Sunday, 29 October 2017

UK PonyCon 2017 report, part 3: Sunday

Onward! Since there were no official evening events on the Sunday of UK PonyCon, this will be a rather shorter report than that for Saturday, but I think it's still long enough to warrant a page break. And since someone asked: yes, there will be a merch haul photo at some point after the write-ups themselves are done. I didn't get a huge amount, but you'll get the photo anyway, because it's my blog and I want to. :P

Since we didn't need to register on Sunday, those of us at the Premier Inn (me, Snowkitten, Rorschfox, Bridle Timeout and Hawthorn) gathered for breakfast at the slightly less hideous time of 7.30am. It was fun to have some fellow con-goers with which to share experiences and prospects – another thing I'd missed through staying in out-of-town hotels in the past. Nothing thrilling happened during breakfast, at least if you don't count my having to report an out-of-date yoghurt. :P Nobody wanted to have a go at getting the wingless Famosa Rainbow plush from the restaurant's crane-game machine!

It was a lovely, sunny morning and Hawthorn decided to walk to the venue. That left four of us to squeeze into Rorschfox's car and make the simple trip to UWE. We got there a few minutes before opening time. I was wearing my Derpy shirt this time (I forgot to say that it had been a Scootaloo one on Saturday) but that didn't really make a difference. However, I did bring the Flutterplush Rorschfox had given me, as I decided that dammit, just for once I wanted to walk around hugging a pony plush, because where else can you do that with nobody being surprised?

Sunday is usually a slightly more laid-back day at UKPC, since most of the serious buying has been done – and I couldn't afford Sewpoke's huge Pinkie Pie anyway. (Price-tagged £500. Looked well worth it.) So it was just chat until 10am, when I was off to Idris's "Writing vs Narration" panel. This was interesting, as I know very little about getting stories narrated. Idris is always good value, as he's relaxed and engaging and will chat to just about anyone. Go to his panels! A shame a couple of people talked through some of it, but hey ho.

As I wasn't going to the art panel or the cosplay photoshoot, there was time for a little more shopping and a snack (another muffin and a liberal dose of Ribena Light) before the charity auction began at midday. This may be on a smaller scale than the big cons out there – £260 for a Big Mac roller banner was the top bid – but again, it works for UKPC. I didn't have much money left, so couldn't afford £80 for a hardback comic book with a Sara Richard sketch, while Oilyvalves' Lego Britannia went for a suitably chunky £150.

The Sunday cosplay contest began shortly afterwards, so I spent some of the time watching that with a lunchtime sandwich (cheese ploughman's) and some chatting vaguely in the social areas, as well as checking out the chill-out room, which had very comfy chairs. (No Spanish Inquisition.) At 3:30pm we had the very last karaoke session – I didn't sing myself this time, but it was a very nice atmosphere in there, with people comfortably dotted around and plushies all over the tables. It was about this time that I started to have my usual "I really don't want this to end" thoughts.

After picking up one or two closing-time bargains, I was back to the Sweet Apple Stage for a rousing singalong (of course including "Raise This Barn") with plushies being waved in time to the beat – well, more or less – and then the closing ceremony. The usual stuff, with contest winners announced and lots of people thanked; it was a nice touch that the committee asked the excellent venue security staff to choose some of the winners. By now our little group were talking about where to have post-con food; the nearby Bella Italia was our choice in the end.

And then it was over. The very last song of all was "A True, True Friend", which may not have particular Apple Family relevance but is one of the best reflections of the whole Friendship is Magic message, so I thought it was a wonderful choice and made sure I stayed and sang right to the end. After one last look around at the place that had been such a welcoming home for two days, we stepped out into the fading light and realised that we had to re-enter the real world.

But not quite yet. Bella Italia turned out to be unprepared (or unwilling) to cope with a dozen pony-people, so we went to the McDonald's across the car park. This was probably what we should have done in the first place, as it allowed us to be cheerful and silly without worrying about spoiling the ambience. For some reason I didn't think to buy a Big Mac, instead going for some sort of BBQ burger. I stayed in there for an hour or so, then as people drifted off to hotels or trains I did the same.

Back at the Premier Inn, I took off my con badge lanyard at last, and it was quite a melancholy moment. But I took out my con book and Supporter badge and looked at them, and I thought, "I was there, and no one can ever take that away from me." It had been a massively enjoyable and very well run convention – I'll write more about that in a Thoughts post a bit later, but 2018 will really have to go some to match it. That evening I read all the bits of the con book I hadn't had time to, then had an earlyish night.

Next time: spam-zapping, appropriate street names and one last muffin


  1. Another nice writeup :). And thanks for the mention of LEGO Britannia.

    I remember having that melancholy Sunday evening moment of 'That's It' last year, but this time round I was too busy, so I only really got that feeling on Monday. Also I think one of our group had a few goes at getting that grabber-machine Dash!

    Plushies always make things better.

    1. Thanks, and no problem.

      I think the first was my very first BUCK. As it ended late in the evening, I couldn't stick around for a meal, and since I was staying out of town all I could do was hurry to the station. No interaction with anyone at all between leaving the venue and getting to my hotel. At least having a post-con meal this year helped -- not to mention the Monday stuff, which I'll get to.

  2. Ahh yes, this day went a lot smoother from a personal point of view. And it was of course another very special day. I'd made sure to keep plenty of money back for today, as I knew that way, it was okay to spend it, without having to worry about any more convention days. Or something. Either way, it was the Day Of Much Buying! I rally wish I'd been able to go to Idris's panel, but I somehow managed to completely miss it.

    Shopping aside, it was definitely a much more laid back day. I think I spent most of it just sitting around, nattering to various people.

    It was a lot tougher taking off that con badge and lanyard than I expected. It was such a feeling of "that's it." But we have those memories, and so many of them! I wish I'd been able to stay a bit longer, but with the hotel room needing to be renewed and everything else, it didn't happen. And that auction was just incredible! I'm so glad I was able to see that, even if bidding wasn't an option in my case.