H.O.W.L - May 2016
A New Hope
Whilst I'm not aware of the full story, I can speculate. Considering the odd attitudes from the staff at the DV8 venue it wasn't THAT surprising when they decided to cancel (for the record if I WERE a swinger, I'd go to Eureka, better facilities for swinging. I'm not so both are much of a muchness) but picked the Wednesday right before our event to do so. Possibly to be as annoying as possible.
Now, initially, this was going to be the last HOWL. We had sold 10 tickets, which was sufficient to cover the venue hire and we were going to run with a fairly standard load out of my DMU doing the DJ routine, myself & Tim doing the service side (with me taking the lead) and Tim looking after the door. But with DV8 pulling out it did leave everything up in the air, fortunately we were able to quickly secure The Gate as our venue. Unfortunately we had literally 24 hours before doors open and no idea what, if any, facilities would be available to us.
Now some people would be "whatever, you only sold xx tickets" but no, we said we'd do it a certain way and provide certain things, it would be exceptionally remiss of us to not do so! Especially as this was the last one... in theory.
As this was an evening event, my gaining of weight, an unknown venue and the request was for inconspicuousness (heh shrug) I went with ye olde Domestic for the event, with the apron removed it is literally just a black dress, can't see anyone complaining about that (although I'm sure some will try) which did make hauling boxes in to the place easier so yay.
Whilst set in suburbia it's one of those full conversion places where someone has taken a 2 - 3 storey house and retrofitted a monumental amount of BDSM kit in to it with various rooms converted to various flavours and a dungeon in the basement. It looked well done, fixtures and fittings were good. We did have some slightly different requirements to people who regularly frequent this venue: we don't generally do much, if any, trade in alcohol. most people seem to want the coffee (a few want tea). So they were busy packing away the champagne flutes and bringing out what few mugs they had (noted: we're going to need our own mugs for this venue) whilst I started figuring out the logistics of bolting our gear on to their kitchen.
It wasn't actually that hard, but I didn't want cables trailing around, safety aside the house is one of those old fashioned ones where the downstairs bathroom was an extension bolted on to the back of the kitchen. As one of the toilets and playrooms (totally separate areas) was in that direction... people would be coming through the kitchen area. Hence wondering where to stash our transport carton, if we should pare it down for future events and generally looking at tidying up as fast as mess was made rather than my usually batch processing of stuff.
Still if everything were always the same then it'd get boring...
Whilst we arrived with plenty of time, much of it was burnt chatting to our very polite and cordial host, whilst he was going out for a night on the tiles he made sure everything we needed was in order. Have to admit it was interesting to meet a male pro... I did bite my tongue a little when he was name dropping people, sorry, I'm sure if someone hadn't of encountered the pro-Domme ££££ a session circuit then it would have been most impressive. But I know it exists, I've met people involved in it socially and honestly? Not much interested in it. But hey, I'm not knocking the guy for wanting to big himself up in front of strangers (although, again, sure I've met him before in the 90's) and upset the importance of his venue. I'd do exactly the same in his position.
We had the basics ready by the time the first people arrived, a pot of coffee bubbling through the machine, a slow cooker full of soup warming up and a sink full of boiling hot soapy water to clean things up with. Didn't find a place to stash the big box that I was totally happy with but I'm working on that one for next time.
The one major change was that at DV8 my other half, the Decision Making Unit, she who must be obeyed, (etc, etc, etc.) acts as a live DJ doing a remarkably impressive set of music. The Gate has neither the space nor facilities for this so we were relegated to a few CD's of music she'd created and her without a major thing to keep herself occupied. It wasn't an issue this time but both of us knew it'd need hammering out before the next event. As it was she pitched in with the service side and we very quickly had it all under control and Tim stationed himself by the front door so he could open it up when people knocked (or pressed the doorbell).
I spent most of the night in the kitchen, rather than exploring but I heard lots of people enjoying themselves and saw the after effects of them doing so... and ya know? That's good, it means everyone who came here had a good time, they all reported the food (a simple soup) was tasty and just right for things... so hopefully they'll be out spreading the word.
It was an interesting experience and from my side of things I came across a few issues the new venue causes but I also figured out solutions to them, so the next event will be slightly less hurried in nature. At least... hopefully.