Tag Archives: alex

Alex shows his mad car skills

You know by now how mad on cars little Alex is… but now here’s a short video clip…

He wanted me to film him with his cars today – but it’s often tricky as he then becomes more interested in the camera than the cars!

All he knows is all he has learnt from magazines, TV or asked me about (or other people). I don’t want to force him into anything as I don’t want to put him off cars – but when he does ask questions I don’t “child” the answer down. He wanted to know what the wings and spoilers were, so I told him about the aerodynamic aids cars have. He knows about engine layouts too – and not era of car is a problem for him!

Something very sweet about the way he pronounces a lot of the car names too!

I’ve posted this before, but I like it so much I decided to share it again! It shows Alex at one of the Goodwood Breakfast club meetings. He doesn’t just look at the cars, he asks about them. Who am I to starve him of the answers! He knows his V8s from his straight 6’s, his dropheads and his tintops…. got to love him!


I apologise…

‘Scuse me whilst I kiss the sky!!! I’m still a bit overly happy! I’m sorry!

Goodwood Revival 2009 will go down in my history books as the day I reverted to being 9 years old….

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It’s always great – no two ways about it, the Revival is the greatest motorsport weekend there is. All the famous and not so famous race cars from the many years of track racing. Jaguars, Ferraris, Mercedes, Alvis, Ford, Chevy, Lotus, I could go on….and on… all battling in very heated full pace battles. Not replicas – these are the real deal… 50 to 60 years old and they are still adding to their history.

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Why was this one different?

Well, by now you will know of my love for the XJ13 – the most beautiful car in the World – FACT (Okay, opinion, but it should be fact). This 60’s supercar managed 206mph under the guidance of the great Norman Dewis. It was the 13th model for Jaguar, hence the XJ13 tag… a mystical number… some see it as unlucky…it just adds to the tale.

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It was going to be a Le Mans entry to crush the Ford GT40’s and Ferraris of the day, but just before it was ready the race rules changed and the XJ13 wasn’t allowed to race. It was the test bed for the Jaguar V12 powerplant that went on to get fitted in later Jaguars – notably the E-Type. In fact to launch the E-Type a photo shoot was called up with the XJ13 to add heritage to the new V12 E-type. On this outing one of the magnesium wheels “let go” and Norman had an almighty crash.

The car was all but written off – and luckily Norman survived!  Years later it was rebuilt and is now with the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Centre.

Named the thirteen…a still born racer that almost killed its test driver… a beautiful, powerful car that can still hold its own… those GT40’s got away lightly… the XJ13 would have eaten them alive.

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I first saw the XJ13 many years ago at Beauleau Motor Museum and fell in love with it. Since then, on odd occasions we bump into each other. I eventually came to know of the TWR replica (Click here to link!) – the most accurate and faithful of the few replicas out there. At £105,000 it isn’t cheap – but then it is an XJ13….

It always stops me in my tracks, and today it did once more. As I rounded the corner as we walked through the Revival event I saw the TWR XJ13 sat there…. The engineer in charge of the project (Trevor – the T from TWR) was there and we got chatting about “her”. It was the first time I had got a chance to talk about the 13 with people actually involved.

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After a long chat with Trevor I went off and caught up with Chris and Alex, where we all then took in the sights, sounds and action of the Revival. We met old and new friends on our walk about, and generally had a good time of it all.

Toward the end of the day (and this blog entry) I met the XJ13 again…but until then….

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Carnaby in Goodwood

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Alex getting into the spirit

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Glam Cabs!

Spitfires, Messershmitt, Mustangs and a Vulcan took to the air, vintage racers blitzed the track… (Alex loved the Mini racing – which really was a nail bitter)… and we loved it. Fairground rides, Rockers, Dad’s Army, Laurel and Hardy, Hippies and Mods – static car displays the lot – Brilliant.

