Wednesday 18th March 2009

What a weekend, I know I was going to be busy before hand but it turned out to be completely rammed from start to finish. So much so, that my ironing had to wait until Monday evening after I got back from the gym. (I had provisionally booked a domestic chores slot for Sunday afternoon.) I got up early on Saturday, had a hearty breakfast of Nutella on toast and then started on a few jobs. I was waiting for my landlady to arrive at 10am but she was a no show. Never mind, I got some washing done and vacuumed the flat, in between downloading Dollhouse and Sarah Connor on the PC. After Football Focus, I wanted to just relax on the sofa and even fall asleep but there was so much to do before I headed out at 6pm.I popped into town around 3:40pm to get some gifts before coming back and watching some television. It was a little after 6pm I actually hit the motorway towards Reading. I was looking forward to the evening, mainly because it was first gathering of with Em, Pav and Foxy since the ski holiday. I got to Reading just after 6.30pm and found a parking space on St. John’s Hill. For the first time ever, I arrived late and everyone else (Pav, Em and Mel) were ready and waiting. Pav put together the visitor pass for my car and then booked a taxi. We were on our way to Caversham and more specifically York Road. We had to come and collect Foxy. The last time I was walking down this road, it was the first few hours of 2009. We entered the house to find Ben scrolling through the Sky+ and the house generally quite bare. They were moving out the next day (Sunday 15th). Foxy was going back home, for various reasons which I do not really need to make public on this blog. Having seen both myself and Pav in ties, Foxy headed back upstairs to put on his cravat. We then headed back out towards the Island Bar. We stopped first at the Moderation, which had recently undergone a complete refurbishment. We all looked rather over dressed for a trip to the local but found a table and then caught up on things. Foxy had been warming up in the house and now was on fine form. We then headed over to the Island Bar, Nige had called and not many other guests had arrived yet and we were needed to just make up the numbers. We headed over and I was looking forward to the night.

Elliot, Div, Foxy & NigeNicola & Teg

It was good fun and the band were very good. Rav turned thirteen on the same day, so had a Stig birthday cake cut. You can check out the other 172 photos over on my FlickR set which I finally uploaded last night. It was an early night by my standards and we left around midnight back to Pav’s for the after party. Although it was rather short lived as the host went to sleep early because the room was spinning. In the end it was just Em, Mel, Foxy and myself chewing the fat in the lounge for about an hour before we all decided to call it a night. Sunday was even busier than Saturday. I woke up around 6.47am (I had to switch on my Zen to check!) and found it hard to get back to sleep, so an hour or so of being awake, I decided to get ready and head back to Newbury. I got back to the flat, dumped my things and headed straight to the gym. After a good hour session on the weights, I felt a little better. I then popped across into Sainsbury’s to pick up a few things. It was 9:51 when my colleague text me to ask if I wanted to go for a run. This would have been scheduled for around 2pm in the afternoon, but my evening plans had changed. I text back to meet up around 11.30am for a run in the sunshine before heading out for my Sunday afternoon adventure. It was before 10:30am as I left Sainsbury’s but I thought I would check my tire pressures. However, doing so put me in the queue for fuel and it was a while before I eventually got out of the queue and back onto the road. Eating into more precious time. I got back, packed away my things, set a few things to download on the computer before heading back out to for my run. It was a solid three miles cross country. It was only then I realised how far out in the sticks I really live. About five minutes of running by the canal, the landscape changes from the urban hub of the town, into big green open spaces. Then run was hard but a good test for me and even though we did have a break once we got to the church at , I felt good. It was not too much but I knew I had to push the pace up a gear or two. It was perhaps the wrong time to be out running, in the midday sun but I wanted to get another run under my belt. Particularly as the run on my own last week had met I was not set a pace by a friend. We came back up to up to LA Fitness and had managed a time of around thirty minutes. I felt great and now deserved the final part of my weekend. My friend Preeti had wanted to see Watchmen and although I love all things super heroes, I felt it was not the cuddly good beating evil affair that I am used to. Even so, I thought a trip to the cinema would be good, so booked tickets for 2pm at Reading. Although originally it was going to be Odeon in Uxbridge but it was quite a trek to head all the way towards North West London. I left Newbury at 1pm and parked up in the Oracle just before 1:30pm and then got the tickets and met up with Preeti. We went to take our seats just a few minutes before Pearl & Dean titles. (Although some theme park ride based on some gory film ruined the second run of the world famous Asteroid. What did I think? Firstly the film was long, too long and at times you lose interest because the plot is so difficult to follow. This would not matter if the ending was somewhat coherent but it is not but then this is not your usual run of the mill super hero film. It is supposed to be dark, different and at times completely twisted. The gore level was perhaps at my threshold just. I doubt I could have taken much more without closing my eyes. (Yes, if you did not know I am very squeamish. Blood is fine, but I hate all the gory bits!). There was several strands to the story, which was fine because I am used to that with Heroes and other US television shows but it did not really seemed to be going anywhere fast. Sure, I understand, bringing such a famous comic book to a wider audience takes not just several years (decades) in time but time to establish the characters and the ideas. The lives of superheroes behind the camera, when the story has been reported and filed by the Daily Planet, what does our caped crusader get up to. Did I enjoy it? No, it was a good movie to watch and I suppose in terms of style was very true to the comic book due to the direction having the edge and gritty harsh realities of darkness. Was it a complete was of time, no because a cinema trip is never a waste, it is an experience, sometimes good, sometimes indifferent. I am sure there are many people out there that found the story difficult to follow, even with the great build up in the title scenes. Where was the big final battle between the heroes and villains at the end? Well the answer is that for the Watchmen, they are both the same.

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