Monday, July 28, 2008

Amelia Is 6 Months Old

Yesterday (27th July) Amelia was 6 months old. As you can see by this picture she is very cute and I have to say her personality matches her cuteness. She is always smiling, even while she was recently ill with croup.

She is now able to roll over on her mat and will soon be able to roll back and even crawl. She also has 2 teeth poking through at the front of her bottom jaw.

I can't believe she is 6 months old already. It does not seem that long since she was born. As with Alice, we can't even remember life without her.

Having children is such a pleasure. It is hard work, expensive and frustrating but it is also the most rewarding, pleasurable amazing thing that can happen in life. Victoria and I love them both so much.

More pictures of both my girls from this year are available here if you want a look. I would recommend it as they are both very beautiful. :-)

Tent Pitching Practice

As you know, Victoria, Alice, Amelia and I are off to Wales for some camping fun in our new tent next week so we thought we had better have a practice pitch to make sure all was straight forward and nice and easy.

As you can see by the picture here we managed to get the tent up and I have to say it was really easy. We took about 50 minutes for this first attempt but I reckon we could get it down to about 30 minutes now we know what to do.

Alice enjoyed the tent as you can see. :-)

More pictures here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Max The Whore-Master Wins Court Case

What a surprise, Max Mosley has won his court case against the News Of The World because of the true stories they printed about him.

Apparently he does not deny he was enjoying 'a sadomasochistic orgy with several prostitutes' but it was the part about the Nazi role-playing that he objected too, maybe due to the fact that he comes from a long line of nazi's and would rather hide it.

The case hinged on a key witness, one of the prostitutes who set the whole thing up and filmed the incident. She was apparently too emotionally stressed to appear in court. I am not sure and obviously have no proof but I bet that if someone did a little snooping into her financial situation and got a look at her bank accounts they will find a recent and rather large deposit!! Can you guess where it might have come from? :-)

Now I am not surprised that Mosley won this case. He was going to fix it somehow just like he fixed the FIA vote of confidence last month, but what worries me is that the court can allow the case to continue when one of the key witnesses does not turn up. Are they not compelled to be there by law if they are called as a witness?

Secondly, is hiring 5 prostitutes not illegal any more? He admits that he did that so should he not be arrested or fined or cautioned or whatever happens to such people?

Anyway it is all a fix. Luckily everyone on the planet knows it was a fix and all the F1 teams know it. He is no longer welcomed at many races and we no longer have to see his stupid grinning idiotic face spouting lies and propaganda (mainly about Mclaren) on the TV during races.

Finally, the BEST punishment is that his wife and children knew nothing of his 'hobby'. They do now and no matter who he pays off they will always know what sort of man he is. :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Briddon's Are Going Camping

It sounds a bit like a National Lampoon movie but we have decided that we would like to go camping for a short holiday this year so the family Briddon have been to buy a tent this evening.

We went to Go Outdoors this evening to make our purchase and decided upon an Easy Camp Licata 600

Essentially we went for the biggest we could get without spending stupid money!

We also bought sleeping bags and air beds along with a few other bits and pieces and when we got home we booked 3 nights at The Willows in Abersoch, north Wales. It has easy access to the beach and other attractions and looks like a nice place to spend a few days.

So, we can't wait for 2 weeks time when we toddle off. Before then we still have a few things to buy so we will be making more trips to Go Outdoors as they were so very helpful today.

Kimi Raikkonen - What A Twat!

The video posted here shows Kimi Raikkonen at the German Grand Prix this weekend knocking down a little girl and not even turning round to see if she was OK. What a twat!

This poor little girl probably just wanted to say hello to a racing driver and he knocks her over and does not give a shit. If he had done that to Alice I would have thrown a fit and insisted on an apology.

The man needs to sort out his priorities and realise that he needs to be nice to fans, especially small children!

Raikkonen is now getting close to being as popular with me as Alonso!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cricket At Headingley - 18th July 2008

So, yesterday was our much anticipated trip to Headingly to watch some cricket. Regular readers may remember that we went last year and it got rained off so we spent the day in various pubs. We still had a good time but we really wanted to watch some cricket!

This year we were in luck. The weather, while not perfect was largely rain free apart from a few showers.

So, we started the day by meeting at Sheffield train station at 07:45 and caught the 08:21 train to Leeds. Ian, Mark and Conrad decided that this was the time to start drinking but I thought that was a bad idea and stuck to coffee at this early hour!

Mark had decided that everyone should dress up as a panda for today's match and painted himself up on the train. He then did Conrad and throughout the day most of the others in our group. I of course refused to become part of 'Team Panda-monium' as I firstly hate fancy dress and secondly consider face painting to be a bit common. ;-)

We headed to the Headingly Taps pub for a pre match pint and then to the ground for the cricket.

England were batting first and were a bit crap to be honest. They were all out at the end of the day for 203! Rubbish. It did not spoil the day though, mainly because we were all drinking so much beer. :-)

The crowd were a bit quiet at first but after a few drinks they livened up. There were signs at the ground telling people not to build beer snakes (plastic glass towers) or they will be thrown out so obviously there were loads of the things. They actually did throw people out as well which was a bit of a pathetic thing to do!

There were also lots of things being thrown about in addition to the beer snakes. The usual inflatables were present but I think the crowd favourite was the plastic baby. It was going for ages until one very miserable steward decided to confiscate it! Sad bastard if you ask me!!

After the cricket we got a taxi to The Elbow Room again and played a game of killer pool before heading back to Sheffield.

By this point only the hardcore few were up for more beers so there were only 5 of us at The Showroom in the end and only 3 of us went for a kebab after that, the only way to end a day of drinking and cricket! :-)

All in all a good day. Everyone had fun and we actually got to see some cricket!! Anyone for next year?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Operation Certain no more.

It's true! For me at least Operation Certain Death is not going to happen.

I have had to pay out a fortune this year for various things and recently our kitchen has sprung a leak which essentially means we are having a whole new kitchen, and what with the increase in the cost of the flights I just can't afford it.

I am extremely disappointed and feeling rather pissed off about it but these things happen.

Still, I have discovered a love of walking and my brother (who is still going) will be planning another trip next year so maybe that will work out better.

Hey ho!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Amelia News!!!!

Big news regarding Amelia this weekend! She has been a little grumpy recently which is not at all like her and her gums have been rather hard. Coupled with the almost constant stream of drool emanating from her mouth and we knew teeth were on the way!!!

Yesterday I was playing with Amelia when I saw in her mouth a little flash of white and when I investigated I found the little sprout of a first tooth!! Victoria and I were very excited!!!!

This morning we had another look and what do you know, there was another right next to the first!!! This second tooth was not really unexpected as they normally come through in pairs but it was exciting all the same.

So, we have two front teeth on the bottom jaw sprouting. I will take pictures when possible, which is not yet as whenever I try to open Amelia's mouth to get a good look she sticks out her tongue!

Updates as they happen! :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

British Grand Prix 2008 Pics and Videos

British Grand Prix Start - 6th July 2008 from Christian Briddon on Vimeo.
I have finally managed to sort, tidy and upload all my pictures from last weekend's amazing Grand Prix.

I managed to whittle the 920 pictures down to around 200! I took more this year because we were in the grandstands so there were more pictures spoiled by posts and fences. The pictures are available on Flickr here.

I have also added a few videos to vimeo, including the one of the start posted above. Others can be found here, here and here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

British Grand Prix Moves To Donington? Maybe...

Last Friday, while Victoria and I were watching Friday practice at Silverstone, Bernie Ecclestone announced that as from 2010 the British Grand Prix would be moving to Donington.

This upset me. I have been watching the British GP at Silverstone for years and it is the circuit I associate with the race. I know all the corners and now we have been for the past 2 years Victoria and I know all the best places to sit to watch the race. Silverstone has been hosting the British GP for 60 years on and off!!!!

Why does it have to move? Because Bernie Ecclestone says the facilities are not good enough and he has been threatening to take the race away for years unless they improved.

Maybe the facilities are not the best but Brazil has worse facilities at their circuit and in Canada this year part of the circuit was crumbling away and all Bernie could say was that it 'was the same for all the drivers'. Double standards?

You have to remember also that in other countries the government pours millions into F1 to build the circuit and pay for the GP. At Silverstone the GP is hosted by the BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) who own the circuit. They had to pay Bernie £11 million this year just to host the race. That is just about what they got for the tickets! They don't even get a cut of the advertising as that goes to the FIA or one of Bernie's companies. They also have to pay for the upkeep of the track and they are also supposed to improve facilities. All this with no external help.

The government refuses to help Silverstone as they see F1 as such a rich sport. They also refuse to pour money into what is essentially a private venture, taking no notice of the prestige the race provides or the £40 million that the race is worth to the local economy. They would rather pour billions into the Olympics which is a one off event that will leave us with many white elephant venues after the games have left.

So, why could Silverstone not be improved? Well it has been. There is better access now on the A43 (I have to admit that this was government funded but only because of much local outrage that the entire area ground to a halt during the GP). They have also improved the pit wall and the grandstands as well as building extra seating. They also finally got planning permission to build a new pit lane and paddock which will cost them £30 million. These things take a long time because the circuit does not make much money from the race, yet they need to invest what they do make into the improvements, so they need to have a race to pay for the improvements and have the improvements to continue to have a race.

As I said, last Friday it was announced that the British GP would be moved to Donington as apparently Bernie has given up on waiting for Silverstone to improve.

Do not think however that Donington is a shining example of how a racing circuit should look. It is about 1 mile shorter than Silverstone and so will have to be greatly altered to increase the length. There is not enough room for an F1 pit/paddock complex due to the design of the track and the grandstands are small, old and falling apart.

When the announcement was made that the GP was moving it was suggested that funding for these improvements was already secured and that the building work was ready to start. Later on we discover that there is no money just yet and that they do not have planning permission.

Other issues could include the access road to Donington. A single carriageway road (the A453) which will have to be widened. This will mean people will have to be moved and their houses demolished.

Donnington is also very close to East Midlands airport which is not good as the F1 teams and TV crews use a wide variety of radio cameras and microwave transmitters, as well as pit radios that are all very close to the frequencies used by air traffic control. This has to cause problems.

Will the airport also like having all the roads nearby clogged up for an entire weekend meaning all their customers can't get to their airport? I think not. They are likely to fight the planning permission which will cause more delays.

So, will Donington host the 2010 British Grand Prix? I don't think so. I do not believe that it can be ready in 2 years time.

Unfortunately Bernie Ecclestone says that if there is no Donington there is no British GP. I am hoping he is just bluffing.

A few years ago he told the world that he GP was moving to Brands Hatch and that Silverstone was finished but that all fell through. I am hoping he is doing the same now. He is British for god's sake. Surely he has some national pride and wants there to be a British GP no matter what!

Here's hoping Silverstone keeps the GP for many, many more years.

Monday, July 07, 2008

British Grand Prix - Race - 6th July 2008

Yesterday was the day of the race. I was going to post something when we got home but we were too tired as we got up at 05:30 am to make sure we missed the traffic. It worked and we once again got to the circuit with ease.

Once again we grabbed some breakfast and decided to have a sit in our seats while we decided what to do for the morning. It was then that the rain started!

We were in a covered grandstand so in theory we should have been nice and dry but the rain was that really light rain that gets you very wet without noticing and the wind was blowing it right into the grandstand so we might as well have been stood in the rain. Still, we had waterproofs which kept us dry and we just sat waiting for the races to start while drinking coffee and hot chocolate.

It was a long wait until the main event but there was plenty to keep us occupied. Firstly there was the Formula BMW race which is a formula for very young drivers. They were all about 15 and most had never driven in the wet before so that made for a good race. When the winner got out of his car he was greeted by a big hug from not a gorgeous girlfriend but from his mum! LOL.

Next was the GP2 race. This is the racing formula that drivers go to before F1 and the all really want to look good and get that elusive F1 drive, so they try really hard. Once again the track was wet so this was another excellent race with Bruno Senna winning.

Following the GP2 was the Porsche Supercup. We went to get some lunch when this was on as it always seems a but dull to us and Porsche 911's are a bit plebby if you ask me. ;-)

Finally we get to the F1. The race started at 1pm but the cars were on the grid at about 12:30 along with all the drivers and many celebs, including Damon Hill, Sterling Moss (we are not worthy!) Murray Walker (also not worthy), Sarah Ferguson, Jodie Kidd, Davina McCall, Gordon Ramsey and many more. I have many pictures of the grid at this time and we are playing spot the celeb. It's a bit like Where's Wally!!

After the grid is cleared it is down to business.

As I said yesterday, Hamilton qualified 4th which was a bit disappointing, but we need not have worried. As soon as the race started he flew past Raikkonen and Webber and into second. He then passed his team mate Kovalainen a few laps later. Then for the rest of the race he flew round Silverstone while everyone else slipped off the track because of the water. It was a masterful drive. He won in the end with a lead of 68 seconds and had lapped everyone apart from 2nd and 3rd place. This was the sort of drive that you only see in a true driving genius. Senna could do it, Schumacher can do it and now Hamilton.

Although Raikkonen won the championship last year it was down to him having more experience, not being a better driver. He hates the rain and it showed this weekend as he struggled to find grip.

While we watched the race the crowd were going mad all the way through. The atmosphere was amazing and I have to say it was the best event I have ever been to.

Hopefully Hamilton (who now leads the championship again) will be able to rid himself of the pressure he has been under and the British tabloids will stop slagging him off so much. That way he can concentrate on winning his first championship!!

As I did last year, I can't recommend going to see a Grand Prix highly enough. It is an amazing experience and although the tickets may seem expensive you do get 3 good days of entertainment for the price. Unfortunately we have now decided that we like sitting on the start finish straight which happen to be the most expensive tickets so it will cost us loads whenever we go. Oh well, it's worth it!!

I took 587 photo's last year over the 3 days and this year I took 920! It is not easy to photograph something going past you at 200mph so you tend to take loads. As we were in a grandstand this year it was also difficult to avoid the posts holding up the roof which resulted in even more pics. I have not sorted through them and edited them yet but I will let you know when I have.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

British Grand Prix - Qualifying - 5th July 2008

Today was day 2 of our British Grand Prix 2008 trip and day 2 means qualifying.

As the traffic was so bad last year Victoria and I decided to leave the hotel early to avoid as much of it as possible, so we left at 06:45 and got to Silverstone at 07:15. A VERY good trip time.

We got to the track and the first thing we did was get a breakfast butty. Well, I had a breakfast butty but Victoria had a curry!! :-)

We decided to eat these in the stands so sat in Luffield B which is where we wanted to be for today. As soon as we sat down it started pissing it down. It was also windy and cold. We were freezing.

Luckily we were in a covered grandstand so we just had to wait it out. It was very cold though!!

At 10am the F1 Saturday practice started, followed by Porsche Supercars qualifying and then the F1 qualifying which was the big show of the day.

Unfortunately Lewis Hamilton lost the car near the end of a fast lap, as you can see in the picture above, and so only qualified fourth. Still, the race is winnable from there and he is so very good. :-)

Tomorrow is race day. We will be say right on the start/finish line so have the best view possible. We are rather looking forward to it.

Go Lewis!!!!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

British Grand Prix - Friday Practice - 4th July 2008

It's here at last!!! Time for Victoria and I to pay a visit to the British Grand Prix. This year we have the best tickets in the house, right on the start/finish line.

We dropped off the kids at my mum's at 7am and got to Silverstone at 10ish. We went straight to our seats to watch the first practice and were annoyed to find that Mclaren, who would normally have been stationed directly in front of our seats are now way down the pitlane thanks to whore beating nazi Max Mosley. I must write to hit to tell him that I hate him and hope he burns in hell. :-)

Still, out seats are amazing!!

We then walked round the track, as we did last year, sitting in all the grandstands so that we know where the best seats are. Luffield and Woodcote seem like good candidates for next year!

While we were doing this we watched Formula BMW practice, GP2 Practice and the second F1 practice. All good stuff.

After 2nd practice we headed off to our hotel, which seems nice and has free internet which I am using now!

More fun tomorrow for qualifying. Today was busy but tomorrow is a sell out, as is race day. It will be really busy so we will be getting up early to get there while avoiding the worst of the traffic.

Go Lewis I say!!!!

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