Wednesday 18th July 2007

Back in April I reported that my room was being redecorated and that I would be moving out for two weeks. Those two weeks turned into three months. However, I kept faith and ensured I blogged as often as I could, for a time using my work laptop. I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to be back in my room. It has been 88 days, since I was last in here and perhaps two weeks more since I was using my PC. I moved all my main bits and pieces, including computer on Saturday evening. My clothes and final paperwork was moved during Sunday evening. You do not realise how much “stuff” you have until you have to do something like this. Gave me a good opportunity to sort out several things but I still have not thrown away as much as I possibly could.

I had a good weekend, how was yours? On Friday night, I had been speaking to Charlie online and opted to head over to his house to look at getting his new PC up and running. However, my first stop was Jerry Street Styles for a haircut. I got there dead on 9am and the door was locked. Within 30 seconds, Eddie came out and opened up. After my haircut, I headed over to Woodley. I found Charlie’s flat and we set to work. Originally he had planned to back up some of his music. He had transferred all his photos and other personal files in a rather unconventional but nevertheless clever way of using MSN messenger and 2 MSN Passport accounts. His 10gig drive did not work in my USB caddy, so we bit the bullet and went for quick format and installed XP. It did not go perfectly to plan. Firstly the new machine would not boot to the hard drive, but eventually we got there and got the operating system installed. Some files were corrupted or not being read by the old CD drive. That is the only problem I could diagnose as the CD had been perfect for me for several installations (it was from Pav after all!). We got Windows XP SP2 up and running but there were some major issues. No Internet Explorer. I tried to installed it, first version 7, then version 6.2 but both failed. The problem was with the Microsoft Installer, it needed to be repaired. I carried out some extensive searches on Google. (Charlie has a work laptop, a Dell Latitude 510, with wireless) I tried to run some repairs but making changes to the registry and installing patches, but none of them work. We opted to download a new version of the Windows XP SP2 ISO with all patches up to June via BitTorrent. We left it running, while we went into town.

When I normally go into Reading, I always park in the Oracle. Sure, it is expensive, particularly during the day but it is convenient and safe. However, as we drove into town, Charlie got me to park by his old house. I was more than happy to walk twenty minutes to the centre, particularly on a nice sunny day. Plus, it gave Charlie and myself a chance to chat. Once in town, we went to grab some food. Although there was the option of Subway, Charlie thought we should get a Cornish Pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. We then walked through the town centre, over to HSBC, before going over to the Oracle. The place was heaving! I just do not know where people get the money to spend the money. We headed through to the Riverside area, finished our food, then headed back to HMV. I noticed they had opened a Krispy Kreme store next to McDonalds. I got to the till at the music store and got them to get me a ticket for Global Gathering. The sales assistant had to go downstairs and collect the ticket from the safe. I purchased the ticket here for two reasons, first I save on booking fee and delivery costs, second I do not have to make sure someone is at home to sign for the ticket. Everyone is a winner! I am looking forward to my second ever festival, we are going on Saturday 28th. Should be a great laugh! On our way back to the car we stopped at The Outlook for a drink. We then headed back to the car and drove back to Woodley. It was great not to have to face all the usual queues coming out of the Oracle. When we got back to the house, I gave Charlie my XP CD for him to have another go, later that evening. He would report back on MSN by the time I got home.

I saw a trailer on Sunday night. The BBC are finally screening the first series of Heroes from next Wednesday (25th). The theme used during the trailer (which in my opinion shows far too much from the first few episodes) was “The End Of The World” a 1963 hit for Skeeter Davis. Although there is some debate online as to whether it is the Karen Carpenter version. Either way, the song fits the whole notion of the show and is quite dramatic when you watch the various clips of the characters. Go judge for yourself. This will enable everyone who has not seen the show to capture the magic before series two airs in the autumn.

I got up relatively late on Sunday, but I had been up quite late on Saturday night after setting up my computer. I wanted to be up a little bit earlier than 9am. I know some people may find that a bit strange. After a shower, I grabbed my stuff and was on the road a little after 10am. The Tesco Express garage was closed for a fuel delivery on Marlow Road, so I drove over to Henley and checked my tyre pressures at the Esso garage there. I arrived early with Chris setting up with Sean. We were soon joined by Chris’ brother Gary and then a few other late arrivals. This was the first proper fitness session with a mixture of ‘events’. First was a small obstacle course (not sure if that is the correct term). Then we had to go around agility course, this was the tough part of the two tasks. We had 45 seconds at each point with each of the pair taking turns. Bear in mind this was only my second session and my fitness levels are as low as they possibly could be. It does feel good to be out of breath, sweat like a pig and feel tired after a session. As I got in my car, a few minutes before midday I felt good. I feel I am slowly but surely getting better. While the progress may be more mental, than physical at this present moment, I am just proud of myself for finding something and sticking at it.

Once I got home, I showered, got changed, grabbed a light snack (very light, just a rice cake!) and then headed over to Oxfordshire for my piano lesson. I had originally planned to drive directly from Henley but opted to come home and change. It was my tenth lesson and a moment for me to truly consider if I wanted to continue my piano course. My progress has been steady, but I could be further ahead with more regular practice. I have decided to continue, aiming to have another ten lessons and take it from there. The experience is enjoyable, but not easy, learning music alone has been a struggle.

When I got home, I spent the afternoon, sorting out all the paperwork in my room. I know it sounds boring and I suppose it was, I had letter and bank statements to file away, which I had collected in a file for the past three months. In the evening, I watched Bulletproof Monk on Channel 4. I had seen it before on Sky Movies, so was not paying great attention as it played on the background on my PC. It is a good popcorn, throw away movie, nothing spectacular but entertaining in parts nevertheless. A nice way to end a low key weekend packed full of loads of bits and pieces.

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