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DECEMBER 23, 2014
Well its been almost three months since my last update, but
it has been non-stop since September. I was invited to an event
in Speyer, Germany and my son jumped at the chance of coming
along with me (a) because he wanted to visit Speyer again and
(b) he speaks fluent German. It was a very interesting trip as
the event took place in the Speyer Technik Museum which is
unique as it houses a variety of masterpieces of technology. I
was joined by Daniel Logan for the weekend, and we had great fun
sampling the German beer and German food. Dirk and his team made
us very welcome and it is certainly a very interesting place to
On our return it was off to Manchester with Showmasters for a
day at a completely different show at Event City. It was a video
gaming expo and I have never seen so many screens in my life.
Sorry no photos from this show.
The following weekend it was a return visit to Earls Court for
the winter LFCC - it’s sad that this amazing venue is being
demolished as we have attended some very good shows there.
Our next jaunt was to Canada for two big shows. We were very
happy to be returning to the beautiful city of Quebec and on our
arrival the view from our room was spectacular. The old town is
just amazing and one can spend many hours walking around the old
This was a new event put on by Oscar and Alex (promoters of
the Montreal Comic Con) and it was very successful – the venue
was just a one minute walk from the hotel. We had some lovely
meals and went out with the Mercs for a fun evening at the 3
At the show we met up with Steeve Gros-Louis who we had done
an event with in October 2001. As we were staying on for a few
days in Quebec he very kindly offered to take us to the new
Hotel Musee Premieres Nations in Wendake where we spent a lovely
afternoon being given a tour of the museum and hotel. In the
evening we went to his restaurant Sagamite and met up with his
lovely wife Niva and three children. We had a delicious meal
which was flambéed to perfection.
We then flew on to Winnipeg where we had last been in October
2008. Violet and her husband Michael invited me back and the
show had grown a great deal since then. Another splendid view
from our hotel room.
Before the event opened I was attacked by the Wolverine which
is always a good start to the day! We were sitting next to Ron
Rubin who is a well known Canadian voice actor and he kept us
amused with his banter with fans, he even had his own fans
serenading him. As always the Mercs were on hand to help out.
A great two weeks in Canada and now it was time to head home
and drive to Cardiff for another event. This is another show
that is growing and it’s great to be in the town centre where
everything is going on.
The following few weeks were very busy and the next show was
Collectormania in Milton Keynes. This is a well established
event and we have been many times – it’s always a good show.
with some brilliant costumes.
It was now time for relaxing – it was Maureen’s Birthday and
our son had arranged a dinner at his house and a surprise gift
of a lovely garden seat. Also she was given a voucher for ‘An
unconventional Weekend’ We were to meet on Friday afternoon on
St. Pancras station to get a train to????. On our arrival there
were 6 grandchildren with their respective mothers. We boarded
the train and were whisked off to Worcester, and a short taxi
ride to the most beautiful house which was to be ours for the
weekend. Jamie & Robbie had already driven there and had
prepared an amazing dinner. There was much celebration, a trip
to the wonderful cathedral and a five mile walk in perfect
weather – what a lovely weekend.
Another weekend - another trip to Wales – this time to
Wrexham in the North. This is another show that gets bigger and
better each year. We had dinner with Shane and Sheila Rimmer and
Brian and Lindsay Muir, and met up with a rather weary Matt Wood
who had just flown in from LA. It was good to see Gary aka Boba
who had come along from Manchester to troop in his Boba costume
(it’s nearly as good as mine!). Thanks Jaime for another good
Our final show for 2014 was a weekend in historic Plymouth
for Dev-Con. Leah and Julian from the store First Frontier had
organised the event which took place in the Guildhall. Ken
Colley was a fellow guest and we had a lot to catch up with as I
had not seen him for a while. It was more of a Christmas fair
than a convention, and there were lots of lovely gifts and
goodies for sale. Money was also raised for local charities.
All the best,
Following on from our last update we spent some time in the
UK and took a trip to one of our glorious English beaches - a
lovely sunny day and not a soul to be seen apart from our two
grandsons having a wonderful time.
I was invited along with artist Lee Townsend to the opening
of a new shop in Strood, Kent called 'Get Ready Retro'. Strood
is a charming town and the shop was situated in a pretty little
street with lots of independent shops. My fellow guest was
artist Lee Townsend. The 501st were there in force and Paul was
running a stall for Make a Wish. The owners of the shop Michael
and Jenna made us very welcome and it was great to see so many
people turning up to support this new venture. We wish them lots
Another weekend - another shop - this time in Bexhill-on-Sea.
I had been invited to Famous Collectables in the past and now it
finally worked out for a visit. The shop is run by the three
Pang brothers and was fully stocked with every collectable
imaginable and it even has its own gaming area. It was a busy
day and was rounded off with a delicious home cooked Chinese
meal made lovingly by their parents.
Now it was time for a short break and a trip to Tuscany with
our son and family. Italy is a time for making pizzas, drinking
wine, taking in the magnificent views and relaxing. Cannot think
of anything better, except of course the sunsets! As always
there are many guests and supper time is great fun – this
evening was 'Pizza time' - Jamie made all the pizza dough, and I
cooked them (well almost!)
We visited the lovely old town of Bolgheri for lunch and
spent the afternoon sightseeing
You always seen to find interesting creatures roaming the
Italian countryside and this was no exception.
Could not believe we were now at the end of August - where
did the summer go? Our next trip was to Sheffield - for a new
show put on by Showmasters at the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
Friends and acquaintances were in abundance and it was great
catching up with Sylvester McCoy, John Rhys Davis (who we spent
a very interesting lunchtime with). Other guests included
Virginia Hey, Paul Blake, Rusty Goffe to mention a few.
Our next adventure was a trip to two South American countries
for Concomics in Cordoba, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. We
were very excited as we had never been to these countries
before, although we knew organisers Eduardo and Carlos from our
previous trips to Mexico.
We were travelling overnight to Buenos Aires and then
transferring to another flight for the short hop to Cordoba. On
our arrival at Buenos Aires we met up with Kristen Hughey a cos
player from the US (who we had seen last year in Guadalajara)
and took a taxi ride along with her husband Bruce across the
city. In Cordoba we were taken out for a lovely meal with the
Planeta Kordhova for a typical Argentinian feast, and I was
given some lovely gifts including two wine glasses and a bottle
of Malbec wine.
It was great to meet new Argentinian fans in Cordoba, and
they made me very welcome and presented me with a lovely plaque.
The show was busy and we had great fun.
We had a day to sightsee in Cordoba and the city has some
wonderful architecture including this rather spectacular
Everyone else was travelling to Montevideo by coach, but they
very kindly put us on a flight.
On our flight back to Buenos Aires we got a good view of the
River Plate Stadium. Our connecting flight to Montevideo was a
quick hop across the Rio de la Plata.
Montevideo is a very pretty city and we took a three hour
stroll along the seafront.
We were taken to lunch at the famous Mercado del Puerto which
has an amazing amount of restaurants serving South American
On the way back I managed a brief game of footy with a young
up and coming Uruguayan star! We also took in some of the
Their were many fans in costume and I felt rather boring in
These events are always very colourful and it was exciting to
be in South America - the fans are the same the world over and I
feel privileged to be able to meet them. I was given two special
gifts, a beautiful painting on an old 78 rpm record by Emexem,
and a wonderful throw from Luis whose mother had made it on a
loom especially for me.
Sad to be leaving South America, but we had an exciting show
- Autographica - to look forward to on our return. It took place
in Birmingham and I met up with several actors I had not seen in
a long time including Tony Osobo, George Leyton, Roy Holder and
Carol Cleveland. It was a thrill to meet John Manzi and Gerry
Glasser who gave a wonderful presentation on their time piloting
the famous SR-71 Blackbirds - they were so passionate about
their time spent flying these wonderful aircraft.
All for now - speak soon.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2014
Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, but there never
seems time to sit down at the computer and write.
Our next adventure was to Toronto and Orlando. We flew to
Orlando and stayed the night at the wonderful Hyatt airport
The following morning we flew to Toronto and were surprised
to see how much building had taken place since our last visit.
There were condominiums all along the lakeside and in the
evening all you could see were lights in apartments. I went off
to do a breakfast TV show the next morning and was interviewed
by the same charming presenter Bob Cowan who had interviewed me
in Niagara last year.
The event was not so busy as expected, but everyone worked
hard to make our stay very enjoyable and promoter Paul Newdick
and his team looked after us well.
It is always great to visit Toronto and we did see some
amazing statues, and the view from the restaurant was pretty
It was then back to Orlando and Disney - this is beginning to
feel like our second home! As always we had a great time and it
was good to see all our friends and work with Warwick Davis,
James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein and meet Tiya Sircar who
voiced the character of Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels.
This time we managed to see the amazing firework display at
Epcot and took in the lovely view of the lake on our way home.
We were home for a couple of weeks and then headed back
across the pond for the Denver Comic Con. The convention centre
was protected by a very large curious bear. It was a very busy
show with lots of costumes both large and small.
Downtown Denver was very lively in the evening and the horse
drawn carriages looked great fun and very elegant – they even
painted their hooves. We spent a great evening with Sylvester
McCoy and our friend Julian, sitting in an outdoor restaurant
taking in all the nightlife.
I was given a rather nice bottle of specially brewed Boba
The following weekend was split between the Leicester Space
Centre and Wigan Comic Con. Its always fun to go the the
Leicester Space Centre and I was with Dave, Peter & Kenny. A
quick drive up the motorway to Wigan for the Comic Con the
following day. Another show another Dr Who – this time Colin
Baker. Thanks to Paul Prescott for a great day.
I had a call from Ian Freer from the Empire Magazine that had
voted 'The Empire Strikes Back' the best sci-fi film. They were
holding a screening of the film at the Edinburgh International
Film Festival and I was invited along as a special guest to the
screening and to do a Q & A with the audience afterwards. We
took a very pleasant train journey - beats driving anyday and
takes half the time. I felt very honoured to be greeted outside
the theatre by the 501st and a wonderful lady bagpipe player.
After the event we went to a reception and met the organisers.
Over breakfast the following morning we looked directly over to
the wonderful Edinburgh Castle.
Before our train home we had a guided tour of Edinburgh and
also a chance to look over the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Back home and the next event was a mere 20 minutes drive from
home - The London Film & Comic Con at Earl's Court in London.
This show gets busier every time we go along and this one must
have broken all records for attendance. It was also a special
event as I was wearing my Boba Fett costume for a photo shoot
and was able to donate a very handsome amount to Great Ormond
Street Hospital where our little granddaughter had been
brilliantly treated only a few months ago. Thanks to all the
amazing people who wanted a photo with Boba and also thanks to
the guys from the 501st who expertly got me kitted up in my
costume- without them I would still be struggling with my
An old acquaintance Steve from Cardiff had invited me to his
Cardiff Tattoo convention where strangely enough most of the
people were tattoo artists! I was not quite sure this would be
the right show for me but Steve assured me I would be very busy.
We went along and fellow Star Wars guests were Alan Ruscoe, Toby
Philpott and Nathalie Cox. It turned out to be a very
interesting show, and there were plenty of people who were
dedicated Boba fans and wanted their artwork signed. We had a
great time and like Edinburgh Cardiff is a very exciting city to
Will follow up pretty soon with the rest of the summer
All for now - speak soon.
Well folks it's been a while since the last update, but a lot
has happened in the past couple of months - some things good,
some things not so good, but finally something very good. After
Christmas fast forward to February when we headed out to Sri
Lanka to visit our son and family. We would be celebrating our
grandson Ned's birthday and mine. It was good to see the family
again as they had not been back to the UK since last summer. We
drove down to the lovely old city of Galle for the first
weekend, and were thoroughly spoilt by having our own chef who
cooked up some amazing food. It was Ned's 11th birthday so
plenty of cakes were enjoyed by all and guess what I gave him as
a present? It was very warm and the locals had a good way of
For the journey back to Colombo Maureen, Robbie and Ned
decided to take the train and what an experience that turned out
to be. Standing room only for three hours and at each station
another 100 or so people crammed into the carriage until they
were literally hanging out the doors – that’s when a jetpack
comes in handy!
The following weekend we had another trip this time to
Mirissa to celebrate my birthday. When we arrived we couldn't
quite believe that the villa was just for us - it had it's own
pool, cinema, fireman's pole (which delighted the children -
Boba did not attempt it!) plus about eight bedrooms to choose
from and of course staff to attend to our every need - we could
easily get used to this life.......
The villa was very beautiful and had a great terrace ideal
for early evening cocktails and glorious sunsets.
On my birthday we decided to have a game of cricket by the
sea. The day started with a huge slice of birthday cake,
followed by a game of cricket played mainly by myself – the
found playing in the sand more interesting Sad smile
Back in Colombo it was good to spend time with the
grandchildren, just swimming and relaxing and we visited the
famous Tintagel Hotel for dinner.
We decided to spend our last weekend in the Maldives as it
was only an hours flight away, and also we would probably never
have the opportunity again. Flights and accommodation were booked and we were looking
forward to the wonderful trip when we got the devastating news
that our youngest granddaughter Indy who is five years old had a
malignant brain tumour. Everything went into freefall - she
needed immediate surgery in Colombo and then was to be flown
back to the UK by air ambulance for major surgery at Great
Ormond Street Hospital. After much debating it was decided that
Maureen and I would still go to the Maldives with Ned and Joss.
The Maldives are made up of a chain of islands in the Indian
Ocean. We flew to the capital Male and stayed the night there.
Transport was by speedboat, or if one was very wealthy by
private seaplane - we chose the boat!
The Four Season Resort on Kuda Hurra is out of this world and
if ever you happen to be in the Indian ocean it is well worth a
visit Winking smile The children enjoyed the stunning pool, and
even fed the baby sharks in the evening.
The weekend went far too quickly, and we enjoyed it as much
as circumstances would allow. Soon it was time to jump on the
boat and plane and head back to Colombo.
Back home in the UK our first event of the year was
Autographica, a nice gentle show at the Radisson hotel at London
Heathrow airport. There were several astronauts there including
Buzz Aldrin and it was fascinatingly talking to Greg H. Johnson
about his experiences in space. He also was a Star Wars fan.
The following week we got the amazing news that Indy’s tumour
was not malignant after all and she is making a very steady
recovery - our home was completely taken over by get well cards, balloons and an
excessive amount of cuddly toys.
This meant we could go to Salt Lake City Comic Con feeling
much happier. We were staying in the very luxurious Grand
America hotel. Salt Lake City is very beautiful and is
surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The show was astounding
with around 100,000 attendees – not bad for only a 2nd show.
Well done to Dan Farr and his professional crew for giving us a
The Krayt Clan – Utah Chapter invited Maureen and I to join
them at the fabulous Pizza restaurant 'Settebello' which had the
best pizza I have tasted. They very kindly presented me with a
lovely crystal and made me an honorary member.
Just a note to say thanks so much to all the fans who very
generously gave us donations for the Great Ormond Street
Hospital which took such good care of Indy. We raised $800
-thank you guys and girls from Salt Lake City.
Our next two shows were in Europe which is easily reached by
Eurostar – just a quick train ride under the channel. Our first
trip was to Antwerp, Belgium for a one day event. We arrived the
day before and explored the lovely city. It's central railway
station is a very impressive building Other guests included Alan
Harris (Bossk) and my old friend Colin Baker from Dr. Who and we
all gathered for special dinner on Saturday night. The show was
fun if not a little noisy due to the lady wrestlers in the ring
just in front of our table. Alan and I were made honorary
members of the ‘Rebel Legion – Benelux’. Thanks to Lode for
inviting us for a fun weekend.
Back on Eurostar again the following weekend, this time
heading for Cusset in France. We travelled from London with
Dermot Crowley and Cathy Munroe. We stayed in the spa town of
Vichy which like Antwerp has lovely
I first appeared at the Generations Star Wars event in May
2003 and was amazed at how big it had grown over the years, in
fact it needs a bigger venue. Well done to Fabien and his team
and also to the wonderful chocolatier who surprised us all at
the end of the show with all these goodies which were demolished
Another weekend, another train journey this time to the
beautiful cathedral city of Lincoln. I was going to the Ritz
Cinema which is being completely renovated. The owner Pete
Genders was raising money to complete the works. Peter Davison -
who was the fifth Doctor Who – was just about to do his stage Q
On Saturday, many people turned up for my Q & A and I was
supported by friend Gary aka Boba. The 501st were out in force,
and we raised a good amount of money by doing a photo shoot.
It was a very successful day and we wish Pete and his crew
lots of luck in bringing the Ritz back to its former glory.
We have been to two more events (Toronto and Disney) and that
update will be coming very soon. The good news is that Indy has
recovered so well that she has travelled back to Sri Lanka for
the last few months of Robbie’s posting. She has been a very
brave little girl.
Speak soon and take care.
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
A belated very Happy New Year to you all and hope 2014 is
you well. This little island is being battered by storms, but
in London we have escaped the worst. Although Christmas seems an
ago here is a little update on our trip to the Emerald Isle.
>We had been invited to spend Christmas with family in
decided to take the ferry across the Irish sea. The crossing was
pretty rough, but we managed to avoid being ill. We drove down
beautiful town of Kinsale to visit our eldest four
first day was beautiful, and the harbour looked very pretty with
the yachts. It then became very stormy and we had to make a mad
to the restaurant without getting too drenched. We had a lovely
evening with the girls. We had not seen them for some time and
was lots to catch up on.
We then took a wonderful drive up to County Carlow to meet
the rest of
our family. We were having a late lunch on Christmas day, so
advantage of the good weather to have a rather long walk. It was
worth the effort as the views were stunning. Boba did drag
bit, but at least did not resort to what Lara did, which was
rest halfway there!
After such an invigorating afternoon we were all ready for a
meal. The table had been set and looked very inviting. A great
was had by all.
On boxing day the children tried out their new skateboards,
we jumped in our cars to follow the local hunt. And by the way
escaped - hooray! Our return ferry was cancelled due to dreadful
weather in the Irish sea, so we spent another day in Ireland –
another pub lunch with Guinness!
Finally we arrived home, and have spent many hours in my
to get all the lovely artwork displayed – not an easy task with
sloping roof. Industrial velcro came to the rescue, thanks to
friendly hints from fans.
Speak soon everyone and keep safe.
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