Monthly Archives: April 2014

Surreal View of Wakefield

It’s now the end of March, and we are well and truly into autumn. I live on the coast, and fogs are rare for me. They’re usually limited to the Sydney Harbour Bridge top arch, disappearing into a fairy-tale mist. So I had forgotten how thick the fog can be when away from the coastline.

Early in the morning, leaving the main freeway, I was plunged into a surreal foggy world of little visibility and eerie quiet. The closer to Wakefield, the thicker the fog. I nearly missed the turn-off into the main gate of Wakefield Park.

I arrived at Trackschool HQ to find Boz giving Mezzie a final polish and proudly showing me the new exhaust. Must be a boy thing; I did not think there was anything wrong with the original exhaust. However, said new exhaust is now part and parcel of Mezzie, and Boz is much chuffed. All I can say is that it is much louder than the original, and John has had to start to wear a different helmet so that he can hear me apologizing when I screw up on the track. My fellow Trackschool customer was Darren, with a beautiful and very, very red Alfa, quite rightly his pride and joy. By about 9:30 am, the fog lifted for a perfect sunny day.

Wakefield 21 March 2014 007

I was told by Boz that Darren had arrived even earlier than he had. I did not think it was even possible. These guys were in Wakefield Park when I was tossing up whether if I should get up, or push the snooze button on my iPhone. Boz, if this information was to make me feel guilty, sorry mate, it did not work. My timing is perfect: I arrive when the coffee machine is ready in the café.

As usual, the day was huge fun. Boz would be with me on one session, and as soon as this was finished, he would jump into Darren’s Alfa for his session. I think he needs to cut down on sugar; nobody should be that hyper. My confidence improved as the day wore on, even though the last session of the day was not the best. Nevertheless, all things considered, it was still a fabulous day. Darren and Boz were meeting the following day for a more professional race day, but I was happy to head home for more girly pursuits.

F1 and Professional Complainers

Formula 1 season kicked off in Melbourne last weekend. One of the techies from our project was a first-time spectator, and after one weekend, I am happy to report a certain convert. Chaos, Anarchy and Disorder. My job here is done. No, not really, this was nothing to do with me, even though I am being accused anyway.

As expected, in the weeks leading up to the race we had the usual diehards protesting about how much it is costing the Victorian government, and demanding that Albert Park cease to be converted to the race venue for F1, etc., etc. Given the subsidies both the Federal and State Government dish out, I wonder why these people bother.

What was dragged out again was Eccelstone’s forthcoming court case in Europe. Hmm, Eddie Obied springs to mind, as does Joh Bjelke-Peterson, Russ Hinze and few others. So, something about people, glass houses and something to do with throwing stones? We should not be too hasty in pointing fingers as we have enough home-grown offenders. Plus, Bernie has not yet been convicted.

I loved one of the letters to the editor published on Monday 24th March in the Financial Review. Mr Marcus L’Estrange needed to voice his displeasure at the F1 race and at all of the wrong doings listed in the paragraph above. But a quick search on the internet revealed Marcus has a long and distinguished career in complaining about lots and lots of things. F1 was just the flavour of the moment, or perhaps it was a slow day for Mr L’Estrange.

The irony was that on the opposite page, the Financial Review ran an article on Renee Gracie, a 19-year-old competitor in the Porsche Carrera Cup Series. Let’s hope we hear much more of her in the future. It will be a tough gig, but she certainly sounds like somebody who has the mental attitude to make it to the big time.

This weekend, Sydney hosted an opening game of baseball. The Sydney Cricket Ground was certainly not filled to overflowing from the little I saw on the news, but the traffic around the area was at a gridlock. But hey, I am a big girl, and want to live in the city. So I and the rest of the Sydneysiders just sucked it up.

Formula 1 moved on, the baseball players went home. That is life in a big city, like it or not.

Little Tykes’ Cozy Coupes

The red plastic, yellow-roofed car driven by toddlers since the late 1970s sitting on the side of the road waiting for the council clean up could have turned into something like this.

A mechanic in Oxfordshire, England, spent over thousand hours converting a Daewoo Matiz into an adult version of the classic toy. The car runs on unleaded fuel, and can go from 0 to 60 in about 17 seconds. The conversion, true to the original, retains the two huge drink holders and the ignition is a big button. Apparently the idea came up during the “Most Driven Type of Car” type of conversations people have after one or two drinks and anything is possible. Whereas most of us forget the exchanges by the morning, this guy ensured that his idea came to fruition, with his brother and a friend. The inventor would like to use his creation to raise money for London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital. What a unique and delightful idea. I hope he raises lots of money. Perhaps Top Gear’s Stig could drive it as a promo. What a combination: Stig, Big Bright Red and Yellow Toy Car. This could cause a few surprises along the road.

Yet another alternative as supplied by friend. So for the sake of anonymity, lets call her Julie.