That Eastercon Report
Just realised that I never submitted my Eastercon report, being my account of the assorted doings, monkeyshines and just plain rave-ups we writers-on-the-randan got up to in Birmingham….
Well, I had a room at the convention hotel, the Birmingham Hilton, possibly the hottest hotel in the north of England…by which I mean that the room temperature was in the high 20s throughout the weekend. Oh yes. And the room I was in on the Friday night rather inconveniently looked out over a roof full of aluminium ducts and ventilation machinery which made a kind of mass WOMWOMWOMWOMWOM all through the night. Uh huh – the noise + the sweltering heat = no sleep for Mikey. At all. Sure, I`d had a few drinks on the Friday evening, got my precon buzz on, so it was a revelation when at 4.30 in the morning, lying on a relentlessly warm bed I realised that I was sober…
Anyway, I had a coupla panels the next day at which I managed to acquit myself with a measure of dignity (or so I like to tell myself). Got a new room for Saturday and Sunday, it was just as warm but at least the only noise I got was from the geese out on the NEC pond.
Bar prices – bwah hah hah, sky high, well, yes, of course, its a bar IN A HOTEL which as we all know is a cast iron guaranteed permit to charge comedic levels of dosh for drinks.
That said, it was still a blast to share time and a gab with various luminaries and writer buddies like Gary Gibson (yeeeaaarrr, yeww slaaaaag!), Ian Sales, Craig Marnoch, Neil Williamson, Paul Cockburn, Andrew J Wilson – and Phil Palmer, Keith Brooke, Debbie Miller, and all too fleetingly (again!) Mark Chitty, Lee Harris, oh, and Simon Morden, and the incomparable Ian Macdonald (tha winnah!), and my ever-suave and empowering agent John Berlyne (although John Parker had another engagement), my highly eagle-eyed, knowledgeable and shrewd editor, Bella Pagan, as well as John Jarrold and John Meaney, mebbe even a coupla other Johns…oh, I have to stop even though I know I`ve missed out others. The point is that every convention is essentially created by the people who attend it, and I definitely had some major laughs from the barrel over that weekend (although my adventures in surrendering cash to Flybe at the check-in desk remains an aggravating sore point).
Next year Eastercon returns to the Radisson Edwardian at Heathrow, and I never thought I’d ever say this but…the Birmingham Hilton makes the Radisson look good.
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