Sunday 5th April 2009

I am actually writing this post late on Thursday 9th (boy hasn’t today felt like a Friday!) but feel instead of trying to pump all the events of the past weeks into a mega blog post, I should space them out under the dates of when they actually occurred. Everyone knows that if there is a long gap between entries it must mean that Teg has been very busy on his adventures. On Friday night I decided to watch The Bank Job. Even though for a moment, I thought I might catch up on The Apprentice. I had missed episode two as I had been watching the England World Cup Qualifier on the other side! However, Sir Alan and his band of potential apprentices could wait. I wanted to have some escapism and this was just what I was looking for. Pav had already told me that it was a very good movie. It had been sitting on my hard drive for several months, obtained sometime in November I believe. What Pav failed to tell me was that the lead character (played by action man Jason Statham) is called Terry. Fantastic! The film got going from the word go and had me on the edge of my seat but the first half was over too quickly and the job itself seemed too easy, but then this is just the build up for the second half. It does get a little gruesome in places (although nothing graphic on screen) but the mindless violence goes with the territory I suppose. Every little subplot was intertwined in the ending, with the ending you would have hoped for. It was great fun with some great performances and the fact that it was based on a true story? I would highly recommend it, it has a bit of everything, action, twists and turns, a love story (in parts). What did I do on Saturday? Well I got up at 9am which is late by my standards for a Saturday morning, had breakfast, cleared the flat and then spent a bit of time on the computer. I then watched Football Focus before deciding how to spend the afternoon, it was a glorious day. I went to the library with the mission of getting my West Berkshire discount card but as I walked in the posters informed me the launched was delayed by five days to Monday 6th. Rather than head back out of the door, I decided to see if I could get a book to read. I know I am already currently reading The Invisible Man but wanted something else, plus it is a short book, I should have it finished soon. As you know I want to read Dreams From My Father by President Barrack Obama but it is still on loan, so while browsing the biography section, I found a book by Gordon Brown. For a while I wondered which author had the same name as our Prime Minister, then I realised that it was by our former Chancellor. So I had come in to the building hoping to pick up a book by one of the most charismatic leaders of a generation, only to leave with a book my perhaps one our most dull grey but effective politicians. The title, ‘Courage’ appealled to me instantly, courage is something I lack. Perhaps the best way to develop such a characteristic is to read about special people from the past who had great courage and learn from them, all the way to contemporaries still having to face the struggle. I took the book out, using the fancy new check out machines and headed back to the flat. The sunshine had meant Victoria Park was packed, it was after all the first day of the Easter holidays for the children, families were making the most of it. The one thought in my head was to vacuum my flat when I got back. As the vacuums bag had arrived on Friday, I had no excuses, so cleaned all the rooms and then decided to get some food. It was around 3pm, I watched a little of Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News and then decided it was time to watch Sarah Connor Chronicles, closely followed by Dollhouse. During Dollhouse, I fell asleep on the sofa and the last fifteen minutes or so of the episode are a complete blur, so I may need to get a recap at some point before this Saturday’s episode. Meanwhile, during most of the day I had been backing up and rebuilding my friend Reena’s laptop. It was nearly finished on Saturday afternoon, just need to install Office 2003 and then copy back all the personal files, photos and mp3s. I left that job for later on Sunday but I would not find a slot. The rest of the day was rather uneventful, I spent a bit of time on the computer, going through quite a lot of admin and making a big pile of receipts to shred. Then I watched the last in the series of TV Burp before getting some food. Then it was back on the computer for a while before catching Match Of The Day. I watched the highlights of the Arsenal match but was struggling to keep my eyes open, so I got into bed and then felt awake again for some strange reason and read the introduction to Courage: Eight Portraits. Brown is surprisingly good writer and his personal passion for the subject matter and these people from all walks of life is touching. I will let you know how I get on. Today I had an extremely busy day. It did not help that I got up later than I wanted. I got to the gym for around 9am, when I had wanted to get there for opening at 8am, complete my weights programme before my scheduled review with Adam at 9.30am. As I was there so later than I had hoped for, I did only a few exercises before meeting up with Adam and hitting the free weights. This is my first ever adventure into the realm of free weights, to date I have avoided them mainly due to the fact that I was just not ready. Matt, the personal trainer at my previous gym was going to give me a free weights programme, but obviously I left Castle Royle before that could happen. Adam here took me through the various exercises, they do not look easy. If I thought my last programme was hard, this was going to be insane. We started with the bench press and barbell, only 10lbs in weights but I think the barbell weights 10kg alone. Four sets of ten on most of the apparatus now. We then moved over to the incline bench for dumbbell lifts 8kg but I may drop down to 7kg, see how it goes. I will not bore you with the full extent of the programme, that you can find over on my profile page on Gyminee. I was aiming to start my programme tomorrow but we ran out of time. At 11am, Adam had to go to see his next client and I had to rush back. I had a very busy Sunday so I could not wait around or start on any of the new exercises. I would try and complete my programme review on Tuesday evening, late at 9pm. I drove over to the station to pick up Preeti, she had come over to help me do some cooking before we headed over to Iver to see the TV show. The day would not work out exactly as planned but then what does? We went back to the flat first, to drop of some bits before the heading over to the big Tesco Extra at the edge of town, it was midday as we got to the store and we left some fifty minutes later. It was a big shop, loads of items to get, including weighing scales and a baking tray. We then headed back to the flat and got cooking. The menu had changed, we were not making mango lassi now. It was just the white chocolate and mango cake with coconut icing to start, then mushrooms filled with chives and herbs, jacket potatoes and humous! The cooking went well, all things considered. Preeti supervised and showed me how to make a start on a few things. Due to my lack of bowls, we had to build up the cake mixture in two batches but we got there in the end.


