Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Godsons and Guitar Heroes

Posted by Oli on Tuesday 30th December, 2008

We’re up relatively early again just before 9am, getting up and dressed for the trip to Guildford.

We leave the flat around just before 10 and stop briefly for petrol before hitting the back roads round Aylesbury to the strangely empty M25 and make the journey door-to-door in a little under 2 hours, which is pretty much a record.

I give my Godson, Li’l C, a big hug and say hey to the family, grabbing a cuppa and a seat in the lounge to catch up. It’s immediately apparent (it’s hard to miss) that they have just got Guitar Hero World Tour for Christmas, which is the Wii game that involves not only strumming along on an electronic (as opposed to electric, ie “real”) guitar but also comes with a second, base guitar, a microphone for vocals and, most excitingly of all, an electronic drum kit. Awesome.

Before the tea is drunk, C has set it all up and we’re jamming away to Livin’ on a Prayer, Beat It and Eye of the Tiger, which just so happen to be the easiest songs of the lot to play, especially for a mal-coordinated muppet like me. I may think I’m Animal when I’m playing, but I’ve no doubt I look more like a fat-faced ferret struggling wildly to free itself from the clutches of a peckish bird of prey.

Once we’d exhausted the ear drums of the rest of the family and I’d proven myself incompetent, we sit and grab some lunch in the conservatory before deciding on a game of Boggle to keep our brains going and avoid the mush-inducing Wii for a little longer.

We’re one game in and my phone rings with a number I don’t quite recognise. I almost ignore it, but then pick it up and am delighted I do as it’s my bro. We catch up and go over his Christmas (rubbish) and current plans (better) and likelihood of further adventures (slim, till R&R), before I fill him in on the goings-on of the fam back in Blighty.

I go back to the game and get my butt kicked by my 11-year-old Godson, at which point we decide to make the most of the fading sunlight and hit the hills for a walk.

Being the master of Geography that I am, I had entirely failed to ever note or notice the fact that Surrey has hills, but wow, are they beautiful. Today they were covered in a Dickensian rolling mist which obscured the distant towns and cities and created a timeless feel of total isolation – not a modern artifact to be found anywhere in sight once you’re beyond the car park.

We watch the sun drop behind the hills then repair to the quaint little village of Shere, which K and I instantly fall in love with and want to start house-hunting in, to a little tea-shop for hot-chocolate and cake.

We warm up enough to feel our feet and jump back in the car, heading home to round 2 of Guitar Hero, during which we each take turns to laugh our heads of at each other and I prove my ultimate smug-git personality by coaching K into managing not to get boo-ed off halfway through a track. I told you Eye of the Tiger was easy.

We eventually call it quits after an hour-and-a-half has slipped by without us realising and we head back up the motorway around 7pm. It’s similarly and amazingly empty as this morning and we’re back in near-record time, save for a brief stop in at Asda for some various bits and pieces, including some dinner for tonight.

K’s keen to pick up a new Wii game or two for the New Year’s Eve party tomorrow, but the games counter is closed so no dice. Instead, being on a sales-spree, we hit the DVD racks and pull out copies of In Bruges and Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, the latter of which we’ve not yet seen.

We get back to the flat (in darkness again) and I throw the dinner in the mircowave (classy) as K throws the D in the DVD player and we kick back and laugh our still-pretty-chilly socks off.

We the DVD’s done we debate throwing something else on, but decide that since we’ve got a heap of house-cleaning to do before the party tomorrow, we should really be calling it a night pre-midnight tonight, so we turn the TV off and hit the sack.


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