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Friday, September 15, 2006

Terry Pratchett live!

For the first time since the inception of this blog I have some Discworld related news to tell! Yesterday evening a dream of mine, which I never dared hope to see fulfilled, became true. Terry Pratchett came to Switzerland and I was there to meet him!
One thing after another: Terry came to Berne to promote his novel Thud! which was just released in German (as Klunk!). At first there was an introduction about the book and Terry in German. What followed was, to our great delight, a lively discussion in English, with Terry telling all kinds of anecdotes from his illustrious live. Especially tales from his childhood (where he first earned 20 pence per page perfectly read and later went on to work as a library assistant to file half the library books on his own bookshelf) and his time as press relations officer for four power plants ("We adopted an uprecedented press strategy, we decided to tell the truth!") brought many tears to our eyes. The hour allocated was over way too fast. But the evening wasn't over yet. Terry announced that he would be happy to sign a couple of books and immediately a huge line formed in front of the stage.
I was there in my Rincewind costume. Terry's comments when he saw me: "Oh, gosh, a real wizard!" and "Run, Run!". After the crowd dispersed a bit I joined the end of the queue to get a picture:
Me: "May I take a picture with you?"
Terry: "No! Why would I want to associate myself with such a maniac!" ;)

Terry Pratchett and David
I was even asked to join a group picture of the German-speaking Discworld Fanclub together with Terry :)
Terry is a very nice and extremely funny and charismatic old gent; he had the audience in his hands from the very beginning. Even whilst signing a couple of hundred books he was still very friendly and ready to exchange a couple of words. He advised a friend of mine to get a Skull and Kitten tattoo next!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Two busy weekends

Last weekend was (once again) dedicated to mediaeval times.
OnSaturday I visited the Endsommerfest in &Uml;berstorf. A very quaint little festival with a tourney for brave knights, music and a fire show. In the first round of the tourney every participant had to take part in the following activities: jousting, axe throwing, archery and swordplay. With a little luck I qualified for the second round. From there on it was only swordplay and that was all for me, I lost my second duel against Fangorn, a very good swordsman.
After the tourney a swiss band called 'Des Königs Halunken' played a very nice set of mediaeval tunes. During the concert a couple of guys made a fantastic fire show next to the stage.
You can find pictures from this great event in my gallery.

On Sunday I visited the Ragnarök Mittelalterspektakel in Eglisau. The main attractions were a small market, a concert and a play. Most of the day we spent playing a game called 'the accursed seven', it was played with two dice. After rolling you checked the board, if some money was on that number you could take it, otherwise you had to pay up. The exception was the number seven, then you always had to pay. On the other hand you could collect all the money on the board after rolling a 12.
The concert was by a swiss band called, you guessed correct, 'Des Königs Halunken'.
The last event of the day was a very interesting play showing excerpts from the Norse Sagas.
You can find pictures from this event in my gallery too.
A very nice weekend!

On Thursday it was time for the next concert. Blind Guardian opened their new tour in Pratteln. The hall was sold out and it was incredibly hot in there, nevertheless we enjoyed the show a lot. And we wouldn't have complained if they had played longer than 1.5 hours... They even played old favourites like 'Valhalla' and 'Mirror, Mirror'.

Due to the cancellation of their original concert in April it happened that I returned to Pratteln on Saturday already to watch a concert by 'The Gathering'. It wasn't sold out, but there were way more people than during their last concert in Pratteln. And again 'The Gathering' blew us away with their rhythmic and powerful songs. It seemed much longer than 1.5 hours and again, we wouldn't have complained if they decided to play a couple more songs...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mongolia: Pictures galore!

They're finally online, the pictures from Mongolia. Grouped into three thematic galleries ;):

First Couple of days in UB
Ger to Ger trip to Dundgovi Aimag
UB and Ger to Ger trip to Terelj National Park

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