Saturday is always the best day of Minamicon – the best day of any convention if I’m honest.  It’s when the majority of panels are held, and you get the masquerade (an event where people show off their costumes and put on performances/skits).  However my day was somewhat hampered by an unexpected issue.  Midway through the day I gained a headache, which quickly blossomed from bad, to ‘oh-dear-god’.  At first I thought it was due to me wearing a wig, but removing it didn’t do anything.  Being in a very hot room afterwards didn’t help either.

I ended up having to drop out of a few of my duties and go lie down for a few hours in my room hoping the pain would die down enough that I could make it to the masquerade in the evening (I did).  But I continued to have a mild headache the rest of the day, and it was tapping on my head for most of Sunday too, which raised some alarms.  I wasn’t sure what was causing it – as a member of the internet generation I usually get headaches from staring at computer screens or on the odd occasion, from heatstroke, not for convention activities.  However, after a good night’s sleep, and a random comment from a friend, I think I’ve realised what’s caused it.

It was probably a combination of things – the wig and the crowded rooms wouldn’t have helped, but since going on the Herbalife diet I’ve been drinking buckets of water – a factor that I haven’t managed to keep up while at Minamicon.  I do gopher work at cons (volunteer work and in exchange you get free food and a party on the last night).  Nearly all the gopher free drinks were fizzy, which I try to avoid, and didn’t want to spend a fortune at the bar.  The free water bottles dotted around the hotel always seemed to be empty too.  And after nearly a month of drinking the necessary healthy amount, my body didn’t appreciate dehydration.

BUT, that’s not the only other factor.  Because I am well aware of the perils of dehydration and adjusted my drinking accordingly when the headache began to appear, and it didn’t diminish by a particularly significant amount.  No, I believe the main cause is the other liquid I drink in obsessive quantities. Tea.

I love tea.  I’ve been drinking it since before it was probably considered healthy for me to.  And after sharing a flat with 5 Irish girls at university, I drink even more.  At work, it’s what I have when I can’t eat – warms me up and abates my stomach – plus gets me out of my seat for a few minutes when I go to make it.  I can easily drink 3-5 cups a day without even thinking.  And what I drink my colleagues affectionately refer to as ‘builder’s tea’.  There’s just enough milk to muddy the water – I like my tea strong…though not black.  And as anyone knows, tea contains caffeine, much like cola or coffee.  My brother and my BFF love cola, and have both at one time or another tried to cut it out for various reasons – resulting in headaches and moods when the withdrawal hit.

While at the convention, I had no kettle, nor had I had the hotel breakfast.  As such, I hadn’t had a cup of tea since Friday morning.  By the time the headache hit, that was nearly 30 hours later.

That seems the most likely explanation for my pain.  A combination of cosplay, heat, dehydration and withdrawal.  I had to amend my eating habits and managed to get tea in the morning along with breakfast – but not again until the evening – resulting in my minor throb throughout the day.

Next convention, I’m buying a travel kettle and keeping it ready for brewing at any time!  I could be wrong, but at least I’ll have my fix and my hydration issues sorted.

Oh, and just so you don’t think the convention was just me complaining about headaches and the lack of liquid, here’s one of the highlights from Saturday my headache had abated enough for me to enjoy.  A skit performed during the masquerade by the very awesome Khaos Kostumes – very regular faces at British conventions.


Admittedly, its so full of in jokes that I’m not sure how hysterical it is to someone not of the fandom…hope you can appreciate anyway.