My Life as a Boozy Oaf

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Redemption, a Convention

So, after nearly ten months of hiding from the whole convention circuit, we finally broke our duck at Redemption. This advertises itself as a Blake's 7 and Babylon 5 convention but generally covers all things telefantasy. And silly. Neither of us had been to a Redemption before (I think they have been running since at least 1999) and had signed up on a bit of a whim while advertising ConVivial some while ago. Also unusual was that we would not be travelling in a large group of friends. We would be but two against a ravening sea of strange media convention fans. Oh was it fun.

The convention being in the heart of England (the M69) meant that it took us most of the day to get there, admittedly not rushing. We booked in and then went straight to the bar, because we could. We sat and perused our programmes, consumed some rather nice Bishops Finger ale, and took in the sights of Klingons, Centauri and a passing Judge Dredd. Then it was off to the opening ceremony which was professionally run. The committee and guests were introduced, various announcements on safety and programme changes were made and the Ruler of the Universe was assassinated. Following this rather surprising introduction to the sillier side of the con we returned to the bar for a pint before dinner.

In the bar we got talking to Roy, the Cuddly Klingon, and eventually some of his friends. It took a supreme act of will to drag ourselves away to dinner and, upon returning, we were immediately sucked into the conversation again. Thus it was that we were a good few pints down before we managed to get away to get changed for the ceilidh. Indeed I was sufficiently drunk to try and pick the iron up by the hot side. Luckily I had enough brain left to stop quickly but it was close.

Anyhoo, changed did we get and off to the ceilidh where we danced like loons for a good few hours and vaguely sobered up. Unfortunately all this good works was immediately ruined by us returning to the bar and we didn't get to bed until well after two.

As such Saturday morning was a bit of a washout. I got to breakfast (just) but Toc did not and most of my morning was spent face down in a copy of the Times. I eventually dragged myself back to bed in order to watch the rugby. Which we won. Not well but we did win. Buoyed up by this we returned to the fray, although sticking to the soft drinks for a while. There was an old fashioned fair to peruse and a dealers room which ate all my money, oddly enough in exchange for a game called Munchkin. I finally succumbed to the call of the alcohol just before dinner, this time being Old Speckled Hen. After dinner we tarted up for the vampire disco but Toc was still not right and so went for an early night while I got nobbled in the bar and found myself singing along to some guitar until we were thrown out of the bar.

Sunday saw me more awake and intending to actually do more of the convention. Thus we threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the Great Tribble Hunt and I wandered round the hotel with the beasties bursting from every pocket. Then there was some impromptu origami frogging followed by the Ruler of the Universe contest. This followed the format of a traditional election with hustings, duels and heavy drinking in the lead up and massive fraud in the election itself. Only slightly more people than actually attended voted and so it was deemed a success. My favourite moment was watching the son of one of the candidates have his vote stamped by the assistant of another in blatantly the wrong place.

It was then off for a quick pint and/or lie down before a panel on the new Doctor Who and then the closing ceremony. Here one of the committee stripped far more than they meant to and the actor guest revealed an uncanny ability to scare children. After this it was back to the bar to talk nine to the dozen. We would all be away in the morning and nobody really wanted it to end. But sadly it did and another great convention was over. Still they are running another one in 2007 and I am going to Eastercon this year in one month in the same hotel. So I don't have to wait too long for my next fix.

Next Time: New Who is nearly upon us!

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