Sunday 19 August 2007

Did you done that?

Saturday at the Weird Weekend is, by nature, the busiest day of the event. Doors open at 10.30 and close around midnight.

This year, it was no different. The household was all up and ready to go very much like a regiment of soldiers on parade – Jon acting out his much-loved role of Sergeant Major with rather too much relish. This year, though, he played his part from the bed, as, after a night’s (or, rather, half a night’s) sleep, his foot was giving him gyp again. To this end, he had decided to let it wake up a bit before trying to put weight on it, and hobble downstairs himself.

Young David was up and down the stairs plying us both with coffee and toast, whilst I attempted to write Friday’s blog and whilst Jon’s aforementioned appendage recovered its equilibrium.

Once at the Community Centre, all was in full swing and the lectures commenced as scheduled and all went smoothly. The children had their Mad Hatter’s tea party followed by a UFO talk with Peter Robbins. They all sat, full of cake - and goggled eyed - and seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

Dr. Karl Shuker had been billed as attending to launch his new book that we have just published - Extraordinary Animals Revisited. He had warned us, however, that he may not be able to come as he had just returned from a holiday in Brazil the day before and was not certain whether he would be able to make the long journey down here from the West Midlands. But he did – and all the copies of his book that we had in stock were soon signed and sold to eager fans.

Nick Redfern had also been down originally to give a lecture, but had had to pull out at the last minute due to travel from Texas suddenly becoming impossible for him. In the last few days before the Weird Weekend kicked off, this situation changed, but it was not until Thursday evening that we knew that he would definitely be able to make it. So, after around 29 hours of no sleep and having to drive himself from Gatwick Airport, he finally arrived at the Community Centre to be ushered into the auditorium as our surprise guest.

As happens every year, the timings ran slightly over time, and the schedule was tweaked a bit, but this did not really matter and at 11.00 pm the talks finished, leaving everyone somewhat exhausted, but pleased with how the day had transpired. After a convivial hour in the bar, refreshing parched throats with a cooling drink, we all dispersed to our relevant board and lodgings.

Once back at the cottage, it was time for the traditional Saturday night Weird Weekend banter with those who were staying here. We eventually got to bed at 3.30 am!

As I blundered downstairs this morning in my usual desperation to locate the kettle, I found - upon the dining room floor - what appeared to be two very large pupae. Would these split open and produce two giant butterflies of astounding beauty? Nah – it was Jon McGowan and Darren Naish asleep in their sleeping bags.

So folks, it is now Sunday morning and we are nearly all ready to get down to the Community Centre for our last day of this year’s event.

PS: We also appear to have someone sleeping in our shed – we have no idea who it is, but upon trying to locate Richard’s top hat yesterday, I found a sleeping bag and some clothing strewn around. All very peculiar!

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