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Before | After

And Then... (Day 1)

Thursday, day one of the convention (though not till later). Got up, packed my bags, and went wandering with Kolya and the kids through Southland Shopping Centre.

Kolya had told me about one shop in Southland called Suga, a candy store that specialises in rock candy.

We went and had a look at the place (and I bought some, naughty me!) but no one was actually making anything at the time, so we wandered off and looked at pet stores instead (cute kittens and rabbits). We then went back to the food court and had lunch (Jesters make really good pies! I had an Oompa Loompa).

We were about to leave for the train station and the city (Kolya and the kids were off to visit relatives, and I was off to the convention) when we noticed the people from Suga were about to make a new batch of candy, so we scampered over there to watch.

The rock candy is actually quite basic to make. It's nothing more than glucose (ie sugar) with some flavourings and colourings. You merely melt the sugar until and mix in the flavours and colours. The hard part is putting the designs in.

Once the basic stuff in mixed, they put in on a heated table that keeps the mix to the basic consistency of play-doh, and then work it into the design. The one we watched was strawberry, so they made three different coloured mixes, red, green and yellow. They made ten tubes of red, and placed then in a pyramid shape (1 then 2 then 3 then 4) arranged some of the green to be the leaves coming off the strawberry, surrounded that in the yellow, and then a little bit of the red around that for the final ring around the outside.

Now the guys who were doing this have obviously been doing this for a while, because they had it down to a fine art, plus they had muscles to prove it. The colour of the yellow section when it was initially made was a bright yellow. The colour they wanted was a lighter yellow, so one of the guys grabbed the yellow pile and draped it over a hook, pulling it down to stretch it out. He then grabbed it about half way up and draped over the hook again, and again pulled it down to stretch it out. He repeated this over and over again for a good five to ten minutes, resulting in a much lighter yellow.

Now this work is not really that much from the shoulders, and is actually mostly done by the forearms (remember, the sugar is trying to cool and harden while he's doing this). As a result his forearms were solid, ropey muscle. He had a really cute smile too.

Once the big section was put together to their satisfaction, it was stretched out until it was the size the wanted (about 1 to 2 cm in diameter) transferred to the other table (which was cooled instead of heated) and chopped into small bits for sale.

After they gave out free samples of the stuff they just made (it tastes better warm!) we quickly ran away because we were running about half an hour behind schedule due to stopping and watching. :)

Back to grab the bags, and then a walk to the train station (thank you Sasha for carrying my laptop for me), and then the train into Melbourne. We all get off at Flinders Street, and I jump on a train to Epping so I can get off at Collingwood Station for the convention.

Now, I have never been to an Arcanancon before, and had never been to that venue, so I get off at Collingwood station having only a vague idea of where I'm going. As I walk down the stairs in what I think is the right direction I think to myself "Bingo! I recognise that head! Follow that bald spot!". So I proceeded to follow him to the convention site. :)

Registration for the convention started at 2:00pm and I was hoping to be there before then since I was running a game. Due to being distracted by the cute guy a Suga and a number of other small delays, it's 2:45 when I actually get there.

I walk in and say hello to a few people, and then get pointed to the rego desk. I wander over and am about to introduce myself and ask what I need to do to register when Damien looks up, goes "You're a GM, you're over here," grabs my rego form and hands it to me for me to sign, deals with everything I need to do and then points me over to the rego desk for my game so I can start rego-ing players.

Oh dear, I'm a known gamer!

I was originally signed up for playing in four games, running two sessions of my own game, plus helping Stephen run two sessions of his.

However one game (Murdered by [Deleted for Security Reasons]) had to be cancelled due to real world issues on the writers part (elindal) and another session (The First Dance: Death by punk_rock_nerd) had to be cancelled due to other real world issues, however I was able to reschedule that for a different session. Also, neither of Stephen's session ended up running due to lack of numbers.

So, I ended up only doing 5 session (3 playing, 2 running) out of 13.

I started doing signup and rego for my game, and handing out the character packs. I got a lot of compliments about the player packs, for which I am grateful. I put a hell of a lot of work into them.

I also do a lot of catching up. I caught up with Mark and Nikki (nikkicat13), Sara (fraerie) and Richard (elindal), Richard Allen (tefkin), Eric Henry, Renee (kitling) and Nigel (nigelw), Thorfin (thorfinn), Fish, Tarquin, Mark (platos_nicnac) and the rest of the Pointless Metal Cruelty group, Hilary (arienmir), Mik (mareth_redorb) and there are probably more but I can't remember at the moment.

I also made better friends with some people I had met before but didn't really know, especially Mitch (designadrug) and Simon (punk_rock_nerd).

I didn't have anything scheduled for Sessions A and B, so after the rego panic calmed down I just hung around, chatting, catching up with people and entertaining Angela in the Canteen. Then after Session B I walked to the train station and took the train back to Martin and Lilli's. I got home about 12:45am, and went to bed.

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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