Yes, that's me, showing off my Adora Belle-esque stiletto boots.
With, of course, the wonderful Sir Terry.
OK, so I'm going to attempt to do this both quickly and coherently, which is hard, because I am still tirrrred from my trip, despite getting back on Monday. Zzzzzzz. But! Here we go!
First off, here's the obligatory photo set on Flickr!
Let's see...well first of all, I started the trip in my usual fashion - i.e. I didn't sleep at ALL the night before (what, I was PACKING) and then spent the time on the plane doing something other than the practical thing (which would have been sleeping). But see, it was because I had this necklace I needed to make for a costume, and...yeah, there's really no excuse. Heh.
But I did, in fact, spend about half of the plane journey making what I refer to as my shamble necklace - because I couldn't find a THING to go with this costume/outfit I was going to wear, and I had this broken chain I could reassemble as one of those asymmetrical layered things, and I'd sifted through the detritus of years of beading and found a bunch of random stuff that could be added to it, and...well, once I get a crafting idea in my head and started, I'm fairly single-minded, is the thing, so I couldn't just go to sleep without finishing it. The funny thing was, since this was a sleeper flight, the stewardesses didn't have much to do, and kept coming around to see my progress ("Oh, you've added another bit there!") Heh.
On arrival in London, Kris (Renta) picked me up from Heathrow with a great handmade sign that said, "The Turtle Moves for Emily" (referencing our slogan from last year's con). Then hilarity immediately ensued as we played "Smartcar Tetris" to try and fit all of my luggage into her already packed tiny car. We wound up filling the footwell of my side with bags, so I sat the entire journey Indian-style, and had not only my bag on my lap, but also a giant garment bag of stuff that included a hoop skirt! Good gracious. I could barely move, but it was kind of funny. We joked about getting a photo, but by the time we got to Birmingham, I was all for just getting the heck out of the car!!
Thursday at the con hotel was pretty laid back, given that the con officially started Friday (but a lot of people do come the day before). I took a nap for a couple of hours (and BOY did I need it) and then caught up with a bunch of friends and acquaintances, including Renta, the Wards, Sir Terry, Rob, the Harkins, Philippa and Lynsey of Transworld, Colin, and more. Got some dinner at the hotel restaurant with Kris and the Wards, and then at soooome point made my way to sleeeep.
Friday, Erica (my roommate) and I TOTALLY INTENDED to go to Cadbury World in the morning (the Cadbury factory! Chocolate! Yum!) but we...totally didn't get up in time. Oops. Instead, I went down to breakfast (one of the few days I made it!) and ate with Tim and Meg, met a guy named Tony (aka William de Worde) who it turns out is a fan of cleolinda (holla, Cleo!), and signed up for some Klatches, most of which I later forgot to check if I'd gotten in to. OOPS. Oh well. I did, however, go to Rob's Friday Klatch, where I dressed appropriately by wearing (with my red corset) a green sash that came straight from the Going Postal TV movie - it was appropriate because Rod Brown of The Mob Film Co. then showed up with a whole bunch of other movie props and passed them around for all of us to see, while he and Rob talked about many cool things. Lots of fun!! We also got to see the Going Postal blooper reel, and this, which is hilarious and was apparently just thought up and done by the cast members. HEE. (And speaking of Going Postal - fan extras on the set being interviewed. Hey, I know those blokes! :D
I believe after that I wandered around the wonders of the Dealers' Room for a bit, which featured not only wonderful stuff I spent waaay too much money on (hello, portable Thud! set and 'Tiffany and the bees' print) but also some of the bigger props from the movies that were later auctioned off (and I won't go into the story of the 7 foot coffin, but let me just give y'all a tip - don't buy it if you can't get it home!!). I chatted with Barrie who did our con jewelry in 2009, visited with Ian & Reb of The Discworld Emporium (Bernard was off having a smoke, I'd wager!), and said hello to Sandra and the kids at PJSM Prints. Also I was given a good haul of movie props for our 2011 charity auction, courtesy of Sir Terry and The Mob. Hurrah! Then I ran into Erica, who was going to hear Stephen Briggs talk, so I went along and did as well, which was good fun.
The opening ceremony followed. It opened with some knockermen checking the stage for pockets of dangerous gasses (and, um, blowing up. D'aw), and then Sir Terry came out, with Death's sword, and gave his welcoming speech. It was great, naturally, and made more amusing by the way he strode about twirling Death's sword the whole time - it put me in mind of his description of Vimes absentmindedly tossing and catching his sword during the parade in Jingo.
After the ceremony I intended to change into my pjs for the Bedtime Stories, but instead spent the time talking to Sir Terry about con business (and other things), and ended up going to the stories in my corset. Ah, well. Terry and Rob came out and decided they were not going to read to us from I Shall Wear Midnight (the newest published book), but from Snuff instead (the one Terry's currently writing). (The excuse for this was that Rob is terrible at Feegle voices.) I was delighted by this, since it's a Vimes book and Vimes is my favorite (and Young Sam, for all that he's not done much except be a cute little boy thus far, is a close second. Heh.) We heard a good bit and I am very excited to hear/read more when it's done. :)
After the stories I DID manage to change, and hung out in the pub in my pjs while I and several other folks attempted to get the hotel to bring us some late-night food. I believe it took over 45 minutes! But it finally did arrive, from the very limited late-night menu...and then what I'd ordered was too spicy. Ah, well. I gave most of it to the other folks and ate a muffin I'd saved from the plane instead. Heh. While waiting and eating, I got to chat with Wolffie (Nancy) who is lovely, and the Harkins (Jan came to the con a bit late due to work), and Erica and Steven and Rob. We all ended up there until at least 2:30, and finally called it a night.
And that? Was Thursday and Friday.
More to come!!