9-03-04 Latest News

Fellowship Festival Reports and Pictures! - Cadiliniel
leo @ 10:03 am EST

I've written a report of my day at the Fellowship Festival (I was there on Saturday). I wrote it specially for this message board I visit so it's a bit geared towards the members there rather than a general audience, and if more than a little bit fangirly *hee hee* Anyway, I thought I'd send it along, I hope the links to the piccies work. I've taken out a few bits that aren't relevant for a general site...anyway, let me know if it's okay! It's rather John Noble centric, as that was my main reason for going, and there should probably be a language warning thrown in there too, for use of the word 'w*nker' (and I'm quoting John at that point!). Anyway, here it is, let me know if you want to take any bits out of it:

Cadiliniel's journey to the Fellowship Festival 2004

DISCLAIMER: Most of the stuff I write down now is probably going to be mixed up at some bits, as I can't quite remember the order everything happened etc. so, just.bear with me on that front. And when I quote myself or other people, the quotes probably aren't right, but are mostly roughly what I remember them saying.!

I woke at 2am, Saturday, 28th August. I don't think I've ever been awake that early (well, never woken up that early, plenty of times I've stayed up that late!) but then, I don't think I was likely to get much sleep with so much excitement in my veins! I went online so that I could make some last minute posts - turns out one of my friends was online so she and I indulged in some Zero Hour squealage. Then, I realised the time and that I really should start getting ready! So, I said goodbye, promising to text her at some point during the day.

I'd prepared my clothes and bag all the previous few days, so there was no trouble there. I just hoped my t-shirt would go down well rather than badly! After all that, I put all my make up and a comb in my bag in anticipation for the day (needless to say, between everything I had no time to even think about extra beautification!). I checked over everything in my bag, and went downstairs. I wasn't going to have breakfast so early, so I had a quick drink of water before checking my bag yet again and then going to say goodbye to my mum, who wasn't coming but had woken up anyway. My dad and I left the house at about 3.40am.

The journey went well, though the breakfast was basically extortionately priced cardboard. The roads were relatively quiet, considering the hour, even though it's a bank holiday weekend. I managed to see some lovely and eerie low mists on fields, and the Sun slowly waking up. Also discovered that radio is absolutely rubbish at that time of the night/morning, but luckily my dad had a Tom Jones CD in the car that we could listen to part of the way, until the radio stations started playing better music.

We found our way through London easily enough, having looked over directions earlier. Thankfully, there was still very little traffic around, so that made things easier yet again. I was getting more and more excited the closer we got to Alexandra Palace, and we finally arrived at 8.00am. I managed to get even more excited from the walk to the venue from the car park. The excitement was not aided by another car arriving which had the FotR soundtrack blaring from all speakers (and what's more.right at the point where Boromir gets killed.!). I walked to the Palace to find quite a number of people gathered outside - the doors had yet to be opened, even though the opening ceremony was scheduled to begin at 9am. I was set to meet some other members of the LotR Fanatics Plaza. Slowly, we Plazaites seemed to converge, though the doors had still yet to open. Finally, at about 8.45am the doors opened to let us in. Then, there was the queuing. I had my theatre tickets and two of my three autograph tickets, but I needed to pick up one. The queue was huge, many waiting to pick up their tickets to get into the theatre, where the opening ceremony was being held. The queue was very slow moving, and they announced that the opening ceremony had been put back until 9.30am. Still we were queued. We slowly made our way and got our tickets, but there was still a huge amount of people behind us. As we waited for a ticket problem for one of the Plaza members to be sorted out, none other than Craig Parker and Mark Ferguson came out and addressed us all, telling us that they hadn't started without us, but that they were waiting for most people to come in. They went off again, and t hat was my first brush with the stars that day!

