spindizzy: A picture of Deadpool in mask and tuxedo, shrugging. (Fourth wall? What fourth wall?)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Someone (I think [twitter.com profile] faintdreams?) asked if I would be doing a comparison of Nine Worlds to Worldcon and... Honestly I don't think it would be fair of me to do that, because Nine Worlds was a really chilled, relaxing thing for me and at Worldcon I was a constant ball of anxiety. I am sorry to everyone who met at Worldcon for not being my best me! You were all absolutely lovely!

(... Yeah, I went with Jay and Lex and a) the accessibility of airports is their rant to have and not mine, but seriously if Jay wants me to swear vengeance and also write a thousand angry letters against our airline I will do that; and b) Lex realised very quickly that the convention was not his idea of fun, which he was fine with but it turned into an anxiety circuit for me, because my brain was doing the fun thing of internalising "Oh, wow, I am a terrible wife, Lex paid like £700 to be here and he's not enjoying it at all," and literally refused to take in the part where he said that it was worth it because he got to support me during the Hugos.

Like, that was Friday, and I did not take in the "Oh, Lex paid the £700 because he loves me and the Hugos are a big deal to me," until Monday.

I still feel a bit "Fuck me I am a terrible friend," but Jay is recovering and apparently had a good time despite everything, and Lex is glad to be back at work, so it all shook out!)

YOU SEE WHY I CAN'T REALLY COMPARE MY NINE WORLDS EXPERIENCE TO THE WORLDCON ONE. I will say that Worldcon is a lot more... Crammed? Than Nine Worlds? Like, Nine Worlds leaves plenty of time between panels for people to, y'know, get to the next panel, have a drink, eat something... Whereas Worldcon is Hot Fuzz levels of "THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON!" There is always something happening, and if you want to get between panels in time to actually get let in, you have to leave your first panel fifteen minutes early or run the risk of not getting there before they start turning people away. (Unless of course, you're that douche who ignores the "No standing in the back due to fire safety rules" and lets yourself in anyway.) Also, the panels are maximum forty-five minutes long, maybe twenty-thirty if they want to take questions, which feels LUDICROUSLY short after Nine Worlds. I guess when there's like six thousand people, it makes sense to cram as much in as possible? But it was definitely a massive scale-up. (Plus, I really really miss the pronoun stickers Nine Worlds has. And the no-photography lanyards. And the markers for your badge of whether you want to talk to people. ... I think what I'm saying is that Worldcon has more stuff to do, but Nine Worlds has more set-it-and-forget-it accessibility, I guess?)

(If there were any panels you missed, a few of them are up on youtube!)

BUT WHINGING ABOUT MY MENTAL HEALTH ASIDE: HEY GUYS, I WENT TO WORLDCON, WHO WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT ALL OF THE COOL PEOPLE I MET?

Thursday
  • We went to the Helsinki via Manchester because it was about £100 cheaper, and also my mum could drop us off at the airport. At like 3:55am. (I managed to tech support her video games though! It turns out that Epistory has a button you have to press to turn on the ability to write words, which I managed to COMPLETELY forget about in the *checks* sweet Jesus ten months since I last played it. Completely forgot to tech support Gone Home though! /o\) It turns out that both of our flights were quite short! Like, one 55 minute flight and one an hour and a half, with a layover in Amsterdam. ... The Netherlands are really neatly laid out from the air. Like, I aspire to those grid patterns in city-building games.

  • (Waking Jay up for the flight was great because they just muttered "Objection!" at me whenever I spoke to them until they got overruled.)
  • WE MET A WILD [personal profile] justira! I think we both had that moment of "You... Are not the height I was expecting..." because I was looking for someone taller than me (So, 5'7" up) and they were looking for someone... Not 5'7". And it turns out that with NO PRIOR PLANNING we both have very similar hairstyles, but theirs is both neater and longer. They were super nice as well, even though they'd been awake for like... Twenty hours, by the time we met them? And they did all of the scouting.

