And lo, we did go to Pontins, and we did gather in that place, and we did all wear amusing t-shirts.
The SFX Weekender was brilliant fun, as you might have guessed from my excitable tweets at the time. Two and a half days spent in the company of my fellow geeks; we listened to clever and interesting people talk, we ate a dangerous number of hotdogs (well, I did), we marvelled at costumed people and we drank. And drank. And drank some more just for good measure. Looking at other people’s blog posts it seems the easiest way to sum up the weekend is with a jaunty list of happenings, so here are some of my highlights:
Feeling the wave of respect and admiration for Sir Terry Pratchett, who only had to appear at the side door to cause a huge kerfuffle of excitement. Similarly, Robert Rankin’s excellent and moving speech about why people like Terry are so important- couldn’t agree more.
Listening to George Takei talk. Obviously a convention veteran, he had the audience under his spell immediately, and the poor chap supposed to be interviewing him was rendered superfluous. Absolutely charming with a wicked sense of humour, I doubt there was a fan there who didn’t want to take George home with them.
Hearing Russell Tovey talk about George’s “special place”. (Not George Takei mind, the George from Being Human)
Finally meeting up with Kim and Del Lakin-Smith in the pub, both of whom were fabulous and doing a much better job of not looking plastered than we were. In fact, one of the absolute best things about this weekend was having a chance to say hello to people I only see once in a blue moon, including all the chaps from the SFX forum, various blogging and podcasting heroes and Adam and Sandra themselves, who were our chalet buddies.
Watching the exclusive screening of Primeval with a big bunch of fans (made all the more amusing by the knowledge that Becker’s first name is Hilary)
The continual walking menagerie of stormtroopers, zombies, monkeys in dinner jackets, ladies on stilts dressed as space vixens, trolls, abominable snowmen, ring wraiths, and steampunk dandys.
Talking to Dave from the Geek Syndicate and Amanda Rutter about “bumpy nuzzles”. Good lord, I was drunk by that point.
The Maskerade – it is difficult to truly convey the weirdness of dancing around next to Captain America, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and giant neon robots while Craig Charles deals out a series of excellent soul classics from the decks. I mean… that is quite weird. I also helped Captain America look for a glasses lens at one point.
Seeing Marty’s face when he found out he’d won a giant fuck-off picture of Judge Dredd by 2000AD artist Leigh Gallagher. Lookit his face!
And… well, there were too many fun moments to count really, and I’m sure a significant number of them were erased by large quantities of red wine. Thanks to the SFX crew for a marvellous weekend, and I hope we can make it again next year. Here’s a photo of Marty and I at the SFX awards, preparing to laugh like loons at the awesome Mr Rankin.