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Gatecon UK

Gatecon UK, Cheltenham UK
10th - 13th Aug 2006

Thursday

So got the train to Cheltenham thursday afternoon. Litrelly the next train in on the other side just as I got above the platform was majorkennedy's which was good timing. Was 2 exits to the station, she chose the wrong one while I chose the right heh. Walked to the hotel and checked in, then decided to head for the uni to register..that was fun..didnt have a clue where we were going, but got there eventually after much walking, and guessing which roads to take! Finally got to the uni and ended up going in the wrong entrance furthest from the Gatecon building, but while walking though the car park, found looking4tarzan in her car. Had a chat for a while and then registered, then went back to the car park for a while waiting for Sah and co to arrive, more random chatting, then all went back to the travel lodge by car because it was raining and Sah needed to drop her stuff off.

Got changed and settled in quickly, then it was all the way back to the uni for the meet and greet. First off, late starting as usual..very late..then only 2 of the guests turned up because 2 were caught up in the flights fiasco and one wasnt going until sunday anyway. Also there was no-one checking badges/con id on the doors, nor were there any staff around inside, nor even any security for the guests around! And when the guests did arrive (Colin and Corin), they both started on the opposite side of the room and it took them I believe it was just under 3 HOURS to get to our table. Sure there was more wrong with the evening, but cant remember now what, mind you, we had a full page and onto a 2nd of complaints within 12 HOURS of the event starting!


After we had seen the last guest, did a bit more mingling with the dutchies and such before me, Laura and Sah decided on what would be come one of many walks between hotel and con with Francy following shortly after..think we got back about midnight, but rather than find something else to do, both wanted to go to bed!! That early!! And as it happened..I didnt get a wink of sleep whatsoever that night because it was so damn hot in the hotel room. We had the window open, fan on and what we thought was temp control set to lowest, only the room stayed at 27c the entire night (and we later found out it only heated the room up, not cooled it!)

Friday

Friday morning we had to be up really early for the volunteers meeting at half 7am. Ordinarily id not have been very happy about this, but because I hadnt actually slept at all, it wasnt that hard to get up and ready..Sah wasnt working so stayed in bed a bit longer while the other 3 of us headed off to the uni, actually getting a taxi because it being so early and being we actually had to be somewhere at a particular time. No-one was actually sure where the meeting was, but we did find it eventually and were first in..didnt seem that many of us there, but apparently they had 83 volunteers over the weekend! Funny thing is, there was only like 2-3 rooms that needed anyone in so they only used about 20 people! Assignments were given out and t-shirts handed out..me and Laura ended up as reservists..ie when the people with actual jobs needed a toilet break or photo break etc, then the reservists would be found and would cover..it actually ended up, neither me or Laura ended up doing any volunteer work at all as we were never called upon, but we got a free t-shirt out of it anyway..

Unfortunatly, the meeting only took 15-20 mins meaning it wasnt even 8 by the time it finished, and as things wernt event supposed to start until 9, we had an hour to kill, so went and sat by the pond and started off the complants list heh. Id actually forgotten my con badge so Sah had to bring it down when she came.

The opening cerimony was..well..non existant! They showed an intorductory video with photos of attendee's people had sent in, then Colin Cunningham came out, said hi, and the first panel started! Colin was on stage for ages, well over an hour, seemed almost forever by the end of it as he did seem to be struggling with things to say, and no-one was around to say time up and take him off stage! Though he wasnt due on stage until half 9, but as there was no opening cerimony apart from the video he was on early.

Next up was Steve Bacic. Cant really remember his last appearence at a con, but he seemed a lot funnier and better this time and was great fun to listen too.


They had a break then, and with Erick Avari on next, Me and Laura at least wernt that bothered about seeing Erick on stage as last time he was at a wolf con, we thought he was boring as hell. So we went to the refectory to get some food, which there wasnt much there, and took our time. We did go in and catch the end of his talk eventually, and yes, even in that short space of time, we still found him totally boring!
Last up for the day, and yes, by this point it was barely 1pm even on CMT (con mean time), was Corin Nemec..last time I saw him, at SU two years ago, I did find him a little boring, and thought he looked a bit ill even..This time around though he was rather interesting and cool, and looked healthier than last time.


