the_marquis and I took the train down to Oxford Saturday lunchtime and were met at the station by parrot_knight. It took about three seconds flat before we were deeply engaged in gossip. We headed into the city centre to do a quick spot of shopping and amongst other acquisitions ended up with a leather hippo for pennypaperbrain. After a monster queue in Boots, we headed out to the Parrot Knight's castle, where we had some late lunch and sorted out our costumes for the banquet.
We got to the venue before the key, and while the Knight went off to pick up some other revellers, the Marquis and I (dressed as usual as Merry and Pippin) approached some of the new generation of Soc T who were not even sure if they were in the right place.
There was long period of chatting and catching up with people in a little room in the venue while the current Soc T committee and banquet organisers sorted out the hall. It was nice (and someone gratifying) to see my hunch about foradan and his 'guest' confirmed. Amusingly pellegrina seemed a little 'put out' that she'd been made to keep a secret for Foradan that wasn't as much of a secret as might have been supposed.
I was happy to see my Evil Twin Polly jane_somebody and, of course, skordh. And it was a pleasure to meet gramarye1971 -- a fellow geek and writer. I just wish there'd been more time to talk!
After much celebration and dancing, we headed back to the castle, and once there Penny, the Marquis, the Knight and I talked until the wee smallies and Advid the Hippo was handed over.
Sunday came far too soon, and after Penny had left (far too early, sadly), the remaining three of us at the castle went straight back to talking. We later went for lunch in a nice pub -- which unfortunately wasn't quite the culinary delight for me that I had hoped for: the chips were horrid and the bread and butter pudding was at best indifferent. Nevertheless, food was had and we headed back home for more chatter through the biting wind.
Sigh. I miss Oxford, sometimes. I miss sitting up late and putting the world to rights. I miss the energy of the place, it's odd over-crowded self-importance.
But feelings of melancholy aside... it's been a nice weekend.