While we had our food, we watched Burn After Reading which has to be one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. Preeti had brought some horror DVDs (still in their plastic packaging) but I turned them down, you know how squimish I can get, even if they are more borderline on suspence than gore. I had seen the opening few minutes before but given up several months ago, so it was good to get another movie off the ‘watch’ list. A great cast and some excellent acting but it all seemed quite pointless. Then again perhaps that is the whole point of a black comedy, there is no point. I mean, come on would a gym really be called Hard Bodies? At 5.30pm, we headed straight out of the door and onto the road to Pinewood Studios. It took about an hour to get to Iver, Buckinghamshire from Newbury. The backlot has changed a great deal since I was last here in April two years ago. A new roundabout and new entrance, plus an extensive car park. We drove in, were directed to the marshall and told to park right up next to the red Toyota (ignoring the parking lines completely). There was already a big queue but we were here in plenty of time, doors did not open until 7pm with filming starting at 7.15pm sharp. Plus there had been a similar queue for The IT Crowd filming, so was not concerned. How wrong I was to be. We had been in the queue less then two minutes when a member of staff came up to us and about four people ahead, said that no body from that point would be getting in, the studio would be full. SRO Audiences always oversubscribe their events and rightly so, many people do not turn up or with less people than on their e-mail confirmation and nobody wants to film a show infront of half an audience. I was gutted as this was to have been the highlight of the weekend.

Pinewood Studios

Before we even confirmed my name on the list, we decided to head to the cinema. I wanted to see The Damned United but knew it would not get a look in so was happy to see whatever was available. The man with the clipboard came to us in the queue, I confirmed my name and number of tickets and he took note of the details and said he would e-mail us tomorrow. As we headed back to the car, we tried to decide which cinema to go to. The Odeon at Uxbridge was closer but for Vue, it was either tracking back to Reading (not an option) but also Acton. Although initially I was keen on Acton, I realised how much further away it was and having to negiotate around the A40 into the Park Royal retail park, so opted for Uxbridge. It made sense, it was closer. It was coming up to 7pm, and I thought we may have to wait for the 8pm showing it being a Sunday. However we were in luck, Monsters versus Aliens was showing at 7pm and it was in 3D! My first ever 3D experience. No people, not those old fangled cardboard red and blue glasses, I am talking about Real 3D. Yes, you have to wear glasses but the effect is so much better than the old fashioned technology. The film was generally very good and fun. No, it was no Toy Story but it had good elements and it was more of a extra long trailer for 3D animation. At the beginning of the film, there is a moment when a guy is using a padal with ball on string and it appears to be flying towards you. Difficult to explain but well worth going to see. I got back to Newbury around 9.30pm and then felt a really bad pain in my stomach, I drank some water and went straight to bed. I had wanted to watch MOTD2 and jump on the computer quickly but it was too late. I had to sleep and knew that with a very busy week ahead (albeit a short one) I better get some rest. It had been a great weekend, regardless of a few things not coming together as planned.

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