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I went to bed before the polls closed yesterday, having sworn that I wouldn't check the news until my alarn went off at 6am, though T did come up at five past ten and tell me that the exit polls were predicting a hung parliament. Despite sticking to my resolution not to check the news, I slept (unsurprisingly) dreadfully; I have taken to listening to podcasts as a way to keep from going into an anxiety spiral instead of dropping off, and normally I'm asleep in about ten minutes (it takes me several nights to get through an average podcast in fits and starts), but last night I kept dozing for half an hour or so and then waking up again just as the podcasts were ending and then scrolling back to keep listening from the point were I'd fallen asleep. Today was a bit of a write-off, but then I wasn't the only person to be wandering around in a daze.

Anyway, yesterday I had thought that I'd be reasonably happy with a Lib Dem MP and a Tory majority of less than 50ish, so I was really quite pleased when I woke up to find that I have a Lib Dem MP and the Tories don't have a majority at all, although I'd be much happier if they weren't in a position where they can get a majority with the support of the DUP. Still, a Tory minority government which can get a majority of about 5 with the support of a load of people so extreme lots of the Tories can't stand them either if absolutely everyone turns up is probably better than a Tory government that could win a comfortable majority even if lots of people had buggered off down the pub, especially if the opposition can actually pull together and, y'know, oppose. (I will be emailing my brand-new Lib Dem MP over the weekend to urge her to do this.)

Plus, UKIP lost their deposit in my constituency, only getting 1.3% of the vote, down from 6.9% last time. That can't be bad!
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Last year I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a day ticket to Nine Worlds and see what a con was actually like. I enjoyed it enough to buy a full weekend ticket at the early-bird rate (not much more expensive than the day ticket bought just before the con) and this weekend was my first ever full three-day con experience. Now I wish I hadn't let shyness keep me from taking the plunge and actually going to a con for so long, because I had a brilliant time. I went to some really interesting and engaging panels; particular highlights were Twin Peaks Wild Speculation, a talk on Minerva in London, Transformative Works and the Colonisation of Historical Space, Recreating Ourselves With Stories, the Joss Whedon Singalong*, The Limitations of Strong Female Characters and Historical Headcanons, though everything was good with the exception of the panel on "Writing Utopia" where none of the panellists appeared to have a very clear understanding of what a utopia actually was.

Also, somewhat ironically given that I didn't go to cons for so long because I was worried about not knowing anyone, I spent a lot of time just hanging out and socialising, largely with friends-of-friends I'd only met for the first time that weekend; by the end of Friday I'd found myself introducing myself to a complete stranger who I recognised as someone [personal profile] aella_irene had told me to look out for by her costume and knitted BB8 and spending half an hour drinking tea with her, playing a game with three people I'd only just met via [livejournal.com profile] triskellian, who'd had to go off to babywrangle, and spending half an hour after a panel having an in-depth conversation about feminism and parenting and life choices with C who I know as a knitter and two of her friends, as well as spending some time chatting to [personal profile] coughingbear and [personal profile] hano and briefly seeing [personal profile] sir_guinglain (who I did manage to catch up with properly later in the weekend).

The venue this year was the Hammersmith Novotel, which was much better than last year's, both in terms of location (it made it very easy to stay elsewhere and get to and from the con, and to pop out to buy food and just have a bit of a breather) and also in terms of layout (wide corridors that didn't feel overcrowded when people were milling about between sessions, and enough food and drink outlets that getting tea and snacks didn't take up the entire break).

I've already bought my ticket for next year (super early bird rate until the end of August).

*which I found surprisingly emotional, as well as really good fun; something about singing "Going Through The Motions", which absolutely nails how depression feels for me, while feeling so happy and alive and surrounded by likeminded people had me getting a bit tearful.

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