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[personal profile] kjn
Apart from Fantastika 2016 (where I edited the con newsletter), I have only had light duties at most cons I've been to recently. At Worldcon 75 I was the Area Head of childrens' programming. To make matters worse, my co-Area Head (and wife) [personal profile] thette had been battling exhaustion due to work for the year before the con, and busted her knee the Friday before the con started, so she had to strictly ration her work.

I'm not even that good with kids, especially when they are excited and in a group. Luckily, I had some excellent staffers, who did most of the work with keeping the kids happy, while I did most of the behind-the-scenes jobs. So this report is dedicated to Silja Lampela, Mia-Pia Asomäki, Katherine Catchpole, Marie Engfors, and Therese Norén, my excellent staffers. (Technically Katherine was "only" a volunteer, but as she joined our security briefing, I thought it simplest to just declare her a staffer as well.)

Travel to the con started Monday morning by taking the Silja transfer bus from Jönköping to Värtahamnen in Stockholm, where we transferred to the Silja Serenade for an overnight trip to Helsinki. Much cheaper than taking a flight and an extra hotel night, and much nicer than getting up at oh-so-dark (for small values of oh-so-dark, given Nordic summers) to get to Helsinki reasonably early. On the ferry we met Magnus Fromreide and Leif Stenson of Linköping fandom, and also Jonas Bagge from Stockholm. Mette from Denmark and her husband, currently living in California, were new acquaintances that I met on the ferry. During dinner I also noted an old lady that looked remarkably like Bridget Wilkinson, but she turned out to be a fellow Swede.

Hulda took advantage of the on-board entertainment, and participated in a simple dance workshop, and we also watched the show "A Taste of Qasia", which sadly fulfilled all my fears by tapping into many of the racist stereotypes about Asians that float around up here. Good dancing and choreography, zero cultural sensitivity.

On arriving in Helsinki late Tuesday morning we took trams number 3 and 7 out to Messukeskus. Due to route maintenance of the number 7 tram and that we got on an south-bound tram we got a short sightseeing of central Helsinki before it headed north and up to Messukeskus. After checking in as staffers and having lunch at a nearby nepalese restaurant we found Mia-Pia busy with the crew filling goodie bags at around 13. Since our security conference wasn't until 15.30, we joined them. This year the goodie bags weren't that well-stocked, with only an anthology from Finnish Weird as a bonus. On the other hand, it also included a five-day travel card valid over the entire greater Helsinki area, sponsored by the City of Helsinki.

After the security conference (mainly covering evacuation and lost child procedures, and working the radio) we realised that we could fit in a security tour of Messukeskus later that afternoon, so no reception in the Helsinki City Hall for me, despite having planned on going. The security tour was extremely helpful, and really helped us getting a feel for the place and how to get around in it. The childrens' programming room was tucked away in a corner, and knowing the fastest path from the entrance hall to the room was very valuable during MIMO and throughout the con.

We also registered ourselves. Registration was seriously smooth and quick: show the barcode and ID, then you were handed the goodie bag and the travel card while the sticker with your membership details were printed. The sticker went onto your badge, and then you were done. In the ideal case it took less than ten seconds, faster than just about any other con I've been to. (Even in the case of my fhannish sister Ylva Spångberg, who had forgotten her barcode, registration was really quick and simple, though it likely helped that it was after the main crunch had passed.) Finance and DevOps did a marvellous job here. I also picked up our blank and FHAAN ribbons. FHAAN being both the old-school spelling of fan, and an acronym for Fun Happenings And Activities Network, my moniker for the childrens' programme.

That done we could finally head out to our hotel. On the way, we made a dinner stop at a (bad) pizza place. We located a potential breakfast place, since the hotel wanted close to 20 euro for it, and after installation in the hotel I headed out for the pre-con karaoke party, which turned out to be not easy to find, despite electronic assistance. I limited myself to a single beer, plonking myself in Eemili Aro's lap to Meg Frank's amusement, and doing a single round of the room before sitting down with Frida Otterhag, Fia Karlsson, and some other to me new and unnamed fen. I tried to get in on the karaoke singing, but the queue was excessive when I finally worked out how to work their request system and finally found a song that I had filked. But the karaoke wasn't entirely free from fannish singing: Jukka Särkkijärvi sang a song about Cthulhu cultists doing blood sacrifices with norppa freshwater seals. I headed home in time to get back by midnight, lest I be turned into a pumpkin.

