#24 - The Change Constant

Life doesn't need to be complicated!

INTRO

Finally, I am back to writing this newsletter. Unfortunately, I’ve been somewhat distracted of late. Too much has been going on to find the time to sit at my desk and write something worth reading. Well, the good news is that I have found some direction, along with a way to tune out the world and dive back into writing. The highlight of my week so far was my second COVID-19 vaccination, so I am fully juiced up to fight the little bugger. 

I am also working on my health and fitness; I'm keeping it super simple this time. There are three components to my approach, no nighttime eating. Once the sun goes down, I'm not eating again until the following day. Next, I’m cutting back my carb intake, not going crazy, just removing the really starchy, sugary stuff. Lastly, I'm out walking daily, banging in at least 10000 steps each morning (unless it’s raining hard - I hate being soaked).

AUTO

The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA brings back one of the legends of motoring and a milestone in the brand's history: the 1965 Giulia GTA. It sees a return to the roots of the brand established 111 years ago, with a model that epitomises the ability of Alfa Romeo to combine style and sport. It makes its dynamic debut at the former Autodelta workshops at the Balocco Proving Ground, the 1960s Giulia Sprint GTA birthplace.

The Giulia GTA is powered by the Alfa Romeo 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo engine, upgraded to 540hp, with a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio of 187hp per litre. Extensive use of ultra-light materials means it accelerates from zero to 62mph in just 3.6 seconds and will probably be able to hit the ‘doubleton’.

Sauber Engineering expertise and facilities were used in developing the GTA, mostly developing the new aero parts. New features include 20-inch wheels with a single locking nut and a titanium Akrapovič centrally mounted exhaust system, so it will sound fruity.

So, the GTA is lower, wider, lighter, has more power and better aerodynamics. It will get to 60 in under 4 seconds and get close to 200 mph, BUT, it will cost over £140,000! Only 500 are being built. Personally, I like the Giulia, but is it better than a BMW M3/5 CS?

MOTO

The highly anticipated second test for Andrea Dovizioso and the Aprilia RS-GP, scheduled at Mugello, happened, but the weather was crap.

The test at the Tuscan track was soggy. Sometimes so light that the circuit was not entirely wet and sometimes so heavy that it would have been "red flag" conditions had it been a race weekend.

It was impossible to complete the planned work schedule. However, Dovi was able to try the changes to the RS-GP's ergonomics, agreed on after the first test in April. Despite the rain, the laps on the track and the work in the garage were an essential step, helping Andrea get better acquainted with the bike and the team. Andrea's final numbers were 23 laps on Tuesday and 22 on Wednesday for the two days at Mugello.

Dovi said, "I was very happy to get back on the track with Aprilia, especially here in Mugello. It is a special circuit. The emotion I feel lapping on this track is unique. We weren't lucky with the weather, but we still tried to exploit these two days of testing. The grip was certainly not ideal for pushing hard, so we focused on understanding and improving the RS-GP performance in these conditions. At the end of the previous test, I did not express any definitive opinions because it was just an initial contact. I think it would be wrong to do so now after two days of rain. I clearly have some ideas, but I think it would be ideal to have another chance to get to know the Aprilia better. I am very happy about the interest generated by my return to a MotoGP bike, but, as I have already said, I do not have any long-term plans. I'm having fun, I am relaxed, and I'll evaluate my decisions one step at a time."

Aprilia Racing and Andrea Dovizioso will now discuss the possibility of another test to be held during June.

WATCHLIST

If you’re looking for something to watch, I can recommend The Mosquito Coast on Apple TV+. Here’s a synopsis. Allie Fox—a brilliant inventor and stubborn idealist—uproots his family for a dangerous quest through Mexico to flee the U.S. government and find safety. I’m three episodes in, and I have to say, ‘I love it!’

HARK

I have been soaking up as many UFO/UAP podcasts as possible. Something is going on; are we about to have our reality upended? For me, this subject is a great distraction; I'm fed up with COVID related news, wars and all of the other miserable stuff circulating in the mainstream media. Here's a clip from the Joe Rogan podcast featuring the former US Government official Christopher Mellon talking about the subject.

APOGEE

I'm looking into purchasing a camping tarp. DD Tarps seem to be among the most versatile. Check out this video from Hidden Valley Bushcraft to find out about three tarp setups you can use for wild camping.

ROAM

Lockdown clipped my wings and stopped me from embarking on a couple of trips that I wanted to make. Karta and I will be heading to Corby for a visit to the Adrenaline Alley skatepark next week. That will be the furthest we have been from our village for almost a year.

I would still like to take a drive up to the very northern tip of Europe for the summer solstice, but travel restrictions will screw that idea up too. However, I have a few ideas for father/son bonding journeys; we have to wait for unrestricted travel to return.

NOSEBAG

Eggs Benedict

Pax (feeds): breakfast for two

Pre-flight (preparation): 15 minutes

MECO (cooking time): No time at all

Components (ingredients):

  • 4 eggs

  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 4 slices ham

  • 2 English muffins

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 100g unsalted butter

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Handful of Chives

The method, man:

  1. Bring a large pan of water up to a simmer, add the vinegar, swirl the water, and drop the two eggs into it. Poach for 4-5 minutes until the whites are set.

  2. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks, the lemon juice and a small splash of hot water into a small food processor or a narrow cup or jar that will just fit your stick blender.

  3. Melt the butter in a small pan until it is bubbling fast and reaches 90°C. Then, carefully but swiftly pour this into a small measuring jug.

  4. Whizz the egg yolks, lemon juice and water briefly in the blender or with the stick blender. Then, slowly, drizzle in the butter: you should see the sauce thicken. Keep going until you've added all the butter. If you're using a blender, you may need to pause, scrape down the sides, then continue. Season with salt, taste, and season again if necessary.

  5. Slice in half, lightly toast and butter the English muffins, and divide them between the plates. Lay a piece of ham on each half muffin

  6. Once the poached eggs are ready, drain them using a slotted spoon, and lay them on top of the ham on the muffins. Spoon the hollandaise generously over the top of each egg. Serve straight away, with any remaining hollandaise in a jug. Chuck on some chopped chives to finish it off.

BOOKWORM

This week I am reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavour—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. This is the first of three books in this series. It’s pretty good.

OUTRO

Getting back to writing a weekly newsletter has been high on my schedule, and I have let life get in the way. But, unfortunately, it is all too easy to allow the other 'things' going on in your life to prevent you from sitting down to write.

My process requires time, patience and the ability to enter a flow-state. Once I am in the zone, I can write well, white noise being blasted through my Bose headphones helps, but ultimately, I require distraction-free solitude. Only then do the words come to me.

As always, I apologise for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Until next time, adieu.


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