Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am still here....

Apologies for my lack of blogging.

This week has been The Boy's busiest week at university and i have been playing the role of the inspirational and fearless leader of the Team.

The good news is that Team K & M have managed to get M almost through much of the week with any tears from K and any meltdowns by M.

That said, its made me wonder how the heck I did six straight, full and difficult years of university.

I'm packing up and heading home to see my family this weekend in Australia.

I shall post tonight and outline the plan.

Boy, I sure am tired though!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Day In The Life of a F1 Fan

Even though its a night race, everyone has access to the street circuit precinct at 3pm all weekend. But before you get in, you have to first dodge the luxury cars that are here to trip around the Very (Not So) Important (but Rich) People.

For us plebs that do not have a chauffeur, we get to walk, and follow the little footprints that are throughout the city, telling us where we need to go to get to the track.

I have myself a Walkabout Pass, which I havent used since buying it. Rather, I've been using a (free) Grandstand Pass, that not only lets me walkabout, but I get the privilege of sitting in very uncomfortable plastic chairs in the Bay Grandstand.

Its not hard to know that you are in a Grand Prix Hosting City - signs are up around the city to welcome everyone. This is the Fullerton's sign, which can be seen as you walk past the lined up Ferraris (sportscars, not F1s) that are parked out the front of the hotel.

My aim is to get to Gate 7, so I gathered that Gate 6 would be the ideal place to start. Little do I know that Singapore has an intricate web of overpasses and underpasses to get around the track, over the track, under the track (but obviously, not through the track - that certainly would have been the most helpful though).

Gate 5 was actually the closest to my work building, but that would get to middle of nowhere, as opposed to where I really wanted to go and that was the middle of the grandstand.

I end up getting into Gate 6 and despite being no where near where i needed to be, I was still rewarded with a glorious view of the city, trackside.

The colourful signs were helpful. It told me precisely where I was - being no where near where i needed to go.

Still, with the sun setting, I enjoyed the view of the city and the casting of the orange-pink sun around the precinct.

Me. Trackside. Woohoo!

The sun setting on the track.

Crowds gather to watch the spectacle.

For those with walkabout tix, they try and grab the best vantage points possible.

But for me, I take my place in the very uncomfortable, but well positioned grandstand seats.

A long night ahead, but an exciting one at that!


Its Showtime! The Qualifying Session.

Qualifying Round - Saturday Night - 10pm - 11pm.

(below: Kovalainen for McLaren)

(Alonso for Renault)

(Rosenberg for Williams)

(Fisichella for Ferrari)

(Button for BrawnGP)

(Fisichella for Ferrari)

(Webber for Red Bull)

(Nakajima for Williams)


My Daddy Was A Race Car Driver

I think my parents gave a collective sigh when I announced that I was going to law school. You see, I went through a stage where I was determined to be the first woman pace car driver for the Daytona 500. Nevermind the fact that I had no idea if there had already been a female one before, or the fact that I had no idea where Daytona was, that was what I wanted. Thankfully, I grew out of it, or realised it was never going to provide me with a bright future (seeing I lived in australia), or else I could have carried on the family tradition of being involved in the motor racing industry.

My daddy was a race car driver.

I've never worked out why it is that I loved fast cars tearing around really fast in front of big crowds. Its quite boring, to be honest. You see a blur of colour for a brief second and then its gone...for atleast another 2 minutes. You are often stuck in the middle of a crowd, with a camera stuck firmly to your eyes, hoping that this time you will snap the button in time to get a shot. Motor racing is madness. However there is something that draws me to it. Mum says its either a genetic connection or an extra "motor racing" chromosome that has done it. But regardless of what it is, I get a huge kick out of being a part of it, even in a small, spectator kind of way.

From a public relations perspective, F1 is in bad shape. With Spygate, Crashgate and Sidegate (ok, I made that last one up), the public is losing faith in the sport. Why should we pay to support a bunch of billionaires who will stop at nothing to win? Are we watching fiction, or are we actually seeing sportsman compete fairly for the prize? None of us know right now. However, when I look at the crowds that have jammed into the Marina Bay precinct in Singapore, I realise that for the majority of people, they are prepared to let go of these issues for just this weekend. The noise of these machines, the money, the glamour, the fashion, the atmosphere and the sheer marvel of watching a bunch of testosterone-filled kids (and let's face it, many of these nut cases are barely 21) still has people coming back for more. Sure, F1 may have lost some of its shine by recent scandals but the fact is you are watching the equivalent of a fighter jet tearing around the skies - but only they do it on street circuits with plenty more opportunity to crash and kill themselves.