Up early Wednesday morning. I had noted that the goodie bag included a mission to make something creative with Major Ursa to get started with the scavenger hunt that Clare Boothby (of Exhibits) had organised, so I wrote a filk song to Major Ursa on the tram up to Messukeskus, and performed it to Clare as the very first thing in the morning. It made her day, especially since she had apparently stayed up far too late an earlier night to put the finishing touches on it.

||: Major Ursa, Major Ursa
ska på världskongress :||
Hen har inte vaknat
klocka har hen saknat
Så vi måste, så vi måste
väcka henom nu

I also made an English version when she wondered about the lyrics:

||: Major Ursa, Major Ursa
is going to the Worldcon :||
She has not awakened
'cause her clock was taken
So we have to, so we have to
waken her real soon

It is to the tune of Björnen sover (a well-known Swedish childrens' song) or Gubben Noach (Fredmans sång 35 by Carl Michael Bellman).

I met up with Silja at Messukeskus, where we discovered that much of the order of supplies that I had made pre-con had become lost during MIMO, and also learned that the supplier hadn't been able to send us all of the things ordered. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper on this, and spent a lot of time during the first half of the con scrounging up needed things and explaining to various parties exactly what we were missing. Silja and I got some breakfast at a small cafe in a nearby office complex and bought emergency supplies for the childrens' programming room (mainly fruit juices and some fruits).

On the other hand, I had brought the vital parts for water rocket launches and meteorboll from Sweden, and the Finnish Tolkien Society delivered their button-making machine with a plentiful amount of supplies.

After we had organised the childrens' programming room to the best of our ability, all of us but Therese (minding the room, since we had kids present) went for lunch at Messukeskus, where most of us had the creamy salmon soup.

Our first official item was the photography workshop with Lincoln Peters. He covered at-con photography etiquette, and then some basics of posing, framing, and lighting, while the kids took plenty of pictures. Hulda took a very nice picture of me posing with a sword, and also some nice pictures of the two cosplayers who turned up to help as models. In the end, it descended into mock fights, but it was all photographed nicely. Most importantly, we got ten kids who had parental permission for their photos to be submitted to the con and a channel to do so, and I understand that several photos were later submitted that way.

Then I had to run off to the dance hall, on the other side of the building, for the game of meteorboll, probably the first such game in over twenty years (last mention I could find was for Wasacon in 1995). Basically, it's the classic Swedish game brännboll (infamously described as "baseball for anarchists") with a fannish twist. The game went well, even if I had to frequently emphasise the safety distance around the batter. We had a couple of interested bystanders for the game as well.

Somehow I had managed to get some time for the rest of the program, and could see the second half of "I Am Curious Filk" with Emily January, Ju Honisch, and Valerie Housden. Not much new to me, but I was glad to see about 30 people in the audience, including several Finnish fen. I was asked to say a few words of filking in Sweden and Finland, and we ended with Valerie leading us in Sam's Song.

Our Frankenstuffies session was a sad affair, since we had a real lack of stuffies to use. We did the best we could, and some things were crafted in the end. At the songs for kids, I was joined by Goldeen Ogawa and some parents, and we got a good set of songs, including "Never Set the Cat on Fire" and "Space Is Big".

Our final item of the day was storytelling with Peadar Ó Guilín. Most of the children had left by this time, but there was an impressive queue of adults outside of our room. All the kids who wanted to come got prime spots, and then we filled all the available chairs with adults.

After a quick dinner somewhere I joined the queue for the concert with Another Castle and Riverside Castle (Another Castle is based in Helsinki and Riverside Castle is its spinoff in Turku). I wasn't too concerned about my spot, so even went back a little in the queue when I spotted Kathleen Sloan. In the end, we were literally the last two people into the room, and the choir was a seriously impressive all-women a capella choir. Among the pieces they did were the theme of Doctor Who, songs from Skyrim and The Lord of the Rings, a piece from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and the theme from Star Trek TNG.

Sadly, I had to get back to our hotel to help Therese and Hulda directly after the concert, and missed Lynn Gold's opening filk circle of the con.