  • Ira got a photo with Daveed Diggs! This ended up being the con of "OMG Daveed Diggs" which is still entertaining to me.

  • I went to a panel on Thursday on... Oh heck what was it? Long form storytelling in SFF Video Games, according to my notes? Which was interesting but hard to keep up with while taking notes. It talked a lot about the plausibility and complexity of games as a way to keep players interested? And diversity of interactions? ... My notes for this panel are somewhat jumbled, as you may be able to tell.

  • Lex wanted an early night, because he'd been up longer than me, at least, and I went to the room to lie down for five minutes... And promptly slept through the entire Clipping concert. AUGH. Of course I then couldn't get BACK to sleep, because great combos. \o/


Friday
  • Me: *sets alarm for eight so I have plenty of time to wake up and get breakfast*
    Also me: *turns off alarm at eight and immediately falls back to sleep*

    ... Yeah, I was SUPER GREAT at getting breakfast this trip.

  • The hotel breakfasts were GREAT. There was like, tiny bratwursts and a zillion kinds of cold meat and so much bread. *_*

  • (Ira was like "You eat the least out of anyone I have ever met," and I'm there going "No, I eat like a pig, you have SEEN me eat," but I think this was because they were surprised that I wasn't hungry very much after having a breakfast the size of the moon?)

  • We had a rehearsal for the Hugo Ceremony!
    • EVERYONE got lost, because apparently we all asked the same person for directions, who sent us to the downstairs entrance to the hall instead of the upstairs one that was actually open.

    • A lady introduced herself as Alex and I'm just like "I know that voice, are you Alex from Galactic Suburbia?" OUT LOUD WITH MY FACE, oh god, I am shame. /o\

    • ... We also ended up in the same rehearsal slot as Clipping, and I think EVERYONE was just like "... Holy fuck we are in a room with Daveed Diggs and he's gorgeous, help." I WAS NOT KIDDING ABOUT IT BEING THE CON OF OMG DAVEED DIGGS.

    • In case you were wondering: yes, in the rehearsal, they DO SPECIFICALLY WARN YOU that the rocket looks just a little phallic and you should be careful how you hold it. And that you should specifically not point it anywhere near your mouth.

    • WE MET [twitter.com profile] booksmugglers! BOTH OF THEM! It is super weird to meet them in person after hearing Ana's voice on FHH so much, but it was SO NICE! *_* And they introduced us to a whole bunch of people – I remember Paul Weimar, Fran Wilde (her shoes were were amazing and I'm 90% certain that I've read one of her books?), Abigail Nussbaum, and Niall Harrison. People kept going "Oh, Lady Business, I've heard of you!" and this was deeply weird for me, because I... Wasn't expecting anyone to have heard of us? Well, maybe people who knew [personal profile] renay, and we were in one of [personal profile] renay's fandoms so that's a lot of people, but still! People going "Oh hey, I voted for you!" was just...

      ...

      ... Sorry, I was having an emotion there. It was both nice and strange.

    • (The fact that I voted for them was beside the point, okay.)

  • After that we took over a café on the main concourse (the café was closed) and held an informal [community profile] ladybusiness/[twitter.com profile] booksmugglers/[twitter.com profile] fangirlpodcast meet-up! THERE WAS A [twitter.com profile] pallekenl! We have been chatting on Slack for ages and look, she's here! In the flesh! \o/ And there was a [twitter.com profile] butnotdegeneres with her amazing hair, and I did not realise I wasn't following her on twitter because she showed up in my feed so much anyway. It was kinda strange to meet everyone after chatting online for so long, but also exactly like talking to everyone online, in a way that was both weird and beautiful? I have emotions, everyone is lovely, aaaaaaaaaaaah.

  • (I am sad that I didn't get to fling Lex and Mieneke's husband together to talk about RPGs, I think Lex might have actually died if I tried though.)

  • (Also I can now pronounce everyone's names correctly, fuck aye!)

