|Someone call the Doctor|
On Saturday we woke up early and had a big breakfast at our hotel and then called a cab to come and take us to the other hotel where the convention was taking place. It was actually cheaper to stay elsewhere and take a cab than to stay at the event venue--plus the hotel where the convention was only had a “continental breakfast” which pretty much rules everything out for someone like me who can’t eat wheat. We could have probably walked it but with the snow (which was still coming down) and the freezing temperatures, the pavement (sidewalks) were like an ice rink and so it was easier to pay £6 for a taxi then to fall and break a bone.
We got there and when we registered we were quite early so we were assigned the numbers 32 and 33. I really wanted 33 because 3 is my favourite number but Spiderman had already stuck the number 33 wristband around his wrist with that glue that never comes undone and you have to cut the wristband off at the end of the day so I settled for the 32 which I consoled myself with the knowledge that it was 10 less than 42 (which is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything according to Douglas Adams.) Spiderman says I just over think these things too much. It’s just a bloody number. Humph.
This was a special sort of convention in that it was for charity and was organised by Peter Davison for dear friend and former travelling companion on the TARDIS Tegan played by Janet Fielding. Janet has had a rough bout with cancer (we suspect bowel cancer from all the bum jokes they were throwing around) and she’s still not out of the woods yet so Davison helped to organise a charity fundraiser to keep her spirits up and to raise cash for her pet project Project Motor House. This is in Ramsgate--the very first town we lived in when we first moved to the UK. Project Motor House aims to save a derelict building (the old Motor Museum) and turn it into venue where local youth can develop the confidence to start their own business. It will be renovated and then feature things like a cinema and theatre with the work being done by youth training to be apprentices and then staffed by them as well to teach them how to run a business. We lived there for eight months and saw our share of disaffected youth and know how important this is. If you want to know more or to donate check this out: www.projectmotorhouse.org.uk
But then the fun started! We were asked to line up in number order and we queued to have our photos made with some of the Doctors! Squeal! We got into the photo room and there they were:
Organiser of the event--Doctor Number 5 Peter Davison
His son-in-law --Doctor Number 10 David Tennant
Living cartoon character--Doctor Number 7 Sylvester McCoy
Deep, melodious voice--Doctor Number 8 Paul McGann
We each stepped up and had our photo made. David Tennant said a cheery Scottish good morning to me which caused me to grin like the Cheshire Cat and then FLASH! It was Spiderman’s turn. As he walked up we saw Peter Davison gawk at his spider belt buckle which made me laugh and then when the FLASH went off for his photo I was so excited over at the side that I did a bit of a leap in the air which all the Doctors smiled at and pointed my way as if to say, “Isn’t it adorable how excited she is?” Or Spiderman’s version, “Who let that mad woman out of the attic?”
While we were waiting for the other 277 people to have their photo made we went over and met actor Simon Fisher-Becker an actor from the latest Doctor Who series. He was larger than life in the theatrical sense and we had a nice chat about the fact that every time he has to play Dorium Moldova (known in this house as “big blue guy from space.” ) they make him shave his head. It takes six months for it to grow back. “That’s dedication to the craft, luvvy. One has to suffer for one’s art,” he purred.
Then it was off to a Q&A with the four Doctors and they were joined by Tegan (Janet Fielding) who looked pretty good since as she said had been turned into “crispy fried Fielding” from the radiation treatments. It was great to just hear the Doctors reflecting on the impact the show has had on them as well as talking about their stage and radio work.
After that was an auction for things we desired greatly but had no money for. Clearly other people did--bids went up to £1000 for some things. There was an auction for a very 80’s looking skirt and blouse that Tegan wore quite a lot in the show.
We would have LOVED a signed copy of the script for Blink as it is one of our favourite episodes. But yeah..it went for over £1000 in the end I think. So here’s a picture of me hamming it up with one of the Weeping Angels from Blink.
|Don't blink. Blink and you're dead.|
Then we sat down for our packed lunch. I had baked some gluten free seeded rolls before we left and so we brought some with us and at the hotel we spread on some peanut butter, chopped banana and a drizzle of golden syrup and voila! Lovely sammiches. We also had some pop chips (which are potato crisps that are low fat because they are popped not fried--they are all the rage here) plus a chocolate mint Nak’d bar made from nuts and dates as well as an apple. It was a cheap lunch but a reasonably healthy one. After lunch we took some more pictures of me messing about. Here’s one of me with a Cyberman circa Peter Davison
Then it was on to the best bit--the autographs! They were really strict--one autograph per person. They had people who ticked off your programme after you had seen a Doctor so you couldn’t sneak back in and get some more. Spiderman has been collecting Doctor Who autographs in his copy of the book The Five Doctors for about 30 years. He saw several Doctors at a convention in New Orleans back in the day (sadly Doctor Number 2 Patrick Troughton died en route to the New Orleans convention) but now, with the exception of the current Doctor Matt Smith we have every living Doctor in the book. Sadly, the first three Doctors are dead. It has been going on for nearly 50 years after all!
Anyway, we picked up our photos and then did what British people do best--queue. Every Doctor was incredibly nice and friendly and made excellent small talk. I got my photo signed by all of them --Spiderman did as well but opted to have Tennant sign the book to complete the collection so he only got 3 Doctors on the photo since they really were watching like hawks to make sure you didn’t get 2 autographs. We also had a nice chat with self-described “mouth on legs” Janet Fielding and got her picture autographed (we were each given an 8x10 publicity photo of her in our information pack) Here’s my photo with the Doctors. Could I look any happier?
It is interesting that my photo had a lot more “flair” to it--love and xx for kisses and Sylvester McCoy drew a silly arrow pointing to himself. I think this is because I am adorable and Spiderman is a weirdy-beardy bloke.
Afterwards we went to get the autograph of Doctor Number 6 Colin Baker who had been rehearsing for a play in Lincoln and had come after rehearsals despite the weather for a signing.
I should also like to note all the people who came fully dressed up in costume. There were loads of people dressed in cricket whites with a stalk of celery attached to their lapel (Peter Davison) and sport coat with sweater vest covered in ?????? and an umbrella (Sylvester McCoy) and a blue suit with brown pin stripes and a long floor length camel coat (David Tennant) and a few tweed jacket with bow tie and either fez or cowboy hat (Matt Smith)--there was even a Colin Baker in his mixed-up-bit-of-everything clown outfit. Oh! And there was even this big bloke who came dressed as Tegan in a replica of the famous top that was auctioned and a black leather mini skirt! It was a sight to see!
All too soon it was time to go back to the hotel. Our friendly taxi man who had dropped us off arrived just in time to pick us up and we were whizzed back to the hotel where we took a quick detour next door to Sainsburys where we bought some hummus and some marinated tofu. That coupled with some oatcakes we brought and the leftover fruit and chocolate bar were enough to get us through the night.
Sunday morning (still snowing) we got up, had another fab breakfast and then walked to the nearby train station on the icy pavement being too cheap to pay for another taxi. Then back to Paddington, back to King’s Cross and then back to Hitchin after the wonderful weekend. Which turned into the long wonderful weekend as we didn’t have school on Monday due to adverse weather. Hoorah!