BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

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BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Gelert on Sun Aug 16 2009, 11:08

Herbert confirms Silverstone debut

By Jamie O'Leary Friday, August 14th 2009, 08:17 GMT http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77647

Johnny Herbert has confirmed that he will race one of Team Dynamics' Honda Civics in the final three rounds of this year's British Touring Car Championship.

The 45-year-old three-time grand prix winner will replace team leader James Thompson, who is already committed to the WTCC and Australian V8 Supercars, at the Silverstone, Rockingham and Brands Hatch GP rounds.

Herbert, who also won the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours with Mazda, tested a for the team at Rockingham last month but says he needs more time behind the wheel to get up to speed for his debut.

"It will be a challenge, I have no doubt about that," Herbert said. "Guys like Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato just have so much experience in touring cars, but I'm very much looking forward to it.

"I haven't raced a front-wheel drive car since I did a round of the Spanish SEAT Cup about seven years ago, and the Rockingham test, which was only an afternoon really and didn't give me too much opportunity to really get down to business, so hopefully with a bit more track time I can be competitive."

Herbert will spend this weekend's Knockhill BTCC round with the team, although he will not drive.

Coverage of the BTCC meeting at Knockhill on ITV4 starts at 1130hrs (in about 90 minutes) and finishes at about 1800hrs....6+ Hours of 4-wheeled action, mainly tin-tops so plenty of paint trading... Cool

*EDIT* Well...that hasn't quite worked out according to plan... Shocked

Went shopping prior to this race meeting's coverage, right after posting the above.
Shopping over, I was standing at the Burger Stall waiting to buy "brunch" for myself and Sue and Jason (her 28 year-old son - effectively my step-son), when I got a 'phone call from my neighbour: "Drop everything and come home" and I could hear Sue in hysterics in the background.

Bottom line is that my Step-son committed suicide last night by hanging himself, and Sue walked in on it at 1100hrsBST.

Sorry to be so blasé about it, but right now we're both numb...

So I won't be posting for a while guys.

Louis.

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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by greg99 on Sun Aug 16 2009, 20:11

I'm numb too. Don't know what to say other than if you need anything, give us a holler, this place is also about supporting each other.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Henrik on Sun Aug 16 2009, 20:13

Yeah, I'm with greg. I really don't know what to say either. We're here for you if we can help.

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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Danny Boy on Sun Aug 16 2009, 22:18

My wife's brother committed suicide 4 years ago, there is such a sense of hopelessness about it all, my heart goes out to you and Sue.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Trixie on Mon Aug 17 2009, 16:02

My deepest sympathies. I'm here for you. PM me if you want to give me your phone number or want mine if you need a listening ear.

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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by gueuzeman on Tue Aug 18 2009, 05:51

Ummmm....

Fuck!

Ummmm....

Schufosi?

Fuck!


Email sent.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by da silva on Tue Aug 18 2009, 16:03

Don't know what to say except we're here for you if you need.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by H8R on Wed Aug 19 2009, 00:16

God speed.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Gelert on Sat Aug 29 2009, 21:05

