn’t kill anyone or affect the taste.  This morning after a bucket of Cif, two wire-wool scourers and immeasurable human effort, the tray is now the cleanest it’s been in 20 years and currently in the oven again serving the lunch club cooks.

The Amicus gallery has been updated with a bunch on photos from the evening’s activities which will give you a visual flavour of the evening, if not an actual one.

Dancing NicciThis week’s quote of the week doesn’t come from Amicus for a change, but was good enough that I thought I’d share it here:

a: “Did you just fart while you were talking to me?”
b: “Yep.”
a: “You didn’t even pause!”
b: “Yes, I know how to multi-task.”
– Source: AuntMarvel on Twitter

As this week is half-term, we got together early on Monday morning for an Ikea Breakfast.  We had a good turn-out but we could still do better.  We’ll have another during the end of term break – check the diary nearer the time for details.  Following a second/third round of drinks at Ikea we headed off to Lynn Gibbs’ house to fulfil our second Promise Auction gardening promise.  Everyone worked really well together with minimal guidance and supervision, and Lynn was delighted with the outcome.  Thanks to all who took part!

Finally, the picture of Nicci ‘dancing’ was taken during a visit this week to see Alex Bradley in Southampton.

Next Week: Film Making – Part Two

I Have Cookies; Yummy Cookies

Partly inspired by the video we made for the Promise Auction, this week’s activity was “Filming – Part One” – generating ideas for our next video project. Without giving too much away, we watched a few music videos, some comedy sketches, some random YouTube videos and brainstormed a few ideas. We’ve settled on the big idea for our next video, now all we have to do is execute it. We’ll make a start in two week’s time, but may need a couple more sessions.  Sorry – but we can’t share much more than that for now.  Instead, here’s a video to keep you going:

For devotions we contrasted the following two articles.  Please take a moment to read and consider them both:

Don’t forget to take a look at the update from our trip to Thorpe Park at the weekend.

Half Term Treats

Ikea Breakfast – we will be meeting at Ikea on Monday at 9:30am for breakfast (just 95p) and fellowship (free!).  Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll text you a reminder on Sunday night.  Also, let me know by Sunday lunchtime if you need a lift…

Promise Auction Gardening – following the Ikea Breakfast we’ll be heading to Lynn Gibb’s house to do a couple of hours work on her garden for the additional Promise Auction lot.

Next Week: Take on the Take-Away

Cranberry Sauce & Piccalilli

There’s been a sense of deja-vu at Amicus recently, and this week repeated the recent photo scavenger hunt but with a slight twist.  Instead of each team having the same list of items to represent in photographs, they each had to define a list for another team.  I only have one set of photos from the evening but it should give you a sense of the nature of items which were selected.  The lists included some easy and some frankly bizarre items:

  • Blind man who has lost his dog
  • Ring of Fire
  • Owls
  • Stretch Armstrong
  • Chicken Liver Pate
  • UFO
  • Black Cab
  • Sheep
  • Time
  • “Can we eat this?”
  • Monkey
  • Bible Story
  • Secret Place

Late Update: After the scavenger hunt we miraculously beat our Volleyball Keppy Uppy record with a new high of 59!

Lost Property: we don’t often have lots of items of lost property left behind after Amicus, but this week there was a rift in the universe and everyone seemed to leave everything at once, from a Camp Consent Form (tut tut) and BB Gazette to a USB Remote Control thingy, and a pair of old trainers with a Parmesan tang.  Perhaps the oddest items, and still unclaimed, are an opened jar of Cranberry Sauce and one of Piccalilli.  If they are yours, please let me know.

Tree-Top Walk: on Monday night we’ll be joining with the Newport Pagnell Amicus group for the tree-top walk at Salcey Forest.  Meet at Water Eaton Church Centre at 7:20 and then we’ll be heading over to Lovat Hall then on to Salcey Forest.  Dress appropriately for the weather…

Next Week: it’s that time of year again where things are starting to wind down and we’ve almost reached the end of the Amicus session.  We’ll be celebrating in the same way we did last year with a bring-and-share buffet and console games (hopefully with the projector this time!).  Bring along some snacks & nibbles, drinks or cakes (homemade if possible).  We expect to be able to hand out Amicus Hoodies on the evening too.  Don’t forget that this will be the last opportunity for you to return your completed Camp Consent Form – also, please ensure you show the Camp letter to your parents.

