Black Libary Live 2011

Black Library Live started early for me. After getting in from work at 6 on Thursday and spending the next few hours frantically running around cleaning, printing boarding passes and packing, I got about two hours sleep before 4am reared its ugly head and mewed in my direction. The drive to the airport was cold even tucked under my travel blankey, and filled with annoyance at the New Car still having that auto scan radio thing that keeps moving it off my favourite station.

The airport and flight were as usual and the lovely BL Taxi-guy was his lovely self. We went and poked Nick when we got in at around 8am, surprised to find anybody was in the office at all. Then retired to Bugmans to await it to open for Breakfast at 10. This is when I caved, snoozing for half an hour, only to awake and my find my darling husband-to-be has wandered off. After waiting a sizeable amount of time, or rather until my anxieties started being a problem to keep a handle on I went to the bathroom and freshened up, this may also be considered hiding. Once my courage was restored I ventured forth once more. But no Aaron, I did however find something else, while wandering the Games Hall. A RayeRaye! Who graciously invited me over to see her army, and I must admit, though I hear they do not fare so well in Battle the ‘Mighty Nighties’ defiantly look the part. As does Harry’s Nurgle army, but I am not going to speak of them as it is early and my stomach has not yet settled enough for such talk.

Then the Splendid Sarah arrived with Small Son and Handsom Ben, much hugging was had and Harry gave her his conversion of her cover art which rocks just as hard as chocolate spread on toast, and Space Mahreen ear-rings, which I am green with envy over. We decided that being about 11, and after my sob story of being lost and ergo having missed the Bugmans breakfast hour Super-Sarah got me a coke and a cookie. This was perhaps, or so I thought at the time, the best breakfast, ever. Then came the days first challenge, how to get to the train station to retrieve an Emma, Sarah in her infinite wisdom asked the Barman, whom by the way had the most awesome ginger hair and a plaited beard. Now he did indeed give us instructions and they did indeed seem simple. This was a different matter however when it came to actually doing it, I think we lapped the train station about three times before we managed it. Emma retrieved we headed back to Bugmans, only to find Dan and Aaron had appeared from the mists, apparently having their pre-meeting coffee. Words were shared then Nick came to collect them and off they went to discuss ‘Things.’

Meanwhile at the cool table we were left to chatter, and like one of those fizzy Neon blue lights we attracted people. These people, it turns out were Bolthole Forumites. ( See http://www.thebolthole.org/ ) Among them were Phoneix, Narry, and I believe Greg and perhaps even Squiggle (Who, by the way, is not a girl.) Baked potatoes were had, then more Games were played next door, I believe Small Son’s Orcs trampled Handsome Ben’s Imperial Guard. Then the card games began, and these got a bit headed and almost frantic as people amassed around us. I missed playing Apples to Apples having to go and do hotel check-ins, but vowed to return later. And I did, dinner and drinks were had, talk was discussed, the lovely Ragnar joined us, and when Bugmans eventually kicked us out Emma and I wandered back up the canal to our hotel to await the return of Aaron and the rest. It was 1 by the time I actually got to sleep after Jim Swallow made me writhe in my seat with envy over his stories of meeting the Battlestar cast, excusing my 20 minute nap this left me awake for almost 21 hours. I slept like a log, until the coughing started. I loath this cold.

Breakfast was yummy as always and taxis were booked. This is where all the to-ing and fro-ing of the Staff, carrying sofa’s and tables and chairs and all sorts through Bugmans the previous day came into play. Everything had moved! None the less we were shown to the green room, to drop off bags and coats and the like, before a selection of editors came to collect the selection of authors for their requires seminars and signings. Emma and I trotted off to see what the craic was. After a quick overview of the new set up and deciding Sarah must be in the Writing for BL seminar we decide it was high time for cookies. Mid-cookie munching Dan joined us for a natter before his Signing, we discussed his hidden words. We also looked at Eldar models for Emma and the Shop-guy, Jamie sadly told her the best way to use these to kill Space Marines, I hereby formally apologise to almost everyone in our campaign. Then we went to see Dan’s Q and A, which having never read Gaunts Ghosts made me desperately want to, and built a Guard army along side this. I fear reading these books; however, for until now, I have maintained my calm around Mr Abnett, I have projected an image of cool, or at least calm. AKA I didn’t squeak ‘HI DAN ABNETT.’ However I fear this may end of I read Gaunts Ghosts as it sounds like exactly the kind of thing that would turn me into a drooling fan-girl. Dan said 4 of the five chosen words, but he totally didn’t hide them, the opposite in fact. He was however the only one I caught, as I missed Graham and Aaron did none, so he wins the word battle.

We sadly had to miss Graham, this was not intended but we were starving, and Bugmans was so full that by the time we got the food we ordered we missed the HH seminar too. Sad Panda. Thank you, also, to the nice Boltholer who let us steal the end of his table so we could eat.

I think I have mistimed and cannot be bothered to go back, but there was one point during this day when I queued to see Aaron. People kept asking me why I was queuing and didn’t my pass thing mean I didn’t have to, and yes it does, but sometimes the easy way is boring. And I was correct the queue, despite being an hour long was highly enjoyable, and this is not –only- because lovely people kept bringing me brownies and cakes and the like, but also for the company. For this I have to give a special mention to the wonderful Greg, whom I recall from Titan crew exploits last year and Xhalax’s brother whom I cannot recall ever being given a name for. None the less they were very entertaining, and kindly kept our space while we went to buy books. Yes, we got in the queue without any actually books. An hour later, my darling fiancé signed the first book he’s ever signed for me. Or rather for our friend Steve whom it was then to be sent to, but the thought was there.

The ever-lovely Phil caught us on our way back out again, where Emma stopped to by an Eldar poster, and was asking if my tag didn’t mean that I, you know, didn’t have to queue, I said it does, but I was trying to live on the wild side and so gave my tags to him, where they were without doubt put to better use.

The last thing we did was to go to Aaron’s Q and A, where I sat and cringed on Marketing’s behalf and made mental note to work on his manners. Then we wandered around to the big Hall which was by now almost bizarrely empty, Aaron got some more Fan-made miniatures which were incredible (Note to self I must do a post with our growing squad of Talos’) and eventually we all bailed for dinner and games in Bugmans. There was much drinking, much laughing, and I persuaded three of them to come join our guild in their drunken agreeable state. Win, win, I feel.

Sunday came too soon but was welcomed in with what is to this day ‘The Best Breakfast’ I have ever had, thanks to the lovely Mr Smilie, and then we chilled for an hour in Bugmans where I met the Ultra Sweet girlfriend of the Ultra Cool Mr Goulding, and care of Phil scoured the Space Mahreens codex for possible ways to fit my Vet Squad and my Tech-marine into my army without gimping everything else. But this is another story for another day.

Highlights and Special Mentions;

–         RayeRaye’s cakes; I had a Mystery Legion.

–         Craig’s flapjacks and brownies (At least I think it was Craig).

–         Apples to Apples. I must get this game.

–         Splendid Sarah; Navigator extraordinaire.

–         Bugmans Cookies.

–         Finally getting to talk to John French.

–         Trevor. I need say no more.

–         Josh for being a trooper.

–         Dan, Jim, Rob and Graham, for as always being so friendly and entertaining.

–         Andy, George, Nick, John, Christian, Vince and ALL of the BL staff for as always putting on a wonderful event and still having time to be lovely and eat cake.

–         Handsome Ben, for secrety secretness.

–         Caroline for being a sweetheart.

–         Small Son for the sheer awesome.

–         Ragnar, Phil, Squiggle, Ross and all the others crowed and stuffed around out table for company of such a standard needs a special mention.

 

It was a soul-destroyingly tiring weekend but I would not re-do a moment of it. Thank you all for making it wonderful and I hope to see you all again soon.

 

[[Note; I just saw a comment or two I missed and I feel bad for not posting in so long, I was on a bid not to make excuses on the basis that I have no good ones, but I shall try to update more regularly, help me out with this by throwing my way any suggestions for posts you’d like to see in the future! Thanks you all.]]

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm  Comments (8)