slycat: (Default)
So it's been a week now since I got back from Eurofurence and I thought I'd do a little write up about my experience of it. I've been doing Eurofurence every other year since EF12 (2006) and apart from the language barrier, i have largely enjoyed them. However when Eurofurence moved to the Maritim in 2010 for EF16, I felt that the convention lost some of it's charm. Partly because the con had got to around 1000 attendees and it didn't feel like the friendly little con of previous years, but also the hotel just didn't feel very good for a furry con. It felt like there wasn't as much opportunity to socialise and wandering around the atrium became boring after a while.

Fortunately, this year's Eurofurence was much better, at least for me, than it was in 2010. They had made a number of improvements which comes with experience of them now being there their third year. The most notable improvement I only realised when the convention had ended and the hotel staff were returning the hotel to normal which was the large round tables at the back end of the atrium were lower and had seats rather than being standing height and no seating like it was in 2010. This created a lot more space where you could sit about and socialise and I also noticed artists were taking advantage by using the space for drawing stuff.

I suppose another reason I didn't enjoy EF16 so much was because I didn't have my fursuit with me. I was getting a bit fed up with the suit and couldn't be bothered with the luggage hassle bringing it would be. I ended up getting a bit bored having points where I didn't have anything to do at EF16 whereas at EF18, I just fursuited when there wasn't anything better to do. I think of all the conventions I've attended, I fursuited most at EF18 and I really enjoyed myself as a result. Which is amusing when you think I first got my fursuit (at least the head and paws) just in time for EF12. The fursuit is really starting to show its age however. I'm no good with repairs so it's getting in a worse state. It also doesn't help that the suit never fit me well in the first place as there's a gap at the back of the neck despite the flap on the head and the arms aren't really long enough to cover the paws so you keep on seeing my wrists. I'd love a new fursuit but sadly other things are far more important to pay for.

Anyway, I'll try to stop focusing on the negatives of my time at EF16 and focus on the positives of EF18. I met lots of great people, ranging from people I knew well, to some I kinda knew from the internet, to those I had never met before at all. One great conversation starter was the Necomimi Brainwave Controlled Cat Ears I was wearing from time to time as people were often just asking how they worked and where could they get themselves a pair. I really should be working on commission for Universal Publications considering how many people I've sent to their website where I bought mine :P

I had my new Panasonic Lumix TZ30 with me which I intended to take plenty of photos and 1080p 50fps video with. I also had a rather useful pistol grip style handle for the camera so I could take video easier and people would know it was video rather than me taking photos. I ended up capturing over 950 photos and 32gb of video. I managed to cull the photos down to around 320 and have uploaded them all to my gallery: Next step is to work through the video footage. I'm kinda torn between doing a convention feature like I've done before, or upload smaller vignettes of individual events. That said, I've still got my Confuzzled 2012 video to work through though I wasn't so pleased with that footage due to the camcorder I was using not having a very wide lens.

In summary, I really enjoyed this year's Eurofurence. Certainly enjoyed it a lot more than EF16 but I think Confuzzled is still my favourite convention of those I've attended recently. Specifically I like the size and hotel layout over EF. I've yet to register for Confuzzled due to funds not permitting and I want to be more sensible with my cash. I've another event I need to pay for at the end of this month too so it's all stacking up. I'd really love to get back to California for Further Confusion or maybe go to MFF as I'm missing America and my friends over there. Last time I did go to America was in 2009. Hopefully I'll be able to go next year but it seems doubtful at the current time. Would love to get to Australia at some point too but that's even more of an expense!
slycat: (Drawn by Milligan)

Had a great meet in Bournemouth yesterday.  Weather was much better than I had expected.  In fact, I had expected the weather to be so poor that people wouldn't want to go near the beach, let alone even in the water.  So I turned up in jeans, the whole time wishing I had brought shorts!

Anyway, things went fairly smoothly despite the train from my home town being late, I was still able to meet up with the others in Soton for the connecting train as that one was late too.  We played Brain Training's Calculation Battle on the train, which had to be the most fun anyone's had doing sums.  As we weren't able to get seats due to the train being over-crowded, we dubbed it "Extreme Calculation Battle!" (In manic Japanese announcer voice) as it was a challenge to stand upright, let alone do metal arithmetic.  [ profile] beaitchtwo managed to thrash anyone at the game as he seems to be able to do sums really fast...

After getting to the train station, people went to McDonald's for food before heading down to the pier.  Played a few games at the arcades there while waiting for [ profile] stu_ath to arrive.  When Ath did arrive, he stopped by briefly before disappearing with [ profile] award to go drinking.  I didn't see Athaba for the rest of the day following that... Anyway, the rest of us went down to the beach, and those with common sense had brought towels and sun block and a number of people actually went into the sea.

After that, [ profile] calgor, [ profile] anthropuppy and I went for a walk up the beach before going to Harry Ramsden's for food (well, Calgor and I went for food, Anthropuppy went to return to the others by taking a shortcut of walking on the shoreline and almost drowned himself while climbing over a groin! (note: Groins are sort of big dividers they use for sectioning off bits of the beach)).  By the time Calgor and I had stuffed our faces full of fish (as cats do apparantly) we went off to find Wardy and Athaba before going for a game of Mini Golf.  However, we were unable to find them and ended up in Starbucks in Borders.

By this time, I had developed a raging headace and wasn't feeling particularily great.  We were just about to leave for the aforementioned golfing but then Foxdragon and Mike Wolf (not to be confused with [ profile] electricdog) turned up.  By the time we were finally ready to leave, Calgor could obviously see I was feeling under the weather and offered to take me back.  I decided to take him up on the offer and made my good-byes and left with Bungle and Anthropuppy.

It was a fantastic day though, it was just a shame I ended up feeling so rotten and had to miss the mini golf (one of my main reasons for selecting Bournemouth for a meet anyway).  It did give me a feeling of wellbeing to have gone from suggesting the location and date to having 18 people in attendance.  Not sure if there'll be another, no reason why not I suppose, as long as it's held in the summer months.

The total roll call was: Me, [ profile] paw_fox, TK, [ profile] bungle_bear, [ profile] washu_chan_uk, [ profile] kyyanno, [ profile] award, [ profile] stu_ath, [ profile] anthropuppy, [ profile] calgor, [ profile] beaitchtwo, 2 guys in black I can't remember the names of, [ profile] paperkup, Kev (who also had a Japanese sounding furry name but I can't remember it... he's the one we buried), Draconder, Foxdragon & Mike Wolf

Photos of the meet can be found here.  And for an added bonus, you can see the photos from the last HantsFur meet held in April here!

January 2015

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