Interests and Hobbies
I like games which involve a bit of skill such as chess, backgammon and poker - and like a lot of people I keep up with friends on Facebook. I also like cars which is sort of unusual for girls I suppose and I’ve owned and loved some nice sports cars over the years.
My love affair with cars started when I was twelve years old when I used to pass a particular car every morning on the way to school and admire it for its shape - it’s never been about the speed for me it’s always been about the aesthetics of the car, here are a few photos of them.
My first totally impractical but gorgeous car was a Lotus Élan Plus 2 in bright red that broke down on the way home after just buying it!
The Lotus Élan was a classic car at that time; I don't know how reliable it would've been when it was new but I was very glad to have AA Home Start and got to know the engineers quite well. Apart from that and having to put chocks under the wheels (lousy handbrake) it was a lovely car and I can still remember the smell of the leather interior mixed with the smell of oil.
After the Élan there was a BMW Hartge conversion which I just didn't get along with though it was much admired by men as I recall.
Then there were two more Lotuses - a white Lotus Esprit Turbo which I miss to this day and then a red one. Owning the same car in two colours gave me a real insight into colour psychology - the white one did attract attention but the red one seemed to be a magnet for every nutter on the road; it was a stunning car but too much trouble for that reason only. The one I still pine for is the white one and from time to time I contemplate having another one and if I do I reckon it might as well be a V8 this time. For now though I settle with being a proud groupie and get down to the Lotus meets at The Ace Cafe London whenever I can. They're organised by The Lotus Forums and you can reach me there if you want to hook up.
There were some pictures of a new, proposed Lotus Esprit on the internet and it's a stunning looking car but it saddens me a little bit that there are virtually no recognisable features from the two earlier models (it looks more like a Lamborghini Aventador to me), hey ho. For me the best Lotus was and always will be the 'Stevens' Esprit.
Another hobby I''ve taken up recently is drifting, which can be described simply as 'controlling an out of control car'. Drifting is a grassroots motorsport and is very entertaining to watch as for a lot of the time the cars are going sideways and in tandem with other cars. I'm a beginner and at the time of writing this I've just learned how to do doughnuts but I've got the bug now and my only wish was that it wasn't such an expensive hobby. You get through tyres like they were made out of paper and it has to be done in a rear wheel drive car (I don't own one), in a safe environment like an airfield - and that's before you even hire an instructor. Here's a link to a video which I made of one of my recent drifting training days (it's me doing the doughnuts at the beginning).
Another pastime of mine is interior decoration. I have the kitchen decked out like a 1950’s American ice-cream parlour (I'll have to get around to taking some photos and post them here), and I have just finished installing a new bathroom and adjoining ‘dry room’. The style is a mixture of Edwardian, apothecary and spa and I have posted a few pictures here.
Other than that I'm a member of Toastmasters which is fun and there's a nice social side to the group I belong to (which is in Stanmore). Here's a link to one of my impromptu speaking efforts at Toastmasters (which they call Table-Topics) - Table-Topics are given to people in the audience to do at random and with no preparation; the idea is to teach you to think fast and on your feet literally, and speak for one to two minutes on a subject which has just been given to you. For me they are the most challenging part of the meetings as you have no time to prepare, rehearse or even think and I've decided to focus on these for my speaking exercises as I reckon if I can crack these then the prepared speeches will be a walk in the park. That's the theory anyway!