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Coventry: Report


From: MP <mpettitt@softhome.net>
Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
Subject: [F] Report: Midland Meet 18th August 2001
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 23:22:41 +0100
Message-ID: <3B803C31.E1C5000B@softhome.net>
Reply-To: mpettitt@softhome.net

Or "You're not attacking me with that thing!"

In attendance
MP (organiser, with Shaun Sheep and palmtop for quotes)
Supermouse (that's with a "e"[6], a massager called Ethelbert, and some
cheese)
Kincaid (with hat, chocolate and white rabbits)
MEG (with Rocky hat and digital camera)
Rebecca (with, presumably, cold legs)
Paul (with ginger hair)
Hippo (with hippos, white rabbits and 

So it happened - my second ever meet, as announced on this very
newsgroup, in Coventry with a good selection of afpers from all around
the country. And it was great!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

After a long wait at Rugby station waiting for a train to Coventry, I
finally managed to get on one and travel the 20 miles down the line to
the meet destination. Coming off the platform into the main concourse of
the station, I immediately noticed hippo standing there, and wandered
over to say hello. We chatted for a bit, and were soon joined by
Supermouse (complete with scary Ethelbert - more about which later) and
Kincaid (complete with hat). We also got a text message off MEG saying
she'd be a bit late...
Being evil, we also spotted another group collecting people, and
Supermouse tried her best to hijack it [7a], but then we realised they
were maths teachers and gave up! [1] Mouse also tried her best to poison
us
with salty liquoric in the shape of little mice, which she defended
eating by saying "it's a dog eat dog world"... :-}
Not being sure how long a bit was, we decided to wander off into
Coventry and look at the cathedral, and Kincaid also commented on how
Coventry council managed to knock down vast numbers of buildings by
claiming they were bomb damaged when they had broken windows and
replaced them with lovely square concrete fifties buildings... Although
Supermouse did point out that there are some beautiful examples of this
type of architecture around in Coventry.
Getting to the cathedral, we looked round the old one first, where
Supermouse was ecstatic at finding a mouse on the chair:

'I saw a Mouse!' 
'Where?'
'There on the chair!'
'Where on the chair?'
'Right there!'
(Note from Supermouse: This refers to the mouse on the bishop's chair in
the Sanctuary at the bombed-out cathedral, which I am assured has
Significance, but I have no idea what this Significance is. There is
supposed to be another as well but I couldn't see it.)

and then disappointed at the lack of twiddly bits on the new cathedral.
We debated for a while about going into the new building, and eventually
curiosity won out and we went in and looked around a bit, eventually
coming to the conclusion that it was a bit gloomy inside, but still
quite nice.
We then wandered through Coventry a bit, finding lots of bollards with
elephants on top, including one which wasn't fixed down, which Kincaid
was tempted to collect and wander round Coventry with, but we decided
that we weren't that mad. Yet. Getting slightly thirsty, we headed off
to Brown's and got drinks. Except Mouse, who got a meal and ate it at
us. So we ate her cheese. :-}
We chatted for a bit, then tried to work out what to do next, eventually
deciding on visiting the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, on the basis
that it was quite close and we didn't want to walk far... We looked
round the downstairs area, had a go at building a stained glass jigsaw
(Supermouse's favourite), and a clock (Kincaid's favourite) and looking
at a Jaquard loom (my and hippo's favourite), then heard drumming
outside and went to have a look. 
As my amazing planning had decided[2], the Irish carnival was just
passing by, so we went and watched as a Snow Queen, a Wicked Wolf, a lot
of drummers, a lot of dancers, a St John ambulance and some rather
overgrown spiders paraded past, then decided it was time for more
drinks, so headed towards the Windmill. On the way we met the carnival
again, since they were now blocking the road we needed to cross, so we
ran on ahead and finally managed to get past, and make our way to the
relative quiet of the pub...
Passing some money to Supermouse, I requested "something random I don't
care from the bar", which slightly phased her, until she had the bright
idea of passing the buck to the barmaid, who shoved a glass under the
nearest cask tap and gave me a pint of whatever it was! It wasn't,
thankfully, Fosters...
We then went over to a corner table, and raided Kincaid's ample
chocolate supplies and discussed many things. We also found a supply of
White Rabbits[3] in Kincaid's bag and, adding these to the last bits of
hippo's CCDE supply, started eating  them, soon discovering that one of
the three packs was made from different stuff, and wasn't anywhere near
as nice. This obviously prompted much argument about which bag was
placed by which person...
A couple of quotes also arose at this point - feel free to play "guess
who said that" - answers will follow...

