The most significant different with this convention is the fact that I was pregnant, which made for quite a different weekend.
I had only just found out, so it was too early for it to be widely known, but one woman guessed - she said I just 'looked' pregnant! Since this was Solveig of the magic camera, I think I believe her!
The strongest memory is of the onsen, which I managed to visit FIVE times, due mostly to my being pregnant! The onsen was on a high floor of the facility, with lovely views. I went in on Thursday night after dinner, Friday night, Saturday morning and night and Sunday morning! This onsen was the first time I learned that some people, inexplicably to me, showered AFTER the onsen, to 'wash it off'. ??
The Board meeting was held in the hotel - woohoo! Which meant we early arrivals had an extra night in the same hotel. I stayed with Victoria, who soon guessed my delicate condition due to my not drinking! Not hard to pick when I am up the duff.
Kiwi Louise was my roommate for the next two nights, and I met Juliet for the first time. Great roommate! She was concerned about waking me after partying, but I sleep through anything, and don't snore - I'm the perfect roommate!
Dinner on Friday night was a mixer - we had assigned seats to encourage people out of their cliques, and it was a great idea, I wish more conventions would do that. I ended up sitting beside Ms. B, who had been posting on femail for several weeks before the convention about how she was going to bring her Pride and Prejudice board game. I re-read the book especially just to play, so it was nice to sit down next to her. We played the game later on in the hospitality room. She died a year later, of a sudden heart attack, making my time with her all the more poignant.
There was a quiz after the dinner - Victoria and Alison were on my team, and I can't remember who else! Irish Maryann was quiz master.
Saturday night's dinner's theme was Pretty in Pink, which was designed to fit in with the whole convention's theme and goal of charity for breast cancer. It was, hmm, interesting, to see a room full of grown women dressed in pink! I had a pink, black and white skirt with a net underskirt (another hand-me-down from sister-in-law) which I wore with a pink cotton twin set.
I was in the cabaret! Typically, for anything involving me, it was a disaster. Well, okay the act itself - a quiz show all about New Zealand, which I did with Louise - was great, but the sound system was no good, and for reasons I cannot fathom, the tables were gathered at the far end of the room near the buffet, leaving what felt like an acre of space between the stage and our audience. Throw in thick Kiwi accents and obscure subject matter, and many people had no idea what was going on! Fortunately the people on the stage who entered the quiz did, and we awarded prizes with a Kiwi theme, including a Buzzy Bee toy, to Marie and Vivien.
The panel discussion on Sunday was Zest for Life, and I recall Kyushu's Barbara talking, with her usual irrepressible energy, and also XX, who broke down a bit admitting her marriage was a failure. (She's doing really well now by the way). I don't remember singing, so maybe I managed to escape early enough.
Another unforgettable thing was my bloody suitcase! It was stupidly heavy, but I had thought I could pull it on its little incorporated wheels, however it was on its last legs, or rather last half of one rickety wheel. By the time I left though, just about everyone knew I had a bun in the oven, so I had a lot of help hauling it into a taxi, and from there onto a suburban train and all the way through Nagoya station! One of my helpers still occasionally reminds me not to bring that bloody suitcase!