  • And I saw [twitter.com profile] clairerousseau again! We caught up, there was yelling, Claire joked about getting in on the Hugo Losers party as my +1 but Lex had dibs. NOTE THIS FOR LATER.

  • Lex and I went for a walk! Helsinki is super tidy, it's so unusual. But their trams are cute, and the part of town we were in seemed nice, even if we didn't manage to walk down to any of the actual tourist attractions.

  • [insert that massive fucking anxiety attack that I mentioned here because hahahaha I am great at this]

  • Ira and I had to practice our speech, which was great because neither of us are comfortable reading out loud in private. But we did it! And we tweaked the hell out of the speech draft, so uh, apologies to anyone who was expecting the original and got us.

  • AND THEN I was supposed to start getting ready for the ceremony but FUCK THAT, Cassandra Rose Clarke (!!!) and Kameron Hurley (!!!!!!) were doing signings so I had to fly off to the vendor room for that. And then back to my room, because I managed to forget to grab my badge when that was like the one thing I went into my room for. Apparently the con didn't have a stock of books for the authors to sign, which was... Unusual? But apparently was because it cost too much for the American authors to ship books over, so I guess it makes sense? But I was SUPER AWKWARD at Cassandra Rose Clarke and she signed one of her short stories for me, and Kameron Hurley signed the last Lesbians In Space ribbon for me, it's MINE, mwahahahaha!

  • And, the plus side of my massive anxiety attack was Lex admitted that the idea of going to the Losers Party stressed him out beyond bearing, so I found Claire while I was doing my mad dash around and gave her first refusal on being my +1. She was completely coincidentally dressed in her steampunk outfit, which was GREAT because the party was at... The Steam Bar? Maybe? IT WAS A STEAMPUNK THEMED BAR, OKAY, CLAIRE WAS THE MOST APPROPRIATELY DRESSED PERSON.

  • (My dress ABSOLUTELY showed my bra straps, but I THINK I managed to get away with it through the medium of having a fancy cardigan that I could maybe make it look like the seams of. NOBODY TELL ME OTHERWISE.)

  • The Hugo ceremony reception was... Awkward and nerve-wracking? Like, it's odd to be hyper aware that you're standing ten feet away from George R. R. Martin while talking about L5R with your friends, okay, it's weird. But there were photos, and gin (literally they gave us G&Ts on the way in, and all of us handed them off to Jay, who bless their heart was just like "It's fine, I can't get a DUI on a scooter" and took that hit for the team), and intense awkwardness. And we met the gentlemen behind Rocket Stack Rank, Greg Hullender and Eric Wong, who were very kind and apparently read everything on the nominations list. Even the puppy stuff. THIS IS A DEDICATION TO FAIRNESS THAT I COULD NOT HAVE MANAGED, OKAY.

  • Weirdly, Lex managed to be THE MOST CHILL about being in a room full of people who were... Okay, the best way I can think of explaining this is EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM IS A HIGHER LEVEL THAN US, that's all I'm getting, I'm sorry. But Lex was just there like "Mate, I've been in a room with the queen?"

  • (Ira wore paramedic boots to the ceremony, because Ira is HARDCORE.)

  • THERE WERE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS, it was absolutely worth going to the nerve-wracking thing just to see them.

  • Okay, HUGO CEREMONY.
    • Dr Karen Lord *_*

    • I am so glad that the fan categories are first, because if we'd had to wait any later, I might have died. Certainly my phone would've, because I was on like 20% battery and that had our speech on it.

    • Nikhil Singh gave out the Best Fanartist award (I was looking up their name and was just like "Oh hey, Lady Business is one of the headliners on this random Forbes article" and Jay's like "Wait what"), but they looked SO STYLISH and SO OMINOUS, and I loved it. I super awkwardly complemented their outfit, auuuuugh, but they were beautiful.

