Tag Archives: tom

Winter Gatherings

We recently had a YouTube winter Gathering up here in Glasgow. About a dozen people attended so an okay sized crowd. However there was a bit of a personality clash between two of the people there which added a bit of unwanted tension to the day. Well, you can’t go through life liking every single person you ever meet, and you can’t expect every person you meet to like you too. What goes to make up your own character is how you handle these sorts of situations. If there’s someone there you don’t like do you let it get to you (and your negativity influence those around you) or do you have the strength to accept such situations and enjoy the fact that there are more people there that you do like than you don’t.
This was very quickly followed by a run down to Manchester and a Gathering there. I like Manchester. It does have the advantage of being centrally located and relatively easily accessible to the majority of the country’s population. A bit over a couple of hours on the train up from London. Close enough to Glasgow (and Edinburgh) to make day trips from these places practicable.
That was then followed the next week-end by a hop across to Dublin. Was quite surprised how expensive the ‘little things’ were across there. More expensive items were not really that hugely different, it was things like paying twice the price for a cup of coffee in Dublin than in Glasgow or Manchester that caught me out.
The week-end after that was Tom Milsom’s Painfully Mainstream album release event. Not a typical YouTube Gathering, but an evening music session in the upstairs room of a central London pub. However just about everybody there was YouTube connected, and had ‘gathered together’ in one place; you can make up your own mind if you want to call it a Gathering or not.
Before Tom’s evening session there was for me an interesting diversion in the shape of meeting a group of Deviant Art types who were holding a DevMeet, starting at lunchtime in Tate Modern. A really nice crowd.
Then this last week-end and the London Festive Gathering. At one stage a quick head-count counted 35 people. Assume a few were missed, so say a bit over 40, but the count was done after some had left, so we’re talking around 50 to 60 people there at one time or another. Note to Gathering organisers; If you are going to do a middle of winter Gathering, make sure you have the option of meeting in a location that has at least some level of cover and shelter. Standing for an hour or so exposed out in the freezing cold on grass that was rapidly turning into mud is foolish.
Then on the way back from that a very pleasant diversion via Manchester and meet a (YouTube) friend. Yet another example how internet contacts can become Real Life friends.
All great week-ends, one after another, but there comes a time when enough is enough and some alone-time is needed. Things can get tiring, often more mentally than physically. However it is coming up to Christmas which is not really an alone-time period.
A period that also does show how lonely it can be even when you are in large crowds of others.

February Gatherings, & BT problems.

I got a strange message from my internet providers recently… ‘we’re sorry you are shortly leaving us…’ What the Fu*k! Contacted them and they say that it’s because my phone line has been de-activated. Try to use land line and find I can’t dial out (or call in). Get on to BT who say that they disconnected it (strange that the broadband was still working!) because I had requested it as the property was vacant.
Total lies from BT.
They have got me re-activated, though with a different phone number. However at the moment I’m having to use my mobile phone as an internet modem while my internet providers sort out their de-activation and re-activation process.
A general pain-in-the-bum!
Why BT lied to me when they said that *I* had requested the de-activation I don’t know. But then that’s BT for you.

Early in February there was the Milton Keynes Gathering. Some really bad weather around then put a lot of people off going. However I got down from Glasgow, and another lad got across from Northern Ireland.
I was due to fly down from Glasgow to Luton the afternoon before (Friday). However Friday morning Luton airport was closed because of the snow. The announcement on their web site said they should be opening at 12:00 mid-day. But that changed to still closed, opening at 1 pm, then opening at 2 pm , then 3 pm… eventually opened around 4 pm.
My flight, due to leave Glasgow at 4:15, left a bit after 5, which considering the conditions was not too bad. Got to Luton, the direct coach connection to Milton Keynes was not running, so had to do a rather strange train journey jumping around a bit, which included travel in a taxi as one link in the rail journey was not operating. Got to Milton Keynes O.K., and not that much later than originally planned for.
The Gathering was brilliant, about a dozen there. The usual things of socialising, food, laserquest type stuff. The weather stabilised, such that my journey back to Glasgow on the Sunday was (pleasantly) uneventful.

In January, a session on a Charlie BlogTV show had also talked about an early February Gathering down in Bath. So I quickly booked some easyJet flight tickets down – the later you leave it with easyJet, the more expensive it becomes! However, later this date got changed to the latter part of Feb, then everything then went very quiet about it. So quiet I assumed it was not actually happening but still thought I’d go down as a nice break away from here.
I then heard about a mini-Gathering in Manchester the week after Bath, so (assuming Bath not happening) arranged for that Gathering instead – but as things were already arranged for Bath, still go there for the break. Then just before heading down to Bath, a rather pleasant e-mail from Charlie’s mum (on the Thursday) telling me that the Bath Gathering (Bathering) is going to be happening on the Saturday after all. Wow. A really great time down there. Good to meet Charlie and Tom again, plus other familiar faces. Good to meet some new people too.

This leaves me now with Manchester in a few days time. Three Gatherings in one month is a little bit scary!