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MCM London Comic Con

Another Expo has come and gone and this one was...short.

Well, that was my doing, I wanted to save some money and Expo just seems to get more expensive and it's twice a year, so I thought I'd go for just the day. In retrospect I regret it. Attending Expo isn't about just the convention, but the chance to hang out with people I don't see as much as I'd like. It really is a social event really.

However, it was still a good weekend.

Matt and I drove down on the Friday, which took 4 hours thanks to traffic and by the time we checked in and met up with my friends they were finishing dinner and close to leaving. We got a quick drink and then headed back to their place. Unfortunately by the time we took the tube to their place it was late and we were tired so Matt and I just want back to our apartment. We used Air bnb, so we were staying in the spare room of someone's flat. I didn't know this before hand and it caused some tension between Matt and I. The owner even came back in the night, but we were in bed. Freaked me out a bit and the place was boiling hot with a window that barely opened. Still, it was only for one night and I slept better than expected.



The convention itself was as big as always and with many things to see. They had a Jurassic World section which had a VR experience with Blue. A Jack Ryan Netflix series promotion where you train to be an agent including an aptitude test and shooting practice. I did well on the test, Matt did well on the shooting.

We went to two panels, one with two actresses from Orange is the New Black, which was interesting and made me eager to see the new series this summer.



And the other was with Rosario Dawson, best known for Sin City and Daredevil. She was fun, really relaxed and very talkative. She also knew her comic books, which was really cool.



I didn't buy much. I had hoped to buy Spyfall, a fun card game I wanted to introduce to my game group at work. Couldn't find it anywhere, annoyingly. I had also hoped to get something Game of Thrones related, but found nothing I wanted. Instead I bought a cuddly Thor and Hawkeye. They were so cute! I also got a really nice print of Jefferson from Hamilton.

After the con I met up with my friends and we went back to their place for a BBQ on their balcony. It was really good fun and afterwards made me wish I could have been there the previous night and the following.

However, we had to drive home...during a lightning storm. No thunder, just lots of lightning and rain. While I don't like lightning, I don't mind driving it in Actually the worse part was the rain. It came down so hard I thought it was hail. Fortunately it eased off after London, but still. It was mad. And we got home at 2am.

Overall, I still had a good time, but I think from now on I'll go for the whole weekend. I already have accommodation booked for all four nights in Oct and I have some ideas for how to make it awesome. Live and learn.

Secret Cinema Presents: Blade Runner

I love Secret Cinema, I look forwards to whatever they put on every year and this year was my third. 28 Days Later was amazing, Moulin Rouge was beautiful and when I heard this years event was going to be Blade Runner I thought...okay. Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the movie, I think it's rather dull, but what convinced me to go along was how well I knew SC would recreate the cyberpunk world. They've very good at that, and that's pretty much the only reason I went.

And I was right they did an awesome job and the whole thing was amazing, but the journey there wasn't.

So, my car had been having some clutch issues right up until the day before and I wasn't confident I could drive to London and back...or even halfway, which was a pain as coming back the trains stopped at Reading and a replacement bus service took over. However, I really didn't trust my car to get me out of town, so I only drove it to the train station and took the train to London and from there the underground to venue. It was in the same place as Moulin Rouge so it was easy to find.

Like I said, the event was amazing, they recreated the world perfectly inside the warehouse, you could easily believe you'd been transported into the future. They even made it rain, which is why it was advised to bring an umbrella. Neon light up umbrellas at that. I really wish you could take photos, but it was to remain 'secret' so you lock them up in a bag, but you can take photos outside.



Part of the fun of SC is the dressing up and taking on a character aspect which the people working there are amazing at, they never break character and you find yourself fitting into the role you've been assigned very easily. Moose and I were Industrialists, Luke was a Technician and Sel was a Companion. We had to seek out a guy at a bar (The Snake Pit) called Taffy and do business with him which involved getting eyeballs from a scientist (Chew) and trying to poison Taddy in return...which sadly Sel was unable to pull off.

We also walked in the rain, designed some unusual toys and learned how to dance with mathematics. It was all so amazing and time went by way too fast, it would have been fun to explore more and see what else there were. But at 8pm the actors rallied up the crowed and led us to where we were to watch the movie. During the movie the actors perform sections from the movie which makes it a little more interesting. Like I said though I'm not a fan of the movie and found it just as dull as the last time. I knew I'd have to leave a little bit early to catch the last train/bus, but just to be on the safe side I left an hour early to catch the second to last...at least that was the plan.

