DFDF 2009 – The Beginning, by Jela

Before the Con

A filkCon draws closer… silly me had volunteered for several things. Among those was the crafting of the awards for the song contest. EMails were exchanged: “Are you rather Fantasy or rather SF?”, “What is the theme of the contest?” and the like until I came up with an idea I really liked. I do not like all my ideas… Additionally I had to find a new roomshare and prepare stuff for the auction and such stings so it was basically as usual. Only I had to make my new birthday present satnav work which was easier than expected. I still have not RTFM and still got wherever I wanted to go.


You never really start out at the time you had planned to do so but all in all it worked out well. The supposed four hour drive became a three and a half hour drive and although my satnav wanted me to go on for a few hundred meters I still stopped at the parking lot beside the “relexa” sign. Rika had already claimed our room and was just coming back from the pool. Doesn’t that sound kinda cool? I think the first thing we did together was going down to book a massage. It was supposed to be a relaxing con after all! At the registration desk I dutifully bought a DFDF Lanyard instead of taking one of those carefully prepared decorational ribbons. And I exchanged birthday presents with Alexa. I had brought Liquor from the Abbey in Siegburg (which did not outlast the con) and she brought me a book and something that made me speechless. “Kieler Sprotten Schokolade” (“fish chocolate”). That sounds rather vile. Alexa must have seen it in my face because she exclaimed “But all our friends like those!” I must have nudged the bow on the package and as it moved I could read that it really said “Kieler Sprotten aus Schokolade” (meaning “fish made out of chocolate”), which sounded way better. Having volunteered to help with the registration I spent some time there but could not really help so I went over to the auction room to unpack my second suitcase. The dragon candles had travelled well, so the first experiment was a success, though these were not the dragon candles I had planned on bringing, those had been smaller. When I had started packing in the beginning of the week I realized: “they are too small. You have to make new ones.” One day I will learn not to listen to that tiny voice maybe. In the auction room I could not do more than unpack as Steve wrote down the details all by himself. I found myself with nothing to do! Chatting with fellow filkers passed the time very quickly and I had the chance to rescue Mich who had been looking for a toilet, and found one, but was caught in a language problem as the doors were labelled “D” and “H”. “Which one is for girls?” A translation to “Heroes and Damsels” solved the matter, and if one day a feminist lynchmob comes visit to do what a lynchmob does, I cannot say it would be totally undeserved. The opening Ceremony included a film that reminded me very strongly of the one that had been available on the website. Seeing it again at the beginning of the convention would prove useful later on, though. “Schattenweber” played the first concert after the opening and it was nice to see how little Silva resembled the nervous seeming girl she was at her first filkContinental where she had to try twice before she got through (what was the name of that song? “how did you deserve, you his general, this new medal you’re bearing so proud”…) for the recording. But I think I remember that she’d had a cold than as well. And they got us all snivveling, not with cold…

Katy and Ju lightened my mood considerably, making me wonder, making me laugh. Because they dealt so naturally with mishaps. Neither Tennis-Throat nor Coughing-Arm, could stop them, they made fun of themselves when Katy got stuck in the strap of her guitar or plugged in/out the guitar to soon/late. The Schattenweber concert did not go completely smoothely and Katy and Ju could not dispel the thought, that the stage was not cooperating. But they looked wonderful through all of it. I do have a fierce respect for people who stick to their diet/change of eating habits. For the open filk I drifted oder to the programmable room, where I joined Silva, Kjenjo and Alexa. I played the song I had written for/about Ratz, after which I was at least not crying alone anymore.


