Wednesday, May 04, 2011

An Irishman, Scotsman and a Czech Walk into a Bar....

A long time ago (January) in a Galaxy far, far away (Heathrow) I and a select group of rebels attended a conference of high culture and discussed the future of life, the Universe and everything...yeah right! Gateway to Sanctuary rocked muchly and I've yet to do it justice in full on this 'ere piece of the web.  Consider that put to rights...since the Force demanded it.

So, I pretty much covered all things Robin Dunne (and some of Dunne's bum even) which can be caught up with here But, apparently, Robin Dunne wasn't the only guest, though my pages of notes dedicated to the chap would suggest otherwise, what can I say...the guy's a charmer.

David Nykl was in fact partaking in a convention in Ireland on the Saturday and apparently he and Paul had a conversation which went something like:

Paul "What are you doing this weekend?"
David "I'm at a convention in Ireland"
Paul "I'm doing a convention in London"
David "You should come over to Ireland for one of the days"
Paul "I'm at a Cooney con, and when you're at a Cooney stay at a Conney con, so get you butt over here"

And that is how we ended up with an extra guest.

David seemed to be having a jolly good time indeed and was hilarious.  He's also been a busy fella since the end of Stargate Atlantis, talking about roles in Fringe and Human Target as well as a version of Mortal Kombat (which I believe is now airing online) He plays Johnny Cage's agent....which led to a wave of chuckles int he audience...and apparently he get's his "ass kicked".

Multi talented David did a brief tap dance for us and made fun of the way Carson was killed off in season 3 "exploding tumours....really Paul" and I think many of us would agree it wasn't Atlantis' finest plot bunny.

 Not looking too unlike Stan Laurel in this pic

We talked about Zelenka's use of Czech when annoyed at McKay and how in Czechoslovakia it's dubbed over, even though it's in the same language...okay then.

I'll let you try to decipher what he was saying here...and no points for the last word.....

Here David enlightens us to some of the problems with costumes
One of the strangest auditions David had to do was playing a one sided poker game which went something like....places card, long pause, picks up card, long pause, makes bet, long pause...really Hollywood? not sure whether he got the part or not.

David also does quite the good impression of Jason Mamoa, which...unsurprisingly...mainly involves grunting.

I chatted to David at the autographs about the first time I had met him, which was at Wolf Pegasus 2, and what a great time he had been having checking out the Justice League with Chuck Campbell.  David was also very sociable coming to the parties and hanging out at (or was difficult to tell) the bar.

And if Robin is the charmer and David is the joker, then Paul McGillion is the absolute sweetheart.  Every time I meet the fella, and to be honest he is fast becoming a permanant fixture to the Wolf event, I come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, which is far to schmaltzy for this Brit but then you really have to go with the flow at a convention.

So, what did he have to say for himself....He actually didn't arrive until the Saturday, literally walking off the plane and rocking up to the event.  He had got a part in a pilot about Alcatraz which JJ Abrams is involved with (obviously remembering Paul's talent from his 15 second part in Star Trek then).  Unfortunately he couldn't say much about it, but he had high hopes for it to be picked up and anything with JJ attached these days is well worth looking into I say.

Paul either doing his Sean Connery or, more likely Joe Flannigan impression

Still a bit bleary eyed from catching a red eye just to be with us fans, Paul mentioned how he loves coming to this particular con because it's a little like visiting a large extended family, pointing out that many faces were the same (including the rather dubious lot in the front row) and he brought up to the front a brother and sister who's whole family were from Germany.  As the lad towered above Paul he mentioned that when he first met the youngsters his height barely reached his chest.  Dedicated us Sci-Fi fans and best to start the rug rats off early or else they may just get into sports of something...or even worse....reality TV *shudders*

For many years poor Paul has been the butt of many jokes from his fellow cast mates due to him being the only single fella left, Kavan Smith in particular teasing the guy with much mirth about his single status and possible reasons as to the cause.  This time however Paul was proudly showing off his wedding ring...much like the Royal wedding I'm guessing my invite was lost in the post...and very smitten he appears to be too.  He mentioned the honeymoon was spent in Hawaii where they took a tour of the islands by helicopter the pilot apparently asking if the pair were afraid of heights before carrying out some rather acrobatic flying and leaving the new bride and groom with white knuckles...McGillion not so much with the action hero it would appear.

