Time for TAFF

The new TAFF race is almost upon us.

TAFF is the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund that raises funds to send either a European fan to visit North America or a North American fan to visit Europe. This year, 2015 it is the Westward race and the winner will get to attend the 73rd World Science Fiction convention in Spokane, Washington on August 19th to the 23rd, 2015.

Two people have already declared, sent in their nominations and a bond. A third potential candidate is wavering.

This means that whatever happens now there will definitely be a TAFF race this year beginning on the 1st of January and ending at midnight on the 7th of April 2015.

European votes should be sent to jim at umor dot co dot uk with at least 2 pounds or 3 Euros. North American votes should be sent to absarka_prime at comcast dot net with a minimum donation to TAFF of 3 dollars.

The ballot form will be available on the first of January 2015.

Curt at Loncon 3

Curt had a fabulous time at Loncon 3 taking part in the opening ceremony, closing ceremony and retro Hugos. He also found time to suport the fan funds at the fan funds casino, auction and at the Fan Funds Table in the fan village.

Curt does Cambridge

Our TAFF candidate today decided to poke around in the nooks and crannies of the ancient city of Cambridge.

There was dinner in the Eagle Pub. We made a beeline for what is known as the RAF bar. Air crews from many miles around would gather here during World War 2 for drinks and carousing. While there many of them burn graffitti into the ceiling with their lighters. This has been preserved and much more memorabilia added to the room.

Curt munched his way through fish and chips and managed to winkle out the only other North American in the pub. There was a young lady serving behind the bar also from South Virginia.

The Eagle Bar is also famous for being the first place that Crick and Watson went to tell people that they had discovered DNA.


We then investigated the outdoor market where they seemed to have heard that Curt was coming. They’d put on a war memorabilia stall just for him (probably) and some teacups. We whistled and spun around 3 times hoping to conjure up a pulp magazine shop but our powers failed us there.

Then, of course was the obligatory punt down the Cam.

And then – a tour around the beautiful St John’s College and back home to relax for a short while before going back out to the pub.

The Monthly Cambridge Fanmeet

Curt went along to the Cambridge Blue tonight to discuss Dr Who, Out of the Unknown and the function of Green Rooms with Austin, Caro, Kate, Malcolm, Carrie, Jim and Hugh.

Baristas in Duxford

It was a wild and windy day in Duxford. Curt Phillips was hustled along to join a host of Baristas who were determined to view large numbers of vintage planes and tanks. There were Spitfires, Hurricanes a B17g Flying Fortress and a Concorde too. There was a T34, a Tiger Tank and many large shell launchers. There was tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches. Everything you could ever want. Baristas present included Keith Freeman, Pat Charnock, Graham Charnock, Ian Maule, Rob Jackson, Jim Mowatt, Curt Phillips and guest Barista for the day, Carrie Mowatt.

Curt Phillips in Reading

Curt Phillips arrives in Reading and Dave Langford is there to capture the moment.

Curt Phillips in the UK

Curt ArrivingCurt Phillips, this year’s TAFF delegate has landed safely in the UK to be met by Claire and Keith. He was then gathered up by Keith Freeman and whisked  away to Reading where Keith and  Wendy are helping him recover from the travails of trans Atlantic flight.

He’ll be popping out for a spot of lunch (today) and Dave Langford has promised to hunt Curt down and get some photographs.

Tomorrow (Monday 11th August) a whole bunch of us will be meeting Curt at the Duxford Air Museum and then I shall take him back to Cambridge. Monday evening we’ll be at the monthly fanmeet at the Cambridge Blue, 85-87 Gwydir St. Cambridge CB1 2LG – everyone welcome. People start arriving around 1900hrs.