DSCF9180Dad’s Army

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The ME109

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Mad Mini’s going Hell for Leather

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Huey – UH-1 with M-60

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A pair of Aces? Mustangs down Low

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Laurel and Hardy

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The Italian Job

We caught up with my Father in Law as well, which Alex had been on about all day (he loves his Grandad!). Always great to catch up with him – although on race days he is obviously under a lot of stress and pressure with his job! I never really expect to see much of him on those days – so if we do manage to meet up it is always an added treat.

When we went to head home I decided to head back to the 13 to see if I could possible sit in her..it..her… I know it was a big ask, and pretty unlikely, bearing in mind the cost and “DO NOT TOUCH” labels on it..her…it…

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As I rounded the corner again I reverted to being a kid once more, as stood chatting with the Trevor (Mr TWR) and next to the 13 – was Norman Dewis…

I went to take a photo of the two of them and the camera started to misbehave. Norman suggested I was out of film…. I tried again to get a shot.

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Thanks to the ice breaker I found myself talking to Norman Dewis… Trevor then suggested I bought the Norman Dewis book (a huge tome about his life and key role in developing the Jaguar cars from C types to XJ saloons, XK’s and XJ’s…. his racing against other giants like Moss and Fangio…).

I’ve wanted it for a while…. It isn’t a cheap book, but it was 30% off for the Revival.. but still not cheap…. so I said I’d buy it as my Christmas present… as long as I could have a seat in the 13, and if Norman wouldn’t mind signing the book…..

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Needless to say I ended up sat in the cockpit of the 13, with a signed book and several photo’s of me with Norman, the XJ13 and Alex, me and the 13….

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I look a little mad in these pictures… but I was trying hard not to look too much like a kid in a candy shop!

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Behind my head… 450hp of V12 in a 1200kg chassis…. SWEEEEET!

It was all over far too soon for my liking. As we wandered away I then spotted a golf cart heading towards me. It stopped… I recognised the driver and went over to shake hands and say “hello”….. Murray Walker! Yes, Mr Voice of Formula One himself! Murray Walker shook the hand that 1 minute earlier Norman Dewis and shaken… I may never wash it again! Two Legends!

How can I better this? Well…. unless I can raise the finances, the next step would be a trip out in a 13… (or THE 13….*shudder!*)… Better still would be some wheel time in the 13…. but hey! I’m still counting my lucky stars that I even managed to sit in this, one of the greatest cars to have ever existed.

So all that is left now, is for me to scour the marketplace to see who wants to buy a kidney…. one careful owner… only £105,000……

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Swinger

King George V playing field in Farnborough is a great place to take kids. It has by far the best playground I have seen, and more importantly – Alex loves it.

It has some weird things to play on – spring mounted surf board, trampoline holes, multiple slides, odd rails with fixed skateboard things on… loads of stuff… and a massive tyre swing…. MASSIVE.

It was a bit tricky pushing, ducking, darting and filming – and I was pretty knackered from getting the hefty thing up to speed… but I managed to grab some film of Alex being a racing driver (his words).

The tune is a sample mix overlay I put together again… sorry!





Happy lads from 3ish to 30ish

Okay, it started out as a trip to see the Goodwood Breakfast Club car meet & ended up with two very happy thirty somethings & a tired but happy toddler!

The cars at the event this month were mainly pre-1966, but with plenty of later day exotica to be seen.

I took Alex along with one of my oldest buddies, Eddie. We were going to see my father in law as well – although he was going to be pretty tied up with keeping the event moving smoothly from his pit side control room.

The event was superb, but the best was to come. Ian (my Father in Law) offered to take Alex out in the Aston again, but Alex wanted to go in my Audi. I offered Eddie the ride in the Aston in Alex’s place as it was only going to be down to the pits… or so I thought!

The Aston

The Aston

Alex and I followed on in Mr Audi, my 1996 A4 TDi with 114,000 miles under the belt. As we drew up to the pits the Aston pulled away down onto the circuit, so needless to say I followed on.

It was a brisk pace, but not racing by a long shot. Just the right amount of go to be fun in the Aston… and as for me & Alex in the Audi,we were happy to be going around the famous circuit!

