Here is the full album on Flickr.
Photos taken by White Paw on my crappy camera from the Rodent Room Party Dittman and I organised at MFF 2014.
It might sound silly, but I was so excited to be around so many rodents, especially ones I hadn't met in the flesh/fur before I was almost hyperventilating! Thanks to everyone who showed up for making it such an awesome event!
We're back and we're blown away! You need to attend this con! It was a well run con with a much more laid back feel than the other Australian con (though I'm glad we have the choice and I'll be attending both). It seems to have reached that con critical mass where you want to go because everyone else is going, thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Unfortunately, growth comes at a price. They had to move hotels to cope with expanding but the new hotel didn't feel as welcoming as The Vibe, and they seemed to "forget" their promised discount rate for prebooking breakfast. The con space felt too small for the number of attendees. I would venture to suspect FurDU will look elsewhere for next year. It didn't feel as if they really wanted our business. Also, ristin and I really missed not having a balcony on the Gold Coast (though admittedly we wouldn't have been able to make much use of it with all the rain).
This growth also hit the fursuit games. I really, really hate to say it (because I know I wouldn't make the grade) but they have too many fursuiters and will have to do something to get the number of players down to a manageable level, like holding semi-finals or running a raffle. It was fun, but there were just too many fursuiters (I made it worse of course by pushing my worthless carcass into it). I think they need to think of more games. The giant twister board named Get Knotted! (PG con!) was a good idea but letting ten fursuiters on at a time was still too crowded. I'm embarrassed to admit I knocked another fursuiter down during Grab the Bacon. I didn't see what I did myself of course, all I know is that I hurt my finger and he got the bacon anyway, so I hope he wasn't too upset over it. He didn't seem to be hurt, but I still feel bad about it. Rattus is really such a gentle rat by nature.
In a testimony to their clever planning, the rain cleared just in time for the fursuit beach walk. Not wanting to get sand in my suit, I wore Rattus as a partial. It's a lot easier and cooler suiting as a partial but I'm never pleased with how I look then. So I was quite bemused when a lifesaver insisted on getting a photo with me. He even pulled me out of a group photo for it. I played along because of the good work surfies do for the community. It's worth it to make him happy, even if it means I miss out on being in what I'm told will be the iconic group photo for FurDU 2012.
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We did quite well for media coverage this year. There was the Foxtel pay-per-view coverage of course where I heard we got 45 seconds. Unfortunately, that features me stumbling when the truck took off with a jerk.
>_<I want to apologise to the whole Australian furry community for embarrassing them on national television.
<makes plans to leave the country for a while
Ahem, but better than that, we featured on the ABC's national TV report on the march! They've also put it up online for a limited time, just go to http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/ and search for Mardi Gras. The furry float appears very briefly at 1:25. Considering the length of the report and the number of floats, I think we did very well to appear at all.
higgs_raccoon also pointed out a YouTube video that gives you a better view of this year's float.
And there are hendikins's photos and he will hopefully have some video up later. I haven't had a chance to go through them all myself.
None of this would have been possible without the help of a lot of people. Most of all, Barbary for organising the whole thing and giving me a place to stay. You made this rat very comfortable. And there was also Lupie and Thakur and Dustan and Techfox and so many others who made the float the success it was. On a more personal note, I want to thank Lupie and Thakur for keeping me company when I was crashing at the after-party (the march plus dismantling the float proved to be a bit much for me) and to Barbary and his housemates Harley and Techfox and Yuumei for making me feel so welcome there. It was all of you who made this personally my best Mardi Gras ever. It's only a shame I didn't have Ristin to share it with me.
Pouch first touched my life in December 2003. That's when I met Ristin, through a suit he made. The suit was called Pouch (no doubt in honour of his creator) but when I showed the photo to Pouch he identified it as Spaceroo. At the time, I was living in my own shell, I guess afraid of the world out there. I thought I was ugly. I was down at ozkangaroo's house and he owned the suit at the time. He wore the suit for me, held me, cuddled me, and let me see myself for the first time as he saw me: a person deserving of love. (That's him in the photo below.) Spaceroo/Pouch got under my radar, gave me confidence in myself and helped me come out of my shell. Spaceroo/Pouch was just so soft and sweet. Thank you, Oz. I owe a great debt to him for making me ready for Ristin. Ristin was one of several who wore the suit for me, but to me he is the one who most beautifully channeled the spirit of Pouch. The morning after I knew it was love. It was Pouch and Ristin together who saved my life.
( Photo of Spaceroo/Pouch )
In the years that followed, I grew and learnt to love myself just as Ristin loves me. It all started from that beautiful suit, so imbued with Pouch's spirit, and I've never forgotten the debt I owed him.
In January of 2007, at Further Confusion, I got the chance to tell him in person. FC was my first furry con and it was the most wonderful and spiritual experience. I got to do so many wonderful things there. But easily the highlight for me was getting to meet Pouch and his husband rainhopperroo. (Photo of the couple here. Pouch is on the right.) They were the warmest, kindest people I could hope to meet and were so glad to hear my story of how Pouch changed my life. Made it possible for me to be at FC at all. They welcomed me with open arms, and far more kindness than I would have any business to expect. I am still warmed by their heartfelt acceptance of me and my story. He told me that he puts part of his spirit into every suit he makes, and there's no doubt that it was that spirit that shone through in Spaceroo/Pouch and that healed me spiritually when I most needed it. Rain told me that my story gave Pouch a big lift (he's been ill and in pain for quite some time) and that hardly a day went by that he wouldn't mention me. It was quite by chance that I got know he was at the con at all. Sometimes things do work out just as they should.
Pouch has left a lasting legacy of happiness behind, and I know that is what he would have most wanted. I love you, Pouch. I'm so sorry to have lost you, but so glad I got to share a few hours of your time. When I look at how I feel, I can only imagine what this must be like for Rain. If you knew or knew of Pouch, or he or one of his suits touched you at some time in your life, please leave a message on the post Rain made in Pouch's journal.
But these are the photos (and videos!) you really want to see. This is my personal favourite one of me. Still raving when many others appear tuckered out. And what a cute tail! Many thanks to Michael Hendy for taking so many great photos.
marko_the_rat and Rat in a Hat together in the same room at the same time!
ozkangaroo was very kindly able to organise some time with Rat in a Hat, whom you would all know from Bananas in Pyjamas. He is one of the few positive rat role models in the mainstream media (Well, near enough. We rats can't afford to be too picky!) so of course I was delighted to have this opportunity and took a few photos to mark the occasion. Thanks ever so much Oz!