Sunday, 20 February 2011

Back to normality

Well it's been nearly a week since we made our first video blog about the night before meeting Tuomas. It's quite sad to think the event came and went so quickly.
Myself and Sarah were pretty 'sad' and started counting down the days to meeting since we got the date from Tuomas in December and we booked our hotel.
The days counted down fast and before I knew it I was working pretty much through the night organising things for London. We decided to have a website get together while we were down there also. So I called around several places and booked us an area in a rock bar: The Pipeline, this ended up being a really nice venue.
The biggest project we did was create a book for Tuomas. It was full of messages to him from fans.
We had a total of 76 fans take part (funny number when you think also Tuomas' year of birth) and it totalled close to 220 pages if I remember correctly.

Other things I arranged were some promotional pictures being made for Tuomas to sign for those attending the London gathering, as a small way of saying thank you for all the support I get for doing this.
The day came and I headed to London. I live at the other end of England so a flight ended up the cheapest and quickest mode of transport to get there. I met up with my partner in crime Sarah and we headed off the our hotel together. We booked into the same one Tuomas was in as it made sense if schedule needed to be changed, of course it's an expensive choice but we both had the mentality of 'what the hell.'
The Sunday night consisted of me and Sarah making our first video blog after returning from some much needed food and drink, then afterwards we sat down and watched a few Nightwish DVDs, as the nerves were causing us not to be able to sleep.

Monday morning consisted again of another video blog and then we headed down to the bar to set up for Tuomas joining us an hour or so later. At this point we went through the wine list to chose Tuomas' "winnings". Now as most people know I had a bet with him on our 2 hockey teams playing each other.. I lost. The prize was the loser buys the wine for the meeting.
It turned 3pm and I caught the sight of a purple hat out the corner of my eye, who else could it of been. I wasn't as nervous as I expected when approaching him, after all we had been talking for over 3 months by this point. To break the ice I made a joke about expecting him to wear a hockey jersey to wind me up, he gave a laugh then simply gave a hug.. that was it ice broken, nerves instantly gone.
After introducing him to Sarah we sat, he laughed at the fact I remembered about his winnings. He went through some gifts he brought with him. I feel so privileged that he gave me what he did, his first ever lyrics- the song Nightwish. We also got loads of stuff for a competition which we will hold in the next few month, one of his hats he used in promo photos and live, the original artwork from Dark Passion Play, and loads of signed singles and some vinyl.
It was then I presented him with my personal gift and then of course the website book. He absolutely loved it. He was so emotional and flattered by it, it was getting myself and Sarah emotional too just watching him.
He said he will read every page and it was the best gift he's received, and really want's to write something special to the members of the site which he will do when he's finished reading it all.
Here is the video we took of him getting the book:

Following that we just chatted for a while. Told him off for the translation error of his recent illness which meant he told me he was suffering for something much more serious than the tonsillitis he was suffering from, of course still not a nice and you can tell especially on the videos that he was still not 100%.
We then preceded to ask him the questions that members of The Escapist had submitted. I had them wrote in a notepad which he took off me and read himself. It turned out to be a good little interview even if short. I apologise to people. We only took 20 questions with us as the interview was always going to be an extra to what we already had planned, it was not until we were into it and finished that we realised we didnt have enough. Typically when Tuomas put us on the spot to ask more, my mind went blank. Tuomas enjoyed our questions so much, we have sent him more via email that he was keen on answering.
To view the interview and read the transcript of it have a look here.

We then had Jukka, Ewo, Pip Williams and John join us. It was a good laugh and just very natural to sit and have a laugh. We quickly finished with a few photos. We initially were going to get quite a few and use them in website design etc but since Tuomas was still not feeling well, we only got a couple.

And that was it, after about 3.5 hours with Tuomas they left to head to the studio. Myself and Sarah retired to our room to make the last of our video blogs before heading out for food.

The next day we headed out to Camden, it was then I got a crazy idea of getting a tattoo to mark the occasion... so I did (you can see it on my right for arm on the top image of the blog).

We then headed to the Pipeline to the member meeting. We had a fantastic time! 20 people turned up which was amazing, the only thing is I forgot to take a group shot which annoyed me. We had some fun chats, and our Evil_Wench aka Sari decided it would be fun if she brought her whips.. I think she studied that picture of Tuomas whipping Jukka too much. I'll tell you she bloody hurts with it! We will be doing this again later in the year. It was so much fun, and everyone seemed to love the signed promo photo Tuomas did for everyone:

For more pictures of the meet look here
While there I got a phone call from Ewo, he was going to head over to party with everyone but in the end couldn't so a group of us went over to where he was. The guys had to leave to get the last train leaving myself and Cyntia to go with Ewo and crew to the Crobar till closing of 3am. We had a fab night, even though I ended up falling asleep on Cyntia's shoulder for a bit.
So that's it. Day after this I returned home to loads of work on the website and I'm still playing catch up.

Thank you for reading

Until next time!


Monday, 14 February 2011

The night after the event

Well it has been an interesting day. From sick with nerves too all gone in one tight hug. But I'll come back to this.

Myself and Sarah were up most of the night watching Nightwish in preparation for meeting with Tuomas later the next day. After 5 hours of DVD watching we called it a night.
Woke at a not so pleasing 7am but could not get back to sleep so lay there on msn for an hour or so before breakfast. It's hard to eat anything when you stomach feels like it's going to turn itself inside out with nerves, but the typical British cup of tea helped wonders.
After a few hours we were ready and sat in bar overlooking lobby so I could see when Tuomas came down from his room. I caught a flash of purple out the corner of my eye and instinctually knew it was him. Went over to meet with him and was greeted with him practically diving on me and a big hug, as I said earlier.... Nerves instantly gone.
We sat and he said "I have some gifts for you I hope you dong mind" my reply was of corse I don't mind and I have things for him too, he then insisted on going first and lifted out a huge collection of gifts. One thing which I will treasure forever is he gave me the original lyrics to the song Nightwish, which are his very first lyrics he wrote. I couldn't believe he gave me them.
I then gave him my gift, a Teemu Selanne collectors hockey framed signed picture etc, he freaked and loved it. Then we gave him the book from fans. He was so overwhelmed he was practically in tears at times. He promises to read every one of them and he was adamant he had to write a message to the website expressing his thanks.
We did the interview which he really enjoyed which we filmed and get online. All in all a great day, even got to meet Pip, Jukka and Ewo which was cool and they hung round about 40 mins or so too.
So it's 1am now and i'm getting tired.
So goodnight all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:London- hotel

Sunday, 6 February 2011

As the event approaches

The countdown begins..1 week to I head to London.

I made a list yesterday of things I still have to prepare before I go. I was shocked how much I still have to do. I have been working full time hours at work and also took on another project recently so I've been spreading my time out a little too thin it seems.

So far we have 27 people confirmed for the website gathering which is fantastic. The interview questions are set for Tuomas so at least the biggest things are done.

The "other" project I'm working on is building the site for the new Nightwish fan club for the British Isles.. it's going really well which is fab! ( I'll present the site and the idea to Ewo in London and introduce a letter from the club administrator to get the official status back for the club. Obviously we are sorting this out as soon as we can in advance of the album release etc so we can look at some fan related things.

I'm sorry for not updating regularly, hopefully that will change soon. But I do have more things I'm working on too so I cannot promise as many updates as what Anette does for example hehe... but of course I am far less interesting than her.

One suggestion someone had was if I could made a video blog of me and my work area when building Tuomas' site.. so I thought why not. I'll probably have a go on Tuesday with this.

So for now all take care- I will update on Tuesday