The 15th was another rare day by myself, on this day I'd do a bit of blogging, AI Racing, download a few BeamNG.Drive Mods and also had probably my most gruesome crash to date:
Apart from that, the day was pretty chilled, with not all too much going on
I'll admit, for me, road-trips are a love-hate sort of thing - I love hanging out with my friends, driving, discovering new places and having a good time, although the petrol gauge on my car is definitely one of the biggest sources of anxiety...especially whilst driving.
I admitted to seeing my friend in Harlow much more frequently partially because she asks to see me more times, but also when I do come to visit, we don't usually stay in the town we are in - on various occasions going north, east, south and west to tick off errands.
I guess Evie wanted to have a taste of adventure and get out of town as she asked if we could go to Cranbrook.
With little else going on (other than moving of course), I agreed and we hit the road.
I don't quite know how it happened, but we struggled to find the address in the beginning - not knowing the exact postcode of our destination.
We had two things we were running off: the town name (Cranbrook) and a road-name (Churchgates)
After faffing about with it slightly - I thought I remembered correctly inserting: categories --> towns --> Cranbrook.
But something must have gone wrong.
I can't say for sure what happened (because I honestly cannot remember) but I'm guessing Evie banged in "Churchgates" (road in Cranbrook) realised it was wrong and possibly inserted/looked up a correct one - and during so I somehow got to recent destinations and tapped on the wrong one she only just entered, thinking it was correct, not sure - but it was my fault as I'm the driver and should ensure everything and everyone is ready.
No matter, the point was that something was in the sat-nav, and I drove to the destination (via a drive-through)....which turned out to be Bury St Edmunds....Yikes.
Bury was no-where near where we wanted or needed to be - but we eventually did type in the correct address and headed down there.
Over 6 hours later (3 hours driving up to Bury, 3hrs driving to Cranbrook) we'd arrive. Luckily.
On the way up, we had a blast and life was good and we had good tunes, and the same for 3/4 of the way down. Except one junction.
The junction was located between Eltham and Lewisham, on the A2213.
I was in queuing traffic leading up to some traffic lights - which led onto our junction in question.
To clear some things up:
- I did not blow through a red light at 30mph, and I was incredibly lucky that there wasn't someone from either side who was blowing through - or about to blow through the junction.
- I did not run a red light, although I made a incredibly ill-wise decision to move with the traffic in my lane (and not wait for the junction to be clear), when I crossed the stop line, it was green, I just didn't want to stop in the middle of the junction and A) cause a hazard by being in the middle of the junction, stationary B) not know exactly when my own light turned green
- I understand my wrongful actions and the risks I caused and the danger I put myself and other motorists in and I regret the actions I took and will take this onboard to improve my driving in the future.
- Had there been an accident, it would have been at low speeds as the other traffic only just started moving.
- Being in the middle of the junction, I didn't know what the other traffic lights were doing - some offer a longer period for the junction to clear (either orange light or a delay between one turning green, and the other - although this was London and the programmer of the traffic light likely wanted to keep traffic moving as much as possible.
Following on from this, a motorcyclist told me to wind down my window and asked me what happened - after a brief summary (briefer than the images above) he told me he was a cop, to just take my time and take car, and drove off.
After food, we'd eventually arrive at Cranbrook at about 6:30pm.
After knocking on the door of a friend/relative of Evie's, we were invited in and spent the evening chatting to him - although, I was a little pre-occupied by inviting my old karting friend Tom (we must go back about 10 years!) into Kabort - my first proper real life friend who's ever properly got into iRacing.
We'd end the night in a pub/restaurant - unfortunately by the time we got there, they had stopped serving food, but we both (me and Evie) both had a soft-drink whilst said friend had something a little more "adult"
We'd bundle into the car at 9.30pm and head back via a services/food stop.
After dropping Evie off, I'd get home at just after 11pm.
Being deeply lost in the day's events, I totally forgot that I said I'd pick up Felix on this day, fortunately someone else was on-call and available to sort me out.
The 17th turned out very differently to what I had expected...which was sort of the story of the week.
I woke up at 9am, expecting to give a hand to my friend in Harlow, but then I realised. Service. The KIA was due service on this day, so after a rather stressful morning with tidying up my car, which was probably on the same level as Chernobyl with the amount of mess left inside.
No matter, I tidied it and drove to the KIA garage near me.
The remaining car in our drive-way was my dad's Audi. Fortunately, he was able to pick us up and drive us back home.
Whilst my KIA was being serviced, Tom (karting friend) made and customised his brand spanking new iRacing account - getting two podiums (X2 2nd) on his debut day - and his first wipe-out.
Judging by his skill/talent and racecraft whilst battling me, he won't be a rookie all too much longer!
My car would eventually be ready at around 5:30pm - with KIA closing at 6pm, it was pretty tight with timing - but we managed - and my car got some new windscreen washer fluid and was cleaned inside and out. Bless.
When I got home, I continued to work with Tom on iRacing, and totally forgot about my second family member - my mum. She wanted a lift just up the road, and after saying "yes" in the car on the way to the KIA garage, she's the 46 millionth person I've let down. Brilliant.
The 18th started incredibly early for me.
After failing to meet a mate on the evening of the 17th, she offered that I come early in the morning to sort something in the local area.
For no reason at all, my body decided that 06:32am was a perfect time to wake up, especially after a nightmare about yesterday's event it was a nice - but weird surprise.
After figuring out what I was doing up and getting over an existential crisis, I'd leave at 7:30.
I'd arrive at 8:48am and shortly after, we'd get on with the days tasks.
After recently buying a Land Rover, it was parked on the other side of town (long story, none of my business) and the task was to drive it back to the house were I've spent almost two months.
Since I was on their insurance, everything was legal - and it was a great opportunity to drive a car I would have never driven otherwise, having only driven a Mercedes GLA (driving lessons/test car) and my current Kia.
After getting in, I'd reverse cautiously out of the side-road and get used to the amount of throttle I'd need to apply and the steering input I'd need.
After figuring that out, I was starting to enjoy myself on the town roads - being high up, I felt like the biggest, baddest b**h on the block! The road was mine!
Obviously, as I hadn't bought the car, I was naturally cautious and careful.
The day was surprisingly fun highlights including surviving a national speed limit dual carriageway in a 17 year old Land Rover, driving through a drive-through, driving to a park (ice cream included) and a few other adventures.
After this, we'd head back to the house and park up.
Whilst we didn't manage to get the Landie through the drive through due to time constraints (and probably because it wouldn't fit if we did try) we'd all return to the house for a KFC.
Later that evening, Evie asked to meet and, after a little convincing, (and finishing my KFC), I said my goodbyes, emptied my car (of the child seat), got in the car and headed off...the KIA feeling a little different to the Landie - the steering being sharper in particular, and the engine sounding a lot quieter.
I'd arrive at Evie's for 8pm after she asked to do "iRacing and McDonalds" earlier on in the day...
Turns out, we were headed to Annie's, which was a lovely little surprise as I hadn't seen her in a little while.
Having already eaten - and not having all too much to my name (money wise), I opted not to order food like the other two had.
It'd be a nice, chill calm evening in - The first episode of The Vampire Diaries and multiple episodes of Riverdale being the source of that evening's entertainment.
Just after midnight, I'd drop Evie back home, before returning to my humble abode myself just a half-hour later.
Upon coming home, I'd notice a message in my family's Facebook group chat, saying that the "completion" date for moving house was the 21st September, a day after returning to University date.
By this date the house had to be empty, and keys handed over.
300 Subscribers. Wut.
Before July, I didn't even have 100 and now I have x3 times that...it's crazy how everything has exploded and I'm just so grateful and appreciative for all the love, and I just wish it could last forever - even if I didn't intend the channel to be anything other than a dumping ground for videos.
But whilst I'm up here, I'm going to make the most of every moment, and keep the uploads coming!
As I was busy on my race-day, Thursday was the day I did my race of the week.
Whilst it was the highest strength of field I had ever competed in, it was my worst qualifying of the series. 12th.
I'll admit though, I was having problems.
Though it was after midday, I still hadn't eaten - and all I had that day was two bananas (pre-race) and that caused (either the lack of food or the type) upset my stomach, and I assume that distracted me - or I was just in quite the competitive split.
No less, the race started with a grid of 20 cars...P2, who had fallen to P3 because the green flag fell at the final chicane got punted into a spin at turn one, spinning into the middle of the pack, after deciding my Lambo wasn't going left enough, I jerked the steering right and only "Clipped" his rear wheel with my bumper. Fantastic.
I fell to 13th, it was going to be a long race.
A BMW dying up ahead (no-one else involved) slightly helped matters, but only neutralised the situation (rising me to the same position as I started), now I just had to work my way up the grid.
More died as the race went on - Lap 2, the Merc that started ahead of me (I overtook him in the final chicane) got a wheel onto the grass and heavily impacted the concrete barrier on the inside. Another freebie. 11th.
My luck would turn on the 4th lap, when P9 and P8 would collide, P8 (Orange Ferrari) clattering into the wall, before P9 would collect into him. The Lambo would be stranded by the time I'd reach the scene - the Ferrari, slow, but limping. I'd catch him at the penultimate chicane (not last chicane)
The following lap, I'd miss my braking point and have to cut the chicane - the Orange Ferrari being close enough to take advantage of my slow-down penalty.
Just two laps later, I'd gain another position - P2 having a crash and having to limp back into the position - a top 10 was on the cards.
On lap 13, luck struck once again, and in an almost identical incident to the one above, a backmarker (P15) hit the wall (at the same corner) and the driver ahead (now P8) slammed into him...with both cars scattered across the track, I neatly nipped through the middle.
I'd keep P8 until the braking zone of the penultimate chicane - less than a quarter of a lap to go when a Porsche from behind uses all of his shiny, red, hot brakes and sneaks past me under braking....
Whilst I got a better exit, I'd have a snap of oversteer - although I still had his slip-stream....He'd even go deep into the final chicane/corner...but it wasn't enough. In probably my closest GT3 Challenge finish to date, I lost 8th by 0.124 - my first podium on iRacing being won in 2019 by 0.129.
It was over. The three weeks of hell - the three weeks of the most difficult circuits on iRacing - Long Beach, Summit Point and Charlotte Roval - some say Nurburgring is difficult - but once you have an idea of what you're doing, it's mostly about keeping it out of the walls...but for these three circuits, it's not the walls you have to look out for - Long Beach's barriers - and others clattering into you, summit's grass...and others clattering into you and Charlotte's Chicanes...as fast as you take them, you'll always be left disappointed that you didn't push that little bit harder
With a P9, (starting from P12) I gained a little more iRating - whilst Brazil up next, it's all about how much milk I can extract...facing ever more challenging and difficult opponents - when will I meet my match? Or have I already met it?
Find out during my last week of racing on August 25th and Bathurst on the 18th! Following that, the rig's going away! (but still accessible!)
Following this race, I stuffed myself with some food (probably an unwise idea, as I only made the stomach pain/cramp worse).
After a rather piss-poor day (nothing really happened, went to the toilet, was in pain, y'know general stuff), I was due to see Evie and despite still being in a little bit of pain I got into the car and drove to Evie's.
Long night short, we'd have McDonalds, get fuel and then drive home.
Oh boy. I've been chasing this day for almost a week.
For the past week or so I've been trying to catch up to the day on which I was blogging on - in one instance being so far behind (August 2nd) that I almost - or actually forgot - that my car was due service.
And now, at 23:28 on Friday night, I have caught up - I may be just under 24 hours behind, but it's the closest I've been since pumping out long blogs.
But here we are, so lets use this opportunity to catch up.
I'd wake up on the 20th at about 8am and respond to a few messages before getting on with sorting the upstairs landing which needed some paper-work sorting.
During this time, I noticed a box of change, so I sorted it into piles of £1 (different coins), before taking these coins and taking a rather impromptu trip to town.
After parking up, I went to the bank, sorted the coins and then started on my clothes as well as TIWBATFWP (Things I Won't Be Able To Fit Whilst Packing)
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I'd get every single piece of clothing other than a shirt - or shirts - which for me was quite the successful shopping trip - especially as I got myself some big, beefy heavy-duty shoes for Scottish Hiking.
I'd finish by getting myself a McDonalds and eating it in the Peacocks centre - the only gripe I had was that I ordered chips, and after clicking "make it a meal" - I thought it'd include my medium chips as one of the sides, but instead it put the chips as an "in addition to" - meaning I got two medium chips. Unfortuantely, with the pace of my eating, I was only able to eat the one (medium chips), chicken nuggets and Oasis before the other pot got cold, so I sadly chucked it.
I know about the starving kids in Africa.
No matter, I came home, showed my dad (mum in Germany) and then went upstairs to continue my life as a sad, lonely individual and that's where we end up at 10 to midnight. Me, in my room, finishing up this blog.
Thank you for reading, see you next blog.