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Eastercon, Part 1.
Firstly, a note for next time. The Park Inn has a wonderful swimming pool. The reception staff are helpful. The rooms are clean, have a fridge and tea-making equipment, and good firm beds. It is less than five minutes walk from the Raddison Edwardian.

Breakfast is okay, once you convince the Guardians of the Food that your rate includes breakfast. The choice is wide and eggs are cooked in front of you.

However, the hotel is huge and souless, and the car parking is horrendously expensive, even with discounts. A hotel to consider if you are not driving. Otherwise, forget it.

I'm still not convinced about the Raddison as a con hotel. Sure, it is big enough, and can accommodate large numbers of people at 'event' items on the programme. However, it still can't get its head round the amount we drink, and the con food is very unimaginative. That main bar and circulation area just wastes space and is potentially dangerous, while the small programme rooms are hellishly difficult to find (particularly when not sober!) The circulation is also difficult, because people, including me, will stop to talk to their friends. In fact, stopping to talk to friends is what the con is about for many of us, and this hotel lacks the sort of main relaxation space that made the Liverpool Adelphi so good for these purposes. .

The dealers' room does not really have enough space, either. In fact, apart from a couple of books of criticism and a couple of filk CDs, I didn't spend a lot in the dealers' room, in deference to my poorer status this year.

Met a lot of people I meant to meet, but with fredbassett and other attending primeval_denial flisters did come down to use of texting and mobiles, plus people hanging around mevennen's stall (and some day desperance and I will get to swap cat stories.) For the first day I could not seem to turn round without falling over fjm but it was chilperic who peered closely at the book I had just purchased on Eric Frank Russell and was seen shortly afterwards heading for the Beccon stall to get one for himself.

I did wear my new corset, and if Cimorene tells me once more that corsets are not restricting, I may say something I regret. Going to the loo takes on a whole new engineering quality. However, it is good for my back and looks pretty good.

I am going to talk about the programme in a lot longer post. Suffice to say that Ina and I have asked to be included in the programme discussion group for next year...

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The lack of a large social space was a bit restricting, but in general the hotel was pretty reasonable, but it took most of the stay for me to work out the layout!

The hotel is the model for the one in Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret wherein the hero (a pure nerd but also a magician guarding not only our world but several others) has to attend a convention, where the hotel has been so-magicked that getting from one room to another is... er... practically impossible.

Drat -- missed you wearing your corset!

And good news that you and Ina are going to get involved with the programming nex year. We think there should be a 'Het? Why bother?' panel *vbeg*.

I found the place-with-the-fish better this time, as the shine had worn off the floor, and I therefore knew where it was. But still, as you say, as a con hotel, it lacks something. My first ever Eastercon was at the Radisson, and I thought that chatting to the Big Names in the sauna was what happened at all cons .... I don't know how I missed you all! Probably because I was unrecogniseable as me, and I wouldn't know most of you, corporeally, from Eve (or Adam).

Car parking, by the way, was only £5. They charge you £5 a day, but a day is counted as 'one or more exits from the car park in a 24 hour period'. So if you arrive (as we did) on Friday, and depart (as we did) on Tuesday, that is one exit, and therefore £5. Non-euclidian economics.

That was car parking at the Raddison, which was full by the time we arrived. The reduced rates did not apply at the Park Inn, which were £12 per 24 hours while resident plus £4 per hour after you'd checked out.

Oh, I see.

I wonder if you could have parked in the Radisson anyway? There seemed to be a lot of limo drivers popping in to wait for their next passenger to turn up. Maybe something the committee could look into?

Looking back, we could have parked for a couple of hours at the Park, found a spot at the Raddison and parked there over the weekend, heading back for the Park to load up our luggage. It would have cost us about £10 quid for the Park parking, and a fiver each night for the Raddison. However, there wasn't much free space at either, and we figured we could afford what we thought would be £36 quid over the weekend. Unfortunately, we'd reckoned without the extra none-reduced extra hours they charged us. We'll know better next time.

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