One of his latest project is playing a Witch Slayer in a Sci-Fi version of Hansel and Gretel with Shannon Dorherty.....yeah....and from his following description of one of the scenes he was involved with it certainly sounds like the usual 'high quality' entertainment we have come to expect from the Sy Fy channel.

Since the introduction of the pet turtles for Carson, poor Paul has been inundated with every type of turtle product you can think of including cuddly ones, chocolate ones and even a tea cozy...and after this con he went home with an inflatable beachy one, signed by the gutter crowd.

He would have liked to seen more of the Atlantis team behind the scenes, much like the episode Sunday...but with a little less exploding tumours I'd imagine.... and commented that Sheppard would be talking to the mirror ala DeNiro in Taxi "You talkin' to me?" and gelling his hair and that Mckay would be knitting.

He talked about how the series panned out for him
Did a bit of audience participation with a scene from the very first episode, mate Tina starring as Dr Weir
Chatted about how it's never a good idea to go out to lunch with Jason Mamoa
Later in the day it was autograph time and the atmosphere was very relaxed and unrushed since it was such a small con.  I thanked Paul for coming over, as he had been working and jumped straight on a plane just to see us and he gave me a huge hug and some very kind words.  As it had been Paul's birthday a little while before a cake had been organized and the gutter gang rocked up during Paul's final photo shoot.  We even sang a song (I should've had the foresight to get someone to record it) but basically the gang crowded round Paul and sang "Thiiiiiis iiiiiis your birthday song, it is not very long..." cut off the singing abruptly and walked off in different directions, much to all the guests amusement. Then there was a group photo with the cake (we opted to not push Paul's face in the confection at the last second, as had been suggested) and then there was eating of cake...nom, nom,nom.

Now the parties at conventions differ greatly depending on which organiser you go with, but the Wolf con parties are legendary and this event was no exception.  We has previously organised that the Saturday night party was to be themed as a beachy event as the weather earlier in the month had been absolutely shocking and some light relief was definitely needed.  So there were lifeguards, beach bums and surfer dudes a plenty, with various inflatables, mini drinks umbrellas and a limbo thingy which quickly turned into a volleyball net.  What really made my night was when Paul arrived and joined our 'team' for some indoor beach volleyball kookiness...I mean where really can you not only play a bit of beach volley ball inside in January but have an actor join in the fun too.

On Sunday night, many folk had already left the con and us hardcore lot ventured over to the nearby pub (which had also been a regular feature of the con)...inviting the guests along.  An indication to the utter niceness of  these chaps they came along and I managed to get a seat opposite the three of them.  They were facing the TV and watching/ making fun of Dancing on Ice, if I recall, but I managed to chat away with Paul, Robin and David while I enjoy my scampi and chips.

Some pics from the auction...the fellas making sure they keep the vocal chord lubricated

 I fear there has been some kind of gutter remark which Robin has decided was my fault *whistles innocently*

My Photo shoots and Autographs

Not only did I have to 'endure' mutiple pictures with Robin due to the flash on the lens of me glasses but my 'friend' Wend shouted "get your hands off his bum" making me turn beetroot red as Robin reacted as if I'd pinched his bum (if I had known it was an option....)

Robin had also pretended to fall asleep while giving me a hug, leading to the highly chucklesome moment of him...sliding to the floor.

 Then we eventually got it right.

 I didn't have the funds for individual shots but I did splurge on a group pic...getting a bear hug from Robin

This was the gutter crowds prize after winning the TV theme tune quiz (I laughed in the face of the quiz and we had quite the group bonding session belting out the there from Fraggle Rock)...the poor guy in the centre is organiser and 'chief' Brian Cooney.

L-R Sam, Vicky Random Scot, Tina, Random Czech, Wend, Random Irishman, Christina, Angie and your truly

And how could I not mention the epic toilets of the hotel...yes I can see your excitement at the prospect is barely containable, but it's not everyday you have a piddle with James Dean....

