The Weekend Part 2: Saturday

Got up at 10am and instantly regretted it. It’s not worth dwelling on this point too much, but suffice to say that the next few hours were taken with care.

With everyone up and not raring to go, by about 11:45am we decided we best get started preparing the food since people were arriving from 12pm. We pretty much had a salad down before Lauren arrived. Then I got Hugh from the station. That gave us excuse enough to sit in the garden and chat. Matthew and Eve arrived and joined us.

Beyond that, we started the BBQ about 2:30-ish and didn’t stop until much, much later. Everyone turned up and the food and drink flowed…

Surprise of the year goes to Becky and Barry for coming all the way from Sheffield to join the party, which I had no idea was going to happen. From when that happened at about 6pm I couldn’t stop smiling. Josh and Jess turned up and I spoke to them for a bit to catch up on their summers.

We watched the “I’m On A Boat Narrowboat Edition Featuring Sousant”, which was definitely a personal highlight for me. It went down really well and I was so pleased to be able to show it to so many people at once, most of whom feature.

I think we totalled near 20 when it came time to sing happy birthday.

After that, it was dessert time. Jelly, ice cream, chocolate cake and chocolate. We moved into the living room as it got dark to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I may have briefly fallen asleep at this point.

I can only be vague as to what happened after this. Some time was spent in the summerhouse talking and eating steak at about midnight. Then we we’re all inside watching things on YouTube, talking and listening to music for a while. Being in the bathroom at 3am brushing my teeth…

The Weekend Part 1: Friday

So in the run up to my big, birthday bonanza weekend, I had Wednesday and Thursday largely to myself. I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember what I did then, but I definitely spent a lot of time organising the birthday madness.

On Friday morning Phil arrived in Balham at 11:30am. James drove us to ASDA where Phil and I spent almost 2 hours buying food for the BBQ. We didn’t even have to buy the meat, that was purchased by Mum at the butchers later the same day. After emptying my pocket of a substantial sum of money, and filling the car (and subsequently the fridge) with tons of chocolate, cakes, crisps, biscuits, bacon, sausages, fruit, vegetables, cider, cider, cider and more cider, me and Phil made sandwiches and sat in the garden for a break. Not 10 minutes later (and I hadn’t even finished my sandwich) Matthew arrived. A few minutes after that Ben and Kevin turned up too. We sat around in the garden, catching up and waiting for Murat. Once Murat had arrived we went to the 99p store to buy chocolate fingers, an essential ingredient to any party. With that task complete we spent a couple more hours talking in the living room, sharing pictures of summer and eating pizza.

By 7:15pm, we were a mass of 9 people on the train heading to Clapham Junction. Once we got there we picked up 1 more to bring our total to 10. Off to Jongleurs!

We had a brilliant time at Jongleurs, there was a great mix of people who I knew from sixth form, university and family which I found refreshing. The comedians we’re definitely funny and I couldn’t fault the evening in the slightest. After the comedy we hung around for a bit longer before going to The Slug And Lettuce for another pint. By this time a few people had left and it was quiet enough to have a slightly drunken conversation between the 6 of us.

We got kicked out of The Slug at close and caught the last train back to Balham. Jokes on the train about the people we sat near not being very well, but that didn’t dampen our spirits :)

Got back to the house and I think we hung around in the living room a bit before going to bed. We had a busy day ahead of us…

Special Post #19: Films of the summer

This summer has been filled with many things, one of those being films. I thought I’d run through them, give you my thoughts and see what you think.

