Saturday, August 16, 2014

On the road again: London, day 8
WorldCon, day 3

In an amazing move due entirely to my having a reading scheduled at 12:30, today I for the first time took advantage of the free breakfast buffet that comes with the hotel room.  I see these things rarely, almost always preferring to sleep through them, so I approach them with the wariness of a jungle explorer encountering a new and oddly smelly breed of giant snake.

I'm happy to report that I survived the meal, even after sampling the eggs, floppy bacon, sausage, and cold baked beans; I had to approach the classic English breakfast. 

I'm even more happy to report that, to my amazement, people I did not know attended my reading.  In fact, the audience numbered 18, and I knew only two of its members.  I presented them with five very different options, and a few brave souls opted for my short story, "Reunion," so they carried the day and I read all of it that time permitted.  Those in attendance seemed to enjoy it, and I had a pleasant time re-reading it after not seeing it for multiple years.  All in all, as best I could tell, a successful reading.

In a small area on the edge of the dealers' room and not far from the art show, for reasons I don't quite understand, today the con featured a small exhibit of fancy breeds of pigeon.  I approached this exhibit with even less enthusiasm than the breakfast, but curiosity made me go.

I am so very glad I did.  Pigeons can be awesome!  The breeds on display were lovely and each completely different from the next.  In this shot, the curator is holding a bird whose feathers shimmered in the light. 

Click an image to see a larger version.

Most of my shots did not come out well, but this one isn't bad and should afford you a look at a few of the varieties.

In the back of the cage, you can just make out the Jacobin's head among its ruff feathers.

A few more variations.

And, really, who can resist species known as Almond Tumblers and Scandaroons?

Certainly not I.

After a bit more wandering about the convention, I returned to the room to work for a while, and then headed out to meet a group of folks for dinner.  That meal was at a nearby pub, where a group of soccer fans held sway and cheered loudly for their team each time it did anything at all interesting.  The food was passable and the conversation good, but then it was time to go see the WorldCon masquerade, something I've done at every WorldCon I've attended since my first in 1978.

This one featured 3 young contestants and 25 adult competitors.  The costumes were fun, though the presentations tended to run a bit long for my taste.

After a bit more wandering through the con parties, I turned in relatively early, my usual case of con melancholia hitting me rather strongly. 

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