Sunday 21st June 2009

It is coming up to 5pm as I begin to write this post, the sun is shining, I am back in my home town of High Wycombe. It is only in the past few hours that the pace of my weekend actually slowed down to a gentle walk. I have to say it has been a very busy but successful weekend. I will start, as all weekends do on Friday afternoon. I left work at 4pm sharp, as planned and went to get my haircut. The barbers was rammed (one of the usual hairdressers was away) so with only two people available (the owner Tony and Belinda) I had a good thirty minute wait. I passed the time by reading Dreams From My Father. I got back to the flat around 10 past five, the same time if I had left the office at 5pm. Instead of jumping in the shower straight away I jumped on the computer to get some things downloaded, then finally had a shower. After I was ready, I called home to find out my sisters had not left yet. It was going to be tight to fit in our cinema trip. They left just 6pm and I spent a little time I had online sorting out various things, I knew there would be no time for the internet for most of the weekend. I then stitched off the computer and decided to watch some television, but within minutes, they were outside and Natalie was calling me. We quickly emptied the car of food, pillows and duvets before heading back onto the M4. The clock in my sisters 307 was six minutes ahead, so we actually made excellent time and parked in The Oracle at 7.35pm, then went straight to the cinema. There was a long queue for the machines but we got our tickets and then headed upstairs. We would wait for Liz while getting some food, I bought a Epic Combo to share between the four of us, with peanut M&Ms of course. Liz had been waiting downstairs but came up to meet us and we went straight through to Screen Four (practically my 2nd home!) Liz queued up for a Capri Sun but by the time she got to the front of the queue, the server had to go to get a radio and took ages getting back by which time Liz could not be asked to go back and queue again. The talk turned to Transformers and my sister who is unfamiliar with the toy line, cartoon series and has not seen the original movie felt rather lost. I gave the name of the Autobots leader, but she did not hear me properly – “Opportunity to Rise?”. Liz asked if I liked Megan Fox. I did not believe I even needed to entertain answering that question. Liz’s response was that I really like her hair? I had officially arrived into the zone known as going to the cinema with girls. We were in row E instead of my usual row K but we were still in the middle and I had taken the most central of our seats. The lights dimmed and the world famous sound of Asteroid filled the auditorium. I had been waiting for this moment all week, and now it was finally here. Where do I start with Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen? It actually surpasses the original on several levels. The action is up a level, the story is better and more believable (not taking a energy source into a city for example) and the comedy was just on a different planet from start to finish. There were moments when there were roars of laughter from every single member of the audience. It was great and I loved every second of it, they have outdone themselves from the first movie, sure it is the same formula to a certain extent but there are more robots, more action, more mystery but then greater explanation. It was a thrilling ride, entertaining and totally enjoyable. Agent Reggie Symmons or rather former Agent Reggie Symmons just killed me with some classic lines and moments. I beg you to go and watch the movie, it is great fun. As we left the cinema, I thought to myself, they have done very well to build up a whole franchise based on some toys. I suppose being a fan of the original show and having various Transformers in my time (even an Optimus Prime back in the day) I just feel a bond, connection to the movie that I would not otherwise have had. The soundtrack was very good and I wanted to know who performed 21 Guns. Only later did I realise that it was Green Day and I already had the song from their album, 21st Century Breakdown. The film ended around 10.30pm, with a big fat thumbs up from everyone! Now it was the second part of the evening, heading to Central London to pick up Rags. This was going to be fun, my sister drove all the way into the city. As usually the few miles across London took almost forty five minutes. We picked up Rags by Kings Cross station, it must have been coming up to 1am at the time. I took over driving duties and having seen such a heavy traffic jam earlier on the M4 just outside Slough. It was backed up to the next junction along and I had no desire to be stuck there all night. There was no news on the radio wire, even with TA switched on. Therefore I took the A40, then M40, then the standard A404, A404(M) and M4 combination. We finally pulled outside my flat around 2am (after stopping to get fuel). As usually I had driven the last fifteen or so miles with the fuel level dangerous low and warning lights coming up all over the place. However, at no point was the range lower than the distance to be covered (we had TomTom 510 GO) on board. Saturday was going to be a very busy, so I fell asleep on the floor (my sisters had brought loads of duvets and blankets) and planned to get up very early to get several jobs done before the barbecue. My alarm (Nokia 6230) went off around 8am, I got up. My sister, Samantha was already up and making tea in the kitchen. I got ready, had some breakfast, grabbed a quick shower and we were on the way into town. It must have been around 9.30am or perhaps closer to 10am. We went to Marks & Spencer’s to get my Dad’s Father’s Day gift. Next stop HSBC, followed by Robert Dyas, then TKMaxx, Poundland before returning to Iceland and then back to the flat. It was a quick drop off before we jumped in the car and headed over to the retail park. First stop Argos, buying a starter barbecue set, we then went next door to the Instore shop to get a few bits and pieces. It was 11:49 by the time we were served, as there was a long queue at the till and another member of staff had to be called. Finally it was over to Homebase, to get a big bin which we would use to keep the drinks cool. Finally we headed to Tesco to get all the food, we would be there a while before finally leaving around 1pm. We were on schedule but only just. By the time we got back to the flat, we unloaded the food and I then went ahead to build the barbecue, although my sister Samantha came to help. I had placed my Squeezebox Boom on the window sill of my bedroom and started playing KISS. Come on, everyone needs music to work to.


