demoneyes_phil: (Default)
[personal profile] demoneyes_phil
Filkcontinental was badly broken this year, the worst it has been since,  ooh probably Urban Tapestry's visit.  You see Rules is Rules - the Friday of Filkcontinental must be sun and blue skies, as must the Monday.  But Saturday and Sunday must be cold and misty, preferably with goodly amounts of rain.  Thus it was, thus it is, and thus it will ever be.  Except for the odd years like this one when someone on the Committee (probably Franklin, but if not let's blame him anyway) clearly breaks something and we get gorgeous sunny weather all weekend!  Darn!

Fortunately, we'd checked (if not entirely trusted!) the weather forecast and I'd packed plenty of shorts and t-shirts/vests - in fact whilst I'd packed some jeans I didn't end up wearing them at all during the weekend, it was that hot.  I think Saturday evening was the worst heatand I felt quite sorry for the performers on stage as it was close to unbearable just sitting still.

But I digress - let's try and be reasonably chronological.  We set off Friday, slightly sad as this year it was just the two of us, David and Marilisa just not being up a con right now.  (And we really missed you guys, though we had a pretty good sing through Little Shop of Horrors enroute by way of keeping the journey tradition of musical singalongs going!)  The Channel was the flattest we've ever seen it, to the point where you could actually see the White Cliffs reflected in the sea below!  Sadly one couldn't say the same for the flatness of Belgian roads as they were digging huge swathes of them up - I swear there must have been 20 miles of continuous contraflow (probably with about 200 yards of actual road-works in the middle!).  Brussels traffic was horrible too.  But worst were the next set of roadworks near Liege where they decided to condense the entire motorway down to one lane ... 50 yards before two motorways diverged and there were 4 lanes available again.  Ye gods, what weren't they thinking?  We were stuck in that for at least 20 minutes, maybe more.  And then the traffic around Koeln sucked, as it always does, the autobahns being carefully designed to feed 8 lanes of traffic together at exactly the same point to cause maximum congestion!  Sigh!  But then it's into the hills and the sheer joy of an unlimited Autobahn in the sunshine through glorious scenery.  And one final traffic jam throught the nearby village (for no real apparent reason) and finally we're here!  Having actually made quite good time despite what felt like worse traffic than usual.

Weird thing about the driving is that whilst I'm doing it, it's easy - we actually went non-stop from Calais to just-past-Koeln, a stint of about 5 hours and I felt fine.  (Fortunately last year's back pains didn't recur, hopefully suggesting my back muscles have a lot less tension in them now.)  It's only after I get out of the car that the energy drains out of me and I feel totally shattered by it all.  So whilst Friday night was fun, and I enjoyed the concerts and the chatting, by late evening it definitely felt like an early bedtime was a good idea!

Saturday morning was fun with Ed having been asked to do the harmony workshop.  You see he'd assumed the idea of a harmony workshop was to teach people how to sing in harmony, whereas the first 20 minutes or so quickly showed that his singers were already well-capable of doing so!  And there was a certain amount of probably quite pleasantly-surprised mental readjustment as he realised the entire object of the "workshop" was simply to let people do lots of harmony singing under his guidance.  Which we did, and a lot of fun it was for all.

It was lovely to see Ed and MEW again - It's Been So Long, as we say, even if we're not precisely sure how long, being unsure if we'd had a mutual FKO since her last visit to England!   Was also nice to see Tim, Annie and family too, even if we do see them rather more often, it's still not nearly enough these days alas.

Lissa popped out to LIDL on Saturday and brought back chocolate.  A big bar of white chocolate.  Which alas didn't last very long *blush*.  So by way of penance I decided to walk down the hill to the main road and beyond.  Or more accurately, the penance was walking back UP again on that very steep and long hill back to the castle!  But it was just lovely out there with the view over the valley and river and trees.  Grantham it isn't!

Biggest kick on Saturday was definitely getting to hear Summer and Fall perform 'Goddess' in their 10th Anniversary concert.  Even if Eva had to nag me incessantly and unsuccessfully to get a recording of it to her (fortunately we were able to sort things at DFDF) - sorry again Eva!  But hearing one of my songs performed like that is just such a thrill and honour and deep abiding joy and satisfaction.  And by the by makes me thing we ought to have more people performing songs by other people in circles, even or should I say especially if the author happens to be present!  Usually we avoid doing so, and we really shouldn't, as having your songs sung (well!) is one a songwriter's greatest joys.

