Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Sloggers & betters in Derby

Posted by jetdoc on January 29th, 2011

jetdoc.

What a lovely day! Many posts will be posted and many photos uploaded. For now, having returned home, let us thank Peter (Kathryn’s Dad) and Eileen for their magnificent effort. Lots more to follow…

37 Responses to “Sloggers & betters in Derby”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, many many thanks to Peter and Eileen for a truly special day.
    It all felt like one big family event.
    And at least I can tell my colleagues now that crossword lovers (and setters) are normal people and not from another planet. :)
    I enjoyed it immensely, can hardly wait for the photos … !

  2. Eileen says:

    I must put the record straight. The ‘magnificent effort’ was all Peter’s. All I did was say, ‘Yes, that’s a good idea’, when he suggested it and write to invite a couple of setters.

    Peter put in a huge amount of work in keeping track of everyone’s food choices and perhaps the best thing he did was to persuade the management to give us the private room, which made an excellent venue.

    Thank you all, so much, for coming and making the day so special. It was fascinating to put faces to names that I already thought of as friends.

    When I asked Peter if there would be another one, He said, ‘Ask me in forty eight hours’. Watch this space … :-)

  3. tupu says:

    Hi all

    Just to say that I too much enjoyed the day. As Eileen says, it was good to put faces to names and have a chance to chat. Everyone was so friendly and the setters were very kind, patiently fielding what were no doubt the same old questions, at least from me!

    I had pondered about abandoning my ‘tupu’ name but it doesn’t matter now. You know that I am really Ray!

  4. anax says:

    Marvellous, marvellous, marvellous. That was a cracking day (and night – a few of us hardy souls finished the night with a very good meal at a Ghurka Restaurant about 100yds from the Waterfall) and I’m there will be many more, just as successful, in the Midlands; you can already put me down for the next one.

    I grabbed a few pics, nothing spectacular, and they’re on my blog http://anaxcrosswords.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/crossword-gathering-in-not-london-shock/
    As mentioned there, please download any you want, add them to your own blogs etc, and I’m more than happy to add your pics to my blog as well.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, I really enjoyed it and it was great to meet so many people, setters, bloggers and solvers, many of the time for the first time.

    Great thanks are due to Peter (and Eileen) because organizing all that must have taken an awful lot of time and hard work. Having a private room was a great idea too. The venue’s location too right opposite the rail station was excellent for those of us who came long distances with the train as the final leg.

  6. jetdoc says:

    I have put two new sets of photos onto Flickr — as well as the Sloggers & Betters Derby Day on 29 January, there’s the Magpie party on 27 January:

    Magpie party

    Derby Day

    Higher-res versions available to anyone who wants them.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Jane, how can I download your photos to my pc?
    I ripped the ones Anax put on his site, just by right-clicking, but that doesn’t seem to work here.
    And in case I want higher-res pictures, what would be the next step?

    Of course, many thanks for putting your photos on the web.

  8. anax says:

    Sil, you just reminded me of something – the pics in the thread on my blog are 300px across BUT these are just thumbnails; you can click each one for a version that’s 800px across. Should have mentioned it earlier.

    It was great to meet you at long last yesterday.

  9. Andrew says:

    Just to add my thanks to Peter (and Eileen, despite her protestations) for organising such a successful and enjoyable event. Here’s to the next one!

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Anax, done it now – indeed much better!
    Nice to have met you too.

    BTW1, John is quite photogenic, isn’t he? (pic21) :)
    BTW2, can we swap hair? Please. :) :)

  11. jetdoc says:

    The photos I have uploaded to Flickr are fairly high-res — the originals from my camera are enormous and I just resample them to get them down to a manageable size. If you right-click on an image, you should get the option ‘Save image as…’ (at least, I do in Firefox).

    I can send selected originals to individuals as email attachments. But each one is each around 2 Mb, so a bit cumbersome if you want several. If anyone wishes to send me a memory stick and sae, they can have the lot at a size that will look good as a slide show on a computer screen.

  12. jetdoc says:

    I should have added to that last message — because I started the thread, any reply that you post will also arrive in my email inbox, with your email address, so I can contact you directly.

  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    In addition to Jetdoc’s posts, this is the way to download the photos in a good resolution [in case you can't find your way around in Herr Flickr]:

    -click on the photo
    -click on Action
    -View all sizes
    -choose: Large
    -finally right-click “Save image as …”

    Thanks once more J. !

  14. Eileen says:

    Anax and Jane

    Very many thanks for the photos.

    My technological skills are severely limited so I was very thankful to be able to download the pictures, as a lovely record of a hugely enjoyable event.

    Comments 7 – 11 are toally lost on me but it doesn’t seem to matter – I’ve got the pictures.

    Thanks a million, everyone, for a great day.

  15. jetdoc says:

    With apologies to the technophobes, thanks to Sil @13 for a reliable method of downloading a large-size image. The offer of originals still stands, though what you get using that method should be fine for most purposes.

    Remembering the first few times I got together with other cruciverbalists (sure that I was a complete novice who would never be part of the fold), and realising with surprise that I am almost a veteran now, it was so encouraging to see other people finding out what a friendly and welcoming community we are.

  16. Radler says:

    Very many thanks to Peter for such a well organised and enjoyable day, and for having the idea in the first place. Thanks too, to everybody else there, it was good to put so many faces to names.

  17. Orlando says:

    I’d like to add my thanks to Peter and to Eileen (whether or no she disclaims resposibility) for organising this event. It was really heartening to meet so many crossword enthusiasts together in one place – and the merlot wasn’t bad either. My only regret is that there were many people present whom I didn’t get to talk to at all or with whom I managed only to exchange a few words. Perhaps next time…

    It also seems opportune to thank everyone who participates in this site – and Gaufrid, in particular – for making it such a friendly and helpful forum both for solvers and setters.

  18. REGALIZE says:

    Pretty much the same as all the above. I had a great day. Many thanks to Peter and also to Enigrodelgio for the fiendish puzzle.

  19. Allan_C says:

    Hear! Hear!

  20. our special correspondent says:

    Early exclusive from the Derby Evening Toliegraph Tuesday 1st February 2011

    DERBY HONOURED AS SLOGGERS AND BETTERS MEET OUTSIDE LONDON FOR THE FIRST TIME

    Our DET special correspondent was given exclusive access to the recent Derby-based event and was able to mingle with and interview many of the celebrity setters, bloggers and commenters in attendance.

    Early in the day he observed Sil and tupu arriving together, the pair having spent two and a half hours in each other’s company on the train to arrive at the prestigious Midlands location. Both confirmed that a full and frank exchange of views had taken place during the journey but that bilateral relations were ‘still very good’. He was able to confirm that Eileen is exactly how you’d imagine her from her blogs, but that she has a distressing (and potentially expensive, according to Anax) habit of putting down her glass of wine and losing it. Under intense questioning, Andrew admitted that he does look just like the picture of the little boy in the car, but just with a bit less hair. On the other hand, Jetdoc’s seriously attractive red hair was in fine form. Continuing the red-top theme, our correspondent was going to comment on Carrots’ taste in hats, but the paper’s lawyers, fearing litigation, have quickly been reaching for their blue pencils.

    He further reports that Anax in the flesh is as leoninely handsome as the ‘hair brushed for an Eastender?’ picture on his website suggests. However, in a statement clearly directed at female fans of the young setter, Jayne said: ‘Don’t even think about it.’ Our special correspondent was also delighted to be granted an audience with another of the setters present at the occasion, Nimrod. His laid-back real-life persona struck our correspondent as completely at odds with his reputation for cruciverbal difficulty; however, while handing out his much-anticipated prize puzzle to those present he was heard to remark: ‘Trust me, they’ve got naff all chance of finishing this’. In a further setter exclusive, we can reveal that Tyrus once had a dog called Rusty, who was apparently very good at anagrams.

    When the event was over, many participants repaired to the nearby Brunswick Inn, where festivities continued. Our correspondent unfortunately had another commitment that evening and was unable to stay long to glean more celebrity gossip. However, on leaving, he caught sight of mhl running frantically towards Derby rail station, presumably as a result of having earlier in the day been spooked by a seriously clever piece of prestidigitation by ex-professional magician Rufus, which was much enjoyed by all present.

    In an exciting development, our correspondent was subsequently able to obtain a telephone interview with Kathryn’s Dad, who said: ‘First of all, I’d like to apologise to my three youngest children, who having heard about my Fifteensquared pseudonym as a result of the publicity surrounding the event are now traumatised and undergoing therapy. Despite that, I really enjoyed the day and was delighted that so many people could attend. Early doors, it was a bit stressy, but once underway it was a pleasure to mix with like-minded people. I’d particularly like to thank all the eleven setters who were able to come.’

    When pressed further about whether there would be a repeat event next year, he responded: ‘Oh, all right then.’

