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EASTERCON 2006  - CONCUSSION. Glasgow Crowne Plaza Hotel. Friday 14th April To Monday 17th April 2006

 

            My tenth Eastercon, and overall a highly enjoyable event, marred only by a confused half-cancelled Dead Dog Party at the close, of which more later.

            I traveled a day before the Con, to beat the Bank Holiday traffic, threatened line closures between Carlisle and Glasgow, (which would affect my return journey) and to be more relaxed when the con began.  The train journey went well. I read a book I am due to review soon on the way. At Glasgow Central, I got a taxi to my hotel, The Campanile, (the main Crowne Plaza nearby being now fully booked). My cabbie was the most repulsive man I have ever seen. His only communication skill being the ability to gob spit out of the car window every twenty seconds or so. I was glad it was such a short journey.

            The Campanile looks quite modern, and rather unexciting beside the Sidney Opera House like Exhibition centre to its left. To the front there was a casino/restaurant complex and the lovely River Clyde.

            The hotel was frankly straight out of Fawlty Towers. It might have made me angry if I hadn’t found it surreal and hilarious. The check in was straightforward enough, and my first encounter with chip and pin technology, which I can’t say, I care for.

            My room was on the third floor, best approached with heavy luggage from the basement lift, about ten feet down a slope from the ground floor lift, which would have meant negotiating steps. The room itself was weird. The bed, when I threw my suitcase on it for unpacking, shifted three feet across the room. It was on very fine castors like a shopping trolley set of wheels. It was obviously done to make it easy for cleaners to shunt the bed aside for hovering. It made the bed tricky to get in and out of without perambulating it round the room.  If you ever do a sponsored bed push race for charity, this is the bed you want. The wardrobe was the smallest and thinnest in Christendom. It had a space of about three feet wide, and had four fixed coat hangers in it. I hung up three pairs of jeans and could not possibly get my fourth pair to fit in on the coat hanger remaining.

            I finished unpacking and set off to find the Crowne Plaza. Many at the con would know it, as it was the venue for the 2005 Worldcon, which I had booked for but been unable to attend due to financial restraints. I asked the German hotel receptionist where the Plaza was, once he stopped making phone calls to avoid talking to me. I suspect he expected me to complain about my bed and wardrobe rather than just to ask politely for directions.

            The Plaza was just round the other side of the Exhibition centre, which was promoting a pending Charlotte Church rock Concert.  Once I found the one open door, I got into the Crowne lobby where a few committee and general con folk were either relaxed or packing registration goodie bags. I have been to several pre-con Thursday nights, when there are no expected or organised events, which are usually quiet, though this was much more so than usual. I chatted to various people, and as it was still early afternoon, I decided to make the best of the one chance I had to go round Glasgow itself. Though not sure entirely of my direction, I just headed off, and walked by chance the right way. I decided to stop at a chippy and sample the Glaswegian fried pie, which was surprisingly nice, though it made me feel like my arteries were dying even as I chomped it.

            As a Civil War Re-enactor in a Scottish Regiment of the Sealed Knot, I made the most of being in Scotland to pick up books on the events I am involved in restaging that were not so readily available in England. Though at an SF convention, I was mainly lugging history book around. It now grew increasingly cold, and threatened to rain. I walked back to the Hotel, though as the weather relaxed once I got near, I walked up the Clyde bank for a while too. 

            Back at the Plaza registration had just opened. Normally this involved queuing but as so few was yet in attendance, I got my info pack and con badge quickly.  I now went through the Read Me marking out all the events I planned to attend. I would end up making it to about a third of them, actually a better than average run for me. 

            As the evening ran on, I expected more people to arrive, but if anything, the Plaza audience thinned out as people headed off for food, or elsewhere. The bar was kept closed, as there were clearly too few people present to justify opening it for the staff.  A real Ale Bar was set up for the con, which looked appealing, but for now this too was not open.

