of things that had to be done In the end we decided to go to the Great Wall and not
the party, probably a wise decision because we would need as much sleep as we could
 get before the real fun began. Looking up my copy of the programme I saw the Great
Wall began at 6 and rang Valma to let her know that Stephen Solomon would be taking
his electronic equipment to our place and that he'd be able to get her back into the
city. Then I went back to the convention and listened while Lee Harding talked about
the Writer's Workshop which had apparently been a great success, David Grigg's story
had been chosen as the equal best with John Alderson. David wasn't there to accept
the congratulations, he was feeling poorly and had gone home to rest up for the
evenings festivities.
                  With the convention officially closed - "You can go home now" -
the ballroom quickly emptied, all except us poor hard working committee members and
helpers who had to clean up the mess. The art show had to be dismantled, the drawing
pins put back in their box and somebody found who owned the slide projector. There
was paper everywhere and the other usual junk, the problem was (as always) not the
time taken in picking it up but trying to find somebody who wanted it. Throwing it
all into the rubbish bin would have been a good idea but the bins were already full.

But, the place finally looked as if the convention had never happened, it's always a
little bit strange to see a convention hotel when all the fans have left. There were
still a few of us still waiting about though for somebody to come and pronounce the
word that would be the end of it. A discussion developed about naval tactics, why the
Japanese lost the Battle of Midway, the value of the new angle deck carrier/cruiser
and tactics for knocking out missile armed submarines in the Pacific and Indian
      "What time is it, Anne?"
                           "Ten to Six,"
                                     "We may as well go up to the Great Wall
      There was an open flagon of some white wine, whoever had opened it hadn't drunk
much and it still seemed to be okay so somebody hid it under their jacket to keep it
from the prying eyes of the hotel staff as we passed through the lobby and we walked
up Swanston Street to the restaurant. Up the stairs, through the door and the
convention was, after all, still alive and in fullswing. Maybe even more alive. At
tables everywhere fans sat in groups of eight, the place was full of them, Valma had
saved a space for Paul Stokes and I so we sat and waited, helping ourselves to the
wine from the flagon and sampling the home brew
of a couple at out table. The food, when it
came, was not as delicious or as large in
quantity as we'd had at the previous fan Great
Wall but it was thoroughly enjoyable. We had to
explain to some people that half the point of a
Great Wall is being messy, the judgement of
whether the meal had been enjoyed was the amount
of bleach they had to use to get the table cloths
white again, even though the place we were at had
spoiled the spirit of the evening by using red
table cloths. One woman at our table was not
impressed, disgusted in fact, by the messy
delight we took with our food, for a moment I
felt like making some sarcastic comment, but I
was enjoying our neo-barbarity too much to get
worked up about it.
                 There were maybe six or seven
courses which lasted a couple of hours, the
service wasn't exceptional so the courses weren't
timed with the precision that can make a meal
like that something to remember for years, but
neither was the price which was just short of
cheap, by which I mean that a pie and  with
sauce is considarably cheaper but you don't