Blogging the AGM 2008 #2 (We're off!)
8:32am Okay. Ready? Well, I made it safely to the AGM (thanks for asking).
Got to the Nottingham conference centre about quarter to nine last night – four hours door to door from the office in Belast, by car, plane, bus and coach. Not bad.
Anyway, was too late for dinner (sandwich from the Spar shop had to suffice), so can't report yet on the all-important matter of food quality for this AGM. Breakfast was fine, but really you have to try particularly hard to mess up a fry. Will return to this subject when better informed…
More importantly, I made it in time for the opening reception (including free glass of plonk). This is the place to meet old friends, avoid old enemies (only joking!), say hello to international guests from other sections (Hong Kong,Turkey and Norway to name the few I can remember) and pick up some low grade intelligence on what the weekend holds.
So far I've managed to find out who has brought whiskey, unveil the identity of 'blogmonster' and discover that Fionna has packed her flamenco dress for tonight's Amnesty Come Dancing. Okay, paltry findings so far, I know.
Better than that, I caught up with most of the Northern Irish delegation over drinks (what a surprise). As well as Fionna and I from the office, we have John, Ciaran and Ciarnan from Queen's University Group (of course, the latter is also on the AIUK Board now, so he has a big job this weekend), Grainne and Paula from Belfast AI, plus Brian and Michael from NIPSA, our most faithful local trade union affiliate.
Right now the Arctic Monkeys are blaring from the PA as the warm-up before the opening ceremony. Music has stopped.
Alex Siddall, conference chair, starts to speak and the Amnesty candle has been lit by Naomi and Rebecca Redhouse & family in dedication to their mother / grandmother, Diana Redhouse, who died last October and who designed the famous candle in barbed wire logo. Very appropriate.
8:56am We're off!
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