We all had different seat numbers so were sat separately in the theatre. I took my seat, which was surprisingly close to the stage (but not close enough for my camera to take clear pictures, it would seem *sigh*). In any case, soon enough, the ceremony began. A host of costumed people came on the stage, to a female voice over. There were Elves, Hobbits and of course humans. There was an Aragorn, and indeed a Boromir, complete with arrows. They did their part then left the stage to loud applause. Then came a voice, announcing onto the stage Mark Ferguson. He came on, welcomed us all, the faux-forgot that he was meant to introduce Craig too. This lead to a funny skit that established clearly that the two make as great a double act as most Con reports would have you believe. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/CraigandMark2.jpg and http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/CraigandMark.jpg) They did a little clapometer thing, where Mark's arms were the indicators of how loudly we should clap/cheer. They also did a spre ading the love thing, which was hilarious, and involved first of all learning to love ourselves, which meant rubbing our own thighs (Craig was hilarious) and then we had to spread the love, and therefore had to rub the thigh of the person on our right (luckily, I was on the end of my row so had no legs to rub ;-)). Craig and Mark demonstrated this to much laughter as they got in a tangle to rub each other's thighs! They then went on to introduce those taking part. This included many Tolkien Society members, and so forth, before moving on, to be frank, to those we were all there to see. There came Gino from WETA, Lawrence, Sandro, Jarl, Jorn, et al. but the screams were at their loudest for both John Howe and Alan Lee, John Noble *g*, Bernard Hill, Bruce Hopkins and Karl Urban. They all came on, whilst Craig and Mark explained a little of how things would work.

First in the theatre was Bernard Hill, who was making his convention debut at the Fellowship Festival ("I'm a virgin." were his own words!). But - I couldn't stay as I knew Karl was signing quite soon, seeing how everything had begun to run late. Another of the Plazaites, Idril, was also having an autograph session with Karl, and of course I made her go before me in the queue because I needed the time to compose myself! We then came to realise that John was signing at this time too.yes, actually sat at the table next to Karl! He was scheduled for signing later, so needless to say I was slightly taken aback. But back to Karl. He was looking lovely as usual, slightly baggy jeans, a blue stripy shirt and a gorgeous leather jacket. Anyway, my turn came. He was absolutely lovely in himself too. He said hi, I said hi (whilst grinning like an idiot) and extended his hand to shake my hand. Well, I thought that would have thrown me. I shook his hand!! Somehow, I managed to keep my composure as he asked how I was, I said I was fine, then I said I was going to be a pain and ask for three things signed. He said it was no problem, and asked my name so that he could sign the three things I had (one 10x8 photo as provided there, my copy of Weapons and Warfare and the programme of the Festival). He signed all three, and I a sked him what the filming commitment was that meant he couldn't be at Collectormania (the friend I was talking to previously was planning on going to Collectormania so wanted know, and frankly so did I, as it didn't say anything on IMDb). He said it was a new project and he asked if I'd be at his Q and A session later. I said yes (how could I not?!) so he said he would probably mention it then. Then I asked if I could have a photo, and he said sure I could, so I gave my camera to his PA to take the photo. How excited did I get when his arm was round my shoulder. Haha, I knew that was going to be a picture to keep for a verrrry long time. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandKarlautosession.jpg) I said thanks and he said it was nice to meet me (I managed not to start giggling) so I returned the compliment, said bye and went back to Idril. Then, I started giggling. She was then urging me on to see John.

