Alan Flyng

Alan Flyng

Monday, 21 April 2014

The run-up to ASFA 2014 in Amelie les Bains, France.

Coming very soon is the second convention, organised by the very excellent Robert Pujade, called ASFA. Taking place in the picturesque town of Amelie les Bains in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this convention covers a fusion of interests - steampunk, science fiction, horror and fantasy.

Last year,Pam Rose and I were accompanied by Ken Coombs and Paul Markham. This year Pam and I are back with Andy Herd, Andrew Lawden and Claudia Wells. Whilst Europe has not avoided being sucked into the worldwide economic depression, this area, so close to Spain, has suffered as much as any and so I congratulate Robert and his family and helpers for the initiative they have realised. I am sure this year's event will be as much fun as last year and I look forward to Andy, Andrew, Pam and Claudia's company.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Randers Star Wars& Sci-Fi Messe, 12 April, 2014.

The prospect of travelling for however brief a visit to Denmark still fires me up with enthusiasm, as it means I will be meeting up with friends and yet more friendly people! This trip was a real pick-me-up for me after quite a long time being ill! Of course, the main consideration about flying again was .. ... .. would I be able to fit in the seat and do up the seat-belt? Happily, with the aid of the addition of a children's orange seat belt to my own, both were accomplished! :)

Met on arrival by Michael HR Nielsen and Per Valgreen of Dansk Star Wars Loge. who had organised that Pam Roase and I should appear at this new show, we set off westward in Per's 'Chelsea Tractor' across the islands for the Danish Mainland. The mainland of Denmark islinked with Sweden by a series of munumental bridges known as theGreatBelt- 


On the way through, we stopped to visit the town where Hans Christian Andersen had lived and where today a 
museum encloses his home. The town is very picturesque in parts, with some very old houses dating from the 
late medieval times. Colour features strongly in those streets and make an attractive sight for us jaded travellers!


We didn't have time to go through the museum and so visited the gift shop and viewed some interesting art,
including a very interesting table fountain, below.

Randers turned out to be quite a good sized town with quite an extensive suburban belt, within which we saw, 
unlikely as it seems, a replica Graceland mansion to which we had been invited to visit after our event!!!

Graceland Randers
The hotel we stayed at was very bijou and comfortable, with maybe only seven rooms! Pam and I found it most comfortable and recommend it for short visits for business or pleasure. It is in the center of town and is called Steohansen Hotel and Restaurant. The venue for our show was a good sized leisure hall and, although Pam and I were the only signers, it was very well attended by dealers and costumers of the Scandinavian Garrison of the 501st and members of the Rebel Legion. As soon as the doors opened we knew we had a successful show on our hands and the numbers quickly climbed to over a thousand paying attendees. Pam and I had a busy day signing and meeting lovely people. My heartiest thanks and congratulations to Benny Ray and his crew of lovely helpers! As advertised, the next day we went to Graceland Randers after breakfast and met the owner who graciously gave us a personal tour of the Elvis collection within belonging to himself. He also treated us to a very generous lunch in the American Diner, which forms part of the property. Amongst the highlights was the chance to play a few noted on a piano upon which many famous people had played, including Frank Sinatra! We say many collectable including show costumes worn by the King and a legacy of goodies to enthrall any Elvis aficionado!!!

We sadly had to leave Graceland and our friend Kasper Dahl Finderup who had attended the event and showed up to host our visit in the company of the owner of the mansion. Thank you very much Kasper!!! :)

On arrival back in Taastrup, hometown of Michael and Per, we met up with many more friends for a last meal before flying off. An 'eat as much as you like' buffet (always a challenge to be met by me when offered! :) ) and we ate until we dropped!

Kim Young Mi
Ditte Broens
Michael HR Nielsen and Joan Kidde

Check in with EasyJet was the usual mess-up on their part, occasioning my insulin ending up in the hold - thanks EasyJet! - and a flight only distinguished by a spoilt child attempting to beat some sort of record  throwing up as many times as possible to get his doting mother's attention! And home . . . and breathe!!! LOL.

I note that Benny has already announced a provisional date fro next year! All my very best wishes Benny for the next one! :)