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AGM '09: twenty things wot we have learned (#12)

1. Student accommodation has not improved one iota since I were a lad.

2. AIUK Chairperson Tom Hedley's official Amnesty age is twenty-nine-and-a-half. He must have started young.

3. I too am getting older. Last night, as I was bed-ward bound, a kind activist invited me to follow a tray of Boddingtons to a late night party. Bed won, Boddingtons nil.

4. Swansea Uni catering gets five stars on the 'scores on the doors'. It generally gets the Amnesty delegates' thumbs up too.

5. One of the Amnesty staffers is going to become a parent. Don't want to give too much away, but we reckon the baby should be called Bebo, Flickr or Twitter. Not Facebook, though. That would be ridiculous.

6. The warden in our Swansea residence block is Terry Thomas. No, not him.

7. The Irish for céilí is ceilí. The Scottish for céilí is céilidh. The Welsh for céilí is twmpath. We decide to call it a céilí.

8. Saturday night at the Amnesty AGM is always céilí night, whatever it's called. Except when it's salsa in Belfast.

9. 'The web team are all gorgeous!' At least, that was the tweet I sent in a shameless, but ultimately fruitless, attempt to win their competition for the sexy little Flip video camera, for the Mid-Down AI Group.

10. Wales TUC President Vaughan Gething (Friday night reception speaker) is going far. We hear a whisper that he might soon be entering politics. First black First Minister of Wales? You read it here first.

11. The Demand Dignity campaign is going to be great. Members are excited at the prospect of taking on new challenges.

12. Amnesty staffer Rob Shuster's unbound hair has to be seen to be believed. One first-time delegate, observing Rob's Gay Gordons, did see it and told me she still couldn't believe it.

13. Being in Wales this year, the Amnesty AGM aspired towards a degree of bilingualism. This was achieved, as the campaign banners around the dining hall testified. Farsi is big in Swansea.

14. Kate Allen's hand-writing is awful. According to Tom Hedley. I didn't say that, obviously.

15. David Petrasek is Canadian. His wife is Danish. They compete about which country has the higher position in the annual index of human development. What a couple! (BTW, Canada is winning.)

16. City & Tower Hamlets Group scooped the prize of the Flip video camera for best Tweet. Ciarnan isn't happy.

17. Dan Jones thinks he's a Welsh wizard. Or druid. Or something.

18. Saturday's campaign action might just have been the most colourful yet. And could have proved the most dangerous, if Dan hadn't been physically prevented from driving the digger at our anti-forced eviction protestors.

19. And finally, the winners of the Annual Amnesty Awards 2009 are… Exeter Uni, Caermarthen, Norwich, Dundee, National Union of Journalists, Henley College, Belfast Youth (cheers and whoops!!!), Buxton, Cardigan & North Pembrokeshire, Blackheath & Greenwich (best fundraisers) and Jersey.

20. And finally, finally. Heddwch! Peace! And farewell from Swansea. Massive 'well done' to all responsible, especially Chair, Sheila Banks, and my colleague Joanne Lynn, who ran the whole thing. Hope you've enjoyed the ride.

Comments welcome!

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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