A forest once whispered, ‘life is like a box of chocolates’. I have never subscribed to that analogy, due to the chocolate box insert informing you as to which is the hazelnut praline or strawberry swirl. That said, as I age, I aim to try new experiences at least once before the back gives out and inertia becomes my constant companion.

Thankfully, to keep me on my toes, I have two daughters who, wide-eyed and bushy tailed, love new experiences and to that end, I found myself recently attending ‘Comiccon’ at London’s ExCeL centre.

Despite being a comic ‘fan,’ I was somewhat green of the lifestyle: I had never encountered a ‘furry’ before and was unsure what to expect as I delved into the world of teenage counterculture, many of them resplendent in anime and Star Wars attire, much of which I didn’t understand even after it was explained to me.

It was a leveller. On the way to the venue, my daughter and her friend were getting some funny looks whilst dressed as a cowboy from The Walking Dead and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but upon arrival they blended in seamlessly.

There was no judgement and I felt underdressed. Muscle men wearing Japanese female cartoon heroine dresses meandered by followed by women who had attached full sized chainsaws to their hands. Chatting to Batman, he told me he had spent nigh on £2,500 on his get up. I asked why? Without any shame he simply said ‘its my thing. It’s an escape and I love it!’ and who was I to argue with him finding his happy place outside Gotham.

Some spent the day hanging around the thoroughfares openly offering selfies. In their normal lives they are, like most of us, the invisibles, but here, at this time, they were centre stage and courted a weekend of attention as they escaped in their own minds from their dull accounting job to fully buying into their new role as a Saturday superhero.

Despite not being a part of the culture, I felt at home and really got it, apart from one thing: The furrys. For those as uninitiated as I, they are folk who dress up as animals, but not in the traditional sense. They wear full size head pieces, body wear with tails and fur, and boots which are impossible to walk in due to the weight.

With a small grill to see through, each and every one had a guide who would take them by the arm and lead them through the crowds on the tubes, trains, and buses and then through the venue itself. To me it looked like no fun for either the furry or their handler who both must have been suffering from dehydration, and I was thankful the only thing I was left to carry was my daughter’s cowboy hat frequented from Amazon the previous week.

I watched robotic displays, some obscure tribal style dancing undertaken by Japanese girls in miniskirts (which seemed to be en vogue), and checked out the autograph centre where, for £100, you could get an item you bought signed by some bloke you have never heard of who was on some sci-fi show on a minor cable channel, allegedly.

I did recognise Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy however, who seemed old hands at the signature game and no doubt were thankful they once played the Doctor, thus giving them a steady income stream many years after they time travelled from the role.

Attempting to use the urinal whilst being inadvertently slapped on the bum by a T-rex tail from the guy at the sink took some getting used to, as did watching the Hulk eating a subway six-incher, but as with most left field activity, it doesn’t take long for such anomalies to become the norm.

The truth of the matter is that I spent the day alone, as my daughter and her friend dumped me at 11.30am as, and I quote ‘you’re not cool enough Dad’. I could not argue with that summation however and aim to go back next year spraypainted green as I have a cool resurgence and Yoda I will go as, I will….