|Jon Weir, aged 11 and a half, meets his hero.|
Arrived to find that SFX Magazine had learnt some lessons from last year's SFX Weekender at Camber Sands the first of which was not to hold the event at Camber Sands. Pontin's Prestatyn camp was better maintained, closer to the actual town and definitely cleaner. It was also much more compact which meant that despite being, once again, housed as far away from the main area as humanly possible without being actually in a different camp - it wasn't the morale sapping slog it was last year. My chalet had bed, a shower that worked and adequate heating - I don't really ask for much more in accommodation so I was happy.
I'd come up on the Thursday night because I was due to compère a Q&A session with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred. After gleefully joining the short queue to sign in I spent a pleasant evening meeting authors and fans in the pub while periodically being harangued by Lavie Tidhar for shaving off my beard (he seemed to take it as a personal affront).
|If he starts playing the banjo I'm out of here.|
Something about the decor spooked Jon who felt we had dropped into a North Wales remake of Deliverance and that we were about to be killed and eaten by the cafe proprietors. Fortunately we escaped and stuffed with breakfast and intimidated by the cold weather we grabbed a taxi home.
We got back only to find that the train service had been disrupted and we might be experiencing a serious Sylv and Sophie shortage (a terrible thing I can tell you). In the end Sylv arrived to put me out of my misery but Sophie couldn't get there in time. Now I'm a writer, a profession I chose in part because it doesn't involve addressing vast halls full of expectant fans - I had questions I'd prepared earlier and now inexplicably couldn't remember. Sylvester, sensing that he wasn't going to get alot of help from me, seized a radio mike and leapt of the stage and into the audience. I then got to spend a fun half an hour watching him bounce around the hall like a teddy bear while holding a delighted audience in the palm of his hand.
Actors - god bless em and all of us who write for them.