    • Me, on Saturday: Someone's complaining about there being Hugo speeches that were too political and I can't think of any that were political?
      Lex: What about the one explicitly calling out the interference?
      Me: Look, being against the Puppies is not political, okay, that's being a decent human.
      [*derails into a discussion of "invisible" politics*]

    • Ana's there like "Oh god, what if Fangirl Happy Hour wins," because she did NOT want to give a speech; I think my suggestion was winning next year, when Nay has to give the speech. So, y'lnow, Book Smugglers and FHH not winning is sad but also oh thank god not giving a speech?

    • I don't think the video for the Hugo Ceremony is up yet, but when it is, there is probably going to be a five second window between Lady Business being announced and the applause starting where you will be able to hear me shriek "WHAT?!" at the top of my lungs. *shaaaaame*

    • SO YEAH WE WON

    • THAT WAS AMAZING

    • IRA AND I GAVE A SPEECH AND I THINK IT WENT OKAY, BUT I WAS JUST SO DAZED BECAUSE HOLY FUCK WE WON A HUGO!!!!

    • (We were reading off our phones and I'm pretty sure I made a joke about how it was going to be hard to read the speech because twitter had just got the news. THANK YOU FOR EVERYONE WHO YELLED ABOUT THIS WITH ME ON TWITTER. AND IN PERSON.)

    • And I got back to our seats and there were HUGS and YELLING and Lex managed to wait like a whole thirty seconds of celebration before he said "So this means we don't have to go to the party, right?" which was a bit wow, love you too sweetie, thanks for the support. (He was joking, his timing was just terrible.) BUT EVERYONE WAS SO HAPPY FOR US, OMG, YES INCLUDING LEX, THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SUPPORT!

    • (I don't know what happened in the next few categories because twitter exploded and took my phone battery out with it.)

    • BEST SPEECHES: Ursula Vernon, because she'd mentioned on twitter that she hated writing speeches and was writing something about dead whales, but I was not expecting her acceptance speech to just be on whalefall, and Ada Palmer for making me cry.

    • (Immediately after Ada Palmer's speech Jay was like "I am buying all of her books.")

    • WINS I AM MOST HAPPY ABOUT THAT WERE NOT LADY BUSINESS: The Obelisk Gate (Duh; now I just need The Stone Sky to get one as well or everything's gonna be uneven.), Seasons of Glass and Iron (IT IS SUCH A GOOD FAIRYTALE OKAY), and Monstress (It is so beautiful and I love it).

    • (I am not going to drag any of the winners here, but y'all KNOW which one I made a face at.)

    • Hey, I think it was women/non-binary people winning in every category but the Dramatic Presentation ones, right?! THAT'S SO EXCITING!

    • The guy doing the Best Novella category doing a ridiculous British accent to read out "Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex by Stix Hiscock" like he was David Attenborough.

    • Okay, you could work out who was most likely to win by the level of cheering when the names were read out, right? And when Vox Day's name was read out, it was dead silence, which is never gonna stop being funny omg.

    • It was a good ceremony, even if I spent the first half of it in a daze. People were smart and articulate and funny and I enjoyed it!

    • There were photos, and honestly the best bit of the photos thing was mentioning to someone that there was going to be a six-way custody battle over the awards on Lady Business' part, and having it confirmed to us that we'd get an award each – legit, we did not know until right then.

    • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

    • PHOTO PROOF THAT THIS HAPPENED

  • So uh, we checked out the stats afterwards (I can't remember if it was [twitter.com profile] butnotdegeneras or [twitter.com profile] clairerousseau who pointed out that they were up already but either way THANK YOU), and uh... We swept it.

    Most nominated, and then first at every step of the voting.

    What the fuck, you guys?!

  • (We even beat File 770 before they recused themselves. ... HOW?!)

  • Hahahahaha the Puppy pick didn't even beat No Award in most of the categories, GET TAE FUCK YA SHITEY BASTARDS!

