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The good thing about assigned seats is the lack of need for queuing!  We didn't get down to breakfast until nearly 9am, to find we were coming in, in dribs & drabs…  Nice though…  good breakfast and we all pooled info to see who wanted to do what.  Chris said good Goth area market up at Camden Town and she & Lynnie were up for that – I liked the idea too and so did most of the party, so we all wound up busing & tubing up there, pretty painless again with the Oysters and passes the girls had.

We spent time wandering around the market and various purchases were made by Susie, Lynnie and the girls.  Nancy found a Tarot reader and we watched with some amusement as Lynnie tried on some wigs, spacey!   We split up and as my hip was starting to protest big time, Susie, Lene & I decided to have a bite and coffee back at in Essex Road.   Lynnie's phone battery was on the blink and was pretty well non-existent for the rest of the week, not good for communication…

I managed to rest up a little bit and as we had a mini cab office next door to the Hotel and Rich Mix was only 2-3 miles away as the crow staggers, that was the way to go.  £9 between 3 of us?  oh yeah!


Some of our party were there already and grabbing a bite, so we found a table and various ladies stopped to talk, which was nice – good to see Nicky, Ulla, Dawn, Angela & Inky Jane – frankly so many I haven't seen for a while, so forgive me if I don't name you all, yeah? *Waves at Chryssie*  it's not like I have forgotten you… or will…  *blows kisses*

Hi, Ulla!

Sarah came and said "I'll register you, hang on here" and in less time than it takes to tell it all, came back with my Special CD, signed by James! and a drinks voucher for the Reception later.  Thanks, babe.  She also came & took us in when they were ready for us.  The CD comprises of live recording of 'Not a Millionaire', 'Truth is' and 'Button Down Vandals' – ok but not brilliant.  Hope he records them on the new CD.

We didn't know it until we were seated in Cinema2 that there had been an accident on the Circle Line and some people were delayed.  So they showed a CD of 'Teechers' that James had done on the QM in LA – picture and sound quality were pretty crap but gave us an idea of how funny it must have been.  We had a few giggles ourselves watching it.   Anyway, the CD degraded badly and they stopped it.   Himber came on and laid out the schedule for the day – James would come out next and read 'A Phoenix Too Frequent' by Christopher Fry, then there would be a 15/20 minute break, back in and James would do the concert.  The script of the play would be auctioned off and the drinks reception would follow.  Then the lucky ones would go have dinner with James…  *sigh*  I just knew one would not be me…I don't have that kind of luck…  Me?  if I win the lottery, it is £300 between three of us, you know??

James then came on, same clothes as last night, different t-shirt but still black!  The hair is long enough to wave and curl but I guess I'm used to it shorter now, he still looks great though.  And the arms are nicely toned.   Well, he was over here visiting, not just us, huh….  No wonder he looked happy…having just had a week? in Germany  Hope she came back with him…but I never saw the lady.

Ro/Nancy? had to remind him he needed spotlights and when the lights came on properly, I called out that it was nice to see him!   He looked up, identifying line of sound, saw me and said "It's nice to see you too, darlin' " - *small fangirl moment there!*

He started off by telling us the background of his involvement with the play and how he had bought the rights to put it on and found a terrific set designer and a good theatre but it all went to hell in a handbasket!  He described the ups & downs of finding another venue [a nasty basement! but the play is set in a crypt, so it was kinda perfect], putting it on and so on, which he eventually did and it was a hit.  He obviously loved the play and had happy memories of it.

As far as I can tell, he read the entire one-act play and it was funny, sad and sexy by turns.  There are only three characters and he managed to find a light voice for the widow, a funny one for her servant, Dito and his own for the soldier guarding hanging corpses, mercifully off stage!   It was a total delight to sit and listen to James and I would not have been anywhere else on the planet…  I know some found parts of the play slow and due to the warmth & closeness of the theatre, rather soporific… But it was delightful and I loved every second of it – inspite of being seated on the wrong side of the aisle and having trouble stretching out my legs!!  And JMLive were trying to be so helpful seating me there;  sorry, guys…I hadn't the heart to complain.  I didn't care as long as I could hear James…and the warmth of his voice.