Saturday 15th August 2009

And now it’s time for novel-writing, which today comes from the West Country, from Dorset. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogPZ5CY9KoM
(Voice of first reporter). Hello, and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel The Return of the Native on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels; and here he comes, here comes Hardy walking out toward his desk, he looks confident, he looks relaxed, very much the man in form as he acknowledges this very good-natured Bank Holiday crowd. And the crowd goes quiet now as Hardy settles himself down at his desk, body straight, shoulders relaxed, pen held lightly but firmly in the right hand, he dips the pen in the ink and he’s off! It’s the first word, but it’s not a word, oh no, it’s a doodle way up on the left-hand margin, it’s a piece of meaningless scribble and he’s signed his name underneath. Oh dear, what a disappointing start! But he’s off again and here he goes, the first word of Thomas Hardy’s first novel at 10.35 on this very lovely morning, it’s three letters, it’s the definite article and it’s "the", Dennis.
(Voice of Dennis) Well, this is true to form, no surprises there. He’s started five of his eleven novels to date with the definite article. We’ve had two of them with "it", there’s been one "but", two "ats", one "and" and a "Dolores"(?). Oh, that , of course, was never published.
(Voice of first reporter).I’m sorry to interrupt you there, Dennis, but he’s crossed it out! Thomas Hardy here on the first day of his new novel has crossed out the only word he’s written so far, and he’s gazing off into space. Oh dear, he’s signed his name again.
(Voice of Dennis) It looks like Tess of the D’Urbervilles all over again.
(Voice of first reporter) But he’s, no he’s down again and writing, Dennis. He’s written "the " again and he’s written "a" and there’s a second word coming up and it’s "sat". "A sat ...", doesn’t make sense, "a satur ...", "a Saturday", it’s "a Saturday", and the crowd are loving it, they are really enjoying this novel. And "this afternoon", "this Saturday afternoon in, in, in know ..., knowvember", November is spelled wrong, ... but he’s not going back, it looks as if he’s going for a sentence, and it’s the first verb coming up, the first verb of the novel and it’s "was"! – and the crowd are going wild. "A Saturday afternoon in November was" – and a long word here – "appro ..., appro ...", is it "approval"? No, it’s "approaching, approaching". "A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching", and he’s done the definite article "the" again, and he’s writing fluently, easily with flowing strokes of the pen as he comes up to the middle of this first sentence. And with his eleventh novel well under way and the prospects of a good day’s writing ahead, back to the studio.


... we interrupt the sketch to take you straight back to novel-writing from Dorchester and the latest news about that opening sentence.


(Voice of first reporter) Well, the noise you can hear is because Hardy has just completed his first sentence and it’s a real cracker, just listen to this: "A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment" and that after only three hours of writing. What a "hardyesque" cracker.


Saturday 15th August 2009


The It was a sat...doesn’t make sense...it was a Saturn...nope – no better...

It was a Saturday (hooray!)

15th August 2009 to be exact.

Jason (for it is he) elected to have a barbeque in the back garden, no doubt inspired by yours truly grilling sausages under the electric oven’s grill in the kitchen for one of my infamous student years-styleé “Sausage-and-Sliced-Bread-and-various Mustards-with tomato ketchup” experiments...cue “carbon Footprint” debate – electric oven versus burning charcoal arguments.

But I digress.

Again.

Jason conned his Mum, Sue (for it is she – yours truly’s other half) into running him into town to buy some BBQ food – spicy sausages and a steak. Whilst the BBQ was heating-up, Jason posted on Facebook “(Jason) is going to have bbq nice one” on August 15th at 1541hrs. After he’d finished the BBQ and had eaten, he offered Sue & I the leftovers – half a piece of steak and one skewered sausage – which we accepted and ate. Later on, at 1906hrs, Jason posted again on Facebook, this time linking the result of one of those silly Facebook quiz’s that he’d partaken in, to his Wall comment “i think not”.

As was my habit, I went and sat in the front garden with Ben (our dog) at about 1930hrs – right by Jason’s Living Room’s open window. I could hear Jason chatting online with his Halo buddies - laughing, joking, and swearing whilst playing Halo3 and / or Halo Wars. Meatloaf was playing gently(!) in the background.

About 2100hrs Jason came in to our living room with his (our!) Sony PSP and set it up, so that Sue & I could watch a couple of BluRay DVDs. Sue then gave him £4.00 so that he could have a couple of pints down the Launton Sports Club with his dad, and then he left the house.

Sue & I watched “Knowledge” on DVD (not bad), and then started to watch “Quantum Of Solace”. At about 2330hrs we paused the DVD, and Sue went out to prepare Ben’s dinner. She thought that she’d heard Jason come in and flush the upstairs toilet (I didn’t hear anything) - and whilst out in the kitchen doing the dog’s dinner she noticed Jason’s pushbike dumped on the back lawn near to the backdoor. She picked it up and leant it against the wrought iron chairs on the patio where it usually lives, so that when Ben went out after his dinner he wouldn’t get all tangled up in it (Sue told me this the following morning).