  • But yes, we dropped off awards and Lex, and then I nabbed Claire to go and be my +1 to the Losers party!
    • ... George R. R. Martin just paid for a cab to go back and forth between the con hotel and the party all night in case there were people who wanted to go, wow.

    • I felt a bit weird and worried about going because the invite said winners would be viciously mocked (Ira knows no fear, Ira gave no fucks), but it turns out that the vicious mockery mainly involves yelling shame and putting silly hats on people? Which was okay, because I got a squid hat and that squid hat was great. I was completely immune to shame in that hat, which was good because people yell SHAME at you when they see you in the hats, apparently? (Also my hat was the best.)

    • I met the Journey Planet people and I know I've said this before but they were SO NICE and SO GRACIOUS and I wish that I'd been more articulate because they were so lovely. *_*

    • And Mieneke and Weibe were there with Ana and Thea! (I think Mieneke traded ironing Ana's Hugo dress for being their +1s? Also earlier I was like "Oh, my dress is a cheap one from Lindy Bop!" Ana's like "Same!" and we had that horrified pause of "... Wait, no, this could go badly...") And there was a lady called Mia (I'm so sorry if I spelled it wrong or misheard you) who was SO ENTHUSIASTIC about Lady Business and I nearly cried because omg we made someone's day better, that's AMAZING. Also her dress was BEAUTIFUL and had a CAPE, she looked great.

    • ... I have no idea what I can actually say about the party, because the token sober person blogging/livetweeting when everyone else was at least drinking (although not necessarily drunk) seems like dirty pool. I think the fair stuff I can say is: Ira got given a gimlet THE SIZE OF THE MOON (we have yet to decide if it was despite or because of the chicken hat); Ana, Thea and I danced badly; Claire found GOOD CAKE and some of her friends; I SPECTACULARLY failed at getting a photo with Daveed Diggs despite everyone's encouragement because I physically could not interrupt his conversations to ask him (seriously, I failed my 102 BSL exam because I can't interrupt people, this is a Known Thing); some guy poured his drink over me and Ira (I assume by accident) and walked away without apologising; Jay gave sternly-worded lectures on not minimising the achievement of winning a Hugo... It was a good time! And we were there till like 3:00?

    • THANK YOU TO THE NICE BEARDY ANDREW WHO LOOKED AFTER US WHEN WE WERE LIKE "??????? WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON?????" BECAUSE HE TOTALLY WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND IN TERMS OF US BOTHERING HIM AT A PARTY.

    • I never understood why Worldcon fandom seems to have collectively adopted George R. R. Martin as their Murder Uncle, but I kinda get it now? He is tiny and throws a good party, and when we were leaving at like 3am he was sitting outside the party (not just outside the bar – definitely outside the party) looking at his phone like, y'know, your Murder Uncle making sure you all fuck off without breaking any of the windows. And I accidentally complimented his hat because I didn't realise it was him until AFTER I'd already put myself on a trajectory to talk to him! WHOOPS!

    • It was a good night! I am still an anxious potato about it but holy shit, we collected an award on behalf of our beautifully intelligent and articulate friends, and then we went to a fancy party! GOOD JOB, US.


Saturday
  • ... Getting up for breakfast on was PAINFUL, okay. Especially because I forgot to reset my alarm, woke up enough to change the time on it, and forgot to reset it so that it would actually go off. So Lex got up and let me sleep while he got ready for the day because he didn't know when we'd arranged to meet, and Jay was left to phone me like "... Did you not want breakfast?" Someone really needs to warn [twitter.com profile] clairerousseau and [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie that they actually got me at my best for mornings, as hard as it may be to believe.

  • The only thing I remember doing that morning is handing in my Hugo for shipping, and it was UNEXPECTEDLY DISTRESSING to watch someone dismantle it. D: D: D: Like, I knew I'd get it back and be able to put it together (it's still a little wobbly because I don't own a socket wrench and I am weak), but it was still sad.

  • NO, I TELL A LIE, LEX AND I WENT TO THE SHOP. VENDOR HALL, THAT THING.

