Posted by jukkahoo
Last Saturday we finally saw the welcoming return of the Picnic on the Roadside (Huviretki tienpientareelle) happen. This had been an annual (almost) ritual-like gathering of Finndom from the Days Immemorial, but due to various reasons it managed to wither away. Until this year, that is, and a good thing it is too.
Tampere has always been one of the Four Big Ones, besides Helsinki, Turku and Jyväskylä. Turku is the oldest one, Helsinki the strongest and Jyväskylä has been quite efficient considering both the size of the city and the fandom there, but somehow they have (with a little help from Jyväskylän Kesä) managed to become a monumentally important sf-city. Whereas Tampere used to be Really big, floundered a bit but was still the home of Portti, until recently SPEKTRE has brought new life and vitality to the sf side of the city.
I had a bit of a monetary situation and almost missed the party, but luckily familjen Hiltunen-Parviala had decided to participate and they had a seat for me in their car. Shure, it was a hotseat since the A/C was broken (and thought that it was winter outside) but I don't think my hair was that much damaged, zinged mostly.
We narrowedly managed to miss the 1PM boat to Viikinsaari, but I and Petri were more than able to spent the intermittent 50 minutes at nearby fleamarket. Radio-kirppis is an expensive, boring place, with little or no sf-interest. Then again I didn't have that much cash with me. €1 for the one book I bought was quite OK.
It was a nice meeting. There was Hinkkanen and Rantalaiho of the Tampere Elders, some SPEKTRE actives (besides Liisa, that is) like Frans, Erkka and Ari (and then some, but there was no formal introductory round so apologies to you all not listed here - one of you is Jukka, so hi to you!). Turku had a fearsome foursome of Ben, Susanna, Tero and Johanna (not the famous literary person, but the new editor of Spin - or is she? Apparently not, as we can read from the pages of the latest ish of the said fanzine. How did I err then? Must have been something someone said) and then Jyväskylä came in the forms of Ipa and Jussi. Capital area was also represented by Toni, Vesa and jautero. I did see Soikkeli and his muse, but they vanished pretty much the moment the 2PM boat got here. No connection I hope?
Contrary to popular belief (and maybe even against all hopes) there was no football match between Helsinki and Turku, but a veritable show of flying objects. I was somewhat dissapointed, when my second attempt with the Death Star was not considered to be the winner in the cathegory of the Longest Flight. Yes it was Ben's design, but I did throw it the longest. Goddamn it! I have no quarrels with the other winners, though I do think that Vanishing Lady did the most excellent double-flips in the air. But Petri did manage to land his plane to the tree, so: fair cop.
Our stay was cut short by the fact that Tuisku really was getting a bit tired, fact that was proven correct on the way back, since it was way past 10PM before even I was at home.
I had fun, hopefully I'll have fun the next time too. This ought to become the tradition it used to be. Next time I'll find me a place to stay for the night too. I understand this year the land-based partying was somewhat mild, due to the relatively low attendance as well as the fear of bar-stomping crowd of all those people at the Eppu Normaali concert in Ratina. Apparently the last train to Helsinki was rather... full. Toni reports that it took him about an hour to get his first beer from the restaurangvagn. Tough.
Thank you, RESPEKT! See you next time.