Travel

Cal Mah Convention Report

This past weekend saw the first Stargate convention in the UK for several years, the baton having being heroically picked up by FCD Events. It’s been a rocky couple of months, the original hotel going bust and issues with the replacement venue, but the guys running FCD managed to overcome the problems and delivered an excellent convention with fabulous guests.

H and I set off early afternoon, motorbiking the 110 miles to Leicester. We stayed in The Belmont Hotel, which was absolutely lovely and highly recommended. We pre-payed the stay including breakfast, so we’d nothing to worry about on that side of things, but we didn’t have as much money for the con as I’d have liked. Like having the miss the Friday night dinner/ party, but after being on the motorbike for three hours, maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing!

While the convention had guests representing all three Stargate shows, for me the draw was Cliff Simon, who played Baal in SG1. We go back a little way – I run his fan site and finally met in 2013, where we got on like a house on fire.

This time was no different. I presented him with his book for signing (Paris Nights – go read it if you haven’t!) and he asked for my name. I gave him a very long look and said, “Misa.” To which he hid his face in his hands. “You’ve changed your hair!” Well, yes, darling. It had been 5 years (and five months, but I wasn’t counting. Much.) Since he added he’d been looking out for me and I got a massive hug, I decided to forgive him. He also signed my copy of his book.

“Misa, Good to see u again. With love, Cliff Simon.”

I gave him a woolly beanie, seeing as the UK is so cold, which was apparently a huge mistake – or at least giving him a business card was – as right at the start of the SG1 panel, in front of a crowd of roughly 1000, he decided to point at me and tell the entire room that I ran his fan site, was marvellous, and they should all support my new business. Talk about embarrassing.

Anyway the rest of the panel veered between interesting and ridiculous as stories were told of time on the set and what the actors have done since (Dan Shea hadn’t done anything, as he “has no talent”.)

There were also panels from David Blue – our sole Universe guest – and Torri Higginson and Rainbow Sun Francks from Atlantis. There had been a couple of cancellations, but that’s the nature of conventions inviting working actors. Given the “replacements” included SG1’s Christopher Judge, I wasn’t complaining much!

Due to finances, I could afford just one photo shoot. I chose to do a green screen photo with Cliff, and I added H as an extra person because I’m nice. The background was of a Goa’uld mothership and Cliff was in full Baal regalia. I got right to the front of the queue before realising I’ve no idea what I wanted. As I flailed, Cliff (who was sat down) pointed to his knee. Short of options – and not needing too much encouragement – I went for it.

The photo needs editing and will take about two weeks to process.

H and I managed to chat to Cliff late on Sunday, before we went, where he spotted H’s motorbike t-shirt. They talked about bikes a lot, with Cliff taking a very long look at the photo of H’s bike (this still amuses the heck out of me.) He was surprised we’d gone so far on the bike, remembered that I had been planning on taking my DAS the last time we met and still hadn’t done it, and told me to ride safe several times. (I got my revenge when he tweeted about leaving and I told him to “Fly safe!” *giggle*)

Cliff wearing the beanie I made him.

There was hugging. LOTS of hugging. I think we’re both hoping it won’t be another five years before we manage to meet up again, but it really depends on convention organisers.

I really ought to have more to say about the other guests, but there was only one I went for. *shrug*

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