  • THERE WAS AN OWL. I have no idea what it was a cosplay of, if it was a cosplay, it was someone in a cute fantasy-looking dress with an owl head, and the mouth moved properly! And I'm there grabbing Lex's arm and going "Owl, owl, it's an owl, look at that owl it is amazing!" and the owl just very. slowly. turns. its. head. to stare at at me LIKE AN OWL and it was creepy and REALLY COOL! I LOVED THAT OWL.

  • THERE WAS DIGIMON MERCH. I did not buy any, because I... Apparently internalised my "No Susan, DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS TRIP, anything you buy has to go in the shared luggage on the plane!" a bit too well, so I bought NOTHING but two postcards and tourist trap present for [twitter.com profile] Jilliferium? But there were DIGIMON and POKEMON and I am so impressed that I did not just grab armfuls of plushies and go "Yes, these are mine now." I also didn't buy series two through four of Black Sails, no one tell [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie. >_> Also y'know that thing where you go into a game shop where if you look femme you get guys who IMMEDIATELY walk past three dudes to come up to you because you obviously need help? Yeah, poor guy tried that on me and was horrified when he realised I didn't speak Finnish. There was also SUPER COOL ART (including SPOOKY OWLS, which I loved, and Finn/Poe which brightened my day), respect to the artists. It was cool! And fun! And window shopping the vendor hall was the correct choice of con-thing to do with Lex, I think.

  • Claire has taken to handing out her business cards as "designed by Hugo Award winner Ira," and greeting me in the corridor as "My Hugo Award winning friend Susan!" and this still makes me laugh.

  • That afternoon I ACTUALLY DID THE PROPER CONVENTION THING THOUGH and went to panels! I was SO DETERMINED! I was not having going to a convention and only going to ONE PANEL, it was absurd. But it turns out that the only panels I can actually motivate myself to go to are writing craft panels?

  • The first one I went to was a panel on Meaningful Choices In Interactive Fiction and it was really interesting. She talked about the impact on choices for the players (ideally, you want choices where one result isn't The Bad Option, and you want the player to a) know what the choice is related to, and b) agonise over it.) and how branching is not the only way to make a choice meaningful – the game engine she uses has stats, which means that choices can also affect or be affected by your stats, and your stats in an interactive fiction game inform the stakes!); plus, in a game with choices that change the endings, you can't get all of the game in one playthough, so players have to do it again to get the whole story. BUT, the really cool thing was that she specifically and explicitly tried to pick out women with questions in the audience to make sure that they got their questions answered. I'd not seen a presenter do that before, and in an audience with as many dudes as that had, it was good to see?

  • The next panel was on Folklore and Myth In The Fantastic which was a lot more... I dunno, there was less of it than I expected? But I liked the points they made, and that they specifically pointed out that there are multiple versions of myths, and different areas would have the same mythological figures, but very different interpretations of their stories? One suggestion was to look at Greek myth, but the other was "Look at the Confederacy, and how different part are re/de-contextualised to make for better dogwhistles." SHAAAAAAAAAADE. Also, myths are embedded in a culture, so you SERIOUSLY need to consider cultural appropriation if you're considering lifting anything from a living culture. One of them specifically mentioned looking at your cultural inheritance and power relationship to the culture you were considering lifting details from; the white American dude on the panel was not okay with the idea of using Black culture or narratives himself, because of his cultural inheritance there, which was a really way way of explaining "stay in your lane" and "is that your story to tell" to people.

