We all know that 2016 has largely been a pile of crap. Over the course of 12 months, the world really has gone down the toilet. But while it’s tempting to just drown in all the awful things that are around every turn, nothing good will ever come from that. To have a positive outlook, you need positivity around you. So I decided to make a list of all the good things that happened for me this year. However, lists are pretty boring so I decided to turn it into more of a pictorial.
Met up with my friend Sarah and her crew in London for sight-seeing and ramen.
Went up to London with Aurélie to see Felipe and Claire on the Clare Balding Show. He played darts, it was great.
Saw Hans Zimmer live with Aurelie and got to hear some of my favourite movie tracks full blast.
Went up to Autosport, hung out with the Massa Mafia, met my faves once again, had a go at Ted.
Designed a rather ambitious Williams banner that was way above my skill level but somehow managed to finish it and have it looking about 85% the way I had expected.
Went to the Paris ePrix and strolled up and down the pit lane getting selfies and nearly getting run over in the process, saw one of my guys win a race and then got sprayed in the face with champagne.
Went to WEC and strolled around the paddock, got a selfie with Jackie freaking Stewart, had Bruno Senna show me that we had matching phones and got snowed on.
Saw Adam Ant live in my home town with my mum.
Went to my first IndyCar race, got to do a hot lap in a two-seater, wave the green flag at a qualifying session and see Liz lose her damn mind when Conor Daly got a podium. Oh, and I saw Norman Pagenaud with my own eyes!
Got rekt by Niagara Falls, had some ice cream.
Stayed in a cabin at Seneca Lodge, got driven around Watkins Glen in a Toyota Yaris to the Rush track ‘Watkins Glen’, played the opening notes of Pathetique on the lodge piano, geeked out over old race programmes in a café while eating a brownie.
Didn’t freeze to death in Montreal, got my banner signed by the Williams boys, plotted a late night murder over Twitter at the hostel, met loads of cats, almost saw someone other than a Mercedes win a race (damn you, Ferrari…and also seagulls).
Went to the London ePrix double header, befriended a dude who was maximum entertainment value, hung out with some Massa Mafia again, saw a Prost/Senna podium, more selfies, watched some of the Italy vs Germany Euro match in a pub with Simona de Silvestro on the table next to us.
Went to the British GP and hung out with the Mafia even more, ended up being on the Sky show with my banner, hung around outside the campsite hotel forever, saw Fernando go for a run, Kimi sneak in the back from a Maserati, Jev get dropped off by a beat up Nissan.
Went to Hungary with Irene, did much sight-seeing, ate a really good chocolate cake, didn’t melt as expected, ate dinner at a random Martini place with a Williams outside, fell in love with Budapest.
Went to Germany on my lonesome and somehow survived, stayed in the greatest Airbnb known to man, took a little trip up to Heppenheim and delighted in the total German-ness, befriended a couple of British women (who I continued to bump into all weekend).
Returned to Watkins Glen for an actual race, listened to the dumbest and most amazing playlist ever created on the road trip up there, had awesome team neighbours who gave us electricity, got a flower crown selfie with Josef Newgarden, had people in a liquor store freak out about me being from England while I met Ed Carpenter, saw an honest to god wreath ceremony at the Seneca Lodge while listening to the piano being played and watching old school home movies on the TV.
I won a competition that let me go to a Q&A and meet & greet with Nolan freaking North, I got to ask him a question, I got a selfie and a chat and also pizza.
Met Nolan North again as well as Troy Baker and Emily Rose, everyone was delightful, had a good chat with Troy, gave Nolan a bracelet which he wore for the rest of the day, risked asking for dumb photo shoots and got rewarded for my efforts.
My friend had the most adorable little baby girl.
Nico Rosberg became World Champion and eased an excessive amount of stress I had been carrying with me since 2014 (I’ll miss you, dude).
Felipe Massa got the send-off he absolutely deserved.* (*actual retirement pending, apparently)
I felt more motivated to write than I have in what feels like forever.
I discovered and began to cultivate a love of photography.
Spent time with a bunch of my favourite people on this earth.
Already started on plans for 2017 including Race of Champions and the goddamn Indy 500.
Here’s hoping that 2017 brings even more adventures!