Among the items being signed that day were the Lost in Time DVD set and the Cybermen tin, and amongst the celebs were the late great Nicholas Courtney.
Normally, in those queues, I would tend to sit by myself and mind my own business, but this time, unusually, I got chatting to the young lady who was sitting in the queue next to me. We got talking ahead to the imminent Dimensions convention, organised by the Tenth Planet team, which was a couple of weeks away in Stockton-on-Tees. Was she going there? Yes, she was. How was she travelling, I asked, figuring that - as I hadn't made any definite plans yet - if she was going by train or coach we could travel up together. By car, she said. Erm. Could I cadge a lift, I asked her. Yes, why not, she said.
So two weeks later, we went up to Stockton and had a great weekend there, both at the convention itself and also on the local trading estate where we braved the wintery weather in the queue for Pizza Hut whilst chatting about historical inaccuracies in films. The journey up and back down was spent listening to this, and discovering a mutual love of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (we must have quoted large chunks of the radio series at each other during the journey!). The journey back was also spent (by me, at least) staring in the Mini's rearview mirror at the young lady's eyes and realising, by the end of it, that I really had something of a crush on her. In the words of Hugh Grant's character in Love, Actually - that is so inconvenient.
Except it wasn't - I plucked up the courage to ask her out (well...by email) and on the final weekend in November, after she'd been helping her friends at the Barking Salvation Army with the putting up of their Christmas tree, we spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon in London, popping by Trafalgar Square and ending up in a cinema in Finchley watching The Incredibles.
By the end of the evening, we were officially an item. (And the following day, after a morning spent at the Oasis Church in Chelmsford, I went back up to Barking for another afternoon with her.)
The young lady in the queue was, of course, Sarah. My wife, my love, my life, my everything. I love you darling. Happy 10th anniversary of our first meeting. :-)