  • Burn After Reading. I watched this right at the start of summer, before I’d even left university. I spent an evening watching it with my then housemates *tear*. We all agreed it was a rubbish film. Don’t see it.
  • One Missed Call. The Japanese version, not the rubbish American version. About getting phone calls from yourself in the future predicting your death. Sounds a bit crazy, but then that’s the Japanese. I’d say this is definitely worth seeing if your into horror films, but not one to blew your socks off.
  • Down To You. Almost forgot about this one! Great little love film set in New York. Love the scene where they pick “they’re song” that’s the part of this film that sticks in my mind.
  • Star Trek. Me and Barry missed the boat with the new Star Trk film, so we both went to see it at the cinema after everyone we knew had already seen it and said it was brilliant. Having never watched an episode of Star Trek in my life, I thought it was easy to follow and had an interesting storyline. Special effects obviously featured, but you should see it for Leonard Nimoy’s appearance alone!
  • The Hangover. Hands down the best film I’ve seen in a long time. About a group of guys who have a crazy night in Vegas and try to figure out what happened. Comedy genius, actually laughing out loud in the cinema, something I never do! See it now, or else…
  • Transformers 2. I don’t get the whole Megan Fox thing, but this film was still good. The end scene dragged on wa-ay to long though. Could have been 10 times shorter, but still good. Saved by the cool robots and Shia Labeouf.
  • Harry Potter. The new one. What can I say? It’s Harry Potter. Didn’t think it was anything to write home about, but still have a soft spot for Hermione, so I could watch it again :)
  • Taking Of Pelham 123. Denzel Washington is amazing in this film, and with the plot as good as it is, I’d recommend it. I thought the overall concept of the film was a bit dry at first, hijacking a train for money, but towards the end things started to click and overall made a good film great.
  • GI Joe. Can’t believe I was dragged along to see this kid’s film… but nethertheless, it wasn’t bad, If 100% predicable.
  • Serendipity. Killed an hour and a half one afternoon. I’d seen it before, but love the idea of trying to find the soul mate you once met.
  • The Fallow Field. Seeing my name in the credits is enough for me to love this film, but even without that it’s a good, solid horror with all the usual tension and jumpy bits.
  • The Cottage. Sounds scary? That’s what I thought. Nope. It’s a comedy about two guys kidnapping a model for money. Very gory and not very good.
  • District 9. Saw this today and it was brilliant. I love Peter Jackson’s film’s anyway, but this had the right balance of Sci-Fi and real life. Emotional, action-packed, thoughtful sci-fi with a fantastically thought out plot. Couldn’t see it being done any better. And left open for a sequel… winner!

In conclusion, see The Hangover and District 9, you won’t regret it.

99% Uptime

My last post was unusually positive. But that’s how I feel at the moment. I have nothing to complain about, summer has been brilliant and I wouldn’t change a single second. Really. Not a single second.

But… and it’s only a small but. As we near the end of summer, pressures start to rise on things like finding a placement for my professional training year that starts this time next year. I’ll try and cover that in more depth in a future blog post (he says frantically adding it to the growing list of topics to delve into), but essentially it’s a year spent working somewhere relevant to the course you’re studying. For me that could be places like the BBC, for example.

There are other little things that are bugging me at the moment, but none of them are enough to dampen my spirit in their own right, but together their chorus can sometimes catch me off guard.

Yesterday (Sunday) I went out with ‘the girls’ to see a free theatre production shown outside city hall near tower bridge. Had a great time and loved spending time with everyone. It tends to be very hard to get us all in one place at the same time, so I always treasure it when it happens.

Today I went to Guildford, to sort out a few things. First and foremost was going back to the house and organising my room a bit more. I also met up with a few friends for a pint in the union bar (Channies). I had a good, productive and eventful day and got everything I wanted done.

Tomorrow (or today if your being picky about the time) I have more and more things to do. Sending my camcorder off to the insurers to be fixed (or not, we’ll have to see), working on the church website, fixing a computer then I’m off to the cinema in the afternoon to see Peter Jackson’s new film “District 9”. Been looking forward to seeing that film for months, so should be good, Peter Jackson’s films are always good.

That’s it for now folks!

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4.5 out of 5
  • Last Meal. very, very nice pasta :)
  • Song of the day. Lily Allen – Not Fair
  • Thought for the day. Turns out 300 texts a month might not be enough :S
  • What I’m Doing Now. Looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep and hitting tomorrow on the head!

