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Halloween 2004 - Saturday, baby!!

O-kay, here i am again!!

and this the Saturday report - starting just before 0600!! in the blessed am...  rang Trinity & Char as promised to make sure all awake [how about me?!!] - tottered down to breakfast at 0730, then the quick trek to the Hall again...  got on the mobile and called Ken [The Man!], let him know we were on our way.

Before i go any further, i've got to do a BIG Shoutout to Direct Mobility 020-8807-9830 for delivering the Chariot [what happened to the seat cushion, guys?] to the Hotel, [on time but the Hotel stuffed up big time and told them the reservation had been cancelled!!!  luckily they sent me an email before i left and i asked them to re-deliver, which they did.  In the meantime, i had a few quiet choice words with the Manager of the Docklands Travelodge [the first of several over the weekend] and they managed to hold onto it when it came back].  But they were very helpful and i would recommend their services Big Time - helpful, courteous and economic.

The second Shoutout has to be to Koss, at East End Car Service 0207-729-2345 [they have people carriers] and he was BRILLIANT!  once we discovered him, we never travelled with anyone else the rest of the weekend - give him a call if you need good, fast and reliable service - Mobile # available, give me a shout [if he can't come himself, he will send someone just as reliable - like i said 'Brilliant']

And last but no means least, La Forchetta at 464 Bethnal Green Road, London 020-7739-9467, who allowed me to set up an impromptu party for about 40-45 happy and tired ladies on a Sunday night - all ground floor access, no steps - Well done, guys!! you were fabulous...  good food, plenty of it and very reasonable.

ok, back to the Con - couldn't figure out where the sidedoor was when we arrived but i got on the blower to Ken and he directed us round.  There's a flat hoist to take anything un-stairs-able [read 'wheelchairs'] inside the Hall and oh. joy. we discover Char's Chariot is two inches too wide...  So for the rest of the weekend, she has to get out of the 'chair and onto the hoist, be met at the bottom with said 'chair and all in reverse, everytime we want to leave the Hall - for comfort breaks, breath of carbonmonoxide, whatever...  the loo was supposed to be inside? no, it's down the stairs by stage left, out into the carpark...   we have to go into the street and down to the carpark entrance to get there... and so does every other disabled person who cannot manage stairs.   Tsk!   Having said that, Ken was at our elbow in seconds everytime we needed him and Louise was so good, getting him and helping out when ever asked - they seemed to anticipate our needs on occasion and i cannot stress how it helped...   PLEASE GET THEM BACK AT THE NEXT CON.

We found out seats [we had been told they were already asigned and they were, true to their word - and i know i am being picky here, but way out in left field]- at times i felt like we were sitting in the carpark [especially when it got hot at the back of the hall and they needed to open the doors for ventillation - Char started to shiver... yes, Ken found us a blanket but it was needed not long after for a lady who was taken ill and that was the last we saw of it - luckily Char had a thick tshirt she wrapped round her legs and later a coat from one very sweet lady... you don't anticipate needing such things inside] - well, i guess somebody sometime has to have these seats, and this was our turn.

The photographic session with James & David was now starting up and Louise said it would be arranged on our level for the disabled folk later on but if i could manage the stairs? i could go now - sure, if i can do it in my own time, i can do stairs, i just can't stand for very long, without some rather nasty side effects.  Char was ok for a while with Susie & friends, so she took me downstairs and presented me to the ladies on the doors and i was ushered into the Presence [or should it be Presences?].  They had just started and i got to grin at the photographer on my way over behind him to the far side of the room.   And then, one of my favourite pastimes, watching James be photographed with the fans...  i love that, can do it for hours...  he is so intuitive as to what they want from him, within bounds, of course.

