Next morning started in a sort of haze of fatigue left over from the long drive. It needed a stick of dynamite to get Baldric out of bed to massage his hangover under the rather inadequate shower facility in the cabin. My wife Maureen had coffee and breakfast ready, so at least I was able to start fairly brightly.
We were a little late due to the need to kickstart Baldric, but as usual, Canberra looked very clean and bright as we drove through it that Australia Day morning. The hall was mad on arrival, and the trade area was so full of people you could hardly see from one side to the other. We no sooner had the covers off than customers descended on us in droves, which of course is exactly what a trader wants. Fellow TMP member Mrs Pumblechook also arrived with her husband, and placed her dicebag stand on her stall. I must confess I had been somewhat sceptical that these would sell - after all, most of the type of wargamers I associate with would never use something like that. However, it quickly became obvious that the fantasy gamers certainly do relate to dice bags, and many of those who purchased them were young women. They continued to sell steadily during the convention, so Mrs Pumblechook did quite well out of it.
The painted armies I had brought across for Military Hobbies in Adelaide were gone quickly, along with most of my own painted scenery items. Indeed, after the first two hours, we were able to spread out stock that had been rather crowded at first.
Business was steady all of Australia Day, and I would say that it was certainly the largest crowd I have ever seen attend a CanCon. The very large crowd was filled out with a big contingent of people from other places coming up to say hello and introduce themselves. I met several TMP members for the first time, as well as others who know me through Naval Wargames. It's a pity I was so busy that day, because I would have loved to have more of a chat with them. They had come from all corners of the nation, which was pretty impressive and a credit to the organisers. As usual, the Sydney contingent was the strongest, but, of course, it is a relatively short drive for them, compared to the rest of us.
The first day ended as an obvious success. Crowds were up on other years, the games areas were packed, and the traders all appeared very busy. It was, in fact, much too busy for me to wander off and have a look at the games being played on Day One. After such a busy day, and still affected by the long drive, it was a relief to be able to head off to our temporary home (even if it was to a somewhat disappointing cabin). The tiredness was off set by a visit to a tavern for a tasty Sri Lankan meal, washed down with some cold beers and wine. After dark, we were able to see the National Day celebrations. Lots of fireworks, but the most spectacular was an aircraft that swooped over Lake Burley-Griffin and switched on its afterburner. Wow! What a ball of flame that was as it zoomed up and up into the sky. Baldric wandered off to have a few drinks, but bed beckoned for me, and apart from having to let him in as he blundered back from the bar, I slept like a log.