28 April, 2011

Discworld convention was awesome!

Well, I had a fantastic time at the convention. There were lots of cool events ranging from Viking armour displays (yes I did get to wear a chain mail shirt, Viking helmet and brandish a sword) to more Discworld flavoured stuff like a mock trial of Lord Vetinari (for being a tyrant), plays based on Discworld characters, costume parades, games of Thud (Chickie loved this game) and much much more. I also got a book signed by Sir Terry himself (yes that's me in the photo), and after the closing ceremony I was able to get a photo of Chickie and me with Sir Terry, we also had a very quick chat.

We stayed in the hotel that is sort of attached to the convention centre, which happened to be where Terry, and his assistant Rob, also stayed. We saw him around quite a lot - breakfasting at the table next to him etc. Some friends and I had a quick chat with his assistant Rob one evening as well. They both seem like such lovely people. You can see that Terry's Alzheimers is affecting him - during his speech at the closing ceremony he seemed to lose track of what he was saying and mentioned that he has problems with short term memory loss. Quite sad to see this in one of my favourite authors.

There were quite a lot of people there but thankfully there were some cafe's and restaurants downstairs so getting some chillout time wasn't too hard.

After the convention we also went to Jenolan Caves. Talk about stunning! I have a thing for caves and the various formations, and the two caves we visited did not disappoint one bit! We saw the Lucas cave and the Temple of Baal cave. This pic is from the Lucas cave. This photo - and the others we took, have made us realise that we really need a better camera. This is a pretty basic camera and it's getting on in years too. I'm thinking a basic DSLR might be nice, but really have no idea where to start! So, a question - if you have a DSLR, what do you have and what do you like/dislike about it?

04 April, 2011

excited but also freaking out a bit

This weekend J, Chickie and I are heading to Sydney for the Terry Pratchett convention Nullus Anxietas 3 and I am so excited!

Terry Pratchett is one of my all time favourite authors. I just love the Discworld series. The list of events sounds like so much fun and having the actual Terry Pratchett there as well.. icing on the cake!

On the other hand, I'm also dreading it a bit. One of the reasons I left work, was that my supervisor moved me to a different desk and I discovered that I have a bit of a phobia of being surrounded, or being in a crowd. I found I can manage for a while but the thought of being in that mindset 8 hours a day, 5 days a week was just a teensy bit overwhelming.

For years I sat at a desk on the outside edge of the room - windows behind me and most of the time no one in the desk next to me (with barriers between the other desks around me). I also found that I have hearing loss in the upper and lower registers that made it difficult to hear when there is a lot of noise around me (and in my old position the barriers, and having windows behind me meant I didn't notice it so much). I asked to be moved back, that request was declined, so that (and several other reasons) gave me the impetus to leave after eleven years.

I always had a problem with Christmas crowds and tended to do it in dribs and drabs (and then having to courier presents to my family because I took too long to send via Aus Post!). Not sure why I never did more online shopping (I think I will this year). Anyway, last weekend we went into the city centre to check out Angus and Robertson and Borders (to see if they had any good closure sales) and it only took a couple of hours until I started feeling a bit antsy. That was a couple of hours in a crowd, the convention is three days with heaven knows how many people (I'm thinking a lot!).

Anyone deal with similar issues? Any tips on how to deal with feeling freaked out?