xmakina: (Default)
Oh my, I have not yet shared this with you lovely LJ people. (Unless you're on [livejournal.com profile] polyamory_uk)

So, [livejournal.com profile] opencon was A-freaking-mazing and you should totally be there next year. I had offered to help out in the earlier days (like, before I even knew who [livejournal.com profile] werenerd was in the real world) but nothing had come of it/been requested so I spent as much time as I could on-desk as possible, especially at the start, showing arrivals to their accommodation. That the desk was located right in the middle of the venue so was usually surrounded by lovelies was an enormous perk.

There were a few structured activities, including a talk from Dr Deborah Anapol, but most of the weekend activities were run off a DIY Workshop schedule consisting of post-it notes and eagerness. There was also an excellent "Idea Pit" where people could suggest workshops without having to facilitate them. This worked really nicely and there was quite a range of workshops run over the weekend.

I ran 3 workshops because I was feeling crazy being helpful. One I devised myself, OpenStories, which was all about sharing favourite poly stories. That was really fun, even if one did get a little TMI, the others were very entertaining.

The second workshop I ran was Fun And Games, after the person who was originally planned to run it couldn't make it. This one went excellently, despite the low temperature outside. Psychiatrist was particularly fun with [livejournal.com profile] livinglibertine assuming the role of House and nailing the diagnosis ("I am God") in one followed by lots of "Yes, Yes, No, *wibble wibble wibble*" in front of a very stumped Vicky. Excellent times.

The final workshop was probably the most affecting. Suggested originally by R and placed in the "Idea Pit", Poly Activism was something I immediately offered to run and placed it in the remaining slot I had in my day. We did a bit of gentle chatting, getting a feel for where everyone was and wanted to talk about before dividing the remaining time into two sections; Goals and Activism. We filled an A3 sheet with ideas for what we, as non-monogamous people, wanted from the rest of the world. Then we moved on to ways to achieve these goals. We had a ton of awesome ideas and I wrote down as many as I could. Then I took everyone's email address and promised a write-up of the notes.

I came out of that workshop incredibly energised. We had goals, we had ways of achieving those goals. It was an awesome feeling. As Opencon wrapped up there was a real buzz in the air, even the organisers commented on feeling eager to do it again. On a personal note, Opencon was exactly what I needed after the extremely heavy BiCon this year.

I had a couple of days off following Opencon so I found myself staying up late, culminating in actually getting the notes written up and sent out that night *proud*. The idea for a central website, full of activism and community articles to act as a UK centric hub kept floating around. Monday I was trying to come up with a name that would work well when the ever amazing [livejournal.com profile] tartful_dodger suggested Polytical.

The plan is to launch on 19th November, a day before Polyday so I can get the word out there. If you would be interested in writing an article, how-to guide, personal story, blog review, anything non-monogamy centric at all, please let me know.

So yes. Opencon was fabulous, I have a wonderful new project to work on, things are good.
xmakina: (activist)
The last few days have been busy but with lots of awesome activist stuff!

On Thursday I was out at [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth and [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip's Bisexual Meet & Greet, run as part of the Oxford Pride Festival. It was a great night, with 3 new faces and learning that there's a large (about 28) contingent of bisexuals in Oxford University, a member base well worth trying to tap into in the future. The night went well with lots of discussion and seeing [livejournal.com profile] anarchist_nomad and [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat was very nice.

Friday was a night in where I went to be quite early because the next morning I had to get up at ridiculous o'clock to be out the house for...

Oxford Pride!
Up nice and early and at Oxpens field for 9am, I decided to pitch in and help out. After checking with the Village Manager, (our own [livejournal.com profile] uberredfraggle, no less) where the [livejournal.com profile] bisexual_oxford stall was, I donned my Super-Bi cape (a Bi Pride flag tied around at the narrow end) and helped by sticking down the numbers of each stall. It gave me a chance to say "morning" to other early birds and watch as Pride got set up around me.

At about 9:30 [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip, L1 and L2 arrived in Peter II along with the Pride Pack (c/o [livejournal.com profile] sanjibabes and the [livejournal.com profile] bicon community). We quickly set all the flyers and sign up and by 10am we were ready to go. [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth turned up around this time and me and her decided to head into Oxford town to get nibbles for ourselves and some sweeties for the stalls.

When we returned it was a bit more waiting around before unfurling and tying up the banner (to all future pack holders, remember to have 4 pieces of somewhat sturdy string to hand) and heading off into Oxford town centre again. Everyone assembled at the parade start, I'd estimate about 200 in all were there. We got there very early so we were able to take a position nice and close to the front. Not too close because Unison had brought an enormous banner with them and we didn't want to be hidden behind it.

The banner is excellent and kudos to everyone involved. It's a lovely weight and a good strength means pulling it taught doesn't have any problems. Me and L1 easily carried it for the whole route holding it prominently enough to score a background shot in the Oxford Mail. You can also see [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth's Purple Brollys which were also fabby! I will be posting some links (not under [filter:links] because these will be very relevant) to pictures as/when I find them.

When we returned, all three of us took turns on the stall. [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth made an excellent front-of-stall person, drawing in lots of lovely new people to talk to and tell about the monthly meet (which is this week, FYI). We had lots of interest and even people who didn't stop to talk, leaflets were taken about BiCon and BCN. Me and [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth also used Pride as a golden opportunity to network heavily with the other organisations there, including groups like Mind and Oxford Friend (who we also gently enquired to about their heavy use of "Gay & Lesbian" only) and Terrence Higgins (who are really looking forward to running a workshop again at BiFest next year!). We were able to get lots of leaflets and information and we'll build a small pack to bring with us to the Socials in case they help anyone there.

We packed up about 5pm, as the numbers entering dwindled off and the rest of the community stalls were either empty or packing up. It was a great day and I'm really looking forward to next year.

Sunday was much more sedate. As a celebration of living in Eynsham for 1 year (the longest I have been in a single residence since 2006) and also in preparation for the celebrations next week, me and [livejournal.com profile] miss_amaranth deep cleaned the flat, top to bottom and side-to-side. It took a few hours but they were well worth it. I found a card game I didn't know I had, as well as some sweet video games I'd forgotten all about. Also, we now have a wonderfully shiny clean flat which is always nice.

To celebrate our 5 years, we went to the Spiceorama (which is now called something like the Kandahar House) where we had a lovely meal. The change of management has really improved the place (which was already excellent) so we're both very happy.

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February 2012

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