I’m not sure I have the adequate words to describe how the Chevron weekend affected me. Certain
things that happened at the con will stay at the con, because there are no words that can do them
justice. Instead they will remain between me and those I shared them with. What I can say is what
The Small Pebbles members present made it an awesome con, even before factoring in that Amanda Tapping was there that weekend. It never ceases to amaze me just how generous of spirit each of my fellow team members is. And by the same token, my other con-going friends, new and old alike. The general buzz that seemed to flow through everyone was infectious, and even in my sleep deprived state (I had been up since 6am Thursday when I arrived at the con on the Friday around lunch time), I was completely wired. The excitement was obvious, everyone so happy to see each other again, so excited for what was to come and so beyond words. The squishing began pretty much right away and didn’t stop all weekend.
My first stop, after my room, which I was sharing with Thomas and Elisabeth, was the registration desk. The queue wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the constant chatter was a happy reminder of why we were there. Everyone obviously excited and eager to get those passes that said we were there at this rather posh hotel for a weekend of geekdom.
Next up, the Sanctuary for Kids table in the dealer’s room…. um, I think it’s fair to say at this point that Julia Hague, Tracy North and Keely Mayo were successful in bankrupting most of the Small Pebbles team during the course of the weekend. S4K’s coffers were that much fuller and our wallets that much lighter, but it was worth it and it put a smile on my face, as did the twitter discussion I had with Julia about that very fact. I also want to thank Julia for signing my copy of You is for Unique whilst we were at the con and once again, encourage all of you to pick up a copy of this amazing book whose proceeds go to S4K.
So, perhaps, you’re wondering when I’m going to talk about the Amanda Tapping related events of the weekend. The truth is, that this time, it’s a lot harder to voice everything I feel. The Grand Empress of Sci-Fi has touched a place in my heart that I didn’t know existed and in ways that I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to explain. I’m still trying to find the words and failing epically. For someone who was, as she said herself, jetlagged, she was definitely full of her usual energy and vitality. Her generosity of spirit, her effervescent personality, her dedication to her fans and the epicness of those hugs is all rather overwhelming to reflect on. So many moments of awe occurred that it’s difficult to give each adequate attention. From the epic first hug at the Gold Ticket Drinks Reception, where Amanda practically tacklehugged Andy and told me she’d been following my NoCaffNat progress, to the talking to her at the autograph table, to the hugs at the photo sessions and to the Small Pebbles Book of Illumination presentation, and so many other things in between, I’m not as articulate as normal.
The weekend was full of Robin’s rather filthy sense of humour. Which Gary, Tom and Peter all joined in with, and poor Amanda was left blushing on stage and covering her face more times than I could count. At the charity auction I may have yelled out “Fifty for him to take them off” when the bidding war as to whether or not Robin would keep his pants on… yes I know… me… But Amanda was the one who said “Fifty for him to keep them on.” And it was like she threw down the gauntlet. In fact, in the end, several Small Pebbles members contributed to him taking them off.
It was Robin singing “Oh Mandy” at Amanda that had us all singing “Oh Andy” at Andy outside on the Sunday and changing the name for each person. Poor Rachel as the Small Pebbles Boss Lady ended up with hers being “Oh Bossy” but we meant it with love. I’m just grateful Amanda and Robin arrived back at the hotel after we’d finished singing it. Problem is, thanks to Robin, we couldn’t sing the rest of the song, we saw it in a completely different light after the first two words. But it showed just how cohesive this small group of Nubbins is, even if we may have embarrassed the Boss Lady at some points.
Chevron 7.8 was a weekend of fun, hilarity, charity, pure love and squishes that I will remember for a very long time to come. Each guest was a delight; each moment shared with friends was so very special. And now we’re back, fundraisers are being planned. The Small Pebbles team will never stop trying to raise money and will never stop working together to help create those wonderful ripples. I feel honoured to be part of such a wonderful group of people.
Report by Nat Emery (@nocaffnat)
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