Monday, 16 April 2012

Spectrums are Rainbows Too

Colin the Triceratops oversees my haul of NSS & RABCK gifts
Getting on the tube - the Northern Line, no less - during rush hour, with a suitcase, made me feel like a social pariah. Or a tourist. Uck. But needs must, and 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls (on train) 2 of the Forsyte Saga (on ferry. Am also reading books. Style envy central) and I'd got a birthday present made as well as arriving in Dublin. Hurrah all round.

First order of the day, of course, was ensuring that I was in no way involved in the ice breaker event. So I strategically positioned myself and my Non-BCer dinner companion (controversial. I am nothing if not a rebel) so that I wasn't obvious enough to be dragged in, but was obvious enough that less wiley people could spot me and, now knowing that escape was possible, come to say hello. People started drifting over (some of them muttering ominously about anagrams), and the real ice breaker (bitching about the planned ice breaker) got under way...
First up was everyone's favourite non-jazzing Belgian (he does like Avril Lavigne though, which is immeasurably worse), shortly followed by Bruce. Yes, the Bruce. Awed as I initially was, he made the cardinal sin of, having asked what I 'do' and listened to my reply, talking about the film, so has gone down in my book as being on a yellow card, coach trippers.
I was further honoured to not only meet, but actually be sort out and approached by Ardik. Both being a bit socially inept, we cracked a gag about social inept awkward silences to try to break the awkward silence, but it didn't really work and he spent the rest of the weekend avoiding me. Oh well. He did have lovely hair though, neatly sidestepping the usually repulsive 'IT guy with a ponytail' look by incorporating a sort of twist thing that rendered the whole thing very enjoyable as he walked away. 
Being sat with the Belgian (who, in a blatant and completely acceptable attempt to bribe me into giving his monopoly team bonus points, had brought me Biscuit Spread), lots of the German contingency came to join us, and talked German too fast for me to follow - which always makes me paranoid that they are talking about me*. It turned out that the paranoia was preferable to what came next - guilt. Guilt that I'm not a nice enough person to be consistently nice to people; they tried to rope me, as apparently a person of some standing in the BC world(?!?), into joining the volunteer support staff team. I think I'd enjoy it, but I can't be relied upon not to get grumpy with the obvious questions and answer with 'Are you actually retarded, or just really good at doing impressions?' becasue I've got PMT that day...

And so Friday evening progressed, and I was actually very sensible, didn't drink a lot and went to bed at a reasonable hour - I wasn't even the last man standing in the bar (but since it was the Irish, and on their own home turf, I let them take it).
So far proceedings had been spectrum free.... It couldn't last.

Saturday morning arose, and, given the completely responsible level of alcohol consumption the prior night, so did I. I was downstairs in time for breakfast and everything! (Mind you, I only really went as an excuse to show off my beautiful vintage dressing gown, since I never usually get a chance to air it in public and it makes me feel like a one of Bertie Wooster's fiancées). It was noon on convention day two before I took my first trip around the spectrum...
I was in the pool, which means I was pretty vulnerable becasue I had no excuse not to talk, plus I was wearing a latex hat. No weird situation is gonna be helped by bright yellow latex headwear. Then he got in. Mr Butterfluff man. Who, despite the pool only being 16 by 4 meters, tried to do Butterfly. Which would have been bad enough, but he clearly didn't actually know how Butterfly is supposed to progress, and instead just extended both arms sideways while flapping his hands about, and doing mermaid leg kicks. admittedly, hilarious, but rather prevented me from being about to swim without getting smacked in the face by a stray stroke.
So I ran away.

The afternoon consisted of our little band of rebels sitting at the back of the room working on our various craft projects**, being given teacher-ish looks when we occasionally burst into laughter while whispering to each other. So, for anyone who missed it becasue of our disturbances, the official talks in summery:
 - Bruce promised the same developments as when he spoke at Nottingham. They won't happen this time either. Still no word on the European Supply Store, even though it is now a year since they closed the UK one.
- The people organising Gothenburg 2013 like to show photos on OHPs. make of that what you will.
- Rachel didn't win the raffle, she missed out by a syllable. Gill did, woop woop. Fortunately for Rudi, I didn't win either, despite his entering me multiple times. The git.

