Saturday, 29 August 2015

Come with me if you want to live

fishermen and ziplines on bournemouth pierI was very surprised to find myself awake at seven something, and although I tried to get back to sleep, I failed and met Bud downstairs at 0733, on a Saturday.
While this is an unlikely scenario following Friday-Night-is-Beer-Night, there was a real reason. Once we'd had breakfast and taken Jof her first cup of tea of the day, we left the house at ten past 9 and drove west (well, once we'd got off the island).
Bournemouth was our target. Neither of us have ever been there, and as we haven't yet reached retirement age, the visit must have been for the Bournemouth Film and Comic Convention, held in the Bournemouth International Centre, or BIC for short.
public park and stream bournemouth balloonPaying vast amounts for the car park, we had half an hour to kill before our tickets were valid so we hit the beach. It is sandy and very long indeed, going on for miles in each direction. You can see the Needles (westernmost pointy point of the Isle of Wight, the other end of which we can see from our own beach), and Sandbanks, which is a small exclusive nature reserve for very rich people: it's about 3 inches above sea level and will totally wash away as soon as the climate change-related sea level rises start.
bournemouth film and comic con game of thronesThe Pier is long and swish and charges £1.60 for the likes of us. Knowing we'd be back later, we paid the extortionate fee and promenaded gaily, looking at the fisherpersons and the beautiful bay with its bathing beauties and a massive Zipline from a monstrous gantry at the end of the pier to a fenced-off landing pad on the beach. To Zip us both back to shore would have cost about £25 so we walked instead. You can just see the Ziplines by the lamp-post above my head.
bournemouth comic film con stallsBimbling up the long and pleasant park either side of a stream, we saw a hot air balloon and lots of palm trees and yuccas and so forth, ice cream kiosks and a miniature golf course. Vowing to return, we walked to the BIC and joined the back of a very long queue.
It was full of Cosplayers from all manner of films and TV shows and Comics and the Lara Crofts were curvy and there were a lot of guns and outsize weapons and some Predators and lots of Fantastic Fours and bursting bodices and tight botties and coloured hair and people where I could not tell whether they were boys or girls.
kyle reese signed photo shoot bournemouth film and comic conInside it was VERY busy and you sort of get pushed along by the crowd and we searched out our target (Terminator and Aliens star Michael Biehn) and got a queue ticket and wandered off to get pushed around by the crowd.
There were 2 massive rooms of stalls and signing areas and some Doctor Who actors were doing a seminar and you couldn't move for Stormtroopers and the sandwiches were £4 each and there were a lot of official helpers. At least 2 stalls were selling swords but we've got 2 real ones.
I scored some excellent Lego minifigures and he got an articulating Predator (to go with our minigun-toting Terminator) and we spent ages trundling around looking for an Alien (Ripley-style) but the only ones were either dreadful rip-off kiddie night-lights or 2-foot tall ones that were, like, £120 so we missed out there.
bournemouth pier and beach hot air balloonBut we waited dutifully for Michael Biehn although we called him Kyle Reese and when we got to the front he was nice but I got a bit shy. I said my favourite film was Predator and he wrote come with me if you want to live on the signed picture, I chose the one of him in the stolen car. He seemed to find it difficult to write and said he hadn't ever signed a photo for a Professor before. He pointed out that I was not in costume and I said I used to have the full-on Terminator one but I can't fit in it any more and we all agreed I'll have to get a costume sorted for the next one.
sixty million postcards exeter st bournemouth @60mpcNext to him was Christopher Judge from Stargate but he wasn't dressed as a Jafar, and on the other side was a woman called Jennifer from CSI and nobody wanted her autograph. I liked the look of Robert Englund, though, his Freddy Krueger costume looked ace.
I told Kyle Reese that I wanted to be an actor and he said funny you should say that, so does my son, so we met him too, but he was 12.
bournemouth international centre bic event hostingAnyway, we escaped the melee and went to the Slug and Lettuce for lunch, and planned our next Lego project, which is the jungle scene in Predator where he's all muddy and the predator-alien can't see him on that frequency. On the way back we went up in the hot air balloon, because neither of us have used that mode of transport before. It goes up to 120 metres and waves about in the wind. Everybody looks very small from up there and they warn you not to drop things on people but we thought we could poo on a seagull to get our own back.
Next to us was some brat who wouldn't shut the flapping lip, kept quacking and jumping around, some kids, eh. It was all very funny and you could see for miles. The viewing platform is totally caged in, it's round a hexagonal hole where the tethering cable goes and when we came down the wind blew us around and the line got snagged and we crashed amusingly.
lego and minecraft minifigures predator michael biehn signed photoThat's when it started to rain, and it didn't stop for the rest of the day. So we didn't go back on the pier and we took one more circuit of the Cosplay-fest but didn't see anybody we knew although it was fun identifying who they were Cosplaying. You know in comics and action shows where the ladies often have splendid boobies and giant weapons and exposed midriffs and helpfully positioned but very limited armour? Well, so do their Cosplayers. It was all very interesting.
Anyway, I didn't get my ice cream on the pier (so I've got 2 spare tickets for the pier, valid for a couple of months), we didn't play golf but I have come away with a Lego Dobby, Harry Potter, Iron Man, Loki and Avengers Spaceship, a Minecraft Zombie and Skeleton, a signed photo of a film star made out to me, and a new appreciation for scantily clad warrior babes.
As soon as we got home, Jof went to bed for a nap. These days off are tough ...
I'd agreed that my next film-a-thon is the Alien series, but I just couldn't be bothered tonight and played Minecraft for ages and had a bath fizzer, retro, man.

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