First off – an apology to anyone whom I owe a call or an email. Please don’t take my silence personally, I’ve just been on a bit of a downer and feeling pretty uncommunicative. I’ll make it up I promise.
Geting through the working week was a struggle, even though I’d taken Monday off to ease into it. The whole place seems to be packed tight with people who have mental health problems and are on the verge of going postal.
Yesterday I did something a bit embarrassing: went to a SF convention. In my defence it was because the entire crew of Blakes 7 were going to be there…hmm… that doesn’t make it sound any less wanky does it? Oh well…Ian is also a closet Blakes 7 fan so I called him up and invited him along.
The only SF series I’ve ever been into was B7, since the first screening back in the day. Once, as an eight year old, I even feigned illness to avoid going to a really excellent (and expensive) pantomine at the palladium so I didn’t miss B7 that night. My mum and dad didn’t believe me at the time, and if they’d known *why* I didn’t go they would probably have disowned me.
30 years later I find myself at the Wembley conference centre, confronted with a line of heroes, and feeling very wobbly. Normally I’m an arsey bastard and don’t really care what people think of me, but confronted with the line of people that were there yestoday made me turn into TWATMAN.
So, I bought the DVD set, walked away to calm down, and then asked Micheal Keating (Vila) for his autograph. The lady at the Horizon stall had given me the impression that autographs cost a tenner a go and that I could get two for the price of one, so I borrowed some cash off Ian and went in.
He was very friendly, but I couldn’t summon enough courage to say anything but “would you mind me giving me your autograph” and even then only while blushing. I’d wanted to tell him how Vila was my favourite character and how much I loved his portrayal, but I was too nervous. His crew mate helped me unwrap the plastic from the DVD (my fingers were numb) and he signed it. Both seemed to be a little tired but willing nonetheless. Awkwardly, I asked if I needed to pay and got a repsonse that I didn’t take in…as I say, I was very nervous. It seemed that you only needed to pay for extra photos…
After walking away, cringing, dancing with excitement and generally feeling like a child, I plucked up enough courage to go back for another autograph. It had to be the lovely Jan Chappell (Cally), a woman who caused all kinds of confusing feelings in my eight year old self. She still looks as elegant and beautiful as she did then by the way. She smiled and signed it. Next to her was Sally Knyvette. She appeared to be looking at something behind me when I asked, and in the most pathetic voice you can imagine I asked if she would sign my DVD. She didn’t respond, and continued looking behind me. I asked again. No response. Perhaps I was being too quiet. I asked again, she looked somewhere else. Never have I been blanked in such a nasty, petulant way.
What did I do wrong ?
After looking at all of the excellent props and memorabilia Ian and I went and relaxed in a few pubs. A most excellent afternoon all in all. Thanks Ian.
Recently I’ve been reading about Britain’s “Intelligence” services. One reference pointed me to a 3-part BBC series called “True Spies” which I borrowed from my work library – there are benefits in working for the public sector.
The upshot of this incredible documentary is DONT TRUST ANYONE, EVEN YOUR BEST MATES, BECAUSE THEY ALL WORK FOR THE MAN. If you’ve never read “The man who was Thursday” by G.K.Chesterton then please do. It’s very funny and I suspect as true now as it was then.
We’re going to hell in a handcart. You couldn’t make it up.