Sunday, 13 November 2016

Bad Wolf Bay just became even more special!

So I mentioned in my previous post that I was off to Wales on a mini-break with Luke this week... and as part of this we planned a day trip to Dunraven Bay (also known as Bad Wolf Bay) as we do this every year because it is my favourite place in the world to visit, chill-out and reflect in peace and quiet with beautiful surroundings.

Anyway, this time it was extra special because...... Luke asked me to marry him! Yep, I got engaged at Bad Wolf Bay... and I couldn't be happier! Me and Luke celebrated our 10 years together a couple of weeks ago so this was just the icing on the cake :-)

Thank you Doctor Who for allowing us to find this very special place, which now has an even bigger place in my heart!

Now to plan the wedding... hmmm, now what could possibly be my 'something blue...?!'

Saturday, 29 October 2016

TARDIS Set Tour and Props! (Video and Pics)

Turns out, a journey on the official TARDIS set tour is not always a once in a lifetime opportunity, as just before Christmas last year, I managed to secure on a pair of tickets for myself and Luke. This was my second visit to the infamous set but my first time since Peter has been at the helm. You can read about my first visit to the Tardis set back in 2013 here.

We reached Cardiff in good time (I had taken my new car for a good old spin) and had time to get some lunch at a local favourite: Eddie's Diner. It was the second or third time we have eaten in here, and it never fails to disappoint! I would recommend it to anyone, whether a Doctor Who fan or not - 50's America is definitely where its at!

We were told to head into the Doctor Who Experience first, which we had been to a couple of times before, you can read about our most recent visit since the Experience regenerated here. There had been a couple of extra props added to the prop rooms since our last visit from series 8 - its always great to see whats new and its always brilliant that the area is updated to reflect the most recent series. It just proves that no matter how often you visit over the years, there's always going to be something new that you haven't spotted before.

This year, Luke went armed with his selfie stick and we managed to take a couple of great pictures with the both of us in. (Top Tip: Like I have mentioned in previous posts, its always best to head straight up the stairs when you first enter the prop area, as downstairs fills up quickly and its difficult to get the perfect shots without other visitors photobombing!)

Anyway, on to the main event. We met our allocated group in the foyer of the Experience, handed our official tour lanyards and headed over to the BBC Roath Lock Studios. However, rather than going through the side entrance which consisted of a Jurassic Park style gate I have mentioned previously, we were directed straight through the main entrance, through the turnstiles and down the corridors to the studio. I couldn't help but imagine how many awesome actors/actresses had walked this same way before!

So off we went through the huge studio doors where the shell of the TARDIS was located to the left and a couple of props straight ahead where we were then split into two groups. Our group was instructed to stay in the prop area first where we were told all about the props around us, which consisted of items from Series 9's 'Face The Raven' - Clara's Mural version of the TARDIS, her costume from the episode and the raven's cage. The tour guide was great and took lots of awesome pictures of us so that we could get the perfect shot. There was also a Dalek he wheeled into the studio and he spent a couple of minutes explaining how an actor controls its movement from the inside. It must be so claustrophobic!

After a while, we moved on in small groups to the main event; the TARDIS set. Of course, I filmed our steps into the TARDIS again and made sure I was first in for the best angle. Walking into the TARDIS never tires, its got to be the best experience for a Doctor Who fan. We had a bit longer this time around to take the perfect shots. Again, half of the set was fenced off but it really doesn't spoil the illusion of the TARDIS.

Here's the video I took on the day as I walked into the TARDIS, and the photos to follow:-

Peter's Doctor is infamous for using his chalkboard often in episodes, and we noticed the board had been left out, still emblazoned with the words 'Run You Clever Boy and Be A Doctor' from Series 9 episode Hell bent.

I'll say it before and I'll say it again, if you haven't been on the Doctor Who Set tour before you literally HAVE to go if you get the chance. They run every couple of years when filming is on a break - I usually find out about the latest dates through subscribing to updates from the Doctor Who Experience/BBC Worldwide - its totally worth it!

I'm off on a mini-break to Wales this week. Who knows what new and exciting Doctor Who locations I may stumble upon...?!

In other news I have finally hit my weight goal (lost 1 and a half stone) and I have something exciting to share... me and Luke have just bought our first house! Our mortgage offer has been accepted and we are just in the process of searches etc so we are hoping everything goes okay and will hopefully be moving in before Christmas :-) Exciting times ahead! Apart from that I am working my butt off at work and looking forward to this week in Wales!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Doctor Who Festival 2015

Back in November, I was lucky enough to get my hands on tickets to the Doctor Who Festival at the London ExCel. The event spanned three days but we booked for the Saturday only, heading down for the night on the Friday evening.

Staying in a hotel just yards from the venue, it was only a short walk in the stormy conditions battling through the rain with a pretty dodgy umbrella on the Saturday Morning ready for the days festivities.

So we started the day with our first theatre session, which included a panel made up of Mark Gatiss and Kate Walshe. However this was cut short due to our photo sessions with Jenna and Peter Capaldi up next. We had definitely learnt from the previous Doctor Who convention two years previous and made sure we had plenty of time to find the photo rooms. So much so that we were in fact, first in line. Getting up to the photo rooms early was a great decision, as they happened to be located opposite the press rooms. Whilst we sat on the floor waiting for 11am to strike, Peter Capaldi, yes, The Doctor himself, came striding around the corner with his team. However, the press weren't quite ready for him, so he ended up waiting on the other side of the corridor to us. It was so crazy, The Doctor, stood opposite us and I was too nervous to go over! He had his big Doc Martens on, and he had obviously spotted myself and Luke admiring his presence as he smirked over at us, but the next thing we knew he was called in and out popped Jenna Coleman, who had a selfie with one of the festival signs and hurriedly headed around the corner before anyone could see her.