  21. Rufus says:

    I have already written on several sites what a marvellous event this turned out to be. Heartfelt thanks to Peter for originating the idea and he and Eileen for organising it.
    My only complaint was that the time was so short to fully get to know some people and I missed seeing Shed and Tilsit altogether. Next time perhaps.
    It was also typical that this was the one day in the year that I lost my voice!
    All in all, a marvellous day out!

  22. jetdoc says:

    Thanks to Rufus and Big Dave, I have added a few more photos to the Flickr site:

    Derby Day

  23. Kathryn's Dad says:

    On a more serious note, just to thank everyone who came and I’m really pleased everyone enjoyed themselves. Special thanks to all those who took and posted pictures – they’re a lovely memory of a special day.

    See you all next year – if not in Derby, then where in the Midlands?

  24. Eileen says:

    Many thanks to the unknown ‘Special correspondent’ – hilarious!

  25. tupu says:

    My own thanks too to the Special Correspondent for a brilliant report.

    ps :) Sil and I even travelled back on the same train!

  26. Jan says:

    This is the first moment I’ve had to come and add my thanks to Peter and Eileen, especially to Peter for the excellent organisation and negotiation – what a great day!

    I haven’t looked at the piccies yet. I took quite a few but I’m sure Jetdoc and Anax captured everybody. If I have any that fill in gaps I’ll try to remember how to use a photohosting site for them so that you can see them.

  27. Jan says:

    Oh, yes – I loved the special correspondent’s feature item.

  28. Carrots says:

    I`ve already left a couple of personal greetings under “General Discussion” but have really enjoyed these pickies of the event.

    Frankly, I was initially a bit nervous about the whole thing, having nightmares about the prospect of spending half a day with fusty old academics and clerics. I don`t think I could have been more wrong! Not only was the throng convivial, everybody I chatted with seemed to exude a singularity of spirit which defied age, gender and pomposity. More than this, they could drink for England.

    Next time I will pre-plan attendance with built-in hangover time…and buy a new cowboy hat to mark the occasion.

  29. Stella Heath says:

    It looks as though you all had a great time. I’m just butting in here to thank Jane and Anax for the photos – as has been said, it’s good to put faces to the names, and my only possibility of doing so is via photo.

    I notice many of you are as camera-shy as I am, especially Peter – there’s not one of him facing the camera :)

    On the other hand, I recognised Eileen immediately, before Jetdoc’s captions confirmed my suspicions, and Sil was also quite easy to spot.

  30. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Stella. If you met me you’d realise why I try not to get face-on to the camera too often. But you’re right, we did have a lovely day.

  31. Jan says:

    Anax – could you please delete the piccy where I look as though I’m about to turn poor Bob into a frog?! I loved the other photos – well done Jane for getting close-ups and naming them. I didn’t get to meet Carrots and I don’t see him in the photos – was he there? ;)

    I hope I’ve sorted out my Photobucket file … if you click on any photo it will open a new window with a larger pic and then you can click on ‘Next’ to see the rest of the album in big.

    http://s34.photobucket.com/albums/d110/ok-mrs-bee/Derby%20January%202011/

  32. Eileen says:

    Hi Jan

    Thank you for yet more great pictures – it was really good to meet you.

    [I'm sure we've all seen some we would like deleted, so you can't ask for special favours!]

    Carrots was indeed there: he wasn’t having you on in comment 28! – but, in case he’s too modest to tell you himself, he’s in your picture 3, third down on the right, in a maroon jumper, and in Anax’s No. 9, second down on the right.

  33. anax says:

    Hi Jan

    Picture deleted as requested (although I didn’t want to – caption competition opportunities have been reduced a little).

    In an ideal world I should ask permission from anybody who’s featured in a photo, but for obvious reasons it’s impractical. If anyone else has an ‘Urgh’ moment just let me know. If I deleted all the ‘Urgh’ pics of me, though, there wouldn’t be any left.

  34. Jan says:

    Anax, thank you!

    Eileen, I got special favours from Anax – can I swoon now? :D

  35. Eileen says:

    Hi Jan

    You’ve obviously got what it takes! Congratulations!

    I hope you found Carrots. :-)

  36. David Travis says:

    Is there a format to the day or is it about mingling and socialising?

  37. nmsindy says:

    I think, David, that you have posted on an earlier file rather than the one relating to the 26 Nov 2011 event in Derby, but I think the answer to yr question is that there is no format, it is about mingling and socialising.

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