            I decided to eat in my own hotel, The Campanile. Big Mistake. I got there to see the Bistro signs advising me to book early to avoid disappointment, as if it was really popular. I had the dining room initially to myself, though two other diners arrived later. The beer choices were decidedly limited, so I settled for a Tennant's, and got the menu. The special of the day was Tomato soup and Meatballs as a main course. That seemed good enough. I had difficulty getting my order through to the German waitress. I was to find virtually no one in the hotel spoke English well. The waitress went away and arrived almost the next instant with the soup, commenting on her own speedy express service. It was obvious that the soup had simply been ladled out of a vast simmering pre-boiled pot somewhere in the kitchen. It tasted fine, but there was now an interminable wait before the main dish arrived. The Meatballs were two quite large lumps of processed mincemeat drowned in tomato sauce, possibly even from the same soup cauldron. The veg with it was crudely cut lumps of carrot and broccoli. A portion of chips was just Macdonald’s style French fries. Again, it was edible, but hardly great. Though I would use the hotel for breakfasts I immediately vowed not to dine there again of an evening.

            I got another pint of vile Tennant’s and sat in the hotel bar, with a few other con-goers, - some ropey film was showing about deep-sea divers in the war. I decided to go to bed as early as 11 PM, and just sat up reading until I was tired enough to sleep in my roving bed.

 

                        FRIDAY 14th APRIL.

 

            After the evening meal, I had a bad feeling about what to expect for breakfast here. Con folk had now told me that they had heard similar tales of the hotel Camomile’s reputation from Worldcon folk who had stayed there. At many cons, a limitless buffet breakfast was on offer. Here, there were an all the croissants you can eat self-service options, but the main breakfast was plated up and dumped in front of you without you even being asked. The sausages were blanched in a microwave warm up baked fashion, and the bacon was cut to wafer thin, while the beans could have all fit on the fork in one go. I had to eat more croissants to supplement these meagre rations, though I could have asked for a second plateful.

            This was also my first encounter with do your own toast machines that have become commonplace in British hotels. I was appalled. I’m paying to have my breakfast done for me. What will it are next – Peel your own spuds? Carve your own chicken? The toaster, (similar ones were in the Crowne Plaza), takes a slice of bread and rolls it slowly round a grill, and you pick it out the other side, with tongues or at risk of burning your fingers. I just gave it a wide berth on principle. It also did al the toast quite lightly. I would have preferred more heat application than that, but doing your own toast still doesn’t mean that you get it to the level of burnt that you want.

 

            This was the first true day of the con, and I went along early though nothing was scheduled until lunchtime. Getting in was difficult as the main doors directly to the con lounges were locked. I had to go round to the main hotel Plaza Entrance, up the stairs, enabling me to seethe locations of some of the rooms like Chaos Costuming and the Boardroom, which I would be visiting over the course of the weekend. Finally, I was able to get down the steps into the con lounge quiet area itself. It wasn’t long before more con attendees arrived, and by lunchtime things were getting off the ground. I chatted away to old and new friends, and before I knew it, I had already missed several con events, including the opening ceremony. Perhaps the opening of the real ale bar had something to do with this too. This was an exceptionally good quality real ale provision, possibly the best I have seen at any con to date. .

            A visit to the art room as the con got going in earnest revealed lots of great stuff, many of which I thought of bidding on, but later restrained myself for cash flow reasons.  The display of material by SMS showed me the artwork I knew must be on the cover of the current FONTzine, (Publication of the Manchester FONT SF groupFONT - MANCHESTER SCIENCE FICTION GROUP  in which I had some work. Gavin Long, the editor, was due later in the day with copies of the mag itself. Details of which you can see at http://www.gavncal.demon.co.uk/fontzine/ the mag arrived with Gav and Cal later and copies quickly went tout around the con to much appreciation. I have still yet to solve the crossword puzzle from the first issue to carry one, let alone the current one. Gav writes them hard.

