International Snow Sculpture Championship

I’ll get a detailed post about our adventures in Denver and Breckenridge up here as soon as I can get some quality time at a keyboard. In the meantime, please enjoy the video created by Breckenridge’s tourist peeps. I’m in the video so be warned! 😉

Heavy Metal Cooking

Hi all, saw this. Giggled. Thought you’d like it too!


OK, Here’s Where I’m At

Right then. A couple of things I need to get off my chest before I explode!
1) You know how I’m afraid (scared witless) of flying? Well I’m flying to the States less than two months from now.
2) I’m representing my country doing something.
3) Never and I mean NEVER lose your passport.

I’ll start at the start. Her Majesty and I have been invited to be the other half of team GB in the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships in January. They’re being held in Breckenridge which is on Colorado (up a mountain kinda west of Denver). This involves me flying out there which is in no small part terrifying me; as anybody who knows me knows, I stepped off the plane back from Vancouver 15 years ago with no intention to ever set foot on a plane again. Aside from a very impressive Russian cargo jet at an air show a few years later, that’s pretty much been the case.
Brekenridge is 10,000ft above sea level and about -2 on average when we’re there. Great for snow carving but not exactly shorts and t shirt weather. We’ve just started buying gear for our time there and I can safely say, the gift of a pair of snow trousers from Her Majesty was both thoughtful and as it happens practical under the circumstances.

The third thing on my list is one I’d like to make sure everyone inwardly digests. I’d like to write about it in block capitals because that’s what I was writing in for a few days getting the paperwork together. Never lose you passport. I’ll say it again: NEVER LOSE YOUR PASSPORT. Got it? Good.
Losing your passport is not something that bothers a person who’s decided not to fly anywhere ever again. It doesn’t come up as an issue when travelling around the UK, it doesn’t really affect you at all. When you go to renew your expired, lost passport however… Well, that’s different.

To get your first passport, you need the form, two photos, somebody to vouch for you and a birth certificate. To complete the paperwork for a lost/stolen passport, you need Form LS01 (which you’ll not pick up in the first place then need to leg it back to the post office to get). Its a straightforward contract with Satan affair you sign in blood. Next comes the application. You now need details of the passport you lost (difficult as you lost it), both your parents’ passport, birth and marriage details, again a sponsor to sign your form and OK your photos, then the usual details. You know how easy it is to renew a passport you’re still in possession of? Stand on a log, lose your footing. Done!

All is now well and my passport will be with me soon (hopefully before I need to travel or I’m sunk). The preflight panic attacks are coming along nicely and building in intensity so I’ll nip back over to my GP and see if they can give me the same meds I had last time. Only about 50 more bits of kit to pick up and that’s it.
Also, I’m trying to blag getting a GoPro camera (this one), Her Majesty kind of knows but hasn’t registered that it’s yet another camera I’ll own… 😀

A Bit of Stability at Ferrari

Although I’m disappointed the Bottas rumours didn’t pan out I’m happy Ferrari decided to keep Raikkonen in their race seat for next season. Although the results haven’t been forthcoming so far this season is not for lack of effort from Kimi. Mechanical failures and accidents happen to drivers in groups and it seems Raikkonen has had his share.

With all the upheaval of the last season or so, it’s good to see some continuity at Maranello for a change. Let’s see what can be done with the remainder of the season. With Spa this weekend and Monza coming up there’ll be some good racing to watch. :)

Alicia Witt at The Borderline London

Alicia and MeWell, I did it! I got to meet Alicia Witt at her London gig (which was freakin awesome by the way!). I’ve been a fan of her since I saw her playing Cybill Shepherd’s daughter in the sitcom Cybill in the 90s. When I discovered years later that she was now writing her own music and performing I always thought it would be cool to go see her in LA. My “very large concern” about flying aside, going to LA just to see one person do a gig seemed a little far fetched.
When I heard she was going to play a concert in London in June I was both excited for the opportunity to see her live and overwhelmed when I was trying to work out the logistics.
The concert tickets would be about a tenth of the total cost when I looked at trains and hotels. I’d pretty much given up on making it work so I regrettably came to the conclusion it wasn’t going to happen. As the date of the concert grew closer, I was thinking more and more about how I might be able to work out a solution. Being the clever stick Her Majesty is, she knew I was preoccupied about something and did what she always does when she sees my runaway brain belting off into the sunset!

We sat down together and went systematically through the options until we found one that worked. Within 20 minutes, I’d booked the tickets for the entire weekend. Sometimes you need somebody else to sanity check your work!

The night was absolutely brilliant, Alicia is as good live as she is recorded (in some cases even better) and she performed a cover of one of my favourite songs, a bonus! Anyway, I’ll stop boring you with details and just say that I’m looking forward to the next time Miss Witt is in blighty, I think it’s pretty certain I’ll be attending. :)