I so totally cant remember though what any of the actors said, or particularly, did even heh, which is also quite worrying..
I think it was the friday then that after the talks and everything had finished, we all took a walk to the shops (which was actually pretty far!), bought some lunch and a loaf of bread, then went back to the pond at the uni to eat and feed the ducks.and just lounged around for hours..I said think friday because Ian wasnt with us and he didnt arrive until friday evening..The sun was out so Sah laid on the grass to sunbath, while me and Laura played around with the radios, her running off to the other side of the pond out of sight with us still chatting getting some use out of them and otherwise just generally doing nothing..


By this point was getting late in the afternoon, and Ian was on his way so headed back to the hotel (walking again)and lounged about there for a while until he arrived. Then he pretty much went straight back out, to the uni, for the buffet he'd managed to get into..so the 3 of us in the room phoned one of the take aways we'd walked past earlier and ordered in pizza..I actually cant remember what the hell we did other than eat pizza that night, except perhaps all the picking on me the girls were doing because im so socially inept and dont know/cant do the basics of socialising like is apparently 'normal'! Oh actually, this might have been the night the 3 of us randomly went out for a long walk, first one direction and back again a mile or so, then right down to by the uni and back again for no particular reason other than they were bored, and forcing me to excersise..
Though yet AGAIN..when Ian and Francy got back, all the others wanted to go to bed early again at midnight!! It was a killer as Im not used to sleeping till about 4, so totally cant get to sleep that early! And for the 2nd night running, which turned out to be the whole weekend, the room was boiling hot, but at least this time I had some sleep though the lack of sleep already, walking around, and early start.

Saturday

I totally dont remember getting up saturday! All I remember of the morning is we had to go in early anyway because while only Sah wanted a photoshoot, we needed to go in early for Steve Bacic's auto as he was doing them day early. Ok, mostly me that was that fussed about autographs heh..The autographs for Steve were chaos..was no numbering system that I recall, just a free for all everyone go in when you want. No-one checking passes either so could prob have gone though several times even! And, people were taking photos in the que like at a signing event, though didnt see anyone having a photo WITH him..

As for the DVD themed morning they advertised for those not in the photoshoots..well, it never happened because Steve's auto session was in the main hall!

So, was back to the shops for food and drink, and Ian came along with us this time, and we all bought loaves of bread to feed the wildlife with so gave them a good feeding. Again, it was Erick on stage first, so not bothered that much about him again, but figured I should prob go see one of his solo talks over the weekend at least, so we caught most of it that time. Think it was the saturday that he randomly got two girls who didnt know each other from the audience up on stage and to kiss in front of the whole convention! Was very wierd. Yet not unpleasent.


Next up, Steve. Not to be outdone by Erick, he had THREE girls kiss, the two from before, plus one of the stewards.


Then Corin.


And finally Colin on last for the day.


After Colin had finished, was off back to the hotel again to change and such, then BACK to the uni again for the only party of the weekend. Sah wanted to see the costume comp and auction, so she went down by herself early to catch them, while me, laura and I think Ian stayed with us too at the room for a while as we wernt too interested. The program said the party started right after the auction at 7 or something, so we figured we'd go down for about 8 and it should be just starting..however, when we got there, while the costume comp had finished, the auction was only just starting! And it took over TWO HOURS!! Didnt help that a lot of the canucks were fighting among themselves for various things so that held the auction up at times. And this whole while, Laura was drinking all the booze she had, and had to pop out at one stage to pop to the garage and buy cider and come back..that took a while and she still didnt miss much! She didnt miss Steve and Colin take their shirts off though.


Eventually, the pain was over and it was party time! Only, things didnt get that much better because the DJ was crap..he was really bad and didnt seem like he knew what to do at all..heard it was his first time DJ'ing. Naturally, he knew nothing of con songs, so Vicky gave him her con songs CD to play. After a bit of bugging, he finally started them up. The usual con crowd (aka the UK lot) naturally screamed and ran for the dance floor. You should have seen the looks we were getting from the Americans and Canucks! They thought we were mad I think, all these crazy brits line dancing! Mind you I remember lots of flashes going off heh so must be photos of us out there somewhere! 6th con song in a row later, we then had to beg him for a time out break before we started having heart attacks out there..after that it was the occasional con song when one of us went and told him to play something in particular..
Havnt got any photos of the party this time as the one I did take is all blurry :( Know a fair few people though had cameras so when I get those shots, might upload to lj myself..know Sah has several, but doubt we'll see her photos for a while yet ;) (Hasnt put any online since C8, im still waiting for SG10 photos!)
The cider Laura had bought tasted awful, and as I was out of my own stuff, I actually had to buy from the bar, but they wernt too bad compared to london prices, and had this nice apple flavoured drink with caffiene in it..Ian got hyper, Laura and Sah got completly wasted, Francy doesnt drink...and then me didnt go either! Bah..silly alcopops..was an amusing walk back to the hotel though at gone 2am with 2 paralytics with us..one thing though, I was actually quite lively then, because it was my 'normal' sleep pattern of staying up to those hours of the morning usually.

