Wednesday 20th May 2009

It is a major challenge to blog about the weekend when it feels such a distant memory. Here I am midweek, trying to frame together events from several days ago into words that people will understand. Friday night I had planned to watch a movie but in the end, spent too much time chatting to my friends online via MSN and then was too tired, around 1.30am to be bothered with another ninety minutes of starring at a bright screen in a dimly lit room, so I headed to bed. Looking forward to what the weekend had to offer. On Saturday I got up around 8am and made some breakfast while watching BBC Weekend Breakfast. Then it was start of the clear up which has become the standard affair on a Saturday morning. Taking out the trash (as they would say across the pond). Cleaning the kitchen after another disaster Friday evening cooking attempt. Then I got the call from Preeti that she was already at Reading and was going to be in Newbury within a few minutes, so I headed out into town to the train station. Just as I got into the Market Square it started to rain but not that heavily, it would be okay. I had left my umbrella back at the flat. When we did meet up, Preeti had to go all desi on me, with a purple shaul. Come on please! Thankfully the rain subsided, so she took it off. First stop Tescos for some ice and drinks then back to the flat. Just in time for Football Focus. How convenient! As much as I knew that Man United were going to clinch the title later that afternoon, I did enjoy the montage from the Beeb. Featuring the career of Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson alongside the triumphs of Liverpool FC. This was all played out against the soundtrack of my favourite David Bowie song – Life On Mars? I have long believed that Sky did the best montages particularly for sport but the Beeb does deliver when it counts (usually when England have just gone out again on penalties in the World Cup). Then at 1pm sharp, it was time to start get cooking. We were much better prepared than last time, thanks to a visit to Wikinsons. First on the menu was Quorn Saussage Casserole followed by a desert of Cheesecake Brownies. The evening entertainment was going to be provided by Eurovision. In between cooking we realised that we were missing the baking dish for the cake, so headed to down to get something suitable. We looked in Camp Hopson and M&S (a tiny home section upstairs, it was the first time I had ventured upstairs in the store). In the end we found the perfect dish at a great price in Robert Dyas. I am surprised I did not think of the store before hand. Then, it was a trip up to Waitrose (another first for me, I had never been to the store, even though it is technically the closest store to my office) until then. So it had already become a weekend of world first’s. Then we were heading back to the flat and making preparations for the desert. Timing had fallen a little behind. The crucial part was to be sitting by the television to watch Eurovision around 7:50pm. Unlike last year when it had been a mission to get to St. John’s Hill with the remote control with seconds remaining before 8pm. The cake did eventually go into the oven and begin to set and meanwhile we watched Back To The Future Part II on ITV2. It had just started and we watched the fantastic hoverboard chase sequence (which I am sure nobody could ever tire of) and the rest of the movie until it was time for Eurovision. Obviously last year there was a party as a house warming for Pav and Em and I would have loved a similar event this year. However it was not to be, as Pav was busy detailing and as the weekend had come around earlier than expected it had kind of caught us all unaware. I enjoyed the show and it was good to have scorecards to keep track of our favourite performances of the evening. My favourite song had to be Malta, but best performance was Turkey and Moldova! Yet, the favourite won with a record breaking haul of points. I can understand why it worked so well with the European voters. My piano teacher would comment the following day that the British entry, although coming out with a very admirable 5th place was far too repetitive. Plus Andrew Lloyd-Webber should not have been on the stage with Jade, practically upstaging her. Hopefully this is turning point for the UK. We start to take it seriously and next year we bring it home? Emily text me during the performances and gave her own critique on a few and promised that if the UK entry won she would be at the show, I agreed. I am afraid we will have to hold onto those dreams for another year.

Eurovision 2009

It was at the midway point during the scoring that I started to feel unwell. An upset stomach, I think the genius idea of picking up Peanut M&Ms from Tesco was coming back to bite me in the behind! I had to get to bed soon but wanted to see the evening out for now and see Norway crowned champions. I drank some water and it helped and by 23:30 was in bed. I was determined not to let Sunday drift away into obivilion like last weekend. Sure enough, somehow I managed to rescue Sunday into a day of some action. Getting up at 9am, after a hearty breakfast I headed to the gym. It was a good hour long session in there, it was very busy but I felt better for it. I got back to the flat around 11.30am and got ready, collected my things and headed out the door again. It was off to Thame for my piano lesson. I got there a little later than planned (it had originally been pencilled in for 12pm). However, before we even got to the lesson, we had a catch up and then plan of action. The first task was to replace the rear brake bulb on my car. Once we got the housing open we realised I had bought the wrong bulb (well in terms of contact type.) The bulb I needed was with single contact and you can guess it, I had double contact. I had stopped Clive a microsecond before he was about to open the case and we would have to go to Halfords and get a refund or buy the correct bulb locally and I would then have to get a refund from Halfords later in the week. The store in Thame was closed (it closed at lunchtime on Sundays apparently). So there was little choice, over to Aylesbury. We drove to the Broomfields Retail Park and managed to convince the sales assistant at the till that with no receipt we could exchange the bulb. I was going from 380 to 382. It worked and we had the correct bulbs and headed back to Thame. Stopping at The Bugle Horn at Hartwell for a spot of late lunch. Nearly two hours clocked by and no start of the piano lesson. The bulb change was actually very straight forward. I think Audi try to scare you off from working on the car yourself so that you go to a stealer and fill their pockets. No such stupidity ever again. In fact I am going to get a whole bulb kit and keep it in the car for future use. We got down to a piano lesson eventually but towards the end the weekend was catching up with me and we were falling asleep and the keys. Heading home, I forgot my piano music book and had to turn around, thankfully I had only got down to the first roundabout. When I got back to Newbury I actually had loads of work to do and it must have been coming up to 6pm. I put my shirts in the washing machine and then made a start on all the washing up. Thankfully there was not that much as Preeti had spent a great deal of timing cleaning up before she left. Then I bombed around online for a while before eventually deciding to get some food. I watched The Car Show. This documentary covered the rise and popularity of the car show on television. It was very interesting to watch and see how Top Gear came about and became the show to copy. Later that evening the car theme continued, as I watched Fast & Furious. It was very disappointing, I expected much better, particularly from Walker and Diesel. I would even go as far as to say that is it the fourth worst in the series. My personal favourite has to be the second (first sequel) as the chemitry between Walker and Tyrese is electric, plus there is the glamour of Eva Mendes alongside the callous evil villan. (I am sure he had rats bite a corrupt policeman’s stomach or did I just dream that!). Here the plot is almost non-existent, while Vin Diesel and Paul Walker might as well have been shooting different movies. There are no comic moments which also make the previous films entertaining. I cannot believe they are going to milk these for not just another but other another two, yes two movies. Okay there is a sense of revenge but it all seems rather pointless and the ending is just rather pathetic. At least at the end of the first movie there was a message, an understanding between cop and criminal.

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