Redemption Report by Richard Proctor

Dealer, Disco and Dogsbody

Well we did it again...

Year Before

In the year before Redemption, there are high points and low points - will Ron Thornton come or not, can he answer his email, Enable credit card payments via our online shop, start collecting junk in the bedroom.

Month Before

Junk in bedroom now makes navigation to my side of the bed "difficult", The zines no longer fit their normal shelves, there are auction items and raffle prizes, the banner and chaos modelling bits. Judith finally finishes Forbidden Star 3 and it goes to the printers along with some others being reprinted so there should be enough of everything for Redemption. Order extra copies of the Inside Story and CDs - all is calm(ish), book trailer.

Ron still has not confirmed when he will be arriving, but still says he wants to come.

Week Before

Junk accumulates, there are unsold SF type Oxfam books making it harder navigating the bedroom, and more boxes. Judith goes to Edinburgh to see Gareth's play (she needs a rest). Kelvin is told to get some B7 figures painted so that people at the con can see them and buy them.

Monday

Normalish sort of day, though Judith is due back mid afternoon, flight delayed and arrives later. Kelvin is supposed to have painted some of the B7 figures to make selling them "easier" - Nothing ready yet. Took the membership list and formatted it for making badges, printing the simple cases - but we do not have any green or purple paper. Kelvin is told to get some B7 figures painted so that people at the con can see them and buy them.

Tuesday

I get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to London for a morning meeting - much to my surprise it is over at midday and I actually get home earlish stoping at a stationers to get Green and Purple Dots and Green paper - no sign of Purple. In the evening, finally find some "Lavender" writing paper at Staples - its A5 so all my carefully worked out formats need changing... Eventually finish all the blanks and go to bed at 11:30. Email Linda Knights - saying unless I get the updated prices from her by the morning - her zines will not be listed at Redemption.

For Judith all is right with the world: Ron Thornton has finally confirmed and says he will let us know tomorrow when he will arrive. Kelvin is told to get some B7 figures painted so that people at the con can see them and buy them.

Wednesday

This morning Ron Thornton emails to say he can't come after all. Judith spends rest of day on the phone.

Kelvin is told to get some B7 figures painted so that people at the con can see them and buy them.

I get up at a normal 7am, normal(ish) day at work, borrow the trailer from the company's DIY club and come home. The lounge now has about 12 boxes of zines and half a ton of other stuff when I get home.

Kelvin goes off to his college to borrow the Digital Camera - when he gets there someone else had borrowed it 20 minutes before... After he returns we go Camera shopping... After a while we select one, that is out of stock and then finally after a while end up with another one.

In the evening, I finish the price lists which are printed by about midnight. I also print a few extra badges that have been requested, and just before bed, enable the paying for Redemption '03 on the website, I get to bed around 12:15am, by which time the lounge has about 20 boxes and a ton of other stuff.

Thursday

I get up at a normalish time (7am), and do more packing, the washing up, more packing. We are going to my parents for lunch, so must be out of the house by 10:30, preferably 9:30. Start loading the trailer, the boot and all available space in the car. Bang on time at 10:25 Judith is pushed out of the house - "If you want that file edited put it on a disk - I will fix it when we are there I am NOT doing it now". Uneventful drive to Maidstone, and the 3 hours of enforced rest on Judith - this was good. Around 4 pm someone knocks on my parents door "There is a car outside with its lights on is it yours" - it was :-(. Fortunately my brother was also there and the car responded to a jump start, using his car.

20 minutes later we arrive at the hotel. Judith goes into the hotel to checkin and is not seen for a long time. Meanwhile the boys and I unload the car and trailer, one trolly load of boxes, another trolly load of boxes, a trolly of cases and junk, more boxes, then the porters offer to help for the last trip to the room. It is a good thing we have an executive suite - after everything is loaded there is as much space left in the room as ordinary rooms!

Kelvin - Please paint some B7 figures.

A quiet(ish) evening as fans arrive and conversation starts. I see Judith for at least an hour this evening.


Friday

I get up early, have breakfast and then start on the dealers room - first of all how many dealers, how much space. OK there is lots of space. In general any dealer that wants it can have more tables (within reason). 3 or 4 trips to the room to get boxes and setup the table. During setup at least 20 books from the Oxfam table are sold - however with all books flat, the table is just about filled.

Kelvin gets out the paint for painting B7 figures, finishes a Travis and then becomes part of the Tech crew.

Open the dealers room - sell, rush, sell, grab, sell, get books, sell, phew!! The dealers were only open for 4 hours but that was a very very hectic 4 hours. The biggest order was just short of 200! The Oxfam table now has books on edge across most of it. At the end I closed the doors and opened a safe deposit box...

