Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hats and Sinterklaas

There has been a lot of hat-making going on this week.

My owner made a pompom for the hat she knitted.
I think it looks really nice this way.

My owner's OtherHalf made a hat for me as well.
I love this one! I can use it for Halloween.

This is my owner's latest creation.
She's getting the hang of it, there's no holes of unexplained extra stitches in this one.

I think she should keep trying though. I can use lots more hats, and maybe some scarves.

Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands again, to celebrate his birthday next month. Yesterday the Armadillo and I got to put out our shoes, because we forgot to put them out the day Sinterklaas arrived. We sang Sinterklaas songs and put an apple with the shoes for the horse of Sinterklaas.

This morning we found presents in the shoes!

I got a book and a piggy bookmark.
How awesome!

The piggy bookmark has glasses.
I think he's a librarian pig bookmark.

Thanks Sinterklaas!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Loot, Mail and Little Hats

As promised: a picture of me and all the books I brought home from Brighton. And yes! That is a bookmark signed by Neil Gaiman I'm holding.

My owner also bought two cool t-shirts.

And we collected some cool buttons.

At home this t-shirt was waiting for us.
Amanda Carlson sent it to us because as part of her street team we posted a review of Cold Blooded on Amazon during her Review Blitz.

Talking about cool stuff:

I got marzipan cheese from my owner's OtherHalf.
They made a mistake in the store: They said it was a marzipan pig, but anyone can see that's not a pig. My owner corrected the mistake.

Today we went to the library and got free stuff!
Eric in The Land of Insects is a story about a boy who enters a painting and ends up just as tall as the insects in the painting. The other book has all kinds of art in it. There were also a pen, mints and a coin for a grocery cart.

My owner also bought two of those drinks that sometimes wear those cool hats. This time however we got two small knitting sets so you can knit your own hat!

I told my owner to get knitting of course.

This is her first try.
It's... acceptable.
She managed to get some holes in it, but those are on the back. And even though it's been years since she knitted, she's still the queen of unexplained extra stitches. I think she needs to knit some more hats until she gets it right. And this hat still needs a pompom on top of course!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye and the Journey Home

The last night in Brighton it was very cold, so we got out an extra blanket. But why is there a patch on it with the name Metropole? That was the name of the hotel where the convention was, not the name of the hotel where my owner and I were staying...

I checked the next morning, just to be sure.
Yup: Andorra, not Metropole. Strange...

At breakfast we had a last chat with Joan De La Haye and after that we checked out. We got our suitcases and:

Met up with Beanie for a last time.

I had a last look at the ocean.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day.

We went to a coffee shop with Beanie and Andrea, and had something to drink. I had a hot Chili Chocolate. It was very yummy!

Beanie and I enjoyed our drinks and chatted about all kinds of stuff.

Then Beanie walked me to the bus station and there we said goodbye.

A last wave...

And we were on out way.

I very much enjoyed seeing Beanie again.
I hope we'll meet up again in the future.

Almost at the airport.
What a lovely day!

But then we came at the airport and there were lots of panicky people.

It turned out the weather in the Netherlands was bad, especially near Schiphol airport, and all kinds of flights to Schiphol were being cancelled. Would ours be cancelled too?

It was uncertain at first, but finally we were told our flight would most probably leave, but 30 minutes later than planned. Time to get through the airport security and find our gate.

Apparently my owner looks like she keeps make-up in her bag, because we were asked about 5 times if we were really sure we didn't have any make-up with us. After the fifth time they finally seemed to believe us. Another passenger wasn't so lucky: they wanted to check her bag to be sure.

Thanks to my owner's special airport pants we made it through the metal detectors without problems again.

We had gotten hungry and thirsty, so we spent our last British money on something to drink and a sandwich. The bottle had one of those cool hats!

If the weather was still bad in the Netherlands I now at least had a warm hat.

We boarded only a little bit later than planned.

It was dark outside, so we could see all the lights of London. Very beautiful.

We landed at Schiphol at the time that was on our ticket, so we didn't even lose much time. We got our luggage and then we caught a train back home. In Groningen my owner's OtherHalf was waiting for us to help us get our suitcases home. How cool!

After an amazing time in Brighton, we were home!

Coming next:
My loot and cool mail

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WFC 2013 - Dead Dog Party - Nov 3

And then it was already time for the last World Fantasy Con event. The Dead Dog (post awards) Party.

