Friday, 26 September 2014

#Seenwhiledriving: Random thoughts...

Today’s observation whilst driving because I spend far too much time stuck in traffic, journeying back and forth to college as a taxi and to wile away the minutes I take in what’s going on around me.

Lorries great big lorries with wide expanses of space and very little advertising, today I saw a lorry from my old town. I’d never heard of the company and its name and livery gave nothing away. I was none the wiser. So I’m curious, do companies missing a trick here, could they advertise better?

And then there’s lorries bearing hieroglyphics that I can’t read or decipher but the curly bulbous lettering have me intrigued. For all I know it could say: driven by a giggling squid.

But what do I know… perhaps lorries aren't allowed to advertise 'too heavily' and if I spoke foreign languages perhaps I could have a good stab at translating these foreign letters that I find intriguing.

What do you see from your car window that intrigues you whilst you drive to and fro?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Summer Observations: 5 This is me!

'This is me.' A comment I overheard recently that made me think.

I attend Weight Watchers every other week. Our leader is down to earth and a fun lady with a wicked sense of humour.

No matter what sort of week I’ve had, good or bad as judged by the truth on the scales...if I stay to a meeting I end up laughing so hard, because she has a way of making the mundane funny. It’s a real tonic.

I wear dresses everyday. These are the only clothes I feel truly comfortable in… even if they seem to be inappropriate attire, now that autumn is fast approaching. I feel feminine when I wear a dress and I attempt to wear dresses that flatter my figure.

During the long hot days of July (remember those?) a linen dress was the coolest garment I could wear and as the autumn coolness creeps upon uninvited, if I slip on a cardigan then I can keep wearing a linen dress just a while longer. Although it’s becoming a battle first thing in the morning in the crisp air.

Each week when I arrive at Weight Watchers some one always comments on my dress. These comments surprise me until I look round and see that most women seem to wear a uniform based mostly around jeans and t-shirts. I would wear jeans too if I didn’t find them uncomfortable. I’m an odd shape, a perfectly formed female but I don’t fit the standard sizes currently on offer and I find dresses can be far more forgiving to my body shape. I can adapt them to suit my needs, many are too long and swamp me in fabric, so these get shortened.

So this is me…wearing my dress, whether this is appropriate attire or not, especially as the cooler mornings make my legs chilly than I’d like them to feel.

Do you have favourite clothes?

I’m heading off to my rotate wardrobe as I still don’t have one of those dream like American walk-in wardrobes…I’ll keep wishing. I dislike putting summer away...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

I’m a big fan of Lewis Hamilton #F1

I wrote this piece a couple of weeks ago, before this weekend race at Singapore.

A huge brouhaha kicked off recently around the Formula 1 circuit since Rosberg did something stupid.

In my humble opinion Rosberg’s tactics, if true, deserve serious punishment and severe penalties but we aren't privy to these decisions currently, which is correct.

This dispute might have been played out in a public arena but the consequences and any disciplinary action should be a private matter as in any normal working life. However, as fans we are keen to know what actually occurred so there is a great deal of speculation circulating.

Personally speaking I find Rosberg arrogant, but maybe this is how he got to where he is in his profession, despite being in the shadow of his father’s illustrious racing career.

And then there is Hamilton who displays his pleasure and unhappiness in equal measure and he’s always toughest on himself.

Monza was set with rumours. Lewis had technical issues on Friday and a good Saturday session. Rosberg had a good session on Friday and then technical issues on Saturday.

So far so good, but the press made this news and some of the die hard fans probably thought there wasn’t any thing unusual here other than technical issues but played against a back drop of intrigue and mystery the conspiracy theories abounded.

The Monza race started in the worst possible way as Lewis had more technical issues on the start line from pole position. Poor Hamilton lost all his gains made over the pre race trials.

Rosberg led.

Lewis is a fighter. He knows what he wants and when everything, the car, the team, his desire come together… he is unstoppable and damn fast. He fought his way back as any good hero would. He focused on the goal. He drove well. Lewis secured a substantial lead. But the fans and the press suggested Rosberg threw in the towel, and out-braked himself twice under instructions from the bosses, whilst leading this race, to let Lewis through to pole position. Well I don't think so.

In a previous life I drove Porsche for a living. I love to drive fast. I’ve even raced at Brands Hatch...I was rubbish being undertaken on the left at speed threw me right off course and any skill versus ability I normally have to drive, evaporated.

Driving fast on a normal road cannot be compared with any Formula 1 race as there is motorway fast and then there is Formula 1 racing car super, super fast.

I for one have no idea how it would feel to drive at +200 miles per hour and then break into a tight bend or chicane to resume my racing speed once the bend is negotiated. Out-braking is possible.

In fact only a few do know how it feels and all of these people are the elite of the racing world.

So for arm chair pundits to think that Rosberg deliberately out-braked himself to hand Lewis the race is a foolish notion. Rosberg remains a determined competitor because he’s top of the leader board and under immense pressure.