An hour or so was then spent in the bar, before going to the opening ceremony and Pub Quiz. Our table won (I got 10 Drazi points) though I only knew a few answers (1 Blake's 7 and all the Harry Potter questions).

The Freedom City party started well, but after an hour many people left to the zine launch event and in the end it was rather empty. Servalan was drinking Creme de Menthe because she liked the colour - she did not really like it. A brief tour de convention, broke my glasses and got to bed at about 1:30 - Judith? Who's she?.


Saturday

Up at 8, breakfast, open dealers room and sell steadily throughout the day. More than on Friday, but not as hectic. There are now 3 boxes of books under the Oxfam table, waiting for a brief few nano-seconds of Judith, should she come near the dealers room.

Kelvin nearly finishes a Vila and an Avon. I manage to take an order even without a fully painted figure to demonstrate.

Sometime last month I got volunteered in to doing another website panel. I then suggested Simon Partridge (of Blakes7.co.uk) as a good person to also be on the panel - they have a good site and I knew from Nexus he also would spell out the theme of KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. This was a much higher level discussion than last time, as many (most?) of the audience had websites.

An hour of sitting down then the fancy dress and Caberet. Afterwards I was Vila in Wobblevision, this was fun - I borrowed Judith's Liberator Gun, Teleport Bracelet and part of her "Blake" costume. Michael Sheard eats some moondiscs and destroys the set.

The Disco was not as good as last time - there was too much dead music that just was not what the con wanted. Perhaps the funniest items were the can-can and the "Tiller Girls" - I hope someone has some photos.

Got to bed at about 2:30 am. - Judith? Who's she?

Sunday

Up just after 8, breakfast open the dealers room. I give up waiting for Judith to price the Oxfam books and for the fanish books put a price on them and they start to sell - I don't price up the hard back / non fanish books. Trade is slower today but only completely stopped during the closing ceremony. During the day I find "volunteers" to sell raffle tickets. Around lunch time suddenly remember to get boys' stuff packed and into our room and them checked out (they are going back with Rob). Get the raffle tickets divided up and shuffled.

Start packing boxes. Small rush after the closing and then the first of 4 trips with the trolly to the room. Search for and find our ghetto blaster and take that to the room (trip 5) Just finish, stick my head in the stewards party and pickup a biscuit - "Richard can you put those unused stewards prizes away" (trip 6), Kelvin wants to get his stuff from the room (trip 7) I thought he took Henry's, trip 8 is to get Henry's stuff. Return to the stewards "party" now 6 people, I get some food out then some apple juice is spilt over me (trip 9 to change trousers), return eat 3 peanuts - "I missed the stewards raffle can I get a prize from your room" (trip 10), eat a little, then Harriet and I decide to move the uneaten food and drink to Ops and tidy up after the stewards party (trips 11 and 12).

Its now quiet as many are in the "slash debate" however I join a table in the restaurant for a relaxed meal - the first since Thursday, with Michael Sheard, Ivan and Sasha, the Haslams and a couple of others - nice conversation about music publication and royalties, the effect of foot and mouth on vets (Sasha is a vet), good and bad conventions, and 1001 other topics, then drift into the boulevard for the wind down.


The wind down includes spaceships, and monkeys. Richard the Klingon discovers that he can buy plastic monkeys by the pint from the bar. After a while, plastic monkeys are hanging from glasses, in peoples hair, in beards, and in many other dubious places. Louise's Bagpus and Judiths's Augustus get very "friendly". Lots of people give me thanks to pass on to Judith, I even see her for 10-15 minutes. Eventually sleep gets the better of me and I rather reluctantly get some sleep. I am used to jetlag - I can cross the Atlantic and just carry on, but conlag is far far worse - it lasts for days.

Monday

This is the day I can take gently (I thought). Up, Breakfast, find the unsold ttbas for Tavia (or at least some of them). Pack the suitcase, boxes and junk - will it all fit in the car?

Natter, goodbyes, hugs, thanks and start bring the stuff down from the room. Along side Julia's and Kathryn's who are coming back with us, it looks suspiciously large.

More goodbyes and it is just us. Pack the trailer and car - no it does not fit - I hope it does not rain on the trip home, as the trailer cover does not cover the edges.

Finally we rather reluctantly leave and drive home. Halfway home it starts to rain... When we get home we jump, empty the trailer tip all the zines, books and junk out and sort into dry (quiet a lot), damp (most of the rest) and wet (a few zines and books) - the result is nothing like as bad as the trip to Redemption '99. Collapse and have a cup of tea. I am not going to say we were tired, but I was last to bed at 9pm...

Tuesday, Wednesday

Unpack, sort, organise, sleep.

Thursday

The house is beginning to look habitable. In a week or so life will be back to "normal" for six months, until the build up to Redemption '03 starts...

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