First of all, I hand-wrote an account of my adventures as they were taking place, and at the finish, it was SIXTY-NINE PAGES LONG.
So suffice it to say, I'm just going to give you the highlights here (with photo links). :)
Second, my Flickr pictures of my time in England are up as a set here, for your enjoyment.
On arrival at the convention hotel around 11 am or so (after relatively uneventful travels) I noted that several people in the hotel check-in line had clearly already checked in with the con, as they were sporting badges, convention goodie bags, etc. However, I opted for room check-in first because I really didn't want to carry my giant backpack around any longer than necessary. :) While standing in line, lo-and-behold, there was Anna, which was fortunate because then I didn't have to go hunting for her. After hellos and hugs, Anna informed me that the UK folks had asked us to appear on a panel at 5 pm, which had something to do with game shows. So we were off to an exciting start!
After check-in and dropping my bags off, I went to register. At that point, I have to admit I was so goshdarn tired that the most appealing idea after registering was to go to my room and eat a snack and nap...so I did (after meeting my roommate, Erica, who turned out not to be an ax murderer or scary in any way, thank goodness. She is quite nice). I think I was pretty much out cold, but fortunately Lee called the room in time to get me up and showered and in costume in time for the panel (whew!).
On arrival at the panel, we met
Among the shows I remember, there was the one where we had to tell a story without repetition or hesitation (and if people did mess up we got to RING THE BELL); the one where we had to tell a story using the words Davina held up on cards; the one where we had to guess a tune (I was surprisingly abysmal at that, considering how big a music-consumer I am. It's because I'm not geeky enough - for instance, I don't know the Doctor Who theme song (FAIL!)); and the one where we had to name streets in Ankh-Morpork (I was actually decent at that one, hurrah). At first, Bernard and I were trailing in points (I was probably dragging him down, poor Bernard) but in the end, we were only 3 points behind Pat and Anna. Bernard managed to convince Davina to give us a couple of points for something (completely valid, I'm sure) that I can't recall now, which put us one down. WELL. We couldn't have that, so I proposed the award of one point for...whoever, between me and Anna, was showing the most leg (hey, if I'm going to be flitting around in a gold miniskirt for several days straight, there might as well be some benefit to it! FOR ME, I mean.). Needless to say, we got our point. TIE!! And all that is left to say about that is, if you attended the panel, I hope we provided you with some fun and good times. :) I know Pat and Bernard did, at least!
After the panel we went off to dinner, which was pretty good (points for the lemon syllabub and the tiny cookies, whatever they were. Yum!) and then to the Opening Ceremony. Terry talked and was hilarious as usual. He discussed his work ("I hallucinate for a living"), his health and having PCA ("Letters on the keyboard vanish - I blink, and they come back! Which is very interesting for a fantasy writer..."), and being at the convention with us ("Can we turn the lights up a bit, 'cause I'd actually like to see their faces...Oh, God, never mind!"). He also asked the question I constantly ask myself ("Why is there not a spellchecker that learns?") and lamented his lack of skill in using the stage spotlight to his advantage ("Darn! I can't do Deformed Rabbit!"). Then the Chair, Bruce, welcomed us and got some con business out of the way by reading notices ("The Seamstresses are in chaos...Oh! I mean the Seamstress meeting is in Chaos Costuming.") and we saw some video welcomes from guests.
After the Opening Ceremony I had a chance to say hello to Terry and to finally meet Rob, whom I've corresponded with several times but hadn't met. Rob turns out to be completely awesome and fun. Yay!
The last official event of the evening was Terry's Bedtimes Stories, for which I took the opportunity to change into my comfy Spider-man pjs. Terry read many bits from Nation and even sang for us. It was good fun, and Terry clearly enjoyed it. Eventually, though, it had to end, at which point everyone retired to "the pub" in the main area of the hotel. I was wicked tired, but opted to go for a bit anyway, since everyone else was and people had asked if I would be. I wandered around and took some photos, including a good one of Stephen Briggs enjoying his wine, and chatted with Lee and Anna and Rob and Erica and Terry and several other folks. Terry was enjoying wandering around and seeing everyone having such a good time. I certainly was having fun, but eventually HAD to crash, so went off to bed around...oh gosh, I don't know, 1? 1:30?
And that was Friday.