We all got checked in, and even though I didn't pre-book my seats on the plane I ended up sitting in the row right behind the others so we could all squee and giggle all the way down. Plus, the woman I was sitting next to was really sweet and asked what we were all going to do – when we told her she seemed really interested and said she would definitely be checking out the show on Sunday night. I think we made a new convert!
When we got to our hotel the first thing I saw was an events board with "SPN Fest" all over it – I think I literally squeed! The con wasn't in the hotel I stayed at on Friday and Saturday, but the wonderful purplephoenix03 had organised a meet-up and viewing session that night in the Britannia.
We took a wander around, trying to find the best route to the Leofric where the con was going to be, and in the end it was sheer luck that we found it. I was glancing around looking to see which street it was that we were supposed to follow up to the right when I spotted the sign in the corner of the little shopping centre. The hotel was… not big. Definitely not big enough in the 'convention centre' to be able to hold the 750 fans who all descended on the place this weekend. But more about that later.
It was still really early so a bunch of us went off to go find some place to have lunch (O'Briens, I had a cheese&ham toastie for the first time in years and am hooked again!) and sat chatting about the weekend for a good couple of hours. Finally went back to the hotel to get unpacked and freshened up a little before registration was due to start and just as I was about to head over to the Leofric I heard from fresleyforever that she was in Birmingham so I stuck around outside the Leofric until she arrived and we went and found the others all designing name badges in the hotel's bar area. I think we petrified the two tables of little old ladies having their afternoon tea (and who can blame them?!) but it was amazing to meet so many people who are exactly like me! (Insane, due to be sectioned, squeeing…)
Registration was pretty painless for me, but so many others had issues with their pre-booked photo session tickets not being in their packs and the like that it became a little bit of a nightmare for the rest of the evening (and into the Saturday morning as well). I think Wayne and his staff were more than a little overwhelmed at how big the convention became and the number of newbs there meant that things took far longer than would normally be expected. Stewards weren't rota'd on duty until the Saturday morning and I can't help but think that it would have been an idea to get some roped in to help with queue control at registration. Speaking of stewards, we had our meeting at 6.30 and were assigned our duties – I was to be on the photo studio on the Saturday afternoon for two hours and fresleyforever was covering the main doors on Saturday lunchtime.
After that time was starting to get away from us and we had to rush to make the screening of episode 21 back at the Britannia (I won't mention the episode in this post 'cause I know there are loads of you not up to pace with it yet) which was a hell of a lot of fun (being in a room with 75 (I think that was the final count?) fangirls all watching the brand new episode and reacting to it together was awesome!) Then back to the Leofric for the party only to discover the DJ was the same sad git who DJs at the Starfury cons (and who delights in playing 'synchronised dancing' type tunes. Y.M.C. Fucking A. Luckily though, fresleyforever's friend Janine (does Janine have an LJ by the way?) organised a mass spam of the requests sheet and within about twenty minutes we had some classic rock playing – all of which went down really well with the Supernatural fandom crowd, as you'd expect!
'Cause there were still issues with the photo session tickets missing, we kinda decided not to stay too late and headed back to our own rooms/hotels before too much longer (and incidentally bumped into Mark Lutz on our way out of the hall – he was intrigued by the pink cowboy hats everyone was wearing, and yes Mary – he did remember you!) and I got about three hours interupted sleep all in. (traffic, nightclub right next to the hotel, window that wouldn't close...)
Next time, on Shona's rambling recollections, Queuing. Telling Nicki what real men wear under kilts, Reg-Badge-Gate, Shona gets to shout at people, Losing my heels, Fangirling Jason Manns.