Monday 3rd April 2006

You would think after such a busy week at work, I would use the weekend to unwind, to relax and chill. Well that was what I had planned but after a slow start, things suddenly came together in the end. On Friday, I went into work late, well late my by my standards. I got in around 10am, which was not too bad. I was hoping to leave at 6pm on the dot, but unfortunately got landed with a rollout project. I did not mind really but being two men down it was a bit of a busy day. Packing up just before 6pm, having completed what I could, only to realise that as the training was on Monday, the more I got done now the less of a strain for Monday. I stayed until 6.45pm (approximately) before rushing out to my car, ringing my cousin and bursting onto the M4. Having missed Hollyoaks, throughout the week, I was keen not to miss Eastenders. I had only watched briefly the episode from Tuesday (28th) and of course was out of the country on 30th. It was the climax of the week, so I planned to get to Hayes and turn the car around and be home before 8pm if possible. It was tight, particularly with a build up of traffic at the Heathrow junction, but I might it in time. Just. While I always hate missing my favourite soap, it is quite easy to slip back in, particularly with so many people at work can fill you in on the details. Twists and turns, but ultimately the truth prevails (it always does) and the villain of the piece, eventually makes the right move.

Saturday I had planned to mow the lawn, it was sunny (to begin with) and I was hoping to fit it in after Football Focus. With my cousins and Aunty & Uncle over from India, our house was packed. The arrival of some guests, mid afternoon also added to the strain. I spent most of the afternoon on my computer, writing my last blog entry and listening to LBC 97.3. Finally a sports show that covers all the results from the local London teams. I enjoyed hearing all the Premiership goals being smashed in, only to find the BBC several minutes behind with their supposed live coverage on their web site. Kenny Samson was entertaining, particularly with his high time prediction that Arsenal would slaughter Aston Villa, at least five or six nil. Henry, once again had been the star of the show and I looked forward to watching the highlights on MOTD later that evening. Everything apart Arsenal just oozes confidence at the moment. Terry, sent me a link over MSN with fantastic pictures of the new stadium at Ashburton Grove. Following on from his visit when he went to choose his seat. Wow! How I envy that boy, but then he has been to more Arsenal games than most. Well earned in my humble opinion. My cousin wanted to watch the Spanish derby on Sky, so after a quick trip down to ASDA we settled down to watch the game. Expectations were high, with Real Madrid finally finding some form. There was big hype and personally as much as I hoped Madrid would put up a fight to add some spice to the end of the season, the reality was Barcelona looked to strong in the key areas. As you would expect, with home advantage the red and blue made the early running. Perhaps the dismissal of Carlos for a rash inexcusable challenge killed the game off as a contest? I only watched the first half, which by all accounts was the most entertaining. I came into my room around 10.25pm to watch MOTD, but as always was kept waiting for highlights of the Gunners. I have been recorded most highlights of Arsenal games this seasons, when I have been at home on a Saturday night. Poetry in motion, at times you cannot really use words to express what you see flowing on the football pitch.

Sunday, when it came around, as it always does was quite busy. I took my Uncle to Southampton to see an old friend. The weather was mixed, with sunny blue skies, then suddenly hailstones and heavy showers. Little did I know that my Uncle’s friend was a prominent member of the community. He had helped a community radio station get itself off the ground. Unity 101 is the first Asian radio station to cover the city of Southampton. We were only at the station for a few minutes, meeting the studio manager, going into studio one and my Uncle requesting a song, which was then played and dedicated to him. Funnily enough, as we got into the car to head to the station, the DJ (Reema) had played Dr. Zeus – Kangna. We left Southampton at 6pm, with the sun shining and got back to Wycombe at 7.30pm. Earlier that evening, we had driven past St. Mary’s Stadium and the marina. Pav had text me, that he was free to go to the cinema if we wanted to. I explained I was still in Southampton, but would ring him when I got home. I did and we thought we would go and watch V for Vendetta. The showing was at 9pm, so after a quick dinner I left the house and headed over to Reading. Normally these things are slightly better organised. Even if only a few days in advance, I usually book my tickets in advance. I usually get to the cinema early. I try to always get in time to hear the Pearl & Dean music. I got to Pav’s house just before 9pm, parked up and waited for him to get back. We looked at the option of going to Winnersh, which had the movie screening at 10.10pm but by now Pav had arrived and we headed out in my car. I let Pav drive, as I had covered over 100 mile since Thursday. Crazy. We parked up and checked the clock on my dash, 21:18, were extremely late and the movie should have started by now. Rushing downstairs to the Riverside we casually walked to the cinema and went to the booth to book our tickets. We were informed by the attendant that there were still 2 minutes of trailers to run and the auditorium (screen 6) was only a quarter full. Result. Pav was the smooth operator, as always. We went upstairs got our pop corn and drinks and headed for the screen. We got in just in time to see the opening screen (the opening titles had already rolled) with Natalie Portland and the antihero V. Overall, it did not quite blow me away as I expected but it was not really an action movie. It was an intelligent, thought provoking story with an interesting set of characters, struggling to find themselves. I would highly recommend you go and see the film if you can, although it will not be a cinemas for much longer. Natalie Portland gives a great performance and the detective, Finch, played by Stephen Rea is compelling. The use of London as a backdrop is also quite original, we have go so used to big American landmarks being used in the movies we watch that this was refreshing. Plus the use of the explicit B word, which must be associated with us, English. Perhaps not the best film to see on a Sunday night when you want to unwind, but worth seeing all the same. Stephen Fry also was right at home with the humorous English gent role. Perhaps the most fascinating change was John Hurt. Going from rebel Winston Smith in Ninety Eighty Four to Chancellor in this film, some twenty two years later. How the tables have turned.

When I got home at half past midnight, I realised I had a bid going on eBay which was ending soon, two minutes to 1am, in fact. I switched on my computer, logged on, only to discover I had been outbid and had to do some serious biding to reclaim the item, just in time for the auction to end. Result. What did I buy? Another spare battery for my Olympus camera, but a genuine original battery not a replacement. I also upgraded the firmware for my camera on Friday night. I did some Google searches and eventually found a link to some software to download. Once downloaded, I plugged in my camera, rather the software, magic. Firmware updated and all past issues with the camera resolved. Oh how I love the power and beauty of the Internet.

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