SwanCon XV January 26 to 29, 1990 Progress Report Two page 16 – The Nanocons

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. All typos should match the text as given.
Page title: THE CON YOU HAVE…


A Personal Recollection by Colleen Jenkins

It was April. It was November. We had lots of people. No, only ten or so showed up. Ah yes. I remember it well.

When was the first NanoCon? I suppose you could say that NanoCon -1 was at our house in Alfred Street – a combined House-warming and birthday party in July 1986. As I recall, a good time was had by all, especially when eating the Birthday Cake, a homemade fruitcake soaked in about a pint of Brandy. When we had gutted the house of furniture and spread sleeping bags over every bare inch of floor, we had twenty one unconscious bodies draped in various odd positions about the place; the only space left was the bathtub, probably because I’m the only one short enough to fit and I already had a spot in the bedroom. When the cat snuck down to the kitchen for a midnight snack, the person on the floor there thought he was being attacked by giant cockroaches (OK, next time we’ve got someone sleeping on the kitchen floor, we’ll trim Sugie’s claws). The next morning we woke to a dull, foggy day. Eventually it became clear that the sleepers had fogged the windows and that the day outside was quite pleasant. This inspired us to rent Faversham House the next time we wanted to throw a party. Then, at least, no one would have to sleep in a throughway.

The first NanoCon proper was held at Faversham House in April 1988. What I remember most about the NanoCons is cooking. Silly me: I suggested that I could cook dinner and a pancake breakfast, and we could charge for these meals and put the proceeds into the SwanCon Kitty (I also remember the washing up). I also remember playing Trivial Pursuit until four in the morning, and going into hysterics of laughter at Terry’s reply to “Who is the Patron Saint of Children?” (No, Terry, it’s St Nicholas, not St Pederast). Maybe you had to be there. I have found that things are always funnier when you’re totally knackered. I think we actually managed to make some money at this mad venture, and enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to do it again.

NanoCon 2 was held in November 1988 and again I did the cooking. I also think that was the NanoCon where everyone stood out on the top verandah stargazing until all hours and Eleanor ended up wrapped in Tony’s sheepskin coat while Tony quietly froze half to death (what else are godfathers for?).

Then I had a brilliant idea! So what if it is too cold in York in the winter? Let’s have a NanoCon in July and call it Christmas and have a real traditional Christmas dinner with a tree and presents and everything! Thanks to a lot of help from Bob, Tara, Julia, Bob’s mum, and others, we had roast turkey with all the trimmings, bacon rolls, sausages, mince pies, and a real, homemade Christmas pudding served flaming with hard sauce (also great on pancakes). The present swap around the tree caused much hilarity, toasting marshmallows and camembert by the fire was fun… and so to bed.

I didn’t make it to NanoCon 4, because like the loon I am, I had double booked myself (Well, I was so sure that NanoCon was going to be on the 7th), so in my stead I sent a chicken pie and – you guessed it – a chocolate cake. I hope they weren’t viewed as a totally adequate substitute, as I like to think I’m better company than a chicken pie, but this is purely subjective and, I don’t know, maybe there’s something even my best friends just can’t tell me.

Anyway, roll on NanoCon 5! I’ll be there!

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