a. This is good - you can hold it and it doesn't go sticky...
b. And how long did they last?/About thirty seconds.

After a little while of this, and after enough time for Kincaid's
chocolate to be reduced dramatically, MEG turned up with children in
tow, and we realised that the Windmill doesn't like children, so went
off and wandered vaguely in the direction of Pizza Hut for some tea,
with Mouse hugging MEG in greeting, but the children emphatically not
wanting to be hugged!
Getting to Pizza Hut, we strode in and asked for a table for seven,
which they rustled up in no time, then spent a while debating choices of
food, drink and whether either child had bought enough money to pay for
the meal. They hadn't.
I also got a text message off one of my housemates on duty at V2001 for
St John, who was very pleased at being on the main stage just before the
Red Hot Chilli Peppers were playing at this point, which impressed
no-one else much, but still!
The conversation now moved onto CCDE, and everyone else told me about
how good it was, Supermouse's bath, Kincaid's rainy walk, hippo's gazebo
wanderings and various tales of others too... We also admired MEG's
digital camera, and she sneakily took picures of us, and openely took
pictures of Mouse eating chilli covered garlic bread, which we watched
with horrified fascination. We also discussed the Con and how wonderful
it is going to be.
The quote file was again opened, and the following gems were added:

c. We don't have enough chocolate to stuff the hippo!
d. How old are you then?/44 just before CCDE/Bloody Hell!
e. I really wanted a chopper...
f. He needs some spit on his bum.
g. I've now got a massager covered in your spit - but you're not my mum.
h. www.ud.com[4]

We decided we liked it in Pizza Hut, and stayed there resolutely,
ignoring the manager coming and asking if we were all right, and asking
if we were sure we didn't want anything else, until the children got
bored and wanted to do something, when we finally asked for the bill and
paid Kincaid for everything except Supermouse's tea, which wasn't on the
bill and we decided wasn't worth the hassle of pestering them about,
especially since they seemed to want their table back for some reason.
Kincaid then paid Pizza Hut our money, and we went out into the rain.
Certain people then started jumping in puddles, even going as far as to
pulling up their trouser legs and jumping as hard as they could,
although other people who were wearing MEG's hat at the time managed to
splash more of us with a single big splash... :-}
Realising the time, we headed vaguely towards the station, and found a
train for Newcastle about to leave, so said goodbye to hippo and Mouse,
before crossing back to the other platform and hanging around for a few
minutes for a Rugby bound train, which I got on - not trusting the train
company to send another - and left Kincaid and MEG (and kids) at the end
of a great meet.

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who was there, both in body and in
spirit, it was a good meet! And hopefully be another I can get to soon!

MP (with assistance from various attendees, and a random spell
checker...)

[1] Apologies to any maths teachers reading. I find them scary - is what
comes of doing maths for a degree... :-}
[2] Well, I would have included it if I'd known it was on... :-} [7a]
[3] Sweets that manage to taste of nothing, and have the most strange
texture too...
[4] It's on the quote bit of paper. It must have been said. Don't ask me
why... :-} [5][7a]
[5] Actually, I do know what it is... Do you? :-}
[6] Supermouse asks me to point out that I mean the vowel e, not
anything else you might be thinking of. How dare you!
[7a] This is actually a lie... Really...


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