Wednesday, 2 April 2008


I hadn't realised that it had been *quite* that long since I last posted... I have been rushed off my feet, both at home and at work, and the closest I have come to blogging has been composing posts in my head on the walk to and from work (most of them have been rants against cyclists and people who fail to indicate, but as I have made my feelings on that clear in an earlier post, I won't repeat myself...
So - we are now in April. Easter has passed by, and BST has started... And what have I been up to? Aside from being completely manic at work (April 1st is the start of our new financial year (although due to creative accountancy and the need for our sales team to edge a bit closer to their targets, year end is physically the 7th...)), John and I have also been highly active in our leisure time.
As well as more organising for the Fforde Ffiesta (link one more time ;-) ), we have also been to London, spending Easter at Heathrow airport for the UK Sci-Fi convention, Orbital (also known as Eastercon). This was a completely amazing experience - highlights for me included meeting Neil Gaiman again, and managing to exchange more words with him (well, a few) than "Wow, you are brilliant," being Gopher-liaison for Mitch Benn, and thereby getting to sit in the front row for his most amazing set (crying with laughted for at least three quarters of the time), plus having Christopher Priest sit with us for breakfast (for me, the ultimate convention experience - to be able to sit and chat with someone whose work you admire, but to talk about nothing at all (the fact that it was snowing at Heathrow...)). Plus, getting to wander round, sit in some very silly, and some not so silly panels, and to do my best to completely exhaust myself by Gophering for a good chunk of the weekend (I got enough 'groats' (1 groat for 1 hour worked) to buy a £5 t-shirt, a jacket potato, at least one or two drinks, and still have some left over to buy a lovely cloak broach, so I did quite a bit!) - it is something that I really enjoy about going to major conventions, and really miss when I don't get the chance to do it. We discovered after Orbital that the New Zealand Sci-Fi convention is also held over Easter - plans are already afoot to see whether, once we are established over there, we can work out a live satellite link up. One of the best comments about the convention, which summed up why I love going to these so much, came from Neil Gaiman. "You are my tribe." The idea that I can go along to a venue, where over a thousand people are, end up separating from my husband and friend (voluntarily, not by accident), and still know that I am amongst friends, fully comfortable with everyone around me, is something that transcends the shared love of sci-fi/fantasy. It might be the common bond that brings us together, but it is not that which makes it work - again, as Neil Gaiman said - "If, overnight, everything to do with sci-fi; DVDs, films, videos, books, comics, the lot, completely vanished, never to reappear, there would still be conventions. We would have to hold them about knitting, but they would still happen."
Last weekend, we were back in London for the Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum. This was breathtaking, even though it was only a very small portion of the full army, and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to see it before it heads back to China again next week. The detail on the warriors was outstanding; a kneeling archer had moulded nails in the bottom of his shoes. They had even mocked up a painted soldier to show what they would have looked like when they were new - really quite terrifying, in fact - a very lifelike army, row upon row, of men and horses, taller than those who created them, silent, guarding the body of the man who felt that he was Emperor of the Universe.
And then back to earth with a bump with a very busy week of work this week, and my final hockey match of the season on Saturday - we are heading for relegation in a big way, and it is going to be a good thing - I'm looking forward to matches where we aren't going to lose 9-0! But first, I have to brave the end of season piss up...

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