I was tired on the way to breakfast but at said breakfast there was sparkling wine to wake the mind. I toyed with the idea to skip the aquapella workshop but curiosity won and I made my way down to the pool. The pool was not as warm as I had thought and deeper than would be comfortable for singing. Standing on tiptoe in the water was not the perfect stance. The laminated sheet music was way cool, even if it was not as waterproof as one might have wished. It held through the workshop. Rafael spent most of the time beside the pool as his daughter dir not trust this huge amount of water and did not want to touch it even with her feet. It was fun, really. The sauna could have been warmer to get the chill out of the bones but a hearty lunch warmed me thoroughly. Some tried the special asparagus dishes (the asparagus ice cream sounded interesting, but apparently tastes just like asparagus, which makes it a rather weird experience). I got my noodles last but without the cherry tomatoes and all was well. Off to the next part of the programme: Main Concert and Auction! The main concert stayed true to the theme of minor mishaps on stage, though I cannot blame mine on the stage. I have to admit that things would have gone much smoother if I did not always sing from the half way crossed out work in progress sheets but took the time to type the final version. It would make practicing much easier and less obligatory. The auction went rather well and I managed to get my hands on the pre-mix version of the new Katy and Ju CD. It was not exactly a bargain but they said maybe to throw in the finished version. (And I can tell you: The CD is wonderful! Buy the CD!) I also got a necklace with F-I-L-K-E-R beads. Eva got the one with the larger beads and I kept my finger crossed during the bidding for the smaller one, that she would not say “it’s for Thea” cause than I would have stopped bidding. Ju had programmed the programmable room on german ballads for the evening. It was a real good time, especially after it was clear that it was not restricted to ballads. Many played songs that do not fit in otherwise, either because of length or of language. I for one would never have played the song about the ashen angle in a circle or a concert, but here it did fit. It’s not that I mind FilkCons being at least partly in english, but I liked this moment of singing and being expected to sing things in german, as I usually don’t do that cause it makes me feel guilty if I know that half the audience does not understand a word. A chat or two later the program went on with geBorgt. In the background of the stage you could see instrument changes almost worthy of Summer & Fall. You’d think that with that many people on stage they would distribute the instruments evenly 😉 Watching a band on stage is fun. They truly got us going and we were all thoroughly warmed up for the second guest of honour concert by Katy and Ju. Katy had changed so she would not always get trapped in the strap. Once again they were just great. They are on stage together, sing together and complement each other without being lost in it. Each is not only a part of the whole but completely herself as well. With the constant change of who sings harmonies for whom they both preserve their individual characters, finding an ever shifting balance. The emphasis lies one on, than the other, without favouring or diminishing one of them. Totally enjoyable. It was rather warm in the circle at night. it had been rather warm all day and we had often opened the doors to let in some air, but the air always came with insects. There had been some barely thwarted attacks by flying pests and we did not dare to open the doors at night until it became unbearable. “Lights out and open the doors!” In the age of technology you d not need lights to filk by. Someone had “The Raven” on his notebook, I guess, and it was handed round for a reading. Someone had an answer to hat poem as well and after this was read we closed the doors again – lest a raven might enter.


A nice breakfast with sparkly was supposed to make the world a better (morning-)place. The Magician supported me by dipping the dregs of the bottle into the cooler, so that the now empty bottle got replaced by something with more bubbles in it, saving the day – or at least my luxury breakfast.

I did not want to muss Jus reading. I had heard her read before at the DortCon, but that was a different time and place altogether. And maybe even a different bit of reading? It was a thrilling experience – with less stupid questions that at DortCon. Who ever has the chance to come to a reading: do so! Who ever has not read the books, be assured that this can be changed!

One more lunch and off to the song contest with the very surprising theme “DFDF”. My favorite entry was by Eva who first hinted at the “DFDF” theme subtly in the music before putting it into words. Nice touch! CJs song was most of all unexpected. Not “unexpected” as in “nasty surprise”, though. I was just taken by surprise. I had not thought it possible. The awards were given out after everybody who wanted to vote had done so. One went to Franklin who had elaborated on the wording of the film from the opening, one to Valerie and one to… to… does anyone remember who won the third award? We used the coffee break to get our greedy hands on the last pieces of cake. Kirstin took pictures for the filkContinental site of Sabine and me with the alien hat. We had both volunteered for something or other. Like I said, one day I will learn not to heed the little voice on, erm, in my head. Other voices are heard not nearly often enough. Like those of Playing Rapunzel. Andere Stimmen hingegen hört man ja viel zu selten. Zum Beispiel Playing Rapunzel. Mich at her keyboard is totally enchanting. Marilisa and Mich are brilliant each on her own and brilliant together. I do not understand everything as I am not fluent in over a doze languages, but you can’t have everything. Or could you? Be that as it may, w did have a niche serving of barbership afterwards. And whatever else you might say about those four, they brighten the mood and the mind so we were mostly awake enough on a filkCon Sunday afternoon to enjoy the closing ceremony and to grasp the information delivered therein. First item: there will be another DFDF! (Alexa said something like “Thank you Jela, for singlehandedly saving the Con”, but if it helped to have another DFDF my pants are almost happily bankrupt) Second item: next years guests of honour will be Summer & Fall! That’s three good reasons to be there as well, or does anyone think that Eva would come without Rafael? The aforementioned awakeness notwithstanding I was quite happy that I had booked my room until Monday. Not only because it enabled me to spend another night in a circle but also because wakefulness is relative. “Awake enough or a circle” is not the same as “awake enough for four hours driving alone in a car”.


As much as I was looking forward to home it was still hard to take leave. The drive to the Con felt shorter, being filled with anticipation. On the way home the hours flew by, driven by plans and ideas. A filkCon always gives me a burst of inspiration where I plot and scheme and some plans are even set into motion. But no matter which plan will be pursued and which one will just be forgotten: the address of the relexa Hotel in Bad Salzdetfurth is saved as “favorite goals” in my satnav. I will be back next year!

Das Frühlingsfest der Filksmusik