The Audi is so well poised I wouldn’t have minded putting my foot down – but this was a circuit tour drive around, and that was more than enough for me, Eddie & Alex.

Eddie didn’t have his camera with him in the Aston, but Ian said we could film another circuit in the Audi if we kept to 30mph.

The Audi

The Audi

No problem…Take one semi-tech geek, a friend with a camera, a young wannabe race driver…. and a high mileage diesel Audi…

Oh yeah….a 1:32:00 lap once it had the “engine tuning” by Apple Mac….

Many thanks again to Alex’s Granddad, my Father in Law.


Tramamampoline!!!!

I went out with Alex today to B&Q to get a step so he can reach the sink and toilet easier….

… and came home with a trampoline…

Well, it was reduced from over £50 to £25 – and it’s a proper one – not some kind of kiddie trampette.

Full size Trampolining

On a full size trampoline at a party recently

Alex loved bouncing around on a friends full size trampoline at a birthday party recently, so when I saw this little one I decided to get it for him. Who am I to stand in the way of a little lad burning off energy!

We got home from B&Q and Alex was a bit on the tired side. He fell asleep as he watched a programme on the Monterey Classic racing at Laguna Seca in the USA (his choice). As he kipped I built the trampoline. It’s a very good one – sturdy, well designed and strong… at £25 it was a total bargain!

Alex woke a few hours later once the trampoline was built. He blinked his eyes a few times… asked for a juice… slid off of the couch and wandered into the garden… where he stopped… then jumped on the spot at the sight of the trampoline!

Once on the trampoline he started bouncing away! I then put on his Lazy Town CD and that was it! He was out there bounding and springing and boinging and spinning for over 2 hours non-stop!

I had the Mac running to try and get a few seconds of bounce to put up on Twitter, but within the recordings I took I managed to find some of him singing away as I went into the kitchen to get him a juice!


Mac Better Blues – Goodwood Breakfast Club

I wanted to do something for my Father in Laws Birthday, and to thank him (from Alex) for a great day out at a Goodwood Breakfast Club. As you may all know, little Alex (3yrs old) knows his cars…. and I mean REALLY knows his cars…. Ferraris, Jaguars, Pagini, Lamborghini…… Gumperts, Bently, Astons etc…. he has an uncanny ability at recognition! So, as a treat, and to see Ian (FiL) we went to a Goodwood Breakfast Club (PICS). Admittedly my father in Law was working (as he is Senior Track Steward & Site Supervisor at the Goodwood Circuit), but he managed to share some time (and bacon sarnies) with us!

What did I do then….. well….

I rate the Mac pretty highly – It’s an easy machine to use (far easier than a PC…. and yet performs much better).

My Macbook came with a program called “Garage Band” which is a music writing/edit suite. It’s fantastic! It allows me to take any of my music and turn it into ring tones (with a sample length does not breach copyright).

It has inbuilt samples along with a huge array of instruments for original compositions… you can even plug in your own real instruments and vocals…… but the first thing I played with was the samples. They can be cut, re-arranged and mixed to make some pretty good stuff…. I’ve had a few people convinced it was a real recording, and not some computerised mix up I had produced!

Anyway… Here’s the first track I wrote – mixing and cutting/splicing the Apple supplied samples. To make it a bit more interesting, I made it into a photo slide show of Alex at Goodwood for my Father in Laws birthday. Happy Birthday!

Watch below or CLICK HERE!


Supercar Breakfast

There are many regular events at Goodwood… not just the annual Revival or Festival of Speed. There are club days, race days, fly ins, all sorts… and one of those days that occurs regularly throughout the year is the Breakfast Club… a Sunday morning jam packed with high end sports cars and supercars…

As I still had a hire car due to the Fiesta issue (See here) I decided to take Alex down to Goodwood to see his Granddad (My Father in law) at work on the race circuit.

Luckily it tied in with one of The Breakfast Club events…

As we drove closer our little Fiesta hire car was surrounded by top marque sports cars. Alex was getting giddy with excitement as he called out all of the names!

