What's going on with the weather at the moment? It’s a nightmare. As part of my weight loss regime I’ve been out on the motocross bike loads lately, which isn’t so bad because you start at 10am and by 2pm you have had enough.
The dark evenings aren’t too much of a problem, but the rain... Morecambe got absolutely battered by the recent winds and floods. We were lucky in some ways as the town itself didn’t get flooded, but the power sub-station is located right next to the river Lune and when it burst its banks it took it down.I’ve been in the job a while and lived in Morecambe all my life, but I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s insane; on the Saturday and Sunday night the whole of Morecambe was out of power.
Luckily for me I wasn’t there!I was at the NEC on the Saturday and Sunday and then on Sunday evening I headed down to the Autosport Awards in London, so I was living the dream. I was getting calls from Becky saying ‘it’s horrendous’ and I was saying ‘give over, it’s hardly raining here, stop moaning’ while checking myself into a nice hotel room. It was only when I got home I realised just how bad it was. All the power was down so I did a bit of a drive around town searching out a takeaway because we couldn’t cook anything at home. There was only one Chinese open in the whole of Morecambe and about 8000 people were queuing up outside it! Honestly, it was mad, the restaurant was candle-lit but they were still knocking out the food. Monday morning, when the power came on again, we were using up the now-defrosted kiddies food. Smiley faces, chicken dinosaurs and scampi – breakfast of champions.
The Autosport Awards was a right old do, although getting down was a nightmare. I left the NEC at about 5pm and hopped on a train to London. It’s a black tie evening so there I was, sweating and rolling around in piss while I tried to put on my suit in the train’s toilet. I had ink all over my hands from signing things at the NEC and by the time I arrived in London I must have looked like I’d been in a road accident. At the awards I sat on a table with Freddie Spencer, Danny Kent and a few others, but to be honest I couldn’t really concentrate on anything anyone said as I kept staring at Felipe Massa’s hair transplants. I was transfixed. It’s hard to explain just how bad it is, but imagine a Duran Duran throwback meets Tony Hadley abortion. This month has been another whirlwind, but the highlight has to have been the Macau GP.
Everyone has been talking about my overtake on Gary Johnson, which was a bit of a beauty and I reckon probably one of my best. It was a strange overtake as Gary went really tight to defend his line and I think he went in so tight that he braked really early, which caught me out. I didn’t plan the move or anything, it was more him catching me with my pants down as I wasn’t expecting him to be that slow. In the end, instinct took over and I nipped past. It wasn’t intentional but looked good on TV and that’s all that matters! To be fair, I’d been strong all weekend and so I reckon I deserved a decent result – although no one could have stayed with Hicky. Fair play to Peter; he flew in late, handed us all our arses then hopped back on a plane and headed out for some more testing while we hit the bars. Hicky isn’t a drinker, but the old guard made up for him. Hutchy, Stuart Easton, myself and the usual suspects hit the town and didn’t see daylight for two days! There were a few incidents, the funniest of which was when one of my sponsors got a taxi sign and attempted to do an F1-style lollipop start.
He whipped the pole back but the sign fell off and hit one of the boys in the head, meaning he lost three hours of drinking time and £150 getting it stitched back together in a local hospital. It was a good few nights out, and fair play to Conor, he stepped it up on the drinking front and I think has earned an extra stripe after his performance – although he looked a little worse for wear on the plane home... While I was at Macau I ran into Katsumata San, who is one of the Mugen bosses. He looked at me, looked at my belly, looked away then did a retake and said, ‘Err, no change? You not serious about Mugen?’ I said, ‘It’s just the food in Macau, it bloats me up a bit...’ I’m not sure he believed me but to be honest I was a bit worried I might be forced to miss out on my Christmas eating the other day.