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Day Three

Last day…  *I sound like 'Logan's Run'…*

Sue had a light breakfast while I got tarted up for the day and when it got to midday, I realised I hadn't eaten at all…

Anyway, Ginger came with us and helped take bags down to Jude's room and then up to Middleton Hall.  I really only had two things on the agenda, one – get that thrice accursed photographer sorted and two – last autograph and goodbye to James…

I guess everyone had the same idea with regard to James, the usual suspects anyway…in among the dribs & drabs of the general public, getting an autograph with a Star.  I wanted to pick a quiet time to go see him, to take a little time to show him my gift and explain which bits were for his kids and which was for him – not that it was hard to figure, you understand!

We went and checked out the queue, still coming…but nowhere like the previous two days – I said to Louise, you're going to be out at least by the same time as last CM7, around 3.30pm, maybe even earlier?  We nattered for a bit and I kept a weather eye on the lines – for the photographer's lot as well.   They had moved the photo collection table over this side, to where we had left our bags for the photo shoots - Malcolm was besieged by various people up in arms about the previous day's botch-ups and I let them get sorted first.

We should have hung around Ray Parks, I guess but I'm not sure what time James went to see him…. In retrospect, I should have known he could be a fan…  But I have to say, though I admired his work in Star Wars, I'm not really a fan.

George & Mark had moved over to where Rene had been and James' area had been moved up slightly?  Their tables had gone anyway.  We did go round and say goodbye on our way later.

But James was first on the list.   Sue & I went and dawdled, talked to Himber – then I can't remember why but Sue went off to do something [Ring Alan? He & Jo were coming to pick her up] and I stayed.  I wanted to tell Lisa, they had all done a good job and I did when it got nice and quiet.

When Sue came back, I parked the scooter and we went in to say goodbye.  I took a couple of pics of Charisma Carpenter, while we waited in the queue, but didn't want her autograph.  We had a quick smile and that was it.

I gave him the last piece to be signed and put it away.  Then I said 'ok, I have something for you' and put the chocolate tin on the table.  Grinned and said 'Sorry, it isn't chocolates' and opened it to show him.   I started unwrapping one of the pieces inside and saying as I do so, "This one is for you" – action figures from Star Wars..  The one I was holding was Boba Fett… of course…  Rather nice articulated one with removable bits and he stands on his own…  James had to have a good look and restrained himself from playing with on the spot, which pleased me.  He said he didn't have that one and I believe him.  I wrapped it up again and told him as I did so, that there were others in there and he could sort it out with his son, who had what!  Also an English Post Box and an ammonite for niece…  James is one of the few men I know that I don't have to explain what that is…   He looked pleased anyway and thanked me and that made me happy.

Then I told him he had to come back next year and he said firmly, 'yeah, I'll be back next year, if you want me to' and I said, 'of course, we love you' and he sort of went, aww and said 'I love you too but you know, it's a symbiosis – I wouldn't be here with out you guys' and he is right, we wouldn't have been there without him.

Marianne had started to push a picture towards James before I started all this and seeing my look, took it back – yup, I had picked a quiet time so I didn't feel I had to hurry and this was my time…  Susie, bless her heart, was clicking away with the camera, so for the first time ever, I have a nice lot of pictures of me with James.  She has concentrated on James, of course, but you can see bits of me!!

Sue's turn and I took the camera off her and took her pics too…  She was going to leave and I said quietly, 'Take James' hand, darling' and they held hands while I took another shot…


Then we came out and I was sniffling – again… I'm fine all the other days but the last one always makes me cry….  No more James…  WAH!!!!!

We smiled at each other for our foolishness…

Sue went to speak to some of the girls and I went to sort out Malcolm….  It took a while until I was able to tell him what the problem was and he looked suitably horrified and said he would go get his laptop out of the car and see what he had taken – would I wait while he got it?   So I sat and talked to a couple of people while he disappeared.   He came back after a while and shot into the booth area to have a look.   He came out aft another longish time – he did know what part of the shoot it was luckily or I would have been there now….   Eventually, he came out and said he was terribly sorry but he had only taken the one shot – useless prick, I KNOW THAT!  What he came up with as a solution was to get a reprint done immediately and 'something else' as compensation… A Blowup maybe?   I thought of the nice ones Lynnie had done and agreed.   Ok, he would get that one straight away – I said I would come back at 1pm but he said no, it won't take long…  So I hung about and sat on the wall…and sat…and sat…and sat – while Mugwump went and did another photoshoot with, was it Ray Parks?

I was still waiting and about at the end of my patience when he re-appeared again… I said, this is taking forever, I will come back…  He waffled on at some length and the upshot was, he sent one of the girls off to Jessops to see what the hold up was – I'd given up by this time and said I WILL come back later.  And went to find Sue.  Waved goodbye to Lisa & Louise, found Sue and she told me Alan & Jo were meeting us at Costa's and we started moving over that side.

We were about half way, when we met Malcolm's girl coming back and she rushed up and gave me a photographic envelope.  I wasn't about to open it there but half thought, well, there isn't an enlargement here – sod it, I'll sort it later and thanked her for her trouble.  I just shoved it into my basket and we went round and said goodbye to George & Mark, Ginger came and joined us, which was nice and we went into Costa's.   I sat down, while Sue & Ginger got in the coffees and something TO EAT!  I was half starved by then… 

Alan & Jo went to the wrong Costa's!  We didn't even know there was another, let alone the three there actually were!   One was closed apparently, but eventually they found us and sat down with us.   They had a bite too and it was lovely to see them again – My goddess, has Jo grown!  She was a child when I saw her last and now she is young lady… 14… wow… tempis fugit indeed…  Alan looked good, keeping his figure well I thought.  I always tease him, he looks good in lycra!!  [He cycles!]

Jude and Mary came in while we were there and Jude said they were going to have some lunch, then she would take Mary to the station and come back for me – no rush, she would let me know when they went.   Cool, no probs.

We all had a nice visit and I got to glance at the picture just given to me – yes, fine, the reprint was there – and two A4 sized enlargements….  what the fuck good are they to anybody??  I let out a furious but resigned sigh and thought, think about this later… not now!  Bloody. Useless. Twat of a man…  I should just have asked for my money back and said post the reprint to me.   Frikkin'. Empty Headed. Nincompoop… now I'm not sure if I am talking about him or me for putting up with it…  Will send Showmasters/Collectormania an email I think and tell them NOT to use this IDIOT control freak ever again…  He's about as professional as a turd…

Jude came back with Mary when they'd finished and we were about done too.  So they took off and we followed them out.   We got down as far as where I needed to turn across the mall to the scooter shop and Ginger and I said goodbye to Sue, Alan & Jo.   See you later, honey, stay well…  It was super seeing you again…

Ginger came with me and admired the scooters in the shop – yeah, I'd love one but even a secondhand one would cost me over £500…  wah…!   Gave mine back and we went outside to wait for Jude.   We chewed over the day so far and some of the weekend… been really nice to see her again and spend some time for a change.  Usually you don't get to talk to many people for any real time and I'd enjoyed having Ginger around A LOT.

Jude arrived not long after and we said goodbye.  I got in the car and we took off, waving to Ginger, who wasn't leaving until the following day.   Jude has driven around there a fair bit and had no trouble finding her way around. We had a good old yak in the car about the weekend and talking about James is always a pleasure!  We had a good drive across and I was home before dark.   Thank you, Jude!  What service!!

So there we have it…  Spring Fever over, Collectormania done [until October when they do #12 – Jewel Staithe is coming….   mmmm] and just memories, photos and each other until James returns…

I doubt I will be able to go to any of the overseas stuff again, until I get another job!!  So I will start saving my pennies in a jar now for the next visit here…

That's goodnight from him and goodnight from me.


May. 26th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
I'm going to Fangoria in June, but I'll be in South Africa during DragonCon. I'm sure plenty of the gang will go and be more than happy to share all the details.

My fingers are crossed that a job will come your way very soon.
May. 26th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC)
Oh i'm glad you are doing Fangoria - Pity to miss Dragoncon, they have a great line-up but there will be pictures etc and wow, South Africa, baby!! What a consolation prize...

Thanks, i have all parts 'crossable' crossed and am trying to stay positive.