Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Eurocon Programming Day

Today was the day that I spent at Titancon, the 2019 Eurocon, because I was on a kaffeklatch with Cheryl Morgan this afternoon. Lisa went to a model train show with Feòrag NicBhrìde.

Stuffed Friends at Eurocon

Putting last things first: late in the day, there was an impromptu Furry Friends gathering in the second floor lobby of the Hilton Belfast, including Kuma Bear of course.

Because my panel wasn't until the afternoon, we did not rush. I got eight hours of sleep last night, for the first time since the trip started, I think.

Kuma Bear's Breakfast

Kuma Bear had his pick of pastries over breakfast, but no fish. The breakfast buffet is better here than at the Express. Unfortunately, we realized that due to our departure from Dublin Airport on Tuesday, I've overpaid for breakfasts. There won't be time to get breakfast, I think, on Tuesday morning. I'll have to ask the front desk tomorrow that we do not need the add-on breakfast on Tuesday.

Bears Ride Free

We packed up about 7 kg of stuff that we acquired on this trip that we do not need, and that is pushing us close to the edge of our luggage allowance. We had to mail it home today because the post offices are closed on Sunday and also this Monday, which is the August Bank Holiday. Annoyingly, the post office closest to us (Howard Street) is closed on Saturday as well. I worked out that the next-closest office is actually closer to City Hospital train station, the first stop out of Great Victoria. As we have unlimited-ride bus-rail passes, we just hopped on the first train heading toward Lanyon Place (which is most of them), rode one stop, then walked to the post office. Kuma Bear holds on to Lisa's pass here.

Mailing a box of stuff home cost £100, but that's still cheaper than excess-luggage charges, on account of it's two segments: the DUB-KEF leg is charged separately than KEF-SFO due to our stopover. We did get the good news today that we got a Saga Class upgrade on that flight, but we won't know about the long leg to SFO until we're already in Reykjavik. It's possible that it would be cheaper to buy an extra small piece of luggage and put the additional stuff into it, even with the excess-luggage charges, but that's even more stuff to haul around with us for the remaining week we're traveling.

Enterprise Train

The maintenance blockade on the Northern Irish portion of the Enterprise train service from Belfast ended today, and that means the trans-border rail service has returned. Alas, it's several days too late to be of use for us, but we got a picture of it sitting at Lanyon Place as we departed our local train on the way to the Hilton.

Enterprise Train

Lisa looks at the train, which was preparing to board passengers for Dublin, wishing we could have rode all the way from Dublin on it rather than dealing with a bus transfer from Newry.

At the Hilton, we met up with Feòrag, and they set off to return to Botanic, which is near where the train show was.

Cheryl and I went over the excellent weekend market a short walk from the hotel, where we got her a seafood sandwich and me a nice bowl of seafood chowder, took it back to the hotel, and had lunch in the Green Room discussing our plans for the afternoon.

The Matrix: 20 Years On

Cheryl was moderating a panel on "The Matrix: 20 Years On," after which she and I went to sit in the Kaffeklatch room to see if anyone would join us for the planned discussion about translations and awards. At it happens, only Fred Moulton and Robin Johnson came by, and we ended up talking more about possible ways we might implement new systems of governance for WSFS instead.

Hugo Discussion at Titancon

I sat in on a discussion of the 2019 Hugo Awards, after which it was time for the Closing Ceremonies.

Titancon Closing

2019 Eurocon Toastmaster Peadar Ó Guilín launched the Closing Ceremony.

ESFS Awards

Carolina Gomez-Langlof presented the ESFS Awards, and did so at such a rapid pace that I couldn't record them all.

Charlie Stross ESFS Award

Charlie Stross (with whom I chatted briefly when Feòrag returned to the convention with Lisa) received the Best Author Award.

Ian McDonald Grand Master

Ian McDonald received the ESFS Grand Master Award.

GRRM at Eurocon Closing

George R.R. Martin was invited on stage, surrounded here by the committee members of Titancon, just before the ceremony ended. Even including the Awards, the entire function took only about forty minutes, which was quite impressive.

Lisa and I joined Cheryl Morgan, Linda Deneroff, Mike Willmoth, and Sharon Sbarsky for dinner at Gusto é, an Italian restaurant very close to the hotel. This turned out to be a quorum of the Westercon 74 Tonopah Committee, and among other subjects, we dealt with Westercon business. This is probably the only time this particular combination of people will be able to meet in person prior to Westercon 74.

While it might have been nice to go back to go back to the Hilton and socialize at the Dead Direwolf party, Lisa and I were tired, as was Cheryl, and so the three of us hopped on the next train heading for Great Victoria Street (Cheryl is staying at the hotel across the road from us). We bade Cheryl good night, picked up a small snack from Tesco Express, and retreated to our hotel room.

I checked train schedules for tomorrow, and made plans via Twitter direct message with Feòrag for the planned trip for them, Lisa, and me to go out to the Ulster Transport Museum. I also did our seat selection for our upgraded flight on Tuesday to Iceland and checked the times of the bus services from Belfast Europa Bus Centre to Dublin Airport. I need to check some details tomorrow, but I plan to book our trip to the airport so we can get there by 8:45 Tuesday morning for our 11:45 flight.

It was a good day at Eurocon. I only wish the day was 28 hours long so I could get more sleep.
Tags: cheryl, eurocon, lisa, tonopah

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