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A belayed Ayacon 2011 summary.

I was upset about Ayacon being over before it even started, because I knew it'd go by far too fast. Now I'm back at home and it's over a week since Ayacon and I figure I'd better finally write up this summary!

It was fantastic. I had such a fun time. I stayed Wednesday night with Moose so we could leave together Thursday afternoon, arriving in Coventry around 6 and meeting up with DC and Luke in time to check into the hotel and grab dinner. The convention offers accommodation, but at £47 a night for a single room, it works out extremely expensive, especially for couples who, y'know, actually want to sleep together. Travelodge in the centre of Coventry worked out far cheaper, directly opposite a Wetherspoons and a bus to the convention, not to mention a stone's throw from Forbidden Planet, Game and Game's Workshop. So, y'know, nerd mecca, then.

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Friday (friday, friday...)
The con didn't actually start until Friday afternoon, so we had a lazy morning and headed in for around 12, and met Sarah, Nick, Matt and Hopey. The first panel I wanted to attend was a reunion show for the Stage Clear podcast, which I'd only discovered last Aya. It's hosted by two guys who know games and very much know their opinions on gaming matters, and their panel basically gave them a chance to open the floor to the audience on various things. The rest of the day was taken up with exploring the convention, games room and bars, before the Opening Ceremony welcomed us officially to the convention.



That evening, I took part in Iron Cosplay, a  game in which you get given a box of junk, and a keyword, and within an hour you have to create a pretty pretty costume relating to said keyword. The theme involved creating a superhero counterpart to Internet Memes, and while the other teams got Goatse (their hero being Buttplug Girl), Tubgirl (Diaper Duck) and 2Girls1Cup (uhhh, some hero involving mind bleach, which I think is fair enough), we got the tame (and thus, largely uninteresting) Nyann Cat, who clearly is countered by Waffle Dog. I don't know. It made sense at the time.

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(the only League of Legends cosplayer I've ever seen irl!)

We had a relatively early night Friday because Sarah hadn't checked into the hotel yet, but we stuck around for the 9 screening of the Professor Layton movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I really need to watch more stuff. I've got gigs and gigs worth of anime and live action junk on the PC and I've never watched it.

Saturday
I dressed up as Summer Sale Scout but forgot a vital part of the costume - the stupid bat! I was recognised by two whole people - a Spy and a Sniper, haha. I think my costume (which is a bit subtle really) will be better received at Expo, where there's a huge TF2 contingent. I'll get some finished photos then, because absolutely nobody took any photos of me at all on Saturday :( I really wish I wasn't the only one who took photos of people, especially after Moose broke my camera Saturday afternoon and I was unable to really take anymore.

We spent like two hours just watching the Starcraft 2 tourney they were holding. I really didn't think I'd get into it given I'm not familiar with SC2 at all but it was actually incredibly fun. The two guys hosting it were fantastic, the gameplay was really fun to watch, and it was nice to just chill back and experience something like it. I really wish the UK had a decent gaming convention. Or any actual gaming convention at all, really.

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The Masquerade was absolutely fantastic. There were no queues to get into any of the large events, Aya is so organised for such a large convention. The quality of the costumes, for the most part, was fantastic. After struggling and practically crying over my sodding collar on my dress, I have so much respect and admiration for people who can make full costumes. I've honestly no idea how they do it. Amazing.

I wanted to check out the MADstravanza, which was pretty awful last Aya (basically a bunch of dumb unfunny videos, haha) but we ran out of time between eating in the Dirty Duck pub and loitering in the games room. Moose always told me how he hated silly games like Singstar but I've video evidence of him embracing his inner artist, haha. Sarah left pretty early, so we stuck around outside until the midnight-ish bus. The atmosphere outside the convention rooms, by the steps, in the evening, was just magical. A guy set up his violin and amp and just entertained us, for free, all night, every night. People were in such good spirits, dancing around and singing. Really special.

Sunday
This was the big day for me. I'd been working so hard on my Apple Jack costume that I was up early and so excited to show it off and be a part of the Friendship is Magic cosplay group organised to take place that afternoon. I cheated and only altered a dress I'd already purchased (I'm no Rarity, and dressmaking is not my thing) and that was tough enough - I spent all day trying to work out the sodding collar.

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The group meet was at 1, which was literally the only time I didn't have a panel or talk I wanted to attend. Matt Mercer was a guest again (first appeared at Aya 09 and was such a hit they got him back.) I'm so glad too. The guy's a complete nerd, but gorgeous and funny and charismatic and just perfect for hosting panels and events. He had a panel devoted entirely to discussing nerd culture, which swiftly devolved into 'Matt Talks About His DnD Quests'. It was genuinely great fun, and I really hope he gets to more UK cons soon.

After the Pony photoshoot and closing ceremony (and a Sunday Night Live set full of... well... stuff.) we headed to the Ayacon Pub Quiz, which we'd heard was pretty good. It was... okay. I'd heard a lot about it being silly and generic and not very Anime-centric, but it was pretty anime (at an anime con, go figure) and we did pretty badly despite having some actual anime aficionados in our team. During and after the Pub Quiz was the Time Travellers Dance, which is something I'd really been looking forward to. I'm not one for nightclubs and dancing at all really. Apart from one stint in a rock club in Bath that actually was awesome, I've been to about two nightclubs my whole life (was dragged to one for new years, and spent one Halloween in a club in LA that actually wasn't too bad).

Yet despite that, I was really looking forward to the dance, and wasn't disappointed. The theme was 'time travellers', so the music started with slow waltzy music and worked its way up tempo - sadly we missed all this by being in the pub quiz. By the time we got there it was hitting the 90s, and I was dancing and singing along to a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remix. Where else are you gonna get that in a nightclub? Not to mention Lonely Island's 'I'm On A Boat', haha.

Having Moose there was something special. He, like me, isn't big on clubs, but being able to dance with him and generally let my hair down was really, really awesome. I've never enjoyed clubbing or dancing, but being there with Moose and hearing him singing cheesy 90s songs in my ear somehow made it perfect. The last song of the night was Bohemian Rhapsody, and I got all depressed and happy at once and took my hat off to headbang at the right moments, and then grabbed myself an Apple Sour shot because it's the drink I'll now always associate with Ayacon.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
barberio
Aug. 29th, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
I think it was when we began answering questions with "Space." "Space." "Gotta Go To Space." "Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace" that we started to lose points.
ugerchucker
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
"I really wish I wasn't the only one who took photos of people"

Because, you know, Ben and I never take any photos. People usually only take pictures of me if I actually ask, and I hate doing that, but before your camera broke, did you take any picutres of me? I know I wasn't in cosplay, but you have pictures of everyone else.
reaperfox
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
You can see all my photos on fb, I only really focused on cosplay and events and my camera died Sat afternoon. I don't think I took any non cosplay/event pics though. Still sucks I never got a single pic of the scout cosplay I worked so hard on, though.
ugerchucker
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it sucks, I understand that. You could have asked though. The only way I got any pictures of my Second Doctor costume at Expo was to ask someone to take a picture. I hate doing that, but oddly enough sometimes it's the only way.

At least you got tons of your Applejack costume.
persiancafe
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
Your Applejack costume is so cute!!!

I'm bad and don't recognize any of the other ponies. :(



Also looool Waffle Dog, good job! That sounds like a really fun challenge too.
sailorangei
Aug. 30th, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh you look SO CUTE! I love it so much! <3 I love your apple bucking pic! XD
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )