Blackpool is not one of them.
I've already outlined my thoughts on our salubrious accommodation HERE, so I won't repeat myself, but let me start at the beginning anyway ...
My journey up to Blackpool involved one bus, three trains, one trip on the underground and one cab, spanning a time period of six hours, so once I had finally settled into the hotel, I was ready for a bit of R & R. I took myself and my kindle down to the bar, and after perusing their extensive wine selection (ahem - irony), I found a quiet corner in which I could sit down, relax, read and look at the sea.
It was then that I noticed that the regular clientele of the hotel appeared to be mostly comprised of octogenarians. I sat in the bar quietly and watched as more and more of us Asylum early birds began to turn up. Over the edge of my wine glass, I regarded, with silent amusement, the increasingly alarmed expressions of the venerable regulars as this procession of gothy, tattooed, pierced, technicolour-haired weirdoes marched through the bar toward their rooms, sporting all manner of scary T shirts with pentacle motifs, beige trench coats with angel wings, or stuffed moose toys.
I could hear the pacemakers beeping as I watched.
I was almost convinced there would be a Supernatural-induced fatality in the hotel that weekend. Thankfully, it appeared that I was wrong ... although, given the standard of cleaning I saw, it's quite possible that one of the old dears could have shuffled off this mortal coil and could still even now be sitting there quietly decomposing away to themselves, and I doubt very much that any of the staff would have noticed.
Friday was the day, my oppo, sasha_dragon turned up, and as expected, queuing was the order of the day. Queueing for registration, queuing for pre-orders, queueing for extras ...
Why this couldn't have all been dealt with all in one transaction was a mystery to all except those well-versed in Rogue logic, and it was well into the afternoon before we were all tooled up with our passes, photo ops and other extras. It was time to relax, catch up and eat. Chips apparently, Just ... chips.
Saturday was the first day of the convention, and two of the first activities I had planned were meet and greets with David Haydn-Jones and Adam Fergus. I had a good feeling about these guys from reading their tweets, and there's always something nice about sharing a guest's first convention with them, I left their meet and greets convinced that I had been present at the birth of two convention darlings, and feeling very privileged for having done so.
I had photos with both of these lovely guys and - these are the mugshots ...
sasha_dragon and I enjoying a BMOL smooch
David spun me into a little dance
Adam's beautiful irish brogue was like melting chocolate for the ears!
I was glad to get all of my artwork signed. The Hillywood girls were thrilled with theirs and photographed it, and Osric was very sweet too.
Standing next to the Hillywood girls is enough to make anyone's self-esteem drop through the floor. Those little pixies are so delicate and petite, I don't think the pair of them could make one of me. I was crouching a good six inches in this photo.
It's official. Compared to them, I am a planet.
On the Saturday evening, Sasha-Dragon and I ventured onto a tram and down into Blackpool Town Centre because we wanted to eat something otther than chips. Watching the general population of the town, we sussed that Saturday night was obviously the night for stag and hen parties.
I jokingly suggested that maybe we should stagger around wearing only one shoe and our knickers on our head and they might think we're with a hen party (free drinks anyone?)
Then Sasha-Dragon rightly pointed out that this was formal attire for Blackpool. It was the first time I've ever felt overdressed in jeans and a Supernatural T shirt.
Sunday dawned, and I knew a busy day was in store. I still had a load of photos to get ...
The delightful and exuberant Mr Sheppard - a rose between two
Well, as my two little shirtless mini-dudes are perfectly attired for Blackpool, they had to come along. They met a couple of beautiful feisty ladies along the way.
(Other than me of course!)
Osric is just cute. That is it.
A cutie with seriously impressive abs - what? I couldn't help having an innocuous little feel.
(He's also a martial arts ninja that could knock my block off and leave no trace of violence).
Still cute though.
I don't care if he's the Devil.
All in all it was a fun weekend, with good company. There was an odd atmosphere though. It was unlike any Asylum I'd ever attended. A large part of that can be attributed to the fact that most of my regular partners-in-madness had stayed away because, well, Blackpool. But that wasn't everything. There was less of a con feel, and more of a hen party feel to it. I can't put my finger on it, but it felt slighty wrong, even though not in any way unpleasant.
Everything finished at around six pm on Sunday, and Sasha-Dragon had to dash off to catch a train home. Finding myself kicking my heels for the night, I went hunting for food.
I should be so lucky.
The hotel's 'food court' (the hatch from which you bought your chips) was closed and the restaurant wouldn't serve me because I''d only booked bed and breakfast, so my supper on Sunday ended up being a tube of Pringles in the room!
I headed home on Monday morning, waving a fond
I eventually fell into bed around 1 am and as my beloved Dean so appropriately put it:
To be continued ...