I flew in on Friday morning, having set off at 2300 Thursday night to find that my mobile phone had no roaming set up - Thanks Virgin! Eventually I got my lift sorted out and got to Andrew's house where we looked at figures and I met Steve, the modeller. We talked for a while, took a last minute look at the rules, prepared a game board for the con and had a lovely meal. Eventually, we set off about 1630 and drove through the absolutely beautiful Provençal countryside. I was a bit disappointed to not see any Occitan signs, but apparently Provence is nowhere near as bi-lingual as, say, Catalonia.
We took about an hour and a half to get there and the venue looked the part - a lovely French castle. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, as seems to be the case with all the 3 day cons that I go to. Accommodation was similar to Stahlek, with bunk beds in dorms, and as last arrival I got the top bunk with the longest flight of rungs I have ever seen, or at least it seemed that way to my poor old bones.
Friday night was spent socialising and eating/drinking. I would have liked to have played a game,but there didn't seem to be any around and I was shattered. I went to bed at about 2200 and was woken at 0200, 0300 and 0400 by the SNORE MONSTERS - you know who you are!!! Eventually, I dug out my pair of ear plugs and got to sleep.
Saturday, I got up at about 1000, thinking I had missed breakfast. After a shower I wandered down and they were still serving! The French are certainly civilised. After breakfast, i finished off my morokanth costume for the Prax at War game and headed off to the game. When I got there, I thought that nobody else had come in costume, so I felt an idiot. The hands lasted about half an hour until I took them off (no thumbs is really awkward) and the head about an hour as I couldn't see or hear properly. Had fun in the game, though, especially when I trumped the baboon's claim to have one of his victory conditions - his face was priceless. Afterwards, we socialised, drank, talked and ate, but no games seemed to be played. Just before I went to bed, someone asked if I had seen the Game Signup Board. "What Game Signup Board?", I asked! What an idiot.
Sunday morning, I got up bright and early, about 0800, showered and rushed to breakfast as I wanted to help Andre set up his miniatures game. Breakfast wasn't open yet!!!! Then someone asked if I had forgotten it was Daylight Saving Time. Of course I hadn't as I had told my wife to change the clocks. Hadn't changed my phone, though. Idiot 3. Played the miniaturesw game and had a lot of fun, even though the prize was cruelly snatched from me by a Great Troll who should try out for the Sazdorf Trollball Team! Couldn't find any English speaking games and decided my French wasn't up to a French game, so socialised a bit unt6il Greg took pity on me and asked me to play in a game of Broos vs Ducks. As the ducks had been my adversary in the earlier game, I readily agreed and we had a very fun time until my giant rhino broo was duffed up by a combination of weaker lesser broos. Two of us ended with null points, Paolo declared victory with 5 points and the chap in the corner who hadn't fought anything counted his hoard of sheep and pigs and said 10 points! Socialised and chatted with various people, said about the SNORE MONSTER in out room and was told that there were 3 on Friday, but one had stopped. I had only heard 2 and had put on some snoring clips on Saturday night,so I wonder who the third was!!!
Charlie's barbecue was tasty, but I had to queue for almost an hour for a second portion, which tired me out just enough to send me up to bed soon afterwards.
Monday, got up at 0730, showered, went to breakfast and Phillippe had kindly organised me a lift to Aix railway station. Said my goodbyes and waited to go. Christophe Badista (I think) had offered me a lift and I got chatting (sort of) to him and another chap who had both been gaming until 3am the night before. He was the most enthusiastic gamer I had seen for years and reminded me how much roleplaying used to burn inside me in my younger days. It also made me feel so, so old. Anyway, we had a pleasant trip in the car for a couple of hours (I didn't realise it was so far) and eventually made it to Aix TGV after passing tghe same road 3 times. The other gamers helped me find a ticket for the Shuttle to the Airport and showed me where to go and I made it with hours to go.
So, here I am, waiting for my flight in 3 and a half hours.
Did I enjoy it? Yes.
Was it the best/worst con I've been to? No.
Would I go again? Maybe, if I could get a cheap flight.
Worst thing about the con? The SNORE MONSTER (excluding myself, of course, as I didn't hear the 3rd one).
Best thing about the con? The oh-so enthusiastic gamer. I never caught his name, but hearing him talk for, what, 3 hours really made my day.