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Collectormania 14 Report - Part One

I went on Saturday 27th, stayed overnight at the Premiere Inn and did Sunday 28th next day.


I got up at crack of dawn just before 06.00am and was out at the bus stop for 10 to 7am.  We had pea-soup mist & fog that morning which didn’t lift until early afternoon, not being that warm here at the moment.

It cost me £1.70 to get into town, only free fares after 09.30am, sods..  We had such a clear run in, there being bugger-all traffic at that time, that the 07.10 X5 bus to Milton Keynes was still there.  That driver didn’t charge me anything though which was a surprise but hey, not arguing here!


Again, a clear run and we were in MK for 09.00am, even with a 15 minute stop in Bedford.  I had plenty of time to go down to the Premier Inn and leave my backpack there until later [Sue & I had stayed here a couple of years back].  No loo available at the Hotel, as they have the restaurant next door, so I was in their ladies, putting some face on when my phone went – Lise almost there.  We arranged where to meet and I walked up and straight across the Mall to pick up the mobility scooter at around 09.45am.   No problem and I ‘scooted’ off, with great delight.


Denise Crosby was already signing autos when I got up there and as she had an open queue with about five people, I took the opportunity to stop by and say hello.  I bought one of her Tasha Yar photos, as our photo op wasn’t until Sunday and she personalised it for me.  I would have liked a casual photo but she didn’t have any.  Very nice lady and when I told her I’d come to see her this weekend, she called me darling for the rest of the weekend!  She had started to remember my name by the second day, remarkable.   Most gracious and such a warm friendly lady;  what a treat!


Found Lise & Jade with no problem and we did a quick co-ordinate with who was doing what and when for the day.  I had photo ops with Michael Rosenbaum at 10.30am, Morena Baccarin at 1.40pm and John Rhys Davies at 3.10pm [I bought his at the show, as the photo ops were so late going up on the site].  Only had Denise on the Sunday at 10.30am – was going to get Anita Dobson but she cancelled as she had an eye operation, Showmasters Super Woman Wendy informed me [they couldn’t make it without her on the Info desk, I swear!].

Lise & Jade had Amber straight after Michael.  Queue was already forming for him, so they joined on and I went to ask where I could park my scooter.  I was directed to Mara who had just turned up and she said ‘come with me’ and got me parked next to where we’d exit the photo booth.  She said come in when I say and disappeared into the booth.


There was a big re-shuffle of the whole CM layout this time, with no side wings either side of John Lewis, except for the photo/bag tables to the right.  Apparently there’s been a big running complaint about queues and the upshot is, next June they are moving lock, stock and barrel down to MK Dons Stadium – ugh!  Can’t believe the Centre are kicking up rough, after so many years that CM has been on here but I think they are cutting their throats, well, the shops’ throats.  So many people who eat, drink and do all kinds of shopping while they are there, as they can combine the two – like Sue who had to get a new mobile phone.  When folks get to know what’s there, many do the same thing.  You have lots of time between photo ops, autographs etc, to go over all the dealers twice over AND still have time to eat, drink and shop.  I’ve never met anyone who wanted all the guests’  photos and autos;  you’d need to be independently wealthy to do that as well!


Mara appeared in short order, bless her heart, and whistled me in behind a lassie in a wheelchair, with her friend.  Michael had the spiky hair look so beloved of the ‘now’ crowd but was fresh and gorgeous.  And I told him he looked terrific, to which he replied ‘You look terrific!’, of course!  So we beamed at each other and he picked up my Sagittarius charm on the chain and peered at it, while I told him it was my birthsign.  I grinned at Malcolm – ‘push your glasses up!’ – oops, sorry, Malcolm!  I remembered for the rest of the weekend, so he was pleased with me and let me have both the shots he took, which I can’t really tell apart, but that’s professionals for you! Thank you, petal!

Quick smile for Michael, thank you, see you later and I was out.  Really nice guy…


I went back and saw the girls and to check and see if they’d seen Sue.  She hadn’t arrived yet and I went up & down the line a couple of times to check.  Quite a long queue and she actually turned up before it finished and got a ticket to go in herself, when we told her she mustn’t miss it!


