The convention itself was a blast. All in all, it was relatively small, but what a great time. Before heading for the hotel, we made a stop and looked around the East Anglian Railway Museum, just outside of Colchester. It is interesting to see how very different the railway equipment is in Britain. In NA, there is a lot more distance and more rugged terrain to deal with so trains are much, MUCH larger. They have a refurbished frieght shed, (or 'goods shed') as they call them over here. The carrying capacity of freight cars is considerably less than what we see here. This was one of the smaller railway museums in the country, but the work they are doing there is not to be sneezed at. They are doing some wonderful restoration work there.
We arrived at the hotel intome for 'Cream Tea'. This consisted of six different varieties of tea, and an "Amuse Bouche", which contained an assormtent of local crustaceans in an egg mayonaise. Followed by scones, cakes, tarts, eclairs, and rounded out with a small trifle. My "bouche" was quite "amused".
Then we got to the convention itself which was wonderful. Annie and Lissa really outdid themselves in making this a wonderful time for everyone. I our travels, we have met some of the people out of the UK and it was great to see them on their own turf. We got to see some folks we haven't seen in a very long time. Tim and Annie Walker, Phil and Lissa Alcock, and the ever delightful Talis Kimberly. We also made some new friends as well. My Tape Brother, Steve Macdonald was also attending. We caught up on a whole lot of stuff there. Our first concert on Saturday night was a hit. We certainly had fun performing for them. The following day, we did a finger picking workshop and then did our closing concert just before the UK Guest of honour, Clare Goodal, closed out the con with her wonderful stories and brought in an entire army of musicians and dancers in period Renaissance garb for a tour de force preformance. The weekend rounded out with reluctant good-byes and then we caught a lift with Chris Malme who brought us all the way up to Loncolnshire where we are now. More England to see before we return home on the 17th. We will be heading up to York to see the BIG railway museum in the next day or two.
I also have to give cudos the the Fan GoH's for hosting some really fun parties on Friday and Saturday night. I played some of the open filk on Saturday and got to reconnect with my old friend and filk collegue, Michael Longcore. He's always good for for a most enjoyable chinwag.
Thank you, billroper and the rest of the cast and crew who made Windycon the marvelous time it was for us. See you next year.
I have been seeing a lot of posts about what happened in New York on this day in 2001. There is a wide variety of feelings on the matter from near irrational hatred to "let's leave it alone." As I was not living in the US when this happened, I have a different memory of the events from the out pouring of grief, shock, sympathy and hostility. All justifiable feelings, but I would like to share something else. All religious and political analysis aside, here's what happened on, what was then, my side of the border.
As soon as the US was aware that this was a terrorist attack, they closed down all airports in the country. The border was shut down and no one could enter or leave the US. Many US bound flights were re-routed to Canadian airports and many travelers were stranded on "foreign" soil. They couldn't go home and they had no idea when they would be able to leave. There was not enough hotel space to put up all the unexpected transient visitors on such short notice. People all over the country opened their homes to travelers who had to alter plans on a moment's notice and had no idea how to handle the situation. Their ordeals were made much easier by the locals who at least gave them a place to stay and a base of operations for as long as it took for them to make arrangements to get home. One of my favorite tales was from a couple in Nova Scotia, I believe it was, when they put up some people from Arizona. When they left, they invited their new friends to come to Arizona and stay with them for a little while. A few weeks later, they received a letter in the mail expressing heartfelt thanks AND a pair of plane tickets to Arizona with an invitation for an extended visit.
Even the most horrific events can have some good come of them. Diplomatic ties may remain fragile in some parts of the world, but we can also see where things like this bring out the best in people. There have always been close economic and diplomatic ties between Canada and the US, even though we do have our differences. I myself have many friends on both sides of the border, all of whom I treasure. Acts like the one we saw all those years ago have had far reaching effects we still feel to this day. I'd rather not see remembrance of these people doing the unthinkable and killing themselves and taking thousands with them. Let us acknowledge that and see where we can find some common ground and co-exist. As far as we know, this is the only world we have, folks. We ALL have to make the best of it. Let us all take care of each other.