We parked up at Granddads house and then walked up to the track. I saw from a distance what I thought was a Jaguar XJ220 in Rothmans colours. Alex meanwhile had spotted a Pagini Zonda which I could not see…. until we got a lot closer to the Rothmans Jaguar…. which wasn’t a Rothmans Jaguar… it was the Zonda – It was the paint scheme that threw me, but not Alex!

All photo’s can be seen HERE or just click on the photo’s:

Tuned Pagini Zonda... as if it needed it!

Tuned Pagini Zonda... as if it needed it!

After the Pagini Zonda the cars kept rolling in… and each one was named correctly by the 3yr old petrol head! He was uncanny – and he was surprising some others that over heard him!

Ferrari and Stingray

Ferrari and Stingray

Almost embarrassing were the two times when Alex corrected some adults as to what certain cars were! Luckily being 3 he can get away with it by being cute!

Lambo!

Lambo Diablo!

Lord March showed up in… not his superb Aston Martin Vantage, but his “Rat Rod”…. A car a little bit different to the super sleek supercar from Alex’s birthday!

Lord MArchs Rat Rod

Lord March's Rat Rod

After walking around the cars we caught up with Granddad Ian in his office…the hub of the race circuit… The pit lane office… Alex had a whale of a time watching all the cars roll by with me and his Granddad. He was having such a great day!

It looked like we had turned up at just the right time, as Bacon Rolls showed up, so we ate a snack in the pit office – Granddad shared his bacon roll with Alex, and Alex shared his sausages with Granddad!

Alex looking at the Alonso and Granddad photo

Alex looking at the Alonso and Granddad photo

After a while we let Granddad get on with his work. We went off to look at yet more cars. Alex surprised me again when he pointed out a GT40 and looked into the engine bay intently…. ran his hands over a few parts and then looked at me and said “V8 daddy…. V8 Ford….

V8 Daddy... V8 Ford

V8 Daddy... V8 Ford

Alex may have liked the V8 Ford, but I was taken aback by the beauty of this Jaguar E-Type (pointed out, once more, by Alex)… The V12 in this gorgeous machine looked like new – even the little petrol head said it was “Pretty engine” … he wasn’t wrong… he has a good eye!

V12 beats V8...

V12 beats V8...

Back in the pit land Graddad got Alex a ride around the circuit on the Tractor – bus that tours the circuit. Once more I was told about the cars tht Alex could see – and in between naming cars he was saying “Thank you Daddy.. Thank you Granddad..” Such a sweet well behaved grease monkey!

Touring the Circuit

Touring the Circuit

At the end of the afternoon Alex was tired out. He slept well in the car all the way home – very happy and content. He really loves seeing his Granddad – and the cars just add to that. He never says “We are going to see race cars and Granddad” – it’s always “We’re going to see Granddad! Granddad and cars!

It’s times like these that the hard times we are going through are made fully worthwhile. I may be driving my wife’s purple 1997 Ford Fiesta, I may never own a sports car, but maybe I can get Alex on the path to a better future.

I wonder what he dreamed about on the way home… he had a huge smile on his face…. a Mini in one hand and a Lamborghini in the other….and his toy puppy on his lap……

Alfa Romeo 8C

Alfa Romeo 8C

Stunning E-Type

Stunning E-Type

Countach - 80s Italian Muscle

Countach - 80's Italian Muscle

There were even ballon flights, though we didnt go on one

There were even ballon flights, though we didn't go on one

Polished Lambo Perfection

Polished Lambo Murciélago Perfection

Ferrari Daytona - A proper race version

Ferrari Daytona - A proper race version

Happy Alex and Granddad

Happy Alex and Granddad


Eye Opening America

My new job has lead me to be in America for a few days…(The photo’s are all HERE)

It’s my own fault really – I admitted to knowing about a product we are looking into, and also that I have Quality Engineering qualifications & experience. Next thing you know I’m sat on a British Airways Boeing 747-400 at Heathrow and chugging off down the runway to start the long haul flight to Seattle.