I got back to Paddington Station fine, but there were so many trains that would take me to Reading, but I wasn't sure which one would get me there in time to catch the bus. I figured it didn't matter as I had a fair amount of time and just jumped on one...which was a mistake. It had too many stops and I got into Reading a few minutes late and missed the bus. The next one was about twenty mins passed midnight which was over an hour away. So I had to wait around the station with a dying phone and nothing to read. It was boring and pretty cold. I could have watched more of the movie and caught the last train, but never mind, I caught the last bus which got me into Chippenham at 2am. I drove home and collapsed into bed only to have to be up at 7 the next day. JOY!

But it was all worth it, I had a great time. SC really knows how to put on a fun, totally immersive and creative event. I can't wait for next years. Though I might get my car checked out first.

In the summer they're doing Romeo and Juliet, but I'm not interested in that.

It's been a long long while

I've completely neglected my journal this year, which is kind of odd. I mean, I've been bad at keeping it updated before but never with this long a gap. It's strange because it's not like nothing's happened this year. To write it all down would take ages so I'm just going to post the highlights.

* On the 16th Jan I became an Aunt. My brother's girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby boy called Phoenix Edward Alan Spearey. And yes is initials are adorable.

* For my boyfriend's birthday we went to a VR place in Bristol where I got to experience a variety of VR equipment. It was all very strange, but really awesome.
And we took a day trip to Cheddar Gorge. Lots of walking around caves.

* In March I went to my first convention of the year which was Birmingham MCM. I didn't cosplay, but I sat in on some really good panels including Michael Rooker and Mark Shepard. Both were really good. Also did badly at tea duelling and played some fun games on the Switch.

* The following weekend I attended a new convention in Reading called CosExpo which was a Cosplay con. I took my Hogfather Cosplay alone and got some tips on how to put together future cosplays.

* We also had SNOW!


I also attended a Secret Cinema event. Which I would like to dedicate a whole post about, so I'll write that up later. Right now I'm going to look forwards to my birthday tomorrow!

Thanks 2017, you were cool

A little later than intended, but I wanted to do a quick run down on how 2017 was for me. Personally, this year was pretty good. It saw some sad endings, but there were enough happy beginnings to balance it out. Here are the highlights:

Jan-March

* Took a trip to the London Dungeons, which were creepy but fun.
* For Matt's birthday we went to the Science Museum in London and a viking rooftop bar.
* Attended MCM Birmingham for the first time and got my photo taken with Starsky and Hutch!

April-June

* Attended Secret Cinema presents Moulin Rouge! Which was amazing.
* Started my new job as a Data Engineer!
* Won the pub quiz at Bristol Anime and Gaming con.
* Went to Disneyland with Matt and had a great time!
* My choir celebrated it's 10 year anniversary with a concert.
* My car broke the day before MCM London, but because of that Sel took me and I got to hear Hamilton for the first time.
* Ben's Birthday BBQ in Southampton.

July-Sept

* For Sel's birthday we went to the London Anime and Gaming Con.
* Said a sad farewell to the Hobgoblin, my favourite pub in Bath.
* Went to the Doctor Who Experience for the last time.
* Attended MCM Manchester for the first time. Lovely city.
* Went to Kitacon and cosplayed for the first time at an anime con.
* Took Matt to the Dorset Steam Fair. He loved it.
* Joined Sarah at the Gloucester Comic Con.
* Went to the Harry Potter Studios with Matt (his first visit, my third) and spent a day in London taking a cruise up the themes.

Oct-Dec

* Phoebe celebrated her first birthday. Growing up too fast!
* Helped out at Sel's table at Ponycon. (And bought three care bears)
* Attended MCM London dressed as the Hogfather.
* Went to the Royal Albert Hall to hear Final Fantasy music played by an orchestra.
* Attended MCM Birmingham dressed as the Hogfather and saw the german market.
* Won tickets to see Hamilton live in London during the previews.
* And having Christmas free to see friends and family.
* Spending the last day of the year playing games with my favourite people.

While I don't have a lot planned for 2018 there are a few things I'm looking forwards to including being an Auntie for the first time. Any day now!

Also just having new adventures and saving a little money for other adventures in the future.

I also want to read more, blog more and take better photos, which will happen once I buy a new camera.

Merry Christmas



I hope everyone's had a very Happy and enjoyable Christmas.

This is the first Christmas since 2011 where I haven't had to work over it including no early start on Boxing Day and I'm loving this season just for that. On Christmas Eve I had Matt round and we spent the whole day watching Christmas movies and specials. It's a tradition I started years ago and don't always get to uphold because of work, but luckily Christmas eve was a Sunday.

We watched Home Alone, Muppet's Christmas Carol, Christmas Vacation, Father Ted's Christmas Special, Blackadder Christmas Carol and The Night Before (which I didn't enjoy much). I also baked shortbread for my nan.

Christmas day itself was pretty standard. I went over my mum's place for Dinner where it was just Tony, Mum and I, which was the same last year. I headed over to my nan's after 3pm to see her and my dad, which was nice. It's a little weird not having my brother around at all, but he's got his own little family and I'll be seeing him today which will be nice.
I then went back to my mum's to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge. I still enjoy it over all though I found a few bits a little more boring than the first time.

Present wise I got a few things:
Mum: A handmade bobble hat and a boxset of Game of Thrones books. I have a lot of reading to do next year.
Dad: Money that will go towards buying a new camera.
Matt: A steampunk book, a lovely top that's a bit big, a book on Hamilton's love affairs and a cuddly Porg which is so cute.

Because I don't go back to work until Jan 2nd I have a few other things planned, including a trip to London to see my friends and a trip to Bath to see The Greatest Showman with Sarah.

All in all it's been a good Christmas and it's nice that it's not over yet so plenty more fun to come.

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I was in the room where it happens

Something happened last week which was amazing and probably the best early Christmas present.

So, one of my new favourite musicals is Hamilton. I've listened to the original cast recording so many times and it's now up there with Les Miserable. Also, it's just opened in the West End last week, but it's been sold out for a long time and even when they released more dates, they still sold out too quickly. Tickets now are like £200+. However, there is a way to win tickets by entering a lottery. You download an app, enter for the following days performance and if you win you can buy up to two tickets for that performance for only £10 each. Well, I downloaded the app, entered and...

...I WON!!!!!

No kidding, it was a total surprise, I rarely win anything. It was all a whirlwind from there. I bought the two tickets, for me and Selena because she was the one who introduced me to it and loves it just as much as me. The performance was the following day, thankfully a Friday so I didn't have to worry about work the next day. However, I did have to get out of work at 4 so I could get to London in time for the 7:30 start. By coming in early and working through lunch I was able to get out on time and I pelted it down the motorway. I parked at Slough because I didn't want to venture into London, but the direct train from there takes 20 mins.

Thanks to very little traffic and no delays on the trains I managed to get to the theatre with plenty of time to spare. When Sel arrived I picked up the tickets and suddenly it was all real. It had felt too good to be true up until that point, but once I had the tickets in my hand I was finally able to relax. And we were both bouncing around, super excited.



Our tickets were at the very back of the stalls and we were sat together thankfully. We got a really good view of the stage except I did have a tall guy blocking some of my view.

The show was amazing though! I was either grinning or in tears throughout the whole things I just couldn't believe I was there, opening week. The cast were really good, I was a little unsure about seeing different actors playing the characters I loved, but they cast it really well. The guy they got to play Lafayette wasn't great, but when he played Jefferson he was prefect. Hamilton was good too, but Sel joked that all he was missing was a ponytail. I had to restrain myself from singing along to the songs.

Afterwards Sel and I queued up to buy merchandise. I bought a pin, a oyster card holder, a shot glass and Sel bought me a brochure to pay me back for the ticket.

I headed off straight home which was not as smooth as the journey up. The train back to Slough was PACKED. I think it was the last train so everyone was on it and I've never been so squashed on a train before. Once back at Slough my car took it's time starting up, possibly because of the cold weather and since it was midnight by this point I did not want any problems.

While I was prepared for a long car journey home it was made longer by a section of the M4 closed off so I had to take a diversion off the motorway and then back again. I also had to stop for petrol. I got home at 2am and I was so so happy to not have to get up early the next day.

All in all though, I'd go through it all again and worse in a heartbeat if it means seeing the musical again. I still can't believe it actually happened, it went by so fast. It was one of the best things to happen this year and I so hope I get the chance to see it again.

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MCM London Comic Con 2017

It only comes twice a year! And this one was a busy one, I was rushing around trying to get ready this year, barely having any time to myself, but it was all worth it. My Hogfather cosplay was HOT and I think I lost a few pounds in sweat, but people recognised me and said the costume was cool.



The drive down took nearly 8 hours thanks to horrendous traffic, but at least my car didn't break down this time.

We spent most our evenings in the apartment eating take away and watching youtube videos. While I spent the days sweating in my costume.

The con itself was pretty cool, there was a Voltron statue, a WWE area where you could have a picture taken in the undertakers coffin and watch wrestling matches on TV. There was a huge Marvel area with costumes from Thor and Black Panther, statues of the various characters including Hulk and Groot and huge action figure packages you could get a photo in. It was all pretty cool.



I also went to a couple of Panels, including Anthony Mackie (Falcon) who was hilarious, Bernard Cribbins and Hayley Atwell. They were all great.

In some ways it felt like a quiet expo, maybe because we only went out for one meal which was on Sunday night and we spent a lot of time chilling in the flat. Also I tried to organise a little halloween party on Sunday, which mainly consisted of a spooky game of Pass the Parcel and some Halloween themed music. Still, it was fun. Next year I'll try harder.

Catch up

Man, I have been soooo neglectful lately. I will use the excuse that I'm busy, but that's not completely true. I am very busy at the moment, but I'm hoping I can start posting a little more regularly.

First I'm going to do a little catch up. Back at the end of September, Matt and I went to the Harry Potter Studios. His first trip, my third. Fortunately they'd just added the Forbidden Forest, so there was something new for me to see. Matt loved it and while I'd happily go back again, I'd like someone else to pay. In total I've bought 6 tickets to that place over 3 years!



We also had a day out in London the following day where we jumped on the Themes cruise boat and went down the Themes, which was awesome and we checked out the Tate Modern...which was too weird for us.



I'm also trying a new thing. I've wanted to get back into vlogging for a while, but I've been searching for something to talk about and I came up with the idea of themed months. Every month has a theme and every week I post a video talking about something relating to that theme. I've recorded 3 already.



The theme this month is Halloween, which might be obvious.

Kitacon quest

And I'm not dead. Just need to do some catching up. First, I'm going to post this video where I talk about my adventures up in Warwick University at Kitacon.



It's a con I've been to three times now, this was the first time it was held at Warwick University, which is fast becoming the place to hold Anime Conventions.

For those that don't want to or can't watch the video here are some bullet points.

* I cosplayed as a character from the Anime show My Hero Academia.

There was a meet which was cool. Not many people attended and it rained, but still worth doing.

* It was the first Anime convention my boyfriend had been to and while it wasn't quite his thing he did enjoy a panel on Wrestling. The organisers are big wrestling fans.

* Speaking of panels I attended a few on MLP, Red Dwarf, Anime Space Discos and anime fight scnes. And there was the pub quiz which was a lot of fun. We didn't come close to winning, but we had a good laugh. Luckily it's not all on anime.

* On the last night they had a ball which was followed up by a cheesy disco, which is actually usually a lot of fun. It's one of the rare times I stay up into 3am partying. It all ends with Bohemian Rhapsody which is the perfect end to a con in my mind.

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A farewell to The Hobgoblin

Last night a couple of my friends and I had our last drink in our favourite pub in Bath: The Hobgoblin. I've been going to that pub since I started uni in 2002.

The Hob

So back in 2002 during freshers week, I went on a pub crawl (even though I don't drink) and the first pub we stopped at was The Hobgoblin. I had just met Mel (now Matt) just an hour before. We had our drink and left, but there was something that the dark, dingy, Gothic, alternative atmosphere we liked and we found ourselves revisiting the place along with Sel. The three of us would head down usually on a Thursday I think, sit in a corner upstairs and play cards. Sometimes we'd play normally and sometimes we roleplayed, which was hilarious and made the game so much fun.



We met random people, including a guy we nicknamed Random Rob and one time I remember getting into a singing battle with a group of people the other side of the room from us. When other friends came along (Luke, DC and others) we continued to visit the place regularly. It was our pub, our local. We loved the music and the atmosphere and you could write on the walls in the toilets and no one stopped you.



Unfortunately when I moved away from Bath I didn't get a chance to visit The Hob as often however, once I was back it became my regular again. Not able to go as often as I used to, everytime I was in Bath with my friends we'd usually end up there at some point and we'd be either playing card games, chatting or playing other games that involved charades.

When we heard it was closing down we knew we had to get there one last time to say goodbye and luckily Sel, Luke and I managed it. It closed today, but we made it for one last drink and to share some memories.

I still love Bath, it will always be one of my favourite cities, but it has lost a little of it's charm from the closure of my favourite pub.



Raise a glass

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