The Official h2g2 Winter 2002 Party

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It was h2g2's biggest and best official party to date1. Researchers from as far afield as Sweden, Germany, Holland and Stoke Newington came to celebrate Rupert's birthday2 and party in the style to which h2g2 has become accustomed.

Water, water everywhere...

The party kicked off at the Lord Moon of the Mall, a lovely pub on Whitehall. It's a huge pub, yet despite its size the h2g2 Researchers filled over half of it. The atmosphere was so convivial that many of the pub's other customers were keen to find out more about this 'mysterious h2g2'! Unfortunately, the weather was less kind3 and most of the Researchers arrived looking like drowned rats, which, for many, brought back memories of the h2g2 Summer Party of 2000, we were soaked then too! Of course the damp clothes and dripping hair were soon forgotten as old friends were greeted and new friends were made. The home-made name badges led to much staring at chests as party-goers attempted to work out who was who4.

As the weather eased off, the brave and intrepid Researchers decided that the Photo Scavenger Hunt seemed like a really good idea after all and the hastily assembled groups set off in search of suitable subjects to photograph. The tasks included taking a photograph of the team in bed, of one team member pulling pint and of the team outside a tube station whose name contains all the vowels. The idea was to make the photographs as inventive as possible, as the more creative the picture the more points it would be awarded. For example, Task One was to photograph the team with a lion. The obvious place to visit was Trafalgar Square, but other ways of achieving this were to visit the lion statue on the South Bank or to photograph the team with a Lion Bar.

Abi attempted to meet up with the groups during the hunt, though this proved harder then she had anticipated. In order to come up with most original photographs, the groups had scattered themselves all over central London. Because they were using the Underground to reach the various destinations, trying to contact team members on their mobile phones was difficult. We must give special credit to the team who braved the horrors of Hamleys toy store on a Saturday afternoon to find a rocking horse, in order to complete Task 15, which was a team member either riding or stroking a horse. It appeared that all the parents and children in London had decided to visit Hamleys too. The same team later got into trouble in the BBC shop at Broadcasting House, when they were caught taking photos without permission and they were ejected unceremoniously.

The Sutton Arms

Mark, Peta and Abi were waiting at the pub to welcome the tired teams and distribute the Moxon tokens that were their just reward. As word spread that the Scavenger Hunt destinations had been picked by Abi, many Researchers attempted to throttle her. But it was all in jest5. There was food, drink and music and soon everyone was in high spirits. As is usual at an h2g2 meet-up there was plenty of hugging, as Researchers bought the smiley - hug smiley to life. People who had never met before were chatting and laughing like old friends, which was ideal because the huge turnout meant everyone was standing very close together. While we waited for the pub to open up a second bar to ease the congestion, food was passed up and over the heads of the party-goers. Lost in Scotland certainly could have a successful career as a waitress, if he ever decides to give up his current job!

The Scottish Researchers showed everyone how to dress for an h2g2 party. There was much speculation as to whether B-17 was wearing anything under his kilt or whether he was au naturel. Despite offering various people the opportunity to find out, most refused his kind invitation and it remains a mystery unto this day. Munchkin was as ever immaculately turned out complete with waistcoat and watchchain. MaW appeared to have grown another foot since the previous meet-up and Fashion Cat paraded her new auburn hair. Candi proved to be a very popular person, having covered her shirt in sweets as part of the name badge competition. As the evening progressed, there were fewer and fewer sweets left.

Abi had to spend the entire evening apologising to Spimcoot, after she failed to realise he was a Reseacher and had tried to eject him from the pub. As copies of the Paper Post were handed out, Shazz congratulated Frankie Roberto in a corner. The monstrous undertaking of turning the 100th Edition of h2g2's Community newspaper into a real publication had been his idea in the first place. Everyone else got their friends old and new, to autograph their copy as a souvenir.

The pub quiz taxed and challenged the participants' minds. The first round tested Researchers' knowledge of Edited Guide Entries and showed the Editors just who had been reading the entries that appear daily on the front page. The second round was designed to show just how much everyone knew about their own Community and the final round was a tricky one about the presents the Editors had received for Christmas. Well done to the winning team - Wumbeevil, fords_prefect, Other Person, Sam & Metal Chicken.

Mark announced the winners of the Name Badge Competition, who were, in no particular order; Wumbeevil, fords_prefect, Candi, Titania, Toccata, Tube and Whisky. Congratulations to everyone who took part, the badges were so good this will probably become a permanent feature of future parties.

Time to say Goodbye

All too soon, it was over. Another meet-up had been and gone and it was time to say goodnight! Some slipped away quietly, others complained heavily about not having anywhere to sleep. Researchers met on the tube and chatted about the day's events and made their way sleepily to bed.

Thank you to everyone who helped put the party together, the Sutton Arms for hosting us, Ekki for managing the RSVP list6 and most of all to everyone who attended and made it the success it was.

1Links to the photos can be found here: The h2g2 Winter Party 2002 Photos2h2g2 Researchers call the downtime that occured in 2001, Rupert. Rupert was the name for the fictional tenth planet that was discovered by astronomers in the book Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams3A nice British understatement here!4At least that's what we assumed they were doing.5We hope.6We missed your presence Ekki. Hope you can make it next time.

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