Once the planned games and activities were done, our table of carefully selected normal people (Normal -ish, anyway. Despite the fondness for wool, buttons and embroidery hoops) started attracting attention from the oddballs and photographers alike, and it became obvious that our oasis was unsustainable. So we went to change for dinner.
Through a combination of carefully selecting which restaurant party to join, plus some political manoeuvring whilst taking seats, we manage to avoid  being too near to any of the more vocal spectrum folk (though loud joke lady from Nottingham was still too nearby for my taste. By which I mean she was in the same city). We discussed the weird German habit of passing books around for everyone to sign, did some hypothetical matchmaking, and drank a couple of bottles of wine....
Back at the hotel I had more than a couple of rum n cokes (Sea Dog, nice and dark).
Someone brought a couple of bottles of fizz (celebrating the finding of a previously lost wallet).
You can put the rest of the evening together for yourself

I felt somewhat rough this morning, and ducked out of the release walk. To be entirely honest, I doubt I'd have joined in anyway since it left at an ungodly hour (those are the ones with an AM after them). I'm fairly certain that it's only down to Janice & the BMI staff that I made it home in one piece.

Warning; it's about to get serious. And potentially sentimental:
Final thought for the day...
Please know that when I laugh at the spectrum folk, I do it in the full knowledge that I am one of them (I'm sure more than one person has looked at my ridiculous dresses and even more ridiculous shoes and immediately written me off). If I were a better person, I'd have the patience to ignore the spectrum and find the special, but I'm not a better person, I am a me. 
The fact is, the bookcrossing community is populated by incredible people; generous of time, spirit and energy (not to mention presents) with no expectation of return. They are, every last one of them, wonderful.
Especially the ones that give me dinosaur colouring in books :)

*Me, Self obsessesd?
Ich könnte keine GoG sein, ohne eine Egomanin zu sein...

** check out Rachel's blog, tis covered with awesomesauce and sparkley sprinkles 


  1. My friend has a nice green chunky corduroy T Rex called Colin. I had never considered Colin a dinosaurish name. Must be me!

    1. Colin doesn't think that Colin is a very good dinosaurish name either - but like the rest of us he is stuck with what his parents gave him...

  2. I really enjoyed meeting you, I wish we'd had more time to talk.
    Please don't worry about the Support thing. If you think it would be fun, then you're very welcome; if you think it's not for you, then that's not a problem and I'll still like you.

    Yes, Ardik has nice hair, doesn't he.

    1. Oh, I'm (mostly) teasing. I think it would be fun, on the proviso that I can moan to you when i bump up against the idiots :)

  3. i. I am deeply curious about who the Nottingham person is. You've mentioned her before. You may have to PM me in the interests of BC tact and harmony.
    ii. Ardik's hair reminded me of a Lord of the Rings elf.
    iii. I too was underwhelmed with Bruce's exciting stuff. We cheered in Amsterdam, and there were lots of questions. Sorry, can't get excited about new Japanese and Afrikaans forums. The European supply store, as you say is sooooo long coming; how difficult can it be?
    iv. Considering we were roomies, I saw more of your shoes than you;-) Maybe you were avoiding me. I may be a spectrum person. I enjoyed the ice-breaker.
    v. You went down to breakfast in your dressing gown? Awesome!
    vi. Your shoes and clothes and you? Spectrum person? I think not; Fashion Goddess! (and I'm not even angling for Monopoly points)
    vii. If Moem can bite her tongue to do support, I'm sure you could too. Moem doesn't suffer fools gladly either. I'm surprised she talks to me.

    1. You are not spectrum. Spectrum people are to be avoided, not room-shared :) tbh, my shoes are the best bit about me anyway, so I reckon you came off well from the deal.
      i've agreed to do support :) thought I haven't heard back from moem about getting started yet