Part 2 of 3
When we got to Number 36 on Tuesday afternoon, we were delighted to find what a lovely room we'd been assigned. We're in room 4, downstairs from the front door, and the room is very large. It's bigger than we need, which is nice. I've got a little desk I can use for composing my LJ messages (not sure if I'll get to internet service tonight, but I'm hopeful, depending on when the bars close), there's a generous chest of drawers, the heat works, the furniture's good looking, both beds are comfortable enough. I'm still kicking myself for leaving my "chocolate" pillow home; colleency made me this pillow from some candy bar print fabric, which is a great traveling pillow because it's soft and smushy the way I like my pillows. But that's my own fault... I should figure out a way to keep it with my travelling toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant.
We decided to go by the SECC before dinner, and ran into a number of fans including Andrew A. Adams, Dirk Bontes, Elaine Brennan, Genny Dazzo, Vincent Docherty, Paul Dormer, Deb Geisler, Arwen Grune, Ilana Grune, Colin Hinz, Alice Lawson, Steve Lawson, Craig Miller, Sara Paul, Larry van der Putte, Jean Thompson Paul Treadaway, DC, and various others I didn't get a name for when I snapped their pictures. Deb and Elaine were sitting at the "MIMO" desk ("Move In/Move Out") issuing set-up badges. I got one and checked out Hall 3, where the Fan Gallery would go. The fixtures were up, but the shipping cases were nowhere to be seen, and they were running behind in the Art Show set-up. They told me that the stuff from the North Carolina sea container was here in Glasgow, and it was safe, and to come back in the morning.
Walking down the halls, we learned that Rammstein was playing at the SECC recently. Had we but known...
Lynn went into Registration, to arranged for her Wednesday morning volunteer shift at Reg. (0900 to 1100.) We saw their complicated and almost complete flowchart for the Reg workers to follow, which included having the pre-reg member sign for their badge twice, and were told to come back the next day to get our badges because they had closed at 6 o'clock. We went away, and by the time we got back to our room, our luggage was there.
A little worse for the wear, though; one of the handles has broken off. On the whole I'm not thrilled with the performance of my suitcases, and I just hope they keep their structural integrity long enough for me to get them home. I'm happy with their capacity, incidentally; any larger and I wouldn't be able to manage them fully-loaded, and a not-overstuffed load is about the right amount for the domestic air luggage allowance.
We headed out for dinner. Lynn was famished; I'd had the pasty, but she hadn't even had a proper lunch. We had managed to get one of the Program Guides (too big to fit in a pocket, but it was smaller than last year's not-pocket program), which had the restaurant guide, and it matched the instructions we had -- the close restaurants to our room were all on Argyle Street. Location #1 on the map was "Little Mexico" listed on page 114 of the inter_action Program Guide, and we decided that if we hadn't seen something we liked better by the time we made our way up to it (it was the furthest, going northwest on Argyle), we'd eat there.
On our way up Argyle, we saw "The Goat" -- a pub that advertised "free internet, free wi-fi." I resolved that it was probably worth the price of a pint to be able to post to my LJ there and ready my e-mail. (Net Station, back in London near King's Cross, charges a pound an hour, for use of their terminals or to plug in your own computer; free is even nicer than that.) My only concern is a rumor that the pubs close at 2300, so I need to check that out.
We went all the way out to the Kelvingrove Art Museum & Gallery. This is a great castle of a place. It might even be a real castle. It looks too good-looking to be a real castle -- but on the other hand, it's obviously old and authentic, and it's on top of a hill which is traditionally a good place to put your castle. Anyone know the Kelvingrove's history? What was it before it was a museum?
We didn't find Little Mexico. We backtracked to a gourmet burger place we'd seen, and learned that it was on the site of the Little Mexico restaurant which had closed in February; "WEST" the new place had been in business about four weeks. We have to say, they have very nice burgers. You pick among beef (100% scottish cows, 10 oz. patties), chicken, vegan (broccoli, spinch, soya bean), or veggie (mushroom, pepper, pineapple, and we hear it might have egg as a binder). Then there are 14 combos listed. Lynn tried the Guacamole Burger. Note to anyone trying this place: the menu uses "Avocado Relish" as a synonym for "Guacamole," but it's the same thing. Lynnn liked it, says was "Very big, very messy, and very goold." Another note for Americans eating in UK: "Lemonade" is a synonym for a "Sprite/Seven-up" type of beverage. Also, at one point I said to Lynn, "there's ice in your milkshake" -- she says she thinks it was made with ice cream, but it was also made with ice. I enjoyed the ginger beer they had on offer. They also have bheer, wine, and a long mixed drinks menu. Like too many restaurants we've seen, there was no physically separate non-smoking section; in this instance, there was not even an attempt at separate sections, although the waitress promised not to seat any smokers near us. As a precautionary measure, I hid the ashtrays that had been placed on the two other tables in our little section. By the time we'd finished dinner, the smoke from another patron 3 meters way had started to bother me, and it was a good time to head home. Burgers were listed on the menu for 4.95 to 6.75 pounds each.
Wednesday morning, the Number 36 Guest House (that's the name on the bill, anyway)'s housekeeper brought us a continental breakfast. It was delicious; next time we need to tell them no coffee, no yogurt, but the stuff that we ate was just fine. There were these almond-glazed shortcake/scone-like things, very nice. Lynn didn't want hers, so I got it. The banana wasn't spotty yet, so she ate that, and the nectarine too. There was cereral, and cold toast, which I ate with the "Silver Shred" lemon marmalade. Maybe one or two other items, I forget... Not a cooked breakfast like we'd enjoyed at Belgrove, but that's okay. Or at leasy, Lynn's okay with it.
Walking to the SECC, the day was sunny and bright, with some clouds that were dumping rain on us. Whilst it was raining, mind you.
There's a mini market at the SECC that has all manner of things -- it's more than just a news agent, it's like a 7-Eleven but maybe a bit better. And its prices seem to be comparable to a regular convenience store -- they don't seem to be jacked up through the roof the way you'd expect at a convention center.
When we saw Deb at the MIMO desk Wednesday morning, someone had decided that MIMO sounded like a place to host a Worldcon (or at least a bid) and wrote "in 2011" so that the sign now reads "MIMO in 2011." Someone may have even handed Mark Olson a twenty for a pre-support...so remember to support MIMO in 2011. We saw many people Wednesday, and I didn't photograph all of them, but I snapped shots of Lisa Adler-Golden, Sandra Battye, miramon, Giulia De Cesare, Deb Geisler, Glenn Glazer, John Harold, Colin Hinz, timill (who now has the "Old Phart" ribbons), Christian McGuire (he has the "9,000 Iced Teas No Lemon" ribbons to remember Michael Mason by), pmcmurray (I handed him the "LiveJournal" ribbons to hand out), Suford Lewis, Tony Lewis, "Sparks" Rennie (who now has "Sparks for TAFF" ribbons), Kevin Roche, Ann Totusek, Andy Trembley, l_zinkiewicz (she's got the "Squib" ribbons), Cuddles, and Rincewind.