Saturday, 20 September 2008

Friday, good & bad

Good breakfast, all-you-can-eat full English, walked off morning lethargy, viewed the local picture-book castle, while avoiding tourism hotspots, lurked in hotel's lobby and lounge bar, found no sign or trace of con organisers. No wifi in rooms but - as advertised - it works okay, if not perfectly, in public areas. I looked around the city centre, where a street market served ostrich burgers (among other such northern delicacies!), but my early afternoon was spoiled by a couple of rather incompetent pickpockets, who tried weaselling out of my grip when caught, and who eventually threw my wallet back and scurried off. My shouting at them both caught attention of helpful passers-by, who stayed to help with descriptions for police. Having calmed down after that bit of aggro... I returned to the hotel, and – on my 2nd attempt navigating to Britannia's back room suites of conference rooms – I found the Fantasycon committee (Marie, Paul, Vicky, Martin, etc.), and discovered that volunteering to help stuff carrier-bags of goodies (in readiness for convention registrations at 3 pm), enabled me to get a badge and freebies pack ahead of the big rush. In the dealers room, I spoke to Andrew Hook (Elastic), and Christopher Teague (Pendragon), both remembered from Glasgow's SF Worldcon, and this year's Eastercon. I also met several new friendly faces in the bar and around the hotel - all of which made up for my unwelcome encounter with Notty Ash's lowlifes.

Bit a shock, however, to find that for my Saturday night panel on genre remakes, I will be moderating (or trying!) a line-up of Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler and Nicholas Royle. Gulp.... Later on, I met Allen Ashley, and we agreed about Kubrick's 2001, but disagreed about other films, TV, and music... Got some bad news about my Uncle having a heart attack, struggled to write sympathetic text message sent to my cousin. Missed seeing people I was keen to meet, and only caught last 20 minutes of convention's 1st panel, but the rest of evening was going well, anyway... Heard from Martin Roberts about tonight's film shows, and tomorrow's evening programme, and the short films do sound interesting. Time spent talking in the main bar meant that I missed the 10 pm 'Crossing The Streams' panel, but my brother found me with some good news about my uncle's condition in hospital. Went to see the 11 pm film show, but sitting in the darkened room watching stuff that I realised, belatedly, that I had already seen before, some-when... made me suddenly aware of how extremely tired I was, so that was Fantasycon Friday over and done, for me, and I staggered back to my room.


Jonathan M said...

Tony Lee the have-a-go hero :-)

Robert said...

Bloody 'ell, what a day! Shame the scumbags got away but at least you got your wallet back.
Hope the uncle's all ok now.