Button On The Podium

At the front, Jenson began to close on Michael Schumacher during the second stint of the race and by lap 30 he was on the Ferrari’’s gearbox.

jenson button bar honda2005 German Grand Prix: Ah what a great day: At the front, Jenson began to close on Michael Schumacher during the second stint of the race and by lap 30 he was on the Ferrari’’s gearbox. Over the next 15 laps he tried to force the seven-time world champion into a mistake and on lap 45 it happened: Jenson pulled a masterful overtaking manoeuvre into the hairpin [source]

UPDATE 27 July: I wish I had time to write but for now I will just quote, ‘The Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda team heads east to Budapest for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix hoping to repeat the podium finish achieved in Germany’ [source]

In Case Of Emergency

Sometimes the simplest ideas are by far the best. Bob Brotchie, from the East Anglian Ambulance Service, had a great idea to enable the emergecy services to contact somebody close to you if you are involved in an accident. The ICE (In Case of Emergency) entry in your mobile ‘phone’s contacts list is brillaint. Read on for more or check out this story at BBC News.

East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national “In Case of Emergency ( ICE )” campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston and in association with Vodafone’s annual life savers award.

The idea is that you store the word “ICE” in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted “In Case of Emergency”.

In an emergency situation, ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It’s as simple as that, and for more than one contact name you can use ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc. [source]

Harry’s Here

At midnight the latest Harry Potter book went on sale.

Thank goodness. At midnight the latest Harry Potter book went on sale. For the last six months – almost every time I have purchased anything in one of the major book stores in London – I have been asked if I would like to reserve a copy. The answer is always no. In recent weeks it’s started to get irritating. I don’t want to pre-order Harry Potter nor do I want an oversized chocolate bar at half price because I was buying a magazine. Just sell me the magazine, please!

Anyway, there’s more on this at BBC News or you can visit the UK Publisher’s site or, I guess, you could go and see what J. K. Rowling has to say about it (apart from thanks for all the cash).

Trafalgar Square Vigil

It was a united city saying ‘we will not back down in the face of your bombs. You will not break us’.

Journalists at Trafalgar SquareYesterday I observed the two minutes of silence to remember those killed in last week’s bombings. After work I walked to Trafalgar Square to take part in the vigil. I arrived just after it had started but heard a lot of the speakers. There were moving speeches, prayers and poems from across the political and religious spectrum. There were leaders from the major churches and religions showing a united front. There were London celebrities with sincere words calling for a united city. Sebastian Coe spoke of the Olympic bid and how we’ll build a fitting tribute to the people who lost their lives last Thursday. There were union leaders and politicians who uttered words of support.

But the biggest applause went to members of the transport companies whose buses and trains were attacked and for the emergency services who attended the sites to rescue victims. For once were were not a celebrity-obsessed nation but were there to support the people who keep London moving and safe.

The vigil seemed to go on forever. Perhaps it was too long but when everybody’s words were sincere how could you stop it? It was a united city saying ‘we will not back down in the face of your bombs. You will not break us’.

Sadly, for the media, it was just another news story. There were camera crews from across the globe at one end of the square and various reporters were applying their make-up or dabbing the sweat from their brows as technicians plugged in things and waved cues. Behind all the the tributes coming from the front of the square were a selection of “Londoners are gathered …” and “back to you in the studio”. Reports were being filed in a number of languages via a fleet of satellite trucks being powered by noisy generators in the corner of Trafalgar Square. Maybe it’s because I was right beside the media as I couldn’t get further into the square but the chatter (and the smiles and laughing of some of the production staff) seemed inappropriate somehow. I hope they got their story.

Two Minutes Silence

At 12 noon the bus turning the corner in front us stopped and the driver turned the engine off, right across the junction.

Just before 12 noon today my colleagues and I walked onto the London street outside the Holborn office where we work. It was a bright, hot sunny day in Central London. The kind of day that has you sweating within moments of being on the street. When we reached street level we walked into a crowd of people that had come from the buildings all around. These were office workers whose desks are probably just metres from mine but I don’t see them. I probably walk past them most days as I approach the door to the office but I just don’t see them. Today, we stood crowded onto the street together.

At 12 noon the bus turning the corner in front us stopped and the driver turned the engine off, right across the junction. The taxi at the traffic lights opposite didn’t move when the light turned green and the cyclist near him didn’t try and jump the red light. Most of the pedestrians who were walking stopped.

A silence descended upon London. Not the silence usually associated with a city. A city’s silence is usually punctuated by horns and alarms, by mobile ‘phones ringing or engines passing. No, this silence was eerily silent but it was silent.

And we bowed our heads to remember.

It was a moment when this huge, diverse city that I call home, was united in thought. It’s a moment I don’t think anybody who was there will forget.

London, Monday

I feel incredibly lucky not to have been anywhere near but I wasn’t.