Sunday

Last day of early starts then. Again, dont remember actually waking up and getting to the venue.

Erick and Steve were on stage together first. Both were quite clearly hung over and feeling rough lol. Not bad as they were both partying with us until the end the night before whereas Colin and Corin had chickened out early on..Those two on stage together are actually quite hilarious..dont think there was actually any questions going on sunday morning, or at least not for this one, as they just joked around and stuf on stage for the hour, which was quite good, dont think anyone really fancied brain stuff first think in the morning! One of them, think Erick, or might have been both, remembered some of the con dances!


Technically next was Colin and Corin, but Colin came out, Erick stayed out (as Steve had had to leave early to catch a flight home, and with all that flight fiasco that weekend..) and Corin didnt come out, so was Colin and Erick for a while.


Then Erick went off, and Corin finally came on..only, at first..things went odd, Colin hadnt done much yet, so Erick went off to let them have their time, but Corin also went back off, so Colin showed some photos he'd brought with him of acting projects and the makeup he used..took about 15 mins, then Corin came back on to do I cant remember what!


Last talk of the day, and infact last talk of the whole event, was by the 5th and final (and previously missing) event guest, Suanne Braun. As I predicted, there wasnt too much she could talk about that was new so had a couple of old storys. However, she was to auction off a book about ancient Egyptian mythology. Cant remember if she actually DID auction it off, but I remember she had a read of it on stage and was telling us what it said about Hathor, which was pretty funny to hear.


Alas, even though it was only just gone mid day, the time was at hand for the convention to end. The closing cerimony was actually like a closing cerimony this time, unlike the opening one! All the guests were on stage (minus Steve), and the thank yous etc were read out, followed by one final showing of the opening video to end things.


After the closing cerimony ended, everyone headed out of the hall for presumably the last time. Was the last time for me and those I was with anyway. We went down to the refectory to see what they had, and for once, they actually had a decent amount of food, so got pizza and chips for myself. We sat there chatting for a while, then headed up to the autographs area to get the rest of them. We got upstairs ok (big long que from upstairs, around another room and back down to near the hall downstairs), got pretty much right around the part upstairs with chairs around the staircase in the center, then near the autograph room, were told the actors were taking a break, and would be about 45 mins! So we sat there all that time doing something to occupy ourselves..well, Sah and Laura slept, Ian was kinda listening to his ipod, and me and Shelley were chatting about random stuff most of that time. Eventually when they came back we got into the room and were in, around, and out again at a decent speed. The guests seemed different to chat too this time for some reason, unlike usual events..Spoke to Colin and Corin longer than Suanne and Erick, or Steve the day before..but anyway, chatted to a couple of people on the way out of the room, some I planned to chat too, some ambushed me lol, all was good, then we waited with Ian downstairs for a bit, then when Sah finally finished nattering to people upstairs and came down, we said goodbye to Ian and he left for home and we left for the hotel and leaving Cheltenham uni for the last time.
There was actually a volunteers wrap party on the sunday night, but me and Laura never bothered going to it. Francy did, and Ian went home, so rather than leave Sah on her own, the three of us went to TGI fridays next to the hotel for tea..very expensive place, but ok I suppose. Unfortunatly, another early-ish night about midnight grr!

Monday

Con over, all packed up, was time to leave for home..we all slept in a bit longer monday morning, with me having more than the others for once heh. Eventually crawled out of the room and checked out and walked to the train station. Sat there for an hour or so before saying goodbye to Laura, and me and sah got on the train to cardiff going in the other direction.
Alas..another event over..

Photos are up at http://pics.livejournal.com/crippsy_99/gallery/0004013k

And thats taken me the best part of 6 hours to write out due to my poor concentration and attention span lol

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