Tuesday 27 August 2019

Worldcon story part 1


This will be another early posting, due to the sad need to attend a funeral tomorrow in Wiltshire.

Ever since the Dublin worldcon bid went live, we had been aiming to go. Once the bid won we started planning.

last time we went to Dublin for a SF con, we flew, but, this time, I decided that I would like to put pictures in the art show.  As my painting are framed (with glass) , this meant going by ferry.

I do not get on well with boats, or large bodies of water, but have managed well enough on vessels as large as a channel ferry in the past. The main problem was the journey time between Wimbledon and Holyhead, which is not just off Wales, it's off Anglesea( which is off Wales)

We calculated probable journey times and booked a ferry for early afternoon, to allow for travel. It was only after it was all booked that we found out we had to book in an hour or so before the sailing time, which put the travel time all askew.

In the meantime, we had become involved in a masquerade entry and we tasked with transporting  a time portal, consisting of a fold up garden gazebo and a large roll of plastic clematis trellis  woven with wires and lights.

This meant we were definitely going by car and, hence, by ferry.

I decided to hedge my bets and travel the day before, drive as late as I could and get as far as I could, find a Travelodge and then go on to Holyhead the next morning, to remove any stress about being held up and being late for the Ferry check in( I am the only driver, as Teddy does not drive).

As usual, it took longer to get ready and packed than we planned and we set out on Tuesday late afternoon. The aim was to get to somewhere around Shrewsbury before looking for the Travelodge.

The journey was not too bad, but not a fast as I hoped.Also, I had been worried about it and about how well I'd cope with the ferry, so hadn't slept as well as I might have. Consequently, as it was starting to get dark, I was starting to get tired.

This was the point the the Sat Nav, in it's wisdom, took us off Motorways and onto minor roads.

This was also the point when we discovered that, unlike days of yore, the maps no longer showed where the Travelodges are.

We passed a couple of signs for B & Bs and hotels(always at a point where we could turn in to them, or go back, due to traffic behind us), but eventually we came upon a sign pointing to "The Halfway House" at a point where we could turn and follow it.

We followed several more signs , but eventually we reached a small cluster of Sixteenth Century buildings. I t was now quite late, but the lights were on.

I pulled into the small car park and went in. I was greeted by a very friendly Labrador and, then, by a by a very friendly publican. Luckily, he had been staying up waiting for one of his regular guests, who had rung to say he would be late. We were furnished with a double room and full English breakfast for the very reasonable sum Of £91.00.

Our host was friendly and talkative and we were made to feel really welcome. He printed off directions to take us to Holyhead and we set of rested and refreshed, at 9 am Wednesday morning.

I discovered that the plan had nearly worked as well, as we had stopped not far from Shrewsbury.

I will continue the tale next time.

In the meantime, here is the picture that I painted on the con bag that I used at Worldcon

I call this 'Beat Judge'.

Until next time


Wednesday 21 August 2019

After the con is over...


We have just been to the Worldcon in Dublin. We started travelling at 9.30 on Tuesday , took a 13.50 Ferry and then drove back from Holyhead.

We got home at Midnight and got to bed twenty minutes later.

We are both still recovering and, hence, I will blog more detail later.

I did, however, sell one of my cartoons in the Artshow, so this one is now only available as a print.

Until Next Time


Tuesday 13 August 2019



Another early post.

Here is a drawing from my sketch book of a young man dancing in Fifteenth Century doublet and hose.

Until next time


Wednesday 7 August 2019



Here is a watercolour study I made of a beech tree.

Until next time