            My first programme event to attend was the Captain Tartan Saves The World Again – The Cast and Director’s Commentary. This was a stage play spoof of Captain Scarlett written by the sublime Dave Wake, and starring many of my friends from Manchester and the wider fan community. I myself got roped in backstage and I found myself clearly visible to the audience during some scenery changes and such. I would go on to have a modest role in future Dave wake productions, of which I have been very proud to be involved. The commentary on the film footage of the play by the director and leading cast members, including mark Slater, Eira Latham, SMS, Cal, Dawn Abigail, etc. This was hilarious. Dave freely admitted that some scenes had been reshow to compensate for the flu effects on some cast members, It was clear that the play had now found a whole new appreciative audience as well as bringing nostalgia to those of us with fond memories of its original incarnation.

            The first of many well presented con newsletters appeared, and it was clear that the pirate theme w of Beyond Cyberdrome was now creeping into a general; surrogate theme of the con itself.  The newsletter carried Jolly Rogers, and later, images of Captain Pugwash.  Many already sported pirate attire and wore parrots on their shoulders. The official Com Theme was ‘expectations’ but the pirate one seemed more prominent by the minute.

            The rest of the evening was a real ale fest, and a quick walk across the dangerous pavementless paths and steep verges to the Campanile and efforts to catch the bed so I could sleep.

           

            SATURDAY 15th April 2006

 

            Breakfast was an improvement on the previous day. I had missed the revolution, where diners had insisted on some effort to provide a self-service approach to the hot food as well as the croissants. The food was as liberally cooked as before, and the servings were done by a French girl who constantly apologised for being French, and failed to understand simple requests like sausage, and beans but no tomato please. Noticing that one diner had scrambled instead of fried eggs, I asked if I could have that myself. There was none in the serving trays from which the food was now presented. After considerable translation issues due to inoperable Babel fish, I was told that the scrambled egg could be prepared for me in the kitchens if I wished. I said that I was happy therefore with the fried egg alternative and got that.  Just as I finished my breakfast, a chef arrived from the kitchen with a plate piled high with nothing but scrambled eggs for me. Nice as the gesture was, it completely failed to grasp the concept of ‘no thanks’.

 

FLASH FICTION WORLSHOP 1

            The first of a three-part event wonderfully run by Kate Bodley. Here, a group of writers were given the space of 45-50 minutes to write as much as they could on a single chosen theme. We had a choice of themes to vote on, of which only one was to be chosen.  Rejected themes were Through The Door, Setting Out, In Transit, Arrival & The SF Con from Hell. The winning theme in the show of hands however was The Sound Of Snow. The remainder of the first workshop was furious writing on this theme from everyone attending. The event had started deliberately early (9 M) to se who was seriously committed about doing this.

            I wrote about 20 pages in an A5 pad, leaping through several word associations – snow makes no sound falling, but glacial ice and avalanches of snow do … snow as a slang word for drugs, but I couldn’t remember whether it meant heroine or cocaine …  I eventually cheated and created a character called Bob Snow. As to sound, well, he never shut up talking. To add an SF element (not compulsory to the exercise tough everyone did have an SF fantasy element) I made his talk telepathic. As that story drew to a close quite quickly, though as I thought well enough rounded to stand alone, I thought of the noisy collision of ice sheets in a world turning to an ice age. I reflected on whether it would still be noisy and spectacular if people had long since frozen to death and no one was able to witness it. Then I moved on again, to the silly idea of two youngsters in the foothills of the Himalayas running up the side of Everest like kids ignoring warnings not to climb trees. When they accidentally get to the top, they can’t get down and miss their tour bus…. A few other fragments followed but mostly as literary cul-de-sacs, and then the session was over. Part 2 on the Sunday promised to involve reading the work out and getting feedback. This was an impressive stream of consciousness release exercise, and very helpful to writers.