Sue went to bed at about midnight as she’d seen “Quantum Of Solace” before. I watched the rest of the movie, took Ben out for a final doggie business run, and then locked-up and headed off to bed. On my way past Jason’s open living room door at about 0115hrs, I noticed that his window blind was fully opened (unusual) and that his PC Halo Desktop Wallpaper was illuminating the whole village (also unusual – the screensaver hadn’t kicked-in). As Jason was hugely security-conscious especially about advertising his extensive PC Monitors’ capabilities to the whole village through un-drawn blinds late on a Saturday night, this was unusual and so I made a mental note, but didn’t do anything about it. I just walked up the stairs and went to bed.

I woke-up on Sunday morning (16th August) at about 0830hrs, went to the toilet and then grabbed my dressing-gown and headed downstairs. Jason’s living room was the same as I’d left it earlier. Sue was already downstairs and commented on the dressing-gown attire which is unusual for me. Whilst making a mug of coffee, and watching the BBC news, I explained to Sue that as the following morning (Monday 17th) was my last day at work at my then current employers, I needed to abandon my traditional Monday Morning “hair-wash-and-no-shave” routine, and get the hair wash done on Sunday to allow time for the shave on Monday morning. Shower and hair wash completed, I reappeared about 0930hrs for more coffee and headed for my PC upstairs to check the overnight emails, report the inevitable spam, and check the F1-Live and Autosport websites for any F1 news and also any news about the BTCC race later on in the afternoon. I found the piece about Johnny Herbert and posted it above on the Shamu website at 1008hrs.

I then went back downstairs and told Sue that I was off out before the BTCC TV coverage started at 1130hrs to get a sandwich & fruit for Monday lunch, fuel & air for the car for the week, and also to get Ben some more dog food. Sue asked me to get a chicken if possible for Sunday roast and some Yorkshire Puddings if I managed to get a chicken, but that we were OK for potatoes. I also mentioned that I was going to the Burger Van by the pet shop and did she want something. Sue said yes, and could I get a burger for Jason as well.

I checked the oil & water in the car at 1030hrs, left the house at 1035hrs, got the sandwich & chicken & Yorkshire Puddings & fruit at 1044hrs, fuel & air at1055hrs, and got to the burger van at about 1058hrs. I’d planned to order the food and whilst it was being cooked and wrapped, I would dive into the pet shop and get Ben’s dog food. I’d then collect the burgers and arrive back home in time for the race coverage at 1130hrs.

Unfortunately, some twat queue-barged at the burger van as a Paramedic drove past up the main road, and so I was still waiting to order when my mobile phone rang at 1101hrs. Caller ID showed the incoming call to be from Sue’s Home Phone, so I answered it – but instead of Sue’s voice I heard Lynn my neighbour saying “Louis. Come home NOW. Drop everything – you’ve got to come home NOW”. I could hear Sue in the background in absolute hysterics, and so I knew that it was serious – and then my brain went into overdrive: In quick succession I realised that it must be an issue with Jason because although Sue sounded in hysterics, it wasn’t the sound of a wounded or injured animal; I told Lynn that I was on my way, hung-up, realised that this was so serious that I wouldn’t get a chance again that day to get some dog food so completed the fastest dog-food-shop on record; drove home and parked in the road behind the same Volvo Estate Paramedic that had driven past me earlier; entered the house; realised that the chicken / sandwich / Yorkshire Puds / fruit needed to be in the fridge and I wouldn’t have a chance later so I put them in the fridge – and then Lynn walked into the kitchen ashen faced, behind her Sue. Lynn was mouthing “I’m so sorry Louis, I’m so sorry” but there were no words coming out. Then Sue, in a hyperventing voice said “Jason’s hung himself Louis. He’s dead Louis. He’s dead.”

My reaction...? “What the fuck...!?” As I walked from the kitchen into our living room, Lynn eventually managed to speak: “Do you want a drink, Louis?” “No” came my stern reply. And in our living room I found Lynn’s husband Dave, and another neighbour, all mouthing the same “We’re so sorry” soundless words.
I then went into the hall and at the foot of the stairs I met the paramedic coming down the stairs. He confirmed Jason’s death, and that it had happened hours ago. And that apparently he’d hung himself.
Then the police arrived...and we waited for Scene Of Crime Officers...and we waited for CID (Criminal Investigations Department) Officers...and we waited for the Coroner, and finally the Undertakers to arrive. 1100hrs to 1630hrs it took, before Jason was finally carried out by the Undertakers. And in these five-and-a-half hours, the Police Constable who turned-up at 1115hrs when I met him at the front door was on the radio every twenty minutes saying “I don’t want to hear again that you’ve only got one Coroner on duty today for the whole of Oxfordshire. I’ve got a family in total distress here, and this young man needs to be cut down NOW”.