One last chance to get to talk with people and to take some last WFC pictures.

I of course had to have a picture of me and Nikki.
I'm very glad we met her. It was very cool to hang out with her and I really hope to see her again at a future con.

This is William F. Nolan.
He co-wrote Logan's Run and wrote the sequels to it as well. Nolan loves pigs, so I had to have a picture of him. Nolan won an award at the award thing. The award is shaped like the head of Lovecraft!

This is Mhairi Simpson.
We were introduced to her by Suzanne McLeod. Mhairi edited the Tales of Eve anthology, and she writes Fantasy stories. She's a fun person and I need to get hold of her stories one of these days.

Mhairi in turn introduced me to Adam Christopher.
Adam Christopher wrote Empire State, a superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York. I haven't read it, but Mhairi told me it's very good and that I really should read it.

I also had to have a picture of me and Joan De La Haye.
Joan was staying in the same hotel as my owner and I, and we talked with her every day at breakfast. She's a very cool lady AND she wrote a zombie story! I got my trotters on a digital copy of Oasis as soon as i got home from WFC. Now I just have to find the time to read it.

and last, but not least: Hal Duncan.
i haven't read any books by Hal Duncan yet, but hearing him speak on one of the panels I now totally want to. I'll be getting my trotters on one of his books soon.

Overall the Dead Dog Party was aptly named though. Apart from those few authors I managed to get a picture with, there were not many authors around. Most either went home or left to take a well deserved nap. Still, we had a fun time hanging out with Nikki and trying to find authors to take a picture with (my owner may have scared off Patrick Rothfuss).

We also managed to acquire a hanger-on we hadn't counted on, so finally we called it a night. We said our goodbyes to those few people we knew that were still at the party and to Nikki and then went to our hotel to pack our suitcases. We would be travelling back home the next day.

Coming next:
one last meet up with Beanie

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brighton - The Royal Pavilion and More - Nov 3

After we visited some book stores and other cool looking stores we wandered over to the Royal Pavilion.

We passed a restaurant called Ye Old King & Queen.

And there's the Pavilion.

This part of the pavilion used to be a stable for horses.

I wonder if they had pigs living in the pavilion as well.

A statue of one of the many kings called Charles.

There were squirrels in the garden of the pavilion.

After seeing the pavilion we wanted to do some more shopping for a very important item, but first we saw the last part of a fire-eater show.

After we finished our shopping Nikki went to her hotel, while Beanie, Andrea, Mungo, my owner and I went for a drink. We got hot chocolate of course.

I talked some more with Beanie and Mungo. it was fun.

Then they walked us to our hotel, so we could store the things we bought, before we would go to the last event of WFC.

This is the most important thing we bought!
An extra suitcase to be able to take home all those books we got.

Next time I will listen to Jeffe when she gives me advice about conventions. She told me I would need a really big suitcase, but I didn't believe her.

Coming next:
WFC - Dead Dog Party

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Exploring Brighton - Nov 3

Yes, I disappeared for a few days in the middle of my series of posts about Brighton and WFC, but our vacation was officially over and I had to accompany my owner to work again. So we've been a bit lazy about blogging when we got home from work.


On Sunday afternoon there was this big, posh award banquet thingy at WFC. We didn't want to go to the award thing, so we had made plans to explore Brighton with Beanie. Everyone had told us that it would rain all Sunday, so I was a bit wary.

Nikki also didn't want to go to the banquet, so we invited her along on our shopping and exploration trip, so off we went to discover it was a lovely, dry and even sunny afternoon.

We had just left the hotel when we saw a parade of some kind.
It turned out to be a protest against the killing of badgers.

Beanie and Andrea also brought my cousin Mungo McPig along! It was great to see him and chat with him.

On our walk through Brighton we saw lots of cool street art.

Oh, Cthulhu attacks the Brighton pier.

Some kind of Space Marine.

A sleazy bear.

A Space Marine hiding behind dumpsters.

And we saw a Stop the (Badger) Cull (killing) poster.
I think those protesters might have put it there.

We saw some homeless animals as well.

Lots of pretty buildings.

A cool seagull mosaic.

And a pig!

We had a great time.
We did some shopping, some exploring and had lots of fun.

Coming next:
The Royal Pavilion