 

READING AS A WRITER A panel run by M. John Harrison, Jon Courteney Grimwood, Graham Sleight, & Farah Mendelsohn. Here, authors discussed whether being writers and publishers and critics made it easier or harder to just read a book for pleasure, without wanting to rewrite or review it or mark it for different aspects of its qualities. The conclusion was that it does make a reading different, but not necessarily   less pleasurable.

 

THE ENDURING CALL OF CTHULHU – Charles Stross, Freda Warrington & Dave Clements ran a panel discussion on how Lovecraft’s masterpiece has become such a publishing legend. Lovecraft was an obscure writer most of his short life, and it was largely the editorial work of August Derlith that saved his work from obscurity. The stories that make up the Cthulhu Mythos, of which TCOC is the central hub to many, endures for its sense of the cold emptiness of the vast universe. Lovecraft was tremendous at describing the indescribable and giving sense to the insignificance of humanity in the great cosmic sphere of things. The successive works of other writers in the mythos, such as Brian Limley and Charles Stross has kept Lovecraft’s creation with us. It has spawned films (including one to be seen at the con) and a high profile role playing game. My own view that Lovecraft movies do his works an injustice for resetting the stories in the present day was challenged to some extent.

 

ORBITAL CLEAVAGE Hilarious side splittingly funny presentation by Dee Parker, Sue Mason, Judy Hodgkin and Ken McLeod.  Here, the issue of women’s cleavage in books; films and in the artwork on SF pulp books and in popular SF artwork was put under close scrutiny. Many questions were asked about whether a woman could practically walk, bend or in some cases fight in some of the most extreme cleavage highlighting costumery ever drawn or presented. Modern artists like Jim Burns and SMS (who’s work was among the slide shows on display) were mercilessly analysed, especially by Sue Mason.  Mostly men asked many questions about the likes of Xena, and Red Sonia, oddly enough…. A tremendous fun event, bordering close to being an adults only event, but not quite getting there.

 

DR WHO – As with the launch of the Eccklestone Who revival in 2005, the first of the new series, starring David Tennent was shown as it went out on the BBC at the con on a large TV screen. I loved it, and it was clear from audience response that it was a huge success. All weekend now it was an easy conversation starter to just ask anyone what they thought of the episode. SMS was to write a lightning fast appraisal for it among the piratage of the newsletter too.

 

THE CALL OF CTHULHU – Dr. Who was followed by the event I had most looked forward to at the Con, a screening of the new silent version of Lovecraft’s The Call Of Cthulhu.  I had heard much of this stunning production, and I was not the least bit disappointed by the results. The chillingly realistic slow slide of the characters into madness was nicely handled, by mood lighting. The story chapter headings were neatly written onto document headings and other papers inspected by the hero. Great Cthulhu himself was presented in startling shadow and fleeting glimpses on an Escher painting island of impossible geometry. It was genuinely scary stuff, with unexpected flashes of humour. At one point the hero sails to Oslo and finds the lady he meets talking in Norwegian, so the captions are put up Norweigan accordingly. He sails home the long way, virtually navigating the globe to get to London, instead of just down the Baltic-North Sea route. It’s a true masterpiece of horror and an awesome technical achievement. Without knowing of the film’s modern history someone could easily take this for a genuine classic of 1920’s cinema. My review of  the  original Lovecraft story  the film is based on is up at http://www.shvoong.com/books/horror/172857-call-cthulhu/

            The film was provided in part due to the work of Mark Slater in running the video room presentations, a role traditionally in the hands of Dave Lally, and mark did a terrific job of this (as indeed Dave has done in the past). The Cthulhu film was the highlight of the con for me.

            With two of my friends, Chris Brooks and Keith Martin, I agreed to take an hour out of the con time to babysit - I was happy to do this for Mark Slater and Elaine Coates. Their sons were fast asleep throughout my shift, during which I sat in a hotel room in the Crown Plaza, and read one of my book-room purchases. Despite low flying noisy police helicopters going by outside over the magnificent view of the Clyde at night, the boys never woke up once. The remainder of the evening was a general booze fest back at the real ale bar.

