From the kindness of Andrew ‘... but you can call me God’ Hewson’s heart comes an offer I can’t refuse — an all-expenses paid day out! I was in the Hewson offices with good old Nick ‘Raf is only heavier than me because he’s got a bigger brain’ Jones when this wonderful news was broken. It’s been left up to us to choose any destination we desire.
‘How about the Caribbean?’ Nick suggests.
After a bit of haggling we are whittled down to somewhere closer to home — a day trip to London (this will be really interesting and different, considering I was born there)!
Progress on Stormlord is well under way now, after having to temporarily abandon it for Cybernoid II. The first batch of graphics from Hugh Binns has arrived. We have decided that both Hugh and I will design graphics for Stormlord and choose the best of the bunch.
Hoorah!! It’s free day out in London today, and as we all know, ‘never look a gift horse in the gob’ (after all, who in their right mind would pay to go to the grotty place?). In fact, I’m in such a good ‘Londoney’ mood today that I’m up at the crack of dawn singing ‘my old man’s a dustman’ and shouting, ‘2 for a pand an’ 4 for a Jimmy!’, (whatever that means).
Me thinks we could really get into the London spirit of things and stuff mash and jellied eels down our throats for lunch. But who the-hell wants to spend the rest of the day vomiting all over the place?
Nick and I meet up with Ms Toni ‘The Smiler’ Waknell (Waknell?) and Paul ‘Take a photo of me and I’ll bust your ass’ Chamberlain at Didcot “watching paint dry is more interesting’ Station. As usual, because of unforeseen circumstances (ie crap sense of timing), we are rather late and get a right old ear bashing (isn’t that Londoney) from Toni and Paul.
After a small argument which consisted mainly of statements like ‘Raffaele, you’re a waste of space’, we all board the London-bound 125. Needless to say there are no vacant seats and we are forced to loiter menacingly in the buffet car and spend the rest of the journey bumping into people (so much for the first-class accommodation that I’d expected).
We eventually reach Paddington and I suggest to the others that a guided tour of my homeland, Tottenham, would be a fine way of starting the day.
‘But we want to see something interesting and classy, Raffaele’ (snobs). In the end we decide to go to the Planetarium.
The London tube system provides simple minds with endless hours of enjoyment. Listening to a stupid sixties recording of some old wally saying ‘mind the gap’ every five seconds is great fun. Waiting for the train to arrive, we stand on the platform saying the things that people usually say when they’re on the underground like; ‘Hey! look at that mouse.’ and ‘I hope there isn’t a fire.’ Or, ‘How did they manage to get the graffiti on that side?’ and ‘Imagine if a lunatic decided to throw you under a train.’
For some inexplicable reason, Nick decides to head-butt a complete stranger. Apparently he thought it was me standing next to him (snigger). The train arrives and yes, you guessed it, no seats were available. Once our destination is reached, we vote on having lunch before the Planetarium is attended. After a bit of though we opt for a good traditional British meal — Pizza.
I find the Planetarium so therapeutic and relaxing that I almost nod off in the middle of the presentation. The Planetarium show consists of a taped speech by a well known female astronomer whose name eludes me. This woman obviously owns a three-foot wide calculator because all she keeps going on about is how the universe is a million billion years old, and how a piece of neutron star material the size of a bogey would weigh a gillion tons! Jesus! Give us a break man! The last time I saw numbers that big, they were negative and on my bank statement...
Next on the agenda — Madam Tussard’s (who is that woman??). The first thing I noticed about the place is that if you stand still for more than five seconds people start staring at you thinking you’re one of the wax works. Quite an interesting place really — lots of famous people immortalised as wax effigies (why isn’t there one of me?). A section of the museum is devoted to modern day stars like Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and David Bowie (they’re really short by the way)..
I’m proud to announce that my girlfriend’s pet cat, Bonnie, has had kittens. A surprise to say the least as I didn’t even know the thing was pregnant. The three offspring are only about four inches long and soppy people (everybody to date) tend to clamour round them saying, ‘ahh’.
It’s off to Hewson HQ to drop off the photos for the log. As usual I had to make my own coffee. Next time I’ll make it in secret otherwise everybody piles into the kitchen like a bunch of hooligans after you, mugs in hand, shouting; ‘Mines white with two sugars!’ or ‘That’s very kind of you Raf!’ (And they expect you to clean up the mess afterwards!)
Through the post arrives some sample sound effects and music for Stormlord from Dave Rogers. I hastily a incorporate them into the program to have a listen. The sound effects are splendid, but the main tune still needs working on.
The first aliens are being incorporated into Stormlord. I have altered the way the game works slightly by ensuring that the main characters gets destroyed as soon as foe touches him, as opposed to just decreasing his energy level. This will give me greater control in designing the obstacles he will face.
I think I’m running out of space, so before I get rudely interrupted by good old Dominic I better say bye... (And not one apology for cocking up the Stormlord demo! — Ed.)