Morning came, and soon the house was bustling with packing and organizing and all of that. cadhla came over to join us on the trip down, and eventually we set off for Basingstoke, stopping briefly at Waterloo station for a Buger King lunch.
The train trip down was relatively uneventful, though i sometimes wonder about the poor fellow who was sitting by the window in the section of seats we encamped on. Conversation between us was as varied and colourful as conversations involving this lot tend to be after all, and looked horribly trapped and put upon.
Arriving at the hotel, we split into two groups and taxied over to the hotel, and checked in. This was where we discovered that the hotel would only allow us one key per room. This wasn’t a problem for me, as I was the only person in my room, but cadhla‘s roommate had gone off on a grocery run with others, and she couldn’t get into her room. I invited her to drop her things in my room until she could get into hers.
Having divested ourselves of stuff, we headed out to meet up with folks, and distribute hugs and generally hang out. Eventually, sweetmusic_27 showed up with food and the room key, so I helped her carry her stuff in (“Are you happy to see me, or do you just want me for my labour?” “Well, just this minute….”), and eventually went and fetched Seanan’s stuff as well.
telynor asked me if I’d be willing to help out with Opening Ceremonies. My complicated job, which will be difficult to explain to a layperson, but I’ll try, was to stand by the door and look big. This all tied into the whole X-files/Torchwood/Area 51/Men in Black thing the concom was going for. My job was to Secure The Door. (“I’m on the brute squad.” “You ARE the brute squad!”)
Saw a bit of tarkrai‘s concert, and then agreed to walk to the city centre with Seanan so she could acquire diet soda. We actually turned the wrong way at first, and then doubled back on a bike trail, but eventually, we found our way to lovely downtown Basingstoke and located a Tescos, stocked up on beverages and stuff, and then walked over to the train station, where we took a taxi back to the hotel, so we wouldn’t have to lug our bags.
Friday night was mostly spent hanging out in the pub area with telynor, katyhh, and some other folks I’m not remembering at this point. I did wander into the open filk for a bit, and borrowed ladymondegreen‘s guitar to play “Sauron” when a rash of silly Tolkien songs broke out, but otherwise spent most of my time socializing, ending up sitting at the bar with bedlamhouse and ladyat for as long as Bill was willing to keep buying me pints. Eventually, about three in the morning or so, the last folks wandered off to bed, and I wandered off as well.
End Part the Second…
(Coming soon: Part the Third, featuring a disco, a skittle alley, a relocated dinner, and a program shuffle. Stay tuned!)