                                                TAFF

There was also the TAFF Funds party (To help send exceptionally deserving SF fans to represent the UK scene at International conventions. Each drink on some stalls, though not others, involved cost £1.00 for TAFF funds which I was happy to support. I was assured afterwards that another TAFF worthy,  called simply Sparks, had an even more potent cocktail mix on offer though sadly I missed the chance to put that to the test. This took place in Argyll 3   where my near namesake! /2’Ur was mixing some of the most lethal punch cocktails I have ever-dared taste. I tasted several to be sure of this. I survived, but probably only just. Bug was here too issuing little chocolates and dared me to try one that had beef jerky in it – I did, and it was rather nice.

And I went to my hotel about 2.30 AM.

 

                        SUNDAY 16th APRIL 2006

 

           

            More breakfast loopy-tunes shenanigans, and back to the con for what was to be my most physically demanding day of the weekend. I knew that I would have a lot to do on the Sunday, and a lot of costume props/accessorories to lug around. As I didn’t wish to shuttle back and forth between two hotels, I took everything in a big bag to Chaos, and changed into my Cyberdrome Pirate outfit right at the start of the day. I left my masquerade gear, with permission, with the chaos costuming folk for safekeeping. My pirate outfit was clothes and a few accessories. I had a Poundland scimitar sword in a sheathe, which nevertheless left some wondering if I might fall foul of weapons inspections. It didn’t. I had no intention of unsheathing it anyway. I had a pink elephant on my shoulder, When as ked about this, I would say in crud pirate accent, that it was a parrot, and that if they saw a pink elephant instead they had overdone their rum rations. My other awful pun was my piece of wood (an old draw frontage) on a dog lead which I dragged around behind me. When asked, I told folks that I was walking the plank….  (You don’t have to be a Cthulhu to be able to induce insanity).

 

SMALL PRESSES & TRADE PUBLISHERS  Mark Gascoine, Chris Teague, John Berlyne & Andrew Hook. A panel that discussed the role of small press publishers and their challenge to the major publishing houses. Given that a new one from Games Workshop organisers is due to join the setoff publishers producing less than ten or twenty titles per year, the Small Press is often more encouraging to new authors, however they do attract a high slush pile and of the have to close down submissions to clear a backlog. The panellists encouraged authors to pay close attention to publisher’s guidelines to improve the chances of getting work into print.

 

FLASH FICTION WORKSHOP 2 Kate Bodley – Part Two involved swapping our stories from the Saturday event with another writer, to gain feedback. I had a couple of minor problems here. 1/. My own handwriting is generally indecipherable to others. 2/. As I had a heavy masquerade mask to wear later in the day, I hadn’t brought my spectacles with me so I could only make out some of what the chap I was exchanging work with had done to, but we summarised and read each other’s work as best we could with some valuable impute.

 

BEYOND CYBERDROME SMS & Eira & James Bacon. – Pirate time. Two large inflatable paddling pools had been put up and filled outside the Hotel Crowne Plaza entrance way. One pool was merely there to feed water to the larger arena pool, in which people put their robots and remote controlled boats of various sizes, shapes and standards. One sank almost immediately but most worked remarkably well. A paddle-steamer boat that squirted water at the opposition and sometimes at the audience was the best one for my mind. .  A tiny propeller driven dragon sailed circled round everyone too. The audience was filled with people in Pirate costumes. SMS hosted the event as a particularly mean panto pirate, hamming it up for all he was worth. His wife  Eira was playing the nice pirate, and we were all invited to take sides with each of these leaders. I, like many, supported Eire’s side. This was practical in that the boats sailing from her side of the pool   had the wind (growing to a gale) behind them.  SMS’s team’s boats consistently failed to beat Eire’s team’s fleet to the other side.  There were no binary cheerleaders in any organised way this year, and everyone but SMS & Eira contributed spontaneous heckling, which kept the event tightly run and timed nicely.  My own shouts consisted of Three Nil, Three Nil, Three Nil in a football chant style, and Armada than you are which no one really paid any attention to… probably for the best really. At close of boat-bot play, as James Bacon ushered everyone in from apprehension about the coldness of the air, SMS & Eira decided to have a duel on the plank they set up above the pool SMS won the push and Eira ended up sat up to her waist in the paddling pool in full pirate garb. She shouted for everyone to push SMS in. I rushed to the call, though no one else did. Nevertheless, I was successful. I didn’t so much push him as launch him into the air. SMS seemed to actually fly before gravity took him head first into the water with a hell of a splash. . He got out and then had to get back into rescue his wallet, which had stayed behind, on the bottom. Overall, the event was huge fun.

