Thursday, January 29, 2009

I have been bad......

.....very bad. I have not uploaded anything for a while so here I am dusting down the cobwebs.

Since my last post I have been doing a lot of travelling, taking in Monza, as part of Bridgestone's five year celebrations.

This year's competition is open for entries.

The circuit itself was awesome, as a Ferrari fan to be at one of Italy's iconic circuits and hear the roar of the F1 machines ...well, it was a day of personal heaven for me! A magical experience despite all the mud, after the deluge that helped highlight the sport's latest German superstar. Sebastian Vettel did not put a foot wrong all weekend and watching him drive away lap after lap, despite Ferrari's poor showing, made the sun shine despite the damp conditions. I would certainly urge anyone who has not been to go. I certainly cannot wait to make another pilgrimage.

As well as Monza, near Milan, I have gone slightly Italian crazy in my travel plans. I have been to Rome before as a youngster and finally the Trevi magic weaved it's spell and once more I took in The Eternal City. Those of you who know me well will know that football was involved, and as a Chelsea fan with a fondness for some of the European teams, Roma being the ones I follow in Serie A, it was a perfect match up. Of course, the result did not go according to plan being a Chelsea fan first, all others second, but the Stadio Olimpico was grander than I expected and the trouble did seem far away. In fact with some good stewarding, a small incident was easily contained from becoming explosive. However, knowing the match was against Roma, I decided to go for a week and revisit some sites I had seen before as well as visit some new ones. The Colosseum never fails to break my neck in its sheer size and as the blueprint for stadiums, what with the match coming up I ended up idly comparing Olimpico and the Colosseum. In their respective eras both heaving with fervent 'fans' roaring on the action in the middle, a visit to the Colosseum would certainly have been a must for any self respecting Roman. Not so much for the early Christians though. Visiting the Catacombs on the Appian way was an eye-opening and educational experience, being taken down by a guide and walked through the catacombs really bought the history and the early fraught beginnings of the religion to live. There was a calm, serene quality to the atmosphere, whether it was simply the thought that this was once sanctuary to so many or something more spiritual is open to one's personal view. I, however, found that it was a beautiful silence and stillness to the air which is very rare in modern life, certainly in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the nearby city. As I had always wanted to visit the catacombs since seeing them in tour books I bought the first time, it was a journey I enjoyed making. This was especially the case as I made the trip on the Thursday. Earlier in the week I had made an early morning dash to the prefecture on the Tuesday for the Pope's open audience address on the Wednesday. The ability to see both the early sites of Christian worship and burial and the modern seat of the leader of Catholicism created a reverential, even spiritual experience.

Apart from the travelling I have also been sprucing up some fiction work and trying to get that side of my writing passion working again as well as taking time out seeing friends and family. Now though I really should get back to this non-fiction blog and some journalistic writing.

I shall start with a few loose ends.

The new F1 machines look a lot nicer in my opinion than the 2008 cars although I still remain unconvinced by the front wings. The other interesting factor I have noticed is the differing nose cone shapes with some going for 'fat and squat' shapes and others smaller more 'beak'shaped noses.

I have also doing a lot of reading and one article on the Times website caught my eye in particular. Well, seems I was musing right but will it actually happen? I hope so, I am a big fan of hard discs and video streaming such as iPlayer and so forth but the infrastrucutre needs to catch up with hardware.

I am currently working on setting up a few work pieces and these should be helping to start the blog counter revving up again. The hardest post I find though is the first one after a long absence so that debt is now served.

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    Under rigorous examination I suppose I am a considerate, intelligent, humorous type of person