His signing, as I was saying, was scheduled for later, so I had it my mind that I would have taken part in the debate before having the signing session. There were advantages to both situations; I'd thought if I'd done the debate first at least I'd have met him first and been less likely to mess up all I wanted to say during the signing. Of course, at least if I met him first at the signing I would have met him before having to discuss the finer points of Denethor in front of other people! Anyway, I had Idril urging me to go now, before the queue got big. So, I got everything I wanted signed ready, got TNSC out of my bag (and from the very many folders I had kept it in!) and got my camera ready. I asked Idril if she would watch my bag and she said sure, I think she'd worked out how excited/nervous I was about meeting John *huggles Idril* So anyway off I got to get in the line area for John. There were people in front of me and as they went to him I started getting really nervous. I could tell he was absolutely great in talking to everyone, but I was more nervous I think about me saying something stupid or forgetting to say something I was meant to say. Anyway, I waited, and John's PA was standing around (as were all of the PA's) and he came and noticed my t-shirt. So he came over to talk to me and we had a bit of a chat. He was lovely, and said tha t as soon as he heard that John was going to be at the event he'd e-mailed him asking if he could be his PA! He kept checking his watch as the two that had gone in front of me were taking a while. The PA wasn't telling them to hurry up as there wasn't anyone behind me at this stage. I didn't mind the wait, as I knew I'd want to spend as much time with him as possible, despite my nervousness, but the longer wait was doing nothing to help ease my nerves! I said to the PA as he explained this to me that as long as I got a while with him I didn't mind, to which he smiled, saying it didn't matter as there weren't many people in the queue. So I waited a little longer as the pair in front of me said whatever they were saying and I realised that they were finishing. I took a deep breath, and as they left the PA turned to me and took my ticket (shame, or I could have gone again!) and I went to see John. He smiled and said hi in a very energetic way, and again like Karl, extended his hand to shake mine. So in my head, I was in a bit of a mess, thinking '*gah* I just shook the Noble One's hand!' which had somewhat more significance than shaking Karl's hand, simply because it was John. Anyway, he asked me my name, and I said Nia. He sort of looked at me, and asked 'N-I-A?' I said yes, and couldn't help but grin (actually, I think I was grinning all the time.) as it seemed he recognised the name (maybe he didn't, but it seemed it rang a bell). So I said 'I have sent you e-mails before now.do you know the one you got recently about fan fict ion?' He smiled and said yes he did, to which I replied with something along the lines of: 'Well, that was me, and with slightly ulterior motives. You see (at this point I bring out TNSC* from the pile of stuff I had put on the table) I have a gift for you (to which he seemed quite touched, though I noticed someone had already given him a gift of sorts, though it was wrapped so I have no idea what it was). It's not just from me though, it's from four of us..' then I'm sure I said something else, but I forget what, note he was going 'aw' quite a lot of this time, which was more disconcerting than anything because I had to refrain from giggling like a girl and just keep on talking. Anyway, I went on to say that this was Volume One and that 'I believe you're going to Ring*Con in October?' (to which he nodded) and that he would get Volume 2 then. Thinking back now, I think it would have been better had I said who would be giving it to him them, but that slipped my mind amongst everything! But meeeep here comes the best bit. He said something along the lines of (and I swear, I'm not making this up *g*) "Aw, sweetheart that's sweet, you're going to have to come here to give me a kiss." I think I almost died at that point, but erm, I wasn't not going to, was I?! So yes, my friends, I got a kiss from the Noble One.Chris, Astara - just you wait 'til Ring Con!!! Anyway, I got back round to the 'fan' side of the table, and still managed to keep my composure as he started signing my things. He said it was lucky he saw that e-mail as he'd been away filming in Prague (I resisted the temptation to say "Yeah, I know!" for fear of looking like a total obsessive.) and had only recently got back, and he had loads of stuff in his inbox that needed dealing with, but he saw this one and answered it! Anyhoo, he signed the 10x8 and yes, he is indeed left handed, and thankfully I did resist blurting out the fact and looking like a very strange person (though I think that aspect of my personality was already quite well established :-P). The ink from the pen leaked a little as he signed the 10x8 and he said he'd put to one side so I could come back later to get it once it had dried. I mentioned that I was taking part in the debate later on to which he said something like 'yeah, that should be good' (I forget really, actually, I can't really remember when I mentioned the debate). Then I said as he was signing that we wanted to wish him a belated Happy Birthday for last week to which he came out with a loud 'Yes! It was my birthday this time last week,' (looking at his PA) 'no, Friday it was.' Then his PA said it was Billy's birthday today, and John said something (I forget I'm afraid), and then said 'I think Alan Lee has the birthday the same day as me.' to which I said 'Yes, he does,' so was probably starting to show my obsessive side! He, by this point, had signed the 10x8 and the festival programme, and moved on to Weapons and Warfare, that I'd opened to the right page. He looked at it, maybe a bit as though he hadn't seen the book before (I don't know, he didn't say anything). He looked at the picture on the right hand page and without any warning did The Voice. "I release you from my service, Peregrin, son of Paladin, go forth and die in whichever way you see fit." I think the grin had yet again widened on my face. He looked at his PA, who was stood next to us and said 'That's what I say in that bit,' back in his regular voice. Then joy of joys. He goes and gives and anecdote about the filming of that scene (one I haven't heard before anyway). He said how he had to go and drag Billy along and throw him through the doors, slam the door then turn around and say "Pour more oil on the wood." So one time when he was filming he did all the dragging, slammed the doors, turned round and said "Pour more wood on the oil!" He said how they cut the take, but everyone was bit unsure what exactly was wrong with it and that it took them a while to work out that he'd mixed up 'wood' and 'oil'! Trust me, that story was funnier when he told it.! Then he went ahead and signed the book (there might have been more talking, I can't remember). There were others behind me in the queue now, so obviously he had to end the session, so to speak. He said he'd see me later and told me not to forget my 10x8 and shook my hand and I said bye. I think I'd taken two steps away when I realised I'd gone and forgotten to ask for a bloody photo *doh* The next person in the queue was there, and there was one still waiting. Anyway, I said to his PA I'd forgotten and said I'd wait for the people (erm, make that person) in the queue to go first before I went to get the photo, and the PA graciously accepted the terms *g* So, I waited a bit again, and as the girl in front of me (in the most amazing Gil-Galad costume) finished, the PA (I really should have asked his name) told John.no, actually I think he'd already told John before the girl before me saw him, but anyway. He stood from his chair and came round the front of the table and said "Right, let's get Nia a photo." I think the photo speaks for itself http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandJohnautosession.jpg *g* I thanked him again and went off, camera in hand back to Idril. A few more of the Plazaites had gathered there now as well, having found us again. I'm glad Idril was there, because my stomach was turning and I was definitely shaking (I think actually I'd been shaking all through the session with John). I think my voice was definitely shaking and I said 'Oh my God, I think I'm going to cry!' I think maybe it looked like I was going to cry too, as Idril said 'Aw, don't cry!' *cough*ravingfangirl*cough*