Brute Force: On Saturday 19th July we will be honouring the promise we made at the Promise Auction to do a semi-skilled make-over on the Dungate’s garden.  We will start at 10:30 (not too early for a Saturday) and likely continue until about 4-5pm.  Lunch and refreshments provided by Lesley – we need to provide willing manpower.  The plan is that we will be involved in some cutting back, lopping, digging, pulling up and laying down.  I have no idea what those words mean, but I’m sure we’ll be able to work it out together.  Dress appropriately for the weather and activity and if you have any of the following equipment, please bring it with you:

  • fork, spade, trowel
  • shears, loppers, secateurs
  • stepladder

Park Life – Second Installment

Although the weather wasn’t quite as good as the previous week, being British, we decided to make the most of the fact that it wasn’t raining and headed out to the park again.  We did the same activities as last week, and it was good fun by very much the same – until…

…Simon pulled up during the game of Ultimate Frisbee, turned white as a sheet (in fact, as yellow as his t-shirt) and was unable to continue.  Nick L. made a mercy dash to the Seller’s house to get a drink to help Simon recover and we didn’t think too much more of it, until…

…Jane was seen wandering over the horizon with her hands full of bags of supplies and a kettle of hot water; when she arrived at the footie court she proceeded to serve everyone with hot chocolate, tea, coffee and biscuits.  What a legend!!  We’ll be sure to let her know about all our excursions in future, and she’s more than welcome to join us.

Bin Laden\'s HatQuote of the evening (if not the year!) [click image for full size version]:

“Do you mind?! I’m reading Bin Laden’s hat!” – Matt Dungate

Notice: still waiting on a number of people to pay their membership fee – you know who you are!

‘Nuvva Notice: Hoodies have been ordered and should be here by Camp – if you’ve missed out, meh, you had your chance!

Dates for Your Diary*:

  • Tree-Top WalkMonday 14th July – we will be joining Newport Pagnell Amicus at Salcey Forest to enjoy the tree-top walk.  Meet at the Church at 7:20 prompt!
  • End of Year PartyWednesday 16th July – join us at the Church for the last Amicus evening of the session – it will be a bring and share tea party and might even involve some Wii Sports.
  • Brute ForceSaturday 19th July – we’ll be spending most of the day at the Dungate’s making good on our Promise Auction promise to make-over their garden – we need all hands on deck please.

Next week: bring your digital cameras with you and waterproof clothes and we’ll be heading out for a variation of the Photographic Scavenger Hunt.  There will be a wet-weather plan in case the weather really is too bad.

* if you don’t own a diary, you should, it makes for much less annoyance and disappointment all round

Sweaty Hugs All Round

After a short time to recover from the events of the weekend, we spent most of our time this week reviewing the success of the Promise Auction. We celebrated what we did well, and discussed what we didn’t do so well and suggested improvements ready to make next year’s event even better (oh yes, expect another!). A full report of the Promise Auction is now online for your enjoyment. Our highlights included Steph and James performing their duet, and the final total of £1200!

Random quote of the evening:

I go to sleep listening to Harry Potter – because I’m cool” – Sarah Putman

There wasn’t much else to report really as we didn’t even attempt to beat our current Volleyball Keepy Uppy record – preferring instead a mad, seemingly chocolate-fulled game of Unihoc. One or two people had to be warned about their over exuberant activity, and one person bowed out early after a particularly “enthusiastic” swipe (hope the bruises aren’t too bad Steph!).

Did any of you get caught out by any April Fools jokes this year? I know someone who was fooled by both the Flying Penguins and the Ice-Skating Greyhounds – yes it was early in the morning, but there’s really no excuse Tracy. And what about this prank – do you think the Cope’s would’ve been fooled by Laura‘s attempt? If you’re interested or looking for ideas for next year, find out what everyone else got up to this year.