I had an idea that the trip was coming up, but I didn’t realise that it would be at such short notice. We had 3 working days to sort it all out – Transportation, Flights, Hotels – and all the various forms needed to do the trip.

I’ve not “done” America before – nor have I flown for more than 90 minutes – so no matter what the trip was about, it was going to be an adventure and learning curve. The only advice I was given was “Order small – don’t go for the medium or large meals” – So I took that info in.

I woke at 6am on Tuesday 12th May and went into work as per usual. Just before midday I went back home to meet up with the taxi that would take me and my work colleague (KM) to Heathrow.

The taxi ride was uneventful and we arrived at Terminal 5 with time to kill. We had booked in on line and also filled in all the immigration paperwork on-line. We only had hand luggage so went straight through check in and grabbed a coffee as we waited to be called. All very painless and smoothly done – T5 seems to have learnt a lot from the previous terminals.

At around 3pm (UK) we got comfy on the aircraft… well, as comfy as economy will allow a 6’4″ guy to be! Luckily we had booked ahead so we had seats in the rear of the aircraft where the body narrows, so instead of three abreast we had a double. It didn’t offer more legroom, but it did mean I could stretch out to one a bit due to a slight gap between the seat in front and the side of the aircraft. If you look at the picture You’ll see row 52. We were in the seats on the right (last but one row – I was window side).

We trundled off down the runway and started our trip up towards Scotland, then over Iceland, Greenland and on past Canada into America. Around 9 hours flight time…. and with an 8 hour difference in time we landed 1 hour after we took off….

The views were extraordinary – I’ve not seen anything like it before. Icebergs and frozen land masses bigger than you can imagine. I had to take a few photo’s to try and show those who haven’t done it before how great it is.

Eventually we get to Seattle at 5pm (1am UK) and 5pm. Now it was a case of finding the hire car company and driving a further 120 miles to Woodland PA where the motel I had booked was situated (I was a bit nervous about a few things with the motel…. Firstly, it was a motel… secondly, I had no real idea of what it was like, apart from a Googlemap Streetview that showed it right next to a motorway….).


The hire car was a Toyota Prius – A car that does what it has to do (don’t call it an eco-car… it’s far from being an eco-car). It was a bit weird to get into the wrong side of a near silent car and drive out on the wrong side of the road at what should’ve been 1am and dark out – but was actually now 5pm and bright sun… The Prius is an odd beast… No key as such, just a block you shove into a hole. You start it by pressing a button at the same time as the gas… then you burn a goat and select drive… and select drive…. and look for the handbrake… and try to select drive…. Look – we were tired and had never been in one before!

KM drove the 2hr trip down the I-5 to Woodland. The sun was out and we felt refreshed as we went past what would have been 2am and 3am in the UK…

Eventually after driving through some immense scenery we arrived at Woodlands WA at the Lewis River Inn. First glance was that it wasn’t on a motorway – just a normal wide American road… very wide. Probably called a lane out in America…. or a Motorway in the UK…..

After booking in we took our first look at the rooms…. or tried to. The electronic swipe cards didn’t work, so I went and changed them. They still didn’t work so KM went and changed them – This time a Motel person came up to the 2nd floor rooms to see if we were just being daft….

Using the new key cards my door opened up, but KM still had a problem…. a problem that was rectified by him walking a few strides to the left and trying the card in the correct door…. We were tired, okay?!

The room was huge…. Proper huge. So much bigger than a Holiday Inn or similar – looking at about twice the size. big TV, full size fridge (full size for the UK….) and a view… oh Lord what a view!

I had booked two balcony rooms overlooking the river. I thought if the weather was good I could sit out and read in the evening, or catch up with my work notes. I didn’t expect too much of a view – and was proven wrong! Great rooms, great views! Best place I have ever stayed in – and that is no word of a lie.

We dropped our bags in our rooms – splash of water on our faces and then went in search of food. The search lasted 30 seconds… Mexican restaurant across the street…..

