28 September 2005

Wet Wednesday .....

Hey, it's Wednesday evening so half the week's gone already! Yeah! It's NOT a nice night outside though - cold, wet and very windy - and it's already dark at just after 7:15pm! Autumn is sliding into place!

Anyway..... Sponsorship for my BHF walk is coming along nicely - stands at just over £160 at this moment - and I've only had the forms for a few days so I'm quite pleased with it so far. If you're reading this and haven't sponsored me yet then don't worry I'll let you stop reading now and nip off to http://www.bhf.org.uk/sponsor/richardcrooks so that you can add a few pounds or dollars or yen or what ever it is that you trade in!

Back so soon?! Just so long as you are coming back AFTER visiting the BHF!

So,what's in store for the rest of the week? In short, not a lot! I'll be at the gym again tomorrow night and also Friday, after missing out on Monday due to a dodgy shoulder. Nothing that bad, I think I either over stretched a muscle at the weekend working on our friend Mel's house or, and this is most likely, I slept funny on it! Sad isn't it!!!! I did do a bit of a workout last night but only some easy cardio stuff, followed by about 20 mins. in the steam room!

Saturday I'm in work in the morning and then it's over to see our friends Rob & Jane in Nottingham in the evening.

Sunday is racing again after a few weeks off. Just hope the weather dries up before then or it will be a bit of a mud bath, plus we need a reasonably dry track for Gary to have the best chance of winning the East Midlands Champion Of Champions race!

26 September 2005


Just a very quick update on last nights posting.....

My sponsorship page is now up and running on the BHF web site!

Please feel free to rush away from this site and go to.......


where you can donate to this very worthy cause!

25 September 2005

Quiet times.....

Hello again!

Summer must certainly be coming to an end - very little going on at the moment, apart from work and the gym!

The last two weekends have been mainly taken up with helping our friend Mel with her new house, stripping wallpaper, filling walls, rubbing down walls and generally getting very dusty! All good fun but still a long way to go before it's finished.

Over the last couple of weeks Lynda has taken the summer bedding plants out of the garden and yesterday the winter bedding went in. I said summer must be coming to an end! Only feels like a matter of a few weeks since the start of spring and the first of the summer migrant birds started to arrive!

So, what do I have to look forward to over the next few weeks....

Next Sunday it's back to autograss racing with my mate Gary. The main race will be the East Midlands Champion Of Champions race, open to the top cars from each class in our league. Gary already has the East Midlands League Class 6 title in the bag, along with the Melton Club Class 6 title, so this one would be the hat trick! If the track is with us, along with just a little bit of luck, then Gary has a more than fair chance of taking the title! The main challenge, if he is there and I'm sure he will be, will come from the 2005 National Class 2 Champion and National Champion Of Champions P12EM John Gadsby.

The final autograss meeting of the year for me looks like being the open meeting at the St. Neots club. This is a track we have been to twice last season, getting mixed results, and once this season as spectators at the Ladies' and Juniors' Nationals. I'd like to be able to camp there again for this last meeting but with it falling in the middle of October I imagine that we will just be there for the Sunday racing! It's only a one day meeting and by then it could well be very cold or wet! This is an end of season fun meeting that is also open to cars from the SEGTO organization. SEGTO run meetings along the south coast of England to a totally different set of rules than the clubs we race with so this will see a much wider range of cars racing against each other.

My "big target" of the next few weeks is the British Heart Foundation High Peak Trail Walk on Sunday 20th November. This sponsored walk starts at Cromford meadows, near Matlock, and finishes some 17 miles later at Hurdlow near Buxton. Hmmm, 17 miles, November, Derbyshire Peak District. Could be interesting! This is a sponsored walk so if you come into contact with me on a day-to-day basis please think about adding your name to my sponsor form. If not then I'll be setting up an on-line sponsorship page, via the BHF, very soon! More on this over the coming weeks!

11 September 2005

Jasmine Garden!

No, not a new addition to our own garden but the Cantonese restaurant we went to last night!

£10.50 a head and eat as much as you like! My sort of place!

Lynda and I had been here just once before and had enjoyed both the place and the food, so, when our friends Paul and Ali suggested it was about time we all went out for a meal again we decided on here!

Like most of the day it was pouring down as we set off at just after 7:30pm, by the time we arrived it was raining even harder but at least we were able to park quite close to the door! A quick sprint and we were inside without getting too wet!

The place wasn't quite as busy as before and we were shown to our table straight away, even though we were early! Our drinks order was taken, and also our request for shredded duck with pancakes, almost as soon as we had taken our seats! Make the most of all food seeing as it's included in the price I say! Hmmmm, four of us eating but six pancakes -what's that all about then?! Never mind plenty more choice for later!

Right, time for thinking on my feet here - as I'm stood at the buffet - 'cause last time I missed out on soup. No mistake this time, found it straight away and it looked good! Back at the table and I'm aware of Lynda laughing at me from back at the buffet - OK I'd got my soup, pity I'd not picked up a spoon! Wife to the rescue, again! And the soup was just as good as it looked.

The rest of the evening was taken up with numerous trips back and forth for more food - crispy seaweed, spring rolls, prawn crackers, sesame toast made up some of the starters. Main courses included beef curry, beef with noodles (I think), king prawns, three or four chicken dishes, a couple of vegetable ones plus the most gorgeous mushrooms with onion and garlic! Oh, and not forgetting the usual egg fried rice and chips!

Two bowls of strawberry and vanilla ice cream, with strawberries, was enough of a sweet for me - I didn't want to over do it - whilst Lynda had profiteroles and ice cream. There was also a choice of fresh fruit and two differentt gateaux.