By now it was about 11.20am, and the debate was scheduled to start at 11.30am, but as everything was running late because of the delay in the morning. We needed to get a group Plaza photo taken, so we went to find somewhere to take it. I needed to go check what time the debate would begin, so on the way out to get our photos taken I had a look to see if the board that was up said anything, but it didn't, so I thought I'd come back and ask after having the photo done. We went out to the corridor between the small hall and the Great Hall and all gathered so we could all take group photos, and one of the attendants took a photo of us all together. I had a sandwich in my bag, and figured I had to eat something before the debate.so I ate a quarter of it, because I couldn't stomach any more at the point! I did have a good few gulps of water though. I went back to the small hall to ask someone what time the debate was set to start, and it was to start at 12.00pm. We had a little look round the stalls but soon enough it was time for me to go to the small area where the debate would take place and meet the others t aking part. I'd had a text from Ian Collier earlier that morning, saying that the debate would take on more of a Q and A session form than a debate. I think this was probably wise, seeing how we only had an hour and it would have been difficult, realistically, to hold a 'debate'. He'd also said in the text that "John seems cool" which had excited me no end! But back to the point. He said that John had told him that he had wanted to meet me before the debate, because it seemed that as I'd sent a list of possible questions to Ann Lindholm (who had asked me to take part) and she had forwarded them to John. That induced some inner *squeeing* on my part! He introduced me to Mike Percivall, another member of the Tolkien Society. We went to the 'stage' (meaning, the bit in front of all the chairs) and I put my bag behind the chairs. I had a little chat with Mike, neither of us being too sure about how this would all be held. The Steward of that area (yeah, I was jealous that all these people got to be called Stewards ;-)) came to be, saying that John had told her he wanted to meet me before the debate. Of course, I was stupid and far too honest when I told her I'd already met him earlier during the signing session >.< I had a few of my friends from the Plaza in the audience which consisted of some say 50 people (some standing). There were four chairs for 'the panel' and on kinda on the other side for John.&n bsp; John had also requested (again, I'm not making this up!) that I sit on the chair that was closest to him *guh* ! Anyway, John arrived, shook hands with Mike Percivall (who had yet to meet him) and we (well, they!) had a chat about how the whole thing should be structured; whether or not there was moderator or anything. John said because it was a small audience and therefore quite intimate so we could really just go ahead and see how it goes. The audience was involved far more than I expected, but that wasn't really a bad thing. I can't remember much of what was said, but I do know that a friend managed to video film all the bits where I spoke to John, so hopefully I can get that all soon!! One question I do remember, and was glad because someone else asked it, was "Had you read the book prior to getting the role?" He said he hadn't (but that he had read The Hobbit), but when he knew he was going to audition for the role of Denethor he had suddenly realised he had this big massive book to read, so he went ahead and found all the Denethor bits and read and re-read them, and then when he knew he had the part he read the whole thing over a few times including all other relevant pieces of info regarding Denethor (I'd think the appendices but I'm not sure if it includes The Palantiri or not). I'll try and remember what else was said properly, but I seriously can't remember right now. I can say that overall he did seem to be defensive of what the film did with Denethor, but I think he had the advantage of being an actor so obviously has to look at things from a filmmaking point of view. I think perhaps he can understand why certain things were done because of this. He did however openly say about the flaming plunge (when I asked about it - w00t) 'Don't tell Peter.actually I think he already knows, but no, I didn't like that.' And he said similarly about Gandalf whacking him with the staff (when he has his 'Flee for your lives' bit) wasn't to his liking either, and that it did more of a disservice to Gandalf, he though. He did, in fact, talk about two additional parts in the EE, and discussed the 'falling over' scene in quite some detail. He said that Denethor is yet again having a go at Faramir and that Faramir is essentially telling his father he is wrong (that must be the '.you would not know your son' bit) and that Denethor stands up in a rage (he did use the word 'make to strike him' at one point, but when I asked about this he seemed to change to it just being Denethor standing up in his rage and making more of that than the striking.hmm.) but then trips over his robes and falls over backwards. He's quite dazed, and when he looks up, he doesn't see Faramir, but he sees Boromir (this sounded quite nice, but I was still a bit miffed at the falling over *g*) and he says something to him, but then the image of Boromir fades and he sees Faramir again. I wasn't quite convinced that the scene was going to do any favours for Denethor, despite the seeing Boromir thing, but I think it'll take actually seeing this scene before it's possible to pass judgement. He told the story of filming the falling over part, saying how PJ got the perfect shot and yet made another 17 takes. And it would seem, ladies, that there is photographic evidence of the bruise that was on his behind, as taken by Billy Boyd, of all people! Apparently someone had phoned up begging John to let them have it for the EE, but he'd said no, because "they've got all this marvellous literary stuff to include; they don't want my bum in there too!" He also spoke about another scene, which sounded more promising. When Denethor is leading the procession to Rath Dinen, he stops and sees the battle below, and he does in fact have the line "Why do the fools fly?" I think my heart actually skipped a beat, because I think that'll perhaps (hopefully!) bring some more depth to Denethor. One other things I remember is that he said how when he went back to do the ADR, he had to spend about two days getting himself depressed enough to get Denethor's voice right again (he said something along the lines of "probably everyone was thinking 'bloody method actors, all wankers'"), even to the extent of getting himself quite ill in order to get in the Denethor frame of mind. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandJohninTalan.jpg) After our time was up we all applauded and the audience started to disperse and John thanked us (hand on my shoulder! hand on my shoulder!) and went off for whatever he was doing afterwards.

I gathered my stuff together, and we went to see if we could get to see John Howe and Alan Lee. They weren't signing until 2.00pm, so I went to the queue for Bernard Hill, a queue that had to be the biggest for any of the signings of that day (yay for Bernard!). We were told then that he was going to finish the few at the front and that he would be back at 2.00 to sign for an hour. So, we had a look round some of the stalls again, then eventually went and started queuing for John and Alan, in the hope that they might appear earlier than 2.00pm. I had my illustrated copy of The Hobbit for Alan to sign, and I bought a copy of Myth and Magic for John to sign. I was stood with one of my Plaza friends, Samantha in the queue, so while waiting we did manage to have a good long chat about everything and anything! We were relatively close to the front of a very long queue, and it still took us ages to reach them. Again, I'm not making this up, but while we were waiting one of the Stewards came up to me and said she had a message from John saying that he thought the debate went really well and that he like my questions! *guh* Personal messages! Both Alan and John were great, Alan being very softly spoken, I thought, as he appears on the DVD's! John was amazing, drawing a little sketch for everyone and taking his time over them to get them right. He drew Gandalf for me! After that, it was already about 2.30, so a big queue had formed again for Bernard, which I swiftly joined. I knew John was doing his Q and A session in the main theatre at 3.00pm, and it slowly dawned on me that it was likely I would miss a bit of it because of the size of this queue. I waited, waited, and eventually came to Bernard, sporting white hair and matching beard ('he looks like Father Jack!' [from UK comedy show Father Ted] said a women behind me, and I must say she had a point! In the nicest way possible, of course!). He was every bit the gentleman, shook my hand, asked my name, and even asked about my t-shirt and was generally a very nice man. He signed my things, and I asked for a photo, which he kindly obliged. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/MeandBernardautosession.jpg) By now, it was 3.30pm, so I'd only be able to catch half of John's theatre sessio n.

I wrote down various things from the theatre session, but I can't remember the order of them, so I'll just write what I remember! He had a great interaction with the audience who had plenty of questions to ask. Here are some of the things he spoke about. He said he enjoyed filming the Pyre scene because it was so dangerous with the fire and all, it was like being a kid again! He went on to say how he'd always loved to be in a cowboy movie, and that a few years back he got the opportunity and loved it (which film is that?!). He had a little story about how when they won best ensemble cast at the SAG's he got kissed by Catherine Zeta-Jones, but he didn't remember only that someone had got it on video! He also spoke about how everyone had a few too many beers at The One Party and that it was 'wild'. He mentioned that he gets a fight scene in his new film ('with guns and everything') but also that he only gets 7 minutes of screen time (he made a bit of a joke that 'that's how things go, I suppose'). He said of his first reaction to seeing RotK was that he was 'disappointed' that some parts he hoped were in it were cut, but that overall he thought that what he saw was a 'work of genius'. He said he cried 3 times whilst watching the film, Sam's 'I can't carry it, but I can carry you!' bit; Aragorn's speech at the Black Gate; and when Gandalf is telling Pippin about death. He also said he cried at Denethor's bits when he went back to do ADR, because he felt so sorry for him! His session ended to much cheering, and we had a 10 minute break before the comedy radio play, 'LotR 4 - The Return of the Towering Fellowship' was to begin. I went to have a look again at the things to buy, but realised I would have to cash money to buy all the lithographs I wanted. So I came back and decided I'd cash money later.

The play was hilarious. It was performed by Mark (who wrote it), Craig, Cameron and Sarah, whilst Bruce was doing the sound effects. It was all the funnier because it was the first time they'd all read it through together, so there were bloopers abound! It was a tad risqué maybe for a family event, but frankly, it was so funny I don't think anyone really cared. Worth the ticket price alone! It involved the Fellowship regrouping because Sauron was rising again and each member were being picked off one by one, starting with Merry and Pippin. Haldir shows up and kills Aragorn because he distracted him whilst being heroic at Helm's Deep, and intends to kill the rest of them because they're witnesses, but ends up falling in love with King Kong instead! Stand outs that I can remember (though I was laughing too hard to remember many) are 'Sam, I feel there's something strange in the air'; 'Is it the oppressive cloud of impending doom and destruction that Sauron is about to unleash?' 'No, it's the undercurrent of homo-eroticism that so dogs our story!' And a hilarious blooper where Craig ended up saying 'Hobbitship' rather than 'Fellowship', to many whoops from the audience. There were twenty minutes after that ended before it was Karl's turn in the theatre, so I went to cash some money and buy lithographs *g* Oh, and a Festival t-shirt (that only came in size L and XL.).

Karl's Q and A was fantastic, (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v57/Cadiliniel/KarlUrban.jpg) he was absolutely hilarious too, a really nice guy. I even managed to get some fangirling done in the process. He was talking at one point about having to speak Russian in the Bourne Supremacy and how he had a day to learn his lines but he couldn't, so had to stickytape his lines to the back of a car seat that was out of shot when filming! He went on to say something Russian (or something that sounded Russian, anyway) and then said "Now, that something to get your tongue round.ladies." Well, he was asking for it. There were claps and laughs from the audience, and one big lone girly 'WOOOOO!' from me *g* He looked (not at me, he just looked up, but I'm going to pretend he was looking right at me ;-)) and after a slight pause and with a bit of a laugh 'Moving swiftly on."! So, that was fun to say the least. Then he was amazingly cute when this little girl asked him a question at the front of the stage, he kneeled down to lend he his mic, and then answered the question as though directly to her and really well too (I swear I was melting at this point) and then after he answered he told everyone to give her a round of applause for such a good question *awww* And then, that was the last event of the day I would get to see, because it was now 6.00pm, and I had to leav e quite soon. I spent a bit more time with the people I'd met from the Plaza, some of them having to leave too. We had a little last look round the stalls, and all the tables where everyone had been signing were empty, so I took a photo of John's table and was soooo tempted to steal his half-drunk water bottle, but thought better of it, as it would probably be illegal or something ;-) I didn't see John again at the end of the day, but I told Idril, who was attending the Fellowship Feast in the evening to say hi to him for me *g* Then, we said our goodbyes and left, all in very high spirits. The journey home wasn't too bad, except I kept thinking my dad was going to fall asleep.! We arrived home just past midnight and very, very tired.

A few points for you on meeting John. I did in fact pass him a few times during the day when he was on his way to and from places. He made comment on my t-shirt (but I forget what it was *doh*), and I'm sure the word 'gorgeous' and 'babe' were used on two separate occasions. I'd have to say, I agree with whoever it was that said he likes the ladies! He was a really lovely guy, very talkative and energetic, quite assertive in his character. Unfortunately, I have to say he's almost definitely a smoker, but other than that, absolutely without shadow of a doubt bloody marvellous.

So all in all? The best day of my life.

*The Noble Steward's Chronicles - a collection of fanfiction that myself and three very good friends put together as a gift for him, in two parts. Like I said, he gets Volume 2 at RingCon.

I know, it's long...but...detailed ;-) Like I said, it was written for a message board, so it's written a bit more like a message board post than a proper report. Let me know if you'd like me to change anything.