It took a couple of days for us all to arrive from our various starting points, and so as usual, the first two days, Wednesday and Thursday at JIBland were fairly leisurely. From a personal point of view, I didn't have any photos for JIBland, so I sat in on a few panels, and used the time for catching up with long lost friends.
On Wednesday evening, a group of us decided to reacquaint ourselves with Rome, and headed out for a meal in a nice little bistro just beside the pantheon. Before we left, the opportunity for a great photo presented itself ... partcularly as this year was the 10th anniversary of JIB.
And, the fun continued at the Pantheon ...
Latee Night Gelato at the Pantheon
And this is what the Pantheon looks like when it doesn't have a gaggle of batshit crazy fangirls in front of it...
As Friday dawned, a frisson of excitement for the beginning of JIB was definitely in the air, and when everything kicked off at 3pm, we were all thrilled to welcome Richard Speight Jnr, Rob Benedict, Adam Fergus, Matt Cohen, Alex Calvert, and Brianna Buckmaster.
I took the opportunity to get a couple of photos with Adam and Alex and also all my autographs that didn't involve J2M. Adam loved that my auograph sig sheet had his portrait on it, and he said 'thank you for making me look more handsome than I am!'.
I replied 'oh, I'm not that talented.' Adam was still laughing as I walked away!!
Friday evening saw the cocktail party, which I attended along with a sweet German lady called Kerstin. We had a fun evening, and managed a nice long chat with Matt about his family and his upcoming projects.
Saturday and Sunday saw the J2M madness descend, and our boys were awesome as always. After seeing them at the upfronts in NY, all the talk was aout how beardy they would be and J2, when they arrived, were both pretty beardy - but no-one minded. It was J2, after all!
There are lots of videos on Youtube that can describe what went on in their panels far better than I can, but I can say the whole event was quite bittersweet. There was a lot of talk about the end of the show and what comes next, and so there was probably as much tears as there was laughter throughout the weekend. Even the boys seemed to get quite choked up at times.
I had all my photos, and as always, was a simpering wreck whenever I went within ten paces of Jensen. Damnit, that man melts brains - honestly! But for once, I was pretty happy with most of my photos. I managed to get through all of them without gurning or frowning or generally looking demented as I often do.
So ... here they are!
A straightforward hug with our boys (love Jensen's new hairstyle!)
And another hug ... well, why not?
I actually really love my trio. All the guys look adorable (and even I look fairly respectable), but most of all, I just love Misha's gorgeous genuine smile!
I asked Jensen if I could re-enact my photo-op with Jared last year.
And he laughed when he saw it! I still haven't adequately explained how it is that you can see more of me from behind Jared than you can from behind Jensen!
And with my hands in that part of the world - do you have any idea how desperate I was to have a little feel? But I was very respectful and kept my hands a clear inch away from Jensen's bodily particles!
Are you proud of me?
Great to see Adam again, being his usual understated self :D
And Alex is such a sweetie!
(Al Cal as he will hereinafter be known)
And finally, this could be my best photo op ever!!!
I asked Jared if we could pretend to take a really goofy selfie ...
And he delivered!!!
At the end Jared rubbed my back and told me it was great to see me again ... and I did my best impression of a melty puddle on the floor!!!
My last actions of the convention were to get some autographs from J2M. I took the opportunity to thank all of the guys 'for everything' and I got lovely smiles from all of them. Misha took my hand and thanked me back, and looked genuinely delighted when I told him I'd see him next week at MCM comic con back in the UK. I'm really proud I didn't end up a blubbering mess while I was thanking them!
And my autograph with Jared was EPIC! It's worth a post all of its own!!!!!
Here are my signed pics ...
Sunday evening marrked an emotional end of the convention, and the wonderful news that JIB would be going ahead next year. That's going to feel surreal, as it will be just weeks after the whole series ends. If this year's JIB was emotional, next years is going to be doubly so. Note to self - next year, take lots of Kleenex!
Here's our little gang on the stage after proceedings had finished on Sunday night...
(Remember what I said about looking demented?)
On Sunday evening, fifteen of us headed back to the Pantheon and rocked up at another little bistro for a celebratory dinner. The bistro owner looked a bit terrified when we all appeared, but he really delivered and accommodated us, plied us with wonderful food and wine and looked a lot happier at the end of the night when he put a bill for 400 euros on the table! :D
Monday was a day of leisure, a day for sitting around the hotel, relaxing and finishing off my spring fic exchange story. After the emotional highs and lows and general madness of the last few days, that little bit of downtime is so precious. It refreshes me and sets me up perfectly for the Monday night concert., the final 'end' of the convention.
Traveling to the venue with Anja from Germany
Doing my best 'douchebag' impression at the venue
Settling in for a night of musical appreciation! (and a fair bit of Jensen appreciation too ...)
The following day was time for us to say our goodbyes and head our separate ways. It's always an emotional time. There was a fair amount of uncertainty added into the emotion this year because Italian air strikes meant that many of us had had our flights delayed or cancelled. Somehow, I managed to escape all the mayhem and my fight went bang on time. We landed back at Heathrow around teatime, and eventually when I got back to Woking, my starting point a week earlier, Mr D arrived to collect me and brought to an end one of the best and most enjoyable JIBs, definitely the most emotional I've ever done.
Here are a few last random shots of the weekend ...
Me asking Adam a question (photo by heavenli24)
Airport travellator selfies have become something of a tradition!!