It was around 2:40pm before I had finished and my sisters had started to prepare food, we took the table outside and started planning, with chairs for a seating area. It was then I finally discovered how to open up the french windows. Otherwise we would have had a problem getting my dining table outside. It was at this point in the afternoon we got a call from Liz, she was on the way to the station. Preeti called me soon after and explained she was fifteen minutes away (at Reading). Trevor called at 14:51, they were outside, even though he tried to fool me into thinking they were going to be another hour. I welcomed them in and left in the garden with a beer. Ryan had brought loads of instant barbecues from ASDA. We then headed out to pick up the girls, Rags came with me, just for the ride! While waiting in the car, in the car park of Newbury station I put on the radio. James text me, it was 15:11, he was on his way over but needed my address. Not sure why as he had dropped me off at the flat just a few weeks ago to my front door. Preeti arrived with the next train and came over to the car, once I had waved at her outside the entrance. We were listening to KICK FM or rather I switched from Radio 1 to the local Newbury station and found the car filled with the soulful lyrics of Human Nature. My thoughts fell to the concerts next month and my desire to be there, to witness the return of the King. Fifteen minutes later Liz arrived and we headed back to the flat, via a shop. I was going to go to Sainsburys but it was very busy (it was Saturday afternoon) and nobody would let me into the correct lane to take the correct exit off the roundabout, so I opted to drive around the M&S at BP on London Road. Yes, a tad bit more expensive but in and out, then back to the flat. The barbeque had started without me. The neighbours were out and cooking, meanwhile James had been catching up with my old school friends, telling him stories from my shady past. The food was on the table and everything was set, the barbecue could be lit (or several in our case).

Matt, Luke, Abby, Mike & BeckyJames, Lee, Ryan, Jo, Preeti, Claire & John

It was really good party and the atmosphere was relaxed and generally very friendly. There was plenty of food on the go. I volunteered James to start cooking the burgers. We brought my small carpet strip out into the garden and the sun came out. All was good. A little later we were joined by Lee, my colleague from work and his friends. He had just moved into Victoria Gardens earlier that morning and text me. The highlight of the day, I missed, which is just typical of me. It must have been late afternoon, I was in the bathroom and heard the roar of engines up above. They were close but by the time I got outside, they were gone.

