A lot has happened since my last post, first and foremost I got confirmation of my degree classification which was a 2.1. Very pleased with that, knew it would be around there so a few drinks were in order. A few days afterwards I jetted off to France with Sian and her parents for a much needed two week holiday.
The villa we were staying in turned out to be the HR Manager of Hilton Hotels winter home, so was as you can imagine very big and very plush. We were about 25km outside of Angouleme in what you could call the South-but-not-very-South part of France, the temperatures still hit 45c though!
Disaster soon struck, in a moment of acting like a loon something bad happened.
The ceilings turned out to be lower than planned and I ended up on my back, bleeding everywhere and managed to get 3 stitches out of it. Luckily though the only downside was I couldn’t go in the Pool for a few days and a week later they were out.
Much fun was had on holiday and it was very sad to come back to England where the temperature was only about 25c (a heatwave apparantly) but with insane humidity which made it unbearable.
A week or so later my master plan sprang into action as alluded to in the previous post. A trip to B&Q gained a considerable amount of 18mm Plywood and 40×50mm Timber, Blue paint and some heavy duty bolts. With some great help from Sian and my Dad something marvellous started to take shape.
It’s the test piece for the final project and as it stands, its done but you’ll have to wait till the next update for the photo’s.
Lastly I finally got round to my birthday present from Sian, a Rally Taster Experience. All I can say is it was awesome! After a short briefing by a man with only 2 fingers on one of his hands, we had a lesson in a Mercedes E-Class on a Skid Pan. To those that don’t know what that is its a device with wheels that sits under the car and the instructor can adjust the height of those wheels to simulate understeer, oversteer or no grip. He whacked it on a highish setting and sent us round his test track against the clock.
A quick start controlling the massive induced wheelspin followed by a cone slalom, a sharp 180 turn then back down another slalom to a 90 degree sharp left and a long 270 degree right with plenty of space for huge powerslides. After that you had to hurtle down the straight towards a cone wall, slam on the brakes and lock them up, before releasing and avoiding the now very close clones. Another 180 turn followed with more slalom before reaching the finishing line. Managed to avoid a complete spin like some of the others and held a big slide as well as a nerve wracking bit of fish-tailing for 50m or so.
Here’s me going sideways round the cone slalom. To prove I am going sideways, the wheels of the skid car are going in the direction I’m going.
In the full size picture you can see the woman in the back half-laughing, half-screaming. The experience sessions are in groups of 5, so when one person is in the skid car, the rest of you are in the back watching, laughing and learning. Once the skid car session is done we wandered over to the rally car part. The weather hadn’t been kind so we couldn’t go on the off-road parts so we were on the backup tarmac stage, which is nowhere near simple or as easy as it sounds.
Very dusty strip of potholed road with a chicane of some sorts every 50m or so and a handbrake U-turn at each end. Two runs up and down it was what we had and certainly made the heart beat faster when you’re flying into a fast left-right-left chicane at 60mph with inches to spare at each side.
A fantastic present from a fantastic person.