This time period did give me a chance to see Jason and how / with what he’d committed the act. I couldn’t understand from what he had hung himself, as the ceiling isn’t very high and he didn’t have any ceiling mounted fixtures capable of taking the weight. All full of rufty-tufty “I’ve seen dead bodies on TV in CSI / NCIS and in films” bravado, I opened his bedroom door. OMFG. Right in front of me – from a speaker bracket at 6’ 6” high – and Jason was 6’ tall. Hollywood make-up doesn’t come anywhere close to preparing anyone to see someone you know dead in this manner. After the initial shock, I asked the WPC (Police Woman) to allow me to view a bit closer as I wanted to confirm a couple of things. “What do you need to know?” she asked. A brief explanation to her about what Autoeroticism is, ensued, after which I was allowed to personally confirm from a distance that this wasn’t evident.


We had the cremation on Thursday morning (27th August) and a Memorial Service at the local church on Thursday afternoon. Both were attended beyond our expectations – and it made it a lovely(!) day. And so one line has been drawn under the episode.

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of Jason’s death, there has to be a Coroner’s Inquest to determine actual cause of death: Suicide, Death by Misadventure, or Accidental Death etc. And this inquest is penciled-in for February 2010. So we can’t move on with our lives just yet. CID have yet to complete their investigations, which will form part of the evidence that The Coroner uses to establish his verdict.

Next week I have the fun of replying to all of the Credit Card Companies, some of whom have written the debts off, others who merely freeze the debt for 12 weeks – go fucking figure...! But I’ll take very great pleasure in telling them to go swivel where necessary.


I’m sorry for posting this – and I’m sorry if I’ve offended anybody with too much information. Maybe I’ve become slightly dulled to the graphical details over the past two weeks. But just sharing all of this is my therapy.

To add further pain, on the Wednesday morning after the horrific weekend, Ben pee’d on the carpet for the first time in his 12+ year life. He then started to drink HUGE amounts of water, and continued to be unable to hold his bladder functions. After throwing-up Thursday night’s dinner on Friday (21st August) morning, I took him down the vets where he was diagnosed with diabetes plus other complications requiring extensive surgery. He was kept in at the vets all last weekend, and on Monday morning I spoke with the vets. They started to list all of the needles and diabetic regimes and diets and regular 2 – 3 night stay-over’s at the vets that he would have to endure from here on in, until in 3 months time he MIGHT become stable enough to handle the necessary surgery. I explained that with the death of his best human companion, and the inevitable change of lifestyle that Sue and I and Ben are going to have to adopt (Jason used to be in the house by 1430hrs weekdays but Sue & I don’t get back until 1730hrs earliest), plus with all of Ben’s previous and still ongoing ailments, there is only one course of action. So last Monday, we brought Ben home. The vets gave him between a day to a week, possibly 10 days before he’ll be too ill to enjoy life. So far he’s not in pain, but he’s getting worse by the day. Hopefully he’ll be happy and pain-free enough until after this Bank Holiday weekend – but right now certainly not much longer. Ironically the dog food that I bought that day is now redundant as he’s on a diet of Roast Beef and Roast Chicken, Bonios, and “people food”.


So, if you believe in a god, pray for Ben and Jason. And if you don’t believe in a god, just toast them with your next drink – alcohol preferably, but tofu yogurt will suffice.


Normal service from Gelert will now resume.

Gelert
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Werner on Sun Aug 30 2009, 13:37

So sorry...I can't imagine.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by greg99 on Sun Aug 30 2009, 20:31

If it makes you feel somewhat better and/or helps you get your thoughts in order then please do write away. You know that all of us at the other end are big enough to take anything from our fellow shamuists, be it good or bad. And there's been a few over the years.

I don't believe in god, I don't drink and don't fancy tofu yogurt so much, so my next diet coke is for you.