In Oakland, those boundaries got raised with and without his help - time was against us and we all felt like we were in a cattle market and James was re-setting the limits - no kissing.  *sigh* oh well... i thought sadly, i will never feel those Lips... [what's that, Susie?  be careful what you wish for?].   So there i am watching the graciousness and hotness of James, offset by the physical of David, and i do think he is a bit shy of this up close and personal stuff [even if he is Italian, with the lots of kisses greetings...  perhaps the USA dilutes some of that, huh?] *shrugs*

i shuffle closer and all too soon, in those fleeting seconds, it's my turn - as the previous fan was being photographed, i take advantage of the time to greet Soulmate with affection and a hug - she was so terrific in Oakland.  As we finish our greeting, i am aware James is looking over towards the next person - and that is me...   i moved forward, face breaking into a big smile and he sees me clearly in the light for the first time, and his face lit up and he held out both his hands, saying [oh, music to my ears!] "You came!" and grabbed my hands, drawing me forward...  i said something inspirational like, "Yes, i made it!" - we had spoken about my maybe not making it after Oakland at the VIP Meeting - how the hell did he remember that?!!  i was absolutely astonished at this greeting... if it was a guess, it was fucking fluke but i don't care either way, it made me feel like a million pounds... 

i moved around the back of him and put out my hand to David, saying "we haven't met before but it is a pleasure to meet you" and he shook my hand with a pleased smile and said "it's a pleasure to meet you too" and i turned back towards James and put my arms around both of them.  James threw his right arm over my shoulder and got closer - smile at the camera - click - and as i came away from him a little bit, i told him i'd lost more weight since i'd seen him, 45lbs now, and he looked impressed and said "Good for you, that's great" - leaned in again and kissed my cheek and said earnestly, as he drew back, "you're looking good! [then smiling] "i lost 55lbs when i left Chicago for LA, so i still beat you!" - the sod!  i was moving away by this time and i laughed at him, saying i'd beat him the next time i saw him.

i looked back at David who was watching all this with a smile, caught his eye and said woman to man, "You're looking good!" and the guy in him preened and he said, "Thanks!"  and i floated out of the room....  after Soulmate had darted forward with my stick!

what can i tell you?  that, that greeting made it all worthwhile, that he now recognises me, tattoos and all...?  it is no wonder i adore the man...  everytime i think i am over the Jamesfog and i do now remember most of what he says... then he throws me one out of left field and i am a giddy fangirl for a few moments - Know how i feel, Lynda luv?!  there is something in that man, that rings all my bells and a couple i haven't heard in years!  But i could gush on about his kindness and compassion for hours and while you would all nod in understanding and sympathy, you would also all nodd off...!!

i don't really remember going upstairs, except it was one at a time cause my knees hurt...  but that is par for the course really... *did you know, every time you climb stairs, you put seven times your weight on your knees?  Horrifying*

Jane Espenson was on her Q&A when i got back, relaxed, chatty and funny and as Char says very good in front of an Audience.  We took advantage of of the break after Jane to go investigate the amemities - quite the rigamarole but we managed.  We had sandwiches for lunch from the caterers, interesting... [and later cod and chips but it didn't count as fish & chips as it was in breadcrumbs! it wasn't very lovely either, but the cafe across the road did their best - next time, baby] and managed to find some grapefruit juice for Char, diet-coke for me [yes, i prefer caffeine free but i can't always be picky] - Susie came and went frequently, with Trinity, Pob and lots of girls coming to say Hi - darling Ostile 17, ciao bella! - from different boards to visit with Aunty Char...  FrenchDaria came for a visit, and said she would have to get her ears pierced [i gave her a gift that required it] - see i haven't forgotten...

Lots of MTSers as Stewards, i noticed...  Deni, Bookworm54? did i get it right? i gotta post more [i've changed my photos btw - twice, as hpphoto was acting up], Wilderness Child, TalkEnglishtoMe, Bitten and rockgoddes to name just a few - but i won't name anymore, will i, pet?  it will sound like sour grapes from me as i think my views are known on the subject of bringing your own Stewards with you to England.  And i am no longer capable of being a Steward, to my grief...  so i will say no more - some of them do actually live here, sorta...

Cold Dead Seed appeared to be well represented and one of them who shall remain nameless, bobbed up and down infront of me like a Mexican jumping bean, first jotting down notes on the Q&As and then with her camera - i was swaying like a sodding palmtree, trying to get shots of my own around her tall head and bangs - man, that woman got to ask a lot of questions!  and they weren't that good either but every Q&A, there she was...  what a moralistic little chit she turned out to be...  "Please don't say anything political or about your private life" indeed....  and WE all loved The Girl In Question, thank you very much or didn't you notice?!!  it was a highlight of the damned Con and David was very funny.

