Another big weekend, slowly comes to a close. Although this is the second part of a triple bill that finally comes to a close next weekend. So much to write about and with fifty minutes until the last TOTP ever, I feel I may have to either cut myself short or come back later if I have time. See how I get on. Last weekend, Pav had text me about going out in Reading as our friend Dee was out in Reading. Of course I agreed as he had been such a great laugh over on our weekend to Germany. When I got into work on Friday morning, I did not feel up for a night out but over the course of a good day I changed my mind. Looking back I am so glad I did.
The weekend begins with the drive home, which was uneventful but I was still in two minds about trekking down to Reading. Particularly as Chris had asked me to come out in Henley for a quiet few drinks. I decided to decline, when he rang a around 7pm that night. While I hate to say no, I felt I owed it to Pav to come out and see Dee. Particularly as it had been over three months since I had last seen him. Tough choices but I think looking back I made the right choice. Rarely do I sacrifice Friday night Eastenders, but I had to. Getting changed while the final visit to Albert Squared played out in the lounge. Having left work late meant I was running half an hour late and would need to catch up on the time on my journey into Reading. Pav tried to ring me but I had been having some food. Dee would be in the town centre around 8.30pm and I could meet them there. Slight change of plan, when I had opted to pick up Pav from his house at 8.30, but as I would not get into the town centre until around 9pm, this arrangement suited us both. I left the house while Eastenders was still being watched by my parents and younger sister.
The drive was quiet with very few cars on the road. Reading town centre was only slowly started to fill with the weekend revelers. Parking in the Oracle car park, I called Pav just before 9pm, as I waited by the riverside and shops. He was on his way, with his sister giving him a lift in. Dee was going to meet us in Bar Med. I waited for a few minutes and saw Pav in the distance. Walking towards him I looked to the window and saw Dee in a bright blue t-shirt. On the back was the name, “Super Dee” and number 83. It was only when we went inside we discovered the front had the S of the one son of Krypton. I was laughing already and he had not even said a word. We met his cousins and got some drinks in, the after an hour or so the plans changed. We were off to Oxford Street to meet some more of Dee’s friends. So off we went to the car park, Dee forgetting which floor he had parked his bright Honda Civic Type-R. We drove down to the third floor only to see him rushing back to the lifts. Then as we came down to the 2nd level we saw them pack in and rapidly pull away down the corkscrew. I followed and tried my best to keep up. Then, as he did not know where he was going, neither did I. Pav directed us to the right place. A McDonald’s drive through car park, before Dee took the lead and drove us to the right place, eventually. My reverse parking skills are poor, extremely so. I think that, is a topic for discussion for another entry.
So after another hour or so meeting Dee’s friends, we headed back into town, parking back in the Oracle. We then headed down to Revolutions, the place to be (apparently) on a Friday night. Of all the years I have been going out in Reading, this was my first time at this venue. There was a small queue outside but at least entry was free. We got in after a fifteen minute wait and it was extremely busy, but not too overcrowded, just yet. We meet up with some more of Pav’s friends and waited the arrival of Super Dee. He came, eventually, but it must have been nearly an hour afterwards. The DJ was rather cheesy, with rather lame attempts to get the crowd going. Eventually I saw a friend of Dee’s we had met earlier and I let Pav know. Sure enough a little while later we found Dee at the bar with the rest of his crew. I was not really in the mood for a dance and instead got in a round of drinks and then a little while later decided to head home. With such a busy weekend ahead I did not want to be back in Wycombe too late. Dropping Pav back home, I stumbled through the door at 2.30am and went straight to bed, even though I was half tempted to come online, check my e-mails and see who was on MSN.
The weekend had hardly begun but I had loads to do. I did not set my alarm, in my sleepy state and instead was woken at 7.30am by my Mum, telling me I had my friend’s wedding to go today. I got up, rushed around. First option was to check the car over, check the tyre pressure before getting back in and polishing my shoes. Now I could pack my overnight bag, grab my suit and get going. It just after 10am I left. As I had forgotten to print off the e-mail from Pete in the office and directions from Multimap, I jumped on the home computer to do that quickly, trying my best to picture the roads from my placement year in deepest Bedfordshire. Strange feeling when I left. I opted to drive through Wycombe, up to Amersham and the M25 junction at Rickmansworth as it had been the same route I had used when traveling to the office in Kempston. Funny to think it was over three years ago since I last made this journey, almost exactly three years as my placement ended in mid July 2003. I was looking forward to going back, particularly as it had been a similar length in time since I had last seen Pete and Victoria, (although I prefer to call her Vicky). I was looking forward to the weekend and taking a good selection of photographs.
The journey was relatively clear, with the only traffic at junction 6A onwards to Luton with the narrow carriageway due to the car pool lane they are installing. I was surprised at the time as I pulled off at junction 13. Now came the hard part, finding the hotel. I roughly new the direction in which to head, as I had driven on the bypass on the outskirts of Bedford every day. Following my gut instinct I headed in the direction of the Priory Business Park and past it to the eastern direction into the town centre. Sure enough on the right was the Old Barns Hotel, I parked up and smiled looking at the beautiful surroundings. Checking into my room, I got changed and headed back out onto the road. It was a few minutes past midday which gave me less than an hour to find the church and setup before the ceremony. Pete had told me it was only a five minute drive from the hotel and I remember the main roundabout as I used to take the main road to Sandy and then on towards the A1(M) to the Stevenage office. Heading in the right direction, I saw a church on the left, slowing down to read the name of on the dark blue sign. Sure enough Saint Mary’s. Now where to park? There was no where around the church and just driveways by the country houses. I drove down the road and turned around and drove around the church perimeter. I then drove down the road to a pub, looking for somewhere to park but it was already surprisingly busy. Heading down the road and making a U turn in a cul-de-sac I headed back and parked opposite the church. Some guests had arrived, and as I went to cross the road, Peter arrived with his parents. The wedding was about to begin.
Beautiful ceremony, in a beautiful little church on a beautiful sunny day. Then back to the hotel, in a tranquil setting by the river. Perfect. A lovely day for a lovely couple, I cannot describe it in any less of a cliché, but fittingly so. Rather than go into the details, I prefer to keep it simple. I had a great time. Particularly as it was in part a catch up on my old placement firm (which has moved on in recent times). When Pete and Vicky return from honeymoon I hope to get the official photographs and also send them some of my own.
The rest bite for the coming week is actually just work. On Friday I am out in Bournemouth with Pav and then Saturday in Leicester for an engagement party. Don’t hold your breathe for any updates for another seven days.