Honestly I've been that busy I have not had time to write a blog or even remembering to do one. So be prepared this will be long.
Shortly after my last blog post I got an email from Mape which started this big conversation about getting us to run the new NW forum. So that was all a sudden. Thought 'sure np we'll get it up when I return from Finland', then all kinds of crap kicked off and then it was about getting it up asap. So just over 24 hours later we got it online.. talk about stress and hard work. At least it was done before my trip anyway.
I got picked up by taxi at some stupid o'clock to get a very early bus to London. I got to my local town and looked at my ticket which stated "National Express bus number XYZ, depards from stand 22 (outside bus station)" So I stand outside just before midnight freezing my metaphorical bits off waiting for this bus. I got to the stand about 20 minutes early, which doesnt sound like much until you are thrown into a cold street full of drunk students leaving pubs after last orders.
By sheer luck I caught the glimpse of a bus out the corner of eye pulling into the bus station, not the street where I was waiting. I had to run across the road and into the bus station and past all the stands to find my bus sitting there waiting for it's missing passenger (me). I apologised and told the driver where I waited, apparently the tickets printing to wait outside the station was suppose to have been fixed 6 month ago.. joy!
So I get on the bus and try my best to get comfortable, lucky no one was sat beside me so I could keep my bag with me. This bag contained Tuomas's Christmas and birthday gifts and I was not letting it out my sight for love nor money.
After changing buses, I arrived at Gatwick airport at 8:40am. Bear in mind my flight was not till the evening so I had about a 10 hour wait. I was releaved to find you can check in at any time with Norwegian Airlines and get to the more comfy and spacious departure lounge. Thank god as I expected at least a 6 hour wait at the 1 open cafe in departures check in. I found myself a little corner after getting through security, secured my bad around my leg so no one could do a runner with it and attempted more sleep.. Failed. The whole day I was dozing about 20 minutes at a time, ending up with horrible back ache from the most uncomfortable seats ever. Thank god for IRC or I would of went crazy. Typically it was not till the last hour of my journey when I went to stretch my legs that I found reclined seats. Oh well.
At least the plane was on time and I landed into Helsinki Vantaa with no issues and even found Linza with no problems. Quick bus journey to her apartment followed by me pretty much passing out rather quickly. I slept in till about 11am which I couldn't believe, I was due to meet Tuomas at 3 and I had not even unpacked and sorted the things I needed to take. So all sorted and a quick nose on google maps to double check where his hotel was we went out. Wondered around for a bit, Linza showing me some sights as we walked in the direction of the hotel. Went to this nice little coffee shop to sit and relax as we were there a little early, by this point I was hungry again but we intended to go to this restaurant Linza loves called The Seahorse on the evening so I thought I'd leave it.
Got to Tuomas's hotel about 15 minutes early and Linza left me to it. I felt a bit of an idiot in the lobby and though about calling him to say I was here early but then I got a phone call which past the time anyway. On time as always he came downstairs, with his own bag of supplies to match mine. Tuomas asked if I wanted to eat and by this time I thought I could eat a cow so agreed.
I did plan to just have a salad in case we did go out later but he insisted I had something more. So while we waited for food we argued over who was going first with the gifts, he won. He gave some CD's and signed the Storytime singles I asked him to bring for those who won the competition. Then he pulled out the DPP platinum award which he wanted using in a competition which we just finished, and the Jack Sparrow he had on his synths on the DPP tour and some more little items. Finally it was my turn and the book was first. I wrote about it all on the TH site but he was over the moon. He was so excited, then I said it was first edition and he got more excited then showed him the number of the book and the autographed picture and that was it he was in heaven.
After food, which was beautiful, I gave him the CD which had him puzzled at first. After reading the booklet it started to make sense, then I gave him my phone to listen to it and he just loved it. I wont go on much about it as it's all on the website. We shared some laughs, stories and business and then he had to leave to be picked up to travel home. So a long and pricey trip for a few hours but his reaction to the gifts made it worth it.
*he requested this picture with this quote but it was too dark in the restaurant to make it out properly*
Next day was sightseeing.. in the rain. I could not complain too much as it could of been cold but I think my and Linza's catchphrase that weekend was "It's fucking cold". So we wondered the city a bit, got ourselves a picnic and headed to the harbour to get the boat over to Suomenlinna.
We wondered around and Linza said lets head up to King's Gate where Nightwish filmed Over The Hills video. So we did, and we got wet. We stopped under this tunnel to have something to eat but I was far too cold so we decided to go to the Gate then head back home.
*Linza at King's Gate*
We got home and warmed up with some nice coffee and turkey stew. Next day I was heading home and I was still scratching my head how to get the platinum award and Jack Sparrow home. The award was too big for my suitcase and Jack just fit with some expert engineering.
Got to the airport and all was well until the heavens opened and it started throwing snow down. We got onto the plane and sat there for an extra hour while the plane was defrosted, twice.
*View of the 2nd defrosting session*
Lucky I had 2 hours to wait at the airport in London for my bus back so I didn't mind sitting on the plane in the warm. The longer I was there, the less I had to wait in London. I got back home at about 6am the next day exhausted but I had a fun trip. I just have to find somewhere good for Jack to live where Ethan cant get it.
Since returning it's been non stop with having to get a proper design done for the new forum, and then continue with the TH.com rebuild. Then we also had Christmas so I have no idea where the time has gone.
Spoke with Tuomas about a week ago who approved of the new site design, so now it's having all the content added in the other languages. The fun part!
Though I have March to look forward to now after Alex has booked our flights. I just need to get the funds to pay him for it yet hah! Then get to Glasgow for the actual flight. Still 2 Nightwish shows in two days will be good, then home less than a month then off to Paris to invade Disney and then Nightwish again. All good stuff. Since this has been a long one I'll leave it at that, I'll be good and not rant and I'll leave my future plotting still to peoples imaginations.
I'll try not to be as long with the next post.
*Two more pictures of Tuomas enjoying his birthday and Christmas gifts*