Whilst we were chatting it came to light that Paul is doing a 17 mile sponsored walk for The British Heart Foundation in November, so it's either cough up the sponsorship money OR get walking. Looks like I may well be walking then! At least that way I get something out of it as well! Joking apart, it's for a great cause so 17 miles walking in the Derbyshire countryside is the least I can do. SPONSORS WANTED, PLEASE!!!!

At around 10:30pm we headed back home for coffees (OK, so I had whisky!) all pretty well full but not quite bursting!

So, another nice evening out and it didn't cost the earth - where we going next time then folks???

10 September 2005

Added extra!

After one or two false starts you'll see that I have at last added a "Guestbook" on to here! In the end it was a rather simple task, if you want one for your own site then I'd say give Bravenet a try, with the only real work being setting up all the extra little options that are available!

Been a quiet day today, trip in to Derby for a haircut, quick bit of shopping, then back home for a small lunch. Going out tonight for a Chinese buffet so need plenty of food space! The weather has been pretty grim all day, a lot cooler than the rest of the week and very wet so it doesn't look that good for doing anything much tomorrow - we'll see!

08 September 2005

Tent up - beer out!

Don't you just love road works?!

Work was a breeze Saturday morning, no problems, no real work as such and out the door smack on time! Sorted!

Short journey home - loaded tent, food, sleeping bag AND beer into the car. Re-checked beer was in the car, said my goodbyes to Lynda before re-checking the beer and off I set.

Six miles from home and I hit my first problem! The road I need around Nottingham is closed! Came as a bit of a shock - didn't see the cones across the road until I was almost through them! Ok, think, where do I go now? One quick lap of the motorway island later and I have a route in my head! Again, sorted!

Apart from the odd slow car or tractor the rest of the trip to Cambridgeshire was an easy run - for me! Friday night I had found that the A14, which I would have used, was going to be closed so I changed my route and also let Gary know not to go that way. He still did! I did the trip in just over an hour and a half, he did around twenty miles less and took an hour longer!!

So, at the track it's a case of finding a parking spot, the rest of the Melton club and opening the first beer whilst watching a bit of racing. I knew it would be busy but not this busy! The site was heaving! And it was hot, very hot. Glad I didn't need overalls on this weekend. In the hour that I waited for Gary turning up I saw one car through the fence, one hit it hard and another two get together in a big way! I'm not saying a thing about lady drivers other than this lot did not mean taking prisoners! And this is a non-contact sport!!!!

When Gary eventually arrived it was time for putting up the tents, before the beer really started flowing. OK, where are we putting them? Blank looks from everyone! This site really was busy! Never mind, just stick them on the first bit of grass that looks big enough. I finished up in a hedge bottom with a rather upset Robin one side of me and an equally upset Wren the other!

Tents up, open more beers and get the BBQ going! About time too, I'd hardly eaten since 7:00am! Soon sorted that out - sausages, burgers and steaks made the air smell much better and my stomach feel full again!

After everyone had eaten their fill it was time for a stroll around camp to see who else we could find, and also so that one or two of the group could go back to being kids again at the small fair that was set up at the far end of the track.

The rest of the night was spent sat around the fire chatting and drinking before we all eventually turned in at around 12:30am.

Sunday morning and for both the Robin and the Wren it was pay back time! Both started singing their heads off at around 5:30am! NO NEED! By 7:00am they had started working on the track with rollers and I gave up on sleep! First view out the tent was of mist and a grey sky - didn't look that promising - but by 8:00am it was sunny and getting hot again. Breakfast was our normal race feast of sausage and bacon cobs. Straight after eating it was down with the tents before it got too hot for working.

Before we knew it they were calling cars for the first race of the day so off we went track side. Most of the races went off without much incident or drama apart from one or two re-runs for jump starts or cars that had stopped in dangerous positions on track. Quickest car of the day must have been the NS1 car of John Gaffney, being driven by Diane Jones, then again what would you expect of a little Fiat with such a big Cosworth turbo engine in the back!! Come the class 7 final and the car was flying, Diane winning by a comfortable margin, much to the delight of "The Gaffer" who was jumping around like a man possessed on the start line for the whole race!

The rest of the finals started to get a little out of hand, with re-run after re-run, and by 6:00pm Gary and I were thinking of hitting the road for home with still 3 or 4 races left to run. That decision was made for us when two specials came together coming on to the back straight, leaving them both through the fence! Knowing that it would take a while for the fence to be sorted we made our move.

All in all another great weekend, made better by having a good crowd of people with us and a chance to just sit around watching the racing and chatting without worrying about working on a car or, in Garys case, having to compete! Roll on the next two day meeting!

02 September 2005

Time flys!

As I thought..... I set this up and then don't have the time to come back to it!

What a week, work has gone crazy mad - big problems getting stock this week and when it arrives it's damaged - the usual couple of trips to the gym (should have been more after last weekend!) and with all the rain this week the garden looks like a jungle! Will be a quick run around with the mower tonight before getting all my camping gear ready for the weekend!!

After an easy morning at work Saturday (I hope!) it's off to Cambridgeshire for the NASA Ladies & Juniors National Championships - Autograss racing for those that don't know! My mate Gary isn't racing (not a lady or a junior) so we can have a good few beers and chill out for a change without worrying about racing or fixing the car!

Spent a lot of the week chasing info on the Clann An Drumma gig in Stirling, Scotland, in October but still not having much luck - someone MUST know something! With luck I should get some feed back from the CAD web forum but even that has been rather vague.

Right, time I did a bit more work, otherwise I'll be left with loads tomorrow morning!!!!