Brighton Film & Comic Con June 2016
I decided to choose Brighton as my first gig because it’s only 30 minutes away from home so I didn’t need to have the added expense of a hotel. Win! It also happens to be near ChoccyWoccyDooDah which is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. Win! There also happens to be a Primark store there which sells some amazing Disney themed merchandise. Win! So with all those “Wins!” how could I possibly go wrong? Besides, I figured it was a good (and cheap enough) way to dip my toes into the water and see what the Film & Comic Cons were all about.
This particular Convention had a number of cool guests including Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf, Lara Croft), Sylvester McCoy (Dr Who), Kristian “Hold the Door” Nairn (Game of Thrones) and Andrew Lee Potts (Primeval) among others. However, the name that caught my eye was Paul Darrow. I’m showing my age here but back in the 70’s there was an awesome British science fiction TV show called “Blake’s 7”. Paul Darrow played the part of Avon who I happened to be quite in love with (as much as a 6 year old can be in love). So like the true fangirl I am, I went ahead and purchased a photo op! SQUEEE!
Paul Darrow aka Avon in all his hotness! Rawr!
Unfortunately this convention couldn’t be a family affair as my boys had to sit this one out and babysit our Chihuahua but they were cheering me on from the sidelines. Friday the 3rd of June was set up day and after my awesome sat-nav took me the LONG way round to Brighton
and nothing to do with me missing my turn-off I finally arrived at the Brighton Centre to set up.
My super cool wristband! You know you’re well jel for sure 😛
I unpacked the boxes and started to do the setting up of the table all by myself with no sons helping me. Wait? Did I just say “helping me”? I must have forgot, it was ME that did ALL the setting up last time by myself with my sons watching me. Mind you, I have to be honest, I’m a bit too anal to let anyone help me. Just ask my youngest son, I can’t even let him help me decorate the Christmas tree, “Nope, that doesn’t go there. You’re doing it all wrong”.
The main display completed
I then had to go move the car to my parking space for the weekend (don’t forget what I told you about http://www.justpark.com in my last post) and decided instead of going straight back to the Brighton Centre I would go do a bit of sight-seeing first. Of course that meant going straight to ChoccyWoccyDooDah and eating my weight in chocolate! Hurray!!
Now you would need to be a bit of a recluse if you’ve never heard of ChoccyWoccyDooDah before. They are, and I quote
Renowned chocolatier specialising in lavish and arty handmade cakes, confectionery and gifts
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Apart from wanting an Augustus Gloop style look around their chocolate heaven of a shop (I’m just going to dive into the chocolate), I was literally begging to go to the cafe and give myself type 2 diabetes.
Miss PlayBox at ChoccyWoccyDooDah 🙂
The cafe is located upstairs inside the shop and on the way up you are greeted by this Willy Wonka dreamland of the most exquisitely designed cakes imaginable. I’ve been a huge fan of the TV series (yes, they have their own “reality show” TV series) and so I was pretty damn excited anyway but honestly, their displays are just jaw-dropping. I was seated immediately (sometimes there is a waiting list) by super friendly staff who genuinely make the visit such a pleasant experience. The menu is every chocolate lover’s dream and perhaps the only downside is knowing you’ll only be able to manage 2 items maximum!
Candy’s “I just placed my order” HAPPY face :)))
Salted Caramel Chocolate Milkshake. Oh my!
I ordered the chocolate dipping pot (with an extra pot of chocolate because apparently my eyes are bigger than my belly).
Actually, my eyes really were bigger than my belly and after copious amounts of strawberries, marshmallows, honeycomb, chocolate cake, coconut macaroons and tiffin all dipped in gooey warm molten chocolate washed down with the scrumptious salted caramel chocolate milkshake I really did have to admit defeat.
In the battle between Man Vs Food, we salute the victorious food.
After that, I rolled back to the Brighton Centre to finish setting up but not before making a quick stop at Primark where I bought a pair of the BESTEST pyjamas in the whole freaking world and a Minnie Mouse bag.
See, I told you so! Bestest jammies ever! Gotta love The Little Mermaid.
The next morning I had to get up pretty early to get to the Brighton Centre for 8am so that I could finish setting up. It was a bit of a panic but I got it all done in time for the doors opening at 9am.
All set up for the weekend
I have to admit that I was very excited to discover that Paul Darrow’s signing table was literally across from me. I was actually close enough to shout and wave to him all weekend!
See what I mean? Hi Paul!! Hi Paul! Hiiiiii!!!
I was eagerly waiting for the morning to pass quickly so that I could start counting down the hours to my Paul Darrow photo op. Before I knew it, I was waiting in line and the man himself arrived in the photo shoot area. He took one look at me standing there, begins to point and shouts “Mother of dragons, it’s the Mother of dragons!” Then he starts involving everyone else “Doesn’t she look like that Targaryen woman, what’s her name?!” Now I’m not a Game of Thrones fan so I didn’t have a single clue what he was talking about but a gentleman waiting in line ahead of me assured me that it was a compliment. It wasn’t until later on that I discovered he meant a character called Daenerys which I’m sure most of you are familiar with. Bless Paul, his eyesight probably isn’t what it used to be, I could probably pass as Daenerys’s Mother but that’s about it. What a sweetheart though.
After a couple of minutes it was my turn for a photograph, so I sat next to Mr Darrow and cheekily asked him if I could go in for a hug. “Yes, of course” he replied putting his arm around me. I looked to the camera, smiled and then suddenly Paul shouts out “SEX!!!” I of course erupted into a fit of giggles (along with the whole room).
“I shout out sex and the lady bursts into laughter instead of smiling” says Paul. Well, admittedly it was the last thing I had expected him to say. I had to quickly compose myself before the photographer took another shot of us.
Candy & Paul Darrow Take 2
The second photo was a success so before I got up off the chair I quickly gave him a sneaky kiss on the cheek and told him it had been a pleasure to meet him. “And you” he replied. Honestly though, what a truly lovely gent he was and it really had been an honour to meet him. I excitedly collected my photos (I was allowed to keep both) and hurried back to my table like a giddy fangirl.
The day on the whole had been extremely quiet, not just for me but also for all the other vendors and even some of the guests. It didn’t matter though and I was still having a great time and enjoying the experience.
So even though the day had been disappointing sales wise, I’d still had a great time meeting Paul Darrow and just enjoying the atmosphere. Besides, I was about to go home to a huge Chinese meal so I had nothing to complain about.
The next morning, I arrived for another fun filled installment and filled with hope that I’d be so rushed off my feet that I’d have to start turning away customers.
Today I decided to be a mermaid 🙂
Well unfortunately my hopes were soon shattered when I realised it was going to be even more quieter than the day before. This only meant one thing… yep, pointless silly selfie time!
Look at the fun you can have when you steal a pair of glasses and take ridiculous photos of yourself.
Before I knew it, it was time to pack up (the most stressful part of the weekend I might add) but even though the turn out hadn’t been anywhere near as expected it didn’t put a damper on my weekend. I’d had such a great time. I’d met one of my childhood heroes, I’d seen friends from Walker Stalker, made new friends, met lots of lovely people and had a few sales. I was happy and already looking forward to the next convention.
And the best thing about coming home:
At least my dog is alway super pleased to see me, unlike my boys!