We all came back to the official Welcome [hilariously nearly four hours after the starting time!] and the guests dutifully came out on stage to wave at the audience. Luke Perry was there [sorry - didn't get to hear him at all and i can't say i know him or his work apart from the awful film of Buffy TVS, and he will remain a mystery to me];  Juliet Landau, i met in Pasadena at Grand Slam 2003 and what a lovely, gracious lady she is [she had to cut short her weekend due to work committments].  Amy Aker was also new to me and came across as a giggly, shy person but sweet - with a 7 1/2 month Bump, a boy apparently - we wish you well, sweetie... [very nice looking husband - i said jokingly to him in passing later in the day, "you are not going to get out of here alive, honey!" and he giggled] - then The Man came on - "HELLO!" and lit up the stage with his smile and machine gun laughter [i love to hear it!] - followed by a very personable Coatrack, er, David...  the guests then all retired gratefully for lunch...   leaving David centre stage in a swap with James. 

i felt that James let David have a lot of space to make him known to the fans and it did work - he made a lot of friends he would not have reached ordinarily... i did feel he was trying a little too hard occasionally and the swearing was noticed by many, some of whom felt it was a bit over the top, especially as there were youngsters in the crowd.  Personally, i don't give a damn as long as it's not excessive *shrugs* i'm not an impressionable youngster... 

He took a little while to settle into the first Q&A but eventually got into the spirit of it, relaxing somewhat.  Transcripts will abound on this time i am sure - suffice it to say David will never do Shakespeare but he is a funny and i think, warm human being and i totally agree with Ken, that roles like Harrison Ford does in the ordinary man in action mould, would suit him very well.  As far as the fans are concerned i think he is now aware that a hands on approach is the way to go.  He may never have the following that James has and i think he realised just how many of us were there for James, but he is a nice guy and as a man, i like him.   We then had a break until 1400.

Ken helped out Char with getting photos as the queues were horrendous at times, but Steve Himber got us chewing his ass at the Audience for not bringing enough pictures etc but he listened and there were those who thought he had brought too much this time but i'm guessing not a hellova lot went home - we bought several sets of the new photos for ourselves and presents for friends, loved the little postcard of DB & James and my personal favourite, the guitar shot in the garden.  There were even the limited editions, we missed out on earlier [not this time, baby!].   Steve, you did a wonderful job this time and i will never critisize you again - well... not without good cause!!  Your staff were patient, professional and well received - i never heard one of them snap or raise a voice to a convenioneer...  very nice.

Char and i picked a couple of quiet times to go look later and got some more buttons/badges, pics etc - no t-shirts here or cds - but we hope that will change at any future visits.  If they were to do this again next year, hopefully James' acoustic cd will be done [March 2005, we are told? about the same time as 'Grave Peril' - Christmas will be a little late this year...] but eagerly awaited.  They would have sold EVERY copy of that, if it had been ready this time.   My lovely Susie got me a set when she got hers and i so didn't miss out!  i have gone on at length before about how this lady truly rocks and i have to say that even though her seat was on the other side of the hall, she came over so often, we didn't have time to miss her, thank heavens - she seems to come when i need her most and was positively telelpathic at times!!  i just adore her, needless to say..... she is a great roomie and i could wish for none better or a better friend.

and another truly wonderful woman bought me a full set of the James pictures for my birthday....  you all know who that was, doncha?!  kissy, kissy...

This has turned into quite the novel, so i will finish for the night [urrgh! it is 2am] and do Saturday afternoon and the wonderful evening's entertainment tomorrow.   So good night all, take care.




( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)
Sweetheart, thanks for sharing!! I just LOVE the way you write!!!

Nov. 11th, 2004 09:50 am (UTC)
Florida, baby!
thanks sweetie! nice to hear from you - i do keep up with all your 'doings' down there and was keeping my fingers crossed you were ok during all those incredible hurricanes...
Samifidler is based in Florida too and battered by two of them!! she is ok, thankfully.
i missed seeing you in London but hopefully we will meet again, if i manage to get to a USA con in the future - probably not next year tho
Take care and i will try to keep in touch more, i promise
Jill xx
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )