Sunday 27th September 2009

A weekend of two halves. Saturday was relatively quiet and chilled out. Sunday was busy, frantic and exciting. However, the build up to Saturday actually started on Thursday or rather Friday. When you make a decision, it only becomes real when you actually have the courage to openly discuss with others. When those others are members of your family, it makes getting the words out very difficult. I had most of the day to prepare myself but in the end it was just a case of when. Soon as they arrive or at a more appropriate point in the conversation. In the end, it was sooner rather than later. Once it was done, the reality began to set in that I was heading home and returning to next after only three-hundred and sixty three days away from the nest. My Mum was glad of my return and she would be. I knew it was for the best but could only look around and feel I was leaving behind something I had invested a great deal of time and money into. The best feeling perhaps was when my parents left. Usually there would be always be an empty feeling when any of them head back home but this time it was different, in two weeks time I would be returning back to Wycombe with them. The thoughts of my return melted away as I considered how much I had planned for the rest of the weekend. On Saturday evening, I finally got around to watching The Hangover. It was very good with some outrageously laugh out loud moments but overall I did not think it lived up to the hype that my friends (or rather particularly Pav) had been making it out to be. Perhaps because I had seen to many clips at the time it was released in the cinema. Great fun but not a movie that had my sides splitting. In fact it has been a while since a movie actually did that. So long that I cannot actually remember, but I am sure it will be recorded somewhere on the blog. I am not sure if it is advisable to publish my movements on either Twitter or Facebook. I made the update around midday today before I headed down the M4 to Hammersmith. I was looking forward to going to see Westfield. I had originally planned to visit in mid March but for one reason or another that it never happened. I was looking forward to this, particularly after my mammoth trip to both Bluewater and Lakeside in one day! The only difficult part of the journey is coming off the M4 and then negotiating the Hanger Lane Gyratory System. A roundabout I hate at the best of times but usually I am just headed from the A40 onto the A406 or vice versa. On this occasion, I was heading back onto the A40 so swinging all the way around. I did not mind too much, there was bright sunshine and excellent company. I managed to get around eventually and made it to the Westfield car park, even the entrance was rather impressive, with the bus terminal to the right. Finding a packing spot was not that easy but eventually I did, after a little drive around. Then it was out to see the impressive mall and was I impressed. Oh yes! There was not much time to wonder just yet, it was time for food, as soon as I met up with my friend. We headed to the food area towards the back of the shopping centre. It was here I thought I spotted Preeti but headed out of the door in any case. A phone call a few seconds later confirmed it, “Are you in Westfield?”. Yes I am actually but then didn’t you just see me about thirty seconds earlier. I explained we were going for food and that I would call her later. Interruptions aside, the restaurant was fantastic, even if there was a ten minute wait for a table. Wahaca was very good, I was impressed with the excellent service, quality of the food and speed of delivery. Even though there were exceptionally busy for a late Sunday lunchtime, they made us feel welcome and not rushed. This was our second attempt to get into this restaurant chain, as I previous planned meal on Friday 4th September had to change venue, well even switch to a different country as the source of the food. The queue at the Covent Garden outlet had been up the stairs and near to the door, too long a wait, although I was assured it was well worth the atmosphere inside. Lunch was very nice, in the sunshine out on the patio area of the restaurant. Afterwards we headed upstairs to meet Preeti at Starbucks. After a quick drink, we met up with Dhavel and his girlfriend before heading off. Originally we were thinking of popping to see what was at the cinema. A new Vue multiplex is being built at Westfield but in the meanwhile there is the current Vue, across the road in the old shopping centre. We had a few hours to kill and in the end decided to just walk back to Westfield and relax before heading to our final destination.

BBC Television Centre

BBC Television Centre. It has been a dream of mine to visit these famous studios for many years, I suppose from back in the days of watching Going Live and seeing some of their broadcasts from outside the studios. We made our way to the studio entrance, walking past the awesome main entrance of Westfield. We queued up and were then quickly rushed in, met by a member of BBC staff at each point, given a game card and then headed to the studio entrance where we were held for a few minutes before being allowed up the stairs. This was the moment we saw the studio for the first time. Looks rather different in real life to how it is seen on Virgin1. We eventually were given some seats after another two people were moved further down. The audience was packed, I felt we had arrived a little late. Urika Johnson did appear and we were then warmed up by the hired comedian before Urika said a few words. Where was I, well I had got tickets for BingoLotto! Yes it was more for fun than anything else and I had watched the show on Freeview the previous weekend in preparation (even a bit of the show on the +1 time shift channel just to make sure I knew what to expect). In the end it not that bad and an hour of television does go through quickly. The guests were Gail Emms, a relative of Barrack Obama and an Indie band whose name at this precise moment escapes me. It was Athlete, I have been well informed by a friend and they were performing their new single. I use the word perform as loosely as humanly possible. They did not perform live, which must be detrimental for any serious musician. I enjoyed the show and perhaps got a little carried away with the cheering (or not) as the case may be. I thought I had a bingo line but was too afraid to shout out Bingo, plus the moment had passed by the time I had worked it out. (Later I would discover that the ticket was not a winner and my grand prize of £10). Something different to do on a unay evening, not something I perhaps would do again on another Sunday evening. I got home around 9:45pm, just in time to get some pizza (left over from the previous evening) and watch MOTD2. Not a bad way to end the weekend. Just the dreaded thought of work on Monday morning. However, for a change I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was ten days left and counting. They would fly by, or so I hoped.

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