It’s May 2017 and I’ve done nothing this year so far.
Ok, that was a lie. I’ve actually been to two conventions, one hen weekend, and survived a redundancy cull at work.
Where do I start?
My youngest sister decided a while ago that, due to me turning 40 and the world being A Bit Shit, we needed a really really good con. So she signed us up for the first ever Official Star Trek Cruise. Our Captain was thee Captain, William Shatner. We had so many guests and things to do it was crazy - and we went from Miami (Fee shouts MOYAMI!) to Nassau to Cozumel along the way. We saw shows onboard, we saw talks by ST heroes and some very good nights were had at pretty much all the bars on the ship (tip: buy the drinks package), we spoke to real-life astronauts, real-life physicists, and just had a blast. I wore uniform for a few of the days we were on the ship - the Starfleet uniform I had made for Dragon*Con 2016. We saw make-up artists prepping people for their weekend, people in everything from Gorn heads to full ST VI Admiral’s gear, heard all the message and ringtones in the universe and participated in a few quizzes. We met a UN Ambassador - not bad for someone who started out as a Dabo girl - and picked up a few new friends along the way.
It was epic, and the weather and change of scene and just the whole fandom feeling was comforting and relaxing, compared to the real world where Trump had just been elected President and countries were experiencing unrest and turmoil on a bleakly huge scale. While Norwegian Cruise Lines weren’t the best at organising people getting off the boat (seriously; 3 hours queueing through the entire ship, down one level then through the entire ship again was ridiculous, seeing as Royal Caribbean had the whole thing done in under 45 minutes - with more passengers), and the dining opportunities didn’t really blow our socks off, the event itself went well and we had a bloody good time.
So that was January. I recovered from the fun and excitement of the cruise and went back to work. Time passed, as it so often does, until it was the end of April and my youngest sister’s hen do. This was a short cruise from Southampton to Bruges to Le Harve and back. We got dressed up as Pink Ladies to attend the Grease show, we drank as much as we could and we went ashore to see Bruges (amazing place; would recommend), and seeing as we were diverted to Rotterdam due to the port pilots’ strike at La Harve, we even got to stroll around Rotterdam in the early sun and see the cube-houses arranged on their points like it was nothing. Selfie-sticks were used, souvenir books were signed and drawn in, and it was as memorable as it could be.
Then just two weeks later, my oldest sister, my cousin and I went to the sunny seaside spectacular that is Blackpool. We were attending Rogue Events’ Asylum 16 - the unofficial Supernatural convention. With three episodes left to go from season twelve, there was a mixture of people who did and didn’t want to be spoiled by the guests from the show - but it hardly mattered. They packed in 14 guests a day; Saturday we saw the entire roster, and then Sunday we got to see them again for fresh questions, but in a different order. We didn’t need autographs or photos with the stars, so we saw everything for two days. However, I understand people were unhappy with their autos and photos, as they apparently either clashed with each other or the meet’n greets that were part of their ticket package. All I can say is, between talks I spent fifteen minutes on social media trying to get answers as to where the ‘discos’ were each night. Didn’t find them, assumed they were in the main hall, but then decided we’d rather get on a Blackpool tram and head into the party capital of the beach instead. We went back to several haunts, had some absolutely cracking fish and chips (well, the other two did - I don’t like fish so PROPER STEAK AND KIDNEY PIES ALL ROUND! YESS!), and strolled along the beach. Stunning sunshine the whole time we were there - it wasn’t until we started driving back and we hit The Sarf that it started raining.
As good as it was seeing all the guests and eating and drinking our way round Blackpool front, I believe that was my last Rogue Events convention. There was no organisation and no communication, and although I like to think of myself as a pretty easy-going person, I was getting irate at the lack of information that could so easily have been shared in so many accessible places, both on and off social media (or even their own bloody website).
I’m off to Hong Kong next week - not to live there (again), but for a holiday. I’ve got friends to catch up with and fun to have and I need to prove to myself that I could never work there again and to get over it. Closure, I suppose. Hong Kong, it’s language, culture, and people will always be a part of me now - there’s no getting away from that - but I wouldn’t want to. A part of me, yes. But perhaps by the time I get back and re-assess my life, the thought of it will no longer be a dominant part. Still, the thrill of the idea of being there again hits me at nine at night when I’m checking I have stuff to wear when I get back to the proper heat, at six in the morning when I wake up for work knowing I’ve got to pack 7 days’ work into 3 days at work before I fly, when I set a reminder on my phone for me to check in online. Going through a list of things I’ll need, and realising I won’t need a coat, or a jacket, or in fact anything more than a thin cardie; not needing a power transformer / plug for my smart devices; looking through old shipping receipts and relocation stuff for my Octopus card and then realising I left with my flatmate before I came back to England; finding my old HK ID card and realising it’s not valid any more; opening an old wallet to check for said ID card and finding HK$40 in it… All these things make me happy. I cannot wait to get back to HK and see how much it’s changed - and hopefully, how “it’s a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there”. I need to close off that part of my life - some part of my brain never left, never accepted that I didn’t live there and that being in the UK wasn’t just a break but a ‘permanent’ thing.
I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’ll be back at some point - I really have to blog more often. Back in the day it was once a week. Now it’s barely once every quarter. But hey-ho.