Sunday 30th November 2008

Been an extremely hectic weekend and it is only now coming up to 3pm on Sunday afternoon that I am in a position to put everything onto the blog. Had a great time, there was curry followed by clubbing on Friday and then a trip into North West London to see a friend yesterday afternoon (which went well into the evening) and then today has been a domestic chore day after a good hard session at the gym.

I left work about 4:15pm on Friday, rushed back to my flat, got changed, grabbed my bag and headed back towards the office car park. A colleague kindly gave me a lift into Reading and saved me having to catch the train (which would have been packed). However, I was dropped off on the Bath Road close to the town centre and then had to make my own way to Pav and Em’s. My sense of direction let me down a little. I should have gone under the main road using the subway but instead heading straight and then as I saw the Skoda and Audi garages, I knew I was heading in the wrong direction. (The road actually leads to junction 11 of the M4!) I turned around and headed back the way I had come, it must have been a few hundred yards but enough distance to make it annoying. Pav had been texting me and had even offered to pick me up but then decided that I would get to the house quicker than he would get there from Emmer Green. By going under the subway and around, I came out to river running through the Oracle. Strange how when you are so used to getting from places in a car, you find it difficult to get anywhere using the old good old fashioned legs. Now, I knew where I was, I headed through the shopping centre, over the bridge and then at the Grosvenor Casino, I headed to the house. I was about ten minutes or so behind schedule. (It was something that would repeat itself over the course of the weekend). It was after 6pm but not quite 6.30pm (the Simpsons were still on Channel 4) and my weekend could begin. Eventually Em did get ready and Pav had to burn a few copies of his set for the evening. I got the first copy, straight off the press. I was loving the chair in the basement. It is one of those chairs you could rule the world from. Tonight, Reading in the Royal County of Berkshire, tomorrow the world!


Our taxi arrived just before 7pm and we headed to the Spice Oven. Have you seen the Goodfella’s adverts on ITV during Saturday evenings? Well that was all I could think of when I got into the taxi, as the driver was playing a Barry White album. I thought it was the radio to begin with, until the second and third Barry White track filled the Vectra. We got dropped off at the Tesco Express slash Esso garage and then walked around to the restaurant. Everyone else was already there. This was my first time at the Spice Oven even though I have driven past it on numerous occasions on my way into Reading. Very nice restaurant, service was good but the food did take an age to arrive. Pav was testing me, he thought I would go for a mild one but it was the jalfrezi I went for and took for the team. I don’t mind medium spicy food from time to time. Anything laden with chillies that just burns your tongue and ruins all the flavour. Foxy was on fire, the moment we arrived. He was killing me and I am glad I doubt I will see him again before the ski holiday in January. Although he might come out for Christmas night out on 21st. After the meal, we headed to the pub across the road for a drink before walking back over to Plug n Play. It was in the heart of the industrial state opposite Rivermead. It was quite foggy now and bitterly cold. Pav had not been there for four years but eventually got us there, “Just follow the sound of the bass…” Andy said! We got there and as it was free entry, I had to fill in a little slip with my details. I rushed down my details but I doubt anyone could read them.

