Another Video! Nurburgring Chase-Me

Here’s another video Dad put up on Youtube that has the grand total of 3 views, so I thought I’d help him out…

Dad is in the black Hatch, and the camera is in the red Spec C. It was meant to be a pursuit style video, with Rob staying behind the whole time, however Russell in the Evo didn’t get the memo, and comes barging in right at the beginning.

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When Reality Never Quite Matches Your Dreams…

In my adolescence my ideal car was a Mitsubishi Eclipse – correction: the Eclipse Paul Walker drove in the first Fast and the Furious movie.

I love that car!

It’s been the stuff of my dreams, but it never made it over here. Dad bought me the tiny 1:64 model and I used to have that sat on my desk when I was younger. A couple of times when he came to the Ring he would manage to get a photo of one, though they never seemed to be common (and this was back in the day when there were fewer Japanese cars knocking about the Ring).

This time however I got to meet my dream in the flesh! And it was a little disappointing…

For starters, it was the Spider Tyrese Gibson drove in the second movie, not the original one, and it was definitely in need of some serious TLC…

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Courgette!! – The Raised Bed Diaries #6

I thought I’d killed my courgettes. I was reading so much contradictory information about courgettes – they need to be in modules, in pots this deep, in pots that deep, half-filled, no soil on top, lots of soil on top, on their edge, on their side, behind glass, out on the plot… it went on and on! After seeing nothing for three weeks, I’d all but given them up for goners. And then, on the day we’re about to go on holiday, I see this little guy poking his nose out!

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It was like the greatest moment so far! I was convinced I had killed them all. Even if I just have the one (I can’t remember how many I planted!), I will be dead pleased – and you don’t really need more than one courgette plant anyway.

Not sure how they’ll do while we’re away – I have these visions of coming home and finding everything all shrivelled up and dead. But hopefully all will be well and I’ll have a lovely little courgette plant growing along merrily!

A full and flourishing cloche! – The Raised Bed Diaries #5

We’re going away soon, but my trays in the cloche are coming along very nicely indeed!

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(L-R) Radish, Beetroot, Salad Leaves, Spinach. Below: Runner Beans (freshly potted) Courgettes (in tray) and Broccoli

There seems to be a weird sort of gap in the middle of the radishes: either my hand slipped when I was planting them or I overwatered them and they all swam into their neighbouring modules!

The runner beans have been freshly potted so I don’t expect to see much till after we’ve been away.

The courgettes are my main worry: they’ve been in over 3 weeks and nothing has happened.

The broccoli was already sprouting when I bought it, and I’ve repotted out into those round containers. It is growing at a great rate of knots, but I don’t know where I’m going to put it when I’ve run out of big enough containers.

Coming Up Nicely – The Raised Bed Diaries #4

So after a week or so, my little buds have come out and they’re looking pretty fine! There are so many!

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I’m dead pleased that I’ve actually managed to grow things: I was half convinced nothing would happen and I’d just have lots of little pots full of soil and nothing else. So to see all these little seedlings sprouting up is such a relief! Here are my spinach: IMG_0970

 

What’s the plural of spinach? Are they spinaches?

If you look closely on the below shot, you might be able to see my little beetroots, poking their noses out! They are very hard to see because they are a lovely deep burgundy red sort of colour.

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What we actually do at the Nurburgring… Video Easter 2014

This is what people think we do at the Nurburgring…

This is the new Calvin Harris tune, which I am loving atm. I think this idea of fast cars and scantily clad ladies is definitely what a lot of people go to the Nurburgring expecting, and are often a bit confused to find a great car park on a hill and a lot of posh posers in their Porsches who are never really going to chuck it around the track.

This is what we actually do at the Nurburgring…

This is a video of Dad chasing after his mate Rob, in the red Subaru Impreza. Occasional dialogue is supplied by Yours Truly!

Day 4 – Saturday

After the manic day of Kar Freitag, things calmed down a bit on Saturday. Because we had been in the field and had seen the carnage on the roads (traffic jams), we decided to do a bit of Loy-family scheming: Mum put the truck in the little gravel car park, within easy reach, and we put the two Subarus in the car park, where Dickie would for the most part remain as base camp, and where Dad could take his out and hopefully sneak it back in.

Writing this in hindsight, I can’t actually think of much that happened! But this is probably because I’m thinking too much about how amazing the Sunday was.

I did a lap just me and Dad in Dickie, and it was so much better than the day before’s. Dad didn’t have his telling-off voice on, probably because Mum wasn’t in the back and we didn’t have the camera on, and it was a lot more relaxed. I overtook two cars! And they were BMWs! They were taking it pretty steady, but still, a pass is a pass! I felt a lot better about it, though I’m still scared by a couple of corners where Dad says to stay out, stay out, stay out, and that bit of Armco is coming up very quickly!

We went to our old hotel again for dinner and had steaks again. Mum complained that they season them far too much with salt. We were also all confused by the strange dish that Sister brought out, which we all agreed looked mainly like dripping with salt crystals in it. Even Michael was confused by it. Michael brought us out apple strudels, which were amazing, and then we had drinks on him. They sure make vodka Sprites strong in Germany – half vodka, half Sprite! The lads tried to convince me to go out clubbing with them – I was too tired so rejected them (though I had to step in to make sure they didn’t leave their room key on the table in the hotel), and the next day they revealed that the club had been shut anyway!

All in all, Saturday sounds like it was a pretty boring day, but it was just the calm before the storm!

Day 3 – Kar Freitag

Good Friday seems to be the busiest day of the Easter weekend, and on a sunny day, spectator spots like Brunnchen and the car park on the hill are rammed with people and cars. Due to how busy it is, the day is a bad one for closures and accidents. Judging by yesterday evening’s events, the idiots are out in force. I have a feeling today might be more of a passenger day, and Dickie may be relegated to base camp!

Writing this retrospectively, Kar Freitag seems like ages ago!

We parked the three cars (Dickie, Dippy the Hatch and the truck) in the field. This was probably a bad idea. Because all of western Germany seems to descend upon the Nurburgring like they have nothing better to do, the roads around the track are absolutely rammed. We’ve travelled on Good Friday before, and the road we used to take to the hotel involved going along the road past Brunnchen, probably the biggest viewpoint on the whole track, and it was literally car park city going up the hill, and Dad about cooked the clutch on the truck. Friends of ours were travelling on the Friday and got stuck in traffic even before they’d gotten off the motorway.

From our park on the hill, we could see the extent of the queue. The road up to Nurburg and the entrance to the track, and down to the junction to go to the fastest petrol station in the world or into Adenau etc., were soon absolutely rammed either way by about mid morning. I don’t know how well you can see on the picture:

Kar Freitag

You can see how full the field is all the way down to the road, and how the road is then queued going up to the right towards the track, and to the left going away from the track. The traffic going away from the track barely moved all day!

Kar Freitag is never a good track-time day. Due to the volume of cars there are often many closures, and the longer a closure goes on for, the more angsty and hyped-up the drivers become, so that almost straightaway you can pretty much anticipate a second closure because somebody got a bit carried away and lost it. I’m sure there are plenty of videos on Youtube of Car Friday crashes if you did a quick search!

I actually got a lap out in Dickie, and it was the worst lap I think I’ve ever done. There was so much traffic on the track and I got scared when about seventy Porsches were all passing me at once. Kar Freitag wasn’t the best day, and it didn’t end very well.

We went to our old hotel for dinner, and I got to have my first proper steak! So that sort of made up for it. The one thing I don’t like about eating out in pubs in Germany is that everyone smokes inside, so the air is so thick with smoke it makes your eyes water and all your clothes stink of it.

Steak Nurburg

Here is a pic of our Steak Nurburg! In Germany, or at least in this part of Germany, they love to put fruit on their steaks. Here we have a peach, but we’ve had pineapples, strawberries, grapes. People do think this is weird, but then again, we have Hawaiian pizzas – ham and pineapple! Gammon and pineapple slices! Cranberry sauce with your turkey! Duck in orange/plum/lemon sauce!

Day 2 – Bonn

I slept really badly last night: we were worried about our room being too cold, and in actuality it was boiling hot. I did experience that most dreaded of nighttime dilemmas: roast under the covers, or stick a leg out of bed to keep cool and risk the monster under the bed

Unsurprisingly Mama and I slept in, because neither of us set an alarm and due to my need for total darkness, had no idea what time it was. We staggered downstairs semi-awake for a German breakfast feast – hard bread! boiled eggs! suspicious meats! kaffee! orange juice! At Casa Loy it is such a rarity that all members of the Loy family eat breakfast together, so holiday breakfasts are nice.

Our day was spent in Bonn. We went in Dad’s car and rode around for a while, while he tried to get his bearings (a few years ago e stayed in Bonn when he came with a friend to watch the Grand Prix at the Nurburgring). We found one of those cavernous underground car parks and then ascended the first staircase we found within the labyrinth.

We wandered around and took photos of the buildings and of the big cathedral with its twisty steeple. We then had a coffee in one of the plaza-type squares, Dad and Grandad keeping the table while Mama and I went round a shopping centre. We wandered a bit further, nosing in shops, and we went to the Rhein, to watch the barges bringing up their loads of containers.

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We went to a Pizza Hut for lunch (was the only place we could find that we all agreed on!) then Mum and I went shopping. We went to Promod, which ripped me off in Tenerife when the mister didn’t give me my change, but I bought two skirts here and Mum bought a top.

We wandered around a bit more and went into a fancy home shop. Everything is very Easter-themed here! All the hotels have Easter eggs hung in their houseplants and what have you. So I bought some fancy Easter baubles and a little basket to put them all in. I don’t know why we don’t celebrate Easter more in the UK: we love every other holiday.

Giant Lindt Bunny

Look at this huge Lindt bunny! You can compare its size to the regular sized ones all lined up underneath.

This evening was a pretty pants affair at the Nurburgring: the track didn’t open till later than half five, and then shut pretty much as soon as Dad and I got on the track, and then Dad did a lap with me and Mum once it opened, then it shut again. All in all it was opened about forty minutes and I didn’t even get a chance!

For tea we went to the Paddock, known as the one with the painting of the cars on the wall. It was very nice and heaving! I declined to have a steak, and had a mustard chicken thing:

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Whilst we were at the Paddock, there was a table of gobby British tourists. There seem to be those who come to the Ring as a bucket list thing, getting drunk in Nurburg and embarrassing the rest of us, shouting and mouthing off about doing 8 minute laps when they are really just Car Park Cruisers.