Lights On Green

The last few days have been really good fun. On Monday I left the boat for the last time with Becky, Barry, Jordan & Alastair after we’d been on it together since Thursday.

We drove back to Becky’s in record time. Barry insists that he wasn’t speeding, and since I’d fallen asleep in the back, I can only take his word for it.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times, I love my sister and staying at her house. This time in particular gave me time to take stock of the boat trip, uploading photos and collecting video footage.

I’ve been very busy the last two days editing a video summing up the boat trip titled: “I’m On A Boat!”, but more on that in a future post :p

Got back home today. Always feels strange coming back to this place. Not sure if it’s the things that have changed since my last visit, like re-arranging my bedroom and laying new carpet in the study, or the addition of my cousin Beth, that make it odd, but I still love being home.

Lots to do in the next few days, and lots to look forward too before going back to uni again. Life is too quick at the moment. I don’t know what day it is, what time it is (hence the time I wrote this) or what my next meal is going to be. Life is a blur, with the road falling in place just I reach it and all the lights on green! That what was so nice about being at Becky’s the last few days, I could concentrate on getting my life back in check before this mad rush of barely 3 weeks before I’m back to the further bedlam of university life and all that it brings.

I sat on the train on the way back to London today, alone for the first time in weeks, and just let my mind wonder… and I came to the thought that things couldn’t be better at the moment. Sure there are a few gripes (like my camcorder breaking), but they pale against the good times. And long may it continue.

With my birthday next weekend and preparations for university underway, the next few weeks are not ones to be taken lightly!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 6 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Pork! I’m going to miss Becky’s cooking :)
  • Song of the day. Gloria Estefan – Dr. Beat
  • Thought for the day. can you miss someone you’ve never met?
  • What I’m Doing Now. Trying not to fall asleep writing this!

A little more about the boat

That boat trip was immense!! It was really great to have Sophie, Julie, Lauren and Heather on the boat last week. We had a great time cruising down the river Thames.

We started off in Guildford on Sunday by doing lots of food shopping for the trip. Then we set off after dark for an hour or so just to take the boat for a spin without realising we weren’t allowed to boat at night (woops!) and then we moored on lock moorings which your not allowed to do either, so all in all a good start to the trip!

On Monday we went down the River Wey to the Thames at Shepperton. Lauren & Phil did most of the locks and we’re getting pretty efficient at it too… just in time for the river where they’re all done for us by lock-keepers! In the evening we happened to stop right outside a pub, what a shame!

Tuesday we got to Windsor at about 1pm and had a gorgeous pub lunch. The sun was out all the time which just made everything better! Then me and Sophie went off to The Fallow Field screening in Guildford which was really great to see. I spent the whole film smiling to myself whenever a noise I made came up, which was about every 20 seconds so my cheeks were sore by the end…

With the sun still shining we arrived in Henley on Wednesday afternoon with the dingy fully inflated and ready to be taken for a spin. After a few hours of ‘oar-ing’ we found a Wetherspoons to eat at :)

Pimm’s O’clock and cider time happened often, and I barely needed to touch the oven because the girls we’re taking care of all the meals (except full English breakfast which Phil had down to a tee!)

On Thursday one of my friends, Hugh, joined us at Reading. Hugh was over-excited about being on a boat, and rightly so! That night we stopped at Goring so we could pick up Jake the next morning. Then it was BBQ time!

On Friday we picked up Jake from the train station and set off to Abingdon. Spaghetti Bolognaise on the deck is definitely one of the highlights for me. Jake in the danger seat getting closer and closer to the edge :p

Since we were making such good time we got into Oxford at about mid-day on Sunday. Went to a bar and grill for lunch and had steak! Then the girls left on the train leaving the hard core of the crew: Phil, Jake and I.

more to come soon…