Afterwards I had my first look at the Dealers' Den, where the artists and creatives sell their wares. I made myself walk all the way round once before committing to any purchases, and my means of transport was also useful in restricting spending (there is only so much space on a scooter). I came away with books signed by kyellgold and foozzzball, a fluffy orange husky tail which I was unable to wear as I hadn't brought a belt, and a laminated badge that says HELLO! I'M A HUSKY (as if there could be any doubt), amongst other goodies.
The chosen convention charity for the year was STA Ferret Rescue, who had brought a selection of their finest racing ferrets for our entertainment. Kip, Freddie, Trilby and company shot through tubes and into boxes while the crowd placed bets in the hope of winning bottles of Fursty Ferret. After the excitement of the races, the ferrets retired to one of the conference suites and curled up in snuggly furpiles, where they were available for cuddling duties. My ferret kept trying to eat me and had to be distracted with fish oil, but was adorable nonetheless.
A few days before the con, a five-sentence story competition had been announced, and I had prepared an entry. When I discovered on Saturday that the judging panel consisted of kyellgold (Nice Judge) and foozzzball (Nasty Judge), and that our stories would be read aloud by khakidoggy and mocked in front of an audience, I regretted my decision.
In the event I got off pretty lightly, maintained my poker face while my story was in the spotlight, and came second, losing to Mut on a technicality: my appalling handwriting. I received a beer token (value £4.50) and was well pleased.
In the bar I joined forces with yagfox and some other likeminded souls who were on the verge of ordering a Chinese takeaway. When it arrived we sat by the lake until it got too chilly, then I helped arakinuk test out the Nordguard card game he had just bought. A collaborative adventure with anthropomorphic huskies - perfect.
Afterwards I spent my beer token on a bottle of Bulmers Pear and ambled round to the conference suite, which still smelled faintly of ferrets, for the live recording of kyellgold's writing podcast, Unsheathed. My favourite part of this was when Kyell sang 'Losing My Religion' while khakidoggy and I waved lighters.
The podcast finished at midnight, at which point I fully intended to go to bed. Fate had other plans, however, sending me chapcalledjules and a pitcher of White Russians. We headed outside, where we encountered furries who had been born in the 1990s, for heaven's sake. Jules got quite worked up about this and was determined to show that we could out-party and out-upstay them. He may have succeeded; I went to bed around 2, though not before shouting, indignantly and regrettably, that the youngsters in question had been in someone's testicles while we were doing our A levels.