Met three international con-goers by the tram stop on the way home one night, who were unsure about which tram to take (since the 7 had an unfamiliar sign). After I helped them with the map, they decided to take the 9 with me instead, and we chatted happily about Nordic and Finnish fandom on the tram. Then I discovered that one of them had been at Åcon, and I asked if she was Zen Cho—and to my delight she was! She was looking forward to the panel "Bootstrapping a Nation" that I had come up with too, and from what I could see online I'm even more happy to say that the panel seems to have come off very well.

Thursday was another early day. I had a quick breakfast at Cafe Cardemumma, near our hotel. On arrival at Messukeskus I discovered that the cleaners had taken all our empty toilet and kitchen paper rolls, that we were supposed to use to make Wonder Woman bracelets. Luckily, we had some crafty parents there ready to improvise using duct tape, and a call to the Messukeskus meeting service meant that we got a huge bag of rolls a little later. But I really made sure to label our crafting stuff from then on.

Then we had to organise our picnic to the Kumpula Botanic Garden. A Majur Ursa colouring book was loosely stapled to our flat bat (meteorboll is usually played with a choice between two bats, one regular and one flat for easier batting), giving a nice visible rallying sign. While Silja and Katherine led the twenty people joining the picnic, I went to the nearby K-Market to get food and drinks for everone, and then set out for the Garden. However, I entered the wrong address (the Kumpula Allotment Garden), and ended up taking a rather roundabout way to the entrance. I got there finally, and despite my tribulations, everyone seemed to have had a good time and thought it well organised. Probably because I had provided alternatives for people with diabetes or celiac intolerance.

On the way back I ran past Swedo-Finnish fan Ben Roimola somewhere outside Messukeskus, at least me being in a hurry. We exchanged quick greetings in English, before we caught ourselves and realised we both had Swedish as our native language. Language mixups was common throughout the con for me; sometimes I switched from a mixed party where whe spoke English to speak to a single person speaking only Finnish and English, but asked them something in Swedish.

I also got a call that the choir that Päivi Itäpuro was supposed to lead had no kids but some adults, so on her advice we changed its focus to explicitly include adults and have more adult songs (read drinking songs) in it.

ETA: Among the people joining the choir were Kate Barton, Valerie Housden, and Jackie Mitchell. Together with some Finns we had a strong core of good voices in the end. Kate looked much better than when I first met her at Quoi de Neuf, and she and Andrew had gotten quick assistance from the Worldcon Access team.

My old friend Christian Conrad from my Usenet days found me in the childrens' programming room, and took me out for lunch at a nearby lunch restaurant. It was a long time since I had last met him, but we were a bunch of old regulars from rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan there. I think I managed to meet most of them but Becky Slitt sometime or another, like Rick Moen, CD Skogsberg (now Rehbinder), and Jasper Janssen, but I don't think we did any organised meeting, like we had at Loncon 3. At least I didn't have the chance to get to it.

Ian Stewart and Anna Davour led a nice workshop on the scientific method, that doing science is more than just running a single experiment. They used tin can phones (built by plastic cups and string) as their subject, and I think the kids were both happy and got a good introduction to the various parts of the scientific method. I had hoped to get more of the guest of honours into the childrens' programme, but most of them fell through, due to various reasons.

We held an Open Play session in the dance hall afterwards, and I noted that a couple of the kids watched interestedly at the dancing workshop that was held right before our session, so I asked the teacher if she could lead the kids into some dances. She happily had some free time, while Silja was asked to organise a game of meteorboll by some other kids in the other side of the hall. When the dance teacher had to leave, we continued with meteorboll over the entirety of the hall.

Meg Frank led a watercolour workshop that yielded several marvellous paintings. My particular favourite was one of Cthulhu in space. Afterwards, I assisted Robin Hobb with a kids' writing workshop, where I had to interpret for one Swedish-speaking kid. There were two girls in the workshop who were clearly awestruck, and then when they finally become tongue-untied, they never could stop talking. Robin led an excellent workshop.

I had to leave the con relatively early to get back to the hotel, but I managed to stick my head into the filk room before I left, and Ju permitted me to open the "Songs of the Forest" with my Toby the Half a Tree. I hope the rest of the theme filk went well, since this was the theme I was most unsure of had a good selection of songs available.