Raw Filth

The club was much smaller than I expected, when Pav had said underground, I thought he had meant literally underground. As you walked in, you had a bar and the main room on the left, with a raised dance floor at the back. Then walking down the corridor you have two rooms, on the left a small second room (which was empty at the time, DJ playing to nobody). The room adjacent to this was the chill out room with chairs and tables. Pav was not on for a while, so we had a little time to get a drink and chill out before his set. The place was slowly getting busier and busier. A great set from Pav, particularly because he threw in some vocal tracks (I doubt just for me, but I like to think I am special). It was a really good night. Kev and Duen arrived a little later and by then the party was really kicking off. I had found out about the opening night of this new night, Raw Filth, several months back and it had been slowly building up via Facebook. (Pav had sent me an invite to the event back in September I think!) The night is a new venture between Simon and Russell, both friends with Pav. Russell has in fact played at a few of the other venues I have been to earlier this year. While dance music is hardly my specialist subject, I have been well informed about the individual sets the DJs played. Pav’s was more uplifting progressive house and electro, Russell, who played after Pav was more progressive house with some electro too! Tina was more techno with cheese and I really enjoyed her set! Sam, who played before Pav was more progressive house and techno. Now that may not make much sense to you, but I may not know the styles very well, but I know what I like and I know what works. Will I give up on commericial dance music? No, I think it still is very important to me, particularly for something to listen to in the car. However on a night out, you want something a bit stronger, or as Pav would say, a little bit ‘dirtier’ and this was the perfect night for it! I am actually looking forward to my next big clubbing night out, although that may not be for a while. Hopefully soon after we get back from ski trip. I can see my next night out in Reading being quite cheesy, it being five days before Christmas. We left around 3am, and headed back to the house. Although there was a bit stop at The Perfect Fryer in town (we had the munchies) before getting back to the house around 4am. Before I went to bed, I put on my Zen and they were playing Take On Me on 2Ten FM. (Have you seen the advert for Lips on XBox 360?) I got up around 9am, or was awake and just stayed in bed. Eventually I got up and ready. I left Pav and Em’s before 10am. I headed straight to the station. Now using the direct route, rather than heading past the casino. It is funny how the character of a place can change based on the time of day. When I was last at the Reading station, it was 10.30pm on Tuesday night, everything was closed and there was the odd passenger waiting for a train. Now, the place was rammed with queues for the machines and the ticket desks. I joined what I thought was the smallest queue for a machine and bought my ticket. Strange but a single is only twenty pence cheaper than a return to Newbury. I then headed to the platform, platform one, and the train was at 10:11am to Newbury. There were many people heading to the racing, The Hennessy Cup. I do not believe in gambling and only ever been to the races once (Newmarket back in 2002). Therefore, it is rather wasted on me but it was interesting to see everyone rush to the train, with copy of Racing Post in hand. The journey took thirty odd minutes, but it did stop at every station on the way to the final destination. As I got off the train, I realised I had loads to do before I could come back to the station and head back in the same direction. I walked back to the flat and could see the barbers was very busy, but wanted to make sure I got my haircut. Back at the flat, I had shower, got changed, cleared up a few things and had to go on the computer for a bit. Before midday, I was out the door and waiting for my haircut, it was a fifteen minute wait but I was done in ten minutes and headed back to the flat. Then it was very much a race against time. I wanted to get on the train as quickly as possible and had arranged to meet up with Hema at 2pm. Although I knew I would running a bit later than originally planned. I headed out of the flat minutes after 1pm and caught the 1.29pm train to London Paddington. From here, I went straight over down to the Bakerloo Line, I checked my watch, it was 2.29pm, the journey had taken just less than an hour and it would be another thirty minutes before I met up with my friend at Kenton station. I had used the Bakerloo Line because of engineering works on the other lines I would have used (Metropolitan and Jubilee). I know I could have caught the replacement bus service, but I would have just been left stuck in traffic. I had to stop at Queens Park and changed trains but eventually got to Kenton. It was a bit of a strange moment at North Wembley. An Asian lady approached me and asked if this train was going into the city. Even though she could clearly see I had a music player plugged into my ears. However, rather than be impolite, I explained it was heading to Harrow & Wealdstone and she thanked me and headed to the other platform to the correct train. The original plan was to to Flirtease. Birthday desserts, but as we drove past it was closed. We stopped in the street down the road and got the number to call them but there was no answer phone message. I was gutted, I had been looking forward to the desserts for a while. Never mind, the other option was Tinsel Town but it was all the way over in Hampstead, a good twenty-thirty minute drive. Hema wanted to check it out and so we headed in that direction. We could find a parking space, so in the end, turned around and went to a local pub instead for food and deserts. Of course, it was not the same as going to Flirtease, but I enjoyed the company. Had not seen Hema for over two years I think! We left just before 7pm, and I got the tube from Kenton back over to Paddington. My train was not until 8.06pm, so I had a good thirty minutes to kill. I went to the toilet and had to find thirty pence to put into the turnstile. Suppose they got to get the money back on the Dyson Air Blades. My train was actually heading all the way west to Plymouth and would not make it’s final destination until around 1am. I was thankful to be getting off at the second stop. I was tired but opted not to fall asleep, just in case. Thankfully quite a few people got off the train at Newbury. Then it was the walk through the busy town centre back to the flat, through Victoria Park. The town was busy with many people out after the racing. There were several uniformed police officers around. I got in around 9pm and just saw the recap of The X Factor performances. It was great to be finally home and be able to relax. It had been a long day and I was actually looking forward to a quiet Sunday getting everything done. I watched The X Factor results, caught up on my online activities and then watched both Chuck and The IT Crowd. Eastenders could wait until late on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes a song comes out and you feel it was written just for yourself. It happens from time to time and in this case it was on Thursday night, I picked up a new tune from Keri Hilson via The Celebrity Network. Promise In The Dark is produced by those fantastic Norwegian masters, Stargate and it just an amazing song and you can tell from the moment you hear the opening bar. It doesn’t sound like Keri to begin with but you do realise it is her after a few listens. How does it relate to me? Well suffice to say, how can someone go so cold so quickly?

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