I remembered to not order big helpings, and I am so glad I was told this advice. This picture shows KM tucking into his meal… It was just a regular meal…. I chose the Tres Amigos chile with three samplers of different dishes on it… HA!! these Americans obviously don’t know the difference between “SAMPLER” and “FULL BLOWN MEAL”, as I was given a plate like a dustbin lid with enough food for a small army…. or at least a family of 4 from Europe.

That night I saw the pillow but was asleep before I hit it… Over 25hrs since I had last slept had finally taken its toll on me.

On the second day on American soil we set about planning the audit. It was a wet day, so we started with a breakfast at Rosie’s Restaurant (www.rosiesrestaurantusa.com). This would become the daily haunt for our morning food – and on the final day it would provide me with my last big taste of America.

As with all the eateries we hit, Rosie’s had great service. It was fast and polite – You didn’t even get fully sat down before the iced water and coffee hit the table – and that never dropped below half a cup as it was always being topped up.

We did a little shopping in the local stores before heading back to the Motel to get to work on the audit notes. After we had completed that it was getting late, so we went for a short drive and then went for food. Nothing special on this night – just a burger at a chain burger restaurant – and although they were tasty they lacked a certain Americaness. The regular burger was the same size as a UK Big Mac…. and the Colossus Burger was… well, the same size again. Nothing eye opening about that at all.

The following morning we headed out across to the company we had to audit. I can’t really go much into that as it is business related, but I can say the company were very helpful and accomadating and went out of there way to make sure we had everything we needed. One guy (hey Dave!) also pointed us in the direction of a WalMart (so we could try a bit more Americana). After the days auditing we washed up and went off to WalMart to find out what the fuss was all about…

It had to be the first time I expected to see the curvature of the earth within one shop! The building was huge – and cheap. I guess with lower land prices it is easy to put out better prices and have larger shops. WalMart is pretty much a UK Tesco hypermarket, Homebase hypermarket, HM Supplies hypermarket, Halfords hypermarket etc all wrapped into one brand store…

Our evening meal at an American Restaurant (Oak Tree). A good sized meal with another American dish to finish off… Apple Pie. Let’s face it, we had a packed business trip, so I had to try and get as much as I could out of the limited downtime.

The final day we ate once more at Rosie’s – and as this was the last day I figured I’d see if Rosie’s would serve a burger up as a breakfast item… silly question really as they do. I saw they had no 1/4lb burgers on the menu – the smallest was a 1/3lb burger. Well… 1/3 is pretty big, but they also had 2/3lb burgers… the biggest was a double 2/3lb burger!  Yup… 1 1/3lb in one bun! I didn’t go for that as I wanted a single patty of meat instead of the stacked things that just fall apart. My answer was in a 1lb burger!!! It was the size of a UK dinner plate and full of a succulent burger with a great relish and salad. I had to cut it in half to eat it – so two 1/2lb parts! I managed the whole thing quite easily as it was so darn tasty!

Following on from breakfast we went to the company we were auditing to collect some more paperwork they were putting together for us. After a wrap up meeting it was time to head back to the airport. We had a few hours to spare, so we detoured off of the I5 and went via the recommended Mount Saint Helens as we made our way to Seatac airport (Once more – thanks to Dave for that pointer – much appreciated).

Mount Saint Helens… as it came into view it was awe inspiring. I’m afraid there really isn’t much to say… even the pictures do not do it any credit. All my senses just over loaded as we drove up the surrounding mountains to various parking areas with viewing points. Looking down 2,500ft to the roads and forests below just didn’t seem real – it looked like a diorama from a museum. The huge vastness of the whole area simply destroyed any perspective I had.

Our altitude was just insignificant as my mind had trouble getting around what it could see. In fact as we drove higher up it looked even more surreal. At one point we were stood on a brick wall 3,800ft over a valley and it didn’t seem to register! Pretty much overloaded with everything else to be worried!

