Convention Day 1

Despite the late night the night before, none of us could really sleep, so we were all up pretty early Friday morning. After a leisurely breakfast of hot cross buns, and some juggling of the shower rota (we quickly discovered that our hot water cylinder only contains enough hot water for two and a half showers), rarsberry, Littlemave, the Mavette (who later announced that she wanted to be known as “Lollie-mavette” from now on) and I caught a bus down to Riccarton to the Aalton Motel, in search of Bookcrossers.

Rarsberry thought Skrying had said he was in unit 3, and lo and behold, the door to unit 3 had signs of Bookcrossing activity:
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Inside, we found Skyring and MrsSkyring, along with lyttletonwitch, who’d had the same idea as us of seeking out Bookcrossers. We stayed for a while chatting, then Lollie-mavette started getting restless, so we decided to go for a walk, while Skyring tried to track down Mundoo, who he’d offered to help shift from backpackers to motel. Outside, we discovered catsalive enjoying the sunshine – it was an exciting feeling, all these Bookcrossers suddenly converging in one place!

Littlemave, lollie-mavette, rarsberry and I headed for Hagley park, and walked through to the botanic gardens, releasing a few books as we went. I released Numbers of Things in a phone booth, Tricks and Games with Paper in a tree, and Losing Willy at the entrance to the gardens, at which point my camera started to do odd things:
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(I later figured out that it was just that the batteries were running low, but I’ve never seen it do that before – normally it just turns off when it’s out of power. Luckily, I had some spare batteries in my bag, which solved the problem.)

We bought pies and milkshakes from the kiosk (and paid the 15% public holiday surcharge – businesses really seem to be milking this new employment law!), and I left There are Trolls on the counter. We sat and watched it as we ate our pies, and eventually, after it being ignored by a few families, a small boy picked it up and ran over to his mother, calling out “Look Mum! Trolls!”. They wandered off looking at the book, and later when we passed the family again, I noticed it sitting in the carrier-tray of their pram. No journal entry yet, but who cares – from the big smile on the boy’s face when he picked it up, I know it’s being appreciated!

Lollie-mavette wanted to try out the playground, so we spent a while there (and eventually succumbed to her blandishments to join her on the swing/seesaw thing),
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and after releasing a few more children’s books around the playground (I left Brave Captain Boldfood on the climbing frame), we wandered on to the greenhouses. Releasing books is so much more fun when you’re with other bookcrossers, egging each other on to release in ever stranger places, and laughing over themed releases (Littlemave left Damaged Gods on an armless statue of a woman in the begonia house, I left Bambi among the ferns), and not suffering the embarrassment of non-bookcrossing friends and family trying to pretend they’re not with you when you release a book.
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(We did spend a while admiring the plants as well – it wasn’t all releasing books!)

From the balcony of the main glasshouse (where I left Richard Scarry’s On Vacation), we saw a small girl walking through the rose garden carrying Bambi. Again, no journal entry yet, but found by an appreciative reader, which is what really counts.

Further on in the gardens, we came across a statue of Moorhouse (who, when asked who he was by Littlemave, I declared to be “famous for having an avenue named after him”, but apparently was the engineer who built the Lyttleton tunnel), and with the help of the athletic Lollie-mavette, rarsberry managed to get a book into his arms.
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Then it was on to the Square, and the intention of more sight-seeing, but all the walking combined with the late night was taking its toll on lollie-mavette, so a quick call to Skyring brought our knight in shining armour (or at least, in a hire car) to our rescue, and he gave us a lift home, where we had a few hours spare to make release notes and check for catches before lytteltonwitch was due to pick us up to take us to dinner (Skyring and lyttletonwitch between them ended up as the unofficial taxis for the convention, giving lifts all over the place to all and sundry).

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