piksa: (hub_weevils)
posted by [personal profile] piksa at 06:03pm on 21/10/2008 under
Here is the first part of my con report. Nothing that interesting in this part since it mainly concentrates on me getting from home to Northampton. Still there is some stuff about the guests at the end. *g* Just a warning that tThere are also a few pictures (three) embedded into the story in case you are on dial-up. They are pretty small since I linked them from the LJ scrap book.

Friday 17.10.2008

First let's get the boring stuff out of the way. Woke up for some weird reason already at 4am. Couldn't really sleep after that. I started thinking about the trip and worrying if I had all the things I needed with me. I even had to get up to check that I really had my passport one more time. Finally at 5:30am, which was still way too early for me, my alarm went off and I knew I had to get up. Surprisingly it was easier to get up than I thought. I guess it was due to the fact that I knew that I didn't need to go to work today but there were a lot more fun things ahead of me.

Ate some breakfast after which my father gave me a lift to the airport. That was very kind of him. He's already retired so he really didn't have to get up but he had told me the previous evening that he was going to take me to the airport so that I didn't have to take a taxi. Saved me about 20 euros with that.

At the airport I went straight to the baggage drop since I had checked myself in already the previous day. Left my luggage there and continued to the security check. Everything went smoothly there as well and soon I was already at the currency exchange. Got my money and then went to do some shopping. Needed some exfoliating cream. Unfortunately there were just really expensive choices at the shop and I ended up buying one of them. It was pretty much thanks to the sales lady since she talked me around. Sure it was cheaper than if I had bought it from a store in Helsinki but still made a small hole to my budget.

When I got out of the store I noticed that I still had almost an hour before my plane was supposed to leave. Ended up walking around the airport and pretending to look at the stuff that was being sold there. In reality had no interest in buying anything else.

When I got tired of the shops I went through the passport control and made my way to my gate. To my pleasant surprise I didn't have to sit there too long before they started to let us in. I had managed to reserve myself the seat beside the emergency exit which meant more legroom. That was nice. It took a while before anyone came to sit beside me. At first look the two women who sat there seemed nice but as it has been seen first impressions can be deceiving. I think they had already had a few drinks before getting on the plane which in my opinion was pretty well since it wasn't even 8am at that point. Luckily I was able to listen to my iPod as soon as we were in air.

The breakfast at the plane wasn't anything special. A dry bun with some cheese and orange juice. I was pretty glad I had eaten something before leaving my parents' house. Otherwise I would have been probably starving. Just had tea and water with it but unfortunately the women beside me decided to have some wine. Trust me that their behavior didn't get any better. The more I listened them the more I put volume to my iPod and started hoping I would have taken some wine too. Maybe then I would have been able to listen to them better *g*

The flight went pretty smoothly except for some turbulence at one point. We actually landed at Heathrow about 20 minutes before time. The airport wasn't entirely ready for us so we had to wait in the plane for some time before they got the busses there. Felt embarrassed when the women who had been sitting beside me started complaining about it loudly. Some other people asked them to be quiet and they just got more riled up about that. I didn't mind the delay since I knew that my coach to Northampton was leaving after 11am and at that point it was just 9am in London. I was in no hurry. Finally we got out of the plane. With a leisure pace I made my way towards the baggage reclaim. I was sort of hoping that my luggage wouldn't come among the first ones since I wanted to waste as much time as possible. Of course with my luck I spotted my luggage almost immediately when I got to the baggage reclaim area. I collected it and continued my way towards the central bus station where my coach was supposed to leave.

A pretty boring area, if you ask me. There's one café that just has a few tables. When I got there I had about 1½ hours before my coach was supposed to leave. Spent my time writing this travel report on my laptop and reading the fics I had taken with me. Also too advantage of the coffee shop since I began to feel a bit hungry after the lousy breakfast in the plane.

While I waited I took part in a questionnaire they were doing about the bus station. There were quite a few questions about the are in general and all the facilities in it. Passed my time nicely.

Finally they announced that my bus was on the station and I could continue my trip. The bus was maybe half full. Luckily I got to sit by myself and no one came to sit beside me. The bus trip was pretty boring too. I did try to read a bit and watch the scenery we passed but that didn't amuse me too long. Tried sleeping as well but that didn't work out either. Since I've slept about five hours the previous night you would have thought I could have slept at least a little bit.

Got to Northampton almost on schedule. It took me a while to find the right way towards my hotel but luckily I met another person going to the same direction, or actually to the Park Inn, and we tried to find the hotels together. After a few stops to ask directions we found the Park Inn and noticed that the Ibis, where I was staying in, was just on the other side of the road. A very nice thing since it wouldn't have been nice walking back from the Park Inn after the parties if it had been a long way.

At the hotel I got scared for a while since they couldn't find my reservation first. Then it was revealed that they had spelled my name a bit wrong. Got my room keys and made my way to my room. I also got a letter from the reception from the Park Inn where they gave me a few drink vouchers to be used in their bars due to the fact that I had been transferred.

The room was alright. The view from the window is to some other buildings roof so that leaves something to desire but I guess I didn't come here to watch out from the window. The room was double instead of a twin but I guess that couldn't be helped either.

A funny fact, at least to me. I almost cracked up when I used the hotel elevator for the first time to go to the lobby. I guess it's just the fact that I'm in a Torchwood convention but when the voice in the elevator said; "Going down." I wanted to add "Yes, please" to it. *g* I guess it's the norm here that there's a voice in the elevator talking to you. We don't have that in Finland. I guess I can check the amount of my tiredness by the fact that if I do crack up in the elevator. If I do that I'm probably way too tired and it's time to go to bed. *g*

After three I went to get my registration pack. Had to make two trips since I forgot my registration letter on the first time. Oh well, at least I learn to know the way from the Ibis to the Park Inn really well. There's this park I need to go through to get straight there. Don't know how safe that park will be in the evening but at least at daytime I can go through there. It's a bit shorter than walking the streets. Did receive my pack, convention T-shirt and a coffee mug. My pack was still missing the extra photo shoots I had purchased. They told me that I would be getting them later.

Returned back to the hotel to wait for [livejournal.com profile] justdb to show up. Since there was no sign of her I returned to the Park Inn to meet some people from LJ. It was nice to put faces on the people I've talked with online. Even met another Finnish girl there.

Spent a while talking with the LJ people but then the lure of dealers' room got to me and I went to spend some money there. Came out of there with four pictures, one mug and one magazine. Probably would have spent more but just then [livejournal.com profile] justdb called me and told that she was near the hotel. Had to return there to meet her.

We hung at the hotel for a while and then headed back to the Park Inn where the opening ceremony was starting. [livejournal.com profile] justdb didn't have her ticket yet so she had to line up for that. I headed for the ceremony. Got there a bit too late since they had already let people in. However, I managed to get a pretty good seat due to the fact that I had a gold ticket and was allowed to walk straight to the seats near the front. My seat was quite at the side but still better than somewhere in the back.

When the opening ceremony finally started only three of the guests had arrived. Those were John Barrowman, Gareth David-Lloyd and Naoko Mori. People went pretty much crazy when they heard the tune for Torchwood from the speakers. It was Naoko's first convention and she admitted that she was a bit nervous. Gareth and John were already experienced con-goers.

A few pics from the opening ceremony



Naoko, John and Gareth

The opening ceremony lasted only for a while. After that it was turn for the drinks reception for the Gold ticket holders, which I was one of. Mainly hung around the people I already recognized from the LJ meet or from other occasions. The first actor we met was Naoko. She was really nice. She felt a bit overwhelmed by the attention she was getting. She was surprised by the fact there were people in Finland watching Torchwood.

During the reception I managed to meet John, Gareth and Kai as well. I talked with Kai the most. John had some dirty jokes he didn't dare to tell while there were children present. I told him greetings from Finland and he asked me if I had come there just for the convention. When I replied in the affirmative he was very surprised. He also told me that I was the first Finnish person he had ever met. The time with them went way too quickly. After all the guests left the area I half ran back to the hotel to change my clothes again. I had a western dress for the evening.

When the clothes had been changed we went back to the Park Inn and joined the party which was already in full swing. Was feeling a bit tired already but decided to hang around for a while at least. I did see Gareth and Kai hanging around in the area as well. Did talk a bit with Kai but tried to go along with the request we had been given about not hassling the guests too much. I just mainly concentrated on listening. Somehow time again got away from me and before I even realized it was already one am. At that point I had been awake almost 22 hours. Made way back to our own hotel and quickly into bed. I already knew that I wouldn't get enough sleep.

Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful


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