Whenever I think of HLDU3 I am immediately transported to Jody Anderson's huge lounge room in Denver, Colorado. Why? Because we had all just attended Gathering 5 and the airport was closed down due to a fierce snowstorm. Jody had around 15 of us staying over at what turned out to be one huge pyjama party with thousands of pictures of the convention to keep us amused + much decision making over what pictures to auction at our upcoming HLDU3. I went to check my email and there in front of me was the one email that no convention organizer ever wants to see....Peter Wingfield would not be able to attend HLDU3 but he felt so terrible about having to pull out that he offered to contact Elizabeth Gracen on my behalf to see if she was interested in travelling DownUnder - and so began our wonderful relationship with Elizabeth. Indeed, as I recall it was during a bar-b q on the Friday night that I ended up explaining to Elizabeth what "slash" was after she had listened with great interest to a nearby conversation!
Peter Wingfield very graciously sent us an exclusive video of himself talking to the con attendees and at the end of it he held up his gorgeous new baby Edan for us all to see. Peter had asked me what else he could do to make amends for not attending and I jokingly said he could send me the shirt off his back - and he did!!!! It sold for $5000 - now that is what I call making amends :-). Writing this has reminded me that that video must still be around somewhere.....I feel another auction item coming on....
Valentine Pelka almost didn't arrive either: he was not able to leave London until the last minute and had decided to bring his father with him. The flight came via Austria and there is transpired that Valentine did not have the correct visa! Hurried phone calls ensued and Val happened to get a friend in London who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone with the result that Mr Pelka the Elder and Mr Pelka the Younger did indeed board the flight and arrived safe and sound in Brisbane. One of the greatest pleasures I have had is spending time with Val's father who could not contain his pride in Valentine and his achievements.
Anthony treated us all to a spectacular whip display in a park and was a fascinating guest - particularly in relation to the episode Duende. Finally, who could forget Elizabeth Gracen telling us about how she had gone to Adrian's to gather up some auction items for HLDU and for Adrian's PEACE Fund...rifling through his wardrobe and washing basket and marching out with an amazing array (including the famous silk boxers that now have a home in Jody Anderson's Duncan mug!) For the record, a large amount of money was raised :-)