Conception 2009 was great.
I, however, was bloody awful.
I flew down on Thursday feeling like death warmed up. The flight was easy and I had a lovely pick-up from the airport. The con itself is at a holiday camp near Christchurch and it looked really cool. Its a 'games con' - ie. lots of games being played rather than games being bought - and was spread over four days. During those days the Collective Endeavour stall did over £550 and I sold a ton of Duty & Honour.
I didn't play a game.
Why? Because I had to flu from Hell. No, worse than that. It incapacitated me two nights in a row. One night I was hallucinating so bad I thought I was pissing arrow-shaped tadpoles from my belly button. I was sweating so bad, I generated roof-drip! It was terrible. It buggered me for the entire con and I only really got my mojo together on the last day, when I pillaged the raffle. Five strips, four prizes - sorted.
The real drama of course, was the snow on Monday reducing Southampton Airport to a standstill and leaving me stranded. Thanks to Rich and Claire for my emergency crash space and chicken dinner. I got home eventually, 36 hours late but it really put the kibosh on a great weekend.
Conception has a lot going for it. The people are great - an entire different side of the UKRP crowd. The setting is fantastic and the lodges are really excellent value for money and provide a great community feel to the event. The pricing structure is great - you pay for what you play, plus your accommodation. So no wasted entry for me. The problem is, the bloody thing might as well be in France! OK, the flight to Southampton makes it a lot easier but it is still a long way away. Or is it? I dunno. It feels like it but I know it isn't.
Anyway, yes, I went and it was great. Thats my full year of UK conventions done now: Conpulsion, Games Expo, Furnace, Dragonmeet and Conception. I could have slipped Continuum in there, I suppose, but I never did. Its been a good year, all told, for cons.