 

MASQUERADE REHEARSAL – I was glad that I stayed dry myself as I had now to go straight to the Masquerade Dress Rehearsal. I swapped parts of one costume for another, and got my masquerade gear from Chaos. I rehearsed quickly and I had a few hours to get some food. I went to the Mariner Restaurant, which offered Wethersponns type pub grub at slightly higher than average prices. The food was nice, though the bar service was abysmal. They also seemed to have only at best three copies of the menu so   it was even necessary to queue up for that.  The beer selection here was also decidedly limited compared to the real ale range we enjoyed at the con bar. 

 

MASQUERADE – My costume was a coconut matting monster I called simply Not So Coconut Shy. It was made of a mask and gloves done in coconut matting plant pots from Poundland, carved with crude eyes and mouth on the face, and with boxing glove like mittens. It looked more scary than funny. It also never won any prizes, though it had done at a Halloween event I’d attended in 2005. Here the competition was very high and I easily understand why I lost.  The Masquerade tends to favour humour, and the jokey puns I used were not really matched to the primal aggression of the mask itself – the clear winner, as I thought on first sight, was the Scottish Star Wars Storm-trooper called Weapons Of War in his (falling) kilt and bearing bagpipes. Other great entries were James bacon’s horde of zombie surgeons, James Steel’s Millinery Manoeuvres pun, and the children’s entry for the Sisterhood Of The Snake who ate the inimitable hostess, Sue Mason, (who survived long enough to kiss my monster creation later). This was a very enjoyable tightly run Masquerade, with 21 entries (19 really given that James Steel’s was done in three parts interspersed by other presentations). (8 of the costumes were by children and there was stronger than average fuss for newcomers to the competition.

            Post Masquerade quick change and into civvies for more beer. 

                       

                        MONDAY 17th APRIL 2006

 

            The last day, and already some con folk were going home. My penultimate breakfast from Hell and then off to the con again.

 

FLASH FICTION WORKSHOP 3 Kate Bodley The last part of the best events for writers I’ve been to at any con now. We discussed the value of the workshop, our reaction to the various feedbacks we had to our respective work, and discussed plans for continuing the project online for which a web contact system was prepared for us. I really hope this works out and given Kate Bodley’s enthusiasm, I see little reason why not.

 

HOW TO WRITE THE TRULY TERRIFYING Lisa Tuttle, Tanith Lee & Heather Turnbull. – A discussion on what aspects of horror literature frightens or don’t frighten. Many of the panel tapped into the notion of how horror writers exploit phobias like spiders, or confined spaces. There were reflections on how mod and shadow and atmosphere can do more than graphic visual film special effects. Examples were given of bloodless films like The Others, and how films done in ghostly shadow in the 1940’s were ruined in remakes, which showed the horror in its full effect. US takes on Japanese Anime were also criticised as less frightening. There was some sense also that readers will read horror expecting to be scared and will help the author through bringing their own fears to the text. The example of how Neil Gaiman’s Coraline scares adults and delights children was given to support this point.