I saw Alexi Sayle walking towards me at one time and I caught his eye as he came up to me and I said ‘Nice to see you, Mr Sayle!’ and he smiled at me but didn’t speak.  Not That friendly for a dedicated Communist!  I had to smile.


We spent some time in Costa’s over the two days, they do a great decaff coffee and their hot chocolate isn’t bad either.  We spent time catching up with each other and doing a bit of checking to see what the dealers had out for sale that day and checking out which guests were sitting where.  We split up at various times and after my next photo op with Morena, Sue & I had  lunch together at Brunches [they do good salads, even if their seating area is a bit naff].

I went & got Amber Benson’s autograph on the ‘Chance’ DVD cover, which James had already signed and when she saw it, she started talking about him.  Fair bet I was a fan and so is she!  And she was all about how he was so funny and could go from drama to comedy at the drop of a hat.  We agreed that he was a terrific actor and person and the world was slow to recognise that!  She was such a honey and sat on the desk so her minder could take a photo of us.  She did this every time someone asked her too, lovely lady.  She got many more people than Mercedes, who at times read a book under the table!  But John Rhys Davies was very busy the whole time, most gratifying.


I was sitting quite close to the photo booth and saw Morena arrive with entourage and boyfriend, all kissy kissy – nice looking but bald!


Anyway, it was kinda like the same story, park here and come in.  She is surprisingly tall, even allowing for the boots, and swooningly slender in a dark blue sleeveless dress - I said to her, I’m breaking the rules of a lifetime here, being photographed with a woman so much prettier than me! And made her laugh… :D

She really is absolutely beautiful.  The urchin haircut looks very fetching, although I know a lot of people don’t like it.  She really can wear anything.

I remembered to push my glasses up and tip my chin down a bit and Malcolm said ‘thank you, m’darling!’ and I grinned at him.


It was about 2pm by then and my John Rhys Davies one wasn’t till 3.10pm, so we went for a loo break & lunch.  I stopped to see how the virtual numbers were for Michael Rosenbaum – still high but the nice young steward said try 4pm or 4.30pm, so yeah, cool.

I had to watch the clock but came back in time and watched Mara come and have one with him.  He was tickling her and she was cracking up and Malcolm had to call them to order, which made me smile.  He tried it with me but as I told him he was wasting his time as I wasn’t ticklish.  He persisted though and I said ‘stop it, y’bugger’ out of the corner of my mouth!  He was the only one who could hear me and he thought it quite funny.  :}   I said ‘thank you’ for the photo and departed.  I wasn’t sure if the photos would be out before we left and as it turned out, I didn’t pick it up until the following morning.   Susie picked up my Morena one for me, thank you, petal!  So when I went to get his autograph, I bought one from the Indiana Jones films.  The ‘Sliders’  ones had sold out. 

The following day, Shane Rangi was sitting next to him [must be a Maori] – very tall and quite gorgeous, very Yul Brynner with the bald head!  Anyway, he was the Minataur in ‘The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe’, amongst other films.  A fan had brought in a huge sword and he came out into the concourse to do a very striking pose with it, sword high in the air and he crouched almost down to the ground – fabulous!  The delighted fan got his shot and when Shane came back to his table, I said as he passed, ‘Great shot!’ and he said, ‘Thank you’, surprised but pleased.


I saw Miriam Margolyes coming into Costa with her minder and she saw me looking and said ‘Hello’ and I replied ‘Hiya!’   No airs and graces with her!

The guests had a great time walking round by themselves and I saw Jamie Bamber wandering round by himself with a mobile welded to his ear [he spent a lot of time on it during the weekend].  Amber Benson & Mercedes McNabb walked together to & from their tables, next to each other, with no security.  Morena did walk with her security but just the one, more to show her where to go really, as did Michael.


I’d left the girls debating where we were going for dinner and we’d had a new Chinese recommended to us; they actually do a whole range of food from Indian to various points Oriental, so lots to choose from and we decided, over another coffee, that we’d try that.  I took my scooter back at close to 4.30pm and went via Michael’s queue to see how it was going.  Well, it had gone really well and there were two people in front of me, the steward was calling people to the now open queue - so decided to go for it and get it now.

