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Minami continues to be one of the best weekends of the year. It's maybe a shame it's so early in the year for that reason, but what can you do? Try to live the rest of the year in the Minami spirit, that's what. So, in the name of friendship, bad puns and fantastic costumes, I give you my Minami con report!

Minami started on Thursday for us this year, with the pre-Minami party. Jack and Liz came over as we were giving them a lift, Ian was there for last minute cosplay help and Josh for moral support. Lydia came over for a bit but had to leave because she has to get up for work at 5am and Rachael abandoned us. There was much party food, last minute sewing and prepping of the skit. We finished not too late, but poor liz was up until 4am getting her dress done!

Friday morning I got up and made breakfast for everyone. Then we were joined by Ralph and his girlfriend and Cat. The drive down wasn't too bad, but Salisbury was packed with taffic. Reached the hotel and discovered they had started charging for parking. We dropped off the cosplay and headed round to the B&B and with a bit of skilfull parking managed to get everyone there. Any roumers that I directed people the wrong way to the B&B are entirely false I will hasten to add.

Abbey Lodge B&B continues to be lovely. If you ever need somewhere to stay in Southampton I would recommend them.(Except for Minami weekend, when it belongs to Wessex!) Considering how much the rooms cost they're so much nicer than the hotel. Little things like proper furniture, decent feather pillows and free tasty breakfast make it worth it. A hotel is necessary for large amounts of costume, and it's worth it if you've got lots of people in the room, but if you don't have the costumes, or you have somewhere else you can keep them, B&B is much better.

As lots of people came down on Thursday evening it didn't take long to bump into someone we knew. Then there was much hugging and arm waving and celbrating. It's so lovely to know so many people and have them genuinely happy to see me. Got changed into She-Ra and Jayce and chatted until the party.

The party food wasn't as good as last year, but at least there was plenty of it. The games were the same as last year but just as fun (Dwarfy is a git with the pinyata though!). Twister was epic to watch, but there was no way I was taking part in a skirt, especially after watching Christian dressed as Seras Victoria. The variety show was similary fun. I'm not quite sure what was happening with the chinese whisper drawings, but watching the charecter change from one to a completely different one was highly amusing from where we were sitting. The disco was great, Cat and I got our groove on, Joe was seduced by Christian and we chatted to Raine and her friend who I want to call Frankie, but have no idea what he is actually called!

Saturday, got up, had yummy breakfast and headed down to the convention. People were already queueing for the dealers room. There was no early morning turtle racing this convention, so we donated money to charity instead (and came away with lots of manga). Changed into Will Fogg and Roumy, which made some people's day apparently. Oddly, I had less people asking me who I was than when I was dressed as She-Ra. Got some photos taken with Pat, a couple of which were printed at the end of the con.

Later we went to the taiko drumming workshop. This was by far my favourite event of the weekend. The guy from Taiko Meantime (Mark?) was an excellent teacher and whole experience was really incredible. I've generally only done music in a solo situation, but there is something about group performance, a sense of being part of something larger than the sun of it's parts that is exilerating. We started off slowly, learning the basic movements, praticing maintaining a rhythym. This isn't normally so hard, but when you are focusing on moving your arms too, it becomes more complicated. Didn't help that the person to my left had a very poor sense of rythym and kept putting me off. I compensated by watching one of the people opposite and that helped until we had to switch drums. Then I couldn't just watch the person opposite as they were doing a different rhythym. If you ever get the chance to take part in one of these workshops, do it!

I put Sora on for a bit, and was stroked by many, but I couldn't keep it on for long. Watched and then consumed takoyaki made by Babbit and helpers. Very tasty, but I think more hard work that I can bothered with making myself. I suspect I'd make a mess and not make balls but lumps. After than we has skit rehersals and masqerade prep, then got ready for the actual event.

The quality of the masqueade was very high, and I don't envy the judges in the slightest! Amy and Net had the best 80s hair ever; Kat and Kaka had amazing leather bodysuits; Mike, Amber and Dez looked awesome, but I have no idea where they where from. The skits were also very good. I had been waiting for the Saint Seiya / Knights of the Round Table one all afternoon, and the techical hitch didn't distract from it in the slightest. Mark's pokemon skit was genius, if full of horrific puns and the Team Giblets one was inspired. Our skit amused us and it amused the audience, which was precicly what we were going for. We couldn't top last year, so we just went with something that was amusing for us. The Gourry song was great though.

Had a quick TGI meal and then headed back to the karaoke. I wanted to stay up and chat, but it was techniclly about 3am when we headed back and I didn't want to spoil Sunday with lack of sleep.

Sunday, we headed down for some early morning snacking. Red bean cake is yummy, fish corpse is not as bad as it should be. Cat and I did some DDR, as there was no one around to mock us. Which is good because we struggled to operate the machine, let alone do DDR. Joe found us the DDR track of special which speeds up and slows down unexpectedly.

We then got into costume and did a Slayers photoshoot, which was a lot of fun. Cat took all the pictures on my camera, which came out really well. I've given my camera to some people before and been disappoint with what it came back with, but these are all great.

After the closing ceremony we went out with Heather, Mousie and Gemma to TGIs and had a lovely meal. Just as we were leaving, pretty much everyone else came in so I got to say goodbye again. The journey home was fine, no traffic anywhere. Now I just have to clean the house and put everything away. And get started on the next lot of cosplay.


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August 2009

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