What I learnt this week: 20th March 2014


  • Formula one needs noise! I can vividly remember my first – and only – live Grand Prix. We went to Spa (Belgium – photo from the album below!) and it was the noise, even more than the speed (though – wow!) that hit the senses and remains in our memories. But this year they’ve changed the engines (V8 engines to greener V6 turbos) and the cars have gone all quiet and dull. In the words of the Australian Grand Prix chief executive, it detracted from the ‘sexiness’ of the race. I’ve heard people describe the new engine sounds as harpsichords in a chamber orchestra, angry hairdryers, golf carts and lawnmowers. Apparently Berni is on the case – he opposed the switch from the start. I have to agree with him – it’s like watching a sexy man strut across the screen, only to open his mouth and emit a high pitched squeak.



  • Swimming underwater using only dolphin kicks is faster than doing the crawl! This fact was from my school run group – though of course it depends on who is doing the kicking. It’s the reason why the swimming governing body (FINA) has a rule that in a race starting from a dive, a swimmer’s head must have broken the surface before the 15m mark.
  • When I write about my hero flexing his glistening biceps, it’s not really the whole story. It seems it’s the triceps that make up most of the upper arm muscle – two thirds of it – leaving only one third for the biceps. But because the biceps are on the front, we always refer to them, rather than the larger triceps on the back. So next time I should write his biceps bunched as he lifted her, whilst behind them his even larger triceps relaxed.  Oh dear.
  • The British have problems peculiar to only our nation! The list of 21 problems came to me via a facebook share – here are some that really rang bells with me:

–       I don’t feel well but I don’t want to disturb my doctor.

–       Having my haircut, the barber asked ‘is that alright?’ I nodded. It wasn’t.

–       Yesterday I arrived at a mini-roundabout at the same as two other drivers from other directions. We’re still there.

–       I apologise for not smoking when someone asks me for a light.




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