Turned out to be a very good idea as Michael was nearing the end of his day and was relaxed and in a good mood.  I had brought a special edition SFX with me for him to sign and I told him I’d sat up until 1.30am the previous night trying to find a photo with hair for him to sign!  He laughed, saying ‘whatever you want’ and as he started to sign it, I gave my camera to his assistant and asked her to take a shot of us.  He seemed to sign for ages and I had plenty of time to show her how to use the camera.  I was obviously not a tongue-tied schoolgirl and quite in command of the situation and it made him laugh, especially when she couldn’t get my camera going and I took it back off her to check it out.  He made some comments about how I knew what I wanted and I said yes, of course, you must tell people, how else do they know?  He smiled and said ‘whatever you want’ again and I said, smiling back at him, ‘you gotta stop saying that, Michael, you’ll give me ideas!’ and that cracked him up and he said ‘You’re awesome!’  That made me laugh but he suddenly said, ‘I need a hug!’, stood up and leaned across the table – I was very surprised but hugged him, of course!  Assistant stood up with us and took a couple of shots, with us squinting into the late afternoon sun – me at least, he had sunglasses on!  I had a quick look and asked her to take another, I had my mouth open as I was saying something, didn’t think she’d taken it but she took another.   Michael sat down and I said I’ll see you tomorrow and he said ‘That’s great’ and we smiled at each other and I went to take the scooter back. 

We all walked out to Lise’s car and went down to the Hotel to check in.  We took our stuff up to our rooms; I forgot to bring up my backpack but Lise went for a smoke and brought it up with her.

I was going to read what Michael had written when I realised the clear rigid plastic folder, with my photos, ‘Chance’ cover and the day’s autographs, was missing.  I about had apoplexy and tried to trace my steps back to where I’d seen it last.  The last place I could ‘see’ it was Michael’s auto line.  Lise said right, we’ll go up in the car – THANK YOU!

We got up there pretty quickly and made our way back to the area; nothing in sight of course.  Checked with the Info desk but not handed in there.  Told some of the Pit Boss Stewards, in case it turned up later but Emma said check with the Centre desk.  So we set off back down and Lise & Sue made it down before me.  By the time I got there, the lady behind the desk was on the phone to the office and they seemed to think they had it.  Hallelujah!!  Round to the office and up an enormous flight of stairs, to the window – and as soon as the lady saw me, she handed it over.  Lady with Chinese tattoos on her face! And they’d already had a look inside, so she recognised me immediately.  Thank you VERY MUCH!  And thank you, wonderful, kind person who found it and handed it in!


Ye gads, what a relief!  We stowed it in the glovebox and went off to find some dinner.  Lise decided to take the car with us and it worked out very well, as all the places we tried at the Food Court were all booked out.  So I said let’s try the Silk Road?  It’s further out and I’m betting we’ll get in there.  So Lise’s SatNav not withstanding, we went off down there!

They haven’t let me down yet and didn’t this night - yes, we could have a table.  It wasn’t late so, no problems and we sat down to a very nice dinner, which I think we all enjoyed.  We had come out to eat so early that even with a leisurely dinner, it was only about 10.30pm when we came out.  We went back to the Hotel and parked but went next door for a drink before bed.  We  had a good yak and when they threw us out, went back to our room and talked till 1.30pm.  Sue went off to bed and Lise and I nattered in bed for another hour.  We’d settled down and Lise was about to break the snoring record, when the fire alarm went off an hour later!  It went off at irregular intervals for a damned long time and I eventually got some sleep when they turned the damned thing off.  Room 33 with a faulty alarm.

I eventually woke at 8.30am – alarm didn’t go off – with a dry mouth and headache!



Sunday tomorrow!  Night, guys!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
Sorry about the snoring!! *Bats eyes and pouts*.I'll provide the ear plugs next time lol. Dinner was soooo yummy.We'll have to have to go back to Silk Road again next time.

Oct. 1st, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)
Ach, i snore too!
We did have a lovely dinner, didn't we? It's my favourite eating place in MK for sure.
Take care of you, sweets!
*smooches back*
Oct. 1st, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a great time. I love Amber Benson and Denise Crosby. Both are easy going and have a head for names and faces.
Oct. 1st, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
i did, petal! They're really great girls, aren't they? i enjoyed meeting them a lot and
i told Denise to come back soon.

First part of report now up, Sunday still to come.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )