Last weekend, was the London Anime Expo. It was the perfect opportunity to meet the members of the Eternal Sunset and ToykoToys forums by going to this social event.
On Saturday, I’ve planned to meet Yas at Covent Garden in the morning, before joining Mike, Jason and Josh at the Expo in Docklands. I got to Covent Garden around 9am and I noticed a young man waiting outside the Tube station… I thought: “Hmm, I wonder where Yas is?”
I picked up my mobile and called him. Yas answered and at the corner of my eye, there was a young man across the street picking up his mobile at the same time! I said to Yas: “Where are you?” He replied back: “Hi Leaf, I’m in Marks & Spencer. I will be out in a sec.”
I gave him five minutes waiting for him to appear from M&S. At that time, the young man across the street approach me and gave me a look… I think he might recognise me but wasn’t so sure… After five minutes I called Mike and told him that I was meeting up with Yas. When I hanged up the young man who was waiting all this time said to me: “Hi Leaf?” It was Yas all this time!
After a formal introduction, we made out way to the Expo in Docklands. Getting there proved to be a nightmare as there was planned engineering works on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). We planned to meet Mike, Josh and Jason at the show around 10am and considering they had a head start, expected to get there before us.
In the end, we beat them because Mike got on a wrong train and had to start from the beginning! We finally met up around 10.30am and it was nice to see little Josh and Jason in person!
The Expo was very busy on Saturday, and with so much to see it, we needed to plan out what to do. I told Josh that the signing for Hot Fuzz (with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) would take place around 2pm. So in the mean time, we just went to each stand and look at the merchandising on display.
Mike brought a few stuff while Yas recording some pictures on a digital camera and camcorder. As two o’clock approach, we head to the main Hot Fuzz stand to grab the perfect spot for autographs. Unfortunately everyone thought the same thing and there was quite a crowd. And then, a member of security told us that we couldn’t get an autograph unless you visit the Q&A session beforehand. I think it was a deliberately act of moving the big crowd away from the area…
Jason, Josh and I went to the Q&A but it was packed and we had to stand at the back. The session was quite good showing video clips from the new film and it was amusing to see Simon Pegg and Nick Frost answering questions and then throwing free Hot Fuzz t-shirts to the crowd!
After the Q&A, we hurried back to the Hot Fuzz stand for the signing. Already there was a queue… It was badly organised with a lack of security guards prevent people queue jumping but Josh and I were in the line. After queuing up for 15 minutes, we got our Shaun Of The Dead stuff signed by the two stars and the look on Josh’s face was filled with joy and happiness!
We met up with Mike and Yas later on to tell him the good news. He was impressed by our efforts.
In the afternoon, we were joined by Kerry and Matt (from the ToykoToys forum) and it was nice to meet them in person. They were dressed up for the occasion!
After the Hot Fuzz signing, I decided to take the two boys back to Central London. Mike and Yas decided to stay behind at the Expo so that they could attend the Cosplay show. It turned out to be very bad, as you needed a ticket to get in… So Mike sneakily filmed the whole show with his hidden camcorder standing at the back…
I took Josh and Jason around the many shops in the West End, including Playlounge. After going around the different places, the two boys become hungry so I took them to a food hall to grab something to eat.
By now, we were all feeling rather tired so we sat down in the Apple Store to relax (we wanted to play on the new Macs but there were all taken by people writing their emails).
Around 7pm, my mobile rang and it was Mike saying he was at Piccadilly Circus. He had left the Expo show and was now waiting for us.
We met up with Yas and Mike at Piccadilly and I asked him how was the show. “Don’t ask…” Mike said.
Yas and Mike were now hungry after spending all day at the Expo. We needed to go somewhere to eat. Yas mentioned Covent Garden so we decided to make our way there.
We had a nice dinner sitting outside in Covent Garden. We would then joined by two of Mike’s close friends afterwards plus Kerry and Matt, who came straight from the hotel.
By now, it was approaching 9pm and Kerry wanted to go to the pub. But for Josh and Jason, it has been a long and tiring day… Mike asked them if they wanted to go back to the hotel. In the end, we decided to let them tag along and jokily we said we would sneak them in!
We went to this pub near Tottenham Court Road and had a nice friendly chat over a pint of beer. Afterwards, we made our own separate ways back home.
On Sunday, we decided to visit the Science Museum and check out the Game On exhibition. I met up with Yas first at Charing Cross and then join the others at the museum itself.
Spent the next two hours playing classic/modern games such as the Bomberman, Super Mario and Jason’s favourite Halo. Mike thrashed me on Super Mario Kart!
We also jammed on Guitar Hero, which had the main image projected on the wall so that everyone can see our rockin’ performance!
After the exhibition, we made our way to Knightsbridge and had a spot of lunch in a nice Italian restaurant. Everyone had pizza while I had the ‘seafood’ spaghetti. There was even a large pawn on my plate and I didn’t know how to eat it!
We then spent the last few hours in Forbidden Planet, and I noticed Jason was buying so many things as he had a large bag of goodies!
As the day draw to a close, we said goodbye and made our way back to the train station. It had been a really good fun weekend and I said to Mike we should meet up again sometime soon.