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Collectormania 13 - Saturday 3.05.08


We were up a little later than we’d intended; that’s what you get for going to bed at 3am!  While I finished getting ready, Sue zipped up to the Centre to get us virtual tickets for James and I followed at a more sedate pace.  I found Steph [who’d come up from London with us the night before] at the front of the Hotel and took her with me in the taxi up to Shopmobility, collected my scooter [love these nifty little things, I so want one at home] and went to join the fray.


Man, it was buzzing – lots of people everywhere, not just for CM13 but your normal shoppers too…and it wasn’t all that brilliant a day.  They had a surprising amount of people come out on Monday afternoon, being better weather and Bank Holiday.


I had three photo ops that day, two pre-ordered with James Marsters & Bruce Boxleitner and one I bought at the show with Leslie Phillips & June Whitfield.  That was a trick!  With there being so many photos sessions, they were split between Malcolm doing the ‘A’ photo ops and an unknown woman doing the ‘B’ photo ops.  Problem being some of them overlapped.  For Saturday, James was scheduled 1055am-1220pm, Bruce 1240pm-110pm and Leslie Phillips [with June Whitfield] was 1110am-1140am, bang in the middle of James’.  So when I went to the Info Desk to buy a photo op for Paul Darrow on Monday [another late attendee], I asked about Mr Phillip’s photo op too *waves to Wendy and the lovely girls*  and they advised me to go check with the stewards running the photo ops first and make sure I could do it.   I zipped over to the side wing and found where the ‘A’ & ‘B’ areas where and who was running them – yes, if they slotted me in fast with James, I could make it.  I turned the speed up on me scooter and narrowly avoided running over some slow natives, paid my £15.00 and zoomed back again! What would I have done without it?


James’ autograph area was the first on the side wing, with a booth set up for charity photos with Star Wars Costumed Volunteers next and then the two photo areas. Met up with the girls when we gathered for James and they went off to join the queue.  I checked with the stewards where I was to park my scooter and after checking-in my bag & folder, parked by the entrance partition.   Tyra was first in the queue but the stewards decided to put me through first, so I could do Leslie’s op, although I said, ‘I’m sitting down and I’ll wait my turn’ [there were about a dozen people in front of me, so I still had time to make it].   Tyra said ‘You get to go first even though I have a Gold Pass’, waving it at me and I said, ‘Go ahead, I’ll wait’ but the stewards were having none of it and said, ‘Come now’.   So I got to be the first one in.  Sorry, Tyra?


In retrospect, I wish I had done Leslie Phillips first and gone back for James. 

I went in with a big smile on my face and said ‘Hi, sweetie, how’re you doing?’ and this grumpy, unsmiling man said ‘Come stand this side’  motioning to his left and I did so. No ‘hi’, good morning, nothing. Oh yes, this was James. 

I think I went into mild shock and Malcolm took the first shot; I had two.  James was standing, right arm just hanging and didn’t move or offer anything, so before the second, I said ‘Can we do a different one?’   Mr Grumpy said, ‘I’m not doing poses, I can’t lift my right arm’.  He just glanced at me when he said it and he didn’t smile once at me.  He didn’t look welcoming at all, he never said ‘Sorry’ or anything.  If he had been more friendly, I would have said, ‘No problem, I’ll stand behind you’ but I was so taken aback, when Malcolm said ‘Smile’, I just bared my teeth at him. Malcolm actually took an extra one but I have no idea if that was any better.  James did his professional smile in the ones I have, identical in both.  I said something like ‘I hope you feel better soon’ and took my card slip and left.  He managed to look at me when I spoke to him but there was no clasping or squeezing my hand [I barely got fingertip contact], no warm smile, no warm anything; I’m not even sure he said ‘bye’.


By the time I got outside and met some of the girls by the tables, my numbness was wearing off and I was starting a slow burn.  Frankly, I wanted to slap him.  Ok, I’m sorry he was having problems with his arm [why didn’t he put it in a sling?] and maybe he felt as I was one of the ‘regulars’, he didn’t have to make any effort but he made me feel unwelcome, like I was intruding and sad to say, he quite upset me.  I’m sorry he obviously felt like shit but did he have to make me feel the same way? 

I hope I’ll get over this soon but even now looking back, I’m still annoyed he upset me.  I was the first in his first friggin photo queue, for godsake… And he couldn’t even smile at me??  Get a grip, James!

From other girls’ photos, I could see he loosened up later [his arm was numb apparently and took a while for the feeling to return] but then the first of the gropers struck and he not only went back to square one but hit minus 10.  They weren’t just grabbing his butt but trying to grope his crotch too, I heard later – unbelievable!   I didn’t hear about that until later but it didn’t make my day any better either.


I didn’t have time to dwell on it luckily and shot up to Photo area ‘B’ .  There only a handful of people when I arrived this time, although the queue got bigger while we waited.   The stewards got me through in the first few, thank you very much, and I joined Mr Phillips & Ms Whitfield for the photo.  They were both sitting down, with a chair in-between them and I was invited to sit.  The lady photographer told us to move the chairs closer and I joked with Mr Phillips, that it wasn’t a hardship and he said, ‘Oh darling, bless your heart!’  In his 80’s and still as charming as ever.  Anyhow, after some more instructions, she took a couple of shots and that’s all she wrote.  I thanked Ms Whitfield, who said, ‘Thank you’ and said ‘Delighted’ to Mr P and he said, ‘Sweet of you, darling, my pleasure’ and off I went.  You ol’ charmer, you…

I determined to have them both sign the photo later in the day, if it was any good, as they were only there that day.  I made it but they didn’t stay long.


Bruce Boxleitner was up after James at 1240am [they ran a little late on that of course, but not excessively so], so I had a little time to spare.  For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what I did in the interim, though I remember talking to Sue & Ginger – I keep getting mixed up between Saturday & Sunday!  Ginger was getting a photo with Bruce too and we duly got ourselves down there.  I parked the scooter and the guys got me in and out in jig time.

Bruce Boxleitner – what can I say?  Such a handsome man [no plastic surgery needed for this boy!] and to stand with this tall sweetie was a real pleasure [be still, my heart!].  He was all smiles and put his arm around my shoulders – so PC…bless him!  I told him he looked wonderful and he made a derogatory noise, saying he’d had very little sleep and was jet-lagged.  He did though and the rapidly whitening hair look kinda nice].  I could have stayed there happily for quite a while – beautiful bone structure and so tall!

Right, that was my photo list for the day – Sunday was going to be much busier with all the Torchwood guys arriving.   I went back to the Info desk later and bought a photo op for Eve Myles & Kai Owen [I had missed out at the Rift, thanks to all the friggin queues]. 


I’d asked Himber what time James was starting autographs and he said about 1pm, so we got ourselves over there for that.  Can’t remember why Sue didn’t come through with me – but I went in and as the photos weren’t out yet, I gave him the #4 Torchwood magazine to sign [the one I’d had the writers etc sign at the Rift].  I leaned forward and asked him if his arm was any better and he said it was, flexing his shoulder as he spoke.  He managed to smile at me this time and pressed my hand briefly.  I half forgave him…but I was still cross.

Part of that afternoon is still a blur but I remember having coffee with Sue and taking pictures of Daleks, moving through the crowds, stopping so people could take photos of them.  There were three of them, 2 black and a gold one, full size, and besieged by kids & adults alike.  Sue had a bit of shopping to do, while we waited for the photos and I went round to see David Prowse – tell me, I don’t have to say who HE is!  I hit a quieter spot in his auto line – he’d been rushed off his feet earlier, I heard – and I told him about the last time we’d met in Pasadena for Grand Slam 2003.  He remembered the two lasses I’d palled up with and how one’s uncle was an old friend of his and we both agreed that was a long time ago…and I said with all the photos I took of you all together, I’d forgotten to get one of us.   He was utterly charming and I gave my camera to Andrew, one of the Stewards, and Mr Prowse wrapped his hands around my arm.  Andrew took a couple of photos of us.  ‘Hang on, I’ll take another’ he said and Mr P said, ‘Take your time, I’m in no hurry’, squeezing my arm – you flirt!  I was laughing at him and we got a great shot.  Thank you, Andrew!

Mr P signed one of the Darth Vader pictures supplied by CM and apologised for not having any of himself, which I was looking for and would have preferred.  It was a pity I couldn’t get one of these shots signed;  maybe next time.  He shook my hand and I said thanks a lot.


I was getting to the witching hour for the scooter – 4.30pm and I looked for Sue but couldn’t see her, so text’d her to say I would go back to the Hotel when I’d dropped it off.  I saw my photos were out for James & Bruce and the sweet stewards directed me straight to them!  This face tattoo really pays off sometimes!!  I was the only one there with one.

Anyway, I took back the scooter and then rang Skyline Taxis –  all credit to them, they only screwed up once the whole weekend – and they came pretty promptly when they heard where they were picking me up. 

I’d invited various of the girls to have dinner prior to going to CM13 and extended the invitation on the day to a couple I hadn’t been able to reach before, to my delight, they readily accepted.  I used some of my quiet time to ring the Silk Road Restaurant and book us a table.  The Restaurant, located next to the Travelodge, is a favourite of quite a few of us, having been there before and enjoyed it a lot, and we were more than happy to go again.  One point to remember, the all-you-can-eat buffet is on Sunday, not Saturday, but no problem.

Susie joined me back at the Hotel and we had some time to relax, get ourselves pretty and have a good natter with Ginger, who was three floors above us and coming to dinner too.  We met up with some of the other girls in the lobby at 7.15pm and some opted to walk, while some came in the cab with me.

We had a drink at the Silk Road, waiting for more of our party to arrive and Sue kept a weather eye out for anyone not sure where they were going.  But pretty soon we were all there and moved in to dinner.

Most of us opted for the banquet option and at about £16.00 a head, thought it well worth it.  They gave us a mixture of Indian & Oriental and it was ALL delicious!  Several of the girls had other dishes they preferred and that was fine too;  nothing we asked for was too much trouble for the Restaurant and they gave us more food than we could eat, so everyone had as much as they liked;  we never had to ask for more and I don’t think anyone wanted a dessert.  I only called one toast, ‘to us’ and that was it.

We had a good & varied bunch of girls and conversation never flagged – although one lady made herself very unpopular with her end of the table and I found myself with an extra lady my end, when she couldn’t stand to listen to her anymore.  She will not be invited again.

I took a bunch of photos and would like to share my favourite one with you – sweet Sue… 
  Rest on the photos on Pbase, link given already.

We eventually departed and split up, saying goodnight, see you tomorrow!

Sue, Ginger and I repaired to our room for coffee and talk;  very enjoyable.

We couldn’t go have a drink in the Hotel bar as the Showmasters crew were having a party there and they were still going when we crawled into bed – and going, and going…  Unfortunately, we were directly over them and I really wasn’t crazy about the woman who was yodelling what sounded like karaoke down there!   But eventually, sheer exhaustion won and I slept like the dead.

We’d set the TV alarm for 6am before we slept, as we wanted to be early for John Barrowman’s queue – bound to be busy.  And we were right.
Sunday report next.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
David Prowse, who?

Nah, juat kidding!!! Darth Vadar with a bad hip, right? Read the article you linked to in the other entry today...

I like your long reports, nice to squeeze in between the photos I´m working on.

Edited 25 or so yesterday and now I´m into black/whites from Borderline + some zoo-pics. I know you prefer your James´s in colour, but I promise: b/w´s are better than Smurf-James!

I did that one in colour and cant even remember how the h__l I tweaked it...

You were a busy bee at CM13, scootering around! I had the photos and autographs with James, that´s it.

Sorry to hear about grumpy James, must be in a lot of discomfort with that arm. I´ll remember to never be first in the queue in the mornings! He is so not a morning person! With or without a achy arm... My pics of him signing at Sunday were taken around 10 o´clock and he looks half asleep.

The right strategy might be to bring him a HUGE cup of coffee, loaded with sugar!

So, now you only have 2 reports left to write. And I have 4180 photos from London to edit...

By the way, do you know that your Rift-reports are at Whedon info? Found them yesterday when I was snooping around for photos...

Hugs, Ulla
May. 18th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Oops, 4580 photos...
May. 18th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
You tease! Dave Prowse is a lovely man...

True grumpy James can be a pain but these things happen i guess - just, why me... *shrugs* Don't stop me loving him, like anyone you care about and have a bad day with.

Yeah, i know about Whedon info, girl pm'd me and asked if it was ok. i have no problem with that as i have made the posts Public, so anyone can read 'em. Not that anyone seems interested on MTS or anywhere, 'cept here that is...
Maybe Whedonesque linking them will get my Gropers post out where they can see it? i'd be happy with that. But you know me, i tell it like i see it. Anyone is free to disagree with me, that's ok.
i can only tell one side of a story.

Sunday report is half done and i already wrote Monday, so they will come out close together.

Take care of your eyes, doing all that photo editing - hell, can't even imagine 4580 photos...
May. 19th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
"hell, can't even imagine 4580 photos."

I couldn´t either.

But if you chop it up in 11 pieces, one for each day... 4-500 photos/day, that´s not very much over my dailydose at home.

But not 11 days straight, usually I have my camera with me once/twice a week, the rest of the doggie walks I´m looking for stuff to shoot.

The James´s are most important for now! Lets see when I have time to edit the city scapes and all the photos from Hyde and Regent Park.

Just changed my holiday plans for this summer, going to my parents place in August and to Helsinki in July, for the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Olympia Stadium, my niece had a spare ticket...

They have this wonderful zoo in Helsinki, Korkeasaari. Amur tigers and leopards... I think I´ll stay for a few days.

But I don´t think I can snap concert-photos. Don´t think they´ll let my big camera in, have to check it up though. Not that I´m as big Springsteen fan as James, but I´m sure I could get some nice shots. Never been to any of these huge concerts.
May. 19th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
Chop it into 11 pieces??? *falls off chair laughing*
While i do love your James pics best, natch, i really enjoy all your other ones and have spent many happy mornings looking at them.

oh i adore Amur tigers and leopards! i have your shot of the Sumatran tiger in my folder; it's gorgeous. Love most of the big cats but not that crazy about lions, 'cept lionesses are SMART.
i haven't been to a big rock concert since the late 70's. Last one was David Bowie, with the Station-to-Station tour. Man, that was huge! Great show but the size of the crowd made me nervous as i really don't like crowds that size.
i went to the Sweetwater Festival, a 3-day rock-blues-folk do in 1980 - think Woodstock on a slightly smaller scale - but staying in a tent with half a dozen other people really isn't my kind of fun. i was playing roadie for some friends, who had put a blues band together and three of them did a rock set as well.
Well, must go - have to ring up and hassle the Housing Dept this morning, they've short paid my benefit this month and i'm still waiting for them to adjust the basic rate back to what it was before the soddin Rent Service screwed me over... and i'm missing a Discretionary payment too by the look of it from Landlord's email... i really don't need this on top of all the crap i'm getting from Barclays Wank! F*** it! There's always something!
Later, babe
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )