Collectormania 2011, Milton Keynes, UK
When the twins turned up a little later, only seven people were in front of me and the twins took their time to talk to everyone and pose for pictures for whoever wanted it. I’d brought a photo that I took of the twins at the gala premiere of HP7 part 1 in Copenhagen, which they signed, and James said that it was one of the loudest premieres they had ever been too. My fellow Villan Oliver got up and gave me a hug and a kiss and he asked me about my trip to the UK and me staying in Sutton Coldfield.
I’d bought the twins wristbands from my local FC and Oliver decided that James was to get the ones in the home colours while he kept the ones in the away colours. I know, wristbands aren’t as inventive as the Ned Gerblansky T-shirt I gave James a couple of years back, but to make up for it, I also gave the twins The Slade Box, a 4 CD anthology containing Slade tunes from 1969 to 1991. Then we had a pic taken and I got a new hug and kiss from Oliver before my five minutes were up.
I then went to see Nigel Planer (Neil from The Young Ones) and I got an autograph and a pic, but there was no time for talk. He only asked me if my name had an a or in e in the end. He seemed nice enough and I noticed that no flash photography was allowed.
The photo shoot was hilarious and the quickest I have ever attended, the bloke shooting the pictures calling everyone Sir or Madam no matter if they were six or sixty. Each shot took less than five seconds, the twins almost laughing at the photographer who kept repeating, “Step up, Ma’m, that’s nice, Ma’m, you’re done, Ma’m, step up, Sir,” etc. over and over again. Oliver sneaked in a “Hi again” and “Cheers. Thanks for coming,” to me, then I was done there as well.
In the meantime the sun had come out, but because of the wind it was a lot warmer outside the stadium than inside and the place slowly emptied. Around 4 p.m. only the people waiting for photos were left and even most of the celebrity guests had gone, except for the Phelps twins. Their photos didn’t show up until 5 p.m., then their queue got even longer as everyone wanted their pics signed. Poor boys, they worked hard for the money!
There were many dealers, yes, but most of the stuff that was on sale was the same, and when it’s impossible to take pics of the celebrity guests because they are hidden inside “tents” what are we supposed to do while we wait?
A chill out zone or a bar/restaurant with seats would have been nice, too, as it is very tiring to spend nine hours walking around the stadium as there was nowhere to sit down. You couldn’t even stand still because you’d then freeze to death! To be perfectly honest, hadn’t the Phelps twins been there, I would have regretted going, but as it was, the twins saved my day. Thanks, guys.
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