95 CHAS Cheque Handover, Robin House Visit – 14th June 2017

Location
Robin House, Alexandria 14:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
With one of the patients recently having had passed away and the family preparing to leave for the funeral, the resultant air of melancholy over Robin House meant that this ended up being a short, quiet, event with a few photos before we de-kitted.

I’ll just refer you back to the closing paragraph here, as to why for this cause the effort is still worthwhile…

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90 LEGO Store Star Wars Event – 29th April 2017

Location
Buchannan Galleries, Glasgow 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
It’s been a good long time since we were last at the LEGO Store (in an official capacity I mean, obviously with Brickset saying we’ve north of £10,000 worth of plastic bricks in hand we’ve been there shopping about once a month) and due to the timing it wasn’t possible to bring R2 along on this occasion as we’d wanted to.  To be honest I’m not even sure that the Biker Scout would have been my first choice as an alternate costume, but still being massively jet lagged and aware of the heat in the store when the overhead lights aren’t off I didn’t figure on having many options.

After being warmly welcomed as always by Andrew and his staff, we were dispatched upstairs to the secure office to change before being led out to parade the upper floor of the shopping centre to allow their social media manager to post videos and photos of us on behalf of Buchannan Galleries, ultimately making our way down to the first floor and the LEGO Store itself.
For those who have never shopped there, the store is a decent size, but has a number of pillars and displays on the floorspace, while all three walls are loaded with the stock and further display units which unfortunately meant that with a TK either side of the door I felt that regardless of where I stood I was always blocking someones access to something, especially with the find the minifigure hunt that was running in-store.  Fortunately, for me at least, the TKs appeared to be somewhat uncomfortable or bored in the one sport at the door and soon began wandering about allowing me access to the slightly cooling breeze that it provided.

While our previous visit had a requisite to trudge all the way back up to the offices for lunch, the stock room was a lot tidier this time round enabling us to use it to sto for something to eat, albeit compounding my feeling of just constantly being in the way what with the staff coming in for sets or breaks of their own.
As the shop got busier in the afternoon, so the heat increased leading me to seek the sanctury of the nearby air conditioning vent locations on more than one occasion.  A quick lids-off late in the afternoon led to an unfortunate incident where one of our newer troopers strayed too far from the safety of the shop just as the detritus from the Old Firm game that day was floating past which unfortunately only more experience would have told him was a bad idea resulting in a knock to the helmeted head.  An unfortunate incident to be sure but hopefull one that won’t put him off future events…

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87 Erskine Edinburgh Home Christmas Fete – 3rd December 2016

Location
Erskine Home, Edinburgh 13:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
There didn’t seem to be many takers for this event and rather than allow it to be cancelled we made the trek through to Edinburgh despite ongoing car troubles for this odd combination of Christmas Fete and hospital visit.
Luckily we were joined last-minute by Chris as Vader as I’m fairly sure the majority of folks would have had no idea what Gordy and I were supposed to be since neither of us were really wearing an iconic costume.

The venue wasn’t particularly small, but with stall tables occasionally taking up one side of the corridor and some of the residents requirement for wheelchair access circumnavigating it sometimes made for a difficult and treacherous path. The preference for a single route from the entrance past Santa’s fireside and back also meant that we largely kept pace with specific groups of visitors throughout the day rather meaning photos were often with different arrangements of the same families and in the same locations.

I’m not entirely sure I agreed with the brief diversion upstairs to visit some of the more bed-bound residents though. While I can understand the desire to make them not feel left out by being unable to journey to the ground floor, my feeling was that the majority of them had no idea of what these strangers were supposed to be representing and left at least one gent confused and mildly upset by our intrusion into his room…

That said though I can’t complain about the more general reception we received. Our attendance was certainly appreciated and we were well looked after by the staff for the duration of the couple of hours we were there, even if it was slightly extended by us inadvertently standing front and center for the drawing of the raffle tickets meaning we couldn’t quietly slip away as proceedings went on and had to stay on beyond the end time while they drew. Every. Single. Ticket.

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83 Disney Star Wars GO Rogue Experience – 23rd October 2016

Location
Disney Store, Glasgow 12:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
back at the store the next day, our TB numbers bolstered by Kylo Ren and a Stormtrooper, it was mostly more of the same.  The public turnout was noticeably lower, likely related one way or another to that afternoons clash between local rival teams.
Our increased contingent meant that we were divided between the door and stage areas of the Store and while I kept myself amused with more statue behaviour (yeah, honestly mate your wife is dead wrong about me being real too, they would definitely have three people moving about in costumes and one random mannequin on display, you keep telling her) at the door there just wasn’t the flow of people passing by to avoid the day dragging.

Curiously a photographer turned up wearing a 501st Legion t-shirt, though clearly not a member of the organization, claiming to be from Jedi News.  Even though they sold some of those garments off to benefit Medicinema, I dislike that approach as it comes off as an attempt by a third-party to give themselves a level of legitimacy by trading on our name…

Rotating out to the stage at the back of the store unfortunately dried up the flow of the public to a trickle despite the best efforts of our spotter to direct the photo seeking people at the door in our direction, it’s probably the top draw they want to have in that position as two more random costumes just wasn’t enticing enough to lure the punters so far back into the store.  Thus it was a struggle to make it to the 16:00 finish, ending the weekend on a slightly damp squib; albeit through nobodies fault, except perhaps the Scottish Football Associations scheduling department!

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82 Disney Star Wars GO Rogue Experience – 22nd October 2016

Location
Disney Store, Glasgow 11:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
Firstly, apologies again to BatBoss Hailes and Steve Smith for rudely awakening them both by having to call them first thing on Saturday morning due to a bit of a communication hiccup at the organizers end.

Once that hurdle had been cleared and my fellow Biker and I had “knitted” up in the management suite upstairs we made out way down to the shop and positioned ourselves either side of the entrance.  Our positioning was such that the constant flow of customers into the shop had to bypass us, possibly to the discomfort of some of the more fragile children, and regardless of which direction the people out in the centre were coming from at least one of us was visible to further lure them towards Disney’s tills.

It’s been a while since I entertained myself by playing “statues” at a troop, but the position we were in lent itself easily to such shenanigans and even when observing my much more animated counterpart folks were still arguing with each other that I was just a statue.  As a bonus our position meant we were right below the air conditioning vents all day too!

It was because I had been buoyed by (most of) the experience of spotting at the Glasgow Film and Comic Con that I’d signed up to this to begin with, but I admit to not being keen to do this event the closer it got once it dawned on me that there would be no charity donation from the House of Mouse for our services (and even less so when it turned out to be two days on deck and not just the one!) however despite being initially unaware of our attendance the staff of the store looked after us like champions throughout the day.  Costume malfunctions aside, would I do it again?  Well, I sort of had to

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