hamilton the champion of the world

Lego F1 Lewis Hamilton world champion
Well done Lewis Hamilton on a fifth Formula One World Championship title! (Unfortunately this model of Lego F1 car doesn’t have the ‘halo’, I’ll need to add one in)

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Ferrari tales

Lego F1 Ferrari
Two of my favourite things rolled into one: Lego and Formula 1. This is the Ferrari SF-16H (new Lego toy but last season’s car, which wasn’t as fast as this year’s but didn’t have that big shark’s fin). I was so excited for this F1 season to begin, and now it has I’m even more excited. I can see it being a properly epic season, hopefully with battles between teams rather than the old 1-2 finishes from the fastest team’s drivers. Hamilton vs Vettel! Verstappen! Ricciardo! Watching the podium after the Chinese Grand Prix, they just all looked so happy. Much better than the tantrums and hat-throwing. I don’t know, I just want to see great competition, and watch the cars and hear the roar of the engines. I have a few other F1 Lego cars, and I might even draw them too. GO GO GO!

formula 1 on mother’s day

mothers' day
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day in America (two months later than England). We were over in Santa Rosa, and we all had doughnuts on Sunday morning (or ‘donuts’ as they insist on spelling them over here), after which my son and I watched the Formula One, for it was the Spanish Grand Prix, which was won by Spanish driver Fernando Alonso. I sketched the living room in my Moleskine, while family milled about. Sketched with brown uni-ball signo um-151, with a spot of red paint.

Hope you mothers all had a happy mother’s day!

you’re a racecar in the red?

toy red racecar

Formula One starts this weekend, belatedly, and I can’t wait! Nor can my three-year-old son, who was busy playing with his playmobil racecar in anticpation today. I love watching it, even though it means either getting up really early or staying up really late (one of which i do anyway). Now I have the Speed channel, I can watch it properly; in the pre-extended-cable past, I used to watch the channel in a fuzzy black and white form with no sound but static, while watching updates on the BBC website; the real entertainment came from the closed caption subtitles, obviosuly written very quickly by someone completely unfamiliar with formula one driver’s names (eg, names like  ‘kimmy right gone on’, ‘world champion jason bunton’ and my favourite, ‘knack jim’). Sometimes I put the captions on for old times’ sake. It’s a fun game, convert your name to a closed caption gaffe; mine’s ‘peat’s gully’. 

Anyway, here’s to another season of safety cars and dodgy new circuits, alonso sulking, hamilton rueing some silly mistake, webber and vettel trying to convince us they’re teammates, and the great legend michael schumacher making a big deal out of coming ninth rather than tenth.

Illustration Friday this week is themed ‘toy‘, so this is my entry (thanks Shiho Nakaza for pointing it out, I hadn’t seen IF for a while!). I have a feeling I’ll draw more toys this week, since I have been lately. In fact I have put together a Flickr set of my toy sketches: “toys“. 

By the way, the line that follows the title of this entry is one of the greatest in movie history…

allez racing

lewis hamilton

Wow, that was worth getting up on a Sunday for! But I felt really sorry for Felipe Massa. I watched the Brazilian GP silently; we don’t actually get the channel it was showing on, not properly, but you can see a not-too-bad picture. To compensate for no sound I had the CC on (closed captioning; is it still 888 on teletext back in the UK?). They do a hilariously bad job of transcribing the commentary (to be fair, it’s not an easy job). Cove Align On took some working out, as did Along Sew. Oh well, another F1 season over (another international sport nobody cares about here).

And another race finishes tomorrow, Election Day here in the US. Oh my, what a long, long election it has been. Our elections in the UK are nice and short, only about a month or so, without anywhere near as much of the trash talking rallies and for-show debates (where both candidates always say they won). Where punditry, which pretty much is the media over here, is usually restricted to smug Andrew Neill talking to smug Dianne Abbott and smug Michael Portillo, and an interview with a journalist means being utterly slaughtered by Paxman, not slightly embarassed by Katie Couric (can you imagine Sarah Palin talking to our Jeremy? Oh I can, and it is a LOT of fun: “Just answer the question, do you agree with the Bush Doctrine? Just answer the question! Answer it! Never mind Joe Six-pack or Bob the Builder or Ivor the Engine just answer the question Governor!” and so forth). And staying up all night watching the Swingometer, all those little constituencies, where red and blue mean the opposite of here, memories of Portillo’s not-so-smug face in ’97, Mandelson going all psycho in his ’01 Hartlepool victory speech, Major surprising everyone in ’92, Prescott punching an egg-throwing layabout (now I can imagine Palin doing that, actually), absolutely no political TV ads, except those special ones with the announcement in fron (warning you to switch over now to something more interesting), various Dimblebys confusing everyone, and the Prime Minister clearing his furniture out of No.10 the morning after defeat, none of that waiting around until January malarkey, get out of there now and don’t steal the towels. Oh I miss the British elections. I’ll make a point of going backnext time there is one, just for the fun of it (read about how I spent the last UK election here, here and here).

But tomorrow will be fun too (if the Republicans lose). Obama is preaching for change, while McCain is saying Country First and denouncing Bush (although Bush is a country member; I’m sure you will remember) (and that joke’s older than McCain). And Californians, please vote NO on Prop 8, save gay marriage, and save the state constitution from bigotry and discrimination. It has nothing to do with teaching schoolchildren about gay people, as the scaremongering ads say (like there is something wrong with teaching children that some people are gay, and not encouraging bigotry). Grrr! 

This started off being about Lewis Hamilton…

non-sports fans, turn away now (and sports fans too)

I’m officially disappointed with sport. I blame Mystic Pete, naturally, for jinxing everything. Tottenham, what the hell is going on?? what the hell? And letting Arsenal go top? I apologize on behalf of Mystic Pete (who is unavailable to comment, of course).

And the Rugby…yes, they did remarkably well, but this week isn’t England’s. Mystic Pete to his credit said they’d probably lose, but was still disappointed. I bet there were a lot of four-year olds called Jonny who weren’t too happy, either.

Quite a time if your name’s McLaren, too. I’m sure the England footy manager was crucified, I’m in no doubt of that. Now they’re very unlikely to go to euro 2008, and play in Bern’s Wankdorf stadium (they’ll just be Pissdorf at home). And Scotland, conquerors of France, they go and lose to Georgia, or Alabama or whoever it was. Now they have to beat Italy, world champions. As for my two Irelands, well my beloved Republic were just awful, but the North, my granddad’s land, were amazing, and mathematically (i only in fantasy world) they can still qualify…

Lewis, you did bloody well for your first year in Formula 1, and at least your pouting team-mate didn’t pip it from you. but I knew that would happen, I’ve used those same tactics in the final race of Super Mario Kart against my brother, leave a green shell here, a banana skin there, win all the points at the end.

And Celtic, losing to 3-0 to Rangers, despite having beaten mighty Milan (whose goalkeeper Dida coincidentally studied his at DIDA, the Dirty Institute of Dramatic Art).

Grrr. One consolation to all of this – I live in America, which is blissfully unaware of any of these events. “Rugby World Cup? rugby has a world cup? Formula 1, that’s a type of toothpaste isn’t it? Steve McLaren? Oh yeah, that guy should not be in charge of the england soccer team…”

Originally posted at 20six.co.uk/petescully