After the big succes of our combined trip to Cardiff and Confuzzled in 2012, we decided to do this again in 2013. But this time, the Dr.Who exhibit would be open for public! And man, it was a blast. It was much to our regret Titash had to cancel, but we hope he will be with us on the next trip!
2013 – 05 – 25 – Saturday
I consider myself lucky for having to get up early during the week. Or else getting up at 5:30 would have been much more of a hell. I packed most of my things last night, and I realised I forgot my cloak at the Rotterdam photo studio. Fortunately it was semi along the way. After packing the car, I drove off to pick up Rin. Due to me getting a bit tangled up at the Eindhoven intersections (seriously, who designed this monstrosity?) I arrived 15 minutes late. But it turned out Rin overslept a bit as well. In the end, no harm was done. To add to the fun, I accidentally dropped my iPhone in the car, and despite it having an otterbox, the screen cracked! Just my luck.
Before we could go to France, I drove through Rotterdam to pick up the cloak. Belgium was uneventful though bumpy, and soon we arrived in Calais. Now in Calais they accept both British pounds and Euro’s, so I changed some of my money in Pounds, and I bought some food. Guess what? I got the change in Euro’s. Fun! >.<
After we drove up the tunnel, we had to wait for a small hour in the car, but the weather was good. And we were listening to good music. Time passed quickly, but it was odd though, we waited in front of the tunnel longer than the actual trip.
When we arrived in England, at our first stop, Rin found a meerkat plush…with round glasses! What were the odds of that? But then again, we are talking about the UK, and meerkats are a thing in this country. No complaints there!
The rest of the trip went fairly smooth. No big traffic problems other than the roads being British, roundabouts being interlocked and the city centers look like someone with traffic-sign diarrea zigzagged over the roads, however we arrived at Albus’ his place without much problems.
Albus and his parents were very hospital. The remainder of the evening I spoke with his dad about a wide array of topics, ranging from comics to politics while Rin was mesmerised over Albus his impressive Dr.Who collection.
2013 – 05 – 26 – Sunday
After a lovely night sleep we woke up to a lovely breakfast. Albus & his parents made us some lovely toast and bacon. British, yes, but very tasty!
Soon we started to pack the car, and my dads’ lessons combined with years of intensive tetris addiction paid off. I managed to squeeze 3 people (including me) and a huge amount of luggage into a our tiny car.
After a fairly uneventful but beautiful trip through the countryside we arrived in Cardiff. Just like last time we stayed at Ty Rosa, and we were not disappointed! Excellent service, lovely rooms and the dinner was amazing. Both me, Rin, and Albus, ordered dinner, and we ended up overstuffed! It was simply delicious. That evening we watched ‘A monster in Paris’, a lovely animation, and ‘Open Season’, which was…less lovely, but still enjoyable.
2013 – 05 – 27 – Monday
Today was a banking holiday (or bankruptcy holiday, as we saw on various signs along the road). I found out early, because I wanted to visit a hairdresser and just about every hairdresser, or other store. We visited Cardiff bay, famous for being the decor for both Torchwood and Dr.Who. But Albus noted it was home to a rather rare sight: A lighthouse boat. Unlike last year, this trip ended up at the amazing Dr.Who experience. If you are a Dr.Who fan, it is a sure recommendation! It starts with a lovely interactive tour, where you are helping the Doctor (which is aimed at kids, but fun for any fan, really), and it ends in a lovely exhibit which gets updated frequently! We saw items from both shows back in the 60’s down to those aired mere weeks ago!
(Video by Albus)
When we were done with the tour, I asked permission if I could go for a second round while dressed up. When we got permission went back to the car with Albus to change into Thabo while Rin continued to wander around in the amazing Dr.Who exhibit.The general response when I was dressed up as a meerkat was truly wonderful. Cars were beeping, drivers waving. And a tourbus even slowed down when we heard announcer saying ‘And to the left, you see a giant meerkat’. After a short fun filled trip we returned to the Dr.Who experience. The staff was pleasantly surprised. Albus and I went on the interactive tour once more. I tried not to distract the kids too much, and everybody, including the staff had a lot of fun. I even got quite some thank you’s in the end!
We ended the day in the hotel with some lovely British pie, and an episode of the second Doctor: The Tomb of the Cybermen.
