The madness of a Jus in Bello convention can't quite compare with the chaotic, teeth-grinding, elbow-sharpening pandemonium of an Asylum convention; there's almost a kind of Mediterranean languor about the madness here, it's actually quite therapeutic.
Everything began on the Friday afternoon. Taking our seats in the auditorium, I was somewhat relieved to be sitting next to and some rather sweet young italian gentleman called Ronny, as opposed to last year where I found myself wedged between two giant Russian ladies who were both probably former winners of the 'Miss Vladivostok Tank Factory' crown and whose arses both required a certain proportion of my seat to spread out over.
We were reacquainted with many of the guests who would be entertaining us over the weekend, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Matt Cohen, Rob Benedict, Osric Chau, Ty Olssen, Sebastian Roche, Jason Manns, and a first introduction to Tahmoh Penikett. Our very own Richard Speight Jnr was held up and joined the party on Saturday.
There was a kind of dreaminess about the afternoon, as we moved between panels, photos and autographs, unfazed by the fact that Mark Sheppard told us we were 'all dead to him' if we left during his panel.
Ty was his usual cuddly, crazy self, Tahmoh was a perfect gentleman and Rob Benedict was as sweet as treacle as always (and he looks alarmingly good in red stilettoes!)
It was the calm before the storm.
A delightful cocktail party that evening gave us the chance to meet the guests and we enjoyed interesting (if short) conversations with them all throughout the evening. Even adorable little Osric who spent the whole two minute slot at our table regaling all of us with the tale of a stomach bug he was just getting over and how he'd spent most of the last three days hurling lavishly into whatever receptacle came to hand. I don't think he actually noticed as we all slowly backed away from him, and by the end of his slot there was a clearly delineated exclusion zone all around his seat at the table.
Osric, you icky diseased little puppy, we still love you!
It was the first appearance on stage of the J's on Saturday morning that really kick-started JIB. Judging by the levels of screaming and cheering from the crowd, there were going to be complaints about the noise as far away as Frankfurt.
But anyway - do those two boys know how to work a crowd or not? After whipping us into a frenzy, they disappeared off to their photo sessions and autograph sessions, and we all dutifully followed.
Now, I am not a quiet person, many of you may know this. You have probably gauged from my posts that I can talk. Oh hell - can I talk ... but put me next to Jensen and I lose the power of articulate speech. One day I WILL ask him for a hug - an honest to goodness hug - but at the moment, I get within ten paces of the man and I can just about manage to squeak out 'hello!'.
I have every belief that Jensen thinks I'm a complete cretin.
But all that asides, what can I say? The man is adorable, polite, beautiful and - I only really noticed this weekend - he has little pointy ears! On this basis I'm going to canvass Peter Jackson to make sure Jensen has a part in the next elf-related movie he makes; it's got to save money on prosthetics, right?
With fewer photo ops than I had at Asylum, it was nice to be able to see more of the panels, and Jensen didn't disappoint. If you haven't seen the footage of Jensen reluctantly wearing the Harry Potter sorting hat, what are you waiting for? It's on Youtube - go! NOW!
When I walked into my Jared photo session, he looked up and his gorgeous goofy face split into a big grin and he said, "Hey, my Plane Buddy."
Do I look like I appreciated him remembering me yet again?
As we settled down for the last panel of the day, there were murmurings as it grew later and later, and then Ty and Matt appeared on stage to explain 'something's come up', and that Jared won't be able to do his panel today and that he's really disappointed but he promises that he'll make it up to us tomorrow, and so we had them instead!
And they were as entertaining as we've ever expected them to be.
By now rumours were rife about what had happened to Jared. Initially, we were concerned that he'd caught Osric's gut rot. Although we desperately hoped not because if he'd caught it, then as we'd all been hugging and squeezing Osric, so we probably had too. Then we could end up infecting the hotel staff and their families, and their friends ...
We imagined a scenario where the entire European Union was paralysed by Osric and his mega-lurgy.
Thankfully it was nothing quite as apocolyptic, but it turned out that our dear sweet Jared had dislocated his shoulder by falling over on Friday afternoon.
There followed much sympathy and 'oohing' and 'ahhhing' throughout the Hilton.
Then the truth began to emerge about exactly how he managed to fall and dislocate his shoulder.
Teeny weeny little Osric.
See, we knew Osric had to be at the bottom of this somehow!
Osric who, hereinafter will be known throughout the Supernatural Fandom as Master Chau, *cue deferential bow and clashing gong*
After this revelation, there followed the same amount of sympathy as before, but this time punctuated with a certain degree of stifled hilarity because, well, we all accept that a dislocated joint is absolutely nothing to laugh about at all, but the biggest guy at the convention being felled by the smallest guy kind of ... is. Sorry Jared, honey!
But poor Jared turned up for all his photo ops, autographs and panels, without a single complaint. He was smiling and exceptionally giving as always. He even refused pain meds so he could be alert for the fans.
My estimation of the man could not rise any higher - bless him, you can clearly see he's suffering here. he is a true professional and a diamond. We're lucky to have him.
Jared's misfortune aside, the rest of the convention went off without a hitch, everyone was great, Jensen was gorgeous (don't miss him doing the Harlem Shake - wow, that ass can MOVE!) Misha was adorably dorky and absolutely cannot dance to save his life, I've finally accepted that I cannot listen to Carry on My Wayward Son, especially at JIB closing ceremony, without getting chills and Rob Benedict wowed the crowd with a great acoustic concert to wind up the con on Sunday night.
So here we go again. It's all over for another year. The Rome Hilton can go back to being a hotel for normal people, and I'm back in cold, rainy Britain once again!
Such gorgeous boys! Now I can't stop staring at Jensen's elf-ears!!!
Tahmoh was a lovely perfect gentleman - a very tall perfect gentleman!
I just love Ty. I love the fact that he breaks rules and doesn't take himself seriously and that he values the fans so much. Look at that face - how genuine can you get?