Friday, 15 July 2011

Silverstone and Samba makes for a happy Thomas

It feels like a long time since I sat down here to write anything. Turns out it's actually been 10 days, which I guess is a relatively long time when I've been posting something on here at least once or twice a week really. And of course, after the cock-up last time, this is my 50th entry. Somewhere, someone has let off a celebratory balloon for this momentous occasion.

What have I been doing since the last time of writing? Well, as you'll know from that entry, I was at the British Grand Prix last weekend and I can comfortably say that it was right up there as one of the best weekends of my life. Yes, the weather was a bit suspicious at times and it was pretty cold at times, but I didn't care about that. I wasn't even bothered or even the slightest bit grumpy about waking up at a ridiculous time to be at the track not long after 6am on Friday and Saturday so I could grab a good spot to start watching the action from for the day.

When 9am rolled around on Friday morning and I heard the screaming sound of the engine from an F1 car for the first time, I won't lie...I had goosebumps. I was sitting at Becketts, so I was able to watch the cars come into the new Loop section, into Aintree and down the Wellington Straight and then a bit later in the lap as they came from Copse towards Maggots and Becketts before going down Hangar Straight. So in terms of seeing as much of a lap as possible, that was the best place to watch. Watching the cars all file around on their installation laps was pretty cool, and I was already being super geeky and paying close attention to the sound of the cars off-throttle to hear what the blown diffusers sounded like.

The rain got pretty heavy at times, and I think it probably peaked on Friday afternoon when I was sat in an uncovered grandstand and proceeded to get absolutely soaked. I'd go so far as to say that with the exception of maybe one or two sessions, pretty much every single session of racing over the three days was affected by rain in some way. It got pretty cold though. I slept fully dressed because I wasn't a big fan of the weather in the evening...and I wasn't exactly sleeping in paradise either. I thought I was too cool to take a sleeping mat and ended up effectively sleeping on the ground...and it wasn't that comfortable. So in getting up at 6am or so, and going to bed at anytime from 11 to midnight, I was waking up a couple of times in the night and probably getting around 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

As I say, fantastic weekend and if I can, I'll definitely look at going again next year. I'm headed back to Silverstone next month though for the Renault World Series, which should be another great event. I'm not completely sure why they give the tickets away for free, but they do. It's a great promotional tool though, they seem to pull in relatively large crowds for their events, obviously not to the scale of F1 (where they had around 315,000 over the three days which was a record!) but to the point where there are good sized crowds and the guys aren't racing to a load of empty grandstands. Anyone interested in attending that can find tickets from the World Series website. If you're a fan of motorsport, I'd recommend it.

On Tuesday, I did a bit of teaching at Beatlife which was pretty awesome. I've done a session previously, but this one definitely went better, namely because I had some time to prepare and consequently, I was able to go into it knowing what I wanted to do. So I went over what I'd done with the guys previously (and to their credit, they remembered most of it despite being a month or two ago) and then showed them something new. I wasn't really surprised at the fact that they picked the rhythm up pretty wasn't that I gave them something simple to do, but the fact that the Elm Hall group have a brilliant habit of learning really quickly and being able to nail things in a short space of time. For that, I salute you all. That's why I love being able to be a part of that group.

Finally, I played Monopoly last night. That's not such a huge thing, but I hadn't played Monopoly since I was a small child, and seemed to recall it being a gigantic snooze-fest where no one ever wins and it just causes arguments. I didn't win. I finished second...but I learnt a fair bit about the game. And for some reason, I want to play again. I seem to recall a friend mentioning that there's a Leeds University edition of the game, so I might have to buy that at some point, purely for the novelty of it. I learn from my mistakes, and I'd like to think that I'm one step closer to being a better man under the inspirational guidance of Chris Crawley and James Hamling.

I won't leave you on another 10 day gap until the next entry. As a final note, I've now passed 1000 views. It's not a gigantic thing, but I can see that some of my entries have had a good readership (which means that others haven't really been read, but I've written a couple of crap entries further back). To anyone and everyone who has read, thanks for taking that time.

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