So I've actually been doing all sorts of things lately, and I've just been lazy about writing about them. So here goes:
* I marshalled at the Aston Martin racing day at Silverstone. I was in assembly, which was great because we had lots of races coming through our area and there were lots of pretty cars to look at. When it's a busy weekend, I love being in assembly. It's fun pointing them all in the right direction and making sure everyone ends up in the correct order. And then you get to look at all the beautiful cars, and the drivers/team folk are all around so you get to chat to some of them. (On a quieter weekend, you can end up with a 4 hour lunchbreak... which is less good. You want to be doing stuff!)
* Oh I did some other marshalling too, can't even remember what it was for, but I managed to almost collapse on the pitwall. They called on the radio for a doctor to come and check me over, and then the next thing I knew there was all sorts of sirens and 2 medical cars and an ambulance turned up and 4 men came rushing into the pit office to see me. Of course, once I'd sat down and had some water I'd immediately started to feel better, so I was a bit sheepish about all this fuss! Anyway, they popped me in the ambulance and took me to the medical centre just to make sure I was OK. Which I was. I'd just had what a lady in the medical centre referred to as "a whoopsie". I think next time I'll push for a helicopter ambulance. That's pretty much the only facility I didn't get to check out.
* I went to see Martin Brundle do a talk for a roomful of us marshals. It was great, really interesting listening to him talking through his career (although he'd been talking for an hour and he hadn't even got to a time when I'd been born yet!) and then he answered questions about the new Silverstone wing (which had been opened that day), being a TV pundit (he requested that DC did the comms job with him), the gridwalks (he claims to hate them) and things like that. It was really cool, and I'm very grateful that my manager let me leave work an hour early so that I could make it in time!
There was a second guest speaker after Martin, who was John "The Kilt" Kirkpatrick. I must admit I'd never heard of him before, but he was utterly fascinating. Whoever turned up to see Martin and then disappeared before John started (which was most people) really missed out. He's been a really influential figure in how the motorsport industry has been shaped over the past (many) decades... he was involved in teaching drivers like Jenson Button how to drive a racing car, he seems to know absolutely everyone within motorsport, and he's currently involved in getting motorsport to work with other industries - e.g. defence, sharing engineering intelligence etc.
* I was incredibly lucky, and thanks to my very good friend Claire, I was able to see the SENNA film 2 weeks before it was actually released to the general public. And, as everyone is finding out now that it's in the cinemas, it is INCREDIBLE. I learnt a lot about him and about his career (I don't ever remember watching him drive, 1994 was about when I started to watch F1). And the footage that they found was just breathtaking - from the onboard shots to the quiet conversations with Ron Dennis (boo) to the FIA driver briefings (Ballestre - the perfect pantomime villain!). Well, I'm not going to do a full film review here - if you've seen it, you know. If you've not seen it, then I imagine you're planning on seeing it ASAP.
* While I was at the SENNA preview, not only did I have an electronically reclining seat, 1 seat away from where the film's writer was sitting - but I got to see the bloke that gave me my whole career direction. He works in F1 and I once called him up completely out of the blue for career advice, because as you know - I want to work in motorsport one day. He didn't have to be nice or help me, but he did. We had a couple of conversations, and I was in that petrified state where I'd just graduated from uni and was thrown out into the big wide world of work and didn't have a CLUE what I was meant to do or where I was meant to start. He gave me that clue. He made me realise what the first step was, and without that I wouldn't have got my job now. This was almost 2 years ago, and I've never met this guy before, but when I approached him and explained he remembered me and it was really nice to finally be able to say a proper thank you.
* I went to another marshals evening, where the guests were the GT1 team SumoPower. I then went marshalling for GT1, in the pitlane for the Sat and Sun, and was assigned the SumoPower garage to watch over. I'll write about that separately, because I now adore Sumo so have much too much to say about that!
* Le Mans 24 and the Canadian GP this weekend! Hooray! F1 Quali's just about to start now...
* Next weekend Johnny Herbert's driving at Donington. Think I'll get myself a hotel room and some tickets and make a weekend out of it. :)
OK, The Chain's just started playing on TV..... I'm signing off for now.
Over and out.