Why I have not gone to SALUTE this yearPosted: April 12, 2014
This might seem a little odd as the show takes place in London (I can actually see the venue – the Excel Centre in Docklands – from the front drive of my house!) and – thanks to my Freedom Pass – it could cost me nothing to get there.
So why am I not going?
Firstly, I don’t like the venue … and from what I can gather, I am not alone in disliking it. (A good friend of mine works in publishing and has to attend the London Book Fair at the Excel Centre … and he tells me that all the attendees he comes in contact with hate going there.) It is large, impersonal, very crowded (it does not help that all the runners in the London Marathon will also be there to collect their race numbers etc.), and the food and drink that is on sale there is over-priced even by London standards.
Secondly, getting there by public transport is not as easy as it would be getting to other possible venues. The quickest way would be for me to get to the O2 arena on the Greenwich Peninsular and then to take the Emirates Air Line (which is a cable car) across the Thames to the Excel Centre. If I drive to the O2 and park, it will cost me £11.00; if I go by bus, it will cost me nothing but entails two changes of bus route. I would then have to pay to travel on the Air Line. Alternately I could go by Docklands Light Railway from Woolwich. It would involve a bus journey to Woolwich and changing trains once whilst on the DLR. This would cost me nothing, but I know from experience that the journey will be uncomfortable and crowded … mainly due to the additional numbers of passengers going to the Excel Centre to register for the London Marathon.
Thirdly – and most importantly – there is not a lot happening at the show that I want to see or do. I am not a great fan of the ‘moving diorama’ games that seem to predominate, and I have no great desire to add more figures to my pile of unpainted lead. I usually spend a lot of my time at SALUTE meeting and talking to old friends … but I know of at least three of them are not going to the show this year, and this was the deciding factor for me. So instead of going to SALUTE I will be painting my L-shaped built-up areas and sorting out my growing collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic wargames figures.
That seems to me to be a good way to spend a Saturday morning and afternoon … and it’ll be a lot less stressful as well.