Tuesday, 14 February 2012


End Of Part One!

Back in Doctor Who's heyday, most episodes would end with a cliffhanger. I thought in another world where I might have played the Doctor, this shot would have made a good final still of the episode with the daleks screaming "exterminate", cue rolling of the credits and the audience thinking, "how is he going to get out of this one?"

Just come back from a fab day out in London. Such things take a fair bit of organising what with the kids and all, but on this occasion Claire and I went without them. I was not going to take baby Jamie anyway, but I did offer to take Ollie. Now the highlight of our day was to be the Doctor Who Experience at Olympia, but when I showed Ollie the preview on the internet, he said "No I don't want to go to that, it looks a bit scary, can I go to Grampy's house instead?" Well who am I to argue, so Grampy came at 9am to collect the boys and off we went on the train!

Was on the train at 9:41 and by 10:41 we were already in Oxford Street. I don't know why people moan about trains so much, I find them a quick, convenient and relaxed way to travel. The only downside being the cost. We had a quick bite to eat in M&S (the second of the morning as had already had a sneaky Nash's) then headed over the road to HMV's flagship store.

A little poignant note on that front. The first time I ever set foot in this store was back on February 16th 1986, almost 26 years to the day. And I also remember what I bought on that day, and how much it cost. Whitney Houston's debut album, on vinyl, for £5.50, along with Hounds of Love by Kate Bush (same price). Which is what all albums cost then. The remainder of my birthday money I spent on a computer game from Harrods - for the Spectrum.

I still have this vinyl album somewhere.

Anyway after all this we headed for the main event of the day, at Olympia. Now it was Bestie Lynda who alerted me to the fact that this exhibition was ending soon and spurred me to organise the trip. When she found out she was "well jel" as she put it, and with just a little gentle hinting to Duncan was lucky enough to find her hubby treating her to the same trip. So at 1pm we all met up plus their oldest two kiddies, Cameron and Hermione, to enjoy the day together.

And a great day it was too. The main event was one of those things where you go from room to room having an adventure, including going into the Tardis. Now in here everyone had to help the Doctor fly the Tardis, there were a number of control stations you could man, this was supposed to be done by kids, which most were, however there was one adult (or big kid) who insisted on doing this himself - can you guess who?

Lots of 3D (or 4D?) fun with glasses, where a cyberman shot me, a dalek nearly grabbed hold of the end of Duncan's nose with its plunger, and Cameron nearly got grabbed by a weeping angel, all good fun.

Then round the museum/ exhibition where I was able to show off my supreme knowledge of the show, answering questions effortlessly, such as "why didn't the 6th - 8th Doctors have a sonic screwdriver" to which I was able to respond "Well in The Visitation, Episode 4 (1982), the Doctor was...". I'll spare you the rest. But here is the scene in which it met its demise, complete with what the Doctor (Peter Davison) said in reaction. It was not to reappear until 2005 when the BBC realised it could make millions selling cheap plastic replicas to a new generation of fans!

"I feel as though you've just destroyed an old friend"

Throughout my amazing divulgence of Doctor Who facts, I could not quite work out whether the look on Duncan's face was one saying a) "I have total and utmost respect for your amazing knowledge of these Doctor Who factoids" or b) "You geek". I like to think that it was a). I am just glad that Anne wasn't there she'd have been a b) for sure!

For me the funniest moment was when we found a little voicebox where you could record your voice and then have it speak it back to you in Dalek tones. Now Lynda, being the generous soul she is had brought along a selection of goodies for us to enjoy. Without her hearing, I recorded a little message then said "Hey Lynda, listen to this". And in pure dalek grating tones came out "I WANT SOME CHOCOLATE BROWNIES". Much chuckling! Sadly the daleks may be able to conquer the universe but were unable to gain control of the brownies which were eventually consumed in the cold waiting for a train at Kensington Olympia station.

So that was Doctor Who and then on to the aquarium, which was also good fun! Thanks to Lynda and Duncan's annual passes we did not have to pay, so many thanks for that! Sharks, stingrays, all the old favourites were there, sadly the penguins were a little lacklustre but you can't have everything.

After we bid farewell to the Sharps we nipped up to Chinatown for a quick bite in one of those all you can eat Chinese places. Cheap and cheerful, but we needed fuel and it did the job. We could not get into any other restaurants, tried TGI Fridays (90 minute wait) and everywhere else was packed but you would expect that on Valentine's Day. Anyway, Claire was not feeling at all well all day anyway, so we didn't want to linger, so headed back to Maryleybone, jumped on the train and were home by 9.

All in all, another very successful trip to London and I can envisage plenty more in the years ahead. It's just so easy to get to and there's so much to do.

I must thank the Sharps for a lovely day too, in particular Cameron and Hermione who I had great fun with, and who I thought were very well behaved. I really hope that Ollie can start joining us on these sort of outings,   up until now it just hasn't been possible, partly because of his age and partly because of his very difficult behaviour during his toddler years, but I am really hoping that we can move on from that. Tomorrow when the kids come back we are taking them up to Wyevale to the play area up there so that should be fun.

Well I hope you enjoyed the blog today, if you did not I have brought a couple of friends along (see below) with a final message for you!

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please take a look at my books on Amazon (Paperback & Kindle), where you can read lots more of the same! Click here.

Jason x x


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