The plan was simple, not to tell anyone I was going to the AR1 Alias convention. I managed to book the tickets fairly early with some bonus money, and then had a mad panic about hotel costs. So I solved that a few weeks ago by taking up a cheap offer at a Premier Lodge in Slough
Last week it was looking more likely that the convention itself was going to be nice and small. This probably didn't suit Wolf, but it suited me fine as I hadn't been to a con in 15 months, and hadn't attended a party for a whole year!!!
The plan mostly worked, except due to the half day working on Friday, In fact the reg desk closed at 7pm and we just winged it pass the Radisson to pick up tickets at 7.15pm due to a stroke of luck that they hadn't quite closed it, and made it out without being spotted. Then we had to make a U-turn and head the other way down the A4 to Slough. But the A4 was a bind due to roadworks too *grrrr* so by the time we'd offloaded, showered, changed, and driven back it was nearly 9.30pm
I honestly thought the meet and greet would be over and feeling dejected decided to teasingly text Gerri asking if she'd managed to "grab any Sark arse yet?"
Little did she know I was down the road, and little did I know that he was happening to head over to talk to them at that moment.
When we arrived at the hotel, it took me a while to spot Gerri and Taz. As I'm walking over the realisation hits Gerri and I walk behind this chap sitting with them. It was only David Anders and thanks to my unexpected text message Gerri had shown it to him and he offered a bloody tester!!!
His normal accent was very odd and I didn't realise he was so young (and nervous) so he was quickly scared off as he was overshadowed by our surprise arrival (I think we freaked him out).
Not long after Bradley Cooper joined us and he was an absolute sweetheart, nice build, lovely eyes and really polite and chatty. He agreed with Gerri that Emma Caulifield has big nipples (wtf did *that* come from I'll never know - she also got to squeeze his arse too!!! I expect favours from that text you know *g*)
Didn't get to meet Melissa George that night as she'd already done her sweep of the room, but I got told she was really skinny.
We got to the party after the meet & greet at about 11pm. Wolf were using the hall on the ground floor due to the smaller size of the convention and it was lovely and compact. Unfortunately the lack of people at the party showed. The music was so so, I only felt compelled to dance to 5 tracks in 2 hours so I think that pretty much sums it up.
Saturday I felt an hour behind, it became a standing joke of my weekend. By the time we were up and off, and stopped at Tesco (next door the PL - very handy!!) for the girls' voddy supply, we were an hour later to the Radisson than expected. Literally just in time for Bradley's talk at 10.30ish. He comes across as really genuine and he looked so tidy and yummy just like men should and I soooo wished I'd got in earlier to do a photo afterall. So much so I started debating over having a groupshot done, although I was discussing my fears with Taz over how fat Melissa would make me look.
Finally decided to go for it as I'd probably regret it later. With it being such a small con, I got a ticket really easy and by 12.30 was in and out. It also should be said that the stewards/staff were fantastic when it comes to disabled arrangements. Even though they offered more than once, I didn't feel the need to jump the queue as it was fairly short and they were really excellent talking with me whilst I took a chair instead watching all the poses are a brilliant laugh. There were several times that the girls were going between Bradley & David with him jokingly pushing Melissa out of the shot. Oddly, Melissa wasn't as tiny as I was expecting, I don't think she's much shorter than me - it's just her cheekbones that are real skinny!!
*shot included at the end*
Then a whole hour break which was a dream, before going in to watch Melissa's talk. She was really chatty and bubbly. An absolute joy to listen to. David on the other hand I think tried to be too jokey (nerves perhaps?) but he definitely has some dirty wit, and someone asked if he wasn't an actor what would he be doing ... "porn" was his response. Oddly Melissa had mentioned that during some scenes David wanted Sark to have a knee fetish, so after the porn comment the audience started following up on it. This included Taz asking him "boxers or briefs?" and "what would your pornstar name be?"
Autographs were in and out in really smoothly.
Somewhere before and after I befriended a french girl called Roslind who had the bottle to come all the way over from France by herself for a day. I really felt guilty that she had to speak english (I really should learn french!!) and I was surprised because her comprehension on the talks was very little, but she has an Alias site so I'll have to learn the language a bit as she was really nice to speak to.
We crawled back at 9.30pm for the party to find it practically deserted. The one downside of a small con I suppose.
It had barely filled up an hour later but the most irritating thing was the repeat of 95% of the SAME tracks from the night before.
So that was my one convention experience for the year 2004. It's a huge shame that the guests didn't put in a party appearance (unless I missed it?) I'm thinking many of the attendees were newbies (although the con-dances are enough to scare many!)
If anyone has any photos/memories that they would like to share please feel free to start a new entry.