My mate Kev popped round tonight. Normally that would be nothing unusual, but Kev has been over in New Zealand for a couple of months and it was our first chance to exchange bear-hugs and sink a few beers for some time. Kev and I have known each other since we were seven and, thanks to a school visit to a Catholic church at the age of 13, were married for several years until we mutually agreed to split up to allow me to get engaged to Lainey. Thanks to a poor local bus schedule, he couldn't stop for long, and we were just getting to grips with our time apart when he was away again. It was an oddly frantic way of catching up - I've missed the big fella, and I hope we'll have a few more beers together before he gets back into the full swing of work.
On a similar note, my brother moved in with us last week. He's been working in America for the last six months, and it was a bit of a surprise when he asked to come and work at the hotel until he finds a job more suitable to his graduate status. The pay is rubbish, but it's easy money and, as we haven't seen each other regularly since he was 11 - we're a decade and a half on from there now - it's a perfect chance to spend a bit of time together.
So I understand completely the feelings of the people who were in London last weekend, and the kind of emptiness that follows. I've been lucky enough to attend a few myself, and it always feels like you have to leave at the exact moment that you start to get to know everyone really well. It's a joy to find that the people you really like onsite are even better company in real life, so going back to typing communications with people can be a real let-down. For those of you who have never been to a Meet, we do have our own Meet Guidelines, but I really would encourage you to make the effort.
My own memories include being drunkenly shepherded to the last train by the inimitable (and occasionally dangerous) Kat, waking up totally unmugged at King's Cross after far too much drinking with 2legs and Roymondo, a small but perfect Meet on a Dartmoor campsite, a protest Meet outside the House of Commons with AlexAshman, and the thing I was doing while you lot were in London. You can read about the latter below.
In this issue, you can read Meet reports from two of our stellar Researchers, Gnomon and Galaxy Babe, who have kindly written Meet reports for those of us who weren't there. Not only that, but both have linked to various photo collections where you can see some wonderful snaps of Researchers, phallic gods and butterflies. There's also an alternative Meet report about the Devon Micro-meet which took place on the same day. Finally on the Meet front, we're delighted to announce our first Caption Competition for ages - take a look at the article below, come up with a caption, and we'll print the best in the next issue.
On that note, we also have our competition entrants in this issue, so please, please get voting on your favourite Doctor Who stories and on the One Vowel Poems. Thank you so much to everyone who took part; it's great to see such a good response, and we'll certainly try to organise more competitions in the future. Special extra thanks go to lil for doing so much extra editing to get all the entrants sorted out in time for us!
We also have a special treat for you, in that we have produced an audio version of Tibley Bobley's The Faces in conjunction with the Aviators. Starring Mu Beta and the ever-wonderful lil, narrated by EMR and prepped for audio by Mina, this production by 2legs is a superb piece of work, and we're absolutely delighted to be able to bring it to you. Let us know what you think - we do have more planned, but we'd really like a bit of feedback, particularly if you have any audio ideas of your own.
Finally, a quick welcome to Frenchbean, who has started a new column this week; a welcome back to the inimitable Rev Jack; and a big hello to Mar, whose Post Recipe is hopefully the first of many Iberian treats.
The deadline for the next issue is Sunday 18th May. In the meantime, enjoy this absolutely huge issue of The Post! US readers, don't forget it's Mothers' Day on Sunday, and could all of you please send Torquay United kind thoughts on Saturday? It's my birthday, and we're playing Ebbsfleet in the FA Trophy Final...