Tom helpfully drove me to the station near the house, where I got a head shake from the station agent, who disapproved of my (admittedly expensive) "take the Heathrow Express from Paddington" plan. I pointed out that I was a clearly foreign woman with a giant suitcase, and that sometimes we pay to not take stairs. He replied that he would have made different choices with his money, and gave me my ticket. Jerk.
Ahem. The Heathrow Express proved to be a quick, pleasant way to get to the airport, and I highly recommend it. Yes, it was more expensive, but the savings in terms of both time and stress cannot be overstated, even if I did promptly get off at the wrong terminal. (This is a big deal in Heathrow, which is one of the largest airports in the world.) I found my way to the right terminal, and then the right gate, and finally the right seat on the right plane, and all was right with the world.
My flight was short and uneventful, and eventually dropped me in Hannover, where I was collected from the arrivals area by Rika and Rachel. I went to sleep in the car. Then I went to sleep on the couch at Rika's lovely apartment. Then I got up for breakfast with some lovely filkers who live in Rika's apartment complex, and whom I would see a great deal of over the weekend (yay!). They had an assortment of cheeses. YAY CHEESES. And then I went back to sleep for several hours. This would prove to be a good thing later.
The drive from Hannover to the convention, which was being held in a lovely little youth hostel near a castle, was lovely, uneventful, and long enough for me to watch two episodes of Leverage. We got there, got checked in, and I went to poke Vixy with a stick, since I had missed her dreadfully during my "out of time zone" adventures. She felt unwell. I still had my cold meds from when I'd first arrived in England. The circle of cold meds closes, and all is complete.
Sunnie and Betsy were in my room when I came back downstairs, making it our room, and the weekend had officially begun.
First up was dinner with the concom, at a local restaurant that had passed their stress test, but did not so much pass the "twenty people would like to be fed and Seanan is about to pass out from low blood sugar" test. Boo. It took about three hours to eat, and by the end of it, I was a murderbunny. I ate half of Betsy's dinner, which helped. Going to bed also helped...although it would have helped more if I'd been able to sleep. Unfamiliar place + thin walls + thin bed = Seanan begins her three-day ordeal of stumbling through life, dreaming of sensory deprivation chambers. Boo.
The next day was Friday, and kicked off the convention. We rehearsed for our various concerts, attended opening ceremonies (awesome), and opening concerts (even more awesome). I went to bed early, in hopes that I would sleep. I did not. Sigh.
Saturday was my concert, followed by Vixy and Tony's concert. Since we both used Sunnie and Betsy extensively, we were basically solid walls of sound, and everything went amazingly. The whole audience stood up and held hands during "We Are Who We Are" (Vixy and Tony's latest song, which is awesome), causing Vixy to wander around looking stunned and asking if that had really just happened. Hee.
Sunday was workshops, more concerts, and the final request concert, where Steve Macdonald and Katy Droege did "Cold Butcher" at my request, I did "Still Catch the Tide," and Vixy and Tony closed the con with a repeat performance of "We Are Who We Are." The Dead Dog that night was awesome, and I even stayed up for several hours to enjoy open filk before staggering off to bed.
The next day, Steve and I got a ride home from Syb, while Katy drove Vixy and Tony home. We all met up in Hamburg, where we had a lovely steak dinner before crashing at Steve and Katy's place. The next day, Steve got me to the airport to begin my incredibly long journey home.
But that's another story.