This was the first UK Con held outside of the London area, mainly cause Snowy was sick of travelling 200 miles each time when most other people had a ten-minute journey.
The guest list had started out very hopeful, most people seemed up for the idea of travelling up and having a good time. Unfortunately, that horribly infection called 'Life' got in the way and stopped many from attending, even those who the dates had been re-arranged for. In the end, the Con looked more like a #rassm Con rather than a RASSM Con, but who's complaining.
From the South travelled Nert, Ros, Dave and Demise. From stories we've been told these four weren't too happy about the early start till they discovered the bar was open on the train.
Also, being smuggled across the border of North/South were some of the most dangerous weapons know to UK Con participates... Plastic lightsaber. Contained in the supply bags of those four were the equivalent of a small war armoury.
Meanwhile in the North, Snowy and Zannii were sat on a cold station in Stockport waiting for the, now delayed, train holding those four. We were also keeping an eye out for Kim McGreal, a member who hadn't been to a Con since the first one.
The train finally arrived and comments were made to the size and shape of everybody's bags. Jon was carrying his usual compliment of huge rucksacks, with lightsabers sticking out of the top. Snowy had his new Yoda bag hanging from his shoulders.
For the next 25 minutes we waited for Kim to arrive. Everyone searched for her but as only Snowy, Nert and Ros knew what she looked like, and that from a meeting over a year ago, we were really hopping for a miracle.
The miracle never happened and we decided that she mustn't have been able to make it. So off we treaded into Stockport town centre to try and find a half-decent toyshop. You have no idea how hard this is. Most of the Episode one stuff should have come out the weekend before, but due to the battery incident with the electronic lightsabers, most of the stock due in wasn't going to come through. Make's Snowy's lightsaber rare as he got a dangerous one before they were taken back. After much walking, chatting and getting odd looks from the locals we descended upon Toys 'R' Us. Now TRU ask its customers to give in their bags before shopping, basically to stop us hungry SW fans nicking all the toys. The poor girl on the desk took one look at Jon and got out a new roll of stickers to label the bags.
After about 5 minutes all the bags had been turned in and we invaded the store... pity there isn't that much good stuff out over here yet. Ros had his eyes on Watto from the start; this isn't healthy, and walked around the store with one in his hand all the time. Nert got himself a lightsaber shaped hand held game. Snowy bought some more SW Lego and the Insider's Guide.
We spent a good while trying out all the Comm Tech chips on the reader and complaining that the voices were no good. But soon our stomachs started making more noise that the toys so we bought our stuff, recovered are bags and headed to McDonalds.
Now for some reason, Stockport had several fancy dressed people walking around town collecting money for charity. As we waited at a set of traffic lights we saw Darth Maul on the other side.
A brief struggle to get Jon's Maul mask out of his bag ensured. It was quite a site to see Darth Maul pass by Jon's Mini Maul, Pun intended. Anyway, we got to McDonalds and it was packed. We, somehow, managed to get 6 hungry people along with bags around a table for 2 people... After lunch we headed back to the train station and back to Snowy's house. The train journey was actually filmed and I suggest you don't watch it... no really, please don't ask Jon for the video.
The walk from the train station to Snowy's house is a good 30-minute walk and even longer if you start having lightsaber fights on the way. The route seemed to be led by Zannii, who was a good ten metres ahead of us out of embarrassment. Demise and Dave were fighting in the middle while Ros watched, and Snowy and Jon brought up the rear, both trying to carry Jon's many bags.
When we finally reached the house, Snowy started to have second thought about putting all 5 people up for the night. He's thoughts were further shattered when everyone ran to the garden to have the biggest lightsaber fight since the premiere in London.
The saber fight was a riot. We got about an hour of it on video. Some of the stuff caught looks quite good. Especially when sabers broke. After about 20 minutes my neighbour, who is only 9 years old, came around and challenged us all to a fight.
Now we had been playing pretty rough, so we tried to discourage him. He was having none of this and kept asking. In the end we gave up and let him join us. Biggest mistake we've ever made. This kid was like Darth Maul on Steroids... He broke at least one watch, one saber, and almost one finger. He took on everyone we no cares about how much damage he did to the sabers... probably because they weren't his. After everyone but Jon had been attacked, for some reason the kid wouldn't fight Jon, we gave up and went and hid in Snowy's house.
After all that fighting we were very tired so we all sat back and watched a copy of The Phantom Menace on Snowy's wide screen TV, if you can't see it at the big screen this is definitely the way to see it. After the film had finished we decided to go against tradition and watch something other than the Special Editions. For some reason out came Clue.
The rest of the day was spent talking and watching movies until about 2 am. Then sleep took over.
The next day was spent tidying up the mess from yesterday and trying to stay awake. Snowy got the unlucky job of driving all of them back to the train station so they could all go home, never again will I do that. On the whole it was fun, but I'll need a rest before I try that again.
there yousa go, mesa go and plan next one now. :)