Monday, March 11, 2013

Feeding Fen

This weekend, I was part of the team running the hospitality suite for the Condor Science Fiction Convention. We've been running the hospitality suite for the convention since 2002. Hard to believe it has been that long.

Mostly we provide water, soda, and snacks. We generally have commercial, pre-packaged foods. We make a few things ourselves, most notably hummus and sunshine spread (cream cheese with bacon bits and orange marmalade).

We had the opportunity to load in our stuff Thursday night. Last year was the first time a hotel let us do that, and it was really helpful. However, this year the suite flooded out due to the rain, and we spent the morning Friday in an emergency re-location to the suite on a higher floor. The bell staff was wonderful, helping schlep all the food and gear, but everything became scrambled in the move, so we had to reorganize all over again. This delayed our opening by two hours.

We did eventually get set up.  Our con Guest of Honor was Connie Willis, whose latest novels were about time travellers going back to the blitz in London in World War II. In honor of that, we decorated the suit along the theme of a air raid bunker. I found and had printed a number WWII posters, and another member of the team brought a lot of army surplus gear to dress the room.

Friday we had a cake and ice cream social in honor of Ms. Willis. One of the cakes we ordered had a dinosaur on it, which she loved. She was a delight, staying well beyond the mandatory time to chat with attendees.

Things were a bit hectic Saturday, as two of the team had a conflicting event out of town that they had to attend. We were able to get several volunteers to help. They worked very hard, and did a marvelous job. It was still, however, more difficult without people you have worked with for a decade, and who don't need any supervision.

Saturday afternoon, we had a special event. We had a 'tea' in the afternoon that we dubbed the 'Ration-ali-Tea'. The idea was that it was a tea during wartime. Everyone that came got a little scone. I used the recipe from my pastry class, but just plain. There is a war on, you know.

We also provided some little tea sandwiches. We had spam, ground groundnut(peanut butter), and American cheese. We also had some biscuits (cookies for you Yanks). The spouse made the cutest little ration books with the menu for the tea. I think people got a kick out of it, even if some didn't understand what we were doing with the theme.

I enjoy doing it, but it left me a little tired. The additional burden of the time change Sunday did not help. I was groggier and less alert than usual in class today.

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