I think I owe you all a little apology as I’ve been a very tardy blogger of late, not posting much and also not commenting much on your blogs either! It’s the workload you see. I work for a very large multinational company who have just opened a brand new building about 10 miles South of the one I work in, so many weekends leading up to the moving date were spent planning and installing the new equipment, and since then we’ve been very busy moving the new users in, most of whom have come from the building I’m in. That part is pretty much done, but prior to the new building being available, we were getting so large that we’d had to rent more office space locally, so we’ve spent the last couple of weekends closing down those little, rented places and moving the people into the newly vacated spots in my building. Still with me!! So, there hasn’t been much going on personally as I haven’t really had a free weekend to do anything fun with and there’ve been no weekends away or holidays during this period. In fact, I’ve been so pooped most days that I haven’t even had the energy to do any blog hopping and commenting. But I think we’re all done, for now, although there are still a number of loose ends to tie up and small issues to be fixed.
Any free weekends I have had, have been spent at the track as I’d rather poke my eyes out with a pencil than miss a racing weekend! And even though it’s a tremendous amount of fun, it’s also very tiring as you’re on your feet most of the day in the hot sun. Take this past weekend for example (23/24 August), it was a very hot and humid 94F on Saturday and 82F on Sunday, still very hot but not quite as humid. It was a difficult weekend all round, the humidity and the cloud cover conspire against the drivers and a lot of them were blowing the sound meter on the property line, which results in an immediate black flag for the driver. For a race track we’re in an odd situation, as due to the ever expanding populous in the fifty years the track has been in existence, we now pretty much find ourselves smack in the middle of suburbia! And suburbia doesn’t like it’s nice, quiet weekends shattered by noisy race cars, despite the fact that the noisy race cars were there long before suburbia was. So the local township limits us to a maximum sound level, per car, not per race. Anyone close to that limit receives a visual, on-track warning flag, so they know they might be heading for trouble; anyone blowing sound completely is black flagged immediately and pulled in off the track, we can’t risk our entire days racing for one loud car. Normally, we’re just fine, we get a few sound warnings in a weekend but violations are rare. Unfortunately the weather was a huge factor this time round, the air was humid and dense and there was a fair bit of cloud cover around so the noise from the race cars wasn’t dissipating in the way it normally does….. there were violations and black flags left, right and center. Cars that have ran just fine all year were being pulled in off track and some of the drivers were pretty mad about it! But there’s not a lot we can do unfortunately. The next race weekend is at the end of September, so we’ll be a lot cooler at least.
The temperatures are also very hard on people physically, we hurry up the grid as much as possible and I made a lot of calls to the stewards that we were ready to go, instead of waiting for them to call down to me. It’s hot enough as it is when I’m wearing shorts and a tshirt, but the drivers are in a three layer fire suit with full length fire proof underwear, a padded helmet and fire proof gloves, and they’re sitting stationary on the grid with the car engines running and there’s no air flow whatsoever until they start moving. We tried very hard to get them out onto the track and underway as soon as possible, which meant that we did a lot of running around ourselves, checking them all for safety, making sure their crew were clear of the grid, making sure they all saw and acknowledged the hand signals we give them which tells them how close they are to going out, etc. It was a tiring weekend that’s for sure, but it was still a blast.
I’m really looking forward to the upcoming weekend though as it’s the last Public Holiday (Bank Holiday) of the summer on Monday September 1st, and where I work we close for Friday too, so I get a four day weekend. So far my only plans are to catch up on some sleep!, but I imagine we’ll also get out to the park too with either the kayaks, the bikes or both.
I have lots of photos to share, from this racing weekend, from the air display we went to….. plus posts, another “Travels In A Small Island” post, a meme and an award!! Hopefully I can get through some of them this week. Thanks for bearing with me during this period of enforced busy-ness!