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Ok - It is finally official - GTBacchus and I are doing a big tour of North America: U217918

I have a map with pins and lables and everything, tickets to Dallas, health insurance, all the stuff I need.

We are working out an intinerary with as many researchers on our list as possible. Let us know if we can meet you, or you can meet us. Check out our new joint U-Space: U217918

Two whole months: July and August - awesome eh?


smiley - bus

Discuss this Journal entry [86]

Latest reply: Feb 2, 2003

Down Under - Pt III - the Sydney Meet

You know you are an h2g2 addict when... travel half way around the world to go to an h2g2 meet!

I had dropped by the Australia and NZ researchers page a couple of months or so ago to check out which researchers were where, and hanging off the page was a thread about the next Sydney meet. It was taking place a couple of weeks before I was due to fly in, so I dropped by the thread and posted an "aw, shucks, that's a shame" message. The next thing I know they've moved the date so I can attend!


So the Sydney meet becomes a fixture in my itinerary, and Big Bro is told that I will be going to meet a whole load of people I don't actually know, and nothing is going to get in the way!

I'd shown Big Bro h2g2 a couple of years ago, and he had lurked a little but never actually signed up, so he did not know just how wonderous a place it is. But he could hear the modem connecting at 3 in the morning when I signed on each night in a fit of jet-lagged insomnia, and he could see just how much time I spend here.

I was a little nervous, I had 'met' Feisor on-line a few times, but I was not really aware of Linus, Shrillian, Cheesecake or Platypus. This is partly because I have been limiting myself to Peer Review and Ask h2g2 for a while, and partly because the 11 hour time lag does make a difference. Amy the Paper Lady was going to be there, but though she takes great photographs, she isn't always the most talkative of members at a meet.

What if they were all 15 year olds, (apart from Amy)?

What if they were all Thingites, (apart from Amy)?

What if it turned out we had NOTHING in common at all, (apart from Amy)?

And I was forcing poor Big Bro into coming along with me, partly for moral support, and partly because I thought it would be fun for him. Educational, like.

smiley - magic

Anyways - Feisor had phoned me and promised to meet us underneath the main steps at the Opera House. (A wonderful place for a rendezvous). Feisor had said 'You will recognise me' - and there are few truer statements in the world than that. Once you have seen a photo the reality is even more unmistakably wondrous!

We all climbed into a cab and went off to a real pub. Most of the pubs where Big Bro lives are now up-market bars, but this was an honest to goodness pub.

And what can I say?

Hootooers are amazing people. We had a wonderful evening talking about everything from - well everything really. Cheesecake, spam, red-wine smileys (thank you Platypus), the art of being an Aunt, the history of the site, (we all miss Peta), Rupert, Thingites, our favourite researchers, (that took ages and ages - how many ears were burning on Saturday?), English pubs, Australian pubs, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Salmon of Doubt, more Heinlein than you can shake a stick at - hey - everything under this and every other sun!

Oh - and Shrillian showed Big Bro a really neat way to set the triangle in pool. Very smiley - cool

The lovely thing was the conversations ebbed and flowed and we all ended up speaking to everyone one at a time, (apart from Linus who had to leave early).

As soon as the photos are developed they will be on my Geocities page.

So -

If you are EVER in any doubt about going to a meet -

Remember that this one was worth crossing the planet for!


Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: Nov 24, 2002

Down Under - Pt II

Had a MUCH nicer day today. The weather was great - clear blue skies and enough of a breeze to make it not too hot. (Yesterday by contrast was overcast, vilely cold and blowing a gale). We finally both felt it was time to get out and about.

Yesterday we lost, mainly because of the weather. Wednesday we had done some clothes shopping, but I made the mistake of trying to do a 'surgical strike' in a shopping mall I don't know. And I know that I can never, ever, ever even consider buying clothes with a man in tow. So the surgical strikes were a bit abortive, and I only really got any success when I said: 'look, this isn't working, I will meet you here in 30 minutes'. I was hung-over and jetlagged that day too, neither of which helped!

But today, by contrast was fab. We took a bus and then a ferry over to the centre of town, perfect tourist stuff, and then hit The Rocks which is a group little high-class tourist art-shops and boutiques, and nestles between the Bridge and the Opera Hosue.

November is the perfect time to go away on hols. YOu can combine recreational tourist shopping with buying Christmas presents and feel amazingly productive and virtuous! Best buy was a Skippy-skin for our nephew. Actually it is a wallaby-skin, not a kangaroo-skin, but it is sufficiently politically incorrect to merit a raised eyebrow from our sister, and sufficiently nice for him to enjoy the kudos now aged 10, and to still be getting out of bed onto it in a couple of decades time.

I also got a whole load of obviously Australian Chrimbo cards, and am going to spend a lot of the next two days getting that lot out of the way in time for the Manly Ferry trip on Monday or Tuesday, and then the Big Road Trip South on Friday.

an englishwoman abroad called Ben

Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: Nov 22, 2002

Down Under

Well I am feeling right at home today, it is overcast, cold and windy. The Aussies are all praying for rain, and although I don't know how the weather works here, it doesn't feel like rain to me.

I am still a bit lagged - I am bouncing off the walls (and ususally here online) between 2 and 4 am, but need matchsticks to prop up my eyelids when we go out for drinks in the evening.

The flight was good, and I slept through most of it, (including a two hour delay on the ground at LHR, which I didn't even know was happening). I watched 'Insomnia' (which seemed an appropriate title for an inflight movie) and 'MIB II' (don't bother, some nice effects but you saw the best bits on the trailers).

I am settling down here. Big Bro has taken the whole month off, which is really nice of him. On the other hand I won't be doing much travelling by myself as a result. Mind you, I hadn't got as far as making any actual plans, so there is no damage there. We are going to do a bunch of touristy things this week, and round it off with the 2002 Sydney Meet! Way hey!

Then next week, we are on the long drive down to South Australia and Ceduna and the Eclipse!


Discuss this Journal entry [22]

Latest reply: Nov 20, 2002

It is amazing...

... how much better I feel if I am actually allowed to do the job that I am employed to do.

I have been here four weeks, and today - at last - I have managed to bang my head on enough brick walls, and rattle the bars of enough cages, to get the permissions and contacts to do what I am good at, and what I am here for.

What a pity I leave in 3 weeks time...


Discuss this Journal entry [4]

Latest reply: Oct 7, 2002

Back to a girl called Ben's Personal Space Home

a girl called Ben

Researcher U148580

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Former Underguide Volunteer
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