What is involved in organising a Weird Weekend?
Copious cups of tea or coffee for starters.
As soon as the doors close for the last time on each year’s event, preparations are already under way for next year – speakers have already been booked for 2008 and ideas that are too late for this year are already noted down in readiness. Lessons are always being learnt – procrastination and tardiness are not good. Not only do speakers need to be booked in plenty of time in order to fit in with their own busy schedules, but travel arrangements and accommodation need to be booked as far in advance as is possible. Stock needs to be re-ordered and props need to be made - sound checks need carrying out, and rehearsals need to be undertaken.
Interspersed with all this, the normal everyday functioning of the CFZ needs to carry on, which means that book orders still need to be checked daily and dispatched as soon as possible, membership subscriptions to both Animals & Men and Exotic Pets need to be kept updated, with magazines sent as, and when, is necessary. Apart from this, there is the ongoing work on the next issues of both magazines that needs to keep churning over. There are always books waiting in line to be proof read, and there are those in line still waiting to be finished.
Added to all this, the animals all need their daily requirements adhered to, the men (and woman) of the CFZ need feeding with a crust of bread - at least - on those occasions when there is no time to prepare and cook a proper meal - or when there is no proper food as we have not had time to organise any shopping. (sympathy here, please – come on ‘awwwww’). There are still personal appointments to be kept, a garden that needs tending, and washing that needs doing, and so it goes on.
The cottage can get overcrowded at times, and to be perfectly honest, yes this can be very hard – you must remember that I came from a house that consisted of basically just me once the girls had left home. Any peaceful ideas of a quiet cottage in the country, although only ever really just an idyllic thought, have all but gone, along with those days when you could saunter across the landing in the nude on the way to the shower, because there was no-one else there to see you!
However, since being involved with this rum lot, and during these last few months since I have been at the cottage permanently, I have seen that, in times of pressure, every single one of its occupants pulls together and gets things done. There is a dogged silence as people go about their allotted task. As in everything, there are tasks we are given that we may not particularly want to undertake, but we do them, and if we do complain we mutter it under our breath – well most of the time. Blimey, that was all a bit cheesy wasn’t it? I don’t do cheesy. Excuse me while I vomit into my waste paper bin.
Enough of that.