Hello and welcome back! I hope you are all doing well!
It's been a hot moment and I feel as though life is going very fast indeed!
It's already mid-November!
An assignment has been completed and it's less than a month to my next!
This past weekend I was rather busy - and not even in England!
I was in Wales for the Race Of Remembrance on the Isle Of Anglesey.
Simply put, the Race Of Remembrance is two races (with a rest break overnight) for those who have fought and continue to fight in conflict across the globe - be that military, veteran, RAF (Royal Air Force), Army, Navy, it's an incredibly inclusive and welcoming environment where men, women, amputees and abled all race in the same race and even teams.
Joining me from Wolverhampton was the University Of Wolverhampton Racing team who entered two Morgan PlusFour's - but more on that in a moment.
We begin on remembrance day - the 11th November. At exactly 11:00am, those involved in the first World War agreed a cease-fire, and this brought World War One to a close
As I am a solitary and introverted man, I didn't just have 2 minutes of silence, I spent pretty much the entire day in Silence - not all too different from the other days.
Only the day prior (2 days to the race of remembrance) my dad was informed that he'd be going, and as a result I wouldn't have to bother with finding accommodation and food every night.
Also on this day, I would book out a camera, tripod and microphone from my uni to use them over the weekend
The next day, I'd wake up, have breakfast and pack a little bag before setting off a little after mid-day.
This was only my third time going to the race of remembrance - the first two times in 2017 and 2018, before missing the one in 2019, 2020's being cancelled.
The journey was good with no dramas - and going through Wales, I'd recognise roads from both my trips to Porthmadog and when I went on a week holiday with a mate back in 2019.
On my way to the track, I'd make three stop-overs:
1) Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (to set my sat-nav for the nearest McDonalds) 2) An INCREDIBLY picturesque beach
3) Holyhead (Holyhead McDonalds drive-through)
I next headed to the circuit after this, arriving at about 4pm.
After arriving, I'd say hello to the UWRacing Team before alternating between the pit-wall, commentary box and garage. Night qualifying (the latest session) ended at 7pm.
After driving (in convoy) to the hotel (about an hour away) and putting down our things, I suggested we grab food/dinner...
Following this we'd have rather the "wild goose hunt" for food - starting at the hotel, going to a VERY busy pub (probably having a snooker night) before giving up and both having KFC - at first they said we couldn't eat inside, but they hesitantly let us stay in.
We'd head back and both hit the hay not all to long after.
One may wonder why I stayed over on Friday night - and the simple reason is time - Had I turned up on Saturday, I would have to turn up, say hello to my dad and the boys at UWR, film an interview (before qualifying got under way) and film scenes before it got dark - Friday afternoon just giving me a chance to drive up there.
On the weekend of my final Ebay Bid, in Wales, racing at the Race Of Remembrance got underway.
I don't know what it was - be that the bad tap water or another cause, but during breakfast I had a very small appetite - only for a bit of cereal - but throughout the day, my stomach ache eventually eased throughout the day.
Saturday saw the race of remembrance's first support race and "Supercar Saturday" before the first 6 hours of racing started at 3pm and ended at 9pm.
During the day I would film for my assignment, head around the circuit and have chips and sausage for lunch (plus a few sweet snacks)
In this time period, I was able to get pretty much all of the content I needed for my assignment.
As the chequered flag fell - the confusing part of the race began - unlike any other race in existence, all the cars are parked overnight, yet the positions remain the same, and the scores/positions are not reset and a rolling/standing start is not had on the Sunday.
The even more confusing thing is that sometimes the cars are put under "parc ferme" conditions meaning nobody can touch the cars overnight, meaning all battle-scars and damage cannot be repaired until the resumption of the race the following day.
With no Parc-Ferme in place (possibly due to a last-lap safety car), those involved in accidents throughout the race, whilst being dozens of laps down, have a chance to re-enter the race and make up laps on others suffering worse mechanical problems.
Further still, the results of the race are/were "aggregate" instead of "on track" meaning if the leader is leading by a minute - starting the following morning, if the leader pulls out a five-second lead, the leader is a minute and five seconds ahead - meaning second place needs to be a minute and six seconds to take the lead. This applies to the whole field, so what's seen on track is a very different story to what's happening in terms of results.
Personally, I prefer the "parc-ferme" approach as in a "proper" 24 hour race, those with damage would not have the opportunity to make their cars "brand spanking new"
In this first part of the race, UWR had a pretty solid run staying within the top 15 (but not top 10) in class - their only drama being losing their engine cover - surprisingly not losing any time/speed in the process - the non-parc ferme conditions allowed them to slap this back on.
After another great sleep at the Premier Inn (and slightly bigger breakfast) - this time having bacon and sausage as opposed to just cereal.
Sunday would see the conclusion of the race starting at 9am, going on until 10:45am or so, before there was a remembrance service with a two minute's silence during said service.
Following this service, the cars returned to the track for the remainder of the race.
The ending of this race was a little bit annoying as I was finishing a late lunch after walking 1 and quarter laps of the circuit. (parked 3/4 around the lap, so had to do the lap and then walk the final section of the track back to the car)
Whilst a little bit more "work orientated" than the previous times I went (back then being in my first two years of college) I thoroughly enjoyed it and is still to this day, one of the most accessible events I've been to - my only concern was that there was little to no social distancing during the service, but in the "epilogue" of the pandemic (hopefully) I think there were bigger concerns.
After my dad and I packed everything up, we'd both head out to our cars (parked reasonably close together) before discussing our next meeting/Christmas before I waited for my dad to set off - after about 5 minutes, he didn't, so I hit the road back to Wolverhampton and haven't seen him since, and my mum since September.
On Sunday evening, I'd return to Wolverhampton after quite the hunt for fuel - the first petrol station (of course) not existing in typical Kiara fashion.
After visiting Essex, and my friends giving me an Xbox (and Forza 4 with it), I thought "why not get the other 3 games and progress through the games...realistically?"
I started off by looking on CEX and saw they were being sold for £12.00 - three being £36.00 - ouch.
I knew I could get a better deal, so I did a bit of digging and eventually ended up bidding on a couple of games on Ebay.
Ironically, one of my first "catches" was the first game, being sold for £8.80 - just over half the price of the one on CEX - with the option to send the seller a "counter-offer" I went for £6.60 - not wanting to "low-ball" the seller, yet I still had to consider the postage.
The seller counter-ed my offer with a £7.20 - I wasn't going to be an arse and offer another amount (especially with him having the option to do the same), so I bought it then and there, £7.20 (+ £2.38 postage) then became the maximum I'd be willing to pay.
The second item I bidded on, I won - a £3.90 game with £3.50 postage. After winning, I realised the address on the invoice was wrong and the seller would only sell to the address on the invoice and told me to sort it with eBay - they told me to cancel my order and buy the item again, although I got a refund of £7-something, I wasn't able to find/buy the item, but at least I got my money back.
Bidding is scary - especially when you get a little carried away and you see that you are the highest bidder, but have gone a little above your budget - thankfully most the sellers are very understanding and will help you out (by removing your bid) or you will be out-bid in the final moments)
It'd be 5 days until I next won a bid this being for £5.50 (+£1.83 postage). This just left Forza Horizon 2.
I'd eventually get a little bit fed-up of my lack of luck, and buy two disks (Forza Horizon 2 & 3) - they may not have had covers, but I still got a bargain.
Unbeknownst to me, a couple of days after this, I would win another bid for Forza Horizon 3 - this one having a case.
It is tough seeing incredibly cheap games "slipping" under my "radar" and being sold without my knowledge - or without me remembering to put in a last-minute bid.
Half way through November. How?!!? Time just does not stop!
The 15th also saw the start of a new week and exactly a month (to the day) until I finished up for the year.
The lectures that week were:
Monday (16/11/2021) - Representation Of Sexuality, Race And Gender
Blaxploitation and Racism in Hollywood (featuring a discussion about the slave trade)
Tuesday (17/11/2021) - Media, Law And Ethics
Broadcast Regulation (OFCOM VS BBC's own regulations)
Wednesday (18/11/2021) - Multimedia News Production
Voice training - despite arriving late, I informed my lecturer and I had it at midday and apparently I have a great voice for radio, I just need to "push" my voice a bit more and be more enthusiastic.