Robert Baskerville

(Robert is on the right of this picture).

Sorry to hear about people struck down by the Con Bug. Since this has led to a veritable famine of Con Reports, I thought I'd stick down a few lines. Bear in mind that I'm typing in the dark (young Tom allegedly going to sleep behind me, but it sounds more like he is dismantling the cot....) without notes or a safety net :-)

Unfortunately, it was a shorter con for me than I would have liked; pressure of work prevented me from taking off all day Fri or any of Monday, so much of Friday and Sunday was taken up with travelling. The journey to Ashford was hellish; six hours of rain, traffic (except the M25 - traffic usually shows *signs* of movement...), screaming baby in the back (must get one of those Limo's with sound proof window behind the driver <g>)

Arrived. Can't even remember *when* we arrived; must have been sometime between 8 and 9pm. Hotel seemed very nice; quietly efficient and (as we discovered over the weekend) child-friendly.

The Space City Party was excellent - a little hot and steamy, but then what else would you expect? An event difficult to describe; you had to be there really. No one ate the Penis Tree which, considering that the high-quality rock Penises were all the way from Blackpool, was slightly disappointing (OK, so maybe the crepe-paper pubes put people off?)

Saturday began with breakfast. It then continued with a second breakfast. Much of the day was a blur; went from full wallet to empty wallet without buying anything although a mysterious stack of zines next to Ellie seemed to grow ever higher.... Finally got a copy of "Bloke's 7" (and got to hassle Joe N later on about when the other 51 might appear). The bring-and-buy was well attended by buyers, less so by sellers. There was a Klingon selling Trek stuff (the phrase "That William Shatner he's crap isn't he?" with a heavy Welsh accent from said Klingon was rather memorable) and some large boxes of zines which sold well. This Con was far more slash-friendly than the last I attended. We had to prevent precisely zero minors from wading through the boxes of slash (they were having far too much fun elsewhere!), and I have to admit to enjoying the two or three rather surprised expressions from people caught unawares (aparently the large "/" I drew on the relevant boxes was too subtle).

Discovered that the Sainsbury's next to the hotel had plastic trolleys. Makes sense I suppose, but they have neither the same momentum nor satisfying "CRASH!" noises when you "accidentally" ram someone elses trolley.

Went to eat in Ashford Town Centre - a nice curry house (literally -felt like we were in their living room!). Thanks to Harriet for the loan of the map from the 1996 Con held in the same hotel; the curry house was described as "opposite the tank", and even as I said to Harriet "But I don't know where the tank is on this map" my eye fell to the first item in the map key which read "T - tank"!

Spent long while in our Hotel Room with a tired child who was too tired to sleep. Watched the end of a bizarre episode of Colombo in which William Shatner was the murderer. Had a slight costume crisis (Ellie had suggested it just before we left Manchester and part had got left behind), resulting in Ellie having to race to Sainsbury's again to acquire an item substitute. Small child finally hit the end of the alphabet (ie. began emitting the sought-after zed's)

The cabaret was fun. Steve R ended up with one of Servalan's false nails stuck in his costume (Oh, didn't I mention? Steve had turned into a rather worryingly convincing Klingon by now - must have been that Og's Arsehole cocktail at the Space City party).

 The Rocky Horror/Glam Disco followed. Thanks to Paula for the loan of her room (long story) and for Kat W for the loan of the wig (long story). The Disco was fun. Thanks to Steve for the 20 extra points "for showing balls" (I didn't think they were visible through what I was wearing, but there we go).

Went to the Slash Turkey readings. Enjoyed this.

Went to bed; still tired from all the travelling :-( For some reason, my feet hurt a bit. Must have been the disco.

Sunday began with breakfast. It then continued with a second breakfast. Unlike Saturday, it then proceeded to a third breakfast (low fat cornflakes to make up for the first two).

Spent much of Sunday following young Tom as he led me a merry dance around the dealers room (about 30 laps) and elsewhere. Got a picture of Tom with Travis <g>. Had to leave around 2pm which was a shame. However, on the way home Tom got to meet two of his four living great-grandparents which I though was important. I never met any of mine (all dead long before I arrived), and lost all my grandparents over a decade ago. Ellie still retains a complete set of grandparents (it helps that she is the first child of a first child of a first child, whereas I am the last child of a last child of a last child).

Journey home: hell on wheels. Someone tried to get me to sign up for an Amex card at a service station; was too tired to even tell them to get lost, let alone point out that they had been trying to get me to sign up for one since I was 14 (must have got my name onto the wrong junk mailing list!). Got home. Slept.

That's it - lots of gaps and things I did but can't remember when they were (like the panel discussion on Fans - "Sad Bastards or Postmodern Irony" or something like that; another excellent title from Una!)


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