A space for conversations in a time of global disruption
Hello fellow DMs!
Conflicting feelings, but hey! I liked the setting of Llangollen, the canal, the hills, river and the railway so it felt like a break as well as a 'serious' event. But the antiseptic cafeteria and its limited choices and the lack of any real beer was a shame, though good beer was to be had in town.
I felt as though I'd spent far too much time in that big hall listening to people talk, though that was my choice, but I would echo the 'top down' feel and I missed smaller, more exploratory discussions where we could chew over a subject, and importantly, get to know the people with whom we were sharing the weekend. I would have liked much more shared, 'low level' opportunities for discussion and socialising - I met many enthusiastic, intelligent and beautiful people (I'm sounding like a flower power child) but didn't really feel as though there was any part of the schedule that facilitated that - it was left to occasional meets in the pub or perhaps over a jacket potato. I met a wonderful man purely by chance on the bus leaving for the rail station simply because the seat adjacent him was vacant! I was so glad that I joined in the open mike in the church as it was inspiring and connecting to hear and share in the amazing talents in music and poetry that people offered spontaneously.
I really enjoyed most of the 'big' music I heard, especially the superb Jon Boden and Chris Wood. I also must say that the combination of Alastair's poetry reading and Iain's piping touched something very deep in me with tears streaming down my face and left me in what I can only call an altered state for about 2 hours afterwards. It was one of the highlights of the weekend and totally unexpected. It felt like a shared group ritual, whether willing or unwilling from the participants in the hall. Something in future connecting the power of music and poetry and/or song in this way again would be something I'd love to see and hear.
There was a lot of event clashing and I know it's always a problem but maybe less events and spread them around a bit more so that I could experience a wide variety of discussion. The main hall dominated my event list and they were positioned as the 'main event' which had the effect of marginalising other items on at the same time. Programming is no easy thing but maybe offer some suggestions to us and see what we feel may work best.
The camp site was a fine place, but as others have said, the inability to sit round a fire together was regrettable and something I would have appreciated.
Overall I found it stimulating, moving, exciting and found everyone to be open, direct, welcoming and friendly but more spaces to talk between ourselves to discover the gifts we all brought to Llangollen would be been well worth having.
Thanks so much, finally, to Paul and Dougald for putting in all the work and to everyone else who helped to make it all happen.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved.
Unciv was not, as a curious, nearly-attendee asked yesterday, at all gloomy. I never expected that, but it's definitely something that some people seem to imagine or expect. Perhaps a piece of 'lighter dark art', humorous or boldly optimistic, might be given a prominent place on the website. Of course, they might have just been reading Monbiot articles about DM...