Starting with Toy Fair back on Wednesday 30th Jan - Mike and myself popped down for a few hours to have a quick browse just incase something interesting was down there. Once upon a time (10+ years ago) the British Toy Fair had a bunch of small and innovative games companies brining out new Board/Card games which we could unearth. The last decade has seen a big decline in the Fairs appeal to us as a shop though and from being a rush to fit everything in on a full day with a team of three it's become something that one person can do in 2-3 hours. I hadn't been at all in the last 3 years so thought I'd give it another shot, just in case...
Well, it really wasn't worth it for either of us. There was absolutely zero innovation in the British Board/Card game field. Even the two games we got vaguely interested in we both agreed wouldn't have been looked at twice if we'd been in Essen for Spiele or Vegas for GTS so we won't both chasing those up. I had a good chat (and went out for drinks after the show) with the Esdevium crew but really, there was nothing to report. The highlight of the show for me was picking up a couple of Playmobil catalogs (one for Sean and one for myself) which I do out of a throwback to my childhood (Playmobil - or Playpeople as they were called then - was my favourite toy by miles. I even drew up designs and sent them to the company as ideas for other set. I think it;s safe to say that I really wanted to work for Playmobil when I was a kid :p).
Friday night saw Jasmina come over for a *wine tasting* session before heading to Inferno where she danced for hours and I chatted to Matt and Rav whom I hadn't seen in years (Rav that is, I see Matt every few months). Got home about 4am, up at 10 on Saturday and into Camden where we spent four hours wandering around looking for birthday presents for Alex. Jasmina then headed home to do some work and I ended up in the Dev for a bit followed by a trip to a pub in Liverpool Street for the Camarilla Reunion. It was good to see Aaron, Jeni, Maddie, Robin, Rob and Nicola who were their during my brief visit before I had to rush back to Finchley for Alex's brithday meal at a nice Brazillian restaurant. Post-meal the troupe headed bcak to his house where we watched City of God, which resulted in another very late night (about 4am again) followed by another reasonably early morning as I had the Cubicle 7 Staff Meeting to go to between noon and 4pm - which was very good and productive.
Upon returning home I found Jasmina still there so we both decided we'd continue the weekend theme of being a busy as f**k and go into Camden to see Die Krupps - a band I last saw back in 1995/6 I think. Jasmina took great delight in pointing out she was only 10 when I last saw them which wasn't very amusing. Anyway, we heading to Dingwalls and saw The Dragons (who I thought were very good - a bit Joy Division meets late 80's/early 90's rockier goth courtesy of bands like Claytown Troupe and Balaam & The Angel), Faderhead (very sleazey-pop-rap-electronica, whom I found amusing. The lead singer has a good voice and charisma) and then Die Krupps themselves (and I was glad to see that I still recognised a lot of their songs which means they must have largely played older material as I've not heard anything from them for oevr ten years now). The gig finished after the tubes had shut so once again I had a late night. Grrr....
Monday was back at work followed by a trip to Camden to Aarons to see him and Jeni for food, wine and Bill Hicks. A really good fun night (apart from almost killing Jeni twice - I didn't realise you had asthma and won't make you laugh so much in future - sorry) that finally wrapped up with a taxi trip back to mine at 3.30am.
Tuesday started coming down with a cold (I wonder why?) which led to me being awake and restless all Tuesday night through to about 6am. Wednesday I was dead to the world and today I am feeling alot better (not 100% but certainly on the mend).
I also saw Cloverfield which is bloody excellent. I may go and see it again although I should really conserve money and wait for the DVD. I really enjoyed it though and am sure it'll feature highly in my Top 10 of the year. Also saw loads of great trailers including the new Iron Man and Star Trek films plus an extended trailer for Jumpers which I think I'll definetly go and see.
Anyway, sleep now. Glad I finally did a catch-up post :p
Take care folks, Angus out.