Monday 5th September 2005

Monday already? The working week comes around far too quickly for my liking. What a weekend! A typical bloke’s weekend, with football, cars, gadgets and computers. Where to start? Let us give a quick whirlwind review of the weekend. Thank you for bearing with me.

Saturday began with my trip to Heathrow to collect my Mum and sister. Not sure about you, but trips to the airport have always excited me. Several years ago, we had an almost annual customary trip to Heathrow. It would incidentally coincide with the release of the new number plate (1st August, back then, boys and girls) my sisters and I would spent the course of the journey looking out for the new letter, on shiny new cars, trucks, lorries and vans. Regardless of whom we are dropping off or collecting, there is a buzz about being in a cosmopolitan lounge, as people make their way off around the world. People is not the right word to use. Families, friends, loved ones. All heading away, and saying goodbye. I drove the car, having just woke my Dad up a few minutes earlier. We headed out around 6.40pm, knowing from the night before the plane would have landed by the time we got onto the M25. We parked, eventually finding a space on the second level. Heading into the arrivals area, it was surprisingly busy for early Saturday afternoon. As expected the flight had landed a few minutes earlier. It was was some time past 7am, my Dad handing me some cash to go get him a coffee and myself some tea. There were (as always) no options apart from Starbucks. I queued but, it was busy and there were four, maybe five people serving. Ordering a cappuccino and a tea, there was a twenty minute wait, before receiving my order. My drink slowly woke me up, while my Dad casually sipped his coffee. Sitting down, waiting for my family to arrive, I started to just observe the crowd. Some holding up signs, one by the Pharmaceutical giant, Merck. Families coming together, those hugs and smiles after weeks or months apart. am not a big commentary on social interaction, but it is interesting to see the expressions of joy, relief and heartfelt warmth, as people spot their friend or relative in the crowd. The baggage was in the hall, by now and I was sure my sister and my mother would be coming out of those magical tours very soon. The sudden influx of Indians or rather people that appeared to be from the sub-continent, heightened my expectations. There was still a good fifteen to twenty minute wait before they did finally materialize, although, it perhaps just felt longer. As I expected, my Mum, driving the trolley heading left towards the exit, while we had been waiting all this time to her right. Slipping under the barrier I headed to to grab her attention. There was no point shouting, Mum, a I did not know how many people (young and old) would turn their heads in my direction. (Just as someone had shouted Andrew, a few minutes earlier). Skipping in between other arrivals and their massive hoards of luggage. Tapping my Mum on the shoulder, I got her attention and as she turned around I saw the familiar smile I had not seen for over six weeks. How I had missed it so.

My sister was home from Nottingham for the weekend and I thought it great if we caught up a movie together. As chance would have it, she had not seen the sequel to the 2002 smash, Spiderman. By a strange act of fate, Sky Movies were premiering the film, as part of their Super heroes Weekend. This was an ideal time for me to relive the adventure, having seen the movie in down the local multiplex in late July 2004. What can I say? It has everything, action, a love story, a mediocre villain, and the reaction of major characters when the man behind the mask is revealed. My favourite character? There can be only one! The editor of course, perhaps just piping the editor from the Bollywood movie, Mr. India to the post! Perhaps the greatest comic book movie adaptation of all time (after Superman II, of course). Of course there are holes in this picture, to make it bridge the game before the big (final?) part of the trilogy. Scheduled for release in 2007, I expect the final web, to be the biggest.

Early start on Sunday, but that is to be expected. We are after all, talking about Mighty Mouse, who is know to get up at 5am on a Sunday, just to tweak some Perl scripts. I woke up a bit later than I wanted to, but thought I had plenty of time. Around 8.15am, I got a phone call. No, he can’t be here already. I bet he is waiting outside, I thought, rushing to put on my clothes. To my surprise, he had overslept and was just about to head out of the door. Surprised, but not at all angry or upset, I just told Hussein to let me know when he was near by so I could direct him to my house. In fact these turn in events, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When he finally arrived to pick me up, just before 9am, we headed off onto the M40. Pleasantly shocked by the quality of the ride in the Skoda Fabia. You can put your foot down and the engine does raw to life. CDs? Where were were going, there was no need for CDs. Empeg all the way. Passing me the remote, I was given the authority to select the play list for our journey down. What an honour? But I was slightly lost with the controls, so we agreed to play, the assorted singles collection. Which, in fact proved to be a wise decision. The weather was good, if somewhat foggy, but that was more to the time of day. The cruise on the M40, was uneventful. With the driver pushing the car to the limit, if only to show off. There were not the awful sight of Nova, bombing down at 50mph, in a bright lime green, overloaded with passengers and struggle to pick up any acceleration. Perhaps it was too early for the Vauxhall crowd. The traffic was light on the A43, so we made good time, until we got off for the Silverstone junction. This is where we stopped. This was where I finally spotted a mark two Astra, pimped to the max. I was warned to expect more of the same.

We entered the race course at exactly 10am, and began to plan our day. My only scheduled stop, was to see Pav’s M3 on the e36coupe dot com stand. The rest of was in the hand’s of my fellow car enthusiast. After all, he had been here before and knew what to expect, catch and miss. Thankfully, as soon as we entered the car group enclosure, Breezy’s car was standing out ahead of me, unmissable. I snapped some photos, but he was nowhere to be found, a call to his mobile, but it was switched off. My mission was complete, and so soon. With a sign of relief, I followed the lead of Hussein and planned to work our way around the car stands. However, we quickly headed for the 0-60 sprint track, when Hussein spotted a dark green Y-reg Fabia, headlights taped up, queuing for the track. We headed to the track and watched some heavy muscle cars, take their place. The masterpiece which was a Evo, clocking up an incredible 2.99 seconds. WOW! Our lady friend in the Fabia did not fair well at all. Not only did she have the jeers of the crowd, sneering at the thought of her pushing a 1.9 turbo diesel on the track. She had a poor pull off and ended up not registering a time, the clocked timed out at 17 seconds. Hardly a respectable time. Hang your head in shame. Under nine seconds last year? Your having a laugh!

I will upload my pictures later in the week, but for the time being there are a few galleries you can view. Namely, Mighty Mouse and Breezy.

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