People like F1 because it is just another thing that the human being has done that a century ago was thought not to be possible.

Add a bunch of good looking young men, a few busty girls on the start line and a whole lot of cash, and suddenly, all sins can be forgiven.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pic of Me - and a great video of the track

See below the video that was released by Mark Webber, showing the animated drive around the Singapore F1 track last year. Great stuff care of

Find more videos like this on F1Wolf Club

The Anatomy of a Crash Barrier

The cars take a sharp left hand turn into Turn 18. Just in case anything goes wrong, these things are waiting. They look plastic, but if you notice where the red parts are, you will find that each have been strategically placed in order to minimise impact going into the turn. Turn 18 is particularly interesting because it has an overpass right on the turn. This means that, should there be wet weather, this turn will become even more challenging, with the track changing from a wet track, to a dry track and back to wet track when they pass through.

These cars have an average speed around this track of 180km/hr. Unbelievable, huh?

They take the corners in 2nd gear.

Cars take Raffles Boulevard at between 280km - 300km per hour, being the fastest part of the track.


All Eyes on The Prize

Photographing the Singapore F1 is a photographer's worst nightmare - fast moving objects under flood lights. Only the best equipment can really get the best shots - so blurry pics of F1 cars for the rest of us amateurs will have to do.


The Infamous Turn

Jarno Trulli of Toyota going into Turn 16 and then into Turn 17
- the scene of last year's infamous "crashgate" crime by Piquet Jnr's Renault.

The Red PR Machine - Ferrari Inc.

Its clear that the colours red and black are synonymous with Formula 1.

But red will always be the "new" black in Formula 1.

Ferrari on show.

The Machines On Show

You Got a Fat Set Of Wheels, Bro!

Clearly NOT An Australian Sporting Event

There is no queue for beer......

Making Their Mark....

Turn 18 on Esplanade Waterfront - first day of practice and its already well worn.

Ferrari Forever....

Ye Ol' Faithful.....

Pit Crews

Watching, waiting......

Pep talk time!

The Track From My Office Window

Looking out across Andersen Bridge (bottom) and the Esplanade (top).

The Red Machine - Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella and Kimi Raikkonen for Team Ferrari

Amazing Shot.... the Singapore F1 Grand Prix Track at Sunset

suffering the Formula 1 Hangover!

Its early morning and I am still suffering the F1 hangover - that feeling of having woken up with only 4 hours sleep and formula 1 car noise wtill ringing in my ears.

Will be uploading photos later on in the day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Art of Public Speaking

So today, I spoke at a Conference about Employment Law During Volatile Times. Last night, as I was preparing for it, I mused with my friend Carli about why it is that people love going to conferences. Carli and I resolved that it was because of the free hotel pens, bowls of mints, unlimited supply of coffee and the excuse to get out of work for a day. However, Carli and I are not from Asia.

I got up, spoke, sat down again and thought "well, that was pretty rubbish". Why? I felt unsatisfied. Asian audiences are tough. There is no way to determine just how well your content is being received. In Australia, its pretty obvious. Australians doodle loudly, wrap and unwrap their lollies and play on their blackberries - if they are bored. If they are engaged with you, they nod eagerly if they agree, and sigh and shake their head if you say something outrageous and ask really annoying questions just before you get to the punch line.

Today, I felt like I could have told them that the sky was pink and purple polka dotted and I would not have any disagreement from them. That is, unfortunately, the Asian way. I get the impression that they feel are there to learn, to hear people talking and to sit obediently. You simply can't gauge the mood of the crowd, if you know what i'm sayin!

I am going to have to change my "modus operandi" for the next speaking event, otherwise I am going to come away from this with a terrible self esteem. Feedback was good. "You spoke well". "You are very engaging". "I cant believe you are a lawyer, you don't speak like a lawyer." (is that actually a good thing???).... same old feedback, but I still felt like I didn't give them their money's worth. In fact, I feel a bit like a fraud. How can little old me, at the ripe old age of 29, actually tell CEOs and business leaders about the way they should run their business? What am I bringing to the table that is so different from any other textbook reader? Who knows. I don't know. I want to improve my speaking skills, that is for sure.

