Sunday, April 15, 2007

A day at the Holiday Inn

Yesterday I met my friend Joe at Ipswich station and we walked the 30-minute walk to the Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Ipswich for the second Doctor Who Unleashed convention. It was soon apparent I'd made a mistake bringing a coat, but thankfully this time we didn't get lost in a maze of cul de sacs and found our way there in good time. Joe is always excellent company so the walk went quickly as we chatted about anything and everything. There was my impending purchase of a Mac Mini, and the guilt associated with it (I wouldn't be touching it if my damn iMac G5 wasn't now shutting down after five minutes due to heat problems associated with its first-generation status. Thanks a bunch, Apple - Christ knows where you get your reputation from). Then we got on to Scrubs, and Doctor Who and all kinds of subjects inbetween, including some planned filmed skits for Joe's Edinburgh show in August (see here).

Although the convention is quite small-scale - the kind I like if truth be told - there were some stellar guests: Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor, Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), Barry Letts and Terrence Dicks. We went to the three talks and paid our £7 for coffee with Colin Baker. It was a good session, and although we didn't stay on the subject of football for very long (Mr Baker is clearly a knowledgeable fan, despite following Man Yoo*), I did manage to get in a mention of his role as Doctor Dudgeon in Swallows and Amazons Forever. I can be quite shameless at times in these coffee events - Christ knows where I get my bravado from, because I'd never dream of asking a question during a panel with 50 other people in the room!

We left the convention early to catch the 5ish trains back to our respective homes. As we wandered back into town (it seemed longer on the way back, perhaps due to the heat and my aching feet), we passed a garage with a football commentary blaring out, and there was an audible roar on the radio and the stadium half a mile away as Ipswich equalised against Blues' promotion rivals Derby. There was a second roar from the station as Ipswich scored a late penalty to do Blues a huge favour and win 2-1. Blues for their part beat Southampton 2-1 to ensure the heart-wrenching pain of will-we, won't-we continues for another week. It's back in our hands, and our game in hand is on Tuesday. Judging by our woeful record against the bottom teams, though, it could be back in Derby's hands by the weekend as we travel to struggling Leicester. In other words, hopefully I'll be eating humble pie come the end of the season, but just as one swallow doesn't make a summer, neither does one victory make things all rosy again in the Blues garden, especially when imbalances in player selection remain.

*He's from Manchester, so the affinity is genuine. He does regularly attend matches at his local second division club, and seems pretty knowledgeable, although I did have to disavow him of the notion that we were practically promoted. At the time, we'd only just kicked off and were still four points behind Derby.

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