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AFP New Year in Wales: Report

From: Supermouse <>
Reply-To: Supermouse <>
Subject: [F] New years meet afparty101
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 19:46:09 +0000

The New Year's Meet afparty 101 was _great_.

Meets are Good. More Meets are Better. Do Meets.

Kincaid was generous enough to drive me there and back. The travelling
was nearly as good as the event in many ways. On the way there, I
enjoyed seeing the bits of Monmouthshire I'd plunked about on during the
2001 Odyssey for M.E. The familiar was rapidly replaced by the beautiful
as bits of landscape lurked in ambush behind office blocks and road-
works and then suddenly sprung into view. 'Scenery at 2 o' clock!'. I
saw snow, which was good, because it never does really snow in

I don't remember much about arriving - I do remember clambering about
the garden trying to find someone to let us in, and being let in by
Dragon (Brett). 

The house was roughly as I remembered it, although I think the room has
been rearranged. There was a massive great tree in the living room,
decorated and very shiny. The cats were around, but stressed - I saw
less and less of all the cats except Phydeaux as the meet progressed,
although Tish was friendly enough when I was alone in the kitchen on the
morning of New Year's Day. I can't remember the name of the small black

>From then, things rapidly got whacky, zany, crowded, messy, noisy and
fun. As has been said by others elsewhere, it's brave of Gid and Suzi to
open their house like this, and by gum I'm grateful. I really do wish,
though, that they hadn't had the broken bathroom plug-thingies and the
yuk on the floor under the tree to contend with.

Key moments that I remember - um... finally meeting Random Companion,
Tenticle, Oliver and pol, which was great. Like most afpers, they're
even nicer IRL than on afp/#afp - meeting afpers for real for the first
time is nearly always a pleasant surprise. There are lots of nice afpers
on afp and #afp, don't get me wrong, but they're diluted by the medium.

The walk through the village with Kincaid, ruthi and pol and having to
readjust my Tack-scale to fit in with the decorations. They were
impressive, although perhaps not in a good way. One house scored a
definite, and definitive, 10. It wasn't the lights all round the
windows, or the giant glowing Santa-face above the door, the animated
mechanical snowman, or even the disco-lights behind it all, so much as
the giant, lit Santa-and-his-sleigh on the chimney. 

ruthi getting disillusioned with snow on the way back, and heading back
with Kincaid. Setting off again with pol - and completely failing to get
to the river.

The crowdedness of the 'girls' dormitory' on the first night, which was
sort of comforting but I didn't get much sleep. Mea culpa, I forgot my

ruthi in her shiny, shiny dress, and cat in her red number, both looking
beautiful. Poor cat, having to make the new year's speech because she
was the youngest present. It was short, and well-applauded, and now
she's _determined_ to bring someone younger into the afp fold within the
next 300 days.

Fencing sabre with Ingvar, and getting tapped again, and again, and
again... I'll learn, then I'll show him. Standing on one leg to show I'm
not that drunk, a sure sign of advanced inebriation, IME.

The Buffy musical - that was _brilliant_. Thanks Naomi! And thanks to
both Naomi and Thomas for the scariest party-piece I remember seeing -
it was very, very good and, with a little choreography, should be a hit.

Liz singing the Last of the Great Whales (Dubliners' version).

Calling Suzi 'safe' and 'sensible' and being duly, and rightly, punished
by being left as Responsible Person in Charge while she went to the
station. Not that I actually had to _do_ anything about it, but even

Liz and Tenticle only just making it out of the door in time for
midnight on Hogmanay, and Tenticle bounding out the door as the first
stroke of twelve rang out.

Teasing people with a tube containing the last Jaffa Cake, giving it
finally to Suzi, then teasing cat and Aquarion with what actually turned
out to be a lump of carrot chosen for its aural resemblance to a Jaffa
Cake. I sense that there will be a come-back at some point for that.

The Chaos of Shopping - that was... er... yes.

Aquarions' neeto-keen book _Emily_, which was only slightly too
expensive to be a must-have.

Banana bread, gone in seconds. Random's Collapsible Cake, probably the
nicest cake I've ever yet had - I must have eaten nearly a quarter of it
on my own. Never being hungry, thanks to Suzi organdising and doing
breakfasts, and ccooke, Liz, Random, and er... no idea who else cooking.
I know I didn't do any useful cooking at all, I just ate (and ate, and
ate..) and was grateful.

Not to mention the Brie, Wensleydale, and various cheeses including -
with strawberries, -with Christmas cake and -with lemon and others.

The sudden, peaceful interlude while everyone went and did Harry Potter.

Reading Charlotte's book _Billy_, an autobiography of Billy Connelly, a
comic I much admire. It's a fascinating book but I'm not sure it should
ever have been written. It seems too private. The aforementioned BC on
tape, and Max Boyce. Of the two, I prefer Billy. Sorry, Gid.

Hugs. Lots and lots and lots of hugs. I like hugs. I _love_ hugs. And
it's nice to be crowded in with people, close by, feeling friendly and

Not seeing nearly enough of some afpers - Tenticle and Charlotte spring
to mind. Although, admittedly, they were busy elsewhere. Adrian Ogden,
too, was gone far too soon. And I barely said two words to Lonecat.

And, finally, the sad farewells - prolonged in my case by a wish to
clear up before going, then terminal absentmindedness meaning i had to
go back for my coat and mobile phone. I think I left some bath towels
anyway. despite a final walk-round. I can live without my towels far
more easily than without my whistles.

Then the journey back - scenery, more scenery and some pretty
cityscapes, and a spectacular blood moon hanging over the houses on the
way back. When I got back, Nottingham was covered in snow, much more
than was in Wales. It _never_ snows in Nottingham  - while I'm there. By
now, it's nearly all thawed.

And since, definite tiredness, catching up with sleep, faint regret that
it's all over and a deep sense of gratitude to all the afpers who
allowed it to happen, and who made it as much fun as it was.


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