The following all happened on April 1st:

  • 1891 – Wrigley Company founded
  • 1929 – Yo-yo invented
  • 1976 – Apple Computers formed
  • 1999 – UK Government introduced the Minimum Wage
    • although, of course, there is a special lower rate for young people (18-21) and a further lower rate for under 18s, making the use of the word “minimum” redundant and pointless
  • 2004 – Google launched Gmail

The evening ended with sweaty hugs all round as we said goodbye to another batch of Uni bods, and those who are off to Spring Harvest.

Next Week: as there are lots of people away at Spring Harvest next week we decided that the small group which is left will go Ten Pin Bowling at Mega Bowl. Please make sure you let me know by Sunday night if you’re coming and I’ll book a lane or two and organise transport.

End of Term Breakfast: Ikea – Tuesday 15th April – 9:30am – let me know if you need a lift.

Promise Auction Success

Promises, PromisesWow what a night!

Saturday 29th March was the day of the Promise Auction which had been organised by the Amicus group members to raise funds for the 1st Bletchley BB Company. It took three months to plan, one day for the final preparations and one evening to execute. To find out exactly what we got up to and how much we raised, read on…

The Amicus group gathered at the Church Centre at 9am on the morning of the Promise Auction with a long to-do list which included: setting up lights, sound and vision equipment, decorating the hall and dressing the tables, making the bidding cards, finalising the processes, and drinking coffee! After an enforced break for lunch we returned at about 4pm to complete the tasks and make sure everyone knew their role and what was happening. With just three hours to go the priority was putting everything in the right place and ensuring that any rubbish was cleared up, and of course rehearsing the entertainment. The refreshments arrived and were arranged in the kitchen, then we had time for a quick briefing and time to anyone wishing to bid to pre-register. Before we knew it the time was 6:40pm and our guests started arriving.

The welcome team leapt into action and made everyone feel, erm, welcome before directing them to the registration table. Once registered everyone found their seats and started to settle in before being served by the waiters. A little after 7pm, with people still arriving, we made a start. Everyone was formally welcomed and instructed as to how the evening would work, before the auctioneer for the evening was introduced and things really started to hot up.

From the start of the evening the bidding was moving at a surprising pace, and we’re pleased to say that the prices kept up with it. Each lot was presented by the auctioneer and on the screen as the bidding got under way, with most being hotly fought over. As expected, Lot 105 for Nudrat’s home-made muffins went down a storm.

The evening was divided into three auction sections and breaks between them for fellowship, “comfort” and refreshments. At the end of each break we drew everyone back together again with a number of entertainment slots introduced by Flic. The first break included Steph singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” (see the link?) with Simon accompanying her on the ukulele. The second item was the world premiere of the Amicus movie – more on that later. The final item of entertainment before we returned was James singing “Hero” with the backing of Simon, Chris and Graham.

The second part of the auction was the longest and featured 17 lots. The apetite for bidding hadn’t been quenched and a number of bidding wars broke out – but thankfully they were good-natured and smiles remained on faces throughout. A number of people who were unable to make it to the event sent donations, and others sent money and specific instructions for what to bid on, so we had a number of Amicus members working as Proxy bidders for the night. Perhaps next year we’ll also organise telephone voting and live website updates.

The second break included the option of dessert and hot drinks, which were absolutely wolfed down, even before the Amicus members could get their hands on any (a politically difficult time in the evening). But tempers were calmed with the return of the entertainment, which included another viewing of the Amicus Movie and a duet from James and Steph (accompanied by Colin Bradley) singing “All For The Best” from Godspell which received a well deserved standing ovation. Before the final section of the auction started again we revealed the already impressive running total of £492.

Part three started back and featured a variety of different lots from cakes to cards and mastermind to make-over (see catalogue for full details) and included two further surprise lots which both sold well. The final two lots were star lots and lived up to their billing with the “Jeeves and Roaster” fetching a winning bid of £40 and Amicus Brute Force (like ‘ground force’ but with much less skill) raising an amazing £80.

