Five Minute Review: Five Go on a Strategy Away Day (Parody) by Bruno Vincent

Five little minutes, one little book. This one should be easy…

Five Go on a Strategy Away Day (hereafter “Five Go…“) by Bruno Vincent is a short story based on the original Famous Five classics written by Enid Blyton in the 1940s/50s. At only 105 pages long, Five Go… is a quick book to pick up and complete in one sitting. As a slightly slower reader I was able to read this title cover to cover during my train commute (and that’s with two train changes in between). Perfect if you want something to easily tackle in one go, less of an interest if you’re looking for a more long term investment that you’ll come back to time and time again.

The story follows Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog as they tackle the nightmares of a poorly managed team away day. As I read this there were certainly some laugh out loud moments. More than anything because, as someone who has previously had to help organise team building days on a budget, I can heavily relate to some of the scenarios contained in these pages (Eg, “I’ve got 485 unread emails back at the office, so why am I here?” [sic]).

Five Go… isn’t a book to go for if you’re looking for value for money, no doubt my copy will stay on the shelf for a number of months before it gets relegated to a charity shop (as per the millions of other copies in circulation around the country), however it was a nice little pick up to cheer me up and take my mind off work and world issues, even if for just an hour or two.

My Two Cents on the New Five Pound Note

In the last few weeks we have seen the emergence and growth of a new currency on these fair British shores. Slowly creeping its way into our wallets and homes, into the lives of our mothers and children. What am I talking about? The new five pound note, that’s what. And oh my God am I fed up about having the same conversation about it. Yes, I know us Brits will happily discuss the weather for hour after hour, but at least there’s some variety in that. The five pound note conversation revolves around on one inanimate object, lends itself to no hilarious anecdotes and goes on for-ev-ever. Worse still, no sooner have you finished that conversation someone else then exclaims “look! I’ve got the new five pound note!” It is the actual embodiment of groundhog day, I swear.


Ok, so here are my thoughts on what is effectively a new bit of paper that gets you things. Please see below before you start waving your cash in my face.

  • Yes, it does look very different and I agree it’s good they’ve kept the colour the same and the Queen still looks youthful.
  • Yep, it’s about time Churchill featured on the note. Nah, it doesn’t make you a woman hater for not knowing who the female figure was on the old note, most feminists didn’t know either:


(FYI it was Elizabeth Fry, well known for her charity work and attempts to reform prisons – but then I only learnt that because I wrote an exam paper on her at University.)

  • Does it feel weird? Plastic coated you say? Scrunch it and it bounces back to shape as well? Well I’m going have to take your word on all of that because I’m clearly on a look, but not touch, policy when it comes to your special five pound note.
  • Oh lucky me, you want me to feel it for myself. Now I have to go “wow, it does feel strangely different” as if I haven’t already touched multiple notes already. You clearly take no issue to me touching around. Because I’m a note playa like that.
  • Now you’re bringing a ten pound note out for comparison. Well someone is smug they’ve got the money to fondle. Care to look at my penny collection?
  • Yep, certainly smaller than a ten pound note:


  • Yep, it does look like Monopoly/play money. Better keep it away from children, could be all manner of hilarious consequences! (Hah-hah)
  • Ah! You can see through the panel:


You could even watch a Royal-based drama, such as Victoria, through that panel:


I don’t think I’ll ever view the world in the same way again. My whole life has changed.

  • What’s the serial code? If it’s AA it’s worth money, well, more than what it’s worth. It’s a pants version of the national lotto really. I agree, no one has time to study every five pound note for that code.
  • Hmm I suppose it could be forged, just like the current fifty pound notes, pound coins, your mate’s Man U t-shirt from Rayne Woony. Just like everything in the world. I wouldn’t lose sleep, your five pound note will be safe.
  • Yep, I miss the old notes already.


We all good now? Good. And while I’m at it, Mr Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, can I please ask you make one change when you implement the new ten pound note? Please, please, pleaseeee just implement them into our lives over night. You can send Santa during August, or come into my bedroom yourself (you have my permission). Because seriously if I have to have the same ruddy conversation 100 times again I may be forced to put my foot down. That’s right, I’ll put this video up:

Instead of talking about the economy we’ll be talking about Ed Balls. Not Tony Blair, or Theodore Roosevelt. Actual Ed Balls.


And I don’t know about you, but a world where Ed Balls is more interesting than currency is a world I do not want to live in.