At the furthest point of our detour we visited Coldwater Lake. This was another place that gave me a sensory over load. The place was not just quiet – it was silent. No telephone signals, no gift stores, no public… just us…No noise… nothing. No wind, no trees, no water burbling… just nothing. It’s so hard to even describe what total silence is like. You can’t put your fingers in your ears to experience it either, as you’ll hear the blood rushing and pulsing within your head…. nope…. Coldwater Lake was something else. A volcanic lake of the clearest green/blue melted ice water – It was beautiful.

As we carried on our trip to Seatac airport we stopped over for lunch at a Wendy’s. It was in the car park that I suddenly realised one of the things that had been playing on my mind for the whole trip…. the fact that there is a whole lot of sky. Everything is so spread out – even in the built up areas – that you are very aware of the unbroken views you had of the sky. It made the whole pace seem even bigger. Amercican cars, roads, homes etc may seem really big compared to the UK, but when it cames down to it they do not look out of place in America, where the roads, cars and homes look so very small compared to the environment they are in.

I cannot really explain my thoughts in one blog page – for once I am at a loss – but there was a final helping hand from the view out of the airliner window as we came in to land in England….

As we turned to land the altitude display in the seat in front of me showed we were at 3,800ft…. I took a photo out of the window and suddenly it clicked…. not 12 hours earlier I was stood on a brick wall at around the same altitude looking at Mount Saint Helens and down on the miniature forests and towns below…. The difference was that I was now in an aircraft with no ground under my feet… I had perspective… and we were damned high up. In the air above the UK the altitude made sense… the sheer size of the St Helens view focused a bit better…

As I had only taken a carry on bag with me I had very little room for gifts. All Chris wanted was a selected of candy that was very American and seen in movies – and for Alex it had to be a car!

A saviour of the trip was the fact I had my Mac with me. I set it up with Skype so I was able to talk to, and see, Chris and Alex back in the UK. It was using this that Chris told me about her viral infection… Her head had inflated over night and she was badly swollen, although by the time I got back it had gone down a fair amount.

The following day after my arrival back in the UK she took Alex out shopping whilst I slept in to try and catch up on sleep. I woke up as she came back in the house with a few of her friends from work… I woke to her calling upstairs that she had been in a car crash! The Berlingo had been smashed into at a junction – the fault was admitted by the other driver, but the car is not drivable now, and at this stage we have no idea if it will be repairable….. the insurance wheels are turning as I type…


Alex and the Aston Martin at Goodwood

Alex and the Aston Martin at Goodwood
CLICK PICTURE TO PLAY VIDEO

A trip to see Grandad at Goodwood ended up with a surprise trip out around the race track in an Aston Martin Vantage.

We had no idea that his Grandad had planned this… or that we’d also get a go! What an amazing day!

Alex was a little worried at first, so Chris hopped in with him – and after a couple of turns he was taking it all in.

When Chris and Alex returned after a couple laps of Goodwood race circuit I was asked if I wanted a go….. Bit of a silly question!

I was so happy for Alex! He was amazed and in awe! In fact as he settled to bed tonight he just kept talking about the Aston Martin!

Getting a go myself though… it was the icing on the surprise!

Anyone want a couple of Kidneys? I’ll raise the cash somehow!


Alex’s 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure

Alex 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure
CLICK PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO

Alex loves cars – A LOT. He really loves Mini’s at the moment above all else, so for his Birthday I bought him a 1/64th scale slot car track…. 4 hours in and he hadn’t given it a break…

Even by bed time he was still up for car based fun…. and the fun just got better when the cake was bought out…

Alex’s Mini Birthday Cake
CLICK PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO

Alex was so happy at the cake the Chris made, and the great day he had, he just kept saying “Thank you Mummy, Thank you Daddy” over and over again.

It was really touching,

This was the first “proper” decorated cake Chis  had made. It is doubtful that it will be eaten, as Alex doesn’t want to see it cut – and after all, it is his cake.

Alex really enjoyed his day – He had gifts from all of the family – and visits from His Grand Parents and Uncle Dan (who had a lip piercing which had Alex saying  – “Take out screw in face“…)

He ended up tired but really happy.


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