2013 – 05 – 28 – Tuesday
Finally we had a day where all stores were open! That morning I dropped by at a lovely little hairdresser. The one British bloke had quite some fun as the hairdresser of Indian descent was explaining the various small coins of my pocket change. After a quick and professional haircut I got back to the hotel and we all entered Cardiff.
Downtown Cardiff was amazing, we found a few lovely hidden spots, we visited the Cardiff castle, and numerous cool little fantasy/sci-fi themed shops!
2013 – 05 – 29 – Wednesday
This morning we packed everything into the car. The guys from Ty Rosa were quite amazed in how many we could fit into the car. But the real challenge came after we dropped by at the Pumping Station: A lovely depo where you can get amazing things, from old merchandise down to art deco for mere pennies!
Needless to say, I had to fit everything in the car. After a lot of cussing and puzzling, we managed and we set off to Confuzzled! When we arrived, and unpacked (several people made clown car remarks) we went down to the Hinckley Knight with friends for a great dinner. The remainder of the evening we spend art-jamming in the artroom. It was great seeing so many familiar faces.
2013 – 05 – 30 – Thursday
It was early in the morning for most, but I always have a habit of being an early bird, which worked in my advantage, since I was about to pick up James. A friend of ours who lives about 70 miles away from the Confuzzled site. We drove for about an hour, and it was a delight to see him. He was dressed in a My Little Pony T-shirt. His mom told him he’d look out of place, but was quickly rebutted. After all, it was Confuzzled. He would look out of place if he didn’t have anything cartoony on his shirt.
When we arrived back at the con-site, we all dressed up, and Thabo got out in his cloak and sword. Security did have some questions and wanted the sword checked, but right in line with my previous experiences, there was little to no hassle, and all was fine.
During the entire day I met up with a lot of old and new faces. And so many wonderful suits! And especially different styles.
In the evening we all went to the Hinckley Knight, which slowly became the unofficial convention-pub, they sure thrived well due to the abysmal hotel-food. After that we had a lot of fun drawing in the artist-lounge.
2013 – 05 – 31 – Friday
Fortunately the weather improved a lot today. It was the day of the fursuit parade.
Unfortunately lacked the flair of a convention being held downtown, thus the parade was
going through the hotel and the premises. But that did not diminish the fun!
(Video by Mat Furry, Thabo can be seen around 7:11, Rin at 7:16 and Albus as Deezl at 7:40)
2013 – 06 – 1 – Saturday
It was today that I met up with the Guest of Honour: Gab. And she is a meerkat as well. Albus was keen to remind me that he mentioned her being her on several occasions! I really need to pay attention more to chats, I tend to be way distracted with things. So much to do, yet so little time!
I got some of her art in the dealers den, which was a big white tent outside the hotel. Last year was a very warm room inside of the hotel. This year the tent was a bit better. However on several occasions someone had some pizzaboxes near the big air-vents, resulting in the den smelling like pizza. Then again, I heard someone farted there. I think I prefer the pizza-smell anytime!
2013 – 06 – 2 – Sunday
Today was the day Thabo Jr. went to frolic around on Confuzzled. And boy, was he a crowd-pleaser! As I walked along, I heard several people comment that he was cute, and even besting Thabo! Albus truly is a wonderful performer, and soon he will get his very own suit: Zuberi. Do check it out, knowing his performance, the suits’ maker and the design, you just know he will be a huge crowd-pleaser.
That evening, I had to bring back James. While it was sad to see him go, on the way back we had a lovely conversation, and I look forward to see him again!
2013 – 06 – 3 – Monday
The last day at the conversation was mostly packing and filled with sad goodbyes. We had one last lunch at the Hinckley knight before we said our final goodbyes to both that pub and the hotel, since Confuzzled will be going to another hotel.
2013 – 06 – 4 – Tuesday
This day we spent in Southampton, a wonderful city with a rich history. Albus was sure to show us a few of the nicer sites. Where the city did not describe its heritage on plagues, Albus had a story ready about that area.
We ended up in a Japanese restaurant called Zen. Albus always wanted to give it a try, and we were not disappointed. Friendly personnel, and the sushi was delightful!
2013 – 06 – 5 – Wednesday
The trip home was fairly quick, sake for a few traffic jams around Antwerp. Back home I could look back at almost 2 weeks filled with amazing friends, awesome events and all in all, an experience never to forget!