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This was the event that got postponed twice from March 2020 and the second one that I have attended. It took place at the Haddon Hall Hotel, Eastbourne over three days. 8th-11th October.

Friday night theme: "Angels & Demons", Saturday night theme: "Halloween", Sunday photoshoot: "Zombies", Sunday night theme: "Nightmare before Christmas"
Demon costume
'Demon' costume for Friday night
Photo by Richard

It was a just over 4 hour drive to Eastbourne for me and I arrived early Friday afternoon. We had to wait awhile for the rooms to become available but when I got to mine, after a short rest I took my time to get ready for dinner and the evening ahead. The theme for the first night was ‘Angels and Demons’ and of course I had to go as a demon (there were hardly any angels but quite a lot of demons that night!). As it takes me a long time to get fully prepared with most of my costumes, I usually get into my evening costume before dinner whilst most others do a quick change after dinner. So when I went down for dinner, I felt a bit self-conscious as the only one dressed OTT as a demon though I did receive a lot of compliments. After the excellent dinner, many other demons (and one or two angels) gradually appeared during the lead up to the contest later. I won first prize! It was a great start to the weekend.

Halloween costume
'Halloween' costume for Saturday night
Photo by Richard

My day dress for Saturday was much more conservative and as I had not been into Eastbourne town centre before, I joined a couple of others to do a bit of shopping in the morning. Then I spent the early afternoon relaxing in the hotel lounge before going up to my room for a leisurely change into my evening’s outfit. The theme for that night was Halloween and my outfit was one I’ve worn quite a number of times before at Halloween theme events (I think the first time was at a Harmony Weekend in 2007!). The basis of the outfit is an old purple dress that I had hacked about quite severely. This night I won first prize again! I think Nina was a bit miffed as I think she might have won had she not missed the contest when she went up to her room to get something at the critical moment!

Zombie photoshoot
'Zombie' photoshoot under Eastbourne pier on Sunday

Next day Nina had planned a ‘Zombie’ photo shoot with Richard who was the professional photographer at the event. As the shoot was to be midday, I started getting ready straight after breakfast. I hadn’t practised the horror makeup before but I was well satisfied with how scary was the result and it produced quite a reaction when I went downstairs to join Nina and Richard. No other ‘Zombies’ joined us but we set off anyway to the location of the shoot which was under the pier, a short distance along the see front from the hotel. Of course, as we walked along we attracted quite a bit of attention from the public including from a few men who did bother us a bit but in a good natured way. We got some great photos from the shoot.

Before heading back to the hotel, Richard wanted to call in at the Victorian Tea Room on the pier to reserve space for a group coming for tea and cakes mid-afternoon. We think the poor young waitress we spoke to and her manager she asked were spooked by three zombies (plus two others) making the request as we were told they had a number of bookings that afternoon and might not have room for us. But a number of our event guests went anyway and apparently, there was plenty of room!

I did not go for the Victorian tea myself as I did not want to do that outing whilst wearing my spooky zombie make-up but I didn’t want to remove it just for that and then have to put it all back on again as I wanted to use the same basic make-up that evening. So instead of joining the group going to the tea room, I retired to my room to do the bulk of my packing ready for my departure next morning and then dressing for the evening. The theme for tonight was ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ which was a film I had never seen but I had Googled images of the film characters and had seen that my spooky make-up might be appropriate. But I could not manage the outfits of the characters with anything I had so decided to just wear something vaguely Christmassy. I did not think I would be in the running for a prize again but I had already won two first prizes so I was well satisfied with that.

Nightmare before Christmas contestants
'Nightmare before Christmas' contestants
Photo by Alison Penn

Over dinner, again I was the only one dressed for the night’s theme so I was beginning to think I might be in the running for a prize after all. But as the time for the contest drew near, several ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ costumes began to appear. I was surprised how many there were as the costumes were very specific to the film and would have had to have been obtained from fancy dress suppliers especially for the occasion. I didn’t even win third prize, but neither did Nina and I really thought her outfit the best and very much to theme. I suppose she didn’t win a prize because she is well known for having won best costume so many times before in previous years. And she is pretty much part of the organising team of the Transliving events so it may have been thought to give others a chance.

So after another late night, which included much dancing to a great disco, the weekend came to an end.

More Photos:

The next Transliving event at Eastbourne will be 18th- 21st March 2022. Details here.
There are also Transliving events in Bournemouth in November this year and in Eastbourne again in October next year.

But don’t forget our Rose’s events at Dumbleton in the Cotswolds this November and September in 2022. See ‘Events’ on this site.

Read 1063 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:12


  • Comment Link Nina Jay Thursday, 14 October 2021 15:52 posted by Nina Jay

    Great read Martine and so nice to be mentioned so much too. You deserved your 2 wins of course you looked amazing and it was nice to actually spend time and chat to you properly. As for my own outfits I was annoyed at the time to be late for the Saturday competition as thought my costume was top 3 material but you still had the best costume so would have won anyway and yes I though mine was best on Sunday. I. mean I painted my face blue for god sake! lol Not even top 3 but I'm not bitter honest. You should submit a version of this for TLi magazine. Nina x

  • Comment Link Queen Bea Friday, 15 October 2021 13:18 posted by Queen Bea

    You looked glorious every day/night, and it was a pleasure to spend some time with you


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