Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Innominate - EasterCon Monday

We started the morning doing our bit to help take down the art displays. Fangorn was there packing his paintings away - he did covers for the Redwall series, and had the one with the badger and hawk on display over the weekend.

The final day of panels at the Con began with the intersection of two very different interests - SF and pub signs. There was quite a bit of trouble on the technical front to start with - horrendous howls from the electronics, and difficulties with the slide show - but eventually we could see the pub signs that Arthur Chappell was talking about, starting with one from a pub called the Vulcan, showing the god Vulcan, a Vulcan bomber and Mr Spock (positioned so it looked as if the god Vulcan was hitting him with his blacksmith's hammer). The talk also covered famous pubs connected with SF writers, like the Eagle and Child which was CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein's local watering hole, and fictional pub signs like the Slaughtered Lamb from American Werewolf in London and some of the pub signs from the Simon Pegg World's End pub crawl.
We went on from there to the Travelling in SFF panel - space ships, portals, quests, and so on.
And finally it was the Closing Ceremony, where the guests of honour said what a wonderful time they'd had, and Pat Cadigan thanked the Con goers for a wonderful and uplifting weekend.
And the Committee handed over the reins to the FollyCon committee. Next year in Harrowgate!

We didn't have to hurry away, as we decided to stay for an extra night. Our plan was to beat the post-Con blues by doing something completely different for the last afternoon and evening, so we took the train into Birmingham New Street. Back in the 1980s, I went to Star Trek Cons at the Metropole and the Grand. The Grand is no longer a hotel, though I think it may be re-opening soon, but part of the space is now taken up with a new wine bar called The Alchemist. I'd looked it up online, and it seemed to be Steampunk themed, so we started out by going to have a look. The directions I got from Google map took us out of the wrong side of the station, so we had to climb the hill to the main square, so we basically ignored them after that and headed for the cathedral, which I knew was close by. The Alchemist was busy, and the cocktails looked interesting - but there was no Steampunk theming that we could see, so we moved on to a pub called The Wellington which the Young Man had discovered while doing training in Birmingham.
This was more like it - a Victorian style pub with about a dozen hand pumps on the bar, each of them serving an interesting, and often local, beer. The Thoughtless stout was very strong, but very tasty.
Then we headed back down the hill to the BrewDog pub, where we had dinner, with more excellent beer. It was the perfect way to wind down, and we were enjoying the music there, too.
So we missed the Dead Dog Party in the hotel in favour of an early night.

We had a fantastic weekend, and the scrambled eggs at breakfast every morning were delicious, and the girl who cleaned our room was lovely - she'd never seen anything quite like the Convention before - and we met lots of interesting and lovely people, and just had a great time!

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