'Tokyo' Jean & Sue

After a short break, we came back in and in fine form again, James serenaded us with a longer set this time and we had a great time.   I love the new song he has written for his son, 'Don't Worry, Son' and 'White Hot Girls', 'Fall of Night' rips my heart out but he has mastered his hurt now and doesn't pass it on…  *heaves sigh of relief!*   It was over far too quickly…   He did enjoy it I think as much as we did.

Anyway, Himber came out when James left the stage and proceeded to draw tickets out of a bag for the dinner.  I couldn't identify any of the seat numbers, not surprisingly but I think Himber was surprised by the lack of ladies jumping up and down – I think it was a delayed reaction thing myself, more of a what-is-my-seat-number thing, rather than any lack of enthusiasm – coupled with a desire not to rub the rest of our noses in it….

I have a confession to make;  when I heard a couple of the names later, I so forgot myself as to swear in public!  Lucky for me, the people who heard me thought it was funny and I slunk away and crawled into the lift in total embarrassment…  The first of two times, that I was caught unawares…

I had a couple of minutes to reflect in the lift going up and I admit I had some very uncharitable thoughts, not only of who was actually going but of just who had been put into the bag…  Usually from that small an audience, you will know one or two of the people chosen, personally as it were – not just those you have heard of or seen on another board – not sure if I am explaining myself very well…  Then I thought 'Lisa & Himber wouldn't do that' and dismissed it.  I was glad Caliente got to take her daughter with her…

Himber then auctioned the script copy of the play, signed by James and said it would be personalised to the winner.   There were a couple of smallish bids, raised to £250 when he said he'd take his shirt off –  and he did, revealing a tee-shirt underneath, cheat…  *I spoke to him later and said next time you tease us with taking off your shirt for charity, MR Himber – I wanna see some skin! and he giggled*

The bidding quickly got serious and came down to two bidders – Claudia and Susie!  When they realised they were bidding against each other, Susie couldn't bid against someone who she knew and who wanted it THAT much!  Claudia said she would bid £2000 if James would come out and presented it to her – and Lisa was despatched at a lady-like trot to find him, which she did very quickly.  Himber decided to tease and jokingly half sent him away [the look on James' face was priceless!] but called him in to seal the deal.   Claudia got the script presented and a hug that lifted her off her feet, to her total delight...

I knew Susie had let her have it and I said to her, I would not have been so kind!!  She spoke quietly to Himber and gave him a donation to the charity anyway, she thought it was worthwhile – a very generous amount…  I was so proud of her, I shed a few tears… I also had a word with Lisa, to make sure James knew but she already had it under control and we arranged a place for him to come have a quick word with her…  Lene and I steered her to the balcony and made sure we had our cameras!

James emerged with Himber, Marianne & Lisa in attendance and worked his way slowly across the room.  I guess it is natural enough, but when you have met James you need to stay put where you are and not drift after him, like some mesmerised satellite…  You have had your few minutes, how about letting the rest of us get a look in??  I have come across this before and I understand the James Fog & Sinister Attraction but fair do's, ladies!!  Stop hogging the man!!

Claudia hotfooted over to show us her new treasure and i got a kind person to take the photo on my camera - her face says it all...  Congratulatory hugs all round!

Anyway, Himber made sure James found Sue and they had a nice little chat and James wanted to give her something and turned to Marianne for his bag.  He pulled out his own copy of the play and signed it to our girl!  Lene & I clicked away and I did get a couple of nice ones.  Can't wait to see Lene's -  i'll just put up one for you here... though i took quite a few and i will post them elsewhere.


I had to wait for my moment until Susie had hers, of course and even then, I had to touch his hand from behind to attract his attention before he moved off…  so that when he finished talking to the gal in front of him, he turned to me and I gave him the little gift I'd brought for there, a single stamp of him in a little clear plastic sleeve.  He looked delighted and said, "I'm going to show this to my son – show him his Dad is worth something!"  which made me laugh and he said thank you and we were done.  I knew I'd have some time with him at Collectormania, so I didn't mind the brevity. 
[Tonight i found out my darling fellow photographer took a couple of pictures of James talking to me when i gave him the stamp *makes total fangirl noise* adorable woman!]

