Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Continuing on from where we left off,
At midnight, I wished my friend a happy birthday (and of course called her from the same room, as you do to sing Happy Birthday over the phone.
As much as I wanted to, picking up Felix, and spending my friend's birthday with her did not work - and I had the same issue with Annie and Evie, also wanting to see me.
I sorted Felix by asking my mum to drive him to his destination and annoying Annie and Evie by declining.
My question is, (*Rage Mode Enabled*) where the actual f*ck was everyone when I needed them back in secondary school? Where were three asking to see me in a day then? No, at this point I hadn't met my friend, Annie or Evie - but I so wish I had that sort of love back then...although, I guess the blood I tasted makes the days of today sweeter - like the rare podiums I get make up for the shit days and crashes I have.
After having a rather uneventful lunch, for tea/dinner we gave the dog to a dog-sitter and then headed out to Wetherspoons 1/3. Here, we had our starter, I had garlic pizza bread.
Unfortunately, at about 7pm or so, there'd be a problem with our dog/sitter (one of the two) and we'd be forced to pick him up in quite the rush.
After sorting a second sitter, we'd head out to a local Spoons. This'd be Spoons 2/3.
After plonking ourselves down on one of the only places with a charging cable in reach, I'd head off to the loo before returning shortly after.
Not too long after this, an employee came over and asked for our ID (identification) since it was after 8/9pm.
Unfortunately one of four of us didn't have ID on them, so we'd be asked to leave.
We'd head back to Harlow, grab the ID that was not present and then head to Wetherspoons 3/3.
Outside, a rather rare car sat outside - no, not my Kia Venga, a 2019 Maybach S-Class...(or Maybach-Branded) Mercedes S-Class. Nice. It was getting quite late by this point and we had quite the night thus far, so we skipped the main-course and went straight onto the bubbly (or well, they had bubbly and I had juice and a DELICIOUS chocolate brownie/fudge cake, we'd head back after this.
To not overstay my welcome (partially to ensure my mum knows I am home and not staying a month or two away, or to make sure that I, myself am not staying a month away) I went home on Monday 9th August, after my friend's mum came over and stayed for a bit to wish her a happy birthday.
Whilst I had my car to clear out/sort, my friend's mum made a fairly quick escape.
Despite this, I overtook her again on the M25 heading back home to mine.
No sooner had I got home, I was back on the road again and in a little bit of a mood.
I had already seen Evie three times in the week (seeing nice cars along the way on most of these journies) and I didn't want to upset her by saying "no, I can't see you today" - the message asking to meet came just as I was taking in that "walking in through the front door" feeling...
Though, I can't really imagine how she was feeling as I said I'd "probably" see her at 3pm, only responding at 5pm - mind you the traffic on the M25 was absolutely diabolical. Yes, it was moving, but where there wasn't heavy, queuing traffic, or the motorway closed entirely - there was a 50mph speed limit.
Already miffed from a bad journey and leaving home after I only just arrived, I set off, speeding toward's Evie's, admittedly finding enjoyment in the adrenline that comes from speeding down country lanes with the hedges and dirt banks very close either side of you especially in damp conditions - it was a national speed limit, and I was well within control of the car, I just wanted to feel alive, just make myself smile, de-stress for a moment.
My fun was unfortunately ruined by two lorries...or well, one slow-moving lorry heading in the same direction as I and an oncoming lorry.
Both on the larger side and a little big to be tackling these sorts of roads (yes, one of the lorries did pull into a property/building along the road, so had no other choice) but still...I was already sort of on the late side (which further p*ssed me off/stressed me out)
The evening actually went very, very well - us starting in Annie's room, before going down-stairs to eat the Pizza we ordered in front of some absolutely banging tunes.
As quickly as it started, it was time to go home and I drove Evie home, this being midnight.
The final piece of the stress puzzle: Felix.
Felix and his boyfriend wanted to be taken to a - sorry, two campsites.
The first, was easy enough Southall, the "Little India" of London.
This was rather a calm, convenient journey - half an hour away from Staines, 20 minutes from Gatwick.
The second was up in the north - one of the Peak or Lake District...this unfortunately requiring me to driving into the dead centre of London. Euston International Train Station. Ouch.
Well at least there were some nice cars, in addition to a limo to look out...that was nice, I guess.
After dropping Felix off, the headache only got worse. I was low on fuel and the Kia was being - excuse my French, an absolute f***ng bitch.
I programmed in the nearest Petrol Station on my car's sat-nav and for two stations in a row it took me to stations that DID. NOT. F****ing. EXIST.
I was a bit darn lucky that my Kia stopped playing up and actually sent me to a active petrol station because my fuel-level got dangerously low.
"49 Miles until you're f***ed" sort of low.
For context, 49 miles is about the distance from Clapham to Brighton
Seems pretty far on a map - but Kiara can take you from Brighton to Newcastle (5hrs 30) on one tank....
After filling the car up with fuel, I'd leave London and head to my friends house as it was her baby's birthday (two days after her own)
I'd arrive at my mate's at 3pm after a long day of driving (not so much in terms of distance/time in the car, just "tedious" with the traffic).
Since it was 2 hour journey to Great Yarmouth (Amelia's chosen birthday location), and the sun set 3 hours after arriving (arriving there at 5pm, the sun setting at 8pm) we opted for a simple evening meal.
Before this, Amelia was given a very, very cool birthday gift: a an electric ride-on McLaren Senna (obviously remote controlled, we control the car she sits in it - though it does have a pedal for her to grow into)
We'd spend almost an hour riding around with the baby and the McLaren before getting hungry for dinner
After a tough discussion about where to go, we eventually settled on Nandos - my first time properly sitting down and ordering at the chain.
It was a lovely and enjoyable evening and the food was great (although I suppose I could have gone one notch down with the spiciness level, but I was sort of going in blind and didn't want to look like a wimp going for the bottom-most option as I do like taste and flavour, yet don't like to struggle to eat! But no, I managed it (with a water) and had an extremely pleasant day out.
In addition to this, my YouTube channel also hit 200 subscribers on this night. This came as a huge surprise as I had only reached 100 less than a month before (23rd July)
Now at 262, hopefully it isn't too long before I hit the next of 300.
I got 56 in the whole of July (52 in the second half) and 131 in the first two weeks of July, so as long as the algorithm keeps milking my cow of a channel, then I believe its entirely doable.
At 11am, we'd set off for Great Yarmouth...once again I was stressed and p*ssed off.
Yes, I was in good spirits about Great Yarmouth and was excited to go - but I had to let my girlfriend and Evie down for about the 50th time that week, either saying I was unavailable or subtly hinting at it - or indeed just not telling them at all.
The journey down to GT Yarmouth was very good and I saw a few nice cars.
After stopping on the way for food and fuel, we'd hit the road again arriving at just after 2pm.
We'd spend the day as we spent previous days in Great Yarmouth - walking, chilling, having a good time, window shopping (well them, not me, I had no money to shop), also getting food.
Unfortunately, the dog had to ruin - or cut short the day by pissing on the buggy.
Fortunately the baby wasn't in the chair at the time, but with Amelia now being 1, wriggly and a little heavy, none of us wished to hold her for more than an hour - so we called it quits and headed back to the car.
Unbeknownst to me, my car had been modified.....but I'd only find out after leaving ASDA to grab some bits and bobs....
Whilst some were a little on the "edgy" side - mentioning "the satisfaction of certain female body parts", expletives and my own mother, the rest were genuinely hilarious - these being about my speed (me being an elderly driver) and requesting payment for my trips.
There was also a lovely sunset that was occurring:
On the way home, Amelia started to kick off, so we pulled into a service station and whilst the others dealt with the baby, I watched some Television...through a van! I may not have known the show, or been able to hear the audio
After dropping everyone off, I'd head home, only arriving at 8 minutes to 1am.
With a free moment on the 12th, I did the week's race, this being Week 9 out of 12.
The track was Summit Point and the stage was set.
Prior to the event, I had only raced at Summit Point twice before in my career - both times being in Mazdas, and both being the "Jefferson" layout.
Other than being once in VRS Endurance Championship in 2019, the small track really hasn't seen much GT3 action at all - I only remember really racing it in the MOFO League/Championship
In fact, the track has only been mentioned 53 times in my server's 2 year history!
I'd qualify 10th of 18, making it my second-most starting position - first is 11th position (qualifying 11th on 3 occasions)
I've also qualified 7th twice.
In typical Summit Point fashion, there was a massive crash on the opening lap - a BMW sticking his nose where there wasn't really space, spinning himself and the Audi in 3rd (he was trying to overtake).
The Audi would then reverse back across the track, taking out the innocent Lambo in 5th....kinda glad I didn't qualify so high up now!
In 6th was a very lucky BMW who managed to squeeze through the carnage unscathed, picking up 3rd temporarily, before being overtaken by then 8th place.
7th being a Merc who also got caught up in the carnage.
Behind him would be a Ferrari who initially avoided the (original) carnage - but would get a punt from behind by me....
Personally, I'd shift the blame slightly towards me, as I was the one that ran into him - but if I was to be a racing driver and fish out the excuses - I couldn't exactly see the whole pile-up - only the cars on the left, and maybe the driver in front was being a bit cautious/weaving around a bit? Maybe I got caught out by the closing speed? Mainly it was lap 1, and cars were flying everywhere and I was just trying to get through it -I didn't do it intentionally, so no love lost between any of us.
I'd emerge from the war-zone that was lap 1 in 4th place. Not bad at all!
All but three behind me were also caught up in this pile-up - the last three taking it nice, slow and steady.
My climb up the order was only further helped when the leader dipped a wheel onto the gravel at the final corner and spun himself around. P5 was mine.
Just like at Long Beach, long straights once again became my enemy, me losing 5th place after a big muscular BMW came past me at turn one, very confidently on the brakes.
The madness continued, a Porsche trying to get up my inside overshot the corner/kink, and almost T-Boned me into the next corner, but I was vigilant and noticed his mistake early on...the Ferrari behind him however, was also well-aware and used this as an opportunity to get through - getting an awesome run into the corner and slipping down my inside (as I was wide/slow letting the Porsche prior do its thing)
I was just about to think I was going to finish down in 6th, a good 10 seconds or so off the next car, but a ray of hope glimmered - the BMW that was in 3rd lost his back-end going into the final corner and spun into the inside wall, this gifted me 5th place.
I'd stay here until Lap 16 - just two from the end, when the Porsche that had been hunting me for almost half the race, finally got enough slip-stream and Balls On The Brakes to get me into turn one.
With him in the 1:08's and me never getting below 1:10 - it was inevitable that he was going to get past, I just did the best I could.
I'd finish the race in 6th after not too much drama after that - Saying this, I was the first of only two Lamborghini's in the field.
Only the top 9 managed to escape not being lapped, 12th - 18th being over 10 laps down at the end of the 20 minute race.
The +37 iRating gain pushed me to yet a another new iRating record - and another interesting stat is that the 1254 Strength Of Field was the second highest I've raced against as a solo driver in 2021.
I hope with a higher iRating, I can shuffle up the splits, meaning these will have higher Strengths Of Field.
No, I don't want to be up against the likes of Verstappen, but I'm always up for a challenge and any proof that I'm improving is certainly welcome!
Next up is Charlotte Roval (W10) followed by Brazil (W11) - Brazil likely to be my last race before University. Montreal is Week 12, but unfortunately, I'll be in Scotland for both that and Week 13.
There's a weird sense of excitement however, coming back home from University in December, having the rig all set up in the new house (hopefully) and having a whole bunch content to buy and download - and who knows...I might even be having a rainy winter on iRacing - now what a surprise that would be!
The future is bright and I'm sort of ner-excited for it.
Now that fewer people are asking me to see them, everything's calmed down, which is nice and allows a day for myself (15/08/2021)
That evening, I'd go and see Annie and Evie, but with a twist. Evie's boyfriend was there. Before leaving though, I'd sort my stickers, making them a little more visible, and unfortunately having to take one off due to a letter falling off - and I don't know what's more embarrassing, having the plastic film on, or having letters missing on a comedic sticker. The latter being harder to understand the gist of the sticker, the former being like "you didn't do that properly"
We had a cute little double-date. They already had food and everything, but it was still a nice, short little visit.
After Evie and her boyfriend left, I too would hit the road, not wanting massively too late.
With Evie distracted by her boyfriend, me and Annie had some time to stare into one another's eyes.
When Evie's boyfriend eventually left with Evie, I left not two minutes later, not wanting to stay all night - and not wanting to get caught mid-kiss.
I'd show - and give some of my "worse" stickers to him, before we'd head off in our own directions.
After waking up and thinking I had a relaxing day all by myself, my mum walked in, on the phone...she was on the phone to Felix...Oh No.
I forgot that I was driving him back home from London today. YIKES!
I quickly slapped some clothes on and got in the car and drove down to London.
Once again, it was all pretty chill until Edgware or so before the heavy traffic struck.
To my total surprise, I had beaten Felix to London, despite not being even aware not even 3 hours before.
With a dozen or so minutes before Felix was due to arrive back home, I'd quickly grab a McDonalds (hadn't eaten all day), grab a picture of "Cumming Street" - where a Morgan was hiding before going back to pick Felix up.
After picking Felix up, we'd head back to the camp his boyfriend was staying at, pick him up too before dropping them ooff at the place they were staying, before I headed home alone.
My summer of adventure continued into the next day as one of the people from my secondary school (my second) organised a reunion, despite saying I'd be there at 12, I rocked up at 12:30 - still reasonably on time.
Of the 7 or so invited, 4 showed up - the two not being able to make it having to isolate and having work
We'd order pizza (admittedly I had one slice and felt kinda full) and play Mario Kart and Super Mario Smash Brawl - which I was okay with, except the fact that I sucked at Mario Kart - rather unusual for a racing enthusiast - maybe I should just stick to iRacing!
At about 4:15pm, those there decided to watch a movie, as one friend had already darted off and the other was staying overnight - it just left me, and the two staying overnight.
With the film being two hours - it would have been at least 6:45pm when I got home, had I watched the movie, but I decided to decline Hot Fuzz and head home instead.
When I got home, I realised it was the ARL (Apex Racing League) F3 Championship at Zandvoort.
After looking at how I was doing after 10 or so laps, I got quite de-motivated, I was pushing the wheels off the car, yet the others were just so much quicker.
Knowing I couldn't finish the series due to Scotland and Uni, I announced my withdrawal from the league - bar a last apperance at Austria. Potentially.
It was also the ISRC round at Silverstone - and for the 3rd round running, I was ever closer to competing. With a 1500 iRating minimum to enter, this season, I've been:
29/05 - Road America: 1198
12/06 - Imola: 1247
14/08 - Silverstone: 1322
Last year's ISRC was impossible for me, due to it starting after I went to uni.
During the Christmas holidays, when I was home, I was at just 970ish iRating, before hitting 1K for the February round of ISRC.