77 Fairy Box, Enchanted Garden Party – 20th September 2015

Troop Icons TB 2015Location
Invercarse Hotel, Dundee 13:00 – 16:30

Mission Report
I have a lot of issues with this hobby sometimes and it seems often that the craptastic events outnumber anything worthwhile and then infrequently something like this comes along.

And even though you’re maybe standing in the one spot for a long while, blocking access to a disabled toilet, and it’s possibly uncomfortably warm and small children are coming up and asking you to sign an autograph in a book that’s closed, with a pen which still has the lid on with your stupid big chunky gloves almost specifically designed to inhibit manual dexterity; simultaneously juggling a fake gun while peering though eye holes that would be next to useless for avoiding small, sugar filled, moving obstacles even in a full lit otherwise empty warehouse.

Even though all that, sometimes you overhear a slew of arrivals as they identify themselves and explain why there’s one less than was invited because someone is too ill to attend and you think to yourself, “Yes…  Helping out these children in some tiny way is why I do this…”

Before the event, before even the rest of the troop had arrived, in a scant few minutes she had in-between running around coordinating this circus, I met Rosie the organiser who has asked for our help at these Fairy Box events over the years and I thanked her for inviting us along.

I don’t think I’ve ever meant such a heartfelt sentiment in my life.

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53 Fairy Box Childrens Party – 10th February 2013

Location
Apex Hotel, Dundee 14:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
The first Fairy Box event five years ago occurred the weekend I was cleared to troop with the 501st Legion and the excellent social attended by all the folks who’d travelled so far from south of the border to be there means that I’ve something of a soft spot for it, despite there being very little to the occasion itself.

As one of the handful of (ir)regular Reel Icons events we get here in Scotland, this was the first opportunity to wear the Batsuit in public and a more opportune one couldn’t be asked for as its swarming with kids and, while indoors, there’s would be scope to slip away for a breather or recover should the need to de-kit rear its ugly head, especially important for me given my recent medical problems. It was tough going to make it to the end too, with me using an interim cape without the final chest fastening it meant a great deal of weight across my upper back and shoulders. The heat of so many sugar and e-numbered up kids in the room had it’s pro’s as well as cons though, the resulting buckets of sweat made slipping out of the wetsuit at the end a breeze (and a couple of minutes outside turned it into a highly efficient liquid cooling system!) but was best endured propped up against a wall and it was touch and go for a minute while standing in the photo queue as to whether I’d topple backwards and destroy the cupcake stand…

I’ve mentioned before the surprise and delight of discovering the autograph books the kids are issued with at this event – delight, that is, on my part that first year to not be in armour and asked to provide any. This year was no exception, fortunately I’d come prepared with a pile of Topps Batman Returns-style trading cards to hand out as I didn’t figure Batman signs his name as ‘Batman’ and would settle for drawing a little bat shape on his notes to Commissioner Gordon. Seems simple enough, and perhaps my woozyness wasn’t helping, but it just gets to a point when you’ve drawn a bat shape a certain number of times where it appears your hands just can’t remember which way the pen should move. I’ve no idea what shape some of those kids had in their books when they walked away so hopefully the cards came as some compensation… Didn’t see any laying about on the floor at the end so apparently they were highly prized!

It was highly decent of Rosie to take the time out to come and speak to Julie and I a couple of times during the day and I’m sorry we didn’t get the chance to say cheerio to her before the end. The staff of the Apex Hotel looked after us like kings once again (luckily they don’t search guests bags for their plastic ducks at checkout or we’d have been done up like kippers) and apologies to our fellow ISS (and honorary ISS) members for the limited socializing time on Sunday night, but some of us had to be up and away in the morning for work in the morning…

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26 Fairy Box Childrens Party – 24th May 2009

Location
Apex Hotel, Dundee 12:30 – 16:00

Mission Report
At last the circle is complete.
Once again I find myself at the Fairy Box event, once again with a pending costume clearance…

Now not to be negative, but there was no way this event was going to live up to last year. Not to slight anyone who attended, or the organisers or the facilities but last January was the greatest event and social ever had, end of.

Stuck inside the lid this time round though and prey to the midget autograph hunters I was so glad to have escaped last year I have to admit, I didn’t get much enjoyment out of this event although, having looked through the photos it appears I was somewhat disassociated from the rest of the troopers present and as such clearly missed out on the explanation as to why Mr. Burns from The Simpsons running about in his bare feet and a cloak, so maybe I only have myself to blame for that.

I think it was the lack of genuine interaction with the public that also put the dampener on this for me. While the kids undoubtedly enjoyed our presence they were too young and/or ill to properly “UKG” with so other than photo ops and the aforementioned autographs there wasn’t much to do. In fact looking at the photos it appears that I stood like a statue (as opposed to “playing statues”) for the first hour until the presence of the TX, Vader and a TK was requested in private for a little lad too sick to join the main party. Mind you, that did buck me up a bit and I then spent some time entertaining myself by sticking my lid into the corner of any photographs Julie tried to take…

Don’t get me wrong, this was a good little troop and it’s always a pleasure to help out Rosie and her charity any time they want but it was sort of a downer at the end to realise the Scottish family has grown so much recently that there’ll now be troops that there’s no need for me to attend without impacting the turnout in the slightest.

And man, what I wouldn’t have given for a chunk of Kryptonite during that second session inside the hall… Those that were there will know exactly what I mean!

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4 Fairy Box Childrens Party – 27th January 2008

Location
Apex Hotel, Dundee 14:00 – 17:00

Mission Report

Gah.

In a twist of cosmic irony, there are actual photos of the troopers at this event looking at my clearance posting on the forums, but because it wasn’t an Induction Event, I’m once again acting as a spotter.
Still, given the amount of kids running around, asking for autographs from the folk in costume I had a lucky escape. It’s hard enough to SEE short people in those helmets, never mind take the lid off a pen and sign your name for them in a crowd of dozens.
The accommodations at the venue we were given were beyond first class and we were superbly looked after. A large number of people had trekked up to Dundee from down south for the event and it was great to meet and renew some acquaintances while there and the social afterwards was incredible.

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