God, don't you just hate it when you spend half an hour on a blog only to have it disappear just as you come to the end?
So, here we go again.
I had no great expectations for Conflux. Everything went wrong from the moment we decided to go, and I mean EVERYTHING! Our money ran out, we found out that our flights had been booked differently to how we’d intended, my 1 day off from my course turned into 3, my ex kicked up a bit of a stink about the extra time needed to look after Aiden, we found we couldn’t cancel our flights without losing our money, we had no money for food let alone books or drinks and well, it was all turning to crap.
But we had to go anyway. We boarded our flight, comfortable in our knowledge that we were about to have the worst holiday ever and there was nothing we could do about it. I took my drugs (I can no longer fly without being knocked out) and woke up four hours later as the wheels descended. Best Flight Eva!
That was the first thing to go right for us.
And from there it escalated.
We found out, to our joy, that breakfast was included in the price of our hotel room. Yay! We were ensured of at least one filling meal a day. And fill up we did. And thank god for pastries. This tasty delights could so easily be folded up within napkins and deposited into my handbag for lunch. One pastry each kept the hunger at bay until dinner time. Thanks to our little breakfast win, we were now able to use our $20 a day complete food budget solely for dinner.
Then there was Lee’s book launch. While we didn’t sell out, we did sell enough each day to allow for a couple of drinks back at the bar each night. By the time the dead-dog came, we had enough to buy a drink for a couple of friends.
I met up with Llyn Triffitt and found my long-lost Siamese twin. Not only did we share the same name (Triffitt being my former married name), but we’re the same height, have very short hair, were born 2 days apart (making us both Cancerians) (okay 2 days and 3 years, but you get what I mean) and have the same fertility problems. We found we’d both lost ovaries due to cysts and had a largely depleted chance of falling pregnant. Finding out about my 5 pregnancies must have given her some hope. Now I just have to find her a new husband named Lee Battersby and our duel lives will be complete! Oh, and her husband’s name is Iain, which is, of course, the Scottish form of John. So, there you go.
And we clicked like long lost friends.
My other great find as far as friends go was finally meeting the wonderful Dirk Flinthart. I’d say it was love at first sight, but that distinction goes to my beloved. I bought a story from Dirk for issue 11 of ASIM (Corpus Christi) so knew him to be a talented writer, but nobody told me that is also A) one of the finest human beings you’ll ever meet and B) taller than anyone else EVER! I met Dirk as I was walking into a panel. He grabbed me by the arm and said “Lyn Battersby! I’ve been wanting to meet you.” There’s this guy holding my whole arm just with the tips of his fingers. Rather than panicking, I looked for the name tag so I could mention it to security.
“Dirk Flinthart! Hello!” I hugged him, then he stood up for a better hug. I looked up, and up and up. Yes, I’m short. I’m shorter than just about any adult I’ve ever met. So you can imagine how intimidating it must have felt to look up at a virtual giant. And yet, you’d be wrong. Dirk wasn’t intimidating at all and I immediately felt very safe with him. If you know me, you know that doesn’t happen all that often. The last time I felt that safe with a stranger, I ended up marrying him. How long do you have to actually know someone before you can consider them one of your closest friends? I don’t know how it works for other people, but I now think of Dirk as being in that category.
I met Matt the day Fandomedia 1 started. I’d heard of him and Lee had started an on-line correspondence with him, but Fandomedia was the first time I met him and Conflux the second.
Matt was kept busy throughout the Con, but he always managed to stop for a quick chat on his way to the next crisis. However, once the Con was over, he gave the whole of Tuesday over to showing us the Canberra you don’t see. This is country Australia as you imagine it for Queensland or the NT or even WA, but not our nations capital.
Thank you, Matt for one of the best days I’ve ever had. Lee and I will always treasure those hours we spent with you.
I’ve become a big Lisa fan. Formerly known as “Simono’s girlfriend” Lee and I both got to know Lisa as a friend in her own right over the four days. We were not disappointed.
There were others, too, who made their mark. John Robertson and his girlfriend Jo, Wuffie and of course Lily Chrywenstrom who I’ve known for a few years now and get to know better each time we meet up.
Ellen Datlow was a fabulous guest and one of the highlights for Lee and I was splitting a bottle or two with Ellen, Dirk, Kate Eltham and Rob Hoge one night.
Yes, Conflux worked out for the best. I know there were problems, but they didn’t effect me and I had a wonderful time.
And now onto the everyday stuff.
I took Aiden to see the Dead People exhibition at the Convention Centre. A fair amount of controversy has surrounded this exhibition but as a massage therapist I decided to go as it gives you a rare look at muscle structure and function. Usually I consider myself to be a person of strong constitution, and both Aiden and I enjoy the gore aspect of shows like CSI and the Crime Channel. This was different. Aiden looked at two bodies then went to watch a DVD about evolution. I looked at all the bodies, but came away feeling quite upset by it all. Two years ago these people were alive. The details surrounding their deaths are hazy. They may or may not have been executed for their political leanings. They may or may not have been criminals. They may or may not have given their bodies voluntarily. Going into the exhibition I decided not to let my judgement be affected by the past. Once inside, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the future.
I once decided to give my body to science. I still think I will. I do not, however, want to give it for art.
Casi is currently studying some obscure world event thing for Society and Environment. As a result she needed to watch Forrest Gump, so she could see the impact one man can have on his family, his country and the world.
Casi and I had a huge fight on Friday after school. We had both reached the stage of declaring we never wanted to see each other again. Harsh words were said. We didn’t know how to retract them. We glowered each other and wondered what to do next.
Casi said she had to watch the DVD. I said she was grounded. She apologised. I relented and drove her down to the video store. We watched Forrest Gump together. We sat side by side and talked over all the implications of Forrest and Jennie’s lives, their hopes, their expectations, society’s expectations and their outcomes. In the end, we decided, life comes down to parental love.
You had to be there. It was beautiful.
And the connection continued.
Lee is heavily into the World Cup right now.
I did, however, find the first season of Footballer’s Wives the other night. Last night Lee sat down in the lounge-room to watch some obscure game. I disappeared into the bedroom to watch an episode or two of Footballer’s Wives. Casi followed me, grumbling about the inequality of it all and why did Lee have to watch his stupid sport, and doesn’t he know that it’s not real football and that only Aussie Rules is real and why can’t she use the computer and why don’t I go back to watching Neighbours if I want to watch a soap, and how long will this go on for and…
By the end of the first episode we were both hooked. We watched all four episodes of the first disk and Lee was made to wait in the office until we’d finished.
He has football. I have Footballer’s Wives. It’s almost the same thing.
And that, as they say, is that.
If you want to catch up with what Lee is up to, jump on over to ASif and read the ongoing interview with him there. Ask questions, offer opinions, be friendly.
Have a great week!