  • I went to a panel on writing retreats, even though hahahaha I will never be able to afford one of those, and to a certain extent it was VERY middle-class (one of the ladies goes to her summer cottage in case of deadline and got a group together to rent a villa in Spain FOR A MONTH and split the costs, one of the other ones has friends who go away a lot and leave her the keys so that she can get away from her house and write; apparently she's used AirBNB for a similar effect), but it also had some useful advice about just GETTING AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSE so you're not thinking about all of the chores you could be doing instead, especially because they talked about the value of just GOING TO A COFFEE SHOP to get the work done. And also strategies for dealing with needing research but also not giving yourself internet access at writing time (take a LOT OF NOTES, or use site blockers specifically set-up to only give you access to your research sites for five minutes at a time so it can't consume your day), how retreats can interact with ADD (The lady who brought this up had the BEST description, which was that your prey instincts kick into gear: something is moving, so I must watch it! Which is not great at a group retreat!), and the importance of agreeing boundaries and what everyone needs to write before you go so that no one gets completely disrupted. It wasn't necessarily useful for like... "Let's go away for a weekend and write" but for the thing I do, which is collar [twitter.com profile] captainraz so we can both work silently in a library and hold each other accountable, it was pretty good!

  • And then it was time to EAT ALL OF THE FOOD with Ira and Jay and Lex, where it turned out that Lex and Jay had not heard the story of Ira's engagement (it's a great story that I will leave to them to tell), we learned about marriage in Quaker states (in retrospect, I should have been able to work this out from the fact that Quakers don't have religious leaders), watched sign singing videos... It was nice.

  • And there was a lightning storm! That looked pretty mild when we were out in it, but apparently was bad enough after we went back to our rooms that it took out the blacksmiths outside the convention centre and wrecked their stock, and that the hotel put warning signs up advising people not to go outside.

  • (I... Spent the evening reading Alanna: The First Adventure for Secret Reasons so it's not like I was actually paying attention, really.)


Sunday
  • Sunday was entirely packing up to travel (it turned out that Ira's flight left at the exact same time as ours from a gate a little further down!)! We absolutely remembered to do our boarding passes before, y'know, an hour before we left for the airport. ABSOLUTELY.

  • (Helsinki's duty free sells reindeer skins, if you were wondering what my peak Finland was.)

  • IT TURNS OUT btw that you can take 10l of booze within the EU, but only 1l to America, much to Ira's chagrin.

  • I don't know why the bathrooms in the airport have birdsong playing, that's really weird.

  • Again, the story of our airport woes is probably best told by [twitter.com profile] hardlyaverage, who is more resigned to ableism than I am, but suffice to say THAT ONE LADY AT AMSTERDAM AIRPORT WHO WOULDN'T HELP US. FUCK HER IN PARTICULAR, 100000 points to Lex for his efforts and Jay for staying calm and not committing a murder like I was ready to.

  • Here's how interesting I am as a human being: I spent three flights out of four retagging my entire ebook collection on my tablet and counted myself as content.

  • Somehow in all of this I ended up with Lex's passport without knowing, which was great fun at the other end when we were getting ready to check our passports and "Hang on, where's Lex's?" (The lady by disembarking at Manchester was SUPER HELPFUL, I assume because she was really bored and the three of us failing hard was the most entertainment she'd had all day.)

  • My mum has a new car, btw, because her old one just... Stopped, and she was ADAMANT that it was green and the papers say is grey. Now that I've seen it in the light: SUPER GREEN.

  • My mum, because she's a star and she loves us, cooked us a roast dinner. MY MUM IS AMAZING AND I LOVE HER. Her roast dinners are GREAT.

  • (She is also very happy that we won the award in Helsinki, because my dad actually studied at the university there as part of his Erasmus. Weird, random detail for you.)

  • And then it was back to Nottingham! Flinging Jay into the arms of [twitter.com profile] captainraz, going home, attempting to assure [twitter.com profile] sithe that he was not being burgled (I'm 90% sure he was asleep when we got in, but considering how out of it I was I can't confirm), and just... Potatoing intently. Which is what I'm doing now!


It was a good trip, apart from the anxiety and airports being made of stress! I might try it again when it gets to Dublin (I can just GET THE FERRY, she says, more in hope than expectation) to see if it's any different? It was lovely to meet everyone, and finally put like... People to words? And just THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH, you were great!
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