Friday was Hugo day, and as part of that I had scheduled a kids' party in one of the larger programme rooms, the idea being to give the kids some fun while the parents went off to the Hugo ceremony. But more on that later. The day opened in the dance hall, where I tried to put in some music and then promptly had to do my one and only call to tech, since the sound was all distorted when I finally managed to get all the pieces connected and the mixer board turned on. (Apparently, the previous user had turned off some but not all of the huge-ass amount of big audio gear.)

After that Daniel Dern held a very appreciated workshop on magical tricks, before we trooped most of the kids, parents, and my staffers to room 101c, where we'd meet astronaut Kjell Lindgren. He held a very good and interesting Q&A session with the kids, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. He had some technical troubles in the beginning, but that was easily covered by noting that astronauts have to deal with such all the time, and by singing an iteration or two of "Space Is Big". He covered how one becomes an astronaut at NASA, the time it takes to take to the ISS, how one prepares for a spacewalk, having fun in space, and much more. It was rounded out with a quick photo session with the kids and my staffers.

I got a little late to the next choir rehearsal, but we had managed to pick up a few more people. A discussion about how to handle the barytone part of one of our pieces got a succinct answer when it was pointed out that the choir had men. However, when I left the practice I got a very nasty surprise. The time of the Hugo ceremony had been changed earlier, and I had missed to pick up the change. Thus, the kids' party needed to start at 19 instead of 20, leaving very little time to prepare. (In many ways, our internal communications within the staff left a lot to be desired, especially between divisions.)

Tero Ykspetäjä became my hero, doing all the scut work of getting the change communicated and pushed out through our channels, while I ran around frantically to get all the logistics in place. And then, when we arrived at around 18 to room 102, we discovered that it was used as the backstage area for the Unreality choir, something which was not noted down in the schedule backend, delaying our putting the room in order with another half an hour. Despite this, we managed to get the room in a semblance of order, with soft drinks, crisps, my computer as the jukebox, a dance floor, and plenty of balloons. The first hour was dominated by the boys' chosen game of running around and hitting each other with balloons and making an unholy racket, but after that the girls started to dominate the dance floor while the boys started to wilt over their phone games. Music was mostly selected by the kids, but I managed to include a decent set of fun filk songs as well, like "Salad of Doom", "Never Set the Cat on Fire" with Heather Dale, "The Alien Jellyfish Song", or "M Is for Magic Missile". During cleanup we played Seanan MacGuire's album "Wicked Girls", since Katherine turned out to be a fan of hers.

After cleaning up after the party I went to the evening filk. I had missed the opening circle for "Songs of Sea and Space", but could join into the following "Filk of the Night" once it had gotten started. My main contribution was Mary O'Meara "in the original Norwegian", since it fit into the opening theme. I'm not really sure how I did it, but it felt as I really nailed the thematic and emotional development in the song. It was probably the single best singing performance I have ever done. I also sang another song of mine, in Swedish, but it was of more private nature. Valerie Housden, who led the circle, later commented that this was a true *World*Con circle, with songs in English, Finnish, Breton, French, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Hebrew, and Polish.

Saturday was masquerade day, not that I went to it. Cafe Cardemumma didn't open until 10, so I went out directly to Messukeskus with our cabin bag, which was to be used as the locker in a later puzzled hunt workshop. Then off to the K Market to buy rice and balloons for making juggling balls. I didn't find any funnels, so we had to improvise them using paper during the workshop. Need I also mention that excited kids are excited, so we had several instances of overfilled funnels, quickly leading to rice all over our floor. But still I managed to get in a bit more choir practice. The juggling workshop itself apparently went fine.

I even had time to check out a good launch spot for our water rockets, which also met with Turva approval: an overflow parking lot by the North Entrance of Messukeskus, with a nice pile of gravel to secure my launch pad.

Due to too many cooks, we then had a crunch at noon, with no less than three programme items simultaneously: a comics workshop led by Nicolas Križan, a cosplay circus performance, and a puzzled hunt workshop. Wisely enough, I had asked for a gopher to assist with the comics workshop, so only had to say hi to Nicolas, throw out the previous users of the room, and make sure Hulda got into the workshop. The plan was that Nicolas would have held the workshop together with Claire Wendling, but she sadly got ill just before the con.