We are in the process of moving right now but once we're settled down, if you need a change of scenery you and Sue are welcome to enjoy the view from our guest bedroom.

Stay strong and find comfort in the fact that if there's anything out there, Jason and Ben will be reunited.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by H8R on Sun Aug 30 2009, 20:47

I've been trying to type something for a day now...and I have gotten no where.

I'm reminded of an interview I heard on NPR. A women's daughter was murdered by the daughters boyfriend. The mother ended up writing a book of poems about her daughter.

She talked in the interview about the funeral....how people had the standard mourning words to say....but she she really appreciated the people who fumbled over trying to express their regret, sadness....or whatever.

I truly don't know what to say...I hope my fumbling really express my sorrow for you and yours.

Godspeed.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Trixie on Sun Aug 30 2009, 21:04

Louis, I'll read anything you write, and I'll never be able to express my feelings for how I wish I could make it better for you and Sue. I can't imagine what you must go through every day. I will say a toast in honor of Jason and for Ben and for you and Sue.

You kept me strong in the last months I had with Bix, and I hope I can repay that by helping you if not in words than in thoughts and prayers.

I think you've made a wise decision with Ben and we both know that. Enjoy your time with him. I'm sorry for just rambling, and I feel honored to know that you will share this deep pain with those of us who care about you tremendously.

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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by rob on Sun Aug 30 2009, 21:06

you are in my prayers.
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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Gelert on Wed Sep 02 2009, 10:55

Gelert wrote:To add further pain, on the Wednesday morning after the horrific weekend, Ben pee’d on the carpet for the first time in his 12+ year life. He then started to drink HUGE amounts of water, and continued to be unable to hold his bladder functions. After throwing-up Thursday night’s dinner on Friday (21st August) morning, I took him down the vets where he was diagnosed with diabetes plus other complications requiring extensive surgery. He was kept in at the vets all last weekend, and on Monday morning I spoke with the vets. They started to list all of the needles and diabetic regimes and diets and regular 2 – 3 night stay-over’s at the vets that he would have to endure from here on in, until in 3 months time he MIGHT become stable enough to handle the necessary surgery. I explained that with the death of his best human companion, and the inevitable change of lifestyle that Sue and I and Ben are going to have to adopt (Jason used to be in the house by 1430hrs weekdays but Sue & I don’t get back until 1730hrs earliest), plus with all of Ben’s previous and still ongoing ailments, there is only one course of action. So last Monday, we brought Ben home. The vets gave him between a day to a week, possibly 10 days before he’ll be too ill to enjoy life. So far he’s not in pain, but he’s getting worse by the day. Hopefully he’ll be happy and pain-free enough until after this Bank Holiday weekend – but right now certainly not much longer. Ironically the dog food that I bought that day is now redundant as he’s on a diet of Roast Beef and Roast Chicken, Bonios, and “people food”.

We sadly had to arrange for Ben to be put to sleep yesterday.

We spent a lovely last 8 days with Ben, during which he refused to eat anything other than prime mince, steak, and left-over’s – “people food” as Sue & I refer to it.

We had an especially lovely day with Ben on August Bank Holiday Monday, sitting with him in the sunshine out in Ben’s favourite front garden, watching the world go by.

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was also sunny, but it was obvious that Ben had faded rapidly overnight. His eyes were bright, but were now pleading for help. Still, he managed to get out into his front garden for an hour in the sunshine.

Then he came back into the house, threw-up, and walked straight through to the back garden, where he lay down and pretty much couldn't get up again. His body effectively shut-down over the next five hours as he remained with Sue & I until the vet arrived yesterday afternoon. Never has a call to the vets been so right.

These last few weeks have been traumatic, and have given good reason for prayer.

But I only asked God for one thing in all of this time, and that was to keep the weather good for Ben yesterday until the vet had arrived, as the weather forecast was awful.

Well, the dark thunder clouds rolled to the West and to the East of our village all day, but never over us until about 30 minutes after Ben had departed. At which point it lashed it down.

So, thank you God.

RIP Ben. 1550hrs 1st September 2009. God speed mate.

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Re: BTCC welcomes an old hand...!

Post by Werner on Wed Sep 02 2009, 11:50

My sympathies to you and your wife.
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