motorsports · Motorsports

High School: F1 Edition

Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! What a few weeks it has been in the world of F1.

Grid girls, grid kids, the racing world revolving around the one and only Fernando Alonso. Bit of a rollercoaster and, honestly, I’m a bit dizzy and want to get off this ride now.

I’ve honestly felt like I’ve been back in school. The bickering, the bitchiness, the constant rule changes, the favouritism. Deja vu. I’m sure I left 6 years ago…

Let me break it down for you into some categories that most, if not all, schools/classes had *The people who fit these categories at my school still fit them*:

The Leery Creep

The Opinionated Arsehole

The Prefect*normally knocked off their moral high horse after their first drink*

The Teacher’s Pet

So, we’ll start at the very beginning. A very good place to start *chronologically at least*….

The Leery Creep

We had the ‘shocking’ announcement that they would be removing grid girls from F1, following on from the likes of darts *obviously they’re not grid girls but you know* and Formula E *we’ll talk later about that*.

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PERSONALLY, I do not give a flying fuck either way but, lo and behold, the announcement has unearthed some closet women’s rights activists!

I’ve seen so many ridiculous comments floating round on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook about this.

‘F1 is dead’

‘RIP F1’

‘It’s a tradition!’

‘It’s ruining the show’

GET OVER IT, YOU BUNCH OF LUNATICS!

My mind boggles at how many times I saw the same comments floating around about how it was ruining things or how they were losing fans. I thought F1 was about the cars, the racing, the talent. Not about the women you see for 30 seconds *may be longer, I don’t pay attention* with a board in a skimpy outfit *not always skimpy but you catch my drift*. If that’s all you take from a race weekend, a bit of soft porn *some of the outfits can be a bit much* then I’m concerned about you. London Fashion Week may be more of your jam than a race track full to the brim with testosterone and blokes if I’m honest.

I’m all for women doing their thing and doing what they enjoy. My only issue is that, because I’m a female, the first and ONLY thing men *not tarring you all with the same brush, just the ones that message me* think you want to be when you say you want to work in motorsports is that you want to be a grid girl.

Let’s get a few things straight here;

1) People would actually pay to not see me in lycra.

2) I have the coordination of a drunk toddler and am a grand total of 5’2 so the sign would most definitely end up in/on the car.

And 3) I like to write and I like to talk so standing like a teapot would not be my thing *I also can’t control my face/eyebrow and have a mega resting bitch face*

THERE! That’s it! That is my only issue with grid girls.

I don’t feel intimidated by them *others may and I understand where they’re coming from on that* I just think it’s a dated tradition these days when we’re trying to encourage women to join the world of racing and you mainly see them used as decorations.

The Opinionated Arsehole

I AM ALL FOR GRID KIDS. ALL FOR IT.

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But then came the ‘child labour’ comments. The people who don’t like change, digging for a reason to be negative. The ‘traditionalist’ and health and safety nuts that argue how the ‘show’ won’t be the same without the ‘pretty girls and fast cars’ or how dangerous it is for kids to be around the cars.

OKAY THEN! ENJOY PUTTING YOUR CHILD IN A PLASTIC BUBBLE TO PROTECT THEM FROM LIFE WHILST YOU TELEPORT BACK TO THE 50’S SO WOMEN ARE SEEN AND NOT HEARD!

Honestly, y’all sound R.I.D.ICULOUS.

Kids meeting their idols, having the opportunity to experience that world is an amazing reward for their hard work and efforts. It’s a reward that very few can afford and getting to actually stand that close to the cars, teams and drivers as they do all their last-minute preparation is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Let’s face it, many of these kids will have grown up being told that, like a lot of us, our ‘outlandish’ dreams are just that ‘dreams’ and we should focus on something more obtainable, to ‘settle’. So why not!? Why not reward their work to get where they are? To be the best in their series? What is so wrong with encouraging their hard work instead of picking fault?

The Prefect

Formula E have done the grid kid thing before. They are slightly ahead of the times with that and with the fan participation bit so we all applauded and put them on the pedestal to show the non believers that FE is good and proper….

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But oh how the mighty have fallen. No sooner had they made a dig at Formula 1 and ‘welcomed’ them to the future, it was announced that they would be using grid girls in their next race.

Can I offer you some concealer to cover up that red face you’ve got there, FE?

MOVING ON.

The Teacher’s Pet

Fernando Alonso has been confirmed as the only racing driver to exist in the entire world!

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Dramatic, I know but that is exactly how it feels!

So, the key points of this are as follows:

WEC had rearranged the date of the 6 Hours of Fuji to prevent a clash with IMSA Petit Le Mans where some of the WEC drivers are already racing.

*Fernando Alonso enters stage right with Toyota*

WEC notice that 6 Hours of Fuji clashes with the US GP.

WEC CHANGE THE DATE OF FUJI TO SUIT ONE PERSON AND FUCK THE REST OF THEM. YOU ALL HAVE TO SUFFER!

Where is the justice? I like Fernando and I don’t believe for one minute that he’s turned around, dummy flying from pram, and demanded they change it for him *I’m rooting for you here, Fernando, you better not have been a diva*.

Quite obviously, this has been big news and I imagine has brought the series to the attention of many other people but JESUS GUYS! There are better ways to make headlines than to piss off an entire grid of people and cause a good few bitchy comments *rightly so in my opinion*.

Last but not least(slight side note really)…the 2018 liveries.

So far we have a slightly brighter white HAAS and a Williams with more black. Both sporting the halo obviously *another thing I’ve no strong feelings about* but pretty much the same old livery with slightly more/newer paint.

I’m hoping to be wowed newt week by some amazing design or drastic colour change… or even an OTT presentation but I’m not holding my breath.

*Prays for 2017 Force India style livery change/reveal* Props to whoever decided that because I WAS SPEECHLESS!

So yes, once again, Twitter has been full of petty arguments, ‘loyal’ fans and just general childish behaviour that make me question why I’m part of this fanbase.

Welcome back to school, guys. Some people’s minds never leave apparently…

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Life

What Next?…

I’m not one for uncertainty. I hate surprises and not knowing. Disorganisation is not my thing. I can do spontaneity but only with a few weeks of intense planning beforehand.

 

At 24, only a year after I qualified as a veterinary nurse and settling into a job I both love and loathe in equal measures, I find myself back into a place of sickening uncertainty.

Last week, I found out that I stand a good chance of being jobless at the end of May as my boss plans to retire and sell up. This is something that has taken both my coworkers and myself as a massive surprise.

 

So, here I am. Uncertain, pondering my future and what my next step will be.

 

As a child, I was quiet, painfully shy and anxious in public. I loved science and writing as well as anything to do with animals. I was always my biggest critic and had zero self belief in my own abilities. I didn’t want to rock the boat or go against the norm, I just wanted to blend in.

English presentations were spent shaking uncontrollably, stifling tears, vomit and a looming panic attack as I stood in front of a class of people I had known for years. My wallflower self didn’t cope well-being in the spotlight. I was far more backup dancer than Beyoncé. It wasn’t my cup of tea.

I chose a career based on my love of science instead of my love of both writing and racing.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love veterinary nursing but the physical strain it puts on your body is already taking its toll on me. Back pain, creaking knees and all the scars. Not to mention the emotional and psychological anguish it causes. It’s a job that hurts in more ways that one.

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I’ve changed a lot since I was a child *naturally* and I’ve grown a lot in more ways than one. I’m more outgoing and happier to put myself out there and be the centre of attention since I started blogging and YouTube *even if I do find sharing my work slightly unnerving*. I’ve developed a strange love for it as I’ve grown more comfortable with myself and stopped second guessing everything I do/say.

I won’t lie, I was heavily influenced by TV and the lack of females in the racing world completely put me off even trying, something I will regret forever. But, the likes of Lee McKenzie, Suzi Perry, Rachel Brooks and Natalie Pinkman sparked something in me, something that I never thought I’d want to do. A far cry from the panicky little girl who would tear up as she tripped over her section in Macbeth that she’d recited in her head 1000x *I was one of the witches for goodness sake, it wasn’t like I was speaking completely alone*.

I’d love to join the racing world. To join the likes of my idols reporting and presenting has become a dream of mine since hitting my twenties but where do I begin? How does one even get into something like this? It baffles me.

So, here I am. Confused, uncertain and a little bit scared.

Do I go with the flow and hope for the best? Look for another veterinary nursing job and accept my career? Or do I follow my new-found dream? *and obviously work towards it whilst still working*

 

Who knows.

For now, I do my research. Knowledge is power after all *even if it is knowledge of how to get into a new field of work*

 

The future is a funny old thing and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

Life

Just Another Statistic

Disclaimer: I’m quite an open person these days but this is a subject I have only spoken about with my closest friends. It is something that has ruined my outlook on relationships and caused me to sabotage the majority of recent ones.

Many people, if not all, look back on their younger selves with a sense of nostalgia and cringe. From hairstyles to partners to the Facebook statuses that Time Hop insists you look at, we all look back on these things and wonder how we actually had friends.

I look back on my younger self with regret. I don’t understand how I could be so naive, so trusting and so dense in one go.

I trusted too freely and I loved too hard.

When I was younger, I classed rape as something that happened to people walking alone in dark allies by strangers.

I saw it as something that was violent and dangerous. It was something that would never happen to me because I was smarter than to go off alone and walk in the dark,

I was wrong.

90% of people know their rapist.

45% are committed by a partner.

And that is a statistic that I wish I didn’t fall into.

It took me years, literally, to understand it. I didn’t believe that someone I was dating could rape me. It didn’t make sense.

But unwanted, non-consensual sex is still rape.

Call me what you want. A liar, a drama queen. Say that I’m over reacting but I know what it was.

I didn’t want it.

‘If you loved me you would.’ A phrase that was often used when I said no.  We’re together and it’s what he wants so I should do as I’m told. Shouldn’t I? How else am I going to keep him happy?

I would feel guilty and I would give in because I loved him. It wasn’t what I wanted and I wouldn’t enjoy it. I’d lie there, wishing it was over, wanting to be anywhere but where I was which just made the guilt even worse.

Nights out were the worst. Predrinking and then going out. I would always end up too drunk. Vulnerable. I would say no but that wouldn’t matter because you don’t know what you’re talking about when you’re drunk, right?

I don’t like to go into details, I just don’t want to really.

Our relationship was volatile but it wasn’t violent. My emotional and psychological state was shattered, beaten down into submission and I was so very unhappy but I didn’t understand why.

I look back now I’m older and I’m quite frankly disgusted in my naivety.

I can’t say I’m stronger for it. Hell, it has ruined my outlook on relationships. I’ve had nightmares about it but it’s over and I’m still rebuilding myself from it years later.

If you take anything from this post, take this. Rape in relationships is a thing. It is not acceptable and it is still rape even if they are your partner.

 

It’s not just women who are raped, men are also effected.

5% of reported rapes have male victims but this statistic doesn’t represent the real number as, commonly, men are less inclined to report their attacks.

I wish I had spoken to someone. God’s honest truth. It’s something that I wish I had addressed and understood at a younger age.

Sorry if this has caused anyone any upset. That was not my intention.

If you have been affected by it and need some help. Organisations such as Rape Crisis offer a lot of advice for both male and female victims.

Hopefully, I will be back with something more positive in the near futures.

For now, take these word from me.

One day, you will find someone that pushes the bad memories to the back and fills your life with joy. It may be a lover, it may be a friend. One day though, you will love and be loved so fiercely and your past will seem like a bad dream!

X

Life

Dear Mum…

Dear mum,

Where do I start?

You’re my harshest critic. The one that knows which buttons to press to really anger me.

You never approve of my decisions: my make up is too much, my dress is too revealing, I drink too much, I spend money on crap, my taste in men is terrible.

You judge me harshly.

But you do it for all the right reasons.

My revealing dress nearly got me attacked one New Year.

My excessive drinking left me stranded 8 miles from home at 4am.

My taste in men leaves me pulling my hair out, crying and trying to make myself what they want.

Your seemingly harsh judgements are meant out of love. 

You worry about me. 

My dress and makeup give off the wrong impression.

My drinking and taste in men leave me vulnerable and easily exploited.

You’ve seen the best and worst moments of my life.

You’ve comforted me through the death of 3 friends, picking me up off the bathroom floor when I couldn’t move for crying.

You’ve bathed my cuts and sat by my hospital bed when I wanted to die.

You’ve been my rock and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for puking in your car when I got drunk underage (x10).

I’m sorry for ringing you to rescue me when I tried to walk the 10 miles home at 4am.

I’m sorry for the heartache and worry I’ve caused you. The fact you’ve never forgiven yourself for leaving me at the hospital *don’t worry, I forgive you*.

I promise you will always be my number 1.

I promise I will ring you everyday when I move away so you ‘don’t end up dead for days being eaten by the cat’ *her words, not mine*

I promise I’ll bring my future children to see you often and let you pick what they call you. Nan? Granny? *this is weird

I promise to always discuss a new Jonathan Creek episode with you and recommend you my latest good reads.

You’re my harshest critic and my biggest fan. I know you still have the bowl I made you when I was 8 *it’s lopsided and crudely painted. Please get rid*.

You made me the strong person I am today and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all your love and nurturing over the years.

Love,

Josie

X


Every parent/child relationship is different. You may be closer to one parent than the other. You may be from a single parent home/have guardians. Give them some love this Mothers day. A cuppa, a thank you, a smile. The little gestures.

Life

Second Date, Maybe?

People overestimate how many dates I go on. In my entire 23 years, I’ve been on 4 so I’m not exactly very knowledgeable about this malarkey.

I like the idea of the traditional dates but I’m easily bored so, after sifting through my own little brain, I came up with some date ideas that would guarantee I would be wanting a second.

*All of these ideas are my personal preference because, obviously, I can only write from my own point of view*

Zoo Dates

Okay, this would probably be the best and worst idea for a date for people like me. There would be a high chance that you wouldn’t be spoken to for long periods of time while I ran off to squeal at different animals. Ask yourself this though, if you got to watch this person you kinda/sorta like, wandering around, all shiny eyes and ear to ear smiles, how could you not decide then and there if you wanted a second date? It’s different. It’s special. It’s romantic and relaxing. It’s minimal effort really but with an outstanding effect.

Adventure Dates

Adrenaline rush with a side of hottie, anyone? Ultimate date goals. It takes into account your date’s interests and shows that you have actually listened to them…

Go Ape isn’t everyone’s cup of tea for a date. All that sweating and tomato face-ness isn’t exactly attractive but COME ON! Live a little. It’s so much fun plus one wrong move and your date will have to catch you when you fall.

Traditional Dates

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Right. Well. Admittedly, Alnwick Treehouse Restaurant isn’t your traditional date but it is a restaurant so I’m counting it, kinda. Traditional with a twist would be a better take on this. Restaurants and bars with some personality such as The Alchemist in Leeds are perfect settings for dates. They add character and stops your dates from blurring into the rest of the ‘let’s go for food/drinks and chat’ dates that are ever so popular.

 

I’m aware that not everyone will share my views on this. I just like a little more excitement in my life than the stereotypical drinks and a chat or cinema dates. I’d rather someone make an effort to do something that they know I will really enjoy.

Be original. Be unique. Step outside your comfort zone and you may be rewarded.

Until next time…

Toodles!

X

Life

Embracing your Inner Ninja

Depression is both a selfish and selfless illness.

A never ending pit you’re desperately trying to climb out of without pulling anyone else in with you.

It’s a taboo subject. Rarely spoken about because of the stigma attached to having a mental illness.

Stefani Caminiti of The Inner Ninja Foundation is aiming to encourage those who are effected by mental health disorders to seek help by sharing her own experiences.

As a Formula 1 fan, I  was only made aware of The Inner Ninja Foundation when an interview with Daniel Ricciardo, notorious smiler and world’s fastest honey badger, became a supporter of the foundation.

I was amazed by how open and honest his interview with Fox was, stating that his ‘eyes had been opened’ and he had a ‘new understanding’ for depression and other mental illnesses.

Ricciardo became an ambassador for The Inner Ninja Foundation due to both his relationship with Caminiti *both are lifelong friends* and his belief that mental health wellbeing is a ‘fundamental aspect of keeping racing fit, successful and being able to tackle every day life’.

The Inner Ninja Foundation may be an Australian based support foundation but the principles are universal for both those suffering from mental illness as well as those who support those suffering.

It’s hard, near impossible, to see how those who love and try to support you are being effected by your struggle.

I asked some of my friends and family for their experiences of dealing with my depression.

‘I stay awake at night, worrying about you. I never know if you’re lying about being alright or if you’re fine. I feel sick with worry that one day I’m going to get a phone call saying you’re back in hospital. The worst thing I’ve ever done is leave you in hospital by yourself’ – a phrase I’ve heard my mother say many times. A regret she’s had since the day I attempted to kill myself at 16 *I have never held it against her*

My best friend will always be the one that has endured the worst; the mood swings, isolation, the razor blade to the wrist, sobbing until I can’t breathe.

I have never once asked any of my friends or loved ones how it’s affected their lives and, for that, I am truly sorry.

It takes strength to battle mental illness publicly or privately like Stefani Caminiti but it also takes strength to support those battling their demons, if you are educated about the illness or not.

Release your Inner Ninja and fight your demons or help those around you fight them. Everyone has their own Inner Ninja!

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Live. Breathe. Embrace.

For now,

Toodles!

X

Life

Suicide Watch

7:17pm. I’ve not long got out of the shower, Blink 182’s ‘Adam’s Song’ is playing on shuffle and I’m completing my prework nightly routine of sorting my uniform out when I catch my reflection in the mirror.

Christmas has been kind to my heart, my waistline? Not so much. That’s not what has caught my attention.

Friday 13th January marks my 23rd birthday. A birthday I should technically not be here to see.

The white/silver slashes around my hips and the carvings on my wrists tell a story of a past I’ve learnt to embrace and grow from. They serve as a reminder of what I’ve been through.

The large white ones I remember well. I remember the tears when submersing them in the water in our bath, the sheer pain that made me want to scream.

It’s been nearly 7 years since I hit rock bottom. The poignant words in Adam’s Song have brought back a wave of memories I had once locked away.

Suicide is a difficult thing to address and talk about for anyone.

At 16, I had given up all hope. I was suffocating. I was miserable with my entire life. Tears no longer helped and I remember being numb beyond belief.

It was the day before my GCSE Chemistry exam but that was the last thing on my mind. I’d cried so hard I was verging on throwing up. I was inconsolable. Life was too much and there was no up, no light, I just wanted to sleep.

I was sitting in my pyjamas on my bed, my antidepressants in one hand and water in the other. It was the only option. In my mind at least.

30 tablets gone. I felt…relieved. Soon it would be over and everyone would be happy that I wasn’t there or so my thought was.

20 minutes later, I was sitting on my bedroom floor. Should I write a note? Should I tell someone why I did it? Will my mam blame herself?

That’s what got me. My mam.

I’m the youngest and her only girl. The thought of her finding my lifeless body brought me to my senses. She loved me no matter what. I was her baby *still am*.

It took more courage to walk down those 15 stairs than it did to swallow 30 tablets.

The look on her face. The crumbling, distraught look.

‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WE NEED TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL’

I spent 4 hours in the hospital waiting room. Apparently, it’s very difficult to actually kill yourself with my antidepressants which, in hindsight, is a Godsend.

Hours of blood tests marked the beginning on my night.

‘Do you know how stupid you were? You could have killed yourself?’

‘I know. That was the point’

I was too emotionally and physically drained to be dealing with the doctor’s ‘tough love’ approach to be anything other than a snarky bitch.

I spent the night in hospital. Hourly blood tests to check my liver *no permanent damage*.

My mam didn’t stay the night. A decision she says she will regret for the rest of her life, she would have been watching me sleep and have my bloods taken constantly so I never held a grudge.

It’s a long time ago now, almost another lifetime ago. I’m a different person, a more positive person *not that I could have been anymore negative*.

If you hold on and decide you need to live, if you’re determined, you will get better.

It’s hard. Hell, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Living when I didn’t want to but, bloody hell, it has been worth it.  Every birthday is a gift I don’t deserve.

If in doubt, if you ever need to laugh or smile, google Chicken in Pants.

YOU’RE WELCOME!

Hopefully, real smiles will soon be gracing your face.

Toodles!

X