Sunday 14th June 2009

I had drafted three to four lines for my post on Friday early evening and was all set to complete the post later that night but my weekend changed dramatically over the case of a few hours. I will try and fill in the blanks where I can but overall a very good weekend, when I originally had very little planned. Why is it that when you decided you are going to spend as little money as possible over the weekend, you end up spending a shed load?

Do you watch Eastenders? It is no secret that I am a diehard fan. Usually, the comedy is reserved for Friday night episodes but the Beeb outdid themselves on Thursday night with a great episode and perhaps one of the funniest I have seen in several years. Okay, it is a British soap set in a fictional East London borough, so we are limited on how far they can stretch the material but they still come out with some classics. Tamwar has suddenly overtaken both Gary and Minty (the local losers) to become my favourite character. Perhaps because I a British Asian and the scene is very familiar (although not quite something I can immediately relate to (as I stated on my Facebook status update, minutes after the show had aired – I am several light years away from bringing a girl home to meet the folks). Tamwar plays the annoying younger brother (too intelligent for his own good) very well. He is the type of person you have to keep gagged or when he does speak you just put your head in your hands. His classic line from this episode was, “Barbara Streisand is not commericialised rubbish, she’s the voice of a generation.”. It had me close to tears. The boy is a legend and the script writers on the show are really letting him fill his boots. You can read more on the Walford Web forums, although I tend to avoid such sites as I do not want spoilers. Okay, the girl jumping out of the closet, was rather cheesy but still had me laughing out loud. As much as I wish a glamorous girl would drop out of my wardrobe into my lap, it is not going to happen. Although of course I do live in hope (and greater hope that it is not Preeya Kalidas)

Sayeed & AmiraMasood Family

My Friday night was pretty much going to be textbook. Watch some television well just Eastenders, then go and update the blog and then catch a movie before going to sleep. Saturday was going to be a chilled out day, although I had to complete the rest of my review with Adam at the gym from 9.30am. That would soon change but more on that later. Around 6.30pm, I got a bell at the door, I was not expecting anyone. I thought maybe someone had hit number 38 by mistake. When I picked up the intercom telephone, it was a familiar voice. “Food delivery”. I opened the door.

A pleasant surprise and completely unexpected. I had mentioned in an e-mail to Preeti earlier that day that I was feeling unwell. As usual, being a bloke I perhaps over-exaggerated minor flu with a major disease. I think what made it worse was I then explained what I would be eating that evening (Korma, with ready-made sauce). The response was I should not eat something so unhealthy, get down the shops and buy something healthier. Suggestions were made. She had arrived with vegetable noodles and would cook them for me (although I think I should have been forced off the sofa and into the kitchen to cook them myself. That would have taught me a good lesson) I want to thank my dear friend, Preeti for thinking of me in Newbury, while she worked in her air-conditioned office in the London village. The thought was enough but to trek over and make food was a very pleasant surprise. I do not think I can express in words on this blog I grateful I truly am.

After Eastenders (an episode which did live up to the comedy value of Thursday evening) I suddenly decided that it would be a good idea to go to Tesco for food shopping. Off we went and rushed around before heading back. (I will gloss over the fact I left my wallet at home, causing much embarrassment at the checkout). Back at the flat, I packed away the food and it was movie time. Although there were limited options, the movie chosen was Confessions Of A Shopaholic. Predictable beyond belief itself, I found it not as funny as I would have hoped. The main character was just too fickle for me. The only good thing to come out of the movie is the song Stuck With Each Other by Shontelle featuring Akon. It was gone 11pm by the time the film finished and Preeti had missed her last train home. Never mind, these things happen, so I dropped her home and then got back to Newbury at coming close to 2am, completely shattered and more importantly having not written a single word for my blog entry. It would have to wait until Saturday. (Day being the operative word there!)

