The Finnish fandom’s annual relaxcon, the Roadside Picnic at Tampere Viikinsaari, took place yesterday. It was really good to see people again—even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since Finncon, those are always so hectic that you never get to talk to as many people as you’d like to.1)
This year, there weren’t quite as many people present as in the last few years. The closeness to Finncon was probably a factor,2) but also there were a couple of other, overlapping events this year: the Usva writing camp was held over the same weekend, and the Turku sf society had an official meeting also on Saturday.3) Also, summer vacationing probably still going on for some. Still, a good couple of dozen fen travelled to the familiar barbecue & picnic place on the Viikinsaari island to meet each other and have fun. And it was good.
The weather wasn’t nearly as hot as we’ve grown used to this July, but it wasn’t chilly either (don’t listen to the people who complained; it was a perfectly fine Finnish summer day). We roasted all kinds of things over the fire, chatted, took pictures, avoided the scary flesh-eating ducks and the hordes of thirsty wasps (who seemed to especially like to crawl in people’s cider and beer bottles—no doubt to stage an assault into the unsuspecting victim’s mouth from there4)). No casualties were reported (Ella’s ankle got nibbled on by a duck, but I think that was the worst of it).
Being fen, there naturally was some smoffing going on. Got a good initial response for Båtcon—organizing a minicon on the ferry en route to the Stockholm Eurocon.5) A new literary project that Vesa talked about may also have nudged a bit towards becoming reality some day (if so, more on that later).
There was of course talk about Finncon. Some feedback on this year’s convention, as well as throwing ideas in the air about how to create an even better one. Too bad the Finncon 2011 committee members hadn’t showed up, but at least there were several people from the 2012 convention participating.6)
After sufficient picnicing7) we continued in Ravintola Tillikka’s terrace that has good food and a very nice view on the river, overlooking the bridge. And there was also a surprise visit from Ellen & Delia, on their way back from their great Karelia expedition. It was lovely to see them again and hear the stories of their adventures.8) The cultural exchange also covered comestibles: turned out, Ellen didn’t much care for the beer she had ordered, and Dr. Pasinen was unhappy with the bee troot someone had included in his pyttipannu dish;9) thus, the traditional Finnish “beets for beer” program was invoked.10)
All good things come to an end, and so around 11 o’clock we11) had to leave the merry company and head back to Turku. See you all again soon, I hope!
Vesa L. has also written a report, with a lot of pictures included.
1) Finncons are awesome. Relaxing with friends over a barbecue is awesome in a different way.
2) Especially to some Helsinki area people, to whom venturing outside the Kehä 3 highway more than once in a month seems to be quite a hurdle.
3) Dammit, people—these are just the kinds of things the annual co-operation meetings are supposed to prevent!
4) And, to be swatted or bitten to death immediately afterwards. But nobody said wasps are very smart.
5) If you want to know more, ask Hanna Hakkarainen or me about it.
6) Seriously, these kinds of events are ones you really don’t want to miss when organizing a convention, provided you’re interested in how things have been done before or in doing cooperation with other people outside your own group, which isn’t a requirement for running a convention of course.
7) In other words, when people started running out of stuff to drink.
8) They showed us pictures of them practising their blacksmith skills, and of course the famous hedgehogs participated too.
9) Tried to convince him pickled beetroot is delicious; he wasn’t having any of it.
10) One might perhaps also say, invented.
11) Thanks to Jaana and Ben for the good company during the trip!