Wednesday 8th February 2006

How ironic, the new MP3 CD which I had just burnt on Sunday, switched over to Mylo – Doctor Pressure, as I took to lead six of my colleagues over to Premier Karting. The clock was ticking, it was a few minutes past six as I headed out of the main gates. We had to be there before 6.30pm. I had a map with me, printed from Multi Map, but it was near to useless, yet I had a very vague idea of where I was heading and in the end, after getting lost by turning left two roundabouts too soon. We eventually made it to the site, part of a medium sized industrial era and were raring to go. I had been quietly looking forward to this evening for some time. I suppose mainly because it had been so many years since I had been in a kart. Back in December 1997 I went with a school friend who was a semi-professional with his own vehicle. My second stint behind the wheel was before Easter a year later, when I was somewhere in North London with my Dad’s previous employers and had originally only come to watch, but due to lack of numbers was told to suit up and hit the track. Those who know me well or have been in a position to witness my driving (either as a passenger or other road user) know I love cars and have a passion for almost anything beautiful with four wheels. There is never usually a need for speed, but it is quick acceleration that really makes me smile. I may be competitive in the work place but when it comes to sport (the active, rather then spectator) I know I just cannot mix it with the big boys. Much rather, have some fun and enjoy the ride. Amongst our group, we had an ex professional driver/teacher, who has taught at the famous Le Man circuit, but he was not the only threat. We had a few highly competitive individuals and a wide boy maverick (yes, he’s the one who drives the black Seat Ibiza Cupra with fogs in the morning!) After a quick safety debriefing, we were given some practice laps before the main event would begin. In the early stages, it was clear to see the ‘real’ competition was between, perhaps three maybe four people. (I say people, but it was an all male contingent out on Hawkhurst Stadium.) Then, we were given our kart numbers and I got lucky thirteen, not a great sign. Oh well, never mind. The races were organises so that four karts would be on the track at any one time and our numbers called to the pits prior to the ending of the running race for a quick change over. I had a short wait for the first two races to get underway, I eventually got onto the track for the real deal. To make it fair, everyone would take pole in at least one race and then work their way down (or up) the starting grid. This was to give everyone a fair choice of scoring points. Then the points would be totaled to give you your starting position in the semi finals. Due to the size of our group, it enabled there not be the need for a qualifying stage for the semis. I came third, second (losing out to my colleague, who had been persistently on my tail throughout the course of the five laps, on the final corner, milliseconds from the finish line) and then first, holding off some stiff competition after a few crashes in the first lap. This gave me a final points total of 83 and put me 6th for the semi final. The semi final itself is a bit of a blur. Hopefully it will become clearer at some point later. In any case, in the final there was no point dreaming of victory, the grid was packed with the dream start line, with a surprise in pole. Chris had clocked a record lap time of 29.80. My objectives? Primary, not to come last. Secondary, not to get lapped. My primary objective remained the only success of the race. I was lapped by the winner and a few others, although was the second off the track at the end of the race (to the surprise of the onlookers.) People say I drive like an old woman. Actually let me rephrase that, the only people to say I drive like grandma, are my colleagues at work. Enough said. Point made. Point proven. I can take all this criticism, I’m a man! I would definitely go again, but perhaps a different circuit. The only let down was the rule of no bumping, which unfortunately is evitable and cannot be helped. Some of the music played also, could do with vast improvement. The Grease Megamix is just not what you want to listen to while you are trying to hold back three guys behind you and get the perfect turn around the final corner. Nevertheless, a great evening out and I must thank my manager personally for organising everything. Thankfully my vote for karting outweighed those who had their eye on paint balling. The timing was also perfect, originally it had been penciled in for early December but we just ran out of time, so we it was re-arranged for late January, early February. I think this was the perfect time. You’ve just got back into the work routine and need a quick pick me up, something that you can enjoy and talk about for some time. They call these events team building but in our case they could be seen has team destroying, as is the rivalry within between support and development.

On my way to work, I was wondering the nationality of firstly the people I have worked for, but then got onto the train of thought of the nationality of the actual companies I had worked for. Strangely enough I have, in my short working life, worked only for British companies. If you consider the multinational world we live in, this is some strange achievement. Will I always work for a British company, in some shape or size? Who knows, but it is good to look back at my early career (can I really call it that) in such a light. I know you can never apply for jobs based on the flag the company is flying at headquarters and the fact that so many of the companies clients are foreign based, ranging from Israel to Japan.

Uploaded my pictures from the a-ha concert, my first ever concert which took place on 3rd December last year to my FlickR account. As you can see, I’m trying to make the most of my membership and learn some new techniques, like mosaics. I might go the full hog and buy FlickR Hacks after sending a quick message to one of the author’s Jim I discovered some great software to create mosaics, although perhaps not to the high standard quality of Krazy Dad. What this space, hopefully I can get a few examples together and upload them soon. I just feel the urge to be creative and share my eye for photographs with others. Ultimately my aim is contribute, even if my 50 cents, is perhaps only worth two pence (taking into account the latest currency exchange).

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