For one weekend of August, Novotel London West - just next to Hammersmith Broadway bus and tube station - became Nerdhome.
Nine Worlds Geekfest is my first con. The first time I went was last year, which I blogged about right here. This year I kind of knew what I was doing - and it was awesome.
Less social anxiety this time. Less weirdness. We didn't stay on site - which is a mistake we'll correct next year (already bought the tickets for next year as it stands) - but despite that, all the time spent on site was magnificent.
I went in cosplay for the first time. Not a complicated one. I went as Steven Universe - and the sheer joy I got out of it was something to behold. Every time someone went past and shouted "And STEVEN!" or started a chant of "Cheeseburger Backpack" - every time I ran into someone else cosplaying as one of the Crystal Gems, it was an experience. It was so good. For such a lazy cosplay, because hell it's the stuff I wear to work or around the house, the payoff was fantastic. It's encouraged me to go more complicated next year...I'm thinking a certain Overwatch character, a one-man apocalypse if you will...
...the people as always were wonderful. The convention volunteers were courteous and friendly, the fellow guests were as up for the con as I was, and the hotel staff were basically incredible. Last year there were complaints - this year it was nothing but love. They did everything they could to make our lives easier, even going so far as to tell various con-goers that they'd miss us when we were gone.
I desperately hope we are back at that hotel next year.
The cosplays were wonderful. It's hard to pick out favourites but there were four Rose Quartz's that I counted, one Stevonnie, Luci from Wic/Div who trebled down as Jon Constantine and Spike, a good friend showing great form as Scar, Spike AND Loki, several X-Men, at leas tone absolutely KILLER Ghostbuster with the proton pack on form, and...well anyone that went will know what I mean when I say No-Face.
I only went to three organised events - a talk on MST3K which was deftly delivered and truly fascinating, the annual Whedon singalong, and a Steven Universe singalong - but all of them were so, so happy-making. Like, my life was genuinely better each time I stepped into and out of one of those rooms.
It was so good to be surrounded by happy people too. To be around those that wanted to be there, who thought like I did, who could be confident and happy in this space when the rest of the world isn't so welcoming. It's a world that I wish was universal - that I wish existed everywhere, not just in one hotel for one weekend.
...and then we were stuck in tailbacks on the M3 for two hours, but...you know something?
Totally worth it.
I'll see you next year, Nine Worlds. I'll miss you until then. You put a light in my life that simply won't go out.