August 16th, 2014



following up on yesterday. Went back to the hotel to take a nap, went looking for dinner fairly late. Found an Italian place near the convention hall. Very hoitie toitie menu, nothing on it was exactly what I wanted, so I punted and ordered some kind of pasta which sounded like truffle, with baby shrimp. The pasta turned out to be little bits. How to describe? Take a 1" long strip of pasta and roll it between your fingers so it is tapered on the ends and the width in the center of a round toothpick. Don't cook it much, so it has the consistency of paper mache, in olive oil and oregano. Also cook in tiny shrimp which are the same width as the pasta.

It was hard to eat. Slid off a spoon, only could spear a couple at a time with a fork. Finally gave up and ordered tiramisu for dessert. Yummy, alcoholic to just the right extent, but oddly was served in a coffee cup.

Glacial service, I think it took 10 minutes to flag down a waiter each time. I was figuring the tip, but there was noplace for it on the credit card slip. Waiter pointed to a 15% gratuity built in. Pretty sad for a single diner.

It was raining most of the day, light for the most part. I definitely needed to buy a light jacket.


Friday wrap

Up at 8:30, breakfast was very crowded. Light rainfall, so instead of going to the con I went to Stratford and into a mall. I thought it was he Westfield, which made me wonder why the area which is usually kiosks was a produce market. Lots of produce stands. Almost found a nylon windbreaker in a sports store, but 2XL did not fit. The nice man said their shop in Westfield might have one. Just go to the other side of the train tracks (take the overpass).

His shop did not have anything larger, but it is a big mall, and I found a track suit in the Adidas store which had a jacket that fit and pants which I could use as PJs if they fit in my luggage. Needed the jacket on the return trip, it got cold & windy and a little wet.

Back to the con, but the crowds were impossible, so I did not attend any panels or filks. Wandered the art show and bought a couple of jewelry pieces. The volunteer at the desk who took my money turned out to be the artist. Nice. The way it works is put the "sold" sign on the bid sheet, back where I found it, and pick up the piece Sunday. "Sold" signs help sell more, and leaving the art there helps show the nice work.

Very few pieces had bids. I blame the lack of writing implements.

Hung around the con fan area, also bought a pasty and a soda and watched people go by and read from the Kindle app.

Went back to the hotel for a nap, then back to the con for the Worldcon Philharmonic.

Amazing, brilliant, more than impressive. Members from the London Symphony, Royal Phil, BBC Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Britten Symphonia and London Phil with a prodigy conductor and a lovely soprano. And a magical theramin player. The program was about half sci-fi score music (Superman, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars, video games) and classical quasi-sci-fi (Ives, Haydn, Holst, Stravinski).

I cannot describe how impressed and thrilled I was to hear this music played at this level. The first half was partially destroyed for me by the idiot in front of me firing up his laptop and doing web searches on the numbers and composers, and whispering the info to his wife next to him. At the "interval" I changed seats to way farther up front.

The brass was especially beautiful, especially the French horns. It took a while for the trumpets to get some work, and somehow with the angles I never saw them. There were two full typani sets and 7 or 8 string bases and at least one brass upright bass. Tons of cellos. Two tons of violins. Only 2 clarinets and 2 flutes.

Standing ovation at the interval, more than 5 minutes after the last piece, they repeated the Superman March for an encore, another long standing ovation. I think the audience response gave me more faith in fandom than I'd had. Except for that idiot with the laptop.

Back to the hotel by way of the minimart. Got a baguette sandwich and some biscuits, which I ate as I was posting to FB.

Plans for tomorrow:
Nothing interesting at the con until the masquerade at 8-ish.  
If the weather is photogenic:
London Bridge
Eye of London
Emirates Air Line
otherwise ride lots of trains