The Repairer of Reputations: Police!!! by Robert Chambers
The Week that Was

SFX Weekender, Year 2

SFX2 Although we blogged extensively about our experience at the inauguaral SFX Weekender last year, we used our first blog post not to talk about teh awesums (and there were many) but rather the other, more intangible side of the experience: things like shell-hunting on the beach at dawn, deciphering the graffiti of a miserable kid and rustling up stacks of bacon sandwiches. You can read last year's post here.

We'd like to begin this year's write ups of the Weekender the same way.

SFX The Weekender was held at the Camber Sands Pontin's again this year. We took a nice amble on Camber's justifiably renowned beach upon our Thursday arrival. Unfortunately, as we'd gotten in rather late in the afternoon, our sunset stroll was really more of a deep-twilight-edging-on-pitch-black scramble through muddy tide-pools and up troublesome dune slopes.  Nothing loath, I got up at dawn the next morning to do it all again. (Not a single one of my roommates joined me, the philistines.)On the upside, I found a starfish eating a clam, 2/3 of a humungous crab (in parts), and loads of orange sea-snail shells.  On the downside, the weather had taken a slight turn for the worse overnight, and my quiet beach ramble included howling winds and spitting rain.  I got home muddy up to my knees with the right side of my face nearly sandblasted off.  At right, a photo of my adventure.  Those pale rivulet-type things running up toward the dune? That's sand. Blowing uphill.  Note to self: loose sand at high velocities is hurty.

SFX We decided to forego the Pontin's chalet experience this year and stayed off-site. Trading frozen locks, tiny camp-beds and roommate-slugs in for an enormous and comfy cottage five minute's walk down the road is a tough row to hoe, but someone's gotta do it. The sacrifices we make for our geek lifestyle, I tell you what.  After a gorgeous dinner of chili con carne our first night in, we lounged around playing the brilliant Italian card game Bang! and digging through the cottage's extensively - if not well - stocked DVD collection for something besides Hannah MontanaScott Andrews revealed yet another in his spectacular arsenal of unsuspected but incredibly welcome talents and unearthed Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Austin Powers.  Our evening was made of win.

Friday morning Jared and I shared a quiet inaugural pint in the Queen Victoria pub before being manhandled by Darth Vader and two Imperial Troopers.  As one does, at the SFX Weekender.  (See above, re. "teh awesums.") From thence we attended panels, stalked authors for signatures, looted the dealer room and made regular trips back to the pub to make sure it hadn't walked off in our absence.  (It hadn't.)


John Smith's Extra Smooth really is a very nice pint.

Saturday followed, bringing more authors, more looting, more signing, more panels, PAT MILL'S EPIC FAIL, (which will get its own post, oh yes it will), and more pints. 

Whatever this was for, I'm damned sorry I missed it.

We had skipped the "Maskerade Ball" last year only to be told how very, very wrongheaded we'd been. (Which is what we get for making principled stands against cutsey misspellings.) So we made a point of showing up this year, if only to see what all the fuss is about. It would have been a surreal experience under any circumstances, but rocking out to Craig Charles' - yes, Red Dwarf's Lister -  "Northern Soul" set on a dancefloor packed with Jedi knights and girls on stilts was fucking awesome.  We had a brilliant time and stumbled back to our cottage at some ungodly hour for a last cup of tea before bed.


The SFX Weekender 2 in a nutshell: we came (with ten packages of bacon), we saw (girls dressed as sexy daleks), and we conquered (all ten packages of bacon).  (And everything else inbetween.) A good time was very, very much had by all.  Next year's Weekender will be at a different Pontin's, this time in north Wales, which means we will (god willing) never set eyes upon the betentacled demon-god of the Camber Sands Pontin's ever again.

He loooooooms.