I am back from my Silverstone trip – of which more later – and in to work today. As I was not in town on Thursday I can’t really talk about what it was like in the aftermath of the bomb blasts. It was strange hearing the news emerge on the radio as I was sat in my house answering work-related emails. Of course, there were moments where I connected with the people I know in a bid to check they were all OK. I have, however, felt odd all weekend answering the text messages (and today the emails) from people asking if I am OK. I am very grateful that people thought to contact me – and so I hope I’ve replied to everybody – and happy to report I am safe.

Central London has an estimated population of 7 million people – with many more commuting to work here – so the real chances of being involved are minimal. I almost feel guilty that I don’t have anything to add for the people who contacted me. I was well away from anything and, if I had been in the office on Thursday, I would also have been well away. I am most definitely with Anna on this topic. I wasn’t there. It is unlikely I would have been there. I feel incredibly lucky not to have been anywhere near but I wasn’t.

There has been some excellent coverage across all media but one thing has really intrigued me. If you had been on an underground train and there was an explosion would you have got out your mobile ‘phone and taken pictures or video? I can say with certainty that I would not have done so because I forget to take mobile pictures at good times never mind in times of chaos. I’m not critical – I understand the police are appealing for people’s pictures – but I am amazed that people thought to do it.

The Mood Of London Changes

Of course the day has now changed totally.

Of course the day has now changed totally. For those friends of mine who have contacted me, thanks for your thoughts. We are both fine right now but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get me on the mobile as the services are deluged with people trying to contact people. BBC News has the latest.

Silverstone, Here I Come

The tent is packed for Silverstone.

My Silverstone Countdown: I’ll be leaving in a couple of hours – tent packed with a car load of food – and I’m getting pretty excited by the prospect of the whole event. Silverstone is so much fun and now David Coulthard is defending it. He ‘has hit out at Silverstone’s critics ahead of his bid to secure Red Bull’s first-ever podium finish in Sunday’s British Grand Prix’ [Source] Who knows if I’ll get a chance to post but keep an eye on the Flickr feed to see any pictures I’ll be sending.

A Few Moments Of Reflection

the olympics are coming to london!Earlier: Wow

Now: Wow. Wow.

I am speechless and excited right now. I still think it would be fantastic for London but it’s also brilliant for the rest of the UK. The bid team did a brilliant job. Seb Coe‘s made himself a hero for a second time. Roll on 2012.

Elsewhere: Anna celebrates too
Elsewhere: Awarded to the city of …
Elsewhere: Tube goes all Olympic

Preliminary Vote

Hold Your Breath …

In all the excitement I had missed the fact there was a preliminary vote and we weren’t certain of making it this far:

There are a few gasps in the press room as Madrid exits the vote, as some Spaniards at the back had earlier given some noisy support during its bid presentation. We now have the London-Paris finale that the whispers in the past few hours had indicated [source].

Aggghh … the tension.

What Have You Done Today?

I have two countdowns on the go right now.

Today is the day for one of those countdowns to reach 00:00:00.

Rachel Stevens and Melanie C will be performing live in Trafalgar Square later today (see here) as we wait to find out the result of the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Watch the London2012 videos and keep your fingers crossed for us. I’ll be updating later.

The G8 Summitt

I didn’t watch Live8 at the weekend. Unlike Live Aid, I didn’t get caught up in the moment.

Live8 LogoI didn’t watch Live8 at the weekend. Unlike Live Aid, I didn’t get caught up in the moment. I am too cynical now and while I believe it was set up for all the right reasons it was hijacked. If every one of those performers had given up all the revenue from increased record sales in the next 6 months then I would have been less cynical. If the ‘Multi-millionaire rock stars performing in Philadelphia’ gave back their free gifts worth $12,000 (£6,800) [Source] I would have been a even less cynical.

Alexis Petridis, in The Guardian, says, “even the most cynical observer would be forced to admit that, even judged on music alone, Live 8 has been a remarkable day” but, unfortunately, I heard very little. Still, I have higher hopes for the today’s G8 Summit. Really, I do.

The Final Push

The Prime Minister has arrived in Singapore to join the London team ahead of the crucial vote to elect the Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

Back The Bid PosterOlympic Countdown: The Prime Minister has arrived in Singapore to join the London team ahead of the crucial vote to elect the Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games [Source] and England Football captain David Beckham has arrived in Singapore to join the London team hoping to secure the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games [Source]. The BBC has a summary of the final push to the big announcement.

Silverstone Circuit Weather

It’s getting close to the moment I have to pitch a tent near Silverstone.

Silverstone countdown: get familiar with the tracks so you can work out where you would like to be on certain days. I think the people I am going with will know better than me but it’s still fun to watch the speeds. In the meantime, keep an eye on the weather at the Silverstone circuit although I have seen varying reports in different places. Sun? Showers? A year ago tomorrow we were watching them race around the streets of London. Somehow, that would have been much more convenient, don’t you think?