Waking up to glorious sunshine does make it easier to get out of bed. I got up around 8am and after breakfast, got ready. I had to be the gym for a 9.30pm review with Adam but I got there early. Thirty minutes early and went for a ten minute warm-up on the cross trainer before going through the abs part of my programme. It was hard work but good to have a variety of new exercises. Not sure about a tri-set but we shall see how it goes, I left the gym just after 10am and headed back to the flat making a list in my mind of all the tasks I wanted to get done during the rest of the day. After a big breakfast (I had only had cereal before I left) I made a start. It was the big clear out of all the rubbish and then I jumped on the computer to catch up on the latest, well latest on everything.

Around midday I decided I would go back to Wycombe and check out the Marlow Regatta. It was a complete spur of the moment thing, with the sunshine and the thought of domestic chores not being as appealing as they had been the previous night. So I rang home, spoke to my sister and explained I would be on my way home shortly. An hour later I left Newbury for Wycombe, taking minimal luggage, an overnight bag and a few bits I needed to return. When I got home, I found my sisters, Samantha and Julie babysitting Catalina. She had hidden under the blanket on the sofa! It was good to be home, on this rather unplanned tripped. I had a mountain of mail to go through and opened it up on the sofa while watching a bit of Disney Channel followed by some music television. It was at this point, Ryan rang and we arranged to head over to Marlow. I would drive and pick him up at 4pm. I had an hour or so to sort myself out. What would I do, jump on the desktop computer of course!

I picked Ryan up as planned and headed to Marlow. It was busy, as expected but we found a spot in the Liston Road Car Park quite quickly, once a old dear moved out of the parking bay. She apologised and explained she had not been reserving the spot for anyone else. We headed down the high street, into the park and into the main area behind the sports centre. This was my first visit to Marlow Regatta in a decade. Yes, the last time I had been here was back in 1999 (my favourite year of all time) when I took was a teeny bopper, like most of the group here now. Although on a pure technically Marlow Regatta of course has moved to Dorney Lake as of 2001 and I was actually attending, Marlow Town Regatta although only diehard rowing fans would know the difference between the events and the location of the Marlow Regatta not being in Marlow. It was a strange trip down memory, so much had changed, yet so much had stayed the same. Sure it was busier and the kids walking around looked much younger, there was greater police presence and there was a strange brick walk on the grass, which I could not even recall from my previous visit few weeks ago. We walked around for a while in the sunshine before decided to go to the cafe and finding it was very quite, headed to the Sainsbury’s Local in the High Street to get some beverages and snacks. In a blanket attempt to cover their licence, all members of staff were asking for identification. I was still rather surprised when the lady posed the polite question, “Do you have your ID with you?” I laughed and then when I revealed my age to be nearly twenty-eight, I am sure she was more embarrased than me. We headed to the park, found a spot and took in the late afternoon sun. We were a few metres away from my old school friend Ruth Louise, now married with a young toddler. Although perhaps I would have approached her and said hello, I did not feel the conversation would have lasted beyond, “what you doing now?”. My sister Julie was there with a group of friends, who waved at me across the park, but soon got up and left to go elsewhere. Big brother was obviously cramming the style of the fifteen-year-old motley crew.

It was good to catch up with Ryan and tell him about my day at Alton Towers, the previous weekend. It was then he mentioned he still had the ticket from our first visit together in June 1998. I had to take a photograph. I actually share a lot in common with Ryan, in the sense he took likes to hold onto receipts and tickets in this way because they defo a single moment in time. A date, a time, so you can remember what you were doing, who you were with and then the memories come flooding back, what you were listening to, the list goes on. That would explain my obsessiveness over this blog but that is perhaps a whole post in itself.

Alton Towers Ticket

Around 6.30pm, we headed into the funfair area to check out some of the rides but thought it best to get some food. Well, Ryan wanted food around 7pm but I wanted a little longer. Rather than go for a greasy burger from one of the fans, we headed into town. The queue for the Slug & Lettuce was very long and we would find out later that they were charging for entrance. We were going to go to Pizza Express but that too was busy, so we opted for Chinese at The Coach & Horses. It was very busy, after we had ordered, I was busy talking to Ryan, when a young blonde girl came along and knocked my drink over, sending ice all over the table and onto the floor. I am perhaps making it sound more dramatic than it actually was. In any case, she did quickly apologize, caught the glass before it hit the floor and then her boyfriend apologised and bought me a fresh drink. A few minutes later we moved to a dry table. It was just one of those things that happen. No harm done!

It started to rain as we finished our food and we were half debated whether to go back to Wycombe. We had to wait for Trev, he was working in Maidenhead until 9.30pm and would not get into Marlow until close to 10pm on the train. When we got back to the funfair, I called Trev and he insisted we stay. He would meet us in The Prince Of Wales at 10pm. We had been given our orders.

Ryan wanted to go on a ride, for me, anything would be a let down in comparison to Alton Towers last weekend. It was a The Terminator and Mr. Buckle felt rather uneasy when we got off, it had been a crazy ride, that also went backwards! We walked around the fair for a bit longer and noticed that in the main park area at the back it was quite busy with police officers on horseback. Ryan had a sit down on a bench. The young guy around 16 behind him, was in the worst state, lying on the grass. I bought Ryan a 7Up from the the burger van and he felt a little better. It must have been around 9pm, many people were heading home, but some were sticking around. There seemed to be some sort of commotion towards the sports centre but we did not stick around to watch. We headed back to the funfair to just to take a walk around and kill some time.

The Terminator

Around 9.30pm, we headed to The Prince Of Wales. It was absolutely rammed and we had to use the side entrance, as there was a band in situ by the main double doors. When I eventually got served, I ordered two orange juices but the barmaid started boring a pint of Heinken (the worlds most popular beer apparently). I quickly stopped her and explained that I had ordered two OJs. Annoyed, she went back and go the drinks and then duly slammed them onto the bar. Great service. As we went outside onto the porch, we were just started to talk before Trev appeared. He went in to get his drinks. Wayne had joined us by now and we caught up with his day. He of course had been in the members enclosure and as he (as well as Trev) are known by the former Mayor they could have both could have been in the Champagne Tent this afternoon. However, Trev had to work and I do not think Wayne was that bothered, although he looked rather a damper in his suit and bright white tie. Making the rest of us look like a bunch of slobs.

Ryan, Wayne & Trev

Around 10.40pm, I had to make a move, it had been a long day. I offered both Wayne and Trev a lift. These were accepted but Wayne disappeared to see some friends by the time we got to Subway, so I dropped off Trev, then Ryan before finally getting home just after 11pm. I was shattered and after a cup of tea, went straight to bed.

Stop me when this starts to sound too familiar. I had originally planned to leave Wycombe around 11am but did not get into the car until 12:25pm. I had spent the morning going through various bits and bobs of admin, stuff that I could avoid no longer. As I put on Radio 1, they played Knock You Down by Keri Hilson. If there was one song that can propel an artist of the unknown backing singer to an international superstar, this was it. I got to Newbury, unpacked my things, got changed into my gym gear and headed out the door. I checked my watch, one hour and one minute had passed since I had left Wycombe. I wanted to make sure I got a good session under my belt, particular as the weekend had been rather disjointed. I was in the gym for a good few hours, working on my legs (supersets are killers) and then trying out my abs programme for the first time in full. I was completely shattered and headed back to the flat planning how to spend the rest of my afternoon. There was no point in staying inside on such a lovely day, so I headed out around 4pm to read my book in the park. It was beautiful, the sun out brightly with only the odd cloud to spoil the day. I spent an hour out there before I had to return to the flat and get online. I had to blog and also had to get a few things done before getting some food.

I watched a little of the Confederations Cup on BBC3. Spain demolishing New Zealand before putting on an ITV situation comedy. Another Saturday night out meant I missed episode three of Mumbai Calling, so I had downloaded it on the computer during the morning back at Wycombe and brought it to Newbury on my USB stick. I have given up on ITV Player. Although the plugin does work on XBMC, no episodes appear for this Indian based comedy call centre show. It has got slightly better, but only ever so slightly. I will endure the show until the end and then make a final decision. Plus with only GREEK to watch during the week, it is not like I have a stack of other shows to watch. Afterwards, I spent a little time online before making my first ever cup of Horlicks and reading my book in bed before drifting off to sleep. A very good weekend, with a lot of mileage covered but more than that, good company, good times and some good fun!

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