Monday, 31 December 2012

My 2012

So my 2012 was an eventful one full of ups and downs, but mostly ups which is all that counts and me turning 30. Edit: Okay this ended up hugeee.. sorry

Started the year with getting the new design. I swore to myself that I wouldn't change it for a long time (yes Steff I mean it!). I finally managed to get the design nice and simple and easy to navigate. Something which bugged me for ages with past designs. Though I'm still very much a beginner as I'm still "thrown into the deep end" after the guy who helped me design the blue version back in 2010 stopped contact so I had to literally learn as I went along and trial and error. I don't think I've done too bad for someone with no training :)

Then headed to Finland for some Nightwish shows, which was good fun. Was good to see them all again. Of course we did the interview with Tuomas which went down well.. and I was blanked by a certain female which no names will be mentioned but was the start of me suspecting something wasn't right with that person.
I got to meet Katharina in person for the first time on this trip which was wonderful and a huge surprise, and it was nice of Johanna Kurkela to come stand for a bit and chat while we waited for the show to start.

Then Paris happened with 3 crazy Ghouls.. and Disney, which was so fun.. though bloody cold! We need to do this again when it's warm I think. Paris backstage at Nightwish was fun, watching Sari Beastall and Liz Lowe dancing stage side made me laugh and of course I got a photo of the event. I arranged for them to have time to 'interview' Tuomas which we were going to publicize but it just turned into complete randomness so decided not to. Also got really angry at said female from before, again won't go into detail but it led to a good rant with someone else who agreed with me 100% which I didn't expect. So that put a downer on things for a bit.

By mid year I got pissed off with working at the care home. They were taking me for a ride. I ended up having to stay awake over 54 hours so I could look after son and then work on the evenings and they didn't attempt to swap my shifts, so I walked out.

Then I had a horrible argument with Tuomas about a few things . Of course all got sorted in the end (all made sense in UK why it turned into an argument)  but then the bombshell was dropped about Anette, which caused me a lot of money as the server we were on couldn't handle the traffic and the host company suspended our account. Costing me an hour phone call (of 1.50 per minute) to the states, then £170 to upgrade to a dedicated server. Stressful time that was.

So she left then as if by magic, the UK club was allowed meet and greets again. *ahem* So we frantically sorted all that out with only a few weeks till the tour. But all done and organised had the best time ever calling the winners. The time on tour was fun (if I didn't fall ill would of been better) and the meet and greets (bar Manchester *shakes fist at security*) went brilliantly and it was great to meet so many people I have spoken to for such a long time finally in person.
Then it was off to the premier in Helsinki. Good atmosphere and the best NW show I had seen to date. Would of been perfect if the crowd from Brixton were in Hartwall instead. Afterparty goodness and great to see Christian again and actually have a conversation this time :). Met twice before but only seemed to say very little to each other.

Then it was the trip to Kitee and me panicking on the train by not knowing the thing splits in two hah. Seeing Kiti, Penna, Plamen and Katharina was great and it was a lovely experience. Having my photo and mentioned in the paper was weird though. Shame I never managed to get a physical copy, but at least Katharina was kind enough to scan it for me.

With the continued growth of - official 2 years now and the improving Nightwishforum which we have had a year now, things are looking stronger and stronger all the time. Huge thanks to Benedikt for help with our new server which has made things so much easier and cheaper to run.

I think it's still weird that little old me started some typical fan appreciation site way back in 2008 and to have grown to where I am now. Got a great little web team going, the certain bunch of individuals who try to sabotage our work and write crap online seem to have started to give up. So all in all I think 2013 has the potential to be a good year.

Apologies to people I missed off, I think this is long enough to start.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Trip take 2 plus extras

I've been home for about a month now after the tour and trip to Kitee.
Tuomas' gift giving went down well, though as it's covered on I don't think I'll go into it much.

I was picked up from the apartment by Plamen and took to where we were holding the meeting. There I met up with Katharina, Kiti and Penna and fueled up on coffee. We moved everything into place then waited for Tuomas to arrive.
As punctual as ever, Tuomas pulled up in his car just before the arranged meeting time so we made sure everything was ready before he walked in.
He came over asked how I was, I returned the favour which he replied  'still hungover'. The after party was a great night and he defiantly had a lot to drink that night, but it was funny.
Unknown to me, we were joined by a reporter who took pictures and interviewed Katharina and Tuomas. The guy spoke briefly to me but didn't ask any questions, just kept mentioning Tuomas' UK fan club.. which I tried to set him right that 1) is *not* UK and 2) is *not* a fan club.. but he didn't seem to want to listen to what I had to say about the event, just Katharina and Tuomas.
Because of the reporter taking the extra time myself and Tuomas had agreed for a catch up, (a sort of 'meeting' as we had lots to go over), we had to cancel. This did annoy me quite a bit as we had rescheduled this meeting twice already and I was not asked about the reporter and since was my/our site event, I feel I should of been consulted as it changed the idea and feel of the day. This would be my last chance to sit and go over stuff with Tuomas in probably a year so for us not to be able to and have to resort to email made getting things done harder.
In the end the newspaper got some facts wrong and didn't even give the website information so I was not best pleased at that either. If it was going to be covered by media, could of been done a lot better.
Anyway gift giving over and something special wrapped well to survive the journey back to the UK, goodbyes were said, I was took back to the apartment. From about 2:30 until the next day I was on my own in the apartment. I wish I knew none of my friends had the time to spend as I would of got the train back that afternoon rather than the next day as... well I was very bored.
I contemplated going for a walk, but having to find my way back in the dark put me off attempting.
The next day, Tuomas' father took me to the train station and I started my 14 hour journey back to Glasgow.

Now home a few weeks, I have piles of stuff still to do. Thanks to flu I have to finish mailing out the Wayfarer which I emailed everyone and said it would of been this week. Late ordering a gift for someone from the site so had to spend more money on priority time rather than standard, late with my Christmas cards. Still have some TH promos to mail out.. again thanks to work load/new job/flu I think I still have half a dozen to send and some other things... but don't even mention I have not started any Christmas shopping.

However a package I was waiting on arrived this morning, meaning I can plan something I have been waiting on for a few weeks now.

Some pictures of time away:

Me in the photo pit in Glasgow with Floor's camera

Me and my boss before leaving after gift giving

Monttu studios after signing the wall

View from my apartment

Outside the apartment

Train ride back to Helsinki

Cool steam engine at Kouvola

My UK tour pass

Carol "Joulu"