None of us truly know the strain of being an F1 racing driving aiming for our first championship title and Rosberg wants this title so bad he can taste it, smell it, and almost feel it. He wants it so much he’s prepared to risk everything at the Belgian Grand Prix and actually admit to running into his team mate on purpose!

Perhaps now you can understand why I think Rosberg is arrogant.

Rosberg didn’t see the damage ahead that his actions caused until he stood on the podium in Belgium and the fans booed him and the fans booed again at Monza- Is booing ungentlemanly conduct?

Fans are limited in how they can express their adoration or loathing of a racing driver and Rosberg has had to face the music from his employer, his management team, his team mate, his family, his friends, the press and finally the fans. That's one hell of a lot of pressure.

Maybe Rosberg needs to reflect on his actions and prove his worth by simply driving out of his socks and not playing games; like talking in Italian in front of his team mate Lewis, gamesmanship is fine usually but when played out on camera, in front of the public, it will not win Rosberg any favours.

Of course I want Lewis to win this years championship because he has worked hard and fights for every race even coming from the back of the field to display amazing drive ability.

I want Rosberg to be investigated by the FIA because any driver who intentionally interferes with another's drivers car is a ‘criminal’ it would be no different if another driver tried to run you or me off the road in real life. There would be questions asked and answered and possibly a trial.

And should the FIA find that there is a case to be answered by Rosberg then he must be prepared to defend his actions as an apology simply won't repair this damage to his reputation.

The racing drivers are heroes and both protagonists and antagonists.
They drive because they love what they do all the time.
They drive because it’s in their blood.

I hope that Lewis and Rosberg can come to an agreeable professional relationship but they don't have to be mates! How can they be mates when the gladiators (the management team) have set them one against the other?

Hamilton is 22 points behind Rosberg before the next race at Singapore.

My passion for Formula 1 is undiminished and all the thoughts expressed here in my blog are my own.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Goodwood Revival Dapper Gents 2014

The Veteran and his wife were such a sweet couple to meet here.

Some of them start out very young too, with aspirations of being a racing driver.

Fashion at Goodwood 2014

The fashion choices for Goodwood Revival are always beautifully executed, diverse and fascinating.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Goodwood Revival 2014

It's surprising how quickly an event can become a distant memory, almost too soon, and this year the 2014 Goodwood Revival 2014 was immense.

If you've never been to this event it’s about the Cars.

It's all about our love affair with a motor. A motor vehicle, an aeroplane or a motorbike.

It's about watching experienced racing drivers drift a valuable car through a corner, straightening it up to drift again before recovering full straight line control.

It's about an audible sigh of disbelief as a car that costs more than an average year’s wages hits the barriers and crumples its beautiful sleek lines.

It's about glamour. Good old fashioned glamour. Red lipstick, seamed stockings and fur wraps.

It's about everything vintage. From clothes, to much paraphernalia.

Everyone makes an effort, to pick an era and dress accordingly. It's probably the best fancy dress party ever. There is of course the best dressed competition too, for both ladies and chaps.

This event pulls in people from all over the world and it's the one place that men seem to make an extra effort to dress smartly. There are seas of tweed and flat caps at jaunty angles. Teddy boys, beatniks and biker boys abound. And every type of military man in a uniform you could dream of…

This year it was the 75th anniversary of Goodwood Aerodrome and there was an amazing tribute to honour our Veterans of WWII. It was fantastic very nostalgic and stirring celebration as an array of restored vehicles each carried a war veteran on a tour of the race track.

It's about the glamour of flying too, as many aeroplanes are parked to view, beautiful stunning shiny models.

The sound barrier was broken and boy was it loud. And each time the two Lancaster’s flew over head the crowd reacted by applauding with spontaneous clapping.

It's about allowing and letting the rich and famous mingle unnoticed or at least not to be photo bombed.

It was a brilliant event again this year and the weather was kinder than last year.

Lord March has mastered the art of pulling together an amazing team that produces an extremely successful and well run event again and again.

Goodwood Revival grows bigger and better each year.

Photographs to follow…

Monday, 15 September 2014

Reading & Writing & Sharing...

I’ve read a reasonable amount this summer.
And I’ve enjoyed all that I have read.
I’ve written from time to time.
I find when I read I am prompted to write.
And I’ve noticed one significant change.
I’ve stopped wanting to share my writing with other people.
However, I’ve no idea why this lack of desire to share my writing has happened or if this new and odd situation will change in the near future.
I am a writer.
I will always write.
Often I write just for myself, to record what happened that day.
Maybe I write simply to make sense of my own world.
Perhaps what I’ve been writing recently isn’t for ‘general’ consumption.

So over the next few weeks I am going to see if I can keep myself in the swing of writing my blog notes and posting them online. Let’s see if this helps kick start my ‘new-sharing-my-writing-habit.’

Friday, 12 September 2014

Summer Observation: No 3

Each August I ‘drag’ myself, willingly, up on to Beachy Head to watch the Eastbourne air show, usually wrapped in all manner of wet weather gear to protect my body from the fierce wind that rushes to meet me from the sea.

Two things were different this summer:

The weather was fantastic!

I mean really good. Beachy Head was rammed. I don’t think I've ever seen so many people or parked vehicles up there in my life.

I was able to wear a summer dress and didn't need my coat!

Atop Beachy Head is a great vantage point to watch the aeroplanes and the flying acrobats and I take a small radio to tune in to the local radio/air show.

The cloud base was virtually non existent with only the lightest breeze which meant the planes looked glorious against a powder blue. The Red Arrows display was breath takingly good. The speed of their close passes was fantastic; it was a spectacular display of precision flying. With the addition of red, white and blue smoke it’s patriotic to the core and the new livery shone in the sunshine.

When the Lancaster bombers flew over head the sense of excitement grew as I wondered what it must have been like to watch these aircraft in action back in WWII as today there me fill me with a sense of awe.

There is something quite remarkable about sitting atop a hill and lying in the long grass to see and hear a jet aircraft fly by and pass over head. You feel as if you could raise your hand and stroke the under side of the wing tip as the roar of the jet engine, so close overhead, is exhilarating.

For me the highlight of the show has to have been the Red Arrows display with their striking new tailfin design of a Union Jack these aircraft looked magnificent and their display really wowed the crowd.

It was a grand day out. One I shall enjoy again next year, hopefully…

Where did you venture out this summer that made you happy and relaxed?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Summer Observation: No 2

This summer I’ve been back swimming at my local pool on a regular basis, twice a week, sometimes three! This routine wrecks my hair (vanity I know, because I haven’t got around to accepting that wearing a swim hat would improve this situation) and on the whole, it’s been a rewarding experience so far, as I feel much fitter.

I’m less achy and not creaking quite as badly.

I go to swim… however; I don't understand or get the social aspect of swimming… yet, especially those women who can ‘swim-and-talk’ at the same time.

Perhaps this is because I go as a single swimmer.

These ‘swim-and-talk’ women insist on swimming ‘side-breast-stroke-side-by-side’ and take up at least four individual swim lanes in the process, because they space themselves conveniently to talk to their partner.

Also they manage to swim at a less than walking pace speed.

For me this frustrating on many levels. These lovely women appear oblivious to the excessive amount of space they take up and seem to be unable or perhaps unwilling to change course.

It leaves little option for the unsure swimmer how to negotiate this swimming-conversation: Do I plough straight through the middle? This would probably be considered rude.

So how do I circumnavigate this wide berth?

The truth is I don't. I wait.

Oddly in an almost empty pool, in my first week, a man managed to enter the water, position his goggles, he put his face into the water and arms flailing- front crawl, he ploughed on.

I prefer back crawl. And then we collided. We cracked heads hard, one against the other, his apology was profuse. I was stunned and staggered as I had set off and positioned myself in what I thought was a safe area, some considerable distance away from him.

Obviously not.

I still can’t work out how he covered such a wide area and then precisely targeted me. This uncomfortable episode/incident hasn't put me off, just left me reeling.

I’d be interested to hear about your swimming experiences if you’d care to share them, here with me.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Summer Observation: No 1

It’s that time of year when shoes had to be checked: do they still fit of has a growing spurt occurred?

It’s that time of year when trouser hems have to be checked: and let down to stop trousers flying at half mast or put up to stop hems dragging along hard surfaces.

It’s that time of year when the most important shopping becomes Stationery: Shiny new folders. Crisp new…unused notepads.

And oh...the smell of fresh crayons.

It’s that time of year when the must have item is a new pencil case.


It’s a time of year I dread: personally I seem to become over reactive to seeing the farmers harvest their fields. I have a huge, actually an immense desire to ask them to stop, to halt their progress that signals the end of summer. I don’t know where this desire to hold back a season comes from but maybe this wish comes as I am a child born in the summer months.

Am I alone in this over reaction?

Do you over react to the fading of the summer months?

Back to school...

It’s the first day of college term and life as I have come to know it, returns to ‘normal.’

I’ve put normal in inverted commas because I’m not sure what normal is anymore.

The weather’s about to turn as autumn adds a chill to the air to remind me that the days draw shorter and shorter as summer, before she fades to a memory, blasts us with a final glorious warmth… as leaves begin to fall.

This is my least favourite time of year.

Yesterday, as my car idled at traffic lights, I watched large lime-yellow-green leaves tumble and cascade across the tarmac with a joyous bounce and rolling action yet my body shuddered with a sudden pang of unhappiness.

And this morning on the college drive-in, shafts of light, lit by bright piercing sunlight streamed gloriously between the gaps in long branches, illuminating a tunnel of trees.

My writing has taken a back seat for far too long this summer so I’ve set myself a challenge to write a blog post a day, starting today, the first day of school.

Probably too much at the moment but I have to start somewhere. And I have to set the bar high. There is no theme, to these daily posts, just my ramblings on life or how I view the world on that day.

Let's see how this new challenge works for me...