So we were let into the photo room, and waited for Jenna to make her appearance. It wasn't long before she entered the room and I felt Lukes heart flutter ten to the dozen beside me. He wanted me to go first, (probably so he could be in her presence for a while longer) so I walked up, asked her how she was, gave her a big hug, told her I'd miss her in Doctor Who, posed for a photo and thanked her before moving on to collect my photo... its amazing what you can cram into a couple of seconds! She seemed very rushed compared to the last time we met, but it was probably down to the HUGE queue that was forming behind us. You can read all about the first time I met Jenna at Collectormania 2013, here.

Next, we ran around to the photo room next door where Peter Capaldi was having his photo shoot with fans. This queue was a little longer so we had to wait a while on our feet whilst everyone had their time with the main man himself. There were SO many cosplayers in the room, most notably an exquisitely dressed Missy, who myself and Luke were very impressed by. Anyway, about 20 minutes later we were called over for our photo with Peter and the nerves finally kicked in as I locked eyes with The Doctor. He asked how we were, shook our hands, asked our names (of which he kept calling me "Kally" -  I need to learn how to pronounce properly, especially when I'm nervous, but even so, it sounded so great in his accent!) and asked whether we wanted a Doctor Who type "posed" photo or just a "normal" one, to which we agreed the latter and Peter quipped "Good, I love a normal one!" Really pleased with how the photo turned out, and really impressed with how humble Capaldi was. I didn't think anyone would be able to beat Matt Smith, but Peter is definitely level-pegging. This was undoubtedly the best moment of the day!

Following this, we headed into the main hall and decided to queue up for our pre-booked photo on an "iconic" piece of set from series 8. My guess when I purchased these tickets was that the photo would be in the most recent TARDIS console room. But no, instead we scampered into Clara's front room and took a seat on her sofa. This photo makes me laugh so much as it looks like we are proud owners of our new house, having our first photos in our front room. All that is missing is a glass of Prosecco and a packet of Rice Tea biscuits!

Next we spotted Davros' hospital room set piece from series 9, which myself and Luke both agreed would have been the better option for an on-set photo and definitely worth a fiver! We queued up for a while and were grouped with about 15 other people. Each group were briefed not to touch any of the set, health an safety etc and were directed down into Davros' lare for about five minutes each to take as many photos/videos as required. This was great, except there were really too many people allowed in at once. It was hard to get a shot without other visitors walking past the lens or accidentally photobombing a selfie.

Next we went for a wonder around the set pieces and props where I was hoaxed into a Mire's helmet. This was a heavy piece of machinery, luckily the stunt guy was on hand to help balance it on my head! Seriously though, I commend the stunt guys for walking around in these things day in day out on set, they weren't the most comfortable objects!

Following on from this we headed into the writers panel, with appearances from Head Writer Steven Moffat, Sarah Dollard (who's credits include S9 favourite 'Face the Raven') and Peter Harness (S8 'Kill The Moon and S9 'The Zygon Invasion'/'The Zygon Inversion'). This was a great talk, as we delved into the imaginations of three of the best writers on the show. I particularly liked hearing from Sarah following on from her success in her first ever Doctor Who episode 'Face The Raven', and how she came up with using the idea of a Trap Street.

The final panel of the day was Meet the Actors, with appearances from Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Ingrid Oliver and Steven Moffat. All five of these guys were absolutely great, but I was really surprised of how fantastic both Michelle and Ingrid were! I've gained so much respect for them after really bringing the final panel to life with their banter before heading home. Missy is without-a-doubt my personal stand-out character of the last series! It must be great to work alongside such brilliant, witty people.

So it was time to grab our bags from the cloakroom and head home but unfortunately my moisturiser had decided to explode in my suitcase, covering pretty much all my clothes it could get to... so there I was...on the floor next to the cloakroom unpacking and drying everything I could (tops, jeans, underwear, pj's sprawled out in front of me!) When I see the four actors who I had just been admiring on stage strolling towards me... yep - Peter, Jenna, Michelle and Ingrid. Nobody else had spotted them and I'm there clinging on to a pile of wet clothes as they stroll past... Ingrid gave me a little smirk but I was way too embarrassed to ask for a photo... I just wanted the ground to swallow me up - Typical! But I dare say what a way to end the day!

So if you are an avid reader of my blog (if there are actually any avid readers out there please make yourself know - it would make my day!!) then you may or may not have noticed I have been having a bit of a break from the blog and my social channels. This started off as an intentional move so that I could focus more on my career and social/personal life, but then my career really did start to take over and I am *still* finding it difficult to find a spare moment or two to write. Which is good, I guess. I do love my job and the harder I work, the more I am growing as a person and as a career-woman. I am noticing my confidence start to blossom and I am starting to enjoy life a bit more (even if I am a workaholic)! However, I do intend to devote as much time as I can spare to this blog in the coming months, but you will have to bear with me until I can get the balance right again. I still have a list of blog posts I am due to write, so I really need to get on top of these, even more so because there is no Doctor Who to keep me motivated this year!

So I need you lovely lot to keep me inspired and I will repay you with a whole load of blabbing and Doctor Who related posts!

Thanks for bearing with me :-)