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29/07/2010 - Mary Rodwell Lecture

My oh my, what a night! Massive thanks to Mary for coming to speak for BUFOG a second time, it truly was fascinating. To top that there was the whole new venue and all the chaos that went along with it. What chaos you ask? Well let me tell you the saga...

Roughly 4 hours before the meeting was due to take place I was informed that the usual venue (Midland Red Social Club) wasn't going to be available! Basically its undergoing a management change over and they let us down. I've heard of having short notice on things but considering people were coming from around the UK for this one that was ridiculous! Luckily a backup venue had been sorted out for us, The Merivale pub in Oldbury. So I run around like a headless chicken E-Mailing, phoning and texting like a man possessed to get the word out. Soon afterwards I find out Craig & Mark (BUFOG presidents and honourary equipment setter uppers) are both out of town. And yes, I know, I should have learnt by now how to set up the equipment but I'm usually too busy meeting and greeting group members. But the equipment was still locked inside the original venue, which had recently been broken into (luckily our stuff wasn't nicked). Like I said...chaos!

Luckily I had arranged to pick up Mary from the station 2 hours before the meeting was set to kick off. So I drove on up to town, fully expecting Mary's train to have been delayed. And for some reason her mobile phone wasn't working so I couldn't check! Fortunately she arrived into Birmingham at the planned time. After stopping at the hotel to sign Mary into her room, we next drove to the Midland Red to meet up with the owner and grab our stuff. Because of the management change over the electrics had been switched off. Turns out the chess club who had also been let down were also there to grab their stuff. So we all fumbled round in the dark tracking down the equipment and chess boards using only the light off my mobile phone screen. Awkward does not even begin to cover it. And while we did we were bitched at by the owner of the place who got angry cause we'd been there for over 30 seconds! After grabbing the stuff, loading up the car and sticking a venue change notice on the front door of the place, we then drove to The Merivale. We then had the nightmare of setting up the equipment with only a vague notion of how to. For some reason Mary's laptop didn't link with the projector, but luckily we got it set up with mine. After copying Mary's presentation to my laptop finally it was time to kick off the meeting! And the night went superbly well (other than a couple of the vids randomly not playing...computers, how I despise them). Practically everyone loved the new venue, so from now on we will be holding the meetings there (see above post)

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