By this time I was running on fumes due to no breakfast, when I realised that I could go to the staff den for some food. When I got back to see how the puzzled hunt workshop was progressing, Jason Wodicka noted that the kids were far faster and smarter than he had expected, and the first group was almost ready to open the locker.

Which it didn't. And it was not the kids' fault—Jason had done a math error earlier and then sent me the wrong code! Score one for the kids.

The next mission was a big one: make and launch the water rockets! The staff den had provided a rich supply of rocket bodies (PET bottles), and we had plenty of raw materials for fins and decorative elements. At 15.00 I thus led a huge parade of kids and parents through the entirety of Messukeskus, carrying the improvised sign we had made for the earlier picnic. Con photographer Henry Söderlund met us by the north entrance and took plenty of pictures of the entire circus.

We filled our rockets with our chosen reaction mass, dihydrogen monoxide (water) at the nearby logistics spot (the toilet). The we trooped out to the launch area (parking lot), where I designated an observation area (a small dirt walking path), a launch control officer (Katherine), and the launch pad (the dirt pile). The launch support (a tin can with a piece of wood to secure it, attached with duct tape) was driven into the dirt pile, and the rocket was assembled with the complete launch system (pre-bought) and energy in the form of a high-pressure mixture of oxygen and nitrogen (air) was added to the rocket. By pumping. And pumping. And pumping, until the rocket went up into the air, sometimes spraying me with reaction mass. Most of the time, it went up so high and so quickly that I had no chance of following its path, and the use of a dirt pile as the launch pad meant that it quickly turned into localised spots of mud. I was also lucky in that I bought two sets of valves/exhausts, because one lost a vital part early in the process.

Nevertheless, with the assistance of two parents, I got all the 30+ rockets launched into the air, with only a single failure. Afterwards, I was hungry, overheated, and exhausted, so on advice from my wife I took it easy the rest of the afternoon.

ETA, on how I crashed the Fan Fund Auction.

When I checked the mail after coming back from the rocket launches, I found a mail about moving the kids' Open Play from the Dance Hall to room 102 to make space for the Fan Fund Auction, at which point several frustrations about various minor stuff, overheating, and being hungry really caught up with me. I explicitly refused to move our slot, because the Open Play sessions were getting more and more popular, both parents and kids learning where and when they were held, room 102 would require major setup to make suitable, I had booked the Dance Hall far in advance, and perhaps most importantly, I had the vengeful monsters on my side.

Even if I hadn't been hungry and overheated, I would have refused to move. And this touches an important principle: if we want to make parents feel welcome to our cons, we must NOT treat their kids as second-class con-goers. Not everything will be suitable to children at a con, but their activities should be treated with the same respect as anything else.

In the end, it ended happily, since the Dance Hall was big enough to handle both, and the Fan Fund auctioneers got the hint that the kids weren't moving out of the room.

That meant I finally, finally!, could get to a full evening filk session. I had chosen the theme of the starting filk circle as "Songs of Liberation", since it was the centennial of Finnish independence from Russia (I had deliberately chosen the evening filk themes so they connected to Finland and Finnish history). Yehuda Porath was the moderator this time, and did a good job at keeping the chaos within managable levels, despite at times a very long queue. My own first contribution was The March of the Dendarii Cavalry in the First Cetagendan War, to the tune of the Finnish nationalistic song "The March of the Finnish Cavalry in the Thirty Years' War". We then got into a theme of songs of mostly songs of labour, where my contribution was "The Rebel Girl" by Joe Hill. I think Rafe Culpin contributed "Fire in the Sky" as well, and Ju Honisch went with a German liberal-nationalistic song from the 1840s. We also got songs in Scots and Welsh during the evening. Later on, the mood switched towards songs connected to the wider Cthulhu mythos. Seppo Laine, an old-time Swedish fan read some Vogon poetry before he left, and my closing song turned out to be A Filk Melody, before Goldeen asked me to remain and help her with "Never Set the Cat on Fire". I finally got home a little after midnight.

During the evening, someone had noted that the Dead Dog Filk had disappeared from the programme, so I promised to investigate that first thing in the morning.

