My goodness what a day! Bathed in early morning sunshine, myself and the 'Provost Marshal' travelled up from the coast to gorge ourselves at the halls of plenty, more commonly referred to as 'Salute'. I have to confess that I've been as giddy as a schoolboy in the run up to the great day, but as we stepped off the train at Custom House I was all to keenly aware that I was becoming a stereotype - a gentleman of a certain age, follically challenged, belt fastened precariously at the last hole carrying an empty rucksack; oh well, we all have to embrace our inner geek sooner or later. Having arrived at the Excel centre in good time we were confronted by a vast queue that was clearly not destined for the London Marathon registration (see previous note on stereotypes!) but having had the foresight to advance order our tickets we were able to walk straight in.
Having charged the camera the night before in readiness, counted up the pocket money and printed out the wish list I though that I was a ready as I could be, but try as the 'Provost Marshal' did to instil some form of order to the proceedings the shroud of 'shinybloodyitis' descended and I was held in a frenzied bout of purchasing until lunchtime! So distracted was I by all things shiny that the only real photograph I took was a test shot of my beloved Earl Grey!
As for the loot, well pre-ordering is definitely the way to go and the day was all about getting my grubby hands on the 'In Her Majesty's Name' merchandise. That said I always have to swing by my old favourites, 'Empress Miniatures' and Mutineer Miniatures' to add to the burgeoning lead pile and then it was really down to looking for characters to flesh out my zombie hunting team that I've got planned for later in the year.
The final highlight was of course meeting up with fellow bloggers at lunchtime and whilst it was lovely to see familiar faces, I'm afraid that I didn't meet as many of you as I hoped, the result of a certain amount of nervous trepidation and please accept my apologies for that - perhaps name badges next year chaps? That said I was able to add a few more faces to names and hand over Sidney's prize from the recent draw and with the somewhat lengthy debrief at the local hostelry amiably concluded I was able to fall into bed a tired, but happy chap.