November 2nd, 2011


That was the week that was

We're back from World Fantasy. We got back on Monday, in fact, and I spent yesterday doing laundry, working my way through the email pile and being descended on by assorted cats. ('You left us! What kind of service do you call that! I need brushing! I need more food! I need cuddles! I need your lap/dinner/pillow!' They had groliffe to look after them, but they remain convinced that they were, in fact, starved, ignored and abused for the whole nine days.)

I had a lovely time. We got into San Diego late on the Sunday before WFC and stayed overnight in an airport hotel, then on Monday, the marquis set off to L.A. to work, while I took a plane on to Portland, where calendula_witch very kindly let me infest her spare room and eat her bagels and read her books -- and drove me all over and let me meet her friends. Her house is gorgeous, and Portland may well have replaced Chicago as my favourite US city. So many trees! Such a friendly atmosphere! People walking and cycling and using buses! I had lunch with the fabulous jaylake, who took me to a very nice bar which looked to have excellent beer, had I only been not jet-lagged. Tuesday afternoon S and I inspected Chinatown, which is small and neat and has some interesting restaurants, and then she took me to Powells, which left me stunned and overwhelmed. So good to know that there are still such fine bookshops in the world. They had my book, even though it's two years old. On Wednesday, we had lunch with my fellow Dawuthor ramblin_phyl, who showed us the Multnomah Falls. (Did I mention how beautiful Portland and its environs are? And that it has normal weather? If I ever have to live in the US, I want to live there.) And in the evening we cooked and ate with the legendary La Enigma and her husband, who were delightful.

Thursday, S and I flew down to Portland, where markferrari collected us at the airport, having, as he pointed out, manfully driven all the way from Seattle just to do this. He's a true gentleman. And I reunited with the marquis at the con.
After that, it's a bit of a blur. We hung out with msagara and kateelliott and suricattus and jemck and I did a podcast for Locus with swan_tower, which was huge fun (I will post the details later on, when it goes live), and was on a scary-but-good panel on class, where I learnt a lot about the US, and failed to see enough of stina_leicht, and got to meet shweta_narayan in person (she rocks); and was given a puppet ferret by fireun, which was very badly behaved at the mass signing (she's posted photographs. She's a very bad woman, which is why we love her). and waved to and chatted with lots of other people, including matociquala in a very, very fine red dress, and the beautiful leahbobet. I also had a long and very productive meeting with nice editor, about which more anon.

And I got to catch up with zaan, who I haven't seen since she moved. That may well have been the best of all: we miss her, and it was lovely to see her and hear her news and to get to spend time with her.

The site has garnered mixed reviews. I found it comfortable enough, but it was very disabled unfriendly, which is unnecessary and unforgivable, and many people had room issues to do with faulty appliances, blankets and noise. The marquis and I were lucky in that respect. I did find it hard to navigate, though, and the food places were not reliably open or accessible, which was difficult. On the other hand, most of the staff were very helpful and kind to us. And I enjoyed the convention programme.

There were a series of very disturbing incidents of sexual harassment, too: this was not the site's fault, but in 2011 is not acceptable, and the women who were subjected to it have my full support. I've been there myself. Fandom and sff culture in general needs to shape up and step up and ensure that this kind of thing does not go on happening or being connived at.

And then we came home. This was the most settled I've felt at a WFC: at the previous two, I've been very aware of how few people I know, but this time we always seemed to find people who didn't mind hanging out with us. I probably talked too much. And I did stand on a chair in a short skirt. (I blame suricattus. And the ferret.) But I did have a lovely time: thank you all, for making us so welcome.

Skirts that went with me: long green and gold, long grey with black hem; blue wedgewood; new green cord mini.
Skirt of the day: long blue cotton.