Not quite sure what happened with the Saturday night circle - memory says it was reasonably small, albeit it with a goodly number of performers including I think all the guests!, but I think I only got to sing a couple of songs.  Though it was gratifying to inflict my Second Hand Songs parody on MEW!

Sunday dawned gorgeous yet again, and I spent a gloriously relaxing hour or so just sat outside overlooking the valley and enjoying a good book.  [The Black Prism by Brent Weeks - very enjoyable read, even if it's left me impatiently waiting for the subsequent volumes to be written!]
Then some more highly-satisfying harmony singing - as usual we tenors fell short on quantity and had to hope to make it up with quality - I think for the actual concert there were only 3 of us (with maybe a dozen or more in each other voice!), though since Steve and Gary were the other 2 I don't think we did too badly!

As usual I think I did more singing in the Dead Dog than in the rest of the con put together.  This year it somehow managed to fall into a very gentle and polite chaos without any real need for moderation.  Lissa surprised me with a very nice version of Heather Dale's Changeling Child (which I hadn't even realised she'd been working on) and there was just a lot of good happy (and sad) relaxed music made.  Yum.

And sadly off again Monday, yet again to glorious sunshine.  And this time the traffic gods smiled on us as we took the south-of-Brussels route and we made Calais in just a little over 5 hours, which is pretty good going given I did actually take care not to exceed the speed limit by more than  a few kph on the way (there's just too many damn cameras now to gamble on seeing them in time and/or hoping they'd be defeated by the UK registrations plates).  So we had time to hit the hypermarkets for even more calories!

Good con!  Thanks to the committee, tech, guests and everyone else who made it another marvellous weekend.  Wiedersehen!

Date: 2011-10-05 05:50 am (UTC)
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
From: [personal profile] madfilkentist
I'm at Volker and Kirstin's house with Ed and Mew, and I'll make sure they see this.

Date: 2011-10-05 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisande.livejournal.com
And then the traffic around Koeln sucked

Of course it did, it wouldn't be Köln if there weren't traffic jams!
Coming from the Ruhrgebiet I don't pass Köln on the way to Filkcontinental, but Aryana and me heard the traffic announcements on radio and just sighed and sayed "typical!"

And there was a certain amount of probably quite pleasantly-surprised mental readjustment as he realised the entire object of the "workshop" was simply to let people do lots of harmony singing under his guidance.

I think for the actual concert there were only 3 of us (with maybe a dozen or more in each other voice!), though since Steve and Gary were the other 2 I don't think we did too badly!

Three good singers can do a lot! Being on stage for that myself I can't completely say how it worked for the audience, but I think it was good. :)

Oh yes - and it was great seeing him, standing there in the middle and beaming when we sang the songs!
And you forgot to mention the singing of "Babylon has fallen" in the staircase!

Date: 2011-10-05 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisande.livejournal.com
Oops... of course the last paragraph was supposed to be at the "Ed and the workshop" paragraph...

Date: 2011-10-05 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bardling.livejournal.com
Yes, that workshop and the staircase singing was simply glorious. I also can only estimate how the performance was for the audience, and I think we didn't suck. :)

As for the weather rules... wasn't it a pleasant surprise? Mew & I talked about the idea of having a circle around the fireplace... only problem, it isn't plannable, since one cannot plan the weather... and it would have to be daytime, or a fairly quiet circle, given the castle has neighbours... still... mmm.... :)

Date: 2011-10-05 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demoneyes.livejournal.com
Yes, I looked out at the kids having the BBQ and torchlit sing-song around the firepit on the Saturday night and thought how very cool that would be for us to be able to do ... except for the 90% of Filkcontinentals when it's cold and/or raining on Saturday and Sunday!

But might be an interesting idea for Manorcon...

Date: 2011-10-05 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinguintante.livejournal.com
a nice con report of a nice and harmless man ;)

we had a lot of fun, making jokes with you. Tia enjoyed it a lot to talk more english. she has to practice a lot, but with you around she always was so alerted and talked more than all the other days ;)

oh, my workshop "let's lynch Kamen" can be held next year, sunday morning after breakfast, ok? ;)

*hugs*

Date: 2011-10-06 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demoneyes.livejournal.com
Yes, many people find themselves keeping alerted with me around... :-)

Date: 2011-10-06 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinguintante.livejournal.com
I cannot understand THAT ;) *giggles*
great time!

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