Pumpkins and Parties
In case you missed it, in the last issue we ran a whole load of pumpkin photos kindly provided by Clive the Flying Ostrich. They were absolutely superb, and I'm glad to report that not only did Clive do a batch for this year (you can see them on his Fotki page), but also that I've seen them in the flesh.
Clive sent a follow-up email to us with a link to his photos of this year's pumpkins, and I sent one back saying that he could bring them to my Halloween party if he wanted to. To be honest—and I told Clive as much when I picked him up from the train station a couple of days later—I was half-joking. You know, you send that kind of email and expect to get back a 'thanks for the offer, mate, but I live x hundred miles away and I have to be at work on Monday morning'. Clive, on the other hand, realised that I was only half joking and accepted the invite.
And so, for the third time, I found myself explaining to my partner and family that yes, I'd got someone staying with me that I'd met on the Internet, and no, we'd never actually met before, and yes, I was pretty sure he wasn't some kind of mad serial killer...
The most outlandish example of this was just the weekend before, when Gosho spent a few days with us. Gosho, as you may be aware, lives in Austin, Texas, and I live in Torquay, Devon. It was a hell of a trip to make on the basis that you enjoy someone's company online and the exchange rate is pretty good. Mu Beta, Odo, Beatrice and 2legs all joined us for the weekend, and we had a fantastic time. It felt more like going out for dinner with a bunch of mates than a meeting of Internet minds.
The big Meets are always good fun, but I've always found that I'm a little disappointed with the amount of time I get to spend with people. I go away wishing I'd chatted more to x, but when there are a couple of dozen people there you can only get so much of everyone's time. The smaller, regional meets seem to be more fun; there's time to meet everyone properly, the host knows where to go and what to do, and everyone still gets drunk and has a mad Irish dance in the corner of the local.
B'Elana has some interesting thoughts about Meets in this issue's Random Ramblings. Which brings me nicely onto the issue itself, without any need for my horizontal rule to separate my waffle from the important bits. There's plenty for you to get involved with in this issue; you can help to pick a winner in the 42-Word Stories competition, and Entry of the Month is back and waiting for your votes. We also have the final instalment of Whatever Next, and it really is a great finish. It's been a great series, and I hope the 'experiment' gets repeated. Well done to everyone involved.
We also have two new holders of the Post Reporter badge: minichessemouse, our wonderful poet, and Malabarista, artist extraordinaire. Mal should have had her badge last week, in fact, but a certain Editor forgot. Good job nobody noticed, eh? Anyway, congratulations to you both, and keep the excellent work coming.
The deadline for the next issue is Sunday, 16th November; in the meantime, enjoy this issue of The Post!