Red Arrows

I had just missed The Red Arrows. I thought that nobody had been able to get a picture (difficult to believe with everyone having a camera phone, or almost everyone). However it was not until later that I would discover that my sister got the shot. (Not too sure, which one but I assume Samantha). I had been for a while contributing the image to Preeti. I apologise, I was wrong! Into the early evening the party was flapping a little, so I switched off the Squeezebox Boom and put on the XBox. I played some music videos before putting on The Bloody Apprentice YouTube clip. It is very good, it will have you in stitches. Cassette Boy is a legend! I then had to play the famous Terry videos and also explain why my nickname was Terry (at least twice during the evening). Although Pav has yet to upload the better Reading Festival clip, recorded on Friday 1st May. The audience therefore missed out on the best video and had to put up with the grey and rather low volume clips from Kev’s wedding. I just played the message to fans (my sister commented I had big hands – similar to Andrew Marr) and the waiting for Miss Emily Poole to appear. We watched various music videos after that. I had requests, which I did my best to cater for. Chesney Hawkes, Queen and the Beyonce with JT Saturday Night Live skit were the few I remember playing before the novelty died off and I put the TV back and switched the Squeezebox back on. The party was just beginning to wind down now, most of the food had been eaten (the food that had been taken outside). Just then a familiar face appeared from around the building. It was my cousin Praag. He came to say hello and a break from his studying, it was his first time at my bachelor pad. He had brought over drinks but also housewarming gift in the form of eight fondant fancies. Will go down with a nice cup of tea at some point! The girls had been making a cocktail in my kitchen, I say girls quite loosely. It was in fact actually Liz and Preeti at the centre of the drink making. A few minutes later, I discovered that someone had dropped the jug and caused a major spillage in the kitchen. Liz and Preeti quickly disappeared to Tesco to get some more alcohol. When they returned, the party was slowly coming to a close and the furniture was taking back into the flat, while my neighbours also packed their kit away. A very successful afternoon slash evening. Now what were the plans for the rest of the evening? My sisters were talking about going to Reading. I was not to keen, plus we had to get over there too, which was not going to cheap on the train or a taxi (which would have had to be a minibus). We decided to go into Newbury. Lauren, my sister’s work colleague even ironed my shirt, when I had expected her to give me the modern woman’s response of “Go do it yourself this is not Victorian England”. As everybody got ready we looked at our options. A taxi to Reading was going to cost £70 at least, because it would have been a mini bus to take us there and bring us back. We therefore decided to stick to my local town and walk into town. We went to the Varsity first, before heading onto Liquid. It was my first time in the pub slash bar and it was much quieter than I had anticipated. It was twelve minutes to eleven, the place should have been completely rocking. It was far from it. I got the first round in and then we got a table by the front. However, it was getting late and Preeti needed to go home, so I escorted her to the station, hoping to meet Ash there but he was stuck in Reading so would meet up with us later. I returned to Varsity and the mayhem began (well second part of the evening). We went to Liquid, the only true nightclub that the town has to offer. It was better than I expected. Only now reading the post weekend entry on the official blog that I discover the DJ was, yes you have guessed it DJ Terry. It was a good night, Ash arrived around 11:45pm I think and then the party was in full swing. I was on the raised dance floor getting my groove on. We left the club at 3am (when the lights came on and they played some annoying music to get rid of us). When we got back to the flat (half the party had taken a taxi). I decided it would be a good idea to try and jump over my garden fence, even though I perhaps would never had made it over. Ash gave me a leg up but then perhaps being sensible decided to put my foot down and defeated I headed around the road, and got back to in to find everyone else already there. It must have been around 3.30am now but instead of going straight to sleep as you would do under normal circumstances, I decided this was the perfect moment to put the Bournemouth video on. Ryan had brought his camcorder, so it was direct footage as it was shot, none of the polished edited material we have been used to. (Well Trev and myself in any case). We watched the film (just one tape, as Ryan had left the second table at home, which in my opinion has the better material). There was the amateur version of Through The Key Hole, staring Mr. Buckle as he took us on a tour around Steve and Tim’s flat. We mainly covered the kitchen as they were around in the other rooms and would have noticed our undercover filming. It was good to finally see the footage, although I was perhaps a little too tired to appreciate all the efforts. Then again, it has been almost a year since that weekend down to the coast. We eventually went to sleep around 4am (or a bit later) feeling it had been a very successful weekend, if only my flat could accommodate more overnight visitors!

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