World Con Glasgow 2005

Some recent events sent me looking for my trip report of my journey to World Con in Glasgow in August of 2005.  I decided to share the trip and some of my photos with you.


August 2, 2005

Portland to Newark, New Jersey non stop is too long!  Five and a half hours.  I didn’t get up and walk enough.  Only once to use the loo.  Standing too hard, but okay by attendants.  Walking the too narrow aisle was not okay.  My bag was too heavy to do enough walking in the terminal.  Should have brought the bag with wheels.  Now I know better.

Off diabetic schedule and feel weird; alternately dizzy and bloated.  At least I I don’t have to go through security again.

Met a Portland couple going to World Con in the Newark terminal.  I’d seen them around other cons.  Nice warm feeling that I’m not alone on this long, and scary trek.

Four months out of back surgery I am not in the best condition to travel so far alone.  But when will I get another chance at World Con in Scotland when I have a bit of inheritance from Mom to fund the trip?  Part of me is screaming that I need someone to take care of me.  Another part is grateful that I can set my own schedule and travel preferences without having to consider the wishes and agenda of someone else.

I will persevere.

Reading Kim Harrison “Every Which Way But Dead.”  Made me realize I don’t have near enough danger in my book.  Have to up the personal threat to Tess.

A Grade 4A Pipe Band from Denver—Centennial State Pipes and Drums—was on my plane.  Fun talking Scottish music with them.

My seat mate TR is also going to the con.  We bonded instantly. She’s read some of my books.  I’ve read a lot of her favorite authors.  Our chatter was sort of like a slumber party.  Our other seat mate, LM, sitting between us, owns a B&B in Perth.  Going to stay there Tuesday night on my free travel.  He gave me some ideas of places to visit, standing stones and antique malls.  TR has an extra ticket to the Edinburgh Tattoo on Wednesday night.  She offered it to me.

Getting ready to land in Glasgow.  8 AM local time.  Midnight mine, I’ve been up for 18 hours and no sign of a nap in sight.


August 3, 2005

Easy flight from Newark to Glasgow.  It seemed short with animated conversation with TR and ML.  I think we kept others awake with our chatter.  Also talked to the man in front of us.  He’s from Anaheim and going to the Con.  He plays pipes too, but isn’t staying for the World Bagpipe Championship the weekend after the con.  I’m sorry that T opted to go to Boston for the Historical Organ tour instead of Scotland for the championship.  He’d have loved it.  But he’s distanced himself from the piping community over the years and his focus is no longer on bagpipes, just organ pipes.  At least he took a good trip that he enjoyed.

I took a taxi from the airport to my hotel.  £17.40 fare.  I paid him £20.  I was led to believe taxis were cheap.  That wasn’t cheap.

There’s a really interesting pub across from the hotel called The Griffin.  Given my interest in all things dragon, I asked the taxi driver about it.  He said the food was terrible and it wasn’t a nice place for a lady. (?)  Still it looks intriguing.

The hotel can’t give me a room until 1 PM, it’s now about 9 AM.  They have to wait for all of the vacated rooms to be cleaned before they can reassign any of them.  I’m exhausted.  The clerks kept apologizing for the cool misty weather.  I’d left 90+ degrees in Portland and welcomed the change.

Walked 1.5 miles round trip to the shopping district. The street has been blocked to auto traffic.  They call it something like Sucky Hall but it’s spelled entirely different.  Not sure I could pronounce the actual name.  Pleasant, stress free walking.  Interesting to window shop.  So much is the same, and yet there are subtle differences in displays and signs.  Hard to pinpoint exactly how.  I do like the way they incorporate old and new right next to each other.  This picture is of the old port of Glasgow from the convention center but you can see an old brick drydock right next to a modern facility.

Bought a mobile phone with £5 credit on it.  I can renew minutes in £5 increments as needed.

Had yet another breakfast at Subway.  Cereal on the plane four hours ago has worn off.  My body is all topsy turvy with the time change.  Eight hours difference.  Nerves shot.  Nursing a tea across the court from the hotel.  No one has fake sugar.  I haven’t had my pills and therefore don’t dare test my blood sugar.

I finally got my room at 2 PM.  Unpacked and took a nap.

The directions to the Convention Center the SECC (armadillo for short it really does look like one) the hotel gave me didn’t account for construction and diverted walkways. I got lost.  Two and a half miles instead of one.  I lost my pedometer I think in the rest room of the SECC >-:  Found a better walk back to the hotel.  Stopped at the McDonalds for dinner on the way.  It was cheap and it was THERE when I needed food.  Still moving in a fog.



Back in my itsy bitsy room I plotted out the next two days in the guide book.  Plan to buy an extra suitcase with wheels in the morning.  I just can’t carry the green bag anymore. 

Into bed by nine.  Hoping to get back on schedule soon.


More next week.




Phyllis Irene Radford blogs here regularly on Thursdays, the same day her cozy mystery “Lacing Up For Murder” is serialized on the front page rotation.  To see more of her fiction, visit her bookshelf here on Book View Cafe or her website Irene Radford

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About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.


World Con Glasgow 2005 — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for bringing back memories; the fondest being finding a lone piper playing in front of the “Armadillo” before 8am during my morning run. So I circled quite a while in the vicinity.

  2. This was the trip of a lifetime. I needed to remind myself of the neat things I did there, so I decided to fill my blog with them. Some of the photos are iffy but still good reminders.