Ok I don’t wanna delay this blog report any longer like last time!
So the MCM London Expo has come and gone nearly a month ago now. The awesome weather lasted through the weekend though I think it was a little too hot. Can’t image how the people felt that were wearing cosplay costumes that’s not suitable for roasting sunny day like fur suits, leather etc.
So I left for London on Friday. Almost had a bad start to the journey as I nearly missed my bus, luckily the bus driver checked his side mirror before taking off but soon as I sat down I realised that I forgot to bring my lunch! So I had to buy some lunch again at the City centre. I got the coach to London this time as I couldn’t afford the train tickets and I don’t have a Young Person Rail Card anymore. The tickets cost £75-147 and that’s an off-peak ticket I’ve found over 3 months in advance! While the coach cost me £18 (the maths isn’t that hard to decide which one to go for). So yeah it will take me over 5 hours to get there but I’m not spending that much to get to London!
At the Victoria Coach Station there’s a guy offering ‘luggage carrying’ service to Victoria Train Station for £5. It was my first time there and I wasn’t sure how to get there, even if it’s really close. Plus my luggage is really heavy and I’m carrying my heavy camera bag on my back. So I took the offer. Didn’t take long to get there. Went downstairs to the Underground and soon I was downstairs, someone dropped a £2 coin. I picked it up and about to return it to the guy that dropped it, he was long gone! Saw couple of elderly people who saw it as well and I asked them if they wanted it. They said no, so I kept the £2 coin!
I made a mistake of choosing to go to Tower Hill as I completely forgotten that there’s no lifts or escalators in that station. Meaning I had to lift my heavy luggage up the stairs! Note, I haven’t been to the gym for over 3 months! So I was way out of shape! But the good thing about going to Tower Hill is that I saw two of my friends waiting outside and funny enough, our coaches drove past each other AND stopped at the same service station BUT we never saw each other! They were waiting for our other friend to meet up, so I waited with them. Waited nearly an hour for him. Not impress since my hotel room mate was waiting for me. Soon as he arrived we made our way to the Expo!
I stayed at the Ramada Hotel which is next door to the Premier Inn Hotel. Really nice hotel and if you’re lucky you’ll get a view of the Dockland water. It’s my first time staying there and I was pretty impress! I didn’t realize I got a ‘disabled’ room until I checked the bathroom. I’ve had disabled rooms at the Premier Inn and Ibis Hotel. Though those two hotels have the smallest disable room compared to the Ramada Hotel. So the first thing I did soon as I walked into my hotel room? Dumped my stuff and hit the shower!
So after a nice shower, charging my phone, getting my camera gear sorted and getting my body hydrated, I made my way to the ExCel Centre! I wasn’t doing a studio shoot and I had nothing planned for Friday so it was nice to chill and not be too serious on taking photos. And hanging around with my friends for once at an Expo/Convention! I’ve been doing my studio work at the Expo and Cons. Only time I see them is when I close up but by then it only last maybe a few hours or so and I’m completely shattered!
Met up some of the gang inside and eventually the rest turned up. We split up again, some went to get changed and some of us went outside to do a photo shoot. We managed to get some good shots outside the ExCel Centre as there was a swimming event on the Saturday. They were setting up on Friday and they used up all the nice spot areas. That’s the grassy area, the trees and the railings by the docks. Apparently you’re not allowed in that area if you’re not part of the event and you will be escorted off the area. I dunno if that was true but that’s what I’ve heard. I didn’t do much on the Friday, just basically relaxing, chilling with friends and checking the area out.
Saturday started off well and the weather was scorching hot too, worn my summer clothing for the first time this year. Had 4 photo shoots that day all went well, had some minor problems and delays but nothing serious. But it was hard to find good location since part of the area is being used by another event and I had the problem with the very harsh sun light which I completely forgot to bring my reflector with me! But you gotta make do with what you got. I missed out on the Saturday masquerade has all the fatigue and tiredness kicked in 15 minutes before it started. Camera bag was too heavy which I will lighten the load next time since there were quite a lot of things I didn’t use and I didn’t wear proper shoes to support my feet.
Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday. Nice hot sunny day, I remembered to bring my reflector, worn my gym trainers since it more better to walk around with and lighten the bag but still too heavy and didn’t use the other equipment! Photo shoots went well and the swimming event was over. So I finally got to use that area again. And I managed to go to the masquerade this time! End of the day I check all the photos out to see how it looks on a bigger screen. And I had those moments where I wish I could have done more by doing this and that etc. It’s been a while since I did a photo shoot like this. I do enjoy my studio work but I love the creativity of location shoots! After dropping my stuff back in my hotel room. Went to meet up with the others for a meal at the Foxx but had some little delay. By the time we got there they already ate so me and friend Emi went to order some food only to be told that they aren’t serving food any more. Their menu says from ‘5pm till late’ and this was around 9:30pm. Was really disappoint as I really like their chicken burgers. So we ended up going to the Indian restaurant next door. The buffet food was nice. And to end the day on a high, we saw one of our friends in the back of a police car. First reaction was ‘shocked’ and wondered what did he do but he hasn’t done anything wrong. He was just helping this kid to look for his brother (I think).
Monday went alright. Got enough sleep even though I went back to my hotel room after 2:00am! Went for breakfast downstairs to see what the food was like. The room was really empty, only 5 people including myself was there eating breakfast. The food was ok though. After packing my stuff and checking out, my coach home sets off after 5pm so I had around 6 hours to kill time. So I caught up with some of my other friends and just chilled with them outside. Made new friends and they helped me out getting to Victoria Station WITHOUT going to Tower Hill Station. This route they took me had lifts and escalators so that made my life so much easier! So many thanks to them! I kinda got lost trying to get to the station, I took the wrong turning but I got there eventually. Got back home fine but if I get the coach to London again, I’ll get the earlier coach home!