James left shortly after that and i had to turn down Curry in Brick Lane with Dawn & the girls to my regret [love curry] and another invite to dinner as the majority of our group just couldn't make up their minds what they wanted.   A passing stranger suggested his local pub and the majority seemed to be leaning towards a noisy, smokey pub - which quite frankly left me stone cold, i'm not shattered on pub food for dinner at the best of times...  i turned to Sue & Lene, who's tastes i know and said "Chinatown?" and they quickly agreed - nobody else seemed interested, so i flagged a cab and we left them milling about on the pavement.
Sue picked us a nice little restaurant and we had a lovely dinner, with a bottle of Great Wall of China white! and very nice too... We quietly stuffed ourselves and subsequently went back to the Hotel, very happily...  Ginger was otherwise engaged the following day and Lene & Sue wanted to do some shopping...  Again, although not numbered seating,  we were bidden to arrive half an hour before the start of the Union Chapel concert.  Thus we didn't have any pressure on us the next day.
We left Lene to upload her photos and turned in.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
just popping in to say how much I'm enjoying your reports
May. 13th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you, petal....
May. 13th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that's fabulous. I'm so glad James did that for JamesRocks. I know generosity is it's own reward and all that but give me a one on one with James any day of the week. :D Smashing report. That's me going up the stairs...heh!
May. 13th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
It was good, wasn't it? i just had to make sure that James found out, as i do so want that sweet spontaneous generosity acknowledged... and i was delighted Lisa was there before me.
Yes, i know it's you petal, why do you think i took the shot?? *heh heh*
May. 13th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Lol. I keep turning up on peeps photos...looking huge! :D
May. 13th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Honey, your reports made me realize how much I miss this sometimes... and don´t worry, I´m not this crazy anymore... well, to be honest, sometimes I am.

I also want to say that I am grateful to have you as a friend, you are a very sweet person. We need to talk a lot more - I just left my email adress in one of your other posts and would be delighted if you could send me your home adress again.

Take care of yourself, darling, and keep the reports coming!
May. 13th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Nice report! It´s like reading one of those celebrity-mag´s with all the pic´s inbedded. And a photo of me, I´d forgotten you had it taken. I think there were a shot of my neck in the first report, too...

The smaller pic´s seems to show allright. Waiting for the next part!!!

Hugs, Ulla
May. 14th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Glad you are enjoying it, love... again all the pics are the same size - i'm at a total loss why some show up and not others - they all loaded okay too...
Union Chapel part will be up tomorrow...
May. 14th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Those I can see is size 320x240 pixels, the invisible ones have the size 604x453 pixels

Whan you save the pic´s you can chose the quality, maybe it´s higher for the biggies?
May. 15th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
I am not jealous, I am not jealous.... LOL. Of course I am. I so with I could have been there. Still Soho and Union Chapel were fun.

Miss you babe!
May. 15th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
Here via your link on MoZ - I've really enjoyed reading your reports and seeing your pics (though a bit of a shock to find myself actually in one, albeit by accident *g*). It's good to be able to put names to the faces I kept seeing at the gigs and in MK.
May. 15th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
LOL You are?? which one are you then?? see, you're quite safe... i feel the same way you do about meeting the faces behind the names and i AM respectful of peeps feelings and if they really hate it, i will take them off... i have done it before but anonymity is both a blessing and a curse, depending on where you sit, doncha think?
i wear the face tattoos to identify myself and have done for many years now but it is a double edged sword. i do get more pats than blows luckily!
Glad you're enjoying the reports
stay well
May. 15th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
You are?? which one are you then?

I didn't even notice until you mentioned the staircase pic in one of the comments so I went back to look at it again and recognised my sleeve - I'm the huge great person against the white wall of the staircase *g*

I've no objection to being seen at all (particularly as I barely recognised myself).
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )