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CM13 - Sunday night & Monday 5th May, 2008

Sunday night – CM13 Party


We arrived about ½ hr before they opened the doors and joined the queue.  I managed to prop myself up until we went in but took one look at the stairs going up to the party area – and the girls running up them – and walked round and found the lift.  Sod it, I thought, so I’ll still be able to see him.  I told Sue to hoof it with the rest, no need for her to miss out.

The room was a long cavernous affair with a tiny stage and laid-down, pocket handkerchief dance floor in front of it.  They’d put a line of chairs in front of the stage to stop the rowdy and the excitable from jumping up there and they were lined up three of four deep when I got there.  I dragged a chair over and Sue turned round and said come in here, which I did and she went off to get us a drink.  Just water for me, maybe a drink later, I thought, after James has gone.

Two bars, and they needed them.  Took Sue a while to come back but when she’d given me a nice cold bottle of water, she promptly disappeared and I spent the rest of the time until James arrived, looking for her as I didn’t want her to miss out on her place.  Turns out she decided she could live without it and stayed back.  She was one of the few to see James come in and of course, was right in the spot to see him leave too.

Directly in front of me was Tokyo Jean and Ginger and the Regulars were spread out across the front, with Ulla on the opposite side, so we got a wide range of photos from this gig.  Kai Owen was being the Master of Ceremonies as I mentioned earlier and he bounced up announce 'James Marsters!' 

James came on from the side, in black tee and black pants, looking remarkably relaxed given the days bad moments – he said it was great to ‘feel the love’.  He  said he was only supposed to sing 2 songs to start the party but decided to sing 4 instead – no argument from us!!  Just lots of cheering! 

Ginger and I particularly love ‘Chocolate Jesus’ – imagine our delight when this was one of the four – along with the other encore songs he’d done on Friday.   He was in good voice and seemed to enjoy himself.  The acoustics in this huge place sucked but we were so close, he could have sung without a mike.  We loved it and cheered him to the rafters, which sent him off with a big smile, to have some well-earned rest.

Crafty Ulla also left early and actually met saw him back at the Hotel, before repairing to the pub for a few beers with one of the other girls.  Given how I loath the ‘club’ scene, I wish I’d known as I would have gone with you and left the younger ones to gyrate for a few hours! I'm only sorry i didn't get to say goodbye.

It was fine while James was on stage and while Kai was jollying the crowd but as soon as he announced this Madonna wannabe, they turned off all the lights  except for a handful by the stage, plunging the room into cave-like gloom!  This made it impossible to see anyone clearly over six feet away and effectively stopped conversation stone dead.  I took some flash shots more by radar than sight and was astonished anything came out at all.

I did have a natter with Inky and some of the other girls from time to time but when Inky introduced me to an old friend of hers, I missed the name and only partially saw his face, though I was friendly.  It wasn’t until afterwards when I was talking to her, that I realised this was Mark Ryan.  Best known in Britain for the Michael Praed version of ‘Robin of Sherwood’, playing the fascinating ‘Nasir’ with the knives!  James is right, swords & knives are sexy…

I caught up with him later in the bar and apologised for not recognising him straight away, explaining about the gloom and the noise.  Inky said she’d like a photo when asked and I took a couple of her with him and also with Sue.  Mr Ryan was very cordial and offered me a drink, which I politely refused.

Kai was in and out all over the place, with a minder as shadow and was pretty much holding court every time he hit the bar.  I greeted him later in the evening and HE offered me a drink – dunno why I was turning them all down! – yes, I do;  I’m dieting… drat it.  Anyway, I must have been the only person who refused as he was being generous but I thanked him and said he was doing a good job and some other small talk.  He’s good, you know, he actually looked pleased to see me.

Ginger was having a lot of trouble with the noise at the party [she has sensitive hearing, having had some trouble with it, earlier in her life] and she was travelling back to London with Sara-Ann that night and was leaving on Monday,  back to the States.  They took off about this time and we went downstairs to say goodbye, without sign language!  Safe journey, petal!  It was a pleasure, as always, to see you again.

I eventually gave up trying to peer through the stygian gloom and repaired to the bar.  I was horrified at the stadium prices and remarked that nobody was going to get drunk at those prices – which was weird because they quickly sold out of just about everything not tied down in the place!  They’d had a big match and hadn’t restocked enough – VERY poor planning.  I decided to have a vodka [clean spirits] but they’d run out!  And in quick order, we established the only alcohol they had left were bottles of wine, a few beers, some fizzy water and a couple of mixers – I wound up with a glass of tap water, no ice – they’d run out!!

I found a chair and sat next to the bar, with Sue and slowly some of the girls joined us there.  Tokyo Jean turned up, then Lise, followed by Jade and a whole raft of the Italian & French girls  *waves to Sathy, Sylvie & Lyvie*

The party was starting to break up with the lack of booze and we were thinking of it too.  A bunch of the celebrities started to leave too, Kai amongst them and to my utter astonishment, he came over to say goodnight.  He leaned down and kissed my cheek and said ‘Goodnight, Jill, I hope you had a good time’ !  I nearly fell off my chair in surprise but managed to say yes I had, thank you and congratulated him on giving us a good night.  The other girls called out greetings and he waved and took off.   I remember looking at Sue, saying ‘How did he remember my name??’  LOL  Wonders will never cease.

We decided to go but lost Inky, who was coming back with us – she thought we’d left and had gone already – but Sue went looking and I went downstairs to call a taxi.  The taxi came before Sue came down, couldn’t find her.  I sent Sue out to the taxi and went upstairs myself but no luck either, before finding a friend of hers who told me she’d gone.  When I got downstairs again, the security guy had put someone else in the taxi and set about calling me another one.  He sent one of his helpers inside to bring a chair out for me – I was impressed.  The taxi arrived very quickly;  they were coming & going like a revolving door by this time; there being no other way to get away, unless you’d brought your car.

We had good & courteous drivers all that weekend and apart from the Sunday morning hiccup [the only time I didn’t book them directly myself], they were good – well done, Skyline.

There was another Showmasters party on in the Hotel bar again Sunday night and we looked at each other and grimaced.  We were tired enough to fall asleep eventually and decided to sleep till we woke [knowing me, it wouldn’t be too late]; we had time as James was the first for photo ops and that wasn’t until 1130am-12pm;  we had a much lighter schedule on Monday.



A planned lay-in to wake naturally?  Not likely, as the musak in the breakfast bar came on 6.30am and woke Sue, then me not long after seven!  *I really must have been asleep!*

We gave up the unequal struggle after a bit and got ourselves organised & down to pay the bill in fairly short order.  We had a word with the receptionist, telling them about noise from the bar and when the Duty Manager came to talk to her, I said perhaps in future, people could be warned Room 206 is directly over the bar – and the musak really needed to be turned down as it’s still very quiet at 6.30am!  She took on board what we were saying and quickly reduced our bill and cancelled Sue’s car parking charge.  Honour satisfied, we left, taking Sue's car up close to the Centre door we wanted.   Very handy free street parking on Sundays & Bank Holidays and close enough for us both to leave easily.  i just had to pick up my backpack from her boot and walk back across the road for my bus stop home.  Nifty, huh?? And free with my new Bus Pass - extra nifty!


We both had pictures with James at 11.30-12pm [mercifully short today] and then i had one with Paul Darrow at 1pm.  i was fairly sure my scooter was on Sunday times 11am-4.30pm but i thought i'd lurk earlier, see if i was wrong.  i wasn’t but  the girl had arrived early and let me take one, nice of her, yes?  I admit, I hoped this would happen, ain't i sneaky?  LOL


i saw Matt Rippy [the original Capt Jack Harkness] - what a DISH!  i said to Jodie the Steward, 'You have all the luck, sitting next to tall dark and gorgeous!' and he laughed, saying 'i have to warn you, compliments will get you everywhere!'  Such a sweetie. He was supposed to have been there on Sunday but was delayed.  We talked about Torchwood & John Barrowman and i showed him my photos with him.  He loved working with John & the crew and i said he'd have no trouble getting more work anywhere, i was sure [he'd like to do more here].  He came round the table for a couple of photos and he gave me such a cuddle, very sweet man. 


What was odd, he and a couple of others were in the area James had been the day before – no sign up for James.  Oddly enough this morning CM had moved James from his side position into the main part of the signing area opposite the Costa Coffee shop [Kai was put next to him]- why we do not know but Himber was NOT pleased. 

Sue saw him go off to chew out CM and as we were speculating whether Himber would let him sign there, James arrived and started signing.  But when Himber returned, he told us he was pulling James out immediately after the photo shoot.  Would we spread the word, no more autos after the photos?  Yes, of course.  *They moved Matt Rippy into his place later*

i got in quickly and had a quick word with James, asking if he was okay and getting a sweet smile in response and an assurance that he'd slept well and was fine.  We held hands for a few seconds, i wished him a safe journey and went to get a decent view of his line, waiting for Sue to go through so i could take a few pics of her with him, which i did. 

Then we hoofed it over to the photo op side and told everyone we knew on the way.  We split up and Sue went right down to the photo op area and i covered the bits in-between, i think we got most people and all those that wanted to say goodbye and have a last word with James, were able to zip over before he started the photos.

Sue went and joined the queue while i parked the scooter where i'd been the last time [i'd stopped doing the 3-point turns coming out again and parked by the photo tables] and waited for James.  My favourite Stewards, John & Phil were there and we chatted off and on, as they had time.  So i was there when James came walking over with security guy, Lisa & Himber to start and he looked at me, sitting there in solitary splendour and said, 'Hi darlin'' and i said 'Hi sweetie, i'll be with you shortly' and he gave me a great smile, said 'Right on!' and went into the partitioned area.

He was a LOT happier this morning and when i went in, he put out his left hand to me and drew me to his side.  i said, ‘how do you want me?’ and he pulled me in close, arm round my shoulders and said 'this is just fine, darlin', resting his right hand on his left thigh and i put my right hand over his.  i have a long photo where you can see that and the other you can't see but he turned his hand up and opened his fingers to link them into mine.  He is half smiling and then smiles more naturally in the next one, relaxing a little.  i think i said something like 'take care' and that we loved him and he looked into my eyes, smiling and giving my hand a warm squeeze, only letting go as i moved away.  i don't honestly remember if he said anything, though his eyes were intense. 

i went & sat on the scooter to wait for Sue and when she joined me, we decided to stay there and say goodbye to the girls as they came out; it being a perfect place to wait.  This worked well and we were still there chatting, when James finished and to my surprise, he came out towards us.   We all started clapping, calling out farewells and wishes for safe journey and he blew us kisses, waving and calling his thanks.  We sent him off with a big smile on his face, which was great.   i heard a woman say to what looked like her daughter, 'They're clapping! Why are they clapping him?' and i had to smile...  i don't think anybody told her why, unless daughter did.  LOL   It was totally unplanned and  spontaneous and I hope it lightened his heart, I know it did mine.


We only had to wait for the photos after that but i still had my Paul Darrow photo op and when i asked what time to come back, John said about five to one – ‘there's only six of you!’  He was a late joiner and not many people knew he was there.  i heard several people on phones telling friends he was there and i know quite a few came in quickly to see him;  one guy asked how long he'd be there so some of his friends could come in – while I was still talking to him!  Pushy little twat…

Anyway, Sue & i went for a bite and then i came right back for the photo, while Sue did some shopping and checked out how long our photos would be.  i got talking to Paul Darrow's PA, Maureen, while i was waiting and she is going to invite me [and a few others!] to an Evening with him [by invitation only] and I gave her my details - nice, eh? 

i was actually the last one, as Phil was waiting for a break in the traffic so to speak and I was chatting.  Malcolm was put out that I’d had to wait and took several shots of us, going for a good one – and actually printed two different ones for me!  Wasn’t that sweet of him?  i got to talk to Mr Darrow for a bit afterward [‘Call me Paul.’  Be still, my heart!].  And gave a reluctant Malcolm a hug!  *only because he said he was skanky! I just said ‘shut up and come here’  so he did*  J

I found Sue again and we had a mooch around the Centre [not a problem with the lovely scooter] - Sue wanted to get a couple of things and I hadn’t seen the Food Hall part.  There were live trees inside, fascinating…  Anyhow, we came back via the market outside and decided to grab a snack to cover us till we got home, which we did.

