I almost didn’t make it to Birmingham NEC after hitting a pheasant on the way. Talk about ‘Fly on the Windscreen’ the poor suicidal bird flew from the safety of the hedge at the side of the road straight into my bumper and then hitched a ride on my windscreen (which thankfully didn’t break) until I stopped to let it slide off. Not a good start to the day, and some would say a bad omen. Obviously very sorry for the bird; if I could have swerved to avoid it I would have.

To make amends I handled a scorpion today and hopefully the three quid I coughed up for the privilege will go into some kind of funding for nature type stuff. They had some furry looking tarantulas, but I don’t find spiders unpleasant. The scorpion looked pretty gross so I thought I would give it a go, given that it is my star sign. The handler told me afterwards that it still had its sting. I thanked her for not telling me at the time it was crawling around my hands which must have smelt a bit of chilli chicken as I had just had a packet of crisps.

There seemed to be a few more properly famous people at the Memorabilia show this year in comparison to last e.g. Warwick Davis, Sam Fox, Honor Blackman, Maryam D’abo. Headlining was Jaime Murray of Hustle and Spartacus fame drumming up interest in a new SciFi channel show called Defiance along with co-star Tony Curran. Tony did not seem to be able to get a word in edgeways during the Q&A session they did bless him. The show looks good and I will keep an eye out for it.

Before they came on a metal band called The Dead Lay Waiting came on and talked about a comic they had made. It looked a little like some old Neil Gaiman stuff in terms of the lettering, but the drawing was a little hit and miss. The music was not my cup of tea, and trust me I like System of a Down and Marilyn Manson as much as anyone – it was a little too death metal for my liking. Gary Dourdan was also talking about his time on CSI. I  don’t watch it, so I wandered off to take some pictures of Cosplayers like I did last year.

To all the Cosplayers I salute you! On one side you can’t expect not to get attention if you go to these things dressed up, on the flip side you shouldn’t have to put up with people diving in front of you gibbering ‘Call of Duty Style’ over and over; so I appreciate it that you had the patience to allow me the time to fumble around with my camera and take some snaps. It was nice to see a few familiar faces and I hope you had a good time. Here’s a new post with the best images included. If I took your photo and it’s not here then it’s probably because it was blurred – the autofocus on my camera is plop.

Weirdest costume there has to go to the guy with fake boobs. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of him. They were very realistic latex type creations that you can have sculpted to fit your body for £350. Not sure why. There were also other costumes too risqué even for me to feel comfortable taking photos of. My favourite costume (apart from Catwoman) was Wally. I enjoyed spotting him in the crowd on serveral occassions.

All in all I had a much more enjoyable visit this time around probably because I sat and listened to a few Q&A’s, I went prepared with three bottles of water, two chocolate bars and the aforementioned packet of crisps, and I saw the trailer for Oblivion starring Tom Cruise – looks awesome!

For those of you who have arrived here because they noticed some specky bloke wandering around with a too-tight tee-shirt on with the website on the front then my masterplan worked. Please take some time to look around and most importantly head over to the ‘My Books’ section where you might find something interesting. If you are a Cosplay person (is ‘Cosplayers’ actually the right term? Who cares about labels anyhoo?) and like sci-fi then you will enjoy my book ‘Muta’. Honest.