Monday, 21 September 2015

What I did at WriterConUK

Click through images for larger versions.

I set off for The Event with a mild sore throat that had been brewing for a couple of days. I hoped it was just a reaction to all the dust and chemicals I've been breathing in for the past 4 weeks.

It was just as well that the one presentation I really didn't want to miss 'Show don't tell' by Ningloreth,
was the first item on the program on Saturday morning.

Despite the sore throat and feeling knackered, I updated the Garmin maps on Thursday, and was hopeful that they would be accurate enough to navigate the mess that is the Ring Road through Coventry. The maps were ok but the navigator (AKA the Bint) was not.

So, I got lost (again) about 3.5 miles from the hotel. Having successfully negotiated Tollbar End, where the A45 becomes the London Road, the Garmin Bint confused me by telling me 'keep right' or 'turn left', much too soon, as well as getting the number of exits wrong at too many roundabouts.

I arrived at the hotel tired and frazzled (12 miles of traffic cones on the M1 north of Northampton, with nary a sign of a workman). There was a very warm welcome from early-bird Con. members, who were having lunch in the bar. I opted for a steak frites while waiting for our rooms.

I'd booked a suite for the second year running,and picked up supplies from Sainsbury's before setting off.

Each suite comes with its own kitchenette, providing a kettle, microwave, fridge, and toaster as well as crockery and utensils.

I don't enjoy over-priced hotel breakfasts.

Having stashed the milk, fruit, and makings of lunch and dinner in the fridge, I settled down with a pot of tea, for a rest.

Bedroom window
Sitting/kitchen window

The view from the suite

My suite was on the 9th floor (room 909 was easy to remember (The Beatles One after 909 was an earworm all weekend.) In past years (this is our 6th visit), I've taken the stairs to and from the meeting room on the 1st floor. Not this year.

The convention proper kicked off at 6.30 pm, with a welcome from the Chair, Hils, and distribution of personalised goody bags.

My coaster picture is of the three witches from Discworld; Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlic. Co-incidentally, I'd donated a mug with the same picture to the raffle prizes,

After the excitement over the content of the goody bags, we were divided into three teams. Each team contained members who had listed different fandoms on their registration forms, so that every team had a fair chance of answering the wide-ranging questions.

who did this grow up to be?

As usual, the quiz was a good balance of picture and music questions, ranging from 'what's this show'  through 'who did this grow up to be', to 'what;s the connection between these?'.

There were general knowledge questions, too, most with a literary theme.

My team came second with 76/85 marks, just 2 marks beg=hind the winners,, but it didn't matter as each team won a bottle of bubbly.

I'd eaten a cooked lunch so did not join the others in the restaurant for the evening meal. I was already beginning to feel 'fluey', and opted for an early night with decaf tea and paracetamol.

The following morning, I still felt unwell, but joined the group after breakfast, for the 'Show not tell' session at 10am .

More of that tomorrow.