Sunday morning I first checked in on the Programme Ops office, where my boss Marianna Leikomaa asked for advice on the "Crisis for Con-Runners" panel, which had lost two of its panelists, including the moderator. I promised to help, and could do so quickly when I spotted Hans Persson on the other side of the Holiday Inn lobby: a good moderator with lots of con-running experience was just what was needed. Breakfast was again had in the staff den, and then then I tried to find someone to help me find somewhere to have the Dead Dog Filk. I found the right advisor in Mirko Karas of Hospitality, who proposed the cellar of Rauhanasema, complete with sauna. The rest of the building would be occupied by the Old Pharts Party, but the rent of the house included the cellar and sauna as well. I made plans to meet with Kylie Ding (party liaison) and Dave McCarty (Old Pharts party organiser) later on at the Rauhanasema, though I still had no real idea where the place was.

Anyway, I finally managed to get it in time to the rehearsals for the Worldcon Choir, and by this time we had managed to grow to about a dozen members. Then it was time for my first real choir performance (all earlier had been in unisone choirs). We even had a non-trivial audience, though far from the sizes that the other choirs had managed earlier. We sang the rounds "Banbury Ale", "Call George Again, Boy", and "Now Kiss the Cup, Cousin", a wordless rendition of "Quand je bois", and then Päivi and I sang my filk I Helsingfors together before the rest of the choir did a wordless rendition of "Bort alt hvad oro gör", the song my filk was based on. Then Valerie and I had to skip our deserved adulation in order to prepare for her concert and for the dead dog filk, respectively.

A visit to the Info desk showed they had a map that showed the way to Rauhanasema, and I realised that I knew exactly where it was and within easy walking distance. I also picked up an elderly gentleman (aged 94 but still spry) who wanted to know exactly where the Old Pharts Party would be, so we accompanied each other. Once Kylie got there we inspected the cellar and sauna, determined that we could co-exist with the Old Pharts (read: we could use a separate entrance) and we could decide on glass sharing and communication.

ETA: Turns out the elderly gentleman was none other than Erle Korshak, the chair of the 1940 Chicon!

I then took Hulda to Asmund Koefoed's talk about Mars. Asmus is a Danish scientist who worked on Curiosity and helped find evidence for flowing water on Mars a while back, that I met when he held a talk at Dancon (a Danish mini-con). Then I hurried to Valerie's concert, which was delightful. I also announced the plans for the Saunapella and Dead Dog Filk at the concert, both at the concert and by electronic means.

Afterwards, it was nearly time to start packing everything. Messukeskus wanted us to vacate the rooms as close to 18 as possible, so we cancelled the last programme item in the childrens' room. We located some empty boxes to pack unused supplies in, and I remembered where I had put an empty trolley I had used a few days earlier, and happily enough it was still there. Several staffers eyed it enviously as I drove it through Messukeskus. We could leave our empty room just around 18, with most things neatly packed in labelled boxes to be donated to future Animecons and Finncons. Marianna Leikomaa was very happy with the half-full trolley delivered to her outside the Programme Ops office, to help her get her stuff out from there.

By the time we childrens' programming staffers had managed to meet up and found a decent restaurant for a post-con dinner, it was too late for me to join if I were to get to the Dead Dog Filk (which I was the host of, for lack of anyone else), so I gave Therese most of my remaining euros and told her to treat Mia-Pia, Marie and Hulda to dinner. Silja and Katherine elected to spend their last groats at the Worldcon merchandise fire sale, and I gave them my last groats as well. Instead I headed for the Holiday Inn restaurant, where I joined Filthy Pierre and his company at their table, where we ended up talking about mostly Second World War history before I had to run away to Fredsstationen (i.e. Rauhanasema), where I made sure we had the signs for the Saunapella in place, and that the "bouncer" for the Old Pharts knew which entrance we filkers used.