I like speaking though. It allows me to get out of the office, stop the mundane churn and burn of paperwork, and allows me to get out amongst other business people....

Ho hum.

Bring on the weekend. Bring on the fast cars. Half of the F1 organisers and teams are staying at the hotel where i spoke today. I had to cram into elevators full of grease monkeys and rich people. I wanted to start quoting "Days of Thunder" script lines but I was afraid they wouldn't think it was funny..... and i couldnt have handled both the audience and the elevator crowd being unreceptive to what i have to say!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Singapore F1 Grand Prix - the Race That Stops the Nation

Singapore isn't big. No, really, it isn't. Even Tasmania in Australia is bigger than Singapore and Tasmania is pretty small.

Some bright spark thought it would be a great idea to allow 20 or so souped up toy cars free reign around the streets of Singapore for four days. In theory, I can see that it would have been a great selling point from a tourism perspective. However, what I have come to realise is that little, placid Singapore doesn't cope so well with loud, extravagent parades of hotted up go-karts and tonnes of makeshift grandstands.

The madness that is the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

As if Singapore didn't have enough going for it. It already has "the largest viewing ferris wheel in the world", the tallest "fountain of fortune", the largest Durian-shaped theatre complex, the widest mall sitting on the left hand side of a street with three entrances" in the entire world. What was Singapore really lacking?? Oh, I know. The world's "first" formula 1 night race!

You see, we may all be conned into thinking that this is all because Singapore is an up and coming, economically strong, orderly, entreprenurial city. It has money to burn. Nothing burns money likes Formula 1. Money can buy a Formula 1 race.... and so on.

But what the majority of people don't realise is that the only reason why Singapore got itself a Formula 1 (a night one, moreso) is so it can peer across at Malasyia with its middle finger held high and say "anything you can do, we can do better....and while in the dark!).

It goes back to the 1960s when Singapore joined, and then subsequently broke away from Malasyian rule six years later. It was kind of like asking your neighbour if you can come and play, going over there, and then realising their toys aren't as exciting as your own. And since returning back to your own toys in your own home, you've been slogging water bombs across the fence ever since. Not exactly dangerous fire, but enough to give your neighbour the sh#ts. Problem is, your neighbour owns the only driveway available to get to and from your own house (ie. Malaysia commands Singapore's water supply) - which means you really must be nice to them.

But I digress. We have a Formula 1, a better one than Malaysias and so we are asking the Malaysians how exactly do they like their apples. The only problem I see with this is that Malaysia was smart enough to put their motorsport shenanigans off in the middle of nowhere, about 200km out of Kuala Lumpur. These bright sparks in Singapore thought the race would mean so much more to the people of Singapore, would symbolise the true essence of the nation, by making sure we have the lawnmower-sounding machines fly past the CBD of Singapore.

The result?

Singapore is now entirely jammed.

Bernie Ecclestone's beasts can tear through the city at record pace, but unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to suffer the traffic jams.

bring on the big boys, Bernie! My 3 day pass is ready to be used!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big "T"s and Little "T"s

Today, I remembered some pretty astonishing things from my childhood....

.... the sounds of my primary school library, the feel of the books in my hand, my library book bag, my book list, the after school "waiting room"... the green carpet....

Memories that I didn't know I had retained, but were given back to me using a process that I was quite sceptical about initially. It really is amazing how your memories are processed in a way where they disappear for over twenty years, but upon select triggers deliberately provided to you to get these memories back, all of a sudden a rush of them begin - certain smells, certain colours, sounds, sights....

Simply amazing....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Life's Little Surprises

Life sends you messages in all forms....little surprises that catch you off guard.....little packages that contain bursts of delight, concern, gentleness, enthusiasm and has handed me (inadvertently) a little package in the form of a 7 year old - full of too much energy and full of far too many questions, but oh so very cute.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A Bit of Processing Fun.....

ooooh! I like this one!



Playing Around.....



More From Hort Park (With Processing)

More Petals and Drops