The event was co-organised by Joe O’Dell and Isabell Long and was discussed at multiple UK LoCo IRC meetings in the weeks leading up to the event. The idea behind it was for people to get together in a social setting rather than the usual geek meets which happen in stuffy rooms with everyone on a laptop and nobody actually talking to anyone in meatspace. People were also encouraged to bring friends and family.
I decided to take my wife and two children along for the afternoon. We packed up some sandwiches and other yummy snack food and headed off to the local train station. There was the possibility we’d miss the train because there was some kind of football event involving people wearing the same coloured top forming long queues at ticket machines. Luckily we skipped the queue and got our ticket on the train.
We met up with Alan Bell and family and enjoyed a packed train to London as the children from both families got on well playing various games, mostly involving shouting loudly. Once we got to London we made our way to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and that’s where we had a little hitch.
We’d already arranged to meet others there but the area was pretty swamped with people (as Speakers’ Corner usually is) shouting and jostling to hear one person shouting over another. This was not an optimal meeting place However after relocating to some grass, and picking up a few likely looking geeks (although none with neckbeards) we used a little technology to announce our location to others.
Eventually everyone found us and we settled down on rugs and broke out the food and toys.
We had lots of fun playing with the various toys Alan Bell had brought along.
The adults spent a lot of time chatting whilst the kids let Joe know what they thought of him.
Finally we headed home, sleepy but content with a fun day in the sun.
Thanks to Joe and Isabell for organising it and everyone else for turning up. I certainly think we need to do this again. Perhaps next time we could choose a different location and make sure we nail down a meeting point before hand. I’d also like to see a venue that had some facilities nearby, so we don’t have to run off to a restaurant when the kids need a ‘bio break’ Other than that there was plenty of room to spread out and play. I call it a success.
Update: I forgot to mention, there wasn’t a single laptop in sight for the whole afternoon!