Or Elvis

 Or Errol Flynn

And for the boys (yes, I did sneek in just to take photos)
Audrey Hepburn

Veronica Lake (I think)

And of course Marilyn Monroe

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Wills & Kate Day

Well that was pretty darned fabulous.  I caved at all the hype and stayed at my sisters for a understated and exclusive party.  Watching footage of the big day thoughout the morning and most of the afternoon.  Highlights for me...wondering if the DVLA realised none of the wedding cars appeared to have a tax disc, the Queen with a blue blanket keeping her legs warm in the car just like my mum does on a nippy car journey, Kate's dress, what a delisciously heavenly dress, Harry's comment to Wills of 'Wait until you see her dress' as Kate approached the alter, Will's sly and cheeky wink during the service to his new bride, Kate's 'Oh, Wow!' comment as she stepped out onto the balcony and saw the thousands of people in the Mall, the kiss(es), Kate's little look back over her shoulder as she stepped back into the Palace and the Austin Martin 'JU5T WED' indeed.  In all a fabulous day and not a drop of rain in sight...In your face British weather!

Ready for the off

 What an amazing dress, Kate looked absolutely magical

Loved the cheeky looks Wills and Kate shared throughout the service

The carriage was gorgeous 

Just one or two folks in the Mall then

Gotta love a fly by

Though the little bridesmaid in the front left obviously not as keen

When close to a million people are chanting 'Kiss her' then I guess you oblige

What a sweet couple they are too

The Sea King fly by as Wills and Kate left Buckingham Palace

And the newlyweds leave in style...I think Harry may know something about the balloons and decorations...classy ;-)

It was a really nice, elegant and enchanting ceremony. It's easy to see why Wills and Kate are a favourite amongst us peasants.  Two very impressed thumbs up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Blow Off the Gym With Style

Have I mentioned recently the exceptionally sunny sunshine we've been having during the last month.  Largely I can become very stationary when the weather follows the usual pattern of general dull and suckyness and apart from the gym there has been little to get my juices going and my arse off the comfort of my bed. 

So I decided to make the most of the fashionable early summer.  Never one with much inclination to get involved with the chores of the garden I have actually had fun helping out the parentals.  Digging out bushes with massive routes, digging and leveling soil, trimming shrubs and painting the wood framed greenhouse and trellis (nearly without getting any on me clothes, hands, glasses and the street sign I was using to lean the trellis against)

I cleaned up my bike, which has spent the last year living in the garage, and went out over the busy Easter weekend to have a gander at a car boot sale a few miles away.  It was largely old tat but I did savour the fact that on my return journey I passed a queue of traffic several miles long (all attempting to get away for the weekend) while I happily chuffed on by on my bicycle....suckers!

And of course what would a spell on fabulous weather be without some kind of jaunt into the luscious South Down countryside.

Cocking Down is one of the easiest parts of the South Downs to get to on my own, I just have to go all round the houses on a bus for an hour and 20 mins.  It is however very worth it

Traditions upheld, this kind of fencing has been used on the Downs for decades

You can tell it's still early in the season as the trees in the distance have yet to find their leaves

Aww, ickle cattle

And this is where I stopped for lunch, the Trig marker useful for checking I'm not lost (yet)

Since the South Downs have become a National Park there has been quite a bit of work down, clearing areas surrounding the ancient tumuli and maintaining paths

The protected Graffham Down

 And I guess a less this once was (sheep?) the skull left in the middle of the track in a not at all creepy fashion

This is actually looking back upon the hill I just descended and climbing back up the other side (one of 3 hills in this walk)

I had to keep reminding myself in the 27 degree heat that it was in fact still Spring, the trees are still sporting the fresh greens of the time of year.

Keeping an eye out for Hobbits and other such fantastical creatures....

What an epically fantastic place for a rope swing

And finally after 7.5 miles I reach Selhurst Park and this is the view from the much appreciated bench while I waited for my lift home.

Just visible on the top of the hill, Halnaker Windmill

And this stuff will be recognized by any hay-fever suffers out there, Mustard seed looks fantastic in the fields but by-crikey it pen and inks

So there you have Cocking Down to Selhurst Park on the South Downs Way, looking fabulous in the sunshine if I do say so myself....easy to see why I'd rather be up here than down on the beach with only chavs for company.