I got interested in cosplay in 2002 from seeing photos online, and at that time had no idea of the existence of conventions in the UK. After making a bunch of costumes just for fun, I was interested enough in conventions to finally go to one (being 16 by then also helped) so AmeCon 2004 was my first con. I think I can accurately say it’s been downhill since then, and I have far too many costumes!
In general my username is "Angelphie" everywhere, I'm on Twitter and Facebook but utterly fail at using them. Best bet is to email me!
Tue, 23 Aug 2011 19:45:58 GMT
No stolen AyaCon photos yet, I’ll add those later. In the meantime, have a wall of text:
I met up with James at the airport and the journey went completely smoothly. I timed the journey from the airport to Warwick Arts Centre to get an idea of when we’d need to leave on the Monday, and somehow we managed it in about 30 minutes 0_O, which included taking the monorail thingy, catching a train and then a taxi. So we reached at con at about 1.30, meaning the entire journey, from leaving the house, was just under 4 hours. Win!
On attempting to register, it turned out they’d lost my badge so I got a special handwritten one (my actual badge turned up a few hours later and was conveyed to Cosplay HQ, being the place I was most likely to appear to collect it). I also failed with the accommodation side of things and wasn’t able to get into my room until 3. So I dropped off my suitcase at the left luggage place and then Eli, with perfect timing, texted to ask when I’d be arriving. I joined everyone in the Dirty Duck then a few of us headed off to see Nert’s posing panel, which was as entertaining as ever. I love how the collection of photos evolves each time.
After the panel it was time for me to collect my room key, but that meant it was also time for anyone else who’d been stuck waiting, so there was a bit of a queue to get keys and retrieve luggage. I still managed to get over to the Arthur Vick and drop off my stuff before the opening ceremony though. It’s not as though the accommodation was all that far away and I didn‘t mind once I got used to the walk, but compared to the Jack Martin blocks where I’d previously stayed, it was a slight shock to have to keep on walking!
Opening ceremony was short and sweet, and after that I headed off to get changed into costume. I’d have liked to have gone to the piano recital and seen Xae’s costume showcase, but I was itching to get into costume after spending possibly a record amount of time during the day at a con in normal clothing! I was disappointed I missed the Disney gathering too so wanted to get dressed up dammit. Anyway, I wore my remade Tinkerbell on the Friday since I knew I wouldn’t want to spend all day wearing the wings and because I’d managed to put lights in the costume, I wanted to wear it after dark. Friday was perfect since I could just wear it from late afternoon onwards.
I’d decided to remake the costume for a few reasons. On my first costume, I had lots of problems due to using a stretchy fabric for the dress - it was a pain to work with, not really suited to a strapless dress and no help for supporting wings. I also wanted to try out new ideas for decorating the dress and I was keen to try to make a larger set of wings. My first set of wings using tights worked out ok, but the tights restricted the size a bit which had always frustrated me. I couldn’t make them much larger due to the size of my suitcase, but I could still improve on the shape by having a shot at another construction method (stolen from Laura!) Finally, I wanted to incorporate lights, mostly for the hell of it, but the idea was kind of inspired by Tink in the Electrical Parade and her various fireworks appearances at the Disney parks.
Details on the costume here I made a new dress and wings, kept everything else pretty much as it was apart from sticking some lights in the shoes and wig. I’m happy with the new dress and wings, although the dress turned out shorter than planned and the wings are much heavier than my last set. The battery packs for the lights also mean they cause the dress to gape at the back a bit and I had to resort to shoulder straps. I have a few things to revisit: one shoe-light died for no apparent reason and the delicate wire sewn into the dress was never a good idea - one set of fairy lights died on me (which I kind of expected after having repaired the wiring twice…). Finally, the zip gave up on me, which is a first, although it happened late enough in the day that it didn’t really matter - will have to sew in a tougher one next time!
I was able to get daylight photos then have dinner in the Dirty Duck which was fantastic all weekend for great food and as a quieter bar option in the evenings with much Kopparberg. I then later went outside for glowy photos in the dark. Nert made great use of the blue spotlights set into the ground and we got heaps of photos. After I got changed out of costume I found people in the Duck and we stayed until kicking out time and I ended up retreating to bed not long after.
I ventured over for breakfast which was awesome! I never usually eat cooked breakfasts but there was still plenty for me: toast, croissants, cereal, fruit and yoghurt.
After eating, I popped up to Cosplay HQ, where there was always guaranteed to be many people all weekend, and actually had a chance to look around this time. It was incredible having such a large room and I loved all the photo displays. I then went to Moley’s stage fighting panel which was, of course, highly entertaining. There were a lot more panels this day which I could have gone to, but scheduling clashes got in the way of some and prioritising spending time with people won over others.
Then it was back to the accommodation to get into costume. I wore Selphie which I am ridiculously happy with. The yellow and the hairspray ate into my brain and caused insane cheerfulness all day! Selphie was one of my first costumes from AmeCon 2004 so it was a nice nostalgia thing to remake it. It was super comfy and fun to wear, even the ill-fitting coloured contacts didn’t bother me much, although I later swapped them for my normal contacts just to be careful and give my eyes a rest.
After photos I retreated up to Cosplay HQ again since it was threatening to rain. I stayed up there for a while, ventured down for some lunch to discover it was pouring with rain, so we chose Costa to avoid having to leave the building. Costa closed at 1.30 over the weekend for some stupid reason, but we did manage to grab food just in time. I went to the first part of Tab and Phil’s electronics panel which was very informative, then decided to explore the dealers’ room. I then headed off to help out backstage with the masquerade. I always like hanging around backstage and getting to see all the costumes close up, even if it does mean missing out on seeing the stage properly. Even so, I could peek out on to the stage ok, watch the vid-link and I even spent some time out in the auditorium sorting the seating for cosplayers coming off stage so it was all very enjoyable.
Following the masquerade, I was starving so went to the Duck for food once again. After eating I went to get changed then back to the Duck and the parties until I crashed about 1.
After breakfast I changed into Rikku Songstress. This was another nostalgia costume from my first con which went nicely with Eli’s remake of her first costume, Yuna Songstress. When Eli finished sewing, Silver and Redkun grabbed photos. It was sooo nice and sunny and we got iced coffee afterwards. When heading back to get changed, I met Nert and conveniently Eli turned up too so we ended up with even more spacktastic photos.
I got back to my room to apply sun cream, have some lunch and change back into Selphie due to popular demand (also making best use of green contacts!) I then did a stint in Cosplay HQ in an attempt to justify all the free Pepsi and chocolate I’d been consuming all weekend :P I dashed off before the closing ceremony/Sunday Night Live to shower, get changed out of costume and have something to eat since I was expecting a lot of places to be closed by the time SNL finished.
Closing ceremony, like the opening ceremony, was wonderfully brief and SNL was fantastic! Not too many acts, so it didn’t drag on, and all the performances seemed to be really well-rehearsed and polished, so even those I wasn’t so keen on were more than tolerable. Go look at Dee’s videos. And of course Mark and Matt were fantastic hosts.
It finished much earlier than I expected, but seems like eating beforehand was a good decision anyway since the Duck wasn’t able to serve food, but an emergency pizza order apparently saved everyone from starvation. I went off to get changed into costume, do some packing and relax for a bit before the Time Traveller’s Dance. I originally wasn’t sure what to wear to this, but decided on my Star Trek uniform. It’s from the future and the 1960s at the same time! Seemed to be a good choice since I got a lot of compliments, sadly, the obnoxious football people really liked that costume too so I escaped by taking an odd circuitous route through the SU to avoid them.
Not sure I really liked the Time Traveller’s Dance; maybe I just missed the music I would have enjoyed. I still had a good evening running around a few of the different places people were hanging out, but tiredness caught up with me far too soon and I headed off to bed about midnight.
I finished up packing and went off breakfast-wards. Managed to see a few people along the way, found most others in Cosplay HQ to say goodbye and conveniently met up with that Scottish lot who’d be getting the train so was able to tag along in a taxi to the station with them. Journey home went fine and Birmingham airport has definitely improved a lot since I was last there!
- Loved spending time with all of you again!
- Awesomely organised con, no delays to events, no queues - it was magical. Warwick also continues to be probably my favourite con venue. Nice photo locations, great event rooms, the staff were nice (I had a great conversation about wigs with one lady) and even some of the poor people who were attending tours of the university on Saturday struck up conversations with us (I do think it may have been a mistake to schedule tours for that weekend though!)
- Lots of good food options this time, Dirty Duck open all weekend and breakfast included with the accommodation = yay!
- I quickly got used to the distance of my accommodation (which was far from being the most remote) and I seemed to have a nice quiet corridor with a reasonably tidy kitchen and the housekeeping staff were great. I say my corridor was quiet, but I ended up wearing ear plugs to sleep after the eejit in one of the adjacent rooms let their alarm go off at 5.30am on Saturday for aaaages. I’m fairly sure it happened again on Monday morning but I was tired enough to go straight back to sleep and I’m not sure if I dreamt it or not now. Also never really identified which room was responsible, so can only rant.
- So many great events, I wish I could have gone to more (like cosplay chess!). Masquerade and SNL were fantastic.
- no real negatives, nothing significant anyway (I can cope with occasional irritating gaggles of footballers) Just wish the con didn’t have to end!
...and an update on today's employment-related events
I mostly unpacked yesterday and even got some washing done, then I had today off work as well so finished all that up. As well as having the day off to catch up on sleep, I’d also booked it off work since there was a chance I’d have a job interview. I actually found out for certain on Friday afternoon from a voicemail left on my phone, but got the message too late to confirm my attendance so had to wait until Monday. Apparently they also emailed me about the interview on Friday and sent a letter which arrived on Saturday. Putting aside the fact I was away for the weekend, it’s still pretty short notice for an interview. There’s a good chance many candidates, like me, wouldn’t have got the phonecall or email before close of play on Friday so wouldn’t have been able to contact them until Monday to say we’d be able to attend, which seems like poor planning and must have been really frustrating for the staff trying to organise the interviews if they don’t know if the candidates are going to be turning up until the day before!
Anyway, I had the interview this afternoon. It’s a position administering examinations, same as my current salary and also only fixed term (with potential to go permanent, although see how well that worked for me last time…) but what the hell, I’m not saying no to job interviews. It went well and I’m actually quite enthusiastic about the job. I had to do an aptitude test putting together an exam timetable, which entertained me since it’s infinitely easier than allocating part-time sheriffs which I spent all of last Monday doing. Not finding out about the interview sooner and Aya happening meant I basically had Monday night and this morning to vaguely prepare in a sleep-deprived way, but at least having read their website last-minute was a big help.
They’ve said I’ll be informed of the outcome tomorrow. Thing is, I’ve got another interview tomorrow (which I’ll be depleting my flexi to go to during my lunch break) for a permanent position with a higher salary at a charity. On the face of it, I should be crossing my fingers for this one due to it being a permanent management position with more money, but I can’t refuse the other position right away if I’m offered it.
Basically, it‘s going to be awkward if I’m offered the first job and want to hold on to find out if the charity are going to offer me that job! Could be I’ll hate the charity job once I find out more at the interview, could be I won’t get the exam job, but why do two interviews suddenly have to come along at once? Anyway, time for more last-minute interview preparation...