F1 in Hungary

Hungary’s Hungaroring is my favourite F1 track.
It has a reputation for being a dull race, with not a lot of overtaking, but as they say in F1, you never know until the checkered flag waves.
Sunday’s race was the 10th of the season and they’ll now go into the summer break so it’ll be three weeks before the next race, but a Ferrari win after a gripping 69 laps was just SO cool!

The race started with a very touching tribute to Jules Bianchi. He was involved in a horrendous, freak accident at Suzuka last year, and he passed away this month.
He was a good driver, destined to race for Ferrari, and the Hungarian Grand Prix was dedicated to him, with the drivers paying tribute with his name on their helmets or their cars.
Bianchi is the first driver to lose his life in a race-related incident since Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994, which is an incredible testament to the safety of F1.

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After two warmup laps, the green lights went out and my heart nearly stopped when my beloved red fire engines (BRFE) with Vettel and Raikkonnen rocketed into P1 and P2 off the start, and Hamilton dropped to 10th when he went wide and through the kitty litter (blaming Rosberg for it)!
I’m not a Hamilton fan.

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The rest of the race was thrilling indeed. Loads of overtaking, wheel-to-wheel battles for position, time penalties for race incidents, followed by a podium like we’ve never seen – a Ferrari and two Red Bulls!
Force India’s Hulkenberg’s front wing literally fell off and then shattered under his car on lap 40, sending him into the tyre barriers and bringing out the safety car. It’s a wonder his car didn’t take off considering it was doing over 300kph at the time! He was uninjured, and the team changed the nose on teammate Perez’s car, just in case.

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Raikkonen’s Ferrari retired on lap 56 after he’d been in second for most of the race. The poor guy’s had some shitty luck this season.
The McLaren’s scored 12 points, largely due to penalties served by other drivers, but they need the points.
Despite their domination of the practice and qualifying, Hamilton and Rosberg finished 6th and 8th after losing their front row start to my BRFEs. After Hamilton went wide on the first lap, he had to serve a penalty later for running into Ricciardo, and then Rosberg tangled with Rissicardo later in the race too, coming off second best.

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Maldonado maintained his reputation for being a bit of a nut with no less than THREE time penalties
Nasr and Ericsson in the Saubers battled each other throughout the race and were both in the points until the Mercedes recovered and pushed them down to 10th and 11th.
Williams wasn’t doing too badly, even after Massa caused a second formation lap after stopping out of position the first time, but Bottas lost position due to a sliced rear tyre after a collision with Verstappen.

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Vettel’s win put my BRFE on the podium again, and it meant he equalled Ayrton Senna’s 41 wins.
In my head, the German anthem is immediately followed by the Italian anthem, after all the years of Michael Schumacher winning with Ferrari, and it was really awesome to hear it like that again after my favourite race.

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Hamilton still leads the championship race with 202 points, followed by Rosberg with 181 and Vettel with 160.

And now we wait for the next race.

~~ images from www.formula1.com ~~

Shoowee… I’ve been battling to get any words out without crying…
Today would have been our precious Nathan’s eleventh birthday.
I imagine he would have been all long and lanky, like his dad.
What kind of tween would he have been I wonder…
I miss you my little dude.
Your cousin Damien misses you.
Your uncle Neels misses you.
This world has a big hole in it.

Ever Wondered What Its Like Raising A Guide Dog Puppy?

It’s a lot like having a toddler in your house.

I would say its like having a baby in the house, but babies aren’t really mobile… 😛

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Once you find out you’re on the list for a puppy, you can hardly wait for the email giving you the date you can go and fetch her (or him 😀 ).
You start racking your brain for possible names and buying toys, a new collar, name tags, bowls, and bedding for when your baby arrives home. Once you fetch your puppy, you get to pick her up and cuddle her, and carry her to the car, and you make the most of it ‘coz it won’t easily happen again – these puppies are not to be carried and coddled.

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For the first week, she sleeps a lot, often collapsing into a nap in the middle of a game! Then there’s the mad dash when your puppy wakes at 1am… and 2am and 4am and 5am… Get her outside for a piddle and back into her bed- in the dark- without too much of a disruption to your sleep or the rest of the household, praying that it won’t be long before she sleeps through.

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Then she’ll start getting more active.
You will spend a lot of time asking your puppy what she – or he – has in her mouth, and then telling her to spit it out (leave it), or to bring it to you.
And if she does manage to get out of your sight, you spend a lot of time checking to see why your puppy has suddenly gone quiet… and then cleaning up whatever her newest mess is.

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You’ll check to make sure your puppy bag is properly packed – lunch, clean up products, treats, water, and toys – and then you kick yourself when you get to your destination and you’ve left something behind. Or you’ve left the whole bag behind!
And since your puppy goes where you go, you try to plan your trips around your puppy’s nap times and meals, hoping you timed it right and she won’t need to pee (busy) until you get home again!
The morning run to get your husband off to work on time is extra challenging as you try to get your puppy fed and out for a pee while packing a lunchbox, and then getting your puppy into the car without freaking her out and putting her off car travel.
And you follow up every invitation with a request for your puppy to accompany you.

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You spend a lot of time worrying about whether your puppy is eating enough, and how her tummy is doing.
If she doesn’t want to eat its a concern. If it looks like she’s too tubby that’s a problem too. Her food is carefully measured and weighed and you keep trying to balance training treats with what she’s eaten!

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You also spend a lot of time wanting to throttle people who touch and talk to your puppy without asking you if they may do so, and asking people to please not pick your puppy up.

And you aren’t just handed a puppy and told: “See you in a year!”
Your puppy’s progress is monitored throughout her time with you. There’s puppy classes, home visits, outings to nursery schools and malls, PR visits to expos and shows, progress reports for the development supervisors and sponsors…
Make no mistake – its a full time project, and not to be taken on lightly.
When these puppies are awake, they are learning, and if they’re not with you, they’re not learning the right way. Their learning is essential as these pups will one day be Guide Dogs to the visually impaired or Service Dogs for the physically disabled. That means they have to be pretty much bomb-proof as well as obedient.

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When your puppy turns one, you send them off to “varsity” by giving them back to SA Guide-dogs for their formal training, and a few months later you will meet their new owner when they graduate and start working in the career you spent so many hours preparing them for.

Then if you’re brave, and lucky, you get to do it all again!