I had a good time. I didn't honestly expect to, but I said "I will" and therefore wanted to deliver on my commitments
I've been mulling over what I enjoyed, what I did and why during the the traffic jams on the M1, and it really comes down to people.
I guess I went with strange preconceptions - I knew there were bunks, and a nice dry monster building with power, my laptop and 20GB of mp3s, a new order from Amazon so perhaps I could title this "A review of Pattern Recognition by William Gibson" rather than "A review of Maelstrom by Matthew Pennington". I didn't get into costume (though I was tempted briefly on a couple of occasions) and I was astoundingly rude to someone who tried to tell me the background of his character (though I was drunk at the time).
My memories are of the people, and they are almost all positive. To me it was a social event which had some people dressed in funny clothes at the periphery of my vision. Sometimes it's little more than a social gathering in a place convinient for people I know (and want to know) from Birmingham, somewhere-NE-England, Manchester, Norwich and London.
This might sound a bit negative, and that's partly the fallout from the nasty booze, but I enjoyed the people, I enjoyed taking some photos, I enjoyed the compliments on my Saturday night performance. But the LRP wasn't a strength for me.
Oh, and Pattern Recognition was ok. I liked the characters, the story was at the same time simple, hollow and up its own arse. I'm glad I didn't buy the hardback, but I am glad I bought the paperback.
I think I'd better stop. Everytime I reread something I've written above I get flashbacks to Saturday night - and the plaudits are probably better than the memory so I want to concentrate on them.
Roll on next year - I think. I will try to get into costume - I think. I think I think.