We closed the evening with a few well-deserved ‘thank you’s to all concerned (even the fader monkey) before one last item of entertainment, the Amicus Auction Anthem written and performed by the Amicus members and sung to the tune of ‘Hero’. Sadly we didn’t record the performance but here are the words:

Would you pay if we promised you muffins?
Would you bid if we promised you cake?
Would you pay for the ones you love?
Would you save BB tonight?

I can be your ukulele,
I could sing this song all day,
With these promises we’ve made,
We will take your breath away.

Would you like us to clean your house?
Would you prefer us to walk your dogs?
O would you like us to stop singing this song,
And end the auction tonight?

Could we have your money, maybe,
Been given much change lately,
We have nearly hit our aim,
So stick your money to Jame – s!

The last line was a reference to the final opportunity to give money. For those who hadn’t been successful in bidding for their chosen lots, we figured we needed to give them the opportunity to donate some money to the cause, and so we covered James in sticky tape and invited everyone to stick their loose change to him on the way out. It seemed a little bit cheeky, but was a popular activity and it alone raised over £70! A few more stats for you:

  • 41 registered bidders (but families shared bidding cards)
  • 41 lots (including the extra cakes)
  • Most Expensive Lot – 120 – Amicus Brute Force – raising £80
  • Least Expensive Lot – 114 – A Clean Sweep – a genuine bargain at £8
  • Most people came away with one lot, four people with 2 each and two people with five each!

Promise Auction TotalBy the end of the evening when all the lots had been auctioned, and the “James money” counted and added to the donations for desserts, we’d made a staggering £1200!!! So a huge thank you to everyone who supported our efforts in any way – you’re all stars. And we hope to see you all again for an even better event next year.

There are a few more photos below or you can view a slideshow of photos from the evening, and a few additional details.

Admin Team Prepare Welcome to the Promise Auction Good-Natured Bidding War I Can Be Your Ukulele Keep the bids coming...

Well you’ve waited patienly enough for further information about the Amicus Movie mentioned above, so here’s what you’ve been waiting for. The following movie was a complete team effort and took three weeks to plan and film (1 : 2 : 3) before Simon completed the editing and “foley“work. And here it is:

So that’s the Promise Auction over for this year – but we’re seriously considering another event for next year. If you attended the event, please leave a comment below and let us (and others) know what you thought of it. Thanks

King of the Inadvertent Crotch-Shot

Promise AuctionIt was great to see so many familiar faces back from Uni/School – just a shame that we didn’t have a great deal of time to catch up on everyone’s news. We spent most of the evening going over the final plans for the Promise Auction, and preparing ourselves and each other for the madness which will hit us on Saturday. It all seems to be coming together though, with everything in place or at least in hand. The only thing we’re not sure of is the number of people who will be turning out – but we have a backup plan if there are more than we anticipate (sadly, we don’t have a back-up plan if fewer than anticipated turn up!). I want to write more but don’t want to give away any surprises for the event. Three months in the planning, and probably less than three hours in the execution – crazy. The Catalogue of Lots is available for browsing before the big event.

We enjoyed some chocolate (of course, it is the Easter season) and a leisurely cup of tea/coffee, before putting out containers to catch the water which seemed to be pouring into some parts of the Church from nowhere. Then once the Youth Hall was free we headed in for a mass game of Volleyball Keepy-Uppy. It was a game like no other, as we usually only have about 7 players, but tonight were blessed with 12 or so. We tried out some new tactics and soon settled into the swing of things – before setting a new record of 50! As most of us weren’t counting it came as quite a surprise – especially as it was such a scrapping game – but we’re happy to accept it and will aim to improve in the coming weeks.

Human HomerAs a way of filling up what would otherwise be a bit of a nothing post, take a look at the following picture (click for more detail):

“not what Homer Simpson would look like if he was a real person, its just what a cartoon like Homer would look like if he kept his toon proportions but had realistic texturing and lighting”

It’s kinda freaky – but pretty cool too.

Anyway, this time next week the Promise Auction will be over, hopefully we’ll have raised a tidy sum of cash for the BB Company, and life can return to something which resembles normality (whatever that is!).

Next Week: Promise Auction Debrief and Chill Out

Volleyball Keepy-Uppy Record: