Southby

The Clearleft office will be deserted from Thursday of this week to Tuesday of next week. That’s because everyone is going to be letting off steam at geek Summer camp: South by Southwest Interactive.

This will be my third year at the conference and I’m really, really looking forward to it. Sure, the panels and presentations will probably be good but the real reason for going is just to see all my friends and peers gathered together in one place. Most of San Francisco will be transplanted to Texas for a few days, the Philly gang will be there en masse, the Seattle-ites will be flying their geek flag high, the Oz Squad will represent (and I can’t wait to see them again) and, of course, the Brit Pack will be out in full force.

As I did last year, I’ve put together a microformatted Gmapped list of parties and events I’m planning to get to at Adactio Austin. You can subcribe to the calendar and stick it on your phone or iPod if you want an easy way to keep track of the time and location of the next party while you’re in Austin.

Of particular note is The Great British Booze-up, a party extravaganza organised by Clearleft, Boagworld and @media America. There will be booze and food a-plenty as well as great company. Mind you, there’s a lot of other good stuff on that evening. I may have to nip out to see Cindy participate in 20 x 2 and get to the Heather Gold show for a beer. In any case, I’ll start the evening at the Yahoo BarTab and finish at South by NorthWest.

Not every night is as busy as that. Friday looks relatively free (apart from Break Bread with Brad which is not at the Gingerman this year—it’s at Buffalo Billiards). Brian Oberkirch pointed out that Lucinda Williams will be playing over at Stubb’s that night. I may go to that if I can round up a posse of like-minded fans of her own gravelly brand of Southern country.

So overall it’s shaping to be one hell of a good time…

But…

My enjoyment of South by Southwest is going to be tinted by a heavy dose of regret. That’s because Jessica won’t be coming. The Home Office is extending her residence permit. That’s taking quite a bit of time, to put it mildly. While that’s going on, they’ve got her passport so she can’t leave the country so she can’t come to Austin. This, as you can imagine, makes me quite upset.

Traveling without my soulmate feels strange, as if I’m only half there. I’m sure I’ll still have a grand ol’ time in the heart of Texas but if you see me with a hangdog expression every now and then, you’ll know the reason why.

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