 

LUCAS BACK IN ANGER Ian Sorenson.  The first event I had been to at Concussion had been a screening of the film of a Dave Wake play. The last one was the film of a play by fellow dramatist Ian Sorenson, who’s spoof Star Wars film Lucas back In Anger presents the full saga, all six films in one stage show.  Well, the first three films are done in hilarious abridged editions, - the prequels are set entirely in a handful of mock Abba songs that were brilliantly handled. The play itself had been a highlight of Worldcon, and I had heard much praise of it. The quality and the laugh out loud nature of the humour shone clear in the DVD, which is sadly not yet available commercially in its own right. Ian introduced the play himself and took thunderous applause as it ended.

 

Between play and the promised Dead Dog post con social gathering advertised in The same theatre I had just watched the play in, I went for food. Again I went to the Mariner Bar.

 

DEAD DOG ALMOST REALLY DEAD –This great Convention suddenly ended in a bit of a sour note for me. The Dead Dog party is traditionally an informal gathering for fans still on site after all other events have closed, except the filk music sets that go on round the clock to the bitter end but which are not my personal cup of tea). The room that had been supposed to have been set up for the event had not been touched since the Lucas back In Anger event. As the only way in to there for a late start would have been through the bar, we stayed there, but as it got later still it was obvious that nothing was in fact going to happen. I lamented the lack of news of a cancellation.

            Word reached everyone of a staff party going on upstairs to which no one was sure if we were really invited or not…. Things got worse when the bar staff noticed that our numbers were dwindling. Some gate-crashed the other party anyway - others felt  that  it was better to stay put downstairs. Others decided to go for food hoping to come back for the dead dog party (so called for taking place after the Con has effectively been laid to rest). It is supposed to be an event or at least a reserved space for those who are unable to travel home late after a con, and prefer to go the next day instead. Others stay by choice, as their friends are a still around to drink with.

            Lowering numbers now led to the bar staff deciding to shut the bar for fear of poor takings. They shouted last orders and invited us to move lock stock and barrel to the main hotel bar near the mariner food place I had been in earlier. At this point, the general con attendees got concerned and upset. Some went to find the Con Committee reps to explain the crisis. The Committee to their credit did send someone to negotiate with the bar staff for a stay of execution at least.  At the same time, some of the party people from upstairs, (not  Committee members) came to invite myself up to the party along with others on the table I was sat at. Like others, I declined, as it was clear that a/. The bar was now looking willing to stay open for us and it would be inappropriate to desert them after their willingness to help us out had been expressed. B/. Many from the party now openly chose to join us down on the lower decks instead of staying upstairs anyway.

A social gathering of sorts was growing from the embers and the evening was not a total loss. I have however expressed concerns to the Con Committee in the hope of getting Dead Dog Resurrected properly for future events so that’s much ‘confusions’ do not spoil things even for part of the evening.

 

            So, overall a fabulous con, and much praise need to be bestowed on many hard working people. My concerns over dead dog should not overshadow the overall achievements of the event, but there are clearly some areas that need improving.

            As it hit 1.30 AM, tiredness took me away to bed. The con was overall excellent. The Dead Dog issue should not be taken as indication otherwise. One badly runs event within such a programme does not spoil the overall weekend and this was mostly a great one.       

 

            While there is hope for the Con Dead Dog, there is little hope for the Campanile. Hotel. Perhaps that is harsh, and though I wouldn’t wish to stay there again, their Goon show staff were actually more amusing than annoying. The final breakfast was a return to buffet croissant and a plate breakfast plonked in front of you. I ate it quickly, packed and checked out.

            The train line was now closed between Glasgow and Carlisle, but fellow Mancunian, Steve Dunn kindly offered to give lifts to myself Gav & Cal. Lack of room for all of us lead Gav to the noble sacrifice of taking the long train/coach ride and Steve brought me home – the end of a glorious Easter despite a few issues that are now hopefully to be addressed.

 

 

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell          

 

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