Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Follycon Gone!

Part one: Thursday.

Having changed the purple plaster for an awesome space boot last week, I was ready to go to a science fiction convention in Harrogate.

But first, a stop in Yardley Hastings for a celebratory cake.

As gleeful as I was to get a boot that looks like part of Marvin the Paranoid Android, the smile somewhat faded when I realised walking is now double hard and I miss my scooter.

The journey to Harrogate on Thursday was a good deal longer than it should have been, but I was delighted to find myself travelling on the A1 - lead tarmac of the film of the same name, A1: The Long Road to Edinburgh a film by newbie comedian Mark Row about his first year in comedy and which I got invited to see at a screening last week as a guest of Nig Lovell, who was also in it. Only to discover I was also in the film! Well, the sound of my cackling voice was (at a gig in Milton Keynes). We listened to a short story collection audiobook from the library on the way on time travel.

Unfortunately, because time travel was working incorrectly for us, we ended up missing a table booked for a hotel, and instead ate at our hotel - the beautiful Crown! This was a hotel at which Lord Byron once stayed in 1806, and they are very proud of this and have the poem he wrote then on the wall, which you can read on the way in to breakfast.

To a Beautiful Quaker.
Sweet girl! though only once we met,
That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
And though we ne'er may meet again,
Remembrance will thy form retain.
I would not say, "I love," but still
My senses struggle with my will:
In vain, to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt;
In vain I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies:
Perhaps this is not love, but yet
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

What though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke.
The tongue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale it never feels;
Deceit the guilty lips impart,
And hush the mandates of the heart;
But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
Spurn such restraint and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft conversed,
And all our bosoms felt, rehearsed,
No spirit, from within, reproved us,
Say rather, "'twas the spirit moved us."
Though what they utter'd I repress,
Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess;
For as on thee my memory ponders,
Perchance to me thine also wanders.
This for myself, at least, I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day:
Awake, with it my fancy teems;
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray
For breaking slumbers of delight
Which make me wish for endless night:
Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await,
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image I can ne'er forget.

Alas! again no more we meet,
No more former looks repeat;
Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care:
"May heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
That anguish never can o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her heart's partaker!
Oh, may the happy mortal, fated
To be by dearest ties related,
For her each hour new joys discover,
And lose the husband in the lover!
May that fair bosom never know
What 't is to feel the restless woe
Which stings the soul with vain regret,
Of him who never can forget!"

In other words: "I quite fancy you!" Did they or didn't they? Probably. He was only eighteen but apparently he'd already had a collection of poetry burned for being too saucy.

We had chosen to stay at the Crown because it was a cheaper hotel than the convention hotel - the Majestic - and only a five minute walk away. Only!! Well, after walking there on the first night, it became clear I would need to use a lot of taxis. Thankfully, taxis in Harrogate were fairly cheap.

And the food was amazing at the Crown. I had macaroni cheese with Whitby crab (oh my life - it so works!) and OH the steak and ale pudding. Then we went to the Majestic to begin locating friends. We found Ian Watson and Cristina Macia in the bar with Roberto Quaglia, and were joined by fellow NSFWG member Andy West, Dave Lally, Neil Williamson, and were then joined by friends Jess and Kris, who had enjoyed the pleasures of the A1 for even longer than we had. Finally we met Ian Whates and Helen, whose company we had missed at dinner. But it was a fairly early night for all of us before the con proper the next morning. And the memory fuzzes already... the bar was busy, we were tired, and so I am now...

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're on the mend and have been promoted to controller of the space boot.