Our cellar room wasn't that big, but it easily accomodated the dozen or so people we ended up with in total, though it took a while until we reached that number. I opened the Dead Dog Filk by singing Sf och Roscoe, and then we sang while the filkers trickled in. Among the songs I sang were Stolta fans, which was not the very first filk I wrote, but was the song that turned me into a filker, and arguably the song that gave filk in Swedish fandom its new start. Funnily enough, this was also the first time that it was performed in full for an audience. I also sang Ingvar Svensson's "Fandom Song" (ttto "Alle Vögeln Sind Schon Da", not "Greensleeves") from 1961 and the first known Swedish filk song, and Gunnar Gällmo's "He Is the Big BEM in the Sky" and my own To Doctor O'Brien, regarding the Violin to connect with all the Lovecraft songs sung the day before. We also managed to add Spanish, Latin, and Pitmål to the list of languages, the last was by me singing Skweelarn by Euskefeurat, probably in a horrific accent.

Since we had a hot sauna, I also and lots of people present, we also set out to do a proper Saunapella. Only four of us could fit into it comfortably at the same time, but we did sing in it, my own contribution being Our Con on the Way to the Con. When we got back out I found that several of the other circle participants had departed, so we closed at about 23.30, noting that the Old Pharts Party also was on its last legs at the time.

Saija Kyllönen had earlier asked me to sing a song or two at the "official" Dead Dog Party as well, but never given me a time to be there, so I walked over to the nearby Sokos Hotel Pasila, where it was held. I had two candidate songs, but one I barely knew, and when I found myself standing on a chair in a noisy bar there was little choice: go for the one song I knew using as much voice as I had, which turned out to be a lot more than I thought. The song: It's a Long Way Down to the Con Suite, which got lots of laughter and singalong from the audience. Definitely the right choice.

ETA: Apparently, part of my singing got captured on Instagram. Farning: it includes the chorus where I sing intentionally badly.

Monday morning we packed our stuff, checked out, and had breakfast at Cafe Cardemumma. We found that our neighbours at the two nearby tables had all been at Worldcon too, so chatted a bit with them. Then we had a discussion about our plans for today. First we had thought about a visit to Suomenlinna, but we needed to be on our ferry no later than 16.30, and with Therese's bad knee we didn't know how much walking she could handle. Instead we settled on Plan B: take the tram to Olympiaterminalen (the ferry port), store our luggage there, and then take a leisurely day in the nearby Brunnsparken (Kaivopuisto). Hulda ran around, Therese took lots of pictures, we had a lovely lunch at Café Ursula, and then we had ice cream on a pier before we leisurely turned back towards the ferry.

On the ferry we met with Mette and husband as well as the Kaj family and Jonas Bagge, though I only really got to talk with the Kajs. On the other hand, when I took a look at the karaoke at one of the bars I found that the couple I sat beside were sf fans too, though they had missed Worldcon. Ellen, the girl, was from Finland and a really good singer, and a huge Pratchett and Star Wars fan, but I never caught her boyfriend's name. I did a poor performance of Bellman's "Fredmans Epistel 81: Märk hur vår skugga" (started way too low), and closed with singing Det där är då ingen måne, my filk of Ted Gärdestad's "Jag vill ha en egen måne", likely to the consternation to the rest of the people present. At least my singing was much better that time.

Date: 2017-08-19 09:14 am (UTC)
johan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johan
It did not end well. I was not alone in leaving the auction because the clash made it a mess. We auction-goers were as unhappy about the move as you were. I'm not blaming you for refusing a bad order, but I fail to understand how the ensuing mess seems to make you proud and happy.

Date: 2017-08-19 09:57 am (UTC)
johan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johan
Schadenfreude towards me after I first went to the wrong room, then had to leave because the noise was unbearable? The people requesting the move were one or two. The people who suffered were around fifty.

Date: 2017-08-21 12:13 pm (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
Thank you for the detailed report. It was a thorough look from the other side of the mirror I usually don't get to see [both for overseas and for con staff]. Also, kudos to you for standing up for the kids & parents!

Date: 2017-08-24 03:25 pm (UTC)
ladymondegreen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladymondegreen
Thank you for a great con report!

Date: 2017-08-26 12:55 am (UTC)
gorgeousgary: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gorgeousgary
Sounds like a good time was had, even with the room mixup and other usual conrunning hiccups.

Wish we could have been there, but it just wasn't in the cards with a toddler who hasn't even been on a cross-country US flight, let alone an overseas flight. By Dublin 2019 we should be ready to try a hop across the pond.