My Life as a Boozy Oaf

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This week has been a bit of a struggle and I have felt very tired, oddly while not working as hard.

The preceding days have been non stop work or travel with barely enough time to eat before bed. And I was tired. But then this week, after a quiet and relaxing weekend, the most stressful point being choosing which Ealing Classic to watch first, I am truly knackered.

There are, as far as I can see, two possibilities. Either someone has been slipping something into the water at work in a foul and despicable attempt to treasonously upset the delicate workings of the British Civil Service or I was up too late building Lego the other night. I know which I suspect.

After all, a giant conspiracy of Western Industrialists, Korean Marxists, African Despots and the guy who invented Pop Tarts out to prevent the speedy payment of grants for a new set of sea defences on Lewis makes so much more sense. There is no way Lego, especially some of the funky robotic stuff, could ever be evil or Santa Claus wouldn't hand it out.

So should I ever miss a week rest assured. It has nothing to do with all night Danish plastic brick binges and is most likely due to me meeting a man in a dinner jacket with a liking for martini.

Conventional Wisdom

Some of you with long memories may remember that last year I placed a gratuitous advert in these hallowed pages - under the guise of an article detailing the ins and outs of this whole con running fandom thingy - for a science fiction convention that I am running next year.

At the end of that I promised further updates, which I have steadfastly failed to do. So here by way of an attempt to make good on that promise, as well as fill a week, is a summary of the last six months or so.

Last time we left our heros they had decided to run a convention in 2004 because there wasn't another one and it looked easy rightly. Since then the cabal has existed in somewhat of a bubble. We anounced to the world that our event was happening and then went off to plan, making the startling assumption that plenty of people would join. We arranged hotel rooms, haggled over the wording of adverts, signed ourselves up for a number of other conventions and happily discussed myriads of possible items to run while a small number of our closest friends and some bloke from Edinburgh signed up. We just, and no more, had enough cash in the bank to pay for the hotel deposits.

But we were happy. People laughed at our ideas (in a good way), the web site was well received and we had yet to cost up ceileidh bands. Still, it was with some trepedition that we approached Eastercon.
Eastercon is the British National Science Fiction Convention held, this may surprise you, at Easter each year. This was to be our first real exposure to Greater Fandom and if we couldn't get people to join here we might as well give up and go live up a pole in Thurso. That said we arranged a table in the dealers room to try and catch some of that spare cash flying about and decorated it with anything Victorian we could find including wooden puzzles, maps of the Empire, Nyarlathotep, old coinage and Jamie's beard.

We then proceeded to sit there for two days feeling increasingly frantic shouting out about dirigibles and distressed young ladies and getting nowhere. I learned backgammon and watched Margaret Rutherford beat up a ferret. And then day three rolled around.

We were sat there, perusing the Sunday papers and trying to remember the starting positions of backgammon for the umpteenth time when a friendly gent asked to give us money. To say we were glad to see him would be a vast understatement, but it was as nothing to our unbridled joy as he set of some sort of domino effect. Once it was seen that people could give us money they did. Indeed it got so busy that I felt like complaining I couldn't get time for a decent read of the headlines. Sadly and eventually the rush died but we left Eastercon a very happy cabal of SF Fandom World Domination Wannabes.

Indeed so happy were we that we rushed off to produce a Progress Report in only two months and have plans to update the website before Christmas. So here we stand, on the brink of something quite remarkable, the actual realisation of one of my daft ideas. How will it turn out? Will our next con appearence yield so many members? I haven't a clue, exciting isn't it?

Next time; There may be a Green Hill far away, but why did my train stop there for so long last week?

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