We went back to check on the photos and they were ready – short time with James and Paul was on the same roll.   Then I went back for Paul to sign the photo and got to talk to him a little more;  a very charming, real gentleman with a superb voice – but who smokes like a chimney! He looked at the photos and said we looked very serious, like we were the Sopranos!  Which made me giggle and assure him, I was happy with them.  I said I hoped to see him for one of the Evening and he was very welcoming.  I hope I can make one of them.

*Note for the Dr Who fans - Paul was sitting next to Sylvester McCoy*

We had another drink and decided to go when we’d finished about 4pm and i took the scooter back.  We went back to the car and i retrieved my backpack.  We had a hug and said goodbye and i went across the road and caught my bus about half past four.  Uneventful but FREE trip home!  I had to get a taxi from the bus station as buses stop running after 6pm Sundays & Bank Holidays on my route. 

And that was it, basically.  I was very tired and quickly unloaded my backpack  and went to bed early about 11.30pm and crashed.  Time enough later to download the camera and worry about washing!


*Our washing machine was on the blink.  Repaired the day after I got home luckily and with the glorious sunny weather we got for the next week, wouldn’t you know it?? I was able to wash everything in sight and get it all dry every day*


Well, that’s finally it – reports all done.  Hope you have enjoyed them all, inspite of my scatty memory!



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Wonderful reports, all. Thanks so much. :)
May. 20th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
oh, thank you. How kind...
May. 20th, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)
Super reports Jill - thanks for sharing! :D
May. 20th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Riches... thank you and you're welcome. :)
May. 20th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
You did it again! My boring, up in the middle of the night, morning-shifts aren´t that bad when there´s a nice report waiting.

You big flirt there! Turn down drinks from all those guys...

And that saying goodbye thing, I´m really bad at that. Guess it´s just something we do in my family. Say bye bye when we go separate ways when I´ve been visiting them, then next year we just start all over from the point where we stopped like we´ve been out of the room for 5 minutes, instead of been apart for a year.

I didn´t even think about it until my sisters boyfriend said something about it... LOL!

And hey, see ya at the next James-thingie, right?

I really hate loud parties, can´t hear a thing with all that music and people chatting here and there. It doesn´t get easier when people talk English!

That quiet hotel-bar with Lou was so much nicer! And I hope she posts her photos somewhere, she got some nice ones at the party!

You got home the same time as I, I was in Stockholm 8 o´clock Monday evening, then an hours drive home, threw in the suitcase at home and retrieved Bonnie from Heles place. I´ll tell you there was a very happy dog (and owner)! I just love that stupid mutt. I had her glued to my feet for a couple of days, she didn´t trust me not to disappear again.

You gave James a very nice goodbye on Monday! I hope that cheered him up so he wants to come back next year.

Well, have to work now. Thanks again for the wonderful reports, your memory are so much better than mine. I can re-live the whole week by reading them and checking out all the vids at Youtube!

It´s a blast to edit photos taken at the same time as he sings the actual songs when I snapped them! Thank God for Internet and technology!

Hugs, Ulla

May. 20th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
That goodbye thing is not a problem, 'cos we do just pick up like it was yesterday..
And yes, unless i'm in hospital when he comes next, i'll be there - goddess and money willing!

i liked loud parties when i was a youngster and it was all about the dancing but i can't stand them now - i want to hear what someone is saying! And see them! This turning off the lights rubbish is the pits.
i glad you got home safe and had Bonnie to greet you. i miss having my cats... not a place to have them here really, though i think Landlord might let me. It's the getting someone to look after your pets while you are away that is the problem. In this house, one of my roomies might oblige but i know so few people down here, it's not easy.

i'm glad we gave James a nice send-off too, it was one of those things that just happened and was lovely. i know he wants to come back - just needs to make sure the photo bits are better policed to stop those bitches...

You are very welcome for the reports - like you editing your photos, i get to relive what happened too. i'm lucky i have such a visual memory, even if i do get the days mixed up at CM!!
i'm going to make sure i jot down the sequence of events from now on like i used to before. i don't like not remembering perfectly. i can see so much of it playing in my mind's eye like a movie, that helps.

That is the last, my dear Ulla. It's back to my weekly rants from now on! Oh, except to say i did get an email for the Evening with Paul and i hope to go in July - if i can get the money sorted by then!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )