Our Jus in Bello adventures began somewhat chaotically, when almost everyone’s flight was affected by European aircrew strikes which were planned for the same time as the beginning of JIB.
I was a bit miffed when I got notification from BA three days before I flew that my flight was being bumped by four hours and so I would be arriving at 9.30 pm instead of 5.30 pm, however, in hindsight, I can see that I got off very lightly compared to some people whose flights were completely cancelled.
I met up with xlittleangx at Heathrow, as we were on the same plane and we had a spot of lunch (plus something nice and chilled from New Zealand) before we headed to our gate and boarded the flight.
We left the UK in 27 degree heat and blinding sunshine. When we touched down in Rome, we were met with blustery storms, pouring rain and a chilly evening breeze.
What happened? Had we landed in arse-upwards world?
The first two days in Rome were comprised of JIBland. Normally, I don’t take a particularly active part in JIBland because I don’t really watch the shows that are represented, so I don’t know the actors. This year, however, Manu Bennett from Spartacus was a late addition, and as I LOVE Spartacus, I just had to get involved where he was concerned.
I’ve already posted the story of how I drew his portrait at the 11th hour and I was delighted that he really appreciated it. The beauty of JIBland is that because the numbers are much smaller, you can spend that much more time with the guests, and Manu was talking to me for a couple of minutes all about the picture, such as the medium and the process (I didn’t tell him I was halfway pissed when I finished it!!!) I had to practically beg him to sign it on the front and not the back, because he really didn’t want to ‘ruin’ it by writing on it!
I also had a lovely photo op with Manu and a meet and greet. It was a privilege to meet him!
But after JIBland, the main event began, and soon enough the running around like blue-arsed flies began!
The Friday of Jus in Bello is always a quiet day. Things don’t really kick off until 3 pm, so it’s a good opportunity to take a little bit of downtime before the craziness to come and reacquaint yourself with friends old and new, including amberdreams, heavenli24, herminekurotowa, stellamira, sillie82, sinfulslasher, bflyw, xlittleangx, and dean_hugs_sammy
On Friday, I also had my autograph and photo op with David Haydn-Jones. He really is such a charming guy, and I was thrilled to bits that he remembered me from last year!!
In out photo, I said to David, “we always seem to end up dancing in our photos, shall we continue the trend?” He channelled his best Mr Ketch, and said “Oh yes, my darling!”
He also loved his picture and asked about it. He said being a trained architect, he can completely appreciate the skill and dedication that goes into producing work like that. That really meant a lot!
The delightful Adam Fergus liked his portrait just as much, but was much more down to earth in his assessment; “Oh wow, that’s fucking amazing!!” :D
We rounded off a great Friday evening with a rip-roaring Karaoke session with the guests.
Then came Saturday, and our first sighting of J2M. The guys were wonderful as always, and I got a hi-five from Jared who remembered me from the previous week at Creation. My photo op with Jared was such a hoot. I wanted to recreate a ‘Titanic’-like pose that I did with Adam Rose (Aaron Bass) a few years ago. Of course, I forgot that Adam is an ordinary bloke; Jared is a telegraph pole. When Jared threw his arms out, all you could see was the top of my head! I had to ask him to lean down on my side so that I could stand on tippy toes and be at least slightly visible!
Original reference picture:
Giant moose version:
Of course, my photo with Jensen was another highlight, and as always, I lost the power of coherent speech when I went within ten yards of the poor man.
Sunday was more of the same, great friends, and wonderful panels, rounded off by the Jensen Misha panel which turned into a Jensen, Jared, Misha panel which was an absolute delight.
In between time, there was fun with friends (you should have seen us experimenting with props and practicing photo poses):
and a brilliant concert with Rob and Jason on Saturday night. In between time, there were lots of autos (my pictures were all well-received) and lots of wonderful photos (you can see them HERE). One of my favourites is my picture with the Men of Letters – I think I might be everso slightly in love with David and Adam!!
Sunday night was rounded off by a lovely meal down in the centre of Rome when eleven of us went out to eat down near the coliseum. Much fun was had while we were waiting for a cab around midnight that night and the Roman heavens open upon us!
On Monday night, we all headed to the Orion club for the final ‘Quattro Formaggio’ concert. It was another fabulous night, especially to see Jensen in full ‘Rock God’ mode, and especially to see glimpses of the infamous tattoo.
I did learn one thing at the concert, as I bopped away in the crowd near the front of the stage. Toward the end of Jensen’s set, as the crowd was getting bigger and more tightly packed since he'd appeared, I was getting increasingly hotter and hotter (fuck you so much, menopause), and then I started to get that greying at the edges of the vision and that wave of light-headed nausea that I know from (thankfully rare) experience, immediately precedes a faint, so I had to make a quick retreat to the back of the room where there was a bit of space and a bit of air, and sit with my head on my knees for a couple of moments until I cooled off. So, it looks like my ‘moshing’ days are over – for the foreseeable future, at least!
Tuesday was the day to say goodbye. Always a sad day to say 'fare-thee-well' to good friends as we all went our separate ways across Europe, but at least we were secure in the knowledge that there would be Jus in Bello next year, so there’s that to look forward to!
I got home around teatime on Tuesday, and Mr D picked me up from the local station. From then, I had two and a half days until I needed to leave for Birmingham again, and Crossroads – my final Supernatural convention of this year.
And now, the pictures…
Random fun with friends:
A group of happy faces:
An evening Jaunt into Rome, outside the Tempio di Vesta looking happy and moderately dignified:
At the end of the evening, no idea where we are and looking moderately inebriated:
The 'gelato' shot:
My signed pictures:
And finally, a few stage pictures: