Hobnobbing

Before this blog grinds to a complete and pathetic halt, mainly due to most of my spare braincells being devoted to the demonic throes of NaNoWriMo, I really should let you know what I’ve been getting up to. I’m sure you’re dying to know, aren’t you, dear Reader?

Well, over the last few weeks, I have been hobnobbing with the stars. Yes siree. Forget Jedward (no, seriously, please do!), forget Jordanformerlyknownaskatiepriceandreandnowknownasjordanagain, I’m talking proper slebs, people!

To kick off the series, while we were holidaying in Sweden, we hooked up with the delectable Geoff Lloyd (aka Dr Fluff Glitter, international man of mystery and radio DJ on occasion) and his adorable better half, the faaaaabulous superstar Zena Birch, plus the loveliest of all dinky schnauzers, Miss Laika Lloyd-Birch. In fact, I almost don’t count this as hobnobbing, as they have both put up with my twittering/facebooking/emailing and visiting the Virgin/Absolute studios for long enough for this to be considered a meeting of friendship rather than pure fannish adoration (well, by me at least, they probably still call it harassment). But given the location of our meet-up, I have no choice but to refer to hobnobbery all the same. In fact, this was far beyond hobnobbing: this was the realm of chocolateolivering.

While deciding where to meet up, I mentioned that Husband and I had just bought tickets for a boat tour of Stockholm that left from and returned to the main tour boat stop in front of the Grand Hotel. So Zena suggested that we meet there for afternoon tea and cakes. Oh my. If it wasn’t the poshest place I have ever been into! We were shown in to the tea rooms by a Maitre D’, for heaven’s sake! He settled us in around a coffee table with some lovely armchairs and the most ridiculously deep sofa in the world. We shared 2 tea-and-cakes menus between the 5 of us (a friend of Zena’s had joined us); the tea was served in beautiful white china cups with fancy silver spoons, and the dinky cakes and triangularly-cut sandwiches came presented on one of those silver three-tiered platters that you’d see on Masterchef. Fancy.

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Anyhoo, after we got back from our holidays (full coverage of that is on its way, I promise!) we had a couple of days left before heading back to work. And then Jon Ronson went and tweeted that he would be doing a Q&A at the premiere of the film inspired by his book The Men Who Stare At Goats. So we figured that, seeing as we had been planning to go to the movies anyway, we would go see him, and hopefully get to meet him afterwards. So off we went to buy tickets… Except the cinema staff didn’t seem to know anything about this premiere, could it be next Friday maybe? Next Friday? Oh, crap, I suppose it had to be, so I tweeted Jon to convey my dismay at not being able to attend next Friday. “No, tonight!” he answered. Oh? Was he sure it was at that cinema? Yes, he was sure, if we were having trouble getting tickets, he could try to get us on the guest list, he kindly offered. After answering a frantic “yes please!” I had no further news from Jon who was busy being interviewed about a billion times, and we walked around Dublin hopelessly trying to find out where this thing was and how come there was no news about it anywhere. At the Savoy cinema they even tried to persuade us that the film was not out until January. Idiots.

So we ended up back at the Cineworld at the time Jon had mentioned, and we tried again, this time asking a manager. “Oh yes!” he said, “there’s a lady over there checking names…” So off we went to see the lady. It turned out that it was a very private and exclusive premiere, for the winners of a couple of competitions and a selected guest list. Oh well, I thought, maybe Jon put my name on the list, and hell, if I’m not on it, well, we’ll just go see something else instead. So we asked the lady if Jon had put my name on the list. “Oh, you’re a Jon Ronson guest? Oh yes, of course, go on up, screen 4, second floor…” she exclaimed, crossing off an anonymous “Jon Ronson guest + 1” from the list.

Oh. Ok. I was pretty sure that wasn’t actually meant for us, but it was a bit late for that, so up we went, and we saw the film, and it was awesome! And then we met Jon, and he was awesome too! Turns out he hadn’t been in time to add us to the list although he had meant to, so yes, we did totally and inadvertently blag our way into a private and exclusive premiere! So we had a laugh about it, and a quick chat, and I got my copy of Goats (the book) signed, and George Clooney’s mobile number, which Jon does tend to just give out to anyone and everyone…

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Last but not least, the following Friday, I had volunteered us to sell merchandise for the hoopy frood Jonathan Coulton, and the equally* arrrrrsome Paul and Storm at their concert in the Academy2.  So we turned up there at 7, and met Aaron, a young man with Impeccable Hair™ and skinny jeans, who was apparently organising things for JoCo in Dublin. Paul and Storm were doing sound checks on stage. And then the shaggily handsome Jonathan appeared, did a few bars of Tom Cruise Crazy, and then came over to greet us and show us what needed doing.

It was then that I committed smalltalk. The kind of self-destructing nuclear laser clusterbomb smalltalk that can kill a conversation dead from 20 paces. It went something like this:

“So, here we have the tour t-shirt, that we got made specially for the UK and Ireland tour. So here we have me, coming through a portal, haha, and there, we have a zombie leprechaun and a British monkey…”

“Ha ha! Last time I saw a British monkey, it was eating its own poo.”

Yes. That is indeed what I said.

Yup.

When it left my brain, it was a very amusing, if a little risqué, anecdote about our last trip to London zoo, and the antics of the big male gorilla who completely grossed out the large crowd of schoolkids who were all gathering around the glass wall of his enclosure to get a closer look. Somehow, the rest of the anecdote got lost on the way to my mouth.

I am an idiot.

Anyhoo, the concert was, as could be expected, incredibly cool (in a geeky kind of way. But geeky is cool, right?), we sold plenty of merchandise (I did actually coin the term “nerdchandise” at one point, hoping it would catch on, but the stench of monkey poo must have been on me by then, and it was ignored in spite of its brilliance…) and got a couple of pics with the man himself and a signed DVD.

So, I guess that’s it for this year, my hobnobbing will now return to the usual bourbonning, with maybe a little choc-chipcookieing thrown in on weekends…

.

*Well, not quite equally, I mean we all know JoCo is like, totally so much cooler than Paul and Storm, but the poor things are already so self-conscious about it that I didn’t like to point it out… oh. Ooops, sorry.

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